A Collection of the State Papers of John Thurloe, Volume 2, 1654. Originally published by Fletcher Gyles, London, 1742.
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June (4 of 6)
The admiralty at Amsterdam to the states general.
H. and M. Lords,
After what manner the duke of Florence continueth in his unjust proceedings against the captors of the English ships, your lordships may be pleased to see by the inclosed from Leghorn, sent to us, which we received this day; and we do withal leave it to your considerations, whether it were not fit to give such speedy order for the repairing the said insolent proceedings, as in your lordships wisdom shall seem most fit for the service and honour of the country.
H. Cromwell to secretary Thurloe.
The inclosed comeing to my handes the laste night, and though perhapes their may not be much of weight in it, yet I thought it might not be amisse to send it to you, to make what use of it you shall please. I ame altogether a stranger to the mane that writte it, and allsoe to the persons theirein mentioned, except Sir Cecill Howarde, whoe went with the K. of Scotts frome Worcester; and, if I be not mistaken, is sone to my lord Ed. Howarde. This is all I have to trouble you with. I ame
Your affectionate freind and servant,
Inclosed in the preceding.
My very good Lord,
Comeing to my knowlege of the plote, which have, prased be God throthe his goodnes to preserv from Fitz James, I aprehend other dangers to you and your familie; first make knowne, comeing from my house to the Hage in last May, was shewed one colonel Werden, newly come out of England, and makeing som inquirie, I found he and his man came to Dover, least there horses there, came to the Hage, haveing had some confidence with the quene, princes royall, and king's counsell; so sune as the letters came out of France, was dispaced away for England, where he came for Dover, and found his horses. It is suspected, five from France hath ingaged themselves to the king to be the death of my lord your father; somtime sence they came from France, I came to knowe two of there names, Sir Cecill Howard, young Morle, whose unckle is chapline to the queene of Bohemia. I hope you will preserve your hole familie from these diviles plotes. I did once befor write to my lord your father in such a waye, allthough I am not knowne to him nor to yourselfe: however shall lose noe meanes, whereby I maye be serviceable. So with continuance of my most humble service, though not knowne to you, I rest ever ready
At your lordship's command, R. S.
A letter of intelligence.
You have from Constantinople a second to a former you had from thence, concerning in part the conspiracy against the protector. I had it from the same as gave me the former; I hope it may be of some use to you. The protector's fleet troubles a little the thoughts of all Italy, and they are providing for it.
The bailiffs of Maldon in Essex to the protector's council.
Upon saturday last, in the morning, there came one Jasper Mottershed (as he saith) of Swithin's-lane, in London, button-seller, to Maldon, who in the presence of one Robert Francyes, of Maldon, did speak many dangerous words, of most evil consequence against the government and public peace of this commonwealth, of which we the bailiffs of Maldon having notice, did presently, according to our duties and public zeal of the safety thereof, convene the said Mottershed and Francyes before us; and having taken both the said Francyes information, and the said Mottershed's examination, concerning the premises, which we humbly present unto your honours under their hands, attested by us, before whom they were taken; and the said Mottershed is now presently in custody in the prison at Maldon. Of all which we thought it of grand concernment, to give your honours the speediest notice that we could possibly, humbly attending your honours pleasure what shall be done with the said Mottershed, hoping that your honours will send for him by some safe messengers, we not knowing with like safety how to convey him to your honours; to whom, upon the knowledge of your pleasure therein, we shall with all diligence readily deliver him, and according to our bounden duties, with our utmost endeavours, seek both the advancement of the glory of Almighty God, and of the weal public; and truly rest
Your very humble and most faithful servants at command,
Maldon ss. The information of Robert Francyes of Maldon aforesaid, linen-draper, taken upon his corporal oath at the Moothall of this borough, upon saturday the seventeenth day of June, in the year of our Lord one thousand six hundred and fifty-four,
before John Jenings gentleman, and Thomas Ewyn gentleman, the bailiffs, and two of the justices of the public peace of his highness the lord protector of the commonwealth of England, Scotland, and Ireland, and the dominions thereunto belonging, of the said borough, and Edmund Whitefoote gentleman, one other of the said justices within the same.
The said Robert Francyes the informant saith, that one Jasper Mottershed of Swithin'slane, in London, button-seller, (as he calls himself) came this morning to the inn called the Star in Maldon aforesaid; and as soon as he alighted off of his horse in the said inn-yard, he the said Mottershed espied this informant at his shop-door, it being right over-against the said inn: whereupon this informant went speedily to the said Mottershed, and they both went into a room together in the said inn, where they had some speech of trading, that was between them; upon which this informant told the said Mottershed, that his the said Mottershed's man was lately at Maldon; and told him, that his master Mottershed was lately broken, and bid this informant, that he should pay the said Mottershed no money, because he was engaged for his said master. And thereupon the said Mottershed told this informant, that it was a worse matter than being broken; for he went aside, because he was one of those, that had a hand in the late plot against the lord protector; so that indeed he had lately been in the country with some chapmen, and that shortly after his return to his house he had a note sent to him by a porter, to come to three gentlemen to the sign of the Star in Coleman-street, where he immediately went; and that presently after his coming thither, there was a man in mean apparel (whom the said Mottershed said he knew not) delivered him a letter, wherein was a commission in parchment from prince Charles, (as he called him) directed to him the said Mottershed, to act for him. And he farther said, that there were near fifteen hundred already apprehended, but not above eight-and-thirty in the commission. And he the said Mottershed farther told this informant, that he knew the man that had the special commission, and that he was not yet apprehended, and knew wherethat commission was, and named the man; but this informant hath forgotten his name. And he farther told this informant, that the special reason why he acted for the prince was, because he conceived, that he would maintain the protestant religion; but he now saw popery fast coming on. And the said Mottershed also said, that there were two other plots, that go on suddenly; and that his the said Mottershed's house was lately searched for him by a party of musketeers, and that he durst not go home, till he had made his peace; and that if he could not, he would gather up what money he could for his wife, and shift for himself. And the said Mottershed also asked this informant, what news he had heard; upon which this informant shewed him a book, wherein he turned to the place, wherein the erecting of a high court of justice was mentioned. And the said Mottershed, reading the names of the commissioners, found Mr. Stephen Eastwick and Mr. Thomas Andrews named, who, he said, were accessary to the plot; yet (said he) these two men must be triers. And lastly, this informant saith, that to his best remembrance this was the effect of all the discourse between the said Mottershed and this informant.
Maldon ss. The examination of Jasper Mottershed of the parish of St. Swithin in Swithin's-lane, London, button-seller, taken at the Moothall of this borough, upon saturday the seventeenth day of June, in the year of our Lord one thousand six hundred and fifty-four,
before John Jenings gentleman, and Thomas Ewin gentleman, the bailiffs, and two of the justices of the public peace of his highness the lord protector of the commonwealth of England, Scotland, and Ireland, and the dominions thereunto belonging, of the said borough, and Edmund Whitefoote gentleman, one other of the said justices within the same.
The said Jasper Mottershed the examinant saith, that yesterday he came from London, and that the last night he lay at the Swan in Ingatestone, and that he came this morning between seven and eight of the clock to Maldon, to get up a debt, that is due to him from one Robert Francyes of Maldon, a linen-draper; and from thence he intended to ride to Colchester, and so into Suffolk and Norfolk, to get up debts, and to come back again to Maldon upon monday or tuesday next come seven-night, when the said Robert Francyes promised to pay this examinant his money. And this examinant confesseth, that he told the said Robert Francyes, that he was lately sent for to the sign of the Star in Coleman-street; and that he went thither, and that there was a letter delivered there to him, with a commission from prince Charles, (as he called him) to act for him; and that there were forty men or thereabouts in the said commission. And he confesseth also, that he told the said Robert Francyes, that there were at least a thousand apprehended for a plot or conspiracy against my lord protector; but this examinant denieth, that in truth he had any such commission delivered unto him, or that he knoweth the chief man in the especial commission; and denieth, that he knoweth of any plot or conspiracy against my lord protector, other than what he hath heard of it from others, or of any other plots, which would suddenly go on; although he denieth not but that he spake some such words to the said Robert Francyes; and denieth also, that his house was ever searched for him the said Mottershed, as he also told the said Robert Francyes; or that his reason to act for prince Charles (as he called him) was, because he perceived he would maintain the protestant religion, and that he perceived popery now fast coming on, as perhaps he might also tell the said Robert Francyes. And as concerning the news of erecting a high court of justice, this examinant saith, that the said Robert Francyes shewed him a book, wherein (amongst others) Mr. Stephen Eastwick and Mr. Thomas Andrews were named commissioners; to which this examinant only said, that these two were formerly affronted (as he termed it) for delivering a petition. And this examinant denieth, that he is any conspirator against my lord protector, or that he is acquainted with any the conspirators now in question, or that he knoweth any thing of their conspiracy, or of any plot or conspiracy against my lord protector; and the said examinant shewed the only reason for his speaking of the said words by him confessed was, that he hoped thereby to get in his debts the sooner of his debtors. And this is all the reason, that he would give, and all that he would otherwise confess.
The further examination of John Wiseman before col. Barkstead and col. Goffe, June 19. 1654.
He farther faith, that the beginning of May, or latter end of April, he was at the house of one Dayle, an inn-keeper in Leather-lane, in company with his brother Henshaw, and one Peter Vowell, the school-master of Islington, and Tudor a surgeon; and that whilst they were there, the said Henshaw, Vowell, and Dayle the inn-keeper, went out of the room into the garden, and had conference there together a quarter of an hour, and then came again into the room; whereupon Vowell went away, and the rest sat down together; and the examinate then asking Henshaw, who that other man was, he said, it was Peter Vowell, a school-master of Islington, who had directed him to Dayle the inn-keeper, to engage him; and who had engaged to beat the guards at that end of the town.
That afterwards he met with the said Vowell and Henshaw at one doctor Hudson's in the Old-baily, two or three times before the plot was discovered, where the said Henshaw and Vowell had private conference together; and as this examinate believes, it was about the plot, his brother Henshaw telling him as much; and that the reason why the examinate was not admitted to the conference then was, because Vowell would not be persuaded to speak about the plot before any new company, because it might not be known, that he had a hand in it. That upon sunday, the next day after the plot was discovered, the examinate was with his brother Henshaw at the said doctor Hudson's, where also was the said Vowell, and they three discoursed again together, as formerly, in the same room where the examinate was; and after having done their discourse, Well, faith the doctor, in the hearing of the examinate, though the plot be discovered, there's my major, meaning Henshaw, is not discouraged; the business may go on yet. Yes, faith Vowell, that it may; both the doctor and Vowell saying, that those who were discovered were of Gerard's party, and that none of Henshaw's were yet discovered. At the same time Vowell asked Henshaw, whether he had been at Doctors-commons to speak with major Baily? whereto he answered, that he had been there twice the day before, but that he did not meet with him.
That he was often at Hudson's with his brother, and that Hudson would ask him what became of the business, and when he had been with Vowell and Baily, and captain Billingsley a butcher; and Henshaw would answer him, that it went on very well; and faith, that his brother Henshaw had told him, that the butcher was fully engaged in it, and would be able to provide two hundred men and more; and said, that one day, when he thought the business was to be done, he came forth with some horse and foot as far as Piccadilly.
He farther faith, that some days after the plot was discovered, he went with Henshaw to Islington, to the said Vowell, and found him at his house, from whence they went together to drink their morning's draught; and the said Henshaw and Vowell speaking some words together, Vowell said, If none of the party be discovered within this fortnight, there will be men enough to fall into all the quarters of the town, meaning, as the examinate conceives, for carrying on the aforesaid design; and Henshaw then said, that there were several regiments both of horse and foot formed in several parts of the nation, to use as soon as the stroke was struck here; which, Vowell said, would be very well, and would be a thing very easily done.
He farther faith, that he went with his brother Henshaw and John Garard to the house of one Minors, dwelling in Lambeth, in a little garden-house; and there the said Garard and Henshaw told him of their design to fall upon the protector, as he went abroad, and also to seize upon the guards; and asked him, if he would join with them, which he consented to do, and said he would be ready at a day's warning, when they would desire. And that there were other meetings between Henshaw and the said Minors; and the said Minors did also meet with Tudor upon this business.
That Minors further said, that a person, (whose name he the examinate remembers not) having lost the heel of his shoe, said, What will you not give me a nail to fasten my heel, who am one that am to redeem you? And therefore he did fear the plot might be discovered.
Mr. R. Bradshaw, resident at Hamburgh, to secretary Thurloe.
The last post was broke upp by the way neare Brussels; but yours came inclosed to my hands. You will see by the inclosed papers the present state of affairs in these parts, especially 'twixt the city of Breme and Koningsmarke for the crowne of Sweden.
It's generally believed the Swede will not sit down thus obscured, but reinforce to recover honour and interest, which may suddenly involve the empire in a second war. I perswade myself, if any designe were in vogue by the Popish partie to give you trouble hence, this division comes from heaven to prevent it. If the common opinion faile not, this quarrel will not thus end; but these parts will have enough to do to defend themselves, if they have no designe to out the Swede wholy from the empire, as some think they have, not accounting themselves secure, whilst the crown of Sweden hath such footing within them; otherwise things had not come to this height in so short a time.
If Ch. S. bend his course this way, I believe (rebus sic stantibus) he will find but few of the princes of either religion, to joyne with his cousin in his entertainment. P. Rupert is now at Heidelburgh, but not to make way for him, that I hear of: they parted in too much heate for such offices. If we close with France, no doubt but the house of Austria, with its dependants, will bestir themselves in right of the Catholique cause, as they call it; and upon that account C. S. may find some countenance. I shall be careful to eye the motions in and near these parts, and advertise you thereof weekly, though I perswade myself they neither are, nor will be, in a capacity to trouble you much, if they should have a will to it. My lord ambassador imbarked himself last saturday for England, but is as yet detained in the river by contrary winds. His lordship was entertained by the English company here with much respect, and presented and complimented by the city in an extraordinary manner; and at Luxstat, the king of Denmark's garison upon the river, he was saluted from the walls with ordnance.
I am glad the act for shipinge is preserved intire, as I always believed it would be. I
am sorry my letter by the mast-ship was not delivered you; but Mr. Basse writes, it was
not their fault; for they had attended three or four days at Whitehall, but could not be
admitted to speak with you. I suppose ere this you have my letter; and that per next I
shall have your order for the shiping of the rest of the masts here upon the ship returned
hither; which is all at present from, Sir,
Hamburgh, 20. June, 1654.
A letter of intelligence from col. J. Bampfylde.
Tow dayes after wee parted, I began my journey to Paris, where I nowe am; but intend not to continue here above three or four dayes, and soe to returne to the place where you left me. My journey hither for the receiving the money; which I tolde you was owing mee, is yet to very little purpose, and I doubt will not produce any effect to my expectation. I have been forced to make use of thirty crownes of the hundred you left in my hands, my stock being quite exhausted by my journey to Rouen and Bollogne, by that tyme I had discharged the house, where you left mee. If I receive my money here, which I confess I have but faynte hopes of, (though it was disbursed upon an occasion six years since, which might have merited more gratitude) I will not fayle to retourne you a bill by the next poste: however, if I fall short of that, I will, God willing, finde some other expedient to satisfye you; and in the mean tyme shall ernestly request you to retayne it upon your owne account, and not leave it upon your frends. Pray use this letter, as you have done those I wrote formerly to you, and you will finde howe syncerely I am,
Paris, July 1. [1654. N. S.]
The king goes hence on monday next towards the Spawe, where wee say he meets the
king of the Romans, the queen of Swede, and the princes royall; and that your countess
of Newport, with many other English ladyes, are for the meeting with two revells of
English fidlers. Great observations are made already of this interviewe. I have discovered
since my arrivall in this place a business of great importance, that I believe will be worth
my making a journey to you, if I can doe it so privately as to returne back into France
withoute the danger . . . head, and I shall finde means to give you more light into
the obscure parts of what you were informed of before. Be not too hasty, nor so violent;
and yet as vigilant as you can. I have all the engines at worke, that I can employ. When
I come to Rouen, you shall hear from mee, where I will come, and when. I am most
Letters of intelligence.
Yours of the 25th of last month came safe to me, by which I see how gallantly you proceed to correct your enemies, which is no less than lawfully done; yet is thought by some, that before you make an end of that plot, another may begin in some other way, in a manner that your protector will be always in danger, till he receives his due punishment. This is said, but I see no author for it; only conjectures, and that of those that would wish it so; yet God is above all, &c.
The 26th last month, the embassador of Venice made a great fire, and burn'd much powder, entertained all his neighbours at supper, and gave them afterwards the sight of a ballet, in honour of his majesty's coronation.
The king being desirous to continue Mr. le Buc in his office of being prevost de marchands, the last has excused himself by reason of his age and indisposition; which the king seeing, gave him for his recompence to be counsellor of state; and that for his fidelity to him during the troubles of Paris. He is to take possession of his new office on Lady-day in August next, if he live so long.
I do not well remember, whether I writ in my former to you, how Don Joseph de Marguerite, returning to Catalonia, was robbed between this city and Lyons, at Essonnes; his loss comes to 2000 pistoles. Monday at night was the great firing in the honour of St. Peter, in the lord nuncio's house: he burn'd at least fifty granadoes, 100 candles lighting all night in the windows and upon the walls of his garden, as also two or three hundred iron bottles full of powder: a gallant sight indeed it was. The last day, when Te Deum was sung in Nostredame, some differences happened between the first president and Mr. garde de sçeaux, about precedency; but the first prevailed, being his custom and due. Since my former, a lacquey killed his master in rue Grenelle, and took away from him 200 pistoles; and to disguise himself, quitted his livery, and wore one of his master's habits, with a feather in his hat, and so he escaped. The same day was committed a man, that killed his wife, being with child: he gave a thrust of a knife in her belly, and killed the child too. Another woman, with her son, were committed, because the son got a child on the mother.
I hear the king is resolved to take away all the charges and offices from the officers of the crown, that did not assist at his majesty's coronation; and that the queen will not be contented with that, but she must obtain from the king to turn them all to the Bastille. It is reported here, but not believed, that a truce with Spain is made and concluded; the king to marry the infanta of Spain; as also duke Savoy to marry one of his eminence's nieces, sister to duchesse Mercœur.
The king and court are now at Sedan, and the siege of Stenay always continued; also hopes of it. Condé and Wirtembergh, I hear, are at Philipville in Luxemburgh, marching to besiege Thionville, which Condé says he will have himself, before we shall get Stenay. Whatever he will do, Turenne and la Ferté Senneterre are together, to keep all relief from Stenay, till we get it.
I have seen in some letters from Bruxells, that a league offensive and defensive was concluded between Spain and England; and that prince Condé was comprehended in it: you know best, if true. We have from Sweden by the last letters, that the embassador of Portugal there received orders to retire, and that the queen told him at his last audience, she did not know him as the king's embassador at all, but rather an envoy from duke de Braganza. The same letters bring also, that there is a streight alliance between Spain and Swedeland, as also with my lord protector of England. That queen gave the kingdom into the hands of her cousin prince Palatine; and she herself is to visit the Spawaters in the country of Liege. She passes through Hamburgh, where she will remain a while, being not willing to assist at the reception or ceremonies of her cousin. King Charles is resolved next monday to depart, and is to meet princess of Orange at Spa waters, to advise with her, before he goes to Germany. He hopes he shall do much; and the more, that the provinces of Holland are against one another; and those that are against your alliance with the rest of Holland, are resolved to deliver the cities they have there to the duke of Brandenburgh, who promises he will procure them the emperor and all Germany to help them against you and yours. Others say, they offer the said cities to his majesty of Spain, upon the same conditions, if he pleaseth to accept of it, and break out with England. And some here think, he will not refuse it; and to that effect the prince elector of Brandenburgh was four days incognito (as we hear) in the Hague in Holland lately. He promises to bring a powerful army from Germany and other places, against the enemies of the house of Orange and their adherents. I believe you might receive these news sooner than we. Marquis de Persan has put into Stenay, the 18th last month, one hundred horse of his own regiment, Faber's intelligence there being discovered, and some suffered and acquitted, as I writ in my former.
Marquis de Noirmoutier has furnished boats and other provisions for that siege. I hear just now, Condé's forces appeared near Guise, within five leagues of Stenay, which caused Turenne to march that way. Stenay is defended by 1600 men: a German commands in the town for the king of Spain, and in the citadel Mons. comte de Chamilli. They mount at guard every day in the citadel one hundred Spaniards of the city. They have orders from Condé, in case the town should be taken, that all the garison should retire into the citadel. The bastions of the citadel are very little, yet strong enough; and it is upon an height: many peasants are working within it.
The king and cardinal, with many of the court, were seeing la Ferté's army in a rendezvous: his majesty took much pleasure in 800 dragoons he saw there, of which 400 went all in blue, and the other 400 in red. Some of their coaches were broken there by the cavalry, and among the rest, that of the resident of Genoa. They sent lately a gentleman from court to Blois, to answer the duke of Orleans's compliments after the king's coronation.
Mademoiselle, last saturday, was within twelve leagues hence, in a house belonging to one of the treasurers, called M. de Chemin, near Meaux. Yesterday she returned to Pons, and goes within few days to St. Fargeau, and from thence to Blois.
The parliament of the sovereignty of Dombes, having condemned to death some officers of the regiments, that were there in garison, the archbishop of Lions undertook to accommodate the business between them, having passed his word, that they would do no more harm; yet notwithstanding, the troops being together appeared in a manner to besiege the town; which the townsmen took ill, and complained to the said parliament, who were resolved to put some others yet to death. The archbishop ordered two counsellors of the parliament to be committed in a place called Pierre Ancise, where they yet remain.
Notice is given me, that his highness the lord protector should have great care of himself; that there are still great underhand labourings; and that Mr. Ascham's murderers are now in England. Divers have written from London, that we should soon see war between the commonwealth and this kingdom; but I suppose they are only conjectures upon M. de Baas's retreat, whereof M. de Neusville and his father seem to be very glad; and I deny the rumour, which runs of an offensive and defensive league concluded with Spain.
It is certain, that Mons. le prince had sent here one named Davidon, who having at first declared himself unto Sauvebeuf, to offer him, that if so be he would go into Guienne, he should be well employed by Mons. le prince, and well upholden by the English; and the said Sauvebeuf having at first told him, yes; but (after counsel) trusting not in him, and having declared the business unto the cardinal, who entered into suspicion of the one and the other; as the said Sauvebeuf thought to sound again the said Davidon, and did to that purpose seek him at the baron of Linar's house, the said Davidon had cast himself out of a window, (whereby he is wounded) thinking the other had a mind to cause him to be imprisoned, according unto the cardinal's desire, who soon after the declaration had ordained Sauvebeuf to discover him; which the said Sauvebeuf having not done, has (as I am informed) withdrawn himself. I come from seing M. de Bordeaux, who has charged himself with our petition for St. Malo. So that I think he has received some answer to my letter.
A letter of intelligence from Paris.
Since my last writ saturday last, we have heard of the king's arrival at Sedan, where his majesty had caused the tents to be unsolded and set up, with a design to pass unto the siege of Stenay, to give courage, as soon as the lines shall be ended; but that 300 men were entered in the place, under the count of Bouteville and several other officers, which might make it hold longer than was thought. It is written, that the cardinal is very obstinate in that design; and as it is thought, that the Spaniards interest is sooner to take some other place for themselves, than to conserve that for Mons. le prince. The wisest sort hold, and many lay, that the said cardinal will master it; and so much the rather, that M. de Faber, who hath the direction of the siege, and who hath caused above twenty pieces of ordnance of the said Sedan to be carried thither by water, is exceeding skilful in such-like enterprizes. And indeed, the last letters from la Bassées arrived this week, bear, that the Spaniards and Lorrainers did assemble themselves on that side, to attempt something; and that a captain had cast himself in the place with several companies to defend it. So that Mons. le prince, being alone, will be unable to go to the relief of Stenay, if he receives no other supply, than that which Wirtembergh is said to have brought him from Germany. We have nothing else at this present.
The marquis de la Moussay is arrived here; but hath not yet been at court, where be is going to complain of the violence of the people of Rennes, and demand a decree of the council for the re-establishing of the church burnt.
The prince of Conti was yet at Montpellier by the last letters come from thence. The Genoese are said to have a design to join themselves with France, and to second the executions, which shall be undertaken by the duke of Guise.
I forgot to tell you, that the agreement of the governor of Mezieres unto the cardinal's will, is confirmed; but that he which commands in mount Olimpe, shall remain therein under Mr. Faber's bail, who answers for his fidelity.
Col. Fitch to the protector.
May it please your Highnes,
I shall humbly make bold to give an account of what occurrences are in these parts, conceivinge general Monke and colonel Morgan cannot from those parts where now they are, convey leters to your highnes frequentlie without some difficultie in the passage. That which I had from colonel Morgan, since he marched through this towne this day eight dayes, with his brigade, to the head of Loughnes, Midleton haveinge given him the slip over the hills, to avoid ingaging, in one of his letters thus:
Yesterday, aboute four miles ere we came to the Loughead, we discovered part of the enemie, their number 600 horse and foot, under the command of Drummond, Erwin, Mercer, and Selkirk. They gave back, and we pursued them ten miles. We killed one captain Goodfellow, an Englishman, and some other; took about ten prisoners, and sixty horse: the ground did not favour us, and the horse were spent, otherwise we had given a better account; however, they are dispersed. They left much provision behind in their quarters, both dressed and undressed: we took many plundered cowes from them. I desire you, send me eight days provision with all possible speed for this brigade.
Yesterday, upon my march about three miles on this side the head of Loughnes, there was an island in Loughtarfe, wherein were some suspicious people, that gave us ill language, as we marched by in pursuit, when we had not time to stay. So that at my coming back, I commanded the man of the house to bring the boat to shore, and give me an account, who and what was in the island; and after a great deal of discourse he slighted me, though I engaged to let him return, and only send a couple of officers and a file of men, to view the place; but he would not come over to us: so that I commanded some musketeers to fire upon them, and the people within fired upon us again, and slightly wounded three of our men. Then I commanded forty men to strip themselves, and with their swords attempt to take it by swimming; and after a little dispute they caused them to deliver it for their lives. There were seven men armed in it, a good quantity of plate, and good accommodation for the soldiers; much goods belonging to the enemy, which I gave to the soldiers for their encouragement. I intend to send you all the prisoners, and have sent you back all the baggage and train-horses you sent us with provision. This is all he writes in this letter. In another of yesterday's date, he sends to me for eight days provision more; which I send this day in the Mountaineer shallop, that was drawn over land in Loughnes. He tells me, the general hath sent for him to castle Ruthin in Badgenogth, where one of my company is garisoned, which is 24 miles from this place, and 26 miles from hence, to the head of the . . . where col. Morgan's brigade lies; and about 12 or 14 miles from the Loughead to Ruthin castle. A friend from Dornoch in Sutherland informed me last night, that the enemy marched over the hills of that country the ninth of June, and those kept the pass, marched after them the 12th ditto. A major of horse, with a commanded party of 48 horse and 100 foot, are still in Cathness; most of the people, that went with Middleton out of Sutherland, are returned home, and inform they left him in Inneroe the 14th of June. Another intelligence, which came this morning from Glemmoriston's bounds, informs me, Middleton and Drummond's party are joined in Strathclening in the marshes of Kingtneile, and thence brought 1000 cows for their army's use. They are esteemed in all about 3500 horse and foot, and that intended to march yesterday into Glengarries bounds: if this proves true, the enemy will be this day within six or eight miles of colonel Morgan's brigade. I hear our friends out of Ireland landed some forces in Loughabber at Innerloughey, and took a view of the place, and so went aboard the ships again, and are now riding at anchor a little from the shore. He informs farther, that not any of the Loughabber men are joined with the enemy as yet. Thus humbly begging your highness pardon for being thus tedious, I remain
Your Highnes's most humble servant, Tho. Fitch.
A letter of intelligence from Roan.
Yours of the 29th came to hand, but the party, whoe was bearer, I know not; for they were delivered Mr. Oliver. 75 is not as yet com hither, but lately arrived at the sea-syde. His proceedings are much discoursed of, and to noe small joy of his fellow there, that he is com away; for he wrote, that after 75 came away, 57 appointed him new . . . c. R. [..] y. o. s. [..]. x. y. and doubts not to conclude very speedily. This was the contents of his last, but perclosed with fearinge, that 57 did not intend realy his with that which 67 wrote. You may judge 72 perused his letter, and liked well of his opinion in the perclosinge of his, if things fall out 22 did . . . all to 67; and the very last night . . . So 304 cannot but visit 22; for 71 coming to him thither 4 or 5 times about his 36 for his 53. All the letters I can read, 304 will provide 36 for 67 very speedily to his own satisfaction; pray let him lose no time for a 47. It is here reported, that the lord protector is to be emperour of England, Fraunce, Scotland, and Ireland; and that he has prevented now all manner of conspiracy against him. I doubt not but the Lord will have a speciall care of him. 71 spoke of 67 the last neight, with the rest of his frends. 22 is the best of all men, and tould 304, that what is done, was without any ground as touchinge 107.
As for the news, the king of Scots departs hence on thursday next, without fault. The adjacent garison to Stenné houlds before him; still nothing done on either side: all expect the resolution of the lord protector. Here was a fellow, that was a servant to an ould man heare, yesterday wheeled to death, for killing of his master, and robbing his chamber; died a constant Calvinist, notwithstanding the endeavours of many priests to the contrary. This constancy of his was much applauded by our zealots, and the more adverse to all our lackays, who would have done the devill, if not prevented by our good burgers. You write me nothing about my wife, or whether she received the money I sent her. Here is reported the transplantation to goe forward in Ireland, notwithstanding his highnes his orders to the contrary; the which causeth discourses amongst many. Here is very great preparation towards the next campagne. Wee want no diligence to court the Genoese, who are fallen out with the Spaniard; the event as yet variously discoursed. Pray send me the ribbon and scarlet pair of stockings for Servien daughter: she is but just of adge. I heare nothinge from Michel.
A letter of intelligence from Holland.
I have none from you the last post; nor have I much to trouble you with at present. The 26th I advised you of my returne from Zealand, and how I founde commodities there. Also I sent you the names of those you desired, as exactly as my memorye gave me. By the next I shall be able to write you more certaine, intendinge to goe to severall of the places, as tyme and opportunitie permit. I am informed, the princes royall, contrary to her counsell, is resolved to goe the next wensday to the Spa, to meet her brother. Letters saye, the duke of Brandenburg and count Willem of Friesland are to be also there. Doubless if so, they must have some desingne to consult of for the assistance of that family. The speech is, the queen of Sweden is to come thither; but she hath lost their good opinion, by her late-made alliance with you. The towne of Amsterdam built four men of warr at their own charge, to imploy in the states service; but the war ceasing, they intend them for convoyes for some of their owne shipps to the Streights, and tooke on men in the name of the burgemasters and the republick of Amsterdam; which the states general have forbidden, and arrested their ships; which the towne for present obey, but not without discontent, and maye in tyme displease the high and mightie. There is a distempered body, which some wise men feare will not be moved without letting blood. On the Amstel wear made two block-howses by the towne Amsterdam, after the prince of Orange had besiegd itt: they cost a great summe, yett they are resolved to pull them downe again. The reason I cannot heare nor immagine, except the states general have . . . excepted against them. That townes wealth and . . . . . is envyed by the other provinces and many townes in . . . . I am perswaded, a little tyme of peace will breed greate differences amongst themselves. We are weekly fearing news from Scotland, that Middleton is victor, and that . . . is forced to retreat to Sterling, and Morgan afterward rowted. This was carryed for certaine thorough Amsterdam, and tould by William Watson the merchant with great alacritye. By such reports mens affections are easily discover'd.
I meet with few, whoe wear glad for the discoverye. Now you are about it, best to
purge the whole body; for there are many infected members at home and in these parts.
Excuse my boldness; 'tis written out of the affection of
Your most humble servant,
General Fleetwood to secretary Thurloe.
I thankfully acknowledg your favor in writing, and desire if any thing concerning the disposall of lands about Dublin be intended, that you would speede it, or else it may be too late: but I desire it may be done with much tendernes to those two worthy persons you mention. Coll. Theophilus Jones's case is much the same with theirs; I meane as to his interest by choyce of lands. If the lands be excepted about Dublin from sale, I think twelve miles at least rownd should be excepted, unless by speciall order. Coll. Hewson hath exceedingly merited from the state, and therfore I begge you will be very carefull of him; and if he have the lands intended him at 1500 l. the 1000 acres, which is your highest rates, considering how faithfull a good servant he hath bine, I think to difference him from others, it will doe well, and he deserves it. I have writt a letter to my lord Lambert, which I wish you might see. It is a wonderfull mercy owned by the saints heare, indeade with great inlargednes of thankfulnes to the Lord, that he was pleased to manifest himself so greatly in my lord protector's preservation from that barbarous wicked people. I trust it will have this blessed effect, to let saints of all formes see, how much the common enemy hates us; and therfore ought wee the more to unite, and not devide so saddly as we doe; as also to let us se the interest of good men and righteous actings must be relyed upon as that, wherein the Lord will own us; and that we may not put confydence in thos who have peace in their mouths, but warr still in their hearts, and are, I feare, too much given up of the Lord, and hardned, as not to take notice of his hand against them. I wish ther was a resolution as to whom shall be intended heare; for in this doubtfullnes it gives too great an advantage. I know not who are intended, nor what will be as to the present persons. I know ther hath bine faylings, but I wish. thos, who succeed, may doe their parts so well. I desire to be passive in the whole buysines; and though it's presumed my present condicion as well as relation might give me a certainty, yet I know not what is resolved upon; nor care to be sollicitous, but to waite upon the Lord therein. We heare nothing of the writts for the next parliament. I wonder at the counsell's command to me, to forbear assessments in this nation. If they take for granted what is reported about your banke of money, it will be a mistake, and the public suffer, when too late, it may be. This will be found true; but I have discharged my duty, and shall forbeare solliciting upon that subject. I am your very affectionat friend, and humble servant,
An intercepted letter.
The small skill I have in the mathematickes might render me more fit to undergoe the drawing a map of a country or place, then my slender capacity should venture the describing the state of affaires, or penetrate into the designes or actions of the higher spheares; yet to fulfil your commands, I will attempt it, although my weakenes render me subject to error, in handeling of affaires beyond my reach and practice. I shall therefore speake to the things apparant heere. Wee have prepared, and are making ready, a fteete, which will containe 120 ships and frigats, whereof are sheathed or lined under water, about 40 frigats. The waters never did beare more faire frigats then this commonwealth sets forth; and let them take their course where they please, the sea is their owne, unles God alter things beyond mens expectations. With this fleet is to joyne part of the fleet of Holland, and will be divided into several squadrons, upon severall designes, which will not be imparted, till they are farr at sea; nor doe the commanders themselves know, where they shall goe, untill they shall arrive at a certaine heighth, where their commission is to be opened, and then fall on their course, where they are designed. In Scotland, it is said, there are with the enemies of this commonwealth a numerous armie: but what can they doe, having noe supply of mony or provision? We make no question to swallow them up at a bitt; to which purpose most of the forces of this nation, and a great part of those of Ireland, are sent into Scotland, the one from hence by land, and the other to land at the Highlands. When we end that worke, we intend not to be idle, but shall find some footing with you there, unlesse you conclude a peace with Spaine to prevent it; and I believe you will soon see there your ambassador, who is not like to agree with us: and I am confident, should he be able to have any concord with us heere, there would be little expectation, that ever yours would looke on concluding a peace with Spaine. And I am of the same oppinion of the other side, that if Spaine hold fast with us, he will be backward in making a peace there. Thus each look on their owne private ends to ruine one another, and little regard, what destruction will come to religion and soules swallowed in heresie, when God by his just judgement will render them both a prey to those people. It is conceaved, all the sheathed ships will attempt the king of Spaine's plate-fleete, or the island of Hispaniola in the West Indias, and perhaps both: that a squadron of the other shipps will be for the Streights, to annoy you and the duke of Florence; and that the third squadron shall wait this channell, both to hinder reliefe for Scotland, and to trouble your trade, and, if opportunity serve, attempt you alsoe. I doe verily think, that the sheathed shipps will attempt both the Spanish fleet and Hispaniola; for we love gold and silver dearly. If we should have the fleet, it would supply us for a long time; and if that island, then a probability of enjoying that king's intrest, and his gold and silver mines in those Westerne parts. I am induced to be of this oppinion, by reason, that some persons, whoe have long time travelled them parts, have beene sent for, and large mapps and sea-charts have beene newly made for some of the commanders of our fleete; and for that of the Streights, and the other in the Channell and against France, it is very apparent; for ever since my comeing hither, all shipps and goods belonging to the French, in what ship soever they were, have beene made prize of. And for the duke of Florence, wee remember how he last yeaer would not admit some of our ships to shelter themselves in his harbour, but forced them out, although a squadron of Hollanders were knowen to be in waite for them. Being united as we ar, with Holland, Swethland, and Denmarke, we hold ourselves capable to injure the rest of Europe, and able to bring them under our commonwealth. I could wish, that neither yourselfe, nor Luke, acquaint any with whome you keepe any correspondence heere; for it is hard to know in whome to have confidence, considering the number of spyes we have there, whoe beare the outside of reall cavelliers, but doe send all intelligence hither, and discover those heere, whoe keepe any correspondence with that place. Beside the number that are dispersed in that citty, whoe are no lesse than fifty or sixty, there are those about him, whome we call the King of Scotts, (and such perhaps as are neere his person) who send hither punctuall relation of his acts and intentions; otherwise such things as have beene suggested there to be executed heere, had never beene revealed; for the chiefe discovery of this late plot came from thence; and some about him have their wives and children heere, whoe receive a reasonable allowance, under the notion of a joynture. This is all I can say to satesfie your desire; and if any error I commit heerein, excuse it, being ignorant of the describeing affaires of this kind. I rest, Sir,
Your most humble servant,
The examination of Jasper Mottershed, of Swithin's-lane, London, button-seller, 23. June, 1654.
That he lived at the White-horse in Swithin's-lane, and that he was turned out of possession of his house there, last monday was seven-night, by virtue of an execution for debt, at the suit of William Clarke haberdasher. He was not at that time at home, but his wife and children were, when the sheriffs servants took possession. He faith, he went out of London, upon saturday was seven-night, and lay that night at Sittingbourne in Kent; and from thence to Wingham in the same county, the sabbath-day in the afternoon, and lay there that night; and from thence to Sandwich, and from thence to Deale, and from thence to Martin-street within three miles of Dover, and after to Dover; and from thence to Foulkston, and from thence to Barham; and from thence back again to Sittingbourne, and from thence to Gravesend, when he went over in the ferry into Essex, and lay the same night at Ingatstone, being friday night last; and upon saturday morning he came to Maldon, where he hath been five days in prison: and saith, that the examination taken before the bailiffs at Maldon, whereto his hand is put, is true; and whatsoever is therein by him set forth as spoken to Robert Francis, was feigned and framed by him, and is altogether untrue; and that he seigned the same for no other end, but to draw the said Robert Francis to make present payment of a debt due to this examinate, which Mr. Francis, upon the demand thereof, took time to pay for the space of ten days or thereabout. And this examinate further saith, that his journey into Kent to all the places aforesaid was, to get in some debts due at those places; which was the end also of his journey to Maldon.
Mr. Longland, agent at Leghorn, to secretary Thurloe.
The freshest and best advys from Provence is, that the fleet at Tollon imbarks about 6 in 8000 men, with sadles, brydles, and arms for 3000 horse, who ar to be landed at Civita Vechia, a port nere Rome; wher the pope is to furnish them with horse. And althoh this desyn is chiefly layd to introduce the Portugal ambassador to Rom, (for which the pope has six millions of crownes of that king) yet 'tis said the pope wil make use of the French to invade the consynes of Naples. The Spanish party report, that the king of the Romans will shortly be in Itally, to demand his kingdom of the pope, that hav so long deteyned it. The Genowes hav sent a gally and an ambassador for Spayn, when 'tis beleived theyr differences wil be quickly ended; for this sutle nation, by theyr insinuation and ingenuity, ar becom masters of al his mony, and without them he cannot pay his army in Flanders. 'Tis advysed hether from Rom, that the queen of Sweden, after she has been in France, intends thither to imbrace that religion. How lykly, I know not: for other, I refer you to the inclosed. I am,
Your most humble servant,
A letter of secretary Oste from Sweden.
Since my last of the 27th of the last month, here is news come, that the queen, by reason of some indisposition, was fain to stay some days at Newcoping, and to change her resolution in her journey, which she thought should have been by sea to Pomeren; but she went for Denmark, with an intention to go to the Spa to drink the waters. It is said, that the ships, that are to transport her majesty, are also to transport five thousand soldiers for the bishoprick of Bremen; and that five thousand more are to follow. How the letter of their high and mighty lordships was resented by the queen, I cannot yet learn. Men do begin to discourse here of a new war, that is likely to be begun suddenly in the empire.
A letter of intelligence from the Hague.
The princess dowager hath had some days since a tertian ague, and violent enough. Men do believe, that it doth chiefly proceed from melancholy and heart-breaking, seeing herself frustrated in her expectation of getting the young prince suddenly restored, and especially she is no-wise well pleased with Zealand, yea with two cities called Flushing and Veer; for what Zealand hath done hitherto is nothing but wind and words: and what can the prince expect from the Zealanders concerning the stadtholdership, which doth depend of their free-will, in regard that the Zealanders do not give to the prince that, which by nature and property doth belong unto him, namely the right of representing the nobility in the state of Zealand, as all the ancestors of the prince have had it and have enjoyed it? And we have seen twice together since the death of the prince, that Orange party have been masters there, and yet they have not given or rendered to the prince that right. Yea the cities of Veer and Flushing themselves (vassals or subjects of the prince) do hate the lord Knuyt more than the rest, not in regard of the person of Knuyt, but for his charge; for whosoever doth represent the first noble of those two cities, he is supreme ruler in those two cities; and the magistrates are only his slaves: but now the magistrates, that are there at present, do love the authority as well as the others, and are therefore as much or more against the charge than the other cities. Yea, it is said, that the lord Tibault hath behaved himself very deservingly to abolish this charge of chief noble, as being in effect very much contrary to the interests of the liberties of the six cities.
Here hath been a strong report, that in Zealand they had chose the prince for stadtholder; but it is found, that they are only words de suturo. They will produce a long deduction, in opposition to the act of seclusion, taxing it tam in materia quam in forma; and in lieu of chusing the prince, they do only propose it, or rather recommend it, by way of designation at such time, as he shall be of age; and that in the mean time they ought to name and authorize some lords, who may have a care of the education of the young prince. Bella festa! but what is this? nothing at all. Orange party will say, Give to the prince that, which belongeth to him; give him that right of chief noble, reserve the charge of stadtholder. But the magistrates in Zealand are wiser then so; they will have no scholarche, no Knuyt, no chief noble. However, to lull and amuse the people, they have nothing but of Orange in the mouth, in their ensigns, and in their flags, which likewise they do cause their children to have in theirs of paper; but when they are spoken to, to restore to the prince the right of first noble, then they say, they will have no more of the Knuyt for their governor to reign over them. In the city of Goes, the twenty-fourth of June, the chusing of magistrates was made with moderation. The lords Vander Nisse say to have had content; for the son of the lord Crommon is not chosen burgher-master, and the nomina tion of the young lantsberge for bailiss is annulled: Aude aliquid, si vis esse aliquid. The inventor of the machine, or ship, called the Foolish Ship, hath at last signified by an express to the states general, as also by printed papers to all the world, that he will infallibly launch his ship, and shew what effects he is able to do with it, the sixth of this month, which is next monday. The states general will depute two of their assembly, and in all likelihood the appearance and concourse of people will be great. The Frenchman, against the nature of his nation, hath proceeded slowly without precipitancy; for having promised it during the war with the English, he hath delayed hitherto. He hath put new hope into many, who began to have no good opinion of him. The English are happy for making a peace before this machine was finished. The envoys of Muscovy are ready to depart, having taken leave: the one goeth further for France; the other two return for Archangel, having done nothing here but eat and drank, and given notice, that their emperor is angry against Poland. The princess dowager hath been some days ill of a double tertian, not without danger; and men began already to dispute and discourse, how it would go with the guardianship: but her recovery doth take away this fear; although that it would be good for the young prince, that both mother and grandmother were dead, because they do devour him above two hundred thousand gilders per annum, and he himself hath scarce thirty thousand per annum.
In Overyssel there hath been almost a kind of a tumult; for the four quarters would have introduced the lord Harsolt for drossart, in the quarter of Twent; but the city of Deventer, and the gentlemen of Twent, did oppose it, having armed the countrymen. A commissioner of Deventer hath also protested here, in case that the other quarters do come, to produce here a provincial advice concerning the seclusion.
In Friesland is held at present a general assembly. Formerly in that province they have only seen in gross the advice of the seclusion; now they will see it in form. Count William is gone thither in person; and without doubt the advice will be sharp and serious.
They have had here two or three copies of Milton against the famous professor Morus, who doth all he can to suppress that book. Madam de Saumaise hath a great many letters of the said Morus, which she hath ordered to be printed, to render him so much the more ridiculous. He faith now, that he is not the author of the preface of the Clamor; but we know very well the contrary.
One Ulack, a printer, is reprinting Milton's book, with an apology for himself; but Ulack holds it for an honour to be reckoned on that side of Salmasius and Morus; and besides, the profit he will make of it, is the chiefest reason. Morus doth all he can to persuade him from printing of it.
An intercepted letter.
For news, the princess royal, for recommendation for some at court, doth desire the count of Dona to make Mons. Tuke lieutenant of Orange, which the count of Dona cannot do, being otherwise engaged. This little fire, I am afraid, will make a great smoak.
A letter to Mynheer Johannes Huydecoper.
We have resolved in our council to repair our old fortifications, to provide our skances, sluices, and gates, with all manner of necessaries; and we shall take such order, that the city shall not be inlarged any more for the future. Our four ships, that were built here by the city, which we thought to send into the Streights, are to remain at home; first, because the season of the year is past; and secondly, because there would fall no profit to be had, but loss.
Those of Bremen do desend themselves courageously; they have retaken the Bremerbridge, which was beset with five hundred soldiers, and now do guard the same with townsmen. The commander was killed. They had almost in another encounter taken Coningsmark himself; so that now we do suppose they will be able to defend themselves. The duke of Lorrain is for Spain with twelve men of war. He may bid farewel to the Netherlands. He gave his daughter a gold watch, and bid her farewel to all eternity. Ita turdus ipsi suum malum cacat: he hath had pleasure enough.