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.
3 of 5
From Mr. Kingstonn.
The gentleman, to whom I shew'd that part of yours of the sixt, which concern'd him, is very well satisfy'd, that nothing is omitted, which conduces to the we l l or de ri n g of that affaire, but the case stands thus: S i r 19 J a me s D a r si with w h o m to avoyd sa s pi ti o n it is necessary he should go to I ta ly intends not to stay long in Paris this is therefore to be consider'd.
I hope, that by this time Ld. Ormond is out of our re a c h, and that it now only concerns hi s f r e n d s he re that have hi s being a mo n g them kept se c r e t. for which word 395 may stand in this cipher.
It seems at length to be beleav'd, that Hesdin hath changed sides; but that is of so little consequence to us, as it suspended not the execution of a designe his eminence had to make a magnificent present in a lottery to three hundred ladies, named by him. All the parts of this rare guift were valued at a hundred thousand livers; but it falls out, that most of the ladies are very irrationally ill satisfy'd with the giver and his munificence, because fortune had prefer'd others to the better lotts.
It is now againe uncertaine where Mar. Turin shall command. Ld. Aubony wish'd me let you know that the Governor of A r r a s is fa l n si c k of a n a po p l e x y, and that the ma j o r of the to w ne hath relation to Pr. Conde by his mo t h e r, which it seems is feared.
Here you know we speake freely of all men; and a gentleman yesterday tooke the liberty to tell me, that though men continue their opinion of this pope's sanctity, yet the great ones eaven of his owne court have no opinion of his abilities to govern; and finding him a person timorous and inactive, withdraw themselves so farre, as conveniently they may, from medling with publike affaires. Ld. Aubony li k e wi s as su re s me that he and hi s ne p h e w se n t for c. Retz but that for those reasons he thought it not fit to goe.
Those that repine at the happy condition of France, imagine there may be some trouble in Normandy. It is true the business is prest home, and the gentry, which is numerous in that province, resent the offer made to lay taxes on them highly; but his eminence hath learnt upon many occasions to doe Mahomet's miracles; and if the mountaine will not come to him, to go to the mountaine. Some that have not heard the humble and reasonable excuse yong Hocquencourt sent to court, for not receaving some horse into person, imagine him discontented; but they are very beasts, that thinke horses can live any where without forrage; and what could he doe less in duty, then by a submiss letter to the cardinal to extenuat his father's offence by discovering, that his inclination is too great a frend to hasty resolutions ? but I no way beleave, what some men say, of sending high demands to the court.
From Mr. Kingstonn.
Since the receipt of yours of the 11, and in some dayes before, wee have scarse seen the sunn, and a constant north wind blows so sharply, as if it would perswade us, wee had mistaken the season of the yeare. It is the same weather in England, and to that the phisitions attribut the new diseas, which is growen amongst them; the malignity whereof would have afforded me less cause of complaint, if it had not deprived us on the 29 of April stilo veteri, at seaven of the clock in the morning, of the marquis of Clanricard, for whose death I know Mr. Phillips will be much grieved. He was an honest, and an honerable personne; a subject so faithfull to his king, that if his stock of loyalty were divided among the numerous burroes of Cromwell's slaughter-house, it might free them from the guilt of much of the innocent blood, which God perhaps will permit them to spill, that so the cupp of their iniquitie being brimfull, his vengeance may the sooner be power'd forth upon them. My Lo. Aubigney tels me, that the dutches of Richmound intends to come into France, and is to live in his house here in Paris.
I have of late been so ingaged in romances, that I am ever and anon writing somewhat like one in my letters to you. What doe you thinke of a report wee have here, that Cromwell is privately mediating a peace between France and Spaine, and intends by ingratiating himself to both crowns, to stablish his throne ? vos videritis.
I should retract the comment I made upon Bp. Dromore's letter if I gave full credit to what the same hand writt hether yesterday; to witt, that on sunday next, or monday at furthest, he goes to A r r as and from thence to Cu l l en. I presume (if this be true) you will sooner know it then I shall.
It is here reported, that my lo. of Bristol is gonn for Spaine, and that passing through Paris, he dined with the la. Muskry and Hamilton. This later part of my knowledg is fals, for I have not been this half year past scars any meal absent from them; but the invisibilty of my lo. of Ormound in so long a time, makes us beleave, that all the world is sett upon adventures.
Ld. Aubony wish'd me lett you know, that he hath written to car. Retz the king asked for him and that he beleaves the king of E. wil he e re from car. Retz. (for sayd he) the king hath fewe su s that wi s h him better and all car. Retz his friends 28 15 6 20 he may beleeve 401 to be his o w ne.
Advertise ld. Ormond how that malicious false report of his having be g g ed the earle of Ar r run de l 's est ate spreds apace, and I find, that this venome spitt at him hath perelous dregs; for presently upon the nick of that discours is brought in, that England is can to ni se d and given a wa y there is a religious man, a brother of the ho u s who lives towards Antwerp: he is a discreet person, and I was thinking, that if ld. Ormond thought it fit, being he is acquainted with him, and that their passed civilities between them, when they were both heere, he might take notice to him of those base and scandalous reports, which certainly are raysed by none, but such as wish evil to Cromwell. I againe renew my request to you, that ld. Ormond, in whom they reposed trust at first, may in your cypher take notice to me of his having understood at large the subject of our long trafficke, and give that incouragement to the gent. which shal be thought fitt, now that he is upon the place himself.
There hath been a contreversey long undecided between the parlement there and the clergi of that citty, concerning precedency in their procession; and it chanc'd not long since, that a solemnity of that kinde being of custom to be celebrated, the card. to prevent any contention that might arise in the time of procession, sent to the Plement to desire them, that the clergy in such a function as that was, might be allowed to take place. They returned answer, that he himself might chouse where to be; but that next to him the place was theirs. He made replye, that he insisted not upon his owne, but the priviledg of the clergi, and would inhibit the procession, if they meant to wrong them. Upon this they sent him a mandat to proceed to the procession, and came themselves to attend it; but when they were upon the place, they found, if they would have any ceremony, it would be no other then a lay march, for the bishope and all the clergi were retir'd. Wherefore the Plement going back to their place of meeting, awarded suddenly a prise de Corps against the card. and fin'd him ten thousand livres; for which fine his plate and furniture was sould by the cryer in the market-place; and himself having escaped by a postern gate, is now comming to complaine to the other cardinalls.
From Mr. Kingstonn.
Yours of the 18th makes me acknowledg, that the Donns and their complices have outwitted us; but we, who probably should best know our owne losses, cannot be perswaded, that the number was less then four thousand. It is said, you were civil to the French, but for the English (who were very many) vous les avez touts esgorgé. Whether we say this to incens our allies, and drawe over the supplies, the sooner to reveng their countrymen, or that you were really so cruell, I know not. Of this I am certaine, that you have described the action so to the life, that you drawe compassion from me for the good gent. Donn Ogniate, who was so unseasonably disturb'd in the rest he meant not to take, and made bitter invectives against that misfortune, which he join'd to contrive should be brought upon him; and being upon the guard did, I am confident, fear the civilities of his friends more than the power of his enemies. I am much his servant, and all men must applaud his dexteriti. What a tragicall business thinke you, would it be for us, if the king of Spaine had but tenn such actors conveniently placed, and wee bound, as the case now was, only to furnish them with spectators ? They say here, that Monsieur Tallown the commissari was of the company. It would be foulle play, if you both make him pay a ransom, and robb him of the money he faithfully brought to pay yourselves. Some short-sighted men of late dayes complain'd of the extraordinary number of marishals of France, but well fare a good perspective. Providenc, you see, sooner or later always attains its end. It is not every man could have foreseen, that the marishall D'Hoquencourt would have given us over in the plaine field, and the marishall D'Aumont put himself into your hands willingly, though he cannot bragg much of his good reception; and all this within the space of two months. But I have dwelt long enough upon military romances. Now I am to begin one of the civil list.
B. Dromore (Mr. Phillips will say that name is a romance of itself) by his letter, which I sawe this morning, informs his friends, that he hath all his dispatches for his negotiation in his hands; that he goes to Cullen 38 143 immediately: that his settelment is defer'd, but untill his coming back: that the English embassador's secretary sup'd with him the night before, and assured him that six thousand horses, with their saddles and furniture, were to come out of England; that men are to be chosen here to mount them; but by the way lett me assure you, that the word (thousand) is rightly placed here, though in my former, and in the case which concern'd our friends, it was misapplied, where the some ought to be no more then six hundred pistols. He further related, that the army of this side was to receave both provisions and forage for a certaine time from beyond, and that 60 sayle were to attend this work; that his master the embassador was not only to command this new supplye, and those sent the yeare before, but likewise all of the three nations serving in the French armyes. In another letter he sayes, that upon his returne his lodgings are to be neere the cardinal's, and to have a c c e s w h e n he please, and that he is to treate with the bishop of Cu and to me e t G r a m o n d 21 the re. Now sir, take as much or as little of this for truth as you thinke fitt, for my part my belief shall attend what I see executed stepp by stepp, and I cannot imagin, what should carry him to Cu unless Mazarin may perhaps thinke him a fi t in s t r u me n t to t r a ce card. Retz.
Ld. Inchiquin is still here, though he hath often tould me, that he was to goe to I ta ly there is no secret in the colonell's comeing I scarse beleave, that ld. Inchiquin is upon i l l terms with the cardinall whatever he p r e t e n d s and the colonell is hi s ne er k i n s ma n.
There is come forth in print an excellent peec lately publish'd by the curats of Paris. If I find, that the packet, when it is to be made up, be not to bigg, you may receave it by this poast: if I do, you shall by the next.
I hope the comming of ld. Bristoll hath removed all the difficulty, that was on the gentleman's business, who still attends it. Now he heares ld. Ormond is there, he will not budge, till he knows what becoms of it. Entreat him to write to me concerning it in your cipher, that I may be ridd of further solicitation.
I redd yesterday the king of France his proclamation first publish'd at Callice the 22th of this month, and by sound of drumms made more publicke, and poasted up here wherein he takes notice of the stay of many of the officers at Paris, notwithstanding it is a month since he himself in person came into Picardy, to provid against the enemies attempts upon the frontiers; and therefore the time of service being now far advanced, he commaunds them under some penalties to leave Paris within 24 after the publication thereof, and within 3 dayes to attend their several charges in the army.
Either this of the taking of marishall D'Aumount is a very bitter pill, and cannot easely be swallowed, or you misinforme us, though we know you doe not, for the Great C h an c e l o r assured some of the contrary yesterday morning. Now, Sir, having sufficiently wearyed you, it is time to take leave, and to repeat a very certaine truth, which is, that I am
Here they are such blabs, or so desirous to divulg what mischief befals themselves, that they would have it beleaved, the Spaniards have taken of late some strong place in Catalonia, defeeted entirely at Paris, which way to succour it, and become masters of their bagg and baggage; but all this is nothing. You shall gape for an Emperor, untill wee take Dunkirke.
From Mr. Kingstonn.
By occasion of the discours with lord Aubony concerning yours of the 25, which I receaved, I foresee, that I must give you the troble of much cipher; for what I am to say can hardly be digested into a romance. Yesternight a gentleman se n t by Card. Retz to renue the Ci p h e r s he had with hi s freinds he re after the accident, which you have redd in the Gazett, I sent you was with him, and he hath at large informed him of what judgment Car. Retz is to make of the King 's disposition, and the faithfulness of hi s mi ni s t e r s, lord Chancellor & lord Ormond he hath likewise informed him, how necessary it is, that nothing, which concerns the King's affaire s come to the knowledge of the Queen, both because s he is somewhat disgusted, that s h e governnes not the King absolutely, and that lord Germin to whom most of what the Queen knowes is re ve a l d is a great servant of Mazarin 's Moreover he described Mountagu and his intrigues, and descended to every particular, which might conduce to the good of the King; so as (and he said it himself) perhaps some useful things are spoken, which might not be so fit in your mouthes, as that of the Queene. The gentleman takes a ci r cu it a bo ut it, and is not to be the re in a moneth.
Fa. Ro bi n se n was likewise two days ago with lord Aubony and having at a former visit sought a farr of to sound what good office s those were which the King tould himself lord Aubony did in somewhat, which related to Ca. Retz. He then upon confidence of the friendship, which is great between them, in plaine terms put him the question. Whereupon lord Aubony tooke occasion to declare at large the dislike he once had of the King 's wa y of live in g, and other impressions given him to his disadvantage; but now he had so well informed himself by those he dare trust, of a great change in the o ne, and by his owne observation, found such just reasons to deface those impressions, that he would not out of a senc of hi s du ty, but out of af fe c ti o n 152 ever to se r v e him, as for that question, which he proposed, although it was a particular of no great concernment, yet he makes this observation upon it, that the King know s ho w to distribute his share of business to ever y o ne, and therefore he saw there was no reason to excuse him, if he said nothing in the matter, since it seems the King made it a Secrett to him, who he knowes hath much t r u s t from him. The discourse ended with praises of our King 's pa r t s and the father s real professions to serve the King, and those made in behalf of himself and hi s order lord Aubony's freindship that is so just to the master and his servants, is to be (as it is) cherished by both.
I am wished by the man, who sawe B Drummores letters, out of which the stuff was taken which I gave you by the two last poasts, not to beleave any thing touching his voyage to Cullen for it seems there are some men, to whom he gives more credit in relating what concernes him the to B Drumore himself.
Sir, I know it had been discretion in one to troble you no more with the Gent, business, having heard nothing concerning it in your two last, and an answer being formerly sent; but besides that I am satisfyed, that if this man be discontented, the matter probably will come to nothing, I must sacrifice eaven that to importunity, yet I have endeavoured to have the least to do it that possibly I could; and therefore I bestow but my writing upon his own words, which were given in, and lye by me; you will read them in the enclosed billet.
The last of the Manchinies, nephews to the cardinall, having done some affront to a gentleman, who commands the regiment of Piccardy, was challenged, and is killed; but perhaps this is no newes to you, for the gentleman is said to have fled.
If the King hath a desire to bring off those regiments, I must be advertized of it here, and things showen me he re for I am resolved not to go u p as I did la s t yeare, unless it be expressly uppon that designe. And when things are donne clearly there must be something act ed he re by Mr. Bellings your old freind and me before any thing can be done the re to take of all s c ru p l e s and do u b ts that may 25 a ri se.
From Mr. Kingstonn.
Yours of 20th was delivered me, and having resolved to write upon all subjects by this poast, I intend to be a troble to you in folio. That of business you shall have in the first place, then after the occurrents of the time, which I have gathered from persons, whom I cannot warrant to be alway infallible.
I read to the gentleman that part, which concerned him in your letter, who not being content to have tould me yesterday, that it was impossible to do hi s business hi s ab se n ce and that he would not ve n tu r (for which word you may put 424 in the cipher) in an y ha n d but hi s o w re pa pe r s, which might undoe Slane 3 280 and them to be conveighed to 11 Italy 254 came to me this morning, and desired me, that I would not only write his yesterdays discours and resolution, but that I should further advertise you, that he can yet stay 21 3 25 for an an s w er, for which worde you may put 62 in the cipher of this letter these fi f t e e ne da y s, and that if no thing be do ne before that 400 time, he will call 38 for hi s in ga ge me n t, which he expects I will not deny him. Besides the admiration, in which he is, wherefore a business, which he believes 20 to be of great a d va n t a g for a 11 interests, and the fear, which I perceave he hath, that the King of Spain's ministers 21 7 19 20 treate about this affaire with o the rs 361 20 he tould me plainly, that I g na ti u s Nu g e n t is raiseing 228 9 a regiment he re which is no fiction; and that he makes him an of fe r of the charge of ma j o r, which he defers to ta k e un ti l that ti me; but he is resolved, if he receave a satisfactory answer from you, that is, the pa pe r s he desires to qu it a l l for the money which he says may perhaps be the obstruction. Let but the time be prefixt two or three moneths hence for the the pay me n t, 'twill suffice the order s and a g r e me n t s are those things he sayes he wants. Thus, Sir, you have a faithful accompt of this business, to which for any thing I can gather your ne x t letter is to pu t an end.
Lord Aubony tells me that the reason, why C. Retz declines goeing to Rome is, that he finds the Pope would interpose to reconcile him to Mazarin up o n disadvantagious tearms. M. Turin ser ve s against you the re.
Bysh. Drummore after a large discours with me of hi s zeale for the King 's se r vi ce and the paine and expence he was at in going to I taly for noe other purpose, but to ca r r y of the Irish which were hindred by a fayler o n your si de, as he sayes, told me, that he had caused the propos. to have been made this year likewise to Caracene by the Lord Taste and that he only snug'd at it he said further, that by a letter he receaved this poast from thence, he finds, that he is misrepresented to the King; and protests that he hath not merited, that any hard opinion should be had of him, and wished me to do him the favour to understand, how he was thought of at Court. I answered, that certainly he was misinformed, for he could not forget, what the King commanded me to fa y to him, he replyed, he beleaved so, yet he desired me to seeke to be informed. So as in answer to this you may say nothing, or say what you please, but let Mr. Bellings only appear in it, for I would not have him know, that I w r i t e to you.
The gazet part follows; the duke of Beaufort four dayes agoe made his first visit to the cardinall, and was receaved with very great exspressions of kindness by him. It is said, that he is to command the forces in Catalognia.
The King of France parted yesterday about noone to lodge that night at Chantilly in his way to Amyens, where he intends to send an Herald of Armes, and a commissary to know the grievances of those in Hesdin, and to put them in a way of redress. The King is said to have taken a resolution of putting himself in the feild so spedely upon the news was brought him, that the Marshall d'Hocencourt had taken Pont Dormy, a passage upon the river of Somn, between Amyens and Abevile, and that he was advanced into France with four hundred horse, and upen further advertisement from the governoor of Picardy, that the enemy had some design upon Montrovell.
The lady Lockeir, wife to the embassador of the great ally of France, tooke her leave a tuesday last of the queen of France, and, as became her quality, had the honour of the tanboret given her. The next day after there arrived a currier from England, by whom the embassador receaved letters, that wished him to tell the cardinal, he could not possibly spare him any men out of his army for this campania, so as wee are like to trust to the three regiments, which are levyed there for this service, with the King's owne money.
Yesterday morning there arrived at court a currier from Francfort, with letters from the French embassador, intimating, that the electors present, and the plenipotentiaries of those absent, are entred the conclave, which his eminence was trobeld at, and somewhat with madame royall, who undertooke, as is said, for the duke of Bauvir, that he would send none thether untill the last of May. You may, as long as you list, conceale, where the marquis of Ormond is; but the cardinal sayes, he knowes he is in Scotland. All this was tould me by B. Drumore and he further assured me very confidently, that Mazarin in his discours with him, let him know, that he was as certaine, as he stood there, that the K. of Spaine would within five months desert the King and that Mazarin said, he knew upon what point he would breake. Now having by this time sufficiently tired you with reading such impertinences as wee meet with here, I take leave, and remaine
My la. Muskry returns you harty thanks for the letter she hath procured from hir sonn, in answer to one you did her the favour to send him; she againe renues the troble she formerly gave you, with intention to doe it no more.
Proposition to king Charles II.
I am intrusted by the lord Aubigny, to represent to your Majesty, that since the receipt of the letter, which your majesty did him the honour to send him, he hath made it a great part of his study to find out some expedient, by which your majesty's affairs and catholicke religion might at the same time be advanced, in such manner as those two interests, wherein his function, his birth, and his bloud hath particularly ingaged him, might meet to the glory of God, and the benefit of your majesties service. And he believes, that when the mean he proposes, and all the circumstances of it shall be duly weighed, your majesty will judge, that if the propositions be imbrac'd, you will be assisted powerfully by those professing the catholicke religion, as well within your majesties dominions, as from abroad.
In the first place he finds, that the promises of princes in your majesties condition, how sincere soever, are not easily relyed on; and that therefore some way must be found to secure men's apprehensions.
In the next he believes, that the assurance most satisfactory to catholicks, and most advantagious to your majesty, will be your giving way, that the duke of Gloster be instructed in the catholicke religion, to which your majesty seemed formerly therefore to have been avers, because he was to be compel'd, when a design of great consequence for your service was on foot, and reddy to be executed, to live with the Jesuits, whose very name is extremely odious in England.
And he takes the liberty to inform your majesty, that your then interrupting of your brother's being put in a way to be instructed in catholicke religion, how justifyable and well grounded soever the reasons were, which induced you thereunto, having been represented at Rome in the worst senc by those, who judged the missing of the duke an affront to their order, the court of Rome look'd upon your majesty as a prince more inclined to persecute, then favour catholicks. And he wish'd me to advertize your majesty, that the Nuncio, now in France, lately come from Rome, was not disabus'd, untill he himself inform'd him truly of the carriage of that affaire, and all the circumstances, which were conceal'd from those of that court.
It is true, that your majestie's now connexion with Spain leaves a way open for all catholicks to conjecture something, and affords those of them, who are best affected to your service, arguments of a more mild and favourable disposition in your majesty towards the catholicks. But this, he says, will not produce that benefitt and advantage to your majestie's affairs, which he looks after; for catholicks consider, that all princes, nay the king of Spain himself, who seems to make the good religion much of his business, regular their care of it by their interest and the present occasion; and therefore will expect some visible testimony of your majesty's affections, and as it were a pledge of the favours you intend for them. And he says, that as this education of the duke of Gloster will be an assurance beyond exceptions of your majestie's disposition to doe them good, so will his highness be a fit organ, by which your desires may be conveighed to them, and a proper channell for conveighing their assistances to you. His lordship ads to this the lessening (so farr as may concern the maintenance of your brother) your majestie's present heavy Charge.
And to let your majesty see, that this design is not wholly speculative, he wished me say, that one imploy'd into France by cardinall Barbarin assures him from his master, that for his owne part, if the duke comes to Rome, he will furnish one of his palaces for him, and give him five or six thousand crowns yearly pension towards his subsistence; but the lord Aubigny thinks it will then be seasonable to descend to treat of particulars of that kind (wherein he doubts not to receive full satisfaction) when your majestie's resolution is known.
He desires your majesty should likewise understand, that there are there persons, with whom he is join'd in a particular bond of friendship, and by whose assistanc and means he intends to carry on this designe, and act any thing, which relats to catholicks, to witt, cardinal Barbarin, cardinal de Rets, and monsigneur Banny: the two last are flatly opposit to the ways of cardinal Mazarin, your majesties implacable enemy, and of them cardinal de Rets is your majesties very real friend. The first is a person, in whom the Spaniard confides, so as it fals out happely, that the instruments are such, as cannot give any umbrage to that party, which hath taken your majesty by the hand. Nay he says, it may be so ordered by the duke's going to travayle to Spaine, that the Spaniard may appear to be an actor in it, and so both your interests, by one and the same mean, wil be endear'd to the pope.
This way of proceeding, he says, is farr different from the attempt was made at Paris; no force, no compulsion wil be used. The duke wil be improved by travayle, and made fitt to advance your majesties service by the experience he will gaine abroade. There will be no violenc join'd to the instruction is desired for him; his conversion, that it may be perfect, must be the worke of grace. Your majesty may place those about him, who will conserve in him the affection he bears you as to his father and his brother, and will teach him the true principles of that obedienc and fidelity, which is due from him to your majesty as his sovereigne: the desturbances of your estats, an attempt upon your person upon what pretenc soever, will be represented unto him as the most wicked of crims. It will be of great advantage for your majesty to have a person so neer and trusty to you, on whom you may intirely rely, not only for all things, which are to be agitated on your majesties behalf with catholicks abroad, but also for what concerns your service, and relats to your subjects of that prosession at home, whose authority may crush suddenly the bad designes of the ill affected, and direct the hands and purses of the well disposed to appeare hartily and willingly in the execution of your majesties commands.
I am further intrusted to lett your majesty know, that he looks upon a proposition now reddy to be made to Cromwell, as a thing of infinit prejudice to your majesties service, if it be imbraced, as he thinks it will, if it once come to be offer'd; and because it is necessary your majesty should see into the bottom of it, and know all the circumstances, I was directed to relate it exactly, which I will endeavour to doe.
Sinc the death of the bishope of Calchedon the catholike clergi of England have made many attempts to find out a fitt person, who might be presented to be his successor; and the contentions between the clergy, the regulars, and the jesuits, rendred the matter difficult for a long time. At length, after many essayes, and severall consultations concerning the lamentable condition of the catholiks living under the now government, and concerning the regall power, which Cromwell meant to assume, this seem'd to be the result, that it was fitt somewhat should be done, which might put the catholiks of England in some security of their lives, and make them masters of that part of their estates and fortunes, which would remain to them after a composition, and might likewise at the same time provide for the safe living of a prelat in England, who might exercise his funxion there, and conserve a Christian union among them. They were not ignorant, that there were some beyond the feas, who would be content to weare the cross, and have the title of a bishope in relation to England; but there designe was, he might execute his charge among them securely, without being persecuted by the laws; and that a mean might be found both for the catholike clergy and layety of England, which might enable them to live quietly, and enjoy what was left them as subjects protected by the government. Wherefore they thought of addressing themselves to Cromwell, who amuses himself with drawing up oaths, which he thinks will be such, as shall meet with all equivocations, and be indispensable; and to let them know, that they are reddy to come to a finall composition with them for their estates, and that they themselves will present such a form of an oath, as shall not only bind their consciences but their affections; nay that they will give him a greater pledg of their fidelity in the person of one man, who shall be a bishop or superintendent over the clergy of England, and consequently have power over the consciences of the whole catholike party, whose residenc shal be in London, or where Cromwell shall appoint, and who will from time to time impose the execution of his commands as a matter of conscience on the catholiks. They have alreddy receaved incouragement from a man in great credit with Cromwell, that this motion wil be favorably listened unto, and the lord Aubigny is earnestly solicited by some of them to be this bishope. This is the true state of that affaire; and he humbly begs of your majesty to consider first, that it is probable Cromwell will thinke this the best mean to secure his fears at home. Next, that cardinal Mazarin will press with all earnestness imaginable the acceptance of this offer, as well to obstruct all the wayes, by which your majesty may be reinthron'd, as to persuade the pope and all catholiks, who looke on him as the patron of such as profess any religion contrary to that profess'd by the Spaniard and his catholike party, that in his treaty with his new ally he had a particular care of catholike religion, and that this favour Cromwell will extend to the catholiks in England, proceeds from a private agreement made with him.
He desires your majesty likewise to consider, that Cromwell hath credit enough with his own party to quiet any apprehension they may have of this matter; and that they have so hackt and hewed any thing, which had the forme of religion among them, that they have almost lost the thought of Christianity.
He will say to those men, that he hath found out a new way to chaine up the beast, which neither he nor his predecessors could tame; and that he hath only permitted a few obdurat soules, who in all ages were irremovably obstinat, to damne themselves by their superstition; that thereby he might preserve the saints from their mischievous plots, and hinder those abroade, who are guilty of the same blindness, to assist your majestie their capital enemy, who is now actually gathering of forces to invade them. And he will find a thousand other arguments to persuade them, that the benefitt and security this will bring them, is a purchase inestimable.
He desires your majesty would be pleased to consider, that the first stepp the duke of Gloster would make towards being in a way to receave an impression of catholike religion, would instantly crush so dangerous a designe; and that noe respect of the catholike sufferings, no promises, no offers from Cromwell, would in such a case induce the pope to give them a prelat. Moreover, that then he might be easely wonn to incourage all catholiks, of what condition and quality soever, to succour a prince driven out of his dominions by the execrable murderers of his father their lawful king. Princes, prelats, and particular persons would not be wanting to contribute towards that work. And he humbly desires your majesty to consider, that the pope himself, who upon occasion of the queen of Sweden's conversion, a woman neither very stayed, nor extraordinary pious, and unlike to be any support or countenance to catholike religion in those countries, to which she disclaym'd in hir intrest, and wherein she intends not to reside, expended an hundred thousand crownes, will easily see how much more advantagious it will be to have your majesties brother bredd in catholike religion, your majesties dominions being in extent, riches, and number of soules, incomparably preferable; and the duke (if God shall please to restore your majesty) being to live there, where he may not only encrease your majesties good opinion of your catholike subjects, and obtaine more favour for them; but the pope may have roome to hope, that he may be able to instill into your majesty and the duke of Yorke a due reverence for the church of Rome.
I am likewise intrusted to let your majesty know, that the good of catholike religion in England in the first place, and in the next the good of your majesties affaires (both which are the deerest concernments to him upon earth) having mett in this proposition, he makes offer of his owne person to be dispos'd of near the duke of Gloster, to manage for the advantage of your majesties service those joint interests. Yet he humbly beggs, that if your majesty should intertaine the lest thought, that any particular motive relating to himself hath a part in this offer, your majestie would do him the favour not to give ear to it, for he should be sory to quit France, and the pretensions he may have in it, and the quiet, most contented course of life, to which God of his great mercy hath at length brought him, to involve himself in new trobles, and to have his intentions misconstred, and pass with your majesty for effects of that ambition, which he had once vanity enough to intertaine for a cardinall's capp, when your majesties father, by his recommendation, fought to procure it for him. His sole designe therein is to serve God, his king, and his country, and that so hopefull a branch of the royal family should be truly instructed in the mysteries of the catholike religion; and that all the endowments, which nature hath confer'd upon him, and the parts he may acquire by travaile and study, may be imploy'd to serve your majesty in this your adversity, and the prosperous times, which he dayly prays, God may send you.
He further directed me to let your majesty know, that if you relish this proposition, as he hopes your majesty will, in case you thinke of making use of his service therein, he must know it timely, that he may so dispose of his estate and fortune in France, as it may not be subject to be made a prey to those now in power, who are already sufficiently averse to him, and will then be more exasperated against him. Next he desires, that both the thing itself, and his having a hand in it, may be kept secrett from the queen your mother, and all those, who may conveigh it to the pallas royal; for, besides that if it once come thither, it will be soon beat the lower, he is not out of hope so to order the matter, as the queen, when she knowes the duke is upon his way to Rome; may make it her request to him to make a journey thither, and to endeavour to be towards his highness, and give him recommendatory letters to that purpose. By this mean the queen will rest satisfyed, that she hath placed one about her sonn, who in truth will faithfully pay him the respects he owes hir majesty, when they are not exacted from him to the prejudice of the duty he owes your majesty, but in order to your service, which hath been hindred by the bad impressions given her majesty by some about her; otherwise he foresees, that she will leave nothing unattempted to have some creature of her own about him, wherein she will be powerfully seconded by the jesuits, who will not fayle to have a finger in the matter, thereby to regaine the reputation, which they lost by having the duke snatch'd out of their hands.
I am likewise intrusted to let your majesty know, that he hath weighed as exactly as he could the sole objection, which he conceaves may be made against this proposition; which is, that this will lose your majestie your party in England. And he is so far from thinking, this inconvenienc would follow thereupon, that he cannot persuade himself, that eaven your majesties being a catholike, as matters now stand, would lessen the number of those, who have a reall intention to assist you. For he desires your majesty to consider, that if there were no other motives then religion to drawe the people of a country, in which all retigion seems to be lost, to fight for your majesty, those, who profess your majesty's religion, are not now so numerous there, that the succour you might expect from them would performe the worke you have in hand. The conscienciousness of your majesty's right, the passion to vindicat so horrid a crime as was the murder of your father, the pitty of your majesty's condition, the hatred, which many have for the government by reason of the new frame, into which it is put, and the abolition of old wayes, for which men have a veneration by reason of the exaltation of mean mechanical men, and the depressing of the ancient nobility, and by reason of the arbitrary power Cromwell hath assumed to insult over parlaments, which at all times were held as things sacred by the nation; their hopes of reward, privat emulation and envey, the ease of taxes and tribute, the impossibility wherein they see themselves of ever sitting downe quiet, while your majesty or any of your line is in being; and considerations of this kind extend themselves to presbiterian, independent, leveller, quaker, anabaptist, dipper, Brownist, and other the innumerable sectaries, which this age hath produced in England. It is little to be doubted, that all of them, who have such affections, and are thus concern'd, would willingly make it their request to your majesty, to strengthen your party by what means soever, since they might not hope by any other ways then by having your majesty reinthron'd, to compass their ends. And there is none of them so dimme-sighted, but he sees how powerfull the assistances are, which may be drawen from the catholike party at home and abroad. And he thinks it cannot stand with reason to say, that those men would lay aside the thought of all their owne and your majesties concernments, because the yongest of your majesty's brothers being sent to travayle by the perswasions of Spaine in the uncertainty of your majesty's succes providing for an honorable way to live, had made himself catholike.
Those, he says, who may now pretend much fear, certainly had the same apprehensions upon the conversion of your majesty's sister, who by the lawes might in her turne clayme the crowne; yet there follow'd no inconvenience thereupon; and there will less insue upon this in respect, that all those, who seriously and hartily desire to see your majesty restored, cannot but see how much they will contribute to it.
I am further intrusted to let your majesty know, that those catholikes, who have zeale for your majesty's service, and would be willing to give your majesty a real proof of it, expect this testimony of your majesty's intention to favour those of their profession, and that the resolution your majesty hath taken upon this proposition, will be the rule to guide their judgments, in determining what they are to trust to.
I am lastly intrusted to let your majesty know, that the lord Aubigny having now presented his conceptions of what he thinks most advantagious to your service, to your majesty alone, together with his apprehensions of the harme may follow, if this proposition be rejected I am to obey your majesty's commands; in repeating the whole, or so much as your majesty thinks fitt, to whom you pleas. And although he may not presume to direct the choyse, yet I am to say, that the marquess of Ormound and sir Edward Hide, as men knowen to him, and noted for their zeale to your majesty's service, would best sute with his wish.
Instructions of K. Charles II. to Mr. Bellings.
1. You shall thanke the person, from whom you are principally instructed, and shall let him know, that as I take the freedome he hath used very well from him, and do believe, that he verily thinkes, what he proposes to be done by me, would prove to my advantage; so I cannot doubte, but that he alwais thought fit the judgement to be so entirely left to my selfe, as well of what is convenient, as what is lawfull to be done by me, that he will not withdraw any part of his own affection and zeale to my service, because I cannot approve or practice what he proposes; and that he will dispose his friends to continue the same good wishes towards me, and for the advancement of my service, which they have alwaies prosessed; and if any of that kindnesse shall be abated, I shall be very sorry for any occasion, that induced that person (from whom I promise my selfe better) to make this proposition to me.
2. I am confident there is no catholike, who in any degree knows me, that doeth in truth beleeve, that I incline to persecute catholikes or catholike religion. On the contrary I have given, and am ready to give, as much evidence in indulgent dispositions and gratious purposes towards them, as is possible for a prince to doe, who is of a different prosession of faith. And if they will not depend upon my nature or my promises, but under pretence of securing their apprehensions, presse me to doe that, which neither my conscience nor discretion will suffer me to doe, and which in truth cannot secure their apprehensions more then my promises, except they propose somewhat else to themselves then they professe, and which must bring me certaine damage for a probable hope of some advantage, I must be the more wary in granting, least some inconvenience besall my selfe, that may be discovered too late to be prevented; and no mens expecting an unreasonable and unseasonable testimony of my intentions to favour catholikes shall obliege me to doe, what I know will hurte my selfe, and I am confident will proove to their disadvantage.
3. How farr Cromwell's complying with catholikes in their applications on his behalfe shall prevayle with the pope to give credit to him, and consequently to favour him, I cannot tell; but the apprehension of it must not induce me to do any thing contrary to my owne judgment and conscience. And if after so many execrable perjuries and horrible violations of all promises, he shall be able to get himself beleeved by any catholike subjects, I am perswaded it will in the end turne more to their prejudice and insamy, then to my disadvantage.
4. As I very well know the person, who hath intrusted you, is very much mistaken in the temper of Englande, as to its indifferency in religion, and inclinations to catholikes, of which I may be reasonably thought to understand somewhat, by having opportunity for many weekes during my last being there, to discover the humours of the people without dissimulation, my selfe being unknowne amongst them; so I hope he beleeves, that the consideration of that temper and humour is not the sole objection I have against the thinge he proposes; but that I am swayed by a much more important argument, without condemning or reproaching those who are not of my opinion.
5. You shall inlarge upon all these particulars, according to what I have my selfe sayde to you in the discourses I have had with you upon this argument; and I will expect from your information (to whom I am sure I have sayd enough to satisfye you, that I neither am nor can be made an enemy to catholikes) and the ingenuity, generosity, and integrity of your friends, that they continue the same good wishes for me, which they have heretofore had.