A Collection of the State Papers of John Thurloe, Volume 2, 1654. Originally published by Fletcher Gyles, London, 1742.
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July (4 of 7)
A letter of intelligence.
It is now in every body's mouth here, that the princess royal is gone to the Spa, to see the king her brother, who lay at Namur on the 18th, and from thence went directly to the Spa; and if the queen of Sweden cometh thither likewise, there will be a very royal company.
The lord Beuningen is returned from Sweden, and doth relate a pleasant word of the queen, who asked him a question, if he thought it so strange to cut the king of England's head off? Beuningen said, that he thought it very strange: she said, no; for that they had cut him off a member, wherewith he served himself very little, or very ill.
At Amsterdam the demolition of the two block-houses doth cause much discourse, as a thing which the magistrate is convinced to be of an unnecessary charge; but all this twittle-twattle soon passeth away. Most of the rabble find the benefit already of the peace.
The commissioners of the prince, as well of the states of East Friesland; as also of the city of Embden, are arrived, and have had audience one after another, on saturday last; their differences consisting in these two points, 1. concerning the exemption of those of Embden; 2. concerning the 600 men in Embden.
On sunday the 19th came a letter from the embassadors in England by an express pink, with advice, that 31. to 40. merchant-ships at London were ready to go directly to Antwerp; which to prevent, most of the provinces have resolved to set up the Escaut, that is to say, to forbid the passage in one and the same boat; so that they are sain to unlade all into other ships; but Holland hath taken it into consideration. It is said also, that Holland is resolved to connive at it at this time.
Count William is gone to Utrecht, where he is chief commander of the Teutonic order, which is to meet there; but in effect he is to be there, to have an eye upon the assembly of the states met there at present.
At Groningen likewise there will be a meeting of the states, and I see, that count William doth in no wise rest, but doth labour; first, that the embassadors may be called home; secondly, corrected; thirdly, the seclusion annulled; fourthly, the prince chosen general.
Those of Holland will shortly publish their great deduction, wherein they will demonstrate, first, that they have a right to make a separate article, or any treaty; secondly, that the other provinces are to blame to call them ungrateful.
Those of Overyssell have now brought in also the provincial advise, at least the four members; but the other two remaining members do maintain that to be illegitimate, since the assemblie was kept out of Deventer. The advice doth also bring the disowning of the act of seclusion.
The two members in the province of Utrecht, if they did not stand in awe of the city, in all likelihood will have the same opinion; and so by that means will Friesland and Groningen easily have the plurality of voices. Guelderland likewise is in a great deal of likelyhood to have the plurality for friends of the prince of Orange. Zealand is afraid of their commerce, as is to be seen in their letter to Friesland; but the people, which are a blind beast, and without a head, will easily make them to conform and agree to the revoking as well of all the embassadors, as to the other points of Friesland. Then it will be best for Holland to say, that they alone will maintain it; as I do see already they say, or pretend. And seriously likewise there are sometimes friends of the prince of Orange, who do speak most violent words.
As for Amsterdam, and the three things which are discourst of there, it is thus: the design of the magistrate was to send those four new ships towards the silver-fleet, to fetch away the money not registred, as it is the custom of the merchants every year. The merchants have opposed this, saying, it would be a means to take their bread out of the mouths of the merchants; that they not being able to send such ships so well armed, would have nothing to do, but every one would imbarque in those four ships of the magestrates; and being strongly armed, and almost impregnable; whereas in times past it hath been seen, that the ships carrying merchandizes have been taken. And besides, the aldermen do take it very ill, that the burgomasters alone have named the captains.
As for the block-houses, the truth is, they did hinder the free current of the water, making the channells to stink; and as to the inlarging of the citty, that was only a design of one or two of the magistrates, who have land and estates lying near the walls of the citty, which in this case would have been worth twice as much as they are worth now. The 36 common-council-men sayd, it was a folly to build new houses, since the new ones within the citie do stand emptie; and therefore the 36 have resolved, not to inlarge the city for these forty years to come. In short, that is only a dispute, already decided and made an end of: but as to the act of seclusion, the 36 common-council-men are well enough agreed and unite, at least very few, except as to the designe of the English to pass through the Escault directly for Antwerpe. Holland hath not yet declared itself; but in general men do hold, that the English are to blame.
Those of Groningen (b. e. the commissioners of the states; for the states did not meet) have likewise sent their provincial advise, concerning the seclusion, being long enough, and of the same effect or tenor with that of Friesland, declaring null the said act, and declaring the young prince to be capable to succeed his father, as soon as he shall be of age, in the charges and offices of his ancestors in Zealand. Now two years ago, agreed by their resolution of the twenty-first of September, which they printed, they did declare more than all this; for they declared the prince general and admiral, and count Willyam lieutenant; and it is said, that the two quarters of Guelderland have already resolved the same thing: so that it will only depend upon Orange party to conclude by plurality concerning the passage through the Escault to Antwerpe. Nothing hath yet been resolved on; and men do hold, that Holland will not greatly mind it.
The good Bremeners hath been for a long time entertained with fair words and hopes, doth now at last find itself deceived and misled. In the mean time I do not see, that Sweden doth harken to the interposition offerred by Holland.
The king of the Romans being dead, that will yet cause more trouble in the empire. Morus saith, he darest not answer, the time being chainged; for if he spoak ill of the government of England, the magistrates of Amsterdam would turn him out. It is said, that he hath bought all the 500 copies, which Elsevir had received, thinking thereby to suppress the book; but Vlack hath printed a great number of them.
The six provinces do press hard the settling of the schedule; but Holland doth still oppose it, partly because in effect the said shetting or unlading out of one vessel into another doth very much hinder the commerce of Holland.
Chanut, the French embassador at the Hague, to Bordeaux, the French embassador in England.
I was wonderfully surprised to read in the letter, which you were pleased to write to me of the 17th of this month, that there are such malicious persons, that should impute to you any thing in the business of Mr. Baas, which I cannot look upon but as a very great misfortune to him. I had judged aright as the world is made, esteeming another's thoughts by his own, that it would be taken for a favorable business, in your behalf, to be delivered of a joint-commissioner in your negotiation. And as it is natural to rejoice at the advantages, which do arrive to us, one might imagine, that you will not be angry, that the whole action will be in your own hands, through the retreat of Mons. de Baas. Behold, my lord, all that I did presume of the corruption of judgments, which I do really call corruption, because to take sincerely the things as they pass in effect between persons of honour, who propose to themselves the interest of the state for their sole end, such jealousies do never slip: and if it were lawful to alledge himself for an example, I would tell you, that being sent into Sweden in the year 1645. the lords plenipotentiaries at Munster were pleased to send thither Mons. de St. Roman, who had the same quality with them. He arrived three weeks after me at Stockholm, and we were so closely united in the service for three months, that the queen of Sweden called us man and wife; and we continued thus good friends, till bad company took him of your society, which Mons. de Baas did seem to me the most convenient that could be desired. All the dignity and authority was in your person; he had only a share in the deliberation in secret, and share without proportion of the action, as much as you would think fit: in the mean time you had this advantage for having a person of parts to discourse with mornings and nights of affairs; and the understanding growing sharp through a secret jealousy, or, to speak better, emulation, which is amongst our friends, you might thereby increase your knowledge, and confirm yourself in your good opinions. One man alone, though never so able, is oftentimes at a stand, and oftentimes irresolute; he doth mistrust himself too much; sometimes is timorous, other times he is bold, and he hath never a sufficient understanding to comprehend all: and herein are our conditions troublesome; for all those who do order and dispose affairs alone, (us alone excepted) have persons with whom they may confer and consult. An embassador is solitary; he must not, or ought not to discover himself to any body; all is suspected, or contrary to him; yet nevertheless he is oftentimes obliged to side with a party himself about the affairs of the world the most important. I do feel this inconvenience every moment; for every thing is of importance, that we undertake; and if all the world did understand so, they would not judge, that the interest of Mons. de Baas was any ways pleasing to you: but we must give the world leave to talk. It is our masters alone, to whom we are to give an account: I do assure myself, that you have a very just one. I can tell you, that in the letters of the cardinal and Mons. de Brienne, where they speak very large of the strange event of Mons. de Baas, I did not find one syllable; that should make you to think, that you have less resented than you ought the extraordinary proceedings of the lord protector. Moreover, his proceeding in the negotiation doth give to understand, either that he doth expect, that the Spaniards should make good to him what they have promised him, or else that he will delay the affairs till the next parliament. As he doth accommodate himself the sovereignty, his neighbours ought to do the like. Here is no news: Overyssel hath declared against the act of Holland, which they condemn as contrary to the union, and they will have their embassadors sent to give an account of their actions. All this will signify nothing; the fear of ruin, that may fall upon the states through their divisions, will pacify all.
The history of the Portuguese is very sad. I cannot but commend your compassion, which you have for the lord embassador: I hope your interceding will find favour with the protector; and I have seen the demand, which the English make of the East-India company.
Without lying, these gentlemen have made a peace of importance, wherein such articles as of little importance do remain undecided: I do speak it with grief. They are here very much troubled with the pretences of the English of going directly to Antwerp: it doth go to the heart of them. I am, &c.
A letter to Mr. Hellemans.
Those of Overyssel have shewn to the generality their resolution upon the secret article, which is in substance conformable to that of Zealand. We do not yet know what those of Guelderland and Utrecht will say: they have had some apprehension here of the navigation and commerce, which the English did design to establish upon the port of Antwerp: but now men begin to hope, that the protector will be contented with the conditions, that the ships of Holland are subject unto, namely, to pay the duties, and to transport the merchandizes in another vessel to Lisle. I believe, that you have seen the list of the pretences of the English, which doth consist of 62 articles; whereof the first doth concern the East-India company, of whom they demand the restitution of the isles of Poleron, cum fructibus perceptis, and they do value their losses and affronts at 2,695,990 pounds sterling. The 2d article speaketh of four ships taken from the English in the Persian sea, which they value at 100,000 pounds sterling. The 3d doth concern some loss in Greenland, which they value at 66,436 pounds sterling. Petunt insuper ad plenum & integrum Greenlandiæ commercium, utpote quæ pars est & appendix reipubl. Angliæ. These are the words themselves: I give you leave to judge, if these were granted, whether we should not part with the prime of our country. Yesterday we had the confirmation from Hamburgh of the arrival of the queen of Sweden, and her design of going to the Spa; and some do think she will pass through this place and Amsterdam, where it may be you will see a subject more worthy than in the place where you are. They write me word, that her majesty did intend to depart yesterday from Hamburgh; so that she may be here within ten days at the furthest. I believe you know, that king Charles and the princess royal are at the Spa. Hague, 24. July, 1654. [N. S.]
The Dutch embassadors in England to the greffier Ruysch.
There remain no more than 17 days, for the arbitrators for the Danish questions to determine that business finally, according to the tenor of their commissions; and after the same are expired, but 25 other days for the satisfying of what shall be demanded; so that their H. and M. lordships may easily apprehend, with what impatience the merchants, that are bound, do expect the reimbursement of their money, and how much trouble we daily undergo about it: wherefore we do find ourselves obliged to recommend the provision thereof most seriously to their lordships. In the mean time we are busy about the differences, to debate with all manner of arguments and reason, the excessive pretences of the merchants and skippers here; and we do hope, that their H. and M. lordships will enjoy the fruit of our labours then. In our last, which advised what was propounded to us by the said arbitrators, after the form of questions and demands; and likewise of the intentions of some merchants and skippers to go directly from thence to Antwerp; wherewith we did acquaint Mr. Thurloe, but as yet we received no answer; nor did we hear any thing more about it; but we will be sure to keep a vigilant eye that way. We do hope, that our reasons, which we gave, will have taken that design.
The lord Rosenwing hath communicated unto us the answer, which his highness gave him upon his request of restitution for some Danish ships, which is not very satisfactory: but we have considered of it together, and do find, that it is not convenient to urge that point very much; therefore we persuaded him from it.
Jongestall, the Dutch embassador in England, to count William.
What hath happened in publicis this week, you may be pleased to see by the inclosed; I have little more particular to add to it. Beverning and Nieuport grow daily more and more intimate with the protector: they have often private conferences. It seemeth I must have patience. I perceive by my letter this last week from Holland, that Zealand will flag: I did always think so. I hear no more talk of the ships, that were freighted for Antwerp; so that I believe it will rest there. There is yet little done in the East-India business; and as far as I can perceive, the commissioners of the company do seek to delay it, and to have it referred to the Switzers. Yesterday the commissioners of the East-India company were feasted by the commissioners of the English East-India company. I am now somewhat better in my health, but am heartily sorry at the present condition of our country; and that I must stay here without being able to do any service. Certainly I am ashamed of it, when I think upon it. Whether I be here or no, Beverning and Nieuport will not therefore forbear to do what they think fit. Therefore I humbly pray your excellency to further my dismission. The lord of Neusville hath had this week twice audience of the lord protector, but as yet nothing concluded on. They would here fain obtain something in favour of the protestants in France; but Neusville will in no wise hearken to it, and hath plainly declared unto them, that in case they will insist upon it, that the treaty will not take effect. I have nothing more to advise at present.
Jongestall to the lord John van Aylva, commissioner of the assembly of the high and mighty lords at the Hague.
I have with you understood your return to the Hague; as also that in Friesland the affairs of the assembly there succeeded so well: I could wish the other provinces would follow their example. I fear that Zealand will not drive the business home as they ought. There hath happened nothing of news this week. I do not hear any thing here of the Spanish negotiations. The lord Neusville hath had twice audience this week: his business will now be soon ended, one way or other. On this side is somewhat propounded in favour of the protestants in France; but the lord Neusville hath rejected it. If this side will desist, all will be well; else not. Pray get me my dismission, that I may come home: I shall not be well till then. I can do no further service here, being hated and suspected by Beverning and Nieuport.
Bordeaux, the French embassador in England, to the count de Charost, governor of Calais.
I give you many humble thanks for the communication, which you were pleased to give me of your happy surprisal of the fort Philip; and I do assure you, my lord, that there can be nothing added to the joy, which I receive of all, that may with reason afford you much satisfaction: I might say, that my zeal for the service of the king would give me subject enough to have a very great resentment; but you will not doubt, my lord, but that which regardeth the public interest, goeth never so near at heart, as that of those persons, who do honour us with their affection. I do suppose myself to possess this happiness, which I do wish to merit with my small services. I shewed yesterday your memorandum to the commissioners who came to speak with me, to examine the articles whereof you have heard: they have no answer to give me. I spoke to them likewise of that of your losses; but it is not time to expect any reason from them at present. We are upon the point of breaking or concluding, having given them my last answer upon the conditions of the peace, whereof some are a little extravagant, and which we shall not agree unto. They are to bring the resolution of his highness very suddenly. If in the mean time your armies would beat away the enemy from before Arras, it would be a great advantage for the negotiations, and we should be much more respected. They will have it here, or rather they wish, that this place may be soon taken; but Mons. de Mondeieu is too gallant a man to suffer himself and 4000 men to be taken so on the sudden. My last letters informed you of the tragedies, which are represented here. The poor embassador of Portugal is retreated with great cause of discontent.
Bordeaux, the French embassador in England, to his father.
I do not fail to inform the earl of Servien by an express continually of the affairs of England, where have happened very considerable businesses of late; and first, in respect of myself, I have been in conference with the commissioners and the secretary of state; which you have seen. We have resolved nothing upon the chiefest of them, which are the third, twenty-second, and twenty-third; and one addition, which I would make in the second: we shall easily agree upon all the rest. You know the importance of the undecided will not yet suffer a certain judgment to be made of the success of this negotiation, notwithstanding the fair words that some give me. The debt of Mons. de Cery is brought upon the carpet again; and it is to be feared, unless we treat and agree with the creditors, it may occasion a greater difficulty in the end.
Bordeaux, the French embassador in England, to Chanut the French embassador in Holland.
I will believe, that my lord protector doth not expect, that Mons. de Baas should be brought to a trial, and that he would be contented, if he might only be sent into some place, which might serve for a prison; or at least that he might be removed from the court, from whence I have had no news since these alterations. The sieges of Stenay and Arras do give them so much to do, that they can have no thoughts of England. I do expect an express from thence with news, which I am often asked after here: it were to be wished, that they may be conformable to their expectation, and that the letter of the lord protector to the king and the cardinal might produce some outward demonstration of discontent with the proceedings with Mons. de Baas, who in effect could not imagine a better way to make him famous in the history. I hope the court will do me that favour, as not to make me the author of disgrace, although it is so reported at Paris. I am made to believe, that I shall have no resolution given me upon the difficulties, which are found in the articles, which the lord protector gave to me, till such time, that the success of the siege of Arras be seen. If this advice be true, I do find to have undertaken a negotiation of longer continuance than the siege of Troy was; it being likely, that a great state as France, which is in a war against a crown powerful enough, will be exposed every day to some kind of alterations, either within or without, which might have as much reason to suspend the resolutions of this government. Some will persuade me, that I must expect the sitting of the parliament: but they are such as do doubt of our agreement. I have had several conferences with the commissioners and Mr. secretary this week about the articles: several exceptions I have made against several things mentioned in them yesterday. I met, as I was awalking, my lords Nieuport and Jongestall, who did protest to me, that they had in charge from their superiors, to be assisting to me in my negotiations. They did not speak to me any thing of the two frigats, that took the passengers out of the vessel they met at sea. I am sure, since I have lived here, I never heard they took any men, but well the merchandizes and goods: and indeed I do not care, if they would use a great deal of more rigour than they do; for by that means the states general would easily see, that their peace is fruitless, without we are at peace with the English likewise; and as this visiting did cause the first war, so it may produce a second. I writ you in my last, my lord, the rigorous judgment given here against five Portuguese, and three of the conspirators, notwithstanding the intercession of myself and that of the Spanish embassador: the Portuguese's brother had his head cut off on monday last.
The commissioners in the Danish business to the Dutch embassadors in England.
Being exercised upon a debate, which took us up more time than we could well spare, and like to do much more, unless some explanation be made by his highness and yourselves, and directed to us; we take the boldness therefore, upon your excellencies noble expression, to contribute to our dispatch all that lies in your power, to intreat you to debate the substance of our resolve with his highness, which we have sent inclosed herein; and the sooner it be done, the more it will engage,
A paper of the commissioners in the Danish business, concerning the explanation of an article.
That whereas three other ships were mentioned in the books given by the merchants at Whitehall, and another demand made for a fourth, besides the twenty-two ships detained by the special command of the king of Denmark; it is resolved, that application be made to his highness, and the lords embassadors extraordinary for the states general, to intreat them to explain their proper meaning therein, whether we are to take notice of any other than two and twenty, detained as aforesaid.
A letter of intelligence.
For news, we have our scene here as well as you; many jealousies, the marks of future troubles. Still more great ones in disgrace: his holiness and the Spaniard daily affronting and affronted, ready to lay hands to swords: Florentines and Genoese dispute the greatness of their little commonwealths; in short, this age is active in all parts. The 25th instant, at midnight, we had here a terrible earthquake; some houses and a part of the wall of this place is fallen. Many quitted their houses; we only our beds, which with the whole fabric of our palace was rocked as a cradle, which put us in mind of our infancy, and caused us to wish for the like innocency. God protect and deliver us from such prodigies!
A letter of intelligence.
By the last post I had two of yours in distinct packets, to which I accordingly gave answers; and in this shall only tell you of the news here, and particularly of the sieges of Arras and Stenay.
The twenty-second instant, the enemy advanced towards our lines, and the day following, he was a league from them, and posted upon the river Scarp, and another small river. The advice we have is, that he has got nine thousand horse, and six thousand foot, la Ferté being joined with Turenne. They are on this side of the lines towards Doway. They put men into Vitri and Lens, there to endeavour to deprive ours from any communication with all parts; but they have done it too late, since that we are provided within the lines with all necessaries.
Two hundred horse were coming hither from Doway, and two hundred more of the Croats regiment another way, with some powder in bags behind them, some few of which miscarried by the way; some fifty bags having taken fire, not known how; the rest came safe, and the enemy did no harm to them. We wanted no powder; but however, lest it should happen to be so, more was provided for.
Our attacks have been advanced with much celerity and success, especially that in which the Spaniards and Walloons are, they being joined at this siege, and valiant Condé is not behind. The Lorrainers, behave themselves very well; so do all.
Even now I hear, that letters are come, that the covered . . . . . . . . of Arras; the counterscarp, and all the outworks are taken by this army, and that two hundred waggons are taken and brought by ours within their lines, and that all convoys yet sent to our army are safely arrived. By the next I presume you may hear more of this siege.
As for Stenay, it is most gallantly defended, there being in the citadel and town about 1400 men, and not above 5000 men now in the siege. Since their works were finished, the rest are all with Turenne and la Ferté before Arras. It is hoped, that Arras shall be taken before Stenay can be, and also that Stenay may be relieved; but time will let us see what this shall be.
The states of the dukedom of Brabant, by the archduke's advice, have resolved to make up a body of 4000 men, and to entertain them at their own charge during this campaign; and all the other provinces proportionably are resolved to do the like, and by that means have a second powerful army all this season. It is incredible to see the willingness of all the countries to win Arras from the enemy; all forts of people not sparing any thing they have towards it.
Adolph Seat, C. P. du Rhin, to Whitelocke.
That which giveth me matter to write to you is, that I promise myself by your intercession to obtain the liberty of one called Henry Harlof, who is a prisoner at London, for not being so well affected to the present government of England. If I did not know, that this misfortune was happened to him, rather through the malice of his enemies, than by being guilty in effect of what he stands accused of, I would never have importuned you for your favour. Being sufficiently informed of his innocence, I hope through your means to see him set at liberty. This obligation, added to the esteem I make of your merit, will render me always,
Your most affectionate.
Monsieur Petit to Monsieur Augier.
Every thing goes worse here for those of the religion; and I do more and more remark, that although cardinal Mazarin should not as for himself much care, that they should have all the satisfaction they desire, yet nevertheless the interest he hath towards Rome is so much the greater, that in the fear, which is insinuated unto him, that my lord protector doth only expect the assembly of parliament to make an open declaration against France, he keeps himself in the other party, that in case that should happen, the said cardinal might shew, that it is only a war of religion; and that he might thereby be welcome at Rome, in case he were obliged to forsake France, as that would in all likelihood happen, if my lord protector should press him, as Mons. de Servien really believeth he will do, after the sitting of the parliament. There are few in court but wish it, and which would not facilitate the occasions thereof, to free themselves of the gulf, wherein all the money falls, which makes every body stark-mad; there being no body, yea the chancellor Seguier, and many others, who seem to be the most attach'd, but who are pierced at it. If then my lord protector had a design to preserve the said cardinal, according to Mons. de Montbrun's politic, it seems it would be very fitting to send him some assurances and promises thereof, to put him out of his fears, and entertain him in his temerity and weaknesses, upon condition of full justice in behalf of those of the religion. That envoy was lately Mons. de Vestric's opinion, and often more in a meeting we had; but if it were possible, I think the pretext of liberty would be more fitting, that if the cardinal's infidelity hinders my lord protector from trusting in him, his highness will shortly have fair occasions to cause all things to shake, by the despair of those of the religion on all sides. The count of Entraigues, who writes a word unto you, explained himself yesterday unto me, that he would cause an assembly to be made at Nismes, presently after his return, to hear the said Mons. de Vestric's account; and that vigorous resolutions should be there taken.
A letter of intelligence from Monsieur Augier's secretary.
I had the honour to inform you by my last of a furious sally made by those of Stenay, which is found to be very true. It happened on the 19/9. of this instant, and a captain writes it from the camp in these terms, dated the 20/10. The king was no sooner arrived here, but the spirits growing in choler, they meditated the assault of the half-moon, which they thought to have won yesterday night with as much honour as emulation; but the enemies have sallied out of the castle with so much resolution, and with arms so advantageous, granadoes, and other fires, that the regiment of Bretagne, which fell upon them, hath almost all been slain, there being few officers that escaped, with about thirty or forty soldiers, who say the enemies have also suffered much loss, which hinders not the besieged from being still masters of the half-moon. The said action lasted three hours with so much fire, that it was then as light as day. The regiment was of four hundred men; so that loss is above three hundred. This example hath made us resolve henceforward to undertake no such dangerous assaults; and that they should proceed with more leisure, thereby the better to preserve ourselves. The number of our men is too little for such a siege. We have as for yet but little advanced therein; but the engineers, which come to us from Leige, are to make progresses therein. The last news from Arras are, that the besieged had made a vigorous sally, wherein Mons. le prince had much exposed himself, and which did not hinder the working after the siege, to the advancing whereof he took great care, being powerfully helped by all the country thereabout, and also of all Flanders, where continual levies were to be made to facilitate the good success of this enterprize. The marshal Turenne posted himself the 17/7. of this instant with his army between the said Arras and Doway, upon the river of Scarp, at a town called Mouchi Pierroux, where he caused bridges to be built to prey abroad on one side and another, hinder the provisions, which might come to the besiegers, and thereby incommodate them. He thought that in taking that post they would forsake the siege to run upon him, and fight him; and that is doubtless the great design, whereof he has written: but yet they have not stirred from their trenches, although the armies be so near one another, that their centinels can speak one to another. There are news, that the French have surprised three hundred empty carts, which went towards the enemies, whereof they have only taken the horses.
It is written, that the misunderstanding between the Spaniards and the Genoese will be agreed; and we hear, that that they have to that purpose sent an embassador to Madrid, whilst they will send another hither to thank the king for the good affection and amity he hath shewed them on this occasion.
The cardinal de Retz has, as I have heretofore informed you, sent a gentleman to Rome, to intreat the pope to consent unto the voluntary demission he had made of the archbishoprick of Paris; but he hath again refused it. We do expect the result thereof. In the interim it is written from Nantz, that the said cardinal is at present there as in liberty under the marshal of la Meilleraye his bail, that he shall neither save himself nor cabal.
There is great assembly at Nismes of all those of the religion in those parts, to deliberate what shall be done upon the business of Florensac, in case the court gives not the least reason, which they and their deputies demand to no purpose. The said assembly would have held sooner, had it not been the consideration of the soldiers, which were in those quarters, and which are now gone to Catalonia.
A letter of intelligence.
Besides what you have in the annexed letters of occurrents I have little to add, the rather that your friend is not now at court, but in the army. There is at court a copy of some articles sent by our embassador Bordeaux, which were sent to him from the lord protector, by two or three of the council; and I am assured some of them will not be assented to in this court. Some of the council are appointed to view them, and to present their sense; and that will not so soon be done because of the season, which is now only looked upon here, the enemy being powerful and dangerous; and they are here of opinion little shall be done in their treaty with the protector, till your next parliament, when they expect great dissentions in England, as they have (as they say) by sure intelligence from England, to which they here will heartily contribute; and Mons. de Baas's absence is much lamented; for I can assure you, he was more trusted in England than Mons. Bordeaux, and that made him more knowing and solicitous in the late design than Mons. Bordeaux. Of Mons. de Baas I have nothing more to say as yet, than what you had in my former letters; neither do I know, whether the king or C. Mazarin have yet given orders for an answer to be given to the protector's last letters touching Mons. de Baas.
France expects great quarrels in England, and in the United Provinces; and the war in Scotland is a foundation laid for greater designs, as you had formerly. R. Carolus will be soon there, if he can; and if your protector will set suddenly an end to that war in Scotland, it will do more good than can be imagined. I gave you enough of this before.
A letter of intelligence from Paris.
Yours by this post came to me safe, wherein I see how the Portuguese embassador's brother suffered, which is very much considered and looked upon here. Some say, it is gallantly done; others, that it is dangerous for the protector to use an embassador's brother so; others do much admire it, that the protector had the courage to do the like. However it is conceived some mischief will follow, where the protector shall get the worst; but God is over all. Hence you cannot have much since my former. Some differences happened in parliament on monday, about the creation of intendants des finances, some of them not being capable of the office (as is said); but all is referred to an assembly of the whole parliament, which shall be next wednesday. We have by the last letters from Nantz, that Mons. de la Meilleraye parted thence with his forces to Blauet, which place he fortifies at present, for fear of any surprize of the English. He left his lieutenant to guard cardinal de Retz, who at present has full liberty to see and entertain his friends. I hear the marriage of la Meilleraye's son, promised to mademoiselle Mancini, is grown cold. Mons. Baillie de Valancé is returned from Peronne, where he went to see of his brother marshal d'Hocquincourt, and is now preparing to go as embassador to Rome. He expects only moneys promised to him to make his journey. Mons. de Guise, who was ready to part twelve days past, received private letters from the king, that he should not stir till further orders. Upon which since he sent three of his gentlemen, one after one another, to court, desiring his majesty to consider the expences he had made, in hopes to undertake some considerable course; and that now is the time to try it, or at least to have begun. What it may be, I know not; but he expects the answer from the king. He was last thursday with Mons. Servien, who told him, notwithstanding the king's letter, not to give over his preparations to depart, and to send away his baggage this day, being saturday, and he would soon follow it himself. It is written from Boulogne of the eighteenth instant, that count de Charost, governor of Calais, has surprised Fort-royal Philip, between Gravelin and the sea, guarded by only sixty men, wherein he found six pieces of artillery, which finding not the convenience to transport, he turned them down to the ditch, and had the provision of victuals, that was there carried away. We hear from Sedan of the twenty-second, that the king returned to the camp of Stenay, fearing the troops that were between it and Luxembourg were retired downwards. The garison of that place do defend themselves very gallantly. The regiment of Bretagne, having endeavoured to gain a demi-lune, were repulsed with a great loss; as also the regiment of the guard in like manner.
We hear by letters from marshal Turenne's camp of the twentieth instant, that Mons. de Mondeieu, governor of Arras, called all his officers in the garison to his chamber, where they signed a league between them to be true to one another; and resolved every one of them to perish to the last man, sooner than see the place surrendered, either upon any quarters or composition. There are thirteen or fourteen hundred horse in the place, of which mount to guard every day five hundred, besides the foot.
Marshal de Turenne, and la Ferté, being arrived at Mousy, jointly have beaten into their
lines six squadrons of the enemies; but that there was one of captain Crequi's regiment slain.
Turenne makes his trenches from the right of Arras down to the abbey de Riviere made
three bridges over the river, where he expects boats from Amiens to make more bridges.
Senneterre has posted his own from Mousy, on the other side of the river. In a manner
every day they have some skirmishes, and our generals hope to force them to raise the
siege, by hindering relief to come to them; and if they do not that way prevail, they
are resolved to beat the enemies in their trenches sooner than see the town lost. They
expect marshal d'Aumont from Boulonois with men, which he got out of some garisons in
Picardy. Mons. chevalier de Crequi is wounded in a salley out upon the enemy, which
is all we have at this time. Sir,
Paris, 25/15. July, 1554.
A letter of intelligence.
I wonder I receive no answer to all mine, that I have writ, since we laid siege to Arras. The French will have a bad exchange to lose Arras for Stenay. This very day we opened our attack, after we had drawn a double line about us. I give Arras but twelve or fifteen days from this day. There is not above two thousand foot in the town, with four hundred horse, which is nothing to defend such a town. The prince of Condé is much joyed for this place, which is the most important place, which the French have, being their place of arms, their magazine, their retreat, and what not? Our army is twenty-six thousand men effective. The archduke Leopold is here, and the new duke of Lorrain. Succours have been tempted several times, but to no purpose, except they engage our lines with a very great army. I sent yesterday an express to Brussels, to see if any letters were come there from you. We are with the Spaniards, and not with Condé. Sir Robert's son is admitted general under the prince, an honourable, profitable, and good command.
The Spanish embassador to the protector.
Most high Lord,
Having seen what your highness hath been pleased to write unto me the 14/4. of this month, upon the petition of the sons of Peter Richaut, deceased, (whereof a true copy was transmitted unto me) importing, that considering the justice of their cause, the delays and expences they have been at for the recovery of the debt, which they do pretend to be due unto them, I should apply some effectual means for their speedy relief, to the end they may have no further occasion to importune your highness for your interposition by extraordinary ways; what doth occur unto me to say unto your highness upon this matter is, that I had notice only in general, that the said Peter Richaut their father did pretend satisfaction for some iron guns, which he sent into Portugal about thirty-eight or forty years ago, the price whereof (as I have been informed) did not come to one thousand pounds; and if satisfaction thereof hath not been given all this while, the exorbitancy of the sum, which they do pretend, (having raised the same unto twenty thousand pounds) might have haply been the cause of it; and this being a particular and civil contract betwixt his majesty and one of his subjects, as the said Peter Richaut was, being born in Antwerp in Flanders, it doth not seem just, that his son might now pretend extraordinary remedies, when their father could not obtain them in the time of the late king Charles, whom he did very much solicit by petition, (a memorial whereof secretary Windebank shewed then unto me by order of the king) that his majesty would grant him letters of reprisal. And I having then represented, what a new thing it would be, to give letters of reprisal to a subject against his sovereign, the same was immediately upon view thereof in the privy council denied him; and his sons having no other right than that of the father, it is evidently seen, that they cannot demand or obtain justly any other extraordinary remedy, than what their father in his life-time could, who was the person, with whom the contract was made, and in whom did reside the quality of subject. But to the end they may know, how much power the authority of your highness hath upon me, I will (notwithstanding their ill deportment hath very much disobliged me) write efficaciously in their behalf to the king my master, that in contemplation of your highness's recommendation, an expedient course may be taken, whereby they may receive all just satisfaction. I wish God to preserve your highness for many years.
News from Zurich to Mr. Stouppe.
Mons. Stokard has made a deduction, when of all that hath been done in England and Holland, the chief has been of the great assurance of his highness the lord protector touching our churches on this side, and the singular affection which the states do bear us. The senate heard him with satisfaction; he has made at Berne the same relation, and presented all the public letters. After the return of the deputies of Baden, they will consult on the answers, and treat of affairs more particularly. Mons. Pell informs of all things in a witty manner. The piety of Mons. Dury is very dear to us. He will shortly visit all the churches. It is very needful to remember the Grisons, that those good friends, who are assaulted, have some support. Geneva's troubles continue. Papists have a hot spirit, and fear some invasion and attempt against Rome. The death of the king of the Romans will change the face of all affairs in Germany. It is thought the persecution shall cease in the hereditary countries. There will be some alteration in the government of Mets, Sedan, and Brisac. We know not yet what Ulme and Nuremberg will say concerning the syncretism. Augsburg and Strasburg are very violent against it. Venice had a thanksgivingday for the victory over the Dardanels. Florence continues her levies. Naples is in the greatest fear, and demands with all speed eight hundred men of Milan to fortify her ports. The French troops in Piedmont do nothing. Some hold, that the duke of Savoy shall have a new inclination for the insant. The affairs of the league betwixt our cantons and France are at a stand. The court is full and poor at Heidelberg.
A letter from the province of Overyssel to the states general.
H. and M. Lords,
It being found by certain experience, that some few lords of this province, seconded by the magistrates of the city of Deventer, who, put all together, cannot make a third-part of the fovereign government of this province, and set on by some turbulent spirits, were not only contented to take upon them the name of the states of Overyssel, and in many things to use a counterfeit seal, with the proper circumscription of this province; but they have likewise directed several letters sealed with that counterfeit seal, in the name of the states of this province, to their H. and M. lordships; amongst the rest some, whereby they endeavour to annul our commission given to the lords Boldewin, Jacob Mulert, and Rudolph van Langen, burgo-master of the city of Kampen, by virtue whereof those two lords have hitherto appeared in the assembly of your H. and M. lordships; and we rightly considered, that your H. and M. lordships might come to be abused by such letters, as have a colour of the seal of this province; therefore we thought it our duty speedily to make known unto you, that the said lords Mulert and Langen, in regard of their faithful service performed, are fully acceptable unto us; and that it is our intention, that the said lords should still continue for the accomplishing of our commission and resolution, and that they may be admitted as such, according to the order of government; and that all such letters of revocation, which come from the said malecontents to your H. and M. lordships, may be esteemed as null, and of no worth and force, as we have and do hereby declare the same such, and for worse; we being resolved to proceed against the authors thereof, as we shall think to appertain to the maintaining of the sovereignty of this province, and the exigence of affairs.
A letter of intelligence from Holland.
I have little to write to you, then to let you know, I intend (God willing) to perform your desiers in your last of the seventh instant. To-morrowe I goe thither to see that merchandise, when I shall write you the condition thereof. We have here new matter to trouble us, occasioned by great differences in the provinces concerninge private articles concluded; but especially that touchinge the P. of Orange, which Zealand, Friesland, and Gelderland, doe most oppose, and saye, they will not condescend to it. However Holland is resolved to make peace with you, and are puttinge forth a manifestation of the proceedings, to content the commonaltie. Many feare this smoak will break forth into a flame. There are incendiaries in these countries to kindle it. The governours of the Holland province are highly threatned openly; it will concern them to look to themselves. They talk much of their new great shipps, what wonders they would doe, if the war began again. It will not be amiss you keep your fleet in a readiness, untill the storm be over. The news of your agreement with Portugal molests their thoughts, by reason it will hinder their trade, which is the life of those people. My wife is gone into Ingland about some perticular bussiness; she will wayte on you. If she have need of your assistance, I besecch you to favour her. She will have present use for some money; therefore I have presumed to give her addresses to yourself, intreating your assistance. Please to pay her 43 l. 6 s. according to the inclosed. The 30 l. therein mentioned, I leave it to your pleasure, if you think it fitting, may be payed also to her, which I shall acknowledge for an extreame obligation. I shall strive to deserve it in my dilligent performance of your bussiness, and testifie unto you, that I am,
Your most humble servant,
The Dutch embassadors in England to secretary Thurloc.
Quid viri honorabiles Russell Winslow, Bex & Vander Cruyssen nudiustertius suis literis nobis proposuerint, etiam serenissimæ fuæ celsitudini codem die & modo relatum esse constat: unde colloquium vestræ dominationis heri a nobis summopere desideratum suit, quo de proposito illo dubio, quod omnino extra quæstionem est, prædictis arbitris posset responderi in omnibus iis colloquiis, quæ unquam de 22 navibus in Dania detentis instituta suerunt, nullam aliam unquam aliarum injectam mentionem fuisse dominatio vestra probe meminerit; & quin de eo certa sit, nulli dubitamus: ut & in tota illa chartula, quæ 21/31. Martii nobis unacum mercatorum & nautarum postulatis suit extradita, nulla alia mentio nullaque alia expressio est, quam quæ ad prædictas illas 22 naves referatur, nimirum ita per totum de navibus & bonis agitur rege Daniæ prehensis & detentis, & de iis quæ ibi divendita sunt, &c. quæ deteriora facta sunt, &c. & de quibus ex chartulis mercatorum constet, in quibus postulata particulatim exprimuntur, quæ una cum illa chartula prædicta exhibebantur, quæ omnia ad alias naves, aliasque merces applicari non possunt, cum in prædictis illis mercatorum & nautarum chartulis, eodem die extraditis, præter illa 22 navium & mercium postulata nulla reperiantur. Simul etiam memorem fore dominationem vestram speramus, co die quo de instrumento commissionis arbitrorum inter nos transactum est, dominationem vestram exemplar quoddam nobis obtulisse rudi calamo delineatum, cum nimirum de dicendi formula & circumstantiis conveniendum esset; in eoque expressiones aliquas repertas esse, quæ absque certa determinatione etiam alias quasdam lites aut quæstiones videbantur includere, cui a parte & nos contradiximus, & dominatio vestra assensit, mutatis etiam iis verbis & taliter restitutis, qualiter jam in prædicto diplomate comprehensionis extant, nimirum determinanda & judicanda omnia & singula postulata & querelas omnium & singulorum mercatorum, nauclerorum & proprietariorum omnium, qui interessati sunt, in omnibus vel singulis ipsis (nota) navibus & navigiis, quæ in portubus regis Daniæ decimo octavo die Maii 1652. prehensa aut arrestata, & (nota conjunctionem) de quibus mentio facta est in mercatorum chartulis mense Martii, stylo Angliæ, anno 165¾. exhibitis; cum & eodem tempore vestra dominatio nullam aliam serenissimæ suæ celsitudinis mentem esse respondisset, & jam in ipsissimo suo exemplari de rei veritate possit edoceri; unde supervacaneum quid facturi visi simus, si magno conamine seria dominationis vestræ negotia interturbaremus: hasce autem expeditiones operæ pretium fore, ut enixe dominationem vestram requiramus, quod præmissum est, quamprimum serenissimæ suæ celsitudini offerre, in eumque finem negotium dirigere, ut dubio isti arbitrorum secundum ea, quæ hic posita & præmissa sunt, quam fieri potest citissime satisfiat, perpensis exiguis temporum momentis, quæ decidendis tantis postulatis restant; cui responsum expectantes, mancbimus dominationi vestræ
Westministerii, 16/26. July, 1654.
Dr. Laz. Seaman, and Dr. John Arrowsmith, to the protector.
May it please your Highnes,
Having diligently perused your highnes his letter directed to one of us, wherein we perceive your zeal, together with the like of the right honourable the council, for the glory of God and his truth, though we cannot but be sorry, that any blasphemous and atheisticall expressions should be used by any belonging to the university, yet we much rejoyce, that God hath put into your and their hearts to deale with such wretches, as they deserve: and whereas there was a paper inclosed, containing diverse articles exhibited by a reverend minister against Mr. Alexander Akehurst, and we are appointed to speak with the persons therein named:
These are to humbly certify, that in obedience to your highnes his pleasure thereby signifyed unto us, we have spoken with Mr. Robert Scott, Mr. Henry Greenwood, Mr. Joseph Halsey, and Mr. Thomas Senior, and find them ready to attest the particulars specifyed in the same paper respectively, and to produce their witnesses together with themselves, and further matter of like kind.