A Collection of the State Papers of John Thurloe, Volume 1, 1638-1653. Originally published by Fletcher Gyles, London, 1742.
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June (2 of 5)
A letter of intelligence from the Hague to the lord Wentworth at Copenhagen.
The reason why the English declyned the Holland fleete upon Sunday the 8th of this month (as I mentioned in my laste by this day senight's poste) is now sufficiently evident, viz. Blake with twenty four shipps beinge since joyned to them, whereby they have obtayned a greate victory over the Hollanders. The particulars are these: Upon the Thursday followinge (the 12th instante) they founde the Dutch fleete in the height of Dunkirkque, and when they approached them, they stayed upon a tacke (haveinge the winde) within twice cannon shott, about halfe an hour, to put themselves in theire order they intended to fight in; which was in file at halfe cannon shot, from whence they battered the Hollanders furiously all that day; the successe whereof was the sinkinge two Holland shipps. Towards night Trumpe gott the winde, but soone left it againe, and never recovered it the two followinge dayes, duringe which the fight continued, the Dutch steering with slow sayle towards theire owne coaste. The seconde day the English still battered them in file, and refusinge to boarde upon equall tearms, kept them at a bay but halfe cannon distance, untill they founde some of them disordered and fowle one against another, whome they presently boarded with their frigatts (appointed to watch that opportunity) and tooke; and this they continued to doe untill the Holland fleete approached the Weelins, when they left them (for feare of those sandes) uppon Saturday night. Trumpe brought thither only seventy four of a hundred and two he sett out with, besides fire shippes and small ketches. Eight of the other shipps (the residue of the hundred and two) are come safe (but much battered) to the Goree and the Tessell, and the rest (with two of their bruleux) are (for ought I can finde by all the enquiry I can make) sunke and in the English hands. They after they left Trumpe sayled to the mouth of the Maze, where they appeared upon Sunday night, and againe Skevelin until Tuesday, where they sett on shore in a small Dutch vessell a hundred and thirty wounded prisoners, and steared with a northeast winde towards the English coaste. Their relation is, that the English had taken twenty four captaynes (and had them all aboard one shipp) but whether all of them commanded severall shipps of this fleete, or whether some of them were upon other prizes, is variously reported here; the Dutch being unwillinge to acknowledge to have lost (taken and sunke) above twelve or thirteen shipps of warre of Trumpe's fleete. The prisoners say, that the English confesse that three of theire shipps are sunke, and that Moncke is deade; which is the more probable, because for certayne Rutter did board the admirall of one of the three English squadrons (with the blue colours) and was possessed of the upper decke, but beaten of againe by the assistance of three or four frigatts, which came in to his ayde.
This victory (for it is no lesse) doth much disorder this people, yet they apply themselves the best they can to repayre theire losses, and hasten a new fleete to sea. Besides the seventy four, with theire admirall, and the rest escaped this way, they have eighteen shippes ready manned at the Tessell (which had order to joyne with Trumpe, but could not) and they say, they shall have ready within twenty dayes, nine new built shipps, and six of their greate East-India shipps, (which when Trump's fleete shall be repayred, and new fitted out) will make a good body. They have likewise sent for twenty men of warre from the Straights (leaveing only seven there) and expect the assistance of sixteen greate shipps (with betweene eighty and a hundred and ten cannon in each shippe) from your partes; which they say here are promised, the Dutch beinge to sende as many small ones to the Sounde in the others places. How true this is, you may better know, and I desire to heare from you. They are likewise upon debate of a new proposition of putting to sea eighty men of warre upon the accounte of an **** designe, but then (if it succeed) must be worke of more tyme then their enemyes are like to give them without a new visitt. But whilst they are aboute these preparations, others are more busy another way, in projecting a treaty, which assuredly they will endeavoure all they possibly can upon tollerable tearmes. I told you before, they had agreed to sende four deputyes to try whether the English would be persuaded to departe from theire three rigid propositions; to which they (in theire last as well as former letter) restrayned the overture of a treaty, which is not as yet changed, though now much opposed by many, whoe doe not believe this success will make the English better natured. They that oppose the sendinge four persons of condition (to which the foure named are, Newporte and Beverning for Holland, Youngsted for Friselande, and another for Zealande) propounde rather to sende a letter by an ordinary discreete expresse, to feele the English pulse, which seemeth to them more probable to produce a treaty, than the other of sending deputies, in this season, to treate only in such manner, as the English before protested against. What shall be resolved in it, I shall advise by my next. The French affaires goe on very hopefully for theire kinge. Bellegarde is surrendred, and Burdeux much di stressed; the army is marched towards rendezvous towards Flanders very stronge, and the kinge is speedinge to follow in person. Theire treaty with Englande doth not advance, but standes as it did, when the parlyament was. Monsieur Boreel hath noe instructions to treate of an allyance betwixt that crowne and this state, which the most here desire. There is a gentleman, Mr. **** newly come to the kinge from Englande, with such an account as woulde not displease you, if I could convay it to you; but until I shall heare from you of the safe arrivall of my letters, and receive a more certayne addression, I shall not adventure to write any thinge of that nature. Our hopes from the dyett as yett but hopes; and the truth is, those upon the king's owne score in his owne dominion are greater than any I can finde on this side the sea. And I doe believe there may be presently meanes founde to raise a handsome body of men (for any opportunity that shall be offered) if we had but freedom of partes and meanes to transporte (shippinge.) Pray you first consider seriously of what I onely point at, and advise me, whether you may not finde out some commodity of a porte and shippinge againe the men can be ready. They will be noe charge to the country in the passage through it. When I have a sure addresse from you, I will write more plainly.
I have had nothinge from you since the packett you sent me from Hamburgh (before I had one from Oldenburgh,) in which you mention somethinge of Mr. Sandys, which I forgott to answere in my laste. In the first place, I truly assure your lordship, I never had any hand in procuring his warrants to **** any armes in Denmarke or Norway, neither knew I any thinge of his designe, until longe tyme after his order; neither doe I easily beleeve, he hath transgressed his order, beleeving him to be an honest and in this kinde a discreete man. He passed this way some tyme since for France, and I askinge him, why he did not stay to speake with you, he tould me, he heard for certayne, that you passed not by Hamb. and hoped to have mett you on the way. And this is all the accounte I can give you of him, saveing, that he was robbed and stripped of his clothes in his way to Paris. He sayeth he lost eighty duccats, which I beleeve is more then he hath left in the world. I conclude your lordships trouble, and remayne,
A letter of intelligence from Holland.
My last was the 13th of this month; and since is come to our ears the divers reports concerning the late fight betweene the Dutch and the English fleete. Their numbers, as neere as we can heare, differred not much. The Dutch were about a hundred and seven saile, and the English aboute a hundred and ten fail, all men of warr, besides shipps and boats of attendance. But some say the English were but ninety seven, before Blake came in; and others report they were a hundred and ten before Blake came in at the end of the fight, of which you have more certainty than we can have heere. But it seemes Blake came in as seasonablie, as if he had come at the beginning; for before the fight admirall Tromp had taken divers boates upon the Inglish coste, by whom he understood, that Blake was redy to come out with between thirty or forty men of warr above the Inglish fleete, which were at sea alredy; but the Dutch were hardened, and hoped they would not come out time enough, and therefore resolved upon the fight, which we understand began the 11 of this month, and by best intelligence reported thus:
At the beginning the Inglish haveing the wind of the Dutch fleete did approach towardes them; and being that day little wind, there was a violent fight on both sides with great ordnance, but came not so neere to one another to discharge their musquets. The Inglish kept the wynde to their advantage, the next day also being the 12 present, and fought very manfully; but the Dutch not haveinge wind, could not affault the Inglish fleet to their advantage, as they desired; but in this fight one of the Dutch shipps were sunk into the bottome of the sea, to the discouragement of the rest; tho' the captaine of that shipp being come home reportes, that he saw two Inglish shipps sink by his side, which is here doubted of, being but his owne report. But in sum, it seemes, one more of the Dutch shipps being a-fire, and thereby destroyed and sunke (of which few of the men eschaped) and the Dutch seeing the squadron of admirall Blake come into the Inglish fleete with a new supply towards the evening, were discouraged and fled; nay some of the Dutch captains could not be staied by all the indeavour Trompe could use; for which 'tis thought divers of them will be called to an account.
But many of the Dutch men of warr stood manfully to the fight, who being left of their fellowes were so far above the winde among the Inglish fleete, that they could not be timely seconded; whereby it came to pass, that twenty three of the Dutch fleete were taken and sunke, to the great discouragement of the rest. The 13th admirall Tromp called a councell of warr, the result whereof was, that feeing they had lost many shipps, the rest being discouraged, and the English haveing a new supply with admirall Blake, and still the advantage of the wind; they resolved to retire towards the Wielinge, and so they fled accordingly with all the sailes they could make, where Trompe doth still remaine, and still is near Flushing with seventy four saile of men of warr, landing his sicke and wounded men, and recruiting their men, shipps tackling, and provisions, with all possible speede. But it seemes, both Trompe himself and his shipps were so battered, that both must be repaired, the one by the surgeon, the other by the carpenter; for his ship, when he came in, had seven feet water in the houlde, and himself was hurt in the face, and keepes very private, so as some suspect he is deade, but is kept secret, because the hopes of the whole countrey depends so much upon his experience. But here it is given out, as if the Dutch had lost but a hundred and fifty men, and that generall Monke were slaine in the fight.
The Inglish fleete, aboute a hundred and ten fail, have shewn themselves three daies longe before the Mase, and all along this coast; so that many went from the Hague and all parts to the sea-side to see them. And the 18th present they went to sea from before the Hague and that coste, betimes in the morninge; but whether, the time will learn. From hence they are sent divers commanders to the fleete in Zealand, to dispatch them to sea again; also many boats with ammunition and provisions. And the report is, that twenty eight of the best Dutch men of warr, that are in the Straits, are sent for and here expected shortly; and that the king of Denmarke will also assist with a considerable number of his shipps. There are four named to be sent as ambassadors to Inglande, namely Beverling and Nieuport for Holland, Vande Parr for Zealand, and Jongstal for Friesland.
A letter of intelligence from Holland.
With this unexpected news of the beating of our fleete here is greate amasement; and the more, because the great fleete at the Flie for Eastland and other parts are sent for up, which caused the corne to rise yesterday four pounds upon a last, and feared may rise more, if noe shipps may goe to sea; and if the busses cannot goe out neyther to gett herrings, heere will be desolate time. All the mariners of the Eastland fleete shal be prest, and put aboarde the men of warr; and soldiers also shal be prest out of every company to supply every shipp with twenty new souldiers; so that the garrisons are made so bare of souldiers, that we feare the cytisens must be forced to march to the fronter towns to preserve them. At Amsterdam are five or six men of warr redy to goe downe to the Texell, and seven or eight more are hasted to be shortly redye, which are lusty shipps; and from thence goe two commissioners to Zeeland to haste out their shipps all that are fitt for warr. For if we cannot prevent the Inglish from layinge upon our coste, this land wil be quickly undone, which wil not be indured; and therefore 'tis taken deepely to harte, and every stone wil be moved to prevent such an evill. For in three or four weekes we heere expect five Straites shipps, with two men of warr for convoye, which we have writinge fett sail some three or four weekes agoe from Livorne; and in few dais after were ten men of warr to follow to goe to Hollande, beinge there stronge enough besides, seeing the Inglish have abandoned the Straites; all which and many other will be taken by the Inglish, if they may lay upon our costs. But here 'tis not doubted of, but we shall quickly have a mighty fleete at sea, to beare heade against the Inglish. Heere is also great feare, that our EastIndie ships, expected this yeare, may fall into the Inglish handes; to prevent which, the East India company are resolved to sende out fifty men of warr at their owne charge, if they can possibly get them.
The common people doe now thinke and murmur, that the Inglish have heere too much priviledge (which God knowes is very small) for 'tis not possible to give an Inglishman a good countenance. And yesterday some English beinge upon the market-place, were affronted, who, if they had not quickly gott themselves awaye, would have bin a sowre businesse.
Here is a generall arrest of all shipps, noe shipps or boets soe small, that may goe to sea; and the more for feare any marriners should goe away; for they goe not now gredyly against the Inglish, seeing they gett nothinge but blowes.
Even now at ten at night the States Generall being still met together, is come a post, that brings news to the states, that admiral Tromp hath sent in thirty Inglish men of warre to Goere, and hath gott the victory over the Inglish fleet, &c.
A letter of intelligence from the Hague.
En response de l'agreable votre du 3/14 diray, que cy joint vont les articles du Traité d'entre cest estat & Dennemarck; & vous saves ce qui est passé touchant la Traité de redemtion, qu'on tient aneanti & cassé depuis la St. Jean futur. Il est dit, que ce roy presteroit à cest estat 8 ou 10 de ses plus grands navires en eschange des autres; mais à present (pour la desgrace arrivée à nostre flotte ici) ce roy aura peur, & n'osera pas les quiter. Avec la Swede il ne se fait rien, ny icy ny à Stockholm; car icy repose & dort l'affaire de sa mediation, & à Stockholm la reyne ne veut pas prester l'oreille à l'alliance avec Dennemarck & Hollande; ains veut tenter & exercer sa mediation. Ce que Tromp cause de sa retraite se voit dans les jointes.
Il est certain, que le navire de Tromp a eu 15 mille livres de poudre; les autres chacun dix mille livres, ce qui est un tiers plus, qu'on ne souloit jamais donner à chaque navire. Si qu'il faut que ce poudre aye esté derobbé, ou que Tromp & la flotte a consumé le poudre mal à propos devant Dover & Duyns, de quoy on luy fait fort mauvais gre; & d'autant plus, que le menu peuple est enragé & persuadé comme si les estats studieusement avoient defraudé le poudre, à fin de trahir leur propre flotte, & par ainsy se rendre obligé à faire pax aveque les Anglois à condition quelconque; tant plein de malice est le menu peuple. Mais c'est l'ordinaire en un desgrace; chacun jette la faute sur autruy.
Or quand bien icy on eust eu avantage, neantmoins on auroit envoyé, comme à present ausy on demeure resolu à l'envoy; & doivent celuy de Zeeland & celuy de Frise estre icy lundy prochain precisement, pendant que les Srs. Beverning & Nyport s'apprestent, ou font prests, & accelereront leur voyage; mais vous saves que tout va icy lentement.
L'on craint icy bien fort, qu'à present les Anglois enflez de ce succes & de la retraite de Tromp, ne voudront entendre à nulle condition equitable, mais j'en ay meilleure opinion; & que les Anglois se monstreront genereux, point chicaneurs: & qu'ils ne regarderont pas une petite chose pour rendre confus tous ceux, qui les ont diffamés comme des inhumains & barbares. Car de croire, que les Anglois souroient conquerir la moindre chose de cest estat ou le subjuguer, c'est tromperie. Tant y a que la deputation d'ici va en avant, au plustoit possible: si les republiques estoient sages, elles suspendroient leurs armes.
Lés feigneurs de Hollande ont propose & urgent, que pour le present soit envoyé vers l'Angleterre seulement un des 4, qui font nommés, afin que cest un prætcxte, si les Auglois voudront desister des points pradiminaires proposés cy devant au Sr. de Heemsteede le 25 Juing 1652, & si les Anglois en desistent, mander les autres trois; si non, ledit un se retirera, & l'affront receu en un fera plus supportable que si tous 4 l'eussent receu.
A cela s'opposent les Friends of the prince's. qui croyent le dessein de Well assured of Holland. estre de traiter à part & separement au præjudice de Prince of Orange. & Grave William. & pour cela ils veulent, qu'un de Friseland. y soit present des le commencement; & bien que ceux de Hollande protestent & promettent, qu' incontinent apres ce premier tentamen, les autres suivront. neantmoins les autres opiniastrent: toutesois par pluralité la Hollande pouvroit bien conclurre pour cest un, qui seroit le Sr. Beverning. De Zeelande on croit, que sera nommé le Sr. Brun Raet pensionaire; qui est un bon homme.
Sur le memoire de l'ambassadeur Brun en sin il y a eu des deputes pres de luy, aux quels il a fait pleinte; 1. touchant la chambre mypartie (fn. 1); de ce qu'icy on ne faisoit que delayer & procrastiner cest affaire. 2. Il fit pleinte de ce que cest estat vouloit faire alliance aveque la France. Il consessoit bien, que cela n'estoit pas directement contre la paix faite; mais que neantmoins cela estoit indirectement contre la paix, par ce qu'on y promettoit au roy de France secours contre les rebelles de ce roy, qui sont amis & alliés du roy de Spaigne, & aveque qui le roy de Spaigne a conjoint ses armes &c. Mais cela n'empeschera pas le progres de la dite alliance ou du concept; qui sera envoyé au Sr. Boreel en meme temps que les commissaires de cest estat iront pour traiter aveque les Anglois.
Vous aves en Angleterre un aveugle nommé Milton, qui a le renom d'avoir bien escrit. En Hollande ou à Amsterdam nous avons le Sr. Blondel de même devenu aveugle: il est de Paris apellé à Amsterdam sur un salaire de 3600 francs, & devenu aveugle il a neantmoins pu dicter cecy. C'est un homme fort versé es antiquites & vieilles histoires, mais il me semble que dans les nouvelles il hallucine & manque par fois.
Le commun peuple icy parle mal du gouvernement; & en cas que l'accord ne se sait point aveque l'Angleterre, je ne voy nul meilleur remede, que de prendre le jeune prince pour gouverneur & capitaine general & le conte Guiliaume pour lieutenant general; car je ne voy pas comment autrement on fera.
Au tessel il y a 5. navires destinés vers Ostinde; item 2 navires bastis pour la republique de Gennes seront prins en service, attendant que les 2 sois trente navires, qu'on fait bastir, soyent faits.
A letter of intelligence from Holland.
On Saturday last being the 14th instant there came a galliot from the admiral Tromp, who wrote, that the fleets about two days before encountred each other not far from Graveling; that the ship of captain Bulter was sunk, and that the ship of captain Velsen was blown up in the air, and but five men saved. This writes Tromp.
The Galiots man, the lieutenant of Bulter, said, he also faw two English sunk, and five others of them burnt; but he said withal, Tromp with his fleet was coming towards the Weylings and the Maes, which is no sign of advantage.
It is likewise muttered, that in Tromp'es fleet was no great store of powder which it seems they spent all too liberally at the Downes and Dover to no other purpose but in braving. It had been better to have spared it then, for this more necessary occasion.
On the 15th instant in the evening came another express from admiral Tromp out of Zealand, where he was come in the Saturday before (being 14th) at the Weylings; he writes, the English had taken six, besides one more sunk, and another fired; nevertheless that he missed seventeeen, not well knowing, if they were in whole or in part sunk, taken, or saved.
The English have sent in 150 wounded men, which they had taken; they put them in a galliot, and sent them up the Maese. These report, that in the English fleet are twenty two or twenty three Dutch captains prisoners, whom they keep by them with other sound prisoners without releasing them.
The aforesaid wounded men relate also, that Monck one of the English admiral's was shot and killed; also that two of the English ships were sunk, and two burned; that likewise they heard them speak aboard the English ships, that now they would go towards the Sound, at least one squadron, another squadron to go towards Hitland, to attend the East India ships coming home out of the Indies much about this time. But we presume those ships are forewarned to come home later, or that they will steer their course into the Sound or into Norway, 'till they be fetcht home with a sufficient convoy.
In the mean time the lords commissioners, who are sent from the States General into Zealand, are to make all the best provision they can to strengthen the fleet now being but seventy four sail, and to put them out to sea.
It is collected by all reports made, that this fight was only performed with the cannon, and that the ships came not so near as to charge each other with musket shot; and that the English had greater guns than the Hollanders, and therefore had the advantage, and prevailed. We had also certain Information, that Blake with twenty or thirty ships had joined himself with the English fleet; so that the English fleet is now above 130 fail strong. Nevertheless we are nowise out of hope, but all this shall be repaired again, and a fleet put out to sea, which shall force the English to go and keep their own coast.
The fleet of merchants bound for the Eastland lie in the Flye four or five hundred sail, and are commanded to stop and lie still; but as soon as we shall observe the English gone away, the aforesaid Eastland fleet shall put to sea; as also a considerable number of herring busses; together with the ships appointed for Muscovia.
Men labour here to extenuate the retreat of the Holland fleet (none daring to call it a beating) as much as is possible to do. It was a misfortune that the English had always the wind of them, which gives a very great advantage, and if the Hollanders should have had that advantage against the English, they had totally routed and ruined them; and they are confident here, if there happen another encounter, and the Dutch get the wind of the English, that they will either take, or burn, or sink the English wholly. Also that the Hollanders and Zealanders will prevail in point of boarding and entring, because the English have no mind to work, being diffident and fearful of themselves. They report that de Ruyter had once boarded admiral Monck, and had already driven and chased all Monck's men under deck and out of sight, and that he had undoubtedly taken him, had he not been succoured and seconded with five or six friggats, by which means Ruyter was forced to leave him. They say the English have no defence on deck, but that the soldiers and marriners are compelled to stand there naked.
They speak also of the gunport holes in the English ships, that they are too narrow, by which their ordnance cannot play but forth outright; whereas on the contrary those of the Hollanders are wide and large, by which means their guns have liberty to turn more ways than one.
Letters of intelligence.
By my last before this I gave you the heads of some extracts; and by this I give you the full extracts most material and most concerning the present affairs of your commonwealth. You had from me formerly an extract of the 4th instant, but not full. What was wanting now you have.
Furthermore orders shall be given to the deputies to be sent into England, to communicate particularly and confidently upon all that which shall be incharged to them to monsieur Neusville de Bordeaux residing now in England in the behalf of the crown of France, or to any others that shall be sent hither by the said crown; and peculiarly that they shall pass all the good offices imaginable, to the end that the crown of France as well as this state may enter into good intelligence with the government of England; and if it be possible, that a common consederation be made betwixt the said king, the government of England, and this state; and in case the same may not be attained, and that notwithstanding God will bless the negotiation betwixt that commonwealth and this estate with a good adjustation and agreement, all good offices shall be used, to the end that the said crown, if they do desire it, be comprehended in this alliance, and by all diligence to endeavour the same.
Notice shall be given of what is above said to the lord ambassador Boreel, to whom also particular notice shall be given in what condition and state the affairs of these provinces are with the regency of England. And to that effect the letters written of both sides shall be sent to the said lord ambassador, and likewise any writing that may concern the same, together with an order to desire the king of France, that he will be pleased to command the said Neusville, or those that shall go from him into England, to treat with mutual communication and good confidence with those, that shall be sent thither from this estate; and to assist and to procure, that the said alliance may take effect; and that those that shall be sent from hence into England, shall write to their high mightinesses what they shall negotiate and effectuate in this business; and likewise to write of the difficulties, which shall from time to time arise in the accomplishment of this intention of their highnesses, to the end that such resolution may be taken, as shall be sound convenient, according to the conjuncture of times and constitution of affairs.
4 June 1653. [N. S.]
It was ordered, that the articles written upon the negotiation of the alliance to be made with the crown of France, which articles are held by these to be adjusted, shall be sent to the lord ambassador Boreel; understanding nevertheless, that such clauses and points, as are for the offensive and defensive against England, shall be separated and extracted from them, as also such other clauses and articles, which cannot consist with the treaty and conclusion to be done into England; with charge to communicate the same to the king and court of France, as also to procure power and credence with his majesty, to adjust them and bring them to that conclusion with exclusive intention; and likewise to signify to his majesty and council, in what posture of affairs their highnesses are with the regency of England; and to declare, that their highnesses have orders in this conjuncture of affairs to confer and treat upon the same with his majesty, as being the most ancient and considerable ally of these estates in all confidence. And the said ambassador is to communicate likewise with all secrecy and circumspection the said conceptions to his majesty, and how the same have been framed, with articles and points offensive; adding that their highnesses, before these overtures of peace made by the said regency of England, were resolved to treat of them with his majesty, and to adjust and conclude them at his pleasure. And moreover plainly to declare, that their highnesses are still resolved to treat and conclude as formerly (in case the said estates do not agree and adjust themselves with the said republic) with insertion of the points offensive, and to agree and conclude them at the pleasure of his majesty. And the said ambassador Boreel is to signify from the beginning to the said king and court, that the final conclusion herein specified cannot be done in one manner or other, before the success of the negotiation with England shall be seen; assuring them, that the success being seen, all shall be concluded in one way or other, if they shall think fit.
The 12th of June the lord ambassador of Spain, mons. Le Brun being sick, sent in a paper to the assembly of the States General, the substance whereof was, declaring to them in his master's name, that they should not make any alliance with the crown of France in prejudice to the king his master; and if they did, that it would produce the renovation of the sad and bloody war of so long continuance, which the king his master was very desirous to avoid; and protested his innocence therein, in case it should happen to be so; and therefore desired, that the said States General should carry themselves indifferently to both crowns in peace and amity; or if they did otherwise incline to the one more than to the other, that the articles of peace were not so sacredly observed, as they ought to be of their sides, &c. To this purpose his paper runs; the copy whereof verbatim I cannot extract at this time, being interrupted by an accident.
You have at length and verbatim the best intelligence the States General have from their fleet since the late fight. We here are resolved to reinforce and repair our fleets, to recover our honour and interest; yet also our resolutions hold to send the four deputies to your government, as preliminaries to a treaty of peace. Three are named of the four; as for Holland Beverning and Nieuport of Amsterdam; for Friseland Jongestall, and the fourth for Zeeland is not yet named. They have close instructions to act all with the advice of the king of France his minister there. And one of the deepest secrets here you have further at this time, which is, that if these states can, they will destroy your general Cromwell and his new government, and set up the presbyterians, who are conceived here to be more for the interest of these states than your present goverment. Our envoys to you will not want (as it is said most secretly) some of the presbyterians and parliamentary party there to confer of this matter. I pray make use of this, and let it not go further.
The Spanish ambassador Le Brun is also proposing secretly a league with these states against Portugal; it is but new and secret, but you shall have more of it in time. I am weary, and so shall you, after you receive this from,
Letter of intelligence.
Quindec. hujusce mensis nunciatum hic est, classes duas Anglicam & Hollandicam inter Ostendam & Dunquerquam conflixisse dies duos 12 & 13 stylo vet. Illa constabat navibus rostratis 108; Anglica plus minus 90. Hollandi alacriter Anglos invasere, quod valerent numero, & Trompius jactaret velle se cum expedita classe, non uti antea cum impedita onerariis, Anglos adoriri, & justis viribus dimicare; verum spem fortuna fefellit, nam Trompius in Zelandiam se cum 70 tantum navibus recepit, & Guream tenuit. Aliæ quædam naves Texell pervenerunt. Fugam excusavit eo prætextu, quòd diceret vesperi secundi conslictus diei, naves 36 classi Angliæ auxilio venisse. Id constat Anglos in mare victores dominari. Heri ad Hagam in ora Escavellini anchoras jecerunt. Centum, uti aiunt, naves & 30. Hodie fama est oram maritimam usque Flitum adnavigari; nec creditur classi Anglicæ subsidiarias naves accessisse. Alterutrius partis jactura in incerto adhuc est. Nuntiatum hisce proximis diebus Hollandos sex rostratas partim incensas, partim depressas, amisisse; Anglos quinque jacturam fecisse. Verum cum hi victores extiterint, rumor hic adversus falsus putatur. Ex classe Hollandica naves non paucæ disjectæ laceratæque in portus se suos receperunt. Vulneratorum magna vis in hanc urbem confluit, ac fatentur 800 homines cecidisse, & navem prætoriam imperatoris sui penè captam oppressamque fuisse, ac è medio classis Anglicæ ægré a sociis navibus ereptam imperatorem in aliam se navim recepisse; quòd prætoria aquæ vim ingentem septem pedes altæ admisisset. Sunt qui eum ictu frusti lignei saucium confirment. Spectato numero earum, quæ desiderantur, navium, majorem quam quæ circumfertur colligimus jacturam fuisse. Ad id prælium è Zelandia auxiliares milites nautasque singulos in diem 2, 3 ve florinis conductos missos aiunt.
Vulgo dicitur Status quascunque possint rostratas cogere in prælium defensionemve adornare: decrevisse jam, ut exonerentur quæ in Indiam ituræ erant naves, & ex navigiis mercatorum quæ Flii sunt, aliisque in portubus morantur, 4 e singulis nautas deducere, cum tam multo antea ceu necessitatis futuræ conscii, morari subsistereque jussissent, ne balenarum piscaturam exercerent, ac hominum plus bis mille è præsidiis extractum iri. Id compertum navium vim ingentem, quæ in procinctu ad navigandum septentrionem versus erat, omnino detineri, ut si forte opus fuerit iis utantur. Magno in timore versantur de navibus, quas ab Indiis propediem venturas sperant. Duo navigia celerrima, quæ in Braziliam adornarant, nequaquam exitura confirmant. Omnia, & si quæ alia contrahi queant in classem cogenda & adversus Anglos educenda: cæteraque—
Extracts out of the resolutions of the States General.
After deliberation it is ordered, that one of the deputies appointed by their high and mighty lordships to go for England, shall forthwith depart to dispose, in conformity to the resolution of the 5th instant, those of that regency to set aside the preliminary articles, and to take into hand the negotiation in the principal. And the lords, who already are or shall be appointed for that effect by their high and mighty lordships, are by these presents required to prepare themselves for that journey, and be ready to go into England, without expecting any further orders, there to assist the execution of the resolution of the 5th instant. And in case that, contrary to all expectations or hopes, the said regency may not be induced to the said disposition, without losing any time, they are all together to return hither, and to make relation here to their high and mighty lordships. And to promote that the more, necessary credential letters shall be sent to the said lords deputies from their high and mighty lordships, including the lords Beverningk and Nieuport, and leaving a blank for the names of the other lords, as also credentials apart for one of the said lords. And besides, it shall be written to the lords deputies of Zeland and Friseland, that their high and mighty lordships, for pregnant reasons for the service of the country, have thought convenient, that the said lords their deputies shall suddenly go into England; and also that they will summon the lords already appointed or to be appointed by their respective provinces, to make themselves ready for that journey; and especially to command the deputy for the province of Friseland to come hither to that effect. And that the lord deputy for the province of Zeland shall incontinently depart for England, where he is to make oath to his collegues, as was agreed upon here in the great hall by the lords deputies of their high and mighty lordships for treaties: and the said lords his collegues are authorized to receive that said oath.
The 5th instant his majesty the emperor, together with the new elected Roman king, came hither again from Augsburgh. The prince electors, who are first gone to Munchen, are also expected, at whose coming the coronation of the said Roman king, being appointed on the 18th of this month, is to go forward, and afterwards the emperor is to make his proposition; yet, as it is thought, not before the queen of Sweden hath fully restored that part of Pomerania, which she still keeps in hand, unto the duke of Brandenburgh, the order thereunto being by an express from her majesty daily expected.
Her majesty the empress hath presented the lady of his highness the Chur-Paltzgrave with a very costly, and three mules to bring her back again to Regensburg or to Heidelberg, she being not resolved yet whither to go.
A letter of intelligence from Paris.
I Received only two words from you at this time concerning the victory gained by ours upon our enemies. God be thank'd, that God himself does always help his own. Mons. count Charost, governor of Calais, sent hither to the king last Thursday, that both the fleets were fighting near Dover, where three ships of the English were sunk, and three more taken by the Hollanders. Presently the king and queen of France sent mons. duke de Guise with these news to the king Charles and his mother, of which they could never be more glad; but now they see the contrary coming from many hands, which makes them as much melancholy. Truly all the world do much admire at it, quite contrary to their expectation; sed nibil mirandum apud Deum. Yet the king of France hath sent to the Hollanders, not to make peace with England by no means; and that he will help them in monies, arms, and men; so has the emperor in like manner. France also sent to Denmark, desiring him to do the like. So tho' you may be up sometimes by the help of God, who does all, you are yet to consider of the end; and whilst you be strong, to make your friends the best way you can to establish that commonwealth, being the work of the Almighty. Our king, queen, cardinal, and count parted yesterday for St. Germains. Some say they will come home at St. John's day; others they will not these twelve or fifteen days.
You know by my former marshal Turenne parted hence the 16th instant; and before his departure seeing the cardinal was of a mind then to bring the king to Compeigne to see the army in their rendezvous, he advised the contrary, that notwithstanding his majesty's presence would much encourage the army, yet it was needless, that his majesty should go thither in person; and that he would do better in Paris to keep the people in due obedience, which may be they would not do in his majesty's absence; which had stayed his majesty from going. The said marshal is gone to Fismes, where he is to rendezvous his army. He carries with him to the field thirty six pieces of artillery of the best that were seen in the field these sixteen years.
Sixteen companies of the regiment of the guards are commanded for to march towards Burgundy. The companies of the said regiment, which went to Calais two or three months ago, are now commanded to return hither, where we expect them next week.
There is now a great difference between Mazarin and Vendosme about the contract of marriage between Mercœur and Mazarin's niece. What it is, I know not, but they be out with one another. The 17th instant a captain of Mr. l'Estrade's regiment, who was at the siege of Bellegarde, came hither, who told the queen, that duke D'Espernon has done nothing worth the relation at Bellegarde, no more than the governor of the town, count de Boutteville, who might have kept the town yet two months, if he had pleased, and might sally out, and ruin his majesty's forces; which makes people guess both commanders did understand one another.
Last Wednesday his majesty received a letter from Mr. de Bordeaux Neusville, his agent in London, by which he desires his majesty to be pleased to recall him back, by reason he had nothing to do where he was; and the rather because he could not prevail with the commonwealth, that the deputies of Bourdeaux should not be received or heard, being but rebels and traitors against their king and country; but rather the contrary they were to get what they desired, liberty of commerce between England and Bourdeaux, and in case of necessity, some assistance; which made the king (as we hear) to send orders to Vendosme and Candale to retire from Bourdeaux, to the end the Bourdelois may give over the assistance of the English, notwithstanding their commerce with them, which reasonably cannot be hindred. What shall be his majesty's answer, I know not; but I guess he will not call him back yet for many reasons. The relations of Calais bring, that admiral Blake is killed in this last engagement, which I cannot yet believe, till I hear from you the particulars of the whole.
Letters from Châlons, dated the 17th instant bring, that his majesty's forces were there about them, consisting of 20000 horse and foot; and that three leagues were between the first and last part of them in their march; and Turenne hearing that Condé was to besiege St. Menehauld, sent some forces to augment the garrisons of that place. Yesterday I received a letter from Bruxels, dated the 14th of this month, which signifies, that prince Condé made up a new livery, and was to depart the city within two days after. I am confident he will do but little this year.
Le sieur Bourelot, in time past physician to prince Condé, and first to the queen of Sweden, being there of late, the council hearing he had a hand in matters of state and against his king; they thought to make his process, were it not the queen saved him by much difficulty, and upon condition that he should leave the country. So he is come into France under Condé's protection.
Sir James Dillon having surrendered the fort of Ormont to the duke of Vendosme, to Condé's prejudice, has received in hand from the said duke a hundred pistoles for every captain, two hundred pistoles for the major, and so proportionably for every low officer; and to every single soldier four pistoles in hand, and then marched to the said duke themselves, where every captain has a hundred livres a day well paid, the soldiers eight solls with their ammunition-bread. They are marching to the siege of Bourges, and Digby's regiment are in garison in the said fort of Ormont. George Dillon the fryar arrived here last Thursday. He and another fryar Walsh, who lives with Vendosme, are in dispute, which of themselves played the knave, as to bring them men from the Spaniards and Condé to the king's service; but I assure you, if I had been their judge, I would hang both together. The army naval of Spain is not yet arrived in the river of Bourdeaux, as it was told us before; and the people of the city are so weary of troubles, that some say they will resist no further; so Conti, without help, must yield up the place against his will. Conde is not wife, for having but few, he should have them together, for separatim they cannot resist. Preston has not yet gotten his moneys, and says he will take his leave of them like a company of lying fellows as they be. He is mad, but yet Tyrrel endeavours to get the moneys, being dayly a promising. Having nothing at present, I am, sir,
A letter of intelligence.
The bruit of the last fight at sea is now followed with assurance of the Dutch being beaten by yours, as is confessed by all hands; and the chiefs here are not much troubled at it, but to the contrary. And, say they, now the Dutch see they are not the Neptunes, as they hitherto always reputed themselves to be, without doubt they will now make a peace, and thank you too, if France hinder it not one way or other. Your new government begins with victory, and such a one as you never gained before at sea, which is a caution to your neighbours to let you alone, and to your own to obey, since that God in your infancy appears for you with wonders in profundis.
Here is not much news since my former. Last Saturday, Sunday, and Monday we had here the greatest triumphal fires for the election of the king of the Romans, with other expressions of joy, that ever I saw.
The archduke's discontents continue; his favourite, count de Swarsenburg, is gone upon Monday last towards Germany, to congratulate the king of the Romans; but the matter is (as you had before) orders from Spain were for it.
The prince of Condé is now suddenly upon departure to the campagin. His general rendezvous is to be at Luxemburgh, and his army will consist of 10,000 horse and 16,000 foot, as the best relation gives out; and that the army under count Fuensaldagua shall consist of 14,000 horse and 12,000 foot. The latter army is to have two general rendezvous, the one within two leagues of Lisle, and the other at Landrecies. All these forces are now in their march for the said rendezvous, and the generals within three or four days go away.
Some letters bring news the emperor will endeavour to recover civitates imperiales from the Hollanders, which is not any thing against your commonwealth. Here is no more of any importance at this time known to,
Letter from De Vries, resident in Denmark, to the States General.
High and mighty lords,
In conformity to my last letter of the 14th of this month, I have in your names, the day following, congratulated and delivered your letter to his majesty, who sent a coach with six horses to receive me; and I found ready with his majesty the ratification of the treaty betwixt his majesty and your high and mighty lordships. And after the reading thereof, I have recommended the publication of the edict against the passing of any English ships by the Belt and Sound, which the lord chancellor took upon himself to see put in execution; and told after, that the king had sent a plenipotency to his ambassador in Sweden, to promote with all his endeavours the defensive alliance betwixt the two crowns and your high and mighty lordships, and that he had commanded the receivers of the customs of the Sound, that after St. John's day (these were the very words of the chancellor) they should receive the tolls from the masters of the United Provinces ships as agreed upon in the treaty of the year 1645; before which day, in your high and mighty lordships name, I shall dismiss the comptrollers, that have been hitherto from you in the Sound. They are here unlading the English ships embargoed wholly for the king's interest.
A letter from the admiralty of Amsterdam, written to the States General, dated the 22d of June 1653. [N. S.]
High and mighty lords,
Herewith we do send a list of the ships of war, fire-ships, and galliots, which are now near the Texel, as well of those that are ready, as those that are not, to the end that your highnesses may make use of them, as you shall think best; and to morrow we shall send a perfect list of the ships, which are ready before this town, and may be commodiously employed in the war, &c. Amsterdam, 22 Junii 1653.
A memorial given by admiral Van Tromp and his chiefest officers to the States General, containing some considerations upon the present constitution of the maritime affairs of the late fight (fn. 2).
It were necessary, that always should follow the fleet at least two ships loaden with ammunition of two or 300,000 pounds of powder, and bullets proportionable, and with all sorts of provision; as is more amply set forth in a paper, which we gave to their mighty highnesses the 25th of March last.
Finally that it were convenient, that each college of admiralty or directory should have one or two slutes, good sailors, according to their proportion of ships, laden with beer and water, to be used upon occasion.
Another memorial of Van Tromp's.
It is also to be considered, that as most of the ships are loaden with many men, and many of them have no room to put into their victuals, that it shall be necessary, that some flutes with water and beer shall be always sent along with them, as also ships with ammunition for war, masts, and other appurtenances; and likewise that in all the colleges the wages of the mariners be increased.