A Collection of the State Papers of John Thurloe, Volume 2, 1654. Originally published by Fletcher Gyles, London, 1742.
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May (6 of 6)
The examination of John Wharton horsekeeper in Black-friars, May 29. 1654.
That being in company, about ten days ago, at his own house, with one Mr. Plunkett an Irishman, one Smith, and one other, whose name he knows not; but formerly was a major to colonel Rooksby in France; he heard all and every one of the above-mentioned say, particularly the major, that they hoped to have a good design in hand very speedily, and hoped to have good horses and arms; and that they would acquaint him, this examinant, with the design, the night before they were ready to execute it, that he might be prepared; and further, that they would seize upon all the horses in the stables and pastures about London, and would draw themselves into a formed body, and so come to Whitehall, and fall upon the guards, and cut them off, and take and kill the protector and his friends, and so proclaim the king, meaning Charles Stuart. He further faith, he did hear the said persons, all and every one of them, say, that no persons of honour were engaged in this business; but were confident in their thoughts, would appear, when occasion did offer itself; but durst not trust the gentry with this business, because they had so much punished already. He further faith, he heard the said persons say, that the guards at the Meuse, St. James's, and Whitehall, were very weak, and that it were very feasible to beat them; and that there were some men, who already had undertaken it; and that they were in all above eight hundred; but he knew not the names of any of them. He further said, that they had spies amongst other men, meaning the army, which gave them intelligence every day. And the examinant further faith, that it is true, as Thomas Barnes hath said in his information, that he, this examinant, did about this day fortnight, see the said Barnes go by his house, and that the examinant's brother was then with him, and did tell him, that Barnes was an honest man; that he might trust his life in his hands; and thereupon the examinant wished the said Barnes to come the next morning, and that he would then tell him more. And accordingly he came; and then the examinant told him, all horses were to be seized on, both in Smithfield, and all other places about the town, to the end they might seize upon the protector and the guards, which might easily be done; and then that they would proclaim Charles the second in London, which the examinant said, he was to do; but knew not when it was to be done.
Confession of Tho. Barnes.
Thomas Barnes faith and confesseth, that captain Wharton said, he would give him horse and arms, and that he made Watson acquainted with it. And he further faith, that Wharton did tell him, that he would furnish his friends with horse and arms; and that Wharton did bid him make what friends he could for arms; and that he should have notice an hour or two beforehand, what was to be done; and that he was then to get to his horse and arms.
That this day fortnight, he coming by Wharton's house in Black-friers, where he found Wharton and his brother, who calling him to them, his brother said to Wharton, Here is one, that I may trust my life in his hand. Then Wharton told the examinant, that he should come the next morning, and he would tell him more; and coming according to appointment, Wharton asked him, whether he would have horse and arms? To which he answered, he would with all his heart, if he could get them: but whence shall we have them? He said, We will draw up in Smithfield, and seize all the horse there. And being demanded, how the horse and arms were to be employed, the examinant faith, that Wharton informed him, to seize upon the protector, in order to change the government; but when and where, he knoweth not. And he further saith, that Wharton put on his belt, and said, With this belt will I proclaim Charles the second in London. And to the end the protector's seizure might be accomplished, the said Wharton told the examinant, that the guards were easily to be surprised; and that being done, he would proclaim king Charles the second, as above-said. And being asked, whether he had communicated the thing to any else, saith, he did not but to one George Ivery, who works near the black Swan in Thames-street, to whom he told he might have horse and arms; but the said Ivery absolutely denied to accept thereof, or to meddle in such business.
The examination of Nicolas Watson, barber, taken 29. May, 1654. [by secretary Thurloe.]
That upon sunday was seven-night, there came to him one Thomas Barnes, dwelling at the sign of the tun, or three tuns, in Thames-street, in Peter-Paul's-wharf, at a chandler's shop over-against the church; and told him, that there was a design against the lord protector and this present government, and divers gentlemen were engaged in it; and that three or four thousand men were listed already to that purpose; that they intended to make an attempt upon the lord protector's person, either at dinner, or as he went to Hampton-court; and at the same time would surprise the guards at Whitehall, which he said was easy to do, in respect they had but one match lighted upon the guard; and before they could light the rest, they could dispatch their business there; at the same time the portcullis should be shut down, and then Charles the second, meaning Charles Sruart, should be proclaimed. And the examinant asking him, who should do it, the said Barnes told him, that one Wharton, who dwells in Black-friers, should do it; and for that purpose a new suit was given him, and a belt worth five or six pounds. And the said examinant farther faith, that the said Barnes did invite and desire him to engage in this design; and to encourage him, told him, that he would help him to a horse and arms, and six pounds in money. And the examinant being asked, what the reason was, why the said Barnes should acquaint him with this design, faith, that, as he conceives, it was, because he had been formerly in arms for the late king. And being demanded of him, who was present at this discourse, faith, that no person else was present; but that the said Wharton was with with them a little before; and that when the said Wharton went forth from them, the said Barnes, having been whispering with him, said to him, I will acquaint you, Nic, (meaning the examinant) with the business.
The examination of Thomas Collison, taken this 29th of May, 1654. [by secretary Thurloe.]
He faith, that he came out of Scotland with Charles Stuart, and rid a trooper in the duke of Buckingham's troop: that he came acquainted with Mr. Allanson about two years since, which he hath heard some persons call him colonel; but the said Mr. Allanson always hath denied, that he was a colonel; and all that the examinant hath heard of Allanson being in the king's army was, that he was at Oxford, when it was a garison for the king, in the earl of Essex's time.
He faith, that about twelve days since, as he now remembereth, as this examinant and one colonel Charles Finch (who lodgeth, or did lately lodge, at the sheers and ball in Bow-street, in Covent-garden, near Phænix-alley there) were coming together from Westminster, the said Finch told this examinant, being then against Whitehall, See here, what a slender force there is, and there is not above four or six thousand men in town; and we are subdued here by a small strength; or words to that purpose; and that they were all cowed, though they were enough, if they were of one mind, to do the business, and redeem themselves, and bring the king home. He further faith, that he met him the said Finch, the next day after, in Newton-street, near the King's-gate, near Holborn, and then told him, at his speaking unto him, he had but imparted part of his mind; for there was a design amongst them against the government; the business was ripe, and that if he would join with them, he would acquaint him with it all. But this examinant refusing to intermeddle therein, the said Finch did not acquaint him with any further particulars of the design. And this examinant farther faith, the next day after, he was at the feathers tavern in Fleet-street, with Mr. Edmund Allanson, and major Mason, a fencer; and being there drinking together, this examinant told the said Allanson and Mason, what colonel Finch had acquainted him with; and that thereupon both of them wished him not to meddle with any such business. He further faith, that while they were sitting together, there came into their company one colonel Forth, or Worth, whose lodging the examinant knoweth not, and also one Mr. Rich, whose mother lives at the sign of the Black Horse in the New-market, a broker's shop; but he knoweth not whether the said Rich lieth there, nor where he doth lodge. There came in also, one Carre, a musician; but faith, that nothing was said of that business, whilst they were present.
And this examinant being further asked, upon what occasion he told Mr. Allanson of the design aforesaid, at the tavern; he faith, that it was upon Mr. Allanson's demanding of him, what the reason was, that colonel Finch did come after him to Mr. Allanson's lodging, the said colonel Finch being there but a little before they went to the tavern. And further demanded, whether he did not acquaint the said Mr. Allanson with what Finch told him, faith, as he now remembereth, he did.
He faith further, that one Nicolas Watson, a barber, who liveth with a barber in Chancery-lane, at the first shop on the left hand, as you go into Chancery-lane out of Fleet-street, did discourse with this examinant concerning this plot upon saturday morning next; but told him no particulars.
And being further asked concerning the discourse he had with Finch, faith, that Finch told him, that they intended to seize upon the guards at Whitehall and the Meuse, and to do it at noon-day, and then the city should rise at the same time.
And farther faith, that the barber, Nicolas Watson, told him, that one Wharton had money given him in this plot; and that he himself was to have had six pounds at Clerkenwell; and that there were several men listed, who were likewise to have money.
The examination of Edmund Allanson, taken upon oath this 29th of May, 1654.
He faith, that he knows one colonel Finch, who lodges at his sister's lodgings, called Mrs. Crompton, in Drury-lane, near the Horseshoe-tavern, by Lewkner's-lane, and hath been twice in his company: that he also knows one Thomas Collinson, or Collison, who lodges at the three Flower-de-luces in St. Giles's, a victualling house: that the said Collison hath been often in his company; and particularly, that he was in Collison's company upon wednesday or thursday was seven-night, at the Feathers-tavern in Fleetstreet, where was also Mason the sencer, and one Henry Taylor. And being asked what discourse was amongst them at that meeting, said, that Collison said, that he and colonel Finch knew of a design; whereupon the examinant bid him hold his tongue, and not meddle with state-matters; but denies, that the said Collison did mention what design it was. The examinant further faith, that Collison and Taylor are men of no estate. And being asked, whether at the meeting aforesaid, or since, there was not some discourse about the Gerards, now prisoners, he faith, to his remembrance, there was not.
The information of Samuel Wilde of Pudding-lane, London.
Upon thursday was seven-night, I, the informant, was at Bow-fair, where I met with one Mr. John Man, a scrivener at Turner's-hall, in Philpot-lane; he asked me how I did, and what news, and if I heard nothing ? I answered him, No, not I; but what concerned my lord mayor, who was abused in the streets. He said, Did I hear nothing else ? I told him, No. He said to me, he could tell me something that was very sad, of a wicked plot, which was against my lord protector and his council, and all that did adhere to him, with an intention to murder my lord and his council. I asked him, where he heard that news. He answered, that an acquaintance of his did relate to him this news, that he told me; and moreover said, that if he would comply with them in their design, then he should know the full of the business; for they had met once together at the Bellesavage in Fleet-street, and that they were to meet again the next sabbath-day; and if he would then come into Holborn, he should hear the full of their proceedings.
Mr. Man met five of the company in the street, and demanded of them, where they would go. They looking about them, being timorous and fearful, said, they could get in at no place to be entertained, by reason of my lord mayor's proclamation for keeping the sabbath, which was so strict, they could not be entertained any-where; and therefore put it off till the tuesday after, which was the thanksgiving-day; but in the interim, they hearing that some were taken, they were fearful who they should be; but yet they said, they were none of their company; notwithstanding they would desist awhile.
Afterwards Mr. Man met with some of that company, and asked them what news; and they answered, none, but only this, that those that were taken pleaded ignorance to what was demanded of them; but for their parts, they were none of their company; and they feared but one, who was Francis Fox, living at the globe in Paternoster-row, because he was timorous and fearful, and he would disclose all, if he should be taken. He is kinsman to one colonel John Gerard, who is in the town.
This day Mr. Man going through Paternoster-row, one Fox called him to him, and asked him, If he heard no news. Mr. Man made slight of it, and answered, None. Fox said, Have you not heard my cousin Gerard was put upon the rack in the Tower ? He said, No; he heard no such matter. Fox replied, that there was none of their company yet discovered; by which it appears, that the said Fox was the same mentioned formerly by the hosier.
The informant further faith, that Mr. Man further informed him, that the hosier acquainted him, that most of the nobility of the land were in their plot, and some of his highness's guard; and further said, they had a fit opportunity to take their advantage, by reason the guards were weakened, and the soldiery sent away for Scotland, and more were to be sent for Holland and France, and they had a list of the strength of the army; also that they had, or were to have, assistance out of France. He further said, that Dod the hosier told him, that one Gerard lately come out of France.
Rye, ss. Examinations taken at the antient town of Rye, in the county of Sussex, the nine-and-twentieth day of May, 1654. before William Burwash esq; mayor of the town of Rye aforesaid, and Thomas Marshall, gentleman, one of the jurats of the said town; as followeth.
This examinant faith, that about eight weeksago, she did pass over to France to see a sister of hers, which there liveth at a certain place, called Pontodame, beyond Paris; and this was the only cause of her travel, as this examinant is ready to depose.
This examinant saith, that about two months ago she did go into France, to bear a gentlewoman of her acquaintance, one Mrs. Mary Lucye, of London, company; and she this examinant saith, that she had no other business there, only a desire to see the country; and this examinant further saith, that she knoweth of no other business Mrs. Lucye had in France, than only to see her sister; and to the truth of this examination she is ready to depose.
The lady Valvasor, examined, saith:
That upon monday the twenty-fifth instant, she came to Sir William Valvasor her husband, who then laid near Holborn-bridge, and did inquire, whether he had heard any thing of a design or plot against the protector; to which he replied, he did not. She then desired and intreated him, that if any such proposition should be made to him, he would decline it; and to that purpose did inform him, that it was a bloody and barbarous design, or to that purpose; and that some persons had engaged by an oath to kill the protector; and that divers there were listed to be ready to rise upon it. She further said, that there was no considerable person engaged in it, but only . . . . . . . . desperate fellow. The examinant being further asked, how she did come to know this, she replied, that a lady coming to visit my lady Holland, she heard her speak of it, and make a relation to the effect aforesaid; and being asked, who this lady was, she answered, it was the lady Falconbridge. And being farther demanded, if she did not speak something to Sir William of a letter, which did discover something of this business, she answered, that there was a letter, but she knew not the person from whom it came. And being asked, to whom it was directed, she replied, at present she could not remember, but it was darkly written; but did mention something of May-day, and a great belly, which should be removed out of danger, or to that effect. She further told her husband, that the thing was discovered to the lord protector; and therefore did hope, it would come to nothing, conceiving it as slight, being come to the knowledge and discourse of women.
The examination of Somerset Fox (fn. 1), taken the 30th of May, 1654. [by secretary Thurloe.]
That he did acquaint Francis Fox, William Dodd, and Robert Devereux, with the design of falling upon the lord protector, and of seizing upon the guards at the Meuse, St. James's, and Whitehall; and that he had the knowledge of it from Charles Gerard, brother to Sir Gilbert Gerard, now prisoner in the Tower, who told it to him upon thursday morning was seven-night in Essex-house, which was in the manner following: The said Gerard asked him, if he had any acquaintance, or kindred in the city. Whereunto the examinant answering, that he had; Gerard demanded, if they would be true and honest; whereto the examinant said, he thought they would. Whereupon Gerard said, We at this end of the town have a design, which I will acquaint you with, if you will promise secrecy; which the examinant having done, Gerard said, The design is to fall upon the protector, and the army here in London, which they had horse enough to do. With three hundred horse they would fall upon the protector, as he went unto Hamptoncourt; and they had other parties to seize upon the guards at Whitehall, the Meuse, and St. James's; that they wanted only somebody in the city; for procuring whereof, he wished the examinant would use his interest; and if that could be procured, they should carry their business. And the examinant saying, he thought he could engage some, the said Gerard wished him to speak with them, and to bring them unto him; and accordingly the examinant spake with the persons aforesaid, and also Thomas Saunders, and brought them to meet with Gerard at the Belle-savage upon Ludgate-hill, where the said Gerard did acquaint them with what he had acquainted this examinant with. There were also at that meeting one captain Mildmay, and another gentleman with short white hair, whose name he knows not; and the said Gerard, at the meeting, bid them to be sure to be ready at twenty-four hours warning, when he should send to them. And the examinant being asked, whether Charles Gerard did not acquaint him, that John Gerard was engaged in this business, saith, he did not; but saith, that he did ask him the question; but he said, Charles would give him no answer.
He saith, that they had but two meetings afterwards: one was upon the friday after, and the other upon the sunday; the latter whereof was in the street, where Gerard told them, his two brothers were apprehended upon suspicion of the plot, and that the plot was discovered and broken.
Bradshaw, resident at Hamburgh, to secretary Thurloe.
I had not any from you per last post, onely a pacquet from my lord Whitelocke, which have sent to be ready for him at Lubeck, where as yet I heare not of his lordship's arrivall: the wynd hath beene contrary, and still is, to passe the Baltick sea. I have sent out about the businesse you gave me lately in charge from his highnesse. You will see by the inclosed paper, how the state of affairs are at present in these parts. As things vary, you shall have notice.
I presume, there can be nothing considerable done against us by any or all in these countryes. Some have no will, others no power; but I shall looke as neare as I can into their proceedings. It's here said, you have sent thirty sail of your warre-ships into the Straits, and that you have such another squadron upon a designe nearer home. I suppose a little tyme will tell the world, what you meane by all; and that when I heare next from you, I shall have notice of the close article 'twixt my lord protector and the Dutch. Some write from England, that the Hollanders had brought much contraband goods into your parts, which were seized upon to make good the act of shippinge; others say, they have liberty to bringe in what they please. I pray you let me knowe, if the act be preserved in the treaty: the articles seem to hold it out so; but the Dutch here offer to lay great wagers, that the act of shippinge is nulled as to them, which I cannot believe. I suppose your next will order the shippinge of the great masts home, as soone as the shipp last sent returnes, which, heard by last, was safely arrived. I shall not truble you further, but remaine, Sir,
Intelligence from Hamburgh.
The city of Bremen having raised 1500 foot, and two companies of horse, and fortified their city as well as they can, do not now so much fear the Swedes, as formerly they have done, and are resolved upon any occasion to fight for their liberty. The Swedes general Coningsmark had lately commanded the sixth man of all the boors throughout the whole stift of Bremen to be raised; but hath now again dismissed them, and doth attempt nothing further, waiting, as is said, for a just occasion to be given him to provoke him to hostility. The states general, as also this city, and the city of Lubeck, have written on behalf of the said city of Bremen, to the queen of Sweden, desiring her majesty, that she will be pleased friendly to compound with the said city, commanding her general to forbear any further acts of hostility against the same, which might easily produce new troubles, if not a second general war in the R. empire. The levies in the Nether-Saxish circle do not continue, by reason they are confident of a speedy accommodation of the business. Three days ago, the king of Denmark, and duke of Holstein's embassadors, came in here. It is said, they have in commission, to demand the crowning of the said king in this city; but it being sufficiently known, that this city will in no ways condescend thereunto, it is rather believed, that under this pretext, they seek to exact a considerable sum of money from us; which yet they will hardly obtain, without it be some private unction.
A letter of intelligence from the Hague.
Since my last, the matter of discourse still amongst the people, as also of deliberation amongst those of the state, hath been no other than of the secret act of seclusion; for besides those of Friesland, those of Guelderland, by express order, have urged it, and so have the other provinces; and yet all this, more through curiosity than opinion, that this communication, or overture, will have any great effect; for what will the other provinces do ? talk, write, make a noise ? Those of Holland will pay them in the same coin. Take up arms for the prince ? Those of Holland are stronger alone than all the rest. Demand assistance of the prince's friends, of the elector of Brandenburgh, Denmark, France ? Holland will demand assistance of England, Sweden, Spain. In short, all cordial and affected persons see well enough, that if Holland be obstinate, and that the protector doth desire to have it, they must deliver the act, and have patience, without making any disturbance here; for the aforesaid remedies are as dangerous for the one as for the other; and if the commonalty once take upon them to redress it, that will yet be worse than the rest.
Those of Holland have continually insisted to say, that the said overture and copy as yet would not be only unseasonable, but also against the good and service of the state; desiring, that the provinces would have patience, till that in England this business have an end one way or other; having given their reasons in writing, and resolution of the fourth of June.
But the other provinces, perceiving that they could get no copy by these means, have at last resolved to write, as they have done, to the embassadors that are in England, to the end they may write back what hath passed, and to send a copy of the act. This letter is written by the greffier himself, to keep it the more private; but I do hear, that it doth contain very compassive terms for the young prince.
Those of Holland on the contrary have also written to the embassadors, whereof the substance is, that they should do their utmost to persuade the lord protector to be contented with their word, and not to urge the act of seclusion; and in case, after all their endeavours, they cannot dispose him to it, then they are to deliver the said act to the protector: although that against this last clause (the delivering or interchanging of the act) hath been protested against by the same towns, that formerly protested against it; namely, Haerlem, Leyden, Alcmaer, Hoorn, Enchuysen, Gorcom; although some were higher than others Some do it likewise to please the people; but the embassadors are to satisfy the plurality, and that which is writ unto them in a provincial manner.
Here inclosed goeth a letter of the elector of Brandenburgh to the states of Holland, which is sharp enough, and doth slily give England a wipe, calling it simply, those of England; item, these words, not covered with sins; but that will but render Holland the more wilful, and incense the protector against the prince of Orange.
Monsieur Riviere to colonel Disbrowe.
Dough I am not an Englishman, yet the zele that I haive for my religion, and the hope that I haive to retourne in Englind, maekes me desire the good of your republique; and being arived in this towne of Paris from Gascon, wheare I knew Mons. Roqueby an Englishman, who is marshal of the campes, and now prisoner of warre in the Bastile of Paris, he is of the prince of Condé's arme, and an honest gentelman, and loves wel his contrye. I did alsoe know the liftenant of his troupe of horse, named maister Thomas Henshaw, who did rune away with his brother-in-law, named John Wiseman, baisly from their mareshall du camp without takeing leave; which Thomas Henshaw and John Wiseman, as I haive learned from good and sure handes, was at Paris about the beginning of Martch last, and who first, to get themselves the more credit, did informe against Mons. Roqueby, who is only accused for haiving too mutch zele for his contrye, and the maister which he serves, and who haith since bene worse treated, and is now close prisoner. After this, Thomas Henshaw and John Wiseman, with one Wil. Kenet, a Dutchman, who boests to haive helpt to murder one colonel Rainsborugh, neare or at Doncaster, did propose unto the king of Scotes, with the assistance of one Walsingame, Mons. Digby's secretarye, who is a notable Jesuitical papist, and who haith greate credit amongest that geniration, and of Mons. Montigu's chaplin, a popish priest, as alsoe one named Chokew, surgien to prince Robert, for to murder the protector Crumwel. As sodenly as Henshaw and Wiseman had their answer, they returned into England to waite a time to execute their damnable deseigne. Their are people of quality in England of this cabal. The others staie to acte their partes heare, and hopes to heare shortly newes of this tragidy. I am asured by one that knowes very wel, that Henshaw and Wiseman lives in the litel sanctuary, at one maister Wisman's house, who maried Henshaw's mother, and who is John Wiseman's father. The house is almost over-against Westminster church-yarde. These trueth you neede not doubt of. If I had not a particuler affection for Englend, I would not have given you this troble. I am, Honorable Sire,
A letter of intelligence from Paris.
Yours are received, and sent to court with the news of the plot discovered against the protector. His highness will do well to take care of himself; for he has many enemies. I will not fail to make all inquiry, that may be, here, as touching that murderous design, which certainly had its beginning from hence. You need not doubt R. C's contributing to it, and the French court may be suspected; for I have observed of late more courage and height in that court than formerly, by their instructions to their embassador Bordeaux, and to Mons. Baas, that the crown of France would not be engaged to maintain the present regency of England; and Mons. Boreel, the embassador for the states general, was told so in plain language, when he proposed a league to be betwixt the crown of France and the two commonwealths, and the mediation of those states in order to it. Both were rejected with small thanks, and order sent to Bordeaux to go to the protector, and know of some real period to the treaty, and to return within some twenty days, and to take delays for a denial. As to give any moneys, France still persists to give none; but that equal accounts may be cast since the battle of Worcester; and where it is due, justly to be paid; and believed here, there is since that time more money due to France than to England. What was due before, we say still here, is due to the king, the commonwealth not being esta blished 'till the battle of Worcester. This hath been our project this long time, but of late a higher; and I am persuaded, that the protector's security, and the plot's discovery, may bring us to lower terms: but failing with England, we are seriously and secretly tampering with Spain, as you have in former letters, which give you more of this subject. As for the 300 men landed near St. Malo's by your frigats, two of yours lost, and some men slain. The policy of it you had before, to which I cannot add any thing since.
A letter of intelligence from Paris.
I received yours of the 4th instant, by which I see the discovery of the intended murder against his highness the lord protector, which is strange. A course must be taken with such knaves truly, or else they will do mischief. I am very glad it was so happily known.
I have but little of news at present, besides what you had in my former; only from Rheims of the 6th instant, that the king arrived there this day was sevennight, and next day visited the great church, where he should be crowned. He entered the city in his mother's coach, and the city received him with great honour and ceremonies. They did begin their ceremonies for the sacration last monday. Sure, all is ended before now. Some say, friday next they will part for Rheims, and it is yet uncertain where they shall go; for some say they will go to Compeigne; others they will, besides, Clermont; others, Sedan; others, they will go to Metz: for the cardinal would have that place from Mr. Shambaut; but he will have difficulty in it. We shall hear the truth by the time.
The king, when he entered Rheims, was not so well cloathed as he ought to be, had on a stuff suit, with a white linen doublet, which the burgers wondered much at, thinking he would come to town with a greater pomp than that. His majesty was received, going to the church, by the bishop of Soissons, bishop of Beauvais, and he of Noion, being all in pontificalibus; and afterwards they sang Te Deum with much solemnity, which pleased his majesty very much.
There was great difference there between the king's chaplains and all the masters of requests, to see which of both should have the honour to visit, examine, and agree proportionably for the king's graces to prisoners begging forgiveness, and to be set at liberty gratis. However, the chaplains obtained the victory against the masters of requests, by the means of my lord chancellor; his own son, little abbot de Coislin, being one of them.
There are in the prison of Rheims more than 1500 men, all expecting their grace and forgiveness: but there is a great question among them yet, whether the king will forgive those that fought in duels; for they are very many of them there. By the next you may hear more of it. Mademoiselle received new orders from court, to go to Blois, and live there with her father. She is yet at Caues in a house, that belongs to madam de Pontillier.
Monsieur count de Grandpré has taken the castle of Chamase, within two leagues of Stenay, without any resistance, having no forces near them; which they had done on purpose, that the enemies might think their design to be for Stenay; but I believe the contrary, that it will be for Clermont.
The count of Harcourt's treaty was agreed upon the first day of this month; these, their conditions: 220,000 livres to M de Charlerois, and 200,000 livres to Harcourt, before he shall go to Philipsburg, where his son is, to bring with him 200 men of the garison of Brisac; and the rest of that garison must take their quarters up and down in the pais of Alsace, where the king shall order them.
Last sunday common prayers were in all the churches in this city and suburbs for the king's coronation, and that God might prosper him, and send peace and rest to this kingdom, and all victories against their enemies, &c.
It is written in like manner from Rheims, that the court sent for M' de la Ferté Seneterre and Mr Faber to come to them, which I hear they refused, by reason they heard the cardinal was to give both their governments to his own nephew, called Manchini; but this is not yet certain. We have from Picardy, that our enemies are to have their rendezvous between Cambray and Peronne; and that they do not intend to appear in the the field, till about the latter end of this month: likewise, that prince Condé is gone from Brussels to Valenciennes, where his wife and children be. The burning of the provision in Gravelin is confirmed, which is an unhappy business, as I writ formerly.
We do hear, after the prince Conti arrived at Lions, that he received contrary orders not to go for Catalonia, but take his way for Guienne: some say, it is to oppose the English, in case they should come thither. The states of the province of Languedoc have resolved in their last council to pay the duke of Orleans 150,000 livres, which they were accustomed to pay him yearly, were it not the king ordered the last year to pay the said moneys for his own use: but now it is ordered otherwise, the said Orleans being their governor.
The examination of Robert Devereux, taken 31. May, 1654.
That about thursday morning in Whitsun-week, Somerset Fox came to the examinant's master's shop, and after some discourse acquainted him, that there was a design on foot to raise forces, to seize upon the protector, and to surprise the guards at Whitehall, the Meuse, and St. James's; and demanded of the examinant, whether he would not be ready at 24 hours warning to engage therein: to which the examinant replied, that it was a dangerous business, which he could not be suddenly resolved upon. Then the said Somerset Fox bid the examinant consider farther of it, between that time and the evening; and in the evening between six or seven o'clock, to meet him and others at the Belle-savage upon Ludgate-hill, where they came together to consider of the said design, and then the examinant should hear further of the same. To which the examinant answered, that if he could have time for his master's business, he would then meet them; but could not conveniently do it, neither was he willing to it. And he farther saith, that he was not with them at any other meeting, until sunday following in the afternoon; at which time, being coming according to appointment towards the Belle-savage, he met at Ludgate-hill the said Somerset Fox, and one Mr. Gerard, coming from the Bell-savage; at which time the said Somerset Fox and Gerard told the said examinant, that the design was over, in regard the two Gerards were apprehended and imprisoned.
A letter of intelligence from Spain.
Beeing by providence directed, and by my superiours in Ireland encouradged and commanded to transport some thousands of that nation into Spayne, for the service of the king, upon several capitulations of his majesty; for which I went by licence of my general thither to receive satisfaction; wheer meeting with many obstructions and delayes, I was constreyned to attend neere two yeares in his court, and willing to lay hold of all occasions, to informe myselfe of their forraine and domestique affayres, with the posture of the places and people, which besydes my common intelligence and particular observations I had opportunity to doe by the converse and correspondencye of some ministers there; which, if usefull to my countrey, and I bee commanded thereunto, shall more generally and amply sett forth and declare.
As to my sense and opinion of these present apprehensions and resolutions concerninge the armadoes, which his highnesse hath sent abroade, according to the command of Mr. secretary Thurloe, I deliver thus:
As to that fleete under the comaund and conduct of general Blake, that they are void of care, that any thing of designe is against them, or any of their navyes, terretoryes, or dominions; nor have they any more then 30 sayle for guards of their coasts, and in all places of Spayne, and the Levant, (except some few gallyes they have alwayes continued in the Mediterranean) for this yeare, and those not yet sett to sea; nor have they had any new or extraordinary provisions or fortifications in any of there ports, townes, or cittyes.
For the fleete gone beyond the line, as there esteeme of his highnesse councells in general, so of this particular designe, the prudent and secrett managinge thereof they can only admire, but know nothing of it but by conjecture; on which they have often offerred mee communication. And there hath some discourses and treatyes of the West Indies occasionely offerred itselfe in my businesse, both before and since the setting foorth of that armado with general Pen.
Before, about 18 months since, when nothing thereof was in appearance here, I proposed to accept of a lycence from the king, to trade into the Indyes (as they call it) with English ships and men, where I would have accepted in parte satisfaction of my det; which though some ministers would have granted, it was generally disapproved; for that they would not permitt any other nation but their own to acquaint themselves with the trade and ports; although I there demonstrated it would not be to their prejudice, but rather a common good; and that we had very many of our nation, who already perfectly knew every part they had, and many of their inland townes and garrisons; also, that eere long, we should find a free trade among them there, or force them to it; which my lord protector was able to doe, when he pleased; and there was nothing of obligation upon the nation to keepe him from it.
Upon their fleet and severall intelligences, which they had, as I know, from their am bassador out of England, and others, that such a fleete was preparinge with such land and sea provisions, they had some furmises, and talked high of our ingratitude and presumption, and their owne aptnesse to prevent and requite any designes of them: and thereupon I suppose they gave myne and other English pretences the more delayes and lesse countenance; by which I endeavoured to lett them understand (as there was) severall other probable designes, that they might have, either upon some of the Carrebee islands, which were in whole or in part possessed by the French; or that part of Canada lately taken from them; and soe hence by New England to some other purpose: or that they might goe for Brazile, or Madagascar; common respect afirming or suggestinge some of them. Upon which, or all those, they have carryed a better face, and more modderation in their languadge, but much admiringe, when I gave them to understand of the cost of the fleete, and number of men, which I declared to be (according to my intelligence) of seamen and souldyers, 15000, that the English durst putt them so farr off to the hazard of wind and rocks, if they were apt to go encounter any other difficulty: to which I answered, that I doubted not, but the justice of the action, and the care taken for them, attended on by God's providence, would returne them home, or settle them after the atcheivement of their interprize. However, England was able to send one hundred thousand more after them, or upon any other just and honourable forrigne designe. And last of all, upon our intelligence (which was about the 26th of then Aprill) of there arrivall att Barbadoes, they began againe to consult and talke of it for two or three dayes: but I left them without care, and in expectation of the fleete by the end of May; or at least they would discover nothing else in there words or actions; insomuch that the contratation house att Civile upon the report forbore setting forth of the gallions for the yeare to come, and writt to the councill, to know what to doe; who encouradged them to proceed, for they were sattisfyed with the English designe: but since my coming from Madrid, other letters followed me, that informed me by reason of a ship, that was cast away in the South sea, though the prelate saved, and to the advantage of eight millions of crownes to his majestie, that the gallions are not expected till the month of August. And upon the whole, I tooke occasion to come a little more close with a minister and confident of my owne, in the behalf of the nation's interest there; and desired to know, if a fleete should be gone to the Indyes, and there land any men, what they would thereupon? Who answered, that he knew it was resolved, they would take it as a breach of peace, and seize upon all English goods and persons in there dominions; but untill then they would not infringe the present amity or correspondency, whereby to give us cause to say they began with us; although they have had provocation offerred. However, I dare affirme, from the knowledge of their wants of money and present condition, that they will doe no rash act, or soone repent them, though it may prove the ruine of many well-affected and deserving English persons, there and here, without the reliefe of his highnesse by some other way.
They have healed the breaches, and made a peace with the Genoways, few days before I come away; which I had from the instrument in behalf of the king; but not then publiquely declared. There quarrell with the French is almost irreconcilable, as also with the Portugall; upon neither of whom they can make but a defensive warr this campaine, though they talk of much more, and particularly of the great armie they expect in the field in Flanders.
Their courtas, or parliament lately assembled in Madrid, as it is said, to declare the present infanta inheretrix and queene, in case of failer of issue male, and to consult of a match for her, which of late they talke to be the duke of Savoy, and to give their accompts since the last courtes: but I believe rather it is only to gett money to buy a pope, (which now is) and a king of the Romanes, and to support their declineing greatness. They speake as if they hoped of 20 millions of ducatts from them; but they have not yet by their countenances promised any such matter.
They have beene, and I believe are still, upon a treaty with the old duke of Lorraine, for his enlargement, and he to serve the king upon a particular and greate design; whereupon, if it succeede, as convenable I shall have notice; but this is so private, that I believe not six persons in the court is soe much thinke ont.
Extract out of the resolutions of the states of Holland, &c. taken upon thursday the 11th of June, 1654. [N. S.]
It being referred to the assembly, that the lords commissioners of the province of Friesland had this day urged in the assembly of their H. and M. lordships, to the end the lords embassadors of this state in England might be recalled with all speed, to give unto their H. and M. lordships an account of what they in the name of their noble great lordships had negotiated apart; and having also perceived, that the lord commissioner of the city and county hath also punctually inserted the same after the resolution of their H. and M. lordships; their noble great lordships, after deliberation had, have thought fit and understood, that although by the other provinces no inclination be shewn to the said revocation; also consequently, that upon the said proposition of Friesland, no conclusion was taken; therefore to encourage the said lords embassadors with more affection and inclination to negotiate the affairs of this state, and wherein they are interested, the said provinces of Friesland, and town, and countries, are to be seriously desired tomorrow to desist from their said proposition; to which end shall be given unto them such pregnant reasons serving for that purpose, and especially alledged, that first and above all there ought to be made, on the behalf of this state, a treaty, for the better ordering of affairs at sea with the lord protector of England, Scotland, and Ireland; that so through the misdemeanours committed at sea, both nations may not fall hereafter into any new distempers and difficulties: whereupon special order and command concerning this was sent unto the said lords embassadors, the 6th of the last month.
That likewise there shall be writ unto the said lords embassadors, to do their utmost endeavours, to the end the king of France may also obtain a good correspondence with the commonwealth of England: upon which the peaceable enjoyment of the fruits of the treaty of peace doth mainly depend.
Thirdly, that also, especially through the good operation of the said lords embassadors, the affairs of the king of Denmark with the lord protector ought to be assisted, and the said king, as soon as it is possible, settled in a perfect correspondence with the said lord protector; concerning which special order was likewise sent to the said lords embassadors the 22d of the last month.
Fourthly, That the said lords embassadors, in pursuance of their H. and M. lordships resolutions of the 21st of the last month, are to confer with the said lord protector or his commissioners in the name of their H. and M. lordships, and dispose and resolve about the form and manner of affairs, which cannot be accomplished by the commissioners of both sides, according to the 30h article.
An intercepted letter of Mowat, to Mons. Le Claire, at the Pearl, in Jamesstreet, Covent garden.
I can now add nothing to that, which I writ last week to you, but that the division between the provinces, and likewise between the towns of Holland, doth increase every day. On saturday last the business of the prince of Orange was debated by the states of Holland, to exclude him for ever out of the government. Four cities, namely Leyden, Haerlem, Alemaer, and Enchuysen, have protested against it; and three cities were absent, Edam, Monikedam, and Purmerent; but the commissioners of Edam had protested in the foregoing assembly. We have not yet heard any thing of certain from Scotland. Mr. Durham and I wonder we have received but one letter a-piece from you, since you went from hence.
An intercepted letter.
I Forboare to aknowledge the receipt of yours of the 4th and 11th of May, in respect of your intended journey into the country. I suppose this may find you returned, in respect the tearme is well advanced. I thank you kindly for the satisfaction you gave me to my demands. I wish my friends much happines and contentment in their sports and pleasures. For my part, I dare not give liberty to any such thoughts; my strife is to make a virtue of necessity: I pray God I may. It is not well done of Mr. Temple to put Mrs. Claxton to use extremity; it is noe found argument of his being so honest, as Mr. Thurland esteemed him to be; sic currat lex. I am sorry, that Arundell hath disappointed her soe in her horse. Had she asked my advice, she should not have lent him; for the truth is, upon tryall I find him a very shyttlecock, and not to be depended uppon. On monday was se'night I receaved one from him, dated the 12th of April, from St. Colombe in Cornwall, wherein he writes me, that he intended to be at London about Whitsunday: since I have not heard from him; but I send you this inclosed to deliver him, when he comes to town; wherein you may please to take notice, that I order him to deliver to yourself, whatever rests of myne in his hands, be it money or goods. I heare nothing as yet of George Eeles. I wonder he should refuse to deliver you an account of the table-booke, I ordering him so from the beginning. I am sure I owe him nothing. The next weeke Mrs. Harris intends to write to you herself, and send you one inclosed to Mr. Terrell. Soe soon as you receive this, I pray you favour me with one from you, and the news, if there be any; that soe I may know that you are in towne. You will have heard at large in the gazets of the king's being consecrated. There hath happened a very strange thing in Britanny: three gentlemen, all catholikes, being playing the good fellows, and drinking to a great height, the one grew mad in his drink, and fell into such blasphemyes, as that the other two, being persons of more sobriety, retired to their beds, it being late; and the third being left alone, and espying a picture of our blessed lady in the chamber, fell a-drinking healths to it, and at last, in disdaine, threw a glass of wine in her face, using some scurrilous words: not long after, he desired to go to bed to one of the other two, who refused him; but comeing to himself, he begg'd of him to admit of him; for that he began to be full of trouble and apprehensions. He had not been an houre in bed, but that he was pulled out, and dragged up and downe the roome upon his face, having it distorted and drawn all severall wayes, and both it, and all the rest of his body singed, as if it had been roasted on a fire, not hurting his shirt; yet it pleased God, that he lived three dayes, and dyed most penitently, in the fight of divers religious persons. This I have writt me from St. Malo, by a very honest and worthy English knight. Other newes I have not to send you. My humble service to my noble friends. I am, Sir,