A Collection of the State Papers of John Thurloe, Volume 1, 1638-1653. Originally published by Fletcher Gyles, London, 1742.
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To the right honourable the council of state.
That the petitioner hath been detained here above four months with two ships belonging to her majesty of Sweden and the said company, to his excessive charge, insomuch that the petitioner failing of farther credit, hath been put to great inconveniences; and hereupon divers of the mariners are already run away, and others will daily follow; so that if this detention should continue longer, he will, through want of mariners and credit, be forced to abandon the said ships, and have no means left to carry them away.
Wherefore he most humbly prayeth, that the said two ships, their papers and ladings (specified in the schedule annexed) may be first released, and afterwards that the third ship called the Stockholm-slott also belonging to her said majesty and company (lately brought up by a private man of war) be deliberated; the which her said majesty (the petitioner's most gracious sovereign) will thankfully acknowledge.
A schedule of the petitioner's present claim, on the behalf of her majesty of Sweden, and the privileged Swedish African company, concerning the two ships the Christiana and Northcoping, taken the 7th of September 1652, and brought into Plymouth by captain Stoakes.
The Swedish resident in Holland to the parliament of the commonwealth of England.
I Did hope not to have need any more to be importunate unto your lordships with so little pleasing a matter, as that of complaints is, which have been so often, but with great necessity, reiterated, because I thought of one part, that according to your promises more than once made unto her majesty, your lordships would have taken so good order with their mariners, that such injuries would be no more done to the subjects of a queen so much friend to your state; and of the other side, that Mr. Bonnel, her majesty's envoy towards your lordships, would already be arrived in England, to remonstrate there the affection and the desires of his queen and mistress. But since the first is wanting, at least as to the execution; and the other doth not follow by I do not know what hindrance, the said Bonnell being already gone from Swedeland a while since; I am necessitated duly to remonstrate unto you, how some of your bad subjects have presumed, besides the former wrongs, not only to take a certain Swedish ship coming from Guinea, called Stockholmslat, whereof the commander is one Jacob Martsen, but (which is most cruel) have attempted to misuse the mariners, that were aboard of her, who without that were already tired enough by so long and painful a journey, no otherwise than if they had been their greatest enemies; which being a very horrible action, your lordships shall excuse me, if I intreat them to consider, whether such men ought not to be exemplarily punished, who endeavour directly against the intention of their masters, to countermine, yea and to overthrow the resolution they have so solemnly taken, to entertain the good amity and correspondence with a queen, whose affection can but much advance the conservation and increase of your commonwealth. I shall not enlarge about that subject. I shall only say yet, with your permission, that if the amity can by no means be kept between the private persons, except it be mutually maintained by deeds answerable to the sincerity of words respectively given on both sides; much less can it subsist between whole kingdoms and states, if too much shaken by so rude proceedings, and by a continual series made altogether intolerable. The reparation whereof depending on the equity of your lordships, I do earnestly intreat them not only to take a serious order, that the said ship be speedily released, and the mariners sufficiently redressed for their losses and hard usage, but also that all other vessels of her majesty, which might happen forcibly to have been brought into your harbours, might enjoy the the same right. Among which are comprehended the two other Guinea ships taken some weeks since, so unjustly and to the great damage of the owners so long detained, notwithstanding my claim is very well grounded; as also Sucer Janssen, commander of another ship, coming from Rochell, and taken with the same ground as the others by your men of war; that by the true report I shall make of it to her majesty, the discontent, which without wonder such proceedings may have caused, be wholly taken off, and the good correspondence really renewed, and henceforth reciprocally with good order and constantly conserved; the which the good God do grant by his grace; to whose protection I commend your lordships, wishing you a happy and peaceable government.
The parliament of the commonwealth of England to the queen of Sweden.
Upon reading of your majesty's letter, dated from Stockholm the 23d of November, directed to the parliament of the commonwealth of England, which arrived not with them until the 23d of December after; and finding it to contain a representation of several complaints made by your majesty's subjects, that their ships are seized upon by the men of war belonging to this state, brought into harbour, and there detained; and particularly that two ships, belonging (as is said) to the African Guinea company in Sweden, in their return from Guinea, loaden with gold and other things, were taken in the narrow seas, and carried into Plymouth; the parliament did forthwith require the commissioners for prize goods, and other officers, to whom it appertains, to give unto them an account, what ships or vessels had been brought into any of the ports or harbours of this commonwealth, which pretended to belong to Sweden, and were claimed by any of your majesty's subjects; and what proceedings had been upon them in the court of admiralty, who certify, that amongst the vessels, which are claimed by your majesty's subjects (most whereof are by sentence of the court of admiralty discharged, and liberty given them to proceed on their voyages) there are depending in the court of admiralty the two ships mentioned by your majesty, the goods wherein being consigned unto and avowed to belong to a person, who lived at Amsterdam in the Low Countries, and commonly reputed to be a native and burgher there, the ships of the state, for that and other reasons, thought it ground enough to bring in the said ships, as belonging to the enemy of this commonwealth; and the council of state having intelligence thereof, to prevent the imbezzlement of the gold before any claim made by Mr. Caarlof in the name of any of your subjects, or knowledge, that the said ships had your majesty's letters of safe conduct, which yet have not been produced, did give order for bringing it up to the tower of London, there to be kept until the court of admiralty (the proper judicature for cases of this nature) should determine the property. And the council of state have, since the receipt of your majesty's said letter, sent by command of the parliament to the judges of the said court, to proceed in the said cases with all speed, according to the rules of law and justice; from whence it is certified, that the court hath been desired on the part of the state to proceed to sentence, but that the same is yet deferred at the instance of the said Mr. Caarlof, who having lately petitioned the council to have an authentic copie of your said majesty's letter to produce as evidence to the said court, the same hath been freely granted unto him. This being the state of this case, as it stands represented to the parliament; considering the present condition of affairs, and the many artifices of the enemies of this commonwealth to colour their goods under the names and ships of friends, on purpose to defraud this state, whereof there is daily experience; your majesty will rest satisfied of the clearness of the parliament's proceedings upon this occasion, as having been conform to the rights of nations and the good correspondency and amity which is between these two states, whereof the parliament hath so great an esteem, that they shall omit no opportunity to make real demonstration thereof; and for preventing all misunderstanding of this nature, they shall not only renew their former commands to all their officers, commanders of ships, and others of this commonwealth, to use and treat your subjects with all friendship and affection, the breach whereof they will severely punish; but have resolved to send unto your majesty with all speed an ambassador extraordinary for settling trade and commerce between these two nations; as also for other weighty reasons, whereby the sincerity of their intentions towards your majesty will further appear, and the great desire they have not only to conserve the ancient friendship and alliance, but to increase and augment the same. It only remains, that they commend your majesty and your affairs to the blessing of God.
Christina queen of Sweden, to the parliament of England. (fn. 1)
Nos Christina etc. parlamento reipublicæ Angliæ salutem, & prosperos rerum successus. Cum stabilita inter nos amicitia, nihil in votis habeamus potius, quam ut frequens commerciorum usus libere exerceatur, & cum amicis fœderatisve nostris aliis rite ac confidenter vobis constare possit; non potuimus committere, quin gliscentes inter vos & dominos ordines generales uniti Belgii simultates ad animum vobis revocaremus, & quo minus in apertum illæ bellum erumpant, qua possumus sollicitudine & diligentiâ provideremus. Idcirco cum mediatricem manum & operam utrique parti commodare apud nos constitucrimus, mittimus ad vos vicepræsidem supremum nostri judicii per Finlandiam nobilem nobis sincere fidelem Israelem Lagerfeldt, hæreditarium in Wygbyholm, ut mentem super hac re vestram desuper cognoscat, & de responso vos sollicitet, de eoque nos primo quoque tempore five per literas five internuncios, prout tulerit occasio, & ubi tam cito ipse ad nos redire nequiverit, certiores reddat, ut quid facto deinceps in re tam arduâ opus sit, mature dispiciamus. Quem ut benevole audiatis eique fidem in iis, quæ nomine & mandato nostro propositurus est, adhibeatis, nec non de conformi mutuæ amicitiæ nostræ declaratione prospiciatis, amice a vobis requirimus, divinæ vos protectioni serio commendantes. Dabantur in regiâ nostrâ Stockholmensi die 20 Januarii, anno 1653.