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 (2 of 5)
An intercepted letter.
Uppon the receipt of my cossen Deese's letters, I writ to you by the post on Thursday last, wherin I directed yours to be sent unto John Strange at Faulcon-court in Fleetestreete, at Mr. Segrave's chamber; but since I receaved one from you of the 8th of this instant by the way of Theodor Connell, which is the course I desire you take henceforeward, notwithstanding my former directions. You shall not want weekly correspondencie, if you be not in the fault. Heere is an ocean of miserie threatned against our nation. An act past, that noe recusant may live in Ulster, Lemster, or Munster, except the cowntie of Clare, by the first of May next, which shall be in the year 1654; and if any, contrary to this act, shall live in the foresaid three provinces, either by way of travailinge or otherwise, without a speciall pass in writing, such shall be broght to the martiall court, and executed without benefitt of clergie. This act extends as well to men as women, published this day. There is a warant issued out to apprehend Tho. Tallbott; he is gone out of the cytie yeasternight. Ther was another this day against sir James Pr. You must be very wary there, to whom you shew my letters. I pray send to my brother Peter at Charlevile the inclosed. Be solicitous of what I writ to you in my last. My privileges are neere out, and I shall intreate you have them renewed for seven yeares more. Thes following wer, that I had potestas absolvendi ab omnibus casibus, & in bullâ cænæ hic & ubique; potejtas commutandi vota simplicia excepto castitatis & relig. benedicendi paramenta altaris, necnon indumenta sacerdotalia, legendi libros bæreticos, & aliis licentiam concedere eos perlegendi; potestas dispensandi in secundo & tertio & in aliis superioribus gradibus; celebrandi ad duas boras post meridiem, & ante auroram. I shall at next certifie you more at large concerning our own proceedings. I am,
An intercepted letter.
I Cannot at present certifie you of my travells since your beinge heere. I suppose you receaved my former to you, wherby I gave you a breefe relation of my brother Robert's disasters, which he has now past. Since my coming thence, I writ allsoe to you of Peter Hussey's third sonn, by name John, his death; as allsoe Ellin ny Rillgotts, and John Hussey of Roddanston; all of the sickness. I have spent 46 l. ster. in both these journeys, which Deese is gathering for me. Sir Richard Barnwell and sir Luke Fitzgarrard are heere. We expect noe good hence. There was this day an order published, that noe recusants, men or women, shall live in Lemster, Monster, or Ulster, from the first of May next, either residing or travelling, except such as shall have a speciall pass. Be not slack to provide for me, and send to me at large by the way of doctor Tyrrel. You might have large accounts weekly hence, had you but settled the ways. I shall writ to you with the next conveniencie. I doubt not of care of,
An intercepted letter. August 11, 1653.
By the sight of your last letter I am ascertained, that you and I are both abused by some amongst you; for on my credit I have missed writing but by one post never since I came from Calais, soe that I wrot on July 18, the 21, 25, which you receaved. The next post I confess I failed; then I wrot againe the first of August, which you have not receaved, although I wrott by the same post to sir G. T. and have receaved an answer thereunto from him. I have writen alsoe one the 4th of August, and another the 8th. I pray inquire it out if possible. Have an eye on the servants of that lord, which is my neerest countryman, for a reason which I know, because the direction may cause the intercepting. I have inclosed this to sir G. T. I am glad that Hans hath donn somewhat in his bussiness, although I feare that his enemies will attribute the narrowness of that trade to his fault; though I rather and more properly impute it to the Spanish factors, for I am well assured, that they do us all the mischeife they can every where. I long to heare the full relation of La Force his bussiness. I forbeare to writ what I would, for feare, that this may likewise miscarry; but this I will say, that I am confident many moneths will not pass ere wee shake hands in this place. You much comfort me with the news of Mr. Jackson's recovery; although I am very sorry, that he hath lost soe much blood on soe slight an occasion, whose constitution, if I understand it right, requires not the loss of soe much blood; pray God they have witt enough to prevent a relapse. Pray tell colonell Keynes, that I would desire him to be mindful of his promis about sir Rich. Foster. I sent you word in my last of the departure of two of the St. Mallowes men: they went hence this day sevennight, and you may resolve on it, there will be no agreement. I shall not forget you about the receipt, and what else therein may concerne you. I am,
As concerning Bampfeild, he was heare five or six moneths since meet by sir Will. Flemming, going into Scotland hence; to whom he said, that he had commissions from the king to Arguile and some other lords; he then went by the name of Smith. Whether he hath since binn heare, I cannot of certainty learne; but tis by the Scotch prisoners believed, that he hath had late correspondence with us here. If you please, you may let them (whom it concernes) know, that ten shipps English, hyred by the prince of Condé, are now gone to a randevouze at Plymouth, which will be there aboute the 18th Aug. English accoumpt; thence they to goe to joyne with the Spanish fleete. This I have from the person imployed from the shipps to Barriere, Condé's agent, who came from Dover to the agent (who dispatched in two houres) and soe he is gone to Plymouth poste.
Another intercepted letter from the same hand. August 11, 1653.
Yours of the 16th is come safe to my hands, which you may easily perswade yourselfe was not a little welcome to me, bringing the joyfull news of Mr. Jackson's recovery, and of our freinds sudden returne to you with some competent bargaine; for all which I will recompence you, with assuring you, that theire shall be noe agreement at this time betweene your two greate enimies, soe that I am confident, if you can comply with one of them, you may take your full revenge on the other. Morbleau returnes you thankes for your wholsome advise, and he promises to prevent that malice of his creditors with all possible care and diligence. He hath bin offered to have such a security indeavored, as his freind Rog. Wheately hath obtained, but he will trust none of theire baited ginns. He knowes them to well, and hopes his freind will not be over confident thereupon. Sir, I went according to your order to sollicite Nan. Ma. for an answer to your letters, but he is out of towne, and returnes not this fourteen days yeat; soe that, if by your next you order it, I will give him a visit in the countery, if he returne not at his appointed time. He is twenty seven miles off in Kent near Rochester. If Condé performe nothing considerable this summer, he will be utterly lost; and soe may all rebells succeede; and that they will have the like success in other places, I have an exellent authour, even Merlinus Evans, who the last night told me, that it was not in the power of men or devills to uphold theise governors many moneths longer; and that he was writing another booke against them. As in his former he averred the late parl. to be the beast, soe the next booke's subject will be to prove this conventicle to be the image of the beast, which shall not stand long, as hath lately bin revealed to him in a vision. Thus you may guess what leasure I have, who can imploy my time noe better. My servise to J. H. P. C. and all the rest that aske for
Examination of col. Phillips, August the 12th, 1653.
Coll. Phillips examined faith, that about five weeks since he came from Paris to Calais, from thence to Dover, from thence directly to London, where he hath been above three weeks at a house in Black Fryars, at one Mr. Venables, and faith, that his coming was to compound with his creditors, and to live with his family; and believeth, that the gentleman where he lay, did not before, nor doth not yet know his name, but gave occasion to be called by the name of Mr. Burton; and that one Mr. Johnson, Mr. Duffett, and Mr. Samwaies, Mr. Thomson a merchant, and Thornberry did resort to him; he this examinate purposing, after the compounding of his debts, not again to go out of England. And that this examinate came not over hither about any business tending to disturb the peace of the nation, nor to actuate any thing for the king commonly so called, nor hath had any discourse with any to that purpose, nor held any correspondencies with any about the same. He further faith, that he did discourse with Mr. Tomson and Mr. Duffet, that he purposed shortly to go back for France, if he could not compound his debts; but not that he would return shortly for England, nor did at all speak of any design to be acted by him for the said king, nor that he did carry on any design on his behalf; and that he remembers, that he had only some rambling discourse about Portsmouth, and other things, which he doth not now well remember.
Examination of Nich. Dowthwaite, Aug. 12, 1653.
Nicolas Dowthwaite being examined faith, that he is a clerk of the common-pleas, and lives in Clifford's-inn. He saith he served the king as a private soldier, in the troop of the lord Hopton; that he left the king's service at the rendition of Oxford, and hath since constantly lived in this town, but never took the engagement. He faith he knows colonel Phillips, and that he dined with him this day at his lodging; that the said colonel Phillips sent for him about a fortnight since. Being asked; if he went by the name of Phillips, he said no, but that he went by the name of Burton, but knows not why he goes by that name, nor did he tell him the reason thereof. And being asked what discourse they had, either about the king of Scots, or any of his affairs concerning his service, faith no. He faith, he knows Thorneborough, and that he met him once at colonel Phillips's chamber, but stayed not; and that he knows Thomson, and that he was once with him at colonel Phillips's. It being demanded of him, whether he spake with col. Phillips, col. Slingsbury, Thomson, Thorneborough, or any of them concerning the taking of Portsmouth, Southamton, Poole, or whether he knew, that any commissions were sent hither by the king's order, faith no.
Letter of intelligence from the Hague.
The lords Nieuport and Jongestall arrived here on Wednesday the 20th in the morning, and presently they had audience to make report, which hath been as yet but a relation why they had changed their first resolution, which was to return all of them. That the English had declared, that they proposed this coalition as much as for the good of this state, as for themselves. That it was not enough to make a peace, but that they ought to make it durable, not subject to the least change or alteration. That having sent no piece or copy of their memorandums, propositions, answers, &c. which passed between them and the English, they were come now to present and communicate them for their discharge; so that hitherto all the report hath been nothing else but an exhibition of the papers and acts; and the commissioners are ordered to make thereof a verbal report, and to deliver it in writing. In the mean time the states of Holland being separated for a while, are expected here every hour.
Now as to the inclinations, you know here are men favouring the course of the prince, &c. and there are others, that had rather be governed without a prince. As for the first, it hath been observed, that they had rather have had the return of all the commissioners, and the rupture of the treaty, so that they do now already conceive some great jealousy; and men do believe, that the last troubles in the towns of Holland, the colours of the prince, the Orange ribbons, and the like businesses, were only to advance the election of a captain general, and also to break off the treaty with England. Also is it credible, that at present those of the party will strive now all that they can against that, which is abovementioned; and as well the Zealanders with their resolutions, as Guelderland and others will begin again to speak of a captain general.
As for the lovers of liberty, I can say, that truly they love peace, and will no wise abhor any practicable means conducting thereunto; provided, I say, that it be practicable. They perceive well enough, that the English do hold suspected, and do fear the domination of the prince of Orange; consequently of the king here; but the English ought to declare themselves distinctly and clearly in that, and not obscurely; for as to that point, the Hollanders do symbolize well enough with the English therein; but the English speak so generally, that the royalists do draw matter from thence to say, that the English affect rather a predomination over Holland than a coalition. And to speak the truth, they do fear, that this coalition may produce a transmigration of the Dutch people into England, holding suspected this liberal offer of communicating all the privileges, rights, and prerogatives, which the English natives have. But that in effect would not hinder the business; but you must very much explain and temper this coalition; otherwife the states dare not propound it to the people, whom the royalists and the like do insuse as much as they can into them an opinion, that the states of Holland do correspond with Cromwell, and that they will yield themselves slaves to the English. The ministers likewise desiring to be pure and single, do fear, that they will mingle the religions, and introduce here independency. In a word the states of Holland do very much desire the peace, but they dare not make it after that manner as to be unacceptable to the people.
The Orange party say likewise, the English are secure enough through the great ditch of the sea, which doth surround them; but the United Provinces are a continent. If they should espouse all the quarrels of England, they would be always assaulted by land for the quarrels of England, who do offend all the world. Hollandi plecterentur sospite Angliâ.
The commissioners have said, that they did expect some moderation and more express answer from the council; but the said council did declare, that they could not declare themselves any otherwise; and thereupon consulting with mons. de Bordeaux, ambassador of France, he had likewise advised them not to break off, but to send two to make report. Undoubtedly they will bring about again to debate of the charge of a captain general. The lord Keyser is newly arrived in the Sound, and had made as yet no proposition to the king of Denmark. They are already jealous of him, by reason he suffers those of Norway to trade with the English, who do fail to Norway.
The lord Beuningen hath writ from Stockholm, that the queen of Sweden had held many discourses concerniug the king of Denmark's engaging with Holland; and that it was very ill done of him; and that he would do very ill, if he should lend any ships to this state. She was very far from declaring to enter into a league and alliance with Denmark and this state. They are preparing here now a very good and strong squadron for the Sound, to try to join with the ships of the king, if they can be obtained; of which there is much doubt made here. And moreover it is said, that seventy ships have shewn themselves near the Doggers sands. If this be true, one squadron will not serve turn to send thither, and much less to conduct back the East India ships, and others come from the mediterranean sea and France.
It is strange, here hath been such a noise and an outcry, that twenty six or thirty six captains of the fleet had done very ill their duty; but we do not hear, that any one of those captains is apprehended and put into prison; but the commissioners do declare, that they cannot yet get any true information, yea that the fiscals themselves, who were to observe the actions of the captains, do speak at random without any ground or knowledge. In common they do confess now to have lost nine ships of war. De Witt hat writ in his letter, that there were fourteen missing, but that they had recovered five. All the rest notwithstanding are much torne.
The building of the new ships proceeds very slowly; for the workmen and those that deliver out the materials will do nothing but with ready money; so that in effect they equip none but the same ships, which came back from the fight, and the two ships of Genoa; item the arms of Amsterdam; which have not been at sea, make a relief or a new recruit; so that if they can make one hundred ships in all, that will be very many.
They have a design and hopes, that in time they will have also fifty or sixty good, great, and new ships; but as they build new ones here, they do no less in England; and the trade failing here, the country cannot furnish for all; for it is little. In England, on the contrary, they have a great country, and are not in debt, and can better furnish and provide for all that. I perceive great hopes, that in those propositions of the English they shall find some moderations, and if so, Holland will be strong enough to keep under the prince's party; otherwise Holland must submit. If the English do shew themselves again before the Texell, before that our fleet get out, that will very much abate the courage of the Hollanders. For admiral Tromp they will make a funeral, and a tomb like to that of PietHeye. In the mean time they make certain poems, hymns, songs, and verses, to his honour; and John Everts and de Ruyter should have said, if they should cast twenty John Everts, and twenty Ruyters into one, they could not make one Tromp; and to make him alive again, that they would yet once more fight the last fight. And as for de Witt, they say he hath courage enough, and is a good pilate, but in his commands he is not to be endured; and John Everts will not serve under him. Also is he the more ancient captain; and if John Everts will not go to sea any more, then neither will de Ruyter go to sea likewife.
The lord Beuningen writes from Stockholm, that the queen held the affairs of the United Provinces for desperate, and had told the ambassador of Denmark, that his master and she should do better to make a mutual alliance to maintain the Sound against the English; and that they do leave the United Provinces to shift for themselves; and that Denmark would do very ill, if he lent his ships to the Hollanders, or that he do any more offend the English.
The lord Jongestall is a going into Friesland to see his wife, who is big, and without doubt to make report to count William. The lord Nieuport in his discourse doth speak of the coalition as of an impossible and unpracticable business. In the mean time I perceive will take very much into consideration this business, in hopes of some moderation; which in the mean time will be very much opposed by prince's party, for they do burn with desire to raise the young prince and count William to the charge of captain and lieutenant general; yea I am made to believe, that in Zealand now they do debate to make him stadtholder; item to recall the lords Veth and Vanden Nisse, notwithstanding that the last winter they declared to continue them ad vitam.
Between the commissioners of the states in the Texell and those of the admiralty at Amsterdam there is a great dispute; for the said commissioners have suspended the captains accused from their charge, and have constituted and appointed other commanders in their places. Now those of the admiralty say, that that belongs to the admiralty; that those commissioners have put falcem in alienam messem; and therefore will not communicate any thing with these commissioners, and for this reason the commissioners will come away from thence. The admiralty notwithstanding doth use very great diligence to repair the fleet; but if the English do return before the Texell, that will cause a grievous clutter and hindrance.
What concerneth the alliance with France, that sticks yet at the twelsth article. Likewise the French had rather now make a renovation of the amity in general terms, and undertake hereafter the great number of articles set down in the great project.
A letter of intelligence.
My last was the 15th of this month, and since here is little news. It seems that report of Witte Wittesen being stabbed was not true; for he is to go to sea again shortly with all the ships they can make; and it seems the vice-admiral Witte Wittesen shall go admiral of this fleet, for as yet they cannot agree of an admiral. There are three in nomination, that is Beverwaert, Opdam; these two, it is thought, have resused to take the charge upon them; but the third man is Roo-Bal or Redhead a burgo-master about Purmerent in North Holland, a very expert man at sea, but nothing as yet done in this business. Concerning the Dutch fleet many have been at the Texel to see them, divers being citizens of good credit; but all with one accord affirm, there are ninety three men of war (tho' some say ninety seven) lying there still; and some say eight in the Mase, and two in Goeree, by which report they have not lost so many ships in the fight, as the English letters report; tho' it is thought some of the number now in the Texel are come hither since, or left there, when that fleet went out as not being ready. Their vice-admiral John Evertson and de Ruyter are in the Hague, and have been divers times in the assembly of the States General answering all their questions, and giving them their best advice; and de Witte is at the Texel, putting all things in order with what speed he can, for the great design at present is, to get an able fleet to convoy their East India and other ships from the Sound, but the greatest want is of seamen, tho' drums beat daily for men to go fetch their East India ships; and this day divers have received money, and they are taken on by the day, so that any that are unwilling, can be free, when they will. Also three hundred soldiers are to go to be dispersed upon the East India and other ships in the Sound, so that here will be much ado to get these ships home; for there are here letters come, that there are arrived in the Sound five East India ships, namely the Princess Royal, the Pearl, the Whale, and Malatia; and the court of Zealand besides some seventy other ships from the Streights, France, and other places, and three other of the East India ships are arrived they write at Bergen in Norway. The heeren Nieuport and Jongestall are arrived out of England at the Hague the 20th of August, and the same forenoon had audience in the assembly of the States General concerning their negotiation in England, and the other two stay still in England; so that there seems to be some hope of an accommodation; but it seems the governors in England stand most upon one point, namely that both republics may be so united one to another, that they may be as one; and we shall see, what resolution the States General will take upon this business being of great importance.
THE lords the States General of the United Provinces of the Netherlands seeing thereby clearly, that the just anger of God is kindled against this land, because of the great sins, that are daily practised and are daily more and more heaped up, so as they stand as a heavy cloud between us and our God, so as our daily prayers seem not to be able to get through; by which means the blessing we desire of God cannot be obtained upon our endeavours for the resisting and weakening of the force of our enemies. Wherefore they have esteemed it needfull to ordain a day of fasting and prayer throughout all the United Provinces, associated lands, cities and members, which shall be the 17th/27 day of this month of August, being Wednesday, that upon that day God may be called upon jointly and zealously prayed unto with an humble and broken heart, that his heavenly majesty may be pleased mercifully to receive us, and grant the governors of this country the spirit of wisdom and courage, and the people thereof to stir up to true obedience to himself, as also to their lawful magistrates, that so by true repentance the fire and heat of his wrath may be quenched, and his face may again in mercy shine upon us as in former times; and that thereupon his heavenly majesty may be pleased to help the human and outward means, which are press'd for by the States General according to their necessity and duty of all lawful magistrates, for defence of the good inhabitants of this country against the unjust proceedings of them of the present government in England, that from thence may proceed a christian, honourable, and assured end of this heavy and ruinous war, and to that end in mercy to bless the means and ways that are taken in hand, and used for the preserving of the same, for the establishing of the true christian religion and church of Christ, preservation of the privileges of this country, and the dear-bought liberty of the inhabitants, and generally to make great God's holy name, and salvation of all our souls, in which regard we desire that the foresaid day of fast ing and prayer shall be published within your jurisdiction against the 27th/17 of this month, where usually publication is made, with forbidding, that the same day no manner of work may be done in trading, drawing of wine or beer, tennis-court, playing with balls, or any such kind of exercises, upon a certain assurance of great penalties thereto ordained; whereunto we commend you to the Lord's protection.
The preachers at the same time were ordered in their sermons, but in special upon this day of prayer, to stir up the people to true repentance and sorrow for their sins, and amongst the rest to admonish the people, that insisted of evil speaking and disobedience to their lawful magistrates, which lately without any bounds hath been openly committed, they according to this command do shew them all honour, respect, and obedience.
The 12th of this month went three Muscovy and eight French ships out of the Texel. A private man of war of Enchuysen hath taken two English ships going with manufactures from London to Hamburgh, and de Ruyter went last Thursday to Amsterdam, and from thence with all haste to the fleet at the Texel, and the 12th ditto is the dead body of admiral Tromp brought from aboard his ship with such a thunder of great ordnance from all the ships as if they had him in the midst of a fight. Daily are divers ships brought from the Baltzo (an island in the Southern Sea) to be repaired again; and the 14th three ships that were missing came in without masts at Middlebourgh and Vlissinge and Tervere. They work hard upon the new ships, which will quickly be ready; and at Vlissinge two private men of war, the one named Jan Housen, the other named Lein Pycke, the fourteenth present brought in two prizes, the one laden with salt, mounted with twelve guns, being a flute of two hundred tuns, the other a small ship mounted with six guns coming from Virginia, laden with three hundred hogsheads of tobacco.
A letter of intelligence from Paris.
I Have received yours of the 5th current, and give you thankes for the inclosed accompt, which haveing gladly perused I finde yet something to differ from myne: however I am glad, that commoditie turned soe well to account. I wishe the rest may prove noe worse, after all my endeavours in the performance of your commission. I sinde 78 me n of war at the Texell besides 8 or 9 which were not in the fi gh t of the former 40 are much ba tte red as alsoe those at at Goe ré 71 there come one at all to Zealand, neither will there bee any re dy in ma son th s except 18. Those at Texell are ships from 20 to 34 gu nes and f ew me n the French me n say there the English gu nes are too long for them. That commoditie is much want ed 164 no new f up ly of ships can be made in 3 mo n th s except Tromp co me ho me who a month since way not at Ca l es or those ships in the Eastland. Besides the abovesaid commodities I shall not much looke after any, untill the times mend; but setting aside that, the newes of a greate victory from London caused much laughter on the exchange here, neither will we be perswaded yett, but that 18 or 19 of the English ships were burnt and suncke, and will acknowledge but 8 or 9 of theires lost, though they confess they were forced to runne away; which they impute chiefely to the fall of admiral Tromp; otherwise they had ruined the whole English fleete; but by what I can gather they have lost more then they say the English have; for of an hundred and sixteen sayle there came into Texell but ninety small and great, and five into the Mase and Goree; whereof Jan Evertson's and de Ruyter's were two, all very much torne, as alsoe many of those in Texell, though they are hard at worke to patch them up againe. In the meane time Witt Witteson is to wear the flag, till a new admirall be chosen, he being very zealous against the interest of the house of Nassaw, as are most of the rulers both in the Hague and here. There were eight or nine ships in Texell, that were not ready the last fight, with which de Witt is to goe out in ten days at farthest, with forty or fifty more of the fleete to convoy the Eastland and seven East India men, that have layen so long, hopeing the English are gone home, and to bring home about an hundred sayle, which lye in the Sound at Norway, whereof are eight East India men, fifteen Streights men, and the rest West India and Frenchmen, but the seamen are not very well pleased, that de Witte carries the flag. They confesse this to have beene a hot dispute, and I beleeve would rather desire peace, then runne the hazzard of such another, though some say this victory of theirs will cause the English to be more inclinable to peace then formerly. The two commissioners are come to the Hage, and had presently audience. What the result of the states will be thereupon is alltogether uncertaine. However I perceived, they cannot admitte of a league with England in the larger sence, which they say here is the only thing stood upon. I see they have olde Batavian hearts still, and will be stouter when they have got home theire ships out of the Sound, but beleeve it 402 452 109 452 109 190 281 380 219 146 320 152 404 and 231 342 212 mes 326 55 149 359 198. Pray excuse my impertenences at present. P. my next shall write you more largely concerning trade. In the meane time crave leave to remaine
An intercepted letter.
Sir, I hoop myn of 15th is safe come to your hands; since which I received yours of the 15th ditto. It is heer thought on very straing by the common people, the Englis doe write of victory, thene it is though heer is lost noe more then three men of ware, and the Englis more than twenty; but without any disput better information is by the great ones. Heer is mad all speed, that can be mad, to bring a fleet in sea, to convoy the ships, that now are arrived into the Sound. Some five Est India ships, with Straits and French merchant men; in all some fifty or sixty vessells, there being three bots come in, whoe shout the Englis fleet, but cannot find them, though some say, there lay some matter of seventy Englis men of ware on Dogersant, that doth keep the Estlandt fleet as yet in, which shall goe out so son as it is for sarten known the Englis fleet is out of the zea. Heer laid a frigot of thirty gonns before the pales, which was imploid by perticulaer men to send to lay on the Guinea coast on the Englis merchant-men, but is heer in earnest to goe with the very first in sea; so that the drom beats day and night for men, to speed out some seventy or eighty men of warre with twenty four fire ships, whoe then is said, as son as thay com into the Sound, shall go in with sixteen of the Dennich men of ware, which the staet hath bought and sent the monny, which I can skarce beleef, excep it were for the bignes, for Jan Evertsen admiral of Zealand with de Ruyter tould the lords, that the Englis ships were to great for them; for on of thair brode sids caused them to kreng on sinck, soe as I had it from good hand. These Deins ships are to join with the first Holland fleet, that does come into the Downes. That Wil Witse was stopd, as I advised you in the last post, is not true, for which many are greefed it is not so, for feare theire wil be a discontent, wen the fleet comes in sea as at least to be ingaged; and I hear for sarten, hee shall goe out by provision with the flagh, though some will have the Ruiter to goe, or another; but that wil never be, because de Wit is the man against the prince's party; soe that it is much doubted, if the Ruyter and Jan Evertz shall goe in sea, some say de Witt, Pieter Floris, and Jan Gidions that the neght, but there may not be made such a difficulty in the Wits goeing out. Heer is next Wednesday a day of humiliation, and then the fleet to be speeded emediatly in sea. Nieuport and Jonchstall is come into the Hage, and it is said, that twoe stadts are to goe souddenly over again; which if so, I hope the Lord wil send a peace, which would be best for both nations. Not else: remaine,
To the Dutch deputies in England.
We have received by an express a letter from mynheer Keyser at Copenhagen, signifying unto us, that four or five East India ships were put into the Sound, with a great many other merchant-men coming from all parts of the world. We have also advice, that the commander Jong Tromp with eight men of war, besides some merchant-men, was set fail for Patria from Leghorn, the first of this month, so that it will rain ships here very suddenly, our harbours and ports being full already. We do hope now to see our trade and commerce flourish again.
Beverning and Vande Perre to the states of Zealand.
High and mighty lords,
My lords, We made known unto your lordships by our letter of the 25th of the last month, that the brothers of the Dutch congregation here had sent a considerable number of commissioners to us, to remonstrate unto us the necessity of our poor prisoners, and the insupportable burthen, which the elders of the church had born out of care to our nation, and could not continue under that burthen any longer, since the government here hath thought fit to release eighty five, being old men, sick ones, and boys, who now without any maintenance for eight or ten days dispersed up and down, and having endured all manner of hardships were kept partly by us, and partly by the abovesaid elders. We have at last hired a ship expresly to transport them for Flushing, but by reason of several accidents and inconveniences it hath lain here longer than we did expect; but we hope he will be gone to morrow or the next day at the furthest, and then we shall be released of some of our burthen. But we do not only see at hand the continuation of our burthen and charge with the prisoners, who remain here behind in a very great number; but we do also expect and foresee an increase and augmentation thereof with the arrival of divers others, who are daily to the number of a thousand or more expected to arrive here, as is said. The elders are already 500l. out of purse upon them, and will be fain to withdraw their hand; and we do not know how to comport ourselves therein, nor after what manner to recover what we have already been necessitated to disburse to help our poor miserable people. If so be it were your high and mighty lordships pleasure and good will, to supply the elders here with a good and liberal subsistance, that would very much hearten and encourage the congregation here; otherwise we fear, now winter is approaching, that many of our men will perish through hunger and cold, by reason the locking of them in the prisons is not so strict, but that some of them do every foot escape; but being at liberty they do not know how to help themselves. There hath been a proposition made to us, which we will make a tryal of with your lordships permission and further order. We have given order to a faithful merchant at Dunkirk, a man well known, that he shall assure the masters of ships there, that if they bring any of our men over furnished with a ticket under our hands, that they shall receive for every head a rix-dollar, which shall be payed them by the merchant, who is to be reimbursed by order of their high and mighty lordships, or the court of admiralty, and by them to be deducted out of the respective wages, whereof we would very soon send over a list with the acquittances by this ship of the charges, which we have been at hitherto, humbly desiring, that your high and mighty lordships would be pleased to discharge us thereof. We had hoped by this opportunity to have sent over divers others, but they keep now so strict a guard and narrow search upon the river, that we do not see any likelihood how to do it. The reason hereof is said to be (as is told us) that (besides the news of the taking of four East India ships, which came from Bantam, and were going to Persia) it is told with many aggravating circumstances, what ill usage is done to the English seamen by our men, which doth not only take away all hopes of getting any more prisoners released, but there is strict order given to retake all such as are got away. We cannot advise your high and mighty lordships any further than what we writ in our last concerning the last encounter happened between both fleets. They affirm here, and we cannot find out otherwise to the contrary, that they have lost but one ship called the Oak, and one fire-ship, and that it is very true, that two of their greatest ships, the Andrew and the Triumph were on fire, and some of their men leapt over-board into the sea, and were drowned; but that the fire was in the end put out again before any great harm was done. They say likewise, they had but three hundred and fifty men slain, amongst which were seven captains, and about seven hundred wounded; but of this we have a quite contrary opinion, and do not believe it to be true, in regard of divers circumstances. They did beg the last Sunday throughout all the churches for old linen to be given to the wounded men. Divers surgeons are prest and sent in all haste to the coasts, and commissioners of parliament are likewise sent to give order to all things requisite. What they do write more themselves about it in particular, your high and mighty lordships may be pleased to read in their printed pamphlets, whereof one goes here inclosed. Their ships are much battered and torn, and are divided into three squadrons, as we are informed, so that a party of them lye at Yarmouth, another at Solebay, and the rest in the Downs. It seems they were surprized by our fleet, that they were fain to cut their cables, and leave their anchors behind them; because it is said, that they are come in without any anchors or cables, so that they work here night and day, and without any regard to the Lord's day, to provide them again therewith. And there is a constant and perpetual pressing of soldiers and watermen, to send some ships out to sea before-hand; as also all such ships as belong to private men lying here in the river are viewed and made use of. Also we are made to believe here by some, who do inform us, that they have a considerable nunber of ships out at sea besides, whereof we cannot neither one way nor other certainly advise your lordships. The lord Strickland and others gone to the fleet have orders to distribute divers gold chains and medals. The government here hath given order for the maintenance of widows and orphans, and they have appointed the 25th of this month a day of thanksgiving for the extraordinary victory, as they do call it. We must acknowledge, that besides the loss of that great sea-commander, which we have understood to our great forrow, we do not see, that this side hath any great cause to brag, since they were from off our coasts, or, as they say, they thought fit to leave our coasts for a time. They do all what they can to be first in sea again, and they do send down provisions and men with all the expedition that may be, so that for these two days we could get no small beer to furnish the ship, that is to carry over our poor men; but we hope, that through the wise conduct of your high and mighty lordships our fleet will prevent them, and cover our coasts with our own fleet. We had given order to have been able to have written your high and mighty lordships a pertinent and circumstantial report of the condition of their fleet; but we do not know what the reason or cause is, that we have not yet received our information. We shall by the first opportunity send it to your lordships, with what else shall come to our knowledge. In the mean time we shall pray God to bless and prosper your high and mighty lordships government.
Beverning to the raedt pensionary de Witt at the Hague.
Your lordship might have easily understood by our last to their high and mighty lordships, as also by report of my lord Nieuport, all that had past here, so that I wanted matters to write unto you by the last post, neither have I much now to add to what my lord Nieuport will report, to which I must address myself. I have sent one to the coast here, to learn in what condition their fleet is. I wonder he is not come back all this while. I expected him here this day according to his promise. It is believed here, that they have lost on this side a great number of men, and that they have had many rendered unserviceable; but it is not to be written with what an extraordinary expedition all things are managed to set forth their fleet again to sea. I do now hope and firmly believe, that they will not be able to set forth to sea as yet any very considerable body. I must deal with you plainly; I do verily believe that their high and mighty lordships will be at a stand what they shall do at the report of our lords commissioners; and I cannot comprehend what we can do more. Some do apprehend there may be yet some good done; therefore I do judge it necessary for the service of our country, that their lordships would order my stay here awhile, to see if we can make an end of the work. Truly I know not almost what to advise. I perceive, if the lords of Zealand should revoke him, who is here, he would presently be gone. For my part, God knows I will serve my country wheresoever their lordships shall think fit to employ me, without any reflection on my own hurt or interest.