A Collection of the State Papers of John Thurloe, Volume 1, 1638-1653. Originally published by Fletcher Gyles, London, 1742.
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Propositions of the Spanish ambassador to the council of state, for leave to inlist a certain number of Irish in the king of Spain's service.
Don Alonso de Cardenas del consejo de su mag. Catt. y su embaxador al parlamento de la republica de Inglaterra dize que en 17/7 de Junio ultimo pasado escriviò un papel al muy honorable consejo de estado, pidiendo se sirviesse de conceder a su mag. Catt. el numero de Irlandeses que juzgasse conveniente, y señalar algunos Sres del consejo con quienes pùdiesse conserir cerca de lo particular de la leva y transportacion de dha gente a los dominios del rey su señor, y siendoV. S. nombradas para este esecto lo que propone y desea es, primte. que pueda tener liçençia para levantar en Irlanda, y transportar a los dominios del rey su Sor el numero de Irlandeses de que el honorable consejo de estado juzgare conveniente de hazerse a quien quanto mayor suere el numero lo ferà la obligacion de su mag. Catt.
Desea assi mismo el dho embaxador, y suplica al consejo le haga sabor de dar libertad al mayor general don Hugo Oneill que aora se halla preso en la Torre de Londres atento a haver nacido en Flandes, y ser vasallo de su mag. y a no haver tenido parte (segun està informado, y cree el dho embaxador) en las primeras insurrecciones de Irlanda, ni en los excesos que en aquel tpo se cometieron, y a que serà muy a proposito para facilitar dha leva, haziendole cabo de una parte della como lo serà, en caso que el consejo le haga dho fabor, pues por su experiencia en la gerra, y por el parentesco que tiene con muchos de aquella nacion, se piensa podrà sacar gran numero de aquellos pueblos, y recibiendo estesabor el dho embaxador offreze empeñar su palabra de que el dho mayor general Oneill ni los Irlandeses que se levantaren, y se huvieren transportado en los dominios del rey su Sor tomaràn armas contra la republica de Inglaterra. Fha en Londres a 17/7 de Julio 1652.
Oliver Cromwell esq. captain generall and commander in cheife of the armies and forces raised and to be raised by authoritie of parliament within the commonwealth of England:
By vertue of the power and authoritie to me derived from the parliament of England, and in pursuance of a vote of the same parliament of . . . . of . . . . last past, I doe hereby constitute and appoint you comaunder in cheise under my selfe, of the army and forces within the dominion of Ireland, raysed and to be raised by authoritie of the parliament of England, giving and graunting unto you full power and authoritie to rule, governe, command, dispose, and imploy the said army and forces, and every parte thereof, and all officers and others whatsoever of and belonging to the same, in, for, or about all defences, offences, execucions, and other millitary and hostile arts and services for the beateing downe and suppressing of the rebellion within the said dominion, and for the setling and maynteyning of the publique peace there; and also (if need require) to lead and conduct the said army and forces, or any parte thereof, against the rebells, as well English as Irish, and open enimies of the publique peace there, and them to pursue, invade, resist, kill, and destroy by all wayes and meanes whatsoever. And also to command all guarrisons, forts, castles, and townes within the said dominion, already guarrisoned and fortisied, or to be guarrisoned and fortified. And also full power and authority to assigne and graunt comissions to all such comanders, officers, and governors of the said army, forces, or guarrisons as shal be thought necessary and requisite for the command and government of the same. And also full power and authority to execute, or cause to be executed, martial law, according to the course and customes of warrs, and according to the lawes and ordinances of warrs allowed by any act or ordinance of parliament, upon or against any person or persons offending against any of the said lawes or ordinances of warr. And also full power and authority from tyme to tyme by yourselfe, or others deputed and authorized by you, to take up and use such carryages, draughts, horses, boates, and other vessells, as in your discretion shal be thought needfull for the conveying and conducting of the said army and forces, or any part thereof, or for bringing or carrying ordnance, artillary, amunition, money, victuals, or any provisions or utenfills of warr necessary or requisite for the same army or forces, or any part thereof, to or from any place or places, in order to the said service. And also full power and authority to doe and execute all other things incident and belonging to the place of a comander in cheise of an army, and which shal be requisite and necessary for the carrying on and accomplishment of the premisses. And all comanders, officers, and souldiers of the said army, forces, and guarrisons ar hereby required to obey you, as theire comander in cheife, according to the discipline of warr; and all sherriffs, justices of peace, mayors, bayliffs, and other officers and persons whatsoever within the said dominion, are likewise required to be ayding and assisting to you in theire respective counties and places for the ends and purposes aforesaid. And you are in the prosecution and execution of all and singuler the premisses, to observe and follow all such instructions, orders, and directions, as you shall from tyme to tyme receive from the parliament of England, the council of state, or my selfe. Given under my hand and seale att armes the 10th of July 1652.
Thursday, 15th July 1652.
That the papers of Mons. Barriere be referred to the consideration of the committee for foreign affairs, who are to consider of what hath been propounded to the council concerning the opening of the trade to Bourdeaux, and report their opinions concerning that business to the council; and that the said committee do meet to morrow morning about that business.
Mons. Barriere, the prince of Conde's agent, to the council of state.
J'ay bien de la peine à me resoudre de vous importuner aussi souvent que je le fais; & si je n'estois fort pressé, je ne le ferois pas; mais par tous les ordinaires je reçois des ordrers de mons. le prince de faire instance pour les navires pris, qui sont tant à luy, qu'à des merchants de Bourdeaux, comme je le dis il y a quelques jours à ceux de messieurs, à qui j'eus l'honneur de parler, & qui m'avoient promis de me faire promptement une response. Je vous la demande particulierement, messieurs, sur le sujet de ses navires, asin que je puisse savoir quelle est la volonté du conseil. Que si c'est son plaisir de les faire rendre, je le supplie tres humblement d'ordonner à l'aumirauté de faire promptement leur raport, asin que je puisse avoir une resolution sur cela; & pour le reste, j'attendray la volonté du conseil, vous suppliant tres humblement de me croire,
Messieurs, Votre tres humble serviteur, Barriere.
A paper of the Spanish ambassador.
Yo don Alonso de Cardenas del consejo de su mag. Catt. y su embaxador al parlamento de la republica de Inglaterra me obligo por la presente de parte de su mag. al honorable consejo de estado junto por authoridad del parlamento de la dha republica, que los tres mil Irlandeses que el coronel Thomas Plunquet llevare a España no se le permitirà falir de los dominios della para bolver a los de esta republica, ni seràn empleados en perjuzio suyo. Fha en Londres a dos de Sett./23 de Ag. de mil seiscientos y cinq. y dos años.
The council of state to col. William Sydenham, governor of the isle of Wight.
By intelligence, which hath been given to the council, they are informed, that the Dutch have some design upon the isle of Wight, for the surprize thereof, or some place of strength thereupon: for the prevention of which we have thought fit to give you notice hereof, and desire you to acquaint the commanders of the several forts and garisons upon that island herewith; and that you will give them in charge, to take especial care of the places under their command, and to be wanting in nothing, which may be for the security and defence of those places; and that you will also in all other things be careful, which may be for the safety of the whole island.
The Spanish ambassador to the council of state.
Don Alonso de Cardenas del consejo de su mag. Catt. y su embaxador al parlamento de la republica de Inglaterra, representa al honorable consejo de esta, que haviendo tomado noticia todos los principes y naciones vezinas del suceso que con tanto honor y reputacion de esta republica tuvo la armada naval del parlamento gobernada dignamente por su general coronel Black contra la de Francia destinada para el socorro de Dunquerque en deshazerla, y rendirla, le ha parescido al dho embaxador que es obligacion suya el tomar tambien dha noticia particularmente, y reconocer este suçeso con dar en nomble del rey su Sor, como amigo, y confederado, la enhorabuena del, al parlamento, y consejo de estado, y juntamente las gracias que se deven por beneficio tan a tpo como se le ha seguido, no dudando que su mag. las repetirà al parlamento con particulares expresiones de estimacion, asegurandole que el efecto de esta accion cedera en mucha ventaja de esta republica, por haverse facilitado por este medio la reduccion de aquella plaza a su real obediencia, y que tambien es su firme resolucion que en ocasion semejante acudan sus navios y reales fuerzas con promptitud y esecto al servicio del parlamente y republica de Inglaterra. Fha en Londres a 24/14 Sett. 1652.
Tuesday, the 14th of September, 1652.
A paper of the Spanish ambassador to the council of state.
Don Alonso de Cardenas del consejo de su mag. Catt. y su embaxador al parlamento de la republica de Inglaterra diçe que entre los navios de Olanda, que los de la armada del parlamento han tomado, apresaron algunos con carga de lanas, y otras mercancias pertenecientes a diversos subditos y vasallos del rey su señor en cuyos nombres las han reclamado sus procuradores en el tribunal del almirantazgo, y haviendo acudido al dho embaxador paraque les asista, y presentadole los papeles inclusos, y cartas, y ordenes muy apretados de su mag. paraque lo haga, y asegure en su real nombre al consejo que dhas lanas son verdaderamente de vasallos suyos, no puede dejar de representar a este muy honorable consejo la raçon y justicia de las partes paraque se la mande guardar, y como demas de la obligacion que el rey su señor tiene de amparàr sus vasallos, tiene tambien el interes de que los hombres de negocios dueños dellas cumplan los asientos que con ellos fe hiçieron en España para la provision de los exercitos de Flandes, para lo qual remitian estos efectos; debe poner en consideracion al consejo el grave perjuyçio interes y daño que a su mag. se le sigue de la detencion que huviere en restituirselas, y assi suplica al consejo, mande que dhas lanas y mercancias fe entreguen a sus dueños o a fus legitimos procuradores, con la siança que offreçen, y que entre tan to dhas lanas y mercancias no se vendan sirviendose el cons. de dar luego orden preciso paraque se suspenda el que han dado los Jueçes del Almirantazgo para que se vendan, pues no pareçe justo hazerlo antes de estàr adjudicadas, y dadas por de buena pressa mayormente teniendo hechas fianças las partes por los daños, y costas que de no venderlas pueden resultar al estado, que para su mag. serà acto de mucha estimacion y correspondiente a los que en occasiones semejantes se han usado en los dominios de España con navios de esta naçion, y conforme a la amistad y buena correspondencia que pasa entre el rey su Sor y esta republica. Fha en Londres a 3 de Ott./23 de Sett. 1652.
The Spanish ambassador to the council of state.
Don Alonso de Cardenas del consejo de su mag. Catt. y su embaxador al parlamento de la republica de Inglaterra, representa al honorable consejo de estado que haviendo entendido por un expreso que embiaron los governadores y officiales principales de su mag. en las islas de Canaria. La extrema necessidad y salta de trigo que ay en aquellas partes, y particularmente en las islas de Lansarote y suerte ventura, suplica al consejo de haser sabor a los moradores de aquellas islas Usallos del rey su Sor de dar licencia para que se pueda comprar en Inglaterra, y transportar en aquellas partes la cantidad de trigo & centeno que el consejo juzgare poderse sacar con conveniencia desta republica para que se pueda dar en tpo este focorro a aquellos pueblos tan necesitados, que sera para su mag. Demucha obligacion y estimacion, y se reconocera este sabor y cortesia en todas las ocasiones semejantes, que se offreiceren del serv' de esta republica. Fha en Londres a 7 de Ott,/27 de Sett, 1652.
The Spanish ambassador to the council of state.
Haviendo entendido que el coronel Diego Geraldin natural de Irlanda ha sido de algun tiempo a esta parte arrestado y hecho prisionero en chester por orden del honorable consejo de estado por alguna sospecha, y como el dho coronel ha servido al rey mi Sor en sus exercitos demas de 20 años a esta parte, y estoy considente que en todo el dho no bolviò a Irlanda; suplica instantamente al honorable consejo se sirva de permitir que el dho coronel pueda proseguir su viaje para encaminar la leva para el servicio del rey mi Sor ô bien, si esto no se hallare conveniente, ponerle en libertad paraque pueda ir a continuar sus servicios, y que se le restituyan sus papeles, y demas cosas que se le huvieren sequestrado, y yo doy mi palabra, y prometo al consejo que no harà cosa alguna de perjuicio desta republica. Fha en Londres a 21/11 de Ott. 1652.
The Spanish ambassador to the council of state:
Haviendo Jacobo Legers vecino de Bruss. comprado de orden de los ministros del rey mi Sor en Flandes 5000 quintales de mecha para uso de los exercitos de España, y teniendolos cargados en tres navios que el uno se llama de Coopman cuyo mre. es Bernardo Coster, y el segundo la sortuna mre. Feliphe Laurensen, ambos navios y maestres de Amburgo, y destinados parà Cadiz, y el terçero Flora maestre Juan Kempus de Amsterdam destinado para San Sebastian en Biscaya en los quales tres navios no ay otra mercançia, sino los dhos 5000 quintales de mecha, y importando mucho al serviçio de su mag. Catt. que dhos tres navios puedan llegar a España segura y brevemente he recivido orden a este efecto de suplicar al honorable consejo del estado (como lo hago instantemente) se sirva de conceder con la brevedad que pide la materia, tres pasaportes para los dhos tres navios, de que el rey mi Sor, hara particular estimaçion. Fha a Londres a 28/18 de Ott. 1652.
A paper of monsieur Barriere to the council of state, delivered Octob. 25, 1652.
The parliament and the right hon. council of state having not long since condescended to a commerce betwixt this commonwealth and Gascoigne, with such other places as they should think fit; I thought it my duty (the business having come to the knowledge of the publick) to give notice of it to his highness and the city of Bourdeaux, as I have done; for which his highness sent me orders to give humble thanks to the parliament, which I have defferred to do, because the business (I know not for what reasons) having been put off from day to day, was not altogether ended nor concluded upon.
Now whereas it is very likely, that the business was not consented unto, without that the council of state and parliament have well considered the reasons, that induced them to grant this commerce, which (if I may dare say) is as advantageous, and stands with the interest of this commonwealth, as with that of Gascoigne, seeing the great commodities, which would arise out of it to this state; and as I have several times said, that doth not engage this commonwealth in any thing, nor give the least cause of complaint or disgust to any body:
I think, that the right hon. council of state will not find it strange, that I demand their resolution and answer touching this business, which I have so often times desired during nine months time I resided here. I humbly request this grace of your honours, to the end that I may let his highness and the city of Bourdeaux know, that I neglected not my commission; and that if the business falls not answerable to their expectations and desires, that at least I have done my duty, and used all my efforts.
I must say this unto your honours, that his highness hath relied very much upon the assistance, which he believed this commonwealth would afford him; of which expectations he finds himself altogether frustrated, since he cannot obtain a thing, which would yield as much profit and utility to this commonwealth as to him.
I will not say to your honours, if it would prove advantageous to you, to assist his highness or no. I enter not into these considerations; they are interests of the state, which your honours alone ought to judge. But I'll say this, that by the endeavours, which your enemies make to ruin his highness (as it appears daily) it seemeth they believe, that his ruin is in some manner contrary to your interests.
Pardon, I pray, this little digression; and take it well, that I entreat your honours again to give me a positive answer concerning the commerce; to the end that the people of Bourdeaux may not rely upon it any further, and that they may seek to make sale of their wines and other commodities elsewhere; since that for to retard any longer upon these hopes would prove infinitely prejudicial to them.
Monsieur Barriere's memorial to the council of state.
The right hon. council of state having ordered the judges of the high court of the admiralty, that the frigot of his highness the prince of Coade, called the St. Anne of St. Sebastian, should be restored in the very same state as it was taken; monsieur de Barriere went thereupon to the judges of the admiralty, and having represented to them, that the said frigot being not judged a lawful prize, thought it just, that the associates at the taking of the said frigot, should be answerable for the action and for the restitution of it: the said judges made him answer, that if it could be proved, that any of the merchants had entred into bond for the actions of the captain, that took the said frigot, they would condemn and sentence him to restore the said frigot with all that was taken in it, and also pay all damages and interests.
And whereas one of the said merchants and associates, called Chilstone, who only appeareth in this business, hath made the same offer to monsieur de Barriere at the high court of admiralty, as the said judges in the behalf of the said Chilstone did report to this hon. council of state, which appeareth by the paper hereunto annexed; monsieur de Barriere doth humbly beseech the right hon. the council of state, to order the judges of the admiralty, according to their promise and justice, to condemn and sentence the said Chilstone (one of the associates, as it appears by the bond here annexed) to restore the said frigot, goods, damages, and interests, since he is bound for the actions of him, that took the said frigot, and to let him have recourse to the rest of his associates, who sold the said frigot, for what they were pleased, without any formality or adjudication in the court of the admiralty, and have esteemed the same not to be worth more than fifty pounds, which shall be made evident and appear to be worth 550 pounds.
And the said monsieur de Barriere doth humbly beseech the right hon. council of state, to order the said judges of the admiralty to judge speedily the business, which lieth in their hands these four months, to the prejudice of the affairs of his highness the prince of Conde, and to the ruin of the captain of the said frigot, who is always here at great charges in pursuit of the business.
The Danish ambassadors to the speaker.
The extraordinary ambassadors of his majesty the king of Denmark and Norway, &c. perceiving by the success of their negotiation, that they are not able to make any further progress in it; find themselves obliged by the express command of the said king their master, to return home to their own country, for to make their most humble report unto him of what they have negotiated here on his behalf. And therefore they pray very kindly, that you will be pleased to procure convenient audience for the said ambassadors from the parliament of the commonwealth of England, to the end, that they may take their leave from the said parliament, before they depart hence; and in consideration of his majesty their master obtain it with the same good will and respect, as the said parliament hath thought fit to receive them; which is desired by us, who inviolably are
London, [29 (fn. 1)] Oct. 1652.
To the right honourable the council of state.
That whilst Dunkirk and some other places of Flanderswere yet in the hands of the French, and that although this war between this commonwealth and the States General had not happened, the petitioners had by dear experience found, they could not well longer, either with the honour of the English nation, or the commodity of traffick, vent the drapery of this land in those provinces, through the multiplied encroachments and violations both of the provincial states of Holland, and of the general states of the whole land, upon the petitioners ancient rights and privileges confirmed by so many treaties with the house of Burgundy, and owned by these states and their subjects since their separation from the house of Spain, by so many octroyes, placarts, declarations, and concordates; the petitioners did cast in their thoughts, where they might find better conditions, performances, and all other conveniencies for trade, within those other provinces of the Netherlands under the king of Spain; and the petitioners did then give the honourable council an account, what invitations they had at that time from the town of Bruges, their most ancient residence in Flanders. But now that Dunkirk and all that coast of Flanders is reduced under the king of Spain, and hostility with this nation preserred by the States General before their ancient amity and alliance, the petitioners are upon withdrawing their persons and estates into several parts of Flanders, and Brabant, and elsewhere; but the action being yet loose and dispersed, cannot claim those ancient rights, which are due to the nation in those countries; nor can produce that general esteem and benefit, which are the effects only of a staple established under the wholesom government of traffick in the due order and polity of a fellowship. The petitioners therefore finding farther encouragements to resolve upon transferring their trade into those provinces under the king of Spain, have ever since entertained all propositions in order to the settling a residence in some one town either in Brabant or Flanders, as might be most convenient for trade, and such as would receive the fellowship upon such terms and conditions, as of right belong unto them in those countries, and without which the trade of clothing cannot either with honour or profit be managed and carried through. And now the petitioners find, that they are so hopefully advanced, and the hearts and desires of the people there so inclined to the fellowship, that they have no longer cause to distrust admittance upon just, honourable, and advantageous conditions, as to what is in the power of any town. All the obstacles, that they suppose to be in the way, are only three, but indeed the main points of all; which are, the free exercise of the reformed religion, security for person and estate, and the repeal of all acts and placarts, by which the drapery of this land stands banished to be imported into those countries, and together therewith to extinguish all payments or pretences by way of lycent, whereby such drapery as is permitted to be brought into those provinces, hath been heavily charged, as sometimes at six gilders, sometimes at twelve gilders, as it is now, and sometimes at four and twenty gilders upon every cloth, and so proportionably upon all other woollen manufactures, contrary to the intercourse between both nations, and as well dishonourable as insupportable, if the petitioners should plant a residence amongst them, whilst the manufacture is so charged, or otherwise burthened with any duties or other impositions in passing to their mart, or whilst the commodity is yet unsold in the merchants hands. But all those points are of that weight and concernment, that they are only capable to be treated upon and settled by the supreme authorities of both nations. The petitioners therefore humbly offer the same to this honourable council; and humbly pray, that some publick minister may with all convenient speed be authorized to be instant with the arch-duke and the king of Spain's council at Bruxells, for removing these obstacles; and in the interim, if your honours shall so think fit, that the Spanish ambassador here resident may be prepared to promote the same accordingly; but especially until this treaty be perfected, that the payment of the lycent and all other impositions may be suspended and superseded. In the first point the petitioners have advice, as if the bishop of the town, which shall be pitched upon as a staple, would permit free exercise of religion within the publick house of the nation, admitting only English, and excluding all others; which the petitioners conceive to be as much as can be well expected from that government. In the second, for security of person and estate, is the great difficulty, since the sad experience of the massacre of Antwerp, and that most of the towns there have citadels over them, and all however garrisoned with strangers for the most part, so here some special provision would be made by the wisdom of the state. And for the lycent, the petitioners think it evident enough, that that king will by the confluence of all trade have greater advantages than at present he any ways reapeth by the revenue of the lycent. And the petitioners do humbly presume to recommend the effectual prosecution of this affair to your honours, sorasmuch as in this rupture with the States, and uncertainties of affairs with the king of Denmark, who by his countries upon the Elbe may as well disturb all trade that way, as he hath already done in the Sound, they have no other countries open and safe for them. Which being considered in your honours deep wisdom, the petitioners do humbly hope your honours will find it so much the more requisite to provide in time for trade in these provinces, which by the shortness of the passage may be both of less hazard, and thro' these lands of the king of Spain, the petitioners doubt not but to find such vent of the drapery of this land, besides what the country itself will consume, and such issue into Germany, if any thing befall of trouble other where, as may still take off in good measure the manufacture of this nation, and every way else keep up the trade of this commonwealth, both abroad and at home.
Thursday, the 4th of November 1652,
That the petition from the company of merchant-adventurers delivered to the council, be referred to the committee for foreign affairs; who are to take the same into consideration, and all other papers formerly delivered in to the council concerning that business, and report their opinions thereupon to the council.
The council of state to the Spanish ambassador.
Allatum nuper ad concilium est a capitaneo Badiley navium hujus reipub. ad Gaditanum mare præsecto, se cum tribus aliis navibus præsidiariis, postquam undecim Belgicarum impetum continuato bidui certamine sustinuisset, ad sarcienda quædam in eo prælio accepta incommoda, easque res comparandas, quæ sibi ad pugnam instaurandam opus essent, in portum Longonem vulgo dictum se recepisse; ubi ejus loci præfectus in eum cæterasque sub ejus ductu naves omnia & justissimi & humanissimi simul viri officia implevit: cumque is locus in ditione serenissimi regis Hispaniarum sit, concilium certe singularem præsidis illius humanitatem re ipsâ cognitam arctioris amicitiæ mutuæ tam auspicatò cæptæ fructum uberem esse existimat; suique adeò officii ducit esse, ob acceptum tam opportunè beneficium ejus majestati gratias agere; vestramque rogat excellentiam, ut hoc regi suo serenissimo velit primo quoque tempore significare; eique persuasum reddere, parlamentum reip. Angliæ paratum semper fore paria amicitiæ atque humanitatis officia, oblatâ quâvis occasione, referre. Datis ab Albâ Aulâ  Novemb. an. Dom. 1652, subscripsit, & concilii sigillum apponendum curavit
The queen of Sweden to the parliament of the commonwealth of England.
We Christina, by the grace of God queen of the Swedes, Goths, and Vandals, great princess of Finland, duchess of Esthonia, Carelia, Bremen, Verden, Stetin, Pomerania, Cassubia, and Vandalia, princess of Ruga, and lady of Ingria and Wismar, to the parliament of the commonwealth of England, health and prosperous success in their affairs (fn. 2).
Whereas great complaints of our subjects at several times have been brought to us of the loss, which they sustain at sea by the commanders of your fleet; while almost all their ships of burthen meeting with your navy, or ships of war, are seized upon by your men, as if they were enemies, and are detained long in your ports, and sometimes against all law and right are pillaged; according to the charge which lies upon us, we have often recommended to you, and in a friendly manner urged the cause of our subjects, that not only their seized ships might be restored, but also that satisfaction might be afforded them for the losses they have sustained; being confident, that even to yourselves, by reason of the mutual friendship that is between us (which we have also always religiously kept, and strictly commanded our subjects to do the same) such acts of hostility attempted cannot but be displeasing, and borne with indignation; but now being certified by our subjects and the governors of the African company, that two ships of theirs returning from Guinea laden with merchandize belonging only to our subjects, and authorized by our letters of safe conduct; were in the narrow seas between England and France, not only seized on by your ships of war, and carried to Plymouth, but also all the gold, which they brought from thence; was taken away by your command and appointment, and against the will of our governor of that coast H. Carloef was brought to London; we could not enough marvel how it should come to pass, that our subjects are so hardly used by yours; and that the seas, which otherwise ought to be free and safe by law of nations to friends, should be so dangerous to them, and all their commerce so disturbed; especially when as these ships coming from Africa may exclude all suspicion of having used any juggling with the enemies of your commonwealth; for although our subjects and the governors of that company have constituted the noble, and to us sincerely faithful, Lawrence de Geer, our minister and commissary in Holland, residing in Amsterdam, their fellow governor and deputy; this cannot therefore hurt the company of the said trade, by any pretext of equity, more than that they using their own right without injury to yours, have by the consent and will of the lawful lord of that country traded on the coast of Africa. We therefore intreat you earnestly and friendly, that you would seriously give command to the commanders of your fleet, and others in your obedience, and your ministers, that they would so use our subjects, to whom the said ships and freight belong, that it may hereafter be manifest, they are accounted friends, as they are; and that they may not only for the future forbear to do wrong and spoil, but may also make reparation and satisfaction for what they have already done; and that they may restore and let go those ships and goods, which they detain. So shall you appoint that which becomes friends, and we shall return equal good will to those under your obedience in our kingdoms and dominions. It remains, that we heartily commend you to the divine tuition. Given in our palace at Stockholm in the year 1652, November the 13th.
Memorial upon the king of Spain's lycent in Flanders, which he imposeth on the drapery of England.
The pretence is, that divers proclamations anciently made prohibited the importation of English drapery into Flanders, on this cause especially among many others, because the English nation had and would thereby diminish, and at last deprive them of the same manufacture; which indeed was then for the most part in that province, and made of English wooll transported thither.
There is also one treaty produced, viz. anno 1499, which expresly excludes the English drapery out of Flanders. And the advantage is taken to exclude this nation out of the rest of the provinces of the king of Spain, and so justify the lycent; because, except through Flanders, there is no passage into those other provinces.
On the other side the fellowship produce many national treaties down to 1630, that in general words permit all English commodities without any exception to be imported into all those provinces, not excepting any; and one also that particularly names Flanders; and that too since the treaty by them objected 1499, viz. the treaty anno 1506, besides plain fact and usage: for in Bruges the fellowship many years resided, and imported, and sold their cloths.
Besides it is not proved on the other side, that the fellowship ever paid any lycent 'till 1585, or thereabouts; and on this side the fellowship can prove, that till then they paid no other toll or duty than two stivers on a cloth, and this from their own papers; and yet more, that sometimes since also the lycent hath been taken off by that state, and intermitted, and all reduced to the ancient toll of two stivers.
Now this lycent arose thus, and by these degrees following: When anno 1585 queen Elizabeth undertook the protection of the United Provinces, there were then particular passports and lycents given for importing English cloths, &c. which were granted to cloysters, churches, almshouses, maimed captains, or other courtiers, for relief or reward, but not reckoned within the revenues of the prince; and this so continued to ann. 1601; the particular importer compounding with the person, who had such grants, from time to time, sometimes for six, sometimes seven, and at the most eight gilders a cloth, which is sixteen shillings English.
Then anno 1601 the first passport or lycent for cloth was let to farm, and till then brought into the king's revenue: the first farmer whereof was Peter Van Meerstraten; and then the lycent was raised and settled at nine gilders a cloth, which is eighteen shillings English.
This continued so with a short intermission, only anno 1604, when the peace was concluded with king James, at the rate of nine gilders, till the year 1616, when the fellowship were permitted to import cloths upon account only, without paying any lycent; but all others not of the said society, though English, and all strangers, were still to pay six gilders upon a cloth, which is twelve shillings English,
But this continued not long; but in the same year some English papists there residing did join with one Melchior Verhagen, and gave encouragement for a new prohibition, and in his name took a farm for some thousands of cloths yearly at a certain rent; and then this lycent was raised higher than ever it was before, to wit, to twelve gilders upon a cloth, which is four and twenty shillings English.
And this continued till anno 1627, without any intermission, when war breaking out between Spain and the late king, occasion was taken to raise the lycent yet double, viz. from twelve gilders a cloth to twenty four, which is forty eight shillings English; and this was obstinately kept up so high, till the beginning of 1649, when it was suspended for near a year; but this state not apprehending the opportunity, and not answering the expectation there, to moderate in some measure some customs, which by way of retaliation were in the new book of rates at the beginning of this parliament, lay very heavy on the linens and other commodities of those countries, there wanted not those of the king's council in those lands, which readily made use thereof, and again obtained a new prohibition and farm, which yet was not presently levied; but cloths for some time entred only on account, to try what effect that might have here; but still hearing of no alteration here, it was soon after required, and hath ever since been exacted, but yet moderated half, to wit, from four and twenty gilders to twelve gilders a cloth, which is four and twenty shillings English; and so it stands at this day.
At the comittee of forreine affaires, Monday, 8 Novemb. 1652.
Answer'd, that nothinge hath beene done by the companye. That which encourageth them is because the merchants of Flanders are desirous to recover the trade lost by the warre, which trade they findeing hath brought the place where now it is from a fisher-towne unto a great cittye, desire to recover it, and they have a letter from Bruges to invite them.
A paper relating to the application of the popish clergy of the province of Ulster in Ireland to the king of Spain.
That in the year 52 the clergy assembled in the province of Ulster sent friar Francis Fox to the king of Spain, to complain of their great sufferings by the English, which they conceived was chiefly occasioned by his majesty's league with the parliament; and that all the Irish then in arms were such as adhered to the nuncio and his majesty's interest; Ormond, Inchiquin, and the rest of that faction having deserted the country.
That the said clergy and Ulster forces would all swear allegiance to his majesty, and deliver to him all the holds in their power, if he would relieve them; for want of which many of the nation hearing they might be received into his service for Spain, laid down arms to capitulate with his agents.
To which the king answered: Your nation has formerly much depended upon my ancestors, but of late more upon France, as appears by their application thither, and to Rome, and other nations, and valued not me. But however now they are pleased to offer themselves to me, and that the other sactions are all gone, I will give you 1000 crowns to bear the charges, and my letters to the clergy and army, assuring them, that I will give them 200000 crowns a month to maintain the war; and that when I sent White my agent there to raise men for my service here, he promised me he would not bring over any, that were in arms, only other distressed persons; but this business must be privately carried on, the parliament's present power being such, that I do not hold it convenient to be publicly known their enemy. And in case you cannot hold out, I will give orders for your transportation hither, and will then give all the men of your nation to be under the command of the Ulster offi cers, and such others, as have been faithful to me and the nuncio; and you shall have with you my letters to the ambassador at London, to use his endeavours to procure liberty of religion for the remaining part of your nation.
The friar died in Ireland, before he could deliver the abovesaid letters, which are yet forth coming, having his pass from the king in the name of a captain employed about his majesty's affairs (as to other matters) wherein he desired all persons relating to the parliament of the commonwealth of England (in amity with him) for to take notice, and be aiding to him.