A Collection of the State Papers of John Thurloe, Volume 1, 1638-1653. Originally published by Fletcher Gyles, London, 1742.
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September (6 of 6)
Extract out of the register of the resolutions of their high mightinesses the States General of the United Provinces.
There appearing in the assembly the lord John Stephano Spinola, a gentleman of Genoa, envoy of the commonwealth of Genoa, did declare unto their high and mighty lordships, that for as much as did concern himself, he should rest satisfied with the provisional payment of 140,000 guilders, as was offered unto him by their lordships commissioners, for those ships, which were built at Amsterdam for the service of the said commonwealth, and afterwards made use of by this state in their service. It is therefore furthermore resolved, that if so be the said commonwealth be not therewith satisfied, this that is done shall be of no effect. Furthermore, that in case the said commonwealth shall cause for the future any more ships to be built in these parts, their lordships do promise, that the same shall pass free and unmolested. Thereupon the said lord Spinola took his leave of their lordships, with presentation of his service, who was wished a prosperous and safe voyage by the lord Mulart, then president of the assembly, who also did reiterate unto him, that it should be free at any time for the states of Genoa, to build any other ships for their service, in lieu of those the state here had made use of; and that this state would be always willing to gratify the said state of Genoa, in any thing that shall lye in their power, and to keep and preserve with them an upright and good correspondence, for the good of both states, territories, inhabitants, and subjects.
Extract of the resolutions of the assembly held at Zutphen.
It being debated upon the letters of the commissioners of this assembly at the generality, desiring order and power, how they shall declare themselves on the behalf of this province in the business of the treaty with the present government of England; it was thought fit and understood, that the said commissioners in the assembly of their lordships shall report as the advice of this assembly, that the presented coalition on the behalf of the government of England, in regard of the constitution of these United Provinces, is no wise practicable, and consequently not to be accepted or allowed of. Item, that those of the government of England ought to give a categorical answer, or to declare themselves categorically, whether they be minded to denounce these former sustained three prejudicial points, and in case of yes, that they are inclined on the behalf of this state, to enter into farther conference with them concerning those former projected thirty six articles, and to treat with them about it, and to conclude them; and if those of the said government of England be willing to this, then the said lords Jongestall and Nieuport should return thither back again, and to insist upon the former treaty, which may be best accomplished in a neutral place, and brought to a good issue; and in case those of the said government of England should make any difficulty therein, and that they should be unwilling to renounce their former sustained articles, that then the said commissioners shall break off immediately, and return home. In the mean time this assembly doth understand, that this state ought to be no wise slack in the prosecution of the war against the English, as well by diversion in giving assistance to those of Scotland as otherwise, and to make alliances and consederacies with France, and the elector of Brandenburgh, and other German princes.
Van Hooghe to Paulus Vande Perre the Dutch commissioner at London.
I Thank you for your cordial offer of correspondence, as also for your present communication of some affairs. I am glad to hear, that the extraordinary charges, and the increase thereof, and the want of monies they have amongst them, do take of the edge and lust in that nation for the continuing of the war. As to the poor prisoners, you will or have already received an order of their lordships concerning them. That which you write as to our ill usage done to the English prisoners here, is false and an untruth; and therefore they need not be so cruel and hard hearted to our men there. It is said, that the English with sixty sail cruise near the Schager Rif, divided into three squadrons. God send our fleet safe back from the Sound. Our second fleet is ready, but John Everts refuseth to go under de Witt. The new admiral is making ready to go himself in person.
Extract out of the register of the resolutions of the states of Overyssel.
Since the commissioners of this state at the general assembly do desire our order and advice upon several points of importance with all speed, and among the rest, that of England, to which we do hereby authorize them to give their consent for the continuing of the treaty in England, since that the lords Beverning and Vande Perre do advise, that there are several of the government there, that are inclined to a peace; but withal we do understand, that the time may be limited for their stay there, and that the treaty be according to the thirty six articles, which if not accepted, they are to come away; and after expiration of all further hopes of agreement, this province doth resolve, that the war shall be prosecuted with all vigour and force, and that the treaty with France be forthwith concluded, and that Sweden be also desired to enter into near alliance, and that the treaty made with Denmark be inviolably kept and sacredly cultivated.
Cool to Beverning.
It is here agreed on for provision for the war, the thousandth penny, and life-money. The province of Guelderland (where the states of that province are assembled) have brought into the generality their resolution for the proclaiming of an absolute war with England, and to treat with king Charles II.
For in that day saith the Lord, I will break his yoke from thy neck, and burst thy bands, and strangers shall no more serve themselves of him; but they shall serve the Lord their God, and David their king I will raise up unto them. Jer. xxx. 8, 9.
It hath been the constant practice of enemies in all ages, to traduce the names and misinterpret the undertakings of such, who honestly and in sincerity do intend to adhere to the truth, and continue in obedience and loyalty towards lawful authority; and now seeing by the good providence of God we have engaged in war against the common enemy, we do not think it strange to rencounter with bitter reproaches and false aspersions, both from our enemies, and also from hollow-hearted countreymen, who remain at ease in Zion. Therefore we thought it expedient, to declare the grounds and reasons of this present war to all the world, and more particularly to all within the kingdom of Scotland (his majesties dominions) England and Ireland, who hath not departed so far from the fear of the Almighty, as to extinguish and quench all the sparks of royalty and allegiance towards their sovereign king and lord, in this day of universal defection from the truth, and rebellion against sovereignty and kingly government. It is so manifest and notorious to all Christendom, what injustice and cruelty hath been found in the unparallel'd ways of these, with whom we have to do, that we need not insist upon this particular, for who living can forget that impious audacity of that generation, who stretched forth their hands against the Lord's anointed, the late sove reign; and who having trampled under foot all things sacred and prosane, hath reared up a monstrous republic, builded with the bones and cemented with the blood of their dread sovereign, and of many honourable and faithful persons, whose testimonies to truth and government are extant, to their perpetual same and glory. And because sentence against this wicked cause is not executed speedily, therefore their hearts are constantly set in them to do evil. Yet passing by their deep and devilish design, cunningly contrived and publicly carried on to the great confusion and almost total, subversion of religion and government in these nations, we shall shortly speak to the equity and necessity of this present engagement. And first as to religion, we do conceive it to be a main and chief blessing of God toward Scotland, that he vouchsased upon us purity of ordinances, and established in some measure church government according to the apostolic institution and the pattern of best reformed churches; but this being the eye-fore and but of malice to that prevalent party of sectaries, they have broken down the hedge, and setting up their idol of toleration, that abomination of desolation, hath introduced innumerable swarms of fects and heresies, so defacing the truth of religion, and destroying the tender vine planted by the right hand of the most high, to the reproach of the gospel, the endangering the souls of many thousands simple and unstable, the hindrance of reformation according to the covenant, and the advantage and rejoycing of the enemies of true protestant religion, which we are deeply engaged to maintain with our lives and fortunes, to the uttermost of our power. And that is sufficient grounds of war, no religious man will deny.
Secondly, Our righteous king and lord, by the descent of many generations without competitors, these malefactors do prosecute, and have forced to be in exile from his crowns and kingdoms; and thinking themselves never secure, though in their unjust usurpation, so long as the heir is alive, are ready bent for his destruction; yet, as we trust, the king of kings, who hath eminently delivered from the paws of these murtherers, will still continue to own and preserve him from the fury of the cruel adversary, and in his own appointed time establish him upon the thrones of his predecessors; so we for our parts, through God's assistance, shall abide in all dutiful obedience and subjection to his majesty, who is our king, and father of our country, God's vicegerent on earth, and according to many oaths and obligations lying upon us, shall defend and maintain him in his just power and dignity, so long as we have any being.
Thirdly, Our country calls for our assistance for her deliverance from servile bondage; and albeit the Lord in his righteous judgment hath humbled us, so that strangers and servants (having forsaken their particular trades and negotiations) do rule over us, yet he hath not left us altogether destitute of means of recovering our native and ancient liberty, and of rejecting this yoke, which neither we nor our forefathers have been able to bear; and to recover lost liberty from unjust usurpation, whensoever opportunity is offered, is lawful, our enemies themselves being judges.
Besides all these, any one whereof is a ground sufficient for war in any nation, we have the command of a king, authorizing us, the condition of our brethren prisoners inviting us, who have been so long in captivity, and under restraint; we have the call of Scottish hearts strugling within our breasts to be rid of thraldom, and requiring us actively to bestir ourselves for the restauration of our desireable things, for the recovery of the honour and same of Scotland, once so famous at home and abroad, but now much obscured by the fraudulency and subtlety of our enemies concurring with the treachery and base persidy of some of our own, occasioned by faction and division, wherein we have always laboured, and which hath been an essential ingredient in all our overthrows. This glory and same of our nation hath been so dear unto the ancestors, that they have been more tender thereof, than of their lives. Witness the many bloody battles in defence of Scotland's right against Picts, Danes, and Britons, Saxons, Irish, English, and the conquering Romans; and maugre all these enemies, they transmitted it unconquered (always under the government of one race of kings) unto us of this generation. And shall we degenerate so far from this laudable principle of our predecessors, as to betray the honour and reputation of Scotland, the liberties and privileges of our posterity, by our base and servile spirits, and bury them in perpetual oblivion ? Whatever be the thoughts of those that dwell at case, standing aloof from us, as not concerned in this business, preferring their goods and possesions to all that should be accounted dear and precious to any people, forgetting the oaths and obligations that lye upon them, and postponing honest freedom with danger to secure servitude; we, who have come forth with our lives in our hands, our serious resolution is to dye and live in the defence and maintaining of our religion, king, and nation, and no travail nor sorrow, how great soever, may seem great or insuperable to us, providing the Lord of hosts countenance us, and shine upon our undertakings for the re-establishment of lawful government, and reparation of the nation's ancient splendor. We shall not use many other arguments to move our brethren (true hearted Scotsmen) to joyn with us in this present war; only beware of incurring the bitter curse of Meroz, who came not forth to help the Lord against the mighty; and remember what Mordecai said to queen Esther, and apply it right (whereas she feared to undertake for the relief of the Jews) if tbou boldest thy peace at this time, comfort and deliverance shall appear to the Jews out of another place, but thou and thy father's house shall perish. The Lord, I am confident, will not suffer us always to be beaten with this crooked rod; and if we Scottishmen through our unwillingness, want of faith, and resolution, withdraw from this business, the lord will find out and fit other instruments for the ruin of this persidious generation, and deliverance of Scotland, yet with the less credit and comfort to those, whom he hath brought forth. We think it very strange, and no small matter of astonishment, that those, whom we did esteem good patriots, and real friends to this cause, do deny us their countenance and assistance in this nick of time, though we see no sufficient ground to affright any, saving such whose conscience dog them, because unnaturally and impiously they have joined with the people of these abominations, to the perpetual ignominy of them and their posterity. Doth the season of the year affright any ? then they are not of the Scottish race; Scotorum est fortia pati: or do they fear to join with so small an army ? Besides that argues want of faith and pusillanimity, it seems they never heard or read of king Robert Bruce of famous memory, sir William Wallace, and many others registered in the records of same, who with small beginnings and numbers, through their unwearied labours, firm confidence, valiant resolute attempts, have expelled usurpers out of their lands even in the days of darkness. These, I fear, in the day of judgment shall witness against them for their infidelity and base fear. Or are you so scrupulous, that ye will not join with your fellowsubjects and brethren of the Highlands ? Whatever we may pretend, we shall say for them, that loyalty and obedience to lawful magistrates cannot be banished out of their hearts; they cannot endure foreign bondage, which proves them to be descended of the ancient and Scottish race; neither will they easily admit of novelty in matters of religion. So that without hurting your conscience, you may join with them in this cause, separating from their vices, if any appear. We will not labour to remove other objections, for we fee not how any can be answerable to authority afterward, if they slight this our call.
And to conclude, we desire all our friends and brethren, who love the lord Jesus Christ, their king, and native country, to be frequently instant at the throne of grace for us, that it would please the Lord of Hosts to sanctify us, and vouchsafe, that he may dwell in our camp, that he would direct our leaders, and keep us from all abominations, that may provoke the Lord to put power in the hands of enemies for our hurt; that the glory of God, the honour and happiness of our king, the well and same of our name, be always before our eyes, as the main end of our undertakings, and may prove the result of the whole business. And who knoweth, but God may be pleased to do us good in our latter end, and help us with a little help, so that our hands may be sufficient for us against our enemies ? And this may be the day, wherein the lord will plead with our enemies for all the blasphemies and wicked cruelties which they have committed, and bring down the pride and haughty spirits of those, who have exalted themselves above all the ordinances of Jesus Christ; so that the nations round about beholding the exemplary punishment of these evil doers, may do no more wickedly, but learn to fear the name of the Lord, who executeth righteous judgments through all the earth, although in all humility we do confess ourselves unworthy to be instrumental in so pious and necessary a work.
A letter of general Monck.
Yours with the intelligence dated the 1st instant I received yesterday in the afternoon by a messenger; and for what is therein mentioned about the state of the fleet, I have given the councell a general account before, and a more particular account at severall times to the commissioners of the admiralty; and if any further account bee desired, I shall give it them upon my cominge up to London, which I hope will bee very suddainly. In the meane time I desire to receive the councell's order for the great ships to bee sent in; which is all at present, but that I am
Beverning to Opdam.
I Know very well that my mean consideration can add so very little weight in regard of so many endeavours, which are added as well by the public as private, it would be a piece of boldness in me to advise you to take upon you the public service of our dear country, which your inborn generosity will highly advance. I have some public and private reason to perswade your lordship to it; for I do verily believe (as I do pray from the bottom of my heart) that God Almighty will bless under your wife and vigorous direction the just arms of our state.
Captain Vander Zaen to the States General.
High and mighty lords,
My lords, I cannot omit to let your lordships know, what has happened since our departure out of the Texell to the date hereof. Upon the 4th of October I sent my clerk with the galliot towards the Holy Land and the Elbe, there to take cognizance of the English ships; in the mean time we plyed to and fro.
The 4th of October in the night, there came into our fleet a strange ship; and we made chace after her. Not long after, captain John Admirael came within speech of him, and the next day the schipper came on board of me; his name is Egbert Meyndertsen of Embden, master of a fluyte called the Fisherman, of the burthen of 100 tons, last coming from Koningsburg, laden with rye, bound for Embden. Furthermore I examined the said master, who told me, that he had seen the vice-admiral de Witt with 120 or 130 sail of ships lying at anchor, below the Riff of Schagen, upon the 10th of September, 1653. He said also, there were six or seven men of war under sail plying to and fro. He said also, that he had spoken with a galliot, who told him, that five of the East India ships were got before Copenhagen; and afterwards I asked him if he had seen any English, and he said no; all this the said master declared upon oath. The 5th of October I sent captain John Admirael towards the Holy Land, to inform himself, and to look after our galliot, which we had sent the 3d ditto: the wind blowing a stiff gale of wind at west fouth-west in the morning we mist two of our ships by reason it had blown hard, and about noon our galliot came back with my clerk, who brought word, that the English had set sail from the Elve, the second of this month, which we were very sorry to understand. Now I shall farther govern myself according to my instructions and orders given me by their lordships.
A letter of intelligence.
Their fleet consisting of five East India and above three hundred merchantmen are arrived, haveinge left behind them the three East India ships and above a hundred more at Bergen, with seventeen men of warr; some saye thirty, to wayte on them for their convoy, when they can get out, which some doubt will scarsly be this winter, it being so late in the year, that apparently they will be froze in. 'Tis thought, that fleet behinde is richer then all these. I never see people so alterd in their vanting language, for now they will not have peace with you but on their owne tearms, putting great confidance in their new admirall and fleet, which they conceave to be strong enough to beat you out at sea; at least to keep you in the river. To that purpose tis resolved to send seventy sayle of their men of warr into the river of Thames, and to cruise up and downe the channell. De Witt with the men of warr came not into harbor, but lye of the Texell with about sixty four or sixty five sayle attending the admirall, whoe went from Amsterdam to **** is to goe to **** presently, and convoy the East India ship for Zeeland, and so for your coaste: there are **** of warre in Zeeland, or more with him, which will make neare eighty sayle, and so soone as possible to get the gunns out of the East India shipps to laye them on some of their new shipps. I heare they intend to make ten of them ready with all speede, which are all from forty to fifty. The rest are almost ready, only want men and gunns, which they will get for money that they cannot want, the people being more willing to contribute then ever **** then I can assure you when all their fleet is joyned, they will be an hundred and thirty stout men of warr. That which gives them courage, is by reason you have no considerable strength abroad, and that which they hope for is to meet with some of your shipps in the downes, or keep those in the river from joyninge with the other at sea. They are informed by some Inglish that live at Amsterdam, that you are equipaginge eighty sayle, whereof thirty are merchantmen, who they little vallew. Twas your great shipps terrified them, but I hope you will provide a fleet equall to theirs, and send them quickly from your coasts. There is yet no news of the ten men of warr that came from the Streights; which causes them to feare they are cast away. Neither is yong Tromp come with four shipps from Rochell. You will see, that they will sett out all their force, if they once but offer to settle themselves on your coast; therefore 'tis best you prevent them. In the Hage and other part of the countrie they are more confident of a peace, then those merchants of Amsterdam, who have most reason to desier it. I presume the two commissioners are with you before this. The Dane labors to break your treatye, and prossers all his assistance, all on condition they shall espouse C. Stewart's interest. Middleton is removed from the Hage, whether I knowe not, but some shipps are certaynely to goe for Scotland with armes to the Highlanders, whom they conjecture to be in a good posture to trouble you: your bookes write a little to much in their favour, which increases these people's hopes. Londonderry is buying a bigger shipp to steale with: his randevous is at Flushing, where he hath gott two or three meane prises. The Inglish preachers at Amsterdam, especially one Price, prayeth and preacheth vehemently against you; and many Inglish officers in these states service are your greatest enemyes, whoe ought to be thought on, if you agree with the Duch.
Webster indeavours to possess the magistrates and states of his acquaintance, that our wisest cours is not to agree with you, and many hearken to him. All the Inglish prisoners are releast. If you conceave appearance of peace, I praye you intimate it to me, because many here are too far overruled by their owne passions, that they will wager any thing to the contrary. Bryan O Neal hath bin at Amsterdam with Webster from C. Stewart to borrow money, but his ould friend would parte with none. There is now no more talk of his comming into these parts. First he will see the operation of the French embassye, which some grandees suppose will little prevayle with Holland, they being more inclyned to agree with you. I have now had none from you in four weeks. When you write mee, direct your letter to John Adams at Hamburgh, and put a cover over it to mee here; for I thinke my friend will not continew at Antwerp. I shall be glad to heare from you, assuring you
A letter to secretary Thurloe.
Yours I received last night, and as desyred, I shall always sende my letter to Mr. Frost the elder, to be sent to you. Last weeke I sente to him a full sheete of paper written cloase from Holland, Brussells, and Ratisbon, and matters of greate importance in it; foe you may inquire for it, being very worthie your knowing.
Besides what you have inclosed, I have from Paris, that 3000 Irish, with their colonells, officers, and armes in a bodie, march'd in Catalonia to the French from the Spaniard; and that, as they say, by command from the Scottish kinge, who will employ them and others, to recover his and their interests. The sayd king is now well recovered; and I heare an expresse came to him from Holland, but from whome, or what this messadg is, I doe not yet knowe. There are come to him from Scotland two fellowes, they call commissioners, with one colonel Bamfield or some such name, desyreinge that kinge to hasten to Scotland with succours in person or otherwise; and alsoe assureinge him, that they have for his service in a readiness 12,000 men. Likewise, that the lord Lorne is real in the service, by whose actions he may be assured of his father Argyle, who onelie secureth himself as nowe he doth, the better to be enabled for his majesty's service.
An intercepted letter.
My dear heart,
I Presume you need no intelligence, how things stand between that place where you are and us; and yet I must tell you, some letters come from thence, that bring as great untruths, as if the writers of them lived in Turky. Here is much to say from home, for our state is in hard labour, and many men and wives called in to help deliver her, and what God will send is not yet known; but almost all the whole army are come up to be godfathers: however, I will say nothing more to you now, for this being my first arrow, I will see whether it hit the butt, or fly beside, before I shoot another. As to my writing any more to Mr. Nicholas Chevalier in your absence, I intend it not, for tho' I love and honour the marquis of Ormond with my soul, and would trust my life with him, yet I know the cabal he is involved in, which must know all that he doth, and therefore serviteur tres humble: but of this not a syllable, I beseech you. Pray tell me, if Wilmot be where you are, because Doleman tells me he is, and hath been there these six weeks, and desireth his assistance to get his leave of the state here, to come over and settle here; and that his col. William Killegrew hath written him several letters about it, and sir Peter Killegrew, old Will's brother, says as much too.
I confess it amazeth me, and discourageth thousands here, from hoping any farther good, if he see cause to quit his master. His wife and friends here give the lye loudlye to William Killegrew; but the best is, he is far enough off, and needs not strike them. Prithee send me the truth of this business. It is said here by some of your fellow servants, that your business into Holland is to your lady and mistress, and not from your lord and master; but I hope that's an arrant lye. I hope I need not give you a character of any of those officers of that place, that are now here, to bid you take heed, how you correspond with them; for I hope, their several insides are as well known unto you, as their outsides. Pray tell me what's become of Percy, Culpepper, Long, and the rest, that make the place, where you are, so long their abode.
Vande Perre and Beverning to the lords of the admiralty of Amsterdam.
It did please their high and mighty lordships by their resolution of the 20th of June last, to order and authorize us, that we should endeavour with all conveniency the releasement of our prisoners here, and likewise to approve that, which we have done therein hitherto by virtue of the said resolution, in pursuance whereof we have concluded again an exchange of twenty six seamen, and amongst them two boys; and this is done without paying of cost and charges. And we have promised, that as many English shall be released in lieu of them; and they here have also promised, that as many as we will release of their men now prisoners in Holland, they will release the like number here, as your lordships may see by a copy of the act here inclosed; therefore we humbly desire your lordships, that upon the exhibition of these, eighteen English Seamen, and amongst them two boys, may be released; and that you would be pleased to send us the names and qualities of the released; and whether it be your lordships pleasure to release any more there. We can assure your lordships, that upon the exhibition of the said act, as many will be released here in lieu of them; and if your lordships please to let us know, which you will have released here, we shall willingly observe your desires therein.
An intercepted letter from Paris.
I Have received your extraordinary kind letters, and my present necessity forced me to press my city friend. I would advise you not to give him quite over for delays, it being very troublesome to seek new foundations; and I am very confident, if he do not do it, we shall be soiled and lost in the design. I would wish you to hold him hard up for 500l. which will put me in an equipage for a handsome subsistance, and the more money the more advantage.
My master went yesterday to Chastillon to refresh for a week; in the mean time things are ripening. One return of 100l. were worth a million. I know there is no want in you. God increase your troubles at home, that we may work upon the distraction abroad: if our main business can be done, we are made for ever: stick close to it.
An intercepted letter.
My dear and dearest Mall,
I Received your letter with great joy; but when I came to the expression of your miserable condition, I read and wept; first, that I knew you were so, and next, that you seemed to be jealous of my diligence to relieve. Had not I departed in the very nick of time, I had been certainly intercepted, so lost and both ruined; but now I am safe, well received, and approved of, and never in a fairer way to make a fortune, which you must always without flattery command (as most due.) In my passage I was stormed by sea, and assaulted by land; since my arrival I fell into a fever, but praised be God, very perfectly recovered. You shall constantly have an account from me and how to write. I hope my last letter to Mr. Johnson, or in his absence to Mr. Hinchemore, will recover your spirits, and satisfy your mind. As for your enemies regard them not, for they know not how to be civil, either to themselves, or others.
An intercepted letter.
My Dear Heart,
Since my coming hither I have learned, that the states of Holland have resolved once more humbly to desire a peace from you, but shall cost them no money, nor cautionary towns, nor enter into coalition, nor offensive war. If you will enter into a strict union of a defensive for trade, and include Denmark, they'll treat upon the former articles. I do not hear they'll send any other than those there, but make their propositions by them; if granted, they send others; if not, they are to return. Most of the rest of the provinces are against this, and would have those there recalled, the war vigorously prosecuted, and alliances made every where, as they did against Spain. The assembly of the several provinces meet here on Tuesday next, where, I am consident, the province of Holland will carry their vote against all the rest, for they have the purse. How much it concerns my mistress and me to know, whether such a peace will be received there, if it be, I will not remove our little stock; if not, I am resolved to buy a little frigot, and go to sea, and serve my native country. I am going to Amsterdam to buy fans and some India things for my mistress. Farewel, dear heart.
A letter of intelligence.
Since my last to you, in answer to all your desires, besides what you have had already, I have to add, that from a good hand here it is known (or at least said so to be) that Beverning our deputy there for this province of Holland hath some secret conventions with some of yours relating to the lord general Cromwell, unknown to the other deputy Vande Perre from Zealand; but that is best known to you there. Much more is said of it in these parts by the great ones.
Moreover, here is secretly insinuated, that a wellwisher to both the commonwealths, quasi proprio motu, hath written to Mr. Beverning some propositions, which with the consent and assistance of Mr. Vande Perre (who is a fast man) were represented as coming from hence to the lord general Cromwell, or some known to him. The substance of the propositions, as near as I can remember, was this:
That there should be a strict colligation offensive and defensive betwixt the two commonwealths; and that Denmark, Sweden, and the free cities should be comprehended in the same, as also France, granting and confirming to the Hugonors the accustomed liberties for religion in France.
That they should always maintain one hundred ships of war in defence of the republics, whereof England was to maintain at their charge sixty ships, and the Netherlands forty, in manner as in the treaty should be agreed upon.
That four deputies of England should always reside in Holland, and four members of the States General assigned to confer, treat, and consult with them of the affairs of both the commonwealths; and that likewise four deputies of the States General should reside in England, and four members of that commonwealth in like manner to negotiate, &c.
That England in the East-Indies shall give up to the States General all the holds and forts they have there; and that the Dutch shall in the West-Indies give up to the English all the places they possess there; and maintain at their own charges twenty five ships there, 'till the English be quietly possessed of all, and Brasil shall be in the Hollanders possession, &c.
Here they are much encouraged to the war with your commonwealth, by reason their fleets of war and merchants are arrived in the Sound; and they expect them daily home with an addition of convoy, if there be cause, from the king of Denmark; also three East-India ships, which they feared to be lost, are arrived safely in some harbour of Norway.
The Substance of the lord Beuningen's letter to the States General. From Stockholm
That some small convoy was to be sent with ships belonging to merchants, to some of the free cities. That the king of Spain's ambassador don Antonio Pimentel, who after departing from Gottenburgh, being three days at sea, was constrained by a leak to return into the same place, from whence he went to the queen to Norcoping, twelve leagues from thence, and he is expected here with her majesty within a few days.
The commerce betwixt Stockholm and Dantzick is prohibited, by reason of the plague. Many passengers were to enter, and commanded away, others entered, but all the houses they came into are shut up, lest the sickness should go farther: many die straight at their repulse, and more of them that landed.
There were letters in Stockholm from Poland, importing that the great duke of Muscovy is inclining to conclude a league offensive and defensive with that crown; which, if it be true, will cause great jealousies in the Swedish court.
The substance of a letter written by Beverning and Vande Perre to the states, written from London 26 Sept. 1653. [N. S.]
That the English fleet is gone to Yarmouth, whither the deputies thought to send an express to observe all things, but hearing they were ready to set fail, they thought it sit to save the labour and expence. They assure, that four English frigates have perished upon the coast of Ireland, and another in the west of England. They enlarge, that in London they use all possible means to raise monies. That the houses and lands, which they made mention of in their former letters, were absolutely to be sold, and that they were resolved to take from the Papists two parts of their estates by composition during life, but their heirs to enjoy all after their parents death, so they become protestants.
The resolution of the States General, the 2d of Octob. at the Hague, 1653. [N. S.]
The lord Schoock, deputy of the province of Guelderland has pressed very much (by order from the noble and mighty lords states his principals now assembled in Zutphen) in the assembly, to the end that all officers, strangers, and Scottishmen, who are in the service of the states, shall be cited, called, and received to take their oaths, and that any such of them as shall not come within the time to be limited, or deny to take the oath, shall be dismissed, their places to be disposed of to others. In the second place he communicated some papers, wherein mention is made of the dyet of Essen. In the third he demanded by express orders from the above noble highnesses his superiors, that the companies both of horse and foot shall with all speed return to their old garrisons, and on this occasion, that all fortifications of the places, frontiers, and particularly those that are upon the rivers of Rhine, Schelde, Mosa, and Wahal to be well fortified and garrisoned with more men. After deliberation, it is resolved, that the model of the oath formerly observed for the foreign nations shall be written again and considered of in the assembly. Upon the second point, the provinces are required to find another able person to go in place of the agent Bilderbeck (who lyeth still sick) to the dyet of Essen, for the affecting of their highnesses resolution of the 27th Sept. last. The third point shall be put into the hands of the lords deputies of their high and mighty lordships, appointed for patents, that they may confer upon the same with some lords named by the council of state, and to make report of their sense thereupon. And the lord Schoock is by these subrogated into the place of the lord Huygens by reason of his absence, &c.
A letter of intelligence.
From Ratisbon I have nothing for you these two last posts, by reason whereof I suspect your friend is at least indisposed; by the next I hope you shall know. Here is nothing now spoken of the truce between the two crowns; but at the court's return hither from the field, if any life be in it, we shall know. You may be assured, that at the mediation of the pope's nuncio in Paris (as desired by the king of France from the said nuncio) a pass is granted to mons. Chanut (of whom I have often writ to you) to pass through Flanders into Holland, as ambassador from France. His business, I believe, you cannot be ignorant of, for a strict alliance, &c.
The archduke is not far from Rocroy with the duke of Lorrain, at a town called Mazon, with their armies, which are reduced by sickness, slaughter, wounds, running away, and other accidents, from above 30,000 to 24,000 at most; and the French army reduced proportionably and worse, as our intelligence here importeth, so that much more of action is not this season to be looked for.
Beverning to de Witt.
Concerning colonel Wurtz we are further and fully informed, that he receives for certain a pension of 1000 rix-dollars per annum of the queen of Sweden. The ambassador of Portugal intends to stay here all this winter; he hath taken him a new house. The fleet of this state is at present wholly scattered and divided. The great ships are mod of them come in, and the small ships with the frigates are divided into three squadrons, and cruise up and down, so that we believe there are none now at present upon the coast of Holland. General Monck is in person here, and makes account to be at sea again within these three weeks with eighty ships. I cannot omit to tell you once more, that we are not only informed from day to day, of the general and good disposition of the government here to a peace, but that they do expect with much patience and a great desire the farther resolutions of their high and mighty lordships, which they intend to send unto us; and that those, who are most affected to the state of their high and mighty lordships and the common work of a near alliance between both the commonwealths, do importune us every day, that we should make some new propositions to the council, who are now thought to be so well inclined to it, that they would willingly embrace a new conference. It is certain, that the credit of Harrison and that faction of the Anabaptists is now going down, who have been most against us.
We will not take upon us to enter any wise into those deliberations, which do wholly and solely belong to their high and mighty lordships; and the less, that we be not easily misled with a vain hope in the businesses of the world, and especially in those which are of so great consideration; but we do think it our duty to declare, how we find the hearts and humours of men here, and with humble permission we may say (as we have done to their lordships, in order to the welfare of the state) that this is now a fit opportunity to be laid hold of, whilst their dispositions do tend to an accommodation.
A letter to Beverning and Vande Perre,
The wind is at last turned to the north-east, so that we do now daily expect the return of our fleet from die Sound, so long hoped for. There are some, who came yesterday from the Hague who say, that as they came they heard great store of guns go off at sea, but cannot tell what it signified. The admiral Opdam is still in the Texell, there to give order to his affairs; and there is now in all places great courage shewn, and strong equipping of ships of war and merchantmen, who intend to go this winter for the west. Captain Adriaen Roothals is by their high and mighty lordships appointed commander of the eleven ships, that remain in the Mediterranean.
Beverning and Vande Perre to the council of state.
Les soubsignez deputez de mess. les Estats Generaux des Provinces Unies requirent tres instamment mess. du conseil d'estat, de les gratifier d'un acte de passeport & saus conduit pour le navire appellé l'Elephant, dont le maistre est Claes Bouwents Prouck, estant loué pour transporter vers la Hollande 150 prisonniers, doat la deliverance à esté accordée & conclué avec messrs. Whaley & Downing, commissaire & schoutmeester general, contre autant d'autres de la nation Angloise, prisonniers en nostre pays, que nous avons promis, & promettons encores par cellecy de faire relacher aussitost que les nostres y seront arrivez; requirant tres instamment, qu'il plaise à mess. du conseil d'en faire depecher les actes le plustost que faire se pourra.
An intercepted letter from London to Holland.
I Hope the quarrel of the two nations is not so epidemical, that all Holland must hate all those, that are in England. If I thought that, I would leave this soil in a fisher-boat, and return to them I love best. I dare not communicate my propositions for the steering my future course, until I am sure my letters come to hand, or until I have made a voyage, to ask your opinion. I have many reasons to desire the latter; and withal I have a great desire to kneel once more unto your mistress, the person of the world, whom you and I have most cause to respect and value; unto whom, if you approve my confidence, I would have my duty presented with as much humility, as you can imagine to express it, which you can never utter more lowly than are my thoughts, although you are much the better cour
A letter of intelligence from the Hague,
I Have received yours of the 23 Sept./3 Octob. and the inclosed assignation, for which I give you humble thanks. The lords Nicuport and Amerongen are returned from Zutphen, where they have admonished the states of Guelderland to furnish their shares in the millions desired for the equipage at sea; but the said states having already taken the inclosed resolution they persist therein, and have referred themselves to that; and I can assure you that is the intention and design of all the rest; prince of Orange's party verily believing, that the Hollanders do steer a wrong course, and that they will not, or dare not provoke or offend the English, since they will not make war by way of diversion, in giving assistance to the Highlanders; for say princess party, for the present all the subsidies of the provinces do serve to conduct the merchantmen and merchandize of those of Holland, not to subdue the English.
In the mean time the Hollanders do not greatly care for that, but will endeavour once more the procuring of a peace upon the same terms, which you have seen formerly. You write, that the coalition would be for the common good, and for the good of this state; but invitum qui servat idem facit occidenti; since that Holland is contented with a strict alliance, which hath not the name of coalition (judged impracticable) why is it, that the English do stand so much upon it ? I can assure you, that all prince's party would be very much surprized, if they did see council of state resolved upon that, for prince's party do no wise desire peace.
I do perceive, although it be said, that the new commissioners that are here, shall return into England, that those two that are in England will be enough; but the jealousy of grave William and prince's party is so great, that that of Friesland cannot be diverted nor retained, for fear that Holland do not treat apart.
The vice-admiral de Witt writes, that he is very much troubled and afraid, that the English fleet, strong an hundred sail, might be upon the coasts of Holland; and he having but forty, he doth earnestly pray, that the remainder of the ships in the Texell may be sent unto him, which are in all but thirty six, whereof seventeen are gone to the Elbe to surprise (if they can) the English, and afterwards to go towards the Sound. But if it be true, as they write from Hamburgh, the English are before the Elbe with their whole fleet.
The commissioners in England do write continually of the great misery of the Dutch prisoners; that they are so ill used, that there dye ten or twenty in a day; that at present they have contrived, that an hundred or an hundred and fifty (who are escaped) shall be transported, notwithstanding the prohibition.
The design of the queen of Sweden is to be seen in the placart (which she hath published) to conduct her ships, and those that are neutrals, towards Flanders, the channel, and also towards England; insomuch that she doth understand that navigation to be free, or at least to protect her ships against the free-booters or private men of war. And altho' that for the present she hath but three, notwithstanding, if the design take, she will keep more; and this causeth here a great deal of jealousy, for they do fear, least all the Baltic trade, which was wont to be driven here, or by the Hollanders themselves, be driven hereafter outright and directly by the Swedes, and those of the east countries, in Flanders, England, France, Portugal, Spain, &c. which would be a mighty prejudice to traffic and commerce here; for they are very jealous here already, because that trading doth begin to increase at Hamburgh.
The sending towards Essen, where is held the dyet of the circle of Westphalia, is grown cold. Also the lord Eckscoute of Zutphen is already come there half for himself and half for the public, so that by his means they may do what they desire.
The commissioners in England do write, that as well the lord general as others have and do cause them to be sounded by several persons and at several times, if they have not or shall not have new instructions sent them to treat, giving thereby to understand, that council of state is inclined, and well resolved to treat and to peace. The said commissioners do admonish, that in no manner of wise they will not let slip this fair opportunity and disposition, but that as soon as may be States General will write and send unto them new order to continue the treaty with council of state; who otherwise and without that do give to understand, that they can no longer look upon the said commissioners with a good eye. In pursuance of this no doubt but they will resolve very suddenly, but as yet the provinces are not yet ready. Also to answer and satisfy the great complaints of the prisoners (some being sick, others threatening to serve aboard the English ships) and to prevent greater inconveniences, they have resolved to appoint and authorize the commissioners in England to treat for to have them released, quam queant minimo, or at least, paying a month wages.
The ambassador of Spain, the first time since his sickness, hath had audience; after some compliments he did insist very seriously for the erecting of a chambre mipartie. Item, He made complaint, for that they had ransomed a priest taken in the mairie of Boisleduc at 600 livres, directly against the treaty of peace. I am
P. S. A certain Frenchman doth cause to be built at Rotterdam, a certain new invention of a ship, which is to go with certain instruments without sail, with incredible strength and swiftness, either with or against the wind, and will be so great, that he says that he will go out in it in the morning from Rotterdam, and make to be at Dieppe in France by dinner time, and return back again that night to Rotterdam. The strength of it will be of such force, that he doth undertake to make his way with it through the biggest and strongest ship of the English; and he told the lord admiral Opdam when he was at Rotterdam to see his work, that he would go to sea with him, and doth promise that he with his ship alone will destroy thirty of the English men of war.
Many think, that this man doth want some helleborum; others, yea some of the states, think no, the more because he comes recommended hither by the lord ambassador Boreel, and he is known to be a subtle mathematician, and forasmuch as concerneth the theory, he giveth good reason for the design. Many people go to Rotterdam to see his work, although he keeps the art to himself, and doth not shew it. It will be ready, as he says, in fourteen days, and he will be himself in the ship to make the operation.
One that is come from Rotterdam tells me, that this new projected work will be seventy six foot long, and seven foot broad. It will have two keels and a flat bottom, and two rudders (gubernacula) both in the middle: the instrument is in the middle, by which four men are to sit. There goes to this work 22,000 pounds of iron, which is employed about it. Before and behind it hath a steel pin, and with them it will carry an enemy's ship under water, and in case this pin doth light upon an iron bolt, they can immediately turn this ship with that swistness, that it will be out of cannon shot in a moment.
If you will go with speed, with this new device you may go 15 mile in an hour, or 180 miles in twenty four hours, 1260 miles a week, and 5040 miles in twenty eight days, which would be almost the whole circumference of the world.
The inventor doth employ at work above an hundred persons; but to prevent that nothing be discovered, he changes very often his smiths and carpenters, bespeaking of this body one thing, of that body another thing.
The multitude of spectators is so great, that the magistrates of Rotterdam sent to this inventor, to ask him, whether the concourse of the people did not hinder his work: he said no: every spectator gives a penny to the poor.
He makes his work at his own charges, and it will cost him twenty or thirty thousand guilders. It is said, that he hath an estate of sixteen thousand guilders to spend per annum; and that he hath spent two or three tons of gold to find out this invention. Being asked, why he did not make known this invention in France, says (as the alchemists) that he was afraid they would have secured him for his art's sake, that so his art might have remained in France alone.
Raedt pensionary de Witt to Beverning.
Upon the receipt as well of your public as private letter, both of the third of this month, there hath been something agreed on as to the offering of a ransom for the prisoners, but nothing upon the subject of negotiation, because the provinces of Zealand and Guelderland declared, that they had no orders from the lords their principals, which they were expecting, and so could not advise therein. The lords of Utrecht declared, tho' they had no order, yet they were willing to advise about it, in case the other provinces would so far enlarge themselves. The lords of Friesland declared they had orders to carry on the business so far, as that the lords Nieuport and Jongestall should return into England, again and to make an attempt, whether those of England could be moved to treat upon the thirty six articles. Thus far we have proceeded, and to hasten the business, we thought fit to send copies of your secret letter to the principals of those provinces, who have not yet sent their orders to their commissioners here.
On Sunday last the government received letters from vice-admiral de Witt, dated the 19th of the last month, who doth advise, that he lay with his fleet near the Huick Van Schagen, and all safe and well.
The lord Keyser writes the same from Copenhagen, that the East India men and merchantmen were going to be convoyed to him by fourteen Danish ships, the commander whereof had order, not only to convoy them so far, but to go farther with them, as wind and weather should serve and as he should think fit and necessary.
Vande Perre to the lord de Bruyne, raedt pensionary of the states of Zealand, at Middleburgh.
My last was the 3d of this month: since there is no post come, which we very much long for. 617. 9. 21. 7. 6. 12. 26. the good dispositions do. 14. 12. 7. not only continue, but as we are diversly informed increase, and yesterday in particular a person who upon good grounds. 17. 12. 5. 28. 17. 6. 3. 15. 7. 17. 27. can speak of it, told me, in case we 12/12. 9. 7. were qualified 12. 8. 12. 15. 77. 24. 27. with some 12. 9. 7. father 3. propositions 7. 22. 24. 21. 22. 21. 26. 12. 27. 12. 71. that would do 17. the work chiesly. 7. 17. 22. 24. 12. 17. 5. 12. 22. 3. and 17. within fourteen days 10. 7. 17. might be ended: that which is suddenly and unexpectedly altered of late, may suddenly take another course.
The ambassador of Portugal doth not yet depart from hence; and it is very likely, that he will be all this winter here, by reason he removes his lodgings, thereby to live more at ease, and with more pleasure. Most of the ships of this state are come into Rochester, Chatham, and the Downs, and many of them without masts or tackling.
The smallest of the ships, to the number of forty, are said to remain out at sea, and are divided into three squadrons, which do cruise in several places; and that general Monck, who is now in town, will be ready to go to sea with eighty ships designed for the winter guard within these three weeks; whereof fifty are to cruize between the heads and channel, and twenty in the north sea, which last are to serve most for convoy. The credit of M.G. Harrison and of the Anabaptists 43. 22. 27. 12. 26. 27. 7. 17. doth lessen, which may be held for one of the chiefest reasons of the said change and melioration. The lord colonel Wurts, who doth qualify himself as envoy or commissioner of Denmark, to obtain the neutrality here for him, we have found, that he hath a yearly pension paid him by queen of Sweden. Whether this be not worth considering of, I shall leave to you to judge. Upon the continual insisting of several persons inhabitants of this country, commissary general Whaley hath presented unto us a list of twenty six common seamen, prisoners at Amsterdam and Hoorne, to be exchanged for as many of our men here, to which we have agreed; whereof we have made choice of Egbert Janson to be one, a man of great experience, and one who hath done his country very great service. Since we have a conference with commissary general Whaley, obtained by the means of scout master general Downing: and we have there agreed for the exchange of an hundred and fifty seamen. In the said number of an hundred and fifty, are forty five Zealanders.
There are still every day marching towards this town more soldiers horse and foot out of the countries, and several are quartered already in this city, who march up and down the streets, and do keep strict watch by day and by night.
Bisdommer to Beverning and Vande Perre.
The second of this month, there went seventeen of our men of war from the Texell towards the Elbe, there to meet twenty three English ships laden with all manner of ammunition of war, and having no more than five convoyers to assist them in the transportation thereof, for England. The said ships set sail upon one and the same day ours from the Texell and the English from Hamburgh, but ours had the advantage of a southerly wind; and it is believed, that when those English ships with their lading come to fall into the hands of this state, that it will be such a defect and prejudice to the English power at sea, that they will not be able to set forth any fleet to sea in a great while through want of powder. The lord Keyser doth advise out of Denmark, that the East India ships with many other merchantmen lay there, sail ready; and that his majesty of Denmark had appointed and ordered fourteen of his best men of war and five fireships, to convoy our ships to the end of Schaeger Riff. The lord of Opdam is hastening all he can to be gone to sea.
On Tuesday last the college of the admiralty at Rotterdam caused four seamen to be hanged, and one to be burnt in the shoulder, and many to be duck'd, being those, who a while since did endeavour to fire an East India ship, which ship was in the last engagement against the English, but was kept from coming up to engage through the said mariners, and so was forced to come into Goeree without engaging, declaring, that they were not hired to fight against the English, but to go for the East Indies.