A Collection of the State Papers of John Thurloe, Volume 1, 1638-1653. Originally published by Fletcher Gyles, London, 1742.
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From K. Charles II.
When this bearer came to me from you, and first acquainted me with what you proposed, I answered him with that freedome in the point, that he might decerne I meant not to dissemble any of my purposes of that kinde; nor to give you reason to hope, that I did intende what in truth I doe not. I have fully instructed him what to say to you from me; to which I shall add, that I am confident, when we meet, as I doubt not we shall (and I hope in England) I shall converte you in this point (whatever I shall doe in others) that I had reason not to consent to what you propose. For the secrecy, I do assure you upon my word, that I have not in the least degree communicated with any person but the two you named; and I dare promise on their parts, that it shall never be imparted to any; and I do promise my selfe, that you will continue the same to me you have prosessed to be, and I shall be allwaies very heartily,
The protector to Hamet Bassa.
Oliver lord protector of the commonwealth of England, &c. to the lord Hamet Bassa wisheth health and peace from God. We received two letters from you, dated both on the third day of the second moon of Rabia, in the year 1066, according to your account. Both those letters contain'd in them the same matter; to which we now return our answer. And first, we rejoice, as you do, at the peace, which we have made with you, the covenants whereof you recite truly in your letter, and we acknowledge them, and shall cause them to be observed faithfully through all our government. We also return you thanks for the kind reception and refreshment, which you have given to our fleet and ships failing to and fro, or trading in your ports. Whereas you write, that the Flemish being your enemies do ost wear English flags and colours in their ships, whereby your ships are deceived and sometimes lost; we will speak thereof to the Flemish or Dutch ambassador residing with us, that it may no more be so done; and this is all we can perform herein, for the Flemish are not under our authority. Lastly, whereas you write, that many Flemish and French mariners go in English ships and land on your shore, and in particular that captain Griffith of the ship Acorne, and Mr. Francis Butcher, merchant, coming into your harbour with some of their mariners that were Flemish, carried away with them a Fleming, who was slave to a Masulaga; we will strictly forbid the merchants to take with them to your ports any Flemish, or French seamen for the future, and will call captain Griffith to an account for the Fleming whom he hath brought away, and will cause him to do that which shall be just. Wherein else we can be useful to you, we offer you in like manner on our part, and recommend you to God.
Marcellus Rivers to major general Browne.
Having had former experience of your goodnes, and having byn eased by your hand upon my letter, when I was heretofore under some oppression (though of nothing so high a nature as now, being with some scores more freeborne Englishmen sould into slavery) that gives me the confidence and you the trouble of this second letter. Though you cannot now (as then) singly helpe me, yet in conjunction with the others of your great assembly, I hope you will further mine and all the others liberty, who are now slaves at Barbadoes, and petitioners at your barr. For if this man-stealing trade hould good, that all they, that were at the Salisbury riseing, shall be sould to the Indies for slaves, because they were there; and all those too, that were not at the Salisbury riseing, shall be also sould thither, because they were not there, which is the case of a great number of the petitioners, who never either saw Salisbury, or heard of the riseins;, or knewe why they were committed to prison, yet sound themselves indicted for treason; and being then quitted by the jury of life and death (which is the case of Augustine Greenwood, and Nicholas Broadagate, two of the petitioners, to my knowledge, whatever more of that petitioning number were soe quitted, which I doe not remember) are notwithstanding that acquittment ensaved. If this (I say) be allow'd, an easy understanding will quickly finde what must neccessarily become of all the (formerly free) people of England. And these merchants of men shelter themselves, and hope to continue and encrease England's slavery by an unheard-of wile, which unless this brave assembly of parliament doe wisely looke into, and vigorously stand to their own and the people's preservation, they themselves may chance to be cheated of lives, liberties and estates; and the mayor, aldermen, and citizens of London, by this law (or rather lawlessness) will in time not be spared by these West Indian spirits (though they begin with country gentlemen and others, as a more private and silent thing). These subtle sophisters doe not seeme to be soe impudent, as publiquely to establish iniquity by a law, for that the free people would perceive, though they might not be able to helpe; but these use the way of a more sly violence, and pick up free people travaileing upon their occasions, and take others out of their houses, upon pretence of publick justice, and soe doe piously shelter and effect their own private and profitable mallice. Of the former number I believe the greatest part of the petitioners are (amongst whome there is not one condemned person) but that's no matter; they were as proper men as those taken in armes at South Moulton, and some of them of better trades, and soe would prove more profitable commodities, and soe would yield more sugar, then these gentlemen, that cou'd not worke so lustily: but I'll instance but in one taken out of his house, though I could name more. There was one Mr. Diamond, a Devonshire gentleman (as proper as antient) being at his gate, threescore and sixteen yeares of age, he was taken up at Tiverton (where he dwelt) and the greatest offence that they accused him to be guilty of (for aught I could ever heare) was that, when Sir Joseph Wagstaffe and the party came through that towne, and the poore old gentleman unexpectedly wondring to see soe many gallant men travailing together, ask'd who they were? and 'twas answer'd, Cavaleers. Marry, said he (as they pretend) they are very brave gentlemen; were I as young as I have beene, I wou'd goe along with them. Whether he said soe or noe, God knowes, I knowe not, but that was all they had to alledge against him; which they never went about to prove, though he were kept a prisoner a whole yeare, most of the time in the inner prison of the common goale amongst the felons and murderers, from which the high goale of Exon is never free; and all the rest of the time in a roome in straw, amongst three or fowerscore prisoners more. And he was so farre from being indicted, that he was never (I am very confident) soe much as examined by a justice of peace; and yet was this good old gentleman ravisht away (with the rest) from the bosom of the wife of his youth, and from the youthful, but now unhappy children of their aged parents, notwithstanding his age and innocence, for it might have been charitably look'd upon as an effect of his dotage, though he should have said as dangerous words (as had I wisht comes to). This aged gentleman was driven on shipboard; the grave matron his wife, and their dutiful children, followed him with their affectionate teares and heart-breaking groanes as farre as Plymouth; but never saw him soe much as to take leave of him, but sent to him on shipboard to let him know, that they were come thither to mourn with him at parting. But off from the shipboard he might not passe to salute his wife and blesse his children, though it had beene to have saved his soule: and to him he forbid them to come upon his love and blessing, for feare they should make him yet more miserable in being snatcht away with him. Thus was this aged gentleman throwne out of this conversable world at the least, if not really into his grave; all the voyage bemoaning himselfe as a iniserable man to be stolen away from his aged wife, of whose constant affection he had scores of years experience, and who (he feared) wou'd now breake her heart for griefe, and never be able to see her owne home againe. In this high agony of love, and griefe, and feare, and danger above all, he was troubled, that he should goe out of the world, leaving his poore country in this slavish condition, which he had soe many yeares heretofore seene noble and free. Now, sir, if this be the liberty and priviledge of the subject, soe long promised us, the people of England are in a sad condition; and if there be noe redemption of us already enslaved by a tyrannical force, for whose service our masters have nothing under our hands to shew, nor have we any thing under their hands to shew whether ever or never the tearme of our slavery shall end. Sir, I knowe it cannot but grieve your righteous soule, to heare of those afflictions of your brethren; and if this be not redressed, you knowe not how soone the citizens and commons of London (whose representative you are) may likewise be carryed into the like sad captivity. To prevent which, methinks, since petitioning is voted the people's priviledge, they should petition the parliament (if not for our freedome yet) for themselves, that there may an act passe for their security, and for all the free people of England, least they alsoe come into this place of torment. Sir, I shall pray, that God will blesse you and all the great councill, in the prosecution of England's freedome, and rest, Sir,
A paper advising the way to restore king Charles II.
Cromwell's routing of the parliament hath disengaged the assertors of parliamentary authority; and his setting up creatures of his own instead of them hath given them to understand, that their liberties are utterly pull'd up and destroy'd; and these were his sinews and chief strength, and the king's greatest enemies.
His parliament's earnest debate from the pulling up of tithes hath disengaged all that be serious, either independant or presbyterians, in matters of religion, who look upon the ministry destroy'd, when the maintenance is taken away; and that when proprieties therein are so little regarded, other proprieties will hereafter have the same estimation; especially since elective parliaments, the bulwark of propriety, is taken away.
The sudden plucking up of the high court of chancery, before another better expedient to dispatch things incident thereunto found out, debated, and concluded, and this with so little respect to the honour of so antient a court, gives the lawyers to think, what will become of their trade; and their order to bring in a new body of law makes serious men in doubt what will become of the laws themselves, and that new kind of arbitrary government is at the door; when such foundations as those, so eagerly and with so much blood contended for but the other day, are not only dared to be attempted, but pull'd up by those, who have pretendedly been the champions to vindicate and secure their authority, and that against the king and his party, upon whom they would fix the destruction thereof.
The people thirsting for a change, so that their burthens might have been made easy, and justice speedily given them, gave way and rejoiced in all these monstrous alterations; but finding their burthens and taxes increasing, justice delay'd more than by the former, and an improbability of seeing it better, have given over expecting any good from them.
Nothing renders things in a quiet posture, but the consideration of the royal interest, lest by division and opposition the king might obtain his throne again, and be their destruction; and what they have contended for; and no doubt as we are understood to draw together in any formidable attempts for the king's restauration, these will be united into Cromwell's interest, they thinking it better to be Cromwell's slaves, and thereby enjoy safety and some seeming liberty, than to let the king in with his enraged party, who will give them neither. Ex malis minimum.
Now, unless this gulph may be removed, there is no probability of uniting these interests with the royal for his majesty's enthronement, though by Cromwell's late transactions they be shaken from being his real friends and helpers; and this must be removed, in our opinion, as the first part of the work, left what we shall do prove as bad, or rather more mischicvous than our former miscarriage; since they are possest of the authority and strength of the three kingdoms.
I have been thinking of many expedients, but can bring none of them together; only what I shall mention seems to carry with it a great probability. Let the king declare in these or the like terms, that he hopes by this time their own experience hath sufficiently reproved their mistakes in opposing his father and him, and clearly unmaskt the deceit of those, who under the most glorious pretences and protestations of religion and liberty, had led them on and engaged them thus far, to the hazard of their lives and the being of their country. That it was now apparent, how that the cause of offence taken at his father and him was not, that by them true religion was endanger'd, parliamentary authority undermined, the fundamental and known laws of the land design'd to be subverted, and arbitrary power endeavour'd upon all to be establish'd, as was pretended and held forth; but that his father and self stood in the way of some mens intended subversion of parliamentary authority, the laws of the land, and the ministry of the gospel, that themselves might be settled in an absolute, arbitrary and tyrannical power over king, parliament, religion, people, laws, and liberties; which the late routing of the parliament, and therein of the fundamental liberties of England, and the setting up some of their own, without the election of the people as a parliament; the debates for the taking away of the propriety of tythes, and the abolishing of the high court of chancery, without first making provision for the dispatch of things therein concern'd, in a more convenient and easy way to the people; the levying a tax without the people's consent in parliament of 120000l. a month, and the ordering of a new body of law to be brought in; things, which neither his father or predecessors ever attempted or whisper'd, parliaments being continued even from William the conqueror, and his father by his act confirm'd to the last parliament, to sit till themselves thought fit to dissolve; did clearly demonstrate, that now instead of being a free people, Cromwell, who was so highly intrusted with the arms and strength of these three nations, and nothing of consequence thought too much to be placed in him by the parliament and people, for the vindication (as he with the profession of zeal and religion pretended) of their laws, and liberties, and religion, when all his father's and his forces and garrisons were reduced, and nothing to hinder the settlement of what they had engaged for, had made use of all, and the very guards they placed in trust to protect them, to break up by force the parliament, and through usurpation to possess himself of the dominion, sovereignty and strength of the three kingdoms, and absolutely and arbitrarily to rule without elective parliaments, oath, covenant, fundamental laws, agreement of the people, and continued them imbroyled in most dangerous and chargeable war against the Dutch, to maintain his grandeur and usurpation, and must certainly engage further with other nations, whilst they remain'd a people without propriety or liberty, but at his pleasure; being him indeed that hath changed laws, times and seasons. That however he may be understood, yet he had a very passionate and bleeding consideration of his poor kingdoms, and the condition of the people therein, who could rationally see no bottom nor end of their troubles, but must be subject to the wills of some men, and the bloody changes, that must be the effects of the death of the principal leaders of the army, or those that should claim in behalf of himself and parliament the throne of Great Britain; and how that all the things, after all these sad sufferings in the former wars, being truly made captives by him, whom they assisted to be a conqueror for them, would in all likelihood extinguish the glory and being of the English nation. That being resolved to do what lies in our power for the prevention thereof, and to re-establish parliaments in their full authority, religion, laws and liberties, and to deny something of his own right for effecting this, if they pleased now at last to bethink themselves with one heart and hand to join with him for the ends aforesaid, he would agree to a general act of oblivion for whatsoever had been past; that the old parliament sitting in April last should have a free and safe convention; that they, or (if they thought fit) such a parliament as should be elected by qualification agreed on by themselves, should have the ordering all things relating to himself, rights, and prerogatives, religion, and the laws of the land, and the forces of the three kingddoms by sea and land, and of those that were accounted his party, that so forgetting former differences, and falling once again into a common interest, religion, parliaments, law, liberty and peace might be establish'd; and the glory, safety and honour of the English nation continued, increased, and establish'd against all the world.
Examination of the Lady Diana Gennings.
The lady Gennings, wife to Sir William Gennings of Essex, saith, that her husband and self, having lived a year and a half in Antwerp upon the Maese, being at Brussells at the sign of the Emperatricle on wednesday was sevenight last, being in the presence of the lord Willmot, otherwise called by the name of my lord of Rochester, and Colonel Phillips, late prisoner in the Tower, and his wife, and Colonel Taffe, and my Lord Dillon, and Major-general Massie, and one, who named himself Colonel Brookes, who hath been in this service, and was disbanded in Scotland; there they did conclude, what was now to be done, the last business having failed them. Upon which they did resolve to send over Major Gemmat, one of or about Liege, and two of that Colonel Brookes his men, and one of Colonel Philipps his men, who escaped out of prison in England; and these were to address themselves to one Hall a taylor, who lived in Lincoln's-inn-fields, or thereabouts, being a papist, and a prisoner not long since in the Gate-house; and he was to furnish them with another man, who were to enquire what times my lord Protector went to Hampton-court; and notice being given by them to the rest, that they should fear nothing, but assault him, and what one failed in, the other should make good, with resolutions to die in the place, for they could not hope to escape: And they said they would send to Sir Francis Vincent of Stoke in Surrey, and Mr. William Muschamp of Surrey; and that Sir Francis Vincent should raise fifty men to make good their retreat, if it were possible. The letter was to be writ by them all to Sir Francis Vincent; but Colonel Phillips did undertake for Sir Francis Vincent, that he should perform it, he knowing his fidelity in the last business, and that he was confident he had yet some of the arms in his hands, which he had provided in the last business for Surrey; for Mrs. Phillips sent the tickets to those, who were to rise in the last business, and so knew them all. She faith further, that letters are to be sent to Mr. Conquest of Bedfordshire to disturb the Countries, and not to rise one before the other.
Mrs. Campbell of Woodford in Essex is to furnish Gemmat with five hundred pounds. She said in her letter, that she was a man to engage in the business herself, and her husband was too much fool; therefore she would furnish the foresaid sum to revenge her sister's quarrel against the lord Protector's family. Her sister is Mrs. Phillis Moore, but she said she desired the king's ticket for her money, before she parted with it.
This lady married her husband, he being very young, not above nineteen years, against her and his friends consent; so went into France, and so to Antwerp. She is by her birth a Steward; her father was a Hampshire-man, but was in the king of Spain's service, and she was born in Flanders. She landed at Queenborough on wednesday last in a little boat, in which were Englishmen; but she knoweth not the master's name, nor to whom it belonged, nor to what place; she had no servant at all come over with her, she having only a French maid, who refused to come with her; but there were in the boat as passengers Colonel Talbot, Captain Dungan, an Irish-man, one Mr. Skinner. She took boat at Dunkirk.
Mr. Philips was the means, by which this lady came to be trusted in the business, with whom she lived ever since Easter. They took her to be the widow of one Sir Thomas Stanley; and by the same name she came over, and all the rest took her for Sir Thomas Stanley's widow. She faith, she came over only to see her friends; she faith she can procure these letters to be sent to her, or any other, they confiding in her. She faith she is a Protestant.
A letter of information about a plot.
Tho' I ame a cavalere, yet I abhor all bludy plotts, and those who countenance such contrivers of mischiefe, which hath caused me to make his discovery. Not longe since I met with Tyder in Walles goeinge for Ireland, and he tellinge me the manner of his escape, sed, that the first friend that releeved him was Sir John Williams of the Temple, who lodged him the first night, and next day brought him a newe coate, and furnished him with 20 l. to carry him into France. Next as he was goeinge into Kent to Sir Stefan Lennard's, (where he knew concellor Finch laye concealed) he mett with Master Thomas Cooke of Grays Inn, and he gave him 81. and perswaded him rather to goe for Ireland, and thence into Scotland; assuringe him, that Sir Humfry Styles had tould him, that colonel Finch was gon thence two dayes before. Then he tould, that most of the Presbyterian nobillity, and divers of the ould Parliament-men would have rissen for the kinge. Then I asked him, how he could knowe their intentiones; to which he replyed, that one of the kinge's servants was sent out of France to give notis of the designe to one Mr. John Markham, who lives in the Savoy; and he was to prepare the lords, and Lentall the ould speaker was to give notise to such of the ould members, who (in the beginning of March last) had sent a gentleman to assure the kinge, that if he could butt land five or 6000 men in the West, all England would ryse for him, and he should neither want men nor money; for that tyrant Cromwell did intend to destroy the nobillity and gentry, and enflame the people, by takinge away both lawe and gospell, and then to governe by an arbitrary power. That he did disobleege all men but his owne party, most of the armye beinge meere athists, for there had not bine a comunion since the armye came into White-hall; but if Cromwell had but heard, and releeved the peoples greevances, and cauled the oulde members to an account, as was expected and pretended, when he dissolved the parliament, and so have taken off taxes; then he would thereby have so woone the hearts, and united the affections of the people to him, that itt would have bine a hard matter to have outed him, and now that he doth intend to make himselfe a monarke, his ambission would distroy him, the army beinge devided upon that occation. That colonel Pryd hadd tould one Mr. Corcellus his intemate friend, a brewer, that he, colonel Huson, colonel Rich, colonel Joyce, and Major-general Harrison, and divers of the army in Scotland, had resolved to oppose him, in case he would take monarkarycall government upon him; and this was the substance of the message sent to the kinge. Then I asked Mr. Tyder, what Lords had ingaged; and he tould me, Warwick, Salsbury, the Lord Roberts, Manchester, Northumberland, Gray of Warke, and divers others, and that there were a party to rise in the cittye that should be commanded by Major-general Browne; and Sir William Waler was to command the Westminster and Middlesex forces, and soe evrye lord and parliament-man was desired to rise in that particular county, where he had most power. That Sir Tho. Middleton had undertaken to rayse men for Denbithshire, and one Mr. Edw. Vaughn a powerful man, for Mountgoneryshire, and one Mr. Henry Vernon had undertaken to bring in his cosin Sir William Bruerton to rayse forces in Cheshire; and that Sir Henry Cholmly and Hary Darly and Jam. Challiner had undertaken to bringe in the lord Fairfax. That Bell the Apothecary and Sir Robert Pye were to be treasurers, to keepe such moneys as should be sent in for Westminster; and Sir Gilbert Garrard for Middlesex, and for London Alderman Vickers, and one Charles Floyd, who had fined for Alderman, and Sir George Whitmore, Mr. Henningham, and Sir William Plater desined for Norfolk and Suffolk, Lord Coventry, and Mr. Leachmoore the Lawier, for Worcestershire, the Stefens for Glocestershir, the Harleys for Herrifordshir, Sir Hugh Owen and his brother for South Wales; and that there were fourr treasurers appoynted for the 4 Ines of Court; for the Iner Temple Mr. Twisden and Mr. Wichcoat; for the Mid. Temple Mr. Thomas Whitmore; for Lyncolns-Inne Mr. Love the other Clark; and for Grays-Inne Mr. Pellham, who had bine speaker; and for Surry Sir Richard Onslow and Sir Ambros Browne; for Kent Sir Stephen Lenard and Sir Hum. Stiles; for Sussex Sir Thom. Pellham and Coll. Morley, with others for other particular countyes, whose names he could not so well remember. Sir Thom. Alston and his 2 brothers for Bedfordshire. And this is the full relation, as nere as I can remember, of all was tould me by Mr. Tyder, as he had received it from the king's owne servant, who had the same related to him by his Majestie, when hee sent him over. And further he sed, that 4 citizen's sons had sent the Kinge 8000 l. George Prat 2000 l. Esquire Boon 2000 l. Mr. Richard Bennet 2000 l. and Currauce the taylor's son 2000 l. all which money the kinge had received before he came over; and which message soe sent overe to his majestie he did verylie beleeve was the first occation of this plott against the lord protector.
Several particulars about Deane and others of the late Plotters in the City.
The protector's speech to the speaker of the Parliament.
No man can put a greater value than I hope I do, and shall do upon the desires and advices of the parliament. I could in my own heart aggravate both concerning the persons, advising, and concerning the advise, readily acknowledging, that it is the advise of the parliament of these three nations. And if a man could suppose it were not a parliament to some, yet doubtless it should be so to me, and to us all that are engaged in this common cause, wherein we have been engaged. I say surely it ought to be a parliament to us, because it arises as a result of those issues and determinations of settlement, that we have laboured to arrive at; and therefore I do most readily acknowledge the authority advising these things. I can aggravate also to myself the general notion of the things advised to, as being things tending to the settlement of the chiefest things, that can fall into the hearts of men to desire or endeavour after; and at such a time, when truly I may think the nation is big with expectation of any thing, that may add to their better being. I therefore must needs put a very high esteem, and have a very reverent opinion of any thing that comes from you; and so I have had of this instrument. And I hope so I have exprest, and what I have exprest hath been, if I flatter not myself, from a very honest heart towards the parliament and the publick; I say not these things to complement you, for we are past all those things, all considerations of that kind. We must all be very real now, if ever we will be so; for howbeit your title and name you give to this paper, makes me to think you intended advice, and I should transgress against all reason, should I make any other construction; you did intend advice, I would not lay a burthen upon my beast, but I would consider his strength to bear it; and if you will lay a burthen upon a man, that is conscious to his own insirmity and disabilities, and doth make some measure of councells, that may seem to come from heaven, counsels in the word of God, who leaves a room for charity, and for men to consider their owne strength, I hope it will be noe evill in me to measure your advice, and my owne insirmities, and truly those will have some influence upon conscience, conscience in him, that receives talents, to know how he may answer the trust of them; and such a conscience have I had, and still have; and therefore when I thought I had had an opportunity to make an answer, I made that answer, and am a person, and have been before, and then, and since listing up my heart to God, to know what might be my duty at such a time as this; and upon such an occasion and trial, as this was to me, truly, Mr. Speaker, it hath been heretofore a matter I think but of a philosophical discourse, that great places, that great authority it is a great burden, I know it is so; and I know a man, that is convinced in his conscience, that nothing less will enable him to the discharge of it than assistance from above; that it may very well require in such a subject, so convinced, and so persuaded, to be right with the Lord in such an undertaking, and therefore to speak very clearly and plainly to you, I had and I have my hesitations to that individual thing; if I undertake any thing not in faith, I shall serve you in my own unbelief, and I shall then be the unprofitable servant, that ever a people or nation had. Give me leave therefore to ask counsel, I am ready to render a reason of my apprehensions, which happily may be over-swayed by better apprehensions. I think so far I have deserved no blame, nor do I take it, that you lay any upon me; only you mind me of the duty, that is incumbent upon me. Truly the same answer that I have as to the point of duty one way, the same consideration have I as to duty another way. I would not urge to you the point of liberty, surely you have provided for liberty. I have borne my witness to it, civil, spiritual, the greatest provision that ever was made, have you made; and I know, that you do not intend to exclude me. The liberty I aske is to vent my own doubts, and my own fears, and my scruples, though happily in such cases as these are, the world hath judged, that a man's conscience ought to know no scruple, surely, mine doth, and I dare not dissemble, and therefore they that are knowing in the ground of their own action will best be able to measure advice to others. There are many things in this government, besides that one of the name and title, that deserve very much information. As to my judgment it is you, and none but you, that can capacitate me to receive satisfaction in them; otherwise I say truly I must say, that I am not persuaded to the performance of my trust and duty, nor informed and so not acted, as I know you intend I should, and every man in the nation should; and you have provided for them as a freeman, as a man that does possibly, rationally and conscientiously; and therefore I cannot tell, what other returne to make to you than this; I am ready to give a reason, if you will I say capacitate me to give it, and yourselves to receive it; and to do in the other things, that that may inform me a little more particularly than this vote, that you have exprest yesterday, and has been now read by you to me. Truly I hope, when I understand the grounds of these things, the whole being neither for your good nor mine, but for the good of the nations, there will be no doubt, but we may even in those particulars find out those things, that may answer our duty, mine and all our duties to those whom we serve; and this is that, that I do with a great deal of affection, and honour, and respect offer now to you.
Mr. Carpenter's paper about the design of Spain, in favour of K. Charles II.
1. The discourse of the English in and about Brussels (those I mean who are in favour with the king of Scots) tends wholly to this, that except some attempt be made upon the person of your highness, nothing can be done on their behalf. Insomuch that I heard it spoke, by the father of him, who killed the embassadour in spain, and is now servant to the king of Scots, that the only way of reducing all again, is, to destroy your highness in the end of the year, (at which time, they hope the Spaniard will make the king of Scots powerful) and in that change and trouble of things, to invade the Nation.
2. The Spaniard hath undertook the resettlement of the king of Scots. And although none were present at the debate, but the arch duke, the general of the army, and Don Alonso de Cardenas, together with the Scottish king; yet I have it for certain, that it is agreed betwixt them. 1. That the Spaniard shall in no wise desert the cause of the king of Scots; and 2. That the king of Scots being restored, shall allow freedom of conscience to the papists, and disannul all the penal statutes urging to the contrary. Yea, Don Alonso hath often expressed it at his own table, that the quarrel betwixt the Spaniard and the English is irreconciliable; and that Spaniard looks upon your highness as one, to whom they cannot reasonably give trust.
3. Eight millions of crowns are now come to Amsterdam, for the use of Don John de Austria and Caracena, being now upon their arrival; whereof a considerable part is to be delivered to the king of Scots, for the raising of his party. And letters are sent to the frontiers towns adjoyning to France, that all English, Irish, and Scotch soldiers may freely pass and be taken as friends, if they require it: and the titular duke of York is there expected; who, they hope, will draw a great party after him. Yea, it will be endeavoured, that the souldiers, wherewith your highness doth supply France, shall, if they will be wrought upon, run away to the king of Scots. Yea, for the advancement of this intended power, the pope will allow three Millions.
4. The English have a court of admiralty allowed to them; the chief officers whereof are Sir Marmaduke Langdale, and Hubank a colonel. The brests men of war are expected from the coasts of Spain; at Ostend likewise, one Linsey is commissionated by the Spaniard and the king of Scots, for sea service; also, Kelbret, who is captain of small vessel, bearing eight guns, having fifty men, and using oares. The Ostenders and Dunkirkers have at least fifty sayl of ships now in service, most of them are small.
5. There is one Marsh a jesuit, whom Don Alonso carried with him out of England. This Marsh, having received his instructions, returned to London, and now gives intelligence to the Spaniard. And in my opinion, what one jesuit doth on the behalf of the house of Austria, all jesuits, as the children of Ignatius Loyala, are engaged to do. I am informed likewise, that Ignatius White, who prosesses for your highness and the common-wealth, giveth contrary intelligence by his brother, a captain in Brussels, to Don Alonso.
6. Major general Massy is very active in those parts (as he hath lately been also in Germany) and moves often betwixt Antwerp and Brussells; also Sir Charles Floyd, who presented a Book of his own composing to the king of Scots, being then at Brussells. This Book treats of warlike engines and fortifications. The king of Scots hath given a commission to colonel Tabot, for the raising of a regiment, having first had conference with his brother, an Irish jesuit. The Spaniards suspect my lord of Ormond and others, that they are not true to the king of Scots. Colonel Chusack an Irishman is come thither from France, and some of his regiment come to him every Day; and soldiers come out of England to the king of Scots.
There is a Dutch book sett forth, which was printed at Colen: It seems to incense the people against your highness, whom they have strangely pictured. I have brought it, and I have not shewed it to any in these parts, but reserve it for your highness.
Mr. Carpenter to the protector.
May it please your highnesse,
God is my record, I deale cordially with your highnes. Although I cannot affect the various thoughts and waies of the common herd, yet I had alwaies an affection for your highnes and your government; which affection I have not contradicted in word or action privately or publickly; at this time, occasion now offering itself, I most humbly and most heartily, as in the presence of God, offer also my self to do the common-wealth and your highnes service, if your highnes shall be pleased to accept of me and of the occasion.
The occasion is, my own particular affairs carried me to Brussells; where I was unhumanly used, and aspersed with the name of a spy; and under that apprehension so struck, that I bore in my face, some weeks after, the markes of the vile hand, that struck me; and is now listed up at sea, and held up by many other hands, against your highness and government. Now although I am very much troubled and incensed, in regard of this grievous abuse, yet I shall reduce my performance to a higher principle; and so far answer to my duty, as to give your highnes a justicial and righteous account of such things, which may, if not known and prevented, prove extremely prejudiciall to the common-wealth of England; and this, as the first fruits of my service.
Likewise, I shall undertake for the present, if your highnes please to concurre with me, to discover all the designes, wayes, and motions of Don Alonso de Cardenas, the great animate wheel, that now moves against your highness; and to open such a door of intelligence (I humbly crave pardon for my bold expression) as your highnes never yet enjoyed. In which attempt no earthly thing, but the want of secrecy, can prevent me; only, I shall most humbly desire of you highnes, that your highnes will be graciously pleased to accept of me, deal with me, favour and help me, as a most faithful servant to your highnes, and as one, who will never betray his trust; but be faithfull to your highnes, even to death; which I shall as heartily be, as I desire God to assist me in the hower of death. The Lord preserve your highnes.
Some proposals for the keeping out of the family of the Stuarts.
That it is thought not only to be difficult, but almost impossible to exclude the house of the Stuarts, and to preserve those, that have appeared against them, without keeping up a considerable army for many years.
That all those persons, which are possessors of the king's lands, dutchy lands, bishops lands, dean and chapters lands, see farme rents, delinquents Estates, are fittest by reason of theyr interest to mayntayne those ends.
That in order thereunto they should be drawne to rayse and mayntayne a competent number of common troupers and soldiers, which with ordinary forces may serve to preserve and secure the forsayd interest.
Reasons to induce the present soldiers to relish this proposition are these; that without such a way, the army, after some time, will become men of another interest; for these dying and leaving theyr lands to theyr wives and children, such as are not fit to be, or shall not be of the army, hereby the interest will be divided from the army; which yf it happen, and thereby some change come, the soldiers lands are likely to be pluckt at and taken from them and theyr heyres. And the future armyes themselves, that have no part in this interest, may envy the interest of the former army, and leave it undesended to others, or perchance be willing to share it themselves.
That this undertaking being a way of ensurance, it will advance the value of these estates; and whereas such estates are now valued at ten or eleven yeares purchase in marriages and other transactions, they will by such an ensurance grow to be of the same value with other men's estates; so that what they loose yearly in a part, they will get upon the whole.
And for other purchasers, which are not soldiers, they cannot but thinke such an ensurance very valuable, both for the former reasons, and because most of them may be lyable to be question'd for not paying the just rates appointed by parlement, having gotten debenters upon a low and inconsiderable price.
Care would be had in propounding the busines, that the foresayd possessors be drawne to give men and not money; because otherwise they may be jealous, that the mony may be diverted to some other uses; and because the men, when they are not in excercise or actuall service, may be employed by those that mayntayne them, which will make the burden lighter; and for theyr furder satisfaction they may chuse the persons themselves, who shall be common soldiers and troopers, that they may be assured therby, that they shall be such as shall uphold theyr interest.
This being effected, and thereby a considerable number of common soldiers being raysed, they may be commanded by such officers, as shall be chosen by the lord protector, and pay'd by the state; which will be sufficient to subject them to his comand.
Yf the lord protector make choyse of such persons to be comanders, as are interested in these lands, and do contribute to the mayntenance of men as aforesayd, it may much adde to the security of this interest. Besides when men see, that the mayntenance of soldiers for the preservation of this interest may be a way to preferment, it may be a motive to them the rather to consent to this maintenance.