A Collection of the State Papers of John Thurloe, Volume 2, 1654. Originally published by Fletcher Gyles, London, 1742.
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May (5 of 6)
The examination of Joseph Sheldon, taken 24. May, 1654. [by secretary Thurloe.]
Who saith, that there have passed several letters between him, and one who called himself J. Desmond, now in France, by which name the examinant always directed his letters to him; and that the first letter he received from the said Desmond was subscribed Desmond; that afterwards he subscribed other names to his letters, as Cole; but remembers not what other name he used.
That he was acquainted with him here in London, about four years since, upon occasion of coming to the shop a customer, where the father of the said Desmond likewise was, who dwelt in Westminster, but knows not where.
That in the letters he writ to the examinant, were inclosed letters to one Baron, a prentice, living in Cheapside at the hen and chickens, which he always sent to him; but knows not the contents of any of them; and that the letters writ by him to the examinant contained nothing but matter of merchandize, and the like; whereof he knows not the meaning, having never had any thing to do with him in things of that nature, nor did ever send him any goods or commodities.
That he hath received about five letters in all from him, and hath writ to him three or four times; and that the last letter this examinant writ to him, was about a fortnight since; but knows not what he did then write.
That the cover of a letter being shewed to him, directed for Mr. Joseph Sheldon, at the golden key in St. Paul's church-yard, he acknowledged, that the superscription was the hand-writing of Desmond; but being shewed the letter inclosed in the cover, denied that to be his hand, or that he knew what he meant by the contents thereof.
There being shewed him a letter superscribed, Monsieur Monsieur d'Esmon, à la Gulaze rue St. Thomas du Lovre à Paris, and subscribed Joseph Sheldon, dated 22. May, 1654. he acknowledged, that he writ that letter.
There being a letter directed to Monsieur Monsieur Desmond à la Gulaze rue St. Thomas du Lovre à Paris, and subscribed S. H. and dated May 22. he faith, he knows not the hand; but denies it to be the hand of his sister Helen Sheldon. He faith, his sister was with him; and denies not, but that the two last-mentioned letters might be put under one cover.
The states of Holland and West-Friesland to the protector.
Serenissime celsissimeque domine Protector,
Complures cives Hagæ Comitum nostri incolæ & subditi pro debitis serenissimæ reginæ Bohemiæ sidem suam interposuerunt, & quævis necessaria ad suæ majestatis victum & amictum suppeditarunt, non alia intentione & siducia, quam ut sibi ipsis, ex residuis subsidiis majestatis suæ antehac in Anglia (habita ærumnosæ conditionis ejus ratione) concessis, & a parliamento reipublicæ Anglicæ approbatis, postea vero ad certam summam redactis, adjecta pensione annua eidem serenissimæ reginæ, a parente rege, ultra dotem solutam, in savorem matrimonii sui constituta satisfieret. At quoniam ob rerum mutationem memorata sua majestas prædictorum residuorum subsidiorum atque pensionis annuæ solutionem (pro ut nobis innotuit) aliquo ab hoc tempore consecuta non est, ad eam extremitatem ante nominati nostri subditi sunt redacti, ut nisi tempestive eis succurratur, metuamus futurum esse, quod complures eorum, cum universa sua familia, & omni fortuna, in desperatam perniciem & calamitatem conjicientur; cui malo ut remedium præstetur, hic populus, obnovissimum inter utramque rempublicam initum fœdus, a serenissima celsitudine tua justissimis votis desiderat & expectat, nosque intercedentes pro dictis nostris bonis subditis ratum esse duximus serenissimam celsitudinem tuam per præsentes literas non tantum postulare, sed & orare, ut pro sua benignitate & animi generositate erga prædictos nostros subditos commiseratione motus, haud gravetur media dispicere, ex quibus debitorum solutionem possint consequi. Cujus voti si possumus fieri compotes, omni data occasione conabimur nuncupatum votum solvere; intereaque nos hujus beneficii expectatione devincti,
Extract out of the resolutions of the lords states of Holland, taken upon thursday the 4th of June, 1654. [N.S.]
The raedt pensionary hath reported to the assembly all that had passed considerable during the absence of their noble great lordships, by the lords commissioners of the council upon the English affairs; and especially, that the lords of Guelderland, according to special order (as they say) from the lords states their principals, upon monday and tuesday, did seriously insist for overture and copy of the resolution, which their noble great lordships may have taken concerning the person of the lord prince of Orange and his posterity, by adding of reasons and motives used for that purpose; also fully relating what the other provinces had desired and declared respectively upon that subject. Whereupon being debated, it is thought and understood, that the lords commissioners of the province at the generality, above and beside what was declared unto them formerly in pursuance of their noble great lordships resolution of the ninth of the last month against such desires or request, shall be further signified unto them, that their lordships, out of several informations by members and ministers of this assembly made to them in particular, undoubtedly will be fully informed, that there cannot be said of a truth, that any resolution hath been taken by their noble great lordships concerning the lord prince of Orange, or his posterity, which hath taken any effect; but that some such desire of the lord protector of England, Scotland, and Ireland, concerning that, hath been signified unto them; whereupon, to enjoy the effect of the treaty of peace made with the lord protector, all possible endeavours have been used, and still are, to persuade the lord protector to divert him from his said desire, and to dispose him to be contented with that proviso mentioned in the thirty-second article of the said treaty of peace; and that therefore the said lords commissioners of the province, according to their usual wisdom and experience, will well enough comprehend, that such overture and delivering of copies as desired, would frustrate the afore-mentioned endeavours; and that thereby would be imprudently destroyed that, which their noble great lordships (conformable to the opinions of the other confederates, as much as men can judge thereof) do endeavour to build up with all care and diligence. Wherefore their noble great lordships do and have still refused the said desired overture and copy. And because that it may appear the more clearly to the said provinces, and that all manner of suspicions and jealousies may be removed out of the minds of some of the governors, how that upon the said subject, concerning which their noble great lordships are thought to have resolved that, which in some wise might be prejudicial to the common union, or the sovereignty and supremacy of particular provinces; that therefore from this time forward, and at this present hour, their noble and great lordships do promise, give to understand, and assure, that in their resolution of the ninth of last month, there was nothing set down, that did any wise concern the generality, but only that, which doth concern the sovereign disposition of the province of Holland and West-Friesland in particular, and only bound to give an account thereof to God Almighty. And withall, to shew a cordial and full confidence in their associates and confederates, they do promise, that as soon as the business is effected one way or other, and as the nature of the business will bear it, to satisfy the provinces in their said desires, and not deny any longer the desired overture. In the mean time, for farther demonstration of their noble great lordships sincerity and integrity, shall be withal represented to the respective commissioners of the provinces the round and naked truth of the whole condition of the said business; and especially all that hath passed concerning it in the assembly of their noble great lordships; whereunto the lord pensionary is hereby authorized himself in the quality of a minister of this assembly.
Extract out of the resolutions of the states of Holland, upon thursday the 4th of June, 1654. [N. S.]
There did appear in the assembly their lordships great noble commissioners of the council of their ordinary commissioners at the generality, and did cause to be read by the lord pensionary two distinct writings, delivered in to the assembly of their H. and M. L. by the lords commissioners of the province of Friesland, on the twenty-eighth of the last month, and all that had been done upon them; and taking notice especially, that in the said last writing of the lords commissioners of Friesland the said lord pensionary was therein named particularly; and that he had used some threatening and unhandsome manner of communicating and speaking in the assembly of their H. and M. L. their lordships now present do testify the contrary, having been present, when the said lord pen sionary spoke in the assembly, doing the same with a great deal of moderation and fashionable way of communication; which unanimous declaration being heard at length, their noble great lordships, after ripe deliberation had, do give hereby thanks to the said lords commissioners of the council and their ordinary commissioners at the generality, for their great care, wise conduct, and management of this business. And withal it is thought fit, that the said writings be referred to the hands of the lords, their noble great lordships commissioners for the English affairs, for them to consider and make report, what is farther to be done herein.
An intercepted letter of Gilbert Mowat to Mr. le Clerke, living at the pearl in St. James's-street, in Covent-garden, London.
The jealousies between those of the house of Orange, and the enemies thereof, do increase underhand; and in the end, it may be, will burst out aloud. Hitherto the states of Holland have done no more than what you know when you were here.
The princesses regent and dowager, and the earl William, have lately contracted a very strict amity together. The malice of their enemies hath forced them to union. There are, a few days since, two ships arrived from Scotland to Terveer in Zealand, from whence we understand, that the news of the defeat and death of Morgan have been divulged without any ground, there having been no remarkable rencounter between the two parties; and I do much wonder what the intention of general Middleton is, to suffer Morgan under his nose with three thousand men only; and that he do not endeavour to fight Morgan, before the arrival of Monck, who is making all the haste he can thither.
The most judicious here do imagine, that the intention of general Middleton is, to draw all the English forces towards the West, and then suddenly to conduct over the mountains all his forces towards Fife and Lothian. Others believe, that our men are ill armed; and that it is dangerous to adventure them against the English. And to tell you freely my opinion, if our army was very great, I do much admire, how they have done to subsist so long in Sutherland and Caithness. I desire you, Sir, to write to us what you know of certain.
Mr. Durhame and I wait with impatience to hear from you, having only received one letter from you since your departure from hence, and have writ several. Above all, we desire to hear how de Juigny doth, and whether he hath lost his fever, to whom we represent our humble services, as also yourself. Mons. Durhame, knowing that I had a design to write to you this week, hath desired me, and I do intreat you to believe, that I am, Sir, and dear friend,
A letter of intelligence from the Hague.
Those of Holland and Friesland do still ply one another with writings pro and con. concerning the conclusion. I know from a very good hand, that not only in the other province, but also in the cities of Holland, they do labour hard to annul or countermand the act of seclusion, and to lay all the blame, hatred, and fault, upon five or six chief men in Holland; for the courts, and those that depend upon them, are here fully persuaded, that all that business did not proceed from the protector; but that it is occasioned by five or six Hollanders.
Those Hollanders do still continue to assure Orange party chiefly prince of Orange and grave William, that there is great likelihood for the dispensing and annulling of the said act of seclusion; yea, they do give to understand, that they will make no extradition, and that the protector cannot constrain them; for the peace is ratified.
But they do not consider, that by virtue of the twelfth article the protector hath far greater power, and can do more harm, than by the act of seclusion; and that at present also the great English fleet is to come into the Downs, and will threaten Holland; and that the protector will not proceed farther to the composing of differences.
The lord Beuningen is upon his return from Sweden. I know not, which of the two, either he or the lord Keysar, hath done least: for the lord Keysar hath made a treaty, which cost this state three hundred eighty-four thousand rixdollars; and besides that, did cause the detention of the ships, which are to be redeemed at 14000 l. sterling; and hath made the recision or annulling of the treaty of redemption: and the lord Beuningen was able to do nothing, to make no treaty, but was fain to suffer a treaty to be made with the English, whilst he stood and look'd on. He doth certify, that it is of little importance, and only in order to commerce. For my part, I am of opinion, that there is made or will be made a treaty altogether conformable to that which is between this state and that of Denmark.
Men do speak of a marriage between the future king of Sweden and the princess royal here; at least it seems, that men are of opinion, that she will marry, and that therefore she hath more willingly hearkened to an accommodation or agreement here inclosed, No (1.)
By No (2.) you will see, how the prince elector of Brandenburg hath writ in favour of the young prince; and if it be well considered, under the compliments, which he makes, you will find to be hid some kind of threat; for who can hope for any good, if they do this ? He doth threaten, if they do it not. And to speak the truth, the good Hollanders are amongst themselves infidi fratres, and do still fear so much the name of pr. of Orange, that there is no vigour. And as well at Amsterdam as in all other parts, it was observed, that not one citizen or particular person did make any bonfire or demonstration of joy; but that only those made them, who either depended upon the magistrate or the admiralty, as being those only, who had the most cause, and who knew very well, that the state could not subsist in this war, notwithstanding all their endeavours. But the merchants and citizens, or the ignorant people, have had and have still an opinion, that the states and the magistrates did not do their duties; that they did not wage war in good earnest; that they spared, yea help'd the English. And where there are such principles and foundations laid, that which proceeds from them can be of no other stamp; and that doth make me greatly to doubt of the durability of this peace, yea if men do deserve it: and as in effect it was made against the will of the Orange party, so likewise the said party will not give out, (under pretence of the act of seclusion, which ought and would be a means to render it, firm and lasting) 'till such time that the people do break it.
The last writing of those of Friesland given against those of Holland is a little sharp. Those of Friesland have taxed therein by provision the expression of the name of the lord raedt pensionary, as if Holland did not meddle with it, but that it was done only by the lord raedt pensionary. Moreover, they do refer themselves to the states of Holland their principals, who will be this week, or the beginning of the next, met together. Men do believe, that the said states will also answer very seriously; and besides, they will send commissioners to those of Friesland, to represent what they shall think fit concerning this secret article of seclusion.
It is a business to be laughed at, to see how the lords of Holland do turn and shift to and again, excusing the secret act of seclusion; not daring, neither at the time of the great assembly, nor since, nor ever, to speak that which they have in their hearts, namely, that they are free, and in no wise bound or tied to the house of Orange; but that it is in their free will and power to choose, or not to choose, a governor or captaingeneral; item, to choose for that purpose the prince of Orange, or the lord of Brederode, or the lord of Opdam, or any other, whom they please.
If they spoke out roundly, that of their own inclination they would have no more of the house of Orange, as too considerable and suspicious to their liberties, they would speak as becometh freemen indeed, and that would be honourable; but to say, that the lord protector doth force and constrain them to this act of exclusion, is to shun and fly the domination of Orange, and to fall under that of England. And it is a shameful thing, and against their reputation.
It would be honourable and creditable for them, if they would say, We are free; and to preserve our liberty, we will treat with such a one, who will be assisting unto us against him, or such, whom we do most suspect; for the greatest kings do make such alliances: but a great king or prince will not say, that he is forced not to take such or such into his service.
The resident of Denmark doth still solicit here, that it may be permitted to his king, to rebate the damages, which the English have done to their subjects; but they will not hearken to him. That king had so great a fear of being excluded, that at the beginning he durst not say that; but the inclusion being ratified, he faith it at present.
The resident of Sweden saith, that the intention of his queen is, not to assiege Bremen. In the mean time Coningsmark taketh from them their houses and passages; which are the preparations to a siege.
They do give out here, that the protector doth promise Sweden two millions down, and one million a year, to wage war against the emperor and the empire, who have resolved to assist Charles Stuart with a subsidy.
Likewise men do speak here very much, that the protector hath granted letters of reprizal against the Spaniards; item, that a squadron of the fleet is to go to surprise the silver fleet; wherein Orange party do very much rejoice.
Those of Guelderland at present, as also those of Friesland, do demand a copy of the act of seclusion, and communication of what is past, and of the negotiation. Those of Holland do refer themselves to their principals, who this day were to be all met complete together.
A letter of intelligence from Holland.
By the last two posts I had no letter from you; however, I omitted not to write you weekly, which I hope came to your hands. Since my last, according to your order, I have bien at the Vlye, Texel, and North Holland, from whence I returned but yesterday. Out of the Vlye, whilest I was there, set saile two East India shipps, which went about Ierland, and about 200 sayle of other merchant shipps for the East countrye and other parts. There went with them four ships of war for convoye, the least of 36 gunns; four more were gone the former weeck with the Greenland shipps, and three remained in the roade. In Texel laye 16 men of warr, of the best shipps the states have: of those Trompe shall command four, to convoye a fleet of merchant ships for Spain; and Ruyter shall have six, to convoy for the Streights. Whether they shall stay in these parts, is not yet certain: they are both to depart with the first faire wind. Four ships of war are gone with the ships for France: the rest will be disposed of for convoy elsewhere. Here lies about twenty in the river, whereof seven or eight shall be man'd (as I hear) to cross in the Channel; and four, which belong to the towne, the magistrates will employ for merchant-men in the Streights. The 24 new frigates the states did last agree for to be be built, are daily worked upon, and may be ready in July: then they will have a very good fleet of ships of war, better by the half than ever they had. On wednesday last was a day of thanksgiving for the peace through all the provinces. Our English preachers here, Mayden and Price, did preach; but gave no thanks for it, rather prayed to incense the people against the protector and the government. And whereas it stood in the states proclamation, there should be thanksgiving for a peace made betwixt them and the protector of England, &c. they translated it, betwixt those of England, who were in possession at present; and constantly pray, that the people may prove magnanimous to maintain their rights, and caste off the yoke of bondage, and to preserve Charles Stuart, and restore him. More, I heard Price say, that any man might with a safe conscience kill the protector; and that he himself could do it. This I could not omit to give you notice of, conceiving it my duty to inform you of all, that may be against the protector and good of the state. William Davidson the Scots merchant hath again lately been at Texel, to ship away ammunition for Scotland: if he be not removed from hence, he will constantly furnish the enemy with arms and ammunition. I can understand by discourse with some in government, that they perceive it their interest to keep the Scots under; so as I do not believe they will voluntarily let pass any arms thither. The malignant party here are possest, that Middleton has worsted Morgan, and is very considerable; whereupon they ground their last hopes. One of the English pamphlets says, that general Monk had promised a reward to any that could kill Middleton: whereupon sir Edward Walker (who was king of arms to the late king) answered, he would advise C. Stuart his master to do the like to any that would kill the protector. This country is full of these disaffected persons. Here is a report, that you have given letters of marque against the Spaniard, and that apparently it may produce a war; which these would rather have, than you should war against France; yet they pray you may never take any of the silver fleet, there being many here, that have interest therein. I beseech the Lord to give you success in your undertakings, to his glory; which shall be the conclusion of
A letter of intelligence from the Hague.
I have writ another by this ordinary direction. This shall only serve to reiterate that, which I have writ in my former, namely, that I doth hope, that you or some other embassador will be suddenly here; and that I doth still pray, that the protector would be pleased to consider, whether it would not please him to give such a paper as I writ the last time. I would no wise make use of it, but in case of necessity; and it may be, that necessity would be never. In the mean time I would have by that means more assurance, to give sometimes intelligence, which might be of importance, 'till such time that an embassador come; and in the mean time also I would be sure of what is past; otherwise under one or other pretence, one might do an unjust thing; for Hans towns are not regarded. The sea is now grown very calm by this peace abroad, but the water groweth very troublesome at home. I do verily believe, that embassador of Holland do communicate and tell some things to the protector assuring one another of mutual amity: but believe me, that the states of Holland (as ordinarily) do always keep a back-door. I could wish, that the peace between Holland and the protector was perfect; but certainly we are like to see a strange time; and it were well, that an embassador was here; for I (for want of security) cannot satisfy all. The most part of Holland are well affected; but they are not all of one degree, and the fear of the protector doth make many to remain good Hollanders likewise the most part of Zealand dare not shew themselves so much the Orange party as they are in effect. In short, protector doth a great deal of good to the Hollanders and they know it very well; but they dare not say so, nor consess it; yea, they go often to confession to the pr. of Or. and grave Will. protesting, all that they do to the protector, it is only for a shew, morem gerendum esse Thaidi; but grave Will. doth not believe them. pr. of Or. nor grave Will. will never be at rest, before that pr. of Or. be, as he pretendeth. In Guelderland there is at present an assembly with great division; in Friesland the like; but the most part there doth what grave Will. doth desire. In Groningen there are also great troubles; but for another cause, or subject.
This day again, those of Holland have been very much pressed to give overture and communication of the secret article of the seclusion: all the provinces have insisted and urged them to it; and the assembly did sit till three of the clock in the afternoon. But those of Holland have declared, that it is a thing that only concerneth Holland; that they are not responsible for that to the generality, nor to the other provinces. At last the assembly parted, without any resolution; but the states of Holland were required again, that they would declare themselves better to-morrow.
The examination of William Smith, porter to the earl of Newport, taken upon oath, 26. May, 1654.
Saith, that he hath been porter at my lord of Newport's, not above one month and some odd days, or thereabouts: that he can read in the bible, but cannot read writing. He likewise pays for every letter, and some are delivered within; and if they be absent, he takes them.
He hath, since he came hither, paid nine-pence a letter for three letters, which were directed to John Clerk; faith he received other letters, not directed to John Clerk, for which he paid two-pence; but for the others he paid nine-pence, because they came from beyond-sea, from France, or Holland. He delivered the letters directed to Mr. John Clerk, to Mr. Ashburnham. John Clerk hath said, though the letters be directed to him, yet they are to be delivered to his master, and are for his master.
A fat man brought him this last letter upon wednesday last, or tuesday, as he thinks, and believes it came from beyond-sea, from the foreign post. It was directed to John Clerk, and he took it to John Clerk. He delivered another letter, at his first coming, to Mr. Ashburnham, that was directed to John Clerk; but the porter told him, it was for the colonel. When he delivered it to the colonel, he asked him, what it cost him; and he said, nine-pence, and the colonel gave him a shilling. He being unwilling to pay nine-pence, the post told him, it came from beyond-sea; and would carry it back again, if he would not pay him nine-pence for it.
The examination of John Clerk, servant to Mr. William Ashburnham, taken upon oath, 26. May, 1654.
Mr. John Ashburnham hath been at Chiswick this month; before that at the . . . . . His master sendeth his letters by the post to Bristol, and receives them again by Bristol post. They had one letter for him sent by the foreign post, and that was delivered to the porter.
If the porter receives any letters for his master, though they be directed to this examinant, yet delivered to his master. Those letters, that are directed to J. Clerk, are delivered to his master, when brought to the house.
He never carried a letter to the post, nor fetched them from the post; but the porter doth. His master hath received letters from Mr. Crofts, for a horse to be got for him; and a month ago, a young fellow came from Daniel O'Neale, with two hats to his master, and brought a letter to his master from Mr. O'Neale. The young fellow lives over against the lady Mulgrave's.
Daniel O'Neale directs his letters to him for his master. Mr. Crosts delivered a letter to this examinant for his master to get him a good horse. His master doth send him to deliver the letters to the house in St. Martin's lane, that takes them up for the post.
Extract out of the register of the secret resolutions of the high and mighty lords, &c.
It being put to the debate, it is thought fit and understood, that there shall be writ to their lordships embassadors in England, that there is come to the knowledge of their lordships, that by some of the lords states of Holland and West Friesland is sent over unto them, or some of them, a certain resolution, act, or declaration, concerning the seclusion of the prince of Orange and his line from officiating in any high office formerly enjoyed by his predecessors; and by reason that by a formal resolution of their H. and M. lordships, dated the 19th of February last, and by the treaty of peace, union, and confederacy, between the lord protector of the commonwealth of England, Scotland, and Ireland on the one part, and this state on the other, concluded, ratified, and published, the said point is fully agreed on, that they do presently send over to their H. and M. lordships a copy of all that hath been so sent to them, or any of them, from the states of Holland and West Friesland concerning it; and withal, that they do punctually advise their H. and M. lordships all that hath been negotiated by them, or any of them, in the said point, in regard that his business doth very much trouble the deliberations of their H. and M. lordships. This their lordships resolution is to be sent by one of the messengers in a pink, without any resumption.
The lords commissioners of the province of Utrecht do still desire, that the lords commissioners of Holland would make overture of the resolution of the lords their principals, concerning the person of the prince of Orange, or his line, for as much as concerneth the generality.
The farther examination of John Jones, taken the 27 May, 1654.
Saith, That in discourse with Tedder, upon the design of assassinating the lord protector, Tedder said, that he had his posts assigned him, meaning thereby, as this examinant conceives, for assassinating the lord protector. And this examinant replying thereupon, that it was difficult to be done, the said Tedder said, that he had intimation of the protector's motions by some, that were very near him, and understood his motions.
And that he farther said, that the protector was so mounted, that no man could catch him on horseback. And further saith, that he verily believes, that Tuder knows much more of the business, than he had confessed to this examinant.
An intercepted letter.
I have gotten you a copie of the king's proscription against Cromwel, according to the directions you sent me for that end. When I came to Mr. H. P. about it, he made very strange, denying that he knew of any such thing, untill I shewed him your letter, and then he presently shew'd it me: but he very much wondered, how you came to know, that he had any such thing; for he kept it very private; nay he said, T. L. knew not of it, because he feared, that if it should be knowen, that there was such a thing out, it would hinder the coming forth of his majesties large declaration, now in the presse, at the end of which this will be printed. He desires you would keep this very private, and show it to none but those, whose loyaltie you are very well assured of: and let not any of them copie it; for should there be the least inkling of it at Westminster, they would search every mouse-hole about the city, but they would find out the presse. I have no more to say, but remain
An intercepted letter.
My deare hart,
It is I, that can with more justice cry what is the matter, that for a dussin cannot have above too in returne. If I had noe more use for my monny, I should breake. This shall bee the last, until I heare from you.
This morning (fn. 1) Bob Skipper goes away, bagg and baggage. He leaves many weeping eys att Paris, but it's, ass some say, because hee pays not his deabts, not for his person or parts. His counselor Herbert quitted the Palais royale and his great seale some days before. If his bravo Garrard would take the same way, the family would bee much the quieter, as my mistress tells mee. His maister disavows any knowlege of the cause, why sir Gilbert Garrard his brother and the rest of those that are comitted there of late. I am could, hee sharply reproved this mighty man at armes, for makeing use of his name, and medling with his bissines without his allowance or knowlege. The gazet does not yet tell us what the designe was; but I am satisfyed it must be a dangerous one, beeing of his contrivance. Charles Stewart goes hence soone after the returne of his mother, whoe wil bee here seven days hence. The French court will spend most of this summer upon the frontiers, to incourage their armys. You may tell Mrs. Porter, that hir son Tom is well; and soe should I be, if I heard oft'ner from you.
The Spanish embassador to secretary Thurloe.
Having given order for the shipping and sending into Flanders the wools; which the judges of the admiralty decreed to be delivered unto me, in conformity to the inclosed order of his highness and the council; I find that the commissioners for customs will not permit the transportation thereof, without the custom be first paid, or an order from his highness freeing the same. And the said wools being for the service of the king my master in Flanders, and not destined at all for England, but brought hither forcibly out of their course, as it doth evidently appear by the proofs made in the court of admiralty; I cannot think just the pretension of the said commissioners for customs. Therefore I hold myself obliged to desire your honour to represent this matter unto his highness, that he will be pleased to give order to the said commissioners and all others therein concerned, to suffer the said wools to be shipped and transported into Flanders, in such ships as are by my order already hired for that purpose, free from customs, and all other duties, farther delays, or interruptions; which I do desire the more earnestly, to avoid troubling his highness any more in this business, and consequently your honour, in representing the same. God preserve you for many years! which is the desire of your most affectionate servant,
De Vries, the Dutch resident in Denmark, to the states general.
According to your lordships former commands upon the peace concluded with England, I caused here yesterday bonfires to be made after this manner. I desired leave of the lords burgomasters, to make it in the best convenient place, where it might be best seen; which was near the harbour next to the Slot. There I caused a scaffold to be built, and fifty or sixty pitch-barrels to be set on fire; and good store of crackers, and some fireworks in the air. In the mean time, your H. and M. lordships ships, that lay here in the harbour, discharged their guns several times.
To the sight of this I invited the king's receivers of his tolls, with the burgomasters and the council of the city, whom I entertained with good Rhenish wine, and some kind of collation, till they were soundly merry. And for the common sort of people, I had ordered a hogshead of strong beer to be at their disposal; who drank to some purpose. The better sort of them I caused to have French wine given them. This merry meeting continued till past midnight. To the poor of the city I caused penny white loaves to be distributed amongst them.
The lords commissioners of the East India company in the Netherland have, in requital of the favours shewn to their ships by his majesty here, sent several fine knacks unto me, to be represented by me to his majesty.
Copy of a letter of the English merchants, to the cardinal Mazarin, written from Paris, 6 June/27 May, 1654.
The English merchants trading at St. Malo, having complained unto his majesty's council, concerning the seizure made upon their merchandizes, books of accounts, and generally upon all their goods, yea upon their very cloaths, some of them having been ignominiously strip'd stark naked by the inhabitants of the said city, without the Mainlevee they demand, in execution of the treaties between England and France, hath hitherto been granted them; although the count of Brienne has by my means given them hopes thereof; and that until the parties were heard, they had submitted themselves to give bail, that they might in the mean time continue their trade; I am forced to represent unto your eminence, that the said merchants are wholly desolated; and that, without the justice they hope for by your means and goodness, they shall be forced to withdraw themselves; which might have consequences as prejudicial to the agreement between the said states, as they would be pleasant unto the said inhabitants, who are well known to be very ill affectioned unto the king's service, and have no respect unto his majesty's ministers of state. They have long since, my lord, misused the English nation in this manner; and amongst other proofs I could shew their imprisoning of captain Green, commander of a ship of this commonwealth, who saved himself at the peril of his life from the top of their prison-walls into the sea; and the affronts they made Mr. John Waterton suffer at the same time, in beating him to force him to withdraw as he did, although the one and the other were justified of all calumnies by several decrees, which (I can shew) bear witness of their base inclination, and of the design they have since ever had, and have still, to increase, if possible, the enemies of their country. In the interim, my lord, they do nevertheless alledge, that they have had right to continue their violences, though they had not been the chief cause of the public reprizals of England: but it is well known, that the captain hath had the first letters of marque, to avenge himself of them; and I durst hope, your eminence being just, as well to us as to them, will not suffer the said merchants to receive in France a dealing unused among the very Turks, (where the Christians goods being once in the ports, and unloaded, are in security) being the English have only avenged themselves at any extremity, and that they are not obliged to suffer without feeling the rashness of a city, which refused to obey its king, infringing the right of nations, and the protection his majesty refuseth them not in any of his estates, no more than his highness the lord protector unto the French, trading in England, where no seizures have been made upon them, when the French ships did heretofore make very rich prizes upon the English, as were those of the ships the Greyhound, the Laurel, the Apollo, the Unicorn, and many others. And therefore I and the said merchants hope, that your eminence will have the goodness so to recommend the Main-levée unto the lord chancellor and to the count of Brienne, who hath the decree thereof in his hands, that it may be made them without they concern themselves any more in charges, and without they go to court, except it were to receive your eminence's commands. This, my lord, is the only thing I humbly crave of your eminence, as also the Main-levée of some ships illicitly seized upon, some months since, in the river of Seine, and carried to Harfleur, against all manner of rights; and this according unto the said treaties, namely of that of the year 1610. which doth expressly bear in the 42d article, That the reprizals shall not be put in execution upon the merchandizes or goods whatsoever, brought into the ports, or landed on the one or the other state. And according to the several ordinances, declarations, commands, and decrees of his majesty's, expedited for the maintenance of the trade, and good intelligence between the two nations, that nothing may pretext the suite of the misunderstandings, and that by our respects we may have the comfort of not being unprofitably,
A letter of intelligence from Paris.
The miscarriage of letters is usual in this age. We are big here with the expectation of the king of France's return from Rheims. 'Tis thought he will be no more a minor, but appear himself in action, having of late highly resented some actions of the cardinal's and the grand ministers of state. The Palais Royal is very empty, by reason of the queen's absence, and her two sons and little daughter. Prince Rupert is this day going for Germany. 'Tis said the king of Scots will steer the same course very suddenly. The lordkeeper is now but sir Edward Herbert, having returned his seal to the king, which they say he willingly took. This little court is fuller of factions than men, which were enough to destroy them, if they had no other enemies.
A letter of intelligence from Paris.
Even now I received yours of the first instant, with one for your friend at court, which shall be sent after him. I had nothing from him since his going thither. The rest of your letter requires no answer, &c. Hither is come newly from the French embassador with you at London, a gentleman called Mons. de Fonteine, sent with letters to the court. Their contents I know not; but I took occasion, by the means of a friend, to meet the said gentleman at a dinner, and all I could gather from him was thus:
He says, there is no embassador in England in better esteem than his own, nor that keeps near so great a train of gentlemen, and hospitality. He doubts not, but the peace, which he negotiateth for, shall be obtained, the protector being inclined to it, to secure himself and the present government, which cannot be without peace with France. He added, that his embassador very prudently prevented the protector in one of their conferences, saying, that his highness need not to expect, that upon any peace or league with France, his king would article or agree to cause R. C. or his family to retire out of France; for it would never be. And as for moneys to be given for a peace to the protector, the same; only let the account be cast on both sides, and where any is justly due, to be paid, but not otherwise; and rather than the king of France would yield to either of those two, or any other dishonourable demand, that he would make peace with Spain upon any terms.
He says farther, that the protector's government in England is not stable, nor himself secure, having several factious enemies; neither (saith he) is his peace with Holland like to be of any continuance, they being all divided there, as they are in England. He ended, that Scotland, if assisted, would conclude the protector and his government, &c.
Prince Rupert's train, bag and baggage, parted yesterday for Germany, and he himself will follow soon; and from thence (as at present determined) into Scotland, with arms, men, and provisions, to be had from the empire; and not only that favour shall R. C. receive from Germany, but likewise reception and protection, whenever he shall please to come to any part thereof, which it is conceived he will do, as soon as the peace with England shall be done or broken off. Before some appearance thereof, I do not believe he will stir from France; and as you always had, Mazarin will not permit him to depart sooner; and if his affairs in Scotland go well, and any troubles arise in England, he will for the one or other. And you may be assured, that not Germany alone keeps fire in Scotland; but also France primarily, though not known to any but a very few.
The gentleman here, desirous to give a step into England, still pursues his earnest suit,
and with much confidence, to please the protector in great matters. You had enough of
it before, from, Sir,
A letter of intelligence from Paris.
You have from hence since my former, that cardinal Mazarin signed the treaty made between himself and the resident of the duke of Mantua, for the dukedom of Mayence, which he bought for 750000 livres, and that for the use of Mons. de la Meilleraye, whose son is to be married to one of the cardinal's nieces or sisters; and the said la Meilleraye sent to the said resident, desiring that his master might ratify the said treaty for himself.
The troops, that were in their winter-quarters at Dombes and la Bresse, were so troublesome, that the inhabitants obtained an order from the court to defend themselves against the said troops; which they did, and joined together in a body, fought, and many were slain on both sides.
Mademoiselle de Longueville is gone to Rheims, by reason the queen desired her to accompany those of the cardinal's nieces, that went that road, which she refused; neither her servant is gone to Rheims, the duke of Aumale, alias the archbishop of Rheims.
All the Switzers of the king's guard refused to follow the king, by reason they wanted three months pay; but the surintendant, seeing they resolved not to stir without moneys, has suddenly paid them the whole, for fear the king would take it ill, they were not paid beforehand. They parted last wednesday.
We have by the last letters from Toulouse, that their parliament there is so cruel to put in execution the king's declaration touching the duels, which lately happened between six persons, three against three, of which two were slain in the place; which were drawn after horses in the streets of the city, and afterwards hanged by their legs. One of the four now being taken, was presently hanged without any justice or process, only by virtue of the aforesaid declaration.
From court we have, that in the last council they kept since they parted hence, they resolved to break and demolish Rethel and Chasteau Poursain. They write also, that his majesty's forces, being considerable, are along this side and the other side of the rivers Aisne and Oyse. At Sedan they complain much of prince Condé's forces, that trouble the country about them.
Wednesday last, the court arrived at Rheims, where the people of the town made great solemnities. Tuesday next they will return to Compeigne; for they cannot stay there longer for want of forage for the horses. It is certain, of late some troubles happened between Harcourt's party in Brisac, and those that were for the king, both being in arms within the town. Harcourt, being five hundred Germans strong on his side, overcame five hundred French, which were against him, commanded by Mons. Charlerois and Baisemont; yet Harcourt sent to Castelnau, that if the king will perform his promise, in what he promised to him in his last treaty, that he will be contented; which Castelnau promised he would. So they gave securities and pledges on both sides; on the king's side, Castelnau his wife, Mons. Baisemont, and another, Bracket; of the count Harcourt's side, his eldest son, and two more, called Valcour, and Moiron; all to stay in Philipsburgh, till the treaty be executed, which is advantageous for Harcourt. He shall have Philipsburgh with good security for the payment of his garison; besides, he shall have the government of Alsace, being worth yearly 150000 livres. It is written from Bar of the twenty-ninth of last month, that marshal de Senneterre was expected there next monday with the rest of his troops, to march towards Rethel, to join with the army of Turenne, in case of necessity.
We have from Calais of the thirty-first of last month, that the most part of their powder in Gravelin was burnt, and the castle blown up in the air, five hundred men lost, a third part of the town burnt, the gates and bridges burnt. Also they were afraid the French would surprise the town; so they sent a thousand men out of St. Omer's and Dunkirk, to guard the place, till it be fortified. If this be true, I believe you have heard of it already.
You have from Provence, that they continue at Toulon and Marseilles the preparations
of ships and galleys for the next voyage, as I writ formerly; which is all the trouble you
shall receive at present from, Sir,
Yours very faithfully.
A letter of intelligence from Monsieur Augier's secretary.
The officers of the Switzers of the king's guards having declared they would not depart from hence, until they were paid off a hundred thousand crowns of arrears due unto them, I am well informed, that two hundred and fifty thousand francs was two days since given them, with assured bills to receive the rest in a few weeks; and that soon after, they and their companies parted to follow the court, who arrived the said day at Rheims, from whence is written, that the dearth is exceeding great.
It is thought their majesties will go ere long to Compeigne; but there is so much the more incertitude thereof, that there are news, that Stenay is besieged by the count of Grandpré, who had defeated the regiment of Enguien of four hundred men, as they thought, to guide thither a convoy from Montmedy, which convoy he had afterwards besieged in a castle, which could not without relief make him long resistance.
We hear not, that the Spaniards nor Mons. le prince do as yet undertake any thing, except bridges upon the rivers of Oize, Aisne, and others, to facilitate their designs. The said prince hath few days since written a letter unto the marquis of Roquelaure, to send him some suits from France; whereby he prays him moreover, to make, if he can, his brother the prince of Conti a cuckold. The cardinal Mazarin has seen it, and it has caused much laughing unto all the court.
The cardinal's sisters will not be at the coronation, by reason that mademoiselle de Longueville has been obstinate, and is still, to leave them the rank in no manner; but his eminence's nephew will appear there in a greater honour than any.
The duke of Vendosme hath ratified the contract of marriage of the duke of Mercœur his son, and hath given him Estampes, Mercœur, Chemereaux, and other good lands, to the concurrence of a hundred thousand livres of rent.
There is notice, that at last the count of Harcourt, and the marquis of Castelnau Mauvissiere, from the king's part, have given hostages unto one another, for the execution of the treaty of Brisac, where the said count has been exceeding pressed to make an agreement by the said garison.
It is written from Bourdeaux, that that parliament had caused an order to be published the 21/11. at Reolle, for the reunion of its members, except fourteen, who had received letters of cachet to withdraw themselves in several parts of the kingdom; and of another called Tranquart, who being at London, had been condemned as a criminal to be beheaded, and to 15,000 l. Tournois penalty, besides the loss of his office, which should remain suppressed; and that in the same time, the said parliament had also proceeded against the named Desers, Blaru, and another armist of the said Bourdeaux, which were not returned from England; and had condemned them to the wheel, and unto twenty thousand livres of penalty, to be taken upon the one and upon the other's means.
Prince Rupert is at last parted for Germany, having reconciled himself to Charles Stuart for the ordnance of the ship the Swallow. There is still some division at the palace royal concerning Hyde, who notwithstanding his enemies crastiness remains Charles Stuart's great confident.
Monsieur Petit to Monsieur Augier.
I write you this present after my packet shut, for my lord secretary Thurloe. I have since been informed, that the son of a nobleman of Berne in Switzerland, who was at Saumur, hath been stoned and killed there, in meeting the god of the mass, by reason he kneeled not down to worship it.
The deputies of the reformed church are vexed at the cardinal Mazarin's departure without executing what he had promised them, thinking that all these brave demonstrations and promises have only been to gain time, (as he doth towards every one in all state affairs during the space between one field and another) and according unto the events, compile new stratagems for the suit of his subsistence. Thereupon I see the said deputies resolved to withdraw themselves, at least those towards Nismes, except they tarry to see what will be the execution of the decree given in the behalf of the protestants towards Guienne; and if the religion shall be established in Rochouart, which may serve them for a prejudication of the intentions of this court for the remainder, and may make them take their measures more or less for the future. One of the deputies of Bourdeaux at London, who is a protestant, writes here unto one of his friends, that the Spaniards promise wonderful things unto the said protestants. In all these conjunctures, namely in the good dispositions they see towards England, the count of Antrague, and Mons. du Vestres, are upon the point to tie a considerable party, namely, with Montpellier, which is one of the most displeased. I am of opinion, that Mons. Villefranche of Montbrune will be of the party, and the said count of Antragues makes himself strong of it.
An intercepted letter from Paris.
Prupert sets forward for his own country this day, with a very great train and brave. It is said, he shall be made general of the emperor's army. He hath lest the lord late keeper (sometime attorney) in the lurch, his commission being taken from him.
The business hath been long smothered; but as far as I can gather, he persuaded the prince to arrest the guns for 10,000 l. the king owed him, which he did, and great friends there were made to get it off. The chancellor had a fair trial, and is totally outed; so is Massonet for siding with him. I hope Sir George Radcliffe will be keeper; for he is in good esteem. It is thought, we shall not stay here a fortnight; but we have thought so long. We must first to the Spa, and there meet the princess royal, and stay awhile; and from thence it is thought, for Germany. I pray God we come not too late for the business of Scotland. To-morrow, being sunday, is the coronation of the French king at Rheims, where our queen is, the duke of York, and Gloucester. The latter end of that week they return; after which time, I suppose, we shall be provided for our journey.
The Spanish embassador to secretary Thurloe.
Estando para embarcar, y embiar a Flandes las lanas que los juezes del Almirantazgo decretaron se me entregassen en conformidad de la orden inclusa de su A., y consejo, hallo que los commissarios de la Aduana no quieren permitir su transporte, sin que primero se pagen los derechos della, ô que les muestre orden del señor protector de mi exempcion, y siendo dichas lanas pra el servicio de S. Magdestad en Flandes, y no destinados paramente Inglaterra, sino traidos a ella por fuerza, comoconsta clara, y evidentissima por las pruebas hechas en la dicha corte del almirantazgo, no hallo razon justa a la pretension de los dichos commissarios, y assi me veo obligado a suplicar a V. S. se sirva de representar a su A. mande dar orden para que dichos commissarios, ô qualquier otro, dejen embarcar, y transportar dichas lanas a Flandes en los navios que de mi orden se han fletado para ello, libres de todos derechos, y ulterior dilacion, y embaraço, que yo lo desseo por escusar a S. A. la molestia de mis instancias sobre esta materia, y a V. S. la incomodidad de representarla tantas vezes, y gde Dios a V. S. muchos años como desseo. Londres, 27. Mayo, 1654.
A letter of intelligence from Rome.
I received yours of the seventh of the last month. The friends of that commonwealth are right glad of the public voice of the people, in the wise resolution of the lord protector with Holland. His government is highly commended by his friends here. Little news we have hence this week. His holiness is in good health; our processions, of a most rare shew, his holiness in person assisting, and bearing the custody of the holy function of our Saviour; all cardinals, bishops, and nobles of Italy, thereunto most devoutly also assisting, with all the clergy. The last week, more than forty were hence, by sentence of the government, condemned, and sent to the galleys. Some knavery was discovered in the English college, done by some enemies, but not known; though some are in prison for it. The Genoese humour goes on. Preparation for war is threatened. Correspondency from hence, by the way of Toulon and Piedmont, they expect; their general is declared, Federico Imperiale, who gave order of furnishing six galleys more, and four vessels, and made levies of two thousand, with what they had, and do continue in more preparation. Howbeit, they expect the king of Spain's answer before an ultimate resolution; though Caracena's troops do provoke them, by the garison now much necessary for the passage for Finale. The duke of Florence is raising soldiers of every . . . . . ., which is a great argument of the Genoefe resolution.
D. Gio. di Austria is preparing in Catalonia against the French invasion, being (as report is) in great strength under Conti. From Venice, the princess Brunswick and Lunemburgh are thence departed for Germany. From Dalmatia, four companies of horse were sent, and six of foot, of those that served in firm land; but those new levies, that are expected, will be sent soon after. News arrived from Candia, that all the Jamzaries did revolt against Ussain Bassa, for want of payment; the bassa having retired himself to the fort of New Candia. Some say, ten galleys, twenty vessels and more, sixteen a preparing at Toulon, will shortly for Italy, under the command of duke Chisa; but more do laugh at it; the truth time will discover.
The prince of Chaia is set at liberty at Naples, being fined in three thousand crowns.
An order from Spain commanded that viceroy to give of their moneys to the Venetians
there some reasonable allowance to pass at present. Seven galleys of Casserta landed
with seven brigantines at Capo Pollice, in Sicily, whence they pressed a hundred and fifty
christian marine soldiers, embarked at Naples in six galleys, and three vessels with cannons;
guns, granades, and such other, for to besiege Rotas in Catalonia; in which galleys
went the regent Fretlas. This being all what at present I have,
I remain your ever true servant.
A letter to the states general from Leghorn.
Noble and Great Lords,
By the last ordinary was our last to your lordships, whereof here inclosed goeth a copy. The consul of the Streights is returned home re insecta. Concerning the deliberation of the ship of captain Peter Breen, the men were all turned out by the officers of justice, and soldiers put aboard. The goods and wares laden aboard were unladen by order of the justice, and delivered to the owners, who paid for unlading the same, and ship is confiscated, contrary to all reason. Nothing would be taken into consideration to demonstrate these unjust proceedings; the duke being so far possess'd with those sinister informations, that have been given him, that he will not hearken to reason; but there is a decree passed at Florence, without hearing the parties. They would make Peter Breen to be the occasion of the taking the English ship, which is false; so that we do now address ourselves to their H. and M. lordships, to give such order herein, as they shall think most expedient to belong to their wise and happy government. We thought fit to give your noble lordships notice hereof. We were promised the restitution of the other ship St. Peter; but it is not yet done. They say, they will first have unladed all the goods out of the ship of Peter van Breen. Noble great lords,
Translation of a letter of D. Diego Wilson, consul for the English nation at Cadiz, unto his excellency the duke of Medina Celi, captain general of the naval army of his catholic majesty, dated in Cadiz, 8. June, 1654. [N. S.]
Most Excellent Lord,
By a letter of the third of this month; which I received, I find out the great favour, which I did always expect from your excellency's greatness, of which we have daily experience, and heaps upon England, and me in particular, an augment of obligations; which I do humbly and submissively acknowledge to your excellency, to whom I make a return of deserved thanks of the business concerning the prize made by the Holland pink, whose whole restitution, by the intervention of your excellency, is obtained; whereby the English captain, who had lost his ship and her lading of oil, is repossessed of all, to his full satisfaction; which argues the great effect of your excellency's protection, without whose righteous means and power it could not be effected; which the captain and I will make known in England, and to its protector, to whom we will give an account of all, to the end he may return to your excellency hearty thanks, and also to his majesty, for the good passage and entertainment, which all the English captains and masters do find in his majesty's ports. God keep your excellency for many years with such happiness as I do wish.