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 (4 of 5)
Beverning and Vande Perre to Adrian Van Hooghe at Middleburg.
In Swoulds Bay lay, the 20th of August, four ships; at Aldburgh lay general Monck on the day aforesaid with fifty eight ships, which are making ready to set sail very suddenly, there being two hundred and fifty English wounded; and most of those ships would go to sea within ten or twelve days, and the rest at the end of this month, or the 8th or 10th of September next new stile. Thereabouts at the same time have cruized upon the coast twenty frigats, coming every foot near the shore, and might be seen now and then from thence, in all likelihood to discover the sea, and to secure the ships that lie there, which might be otherwise assaulted with apparent success, there being amongst those twelve, that were not in the last encounter, but were press'd out of the river at that time, and had lain ever since at Dover. And this day we received further information, and do understand, that the said twenty frigates, and forty or forty two of the said fifty eight were out at sea, but with no full certainty.
At Harwich there lay the 25th of this month thirty five ships much torn and shattered; twelve without any mails, some without any rigging, some without their boltsprits, others much damnified elsewhere; and some of them cannot be fitted out again in six weeks. On others they work hard. In that place there are one hundred and forty wounded men. In the river of London there was come in at that time four or five ships very much torn. In and near the said place is a strict watch set to keep their men from running away. The last encounter came and arrived here an hundred and twenty two or an hundred and twenty three ships; and as we can learn out of several captains there were seven or eight of those ships lost. The fire had also taken hold of vice-admiral Pen, Andrews, and the Triumph, but was quenched again by the assistance of other frigats, who assisted one another.
Two ships with masts, pitch, and Tarr, coming out of Norway, and belonging to Sweden, as its thought, are brought in or came into Yarmouth even just before the arrival of the fleet there, without whose help the said twenty five ships at Harwich, for want thereof, would have been forced to have come for London, with many more inconveniencies and loss of time, the same being laid now very near the wall in a very secure and sit place to be repaired.
The number of the dead is uncertain, by reason the same is kept secret, and concealed as much as is possible; it being said by some three hundred; others eleven hundred. In the town of Ipswich were the 21st aforesaid three hundred wounded, whereof men die daily.
There were as many more wounded men carried into the country. The number of the wounded is said to be twelve or thirteen hundred. Many persons that were in the English fleet declare, that the Dutch fought most couragiously and like valiant soldiers, and that their victory was not near so great, as it was made and reported to be.
Beverning and Vande Perre to the lords states of Zealand,
High and mighty lords,
We advised your high and mighty lordships in our last of the condition of divers of our prisoners here, and all that hath been done by us already about them, and what can be done by us for the future for their good. The lord of Nieuport without doubt hath reported to your high and mighty lordships what the elders of the Dutch church here and we have contributed towards their relief. Since is the hired ship at last gone from hence, transporting the released prisoners. There are as yet at least eighty more of our stoutest men, that are happily past Gravesend, as we are informed; and we do hope, they will make a clear escape, notwithstanding here is a very great number remaining behind; and there are daily others brought up hither, that were taken in the last encounter but one, which have been dispersed up and down the countries, to work for their living. There are also divers prisoners, that were taken in the last fight, and were set on shore; and others that swam on shore, who go begging up and down the countries. They are most of them stout, able, and willing lads, who would be glad with all their hearts to serve their country again. We had yesterday at least one hundred before our door; we instructed them how to divide themselves, and we have sent away this day to Ostend ten by provision, and shall continue herein after the manner comprehended in our last, unless it be your high and mighty lordships pleasure to the contrary, which we do expect to receive with a very great desire. The prisoners at Chelsea are now reasonably well, and the sickness much decreased. The captains that are kept there likewise do make new addresses to us every day, to get them released; as also those that were taken in the last encounter, and are in hold at Ipswich, whose names are, according to their letters and marks, Cornelius Evertson, Adrian Banckert, Claes Janssen, Andries Fortuyn, Gerbrant Schatte, John Johnson de Haes, and Cornelis Taelman. We have underhand some hope given us, that they will release all of them, as also the common seamen, for a reasonable price of one or two months pay, but we do not know how this will be accepted of by the government here; and likewise we dare not venture to yield to any such thing without your high and mighty lordships express order. The shortest way would be to make an exchange, if so be your lordships have any prisoners to offer in lieu of those, as is said here you have some, that have been taken by private men of war and others. This week there were put into the tower three or four persons of quality, who are said to have promoted the service of the king; as also they do write out of Scotland of a truth, that divers persons were likewise secured there. The major general Harrison hath been very ill at his country house; he is said to be now on the mending hand again.
The business lieutenant col. John Lilburne will be in all likelihood, and it may be not to his advantage, determined this day. Many soldiers marched up and down the town to day, to prevent insurrections and disorders, which are very much feared every where. We pray God to bless and prosper your high and mighty lordships.
Vande Perre to mynheer Van Vrybergen pensionary of the town of Tolen.
I Do long to hear what hath been done since the arrival of our commissioners, and what discourse hath past about mynheer Beverning's and my abode here till further order from their high and mighty lordships, and especially how all businesses are resented in the assembly of the lords states of Zealand, and what hath been done upon my distinct letters and other inclosed papers; to all which I shall expect by the next post an answer. What captains are taken, and in what posture the fleet is in here at present, is to be seen in a letter, which I have writ to pensionary de Bruyn: for the obtaining and getting to the knowledge thereof mynheer Beverning and I have been at no small charges, whereof Holland is to bear the 2/3 part, and Zealand the remainder. Thus we have agreed it amongst ourselves after a provincial manner, which I shall be willing to observe for the future, if the like occasions should require it, so it be with the pleasure and good liking of their lordships.
Beverning to Nieuport.
I Am glad with all my heart; that our separation is well taken and resented by the assembly of the states of Holland; but I long to hear and understand, what the States General say of our separation. I am informed underhand, that if we would agree to an union after the same form as we have in the United Provinces amongst ourselves, that we should be soon agreed. Be pleased to think upon it; but notwithstanding the pains I have taken, I have not been able to speak with his excellency Cromwell since, so that I have not much to advise, only I desire you to remember our poor prisoners, and my account to their high and mighty lordships, that they would be pleased to order the payment thereof. I am sorry to think, that there are some, who are not satisfied with what we have acted here in relation to our public duties, as if we had been negligent and careless in the performance of our duties; and that they should say, that they did expect better content and an account for the future than what they have had formerly; which I shall answer in a word, that we have fully performed our trust with all faithfulness according to our instructions.
Vande Perre junior to Mr. Conradus Coene, lodg'd in the Hague at colonel Crom-well's house.
I Have with joy understood, that our fleet consisting in seventy two ships is ready again to set out to sea; whereof we should be glad to hear the effect. The business of col. John Lilburne is appointed to be determined this day; and as all the world believe, and many fear, it will be adjudged to his prejudice. For fear of some insurrections, which might be caused by him and his party, which is said to be very great, having many favourites both here and in the countries to prevent them, they have filled this town with soldiers, and a grievous combustion there is about him. We are informed, that two Swedish or Hamburgh ships arrived at Yarmouth, laden with pitch, tar, and masts, just at that time that the English fleet was driven in there, all torn and mastless, as if the Devil had brought them there, to come just at that time, when they stood most in need of them. They do intend here to block up our ports and harbours again with twenty five of their ships, which were least damnified; but I hope they will be first entertained by us.
Beverning to the lord Van Renswode.
I Must fall troublesome unto you with a small request in favour of the earl of Clare, who is sending two of his daughters to Utrecht, that they may be free there of some inconveniences and troubles, which they may be subject unto here. That lord is much troubled, that the inconveniencies of this war in time may spread itself over all particular persons, and those young ladies be arrested or molested in their persons, by reason of the ill usage, that is done to some of ours here. Therefore the said lord desired me, that I would procure of their high and mighty lordships, as also of the lords states of Utrecht, if it be possible, an act of safe-conduct or safe-guard in the names of Maria and Eleonora Holles, daughters of the said earl of Clare, aged eleven and twelve years; that they at any time, with two chambermaids, may transport themselves again for England; which I hope will not be refused them. I write likewise to their high and mighty lordships about it. Your lordship will hereby very much oblige me to serve you in the like upon all occasions.
Vande Perre to the lord Joos Vander Hooghe at the Hague.
I Desire of your lordship, that you would be pleased to advise me what hath past in the assembly of their high and mighty lordships; as also in that of Holland upon my lord Newport's report concerning the parting of the commissioners of their high and mighty lordships to this commonwealth. The coming over of the said lords, and of two staying here, was resolved, it may be, amongst some beforehand. Great endeavours are used here to set forth their torn fleet to sea again. We are daily informed more and more, (although they do nothing else here but study how to colour and conceal the business,) that the damage on this side, set the death of admiral Tromp aside, is far greater than that, which our fleet hath suffered; and although we are informed to the contrary, yet they will make us believe, that we have lost thirty or forty ships. I do hope, that those may be punished accordingly, who were the occasion, and still are of our continuing in this luctuous war.
Beverning to John de Witte, raedt pensionary of Holland and West-Friesland, at the Hague.
I have writ to you every post: I hope mine come sase to hand without inspection. I have caused the resolution of their lordships to be translated into English, and conveyed it to the hands of several of the government, and one to his excellency himself, who do very much commend the care and courage of their lordships. If the other provinces were in the same esteem here, our work would be soon at an end. What hath past here since the departure of my lord Nieuport, I have desired him to communicate unto your lordship.
Vande Perre to my lord de Bruyne raedt pensionary of the lords states of Zealand at Middleburgh.
My last to the lords states of Zealand was the 23d day of this present month. Since my lord Beverning and I have received divers letters from several captains, prisoners at Ipswich and Colchester, desiring that they might be permitted to go abroad upon bail, for which there appears little likelihood; that they will grant any such thing here; but notwithstanding my lord Beverning and I will do our utmost endeavours, and neglect no occasion to accomplish their desires, if it be possible. In the mean time we have received a certain memorandum, whereof a copy is here inclosed, containing the certainty of the present constitution of the fleet, that is come in here, and of all that depends thereon; for which end we made use of a person expresly, whom we rewarded well for his pains, and gave him six pounds over and above for a gratuity; that so when we come to make use of him again upon the like occasion, he may be the more willing and ready to serve us. He is a person both active and able for such designs. Furthermore you will receive by a third hand a character to open a lockt chest 12. 5. 13. 26. 7. 9. 9. 10. 7. 77. 17. 5. 3. 8. 8. 7. 24 and that, which may make for my security. I desire you would keep it safe.
Also this morning early I was offered by the English merchants, that they would get the council of state to release twenty four prisoners of Zealand or others, in case in Zealand the twenty four persons mentioned in the inclosed order of the council of state might be released. If that you release them there, the like will be done here.
Lieut. col. Lilbourn was this day brought to his tryal again, but deserred till further time. It is thought, that the gallows in short or in long will be his foreland. This day here came very strange news, how that the queen of Poland had sent for 150 nuns out of France for the edifying of a convent, and were taken at sea and brought into Dover. It is very considerable, how they will put to sale this kind of commodities for the best advantage of this state. I shall expect by the next an answer to the points of the deliberation in mine formerly comprehended. I remain,
An intercepted letter of Doleman to sir R. Stone.
Worthy sir Bobby,
We expect here with impatience some new instructions from your side; for till they come, we must be silent here; and if Holland will close with England, as they desire, and as far as I conceive, will be much for their advantage, we shall soon be good friends. I am resolved now to see the end of it, which I hope will be speedy. Here is little news. Lilburn's business, as it is thought, will be ended this day; but he hath saved himself so often, that till they see him hang, none will believe it. Adieu.
An intercepted letter of Doleman to his wife.
My dear goosy,
If you knew how unsatisfied I pass my time here, I am consident you would pity me, and can assure you, that no particular business in the world, of what advantage soever it might have been, should have kept me so long from you. I must consess, I never intended any thing so heartily as this treaty, that is now on foot; and can without vanity say, that if it succeed happily, as I for my part believe it will, I have had my share in contributing unto it. This sending back of two of the deputies will retard our business for some time, at least till the middle of next month; and I am resolved now to see an end of it, which I hope I may do, and yet be with you within six weeks at the furthest. Adieu, my dear heart.
P. S. Since I sealed my letter, I received yours. I wonder you will interest yourself so much with any news, as to dispute any thing with any body. In my opinion you should do best not to trouble yourself at all, and not to care whatever side gain. In all your letters you speak of settling ourselves here. Pray undeceive yourself, and be confident, here is nothing to be gotten for us; and if Holland fail us, as bad as it is, Lord have mercy on us. You would be here, and every body here would be glad to be there. Pray send me no more of those complaining letters, for I have chagrin enough here besides.
Jacob Boreel, son to the Dutch ambassador at Paris, to the Dutch deputies at London.
By reason my father (fn. 1) for these four or five days hath been most vehemently assaulted with an ague, he hath not been able to write to their high and mighty lordships, and because his sickness doth still continue, he is not able to write to your lordships. I hope in God he will be able to do it against the next week.
(fn. 2) The differences risen between the cardinals Barberini, a Frenchman, præfectus Romæ, and Antonio, do increase more and more; by reason whereof it is thought they are now in earnest, and Antonio had declared himself publicly to stand for the king of France's interest, and that he was a French cardinal naturalized, and that the king had given him the bishoprick of Poictiers, and had made him great almoner of France.
The earl of Oignate, who hath the command and management of the king of Spain's businesses in Catalonia, hath sent thither from Naples several gallies laden with provisions, ammunition, and men; and don John of Austria was also to come for Catalonia with 4000 men to his assistance.
The siege of Gironne doth not go on so luckily as was well hoped for. There comes continual news, that the French have been beaten off from before the town by assaults from within; that they only hold it blocked up at a distance, not daring to venture any more near it.
Upon the great complaints, which the duke of Mercœur hath made about the plundering and stealing that the French troops do use, who of late have plundered and pillaged the towns of Montalvo, Nice, and de la Paille in Montserrat, the king hath thereupon sent for the earl of Quince, who commanded them, to come to him, and in his place hath sent the marshal de Grance. The Spanish army is yet in the Garonne about Royan. On Monday next the king and the whole court goes for Compiegne, and from thence it is said he is to go further to be crowned. Great preparations are making here for that purpose; but the place and time when, is yet uncertain. They have here by letters given to understand to all the princes of the blood, and also to the prince of Conde, to be present in person at the time of his coronation. Here hath been nothing further done in our treaty since our last. I remain,
Letter of intelligence from Hamburgh.
There is much dispute here about the last engagement between the two differing commonwealths, the Hollanders being persuaded by a young countryman of theirs, who is come hither, and prosessing to have been in the fight himself, affirms, that he saw twelve of the English ships burnt, and that many more were sunk; so that they with the rest were to retire toward England. But for all their boasting it is believed here, and I myself did hear, that a skipper of this country, who with two more did leave the fleet on the 6th instant, reported unto the lord ryx-chancellor's son, grave Erick Oxenstiern, that the Hollanders now were forced to retire themselves in the Texell with great confusion, being soundly beaten; but the just number of those ships lost was not certainly known. Her majesty is to pass hence to morrow with the most part of the nobility unto Wadstena for the burial of duke Adolph's princess, where it is thought she will continue at least fourteen days.
From hence no news for the present, his majesty the emperor being absent, and not expected here within these eight days; yet by reason we have advise here, that some days ago his said majesty hath left Munchen, and is gone to perform his devotions at a place called Old Oettinghen, and from thence to return hither, the ryx-sessions in the mean time are continued very earnestly. His highness the duke of Wirtemberg having on Thursday last took his leave very solemnly of his imperial majesty, and all the honourable assembly here, is departed hence and gone home, having left his ambassador here to supply his place.
We have notice here, that some thirty Hollands merchant ships are arrived in the road before Dantzick, whereof some are to lade corn there, and others to go to Riga and Queensborough, there to lade hemp, flax, pitch, deal, timber, and then to make all expedition that may be for the Sound, where they are to meet with a convoy of their own ships. All their merchant ships, which lay there, are gone for Holland, upon notice that the English ships were gone from their coasts; only the East India ships remain here still, beginning to unlade some of their best goods; which they send to Lubeck, intending to send them thence in small boats to Amsterdam by the Watts.
From the Polish leaguer no news at all for the present. The plague much increaseth in this city, there dying 700 or 800, which is much for this small place. About thirty Holland merchant ships are come into this road, some whereof came from Amsterdam, others out of France. It is thought they will go to the Sound, and there expect a convoy of theirs to bring them home. The Hollanders here do verily believe, that the English were so beaten in the last fight, that they shall not be able to get men to man another fleet, and the rather, because of these ships, which came from Amsterdam; their agent at Copenhagen being not so urgent for those men of war as formerly, so that he lieth still, the Dane letting the Hollanders do what they please in the Sound.
The commissioners at the Helder to the States General.
High and mighty lords,
We should have sent out to sea as yesterday the lord vice-admiral de Witt with those men of war, that lie ready here, and the merchant-men; had we not been prevented and hindered in our designs by the stormy and tempestuous weather. As soon as the soul weather is over, we shall dispatch them away without any delay, for they are there to join with those merchant-men that lie ready there, and to convoy them to the Sound, and to convoy back from thence those merchant-ships that lie there. Furthermore we have ordered the said vice-admiral in his instructions to give notice to the lord Keyser at his first arrival, and to desire a letter back from his lordship, that so he may observe and perform what he shall advise him; and so accordingly to govern himself, in order to the conjunction of the king of Denmark's ships with the fleet of this state. Concerning your high and mighty lordships further orders and instructions, we shall endeavour to put them in execution as fast as we can; and as for the sending of eighteen captains up to your lordships to attend the corpse of admiral Tromp to his grave, we here shall govern ourselves therein, according to your lord ships resolutions. Furthermore we humbly desire, that as soon as the ships are gone to sea, your lordships would be pleased to send for us home, for we conceive ourselves no longer serviceable where we are, when the ships are once gone, lying here at great expences of the state; for the remainder of the ships will require some time first before they be ready, and here are commissioners of the respective colleges of the admiralties to give order for their dispatch.
A letter of intelligence.
I Received yours of the 31st of July, in answer of which I return what occurrents I have. We hear from Poland, that the Chmielinsky sent deputies to that king for peace, who propounded articles to the purpose, the Cossacks would not accept of. We hear also the Muscovites did besiege with eighty six thousand the cities of Smolencho, Poloschi, and Vicoy, and did dispatch twenty thousand towards the siege of Caspio against the Tartarians and others; and that the king of Persia did cause all Muscovian merchants to be slain in the city in Ispahan for commercing of false silks at unjust rates.
From Venice, eight ships of twelve laden with victuals and other provisions going from Alexandria to Constantinople were taken by the Venetians. The Turkish army went from Rhodes to Solono, whereabout some slight encounters they had with the Venetian army, which for to be provided of water in the nearest islands to that place: thence the Turkish army sailed towards Canea in succour thereof, being followed by the Venetian, resolved to fight wheresoever they meet. In the kingdom of Cyprus there is greater alterations, by reason of some new taxes imposed, as also in Constantinople for the like cause, where some houses were burned by the tumult.
The son and heir to the basha of Scio in Turky was here christened last Sunday by mons. Vicegente, cardinal Antonio being his godfather, who bestowed upon him a chain of four hundred crowns worth, the said prince being in a good condition, and in all possibility keeps a good house. By reason of our sterilous harvest here it was ordered, that all wheatmerchants should have their magazines opened, and sell the aubio of wheat at eight crowns, which gives us good hopes to have bread in plentiness.
From Naples, the elected by the people accompanied by the chief heads of the city did visit that vice-roy with great demonstration of grief for the departure of that vice-roy Conde de Ognate. He the said elected and all the nobility offering to write to his majesty of Spain for to leave him as yet: so all thinking he will depart, they do but search favours for Conde de Castrillo, who they think will come to govern Naples; but I am not sure of it, and do believe Ognate will not be removed in case the king's council of state hear his letters do arrive before Castrillo be imbarked. Three capibanditi, named Conclubet, Matheo Christiani, and Demiano Rossi, betrayed by the famous Marselli his nephews, were put to death in Naples. A muster was made of eight hundred Spaniards in the Arsenall, being all reduced to three companies, whereof one is to go to the garrison of Piombino from Genoa. Five warlike Holland's ships and a Zealander merchant arrived there from Cadiz, and with those ships the certainty of being with child the Spanish queen. From Milan, the Spaniards and French met at Castella Novo, and Brigatts with the loss of the French; the circumstances are not come yet. From Naples, to Milan monies were sent to give each soldier thirteen payments. The packets from Flanders were robbed by Modena; that cardinal of Modena is coming from Rome: his holiness is now better in health, sed senectus ipsa est morbus: some hopes we have of new cardinals, having seven caps vacant. Of the English navies in their seas I hear nothing but well of their scouring in the Holland coasts; as all of the dexterity and marvellous capacity of the lord general Cromwell in all his dispositions, and especially in the last settlement of government; at which omnes stupent. The packet from Germany also was taken away with the same of Flanders. The consistory is just now ended, where we hear nothing to have been resolved. This is all at present from