A Collection of the State Papers of John Thurloe, Volume 1, 1638-1653. Originally published by Fletcher Gyles, London, 1742.
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August (1 of 5)
High and mighty,
The 8th current in the morning, the wind being west south west, and after the sun being obscured, I went to my ship, and at four a clock in the evening I set sail with twenty seven ships of men and four fire ships, At nine a clock in the morning the wind being very high, and the weather tempestuous and rainy, I gave notice to the lord admiral Van Tromp with a galeot, that we had gone from Texell the night before with twenty seven ships of war and four fire-ships, having wind south-west of us. Alost four leagues off us, and the sun being southwest, we discovered most of us the lord Van Tromp with the fleet of the country, and also the fleet of England; and we steered our course to our army. In the evening we received near the lord lieutenant admiral Van Tromp, who was steering eighty ships of war and five fire-ships, with some merchants vessels. When we arrived there the English fleet was about half a mile from us in the west of our fleet, and we endeavoured by all means to come towards them. The 10th of this month, the wind being fouth west in the morning, and the sun being east, the enemies fleet, which was about half a league from us, turned against us in a quarter of an hour, after which we entred into a hot fight. In the first attack the most part of our ships passed above the wind of the enemies, and with the rest under the wind. After we turned several times to the body of our army. I did discover towards the south, that the captain de Haes and captain Warmont had their foremasts shot off, and likewise the commander Ewert Anthonissen and several others very much tom, and render'd useless for the present service. I charged captain George Block and captain Hilbrand Jenensen to take care of the ships of captain John de Haes and captain William Arentssen Warmont, and to save the men. We found out at that time, with great resentment, the old course of divers captains, which retired themselves out of the reach of the enemy's canon. If they had been hanged for doing the like before, they had not now again done this. I did conceave, that the foremast of the vice-admiral John Evertsson, so far as I could judge, could not stand long. We did likewise understand to our great grief, that the lord admiral Van Tromp, wounded by a musket shot, dyed thereof. The commander de Ruyter, who was torn to pieces, is a towing to the entrance of Goree. We do not see the vice admiral Eversson, so that believe he is either sunk or taken by the enemies. Because divers of our ships were at a good distance from the enemies windward off us, I thought fit, by reason we could not get the wind from the enemy, to temporize and retire. Afterwards we shewed our sides again to the enemies near the south-west; and an hour after there were divers of the said ships of ours and some more of our ships a great distance from us, all in a line, which were gone before out of petulancy under full sayle to get further from us, and to avoid the enemy, least he should offend them. I made several shots towards them to oblige them to return, and not to run away; but they continued fearful and disobedient, and employed their whole strength to escape, as well from us, as from the enemies. In the mean time myself, the commander Peter Floris, and some other captains of the rear of our body, were about the ship of the deceased lord admiral Van Tromp, and the enemy with all his power did charge our rear; but we so defended, that only one of our ships was in danger, and that was the vice-admiral of the night watch, which was ready to sink. We directed our course to the north-east, and about the midnight the enemies quitted us. Afterwards convenient signs being made, we found that about twelve or fourteen shipes of war of ours were wanting, although I could not well tell those, that were present; and amongst them the vice-admiral John Evertss, captain de Hues, captain Willian Arentssen Warmont, and the said vice-admiral of the night watch. We have seen likewise two or three fire-ships burning near the enemies fleet. I hope they have done their work, but I could not perfectly see it from the fury of the fight.
The 11th in the morning we found ourselves before the Wyck, the wind being southwest, and the seas very rough. The foremast and sail of captain Roland, which was shattered in the fight, fell in the morning into the ship; and I gave order, that he should be tow'd after. We saw towards the north-west thirty six ships, distant from us above two leagues, who the night before had run away without orders, to escape the enemies, amongst which the ship Breda is one; and they were not slow in sailing to avoid being near us or the enemy. There was likewise with them the Count William, a flute of Friseland, the frigat the Block, the Garland of Holland, a new ship called the Peartree, the Whale, a new ship called the Blue Eagle, the house of Nassau, the Gul, the Moore, the ship of Huytkens, the captain Hilderbrand Jewenen, the captain Giles Thiscampen; and I believe there were a dozen more, whose names are unknown to me. And if search shall be made to know perfectly, which have stayed and stood to the enemies, it should be easily discerned by the ships and sails, which in my opinion is the way to find out the truth.
I have sent a galleot towards the Texel, that they might send to us pilots for our ships, which necessarily must enter. I have also written a short letter to your mighty highnesses before this concerning our last encounter. We have now upon our ship the Liberty four dead and twenty wounded. Concerning the condition of the enemy, he is strong ninety ships of war, and twenty six other vessels for ammunition and victuals.
High and mighty lords, the reasons and motives, which moved and caused me to enter in hither so hastily with all our body into the Texel are, that upon the one side there are divers of our ships very ill treated, and at the present not serviceable; and upon the other side, that there are so many cowards, who might endanger our body, and who are not to be trusted any more, since that in the fight they left the honest and valiant men in necessity and danger. I hope your mighty highnesses shall receive due satisfaction therefore. From aboard the Liberty before the Helder the 11th of Aug. 1653.
Answer of the council of state to the Dutch deputies in England.
The council of state, upon the paper of the deputies of the States General of the United Provinces touching the prisoners, do return this answer, that although they have been informed both by the parties themselves, and several others, (many of which informations are in writing, and remain before the council,) that the prisoners taken by the ships of the United Provinces, either upon men of war or merchantmen, were made to endure a very hard and miserable imprisonment, some of them in irons, and otherwise compelled to undergo much hardship, as well at land as sea; yet the state hath not been at any time provoked to any returns of that nature, but, on the contrary have constantly given orders to the officers to provide for them in all this, according to their several qualities and necessities. puting them under no further restraint or imprisonment, than was necessary to prevent their escape; in which particular they were not so strictly looked to, but that a great number of them got away, besides very many both officers and common mariners, who had liberty given them freely to return, and money to bear their charges home, without so much as exchanges for them; and for those, who were sent into quarters far remote, the number of them, and the contagion, which was among them, did necessitate thereunto, and was done for their conveniencies, as well in respect of lodging, as preserving them from sickness and diseases; neither does the council know, that any of them are transported upon other ships against their wills, and are very certain, that none of them are put into or made to serve in any of the ships of war. And as concerning the release of the prisoners on both sides, it is more agreeable to reason and to the general practice observed in the like cases, that the release be by way of exchange, according to their respective qualities, rather than as is propounded by the said lords deputies; and therefore as the council gave orders to the generals at sea to observe that course, so they are willing, that the same be now settled and agreed upon; and in the mean time, that prisoners on both sides be well used, as prisoners of war ought to be by all civil nations.
An intercepted letter.
Our news here is, the commissioners of the States General have taken leave, and the general and Nieuport wept at their parting. The parliament begin to take upon them; and though summoned in an extraordinary way by Cromwell, pretend their immediate power from the Lord (and the pope pretends to no more) and are as little pleasing to Cromwell as the former. It is composed of a great party of anabaptists, who do not well agree amongst themselves, but are very much divided. Lambert is retired to his house in the country. The soldiers begin to be unruly; the women begin to preach. I shall endeavour to serve my friend to my power, and I want a cypher extremely. I would gladly hear of your removal, and other pleasing news from thence.
An intercepted letter of sir Walter Vane to sir Robert Stone.
I Continue still at Fairlane, which is the reason I cannot give you any great news in return of yours. I am glad all things are so well appeased amongst you, though here it is severally reported, the Dutch deputies have not done much yet, but now shortly we shall see, whither this business will tend. Sir Oliver Flemming and Mr. Doleman do give me great hopes, that all will do well. Many others in a manner despair of a peace. I have put off my journey till I see an end of the treaty. I am glad we are like to see you here again; for I believe the diversion, where you are, is but small. I am sorry our nation uses the Dutch so ill.
A memorandum of some points of importance, which the underwrit commissioners of their high and mighty lordships during their abode in England, have treated upon and observed;
The 10th of July 1653, early in the morning there came a certain gentleman of condition into the chamber of the lord of Nieuport, and did make known to him at large, and as he believes after foregoing communication, he spoke as coming from Cromwell himself, that the intention of the council of state was not to continue precisely upon the points of satisfaction and security, who had urged the same the day before in their memorandum, which they had given for an answer; but that they for satisfaction of the first (whilst there was declared on the behalf of their high and mighty lordships, that they never had any intention to cause any affront, dammage, or injury to be done to the commonwealth of England by their fleet or arms) the lord admiral Tromp as the cause of or occasion of all these troubles (whether it happened either through malice, or abuse, or mischance) ought to have been punished for it with some disgrace, either by suspending of him for some months or otherwise, which might have been taken off afterwards, and in case of a final conclusion between both sides, he might have been remitted again and connived at. And concerning the second, that they must give with a formal and full treaty mutual security to one another, and consider of such means, which might contribute to both sides the desired peace and quietness, which should serve thereunto as a form of project; that they on both sides should admit in the government two or three lords viz. of the English in the assembly of the lords states general, or the council of state; and of the Netherland provinces in the council of England. And that those two points to the content of both parties being adjusted and agreed on, there would come to be little or no difficulty at all made in the thirty six articles; yea not about the navigation to the Caribbe Islands, the herring-fishing, and many of the like points more; yea that they presently after, at least within few days, might come to a cessation of arms, to keep the fleet from action; which being communicated to us by the lord Nieuport, together with the reasons, which he had used to the said gentleman by way of discourse upon the subject of such a proposition, we were also of opinion, that it was very well considered of by the lord Nieuport, that the lord admiral Tromp was the head of the fleet of their high and mighty lordships, and beloved by the seamen, and well respected and of great credit amongst them; and to take him now from amongst them, whilst the English forces lay now before the sea-ports of our state, that thereby the fleet of their high and mighty lordships would be put quite out of order and posture, in lieu of setting it forth to sea again, which was very much endeavoured; but if the council of state here would cause their fleet to withdraw from thence toward their own coasts, and afterwards agree upon a cessation of arms, that they then could give some hopes of it; and the rather in case that business might be set down amongst the other chief points, and so be agreed at one and the same time. And to the second, that the constitution of the government on both sides would not suffer that, but that there might be expedients found; and that two or three commissioners of both sides or more might be appointed to hold a mutual correspondence, and the deciding of differences, that may happen. Furthermore we did also take notice, that we had no order to treat upon such a project or proposition, but we did think with ourselves, by reason of the importance of the business, which did seem to point out a way unto us to a perfect issue and final success of the whole business, we did not think we ought to reject such propositions coming from so good a hand, which we ourselves had endeavoured to support from the beginning with all fair means. Whereupon we managed the business so, that their high and mighty lordships having the business before them, might have sent us their resolution at any time; and so declining to give an answer to the last point, to communicate to the said gentleman our considerations, as they were formerly put, upon the first point, with order and desire, that he would found the general upon them, and advise us afterwards, how he should find him to like of them.
The 11th of July we understood by the said gentleman, that he could not get an opportunity the whole day before to speak with the general; for he was private, as he thought, with two others, lord Lambert and Harrison, and afterwards was busy in the council the rest of the time, and for certain, as men did believe, upon the subject of our negotiation; but he meeting with him then, the general made many and several difficulties and scruples upon the said subject, so that he seemed to be quite of another opinion than before; saying amongst the rest, that the council could not find any security in a treaty with their high and mighty lordships; that the humours and spirits of many of the governors in the Netherlands were against this commonwealth; that we now through necessity did seek them to keep the treaty no longer, till such time as we should be grown stronger, and might be allied with others; whereof all along much cause of jealousy hath been given; so that the two abovementioned propositions, as not sufficient enough, seem to be laid aside; whereupon we resolved to send to his excellency the letter, which stands inserted in the verbal under No. 17; and furthermore did proceed publickly as in the same verbal, and continued underhand the said gentleman in his offices and endeavours by the general, with uncertain and unconstant success, but always upon hope; and as we were often told not long since, that with the furnishing of the two said preliminary points, the whole work would be soon after made an end of; but we have had the misfortune not to advance any further. This was drawn up by us jointly, and subscribed to the end aforesaid the 2/12th of August, 1653.
Memorandum of the Dutch deputies in England.
In general we do find and observe, in order to the present constitution of the government of England, that the militia under the common conduct of the lord general Cromwell, and the major generals Lambert and Harrison, having taken upon them the direction of all the affairs have dissolved the last parliament and council of state, laid aside the judges of the admiralty, and changed several other rules of justice and policy; and by provision for a small time have caused the supreme government of the nation to be represented by a new council of state, composed of these thirteen following persons; general Cromwell, major generals Lambert, Harrison, and Disbrowe, colonels Thomlinson, Bennet, Sydenham, and Stapely; Mr. Strickland, Mr. Cary, Mr. Moyer, and sir Gilbert Pickering. And in the mean time by the direction and the name of the lord general Cromwell against the 4/14 July 1653, they have summoned a new representative of an hundred and twenty English, five Scotch, and five Irish commissioners, out of the respective counties and a few towns, who upon the letter of the said general, after a foregoing communication with the ministers of the independant party, which are spread through all England under the name of the gathered churches, and do keep a mutual correspondence, were chosen, and have appeared here. And the said commissioners appearing here at the time and place as appointed by act under hand and seal of the lord general Cromwell, with the advice of his officers, in the chambers of the council of state at Whitehall, were invested with the supreme power of the government of these countries till the 4th of November 1654; who then by virtue thereof did take upon them the supreme government, and by a publick printed declaration did declare the same to the whole world. They at their first sitting in the same room where the former parliament sat at Westminster, did desire the lord general Cromwell, major general Lambert, Harrison, Disbrowe, and colonel Thomlinson to sit with them in their assemblies. Afterwards they took upon them the title of a parliament of England, and referred to the general and the council of state to nominate seventeen persons more to be added to the council; so that they are now thirty in all in number. That the said militia, as they are in present service and pay in England, Scotland, and Ireland, doth amount to the number of eighty thousand men, horse and foot, who receive great pay all of them as before, a horseman 2½ English shillings per diem, and a footman a shilling, and are constantly paid; and that the stregth of their fleet at sea doth consist in 204 ships, all of them extraordinary well mounted and armed, and hitherto well payed. That for the maintenance of the said militia by land and water, besides all their excise and customs, they do raise a monthly tax, which is precisely paid, of one hundred and twenty thousand pound sterling. That amongst the officers of the militia, and under the soldiers themselves, are held divers opinions in some points of religion and church discipline, consisting for most part in those who are called independents, and in the anabaptists, who are said to hold major general Harrison for their head; but whether he is not in the mean time of the same understanding and intelligence with the lord general, is doubted by many; at least it is not to be affirmed with certainty. As also on the other side the power and authority of the government doth remain together in the hands of the militia, and who are most such as are called anabaptists, and are men no ways inclined to an accommodation with the state of their high and mighty lordships.
'Tis also the opinion of the furthest seeing and understanding in the affairs of this state, that not only this militia, but the most part of those, who are in this nation of any consideration, must maintain through their own interest this present government, or at least not endeavour to make any notable alteration. That the militia is bound thereunto, not only in regard of the supreme power, which they will keep in their hands, but also in regard of the lands, houses, and other goods, which are assigned to them in lieu of their pay, recompense, and otherwise, which they could not maintain, if any alteration should happen; as also other great persons have bought several estates of confiscated lands, both temporal and spiritual; others have estates given them; so that these are necessitated to maintain them, and that for their own interest. Therefore they will do all that they can to maintain this government, which hath either sold it, bought, or given it them, from such, who formerly sided with the king. As to foreign affairs, and of the negotiation of outlandish ministers residing here, we are informed, that the lord resident of Sweden, under pretence of mediating between both states, hath made quite other propositions to this state, wherein their high and mighty lordships may be highly interested. That the ambassador of Spain, at least five or six months ago, did make an overture to the parliament then sitting, to break jointly against the state of their high and mighty lordships.
That the offices of the ambassador of Portugal here are not such, that their high and mighty lordships need to give thanks from thence, or to be secure. That treaty with France, in the time of the late parliament, was very far proceeded in. That France, Sweden, Spain, Portugal, Venice, did first send and acknowledge this a commonwealth. That Spain hath offered to lend to the government the silver, that is made stop of here, amounting to about three millions of guilders, without any interest, for two years; that so they may have it again then, and in the mean time continue in peace with this nation. And that Portugal at the same time hath promised to pay to this state 150000 pound sterl. whereof part is already paid, besides the satisfaction he is to give to the merchants.
The admiralty of Amsterdam to the States General.
High and mighty lords,
We have not yet any full particulars of the last hot dispute between the fleets of this state and that of England, but we are just now summarily informed by capt. de Bitter, whose ship being set forth by the East India company here was sunk that the enemy did forsake these coasts between Sunday and Monday at night; and their ships were so handled, that they will stand in need of a good deal of time to put themselves in a posture again; whereby we can judge no otherwise, but that we have fought with reputation, and that we have suffered the least damage on our side, and might have maintained to have kept the sea, in case our chief commanders of our fleet after the death of admiral Tromp had not soon, or rather had not been necessitated to have put into the Texell to repair their damaged ships. But though this be so, since we have found it to be true, we could not omit humbly to put your high and mighty lordships in mind, whether you would not advise and be convenient to make known by undeniable signs, that the English were driven from these coasts, and the sea-ports freed from being stopt up by them, that some of the least damnified ships, of what quarter or place soever they may be, or under whom they may resort, be forthwith sent to sea with the first fair wind, to convoy the Eastlandmen for the Sound, and to convoy back again from thence the merchantmen, which undoubtedly lie waiting there for convoy, in whose company likewise might go all merchantmen bound for Norway or the West. And in their return home to these countries. they may likewise further, if your high and mighty lordships think fit, the men of war of the king of Denmark, that should serve for the relief of this state, to be serviceable in the next engagement; and in case this proposition be agreeable unto your lordships, be pleased to order by an express the colleges of the admiralty in the north parts and in Friesland, to send forth with all speed their Eastland men to the Flag, as we shall this day give notice thereof; believing that those ships that lie ready at the Texell, are already gone to sea without staying for any convoy; and hereupon by the bearer hereof, if it be possible, do expect yet before to-morrow noon your high and mighty lordships answer: herewith,
High and mighty lordships,
in Amsterdam, 12 Aug. 1653. [N. S.]
The Muscovy merchants do likewise herewith desire, that two ships may be granted them for their ships that lie ready bound for Muscovy; which is left to your high and mighty lordships to dispose of, as you shall think fit.
An intercepted letter.
Since yours of June 29th, I never receaved any from you, which though I did by the post following returne an answer too, yet I am so good natured, and so desirous to heare often from you, that I doe anew provoake you by this enquiry, both after your owne health, and the rest of our freinds.
Since the reducing of Bourdeaux, which is now so old newes, as that I am confident you will find the particulars more fullie expressed then I can tell them yow, in the diurnal, here is little of newes. Both armies are within twentie leagues of this towne; but as yet little action has bein betwixt them. The prince, its beleaved, will pres to engage; but marshall Tureen will avoide it, untill, such time as the forces, that were employed about Bourdeaux, does come up and joyne with him, (who now are upon their march) because the Spanish army is more at present in number then the French. Comend me heartilie to all freinds, and beleave me constantly,
An intercepted letter about the princess royal and duke of Gloucester.
There is none in the world more highly values the favour of kissing your fair hand, than myself; and accordingly my esteem of it in this day's receipt of your lines is to be accounted; yet pardon me to say, that instead of telling you so now, and presenting the many thanks they challenge, I could here begin to cry, shame take you, notwithstanding the excuse you vouchsafe to make. For seriously I could not imagine you received my last, and would thus long have denied to give, what I had so much incouragement to hope for. Yourself therefore could think no less, than that mine miscarried. This preamble you will think might better have been waved than given; but my end is to let you know, how far I have been and am from forgetting what I owe to your most obliging self, and how my desire more frequently to express it (the best way of payment I have) hath been prevented.
I am glad to hear of your own and friend's health, next that to a great belly, it is the best you can give, and is as welcome to me, as any state affairs. The like I return you of my master and all you know related to him; but you will not think this sufficient; and therefore I shall farther tell you, that he hath wanted nothing, which might afford him the pleasure and happiness of his own wishes for himself ever since his first arrival at the Hague, when for two months his sister and he conversed with as much mutual love and joy, as I think ever such relations did; so as his parting from her was with great passion of sorrow in both, though with hopes of being together e'er this; and we could not but join with them, they having settled a very noble allowance on him and us. Yet on our parts this was soon allayed by the very pleasant travelling we had near a fortnight together thence to Paris; and there again with what great joy was celebrated the interview of my master and his other near relations: and this was used with much variety of pleasure, till these two last days, by some distemper of body the king lies under. Yet before I end this letter, I must let you know, I am most willing to observe your commands in a frequent discharge of any service I can do this way; but cannot tell at present, how to make use of the conveyance you mention, for I am ignorant where the French ambassador lieth, and how to send in any of his packets hence. If you please to give more full directions concerning both, I shall improve them the best I can to serve you. Only I must further desire your name may be always subscribed, as it was in this last; and if conveniently you can, command some other hand to superscribe,
A letter of intelligence from Holland.
I have yours of the 22d
ult. and am sorry I could gett none more of that commoditie you
desier. I was in hopes, I had sent sufficient to supply the merket for the present, though
I have employed severall brokers to procure more, especially at the Hague, and have
bidden high for it, soe that I doubt not by the next conveyance to send you more, hopeing
wee shall have the seas freer then they have beene; for admirall Tromp was seene this morning of Sandford neere Harlem with eighty five ships, bending his course towards Texell,
where 'tis hoped hee will joyne with De Witte, (who is about thirty six sayle good ships)
notwithstanding the English, who 'tis hoped will not bee able to engage them, beeing blustering wether. However they goe now resolved to fight, boardeing and destroying of mastes
being theire chiefe ayme; and for the better encouragement of the seamen, the states have
promised (besides what they take) those that take the English cheife admirall 10000 guilders,
other admiralls 5000, and for other greate ships 2500, and to such as take downe the admiral's flag 1000 guilders, vice-admirall 500, rere admirall 250, and soe pro rato for the rest;
but hee that shall flinche from his coullers without leave, to be punished with death: all
which, with a lusty cup of theire animateing liquor, may doe much. If wee prove not victorious this boute, some will goe neere to follow the councell of Job's wyfe. Some say
our commissioners are comeing home againe re infectâ; though wee hope better things. In
the meane time (being sent for) the young prince is come to the Hage with his mother,
whom to congratulate the young frey were in armes after theire fashion, and broke downe the
windowes of those, that offer'd to oppose them. If noe agreement bee made in England,
'tis thought the states will hugge the young babe, and make him theire generall; but 'tis
absolutely thought by some, that Tromp was sent out meerely to be sacrificed to the English, feareing he might stand in theire way, in case they should make such an agreement
with the English, as might not stand with the interest of the prince. The king is suddenly
expected at Breda, to whom tis probable lieut. gen. Midleton will make a heavy complaynt
against the admiralty at Rotterdam, for ceizeing and selling a quantity of powder and armes,
which hee had there shipt for Scottland. I have sent one to Texell, to see if any commodities
may bee had there for our turne, and may happyly goe my selfe to the Hague, if I heare
not from my my friend, who hath promised to get me a li s t, for that
commoditie is not to bee had here. Young Tromp is much longed for here, who they say
is forty sayle, and may probably come through the channell, there being noe English ships
to obstruct his passage. Though there be noe certaintie, yet 'tis supposed the East India ships
are in some safe harbour in Norway. That the cittie of Bordeaux is to be surrendered, is
much rejoyc'd at here, as alsoe that the Sweedes agent is gone from London with distaste,
which is written from Brussells, though the truth of it be questioned. If our fleete should
be foyled this boute too, wee shall be in a miserable condition, for such another will not be
sett out againe in hast. Fine hollands may bee had at a reasonable rate. If that or any
thing else may prove advantageous, pray write, and your order shall bee obeyed by
15 8/8 53.
The close of a letter to Jongestall, the Dutch deputy in England; Aug. 4, 1653.
Pray when you have read this letter, burn it. I doubt not but what I write will be well managed by you, and pray remember what I writ to you in my last. Do not trust those your fellow commissioners of Holland; they are crafty knaves. I pray have a care of yourself, what you speak when you are in discourse with them. When you write to me, direct your letter to our friend at the Hague, that liveth by the town-house.
Letter of intelligence.
All yours I have received, the last being of the 25th last month. Now your very enemies here are convinced you are victorious, and block up the Texell, and other ports of Holland, and his excellency Cromwell is no small man in this great court. Yet some do brag much, and threaten the English with the great preparations they are now a making ready to repel you from their coasts, and a battle is shortly expected in order to it. They write from Holland of mighty preparations, and the great number of the ships a making ready; and that you have no armies in England, and many other histories against the honour and valour of the English; and that France and Holland are to make a league against England; and that their deputies demand high conditions from you; and that the States General have sent orders they should return home presently; and that through their own disunion at home the English hitherto gained all the advantage they had got, but that now they are all united; and for the prince of Orange, they will pay you. Much of this stuff they heap hither by letters from Holland, but all not believed they write. Some write further, that they were to send an ambassador extraordinary to the imperial diet against yours, but it is not confirmed.
The ambassador extraordinary of Poland is gone away, as you had formerly, with a great deal of disgust against the Germans generally. That kingdom is much afflicted and depopulated by the plague. God remove his wrath. R. Carolus's ambassador Wilmot was also to depart with small contentment; but making further application to the emperor and other princes since the Polish departed, he is encouraged to stay a little longer, and to make another application to the diet; and for his assistance the emperor promiseth fairly; so do others; the Spaniard is only feared underhand to give opposition as hitherto; and this court is much ruled that way; for they consider here, what will England and Holland do, or what league shall be betwixt Holland and France, or England and Spain, and willingly part not with monies. However, R. Carolus's business will be again next week put to the assembly; what success it shall have, you shall know. In case the business shall not take, I know that to the value of about 12,000 pounds sterl. will be given to Wilmot; besides some jewels will be presented to R. Carolus, which will be even so a saving voyage, and an honourable dismiss, which is enough for R. Carolus and his ambassador from the empire for ought I know at this time. Within two posts you shall have the certainty it may be. The empress was crowned here the 4th of this month, as formerly you had, with extraordinary great pomp and magnificence. The emperor, the king of the Romans, the empress, and their court go to morrow to the duke of Bavaria's, the sixteenth of this month, but will return within fourteen days. The duke of Bavaria, his mother, the emperor's fister, and that court comes to receive them some miles from Monaco; they go with little train, as about 400 persons in all.
The duke of Newburg is to marry Hesse Darmstadt's daughter. She is to become a
Roman-catholic. The said Hesse is gone from hence homewards, and the duke will follow
him this week, and many more. The duke of Wirtemberg will depart the next week, and
many other princes. The elector of Mentz is to go to the hot baths of Saltzburgh for
twelve days, and after he is to return hither, and attend the affairs of the diet. The emperor, as is said, will go for Vienna the last of September next, which hastens the diet to expedite all the affairs of the empire. Here are some other particulars impertinent for you
or yours, which I will not give the trouble of to you or myself. When there shall be any
of concernment, you shall not be failed by,
Boreel, the Dutch ambassador in France, to the Dutch deputies at London.
I Proposed in my letters of the 24th of July to their high and mighty lordships, and did desire of them to know, how I should behave myself concerning the correspondence to be held with your lordships, for several reasons, which I added withal at that time. Whereupon they sent me an act of their secret resolution of the 4th of Aug. whereby their high and mighty lordships did signify unto me, that they thought fit, that during your lordships stay at London, that I should keep with your lordships a near and constant correspondence concerning the affairs of this kingdom, and those of that nation, where you are, and chiefly concerning the respective treaties. My treating here doth not only stand in good likelihood, but in terms, that upon all occasions I can make an end thereof, according to my secret resolutions of the 5th of June. Men look here what your lordships will be able to do to regulate this alliance with yours proportionally.
They have better content now in this court here, by reason of the communication your high and mighty lordships have begun to hold with mons. de Neufville, your lordships being ordered to communicate in full confidence with said Neufville there, and I with the king's council here.
Formerly when Catz, Schaep, and Vande Perre were at London, many of my letters were lost. Therefore I shall desire you to address your letters under cover of these persons at Paris, whose names I will here set down.
Letter of intelligence.
Since Middleton's landing, the enemy goe on with theire randevouz, which will bee about Straight Spey 10 or 11 instant. They give out (to incourage the country) that Middleton hath 3500 foot, and 500 horss; but the people knowe the contrary. There was besides captain Johnston, who was killed before Blaire-castle, one captain Scott shott in the back, not likely to recover, and lieutenant col. Erwin's horss killed under him. The enemie doe rather deminish then encrease. Very many through dislike either of theire quarters or service, doe runn from them. An order is issued forth, if any goe downe to the Lowlands without a partie, they are to bee brought back, and suffer for it. The Lowland men would faine bee att home; the Highlanders are so barbarous towards them, that if they catch any Lowland men apart from the rest, they presently take all from them. Atholl and Forbes are yett in Glanlyon, but they are forced to move every night. A partie of horss from St. Johnston's on Tewsdaie tooke a sargeant, and another of his men. The mayne body of theire force is yett in Bagenoth. Middleton is gone towards the lord Rey's bounds.
Bordeaux, the French ambassador in England, to Brienne, secretary of state in France.
Ces commissaires, soit par un principe de vanité, ou par ce qu'en effet il paroit fort peu d'entre eux, qui aient jamais eu le moindre connoissance des traitez de paix, me pressent de leur presenter le traité tout fait, pour le faire examiner en particulier.—Sur ce fondement j'ay fait un extrait du traité de 1606, & de tous les articles, qui regardent la liberté du commerce contenus dans ceux de 1610, & autres faits jusques en 1632, qui me serviront de modele pour celui, dont il s'agit maintenant.
— Leur grande prosperité, dont la nouvelle arriva hier au matin, les rendra bien fermes dans la condition, qu'ils pretendent des deux republiques [d'Angleterre & d'Hollande.] Les deputez d'Hollande m'ont dit, que ce conseil venoit de leur envoier un ecrit, dans lequel il insistoit toujours à l'incorporation, & qu'il n'avoient point pouvoir de leurs maitres d'accorder une proposition semblable.
A letter of intelligence from Amsterdam, 15 Aug. 1653. [N.S.]
There hath been a great dispute between the deputies of the States General and those of the admiralty at Amsterdam; for the said deputies have suspended the captains accused for neglect of their charge, and have put other commanders in their room. Those of the admiralty say, that that belongs to the charge of the admiralty, and that the deputies have put their sickle into another man's harvest, and therefore they will not communicate with the said deputies; and the deputies will retire themselves from thence. The admiralty notwithstanding doth use great diligence for to repair their fleet, but if the English return again before the Texell, that will be a great hindrance to them.
Beverning the Dutch deputy in England to the states of Holland and West-Friesland.
High and mighty lords,
My lords, The lord of Nieuport went from hence yesterday at noon, to make unto your lordships a full and pertinent report of our treaties and entertainment here; as also of the reasons, why we did judge it convenient for the service of our country, to separate ourselves after this manner; and I shall expect your lordships further intention and resolution for me precisely to regulate myself accordingly. I refer myself likewise to the said lord concerning the sad news of such a considerable defeat given to our fleet, as is divulged here; only I shall add this withal, that all the bad and ill reports do diminish and lessen from day to day; and the loss of forty ships, as was given out at the first, is now come to twenty and less. God give, that they may have sung triumph before the victory, and that it light upon their own heads, that which they wish and rejoice to have befallen us. They are very busy here at present to equip and set forth more ships with all speed, and to press great store of men; which doth make us to believe, that they have had no great advantage over us, and that they have no cause to rejoice. Besides that which makes us believe this the more is, because it is confidently reported here, that there was heard yesterday morning cruel shooting. I humbly desire I may be advised with all speed of what hath past between both fleets. In the mean time, according to my duty praying to almighty God, I rest,
I stayed till it was very late, before I sealed up my letter, in hopes of some further news, and am now certainly informed, that general Monck doth advise the council in his letter, which came to the council to night by an express, that he had lost two ships, seven captains, and three hundred mariners, besides seven hundred wounded, and that he had not one of our ships, but had saved the men, and had a thousand of them prisoners; but I do not hear, how he came by them, or what is become of the ships. Indeed here are some, who say he sunk and fired what he took.
Beverning, the Dutch deputy in England, to his sister.
I Writ in my last, that you should write no more; that I was coming away; but now I am resolved to stay here a while longer, and therefore pray write to me every week concerning your domestic affairs. I have bought you some silk stockings and other toys, which shall be sent you by an English gentleman, who is going for Holland next week, to whom I do intend to deliver them. He speaks good Dutch. Pray use him civilly, but make no entertainment for him, for that is not the fashion.
Beverning to Gerard Cincq, receiver of the public revenue in the quarter of Gouda.
As concerning my coming home, there is now no certainty at all, when I shall come. Yesterday the lords Nieuport and Jongestall went from hence towards Holland by the way of Flanders, to demonstrate unto the states, how businesses stand here; and upon their answer I shall see how I shall have to govern myself. It may be, that I may follow very suddenly, and be at home a fortnight hence; and it may be I may stay here all this winter; and this latter I fear the most. By the next I may have to advise you further in it, how I shall dispose of myself.
Vande Perre the Dutch deputy in England to mynheer Van Hooghe.
The lords of Nieuport and Jongestall went from hence yesterday, to make report to their high and mighty lordships, and it was thought fit for divers important reasons and considerations, that my lord Beverning and I should remain here; but what their high and mighty lordships will conclude upon it, after they have been informed how the affairs stand by them, I should be glad to understand by you. All worldly affaires, that are handled amongst men, have their particular events; but those that have happened between this and our commonwealth, I never met with the like in my opinion. God Almighty endue our governors with wisdom, and prudence, and good conduct in these troublesome constitutions of times.
An intercepted letter.
Yours of the 29th of July I have received with no smale admiration, that you write you had not received one of mine for at least two monthes before; whereas, as I am a christian, I have not omitted to write to you every weeke, and most what by two conveyances these four monthes; nor did I commit my letters to the uncertaintie of a porter, but went with them myselfe to the post-house; so that I know the miscarriage must be at London. Mrs. Venworthies goods are now at Amsterdam, a shipp hyred, and they ready to be transported to Mr. Calvert. The factor (I meane Mr. Middleton) goes along or shortly after; but my freind is sick there, and not in a present condition to goe home, partly in regard to his sicknes, but most for want of moneys to pay his scores at Rotterdam, but daily expects both that and his dispatch. He is pleased to employ me here in his concernments, and hath written at large to me. He is earnest to be away, and to have me with him, but he is first to come here to end with some creditors. He left me desperately sick of an Ague. I am, I blesse God, well recovered, unlesse of a paine in my head; but that shall not hinder me to goe to Newton, or see you, if you please to capacitate me by a bill of exchange, which I humbly intreate by the next, and without which I cannot possibly stirre, it being now a quarter of a yeare since you procured my last, halfe engaged ere received. Brother, I shall the rather desire you to hasten your bill, for that the English fleet haveing now left our coast, all merchantmen (intended northward) are desired to make ready with all possible speede to putt to sea, and have (by an act this day published) an assurance from the lords of a considerable convoy. There are ninety sayle of ours in the Texell intended forthwith to sea under de Witte's command; their course northward, to convoy out and bring in merchantmen. It is said, we misse onely four of our fleete; and that except the losse of our admirall, the English have the worse; yet six of our best shippes came in pittifully shattered on Satturday last to Helfurd Sluce, whereof two are at present repaireing with all expedition at this towne. Your cosen Reynolds is in a sad and distracted condition: his tennants (seing they thrive not under him) are mad to settle manufactory. Mr. Kennoway seemes to propose high things to him; but Bluet and his owne tennants doe most terrifie him; yet he seemes inclineable to hazard his cause to the success of another tearme, so that he perswades me 'tis best to send for my wife by the first occasion, and 'tis so concluded. Good brother, let me intreate you to send me a bill by the next, which, so soone as I receive it, shal be employed to no other use then to leave Mr. Reynolds, and wast no longer time with him, but till I receive it I must resolve to remaine with him; and neither goe with my freind, nor be able to come to you. I intreate you to let me heare from you by the next, as you desire the safety and wel-being of your
Rotterdam, 15 Aug, 1653. stil. nov.
A letter to the marquis de Barriere.
Le temps est si malheureux qu'on ne se peut pas fier en son propre frere. Celuy en qui je me suis fié pour manier 84 a 81, voyant les affaires changer de face, m'ait voulut laschement trahir. J'espere d'avoir le bien de vous veoir bientost, & de vous pouvoir donner du contentement: mon sejour 43. 57. 20. 36. 82. 60. vaudra plus que deux regiments a 97. & vaudra beaucoup a 72. J'y ay employe l'argent, que j'avois pour mon voyage, & s'il n'est esté pour cela, j'eusse parti la semaine passee. II est difficile a trouver de l'argent icy a quelque prix que ce soit. Je partirá d'icy dans trois jours au plus tard pour estre avec vous.
9 August, 1653.
In this city of London, and throughout the territory of England, &c. swarm a very numerous company of jesuits, monks, and fryers. They have their general or superior in the Spanish ambassador's house, in which house almost every chamber is turned into a chapel, where are altars and Idols.
The English, that come thither Sundays, and at other times to hear mass, and make confessions, &c. are a very great number, by which many are hardened in their superstitions, and many proselytes made. When I beheld this, being an eye-witness of it, and deluded to join in mass with them, God in mercy made it an abomination to me, and my soul was grieved to see this state so grossly abused, and so many silly souls cheated, and God so highly provoked to anger thereby; so that this informant judgeth it a very great service to God and this state to make this discovery.
There are many Irish jesuits among those; they all call themselves chaplains, and padres des almés, fathers of souls. The late parliament made a decree for restraint to this growing evil, and for banishing and sending away these dangerous guests, which made them hush a little while; but in a few days that fear was over, and all are returned to the old vomit, and they are more numerous and bolder than ever. This informant also faith, that those imployed by this state to pry into the abuses aforesaid, are every month by collection made among the papists bribed with money; by which, instead of detecting and punishing, they hold a great amity and familiarity with them. The informant aforesaid, faith the said jesuits have frequent meetings in taverns, and that they are so vile, as to haunt Bordellos. And what is informed of the Spanish embassador's house is true of the houses of the Portuguese embassador, and of the French also in theirs in proportion. Also that any papist of quality in the land hath some of this crew haunting their houses without search or controle. That they mingle themselves with all sorts of men in all disputes, heightening the animosities between parties; glorying and rejoicing in nothing more than in the present war between the two commonwealths; openly expressing, they will tear and destroy each other, and so be come a prey to the king of Spain; and that this will be a just reward for their heresy and rebellion. And lastly that they doubt not, but shortly to behold the return of the catholick religion (as they term popery) into England, the ministry being sufficiently suspect already, and ready to fall, and people broken into a thousand opinions, and very many shaking off all form of reformed ways, and thereby capable of the old form.
Beverning and Vande Perre the Dutch deputies in England, to Ruysch, griffier of their high and mighty lordships at the Hague.
We thought that their high and mighty lordships would highly stand in need of a timely information of the condition and constitution of the fleet here, since the fight of the 8th and 10th of this month. Therefore we thought fit to send an express (since the departure of the other two commissioners) to Solebay, and Yarmouth, and other places, to inform himself with good knowledge; who doth inform us, that he the 20th, &c. [Sir, this is the relation verbatim which you have.] This fight was fought with extraordinary reputation to our nation; the like furious fight was never heard of in man's memory, to have been fought with greater courage and resolution. This week arrived here colonel Curts, envoy of the duke Holstein, with a public character from him to this state; but, as it is thought, with a secret command likewise from the king of Denmark. The man, whom we imployed to inform us, must not have his name told, least it should be known hereafter, and he be brought to suffer by it in his person, and we in our reputation.
A letter of intelligence.
Your letters by the post of Friday last I received; but the letters by the post of this day I have not received, the post being arrived; at which I much admire, being that there is good success in our proceedings against our enemies, as I have heard and seen in several letters, that ours have lately gained from the Hollanders thirty vessels, of which the particulars I long expect. I pray be pleased to acquaint me thereof. You have from hence of the 17th instant, that an extraordinary courrier parted hence by order from his majesty to Bourdeaux, that the dukes of Vendosme and Candale should come out of the city of Bourdeaux, and besiege the said city again, in case the inhabitants would not consent to re-establish the castle Trompette, and that de la cour des aydes in Guienne. What they will do in it, I know not yet. The same day came to the garde de Sceaux a rich burgher of Bourdeaux, desiring him to sign some of those articles promised to them, when they delivered the town to his majesty. The garde de Sceaux answered, he would sign no papers, till he had seen first how the affairs of Bourdeaux should go, by reason his majesty and council were not contented to agree upon what conditions Vendosme granted che citizens of that town, all being their own demands. Mr. Menardeaux Chambré has obtained the brevet of being first president in the parliament of Bourdeaux, when it shall be established; and besides that to be Intendant de finances. All the counsellors of Rouen, that were broken and banished heretofore, are to be received in their own qualities of counsellors also in that parliament, and that by duke of Longueville's advice. The 16th instant the council sat, notwithstanding the holiday of the assumption of our lady, to consider what to do with the duke of Orleans, who has accepted their amnesty, and yet does not obey the king's orders as to come and take his place in the council, in which nothing yet is resolved. The last Sunday morning the queen sent orders to all the parish priests of this city, desiring to pray for the success of his majesty's forces, upon the news that came to the court the night before, that the prince of Condé's army and that of his majesty's were near one another, and ordered to fight, by reason his majesty's army was in a place, where they could not escape, without hazarding themselves to fight. Some say, they had a skirmish; but if ours have lost, as some say they have, there will be no mention made of it here.
The cardinal has augmented his guard of fifty men more. His majesty ordered to break some of the bridges upon the river d'Oise, as also those of Mantes and Mulan upon the river of Seine. The duke of Mercoeur being in province this five weeks, his wife pretended to follow him the last week, but he sent her an express, desiring her not to stir out of Paris till he came himself, assuring her, he would be here within a month after the receipt of this letter; to have the cardinal to put in execution all his promises unto him heretofore; and in the mean time desired her to advise his eminence, to make good what he promised to him. Monsieur marshal de la Meilleray being much pressed by the cardinal to have his son the grand master of the artillery married to his niece, demanded, that his majesty might be pleased to give him the government of Pais d'Aunais, the isles de Ré, and Oleron, with that of Rochell and Brouage; signifying after his own death, his son will have much to do to maintain himself in Bretagne by reason of so many seigneurs more powerful than he, who daily pretend to be his masters, if they had known how to prevail. To that point no answer is given as yet.
We have news, that the convoys of duke d'Arscot arrived safely to the prince of Condé without any fight or encounter; and that both the armies of the king and Condé were seen near to one another; that they were night and day talking to one another; which makes us guess they will fall together, if not already, as I writ above. The prince of Condé at his return backwards, before he passed the river of Somme, went as far as Budes within three leagues of Beauvais; and sent to the town, that they might be pleased to pay him instantly 300,000 livres contribution, or else before he had gone further, he had besieged the town; which caused presently the citizens to send deputies to the court, desiring his majesty's tres humblement to send them only 500 horse; that they would undertake themselves to guard the town in his majesty's service against all enemies. Upon which the king sent them to the cardinal, who answered, the king could not help them in that; and that they were well able to desend the city themselves without any help from his majesty, which he could not afford them. Upon which, the deputies returned with that answer, and the inhabitants here seeing of it have broken down all the suburbs of the town, and cut all the woods about the town for fear of any sudden attempt or surprise. The last week some of Condé's forces went as far as Forges, where they took prisoners all those people both men and women, of which some were very rich burghers, and among which was taken the wife of Mr. Sanson marchand de soye, living in rue au fers; and those that took her, writ to her husband and cosins, desiring to send them their ransom, and that they would let her go. Mr. counte de Bouteville came of late with 1500 horse to Mailou, where his sister madamoiselle de Chastillon was, and brought her away to Brussels, where she is now. The last news from Bergerac brings, that they have all agreed with the dukes Vendosme and Candale, they having given them the king's amnesty. As for mons. de Castlenau, that he shall remain in his government of Bergerac, and his son de Mompouillan shall have two regiments, of which he shall be colonel himself, who came to this town last week to get some articles signed for those of Bergerac, which was granted. We hear the king will go the next month to Rheims, to be consecrated. King Charles is a little mended, but not yet perfectly. If the Hollanders had pleased to receive him, he had been away before this time. Preston here has not yet received his money, which is promised daily. In the letters of this day from thence I have seen, that thirty of your parliament are retired, and that your last parliament is like not to hold long, no more than the latter. I pray let me know, if that be true. We are very sorry for your last victory against the Hollander, if true; but some of the English court, who pretend to have best correspondents, say, there was no fight as yet: however we expect divisions and troubles among you; as also that God will not prosper you always in drawing the blood of so many innocent catholicks, as you do always, and especially lately the hanging of five hundred in the province of Ulster, all innocently.
An intercepted letter.
I Had not written to you this poast, butt to require your newes, with rectification of your account concerning the sea-fight, which by the Dutch letters come hither just now wee find to be thus; (fn. 1) that the English engaged with Van Trompe on Friday. They fought against him till Sunday, being butt eighty two sayle. Then the other ships under De Witt's command, being about twenty six, joyned with him out of the Texell, and then Van Trumpe himselfe boarding the English was shott with a muskett-bullet, on which hee dyed on Munday; all which time, say the Dutch, they had much the better, untill De Witt puting up the flagg of admiral in his ship, because of Trumpe's death, being the next commander in cheife, the rest of the commanders went away, refuseing to follow him; which gave heart to the English to returne upon them, haveing before drawne of. They say of thire whole fleete, which were not at first a hundred and ten, they have above a hundred come in safe; and that they have fyred and sunke very many of the English. One fyre-ship of theirs particularly fired six of the English, and they have had no considerable loss save only of their admirall; notwithstanding which they are in very good heart. By all which I perceive general Monk in his letter gave prayse to the great God for his victory, before hee had well audited his account of the action. I pray, fayle not to give us advise of the proceedings of the treaty ensueing this great action. 'Tis probable they may bee obstinate and peremptory on both sides. The king of Scotts, though past danger, is still weakned with his late seaver not yett quite removed, and his looseness still continucing on him; but time, they say that are neere him, will sett him on his leggs againe. I cannot yett give you any further account of the businesse you expect; you may guess the reason. I shall omit no oportunity of dispatching it, and giveing you the promised summons. Mean while lett me heare from you in answer of my former, and of all occurences. Tell Tim, I wonder I heare not from him. With my hearty love and service to all true friends, I am faithfully yours.
Extracts of letters of intelligence.
Else of news since my last here is very little that I know of. Here are great disputes of the election of an admiral after the death of Van Tromp, betwixt the provinces, each asking to have one suitable to his desire and satisfaction, which may easily retain the going out of their fleet.
We are very confident here the victory in the late fight is ours; and they have painted
Van Tromp with a laurel crown as victorious over the English, though he be dead; and (fn. 2) as
such an one they prepare for his funerals most solemnly, with a tomb and an epitaph most
magnificent, to be placed near the sepulcher of the prince of Orange in the town of Delfe.
(fn. 3) Two of our deputies in England, Newport and Jongestal, arrived here yesterday, and
immediately made relation to the States General of the propositions of the council of state
there. The province of Holland made not very strange at them, but the rest of the provinces, by all appearance, will not admit of them; and they make great instance to recal
the other deputies, which are in London. What further shall be done, time will let you
know, if it should be in the power of,
Yours I receaved by the last, and I published your victory, though as many letters are come from Holland to contradict me, but truth will appear in the end. Their great Van Tromp is lost, which is a defeat sufficient for many reasons. I sent yours to Ratisbon, from whence you have another. Here is no court, and so little news. The archduke is gone into the field, as I have written to you formerly, and the princess of Conde is with her eldest son the duke of Enguien daily expected to land in Dunkirk, and from thence to come hither, since Bourdeaux for certain is gone. Here we have fresh news that don Francisco Pardo, governour of Luxembourg, has defeated some French troops, which were near his government, that he killed 150 and took about 160 prisoners. The further progress of our armies with Conde and Fuensaldagna you have sooner and better from France, but when any intelligence shall come hither, you shall not fail to participate of what shall be known to,