A Collection of the State Papers of John Thurloe, Volume 1, 1638-1653. Originally published by Fletcher Gyles, London, 1742.
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Mons. de Bordeaux, the French resident in England, to mons. de Brienne, secretary of state in France.
Je rendis vendredi dernier response aux commissaires du conseil d'etat sur les propositions, qu'ils m'avoient faites dans la derniere conference; & leur parlai de la prolongation du delay dans des termes, qui n'engagent point l'honneur de S. M. à recevoir un refus. Apres quelques discours sur ce sujet, ils me temoignerent, que ce n'etoit pas la principale question, qui se devoit traiter, & que si S. M. avoit dessein de faire quelque liaison avec leur estat, ne les tiendroit point, me disant par une espece de mêprise, quoi! nous nous amusons ici à des marchands; ce n'est pas là le noeud de l'affaire. Ils me laisserent ensuite entendre, qu'il y avoit d'autres mesures à prendre, & que nous devions considerer l'Angleterre comme l'estat, qui est capable de faire pancher la balance. Je ne peus pas m'empecher de les asseurer, qu'ils troveroient toujours autant de disposition en nous de bien vivre avec eux, qu'ils en auroient de bien vivre avec nous. Ils me parlerent aussi de la retraite, que nous avions donnée au prince Robert avec des prises, au prejudice des arrets & reglemens du conseil du roi; & qu'ils en pourroient user de même qu'avec le Portugal. Je leur temoignai, qu'ils avoient tort de se plaindre apres avoir receu les deputez de M. le prince & du comte d'Ognon. A quoi ils me repondirent, qu'il y avoit grande difference, n'aiant point eté reçeu avec des prises & contre la France; & leur negotiation n'aiant produit aucun effet. Delà ils vinrent à parler du roi d'Angl. qui leur donnoit avec raison sujet de douter de notre bonne volonté. Mais je leur dis, que les raisons du sang & le droit d'hospitalité ne permettoient pas, que S. M. en usast autrement, & qu'ils n'en devoient concevoir aucun ombrage, s'ils vouloient juger de l'avenir par le procedé du passé. Cette conversation en termes d'amitié plutot que de reproche finit par des asseurances d'une entiere disposition à s'accomoder.
Mons. Le Clerecque to the council of state.
Ayant entendu le grand zele & desir, que vous avez pour destruire toute l'Hollande & Zelande, n'ay voulu manquer de faire subitement une ouverture, pour avoir en l'espace de trois sepmains Flessinge, Middleburg, & Ter Veene, si messieurs me voulent demander pour cest exploit. J'ay visité toutes les portes secrets des villes prædicts, & apporté les cartes figuratives passé cincq jours. Interim attenderay response ici au logis de mon pere capitan Christiano de Clereque in de sint Jans straet tot Duynkerck, demeurant æternellement,
Messieurs, Duynkerck, 12 Aprilis 1653. [N. S.]
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 en nombre de su mag. al honorale consejo del estado apuntádo por authoridad del dho parlamento que ni al mayor generàl don Hugo Ognell, ni à los tres mil Irlandeses de su licencia que llevare à Flandes se le permitirà bolvèr à esta republica, ni à los dominios della, ni seràn empleados en perjuicio suyo. Fha en Londres a 16/6 de April, 1653.
An extract out of the register of the resolutions of their high and mighty lordships the States General of the United Provinces.
Upon the representation of the lords deputies of the provinces of Holland and Westfriestand made in the assembly, after deliberation had, it is thought fit and understood, that the respective colleges of the admiralties be authorized by their high and mighty lordships to grant leave and a pass for the exportation of counterband goods and ship-materials (except gunpowder, saltpeter, and brimstone) being thereunto desired by the trader and merchants of these countries, after knowledge taken of the business by way of dispensation, notwithstanding the foregoing placart, to any of the harbours, towns, and places of any of the allies or neutrals of this state, conditionally that no such exportation out of these countries be agreed unto westward, or towards any of the said harbours, towns, or places, situate on this side of the river Leire; and that the traders and merchants for this end and purpose shall be bound to express in their passes, according to the opportunity and distance of the place, whither the said exportation by special consent and dispensation is to be made, and that they do make it appear clearly to the councils of the admiralty, out of whose distriction the above-mentioned commodities or necessaries shall be exported, by giving in certificates or attestations, whereby it may clearly appear, that all the same commodities were wholly unladen, and entred on shore at the place, to which they were carried, and exported, and that they were declared and entred here at first for such, before they were exported; and all such attestations are to be sealed and signed by the public ministers or consuls of this state, where the above-mentioned unlading shall be made there residing; or in case there be no public ministers or consuls, then must the said certificate be signed at least by two of the magistrates of the place, where the unlading is made, and sealed with the public seal of the town. Moreover because this state or the inhabitants thereof may receive no prejudice by what is above-mentioned, so shall the ships laden wholly or partly with such commodities not be suffered to go to sea then in company of the ordinary convoy, and under the flag of this state. And all such ships laden with any of the abovesaid commodities, that shall dare to do the contrary, being met withal at sea by any of the ships of this state or the subjects thereof, may be taken and made prize of; unless the said ships be driven from the convoy or flag by distress of weather; and that it doth appear to be so to the council of the admiralty. Further the placarts for prohibiting counterband goods to remain entire in all their points, notwithstanding this dispensation; and good caution and security is to be given by those merchants, who shall desire leave for the exporting of counterband goods, that they do not defraud or abuse the state by sending of them to prohibited places to the prejudice of this state.
Resolution of the States General of the United Provinces. (fn. 1)
The States General of the United Provinces having heard, examined, and maturely considered the verbal proposition made by the Heer Appleboom, resident of the queen of Sweden the 17th of this month, by virtue of his general letters of credence of the 20th January last past, to their high and mighty lordships, which proposition was delivered in writing the 18th of this month, containing an offer of interposition and mediation of her ma jesty between the government of England and this state, for the composing of the present war and differences, together for the restoring of peace and amity, and a good correspondence tween both states:
(fn. 2) The said lords states declare to the said Heer resident, how that their high and mighty lordships in November the last year being advertised by the Heer of Beuningen, their extraordinary deputy with her majesty, of her majesty's abovesaid intention, and of her offer for a mediation as abovesaid, did then cause to be signified, and made manifest to her majesty by their said deputy, the Heer Beuningen, their sincere and good inclination; and that on their parts they would contribute all that might serve towards the restoring of a good correspondency and amity with those of the government of England; and that they would grant all that could be asked of their high and mighty lordships in reason and equity, as they do by these once more declare, and will willingly testify upon all occasions, that they are yet of the same intention and inclination. And their high and mighty lordships having moreover caused to be made known to her majesty, at the abovesaid time, by the Heer Van Beuningen their extraordinary deputy with her majesty, that when her majesty should have given and grounded the same inclination in the government of England, and that her majesty had pleased to give notice of it to their high and mighty lordships, then their lordships would be ready, after the receiving of the said notice and information, to have declared themselves farther on the same subject.
And in regard their high and mighty lordships have not hitherto received any such notice or information, that therefore the same notice and information about the aforesaid purpose is yet expected to be given to their high and mighty lordships, that so having understood and apprehended, whether the above-mentioned offer of mediation would be accepted of the abovesaid government in England, or no; that then likewise concerning that a farther declaration should be given thereupon by their high and mighty lordships, their high and mighty lordships, desiring the Heer resident that he would be pleased to signify to the queen her majesty speedily and favourably the contents of this required communication, and of all that is here mentioned, together with the sincere intention of their high and mighty lordships. Given in the Hague under our seal and the seal of our Greffier the 18/28th April. 1653.
A letter of intelligence from Vienna.
Your last of the fourth current I received, by which I see your great fleet at sea and a preparing, as also the confirmation of your victory against the Dutch, which now is more credited here than formerly. All the news of the empire is most now from Ratisbon, which you have from an other hand. Something secret is a doing for R. Corolus there, and the king of Poland (which is a secret also) will engage with the empire in his quarrel. What this shall bring forth, time will let you see. I hear the Swedes and Brandenburg are agreed, which is a means to expedite all the affairs of the empire, and to prosecute the designs for R. C. which are now more vigorous. It is written hither, that your your parliament desireth a peace from Holland, and that your general Blake is blind and unable for service, but not believed; and if it be true, I wonder you did write nothing of it. The peace will be obstructed by many, and great encouragement will be given to the Dutch to prosecute the war.
The Turks do not lately molest Hungary nor likelihood of a peace with the Venitians.
There is a report, that Poland had a victory against the Cossacks, whereby 20,000 of the
Cossacks were slain. A confirmation is expected. The next will let you see more of it
Intelligence from Amsterdam.
Our differences in the Hague this week have been very great, about taking in the prince's interest, which hath been violently laboured by his party; and its believed, it will take effect; as also about bringing the French Business to an end as to a firm league, by which means they shall keep France from an agreement with you. It is so carried here by one party or other aggravating, that rather than to agree with you in your demands to venture life, fortune, and all in the war.
Tromp, de Witt, Ruiter, and Evertsen, are to be out within two or three days, with what ships possibly can be ready: they will be sixty sail, meaning to follow Pen. (fn. 3) Thirty merchants of this town went to the Hague to make their requests to the States General, that a fleet might be sent to secure the French fleet, consisting of above 300 sail. They departed from France April 17/7 last; the great fear is, that Pen will meet them. They go round Scotland, and have but ten convoyers with them. You may do your business, if you look well out, by meeting with Tromp, and the French fleet; which if you should, we must come on our knees for peace, for it would be our absolute ruin.
We have taken a Hamburgher, wherein were seventy of the English mariners belonging to the ships in the Sound: there were divers of the masters there: they had agreed with the Hamburgher to set them on land in the Downs, or thereabouts; but being taken by a man of war of ours, they are brought up to this town, chained like thieves, and cannot yet be spoke withal. Cruel measure!
Intelligence from the Hague.
There is no post come out of England this week; but by passengers and otherwise we have a report here of great concernment, that general Cromwell hath dissolved the parliament (fn. 4) with this consideration to call another forthwith, whereof none are to be, but such as are of his mind, and all well affected him. Others there are, that do likewise say, that general Fairfax and major general Lambert are marching with an army each of them against Cromwell. Such good news as this fills the Hague with joy, and men are apt to believe for a truth till the contrary appear. 'Tis said now also, the English fleet hath been no farther than Newcastle, and had no farther orders than to convoy the colliers into the river, which we do hear they have done; (fn. 5) so that the report we had here is not true, that the English fleet was gone towards Hitland to way-lay the Holland merchantmen, that were to go round about. The vice admiral de Witt lies now with his fleet and ships before the Maese, where he may lie with more conveniency for those ships, that are to come from the Vlye and the Texel. Admiral Tromp is in the Brill, and is likewise ready; but he would willingly have his ship the Brederode again to go to sea again, but she is not yet repaired since his last engagement, where she was much torn.
The imprisoned captains, who did not their duties in the last engagment, are carried from hence to the fleet there to receive, in sight of the whole fleet, a reward according to their works. Two I hear are condemned to be hanged, and two be ducked. Men make account, that within a week at the farthest, these will be ready in the Maese to go out to sea, either to offend the English, or otherwise. Those of the East India company, expecting the next month the return of their East India ships home, will endeavour to set forth as many ships as they can get.
It is now certain, that Sweden hath declared to be neutral between England and Holland. The inclosed (fn. 6) will manifest, how this state hath declared itself to the Swedish resident at the Hague.
Tromp and De Witt do keep with their fleet about the Maese; they hope with their fireships and other small vessels to make a fleet of 100 sail in all; but they are not all well manned, nor quite ready; and men are in a thousand fears, that the 200 merchant men, that are coming round about, may chance to fall into the hands of the English; and likewise that they shall have a disturbance amongst their herring-busses; and those of the India company fear no less the loss of their ships; and much is doubted of the good success of this great fleet of men of war now going out against your fleet, if they should engage, they hearing of your great fleet at sea. So that this country at present is full of fears and doubts; for if any of the said fleets miscarry, we are likely to have a sad time of it this summer.
The duke of Glocester goes this day for France. He hath made the dowager and his sister seeming friends. The prince of Orange is made knight of the garter. The princess royal goes this summer to Hounslerdike, and from thence to the Spa; my lady Stanhope into France, and the queen of Bohemia for Germany, if she can get away from her creditors. My lord Craven is likewise said to be going for Germany; so that most of the English gentry are leaving this country to seek their fortunes elsewhere.
The prince of Conde to the council of state.
J'ay sceu par le sieur de Barriere la bonne disposition, dans laquelle vous estes pour toutes les choses, qui regardent mes interêts. L'obligation que je vous en ay ne permet pas que je differe à vous en tesmoigner, comme je fais par cette lettre une entiere recognoissance. J'ay chargé le dit sieur de Barriere de vous dire plus particulierement le ressentiment, qui m'en demeure, surquoy comme sur toutes les autres choses, dont il vous entretiendra de ma part, je vous supplie de prendre une entiere creance en luy, & d'estre persuadez, que je suis veritablement