A Collection of the State Papers of John Thurloe, Volume 1, 1638-1653. Originally published by Fletcher Gyles, London, 1742.
This free content was digitised by double rekeying. All rights reserved.
November (3 of 5)
A letter of intelligence sent to the lord general Cromwell.
It were in me a great presumption to interrupt your excellency in the midst of so many great affairs, if your excellency and the commonwealth were not much concerned in what I here present in the inclosed relation.
It hapned that on Monday night my curiosity carried me to the meeting at Black-Friers, a famous assembly that I had heard much talk of in time past, but never attended it as a spectator before, nor shall I in time to come, unlesse thereby I might doe your excellency and the publick any service, in observing the deportment of the principall actors.
When your excellency shall have read over the inclosed, I would be loth to descant upon the infirmities of any man, much lesse of these men, who have had among some (but how meritoriously I know not) a reputation of godlines; but where the honor and interest of state and of the publick peace is concerned, it were a crime to be silent, especially in me, whose happines it is, that I have been your servant. Therefore when I hear the reformed church called one while the Instruments, another while the Outworks of Babylon, it is a most scandalous passage, and such as will make us stink in the nostrils of all the godly abroad in those churches. When I consider so many scandalous and scurrilous aspersions from the pulpit, upon the parliament, army, council of state, and all now in power, together with those peremptory predictions of their remove or downfall, and the bringing in of another interest and other persons to predominate, its to be feared this may render us and our affairs contemptible, when ambassadors and residents, who lye here but as honorable spys, shall transmit these things over sea to their superiours. It may justly be feared also, that this way of blowing upon the peoples affections is but a preparative to some design, the fabrick whereof they may hope to erect out of the ruins of your present power and authority, for strange things are whispered up and down of that party. Certain it is, without some quick remedy or prevention, the frame of government must needs fail, when the main pins are drawn out of the hearts of the people by these harangues of sedition. And what advantage the Stuarts may and do make thereby, is easily conceived by your excellency.
Now, if I might be thought worthy, not to advise (for that were to derogate from your excellency, whose noble conceptions do, I know, infinitly transcend mine) but to declare my sence upon matters above me, I should deliver it as my humble opinion, that your excellency hath no better way for a sure ground work, to obviate the designs of those men as well as those of the common enemie, or to check and quell the humour, than by fixing the nation's interest and your own upon some solid fundamentals in reference to the state both of religion and politie. The time and the manner must be argued out in your own excellent breast, or else by such confidents of yours, who have the honor and happiness to understand the whole vogue of your affairs, with all the circumstances and accidents, the several probabilities and improbabilities attending thereupon, for upon any other terms no sure judgment can be made in so critical a point of state-proceeding. But as to the matter of such an establishment, though I desire not to prie, and tho' I dare not suspect your excellency's resolution therein, yet if any should open a lip against it, I could stop that mouth and silence the world with one argument to prove its absolute necessity, and it is an argument drawn from experience; for if you take a survey of all the factions now displayed under the notion of religion, your excellency cannot but observe, that every one of them drives at an establishment of their owne, their owne members, their own principles and opinions. The Anabaptist, he drives at an establishment of his owne; he abhors that any man should enjoy any thing either of profit, advantage, or honor in the commonwealth, that is not of his owne way. The Quakers and other humourists are of the same temper, each of them labouring to promote their owne ways and parties into power, scarce allowing so much as common civility or air to such as differ from them in judgment, which manifestly implies there is a secret drift and aime in them all, to establish their several parties, and exclude all others from power and interest in the nation; so that if in such a case and time as this the magistrate shall leave all things loose and in vago, without any certain establishment of his owne, it follows of course in a little time, that factions and parties growing rank and numerous, at length the paramont faction (such as the Anabaptists now seems to be) will take all the rest under its wing, and establish it self by dismounting the magistrate, who must needs fall under the assault, when he hath no foundation to stand upon either in church or state, and so by consequence can have no party to stick to him in a time of trouble or commotion.
And therefore, seeing your excellency is fallen into such a time as this, I cannot but congratulate your happines in the present opportunity, that you have an occasion (if you please) to oblige all men of true piety, learning, parts, and fortune, the most substantial men of every rank and profession, if you please, to fasten those fundamentals, which some have been a razeing. This being done, the most generous part of our world will be interested in the very point of self-preservation to adhere unto your excellency, and if you once have these (as you may now make them) your owne, the rest are not considerable, but will like worms, flies and other insects or impersect annimals, hum and buzz about a while, and then die of themselves, when they have lived out their season.
Resolution of the States General.
It being put to the vote, it is resolved, to give to the professor Thysius, the sum of two hundred guilders for his funeral oration made at the burial of lieutenant admiral Tromp of good memory; for which sum he shall have a sufficient warrant given him to receive the same.
A paper from the Spanish ambassador.
Don Alonso de Cardenas del consejo de su magestad Cattca. y su embaxor al parlamento de la republica de Inglata. dize que aunque tiene representado por su papel de 15/3 de este mes al honorable consejo de estado los fundamentos y razones que ay para no permitir el exorbitante procedimiento de Pedro Richaut y sus hermanos en haverse atrevido a poner aresto y embarazo en hazienda de su magestad que truxeron los navios de esta republica porza qua a sus puertos con tanto daño y per juycio del rey su señor sin haver caso del decreto del Almirantazgo en que se mandaron restituir las lanas a su magestad que han embargado, y siendo este negocio de tan grande importancia por las consequencias del, ha parecido al dho embaxador presentar a este honorable comitti el papel incluso en que sumariamente se apuntan las razones que deben obligar a la resolucion que espera de que se de orden para que se quiten dhos embarraços y puedan embiarse dhas lanas sin ulterior impedimento ni dilacion a los puertos de Flandes a donde ivan destinados sha en Londres a 27/17 de Noviembre, 1653.
A letter of intelligence from Holland.
The lord Brederode having been appointed with six hundred horse and one thousand commanded foot to go to the Buffe, and so to endeavour to beat the Lorrainers out of the countries of Gemert and Mergen, took his leave the 22/12. of this month of the States General, and declared to them in a map, how that the passages may be so set, that the Lorrain troops shall not be able to make any inroads for the future into the said countries, desiring he might have with him three field pieces, and that all the officers may be in readiness to attend him, which was granted him, but it being found in the resolutions given to him, that he was not to fall upon the Lorrainers, till such time as the duke hath returned an answer to the letters, which were sent unto him contrary to the former orders to the commanders and governors; their lordships have declared the 22d instant, that the lord Brederode shall fight the Lorrainers without any delay, wherever he shall find them in the territories of this state. Since which the earl of Ligneville, who commands the forces of the duke of Lorrain, writes to the lord Brederode, that he hath order to withdraw his men out of Gemert and Mergen upon the king's territories, until he should receive farther order from the duke his master; and that if he should chance to quarter again upon any of the territories of the States General, he should take such good order, that their lordships should have no cause to com plain. Upon this message, it was again debated in the generality, whether the lord Brederode's expedition might not be for some time delayed, but their lordships persisted in their former resolutions. The duke of Lorrain himself is at Diest expecting more forces from the Moselle, and there is come of his forces into the land of Liege two thousand horse and three thousand foot, so that the council of state have writ to all the officers of the army to complete their companies.
But yet the treaty, which is now on foot between the States General and the duke of Cologne as prince of Luyck (a copy of the articles which are under consideration between them you had by the last) for the defence of Liege and other countries, goes on but slowly. The commissioners of Holland delivered into the assembly of their lordships their provincial advice concerning the said treaty, and desired that the said treaty might be proceeded in and concluded; but yet the said commissioners take this exception to the said article of the treaty, four thousand five hundred men (which is the number proposed by the treaty to be maintained by both sides, that is to say the States General to contribute one thousand horse and two thousand foot, and the duke of Cologne five hundred horse and one thousand foot) were too little for the greatness of the Lorrain forces, and that in this case the country of Liege being far from them, and open on all sides, it will be a hard matter to protect it with four thousand five hundred men; and therefore this state doth think, that they ought not to engage universally in that. Therefore Holland doth desire, that other princes and states of the empire do join at the same time in this treaty of alliance. The commissioners of the elector of Cologne are very ill satisfied with this objection, and the rather, because the articles were first drawn by the generality, and the elector invited to this alliance by the RhineGrave, who engaged him into this negotiation; and that therefore it was altogether unreasonable, that he should be now tied to a condition, which is of so remote a consideration; but it seems, after that the States General had drawn these articles, the states of Holland have reviewed the same more narrowly, so that now this treaty with those of Liege will sleep a while.
Mons. Chanut, ambassador of the king of France, is arrived here, having been conducted by the lord Gent and mons. de Marignaut sent from the States General, into the Hague from the ordinary place called the Horne-Bridge in the prince of Orange's coach. Before he had audience, the States General sent the lords Lintcio and Renswoude to mons. Brasset the French resident at the Hague, to let him know, that they did not doubt, but that the crown of France will cause the same honour to be done unto the commissioners in the lodgings of the ambassador of France, at the conducting them in and out, and giving them the upper hand, &c. as the ambassadors of all other princes are used to give to their lordships commissioners, which message was occasioned by the refusal of mons. Bellievre (fn. 1) ambassador of France three years since, who refused to give the commissioners of the states the upper hand, &c. in his own house. This message being communicated to the said lord ambassador Chanut, he sent the said mons. Brasset to the lords Lintelo and Renswoude, to signify unto them, that his master would not use this state with less honour than other kings, but shew them all manner of civility and respect; and accordingly, when the commissioners did come to him, he did quit those things that Bellievre stood upon.
The said ambassador had audience in the assembly the 7/17 instant, where in general terms he did express, that the king his master would live with this state in the old correspondence as his predecessors had always done, and that he was sent to renew the old alliance; and that his master saw, with much reluctance and grief, the great misunderstandings, in which this state was involved with that of England; and that his master heartily wished that this state might get out of the inconveniencies following thereupon, by making a glorious end, to which he propounded to contribute all which should lie in their power. After his speech, he was desired to give in his proposition in writing. What the inside of the negotiation is, time will manifest, but the certain knowledge thereof is not to be had yet, nor is it likely, he being ambassador in ordinary and to reside here, that he will very soon discover himself, and therefore hath not desired any commissioners; but it is not much to be doubted, but that he comes to engage in a league offensive and defensive against England, which is a proposition very much pleasing to the people here who affect the prince, and in case no peace with England, Holland can no longer excuse itself, but will be forced to condescend not only to such a league, but to more, viz. to embrace the quarrel of the king of Scots, and to take in the prince of Orange, &c.
De Ruyter informed their lordships upon the 22d instant, that the third East India ship from Bergen was seen upon the coast, and had set her course towards Zealand whereto she belonged; but it appears since, that the said Ruyter was mistaken, for that the resident de Uries writes from Denmark, that ship, with sixty merchantmen from several parts with two convoyers, lye still at Vleckeren, and that at Gottenburgh were some English ships laden with masts, and two convoyers. So that now the commissioners of the admiralty and those of the States General are daily consulting together, what fleet is sit to set forth to sea this winter, and what ships are sufficient to fetch home the fleet at Vleckeren, and to way-lay the English at Gottenburg, and a list is to be brought into the assembly of all such ships as they intend for these exploits. In the mean time, upon the desire of Holland, the admiralty of Amsterdam are commanded to send fifteen or sixteen men of war, to lye ready towards the Dogger-Sand, there to look for and expect the fleet from the Eastland and the ships with the guns from Denmark, which are expected with the first, according to the advice from the resident. And just now the admiralty of Amsterdam have advised their lordships, that the Eastland fleet of eighty sail, and with them the ships with guns, having with them three hundred and sixty guns, are arrived in the Vlie. So that now it is very probable they will keep out no great fleet this winter, save some ships to cruize to and again in these seas; and they have already discharged thirty men of war, which were hired vessels, and if they could get seamen enough together after they were discharged, they would discharge near their whole fleet for this winter, but for that reason chiefly, they will keep abroad some part of their fleet.
In the mean time they equip very vigorously against the spring, being much encouraged by the arrival of their fleets this latter end of the year and especially these last eighty with the guns. Thirty of their new frigats are built and will be equipped and fitted against February. They have ordered thirty other new ships to be built forthwith, and to be set on the stocks before the winter begins, and all utmost diligence is used to form this war against England in a better manner than heretofore, wherein their intention is, to settle a constant fleet of one hundred sail of ships of war as a standing body, which they hope to have in readiness in February or March next, besides two other squadrons to convoy their merchantmen; and they are contriving a constant maintenance for them. Only the states of Overyssel have advised their lordships, that they shall not be able to raise their share towards the sea equipage so speedily as they hoped, and desire to be excused, and that it may not be ill taken.
These great preparations give suspicion, that they conceive little hopes of the treaty, concerning which the commissioners of the States General residing at the Hague write by their letters of 11/21 Nov. that since their last, they had continually pressed for expedition and in answer to the propositions and memorandums delivered in by them, but that notwithstanding all their endeavours, which they had renewed upon Monday and Wednesday in most earnest and vigorous terms, they had not advanced any thing in the treaty. The reason whereof (as they say) was because of the change of the council and the indisposition of the general. And that they were advised by a good hand, that the council were consulting every day about their affairs, and that conferences were continued about them, and that the articles were preparing for a formal treaty, to be delivered unto them, and that by the next they should be able to advise particularly about it; but they write, that in case of delay, they were resolved to ask audience upon the Monday after, and once more propound the sincere intentions of the States General, and to acquaint the council, that they cannot be detained there with delays. But notwithstanding what they write of delays, in case the treaty shall not take effect to their desires, that they are yet to keep the treaty on foot, if it be possible, till towards the spring, when their fleet will be ready; and that which makes the intentions of the states here in this treaty the more doubtful is, the licence given to lieutenant general Middleton by their order of the 14/24 November, to transport from hence these following arms, viz.
The treaty, which the States General hath with the king of Portugal, hath not the success which they expected, as it is certified by their commissioners from Lisbon, by letters of 2/15 October last, whereby they also certify, that upon the 4th of the same month, new style, there went sixty eight ships, whereof were thirty six men of war, from Lisbon to Brazil, and that the new governor was to set sail within three weeks after, with forty ships more for Bohia, whereof fifteen were merchantmen, and the rest men of war, and that as soon as he had convoyed the merchantmen into their harbour, that then he would besiege the Riff of Pernambuco by water and land, and was resolved to storm the place and make a quick dispatch. And the better to effect his business, they write, that the governor is to take with him great store of money, to corrupt the governor and soldiers of the said place therewith, who are already discontented, since they receive no money from hence. They farther write, that as soon as this place is taken, the king of Portugal is resolved to fall upon them in the East Indies, which hath caused the states to write to the admiralty, to make ready the six men of war and the two yatchts with all speed to be sent thither. The lord Beuningen writes from Sweden, (fn. 2) that the queen hath seized upon the estates of the Dutch there, for the wrong the Dutch hath done the Swedes, and for imprisoning Groot Johan, and that upon security given to make satisfaction for the damages, she had again released them. And the said de Groot having been released three weeks since, there will no trouble arise concerning that.
The new invented ship is now near ready, whereof you have the form or model herein inclosed: the Frenchman the inventor thereof is sick of an ague at Rotterdam, and till he be cured, he cannot go to sea, and it is to be feared, his ague will last long, and without him this new device cannot go to sea. The ambassador himself, and all the French nation laugh at him, and I believe Rotterdam will not erect a statue for him as for Erasmus.
St. Menehould is at last taken by the king, after the same had been battered and some mines sprung, they delivered it by composition, the governor being bribed thereunto with fifty thousand pistoles. Those that marched out are gone to Recroy.
Mons. Bordeaux now residing in England, is to stay there until the issue of this treaty be known, and is to endeavour, if he can, to make an agreement with England; but in case that cannot be had, France will make a league offensive and defensive with the States General without making any peace but by joint consent, and therein likewise comprehending the the king of Scots. And the better to manage this business, as mons. Bordeaux is to remain in England, so Chanut is gone to the Hague, who is outwardly to pretend a desire to agree their commonwealths; but his private instructions are, to leave no stone unturned to hinder the peace; and in case England come to no agreement with France, he is to conclude with the Dutch a league offensive and defensive, and the Dutch are very desirous thereof, and the said Chanut hath within these six days writ to this court to that effect, so that it be expressly against England, which this court are not willing to declare themselves in, but rather than there shall be any peace between England and Holland, France will agree to it, endeavouring to include therein the interest of the king of Scots. And in case the king of Scots sees any hopes of this business, he will go for Scotland from hence; and, believe it, the design is, to invade England from Scotland, and to give some diversion in Wales or the western parts of England, and in order to this design, the German business is much relied upon, the empire having as good as declared themselves against your commonwealth, and promised a supply of sixty thousand pound sterling to begin with, to the Scots king, under the title of the king of Great Britain, and this, whatever shall become of the treaty with the Dutch; and it is secretly concluded betwixt the emperor, the elector of Mentz, and the ambassador Wilmot, to send a person qualified to Rome, to sollicite that court for succour for the king of Scots, in consideration of such conditions as he shall give to the catholics in the dominions he pretends to, which conditions are to be agreed unto between the pope and the person now to be sent with commission from the said king. On the other side the Protestant princes are to endeavor secretly to hinder the peace between you and Holland.
O Sullevan Beara, after his being all this while here, departed from hence last Thursday bound for Ireland, with commissions from the king of Scots to several persons, to reward such as shall stand out, or rise for his interest: he carries with him some succours to them in arms, and he is promised farther supplies to be sent after him; and that very soon some grateful person shall be sent to command in chief in Ireland with considerable supplies.
Mr. Charles Longland to secretary Thurloe.
'Tis long since I received any from you, I know you want not many important affaires to detain you from your unnecessary wryting this way. I hear from Holland, the departure of their commissioners for Ingland with ful power and autority to treat and conclud a peace, which God give succes unto, so far as it is for his glory and the good of his piple. Since the late affront and insolency committed by the Duch in this port, we hav not had any of theyr men of war here: that ship is now at Genoa. Last nyght departed this port two Duch merchant ships for Smyrna richly laden; the one of them was the Peregrin, taken in the unhappy engagement in this port. They hav at left half a dozen of theyr ships in several places of Turky, and the French twys as many and twys as rich. I herewith send you the several intelligences from Rom. I shal by degrees I hope bring to pas such advys as you desyre. The most remarkable newes at Rom is, that the emperor, princes, and HansTownes of Germany hav agreed to succour and aid the king of Scots to recover his kingdom and settle him in Britagna. I suppos about this matter, you hav better information from Germany it self; however I humbly desyre you so to represent it to his eccellency, and the state, that it may not be slyhted. The letter itself, that gives me this advys, I herwith send you, that you may be fully informed of this bisnes as much as I know. You wil lykwys see, that I hav brouht Mr. Whyt to a fair way to get me such a correspondent at Rom as you desyre, but ther is no hopes, that he wil correspond (or any) farther then this place, wher I shal carefully recapitat ther advises, and weekly send them to you. I hav had some advys from good hands in Holland (besyds what I hav seen here writ to other men, and more particularly by one Mewes from the Hague) that their king's affaires wer never more hopeful then at present, pretending the great discontents in Ingland, a large party in Scotland in the Hyhlands of ten thousand men redy for the field; and this succour from Germany gives lyf to the rest; but I hope a good peace with Holland wil dash al theyr desynes. I am,
A letter of intelligence from Holland.
The states of Holland having examined the project for a treaty to be made with the elector of Cologne as prince of Liege, have found nothing to say against it, save only, that the proportion of four thousand five hundred men doth seem too little for the greatness of the Lorrain forces; and that in this case the country of Liege being far from hence and open on all sides, it will be a hard matter to protect it with four thousand five hundred men; and this state doth think they ought not to engage universally for that: therefore Holland doth desire, that other princes and states of the empire do join at the same time in this treaty of alliance, and that the execution of these articles may be suspended in the mean time.
The commissioners of the elector of Cologne do not shew themselves altogether satisfied, being they were invited by the Rhine-Grave to this alliance, and having engaged them into this negotiation, that now they must be tied to a condition which is far enough off, or far to seek. Whereupon you must consider, that the project was made by the commissioners of the States General, who ought to have agreed at the first for a greater number of men; but the lords of Holland examine the business a little more exactly. In short, I see that this treaty with those of Liege will sleep a while. But they have here another and far greater regard to the alliance, which the lord ambassador Chanut is come to propound here, who having rested himself some days at Rotterdam, hath given notice of it here, and thereupon mons. Mortagne master of the ceremonies is sent to defray him there meals at Rotterdam.
In the mean time they have certain advices here, that France will continue to seek an agreement with England; but if that cannot be had, France will make a league offensive and defensive with this state against England without making any peace but by joint consent, and therein comprehending likewise the king of Scots. But what will it be then, in case England do make an agreement with France; yea, though there be made a league offensive and defensive between this state and France, England will do the same thing with Spain and Flanders which this state will do with France. The earl of Ligneville hath writ to the lord Brederode, that he hath orders to withdraw his men out of Gemert and Meegen. The lord general and mons. de Marignant did conduct and receive the lord Chanut in the prince of Orange's coach, at the ordinary place called Horne-bridge. The ambassador Chanut had public audience on Thursday the 17th, which was only complimental, assuring them of the continuation of the good affection and amity of this king, as in effect he hath not only declared but demonstrated, that his king doth renounce his pretences, which mons. de Bellievre formerly here did scruple at, concerning the rank, upper hand, and the first entrance to be given to the commissioners of this state coming to see him at his house. What the subject is of his private or particular negotiation cannot be known but in time; in the mean time if conjecture can penetrate, it is no other but to engage the state in an alliance offensive and defensive against England, for that proposition will be very much pleasing to the people here, and to the provinces that affect the prince; and in case England be wilful in the war, Holland can no longer excuse itself, but will be forced to condescend not only to such a league, but to more, viz. to embrace the quarrel of the king, and to accept of the young prince of Orange and the like.
They have discharged here at least thirty men of war, being most of them hired vessels; and if they were of opinion they could get seamen enough together again when they should stand in need of them, they would discharge the whole fleet during the winter, but in the mean time they will keep abroad a small number to cruize the sea. They take new courage here at the arrival of eighty ships come from the Sound; item, two ships loaden with guns from Sweden. The commissioners of this state do write from Westminster, that to the 21/17 November they had received no answer from the government, but that the master of the ceremonies that night at eight of the clock had assured them, that they were busy about it, and that they did understand from somebody else, that the English were busy about drawing up certain articles to form the treaty; that general Cromwell was sick, yet notwithstanding he had caused them to meet in his chamber. That the lord Lagerfelt had treated the commissioners with very great civility, protesting that the queen would never join with the English against the interest of the United Provinces, & quod semper mallet Danos quam Anglos sibi habere vicinos. He made a complaint, that the superscription of his letter credential to his queen was not suitable; &c. The said commissioners did recommend, in case that Lagerfelt pass'd this way, that he might be well treated. In the mean time, the queen of Sweden at Stockholm treated the Dutch nation by a former retortion or reprizal, arresting the persons, goods, money, and merchandises of some Hollanders, so that here they have very little opinion of that queen, believing the quite contrary of what Lagerfelt may have said.
The commissioners of the elector of Cologne have sent to him the resolution of Holland, which in effect doth undo all or suspend the whole treaty. They do intend to depart as soon as they receive an answer from the said prince, and they do continue ever since very ill satisfied. The lord Chanut hath only the title of ordinary ambassador, and therefore hath also propounded nothing but in general, that he came to uphold in all occasions the continuance of the old, and as it were hereditary amity between his king and this state, in no wife to embark this state in a new war, or to hinder the peace which was treating with England; on the contrary, that he would contribute to the completing thereof, consequently he did not desire any commissioners to treat with. The inventor of the machine at Rotterdam hath an ague, and for that dares not go to sea, before he be cured; it is to be feared, that his ague will continue a long while, and without him the machine cannot go. The ambassador himself and all the French nation do laugh at him. I believe likewise, that Rotterdam will not erect a statue for him as for Erasmus. In what manner those of Holland have advised upon the ingredients of the projected treaty with the elector of Cologne, which you have seen formerly, is to be seen in the inclosed copy.
A letter of intelligence from Holland.
My last was the 21st current, wherein I wrote you, that I had made several assayes to procure the commodity, which you have soe often desired, but as yet without successe, though I doe not altogether despaire now, that one friend is come to towne, viz. the earl 179 of P flor 447 is ship 217 but here is no thought of its going out till sp na 542 rie ep t 16 for bee. I hope wee shall have a good convoy for those goods, which are now shipt for Dantzigk for * * whole fleete doe not goe to sea this winter, yett I heare * * sayle are to go towards the Sound, as well to convoy some thither, as to bring home others that are there. Here are lately arrived about eighty sail of merchantmen from the east, amongst which our fo u r e with guns which is a greate mercy, considering the great danger, which hath lately beene at sea, wherein they say fifty or sixty fishermen are lost. Inclosed I send you the cargo of the eight East India ships lately arrived in Patria, parte whereof is to be solde at Amsterdam the 1st of January, at Middleburgh the 22d ditto, and at Enchuysen the 11th of February. This per avizo, that you may give order accordingly. Here is little good to bee done by any in trade at present, except Gabriel Marsellis the king of Denmarke's merchant, who hath lately solde to the states here a very greate quantity of the English hemp, ceized at Copenhagen, and hath yet more to sell. 'Tis thought by the English here, there will come a day of accompt. For newes, here's little worth your notice at present: our greatest expectation is to heare of a peace, which is desired by the most, though others feare it as the plague; I suppose upon grounds of diffidence. I cannot omitte to tell yow, what we hear from Bruxells, and that from one Allexander, a man formerly very zealous at goldsmith's-hall, but 'twas for getting money, who speakes yow to be in a declineing condition, your money being soe far gone, that the king of Spayne's silver is in greate hazzard; that Lambert was gone with all the forces into Scotland, and had not left behinde him at London above one thousand horse and foote; that since the late mutiny of the seamen, there were not enough to bee gotten to man the ships to carry Whitelocke for Sweden, so that he had given over his voyage; and that the lord Conway was comeing to the Hage to cajole the states, and had brought bills of exchange with him for 30000 l. sterling, to teach them to decline the verb bribo, bribas: if soe yow may perchance heare, but truely they are troubled, that your grandees stand so stiffely upon theire olde demands, though 'tis thought theire deputies will not bee called home as yett. The royale partie talke, as if 1. g1. Middleton had now obtained leave to buy and transporte for Scotland as many armes as he will for his master's service; but I believe it not. The French ambassador came hither on Monday last, and they say offers several things to hinder the agreement with England, though his reception hath not been soe greate as others before him. What the issue of these things will be, time will shew. I thanke you for accepting my last bill, I shall drawe noe more on you, 'till I meete with a commoditie that may turne well to accompt; soe desireing to heare from you, I rest.
A letter of intelligence from the Hague.
Since my former to you there is no great increase of any loss sustained by these states ships in the late tempest, but the list I then sent to you, and the letters from de Witt and the admiralty of Amsterdam to the States General gave you the truth, which is still confirmed, whatever is said by willers to the contrary.
These states deputies in London do write in their last letter the 21st instant hither, that by reason of the indisposition of ld. gen1. Cromwell, they received as yet no answer to their propositions, but that the commissioners of the English were treating to form the answer, as they were informed by the master of the ceremonies by orders of the council of state; and that the said commissioners gave great hopes of an accommodation. But notwithstanding all this, licence and permission is given to general Middleton a Scots officer, to export as many arms and as much ammunition as he pleases into Scotland, to be employed in the service against England. Also these states are labouring with all earnestness and expedition to form the state of the war against the English, and to settle a firm and constant fleet of an hundred ships. In conformity thereof giving orders to seek out means for the maintenance of the said fleet with permanency.
The States General desire very much (whatever the deputies there do, and some particular pressures here) that the treaty of peace with England may be entertained and continued until the latter end of March next, if it may be so done, at which time they expect to have completely in readiness the said hundred ships, besides two other squadrons to convoy their merchant ships.
The 24th of this month mons. Chanut the French ambassador made his public entrance here, and yesterday had his first audience, but would not give in any propositions in writing, desiring to be excused therefore, because that which he comes to treat about, requires great secrecy and reservedness, and as such, he desired it might be taken for and observed.
A letter of intelligence from Holland.
My last unto you was the 21st: since not any of yours came to my hande, so that I shal be the briefer. This week affoardes little news, or any thinge intervened in negotiation worthy your notice, only the most part of our East-Country fleet is arrived from the Sounde, richly laden, amongst which are two shipps with ordnance for our new fleet, which is equipageinge against spring, but 'tis thought by the wisest and gravest sort of people here, that those politicians in Ingland and these will agree before summer, though you may be confi dent our friends will and doe use their utmost endeavours to prevent it. Some we have gayned on our partye, but few of the Holland faction, who at present are most prevalent. We hope the French ambassador may do somethinge for our advantage, though as yet I heare nothinge of his negotiation. I understand, our friends in Scotland increase in number and strength, and bring many under contribution; they may happily give their enemyes worcke enough, if they be assisted by these countryes, whereof the inhabitants are very willinge to contribute. Some of them offer large sums; I believe, if the states of Holland would grant our master a voluntary collection (which I heare they denye) through the whole country, he would have a great supply; he intends to move this way so soone as he can get moneye in France for his journey. My lord Wentworth is uppon his returne from Denmark; he also wants a recruite to beare his charges hither. Our old friend at Amsterdam, I think, declynes our cause, for he would lend no money for the lord Wentworth: he doth as most merchants doe, act little, without apearance of profitt. If these countryes make peace, we must all submit, for I can then see no hopes for us. I beseech you let mee hear from you, how they proceed in their treatys. I remayne
A letter of intelligence from Delft.
Yesterday mons. Chanut the French ambassador had audience at the Hague, where he is very well received. At his entertainment with the states (at his own table) he began the king of England's health, and he is conceived to be wholly cavalier. Great pains have been taken to make the world believe, that all the Norway fleet is returned, but (though four days since there arrived at the Texel about sixty ships from the northward, most Easterlings) yet it is very certain, many of their rich Streight's men, and one East India ship, are still behind at Bergen. 'Tis now absolutely resolved not to set forth any men of war until the end of February, against which time all possible preparations are made to set forth a very strong fleet, wherein is to be (besides the old ships) sixty new built ones, thirty of them are finished; and the rest are in hand. The wiser sort here expect no success of the treaty: cautionary towns are of hard digestion withal, yet if they be insisted upon, they and every thing else will be granted, when the Lorrainer shall come to his old quarters. Mons. Brederode is marched to the Busse with one thousand commanded foot and six thousand horse, which they are much troubled to furnish out of all their garrisons. Liberty is solemnly given by the States General to lieutenant general Middleton to carry to Scotland a very great proportion of arms for horse and foot and ammunition of all sorts; a favour he could never obtain before, by which you may make a guess at their intentions in other things. Many are confident at Amsterdam, that the north-west passage is found out, the particular whereof you may expect hereafter. The empire hath declared themselves against the commonwealth of England, and promised a great supply (60000 l. sterling to begin with) to the Scots king under the title of king of Great Britain. It is believed he will quickly leave France, and go thither. The divisions here are greater than ever; the Lovsteins will never be quiet, until they have quite ruined all the chief of the Orange party, who at this time droop very much. More of this in my next.
De Groot to Beverning.
I Wish you good suceess in your business, whereby you may receive the honour, and we the effects. I have sent for the best Rhenish wine to be had, to have it in readiness to celebrate your return, which I wish as soon as may be. M. Chanut hath had audience; he will frame his proposition according to the news, which your next post letters will bring, and that he will cut you out work enough here, if you do not prevent him where you are. I do once more recommend to you the business of the queen of Sweden, and that of my good l. Craven, who hath a great many good friends in the parliament, to act in them, as occasion shall serve.