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 (5 of 5)
Beverning and Vande Perre to the Dutch ambassador Boreel at Paris.
We have under foure distinct covers received two of your excellencies, written with your owne hand, one directed to our secretary, and some relations of the last fight, with a copy of de Ruyter's letter, dated in Paris the 25th. In answer thereunto we let your excellency know, that we received all the four packets, but not one sealed with your excellencie's seal, as you were pleased to give us notice all your letters should be sealed withall. We could not perceive, that any of them had been opened, but that they all came safe to hand, except it was one that was written and signed by your excellency's selfe, which indeed we thought had been opened; but it contained nothing of consequence. We are informed, that it is dangerous to send any letters directed in the English language, which two of your last were. Therefore your excellency may be pleased to take notice thereof; for they do conceive here, that all such letters do concern English cavaliers, that are directed in English. We are served with the same cypher; but hereafter to express particular words, we will rather make use of the new one, which your excellency was pleased to send unto us, after the same manner as is set down under the same. We shall not omit to communicate any thing unto your excellency that shall be acted by us here, though we do perceive that your excellency is sufficiently informed concerning our treaty; since the departure of the lords of Nieuport and Jongestall and want of order and instructions, we have not proceeded any further; but we thought fit and that it did concerne us,
113. 10. 26. 13. 13. 19. 29. 29. 26. 11. 222. 31. 17. 21. 22. 23. 23. 22.13. 30. 20. 18. 22. 23. 15. 13. 24. 22. 13. 24. 22. 17. 10. 15. 25. 23. 13. 329. 28. 15. 22. 20. 25. 20. 15. 25. 27. 28. 20. 27. 27. 20. 22. 17. 20. 15. 527. 16. 20. 21. 12. 19. 21. 29. 26. 20. 16. 27. 16. 19. and do find that at Solebay [now follows the whole relation verbatim.] It will be a great point of honour and service, if so be 117. 211. 22. 25. 24. 22. 26. 15. 15. 17. 27. 30. 22. 21. 24. 14. 22. 23. 26. 6. 22. 17. 22. 13. 519. 21. 21.
27. 31. 32. 24. 16. 27. 31. 29. 24. 16. 19. 11. 29. 33. 16. 27. 31. 27. 21. 20. 13. 16. 19. as was ordered by their resolution. God send them a safe voyage, and that they may return with their lives into their native country. 327. 20. 23. 29. 16. 6.20.24. 17. 15. 29. 17. 32. 20. 23. 15.
The business of lieutenant col. Lilburne hath been for these three days continually upon hearing, and after a pleading of twelve or sixteen hours long, was the day before yesterday ended in the night, and pronounced to his advantage and discharge, without being released out of prison: notwithstanding it is thought, that they will not leave him so, but bring him before a high court of Justice, and there accuse him of treason and other crimes; yea it is very certain, that many of the parliament are very bitter against him, and irritated the more by his book written in prison, wherein he doth grosly exclaim against them and their government.
Out of fear of insurrections and commotions, three regiments of foote and one of horse were sent for to town, who marcht through the city on Saturday last; and here were some libells scattered up and down not long since, that if Lilburne doe suffer death, there are twenty thousand, that will die with him. What further will be done with him, shall be advised to your excellency by the next.
Here is arrived this week colonel Curts sent from the duke of Holstein with a public character, as his envoy to this government; but it is thought with a private instruction from 128. We are informed here, that madame de Neusville is coming over hither. Then it is not likely, that mons. de Neusville intends to go from hence. If your excellency can know the truth hereof, we do think that doth very much concern, that we and also their high and mighty lordships should know it, it being very materialy to their present deliberations. We recommend your excellencie to the protection of the Almighty.
A letter of intelligence.
The coming hither of mons. Chanut as ambassador from the king of France is confirmed; and Boreel writes to the chief clerk of the States General, that mons. Bordeaux is to be recalled from thence, as you see by the copy of the letter, which I send herewith to you. And propositions for coalition are not digested here because they say the conditions are not proportionable or equal. And for as much I can gather in my own opinion they incline here rather to the continuance of a war, than to such a peace as you propose, and the coming hither of mons. Chanut, and the recalling of mons. Bordeaux (if so true as is written from qualified hands) signifies much towards that, and against yours.
The ships of war, that were in the Texell, besides the desire the States Generall had they should make all speed to conduct forth their merchant ships, and homewards the East India ships, the Streights, and other merchant ships, are hastened and pressed away, least they should be block'd up or besieged, as they were before in the same Texell by you.
To-morrow being the 5th instant, is assigned for the funeral of lieut. admiral Van Tromp, who with the pomp and magnificence of a **** is to be buried at the public's expence, and a most splendid monument to be erected over his grave in the great church at Delph near the monument of the prince of Orange, whose faction daily encreaseth, &c.
The ambassador Boreel's letter to the chief clerk of the States General from Paris, 22 August, 1653.
The cardinal Mazarin promised me I should have conference with him this day; but it is now too late: I see no likelihood thereof. His eminence told me, that after the news of the late sea-fight, general Cromwell caused (fn. 1) **** him, that no ships of war should be permitted to depart England to relieve the Spaniards, in the river of Bourdeaux.
I complained to him, that two pirates of Toulon were upon arming to go a cruizing, his eminence assured me, that they should be ****. Mons. de Bordeaux is recalled, and as the opinion of most is, for fear the English should penetrate the ends of his mission, which were only to **** that the present government of England should not continue in **** the Spaniards, as they had done in the taking of Dunkirk, and to hinder **** negotiatiations of the prince of Conde in order to the relief of Bordeaux and being reduced to the obedience of his majesty. The said mons. Bordeaux's negotiation with the said government is ended.
As soon as I have conference with his eminency, as he hath promised me, I will give you notice more at large of our business. And is **** very necessary, that I should receive with more punctuality till **** particulars, which pass in the assembly which I thought fit to tell you, to the end you may acquaint with the same those that can remedy.
The paper, which the States General gave to the resident of Swedland in the Hague the first of this month, 1653.
The States General of the United Provinces having seen and examined several memorials respectively delivered to their mighty highnesses the **** of June, the 2d of July and 4th of August last past by the lord Appleboom resident for the queen of Sweden, wherein by his declaration is desired in writing, that notwithstanding the placart and proclamation of their mighty highness issued **** of December of the last year against the transportment of merchandizes of contrebando and materials fitting for ships into England, Scotland, and Ireland, and other the territories, which are under the jurisdiction of the present government of England, the subjects of her royal majesty as likewise their ships should not be detained by the ships of war of these states or by their particular men of war and much less taken or carried away. The states after mature deliberation have thought fit to give for answer to the said lord resident, that their mighty highnesses judged that liberty to carry merchandize of contrabands and other materials ships into England, Scotland, Ireland, and other servitories as beforementioned, is altogether to the disservice, as well in respect to her majesty and her subjects, as to these states and their people; considering that by such means those of the present government of England should not be only in a notable manner reinforced and strengthened, but also much encouraged to work acts with so much the more power, not only against the countries of the said United Provinces, but also against all christendom, and to further their intolerable ambitious demands and ruinous designs to the prejudice thereof. Besides the same being prohibited in the 6th article of the treaty, made and settled the first of September, in the year 1640, betwixt her majesty on the one part and this state of the other, therefore their mighty highnesses desire her majesty so to consider that business and great importance thereof with the pursuant dependencies, and consequently to prohibit and interdict, in conformity to the said treaty, her vassals and subjects the transportation of contraband goods and merchandizes and materials for ships to the said countries of England, Scotland, Ireland, and other countries and places under the regency of the government of England, assuring her majesty, that their mighty highnesses upon all occasions which shall occur shall not be wanting to comply with her majesty's will and pleasure so far as the constitution of this state shall permit the same; and they desire the said lord resident to make a good and fair relation to her majesty of this well meaning declaration of their mighty highnesses, and to write to her accordingly of the same upon the first occasion, &c.
Mr. Longland agent at Leghorn to secretary Thurloe.
By yours of the first of August I am again confirmed, that the advyses I send you from Rom ar not such things as you desire: however having paid for them three monthes anticipat, I must giv you the trouble of viewing them til the expiration of the said tym. Next week I am promist such a correspondant, as you desyre in Rom; as yet I do not know the quality and condition of him, but my next shall advys you. Concerning the engagement betwixt our fleet and the Duch, which you mention begun on Fryday the 28th of July, the Duch letters arrvyed here the first current say it ended the 30th wherin they got a very great victory, having sunk and burnt about twenty of our ships: they only lost theyr general Tromp. This news continued current for two dayes (for no Inglishman in town had any advys of the succes) but by the happy arryval of a French ship from Marcelles, I received a fresh letter from a frend ther, that stopt the current, and tels us, that our fleet obtained the victory, having taken, sunk, and burnt thirty of theyr ships, and taken a thousand prisoners with the los only of two ships. I hope with the next letters to hav al confirmed from your own good hand: in the mean tym the Itallians are al amazed, and althoh they ar generally our enemyes, which is much heiten'd by the mallignity of our own nation, yet they now begin to detest the basnes of the Duch, who seek to mak lyes theyr refuge, having so often bin tardy in the sam kind. That state in recompence of Tromp's good servis hav now sent comision hether, that his son be comander in cheif of al theyr ships of war in the Mediterranean seas; so 'tis clear, that they intend to keep them here al this winter. At present aboute eighteen sail ly betwixt Cales and the Streit's mouths, wher they examin al manner of ships, that com in, or go out. When the parliament and state at hom think it sesonable to send a fleet to remov them, I am confident twenty sail wil esily do't, and keep the lordship of thes seas without costing the state a penny; for since our nation hav bin outed of the Turky trade, the Duch and French hav exceedingly increased in it, that if such a fleet be sent hether with a discreet comander in chief, and stout fighting men, theyr purchas may more than pay theyr charge. Ther wants not good ships at hom to spare, besyd thos at present in the publik imployment, to say the Venis ships latly arrvyed, and the ships com hom with capt. Badiley, besyds many others unknown to us. Several other great advantages myht such a fleet bring to the commonwealth, besyds opening a trade for our shiping, it might aw the French, countenance the Spanyard, who is very low, reduce the pyrats of Barbery to such termes by theyr presence, that our captiv country men myht be redeemed at an esy rate, and good conditions setled for prevention of theyr piracy in the future. Here is in this port about ten Duch men of war, who intend sudenly to go out to look for som of our ships, which they conceiv may com from Newsoundland with fish, as also a ship or two going hom from Zant. This is what the present assourds, wherin I humbly beg your pardon.
A letter of intelligence from the Hague.
The lord Nieuport hath received a particular letter from the lord Beverning, wherein he writes to have spoken with general Cromwell, meeting with him in St. James's park, two hours together. That he hath made to his excellency several demands and questions, that so he might penetrate into the bottom of the coalition. Amongst the rest, that since this state had many confederates and allies, how the English would have this state to do with their allies, in case that these alliances did go, or did seem to go a little contrary to the maxims and interests of this coalition. That general Cromwell should have said, Salus populi suprema lex esto; giving to understand, that the trade and the free commerce and navigation was the soul and welfare of this state and the people; and that this state should do any thing to preserve their trade and commerce; and that none of the other allies were able to maintain this state in that but England; and a coalition with them was able to do it; and that this state or our ambassadors, says Cromwell, had practised it so at Munster, having no regard nor reflexion upon the alliances with France, since that salus populi was to be preferred before any alliance. The said lord Beverning concluded saying, that he did not see, nor could not perceive any moderation in Cromwell, in the point of coalition; that either the said Cromwell hath no authority, or he hath no mind to moderate any thing; in short, that there was no good to be expected or hoped for from this government. The lord Nieuport being asked, and required to give his advice concerning this coalition, said, when we have lost all our fortunes, estates, and country (as the Irish and Scots) then we are yet good enough to be admitted into this coalition. Another principal man of the states of Holland being asked concerning this coalition, said, that there was not an honest man in all the assembly or elsewhere, into whose thought this coalition ever entered; giving to understand, that it would be infamous and impracticable. Being asked then, why the commissioners had not broken off the treaty, and why two stayed yet in England; they answered, that there is some likelihood, that Cromwell will dissolve and turn out once more this parliament; and that this change might bring in moderation or change in the business. (fn. 2).
The said lord Nieuport should likewise have said, that the religion in England was all vanished and abolished, and none left. That they would put down all ministers, all churches, and all discipline. In short he gives us to understand, that he is nothing less than a good Englishman, although the royalists do speak the contrary; that he is very great with Cromwell; and (fn. 3) that in a certain rencounter, the lord Nieuport meeting with Cromwell, they had wept and lamented well an hour together. It is a scurvy trade here to be counted a good Englishman, or a parliamentarian; and yet every one, yea the best Hollanders do speak worse than hanging of the English, that so they might purge themselves; and yet withal that they can hardly purge themselves.
Those of Zealand have desired, that there might be published in print, that the English do falsely attribute to themselves the victory of the last fight. And where it is said, that the English have several captains and others of ours prisoners, and that we have not one of theirs, they say, that the English are bound upon oath rather to sink than to suffer themselves to be taken. I would willingly know, whether that be so. Those of Genoa have sent hither the lord Spinola to be reimbursed of the money, which they have disbursed and advanced for the two ships called Swieten and Cruningen, and for the guns.
You may have heard formerly, how that the resident of Sweden hath desired here the free navigation, yea with counterband goods, into England; but in what manner and upon what ground the same is excused here, is to be seen in the inclosed copy. As to alliance between France and States General, I can assure you, that there hath not yet been any thing done. ambassador complains that those of France have very little confidence in him.
The burial of Tromp is this day, whereof the new particulars are set down in the inclosed resolution. Vice admiral de Witte is to go to sea a day after for the Sound, but he can have but twenty two or twenty three ships; the rest are made ready very slowly. Those of the college of Amsterdam, which is alone as rich as all the other four together, do make great complaints, that they are over charged; that they are already so much engaged and indebted, that without a subsidy they shall be fain to shut up the college, or leave off equipping. Those of Zealand do very much desire, that to royalists in Scotland be sent money, but the states of Holland is not yet willing to that.
They have resolved here to give 5000 guilders to the Dutch church at London for those deeds of charity they do, and have done to the Dutch prisoners; and at Dunkirk there is a man appointed to pay for the transport of every prisoner two rix-dollars.
The lord Keyser in the end hath had audience in Denmark. The king hath with joy and gladness received the money, which was brought by him; but concerning the continuation of his ships, the king doth yet excuse himself, saying, that the season is past, for his ships being monstrous big, in times of tempest will be hardly saved from being cast away. Also that king doth shew himself displeased, that this state doth treat a peace with England. He desireth to be comprehended therein equally with this state, and that he be secured about the business of the twenty six English ships, which the king hath stopt in the Sound. In short, his love doth seem to grow cold. The king hath had a ball danced, wherein this state was represented by Lucretia.
Bisdommer to the Dutch deputies in England.
The going out and burial of lord lieut. admiral Tromp of blessed memory was performed this day with the same ceremonies as formerly advised; only that the burghers of Delft being in arms, received the corpse at the Hague gate, and after the burial discharged their muskets thrice. It is said, that the lord Opdam is like to be chosen to the charge of admiral, the more because it hath been offered him by this state. And besides this, there are some lords sent to dispose him to accept of it; and it is believed, that he will accept of the offer. In the mean time the flag is to be carried by Witte Wittesen, who hath desired of their high and mighty lordships, that some blunderbusses may be sent unto him, being of the new invention, wherewith de Ruyter in the last sea-fight did burn and destroy two of the enemies ships. Last Monday the said de Ruyter came out of Zealand hither, and went to the fleet from hence in the Texell.
The lords commissioners at the Helder are writ unto, that they would send out to sea those ships, that are ready, with all speed, without any delay, unless they had any further news of the enemy than formerly, and therefore should not judge it convenient.
The lord Nieuport hath delivered into the assembly of their lordships his report of their embassy into England, comprehending all the considerable points and affairs, which he and the rest of the commissioners have agitated jointly with the government of England, which report is put into the hands of some commissioners to visit, examine, and to conser about it with the said lord Nieuport, and afterwards to make report how they find the business.
To Vande Perre, the Dutch deputy in England.
As I wrote to you in my last, so I find it to be, that the business of your negotiation and the report of the lords Nieuport and Jongestall is kept very secret. Men do expect the resolutions out of the provinces. Here are those, that do intend to refute the reasons of the province of Holland, why there ought not to be a captain general. Many of the towns in Zealand are resolved upon it, and do intend to make an extraordinary sending about it.
I was appointed one of those to go to the lord of Opdam, to persuade him to accept of, the vacant charge of lord admiral. We have been with him; he alledged several reasons, as desiring to be excused; but at last we prevailed with him so far, that he did tell us, he would take it into consideration; so that I doubt not but he will accept of it for some pregnant reasons of state; and I believe we shall give him further power, and an authority to reward and punish. Vale.
Nieuport to Beverning.
We have not yet received the last letters. We do expect them with a great desire, but we do not know whether the great storm hath hindered them from coming over, or whether they were not stopt there by order. In the mean time here hath not happened any thing considerable. The states of Holland are most busy to consider how to raise money. All the members have agreed to pay the thousandth penny yearly for a constant revenue; and thereupon the most have agreed through the towns negotiations upon annuities, besides the half assesments of houses and lands being expired; and likewise generally upon all lands and houses, without difference, a half assesment for this year 1653; and besides I perceive by the members an inclination to suffer more important contents. All the endeavours that can be, are used for the setting forth of the fleet, and the lord of Opdam is chosen to be lieut. admiral, and some lords commissioners are desired to go to him to dispose him to accept of it; but I do not hear certainly, that they have prevailed with him. He is looked upon as a faithful man, and will do good service by God's assistance.
De Witt, De Ruyter, and Peter Floris are ready in the Texell to go out to sea with the fleet. Strycker told me to day, that there was a fleet of thirty ships come in safe through the channel; and this week there are arrived in the Maeze at least forty herring-ships well laden. An English collier was stranded the 3d of this month near Goree, but the men saved. Upon the corner of Holland, in the mouth of the Maeze, is likewise found a wreck, and eleven dead men, which by their habits and fashions are conceived to be English. The lords of accounts have ordered them to be buried. All is quiet here, God be thanked, and no commotions more heard of. Therefore the horse guard doth cease. The states of Holland would have continued them longer.
Captain Ryetbeeck hath saved himself, and is gotten away, but is much troubled about his son, whom he was fain to leave behind him. I desire you would be pleased to let him be looked after, and care had of him. I have spent two nights with the lords commissioners appointed to confer with me about my report delivered into the generality; but the work is only begun, and nothing done in it. The states of Holland have likewise done nothing further about it. I had thought that raedt pens. De Witt would have writ to you this week, but he told me, by reason of the burial of the lord admiral Tromp he had no time; and because I am so full of businesses myself, I must be fain to break off, and refer the rest till the next ordinary.
Beverning and Vande Perre to the States General.
High and mighty lords,
My lords, We have made known to your high and mighty lordships formerly, that the ambassador of Portugal meeting with us by chance in St. James's park, began to pump and sound us, whether we had any intention or order to treat with him during our abode here, concerning the differences, that remain undecided between us; and the lords of Nieuport and Jongestall have undoubtedly related to your high and mighty lordships, that mons. de Neusville, in the name of the said ambassador, hath made the like proposition unto us. Since their departure we have been spoken unto again by the ambassador himself; so that we thought it our duty to put your high and mighty lordships in remembrance of it, that so we may know your lordships good intentions about it. The commissioners, who have been with the fleet from the council of state, do affirm as yet, that there was but one frigot and one fire-ship lost in the last engagement, and that the whole fleet will be out again very suddenly under command of general Monck, and that forty six or forty eight are already gone for the coast of Holland under the command of rear-admiral Lawson, which is undoubtedly held for certain here, and will be better known to your high and mighty lordships than to us. Whether it be so or no, it is certain, that forty two or forty four of the said ships, that were in the last encounter, are restored to the merchants, of whom they were hired, much torne and damnisied, without any reparation or satisfaction, being most of those, which according to our former information, were brought into Harwich; and the fleet of the states here; wherewith they intend to manage their business, doth consist of one hundred and forty ships of war; and they do still build more new ones. We have with much grief and sorrow understood the sad mischance, which God hath caused to send to our states in the loss of the couragious sea-commander; but we have not had any particular notice of the occasion or manner of his death. The great and eminent virtues of courage, conduct, and of a poised moderation, which all the world doth willingly acknowledge to have been in him, and commend him for, are notwithstanding eclipsed and overcast with some reports of temerity, as if he had carelessly put himself into danger, where necessity did not require it, standing too naked upon the stern, where general Monck coming might easily have seen and known him; and thereupon did cause all his musketeers to discharge all together, for which he had caused them to stand ready. Moreover it is said here, that the stems of the English ships have several thick cables hung about them, which are musket proof, so that no one musket-bullet can hurt those that have them before them, which ours have not: whether it be so or no we know not. We do not well understand this kind of trade; but we should be glad to be informed of all circumstances, that so we might speak according to merit and truth. The government here hath ordered some more lands and houses to be sold, which, as they say, are fallen to them by reason of some plots or treason acted against them; amongst the rest that stately house of the king's at Hampton-Court with the appurtenances thereunto belonging.
The lord viscount Lisle doth prepare himself for the extraordinary ambassy for Sweden, and shall be assisted with two more of the council, as it is thought: his journey is much hastened, and the liveries are already making. Through foul weather and contrary winds the post is not yet come, which we do expect with impatience. We hope that your high and mighty lordships have sent some directions unto us, how we shall dispose of our prisoners, as well concerning those, who are sick, as those who are kept in prison. We have sent away fifty more sound and lusty fresh men, whom we have accommodated with three or four English shillings a peice, and sent them for Ostend. The captains, that are here and at Ipswich, do sollicit how to get their liberties upon bail or otherwise; wherein we cannot assist them without your high and mighty lordships further order. In the mean time it is a trouble and grief to hear every day the lamentable and sad complaints of the poor men, who have valiantly ventured their lives for their country; and we comfort some with our small assistance, and others with good words, as much as is possible; in hope that God will deliver them out of trouble at last. We shall pray, &c.
Beverning to Raedt Pensionary de Witt.
The business of Lilburne is judged and conceived here to be a business of very great consequence; for on the one side Cromwell being so highly set and incensed against him, and on the other side people murmuring so much against such illegal and violent proceedings against the ordinary course and practice, that when one after absolution and sentence given shall be afterwards brought and tried at a higher court of justice, and that the judges shall be summoned to answer and give reasons of their sentence; they say here, that it was one of the heaviest points, wherewith my lord Strafford was accused, whereby he came to suffer. There were on Saturday last at his trial 6000 men at least, who, it is thought, would never have suffered his condemnation to have passed without the loss of some of their lives. To prevent this, they had placed two companies of foot soldiers near the place of his trial, and several companies up and down the streets to the number of three regiments of foot and one of horse; and the country here round about is full of soldiers. The three gentlemen put into the tower are thought to have kept correspondence with Lilburne and that they had some great design in hand, having a great party to back them in favour of the king. It is said here, that there was a design laid to have risen in several places; but I cannot imagine myself they could have gotten such considerable forces together to have resisted those now in arms; and they are still raising more forces. That the business of Scotland is much apprehended here, is most certain and true; for they are sending some forces from hence for Scotland; but it seems some of those, that were up in arms in Scotland, have deserted the rest. These men here have still good luck following at their heels. Last Monday in the afternoon I went to the meeting at Black-friers, but I was not so private and unknown but some have heard of it since; and I am told Cromwell likewise hath heard of it. The scope and intention of their meeting is to preach down governments, and to stir up the people against the United Netherlands. Being then in the assembly of the saints, I heard one prayer and two sermons; but good God! what cruel, and abominable, and most horrid trumpets of fire, murther and flame! I thought upon the answer, which our Saviour gave to James and John, Luke ix. 55. Nescitis qualis spiritus vos sitis.
My lord viscount Lisle and two more are designed to go for Sweden, and their journey is much hastened, and the liveries are already bespoke. This doth confirm me in my opinion, which I have always had, that Boneel was always hatching here something against the United Provinces. I did see in the resolutions of their high and mighty lordships, that they were resolved to send an agent to reside in Sweden, and to call home mynheer Van Beuningen; but I do not know now, how the business standeth; but according to my small judgment could that lord be perswaded to stay there, it would be of some concernment to our state, for now is the time to do service there with his good advise and correspondency, which cannot be expected from one, that is not versed in businesses of that nature. I did not think fit concerning the said points to write any thing thereof to the government, that so I might not give any wrong hope or impression; but shall recommend the communication thereof to the lords Nieuport and Opdam. I remain without change,
Vande Perre to the lord Bruyne raedt pensionary of Zealand.
I Sent your lordships in my last a character, which you should make use of, in case of my longer stay here (which I hope not to be) that so we may write and communicate our minds to one another with safety. Since we have received no letters out of the Low Countries, by reason of the extraordinary storms and contrary winds.
L. co1. John Lilburn is cleared by a jury. There were six or seven hundred men at his trial with swords, pistolls, bills, daggers, and other instruments, that in case they had not cleared him, they would have imployed in his defence. The joy and acclamation was so great after he was cleared, that the shout was heard an English mile, as is said; but he is not yet released out of prison, and it is thought they will try him at a high court of Justice.
Beverning to Jongestall.
I Have not yet a letter of answer upon my two last, which I sent by the two last posts; but I consider the distance of place, and believe that it is not possible to have an answer; notwithstanding I will not break promise or fail my duty, but will still continue to assure your honour of my humble service; as also of the good remembrance we have of your merry and pleasing company, which we do remember every meal in a fresh glass of wine to your health. We have advanced nothing further in our public business, and do wait with great desire upon the nearer resolutions of the States General. The proceedings against Lilburne Saturday last after a pleading of sixteen hours were determined, and he declared not guilty of any crime worthy of death. Since the twelve jurymen have been called to account before the council, to give an account of their verdict; and in the mean time he remaineth a prisoner. It seems, they will charge him with further crimes of treason, and will judge him by a high court of justice. There are two or three others of quality put into the tower about some plot for the service of the king; and that they should have held correspondence with the said Lilburn. I could with I could find more matter to entertain your lordship.
Beverning to Nieuport.
The post by reason of the soul weather and the contrary wind is not yet arrived; and at this time we have not much matter to write, having no answers to return. I have not yet spoken any further with 297, and I see no likelihood to further any thing without further instructions and order from their high and mighty lordships, which we expect with impatience. 297 hath spoken notwithstanding to men of fashion after such a manner of our business, that I do not despair of it. The last fight doth still trouble his head. The humours here do seem for the most part to be no more settled. God give, that through a new encounter or a favourable success, they do no more come to be disturbed; but I do much fear it will come to that again; for there is such haste made here with setting forth their fleet, and adding more ships to them. We do likewise very much desire to know, what their high and mighty lordships please to command us about the prisoners here. We have sent fifty of them this week for Dunkirk, and given the shippers something in hand to accommodate them. Pray do me the favour, that I may have a copy of the instructions sent me, which have been given to the advocate Rudolph, who goes for Portugal, and the last resolutions thereupon taken by their high and mighty lordships, wherewith you will oblige me.
A letter of intelligence.
I Received none from you, no letters being come; the reason whereof I know not as yet. Likewise from Ratisbon I had no letters for you at this time: because the emperor is not there, no news are stirring, I suppose. The next post will let you know more by his return.
In this place we have no news, no court being here. The princess of Conde after landing (as you had before) was met by divers nobles and gentlemen sent by the archduke to receive her, who are to conduct her to Valenciennes, where she is to sojourn for a time. The archduke himself is in Cambray, and it is certain our armies have besieged Rocroy, which may beget a battle with Turenne, or else he will give us leave to win the town and cittadel. The next will let you know some great matters of this business, but not so much of a peace as many ignorants do sometimes talk of.
Mr. J. Benson to secretary Thurloe.
That which this weeke hath produced, is only with reference unto the Hollanders; fifty of there Eastland shipps being come from Amsterdam into these seas, ten whereof are heare, the rest being gon for Konigsberg and Riga; alsoe six of there French fleete, which are laden heare wholy with corne, ready to sayle for the Sound with the first wind. They are resolved to take the oppertunity of the open seas, and not to stay in the Sound for the expected convoy, fearing our shipps may come againe upon there coasts. The same course as many as can gett speedily laden are resolved to take; so that if any of our frigotts be upon theere coasts, they cannot misse of abundance of prizes, being shipps of great burden and no streinght, not one in twenty, who useth this trade as hath a gunn in them. The India shipps stayeth in the Sound, in expectation of there convoy, which they say will be out in lesse then fourteen dayes, they much boasting in all plases of their great victory, especially att this plase, wherein they uphould themselves with great considence, allthough I caused the coppy of generall Monk's letter to the counsell, which I receved from Mr. Bradshaw, to be published in Dutch; yett they pretend our losse greater, and that we did retreate first, which coming to a contest upon the exchainge, some of the honest burghers laid considerable wagers upon the accompt of that letter, whereof one, who ventured a great quantity of pitch and tarr att such time as the state was in necessity thereof, laid 50 l. and another 251. others lesse soms. Therefore that, which I would desire in there behalfes, is, that the truth of that letter might be certified, with a perticuler of the names of the ships sunke and burnt, with the captaines names allso, and such other things, as may demonstrate itt to the full, under the councell of states seale, by reason it must be produced as authenticke before the magistrate, which will, as there counsell informeth them, wholy decide the controversy. If possible by the first post, I desire you to enclose it unto me, which will make much for the interest of the English heare, and put a double obligation upon the honest burgers heareof. Thus having nothing more att present, I am your assured servant,
Extracts of a letter of mons. de Bordeaux, the French ambassador in England, to mons. de Brienne, secretary of state in France.
Il m'a ete faite une plainte par des marchands d'ici, dont les marchandises chargées dans un vaisseau Francois, la roue de fortune, ont eté arretées par un armateur du roi d'Angleterre, menées à Brest, & vendües contre routes formes de justice. Vous scaves, monsieur, les declarations du roi contre ceux, qui se servent des commissions du roi d'Angleterre.
Mr. Bradshaw resident at Hamburgh to secretary Thurloe.
The post hath failed this weeke, yet wee hope not taken but onely hindered by tempestious weather. By the inclosed to the councill yow will see what quantities of powder, shot, and masts is ready to goe with this convoy of foure shipps of war. Now that I see the council's order, I am trubled the businesse was not sooner thought upon; but I shall doe what's possible to effect the needfull, but being this proportion of powder is all that at present can be got heere and in parts neare aboute (exceptinge aboute 500 more which I have a promise of to be delivered within five weeks) I cannot relie upon more, yet I doubt not but by one meanes or other to get a larger proportion ere longe. I will remove every stone for it, and advise yow weekely. Yesterday the powder should have beene put on board the two ships with masts, but when the houlds were opened, there came such a moyst dampe from the masts haveinge layne longe in the water, as would have spoyled all the powder, had it been put upon the masts. I sent to the men of warr to see if they would have taken it in amoungst them, but they could not; in which straite there beinge not a shipp or vessell heere but what were fraughted by the merchants, that no tyme might be lost, I have made use of one of the merchants smallest shipps of 100 and 10 tunns, and have promised him the lyke fraughts, the merchants were to have given, beinge 160 1. st. for the whole burthen of the shipp, the merchants to save the use of what roome can be spared, and to shift for the rest of their goods as they can, so as now the powder shall all be loaden in a new light shippe, and God willinge, within three dayes, if the wynd come sayre, they shall all be ready to set sayle. The convoyers want masts, which some of them are setting, but they will louse no tyme, and steere directly to the Squadron under captain Lawson at the Texell, that being their order, and if those shipps be gone of the coasts, then to make the best of there way for England. The merchants make all hast possible to have the benesite of his convoy having great store of very usefull commodityes to return; but if the wynd and weather serve, the convoy shall not stay heer. Heer's but little of such fort of shot as the councill ordered for; but ball of 24 lb. and 12 lb. I could now have a good quantitie, and of 6 lb. weight; if you must have only for D. cannon, whole culverine, and D. culverine, then I must send for such sorts to Sweden, whence all shott comes hither. It may be shipt thence to Lubeek, and come by land passage hither as cheape as it can be bought heere. I will write by next post for it, that no time be lost, that so, if possible, I may get another proportion of powder and shot to send with these masts, and another convoy before the frosts shutt upp this river. I this day charge my bills upon the commissioners for 6000 l. in full of the 10000 l. the powder, masts, and shot, which I shall now send, and what I have contracted for and hope to get will require more money, therefore pray cause a further letter of creadit sent me from the commissioners, there last lymitinge me onely to ten thousand pounde; and allsoe that yow will take care the bills I charge be duly paid by them, that no prejudice or disparragement insue. I hope ere this yow have procured Mr. Waynewright an order for my money; otherwise pray effect it, that I suffer not further in that busines.
In these last shipps there came over some merchants of the company at London, who in the first court held heere, joyninge with theire own party, were very peremptory for the bringinge into court by the authoritie of the court such young men as had been excluded by the council's orders. The countenance, which malignants have from there abettors at London, and the council's longe silence, renders me heere in a worse condition, then trayleinge a pike for the commonwealth. The first yeares of my comeing heather I had a desperate imployment of it, by reason of the layinge in wayte of bluddy men; and in those tymes whilst I was strugling with this citty for the recoveringe of the companyes lost priviledges, the worst of malignants could flatter me; but since there worke is done, and that they find I will not comply or connive at there perverse actings, so scandalous to the government of the commonwealth, they shewe me there teeth. I must ingeniously confesse the councill's not countenauncinge me in the performinge of there owne commands, after soe many addresses made, lies more heavy on my spiritt then all the affronts I have received from malignants; but I hope I shall not be forst to present myselfe before the councell for the obtaineing of a sutable vindication. Your late letters give me assurance shortly to heare from you in that buisines. By the last post I sent yow the state of that case truly drawne upp to prevent your trouble. This unpleasinge subject lengthens my letters weekly. I am,
In peruseing the inclosed copie of a paper fitted for, if not presentid unto the former council of state, by such as then ware duly sensible of the malitious practises of malignants, though now some of the cheese of them are become abettors of such perverse spirits, you will see the case clearly stated by themselves with the most suitable remedies for such mischeevous proceedings. I know no alteration since, but that the malignants have subscribed the engagement, to render them more capable to vex the honnest party, and carrie all things as they please by their sitting in court, being the greater nomber, soe as if it shall please the councill to meet with these refractory men, it may most easely and suteably be done by excluding them the court, where there is no need of them, and forbidinge their imployment, at least untill they submit themselves, and comport as becomes them, of which I desire yow would be instrumentall, by causinge this paper to be read to the council when the business comes before them.