A Collection of the State Papers of John Thurloe, Volume 1, 1638-1653. Originally published by Fletcher Gyles, London, 1742.
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November (1 of 5)
A letter of intelligence from Paris.
All the letters come hither from Champagne since my last have confirmed, that monsieur the prince is approached near St. Menehould, on purpose to relieve the place, some write with 2500 horse and 1500 foot; others again say, with 8000 men; but since the town is surrendered, and that the marshals of Turenne and de la Ferté do oppose him, and have seized upon several passages to fight him with advantage, it is thought, that he will not be able to effect his design: others believe, that it is only to make a diversion, and to surprize some other place, whilst his own are taken from him; but the last letters do advise, that the siege goes on but slowly, the troops of Guienne not being yet all arrived; and that by reason of the small experience of those four lieutenants or mareschals of camp, that have the management of the siege, the same hath not been rightly laid, nor the batteries raised to the best advantage, so that they have been fain to send the marshal of Plessis Praslin thither, to reform and alter the same. The letters from Bourdeaux do advise, that the king's authority there doth begin to be in vogue again. Many did think, that the duke of Vendosme would have committed an act of temerity in attempting to fight the Spaniards in the Garonne; but the most judicious have been deceived, for he hath been so successful, that his enemies fled before him without shooting one gun. Some say, they are only retreated, on purpose not to be surprized in the narrow by the number of fire-ships, which the said duke hath; but it is very easy to infer, that the said river is free, there being several ships laden with corn and other merchandizes arrived at Bourdeaux without any molestation. And likewise a vessel, that had been to transport madam the princess into Flanders, at her coming back, thinking to join with the Spaniards, fell into the hands of the French its enemies.
I do understand, that the princess Palatine hath miscarried at Châlons, whereof she is very ill at present. They write me from Rochell, that young Tromp was at last gone from them with eight men of war, and twenty five or thirty merchantmen, which he hoped to convoy through the channel; and that there was safely arrived in that port nine English ships laden with merchandizes, which the people there would have to be seized on, in regard of the great losses those of St. Malo have suffered by the parliament's forces.
Charles Stuart and his had never more sear, that a peace will be made between both commonwealths, than they have at present; but to flatter themselves according to their usual course, they do suppose, that the stopping of the letters from England for two posts together doth signify some new change in the government there, which hath caused the ports to be shut, and no ships to be suffered to go out.
Mr. William Hooke to the lord general Cromwell, from New-England.
Although I have written severall letters of thankfull acknowledgment of your lordship's bounty, since I understood of the favour, which my sonne found in your eies, yet lest any of them should fall short of your hands, I readily accept all opportunities presented, humbly to testify my selfe yours to my utmost, supplying by daily praiers what I cannot otherwise performe in way of due thankfulnes for the freenes of your bounty to one, whose face you never saw, nor can have any hopes of recompence from him, who is not onely so farr from you, but so much beneath you. Onely may I be numbred among those many, who do most unfeignedly and affectionatly honour and love you, and blesse God for you, praying, that the riches of his grace may still be magnifyed upon your selfe, and his blessings abundantly poured forth upon your family and posteritie after you.
The bearer hereof, captaine Astwood (a man very desireable and usefull amongst us) can
acquaint your lordship with our affaires, and the tottering state of things in these ends of the
earth, where the lines are fallen to us. concerning which I have written more fully to you in
a letter dated, I suppose, about a month before this, which I hope will come to you by the
hand of one Goodman Thornton, an honest man bound for Ireland. Briefly, whereas our
foure colonies, (the Bay, Plymouth, Connectacute, and Newhaven) have stood combined by
a solemne agreement, for which many prayers were put up to heaven, and many thankes
returned unto God, when it was effected, and which hath continued inviolate for the space
of ten yeers to the terrour of our enemies, whether Dutch or Indians; it is so, that the late
treaty of the commissioners for the foresaid colonies (among whom this bearer was one) concerning the undertaking of a warr against the Dutch, hath, after severall agitations and discussions of the point, occasioned the Bay to desert us (a colonie neare equall in greatnes to
the other three) and to breake the brotherly covenant, refusing to joyne in a military expe
dition against the Dutch, and lately against the Indians also, from whom we have received
much injury and contempt. The trueth is, the decliners feare their owne swords, more then
Dutch, or natives, or the displeasure of the state of England, conceiving, that if the sword
be once drawen, it will beare rule no lesse in our England then in yours, and so the magistrates of the generall court in the Bay (the principall opponents in the late argumentation)
feare, that they shall beare the sword in vaine. In the meane while, we are like to feele
the sad effects hereof, for greate discontents are risen in the mindes of many in the countrey
farr and neare, who are willing and ready to shake off all yokes, and utterly averse to pay
the vaste charge of late long fruitlesse commissions. A language of mutiny and sedition,
and of renouncing the present authority, is heard among us, whereby we are endangered as
well from within as from without our selves, and greate fractures and disjunctures are threatened, and the changes hastening upon us, whereof Mr. Cotton spake on his death-bed, upon
occasion of the comet, which shined many nights during his sicknes, and extinguished about
the time of his dissolution. Trade is obstructed, commodities (especially cloathing) very
scanty; greate discouragements upon the most, if not all; many still looking towards Ireland, and lissening after your lordship's former motion (whereof, I suppose, you will understand more fully by a letter signed with sevarall good hands) others more willing to visite
the British shores, and once more (if God will) to salute their native soyle, and a continual
dropping away there is from us, and feares of great dissolutions and desertions; and it is
strongly apprehended by the intelligent among us, that our cure is desperate, if the Dutch
be not removed, who lye close upon our frontiers westward (as the French do on the east)
interdicting the enlargement of our borders any farther that way; so that we and our posterity (now almost prepared to swarme forth plenteously) are confined and straightened, the
sea lying before us, and a rocky rude desert, unfitt for culture, and destitute of commodity
behinde our backs, all convenient places for accommodation on the sea coast already possessed
and planted. Our danger also from the natives is greate, to whom these ill neighbours have
traded, and still do, multitudes of guns, with powder, shott, and weapons, which the English have alwaies refused to do, that they might reserve the advantage of weapons to themselves, which ('till of late) hath been a terrour to the heathen. And by meanes of this
damnable trade (as the Dutch governor himselfe calls it) this earthly generation of men,
whose gaine is their God, are growen very gratious to the barbarians, who have them at
theire command, as an armed people prepared (if we enterprize ought against the Dutch)
to assault the English. But I am unwilling to detaine your lordship any longer with my
lines; the captaine knoweth how to supply my defects, and is indeed a fitt man to be imployed in service against the Dutch, if we come not too late, and if also your lordship shall
please to procure two or three frigotts to be sent for the clearing of the coast from a nation,
with which the English cannot either mingle, or easily sit under theire government as (yet)
some are put to do, and many others will; nor so moch as live by, without danger of our
lives and all our comforts in this world. And if these men might be dislodged, it would
contribute much to the cure of our intestine discontents, which arise principally from our
not enterprizing against these earthly-minded men. Yet if withall your lordship by your
letters, or the parliamentary power interposing by theire authority, or both, shall command
quietnes among our selves, and subjection in the people to the higher powers throwout the
several colonies, and also command assistance to be afforded from the Bay to the other three
colonies, in case of warr against the Dutch, it may please the Lord to heale our breaches,
and present distempers, and to cause us to live againe, wherein you shall do a singular service
to many churches of Christ, and be (through grace) an instrument in God's hand, of effecting greate things in these four colonies, as God hath used you to accomplish greate matters in three kingdomes. Blessed be his greate name for ever. I have no more to adde, but
the presentment of most humble respects to your excellency; and if your leasure will permit
the writing of a line, to acquit me from over-boldnes, having ventured so far upon your favour, it will be exceeding acceptable to him, who honoureth you in the Lord, heartily recommending yourselfe, with your honourable family, to the most rich grace of our God and
father in Christ Jesus, the hope of glory. Under his shadow I leave your lordship, and
Your lordship's in most observance, William Hooke.
Extract of a letter of mons. de Bordeaux, the French resident in England, to mons. de Brienne, secretary of state in France.
Articles offered to the company of merchant-adventurers, upon occasion of the treaty with the Dutch, November 3, 1653.
That all ancient privileges, immunities, and franchises, both for their persons and merchandizes, which many ages past were granted unto the merchants of England since known by the name of merchant-adventurers of England, by Philip, called the Good, duke of Burgundy, Brabant, and Limburg, and earl of Flanders, Artois, Holland, Zealand, and Namur, marquis of the empire, and lord of Friesland, Salmes, and Mechlin, on the 6th of August, anno 1446, and since confirmed by several intercourses by and between the princes of both nations, especially by that samous treaty anno 1495, ever since known by the title of Magnus intercursus, and afterwards by one other treaty, 11 April 1520, wherein it is especially declared, that the said merchants of England shall be free to trade in those countries with all manner of their merchandizes without any exception, and shall not pay any other tolls or taxes upon the same, but the old tolls only, according to the asoresaid grant of Philip, sirnamed the Good, duke of Burgundy, anno 1446; and lastly by the grant of the lords States General of the United Provinces of the Netherlands, 9 January, anno 1587, whereby all the treaties and intercourses between the princes of both nations, as also the privileges thereby due and belonging to the said merchants-adventurers, as acknowledged to be accepted and confirmed, as therein the same are further ratified and confirmed in all points, accordingly shall from henceforth be strictly observed, and inviolably maintained in all manner of privileges, exemptions, and freedoms thereby belonging to the said merchants-adventurers of England, as well on the parts of the said States General, as on the part of the states provincial of any province of the United Netherlands, and by all cities, towns, magistrates, and persons within the same, without any opposition, reservation, forced interpretation, or violation, in the least manner whatever. But in such cases, wherein the said privileges, exemptions, and freedoms have at any time since the said year 1446 been invaded, violated, or eluded, and still remained so invaded, violated, or eluded, that all and every such invasions, violations, and elusions shall be rectified and amended, and the said treaties and grants from henceforth be duly and sincerely observed and maintained, according to the ensuing articles and provisions.
2. That seeing it hath pleased God to give the lords States General of the United Netherlands a general peace with all their neighbours, that all impositions, taxes, convoys, tolls, customs, and other payments whatsoever, contrary to the said grant of Philip the Good anno 1446, which either by the princes of those lands, or by the States General have at any time since been imposed or continued, are and shall be hereby utterly and for ever renounced, abolished, disclaimed, and discharged, according as was promised and intended, when the wars in the said United Netherlands should cease, in and by the said grant of the said lords States General, 9 January anno 1587, and even as all such impositions, taxes, convoys, tolls, customs, and other payments whatsoever since the said year of 1446 laid, or at present continued to be laid and received upon any cloths, kerseys, bays, stuffs, or other woollen manufactures, or any other manufactures whatsoever, of the making or produce of the land of England, and any the dominions thereof, imported into, or passing through any the provinces, cities, towns, passes, villages, or places of the United Netherlands, and the dominions and territories thereof, by water or by land, are hereby declared to have been and to be contrary to the privileges and immunities of the said fellowship of merchants-adventurers of England in those countries, and therefore and from henceforth declared to be void, utterly abolished, and for ever discharged. Furthermore hereby covenanting and promising, that neither by the said lords States General, nor by any provincial state within their union, nor by any city or town, nor in any fortress, place, or pass throughout the said United Provinces of the Netherlands, nor in any of the dominions, territories, cities, towns, places, fortresses, or passes of the same or any of them, by land or by water, there shall not upon any occasion whatsoever, real or pretended, be from henceforth imposed, levied, received, or exacted any imposition, tax, convoy-monies, tolls, customs, or other payments whatsoever, upon any the cloths, kerseys, bays, stuffs, or other woollen manufactures whatsoever, or any other manufactures whatsoever of the making or product made within the commonwealth of England, and the dominions thereof, imported into or put to sale within, or passing through the said United Provinces of the Netherlands, or any part thereof, as aforesaid; without the consent and approbation of the parliament of England in that behalf first had and obtained.
3. That all prohibitions made by any placarts; ordinances, orders, or acts of the said lords States General, or any the states provincial of their union against the importation of any cloths, kerseys, bays, stuffs, or other woollen manufactures of England and the dominions thereof, drest or dyed in the cloth, or otherwise, be from henceforth repealed and abolished; and that it shall be lawful for the said merchants-adventurers of England from henceforth to import into the said United Provinces, or any of them, or into any the cities; towns, ports and parts thereof, any cloths, kerseys; bays, or other woollen manufactures made in England or any the dominions thereof; drest or dyed in the cloth or otherwise, without any manner of prohibition whatsoever, and the same and every part thereof therein to put to sale or otherwise disposed of as they shall think fit; and also again to export and pass or any part thereof by and throughout the said United Provinces of the Netherlands; and all and every towns, cities, ports, places, passes, and fortresses thereof, by land or by water, without any imposition, tax, convoy-money; toll, custom; or other payment whatsoever, to be laid or set thereupon, or on any part thereof, inwards or outward; or in the passage thereof, upon any pretence whatsoever, as in the last precedent article for all other cloths, kerseys, bays, stuffs, and other woollen manufactures of the commonwealth of England and dominions thereof provided, agreed, and established.
4. That from hencesorth there shall not be imposed or levied any tax or rate of excise, either by the said lords States General, or by any the provincial states of the United Netherlands, nor in or by any town, city, magistrate, person, or place within the same, upon the consumption or retail of any cloth, kersey, bay, stuff, or other woollen manufacture whatsoever imported into the said United Provinces from England or any the dominions thereof, and there sold and disposed of, whether dyed and drest before the importation thereof from England, or afterwards dyed and drest within those lands by the natives or inhabitants; but that such payments of excise and consumption-money upon the retail of English cloth, kerseys, bays, stuffs, and all other woollen manufactures sold in those provinces, whether dyed and drest before or after importation thereof; as aforesaid; and all laws, rules, and instructions thereupon made shall for ever hereafter be abolished, and never more be resumed in any kind or measure whatsoever.
5. That according to the grant of the said lords States General of the United Provinces, 9 January 1587, it shall be free for the fellowship of merchants-adventurers of England from time to time to make choice of any town or city within the said United Provinces of the Netherlands, and within the same to plant, settle, and continue their court and residence; and therein to enjoy and exercise all such civil jurisdiction over the persons and trade of the natives of the commonwealth of England trading into and residing in those countries and over the supposts of the said fellowship, in such manner as they ought to enjoy, and have heretofore exercised at any time by virtue of the said ancient intercourses; or by virtue of any concordates with any city or town within any the said United Provinces; and that all reglements and orders, which the states provincial of Holland and West-Friesland have heretofore made, in derogation of any the privileges of the said fellowship; or any their treaties or concordates with any town, which the said fellowship have heretofore chosen for the place of their residence, shall be hereby declared void and of none effect; and that for the future neither the said States General nor the states provincial of the United Netherlands shall or may make any law, ordinance, reglement, or edict, whereby either to restrain or forbid any city or town of the said United Netherlands to admit and receive the said merchants-adventurers, or to regulate any city or town or the said fellowship in any privileges or immunities, which shall mutually by concordates be stipulated or agreed upon, but from time to time shall confirm all such concordates made by the said fellowship with any city or town within the said United Provinces, and well and duly cause the same to be kept and observed by all persons whatsoever within their provinces.
6. That it shall be lawful for the said merchants-adventurers of England, and every of them to sell unto all persons buying any cloths, kerseys, bays, stuffs, or other woollen commodities whatsoever, upon such conditions as shall be mutually agreed upon, without being liable to any dispute, question, exception, or abatement, other then such as shall be disertis verbis expressed in the contract after the said cloths, kerseys, bays, stuffs, and other woollen manufactures so sold, are by the buyer or his order once removed or carried out of the residence of the said fellowship, where the sale is made. And to this end all acts, ordinances, and instructions made by the said States General for making of tare upon English cloth throughout the United Provinces of the Netherlands set forth since the year 1587, are and shall be hereby repealed and made null; and that for the future neither the said States General, nor any the states provincial of the said United Provinces of the Netherlands, nor any town or city thereof, shall execute or cause to be executed any the said acts, ordinances, or instructions for tare, nor make, ordain, or execute or cause to be made, ordained, or executed any other laws, ordinances, rules, or instructions for tare, other than such alone as by the parliament of England, and the said lords States General or by commissioners on both parts to be hereafter appointed, shall be mutually agreed upon and established. And that in the interim, as also in the future, no tare upon cloths dry or wet shall be made or allowed in any city, town, or place within the United Provinces of the Netherlands, but only in the residence of the fellowship of merchants-adventures aforesaid for the time being, nor any such tare be made or enforced, but only so far as it is submitted to, and agreed on the part of the buyer and seller, and such tare to be always made allowed in the presence of and by two persons and no more, the one to be appointed by the magistrates of the town of the said residence for the time being, and the other by the fellowship aforesaid, and both to be under oath, and jointly to affign the said allowance of tare without any further appeal. Any law, ordinance, usage, or instructions made or to be made to the contrary in any wife notwithstanding.
7. That the said merchants-adventurers, and every of them, shall in like manner be free and and at liberty in all contracts whatsoever, to agree as they shall find best for their advantage, and according as shall be regulated and ordered by the court of the said fellowship in their residence for the time being, in what specie and after what rate and reckoning to be paid all bills of exchange, bills of debt, and other money, which shall hereafter be due and payable to them or any of them; against which contract and due payment to be made accordingly thereupon, no person inhabiting the land of the said United Netherlands, or trading therein, shall be relieved or protected either by the States General of the United Provinces, or by any magistrate or person in any city, town, or place throughout the same provinces under any colour or pretence whatsoever; but speedy justice and execution thereof shall be made and done by all courts of judicature and magistrates whatsoever, according to the plain words of the contract, any law, usage, act, or ordinance of the States General or any the States Provincial, or any city or town in the said United Provinces of the Netherlands in any wife notwithstanding. And this course to be duly observed, untill the par of exchange and rates of money and true value of every specie shall be by and between commissioners to be appointed both on the part of the said parliament of England, and on the part of the said lord States General be otherwise agreed and established.
8. And to the end, that the trade of clothing and all other woollen manufactures of the commonwealth of England, may be preserved under good government and reputation within the said United Provinces of the Netherlands, it is hereby agreed and concluded, that the placart of commerce, as it is called, made by the States General on the 22d of March 1599, shall, according to the contents thereof, in every point be from henceforth in full force, and be duely executed and observed by all persons whatsoever, whether English or natives, or other inhabitants of the said United Provinces of the Netherlands, or any other importing any cloths, kersyes, bays, stuffs, or other English woollen commodities into the same or into city, town, haven, port, creek, or part thereof, which said placart shall mutatis mutandis & omissis omittendis be accordingly forthwith renewed, and proclaimed, and published throughout all cities, towns, ports, and places of the said United Provinces of the Netherlands; and in the future once every year in the month December, be continued and again renewed, proclaimed, and published without any evasion or delay whatsoever.
9. That neither the States General nor any of said states provincial of the United Provinces of the Netherlands shall from henceforth forbid or prohibit the said merchants-adventurers to levy such impositions and duties upon the commodities of their trade by them imported into or exported out of the said United Provinces of the Netherlands, which by the fellowship of merchant-adventures of England residing in London shall be for the maintenance of their government thought fit to be imposed and levyed, nor under any pretence whatsoever oppose the same; and such ordinances or orders as the states provincial of Holland have at any time heretofore made in restraint of the said fellowship from this ancient and necessary privilege in those countries are hereby repealed and nullified.
10. As for letters of safe conduct to be granted in the future to the said merchants-adventurers from the said States General, it is hereby agreed and concluded, that the said States General shall upon demand grant unto the said merchants-adventures such safe conduct in due form, as by the said States General was granted them on the 14th July 1598, as also that in what provinces soever the said fellowship shall hereafter establish their residence, the states provincial thereof shall upon like demand for their parts also grant the like safe conduct unto the said fellowship, as shall be for their security, and to their contentment; and in all things it is hereby expressly agreed and covenanted, that from henceforth the said fellowship shall also fully enjoy the effect of all privileges and immunities granted unto them by the said States General, and contained in the 4, 6, 7, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, and 15 articles of the said lords States General of the United Provinces their act, bearing date the 14th of July 1598. And that there shall not be any dispute made of the full enjoyment of the effects of all and every the aforesaid articles upon any pretence whatsoever, which may be drawn from any other clause, article, matter, or thing contained or expressed in the act aforesaid; but that they shall remain in full force and virtue, as if the said several articles were de verbo ad verbum here again repeated and recited.
And lastly, forasmuch as it hath pleased God to put an end to the long wars between the most illustrious king of Spain and the said united states within the seventeen provinces of the Netherlands, and because the ancient treaties and intercourses between the princes of those countries and the kings of England, did and do comprehend and equally extend to all the said seventeen provinces of the Netherlands; it is hereby covenanted, agreed, declared, and concluded, that in pursuance of those ancient intercourses and treaties, it shall be free for the merchants, mariners, and all people of the commonwealth of England with their ships, vessels, boats, goods, and merchandizes, to enter into and to pass through the river of Scheld, and through all other rivers and waters leading into any the lands, territories, cities, towns, and places of the said seventeen provinces of the Netherlands subject to the king of Spain, without any search, stay, molestation, or damage, in or by any the forts or garrisons of the said States General, lying on this or the other side of the said river of Scheld or any other the said rivers and waters; or by or from any ships of war lying in the said river of Scheld, or any other rivers or waters belonging to the said States General, or by any other command or restraint whatsoever, from the said States General, and with like freedom also again to return through the said river of Scheld, and all other rivers and waters. And that neither in coming in, passing through, or returning again, there shall be any tax, toll, imposition, custom, lycent, or any payment whatsoever demanded or received of or upon any ship, vessel, boat, or any the goods, merchandizes, or persons thereupon, but all be permitted to go in and return without any question or dispute, as asoresaid, any clause, agreement, or exceptions, which may be or hath been made by and between the said king of Spain, and the said lords States General of the United Provinces to the contrary hereof notwithstanding; provided always, that the king of Spain shall on his part within after the conclusion of this treaty in like manner grant like freedom and immunities for ships and goods, and to the merchants, masters of ships, mariners, and all other people of this commonwealth, as the said lords States General have hereby for their parts granted unto them and every of them.
A letter of intelligence from Holland.
I Am much troubled, that I cannot heare from yow, though I impute it only to your sicknes, which I am sorry hath continued soe long, and should be glad to heare of an abatement at least, if not a perfect recovery, which is most desired. In the meane time I must needes tell yow, that little good is to bee expected by trade here, without punctuall advice, (for want whereof I know not how to dispose of those goods lately come from Dantzick to the best advantage) especially in a time of warre, obnoxious to soe many hazzards, though wee hope to heare of a sudden conclusion of peace in England, which will putt a period to that, which wee are the rather perswaded to beleeve because (though since the arrivall of the fleete from the Sound the common people talke high) the states seem to bee inclineable to it; especially those of Freezeland, who were formerly avers, are now content, rather then sayle, to enter into a league with England defensive; but that baite offensive will not bee swallowed, though it may be in t yme. These goods may turne to a good accompt, if wee have but peace, as I sayd before, which if not concluded allready, I feare will bee obstructed upon the newes of the ill effects of these late stormes, for the whole fleete of men of warre being about eighty in number, lieing of at sea before Texell, to bee victualled (and then to fetch home the fleete from Bergen) were surprized on Sunday last by a violent storme at north-west, in soe much that twelve or fourteen of them were cast away, and most of the men drown'd, besides most of the rest were forced to cutt their masts by the board, to save theire shipps. 'Twas lamentable to see the multitudes of poore marriners wyves with children in theire armes standing on the bridge betweene hope and feare, expecting the arrivall of such as escaped; but what shall I say? God is righteous in all his wayes, for wee were too forward in our rejoycing at the destruction of the English, that perished in the storme before; but now 'tis come home to our own doores be l ev e 10 .. 503 20 are quite l ost and the res t di s ab l'd If I can compasse these goods, I doubt not to sell them to profitte hereafter, and they have 30 447 40 ne w ships but no gu n s they are yet in the Eastland where ships la de n These goods we cannot have home this winter, in regard our havens are subject to be frozen, soe that they must lye till spring, and I hope for a better markett. I am glad our new admirall was not at sea this boute, though he bad high for it, but none durst venture to carry him on board. This accident will hinder the sending our goods with the French fleete, which were making ready, as alsoe some for the Streights, Spain, and Portugall; but wee are in hopes a happy peace will prevent those cassualtyes. 2 of the ships that were lo s t had an 409 318 548 500 100 ships which of war are dai ly ex p ec t ed from B er gen. If you could procure any of the aforesaid commodities, I doubt not they would vend to a good profitte. De Ruyter is made vice-admirall for Amsterstam. De Witt continues vice-admiral of Holland, and young Tromp is made rere-admirall 304 80 w133 268 542 233 553 368'3 86 478 380 443 23 170 112 279 366 109 144 486 268 460 218 191 355 388 352 343 272 148 333. I know none more likely to turne better to account then the forementioned, for most of the Streights shipps are yett to come, soe that for the box or palmewood I can say little at present; only desireing to heare from yow, I take leave and remaine as formerly.
A letter of intelligence from the Hague.
The report mentioned in my last of the arrival of the Norway Fleet proves false, and what followeth makes their return very dangerous, (if they shall adventure to set to sea this winter) for from this day se'nnight until Wednesday, there was here a continued violent storm, (the wind north-west) which hath certainly destroyed fifteen Holland and and Zealand men of war, (the whole fleet returned with de Witt was at sea, contrary to which was reported here the last week) and we know not as yet how many more. I have seen the list of those fifteen with the several particulars and circumstances where and how they perished, all sent the last night to the states. There were in them above 2000 men, the greatest part whereof were drowned; and above four hundred and seventy pieces of cannon: one of them was laden with ammunition; the rest, men of war. What is become of more of the other we yet know not; they were above an hundred in all; but it is believed here, that we shall quickly hear, that many of them are run the same fortune. This accident makes the greatest sadness here, that can be imagined; and all the hopes is, that the peace will be made up with you, before you shall know their condition. You may now without doubt have what conditions you will ask; and if the English will venture for it, that of Norway (valued at forty tun of gold at the least) if they put to sea, will be all good prize.
Besides this loss at sea, there are in several places of this country fifteen breaches made by storm in the sea banks, whereby many parts of the country with many cattle, and whole villages are drowned.
To add to their sad condition, the Lorrainers are come (fifteen hundred as fore-runners) to take up their winter quarters in the land beyond the Maese. The rest of the Lorrainers are with the prince of Condé upon an attempt to raise the siege of Menehould, &c.
The cardinal led the king thither upon an assurance, that the place would be delivered up by confederacy with some officers of the town upon the king's approach; but he found the contrary, when the cannon played upon his own person, and when the day before he came thither, a party of horse out of the town took some of his own coach horses, amongst much other booty.
The French ambassador is not arrived as yet; and when he doth come, he is like to have but a cold entertainment, if upon any terms you will be prevailed with to make a peace. The English post of this week is not arrived; but an express from the Dutch ambassadors arrived here upon Sunday with letters dated the 4th instant this style, brought us news, that the council of state had agreed upon four particulars to be insisted upon: 1st, The reimbursment of the charges of the war. 2dly, A tribute for liberty to fish upon the British coast. 3dly, An offensive league against the house of Stuarts and their adherents. 4thly, That the English should maintain at sea sixty men of war, and the Hollanders but forty; all which, and what else is to come, will now go down currently. We have this sure news from Italy, that the Turk prevails much upon the Venetian, so that now they give Candy-Island to be lost, and apprehend much more to be torne from them on the other side the gulph.
A letter of intelligence from Holland.
As I wroate you in my last, Witt Witsen with his fleet of men of war was at anchor before Texell to victual and attend the new admiral with designe to visit your coast; but it hath pleased the Lord to frustrate their wicked purposes by sending a violent storm, that began on Friday, and lasted until Monday night; which hath dispersed and spoyled a great part of this fleet, as you may see by the inclosed note: fourteen of them are stranded, which note, by order of the magistrates, is called in and not suffered to be sould, because their loss might not appeare to the world; but men that come from the Texell affirme there are seventeen cast awaye, and that de Witt and de Ruyter should be likewise perished in sea; but nothing certayne, only those fourteen ships, a Malaga merchantman, and a rich ship comeing from Marseilles. 'Tis generally thought, very few of the whole fleete are escaped without dammage, so that you may conclude; as themselves doe, that their fleete is disabled for this winter's service, and now they understand by an express from their deputyes in Ingland, that you have sixty sayle at sea, and forty more preparing, which puts great feares in them of the remaynder of their fleet in Norwaye, which are daily expected. There are by them but seventeen men of warr, besides their East India men, and several Streights shipps, unless the young Boer be come to them with his ten ships from the Streights. You have a brave occasion offered you, if you please to make use of it, to send presently your ships, that are ready, to meet that fleet, whereof you may easily be master, and nothing can weaken them more then the loss of that fleet: 'tis thought to be richer then those that are arrived; They have about sixteeh ready of the new shipps, if they can provide them with men and gunns; but I believe now, both will be wantinge; for de Witt wrote to the states, his men wear very unwilling to go to sea, and that many of his shipps weare not for winter service: some of their ships are run so high against the land, that they sitt drye, and their guns and tackell will be saved. This news came in two dayes past, when they had a faste and thankesgiving for the safe return of their fleet; so that by an express it could not come sooner to you than by post.
By the next I will give you the certaynetey of the condition of their intending to goe and
visit them when they shall be come in, that are escaped. Report tells us, five more of them
are missing, and that yesterday morninge some of them were seen to come into the Texell
without masts. It hath changed the faces of the people, as well as many of their opinions,
whoe now are for peace, and before would not heare of it. They still smooth themselves
with the great proffers France will send them, and the news they have of the prosperous success of the Scoch, whoe they say are growne so powerfull, that major general Lambert is
sent with your best forces to suppress them. Charles Stewart is ready to leave France, or
come for these parts, or goe to Denmarck, if he can get money for his journey. Wat. Montagu is sent to the French court to solicit money; his hopes are little here with the prevayling partye. Their preachers the last fast-day made it their business to raile against you, and
stir up the people from making peace. Their new admiral came into Texell the same day
the storme began, and it was his good fortune not to be aboard. They had newly ordered
their fleet under new flaggs. De Ruyter is chosen vice-admiral of Amsterdam and NorthHolland, de Witt vice-admiral of the Maeze, Jan Evertson, of Zealand, young Tromp
rear-admiral of Holland. All eys are now busie, working at the treaty, what it may produce. A little tymely advis thereof might be beneficial to me. I beseech you to give order
to Mr. John Upton to paye 30 l. to my friend, whome I have ordered to call to him for it.
I shall have occasion for it, which I doubt not but you will consider. I should be glad to hear
if major Salway wear at London, and how he doth. I hope you will look upon this destruction of your enemyes as a great providence, and use be made thereof accordingly. These
are all the particulars I can give you at present. I am really
Yours to my utmost power.
A letter of intelligence from the Hague.
They are debating and busy at present upon the sea and maritime affairs; and the vice-admiral hath advertised, that in the winter season it is impossible to ride at an anchor upon the coast of Holland; notwithstanding they were minded, that he should stay out; and now this tempest happening, they are very much troubled, and do wish, that their fleet had come in; but de Witt hath writ, that he durst not stay upon the coast; and he being forbid to come in, he resolved to keep out in open sea; nevertheless those ships that want provisions must of necessity come in.
They are at a fine pass here now: the English having hindred us all this summer from acting, do rest in the winter; and we think to have gotten much by fighting with the sea, the winter, and the tempest, remotis Anglis.
Since the coming back and report of the lord Keyser (who hath highly recommended the inclusion of Denmark in the English pacification) the resident of that king had also made a most serious endeavour, that the States General would declare, that they will not abandon him; but especially indemnify him touching the pretences the English may have concerning the twenty three English ships stopt in the Sound at the request and desire of this state; upon which this state hath made an express and particular declaration, that he shall not only be indemnified, but they will assist Denmark omnibus viribus, in case that the English should at any time assault Denmark by reason thereof: yea, Holland doth use very great diligence to furnish Denmark with the promised subsidy; yea, to furnish that the first of March, which is not due till the first of April, hoping in the end to obtain towards summer or the spring a conjunction of the biggest Danish ships with this fleet here; not considering that that is to beat the air, and labour in vain, for Sweden will assist England with as much as Denmark shall do to this state, and instead of ridding themselves out of trouble with the English, will but engage themselves more and more; for what likelihood is there, that the English will connive and pardon the Danes the said detention of the twenty three ships ?
Count William is come hither; he hath also been to see that machine of the Frenchman at Rotterdam. The said inventor doth complain of his workmen, that they are so flow and tedious about his business and he begins to say, that he is not a man to endure cold, nor to go to sea in winter; likewise that the English are now ashore, but in the spring or summer men are to expect notable effects from him. Don Quixote had cause to maintain, that an Amadis of Gaul was worth more than army of one hundred thousand men, for the Frenchman doth promise so likewise of the machine to do more than one hundred men of war.
In Zealand, the towns of Middleburgh and Zierixee will not agree with the other four, do threaten to keep back their means; and in case the said four towns will so suddenly change that, which was agreed on but last spring, hast to recal the commissioners, who were established during their lives, to wit, the lords Veth, Nisse, &c.
Letters of the 4th of Novemb. are come from the commissioners, giving to understand, that the English are making ready a very great fleet; pre-supposing, that the vice-admiral de Witt is still in Norway, and that with eighty frigats, and eight of their great ships from Chatham they will go to visit him. But in the winter men ought to be quiet, as here at present they do most certainly repent themselves for having been so rigorous and violent against admiral de Witt, having commanded him to stay out at sea, notwithstanding that those of of Zealand, who are used to sail and trade more in the winter than in the summer, were properly the cause of it; and now cometh advice upon advice, that the fleet have suffered very much in this last storm. Some say, that ten ships are cast away, others speak of fifteen, others of twenty, yea, some of thirty; certain it is, that it blew a fierce storm upon Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday; and although it was neither full nor new moon, yet there was such a high tide at Rotterdam, that the like was never seen. The Wednesday they had just celebrated an action of thanks for the happy arrival of their fleet, and the next day came news that so many of their fleet were cast away.
From Calais, they write to the States General a very pleasant story, that a member of parliament was coming hither with thirty two thousand pounds sterling, to induce this state here by that corruption to make a peace; and that without a peace those of the said government are ruined and undone.
Formerly you shall have heard of the treaty between this state and the elector of Cologne; here inclosed goes the design and project, and I believe they will thus conclude it; for the Lorrainers now already approaching, it is now no longer time to debate about it. I can assure you, that this bussiness doth no wise please Spain, who hath also furnished the duke of Lorrain with some regiments, that so he may be the better able to resist, make his way, and lodge himself; and they say he hath a design to quarter in the majory of Boileduc in the country of Outre Meuse.
They are expecting here yet the French ambassador, mons. Chanut; and because it is so long first before he comes, they are jealous here, that he is at Brussels or Cambray, treating about a peace, of which both crowns have each of them need enough.
To Jongestall the Dutch ambassador in England.
Upon what the lords Beverning and Perre writ the 31st of October last to the heer gressier Ruysch, that the lord Whitelocke was making ready to set out this week for Sweden, without that he could learn any thing of the instructions of the ambassador or the intentions thereof: secondly, that a few days since there was a Jesuit sent into the tower, who after a sharp examination had confessed, that there were at least one hundred of the same order, that were gone of late out of the Netherland convents, to spread themselves in England and the Netherlands, and that they were crept into the militia, and that there were sixty of them in the army, and the rest of them in the United Provinces. To the first of these, their lordships have writ to the lord Beverning, that he shall do his utmost endeavour to learn how the affairs stand between Sweden and England, and give a particular account thereof from time to time to their lordships. To the second, their lordships have desired every one to do their duties in their own jurisdiction, in looking after the Jesuits, and that they may be proceeded against according to the placarts of this state.
The 8th of this month their lordships received a letter from vice-admiral de Witt, lying then westward beyond Huysduynen, wherein he writ, that his provisions are spent, and that he had sent in the merchantmen and East-India men, judging it impossible to victual the fleet at sea; and that the seamen had no cloaths to their backs; that they were naked and unwilling, and were desirous to see their wives; which letter was put into the hands of the commissioners appointed for the sea affairs, together with the commissioners of the admiralty, who did judge (but those of the admiralty did differ therein) it to be most safe, for the ships to come in, and there to be victualled with all speed, and that the seamen and soldiers should stay on board and not come in.
The 9th their lordships received advice from their commissioner at the Helder, that de Witt foreseeing this storm, was put to sea with the fleet. In the mean time we long to hear what is become of them.
The 10th of this month the lord resident of the king of Poland did make known to their lordships, that the king his master was desirous to enter into an alliance with this state, concerning the commerce propounded in the last year 1652 to the assembly of their lordships by the heer Henry Vander Capelle, and that the same might be resumed; and therefore desired commissioners. Hereupon their lordships thought fit to expect first the arrival of mons. Chanut, that so they may consult together what is fit to be done.
The lord Beuningen doth advise, that the Danish ambassador hath had audience of the queen, but could get no further answer to what was desired of the king his master concerning a common alliance; and furthermore that her majesty would return a satisfactory answer to the king, why she could not do it; but the said ambassador did not know what reason she had to alledge, why she could not do it; and that there was certain news come, that England was sending over to her majesty, who had given order to the governor of Gottenburgh (as the place where it is thought he will arrive) to receive him with all the honour that can be expected; and likewise, that he was certain, that Lagerfelt was called home out of England, to signify to the queen, wherein they ought to treat with the English.
The day before yesterday their lordships resolved to call in the fleet, every one into their own quarters, during this winter season, and to lay up the great ships; yet that thirty of the smallest frigats should be forthwith victualled, and sent out to sea, to fetch home the fleet in safety from Bergen.
The commissioners of the towns and country having shewn to their principals the letter of Beverning and Perre, concerning the good likelihood of a peace, the same have persisted by their former resolution, and declared, that that appearance or likelihood of peace is ungrounded; and thereupon they did order their commissioners once more, that they should do their utmost for the calling home of their commissioners out of England.
Their lordships correspondent at Paris doth advise their lordships, that mons. de Bordeaux is very much cryed down at court for no politician, in advising Beverning and Vande Perre to stay at London, when their confraters went away; but that he ought to have done his utmost to have broke the treaty, and to have made the war irreconcilable between both commonwealths.
It is propounded in the assemby to agree once more for the raising of the two hundredth penny for the year 1654, for the building of thirty new frigats more. Yesterday the commander of the five East-India ships, assisted with four commissioners of that company, made report to their lordships of the constitution of affairs in the East-Indies, giving hopes, that they shall in a short time have turned out the English out of the Indies, as being of no consideration at present, having only thirteen or fifteen ships of twenty guns each; and adding, that in case the company had had more ships there, this return had been as much more; that there was enough of every thing; that there only wanted ships and men.
An intercepted letter to sir Walter Vane.
I Told you in my last, that the fleet from the Sound was arrived in safety. The merchant ships came in on the 6th, but the men of war staid out at sea to take in provisions, and then were to have returned for the Sound to have convoyed home the fleet at Bergen, or else to have come and lain upon your coasts. In the interim there happened a very great storm on the Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, which made de Witt put out to sea, or else he might have lost his fleet; some have lost their masts, but God be thanked, there are only two merchant ships cast away. If your state will not make a peace, this state will have a very strong fleet out at sea; and the next summer will have sixty fresh ships at sea, that were never in any fight yet; and the war will be carried on more vigorously than ever; and this the lord of Opdam hath promised to perform, and is ready at the Texell to embark, if the fleet do not come in. The states of the empire have ageed to give to the king of Scots a very considerable contribution.
A letter of intelligence from the Hague.
My dear heart,
We hear there is an embargo upon your ports. Either that or the last good storm hath stayed the packet-boats. The great news of this place is the effect of the last storm, which hath been a worse friend to this state than all their sea-fights. For ought we know here, all the fleet of eighty men of war are all lost, that convoyed their merchants from the Sound. This day is given out by the states, that fifteen are lost; but no man can give any account of the rest.
Now those, that so passionately desire a peace with this country, may see their error in the work of the Lord; and that he is ready to deliver this land into their hands, if they continue their good resolution to extirpate the whore of Babylon and idolatry. O that God would open your eyes, and see the salvation and greatness intended our nation! Already it's acknowledged they have lost 3000 of their best seamen; an irrecoverable loss, as John Evertson himself told me. God's hand doth not rest here; the towns of Amsterdam, and Rotterdam, and Dort have had all their cellars visited with water, so that millions worth of hurt is done. But mark, how powerful Satan is in the hearts of the ministers of this country; instead of humbling themselves before God, and demanding pardon for the people's error, in making an unjust war against the people of God, they in their last fast and thanksgiving day cryed out, all their misfortunes came from the Lord's anger against their application to those blood-thirsty rebels of England; and that they would never have the Lord for their second, until they rooted them out, and settled Charles Stuart on his throne. A great deal more of this madness they delivered to the poor people, which in time may work upon them to deny themselves, but do us no hurt, if we do the Lord's business. And to encourage you to do it, credit me, they will not be able to go to sea this winter.
The French ambassador is not come hither yet; he is much expected: whatsoever the French promise there, they'll joyn with this country if they can, and will do all they can for Charles Stuart, unto whom the emperor and elector have granted a subsidy upon all their subjects for the relief of Scotland. The certain sum I cannot tell, nor do not believe, will be soon gathered.
A letter of intelligence.
I Writ to you fifteen days ago. Our fleet is arrived; the merchants ships came in on the sixth. The men of war kept out at sea to take in some provisions, and to have returned forthwith to your coasts, but on the Friday, Saturday, and Sunday the winds were very violent: de Witt put out to sea, or else he had also been cast away. A very great many of the ships could not get off of the coast, but were beaten upon the coast, where they suffered shipwreck. None are saved, but such as got cut to sea. How many are saved, and how many are cast away, is not yet certainly known. Certain it is, that their loss is very great, for those that did escape stranding have most of them lost their masts.
De Witt to Beverning.
The fleet of this state having been now some days upon the coast, hath by a mighty storm, which God almighty hath been pleased to send, and to continue some days together, according to the reports as we hear, suffered great damage, but we have not as yet any certainty what damage hath been done; and their high and mighty lordships foreseeing the worst, have resolved to call in the fleet, and to keep out at sea this winter season only some frigates. In the mean time their lordships have proceeded to the election of two new vice-admirals and three rear-admirals.
Beverning to de Witt.
We thought it our duty concerning the equipping and constitution of the sea-forces here, to advise their high and mighty lordships, that we are informed, that the fleet of eighty nine or ninety ships, whereof is mention in our former from time to time, hath steered their course out of the river, and part of them for Portsmouth, and part for the Downs, the first about fifty ships, which are already at Portsmouth, or there daily expected, and the other of sixteen or eighteen frigats, which stay for the lord Whitelocke to convoy him past the English and Sccts coasts, which may afterwards remain about the north parts. Yesterday my lord Whitelocke went for Gravesend, where he intends to embark. We are also informed, that the council of state hath debated our business this afternoon, and intend to proceed to morrow to a conclusion of an answer, which we hope will be favourable and satisfactory to the good liking and intentions of their high and mighty lordships, as we shall hereafter advise. We do not find amongst our papers a resolution of their lordships of the 6th of September mentioned in that of the 25th of October, concerning the business of Denmark, which we shall expect by the first occasion.
Vande Perre to the lord Bruyne, raedt pensionary of Zealand.
We signified to you the 7th of this month, that we had thought fit to send away immediately the men of war, which had brought over Nieuport and Jongestall; but afterwards there happening a good number of prisoners to be released, the said resolution was deferred for some days, that so the said ship might serve to carry them over, but especially because there is an embargo laid upon all ships and upon the packet-boat likewise, which was stopt the last week from going over, as we are informed. The number of prisoners by us gotten, releas'd, and ship'd aboard the said ship are about an hundred; many more do daily come to them, and may amount to as many more before the ship goes away. I told you in my last of the 27th of October, that there were 700 of our prisoners to come from Yarmouth hither, as we are informed; but we find them not to be above half the number. We caused the names of all our prisoners to be taken, that are now in hold, and find them to be between 7 and 800, whereof some will make a shift to get away without any discharge.
Concerning the mutiny of the seamen mentioned in my last, occasioned for their want of their pay and their prize-money, they have caused one of them to be hanged on Monday last upon Tower-hill, and the next day there was another whip'd. It was said, they would hang fourteen or fifteen of them, but there is as yet no more than one executed.
After we had obtained audience in the council of state the 7th of this month, and there delivered our proposition in French and English, consisting in three points, religion, union, and confederacy, they did debate the contents thereof for three hours together, as we are informed, and that they did the same the next day, and afterwards they did assign us the 10th of this month in the afternoon between five and six of the clock for a conference with some commissioners; at which time there happened nothing else but a discourse about the form how to proceed to particulars. The English lords do understand, that we should set down in writing what we do summarily declare by word of mouth, which we did decline, at least till such time as we receive an answer from the council here to our proposition, wherewith the conference was ended. And indeed we had no order so to do; but because we would further the main business as much as might be the better, we have since set down some particulars in writing, and delivered them to the council on Wednesday last, to which we have not yet received neither a general, much less a particular answer. It may be it is by reason of the new council, that hath been chosen this week, and yesterday the new members sat in the council, and are to sit for six months. The said change is 21. 17. 26. 27. 21. 27. 28. 21. 21. 24, 6. 7. 7. 14. 9. 7. 24. 7. 13. 7. 17. 27.
We are informed, that the general rendezvous of the fleet of this state is at Portsmouth, and that they will have fifty good ships together very suddenly to go to sea together; and this day there are sixteen good frigats besides to go out of the river with the lord Whitelocke, which are to convoy him in safety; and afterwards the most part of them are to keep upon the north coast. They do work night and day to hasten out their ships. There was this day another seaman hanged, being one of the mutineers.
Beverning to the pensionary de Witt.
My last of the last month unto your lordship was in favour of col. Doleman, and I find myself obliged to recommend his business unto you once again; the more, because my lord of Nieuport hath informed me, that he could not do any good in the business of messieurs Cromwell with the commissary de Raeden. I will not doubt, but that reasons of consequence must have caused that denial; but notwithstanding, if those lords knew what consequence that denial hath had here, I doubt not, but that they would be willing to accommodate them in their desires. The colonel, who hath nothing in the world to live on, doth subsist merely through the favour and bounty of his excellency Cromwell, with whom he is in credit; and I do declare on a truth, that if 100 l. or 200 l. be paid him, it will cause a very good impression to be made here, which I should be glad to see; but I leave it to your discretion to do herein, as you shall think fit. I should be glad this honest and good man might be accommodated with some monies.
An intercepted letter of William Palmer to Mr. Fielder at Paris.
We have little news but what formerly we have writ. The seamen's mutiny, which continued three days, is now almost over. Since one of them hath been hanged they shew their teeth, but they dare not bite; and yet they know, we have not here or near London above 5000 horse and foot in all; only they wish, that some foreign forces (though they were but 5000) were landed, that they might rendezvous, and put themselves in order. This day the lord Whitelocke is gone away ambassador for Sweden. We hope the Dutch will not impede his voyage, in regard their commissioners are lately come over hither, but most men doubt of peace, though it be said they are like to agree. O England! how great are thy divisions in thy own bowells! Non recedat a te (o Anglia) vox flagelli, &c. donec advenerit. And so I rest, &c.