107. Giovanni Giustinian, Venetian Ambassador in England,
to the Doge and Senate.
Having completed the redoubt across the River Tweed, the
Scottish army resumed its march towards Newcastle on Thursday,
proceeding with order, but slowly, as the rain which has recently
fallen most copiously does not permit them to go quicker. It is
marching in two squadrons, the first led by Gen. Leslie, is composed
of 1300 horse and 12,000 foot ; the second, commanded by
a brother of the Earl of Argyle, (fn. 1) has 6000 infantry and 1000
cavalry with the colours, all the artillery and every other instrument
of war, with which it is abundantly furnished. It cannot
yet be discovered whether the Scots intend to capture Newcastle,
a place of importance situated on the coast, though without
defence, where the ships and merchantmen taken from them
these last months are guarded by the fleet, or go direct to York,
without any other attempt.
The king's cavalry is directed to the River Tyne, to dispute
the passage, but it is thought with secret orders to the General to
open negotiations for a composition rather than risk the hazard
of battle. We ought to have news very soon.
One thing is certain, universal acclamations at the entry of this
army become ever louder. Those of the Puritan faith in particular
never tire of applauding them, in the hope that this move
will suffice to compel the king to summon parliament again,
whereby not only Scotland but England also would recover their
accustomed liberty, which has suffered injury solely from the
principles of the present government, which is most hateful to
The king, on his arrival at York, found his troops scanty in
numbers, with no sort of order and by no means ready to engage
the enemy. That county, on whose vigorous support were based
the most founded hopes of resisting the Scottish forces, instead
of offering powerful succours has prepared fresh audacious
demands to be relieved of the burdens laid upon them, as they
are determined not to bear them any longer.
Five regiments of infantry, quartered in this city, and intended
to serve on the ships which are still in the river, have riotously
refused to embark or draw the sword against the enemy. Accordingly
they have decided to retain the officers only and to dismiss
the troops without attempting more, as they fear that severe
treatment of the disobedient would lead to more dangerous
disputes. In the absence of troops ready to fight, a part of the
ships here will proceed to the fleet with munitions of war only.
The Viceroy of Ireland, who is to command the forces, set out
from this city on Saturday. But being overtaken by a dangerous
illness on the road, he has had to stop, full of the most painful
thoughts. He has long foreseen the imminent perils which
menace him personally, as he is threatened publicly by the Scots
not less than by the English. The Archbishop of Canterbury,
who is equally a subject of the popular wrath, has withdrawn to
the queen's Court for greater safety and only emerges from there
By a published proclamation the king has declared guilty of
high treason and rebellion the Scots who have entered England
armed, and has forbidden, under the severest penalties, the
supplying them with commodities of any kind, while he offers a
full pardon to those who repent of their most grievous fault and
return quietly to their homes. But this is labour lost as on the
one side they are eager to carry out their plans, while on the other
they are anxious to use this crisis to obtain from his Majesty the
satisfaction which hitherto they have not been able to get by
respect and loyalty.
Strict orders have been sent to all the lords and others who hold
property of the crown, and who are therefore bound to follow
the king when he takes the field, to proceed to York with all speed
for service with permission however to the infirm and to those
who do not want to leave their own hearths to withdraw upon
payment of a definite sum of money. In this way the ministers
here hope to collect a considerable sum in the present penury.
But those concerned saw through the trick and were unwilling
to facilitate the king's designs by the payment of money. So
they have intimated that they are all perfectly ready to obey,
but they will not fight before they have heard that the demands of
the Scots are inequitable, which means that they do not feel
inclined to expose themselves to hurt.
Fresh requests for loans have been made of this city, but
have met with no better response than before and they have
definitely refused to contribute without a vote of parliament.
Not knowing where else to go they have tried to obtain on credit
from the India Company all the pepper brought by the ships,
which have recently arrived, amounting to 70,000l. with the idea
of selling it afterwards to the merchants at a loss, who will readily
supply the money. But when negotiations were opened with the
interested parties and the heads of the Company, they showed no
inclination to entrust their capital to the king, and unless they
take it by force, as was done before with the money which lay
in the Tower, it seems likely that this last expedient will fail
also, involving as it does most hurtful consequences to the traders
of this mart.
His Majesty has unexpectedly issued a proclamation to the
Sheriffs whose duty it is to collect the last tax known as ship
money, which the people have been unwilling to pay in the past,
although under pressure, informing them that they must satisfy
the Treasury within a month, under pain of severe penalties, as
he is determined to have prompt obedience and full payment.
These, on the contrary, claim that the royal authority does not
extend to the imposition of the greater charges, and they refuse
to pay. Dissatisfaction constantly increases and without any
advantage they keep preparing material for the most serious
outbreak. It is feared that this is very near, much to the alarm
of good men and of foreigners in particular. Owing to this fear
the custody of the Tower has been committed to Cottington, (fn. 2) one
of the most capable of the ministers, with orders from the king
that in case of a rising he is to raise platforms of earthworks in
the Tower and take steps to command the city with guns. May
God avert the need for such service to his Majesty and for the
safety of private individuals.
The ambassador destined for this Court has already left Denmark,
and they are momentarily expecting his arrival in port. (fn. 3)
When he comes we shall know more precisely the commissions
with which he is charged, which I will report later. I have your
Excellencies' letters of the 17th ult.
London, the 7th September, 1640.
108. Giovanni Giustinian, Venetian Ambassador in England,
to the Doge and Senate.
On Thursday the Scottish army reached Morphet, a small
place 12 leagues from Newcastle. It numbers 32,000 combatants,
reinforcements of 12,000 men having reached it since it started.
On the way it has continued to enjoy the goodwill not only of
the common people, but of the gentry of the country as well.
Gen. Leslie maintains the most severe discipline in the army, and
so far has not suffered any hurt to be done to any place or person,
save only a few houses of Catholics, who imprudently refused to
supply some refreshment asked for, and these were pillaged and
completely destroyed in revenge. The commander enjoys the
prompt obedience not only of the soldiers but of the higher
officers as well, to such an extent that he could not wish for more
if he had been born their natural sovereign.
Having granted a day's rest at the place mentioned, he advanced
in good order to the River Tyne, on the shores of which a
royal force of 3000 horse and 2000 foot was drawn up, intent on
offering a vigorous resistance to the passage of the river. Being
thus obliged to force it, Leslie soon established several pieces of
artillery on the high ground near by, with which he began to
bombard the royalists furiously. Terrified at the first shots and
unprepared (non avvezzi) for the violence of such salutes, the
infantry shamefully abandoned their colours and sought safety
in precipitate flight. The cavalry, with more courage, or possibly
being less cowardly, offered some resistance to the attack,
but being overborne by numbers and by the valour of their opponents,
they also retired with the loss of 400 of the most faithful
troops in the royal forces, leaving the way open to the Scots. (fn. 4)
After this success the army approached Newcastle, which
surrendered without resistance. There they found a quantity
of artillery, abundant supplies of food and munitions of war, sent
there these last months by the king, to be distributed to his own
force, and by this important capture the Scots have opened the
way for receiving succour by sea from Scotland, and for securing
considerable supplies of money because situated in the neighbourhood
are the mines of coal which is brought to this city in great
quantities and distributed throughout the realm. They will be
able to sell this and will thus obtain the means to support the war
for a long time in this country, if the king's necessities do not
compel him to buy peace at any price, as everyone predicts, or
the English change their minds and decide to render powerful
aid to the king, of which there is no indication. Everyone here
expresses gladness at the news, and although it is forbidden under
severe penalties to speak in favour of the rebels, and many persons
have been arrested for the offence, such devices are quite inadequate
to restrain this free spoken people within bounds, so powerful
in them is the sentiment of liberty and the question of religion,
under which the Scots cleverly cloak their ambitious greed.
On the very day of the action the king left York with the bulk
of the army, intending to advance to Newcastle, but the unlucky
news of the flight of his troops reached him on the road, and sad
at heart he found it advisable to return to the city. It is thought
that he may even retire from there if the rebels push on in that
direction, and here they are impatiently waiting for news.
The men of the trained bands commanded to follow the king have
not moved as yet, the counties being undecided whether to obey
or to excuse themselves. They were to come to their final decision
yesterday, and upon this in great measure depends the success
or failure of His Majesty's affairs. His fortune is undoubtedly
exposed to very dangerous contingencies and hateful changes.
Upon the promise of the customers and of many men of credit,
the India Company has at last agreed to grant the king the sale
of the pepper as asked. The ministers have hastened to complete
the bargain, but so far they have not been able to find anyone
willing to take it up, the calamities of the time inducing everybody
to proceed with great caution in a matter which may give general
Two ambassadors of Denmark arrived in this city on Monday,
being lodged and defrayed by His Majesty. They have sent a
gentleman to him to learn his pleasure, whether they shall await
his return, of if he will give them audience where he is.
I sent my Secretary Agostini to pay my respects, as did all the
other ministers, and those of Spain in particular.
The Chiaus sent by the Grand Sultan to announce his accession (fn. 5)
has also arrived, and is defrayed by the merchants of the Levant
Company. He formally expressed his esteem for your Excellencies
and handed me letters from the Bailo Contarini. I
made a suitable response.
Your letters of the 23rd and 24th ult. reached me today, and
your orders to me to prepare to proceed to the embassy to Caesar.
On his Majesty's return I will take leave as directed, and after
performing the other functions and making preparations for
sustaining the charge with due splendour, I will try to set out
on the journey with all possible speed. The dangers of the
journey, in the present movements of armies, only make me the
more anxious to serve my country.
London, the 14th September, 1640.
109. Giovanni Giustinian, Venetian Ambassador in England,
to the Doge and Senate.
The news which throngs in at every moment in this country
impels me to add these few lines to my last. The Scottish army,
leaving Newcastle well supplied, has since advanced to Durham,
and taken it without resistance, and from that city they are
approaching swiftly to York.
Two days ago several earls, barons and other leading men of
the Puritan party came to this city and after secret conferences
they have united to send letters to the king by Baron Batvil and
Avort, representing that this kingdom has been brought to a state
of most serious calamity by the sole fault of His Majesty's evil
ministers, and there is no remedy except the summoning of
parliament without delay. (fn. 6) They beg him to consent to this,
otherwise they protest that they will summon it themselves, in
order to escape greater trouble for their country.
The queen and ministers having discovered full particulars of
this daring resolution, conspiring with the most pernicious aims
of the Scots, sent the news to the king with all speed, advising
him to come quickly to this city to divert the serious mischief
with which they are threatened if he is not disposed to summon
parliament without a moment's delay. The acts of that body
will undoubtedly cause great affliction to many ministers with the
danger of even more hateful consequences which the prudence of
your Excellencies will foresee.
In the Tower here they are preparing quarters for soldiers, and
are hurriedly making many military preparations, with the object
perhaps of providing, in the last resort, a refuge in that fortress
for some minister or for the king himself. With his arrival and
from the decisions which he will take we shall see the trend of
these difficult and troublesome affairs.
London, the 15th September, 1640.
110. Anzolo Correr, Venetian Ambassador in France, to
the Doge and Senate.
In conformity with my instructions I seized on a favourable
opportunity for performing the office with the Cardinal about
sending an ambassador, pointing out the advantage of maintaining
by such means confidential relations between the two crowns,
always most useful in the public interest and above all necessary
in the present serious emergencies, when three ambassadors of
the Catholic are present at the same time at that Court, without
there being a single adequate representative of France. His
Eminence seemed very pleased at what I said and charged me to
thank your Excellencies and assure you that he would give the
matter his earnest consideration. He added that he had not,
up to that moment, thought much about the question, it being
clear that the King of Great Britain, a prince of peculiar ideas, is
unwilling to extend his vision outside his own kingdom, it pleasing
him better to toil there with disadvantage and loss of reputation,
than to take advantage of what could be done outside, for the
benefit of the common cause. Quite recently measures had been
proposed to him, most opportune for the redemption of the
Palatine House from its present oppressions, but without success,
his usual subtleties broke off the negotiations at the outset. It
is certain that the King of Spain, whether he sends three or even
ten ambassadors, will not conclude any agreement with him,
or if he does so it will be without profit. England today has become
a nation useless to all the rest of the world and consequently of
no consideration (ben vedendosi che il Re di Gran Bretagna, prencipe
di pensieri particolari, niente vuole estendersi oltre il suo regno,
godendo piulosto di traragliare con disavantaggio e discapito di
riputatione in esso che di valersi di cio che puote fuori in beneficio
della causa commune, essergli anco ultimamente proposti de mezi
opportunissimi per redimere la Casa Palatina dall' oppressioni
presenti, ma inutilmente, le solite sue sotligliezze interrotone sul
principio il maneggio. Esser sicuro che l' Re di Spagna non sol
con tre ma ne anco con dieci ambasciatori stringera alcun concerto
seco o se to faccia sara senza profitto. L' Inglese hoggidi divenuta
una natione inutile a tutto il resto del Mondo e per conseguenza
The Cardinal openly professes aversion against the nation,
always speaks of it with derision, and I have frequently heard him
say that it is quite useless for those princes who have no commercial
interests with the English to keep up relations with them
for reasons of state. Yet on this occasion, possibly out of regard
for your Excellencies, he seemed disposed to send an ambassador.
He assured me that the difficulty of finding a suitable person had
alone delayed the appointment hitherto.
Amiens, the 15th September, 1640.
111. Alvise Contarini, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to
the Doge and Senate.
The ministers here almost laugh when one talks to them of peace.
It is true that the chief things upon which they counted on continuing
the war this year, namely the enterprises of Casale and the alliance
with England have failed them. The latter is considered here to be
practically broken off. But they do not give in on this account as
they hold firmly to the belief that France will never hold out so long as
Madrid, the 15th September, 1640.
[Italian ; deciphered.]
112. Giovanni Giustinian, Venetian Ambassador in England,
to the Doge and Senate.
The two lords sent by the earls here with letters to the king
reached York on Wednesday, and thus added fresh cause of
disturbance to His Majesty. Dissimulating the bitterness of his
feeling he told them that before deciding on the subject he wished
to consult the remainder of the high nobility and would then
follow the advice which they might consider best for the common
advantage and the crown.
In addition to the demand for the summoning of parliament the
letters contain other requests of great moment, namely the
speedy abolition of all monopolies, which are numerous, and of
the impositions recently introduced, the punishment of the
ministers who have given bad advice, not to call Irish or other
foreign troops to the kingdom, the resumption of the ancient
severity against the Catholics, the prohibition of all the rites
newly ordered in the worship of the Protestant Church, bringing
it back to the severe form of the ancient use, and finally that the
Scots receive satisfaction for their most just claims, so that they
may withdraw to their own country by negotiation, without
bloodshed, and that the two kingdoms may be united in friendship
and religion alike.
These same lords have audaciously presented a copy of these
letters to the Council here as well. In consequence of all that is
involved, the king has decided to summon all the earls and barons
and to hear the opinion of each, from which it is thought that it
will be possible, with a show of confidence to issue a formal
summons for a new parliament. In the common opinion it
will be at York. The king has sent the Vice Chamberlain Gorin
to this city, with orders to warn all the nobility to meet His
Majesty on the 4th prox.
The Scottish army, having obtained a friendly loan of 20,000l.
giving security for complete repayment, has taken without
opposition the place of Simons, which lies at the mouth of the
River Tyne, and renders the Scots completely masters of that part
of the sea. Without advancing any further they have distributed
their troops in the country of the Bishopric of Durham and about
Newcastle, which place they are actively fortifying. In the meantime
they have sent a special messenger to the king with a petition
full of the most studious terms of respect, but in no way differing
from the manifesto of the English earls and barons, thus showing
ever more clearly the secret communication between the two, the
English being informed of their coming and approving of their
Nevertheless the king gave them a most gracious reply, that
he was entirely disposed to give satisfaction to the Scottish
people in what he considers just. Meanwhile he commands them
not to advance further, in which they have complied, and to
await what will be decided. Although this is recognised as an
attempt to gain time, yet it affords some hope that these differences
may be composed in a friendly way, without force. If
this follows it will undoubtedly be greatly to the advantage of the
Scots as well as of the English. On the other hand it will mean
the total desolation of the Catholic Faith in this country, with a
notable diminution of the king's authority, and the final ruin of
his most confidential ministers. These are using their utmost
endeavour to prevent the convocation of parliament, but the
increasing stringency of His Majesty's affairs and the persistent
and general outcry make it likely that all their efforts will be in
The counties of the North have at last agreed to send the men
of the trained bands commanded, to the royal army, which is quartered
a mile from York. With these the royal army is increased
to 28,000 men. They are expecting reinforcements from other
counties, which revives the hope that this army may be rendered
as powerful and numerous as that of the rebels. The chief
difficulty consists at present in the lack of money, which is
irremediable and by the suspicion, confirmed by reports and by
experience, that when it comes to the push the English troops,
the infantry in particular, will not fight the enemy. These last,
through artful announcements that they aim solely at the preservation
of liberty and religion, and except the satisfaction they
claim from the most just hand of parliament, that they do not
mean to fight the king's forces except in self defence, and only wish
to be heard quietly by his Majesty, increase their favour with the
people, while alienating them from the king. For this reason
every one here is awaiting with curiosity to see how these most
perilous circumstances will end, accompanied as they are by such
irregular and numerous accidents, so that no sure opinion can be
advanced about the end.
They are still devoting careful attention to the custody of the
Tower. It is at present guarded by 600 infantry of the garrison.
They are also taking many other steps to prevent risings, which
are threatened all the same. Many bills have again been posted
up in public places in the city inviting the people to revolt. In
consequence of these suspicions the king has sent patents to the
Earl of Arundel appointing him general this side Trent, with
express orders to all officers and soldiers of those parts to obey
A Scottish maitre de cuisine of the Prince has been arrested
for having expressed the intention to kill his Highness with a
knife. (fn. 7) It is proposed that for greater safety the prince with the
others shall go to the queen, who has proceeded from Oatlands
to Hampton Court, a pleasure house of the crown nearer this city.
The ambassadors of Denmark are still lodged in a house of
the king and one hears of no orders for their audience. The
same applies to the Chiaus from Constantinople.
Orders have reached the merchants from the Prince of Satriano,
who is at Naples, to purchase as soon as possible six vessels armed
for war. It is believed that they are to join those of the Catholic.
The merchants are acting under this commission in Holland under
feigned names. By such ways do the Spaniards obtain the
means for their defence from their very enemies.
London, the 21st September, 1640.
113. Anzolo Correr, Venetian Ambassador in France, to
the Doge and Senate.
The Cardinal has spoken to me again about sending an ambassador
to England. He said that the answer he gave me last
week was such as a statesman should give, to an ambassador ;
but the confidential relations between us constrained to speak to
me as a friend, and he must tell me plainly that under existing
circumstances he would on no account advise the king to give
this satisfaction to the English, although they had asked for it
through several channels. It was very well known that the only
reason they wanted a French ambassador resident with them was
to make the Spaniards uneasy and they flattered themselves
with the hope that in the negotiations between the two countries
they would lead the Spaniards perhaps further than they wanted
to go. France had made every effort and experiment possible
to unite with the King of Great Britain for the benefit of the
general interests and for the special advantage of the Palatine.
A while ago they had promised, an obligation which involved very
little on the side of England, not to make peace with the House
of Austria until the Palatine was first restored to his dominions.
All this with so little result that it was no wonder if His Majesty
felt that there was no hope that an ambassador of his in England
would be of any use to himself or the public cause, and had
decided not to keep one there any longer, more especially as the
presence of a minister of his in that kingdom might, as already
stated, serve as an instrument for the English to make an alliance
His Eminence then added : But let me tell you another and
more recondite mystery. You are aware that the Puritans are
less hostile to us than to the Spaniards. These rebels in Scotland
are making war openly on the king, and in England they are all
ready to make some disturbance. So long as they see the negotiations
continued with the Spanish ambassadors, and that there
is no one representing France, they will keep up their agitation,
from their fear that something may be arranged with the Spaniards
to their prejudice. This agitation will make the king
hesitate and render it certain that, in order not to incite them to
declared hostility, he will not take any steps with the Spaniards
to the prejudice of us or of the common business (sapete bene che
i Puritani sono manco inimici nostri che de Spagnoli : questi
sollevati in Iscotia fanno apertamente la guerra al Re, e quelli
d' Inghilterra stan sul punto di far qualche emmotione etiamdio :
sin che vedranno continovarsi le negotiationi con gli ambasciatori
de Spagna, e non esservene alcuno dalla parte di Francia sempre
staranno in agitatione adombrati che con li Spagnoli non si concluda
qualche cosa a loro pregiudicio, e questa agitatione tenendo in
sospeso l' animo del Re fara certo che per non concitarseli dichiaratamente
contrarie non prendera risolutione alcuna coi medesimi
Spagnoli a pregiudicio de nostri, e degli affari communi).
This is the only way. We do not want to give encouragement
to the Scots. God knows how far we are from it. The world
and the King of Great Britain himself are not unaware of the
advances and proposals that have been made to us, and the
answer we gave. We shall never disturb the repose of our
friends, indeed we shall assist them when they are willing to
stand well with us, and will be friends of the public cause.
The Cardinal enlarged upon this and could not refrain from
breaking out against the English, as is his wont, imputing to them
the continuation of the present disorders of Christendom. He
summed up that for the reasons given they certainly could not
send an ambassador to England at the moment, but he begged
me to keep to myself what he had told me in confidence, and not
to tell your Serenity any more than that he thanked you for the
office and would give it full consideration, in order to follow your
prudent advice as soon as possible.
I replied that your Excellencies' regard for the public weal
and especially for that of this crown had moved you to make this
representation. You would never oppose the definite resolutions
of the king. You only thought that the presence of an ambassador
in England at a time when three Spanish ambassadors
were kept there, could not fail to be of advantage to His Majesty
and to Christendom as well.
Amiens, the 23rd September, 1640.
114. To the Ambassador in England.
The Secretary of England has asked for the arrest of one
William Burdet. We do not know that he has committed any
crime in our state or of what he is accused ; consequently there
is no reason for detaining him. We are anxious to gratify his
Majesty in every possible way, but while Burdet remains in our
territory and does not commit any public crime or cause any
scandal, honour and justice must be considered. You will
speak with great circumspection on the subject and if any further
demand is made you will speak in accordance with the tenor of
Ayes, 108. Noes, 0. Neutral, 5.
|115. To the King of Great Britain.
We are always pleased to have any opportunity to gratify
your Majesty. In the matter of William Burdet we will send
instructions to our representatives at Zante and Cephalonia to
have him arrested and handed over to the ship which is to carry
him to England. Compliments.
That the Rectors of Zante and Cephalonia be directed to order
the arrest of William Burdet and to hand him over to the ship
"Unicorn," to be taken to England. That the ambassador in
England be informed of this decision. (fn. 8)
116. To the Ambassador in England.
We have decided to gratify his Majesty in the matter of the
request made by his secretary here about Colonel Douglas.
Accordingly you will present the enclosed letter to his Majesty,
assuring him of our devotion which, with the passage of time,
has enabled the law and other difficulties to be overcome. We
have informed his Majesty's resident here of the result and he
seemed greatly pleased and said he would inform the king. We
also enclose a decision of the 26th inst. about William Burdet,
upon which we are sure you will speak with your customary
prudence, fortified by the unusual favour granted to Colonel
Douglas. Enclose sheet of advices.
Ayes, 107. Noes, 1. Neutral, 1.
|117. To the Ambassador in England.
The Imperial Ambassador came into the Collegio this morning
and we enclose a copy of his office. Owing to this most important
occurence, which calls in itself for the most serious and punctual
consideration in respect of the circumstances which may be
involved and to the motives which may be concealed, all of which
demands mature reflection, we have decided to send these
presents to you with all speed, in the belief that you will still
be in England, not having yet taken leave of his Majesty. If
that is the case you will postpone your departure on the plea
of indisposition or the difficulties of the journey in the winter
season on account of your wife, young children and numerous
household, or because of some incommodity of your wife, or that
you are waiting for passports, or uncertain which route to take
owing to the war in Germany, or that you are waiting to hear
from Vienna. We desire you to remain where you are upon some
such pretext, until further order. If you have started the
courier will follow you with orders for you to come straight to
this city announcing that you are compelled to go there on your
own private affairs after a long absence. (fn. 9)
Ayes, 107. Noes, 1. Neutral, 1.
118. Giovanni Giustinian, Venetian Ambassador in England,
to the Doge and Senate.
The example of the nobility in boldly demanding a parliament
has encouraged the lesser folk of London to draw up a paper
with the same demands. This signed by a great number of
persons of every condition was sent yesterday to the Court, by
four citizens, to be presented to His Majesty. The Royal Council,
being advised of this, quickly sent after them a company of
soldiers, with orders to stop them on the road, and bring them
j3risoners here, as leaders of sedition, an action likely to produce
further pernicious results.
The preaching ministers of the parishes, in a separate paper,
also demand with great freedom the abolition of some canons
lately introduced by the clergy into the Anglican church. Such
contumacious declarations are now common among all ranks,
and no way remains of denying to the people any longer the
satisfaction they claim. The opinion gains ground that at the
meeting of the peers of the realm at York on the 4th prox., His
Majesty will decide to summon parliament. The more eagerly
this is desired the more the suspicion is increased that far reaching
reforms will follow in the government of this monarchy. The
Parliamentarians let it be freely understood that they mean to
deprive the bishops in particular of their old prerogative of a
seat in parliament. If this were done it would greatly weaken
the royal party, as these men being beneficed by the king have
always been accustomed to support his designs in parliament,
and to oppose those who stood out obstinately against them.
Meanwhile the Scots have taken advantage of their opportunities
and although they expressed their intention not to move
from their first quarters, and there await the decision of the
assembly, have nevertheless advanced to the border of the county
of York, taking without resistance several other places, and
collecting from every place the revenues of the crown. They
also oblige the counties occupied to contribute 1500l. a day for
the support of their army, which has received further reinforcements.
For the purpose of maintaining the goodwill of the citizens
here towards the cause of the rebels General Leslie has sent letters
to the Council of London full of the most subtle insinuations and
assurances, that the Scots aim solely at restoring the former
liberty enjoyed by both kingdoms, and at removing the oppression
to which the tyranny of the present government has led. The
tenor of these artful letters, which are widely circulated, increases
the anger against the ministers and maintains the original sympathy
with the rebels.
On the other hand the deputies of the county of York, after
several conferences with the Lieutenant of Ireland, putting aside
the incitement of the complaints reported, have agreed to supply
the king with 12,000 foot and 2000 horse, paid for a month, on
condition that, as a reward for this succour, the county shall be
relieved of many important burdens, to which they are subject
by the ancient laws of the realm. As a sign of his satisfaction
with this agreement the king has given the Lieutenant the order
of the Garter. (fn. 10)
In order to reach York on the appointed day many of the nobles
have set out this week, and the others are preparing to do so
soon. All are waiting to see the result of this assembly with
curiosity, and it will undoubtedly have a decisive influence on
the turn of affairs here. Among so many divers interests it
is not easy to see what the end will be.
The ministers here have sold at a loss of 30 per cent, the pepper
taken on credit for the king, and they have sent the money to
The gentleman of the Ambassadors of Denmark has returned
from York bringing them permission to see the king there, and
yesterday they set out thither, with a small suite, as directed.
There are various statements about their commissions ; some
declare that the chief object of the mission is to facilitate a
composition between the Scots and His Majesty, others that they
are to treat about the differences between their sovereign and the
States of Holland, for which the king offered his good offices, so
that with mutual satisfaction all occasions for fresh ill feeling
might be removed. After their first audience we shall find out
the particulars of this mission, which I will duly report.
London, the 28th September, 1640.