A Collection of the State Papers of John Thurloe, Volume 2, 1654. Originally published by Fletcher Gyles, London, 1742.
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June (6 of 6)
To his highness the lord protector of the commonwealth of England, Scotland, and Ireland, &c.
The humble answer and petition of Richard Bradshaw esq; resident for his highness at Hamburgh, to a remonstrance and petition of some fewe young merchants, but more apprentises, stileing themselves The Merchants Adventurers of England resideinge in Hamburgh, a title onely proper and communicable to the court of the fellowship there.
Your highnesse humble petitioner, finding himselfe most unjustly and scandalously charged in the said remonstrance and petition with a heape of groundles and shamelesly pretended misdemeanours, should have admired at the boldnes of the subscribers, in dareing to bring such untruthes before your highnesse, did he not well know the temper and confidence of some of the leading men, who have onely served theire design by the rest being actual servants to them, or some of their friends, who thought it safer for their apprentices than themselves to appeare in such practices, and had alsoe long experience of the general dissatisfaction of the whole party to your petitioner, because of his publique character, and faithful, but necessary remonstrateing the real and grand misdemeanors of some of them, which is the cause of their bandyinge against him: and soe it will appear, when the specious pretences of standing for their privileges, whom none but themselves have violated, should be fully unmasked.
Your petitioner, for the avoiding of further trouble and diversion of your highness, should have answered their impertinent and groundless suggestions, only with flighting of them, and an humble desire of justice against them, for the malitious aspersing your petitioner's tender reputation, were it not that he conceives himself in duty bound (especially being thus ingratefully enforced) not only humbly to present your highness with a true relation of the impulsive cause of those mens bespatterings; but also to clear the blemished inte grity and regular proceedings of your petitioner, in his double capacity of resident for your highness, and deputy governor to the English company at Hamburgh.
May it therefore please your highnes to permit your petitioner to single out of this large confused charge some few particulars, which he conceives do more immediately and malitiously stick at his reputation, and call for his vindication.
As first; That your petitioner should suffer himselfe by subtle insinuations, and extraordinary obligations, to be corrupted or diverted by some members of the company, in the doing of his duty, as is charged upon him by those remonstrators.
2dly, That your petitioner presumptuously and irregularly, as those remonstrators say, incroached upon the privileges of the company, and combinedly with the assistance of those members of the company, and the countenance of his publick character, struck at the very roots and foundation of their company, seeking to introduce an arbitrary power and extrajudicial jurisdiction, to the violation of the rights and immunities of the company, and perturbation of the peace and good government of the fellows, even to that hight of exorbitancies, as often turns to charge members of the company with disaffection to your highnesse and your government, if they but dissented from your petitioner's judgment in the debateing of the civil affaires of the fellowship, and to seeke to expell whom he pleased out of court, upon a general charge of disassection.
3dly, That your petitioner having, as they say, first unduly represented the persons, councils, and accomplices of the remonstrators, especially in the late charges of their deputy, whereby to render them obnoxious to your highness's displeasure, did afterwards most unjustly and unreasonably restraine them from their unjust vindication, by imposeing upon them contrary to their constitutions.
For the correcting of those foul enormities and illegal innovations, the remonstrators say they judged it meet in that manner to remove your petitioner from the place of an annual to a martly, or quarterly deputyship; solemnly protesting in the presence of almighty God, that their proceedings therein did not in the least arise from any disaffection or disrespect to your highness.
Your petitioner, humbly reserving leave to himself for a further examination of the remonstrators charge, with liberty for a more full and suitable answer, if it shall be found needfull, at present declareth,
That he is most impudently and scandalously abused in his reputation by the said remonstrators, denying himselfe to be guilty in the least of any the enormities charged upon him by those disaffected men, humbly desiring they may be commanded to prove their charge; wherein if they faile, as your petitioner is confident they must, except some resolve to swear as desperately as they have remonstrated untruly, that exemplary justice may be done upon them, for so aspersing a publick minister amongst strangers, to the great dishonour of your highnesse and the commonwealth, and the exceeding great prejudice of your petitioner.
Your petitioner's faithfull and carefull endeavours for the recoveringe and preservinge of the companie's rights and priviledges in the worst of tymes, soe amply and often acknowledged by the several courts of the fellows, (a testimony of more validitie than to be contradicted by such remonstrators) calles for a more gratefull returne then those less considerable men afford him. It is well known to the whole company, and it cannot be denyed by any, whoe have not made shipwreck of shame and good conscience, that before the late affront put so designingly and indignely upon your petitioner, he never refused to put any thing to hands, which was desired by the court; nor laid any restraint upon the company's seal, or in the least impeded the execution of the court's orders, so unjustly charged upon him, but on the contrary strenuously and faithfully discharged the duty of his place, and took all occasions to advance the honour and interest of the fellows in generall, as still he doth. But upon his returne to the place of annuall deputy, (to which he was elected with the apparent regret of that whole party their owne register bearing witness thereto, in their unhandsome deportment towards your petitioner at that tyme) findinge that the late martly deputy Mr. Townley and his party, designed by their overpoweringe number in court, at the instant of your petitioner's cominge to the chair, most unequally and unjustly to gain the authority of the court, as then it was constituted, for a covering of their former unwarrantable proceedings, thereby to conclude your petitioner and the diffenters against themselves, by the majority of hands for the signing of their letter of vindication to your highness; which in all the time of their martly deputy's rule might have been done in any of the courts of their own constitution, where there was none to oppose them, had they not judged meanely of their own authority and proceedings.
Which unreasonable motion your petitioner, as he conceives he had good cause, and as the company at London have since declared with him, he waved, desiring it might not be further pressed, but that either parties might stand or fall, according to the equity of their proceedings, and prosecute their defence as private men, and not to engage the company in their differences, notwithstanding the said Mr. Townly and his party pressed it violently in all succeeding courts, to the great interruption of the more weighty affairs of the company, declaring plainly, that they would have no other business to take place, till that was done; treating the deputy most uncivilly in the face of the court, because he would not fulfill their unreasonable demands in putting it to hands, well knowing the advantage they had in carrying any thing they had a mind, by reason of their number, tho' never so unjust, whoever was deputy: and so little did they regard your highness resentment of their affronting your resident, as that they took the boldness, of their own authority, presently to exclude from the government such of the well-affected in the company, as in duty to your highness, and desire to preserve the government of the company in due honour and esteem, had disented from, and declared against their heady and designed practices against your resident, as a mark of their displeasure for it, but chiefly because they had made their humble applications to your highness for a redress, as themselves boldly affirmed.
True it is, that the company have it in their own power to choose whom they will for their deputy, and to make the place annually or quarterly, at their pleasure; which liberty they might have exercised with much freedome, without the least exception of your petitioner, had they been but civil in their management: but as true it is (notwithstanding their deep and seigned protestations to the contrary, as it will appear) that it would not suffice that disaffected partie to remove your petitioner from being deputy, whose inspections that party grew weary of, except they might doe it with scorn, in revenge for his expelling one Walters, a notorious delinquent, from among them, and noting of their misdemeanors; which also will appear to be the truth at last, when their specious pretences are laid off; it being well known, that your petitioner had of long time before that party fell upon their designes of a martly deputy, or at least before it was known to your petitioner, desired the company to excuse his further service as deputy, promising as resident to give them his utmost assistance in the needful; which he did to avoid that, which he foresaw upon that partie's withdrawing their usual respects, and putting affronts upon him; viz. That if he would be faithful to his trust as resident, that he should shortly derive upon himselfe the hatred of all the disaffected in the company, who indeed were grown insolent through impunity, and for want of a timely checque.
Your petitioner cannot but admire at the impudence of the remonstrators, in charging him to have suffered himselfe by extraordinary obligations, by which he conceives they mean bribery, to be corrupted or diverted in the discharging of his trust, and to have branded men with a note of disaffection for dissenting from him in the debate of the civil affairs of the company; humbly desiring they may be commanded to prove it, the charge in itself holding forth a strong improbability, if not a contradiction, that members of the company, had the deputy been ever so corrupt a man, (if they mean such as dissented from them in their late design of a martly deputy) who are well known to be more considerable merchants, more ample in trade, and as much, if not more concerned than any of the remonstrators, to maintain their own priviledges, should yet take such pains, and be at such expence to insringe them, as such a charge implies; or that your petitioner should so weakly accuse men of disaffection, for differing from him in civil things, whilst he had so much cause given him to acquaint your highness with the disaffected, malignant, and dangerous proceedings of many of the remonstrators, greatly to the prejudice and dishonour of your highness and the commonwealth.
And that your highnes may receive more full satisfaction, how those remonstrators have been influenced in their disaffected deportment towards your highness, and in their undue proceedings against your resident and the well-affected merchants of the company, however they soe often called God witness to the contrary;
Your petitioner humbly referrs himselfe to the annexed narratives and testimonies, submissively desiring, that a commission may be granted to him to examine witnesses for the proving thereof; and of what may yet be farther fit to remonstrate unto your highnes concerning the unsuiteable proceedings of the remonstrators and their parties:
And then he shall not faile to make it appear, that he hath not at any time unduly represented their persons, councils, and actions, or complained of them without just cause, to derive upon them your highnes displeasure, as is most untruly charged upon him:
But that from the time of your petitioner's first coming to Hamburgh, there hath always been a party of disaffected men in the company, which Mr. Townley himselfe very well knows, and whom he opposed, till he found it suitable to serve his ends by them, because of their number, to make him deputy; who being influenced by the enemies of your highnes and the commonwealth, and usually headed by some pretender to your highnes's service, for the colouring and better carrying on of their designes, hath strongly opposed your petitioner and the well-affected in all their endeavours for reformation and due deportment, especially since the act of oblivion; disturbing the peace of the company, and seeking to render the government thereof contemptible, under the protection of your government by your resident: which party are at this time grown to that hight of insolence and debauchery, as that your petitioner shames to write, what some of them have not to act frequently, and which strangers have but too long and too much observed, to the griefe of your petitioner; who, whilst he endeavoured to remedy the same, is clamoured against by them, as a breaker of their priviledges; under which they shelter themselves from punishment, which the good and wholesome orders of the company would inflict, were it not that they are the major part in court; and so will not suffer justice to take place against any of their partie.
That as your highnes has been graciously pleased to grant the company the free exercise of their privileges, and most benignly promised them your highnes's protection herein, much to the comfort and encouragement of the whole fellowship; so it would also please your highnes, in tender regard to the well-affected party in the company at Hamburgh, who have faithfully and dutifully, even to the hazard of their own persons and estates, demeaned themselves towards your highnes and the commonwealth among strangers, with whom they live, not to leave the ruling power of the court at Hamburgh in the hands of such disaffected and unruely men, as many of those remonstrators are, who otherways by reason of their number and abettors will continue to insult over them, and to rule at their pleasure; which is most apparently their designe, and hath been so, ever since your petitioner came among them; and to effect which, under pretence of standing for their privileges in the choice of their deputy, they will be sure to elect such a man, as shall depend upon them, and serve their ends and designes.
As also, that your highnes will be pleased so to consider of the many indignitys and reproaches cast upon your petitioner by those remonstrators and their party, for doing but his duty according to comand, as that he may be duly and suiteably vindicated to recover his reputation among strangers, who indeed looke strangely upon it, that such a disaffected party, as the very Dutch also know them to be, should yet have power so long and so notably to affront your resident in the most public manner and places, as have been formerly, and now is remonstrated to your highness; whilst in the mean time they (with an impudence that faceth heaven) dare call God to witness the truth of their sincere affection to your highness and the present government; and how affectionately they have respected and revered your petitioner's public character; presuming to gain beleife by such feigned protestations, which the very worst of your highnes enemies, whilst under your protection, will not stick at to carry on their designes.
And lastly, that your highness will please to consider, what a great discouragement it lays upon your petitioner, in the faithfull discharge of his duty and trust, to find himselfe necessitated to appear in this public manner, to the great trouble of your highnes, to defend his reputation against such a known number of disaffected and inconsiderable men, compared with the fellowship of merchant-adventurers, as if he was the most unjust and worst of men, for acquainting your highnes with their misdemeanors; or that the business did otherwise concern him, then as he is your highnesse's servant, intrusted and honoured with your comands.
Mr. Longland, agent at Leghorn, to secretary Thurloe.
Althoh hetherto most men hav thoht the differences between the king of Spayne and the state of Genoa hav gon on in a way of accommodation, yet now here is advys from Allicant, that the king has seized upon the Genowes estates lykwys in Spayn, which he has hetherto forborn to do; but indeed the Genowes have carryed themselves very hyh, being backt by the pope and the French, whose king last week writ them a letter, the coppy whereof I herewith send you. Here is good advys in town, that in Lisbon is making redy 16 gallions, to com and join with the French, which wil mak at lest 40 sail al together; theyr greate busines being to introduce the Portugal ambassador to be received at Rom with six millions of crownes to boot, which must needs procure that king a large blessing. The Roman intelligencer gives a handsom account of the late treason discovered in Ingland, if he did not somwhat villify our nation therein. Nothing else presents, but that I am,
Honored Sir, your most faithful servant,
Chanut, the French embassador at the Hague, to Bordeaux, the French embassador in England.
There remain yet some things for me to tell you upon the subject of the complaint, which my lord Beverning made to you of my conduct; and first to thank you for the good office, which you did me in the relation thereof; which you were obliged to make to the court, who not seeing our actions otherwise than by letters, might have conceived, that I did not behave myself as I ought, and so have been discontented with me; for we are in as nice or tender a condition; as a woman that is married to a man of a jealous humour. It is not enough, that we do well, but we must behave ourselves so, that we may not be suspected. After that I have given you thanks for the care you took to moderate the complaint to the court, and for the true account you was pleased to give to me of it, I will add unto you, that visiting Mons. de Witt to ratify what you had promised for me, he told me, that my lord Beverning had writ him word, how the business had passed, and that the opinion, which he had conceived against me, was only grounded upon what was in the writing of Friesland. Lord Beverning had taken notice, that that province had alledged, that the action of Holland had offended France; from whence he presently concluded, that those of Friesland would never have advanced any such discourse, if the public minister of the king had not animated them unto it, or at least assured them, that the action of Holland was very ill resented in France. To remove this opinion from him, my lord de Witt told me, that he had writ to him the same things, which he had often told unto me, which are quite contrary to this bad opinion, which the lord Beverning had conceived of me. I believe I might add to this the ill humour, that my lord Beverning was in, when he made the complaint, in regard he received at the same time the advice, that several provinces had withdrawn their suffrages, which they had given him a little before for the charge for treasurer of the generality, which became vacant few days after the conclusion of the peace; and therefore I do not wonder, that he was in indignation; for it was an unhandsom business. Mons. d'Avaugour arrived here last night, going embassador into Sweden.
The Dutch commissioners in England to the states general (fn. 1).
Since our first going . . . . . . . . . . . had no matter to write to your lordships, and have since been busied about hearing of witnesses, which are produced by the English East India company. The commissioners of the Netherlands East India company have sent several papers to us for our particular instruction, but have not yet delivered them in to the public, excusing the same to us, by reason that the prefixed time of a month was too little to answer upon a demand of so many ingredients of such importance; that they would hasten all what they were able, and would lose no time.
Those, who do pretend to be damnified by the taking of the ship Concordia upon the coast of Brasil, anno 1648. are very earnest with us to begin with their business; wherefore we think it serviceable, that the West India company of the Netherlands do authorize somebody to look after their interest. There are several other businesses press'd by the English, wherein they have not yet done any thing; but we could wish there were the same earnestness and diligence used by the Netherlands, to advance their businesses, as we perceive to be done by the English.
Dr. Theod. Naudin to the protector.
As I have no ground to call in question neither your wisdome, nor your justice, in all your proceedings; so, seing that my prison hath continued to this day, to the great prejudice of your poore servant, and especially (which the Lord knoweth to stick most heavily upon my heart) to the scandal of the profession of a true servant of God, and of a disciple of Jesus Christ, which I have taken upon me, notwithstanding the ingenuous confession which I have made before your highnes, and my frequent addresses to lieutenant-colonel Worsley for my enlargement; I cannot but think, that your highnes findeth something wanting, either in the quantity or in the quality of it; and so take the liberty to certify your highnes, as well by this writing, as by my words, that the sayd confession is the summe of my conferences with Mons. le Baas; and that I cannot remember any other considerable thing passed between him and me. I beseech most humbly your highness to believe, that if I had done otherwise, I should have betrayed my publick profession and commendation, that I have always given of your highnes's worthines, above all those that I can immagine in the government of this mighty commonwealth, not onely in my words, (as all my accointances may justifie) but also by a publick act presented unto your highnes by a church of God, whereof I was formerly a member, presently after the breaking of the old parliament. I should have also betrayed my own heart, which, God is witness unto me, hath been from the begining of the troubles of this nation to this day constantly addicted to the cause you have taken in hand. I should finally shew myselfe most unworthy, not onely of the most civill and Christian usages I have received from your highnes's officers and souldiers, but also of the mercy, favour, and kindnes, which every one doth make me hope from your highness, and of which also I am fully perswaded. I beseech also your highness most humbly to believe and be confident, that these considerations hath more power over me, then in all the torments, that might be prepared for me; nay, than the death itselfe; which besides, knowing my innocence and my heart's uprightnes towards God, could not be but welcome unto me.
I confess nevertheles now with David, 1 Chron. xxi. 8. that I have done foolishly, in doing this thing; that is, in not acquainting your highnes of the bussines, as soon as I heard of it; but I intreat also most humbly your highness to believe, first, that I was not so perswaded, when I did it; and rather, that I thought to advance better your highnes's service, in waiting 'till I had somthing to shew, lest otherwise your highness having no good ground (as being a stranger to you) to think much of my faithfulness towards your highness, my enemy should prevail by you in credit over me; and att last I had been justly in respect of your highness, esteemed a busie-body. Secondly, to know, that I am a very apprentice in state-policy, having never in all the course of my life, to these times, meddled with any thing else, then with my heavenly calling, and with physick. Thirdly, to be sure that I not only did not seek the French ambassador's acquaintance, but rather ever shun'd the same; and that, on this occasion, I was sent for twice by Mons. Chavrier gentleman to Mons. de Bas.
I thought in myselfe, that this and my former confession would be sufficient, not only for my justification, but also for the information of your highnes, being both the truth, and the whole truth, of things of concernment passed betwixt Mons. de Bas and myselfe; but being more and more warned by my friends, that the chief occasion of my detention was, a suspicion in your highnes, that I had some reserved thoughts, and also that I might be mistaken in my judgment concerning what is, or is not of consideration, I did labour to recollect myself, as much as I could, and do now remember,
First, That Mons. de Bas told me oftentimes, that he was really and truely sent to your highnes for peace; but being afraid, that you was not so disposed, or att least you would delay too much that work, he thought it very convenient to endeavour a division in the army, as a way very easie and little chargeable, to oblige your highness to it.
Secondly, That he knew, that your highnes did practice some designes in France by the means of the protestants there; and that he knew what persons your highness did employe, what persons they were directed unto, what questions had been made, and what answers returned; but never told me the particulars of any of these circumstances.
Fourthly, That if the king of France would but grant a liberty to his subjects of seeking satisfaction from the English, he knew, that there were many hundreds of private men, that were able, and would be glad, to maintain a man of war upon the sea.
An intercepted letter.
I doubt not but you know how things are and have been with us; what distractions we have had about this plott, how many committed about it, of whom few I believe are guilty, or will suffer, onely by being committed. I doubt not but you remember how often I writt, that these petty plotts would not do the busines; the wise or rich men would not undertake them; fooles or beggars could not act them or keep council; whosever first undertook them, knew not the wayes to advantage the king. I trouble you no farther herewith, but give you an accompt how things stand now. We are in this land full of distractions and discontents; a very little probability from abroad of the king's ability to do any thing, would make us in a most miserable condition. The protector and all his council feare this land the most I ever knew any people; and in order to theire preservation, keepe strong guards, forty every night on sentinel at Whitehall, and twenty more in armes ready for a call: our council have no time to do any publique busines; selfe-preservation is and has been theire onely work this long time. This adds to the discontents already given to all persons. Our trade dos not at all increase, nor our goods heighten in price. Corn was expected to have risen after the Dutch peace; but contrarily it is fallen from three shillings to two shillings per bushell; and now there is known of a new division among the Dutch, which most suppose will occasion a new war, corn will come to nothing. These and many other things, as continuation of taxes, putting up an high court of justice, puts all men to their wits end; so that if Scotland be held up with a little supply, and a few landed here in this land, this power would soon be overturned; for as I always writ, so now again, there was never people less valued, less loved, or less able to manage things of this high concernment, then the protector and his council. The least disturbance in the land would make this appear; but before that, I look for no good. I assure you, in all this land, there is not at present but four regiments of foot, seven hundred in each by the establishment, six regiments of horse, three hundred in each; in all but two thousand eight hundred horse and foot. Almost all these are in and near this town, and they are too few, were the least trouble in any part of the land from hence to the point of Cornwall, but those few in Portsmouth and Plimouth, not a hundred men; in South and North-Wales not two hundred men; from hence to Berwick and Carlisle, not a man, but what's in them two and in Hull, without some few in York. There were four hundred foot in Yarmouth, and those on this plott were sent for in all hast to preserve us here, who are to stay here; so that you may see our strength and our distractions. As to our condition for mony, we have not a penny in any treasury; no man will trust us any. We have, before the parliament sits, pass'd an act in our council for six months assesment 120,000 l. for three months, 90,000 l. for the second three months, but that's only a trick; for our necessity will be more the second three months than now. Our comings-in is as followeth: Our assesment 120,000 l. monthly; first-fruite offices and other casualties 20,000 l. monthly; our customes and excise is engaged for some years to come; and although free, they will hardly free the charge to bring in those sums to officers engaged about them, and pay maimed soldiers, widows and children. Our disbursments are as followeth: our navy, notwithstanding the Dutch peace, which was formerly 170,000 l. is now in monthly charge 105,000 l. Our Scots armie 30,000 l. Our Irish army 31,000 l. Our court-intelligences, ambassadors, and others employed by the state 21,000 l. in all 188,000 l. So that you may see our charge is at this instant, 48,000 l. monthly, more than our comings-in, and reckon never a penny for our English army, which I believe is about twenty-five thousand pounds monthly, by reason their pay is so high; so that we spend 75,000 l. monthly, more than our coming-in. How we shall have it, I know not; more than the tax the people cannot pay, nor we dare impose. Distractions are in all the armies in England, Ireland and Scotland, and will increase when the parliament sits; for some, nay most, I believe, be for the parliament; for many, if not most of the parliament-men, that were formerly abused, will be chosen; this I am sure of, and could give reasons, but that I should hazard my own and some friends harme. General Monk, when he went hence, thought, may assured himself, that with half the men in Scotland he would subdue the Scots, and be at home by Lamas-day; and yet notwithstanding this strong conceit of his, he was sain to send for more forces; and since his going there is sent him col. Pride's regiment of six hundred foot, five companies of Sir William Constable's, which should be 350; colonel Hacker's regiment of horse 300. Out of Ireland, which were the seventh instant at Carickfergus, 1000 foot, and 100 horse. These go with an ill will; and some officers laid down their commissions, before they would go, although these were there with those already there; if Scotland be taken care on, they will do them little harm. The more of them, after two months, the worse for them; for there will be little in that land for them; and from hence we are not yet thinking of making provision for them, and truly if we were, we have not mony to do it. When the protector went for Scotland first, he spent 100,000 l. a month; there was then to be sold the king's lands and goods, bishops lands, dean and and chapters lands, and 200,000 l. per annum, of delinquents estates; all this is now gone, and the work and distractions more, the judgment of the councill, and affection of the people much less: in short, since the late king's death, we have spent ten millions of mony more than the assesment; of this I have formerly writ, but know not whether it came to your hand. There is in Scotland twelve regiments of foot, five companies of Sir William Constable's, and seven regiments of horse, and one of dragoons. These, besides those to come out of Ireland, will be treble the number of those in this land; and if they be able to do no considerable busines against the Scots before September, the Scots after that, will in all likelihood ruin them by reason of soule weather, want of all things needful for horse and man: those in Scotland once being ruined, our force here will signify nothing. We have sent to the meeting of Zealand to induce them to join with Holland, and we assist them against the other five provinces; this is most certain. Out of England we shall not be able to send any more men to Scotland; for we are not able to fill up our companies about this town, although they have twelve-pence the day, by reason, when they want men for Scotland, the last comes into the company, goes first away to Scotland, which trick is now known to all. Next, harvest is come, and men get sixteen-pence a day for work, and victuals plenty, that men may live without being soldiers, which formerly they could not, all victuals being dear, and many men more in the land, than now are; there having been destroyed since these times, of the English, upwards of 250,000 men in Ireland, England, and Scotland. Out of Ireland we will not be able to send many, that land wanting many to plant it; and besides, we fear both the Irish and the Scots, both which are discontented sufficiently, and there being at least 150,000 Irish, and 60,000 Scots, fighting men in the land, and not above 16,000 men to keep these quiet; and although there should some considerable number go from Ireland, Scotland being kept up, discontents would carry them rather to serve the king than the protector. I assure you, the discontents in the army is not little; the protector doth so abuse all that are any ways opposit to his way, or not approving his actions. When Monk went to Scotland to keep the Anabaptist party quiet, when he outed Lilburn out of the command, he makes colonel Overton governor of Hull, one of the same judgment, and of great interest, being major general of the Scots army: when the protector finds Monk well settled, he sends for Overton from Hull, pretending business keeps him here, he knows not for what. Colonel Alured, another colonel of the army in Scotland, who had power there, he sends him to Ireland to bring the men from thence. As soon as he, Monk, is settled, and the men brought to Carickfergus, he calls him back from Ireland hither, and sends one colonel Bryan to bring the men for Scotland, not daring to trust him, having, as he thought, done no good offices in the land. Colonel Pride was also ordered to go for Scotland, his men sent away: when they were a hundred miles on their way, himself was commanded to stay. Colonel Okey also is commanded home from Scotland. This doth not only discontent these men, but many others, and I believe these with Harrison will make a party in the army. Lambert doth with the protector, as the protector did with Fairfax; as fast as any officer is put out, he gets a friend of his own put in the place. Mr. Pierepoint, and many, if not most wise men in the land, shun being chosen of the party; so that the parliament will consist of Anabaptists, Levellers, and Independants, three perfectly hating each other, and all men perfectly hating them. You cannot hasten too soon from that place; for in Paris you can do nothing but it will be heard; it will give reputation to your business to leave it.
We have now forty-two sail of ships to go southward; they are intended to take the Spanish fleet, if they come not home before this fleet goes out, which I believe they will; and if that fail us, twenty of them are to go to the Streights, to be revenged on the king of France: the rest are to go to Hispaniola, or the bay of Mexico. These ships will have in them near 12,000 men, and victualed for nine months; there's 8000 tun of victuals now putting on board them, besides what's in them. This is not unacquainted to the Spanish ambassador, who is mad at it, and hath acquainted his master with it. This being done, now whilst there is a treaty between for peace, no difference between them but the inquisition, and we to have leave to trade in his Indies, and our merchants to exercise their religion in Spain, neither of these will be granted (fn. 2). Our necessity is such, that we are forced to send this fleet to sea, not having a penny for the seamen. There is due to all the fleet upwards of 400,000 l. not one penny in cash. If these men were permitted to come ashore, they would teare us to pieces; this is our fear, and if we miss in this enterprize, our condition will be very sad, and no means will be left untryed to increase the divisions already begining between the Spaniard and us. Our parliament fits the third of September: there is already some members chosen, and of them some declared enemies of the protector. I believe that most will be averse to him: they will put him hard to it, when they sit, he having no mony, being much in debt, his army inconsiderable, and himself most perfectly hated, and more now than ever, taking on him the highest garb that ever any king in England did, and this taken notice of by all men; more time spent, and more trouble to speake to him ten times, than to any king in former times. The discontents in the three kingdomes are inexpressible. I doubt not but you have heard how Mr. Long is come over. You have yet more knaves about the king: find them out. You do nothing but is known here in ten days; so that the king cannot be too private: to my knowledge this is true; and if it were not so, he would before this have the private supply of a person very eminent and in a considerable way. And I will assure you farther, if your actions and intentions be not publick here, that great person I mean will send very suddenly to the king a very considerable supply of mony: this I am assured, the bearer can tell the person; and I am sure I am not wrong in this, knowing his intentions as much, and I believe more than the most.
Thus far I sent by him you sent the bearer to me, and I have nothing to add to it,
only to assure you, that when the thousand foot, and the hundred horse, are come out of
Ireland to Scotland, and added to those there, Monk will not be in all above 7500 foot,
and not 1600 horse and dragoons: of this I am confident; and of those 4500 will not
keep his garrisons; so that he will not be able to have in the field, in all parts, past 4600
men. If he bring them in one body, he starves them, and leaves the land wholly to the
Scots, who will then have provision in the country. If he divides them, they will not be
considerable. If you regard your own good or the king's, hasten his remove from Paris,
and his present action; a very inconsiderable force landed in Scotland would do the worke;
and never was the like time for any army to land; plenty of all provisions in all places,
discontents in all persons; as I did write formerly, so I do now again, I would not desire
more than 150,000 l. to do your whole work. Our fleet intended against France and
Spain will not be able to get away these five weeks, by reason all the cask now to go
aboard, as well the cask wherein the meat is, as the drink-casks, must be iron-hooped, by
reason they must water after the meat is eaten; and the cask without iron hoops cannot
endure rolling. In these twenty-two ships, there will goe near six thousand men, to be
landed in some part of the king of Spain's. I pray hasten your busines before the parliament sits and settles; if not, you will repent my advice is not taken. As I desire prosperity to your cause and actions, so I desire, God may bless me and mine. I love a general
end more than my own particular; otherwise I could doe now as well as most men, and
that's well known to all that know me. I wrote some time since, that I durst engage
there should be raised for the king's use, in twelve months after his coming into England,
five millions of mony, and no discontent given to the generality of the land. And this I
do say again, and if his yearly revenue should not really be doubled of what his father had,
without discontent to the people, I would desire no favour. I suppose I know England,
and the ways to do this, as well as most men in England. God direct you in all your just
undertakings. Keep things to yourselves, and get from Paris, or else you will be betrayed.
I trouble you with no more, but remain
The information of Antony Bonner of Snow-hill, London.
That having paid to Pierce Reeve, the fellow-servant of — Fox, who is an apprentice in Paternoster-row at the Glove, fifty pounds out of an hundred pound bag, and after the same was told, he putting of it together, five pounds was paid more than the fifty pounds aforesaid; this examinate missing of it, he went to him, and told, he had the money, which he would not confess.
He this examinate came again in the evening, he faith about nine of the clock at night; and he was gone forth, and, speaking with his master, found him in two lyes; first, that he said, his master told the money; secondly, going homewards, he asked this examinate to drink a cup of beer with him; and going into Cheapside, he went into a place where this examinate was never before; in which place (which this examinate supposed to be Gutterlane) he told him his money was; and that standing upon it, he might have the money, as he believed.
Afterwards discoursing about the money, he asked this examinate, if he would reveal an oath to him, and he would do the like; and this examinate asking what he meant, he answered, to keep both's secrets. This examinate replied, he never swore, nor desired it not; and he replied as honest,—saying, We have a design very suddenly. There is three hundred apprentices of us, and four thousand gentry, who have both friends in Whitehall and in the Tower; and that for his own part he had a good horse, a case of pistols, and sword ready.
The names of the conspirators, with an abstract of the conspiracy.
1. The partners in the conspiracie, consisting of many thousands, were to have been disposed to theire severall posts; to have seised upon the horse-gard at the Mewes, and to have mounted the troopers owne horses; to have seised also upon the foote-gard at St. James's, and Whitehall, and the Tower; and upon all the horses in stable and pastures in and about London, and fifteen miles round, and to have drawne all into a formed body; to have had considerable parties ready to have falne upon the guarde at Islington and in Southwarke; to have secured London; to have lett downe the portcullasses; the apprentices to have risen to prevent assistance; to have surprized the Tower; to have set the prisoners at liberty, and to have armed them there.
2. To have seised the lord protector (if hee had gone by water) with a party of horse upon a saturday, as hee was goeing to Hampton-court, (major Henshaw or John Gerard to have commanded the party) or otherwise, as his highness was going to dinner, or to the chappell, or to the councell, and to have killed him.
4. This being done, to have seised on the lord mayor, and to have made him proclaime Charles Stuart king, by the name of Charles the second, being the drist of the whole designe. This to have been done at one instant of time.
6. A butcher in Smithfield (sometimes a captaine for the parliament) was upon that saturday, when the protector should have been surprized and killed, with a party of twelve horse at Pickadilly, to have joined with a greater party to the same purpose, which came not.
7. Henshaw and Wiseman about three months since went into France to bee commissioned by Charles Stuart in his designe, and retourned verbally commissioned, and after had a commission in wryting from Charles Stuart.