A Collection of the State Papers of John Thurloe, Volume 2, 1654. Originally published by Fletcher Gyles, London, 1742.
This free content was digitised by double rekeying. All rights reserved.
September (4 of 5)
Count Oldenburg to secretary Thurloe.
Nobilissime ac clarissime Domine,
Postquam mihi a deputatis meis, quos ad serenissimum dominum protectorem reipublicæ, Angliæ, Scotiæ, & Hiberniæ ablegaveram, maximopere deprædicatum est nobilissimam dominationem vestram ipsos non solummodo perhumaniter & placide audivisse, verum etiam mea negotia & desideria, qua apud serenissimum dominum protectorem pollet, auctoritate, ita promovisse, ut prædicti mei deputati optata cum expeditione dimissi sint, mearum partium esse credidi, nobilissimam dominationem vestram hisce literis compellare, atque pro singulari illo favore & affectu, quibus prædictis meis ablegatis adsuit, gratias agere quammaximas, officiose rogans, ut benevolentiam re & facto comprobatam etiam imposterum erga me meosque conservet, certoque sibi persuasum habeat, si vicissim ipsi studiis & officiis meis prodesse queam, quod me uti obligatum, ita paratissimum semper & ubivis habebit. Quod superest, nobilissimam dominationem vestram divinæ tutelæ commendo.
General Monck to secretary Thurloe.
I Received yours of the 11th instant, for which I return you many thankes, and am glad to finde, that the designes you mention are soe farr prevented already; trusting in the Lord, that they come not to any disturbances aimed at.
Affaires heere growe quiete by soe many of the enimies comeing in already, and more
daily; among whom Kenmore hath for himselfe and party agreed to come in, and deliver
up their armes. Yet I heare, that Charles Stuart hath writ to Midleton his desire, that
they continue in armes till December next; and that in case hee does not come over by
that time, they shall have libertie to dispose of themselves as they can. They are not
(as I heare) above two hundred foote, and forty horse with Midleton, and those are
already much distressed for want of provisions, and are like to be in a starveing condition
this winter. I shall not faile (God willing) to give you frequent accompts of affaires
heere, and shall esteeme it a great favour, if I may receive advertisements from you of
the state of affaires there, which I shall make the best use of I can, for the publicque
service; and soe, Sir, I remaine
Dalkeith, 21. Sept. 1654.
The Dutch embassadors in England to the states general.
We received on saturday last a visit from the lord Rosewinge, and at the same time communication of the treaty signed between them: the same was read unto us verbatim. We shall send your H. and M. lordships a copy thereof as soon as may be. We observed only this about it, that the treaty was not signed by his highness, but only by the lords commissioners, the name of his highness and of the commonwealth of England standing for the most part before that of the king; but he declared unto us, that in that, which he had delivered to his highness, the name of the king stood before that of his highness, and was signed only by him. We have since given him a visit, and congratulated him on the success, in the name of your H. and M. lordships; and amongst the rest the said lord Rosewinge told us, he had given a visit to the Spanish embassadors; and so telling him, that there was a great deal of likelihood of a treaty between that crown and this commonwealth, the embassador replied, No, not so long as the state did insist for the abolishing the inquisition in that kingdom, and the free navigation to the West-Indies, which he declared to be the two pillars of their government. We have also received a copy of the treaty of Portugal concluded. We were highly recommended to keep the same private, there being yet four months remaining for the ratification thereof. The reasons why we were desired to keep it private, your H. and M. lordships may easily comprehend out of the text of the same, in regard it is doubted, whether the embassador at his arrival will be able to ratify the same. We do expect every day a copy of that of Swedes, and then we will send them both together.
Fleetwood, lord deputy of Ireland, to secretary Thurloe.
I am sorry to understand, that wee here find the sad effecte of a dividing spiritt. It hath a lowder voyce, than at present wee may possibly be able to heare; but suerly in the general it calls for these two thinges; to make us cease from man, and to lett us know, that all our standing is upon the accompt of our Lord's owning of us, and being present with us; as also it calls for a very earnest callinge uppon the Lord for wisdome and strength, that wee may be kept firme in wayes well pleasinge to him in this ticklish and very uncertaine houre. I am persuaded, the Lord still keeping my lord protector's hart firme to that great dutie of minding the saints interest, as saintes, he will prosper. I must needs say, I am fearfull of nothing so much, as least he should be tempted and prevailed upon by that spirit, which I doubt too much rules and governs some mens harts of an imposinge spirit. Things are heere in a very quiet posture; and I hope, thorough the same hand of mercy, will so continue: which that it may, is the prayer and desire of
22. Sept. 54.
How cam it to passe, that this last teste was not at the first sitting of the house? It would not then have admitted no exception: onlie I know coll. Sancky did scruple all tests and engagements; and indeade let me begge you to be tender to imposinge such thinges upon the nation, wee havinge bine formerly insnared by thinges of that nature.
From hence little of news, the emperor and court remaining still at Ebersdorf, where he intends to continue until the sixth of October, and then return hither. It is said, the defeat of the Littawish army by the Muscovites hath moved his imperial majesty to command the Silefians to put themselves in a defensive posture there; but it is rather believed the said command was given in omnem eventum to encourage the Swedes, if they should provoke the emperor to a new alarm, as some give out they intend, as soon as they have got their will of the city of Bremen.
A letter of intelligence from Paris.
During my stay here, expect my letters. The court is at la Fere, and Turenne's army between Quesnoy and Cambray, as this inclosed billet will best inform, which is most exact. I would send it to none but to you, though coveted by many. We hear, that the prince commands now in chief in the Spanish army. It had been more available for Flanders, he had done so before Arras: however, it is better late than never. Mazarin hath got the Mont-Olympe near Meziers into his custody. No news of cardinal de Retz since his landing in Spain. All things here are in altissima quiete & pace. Duke of Joyeuse is tandem dead, a most gallant prince. I could wish you installed in either of his charges. O quomodo biberemus tunc!
Your lord protector is only capable to govern that proud boasting nation, as it ought to be governed, in virga ferrea, seeing they have no carriage, but in words. Give him his due, he is worthy of what he takes in hand.
A letter of intelligence.
Yours by the last post I received, and sent to Aken and Vienna, as accustomed. From Aken or Cologne you have now some letters; but from Vienna I had not one word by this post: neither do I think much was to be written from thence since the date of the last letters you had.
It is much noted here, contrary to the expectation of many men, that you have no dissentions among yours in England; at this meeting of parliament. It will be a cooling card for miserable R. C. who, they say, spends much time in dancing. His friends here are much troubled at your quietness, and at the ill success of his affairs in Scotland.
The news here since my last are, that the queen of Sweden is still in Antwerp, and that she is to become Roman Catholic; which was the grand reason of resigning her crown: which many incline to believe, the rather, that Don Antonio Pimentel, as letters import from Madrid of the fifth last month, is qualified embassador from the king of Spain to her majesty, and from thence to the now king of Sweden; likewise, that Don Stephano Gamarra is qualified embassador from the said king to the states general. The said Don Stephano is now here, and preparing to succeed M. le Brun in the Hague; of which more in due time.
The lord Taaf has been here, and is gone to Antwerp to visit the queen of Sweden, being sent by R. C. with some compliments; which I presume is his business. The said queen is under the protection of the king of Spain, and consequently the emperor's.
Since my last nothing of action passed between the armies. A general muster has been made of all our armies by the archdukes Condé and Lorrain near Valenciennes at Mentz in Haynault, wherein were found 12,000 horse, and 8000 foot, effective men; and since arrived here of new levies 1000 men from Germany. They received a month's pay all; and after followed the French army, which caused marshal de Turenne to decamp, and quit his post at Binch, after having pillaged it, and burnt many houses, both there and in his way, as he passed. Divers skirmishes the army had with them, wherein were stain about three hundred of theirs, and so many prisoners taken. Both the armies since are at a stand about Chateau-Cambresis, Quesnoy, and that way; which was all the account now of the armies.
The abbot of St. Catharine's, employed now in Ireland by Charles of Lorrain, parted from thence to Dunkerk, to be shipp'd in the frigat, that came thither with the moneys I mentioned, a fotnight since. The said abbot goes to Madrid, sent by duke Francis of Lorrain. His business I do not yet know; it may be ceremonies. Last tuesday the marquis Matthei received here the knighthood of Alcantara from the king of Spain, and a brevet of 2000 crowns per annum.
The letters of the fifth of last month bring from Madrid, duke Charles of Lorrain
was then at Aranjuez, a house of pleasure of that king's: the castle of Toledo is preparing for him. He is very well treated, and as well guarded; which is all of this week
past can be written by, Sir,
A letter of Secretary Oste.
There is little news to write at present. The lord earl Magnus de la Garde is come to this city, and hath been treated at his majesty's table; whereby it is presumed, that his excellency is perfectly recovered with the king.
Cardinal Mazarin to Bordeaux, the French embassador in England.
My indisposition hindered for these three weeks to be as punctual as usually to write you an answer; but I have not failed to read exactly all your letters, and let M. de Brienne know the intentions of the king to make them known unto you; and also two days before our departure from Paris, we held a conference, where the lords fur-intendants were assisting; of which M. de Brienne took upon him to send you the result; and M. Servien promised me likewise to write unto you upon the same subject.
A letter to Bordeaux, the French embassador in England.
William Hamelin to secretary Thurloe.
I have donne my uttermost to know the name of the person, that I last gave notis of his intents, but have not obtained my desiers thearin. Laetly heare is a person, by name de Goye, who hath bin formerly a cornet of a troope in Portugall, which hath presented his service to the royall partie, upon consideration to cum for England, and to kill his highnes the lord protecktor. Sir, this is verie truth; but whether he is imployed by them, I am not scertain. I shall doe my best indevors, if he be in this land, to have a fight of him. In the meane tyme I commend his highnes and yourselfe in God's protection, and myselfe in your favour, and remaine
Utrecht, 5. Octob. 1654. [N. S.]
Sir, one mondaie last the powder-magasine in Delft blew up. In it was 160,000 pound of powder. Many streetes are totally ruined, with theyr houses. Not one house in the town, but hath suffered. The number of persons lost are not yet knowen: alreadie is found four or five hundred dead. The towen is so demolished, that the streets are not passabell; and noe house, six English miles from thence, is freed from this sad disaster.
A letter of intelligence.
Cardinal Antonio with great pomp visited old cardinal de Medicis, and the embassador of Florence the cardinal Antonio; which is very much admired. Quicquid sit, factiones Romæ concurrent; but to what end, none can penetrate yet: some say, that from thence a beginning may be given to conferences, and consequently a general peace; of which time shall be a witness. In the mean time cardinal Francesco Barberini, licet non apparenter, disponit de papa, & Olympia jam custodit & separata omnia tenet.
The pope has taken from his nephew prince Camillo Pamphilio the being general of the galleys, army, &c. suspecting him too much a Spaniard. Prince Ludovisio and cardinal Stalli are still in their retirement from Rome, for the same cause.
We expect general Blake and his fleet in these seas; but some of Italy fear it: also your
other grand sleet is a greater terror. Which is all I have now to give, but what you have
in the occurrences from, Sir,
Extract out of the register of the resolutions of their H. and M. lordships the states general of the United Provinces, taken,
In regard their H. and M. lordships do from time to time still more and more apprehend the present inconvenience of the province of Overyssel, and the sad dissentions therein, which are hapned among the governors thereof, with the dangerous effects, which have been seen already to arrive from thence; also considering, that the said dissentions may at last proceed to an open hostility, in case there be not proceeded with wisdom to prevent the same; and that in case of hostility the one or the other party, or both, might come to make use of the militia of the state, for the effecting of their designs; wherefore it was resolved, that there should be letters sent to the captains of the companies both of horse and foot in the province, that their H. and M. lordships have with sorrow of heart understood the differences and dissentions, that are risen in that province amongst the governors thereof, to have proceeded so far, that the two several parties have taken upon them the distinct name of states, and have made distinct orders. And in regard the said officers are in the service of the state, and that they may not be brought into any perplexity or inconvenience, they shall not suffer themselves to be imploy'd in the execution of either party's resolution concerning the differences and dissentions risen amongst them, nor meddle nor make with any thing concerning them; and all this by provision, during the dissentions and differences of the said members of the said provinces, till such time that the body of the state of that province be consolidated, or that the differences be accommodated by impartial judges; and that then this their H. and M. lordships resolution shall be no longer in force, but void, and of no effect; and then the said forces shall observe the orders of the said province during their abode there. Moreover, an extract of their H. and M. lordships resolution shall be sent to the lords states of the said province of Overyssel; and withal, that their H. and M. lordships have understood, that their noble great lordships are busy to raise new militia; that they would forbear to proceed therein, and to disband those they have already raised, for the better preventing of all disorders and confusions, and the better settling of a well ordered government amongst them.
The lords commissioners of the province of Holland have declared to be of the same opinion of their H. and M. lordships, and would wish with all their hearts, that letters were writ to the officers of the said militia to that purpose
The lords commissioners of Zealand, being to advise in their turn, do think it fitter, that some lords commissioners be nominated out of the assembly of their H. and M. lordships, to be sent with all speed to the said provinces, to offer their interposition for the deciding and terminating of the said differences and dissentions amongst them.
The commissioners of the province of Friesland do consider and advise, that it is a known order, and that the oath of the militia doth import it, that all companies quartered in a province are bound to observe the politic commands of the states of that province, and therefore cannot consent to the said conclusion; desiring that the business may be deferred, till they have acquainted their lords principals therewith; otherwise they do protest, not to be guilty of any inconveniency, that may happen by the said conclusion.
The prince of Condé to Barriere.
There is no other news to write from hence, only that the enemy is still at Chateau-Cambresis, where they make some fortifications, but no-wise considerable. They also are still fortifying of Quesnoy; but there can happen no other thing, only that all their army will remain all winter upon the frontier, to preserve those two passages there; which if they do, their troops will be utterly ruined: and if they retreat into France, to take up their quarters, we shall then be able to retake those two places without much trouble. Yesterday col. Miquel defeated a convoy of 300 horse, and took a great number of them prisoners.
We have also news from Rocroy, that the earl of Duras hath taken prisoner the earl of Grandpré, and reinforced Clermont. He stay'd there two days and a night; since that he is come near Rocroy to be assisting there, if necessity be.
Some other small advantage we have got of the enemy of late: these may presage some greater to follow before the end of this campaign. The enemy dares not undertake any enterprize for want of forage; neither dare they undertake any march, for fear of shewing their weakness; so that all they have done since their victory of Arras, is reduced to the taking of Quesnoy, a place demolished, forsaken, and without any garison.
Mr. Bradshaw, resident at Hamburgh, to secretary Thurloe.
By your silence these three last posts, and what I heare from others, I conclude you so busie, as that it's not sutable to give you diversion; yet I cannot omit to offer you the perusall of th'inclosed from the gentleman you know of, presumeinge they may pass as safely to you, as they came to me. If you shall judge it meete to send to Berlin, I must entreat you to thinke of some fit person to come from you hether, and to hold a correspondencie; for here I shall not find any fit to trust with such an affair, except I should send one of my owne servants; which would be dangerous, beinge they are knowne.
I shall not truble you agayne with the accompt I gave in my last of the companie's
busines here, hopeing by the nexte to heare from you of the receit of myne by each post,
and what's the issue of that grand affaire, which held up the house so long. For the
weekly intelligence I refer you to th'inclosed papers, desireinge to heare of your receipt of
theise, to satisfie me they have not miscaryed. I rest, Sir,
Hamburg, 26. Sept. 1654.
I shall take care, and endevour the best I can, to prevent the shippinge of armes, &c. hence. As soone as the gentleman who writ these letters comes for England, pray let me knowe of it, and how his highness approves of him and his service, that I may governe myselfe here in the point of charge. He hath had allready somewhat above 100 l. of me. If the articles of peace with Sweden be yet published, I pray inclose them in your next.
News sent to Mr. Stouppe.
There is a rumour, that the king, by the advice of his council, having changed his mind, was to give the command of the French horse to Mancini, the cardinal's nephew, or else to the duke of Mercœur; but that he gives it to the marshal of Turenne.
The news from Picardy do give out, that the generals of the armies of the king and of the enemies had made a truce of six hours, during which they had visited one another, and had drunk and eaten together, and drunk the health of the emperor, the king of France, and Spain.
News from Valenciennes do bear, that the prince of Condé had been nine hours a-horseback, in pursuit of the marshal of Turenne, where there was made an encounter between the rear of this marshal, commanded by M. Castelnault of Mauvisiere, where a great many did fall on both sides: that this marshal was at present towards Guise; and that the prince of Condé had now the absolute command of the king of Spain's army: that they did not believe, that any siege shall be made during the time, which remains of this present campaign, by either side.
Mademoiselle, eldest daughter to his highness the duke of Orleans, did send to court one of her gentlemen, to assure the king and queen, that she was their most humble servant; and that she prayed the queen to forget all that, which had passed between them; and that she would be pleased to obtain from the king, that she might come and dwell in one of the houses fhe hath by Paris. Upon which the queen made an answer to the gentleman, that she did much like the good purpose of mademoiselle her niece, in that she had a desire to repent of her fault; but that it was hard enough for his majesty to forget all she had done, being she had directly opposed herself to her sovereign. So the gentleman went back again, without having had the content he hoped for mademoiselle his mistress.
There is news, how the king was come to la Fere in Picardy; and that the cardinal was there sick of the gout. Mons. Faber governor of Sedan, was there also, to whom his majesty hath given a field-army (fn. 1), to execute an high enterprize, unknown of as yet; and that as soon as he shall have put it to an end, the king will make him marshal of France.
The rumour goes, the pope is dead; and that the king and his council, having known it, had sent a very strict order to the duke of Guise to go with his fleet towards the ecclesiastical state, to uphold the faction of France against that of Spain; with the which duke of Guise the forces of the dukes of Modena and Parma are to join, which will make up between six or seven thousand men; and the said dukes have also the like number; and that the king doth send the duke to Roan. Chabot is embassador extraordinary to maintain the interest of France in the new election of a pope.
They write from St. Quintin, that the king was come thither with all the court, except the cardinal, who did stay at la Fere; but that since he was gone to Guise; and that the king did go and come from Guise to St. Quintin; and that there was some great design, which would break forth in a few days.
The queen hath yielded to the cardinal Mazarin the governments of the province of Onyx and Broüage, as also their lands, which were given her for a part of her dowry (fn. 2).
The letters from St. Menehoud, as also from Sedan, from Mouson, and from Stenay, I received this week, do give notice, that the earl of Duras, one of the lieutenant-generals of the prince of Condé's army, was gone to Clermont, where he had filled that place with men and victuals, and all other necessary things to sustain a siege: that going back again, he had taken the earl of Granpré governor of Mouson, as also his brother, who were gone a-hunting; and had brought them prisoners to Rocroy. They relate also an encounter of some troops of the king with those of the prince of Condé, wherein a bloody fight was fought, and wherein the earl of Bouteville, cousin of this prince, and one of his lieutenants, had been wounded to death.
Intelligence from several parts.
Upon saturday last I came hither from Cologne, and found yours at my lodging, of the 18th of last month: but all letters but yours (as they tell me here) bring, that your parliament is dispersed again, and that Cromwell (as they call his highness here) has imprisoned divers members; which is a great solace to all here, and they make much of it, and will be merry till the next post, when they expect more.
What you desire, that I should dive as near as can be, into the secrets of R. C. you may be assured I shall do what lies in my power; but I will not undertake it, neither, I hope, is it expected from me; for I never promised it, nor could. All the truth I can gather, you shall have; and for lyes, I shall not study to be author of them. Here are sufficient of both; so that a man cannot speak truth from any of them: but all that I gather from the beginning I writ formerly, is, that R. C. intends for England, if he finds (that which he expects) a civil war there, as it seems some have undertaken; but what they are, I cannot tell you, for R. C. carries his secret affairs as close as any one can do. In all that I can observe since my being at this court, if he fails of his expectation in England, he will for Scotland, if any hopes be left of doing any good there, of which they doubt not here, for all the submissions you write of.
The lord of Ormond has some great matter in hand, being to get moneys. I do not yet hear what was concluded: they say it is a great business, if it comes to pass, and can be done. By the next I doubt not to give you something in particular of it.
The lord Wilmot I left at Cologne; and upon friday last he went to Bon, four leagues distant from Cologne. The next morning he returned to Cologne; was most part of the day with the receivers of the said prince elector, soliciting and receiving the assistance given to R. C. by that prince. From thence I hear he goes to the elector of Brandenburg about like business, and to consult with him of his master's affairs. Count of Nassau is yet here, and is said within three days the princess royal, Nassau, and all, will go to Coln, and the princes with Nassau from thence to Holland; after which R. C. will return hither again; so that by the next you shall have the truth of it. There is a curious vessel at Cologne that came from Holland, to carry home the princess and hers. Here were some officers of Maestrick, Rhynbourg, and other places belonging to the United Provinces. They were all sent for, and commanded home to their garisons; so they obeyed, and went all to their respective garisons this week. Remember what I writ to you formerly touching some garisons, and it may be provinces of the United, that may put themselves under the protection of the empire. I see now more appearance of it, than when I writ before. Count Nassau is not idle; and it was once said, he was to go to the emperor's court: but he need not; others will do his business there.
At Cologne Sir Marmaduke Langdale and the bishop of Derry have an antient Latin
book, full of prophecies; and they say they found one out for Cromwell, which, as they
accommodate, is very like to be of him; and if it be true, as they say it is very true,
Cromwell will fall. This prophecy they very willingly shew to all, that have a desire to
hear it. I could send it all to you, but I valued it not at that high rate as others do.
Since mine of the last week to you, I cannot add more, but that I am constantly,
Since mine of this day seven-night to you, I have not any tedious matters to write of, necessary for your knowledge there. The difference betwixt the provinces is now seemingly to be at some stand to that, which it has been; but still there is life in it. You may be assured, that the calm that is, may proceed from necessity; for the Orange party would gladly have the fleet of your great preparations gone, be it to what part of the world they have a mind to, so they be far from them. I shall not now insist longer on this business. Our embassadors there, Beverning and Nieuport, have written to their masters two letters of the twenty-fifth of last month, and the second instant, wherein they gave a large account of all the affairs in London, touching the lord protector and parliament, the recognition, his highness's speeches in the painted chamber to the members of parliament, and the whole proceedings. The letters are very long; and since all was acted extraordinary there, I shall not need any repetition to them, that already are knowing of it. Peter Jongestall, one of our embassadors in England, tandem has obtained licence from the states general to return to his country, after having made great complaints here, that his collegues have continual conference at Whitehall without his knowledge or concurrence.
The deputies, destined by these states to compose the differences betwixt Sweden and Bremen, have departed from hence; and those of Hamburg and Lubeck are called to be at the place appointed, to the same effect.
The twenty-fifth of last month, the baron d'Avangour, embassador extraordinary from the king of France to the new king of Sweden, arrived at Stockholm. It is confirmed, that king sends an embassador to the late queen of Sweden, upon the two points you had in my last but this.
All yours hitherto are received, and conveyed as you directed. You have herewith letters from Aken; but from Vienna I had none by this nor last post. The reason I know not, if it be not your correspondent is sick, or wants matter to write: however, I sent yours to him.
The armies of these countries and the French are in the same place and posture, or near it, as you had in my last but this; both armies being strong and vigilant. Turenne hath considerably fortified Quesnoy.
The king of France is at la Fere, and cardinal Mazarin in Guise, a little troubled with the gout. It is reported he intends to besiege Chastelet, as you had in my former letters, or la Chapelle, or both, if he can.
The count of Duras went to introduce some foot into Clermont, which holds for the prince of Condé, and happily introduced above 600 foot, and in his way took prisoners the marshal of Grandpré, which had the blocking up of Clermont in his charge: with him also two of his brothers were taken prisoners, as I writ to you in my former letters. It is now confirmed, that cardinal de Retz is arrived at St. Sebastian's, from whence he sent one to Madrid to give notice thereof to his majesty. Some letters bring word from Germany, that colonel Michel in a conflict took 400 horse, and made prisoner the marquis of Renel, a colonel of horse.
The lord Taaf is now here, after returning from Antwerp, and delivering his message to
the queen of Sweden: what it is, I know not; but I presume, no more than a compliment.
Here is nothing of peace, truce, or any the like; but as much for war as may be. I have
not more at present. Sir,
Vice-admiral de Ruyter to the states general.
H. and M. Lords,
In regard we understood there lay before Cadiz two Zealand men of war, to convoy home those merchant-men from Cadiz; as also understanding, that captain Pilcke had order to convoy home the Malaga-men, I thought fit also to divide my squadron, and to send some to convoy the Malaga-men, and myself to come for Cadiz to help to convoy home the merchant-men here; where we arrived the second of this month, where presently the consul came aboard of us, complaining and shewing us letters writ from Sallée, containing the proceedings of the government of Sallée, by reason of the prize, which Tromp took and brought in here; namely, that in revenge thereof they had imprisoned three merchant-ships of Amsterdam, with their lading, putting the mariners and seamen into prison, threatning them with a perpetual slavery, unless the prize be fully restored. Whereupon those poor men do make a pitiful moan, that I would come to them with my ship, believing that in regard of the acquaintance I have with the government of Sallée and the chief of the place, I might be able to redeem them out of prison. And by reason the consul and merchant-men here assured me, that it would be four or five weeks before their merchant-men could get ready to return home, I have thought it for the service of the state to sail with all speed for Sallée with the two Zealand men of war, to endeavour the clearing and restitution of those ships, and the releasing the men out of prison; and so to endeavour, that the breach between our state and Sallée may not grow wider. I am also informed, that there are a great many Turkish ships abroad. I make no doubt, if I had more ships with me, to meet with some of them, before I come back.
An intercepted letter of John Hughel to Mr. Humphrey Jones.
The news in general, we are all quiet; and for particulars, it's confined to a few, who are more close and provident than their predecessors. For my own part, I am well content to be a stranger. The commissary general arrived here lately; and I am told there is something intended in the nature of a recognition of the government, to be signed by those in command and imployment here. There was much talk of it on monday last; but since silenced.
The Muscovites and Cossacs have taken from the Poles, according to report, about an hundred miles of land in length. The last post from Koningsberg we had news, that Vitopits had beaten off the Muscovites three storms, but had taken in Miloff, situated upon the river Dwyna, by accord; yet kept not the articles, but slew all the male Jews and antient women, captiving the young women and young men of the town. He fortifies and keeps himself upon the other side the river Dwyna. The Poles, as yet, are not able to make any resistance; and if the country do rise, as is reported, I fear it is too late in the year to effect any thing.
A letter of intelligence from Mr. Augier's secretary.
The first news I have to add unto my last, is the pope's death, which was assured on monday last by an express dispatch from Rome to the post-master of Lyons, and from him to Paris unto the chancellor of France, who soon after sent it to court. There is much likelihood, that the Spaniard will after the said death cause the stirring of the armado by them made at Naples, to favour the creation of a new pope; and that makes me think cardinal Mazarin, who doth particularly take to heart his own interest in Italy, having foreseen what would happen, hath caused the armado to be made at Toulon, both to be in a condition to uphold his friends at Rome, as also to cause commotion at Naples; so that it's thought the duke of Guise may at first land in the ecclesiastical state, if so be the Spaniard were strongest there, and from thence pass where he shall think most convenient.
In the interim this court, endeavouring to increase its reputation towards Flanders, continues its preparatives there for some siege; whereunto it's thought the Spaniards will not oppose with much resolution, being we hear, that the prince of Condé having had advantageous occasions to charge the rear of marshal Turenne's army, whilst it returned from its incursion near Bruxelles, the Spanish officers would never consent thereunto.
'Tis written from la Fere of the [5 present/25 past] that the French army was situated towards Cambresis, and the enemy towards Bouchain, on this side l'Escaut; and 'tis added, that the count of Grandpré had been taken by a Spanish party; and that cardinal went that day to Guise. We have yet no news from cardinal of Retz, as also no considerable news from Catalonia. I hear mademoiselle has sent a gentleman to their majesties, who hath complimented them in her behalf for her reintegration in the court; and it was answered him, that all, that she had done, was taken for gallantry, except the action of causing the cannon of the Bastille to be drawn upon the king's troops, in the battle given some years since in the suburb St. Antoine.
Richelieu to Bordeaux, the French embassador in England.
Since that the most severe and most rigorous do use retractations, I will make no difficulty to do the same. I writ you word of the arrival of the cardinal de Retz at St. Sebastian's; in the mean time it doth not hold true; I have been deceived; the king and his council were so likewise. They did so far believe it, that there was published in the streets of Paris a commission of the king to inform against the said cardinal, grounded upon this, that his majesty was advertised by the governors of the frontier-towns of Bretagne and Guienne, and by many particular men, that he was gone out of the kingdom, and arrived at St. Sebastian's the fifth of September. Now that they hear, that the said cardinal was not arrived at St. Sebastian, and that they do not know where he is, having so well concealed his march, they have endeavoured to suppress the said commission. The pope's nuncio doth complain of this commission, by reason it is said of him, that he should have made several propositions to the said cardinal, tending against the king. The nuncio, having made search after these words, hath writ to the secretary of state about it, and doth protest to complain to the king of it.
The news of Rome of the fourteenth of the last month do bring great joy, which the pope had for the raising of the siege of Arras; and indeed the Spaniards thinking themselves sure of the place, they were grown already so insolent, that if they had compassed their design, there would have been no enduring of them.
You have heard how his holiness the pope hath been very ill of the diarrhæa: he doth all that he can to recover, but his strength doth daily sail him; so that it is thought he will not continue long alive: however, the physicians do not fail to give him good hopes, and to advise him to remove into the good air of St. Martino. It is believed since, that when he seeth himself at the brink of his grave, and in a good condition not to fear the brags of the Spaniard, that he will provide for the vacant churches of Portugal, wherein he will satisfy his conscience, and not a little oblige him that shall succeed. The report is, that he hath granted a brief of absolution to signora Olympia for all the simonies, which she hath committed during his pontificate.
Here arrived yesterday an express, who hath confirmed the death of the pope, which held for certain before. We have no embassador at Rome, to sustain the interest of France in the conclave; but men do pretend, that the marquis of Guise, who is gone to sea with his fleet, will supply that defect.
The court was still at la Fere on sunday last; and the lord your father at Mondidier to give order for the passage of the army of Guienne, which will be to-day at Beauvais. They intend to join, before they undertake the siege. In the mean time they fortify ChâteauCambresis, as well as Quesnoy. They talk here of some great design to be acted this campaign.
Marescot, to Mons. de Villeré, resident of Parma.
I have seen the archbishop of Tholouse, who hath assured me, that he is still, and will be always ready to serve you, having assured me, that he doth wish with all his heart you were restored; but that he doth not fee as yet any likelihood for it; for which he is sorry: he will not fail to serve you. I have seen Mons. Cochet, who doth wish you were in Italy or Holland. His eminency is not to be spoken withal; yea madame la princesse Palatine cannot have access to him herself.
Cochet to Villeré, resident of Parma.
I have heard of your safe arrival at London. The princess Palatine sell ill presently after her arrival here; so that I was fain to cause your letter to be delivered unto her by her gentleman; and I have seen her but once, and that in her bed. She declared to me, how sorry she was for your disgrace; and that she would do all what she could to reconcile you to the cardinal. I hear, that your enemies will endeavour to render you guilty, by reason of your passage into England. You know, that that country is held with us very suspect. I will tell you no more, but be contented to assure you, that I am, &c.
A letter of intelligence from Paris.
Yours of the first instant I received, by which I see you have not then received my letters. I am confident, God willing, your government will go forward by the means of his highness and parliament: yet it is written from thence by many hands, division is to be feared; of which you are to take notice. We have not much to acquaint you of news since my former; only confirmed, that a commission is sent from the council to prince Conti, to oversee the states general in the province in Languedoc, which is to begin about the latter end of this present month; and for that the princess of Conti is preparing for her journey thither, and by reason the duke of Orleans is governor of that province of Languedoc, for fear he should take it ill, the king writ to him a civil letter with his own hand, desiring his altesse royale to be pleased at it, being for the common good and conservation of his kingdom.
Saturday last lettres de cachet were sent by the council to the parliament here, with orders to annul the last information made by them against cardinal de Retz, by virtue of the king's commission sent to them (as you heard of before); and that, both because it was not confirmed, that the said cardinal was at St. Sebastian's, as they were informed of them, as also to quench the sury of the pope's nuncio, in setting out in print he was the messenger of the propositions proposed to the said cardinal for his accommodation before last Easter.
The troops of Guienne marched twelve days ago from Tour, after having pillaged all suburbs of that city, where they lodged; and were afterwards lodged about Chartres, where they did the like; from whence they continued their march, till they passed over the river Seine at Mantes three days ago, being in number four or five thousand men. Marshal de Turenne demands the honour to be colonel general of the cavalry; which is thought will not be refused.
It is reported, that M. count de Bussi enter'd some men into Mezieres; also that he and marquis de Normoutier are joined together to declare against any, that would trouble them. Those that know best, say, they will not declare yet, that they will endeavour the conservation of their governments, till they be forced to quit them.
The court is now at la Fere, and do nothing of consequence; and the more, because the cardinal is indisposed, and much troubled with his ordinary gout. However, the letters of yesterday bring, that the king is to return again to St. Quintin, to give orders, that the convoys might pass to the army, which returned back again to Quesnoy, and are fortifying of it as fast as they can, thinking to quarter the most part of their armies thereabout this winter.
Madame la princesse d'Harcourt died two days ago at Amiens of the small-pox. Father Boyon provincial of the Jesuits, died at Bourges lately, making his visits. Madame d'Elbœus is very sick, and madame de Guise much recovered.
The princess of Orange is returning to the Hague in Holland, and king Charles remains yet in Germany, in expectation to get relief from the princes there, and go for Scotland, where I think little is left for him.
A letter of intelligence.
Philip O Rieley is landed in Flanders from Spain, with 1500 Irish; and I hear 400 more are landing in Dunkirk, as they say, from Ireland. I hear lieutenant-general Farrel is coming to Flanders, if not there already, with a commission from the king of Spain to command in chief all the Irish there.
An extraordinary courier passed through this town yesterday, coming from Italy to
the French court. What may be his business, is not yet known; only some think it is
about the pope's death, of which yet we have no certainty. His nuncio here says, he
cannot live two months; at the falling of the leaves, he says, he will die, by reason of
his old age, being fourscore and two years; which is all at present from,
Your most real servant.