A Collection of the State Papers of John Thurloe, Volume 2, 1654. Originally published by Fletcher Gyles, London, 1742.
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July (3 of 7)
La Bastide de la Croix to de Baas.
The letter, which you were pleased to write to me the eleventh of this month, was delivered to me but an hour ago. Without this delay, you had not been all this while before I had sent you an answer; and you may do me, if you please, the favour to believe, that I am punctual with those persons, whom I honour and esteem like yourself.
We have not yet here any news of the arrival of your brother at court, nor of the manner how they presented his retreat. I do not know neither to what to impute the discourse, which you write me, which is held at Paris, unless it be the ignorance of the people, who still run after general conjectures, and seldom know the true cause of what passeth far from them; or it may be occasioned by some discontented minds, who act either by interest or passion. I did not think, I shall need to make you an apology for the particular accusation, which doth concern the lord embassador, because it hath no ground amongst us, who have been eye-witnesses of all that hath happened. But I cannot dissemble with you, that if the business had never so little likelihood, it would necessarily follow, that I had some knowledge of it; and I deserved at least to be hanged, because that I carried all the words; and that it was to me, to whom the commissioners of the council of state did explain the first of their suspicions, which they held against your brother, and gave him a thousand contrary assurances on the behalf of the lord embassador, to hinder this complaint from going further, to keep it from being made public: but as you know, that these gentlemen never had any other pretence against him, but merely upon the propositions, which, they say, he heard from Naudin; that he, mistrusting the lord embassador, had engaged upon oath your brother, not to tell him any thing; and that, in effect, the lord embassador knew nothing, nor could not, till the business was past remedy: you will allow me, that such as ourselves, who were assured of all this, will hardly believe, that the embassador had any share in it.
It is not, that I am not of the opinion, which I declared to your brother and to you before your departure, that besides this pretence, there was in the breasts of these gentlemen a deal of animosity against him; and it may be, the discourse which he had with Fleming (fn. 1), upon the denial of a pass, or some other false reports, had made him angry.
As for state-affairs, you may know, that our treaty goeth as it pleaseth God; that is to say, it is the same as it was when you were here, neither made an end of, nor broken off. This morning at eight of the clock the Portuguese embassador signed his, and departed from Gravesend at ten. His brother was beheaded this afternoon, and his man hanged at Tyburn.
An intercepted letter to Mr. Douitte, at Mr. Constable's house in King-street, Covent-garden.
I have advised you of my sudden departure from Paris, and I was sent hither to receive and provide for such of the nation as come into these parts, where my stay will be but a while. I can at present but advise you, that now 71, 70, and 7, do acknowledge 67 hath faithfully served, and did good service; for by the last Mons. de Bordeaux despaireth now more than ever of doing any good. Mons. Baas prosecutes de Bordeaux, and doth alledge, that it was his doing what was done him, nay to purpose; for I saw letters to de Bordeaux from court, to this effect. Bordeaux's father and I are joined in commission on this expedition. Mons. de Turenne hath encamped himself with his army half a league from the trenches of the enemy before Arras, where hourly the prince's men and his do skirmish.
The prince presseth very hard that town, his battery playing daily, and his approaches on both ends of the town. He assures himself of the place, and Turenne doth protest he will turn monk, if he taketh it this time. If so be it be taken, I must say it will be a wonder, that in the face of an army of twenty thousand men, which effectively Turenne hath at present, he should permit a place to be taken. Great are the advantages this place will bring to either side. We are now making of bridges to part the rivers, and hinder any convoys to come to the leaguer; which if it be difficult, we are resolved to storm the work, and force a relief. The governor assureth the place for two months longer. The king is still at Stenay, where he forceth that place to purpose, being these three days in the counterscarp; and this morning springs a mine: it will give work these fifteen days as yet. At this instant came news, that de la Ferté hath defeated a convoy of four hundred horse and two hundred chariots, that were going to the leaguer.
Several sallies have been made of late out of the town, with loss on both sides. The Spaniards have had their trenches opened these six days. The general's letter to the cardinal gives him all hopes, that the town will not be lost this time.
Letters of intelligence.
The Muscovites have besieged Smolensko with their head army, and advance with another army far into Littaw, from whence there is great flying towards Poland. The Polish parliament should have been ended the fourth of this instant; but by reason of the great multitude of affairs, that were yet undecided, it was prolonged for eight days.
The Tartarish cham and prince Ragotski are willing, conjunctis viribus, to go against the Muscovite and his new confederate Chmelinski (who out of fear and jealousy of his own people, hath retired himself towards Moscow); but they demand a great sum of money, which must be collected for their contentment. The Turkish emperor is highly offended at the Muscovite, and is sending an embassage to this crown.
On friday last, general Coningsmark came to this city to congratulate the queen's safe arrival, who the next day after, attended by the said Coningsmark, and other great persons, went out to a pleasant garden-house not far from the city, where the said Coningsmark received a letter, which having read to himself, he called the queen aside, and had a very serious discourse with her majesty about it. The contents thereof are suspected not to have been very good, by reason that general, having leave of the queen, departed that same night, and returned homewards.
The Bremers, as we hear, have surprised and taken another considerable fort called Vehrden, and set the country under contribution, as far as they reach; but it is feared they will pay dear for it at last, if the succour out of Sweden follows, which is very much talked of, and as certainly expected.
The queen continues here yet, and is visited by all the dukes and princes hereabouts. She hath a very stately train of coaches, horses, and followers with her, and intends to take her journey hence within four or five days, for the Spa.
The Venetian resident to secretary Thurloe.
Dominus Fleming per missum expressum mihi heri enunciavit, quemadmodum hodie inter quatuor & quinque horas habuissem honorem videndi altitudinem protectoris, atque illi reddendi literas publicas. Hodie inopinanter mihi contramissus fuit ordo, atque adjunctum, quod publiæ literæ, priusquam redditæ sint altitudini suæ, necesse est ut visæ atque examinatæ sint, ex prudentia vestra, & fieri potest ex illa ejusdem domini Fleming. Mihi tamen notum est, quemquam alium publicum in simili occasione post discessum parlamenti id non observasse, quod mecum observari vult. Munus oneris mei postulat, ut omni a parte voluntati serenissimæ meæ reipublicæ deserviam, atque in eodem tempore satisfactioni atque menti altitudinis suæ, quoniam talis est, hac de causa transmitto dominationi vestræ exemplum earumdem literarum in idiomate Italico atque Anglicano. Si magis possum atque debeo ad rectam atque sinceram excellentissimi Venetiarum senatus intentionem notificandam, ad omnia sum paratus; sed cum permissione dominationis vestræ atque aliorum, quorum opus esset, dicam, ut quod mihi hodie relatum fuit, poterat heri, enunciavi pro responsione de eo quod ausus sum scribere dominationi vestræ. Nihilominus prudentiæ vestræ me remitto, & præsertim his, quibus fuit & erit semper mens mea deservire; & pro majori attestatu me scribo, qualis remaneo dominationis vestræ, scilicet
Extracts of letters written to Mr. Hartlib from Zurich, 22. July, 1654. [N. S.]
God is beginning to take that bloody house of Austria in hand, to vindicate the blood of his servants, which it hath shed; for the death of the king of the Romans is that, which doth astonish them all, that are of that side. The emperor and Jesuits thought, that they had laid their design as sure as it could be, and had brought their councils to that pass, according to their own hearts desire; and by the sudden death of him, upon whom their hopes were cast, God hath turned all their plots into folly; and they having wasted an infinite deal of treasure to bribe the counsellors of all the princes, nay and the princes themselves, to get the Roman crown set upon the head, which they thought would exalt them unto the height of the empire; God, when they thought themselves most sure, and were thinking of nothing but congratulations for the success of their enterprizes, hath blasted all their hopes, and seems to threaten them with that vengeance, which they have deserved long ago for their cruelty. As he said to Pharaoh, If thou wilt not let my first-born Israel go, I will kill thy first-born; so he seems to say to this German Pharaoh, Because thou hast killed my first-born in thine own hereditary land, I will kill also thy firstborn, and deprive thee of thy inheritance: for the terrible things, which go along with this death of the king of the Romans, seem to speak no less; and so by the common sort they are apprehended. For the prince of Transilvania is upon the borders with a strong army, and it is not known what his meaning is, nor is the emperor in any posture so resist him, if he would do any thing. The crown of Hungary is fallen to the ground by this death; and it being elective, upon whose head it will be set, is uncertain. Nor can the emperor's second son, a youth of about fourteen years, be chosen to it, until the palatine of Hungary first be chosen; and if he be not affected to the house of Austria, it is not likely, that the emperor will be able to carry it for his son; and if he miss of this step to the greatness, whereunto his first-born was erected, and another king in Hungary arise, that is no good neighbour, perhaps he may be called to an account for his cruelties. They say, that both he and the Jesuits are extreme sad and dejected at the present state of their affairs; that the emperor is fallen into several swooning sits at several times, when the thoughts of his loss prevail upon him; and that the Jesuits having prepared a comedy, which cost diem ten thousand pounds, and wherein three hundred persons were to be made use of, are forced to entertain themselves with the tragical objects, which God hath set before them, of the vanishing of their hopes in the death of him, who was their only idol; of the sickly disposition of the emperor, which is said to afflict him since this accident; of the Transilvanian army, which is on foot, and of some terrible signs from heaven; such as is an earthquake, which lasted from two of the clock till midnight, with a most violent wind, and did three several times shake all the houses of Vienna with a most violent concussion, which the people take as a very ominous presage; for so it is written from thence since the death of the emperor's son. And it is reported, that the eagle, which was kept upon the burgh (I suppose they mean the castle) of Vienna, is flown away; which things make impressions at this juncture of time, more than otherwise they would do upon the common fort. Though I cannot make inference upon them, yet they are not to be wholly disregarded, although it were for no other cause than the impression, which the common people receive thereby, which in the changes of states are matters of no small consequence. The papists here brag and give out, that our prosperity in England is but like a blaze, which a fire of straw maketh. However, they are much also dejected at the death of the king of the Romans, and apprehend it as an ill presage to their papal designs, which were beginning to be set a-foot every-where.
I cannot but bless the name of the Lord our God, whensoever I get something from you; for I see evidently, that God hath chosen you long since to be an instrument in his hand, as for many other his good works, so likewise to work a godly comfort and edification in our souls, whereof all your letters are full. The public letters, which were sent to you, are subscribed by baron Sadowsky, brother to him that is in England. They are written in the name of all our exiled nation, and directed to the lord protector, his highness's, council, and the parliament. The baron is a very good soldier, hath served long in the Swedish wars, longs mightily for some help to the church of God grievously distressed and afflicted in these quarters by the papal and Austrian adherents, being willing and resolved to spend himself, and do all what he can to that end. This, what he writes, is only an overture of that, which he thinks possible to be done by him, to bring something to pass for the furtherance of the common cause. But he and we all leave the whole management of this affair to the wisdom of the lord protector and his council. Perhaps they will thereby be moved, or occasioned to take into a more serious deliberation the case of our nation, and of us miserable exiles. The baron intends to send his son of eleven years, with a tutor, to London, as it were, for a pawn of his sincere purposes, of which you need not doubt. We beseech you to convey the foresaid letters into the hands of those, to whom they are inscribed, and to procure an answer upon them as speedily as you can; for there is periculum in mora. The emperor seeks nothing but the suppression of the Gospel, and a dilatation of the Austrian power. There is a monk lately converted to our religion, who tells, that the emperor with the pope are resolved infallibly to make a war against the protestants. All the cloisters have promised to such a war to contribute each of them two soldiers: and he tells, that they reckon under the emperor's dominions 96000 cloisters or monasteries. But now the exacerbation of minds increaseth by the most grievous persecution in Bohemia, Moravia, Silesia, and Austria. There are thousands of those, that wait and pray to God for some Zyska, that would begin a religious war for the protestant cause: yet none of the princes in Germany have the courage to oppose themselves against the house of Austria. B. Sadowsky is fully persuaded, that God would bless this enterprize thus seconded, and purely directed to the glory of God, and the relief of the oppressed; especially if in the mean time the triumphant arms of the commonwealth of England permit not the Spaniard to assist the emperor. There is a seer in Hungary among the exiles, who foretels many strange things to be done within a short time. The Jesuits have learned, who is the author of Clavis Apocalyptica, which you have translated and printed in English; and the emperor hath set 4000 rix-dollars upon his head; but he remains constant in his opinion, that a notable beginning shall be seen and heard of the execution of those things, which are expressed in the eighteenth chapter of Revelations, and England to be the chief actor in it. My good father Mons. Comenius is once come again out of Hungary to us at Lesna; the Lord's name be praised for it.
Salveat ex me vir Dei D. Duræus, de quo lubens legi, quæ ad generum meum retulisti. Sed O quanta circumspectione opus ! innuam quiddam. Primæ notæ in Hungaria quidam (jam ante annum circiter) ad nostratium quendam talia dixit: Tres esse audimus Cæsaris juratos hostes, Duræum quendam & J. A. Comenium; tertii nomen nondum scire possumus. Audin' ? nugæ quidem sunt; quorsum tamen spectent, facile animadvertetis.
A paper of the commissioner of Groningen, about the seclusion of the house of Orange.
The lord commissioner of the province of Groningen, for the time being, having read and examined the act agreed on for the secluding of the said prince of Orange out of all charges possessed by his predecessors, between the states of Holland and the lord protector of England, Scotland, and Ireland; all which he is bound to declare in the name of the lords, his principals, to be null and of no effect, being contrary to the fundamental laws of this state, and prejudicial to the welfare thereof, and directly contrary to the text of the union, that all contracts and confederacies made in particular by the members of the union with any foreign state or prince, are altogether prohibited and unlawful. Besides, the excluding of the young prince of Orange was generally abhorred by all the provinces; yet however the province of Holland, without any necessity or constraint, without the knowledge of any of the rest, hath condescended to do the same. In consideration whereof, the commissioner of the province of Groningen does find himself obliged for the preservation of the peace and the lustre of the state, for the maintaining of the union according to the intention thereof, and the resolution of the lords his principals, to declare the young prince of Orange for captain and admiral of the United Provinces, and capable, when he shall be of age, to enjoy both of them, and all other offices, which have been formerly conferred upon his predecessors.
A letter of intelligence.
Yours I received of the sixteenth instant, with yours for Rome, which are sent away from thence. Your have now a packet, besides what you have in mine of occurrents. I have not much to add now. Our embassador Bordeaux writes, that the protector pro ceeds vigorously with him now upon the treaty; and that he received by commissioners from his highness a form of articles, the copy whereof is expected by the next. As for Mons. de Baas, if the protector shall urge much, he shall be required by cardinal Mazarin to depart, or absent a while from court. And whatever the protector shall find by examination or otherwise against C. Mazarin in that matter, Mazarin is resolved strongly to deny all, and to prevail so far, as to prove by all reason, that the protector feigned, or caused so to be by some creatures of his, all that has been said or done in this plot on purpose; and among other ends, one he had to have a guard for his person, which he had not before, as also to recruit and reinforce his army. In fine, C. Mazarin says, the protector is more wise than to quarrel with France, he not being secure himself at home, as he knows very well; and so may the protector too, ere it be long, if not already. But by Mazarin's favour, he may come upon that stage he would set up for others; for if Arras be taken, or a defeat given to the French army, he may find more to do, than to subscribe for others. Of the general peace not a word in present agitation, nor aught else, but the common occurrents at this time, more from, Sir,
P.S. R. C. nothing since his departure but rumours; he meets the queen of Sweden, marries her, as the new king of Sweden his sister the princess of Orange. These you had long since, are much more, to which I cannot give belief.
Monsieur Petit to Monsieur Augier.
The deputy of those of the religion at Montauban told me yesterday, that notwithstanding the fair promises given them here, they find nothing but inconstancy. On the contrary things did daily grow worse for them on all sides. Mons. de Vestric and the deputy of Aiguiers came also yesterday to tell me the same; and how that instead of the council promised them, Mons. d'Aligre and the others are gone out of town to take their pleasure all this week, whereof the said Mons. du Vestric assured me he would this day make large complaints unto the chancellor, who is very ill-interested for the cardinal; being resolved to tell him, that such neglects are favours, which the ill-affected Frenchmen would willingly do unto the Spaniards. My next will inform you of the result thereof.
I believe the business of Honfleur, whereof I wrote unto you, will go well for our merchants. Mons. des Grange parted hence in post to go thither about three days since. It will be a favourable consequence for the English interested at St. Malo.
A letter of intelligence from Mr. Augier's secretary.
We have letters from Sedan, of the 16/6. of this instant, that a good success of the siege of Stenay was shortly expected, although Mons. de Chamilly, governor of the place, did shew so much resolution therein, that the marquis de Gevres his cousin, having, for the second time, summoned him from the king to render it, he answered scoffing, that he would not; and that he was so faithful to him, who had trusted him with it, that when he should see himself better besieged and battered than he was, he would fire his ammunition, and would afterwards shew himself first at the breach with a pike, there to perish with his men. Whereupon the king returned the same day to the said siege to further it, that after that business ended, all might march to the relief of Arras, where in the interim the marshal of Turenne had orders to prepare himself to do well.
But it hath since been written from the said Sedan, that the besieged of the said Stenay had made a furious salley, which had changed the state of affairs, wherein they had killed above three or four hundred men of the besiegers, and had expulsed them out of the counterscarp, where they thought to have lodged themselves; so that giving much to think, and being so much the more to be feared for the said Arras, that the Spaniards did daily strengthen themselves therein; a council of war had been held to prevent the inconveniencies thereof, wherein it had (amongst other things) been resolved to cause the troops of Guienne to march speedily towards those parts, to reinforce the marshal of Turenne. And I know from a good hand, that the said troops have been sent for, and that they will make up a body of about six thousand men, besides two thousand foot and five hundred horse, which will remain about Bordeaux under Mons. d'Estrades.
In the interim, the said marshal writes here and to Rouen, as I perceive by an original letter of the duke of Longueville's own hand, that nevertheless he did forbear to go and hazard himself with the army he had of about fifteen or sixteen thousand men, in an enterprize, which would be dangerous and fatal for France or for Spain; but it is thought their design is only to go and challenge the Spanish army for the king's honour, knowing well, that tied and advantaged as it is, it will not fight until Arras be taken. There is no likelihood he would try to force it in its trenches; although it is written from Peronne, that Mons. Tellier in a council held with him, and some of the other chief officers, thought it convenient for them to undertake that business, persuading them, that they would find but little resistance towards the Spanish quarters; which the said marshal had not approved of, being of opinion, that the siege should sooner be framed before some other place, if they could not get the enemy to fight. We do this day expect further news from those parts. My last will have informed you, how the besiegers of Arras made a double circuit against the said marshal. A post passed here two days since from Mons. de l'Estrades, to carry to court the news of some disobediency the inhabitants of Sarlat have shewn unto his orders; where they do also send their excuse, which is, that they have repulsed some soldiers, of which he thought to have charged them against the express covenants of their liberty.
Most part of the duke of Guise's equipage is parted, and he will be gone by saturday without fail, as one of his gentlemen said yesterday, as he received some money from the king, for the charges of the voyage.
It is true, that the prince of Conti hath taken Ville-Franche towards Roussillon, as you may have seen by the gazette of Paris; but the place is nothing considerable, having only been assaulted by two thousand men.
Count de Brienne to Mons. de Bordeaux the French embassador in England.
Your letter of the fifteenth was delivered to me last night; and this morning I am assured, that I have lost a former, that was sent to me. Since that, which the lord protector writ to the king, was seen at Rocroy, there is a great deal of likelihood, that there was one of yours to accompany it, and hitherto we have had the good fortune to have our posts pass freely; but a party of Rocroys hath interrupted our ordinary post, and hath carried our letters thither. Some have been brought back by a trumpeter of the king's, whom I sent thither for them. Now you have seen the articles of the treaty, it will be no hard matter to judge of the issue. As to the affairs of Mons. de Baas, when we have seen and considered the proofs, that are against him, then we shall know what we have to do with him; but to be privy to any design, and not to reveal them, is not a crime, nor a thing usual with those, who are employed in the affairs of kings. I will not write you a word what passeth in Artois; no doubt but you are informed of the passages there by some other; but I cannot forbear adding of this work, that the affairs do seem to be disposed there in such sort, that we may hope the enemy will be constrained to raise the siege of Arras, which the enemy cannot do but with a great deal of shame, having opened his trenches. Our army hath defeated a convoy of the enemies, and we are equal with them in number, resolute and well-disposed to do well; and that he may lose no advantage, our army doth intend to fight them, though at a disadvantage. If God gives us this fortune, and that you do succeed in your business in England, and to conclude therein a good peace, there would be hopes enough of concluding a peace between the crowns, so necessary to them both, and to all Christendom in general.
A letter of intelligence.
You cannot but imagine the great sorrow of all this court, for the unexpected death of our Ferdinand the late king of the Romans: yet the constancy and resolution of his aged father the emperor, with patience and encouragements, give life to some, and more sadness to others. However his imperial majesty is in good temper here, some three leagues from Vienna, in which city the plague now reigneth, of which 150 last week died, and so many the week before. No application now made to his imperial majesty; all persons and public ministers making addresses of comfort, and none of trouble. A general diet was to be held in Hungary, wherein the emperor and king of the Romans were to be present; but it is now uncertain, when it shall be, which may advantage the Turk. As for R. C. I can say no more to you of affairs in Germany than you had formerly; only I can assure you, as yet he received none of the 100,000 dollars promised to him by the emperor, that I can hear of; but from divers princes in Germany he has received by his embassador some inconsiderable sums and succours. He is now coming to Germany, and Wilmot gone to meet him, as you had before, where he is nearer to you, &c.
General Fleetwood to secretary Thurloe.
We have received the writts for elections, which will suddenly be sent unto the respective sheriffs. I have writt in so many complayning letters of late, and had now written another, which upon second thoughts I have spared, least I might incurre greater jealousy and censure; I have ynough already; but the discharge of my duty is my satisfaction. The Lord be in the midst of your councells. I am glad, that you have that sence of your burdens, and want of strength, as to take that good old way of solemm seaking the Lord for councell and strength. It hath bine that way the Lord hath and will bless. The more conversant we are therein, the greater comfort and success we shall have in our designs and management of publick affaires. I feare we have of late bine too remisse in thos neare approaches. The Lord awaken us to our duty ! It is much wondered, that the regulation of the law goes on so slowly, and the bysness of tythes not ascerteined in some medium twixt thos two extremes, of no allowance to a preaching minister, and that of having tythes in its hight, which hath been so much a bone of contention 'twixt minister and people, and so burthensom to many good and tender consciences. I have not the scruple myselfe, but am fully satisfied, some better way might be settled for the end tithes are intended, and the avoiding of that great rocke in continueing what may be in the offensive to good people. I know your hands are full, and seare we may be too hasty in expectation; but the eyes of all are upon my lord, and if ever thos considerations com before the parliment, wher ther will be such a diversity of interests, I feare it may prove as fatall as both have bine in the two last parliments. As for Ireland, I have saide as much, it may be thought more then becomes me; but in that trust to the Lord. I have no designe but good in it, that of keeping the four counties. Your former letter gave an assurance care therein; yet I see at one time latly the whole county of Kildare is given away. None knowes my burdens! the Lord give me a heart to live upon him! Why should you not continue the power heare as it hath bine thes two years, since persons are so hard to get ? Thes gentlemen know very well the affayres heare. I am sure the uncertaintye of the settlement is of weight; but my best way may be to be silent. I have acquainted you of our wants of money. If what I have writt will not be satisfy, I must be content, who am
A list of the persons elected to sit in parliament for Ireland.
A memorial of Mr. Whitelocke.
I likewise desire, that I may attend some persons, whome his highnes will be pleased to appoint, to present the desires of the Swedes, Lubeckers, and Hambourghers, concerning shipps detained; and that the commission of plenipotentiary power from his highnes to me be dated before the treaty, and a forme of a passeporte, and the nomination of contrebande goods, with a confirmation of the treaty from his highnes, may be dispatched as soone as leisure will permitt, because I have undertaken the doing thereof within four moneths after the treaty, whereof there is but one moneth now remaining.
I doe also humbly desire a pass for the lord Hannibal Sestede, lord of Noragergard, knight of the order of the king of Denmarke, to come with his trayne and baggage to any parte in England, to enjoy the benefitt of the Bathe.
Jongestall the Dutch embassador in England to count William.
Since my last there hath happened nothing considerable, by reason we have not been able to obtain a conference with the lords commissioners of the lord protector. It seemeth, that the business of the prisoners doth wholly take up the time of the council. The earl of Oxford was committed yesterday to the Tower. I cannot learn the particulars, whereof he stands committed; the pamphlets say, it is for high-treason. Beverning hath been alone again with the lord protector; what is past between them, is unknown to me. In my foregoing I advised your lordship, that the lord of Bordeaux had communicated unto us, that he had heard, that there was a league offensive and defensive, concluded between this state and Spain against France; but we have been since informed by a very good hand, that there is nothing of truth in it, yea not the least likelihood; which I am the apter to believe, because Mons. de Bordeaux had audience yesterday of the lord protector, which lasted above four hours. Yesterday we were with the lord Rosewinge commissioner of Denmark, who shewed us fourteen articles, which had been delivered unto him by the lords commissioners of the council, to make his debate upon them, differing from those, which he formerly delivered in unto them, only concerning the freedom of exportation of all manner of wood out of Norway at the rate of and the not receiving of either side's enemies and rebels; whereof the two last points, as we could perceive, would be agreed unto by him. I make no doubt but the said lord will make a good end of his business. Here inclosed I send a copy of the treaty between Sweden and England; but if I must speak the truth, do not believe, that the same is authentic; but it may be, is a project of Sweden. The secretary of king Charles is come hither, being disgusted, as is said, at one that was put over his head. His highness is multiplying and increasing his army here, and fortifying of the Tower.
I hope, that there will be some expedient or other found out to call me home; for I do nothing but spend my time here idly, they being jealous of me here. Therefore Beverning and Nieuport do all that they will without me; but I comfort myself with this, that I shall have the less to answer for.
P. S. I have understood by the lord of Bordeaux, that at his last conference the lord protector did speak very much of all the present constitution of this country, and of his inclination to the peace with France; but at last he propounded something, which was denied him. What it was, his lordship told us, he could not yet make known unto us. I doubt not but it will go well with him; and the more, because Mr. Thurloe, who being summoned by us to get an answer to our last propositions, said, My lords, be not troubled for an answer: I hope you will have shortly peace with France, instead of an answer.
Bordeaux, the French embassador in England, to the count de Brienne.
You will have without doubt received the articles, which the lord protector did send to me; likewise you will have taken notice of the demands of this state, which did oblige me at my audience, which I had on sunday last, after I had interceded for the brother of the embassador of Portugal, to declare unto him in general; the time nor the place not permitting me to enter upon the particulars of the extraordinary conditions, which the said articles contain, and whereby they do give to understand, that they have very little inclination to the peace. He referred me to the commissioners to examine them. I have laboured all this week with them and the secretary of state. Many of the articles we are agreed upon: in others we very much differ. They seek as well to get advantage of us in words, as in any thing else. I must shortly now read their last answer upon the whole. Before we parted, the commissioners spoke to me on the behalf of his highness of the debt of Mons. de Cezi, as interested, Mr. Gresne having made this state his heir for one half of his right. I rejected this business, till such time that the business were accommodated with the French. This answer did not please them very well: they forbear speaking any further about it, till they are more particularly informed by the merchants. They have given in here a parcel of fine words to stop my mouth withal, and the said commissioners and also the secretary were at such a little distance the one from the other, that assuredly we must agree. But some other ministers of the council could declare, that my lord protector will not abandon those of the religion. At the same time that we were in conference together, Stouppe made his report. I am promised to have some light given me of what he said: he was staid at Dunkirk for a Frenchman, and was not set at liberty, but upon the letters from hence. I have also advice, that very lately two protestant Frenchmen went for France; the one is called Rocourt, of the age of forty years; their other qualities, nor under what names they will go, I know not: and to prevent all these emissaries, it would be very necessary, that for a while the lords governors would examine those that come from England. You have understood, my lord, by my last letters, the sentence given against three of the conspirators, and five Portuguese; two of the first, one a schoolmaster, and the other a gentleman of 22 years, were executed on monday last. The first died in the morning, declaring his innocence with great constancy: the sentence of the other was changed, and he had his head cut off in the afternoon. After that he had suffered the confrontation of his brother upon the scaffold, to the end he might be convinced before the public; yet notwithstanding the death of both of them did draw tears from all the spectators. They executed likewise, upon the same day, one of the Portuguese embassador's men; and in the afternoon his brother, aged nineteen years, had his head cut off. The execution was altogether politic. I did all that I could, in favour of the embassador of Spain; himself writ likewise about it, being solicited unto it by a letter; but all these intercessions were not so strong as some other considerations.
Mr. Longland, agent at Leghorn, to secretary Thurloe.
By yours of the 12th June, I perceiv the French in theyr treaty hav proved wors than the Dutch in theyrs, two years since: for they by open hostillity vyolated the same; these by secret mischeif: both which may well be exprest in a couple of verses I have long ago read under a picture of the powder-treason, and are,
Perditione prius, nunc proditione petebant:
Perdita perditio est, prodita proditio.
His holy nam be praised, that has bruht both these plots to nauht. I hope the latter wil thriv no better then the first. I am humbly thankful to you for giving me such early advys of it. I acquainted the great duk with it, from whom I received hearty thanks; and people here resent it with greate indignation: the very French are asham'd of it. If they sufferr by warr, they know whom they hav to thank. This state and all others of the Spanish party rejois at the hopes they hav, that the peace with France is hereby lyk to be quyt off; but the Genowes are sorry, for they had assumed to themselves som hopes of the protector's favour and assistance; upon what grounds, I leave to you. I must confes they ar a peple, lye worst able to undertak a warr of any nation in the world. They hav a country, that produces nether meat for man or beast, nor wood; nether does their country afford any horse: they are well pepled according to thes countries, and ar rich in redy money, which is the only thing they hav, has so much elevated 'em: I dout it wil be a cause of their ruin. They have the best port in these dominions, that is, Itally. I wish it were in the hands of others, that hav more occasion of it. This week past by four Naples gallyes with soldiers and mony for Finale, a port-town belonging to Millan; and just at this instant is come newes, that they had met and taken two Genowes gallyes coming from Spain: the truth whereof my next shal advys you.
This week is arryved here an Inglishman, a master of a ship, who has bin two months a prisoner to the French in Perpinian in Cattolonia, from whence he wants but eighteen days, where 'twas generally reported and believed, this fleet, now making redy at Tollon, was intended for Barsalona to beseidge it by sea, whylst their army does the lik by land. 'Tis six days, that I hav heard from Tollon, when only eight ships and six gallies were redy; the rest would not be redy in five weeks, which would be as many more, besydes what he expected from the West. They are in great want of seamen; about 50 Inglish they have glean'd up here and there, and make them all gonners. They promis them 20 crowns every month, and giv each man 30 or 40 crowns advance-money; which is al I beleive they are lyk to hav. The Genowes do not fynd their affairs to hav so propitious an aspect as at first. It is not unknown to you, that the yland of Corsica is under their dominion, which having formerly bin a kingdom, these few years since, with expence of som money, the emperor assumed the tytle of Serenissimo: accordingly they wil have their embassadors entertayned. I last writ to you of a gentleman they sent to the princes of Italy, who at Florence demaunded to be covered to sit before the great duke, which would not be admitted, except he took the tytle of ambassador: so he is past away without audience: neither wil he synd better entertainment from any other prince in Itally. They have sent a gally with an ambassador for Spain: til his retorn all things remain in statu quo, without any apparant hostillity. They hav about eight thousand men on theyr frontiers. 'Tis the general opinion, that they wil be utterly ruined, except they close with Spain, from whence they have got all their riches. Theyr own country affords nothing but marble-stones. 'Tis said they have listed lykewys 7000 marriners for seaservis. If any account of the affairs of thes shall come into my knolledge, it shall be faithfully and dilligently advys'd you by,
An intercepted letter.
My dear Friend,
His majesty and the rest of his followers have been here almost a fortnight. Some talk here is of removing to the baths at Acken. The princess royal arrived here two days before we came. It will be these two months first, before she return to the Hague; so long the king her brother intends to stay with her. The weather hath been very bad since we came hither; now it begins to be more seasonable. I cannot tell you all the company that is here, because we have been confined through the coldness of the weather. The queen of Sweden is expected here; to which purpose a house is taken. A strange age! when women contemn that which men strive most for, sovereignty.
A letter of intelligence.
Heare is yet noe certaintye, where C. Stewart is; but the generall supposition of
that partye is, that he is come to Spa, as he formerly wroate to Mr. Webster, whoe
is not in town, but is not yet gone to him: so I cannot enquier of him. At his returne,
which will be the latter end of this week, as I hear, I shall take directions from him for
my journey, to gett (if possible) a letter from him to C. Stewart himself, or to some of
his court: I doubt not of my access to him, whereby to give you certaine notice of his
actions and motions; and that no suspition maye be of mee, it will be best, least your
letters maye miscarrye, not to write, until you heare from mee whear he stayes. Then I
shall give you directions for your conveyinge letters to mee. Please to change your stile
into the royall sence; and what you will impart of secrecye, to write after this manner.
It will prove very chargeable to attend his court; but I knowe you will not regarde expences, so long as you may have the certaintye of transactions there, which shall be sent
you weekly, if there be opportunitye. Be confident, I shall use all dilligence in the service.
If his staye continues in those parts any tyme, and you will have me attend there, you
must needs remitt mee some money, which you maye doe thorough Mr. Maurice
Tompson to Mr. Lawrence Coggen of this place. Uppon your word Mr. Tompson will
order mee to receave what you please of Mr. Coggen, who will convey it to mee where
I then shall be. I doe expect your answear concerning what I wroate to you last in my
particular. Now if his H. please, doe me that honor and faver: he must ask the lieftenantcollonell's place and company of the embassadors, for himself to dispose of to a fitting
person, whome he shall nomminate; because I shall be absent, and cannot present any
letter to the states. It needs but one worde from his H. but I leave it to your discretion and consideration, whether it will be convenient or not to move in it; and humbly
beseech you to do therein accordingly: for on you and your good councell relyes
14/24. July, 1654.
A letter of intelligence from the Hague.
In my antecedent you had what hitherto passed here; and since that, you have what I could gather fit for your knowledge. Sunday last an express, dispatched in a pink by our embassadors in England, arrived here with letters from them of the tenth and thirteenth instant; the first being addressed to the gressier or secretary of the states general, and the latter to the states themselves. The first letter contains, that Mr. secretary Thurloe upon the monday before was with their lordships, and assured them, that they should have conference with the commissioners the same day: but through multiplicity of business, the conference was deferred till wednesday following, when Sir Gilbert Pickering and Mr. Strickland, with the assistance of Mr. Jessop clerk of the councill, came to their house; in which conference the said embassadors delivered manie complaints at the instance of the burgomasters of Amsterdam and others, and demanded just and suddan satisfaction; also that seriously they represented the business of the lord Craven and the queen of Bohemia, with the letters of recomendation of their mightie highnesses, &c. They recite further of that conference; which being (as I suppose) well known, there need las so exactly to be sent to you.
In the same letter they moreover write, that they will by all means endeavour to learn distinctly the negotiation of lord Whitlocke in Swedland, by their frendes; and failing in that, by way of proposition, or some such-like to his highness the lord protector, will procure it.
In the same letter they write the negotiation with Portugal to be at an end, with advantagious terms and conditions for the English, as to the trade of Brazil; and so they descend to particulars, as is best known unto you there. As for the treaty with Spain, they repeat, that there is nothing of it as was first reported; but the treaty of France (they say) goes closelie and hopefullie on, and some articles within a day or two to be delivered to the French embassadors by commissioners from the protector towards it, &c.
Further they write, that they are daily importuned by the residents of Hambourg, Oldenbourg, Holstein, and others, to be comprehended in the peace with England: whereupon they expect orders from their mightie highnesse, &c.
The said ambassadors letter of the 13th imported, that they understood the English merchants were resolved to open their trade through the river Scheld to Antwerp; and that they are afraid the English merchants will much insist upon it, being of so great benefit to them; and that they the said embassadors were with Mr. Thurloe in large and serious discourse about it, and let him know, how the states general proceeded with the king of Spain upon the peace, made with him of that passage in Scheld, as they shewe by the said peace; also that the 17th article of the late peace with the protector gave not that scope to the English merchants, &c. What further of it was sayd, Mr. Thurloe well knows; so it needs not be sent from thence. Upon these letters, after debate, the states general are resolved, that the passage through their Scheld should be stopp'd to the English, and shut up, as it has been in the warr with Spain: but those of the province of Holland suspended their resolution thereupon; and it is therefore thought, that if the English shall insist upon it, they may carry it by the means of the province of Holland; and so that the busness remaines as yet undetermined, and those of Holland disposed altogether to give satisfaction to the English in that point; and if the English merchants shall come tymelie, before that by the union of all the provinces the river shall be shutt up, they may passe: but if after the river being once shut up, it wil be very hard either to get it sent after, &c.
The states of Zealand writ a letter to the states of Friesland of the 3d instant, wherein they to the full assent and conclude with the lords of Friesland in their resolutions against the province of Holland, at the desire of a foreign potentate to exclude the prince of Orange and his lyne, &c. contrary to union, instructions, honor, gratitude, &c. and Beverning and Nieuport in doing the same to have exceeded their commission, of which they are to give account to the assemblie of the generalitie, and to be recalled and required thereunto, being repugnant to the honor of the states to trust or conform further in the said ambassadors. But since that the conclusion of the treaty the said ambassadors have begun some negotiations, which cannot well nor conveniently be taken out of their hands, and besides to preserve the tender peace in its insancy, the states mentioned of Zealand think fit the said ambassadors may have a respite for a short time, and after to be recald and required to give account, &c. In fine, in the conclusion of the said letter the said states of Zeland conclude, that they doubt not but in the deduction which they have ordered to be drawn upon that matter, the lords of Friesland will find full satisfaction concerning the employment of the prince of Orange and his posteritie, which deduction they gave order to be presented to the generalitie, &c.
By another paper of the 22d instant of the province of Overyssel, the states of that province declared themselves in the behalf of the prince of Orange; which paper contains nothing less then sutable to the papers of the provinces of Zealand and Friesland, disapproving the act against the prince of Orange and his posterity, and our ambassadors in England censured for negotiating of it, and are to be called to an account suddenly for the same, &c.
The province of Guelderland once conformed itself to a deduction given by the province of Zealand a year past, wherein they do not only nominate the prince of Orange for their captain-general, but also the count of Nassau for his lieutenant, during his minoritie, &c. What the province of Guelderland shall do at this time, I know not certainlie, but believe it will side with Orange.
The said count of Nassau is now in Utrecht, where the states of that province are assembled, procuring by all means to gain that province for his part. And albeit the cleargy and nobility are for him, it is doubtfull, whether the town will separate itself and its interest from those of Holland; and so in that case that town of Utrecht may be left alone by the rest of that province.
In the province of Holland the towns of Leyden and Haerlem of the new have declared for the prince of Orange; and the town of Enchuysen, whereinto soldiers were introduced to maintain that place in obedience to the magistrates: but the town and souldiers are joyned for the prince's party; and the burgesses and townsmen, who have been banished for being violent and mutinous for the said prince in the former troubles, are all returned to their houses, where now they do quietly live, notwithstanding their banishment; the majestrates finding themselves obliged and constreined to tollerate it, and not to expose themselves to receive affronts and repulse from the people, that are verie apt for such at this present. The news bring, that Zealand has given notice to the states general of his coronation, with a very civil letter; and the states general have sent answer to his majestie in like form, with all respect and civilitie. The said king is sending ten or twelve thousand men to Pomerania, for the conquest of Bremen.
Even now I understand, that this same day the six provinces press the province of
Holland, touching the passage of the river Scheld, to deliver their resolution the day following to the said six provinces. What shall be further of it, you may have per next.
This is all that I could gather since my former, with the best affections of, Sir,