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 (3 of 5)
A letter of intelligence from Dunkirk.
These are to give yow notice, that I arived here this morning, and to morrow morning intend to proceede as to the maine busines of trade. I can say little at present, it being Sunday, though that be not much scrupled here, after the rabble of masse is over; and for newes, here is very little, only they were glad to behold a most dreadful fight lately at sea, though not out of any good affection to either party; but I have advice here, that the beaten party will out againe suddenly, meerely upon the score of 1000. 109. If that miscarry, 'tis veryly thought, 464 will turne the tables. When I come to 81, shall be better able to give you an account what commodities will turne to most profitte, till when, pray excuse mee, and in your counterparte add, for my friend at Ameth, in case yow have occasion to mention him 1003, and for my friend here Mr. Henry Collier 1004. I shall give yow notice, when yow shall adresse to him. I feare wee shall have the worse tradeing, because though there was such a thing in debate; yett the states of Holland, I am tolde, have not granted a tolleration for bringing any goods to this place; besides the late order of the councell (as they call themselves) in England will tend much to our prejudice as to matter of trade. I must bee forced sometimes to seeme like Janus, but still in order to the promoteing of our trade. And pray excuse mee, that haveing beene soe long out of my country, I am forced to write yow in English. In ten or twelve dayes I hope to bee at 15; add allsoe as above for the Hagge 1005. Soe not else at present, but commendations to all our merry companions, I rest,
An intercepted letter to Paris.
As for news here, we have none but good; for the lord general goes on like himself, a conqueror and a king, as it is hoped he will shortly be; for there is a privy seal made, a sword with three crowns on it, to borrow monies with it. And it is told me by some, that I know in Whitehall, that there is brought in there a royal crown and a sceptre; and I wish him as much joy with it, as you do, or can do. His excellence and his privy council, which consist of as many as Christ and his apostles, all godly men, have made two acts lately, equal to the former acts of parliament; the one for the continuance of our monthly tax, the other for the convening of a new representative at Whitehall; on purpose, as is expected, to crown his excellency. They are elected out of all counties, but not by the counties of England, but by the special appointment of him and his council; and his warrant to them runs thus: I and my council do will and command you, to appear at Whitehall, &c. and I assure you, we shall have a blessed government; for though all the elected are mean men, yet they are godly men, and the most of them gifted men, fit to govern both in church and government. By the next I shall give you their names. In the mean time take the names of some good and gracious, elected for Westminster and London: Mr. Squib, sometimes clerk to sir Edward Powel; another a leatherseller over Ram alley in Fleetstreet, a very ram, a man well known to your bedfellow; another a scrivener in St. Thomas Apostle's, a pure apostle, Mr. Colburne by name; another an aqua-vitæ man, near Aldgate, to furnish the state with a dram out of the bottle to comfort their hearts.
A friend of mine, that is lately come out of Holland, says, that Tromp hath taken twenty English; that he saw them there; yet these men brag here that they have beaten the Dutch. Here was a report, that the English had landed some men in the island of Texel, but it proves to be a thousand wounded men of their own they set on shore in Flanders, not knowing what to do with them.
A letter of governor Cokayne.
May it please your excellency,
Wee are now longing to heare of your safe and happy arrivall at court, after your longe and troublesome journey, which wee hope by the next post wee shall have the tidings of. Since my last to your excellency here hath litle happened; onely some good success a party of our forces had against the highlanders, which I have sent your lordship in the enclosed printed paper, that you might see it more at large than I could write it. There is much talk of lieutenant general Fleetwood's comeing over to heade the army here; but I cannot learne from the most knowing men I can converse with, that any resolution is yet taken uppon it. Notwithstanding our greate chaunge of government, the people are generally very quiett; and could wee but be eased of taxes, wee should not much minde who ruled over us. It hath hitherto bin a very milde winter with us; I hope it hath bin the like with you, which I beleeve would be a greate mercy to you in that countrey. My lord, I must renew my former humble petition to your lordship, that you will have a care of yourselfe, and be never without company; and I hope God will preserve you for a happy and seasonable return to your friends; for which I am constantly at the throne of grace, as becomes
A letter of intelligence from the Hague.
The accomplishment of your desires in your letter by Cornelius Snelling shall be endeavoured by us. I doubt not but at the worst somewhat may be produced to your liking. I add this to my former; be careful of your secret determinations. You have a false brother amongst you, or very neare you, that aggravates your doeings to the height, as that you are not to be trusted, and whatsoever you doe as to a treaty is but to get advantage by it. Pray be careful. We shall endeavor to remove all those rubbs, and you may soe carry your business by pretending one thing, and suddenly acting another, that will suddenly confound their intelligence, and in short time quash its credit, which is mainly to be sought. Wee expect hourly the party, and at discretion the rest: they will come extreame seasonably now at this present. They must be qualified as was formerly exprest, or else noe thoughts of good. Cromwell carrys things very close of himself; and if hee should once take a resolution, its hard to get him off. Both council and commissioners of the navy are for a prosecution of this opportunity, though some different in the manner. The admiralls had order concerning &c. I hope care was taken, but soe privately, that noe jealousy might arise. I believe that danger is nere over. The old firebrands are at work. Make noe noise of your preparations, till opportunity offer a joyning of your fleet. It will add much to your business. You must, when you come here, bee throughly armed. Wave those things formerly insisted on; it will work the better. Press not your foraigne customes to those, whose wills are their lawes, and swords their scepters. Bee careful in this juncture; it concernes not only your present quiett at home, but your future prosperity. I wish it crown'd with success. God take off all turbulent spirits from amongst you, whoe are heightned greately. Indeed should any such thing bee, as may bee feared, it may prove fatall. England's examples are not safe presidents for forraigne states quiet to follow or build on.
General heads for a narrative concerning the wars between the English and the states of the United Provinces. [14 June, 1653.]
1. A Brief narrative of the seasonable supplies, which you had from us in the days of queen Elizabeth, when the Spaniard was likely to have swallowed up your liberties and protestant religion. Here is shewed what great sums of money, and how many thousands of Englishmen were then sent; and that the blood and money of England put you into the condition of liberty from the sword of Spain; and that greater love and assistance there hath not been shewed unto any people.
2. We come to the reign of king James; and here is shewed, how taking advantage through his ill government, you abused this nation both at home and abroad. Besides that of Amboyna, several gross insolencies and unparralleled injuries were committed by you against this nation; as in several particulars appears, and are here set down.
3. This course you held on against us in the time of his son Charles, until the wars broke forth between him and the parliament, abusing our nation every where: the particulars likewise are here set down.
4. When the wars began here in England, you began immediately to countenance our Dutch ennemy, and help'd him several ways. Here we mention what men, money, armes, guns, and other things; what assistance the rebels in Ireland had against us. In this likewise we shew how. Besides here is shewed what reasons there were in the contest between that tyrant and us; that you should have assisted us; but on the contrary you were more assistant to our enemy than any other foreign nation whatsoever. None contributed more assistance to that king and his son than you, and none more scorned, abused, and injured our state than you. Here is shewed in what particulars.
5. To shew that there was no interest of foreign states, that we held to us so near as yours. We did, after our first being a commonwealth send Dr. Dorislaus; and after him other embassadors to you, sincerely desiring and seeking your welfare with our own. The several abuses offered both to the one and the other are here particularly mentioned.
6. You vouchsased not to send an embassage to us, until Scotland, Ireland, and the business of Worcester was over. And when you sent an embassage to us, the persons were not sufficiently instituted nor qualified, but sent rather to make a delatory business; one while amusing us, as if you meant to act with all simplicity, another while seeming to affright us, by telling us of great Armado. Notwithstanding we gave you honourable and friendly entertainment, and could not have done more than what we did. Here are set down some particulars of their crafty dealing with us at this time.
7. You brought an armed fleet to our borders, and there in an hostile manner assaulted and endeavoured to destroy part of our navies, whilst the amity between us and you continued; yea even whilst your embassadors were treating with us of a strict league and union. Here is shewed how you had made a league defensive and offensive with France, a league de non offendendo with Spain, a league defensive with Sweden against Denmark, and a defensive with Denmark against Sweden and all other nations; and therefore it did appear, that you had in the preparation of that navy no real intention of peace with us, but the contrary.
8. The premisses considered, we have no reason to treat with you, and we have more reasons besides these not to treat with you; as abusing other nations in entring into leagues and amities with them, making a shew of friendship with one, and dealing under-hand with another, swallowing down leagues as contrary one to another as earth is to heaven. And where you have seen any thing of advantage, if by cunning force, or fraud you have been able, no consideration of right, friendship leagues, humanity, or religion, have held you from the accomplishment thereof. For this several examples are brought, as your falshood with France, Portugal, Sweden, Denmark. It is here proved further, that your treating with other nations is but to make all the world slaves to you, if you can; and to endeavour thereby to monopolize all trade into your hands, and to exclude all other nations. Here we give instances.
9. Notwithstanding that it may appear, that we would prevent war, and seek not to enlarge ourselves upon others rights, but would make it manifest, that we seek your good, and your people's, the protestant interest, and liberty, and good of mankind.
1. That you call back your ships; we being resolved to secure your trade as our own in these seas, which we reckon a part of the dominion of this commonwealth; and for this propriety reasons are given. 2. We require a reparation of our damages sustained by this unchristian breach made upon us by you. 3. Satisfaction we have been put unto to defend ourselves, and maintain our rights by these so great preparations of ours.
10. These things being done, and full assurance thereof given, we shall then go on to a treaty as to all matters now under consideration, being resolved not to insist upon more nor less, than if this breach had never been, nor this advantage given us.
First, because we have cause to believe from those, who have brought this business to so desperate an issue, unsought by us, we can expect no good effect by a treaty, they having been the incendiaries and plotters of all the evils. Besides they are not true to their own liberty, but would set up monarchy amongst you, and reduce their own country to slavery, notwithstanding these are too prevalent in your councils.
Moreover the Lord having so eminently appeared for us in this war against you, owned our cause by many signal victories, and unparalleled glorious characters, we do not treat with you but upon very clear and good grounds, as the reputation and honour of God's cause may be maintained, justice to the people, &c. We shall bring in our sea victories.
Howsoever the Lord by his powerful presence and appearance with us both at sea and land hath owned us hitherto, and borne witness to the justice of our cause in unparalleled and glorious characters; nevertheless that our good may not be evil spoken of, either through the malice of our ennemies, or the ignorance of other men, we have thought it necessary to publish this our apology, whereby all people in this present juncture may be rightly informed in the state of things between us and the United Provinces.
A letter of intelligence from the Hague.
I Hope—hath given you full satisfaction, and cleared away all rubbs. Since his departure 120 men more are put into all those places, yet no fear of accomplishment, if attempted: the pilots will bring you to safe landing, though I conceive it might have been more seaseable, if you had done it upon the rout, whilst the terror was on them. Our friends stand firm there yet, and have wrote up, since — came away, a letter, wherein he wonders you did attempt nothing. Delays are dangerous; yet further he writes, that they are more secure than formerly, believing that you do not intend to land, but only to lye there to be a terror to the country, and to stop the Eastland fleet, and to keep our fleets from joining all the strength we possibly can make, being thirty five in the southward sea, which will be ready within eight days, if men come in; and the winds they hope will so much favour them, as to send you away, that the fleet at the Wielingen may be reinforced: four ships more are making ready at Rotterdam, and six at Zealand; so with the fifty eight they will make in all an hundred and fix; which if they can accomplish, they hope to do wonders. All their brass guns out of all their magazines and from the walls of all towns are going to the fleet with abundance of fireworks, and cross-bar shot. The messenger is gone that was sent for to prepare the way for the rest. All their hopes is in getting of time; and if they can but put you off for two months, they are confident, they shall do well enough with you.
Truly we admire, that in things of so great concernment to the present quiet of England, and future happiness, which in human eye may be so easily accomplished, nothing is done; but we are satisfied, that evil instruments are the cause, that so many fair opportunities have been missed. What rational man but with half an eye cannot but discover the juglings of these ? how many times hath England with all its fortunes been ventured against this unthankful people, whose walls have been cemented with English blood, only to please the fancies of some particular men (the all-seeing God hath hardened them for destruction) who are not able to answer for any part of that innocent blood, that hath needlesly been spilt, much less the hazard of all, if in any battel you had miscarried ? You have seen how these with all their cunning have improved and sought to improve their rotten interest against you! every stone, that could be removed, is either slung at you, or imployed to your detriment. Have not all nations been courted against you, as against the most usurping tyrants in the world ? Witness their manifest and declarations, endeavouring to stop all trade and commerce from you, that so the people for want of trade must have risen, and endangered your quiet at home, being blown up by their instruments, but especially all provisions for shipping and war, that so you might have been made a prey. Nay, what would they not have done ? But God hath cut them short off their ends. What thanks is that to them ? And now mere necessity forceth them to seek for a treaty, what can be really expected from them, as long as they have any forces; except they give you such security as may awe them ? What prince or state have they not abused ? Whom have they kept faith withal ? And what can be expected from that cursed maxim of theirs, no treaty or league binding, but what is profitable ? Their baseness to all the world in this particular will witness. All that can be said for them is, that Holland hath refused to take in the king's interest, though they have been pressed to it by other provinces as the only refuge in time of necessity; and it hath been a thing, that narrow inspectors into the carriage of this war have admired at; but it seems, that their friends in England they thought to be furer pillars to trust to than the unfortunate king, whom of necessity they must have lost; and it hath been marked all along this war, the Hollander hath not been much dejected at their loss, knowing they might have time to recover. They were much put to it in the last change of government, which made them seek divers other ways to imbroil you at home, not knowing they should have had any friend amongst you. Here is Higford come over with one or two Dutchmen more, who assures of the great divisions in England; nay Higford hath related to a dear friend of mine, that in England there were handsome bodies ready. The Jesuit hath no small foot in that business.
I accidentally heard Van Hemer say, your fleet lying at the Texell and the Vlye, so soon as he heard Blake was there, he smilingly said, the danger was over; they do much build upon him, as one that will never prosecute this war, and whose conscience will not let him fight past Callais Sands.
They expect to hear from their envoy; and accordingly you shall have application by others, who have had to my knowledge twice instructions. This night I hope to see the last, the grounds of which they have from their friends in England.
We expect from you every minute the boat I sent over with our resolutions; we have made a fair progress in the Helder with one or two of their officers; and I have divided sixty pounds amongst those of the Texell and the Vlye. Money and promises neither have nor shall be wanting. Be not deluded with fair promises or hopes of their plain and honest dealings, for their intents are no such matter, but prosecute your business, and in a short time you may have them in your power. Then do what good you will to them.
Corn rifeth extremely: so doth all other commodities, that the poor will nere starve: cut but a bank or two to hinder them from kerne milk, and they will rise, and must yield upon any conditions to you; which otherwise, if your fleet should be forced from the Texell, and their fleet joined, they will look upon themselves to be in a good condition as formely.
Young Tromp is expected home with his fleet suddenly. Advice boats are gone not only to him, but to the East India fleet and the Straits merchantmen. They are to steer their course on the coasts of Norway, and so for the Sound, and there to remain till the seas are open. If those fleets should come home, and that which was Van Gaalen's (fn. 1) they would have neer 140 fail. which they say shall be the best provided of any fleet. Yet it lies in your power to end the business, and we have truly discharged our duty. I have been enforced to take up two hundred pounds more, of which a great part is gone, and I hope, before the rest will be spent, the business will be over one way or other.
They stand much in fear of the Swede, who, they say, is the only friend England hath. Her resident hath again desired a speedy declaration for free traffick; and something more is hourly expected from him, which troubles these much.
A letter of intelligence from the Hague.
The resolution to send into England was much hastened the 20/10 of this month, and to gain time there will be one sent away before the rest; for which the Heer Beverning is to prepare beforehand, and to learn whether or no the English will wave the three known preliminary points delivered to the Heer Van Hemsteede the 25th of June, 1652. If they will wave them, then the other three lords are to follow immediately; but in case the English will not pass by the said preliminary points, then the Heer Beverning is to return back again forthwith.
The English fleet still appears before the Texell and the Vlye, by reason whereof orders are sent for five companies more to come and quarter about the Hague and along the shoar from Gravesand to the Texell.
The said Beverning took his leave the 21/11 of this month in the assembly of their lordships, as also of the States of Holland, to go with all speed into England before the rest. It is left to his choice, whether to embarque himself in the Maese or in Zealand, in a galliot or any other merchantman of warr, least the English seize on her in the way.
They are now very busy to make a thorough reformation in the fleet; and much time and labour there is spent about it. It is said the fleet is already eighty or ninety shipps strong. Within the Vlye and Texell lie five East India ships, and sixteen other men of war; in the Maese four or five. Those ten ships, that came last out of France, are to be added to them; some new ships, that were built by Amsterdam, are likewise to be set out to sea; so that the fleet in one fortnight more will be recruited to 120 ships; and it is also hoped, that the king of Denmark will joyn his biggest and best ships.
Since the sending into England doth now proceed, they do likewise send at the same time to their ambassadour Boreel to treat of an alliance with France; and a French captain named Moire is to carry this order to him.
They do verily believe here, that the English will not insist upon the preliminary points; namely that of reparation and damages, for the damages of this state do amount to a great deal more than what the English have suffered: at least it seems, that such news is signified in private to letters to this government here.
By reson the English fleet doth hinder all manner of trade and navigation for east and north, and especially the herring fishing, it seemeth that the commonalty, who thereby got their livelihoods and subsistance, are much discontented; and it hath been the occasion of a tumult at Enchuysen, where the house of one of the admiralty hath been plundered; and more would have been done, had not the townsmen been in armes. At Horne was the like disposition in the people. Every one thinks, that it was the fault of government of the states, and that there must be a Head or Statholder, non effe regem in Israel.
At Goes in Zealand hath been likewise a tumult; where much outrage hath been committed. The Heer de Witt and the Greffier Ruysch walking abroad to take the air the 24/14th of this month in the morning, there came a certain person, a high Dutchman, who was married to a washerwoman of the queen of Bohemia's, being drunk; he asked the said Heer de Witt, whether he was for the king or parliament. The Heer de Witt answered, that it did not concern him, and so went on, but bade his man, that followed him, to take notice of him, and where he lived. The servant followed him: the drunken fellow and he began to quarell one with the other; the drunkard drew his knife, and the lord's man took up stones, and with three throws stoned him to death. This happened at the same time, that the lords Nieuport and Jongestall departed from the Hague; and this strange accident causeth much discourse.
A letter of intelligence from Hague.
Having looked over my last letter to you by the private post, I mistook the date 14th for 12th. What I wrote to you then was the true state of affairs, as they stood then. All possible speed that may be is used to hasten out our fleet, and when it is altogether, it will be considerable. Nothing will be wanting any way that concerns it both of provisions or materials for war. They will be about 120 fail, some very good ships.
Here is much grumbling and circumvention amongst our grandees, who carry on several interests, and the people are ready to take any impressions for combustions in all places. It hath begun in Enchuysen: the occasion was about beating of drums. They are up in armes and have plundered a lord's house. They will admit of no soldiers in the town from Amsterdam. They have declared for the prince, and set his colours upon the walls of the town. It is expected every hour, when other places will do the like; things are in such a confusion, that a man knows not what to think. Our delays have made the Texell to be fortified, and they be making strong forts in it: besides the 120 men ordered down the last week, there are 200 more sent down, and 500 that are sent to secure the shore all along betwixt the Schiveling and the Texell. 150 more are ordered to the Helder, 100 to the Vlye more. The sense of their confusions hath hasted their other commissioners away without further instructions, for fear their voyage should have been hindred. Now it lies on the Amsterdamers how to carry the business, or else adieu. Their deputies by their Instructions are to apply themselves to such friends, who can advise them, how to make their applicacations; what titles of honour to give; to express an earnest desire for a good understanding; to set forth, that ill instruments intrusted by both were the causes of this war; to get, if possible, a cessation during the time of treaty; to desire all former demands as to satisfaction and security be laid aside, setting forth the great loss of their ships and goods, and loss in want of a free trade, and the impossibility of paying such sums of money without their absolute ruin. They must endeavour to treat for France and Denmark as well as themselves. It is left to them to comply so near as to yield to any thing, that may stand with the welfare of their country and their honour abroad, of which themselves must be judges; for which cause they have plenipotentiary power.
These people think really with themselves, that you will not agree with them upon such terms as they will admit, as they have perfect advice from you, but only upon such terms formerly proposed, which they cannot accept of, neither will they, except necessity forceth them to it. And to provide for the worst, they have sent into France to Boreel to hasten on the union. And having sent a large letter into Denmark with the ratification of the agreement on their part, do desire the conjunction of the Danish fleet with theirs speedily.
The Portugal is highly courted, and promised to be taken into this union; and I am told by a sure friend, that the Portugal ambassador, that is with you, is sent for away. If he goes, then the French agent follows, for they two hunt in couple. Judge what jugglings they have in time of intended treaty with you, in case they cannot get their ends with you.
I am confident, before any of these things can be accomplished, one party here will be inforced to compliance upon any terms with you, and you will hear suddenly of it. 'Tis impossible to quench these flames amongst them.
I pray you, watch narrowly their fleet from the Indies, that comes about. It is supposed, that young Tromp with a fleet of Straits merchants may come through the channel. I shall take all opportunities to send you advice.
If any thing be done on those places below, it must be before this can be with you. The only way now left to end the business, is to cut a ditch or two, and drown the country, and then you will end the business. I cannot but discharge my duty to you to write. Peruse the inclosed letter, and you may know who gives these instructions. I was in such fear, during the time of my writing this letter, of being betray'd, that I must intreat you to pardon the nonsense. I pray write positively what we shall do. I wonder we hear not of the boat sent to you. Make good payment of the 200 l. I charged on you in my last. If you have an opportunity, let it not slip, and put not all to the event of a battle again.
A letter of intelligence from Amsterdam.
Our distractions here amongst ourselves grow very high, Enchuysen having declared for the prince, and have possess'd themselves of the magazines, and have planted guns on their walls, and would not suffer any souldiers to come from this town, they having plundered one of the lord's houses. The prince's flagg is sett on the walls and towers. It is hourly expected, that Horne and Medenblick will do the same. It is now come to that height, that unless Amsterdam make up their business with you, and you with them, I see no way but that they will be swallowed up by the prince's party. There hath been very high differences in the Hague amongst the great ones so far as from words to blows. The princes party begin to carry it on very high. I believe part of the navy, if not all that are in Zealand, will in a short time declare for the prince. Our drummers have been beaten in this town for not declaring for the prince. That was the first pretence of those in Enchuysen.
The best words the lords can have are, that they are traitors, and that by force the prince must go up. The Texel is fortifying, and 500 men sent down thither. Many of the inhabitants of the Vlye have fled from their houses with their goods for fear of you, but now they begin to be something confident, that you will not land, by reason that you had not done it, when you first had beaten our fleet. They have not above 400 foldiers there, and they say you cannot land but you must come within the haven, which they wonder you have not done already, it being so feiseable. Unless you do something on the Texell speedily, I believe it will be difficult. There hath been the best engineer in the land sent down to fortify it. There will bee more soldiers sent down thither.
There are many galliotts sent abroad to advise all shipps to go for Norway or the Sound, and there to lie, till you are gone from these coasts. They expect the ships from the Indies very suddenly. Fourteen of the men of war from the Straits are likewise coming with about twenty merchants. They had order to come round about, but they think it less danger to come thorough the channell, and so for Zealand. You cannot miss a prize; if you look sharply out.
An intercepted letter from lord Craven (fn. 2) to col. Doleman.
By ensign Cone I both wrote and desired him to tell you by word of mouth, as much as will be for your satisfaction, about the advice you gave me after consultation with one of those I desired you to confer withal, it not being sufficient the confidence of any, where liberty, and what else as much to be considered of, is at stake; so that till more particulars be cleared, it will be to no purpose to come to any nearer distance, it being the same for letters, as if we were at Dunkirk. And so soon as these difficulties may be taken away, as I wrote you formerly, there will be, God willing, no time lost of exempting what may be necessary upon the present conjuncture, being very much of your sense for all the rest.
Altho' it be conceived, that the letters I sent you formerly may not prove of any great advantage, yet should I be glad they might be delivered out of hand, that it may not be said, that I have neglected addressing myself to them; and withal I have other considerations for it, as I am now forced to play my game. I desire it may be done by sir Edmund Sayer or Mr. Rushworth, in case you do not find it apropos to do me that favour yourself. That letter, which I sent you to Mr. Strickland, I desire you to give it him yourself with all the speed that may be. His lady hath wrote to him by this post concerning me.
A letter of intelligence from Rochell.
Mr. Richard Hill,
The Dutch fleete, consisting of ninety seven saile, or thereabout, with two convoyes, arrived heere six dayes past. These are the shipps that came with Van Tromp, and passed per the north. About twenty five other shipps, that were heere before, and are laden with aqua vitæ, some vinegar, paper, and wine, have set saile this morneinge in company with four Flushinge free booters for Holland to passe by the north; and with them are three English prizes, the one that was bound from the Canarys to your place; the other is the Ark of Poole, laden with commodities of the place. I hope they will not gett soe cleare home as they conceive; and there will remaine here but the last, that were arrived, and some fifteen more, which are now lading in Cherant, who will bee in St. Martin's Road shortly, if the feare of the English frigotts hinder them not. Yesterday the Nauntz post brought tydeings of Van Trump's defeate, which to morrow we hope will be confirmed. The Lord be praised for it.
The heads of an extract of a letter from the deputies of the States General in Flushing to the States General of the 26 June 1653. [N. S.]
They give account of their proceedings and resolutions, with the advise of the admiral Van Tromp and his officers, how they repaired and were in preparing the impaired shipps; as also reinforcing that of their shipps in several ports. They found thirty to be unservisable against the great army of the English. They also declare, how the commander de Ruyter plainly delivered, he would not return to sea, if the fleet were not reinforced with greater and better shipps; and most of the officers seconded him, alledging, that if the fleet should go out, as now it stands, they should run iminent danger, most of their shipps being rather a charge and trouble to them, than assistance in fight; for the shipps fitt for fighting have enough to do to defend the sluggish shipps, not able to defend themselves, or offend others much. Wherefore—
A letter of intelligence from Ratisbon.
Yours of the 6th June I received, importing the continuance of your quietness there since the dissolution of the parliament; as also the confirmation of your victory against the Dutch, which is now acknowledged in this assembly's court, but not so great yet as you write, but in time it shall be; as also the additional ships of war you mention, too formidable a power for the high and mighty, by yours brought so low already. Indeed your power and resolution make you famous there, and especially the lord general is cried up by all men. But notwithstanding R. C.'s ambassador here, I can assure you, is in great esteem; and were it not for the Spanish ambassador's interposition, he had carried all before him here against you. The said ambassador offers still good conditions to the catholics in their dominions; and the catholics here hearing of the strict perfecution of catholics in Ireland, see no means to help them but by introducing R. C. which I believe the emperor and all the princes of Germany will do tandem, as much as they are able to do; and that you may believe without further intimation. The protestant princes will do the like upon another account, as you had from me before. And R. C. will come hither from Paris, as soon as he can provide monies, as I have it from a good hand here; and he will be received highly, but the empire is yet poor, for all the great shews. Already under hand succours are promised to R. C. before the latter end of July next: how much is not yet determined.
Here is one Harris, an Englishman, employed by the parliament or council of state there, and discovered to be in the nature of a spy. He lies near the Spanish ambassador's house, where none dare touch him, or he had been undone long since. He is unwise not to be gone, for he can do little here, good or harm.
You had before, how the king of the Romans the 18th of this month was crowned in the cathedral church with great pomp. The electors of Mentz, Triers, and Heidelberg were present, but not Cologne, for a dispute he had with Mentz, who should crown the king of the Romans. The elector of Cologne hath right by bulla aurea, which includes, that the first crown of Aquisgrain should be set on by the elector of Cologne; but no elector of Cologne in many years was a priest before this elector; and therefore Mentz crowned, and pleaded for himself at present 170 years prescription in his antecessors, which carried it. Cologne resisted, and departed in anger out of the town, but the emperor sent to him a decree to be quiet, or he would take such resolution in the matter, as should be fitting. The day of the coronation the emperor and king dined, and all the electors, every one having his own table apart in the town house. It was a gallant sight to look upon. The ceremonies continued from nine a clock in the morning till past three in the afternoon, when they came to dinner. The next day after the coronation, the Spanish ambassador invited all the electors and princes, which were in town (except Cologne and the duke of Wirtemberg, who for some difference in precedency with others absented) to dinner. He treated them from twelve a clock at noon till ten at night, in continual action; he caused monies and other things to be cast into the street out of the windows, and made fountains of wine in many tuns. He doth great honour to his king and house of Austria. He hath in livery twelve pages, sixteen lacquies, and twenty four Hussars or soldiers, with the trusses after the Hungarian fashion: his livery is green, and so laid on with silver lace, that scarce the cloth is to be seen. Other princes here give costly and many liveries, but none comparable to this Castel Roderiguez.
The duchess of Bavaria and the duke are come hither this month. Many princes did ride hither in post to see this act of coronation. They cast into the street some four thousand guilders in medals, with this inscription, pro Deo & populo, which he took when he was made king of Hungary; and upon the other side was, Ferdinandus quartus Hungariæ & Bohemiæ rex, coronatus in regem Romanorum 18 Junii, 1653. Some were in gold, and some were in silver. I could send some of them to you, but I fear they might occasion their own and my letters loss in the post. I could get the copies of all papers given in this assembly, and letters to the emperor in their language: to translate them from the language would cost at least 200 crowns, and to copy them would also cost much. To send them to you in Dutch is useless to them that understand it not.
(fn. 3) Monsieur Vautort, the ambassador of France, is near this place, not yet having made his public entrance till his house be in order, and other necessaries. Upon Sunday next his public entrance shall be. His chief errand is to seek the mediation of Cæsar and the empire for a peace betwixt the two crowns of France and Spain. Here is also come from the prince of Condé the marquis of St. Estienne, and is already, by means of the Spanish ambassador, received at court, which discontents much the French.
The Hungarian princes desire to have the war prosecuted against the Turk. It is said, the duke of Newbourg is to marry princess Elizabeth, sister to p. Palatine. He of Poland, that went away so suddenly before, and called to some dignity by his king, is now again here, desiring succours from the emperor and empire for his master, representing the danger it may be to Germany, if the Cossacks ever prevail. His business shall be propounded in the diet, but the demeanor of the Polack during the late Swedish war will now for a while stick in his way, until Cæsar make him a little sensible, what it is to neglect the eagle in such a storm. All men do rejoice at the downfall of the Hollander, enemy to mankind, as the very Germans call them; but your being so strong is not so much at all desired, but rather than Holland. You have no more at this time from,
An intercepted letter, translated out of the Dutch (fn. 4).
Mr. Cornelis and Henry Hillewerwen,
I am sorry I have nothing that is good to advise you. My courage doth fail me. I do now very much fear, that the business will end very ill; for without doubt the ambassador of Spain hath received some particular order from the king his master, that doth make against the interessed. The judges of the admiralty are turned out of their places; the silver is a coming, and particular notice taken of the marks, weight, and fineness. They do likewise report, that they have found some bags or little barrels, wherein were pieces of eight, and some papers, wherein was written, these parcels belong to such and such indifferent places of Holland. My lord is so troubled with these proceedings in the admiralty, that I have not yet spoken with Mr. Vander Put. God comfort the interessed.
A letter of intelligence from Middleburg.
Since my last from Duynkerk I am arived in Walcheren, where I finde tradeing as dead as elsewhere. However I had not only the honor, that I saw Van Tromp, but that he saw mee. Here are allsoe all his vice admiralls, De Witt, De Ruyter, Jan Everson, and Floris. The ships they escaped with were sixty seven in nomber, who ride now betweene Rammekins and Flushing. They will not confesse above eight or nine lost, pretending the rest went for Goree and Texell; yet the more ingenious confesse thirty, which yett they wonder not soe much at, as that any were saved, and sticke not to say, that had they been in place of the English, not one should have escaped; but terrour possessed them soe, that happy was hee, that could gett in first; and as if they had not received hurt enough from theire enemy, some for haste run aground, others on board one of another, and one sawcy captaine broke downe Trump's head, at which the olde man was angry, lookeing upon it as a bad omen. However, they hasten what they can to equippe this fleete out againe; to which end some commissioners from the admiralty of Holland sitt in consultation at Flushing with those of this island. What the result will be, time will shew. In the meane time, three or four ships are patcheing up in the haven, and more to come in; but that which is worst of all, mony seemes to bee scarse, which with the discouragements in the late action, hath made many seamen goe theire wayes, without takeing leave, some takeing the ships boate for theire better accommodation. However, Trump is very busy, and to please both masters and servants is resolved to out againe: happyly haveing beene renowned at sea, his ambition is that shall bee his grave. In my judgement the best of these ships are not to compare with some friggatts yow have in England. What assistance will come from the Mase and Texell is yet uncertaine, though 'tis feared here your fleete will hinder theire comeing out, as allsoe three or four hundred sayle of merchant men bound for the Eastland, who have layen soe long in the Fly, that they have allmost eat themselves out. Though this fleete received not soe much dammage as was supposed, yet they will not bee able to gett out againe in a month's time at soonest. Here is great thoughts of heart for (fn. 5) . . . . . for whose safe passage, though they have sent out dyvers scouts, yet they can not thinke of any place of refuge except by theire friend . . . . (fn. 6), though I hope hee will not be able to protect himselfe ere long. Yesterday came to this towne three ambassadors out of Holland, who with one of this towne tooke shipping for Sluys, and soe for England. 'Tis sayd they goe with overtures of peace, which indeed is desired by the most, except such as live by capering. In the meane time I beleeve a cessation would bee gladly embraced by them for the gentleman's sake abovementioned. Pray pardon mee, that I have soe long digressed from the maine busines, trade, though I could not omitte to imparte unto yow parte of my observations here, where, if tradeing were open, mony might bee gotten; for here comes goods of dyvers sortes, and some such as are not to bee had elsewhere; but it will bee a greate hinderance to us, in case wee have not liberty to bring them in. Notwithstanding the act, when I come to 15, shall write yow farther. In the meane time crave leave, and remaine
P. S. Eight dayes hence is to be a generall muster of all above fifteen yeares through this iland, and all schippers are forbidden the carrieing out any seamen without spessiall warrant from Van Tromp, or his officers. Here are three new shipps lanched, and one on the stocks. At Flushing is allsoe one launched.
A letter of intelligence from the Hague.
Lessrs Nieuport de Hollande & Jongestal de Frise sont partis d'icy le 24 au soir, allants en Zeelande, pour, aveq le Sr Vander Perre, avancer leur voyage. Le Sr Jongestall, grand ami du conte Guiliaume, consequement de la maison d'Orange & de Nassau, n'a pas voulu tarder, ayant l'impression, que le Sr Beverning ne traitast apart avec les Anglois au prejudice de la dite maison. Or ni le Sr Beverning ni les autres n'ont nulle instruction autre que de passer les points preliminaux du 25 Juin 1652, & iis omissis traiter & conclure les 36 articles ainsy & comme les Srs Catz, Schaep, & Perre les ont laissés. Et en cas que les Anglois ne veulent pas desister de ces points preliminaux, ils ont ordre tous de s'en retourner aussy tost. Le Sr Beverning a declaré sur sa foy a divers de la generalité, & des autres provinces, de n'avoir receu pas un mot d'instruction ou ordre particulier de la Hollande contraire à l'ordre de la generalité. Vray est, que la Hollande, ou les estats present fort republicains, inclineroit bien à faire quelque chose a part; mais je doubte fort, si elle oseroit; car la populace est grandement portée à la maison de Nassau & d'Orange, & à prendre un capitaine general. Et en cas que la paix ne se fait point aveq les Anglois, ou que per victoire on ne les abbat, il n'y aura nul eschappatoire; il faudra prendre un capitaine general. Car toute le peuple crie, non est rex in Israel: il nous faut un chef; nous avons trop de maistres: il ne nous faut qu'un.
La force navale, ou le dessein est de 226 navires de guerre. Mais jamais on n'a esté plus fort en corps que de 100 navires. Le reste a esté en convoye vers le Sondt, ou vers & dans la mer Mediterranée, ou dans les havres a calfeutrer, ou defectueux.
On faict tout ce qu'on peut pour faire sortir Tromp derechef le plus fort qu'on pourra; mais le plus sera d'environ cent, y comprins 70 Oost Indie vaerders, deux navires nouvelles basties pour la repub. de Gennes: Item le Rosencrans, deux a trois navires nouvellement basties. Cela (je dis ces 12 a 13 navires) sont toutes navires capitales; car nos admiraux extollent fort la bonté des navires Anglois; & que chaque navire des Anglois (des capitales) valent quatre, voire plus des nostres.
L'on fait faire grand devoir par lettres & par des ministres (& on propose d'envoyer le Sr Keyser) vers le roy de Dennemarck, a sin qu'il preste dix à 12 de ses grands navires: mais le roy ne fera rien plus que ce, à quoy le traité l'oblige; & demandera de l'argent à proportion de demandes nouvelles, & pour l'avantage, que les Anglois ont eu, & pour le bruit que les Anglois voudront visiter le Sondt. Ce roy difficilement prestera ses navires, & craindra les Suedois. Et aussy l'on dit, que grands navires ne singlent pas bien.
Toutefois la victoire, que les Anglois ont eu, on l'impute au vent (qui un autrefois pourra favoriser a nous) & à la grandeur du canon des Anglois tirant plus loing & plus sort; la plus part du canon de Hollande estant de 6 a 12 livres, peu de 18, & presqs nul de 25 livres.
Or nos admiraux ayant chacun des navires capitaux, dont chacun vaut 4 des autres, neantmoins d'ordinaire jettent la faute sur les moindres ou autres capitaines, qui ont de navires, qui ne valent rien, & puis quand l'estat leur consigne les capitaines accusés entre les mains pour en faire justice, ils n'en font rien. Car ce n'est pas asses d'accuser; il faut le prouver; & ces admiraux ont beau accuser les autres: ils se tiennent clos les uns pres les autres, ayant chacun un bon navire comme un Chastéau.
A Goes en Zeelande on a changé le magistrat un peu par tumulte & contre l'ordre, en ostant tels, qui estoient Rebublicans. & y en mettant tels qui estoient for the prince of Orange. Tels & semblablés tumultes seront suscités en divers lieux, voire presque par tout, a fin de restablir le prince of Orange.
Bisdommer to Beverning the Dutch ambassador in England.
I Wish your lordship's safe arrival at London from the bottom of my heart; and although I was ordered not to write, till your honour had first sent your letters to me, which order I was willing to observe; but my lord Pensionary de Witt thought fit and commanded me to write to you forthwith, which I conceive will not be ill taken by your honour.
P. S. I doubt not but your honour understood before you set sail from hence the insurrection, that had happenend at Enchuysen; the plundering of the house of the Heer William Williams, one of the admiralty council there. Since it hath happened, that a guard of soldiers was sent to Enchuysen by the lords of Amsterdam, and some of them being entered into the foretown, but being discovered, were turned back, and driven out again by the townsmen with the loss of six slain. And afterwards when there came more soldiers by water in vessels, the townsmen discharged their ordnance at them, so that the skipper, ship, and men did very narrowly escape with their lives.
In the town of Tergoes hath happened the like commotion, in such wise, that the townsmen by their own authority did depose their ordinary magistrates, and constituted some of their own choosing; amongst whom one is said to be a cobler; and besides they went and hung out the prince of Orange's flag on top of the steeples.
An intercepted letter to lieut. col. Doleman.
I Make no question but you have received such propositions from our ambassadors, that if there be any religion left in England you must agree; for Holland desires it with all their souls. If they will not believe it, they will find, they will meet with a very hard party with them and their consederates to deal withal.