A Collection of the State Papers of John Thurloe, Volume 3, December 1654 - August 1655. Originally published by Fletcher Gyles, London, 1742.
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February (1 of 3)
Bordeaux, the French embassador in England, to Cardinal Mazarin.
The two letters, wherewith your eminence hath been pleased to honour me, do not give me any subject to add any thing concerning my negotiation to the duplicate of the letter of monsr. de Brienne, but only to satisfy your commands touching the levies of the Scots soldiers. And in order thereunto I have spoken with the colonel, who hath propounded to me to raise so many men upon the same terms, as col. Lyon offered to perform; but he could not give me his positive answer till such time as he had spoken with the lord protector, to inform himself, whether he would obtain leave of him to transport them, which in all likelihood will not be denied him. I will use my utmost endeavours to dispatch this business, to prevent all inconveniencies, which may happen by having of it delay'd. I cannot yet get the speech of the lord protector, which he made at the dissolution of the parliament, the fear of an answer having hindred the publication. However some have put forth a book to cry down his authority; but it is to little purpose.
Bordeaux, the French embassador in England, to Brienne.
I had hoped, that this letter would have signified unto you the signing of the treaty, since I was agreed with my commissioners at the last conference of all that was to be reformed in the 6 articles; and that I had given a memorandum of all those, whose removal hence might be desired, reducing the secret article to the terms formerly agreed on; but yesterday they signified unto me, that the lord protector would not change the word— nor consent—whereof there was formerly no demand made; and that which appeareth more extraordinary, he doth refuse at the same time—whereof the most part are out of England, but are come over hither since my abode here, and are interessed in the affairs of the prince, here being at present only Barriere on his behalf and two tradesmen of the pretended commissioners of Bordeaux, who do not deserve to be named in the treaty. I sent this morning to my commissioners to complain upon their refusing to sign, as we had agreed; and that there ought not any change or alteration to be made.
Bordeaux to his father.
I Hope you are now in a condition to hear the discourse of affairs. Those of my negotiation you will know by the letter, which I writ to Mr. de Brienne; only I will add, that since the beginning of the treaty I have not indured any thing with so much impatience as the last proceeding of this state; and that to avoid a reply capable to undo the whole work that is past, I have deferred it till to morrow, to the end my just anger may be over, which their way of acting so unjustly and so full of scorn hath occasioned, at a time when one might expect men would act fairly and honestly. I do not doubt, but my lords the ministers, who do believe the lord protector to be altogether disposed to live quietly with France, are also surprized and troubled to penetrate into the motives of this variation, which cannot be grounded but upon a confidence, that since we have yielded so much as we have done to come to an agreement, we will not lose our advances, but rather submit to their desires, though never so unreasonable.
Bordeaux to the mareschal d'Aumont at Boulogne.
If the pamphlets both of Paris and London may be credited, my negotiation is already concluded, and I confess there doth not want much; but till the signing inclusively be past, one must still apprehend some revolution in a country more subject to change and alteration, than any other in the world that is known. But I hope the next post may bring some assurance. There hath happened nothing considerable since the dissolution of the parliament, which it was thought would have caused some commotion here; but all is quiet, and only their tongues are the weapons of those, that are angry. Some believe, that men shall see a government of iron; that the royalists shall be persecuted, and the anabaptists elevated, and a great severity used against all assemblies and publick pleasures; but as for the common sort, they are not like to suffer much. The report is here also of a great war, that is between this country and Spain in America. That the protector hath desired to borrow two millions of the good commonwealth of Genoa, whose accommodation with Spain is not yet perfected, as was reported.
Fleetwood, lord deputy of Ireland, to secretary Thurloe.
I have of late times spent some opertunities extraordinary to debate the busines of the government, and therein to argue the two interests, wherein all people are concerned, how well they are secured by the instrument of government, I meane our civill and religious liberties; and this thorough mercy hath bine with very good successe; but indeed you would wonder what a great rejoyceing my lord protector's last speech hath given to the harts of good men, and seeme strangly to be more satisfied now then formerly; and on the contrary, evill men are very much dejected and disappointed in the late dissolution. That large principle, which my lord protector is blessed with, is that, which I am perswaded will owne him in and carry him through all difficulties; and let men say what they will, that principle wil be uppermost at last. That designe, which was lately in England, was likewise heere, and great consultations our old enemy had and are yet carying on, which made me, that I have stayed 4 companies of the 3000, wee haveing so few forces heere, untill his highnes pleasure be knowne whether they shall come, for indeed wee are thinly mann'd at present in our garrisons. I have taken lieutenant general's parole, in pursuance of his highnes order by Cornet Bradly, whereby he hath engaged to attend his highnes by the 10 of March, and faith, he intends to live in Sommersetshire with a sisterin-law, to avoyd jealousies and temptations. I doe rely on your care, that no person be added to the councell heere before I be first heard therein. I detaine Cornet Bradley on purpose till next weeke, to impart some things of publicque concernments to you. I am
Your humble servant,
A vindication against the complaints of mr. Rogers, address'd to Edward Dandy, esq;
In answeare to yours aboute the unjust complaynt of mr. Rogers, wee retorne these lines, being part of our just vindication in briefe, and remayne ready to inlarge verbually: First to his charge, that drunkards and swearers intrude into his chamber, and sit by his fire, wee know of none but mr. Spittlehouse (of late a champion creature of mr. Rogers) though now at defiance, sate in his chamber, as being use to it; but for swearing and drunkennesse, let Spittlehouse cleere himselfe. The whole house can witnesse us cleere from those extravagancies.
Wee were never in his chamber but at his publicque speaking, except once, when some 3 weekes agone he challenged and sent for us 5 or 6 times, as being galled by a relation sent him from us, occasioned by his abuses offred, wherein wee discovered, that wee would not have him thinke us soe ignorant, but that wee discerned out of what box hee juggled, by his and his societie's proceedings, in publishing sedition, treason, rebellion, and therein included heresie.
For though wee hated informing, yet not being satisfied; if to conceale treason were not treason, wee shewed our dislike thereof to your officers; adding moreover, that his highnesse had but bad servants, if he were not acquainted with these odious proceedings, which to us are very strange, that a handfull of Scum, the very raf of Billingsgate, Redriffe, Ratliffe, Wappen, &c. shall ayme at the destruction of this government, as being by mr. Rogers encouraged, animated, instigated and seduced, not in any misticall expressions, but in plaine words, viz.
That'twill bee all their owne very shortly, and the greate man at Whitehall must suddenly be confounded and destroyed, averring with the most of ugly expressions and confidence, that they are the saints that must shortly injoy and possesse the glory of the earth, and all men being either saints or devills, whosoever is not of their mind are devills, they being the saints.
One of them speaking or preaching in mr. Rogers's chamber, had theis wordes, that wee did not live in an age to expect miracles; that Babilon cannot bee destroyed, nor the sainte at Windsor bee released by only faith and prayer; but you must bee of courage, and make use of materiall instruments, and proceed by force, per example (said hee) if this house of Lambeth were to bee pulled downe, you must make use of materialls, and not expect 'twill ever fall by faith or prayer.
Another time prayeing; Lord, when wilt thou free thy saints from the feare of men? when shall they by force redeem the captives of the Lord in Windsor, this place, &c. and, as I apprehended, one saint at Maydstone by name was expressed.
Wee adde to this his intentions to raise seditions, treason, rebellion, and heresy, as by witnesses here can attest, that mr. Rogers did read a letter openly to his auditors, which hee said came from mr. Powell from Wales, who did assure him of twenty thousand saints there ready to hazard theire blood in defence of theire cause.
Thus much for present vindication forced from us by mr. Rogers his aspertions (occasioned by the aforesaid relation sent him) the heads or chief contents thereof, which soe much disturbed him, and which wee from the premises and other evidences concluded, which were;
That his hocus was to seduce the scilley multitude, and juggle theire meanes into his pocket, appeared by the continuall gatherings at home and abroade (which wee thinke, is one chiefe reason, why those Journymen, that factiously joyne with him, doe follow his steps in exclaymeing against the government) that they might procure to themselves such like profitts, and why wee judged him a perfect hypocrite, was then related.
Wee shall conclude (being all passages would take up many sheetes) with mr. Rogers relation to his auditors, the occasion why colonell Overton was secured; whereby you may judge what edification hee hath for his society (the whole designe being to turne and wind state proceedings by his commenting to theire fond scence, saying 'twas not only for a private meeting with some of the saintes in the countrey, and proceeding chardged the lord protector for injustice in that.
Sir Robert Stone to secretary Thurloe.
This inclosed is com now to my hands. I am confident you will finde hee that writ it, hath taken up the name of Wright; by which you may finde by Moris in the towne of Dover, as they wrighte he is the said Moris: hath been here lateley; but I sawe him not. Hee hath beene from me 2/3 yeares, and searves one of that caball with Norwode and the Litiltons nowe in howld, a gent, to the prinses royall; which is all I shall trouble you with att present; only that I am
Inclos'd in the preceding. Nicholas Armourer to sir Robert Stone.
Sir Robert Stone,
Kinde saluts. I had the convenience of a passage from Dunkirke in the same boate with your man Mauris, but heare wee founde a restraint upon all the passengers by order from his highness the lord protector: by this meanes your servant is made prissoner in the towne of Dover, and I in the castell, till wee can send to our frinds, that the officer that commandes heare may have ane order from above to give us our freedome. I beseech you doe mee the favour to prevaile with some of your frinds neare his highnes the lord protector, to gett mee leave either to come to London, or to returne backe to Rotterdam. I know you know me so well that I ingage . . . . I may bee free to gett my owne livelyhood abrod or at home. I know you will not forgett your frindes in trouble, that makes mee now give you this. I pray be pleassed to pressent my dewty to my mother, from her dewtyfull, and,
Worthy sir, your humble servant,
J. Topping to secretary Thurloe.
There hath bine an Eiy upon doctor Newton, since you writ to me: he hath gone litle out of the towne this winter: he accompanyes with disafected persons, and was an ould companion of Paul Hobson. The serching of Aubury's house, I suppose, did startle that party, and hath made them (I think) more wary. I am lately tould by our Marshal, that he heard some at Newcastle say, Aubury was seene early and late neare a wood just by the river side on this side Newcastle 3 dayes before I serched his house and vessel. I shall make a further inquiry into the truth of this. Indeed the wood is a fitt place for such a designe. Your first letter lay 2 or 3 dayes at the post house before it came to my hands, or otherwise Aubury had bine catched in his * * * * Thomas Errington, the post master is * * * then he should be: he was one of P. H. great assosiates, and alsoe a companion of ould caveleares. I am tould he is not mended: many speake bad of him.
This day manie of the rebabtized judgment meet at Newcastle about Paule Hobson's
8 diabolical reasons, sensureing all that signed the adresses to his highness to be incomunicable in the ordinances of God, hatch'd in his fraudulent head, and are the fountaine of
major Bramston's 18 reasons, as I am told, by one of their dissenting brethren. It is
thought all the dissenting brothers will agree this day to publish something to the world,
about cleareing themselves from suspicion. I thinke it would be convenient such malignant
persons ware secured by the civell magistrate. I am,
Your very humble servant,
Mr. Bradshaw, resident at Hamburg, to secretary Thurloe.
At instant the post comes on with your letter of the 26th of January, which gives notice of the dissoalvinge of the parliament. I am glad there's no disturbance thereupon, as was designed by the enemyes of our peace; yet some report here, that the governor of Hull should have denyed entrance to a regiment sent thither by his highness; but I hope it's only soe given out by such as would have it soe, and worse, if they could effect it.
I perceive the affaires of state pressed too hard upon you to find tyme to acquaint his highness with the account I gave of the entertainment his letter sound here; but I shall hope to heare from you of it per next, and to receive his highness's further commands in that particular. Mr. Townley, now that he hath spanned up his designe to the height here, and engaged as many as he could therein, is gone for England, to agitate for himselfe and his partie, they haveinge (as I heare) presented a petition to his highness, before the cominge fourth of the last post, to have libertie to vindicate themselves and their proceedings, being resolved to stand it out to the utmost, not questioninge but their numbers and friends will beare them out, and bringe them off bravely. I suppose, if they have presented any such petition, it hath past your hands, and that you will please to order me a copie of it per next post, which request I formerly made, in case any petition or remonstrance should be exhibited by them. They beinge resolved to stand upon their justification, it may be required at my hands to prove what I have charged them with; therefore my request is, that you will please to move his highness for a commission to be sent me, to examine witnesses, directed to Robert Palmer, David Hechstetter, Isaack Blackwell, William Strange, and Cuthbert Jones, merchants of the company, addinge whome you think fitt to them, if it shall not be thought fitt to direct it only to my selfe, because I may seeme concerned, which yet I am not otherwise than as a servant to his highness and the commonwealth. I pray, sir, haste the commission and coppy of their petition; or paper whatsoever it is, with the names of such as have subscribed it, which I heare are many. I hope in the meane tyme his highness and your selfe will so far credit what I have writ, as not to admit any thing from them in my prejudice, till you have my prooses, which shall be sent as well in the bussiness of Waites as those gentlemen who are so confident of their cause, so soone as I receive the commission, or an order to examine wittnesses as resident, which power I suppose my character carryes in it, for the service of the state.
I here inclose you a letter this day received from the gentleman you know of, and doe write
him per this daye's post of your order for 501. more, part of which is already remitted him.
You will please to excuse these hasty lynes, and let me have from you as soone as possible
what directions his highness hath given, that the government of the company may be
setled, which will very much oblige
Hamburgh, Feb. 6. 1654.
Fleetwood, lord deputy of Ireland, to secretary Thurloe.
That designe, which was carying on in England, I have reason to believe the same was in Ireland amongst the Irish, and those who have bine of that party. They are still carrying on some thinge, which I cannot yet fully make out; but the cheife headpeices have there private councells in Dublyn, and they have there agents in England. The names of the cheife are, sir Edward Fitzs Harris, mr. John Halyr, sir Robert Talbott, mr. Seagrave, mr. John Grace, and one Power. These corespond with those heere at Dublyn, who have there emissaries to disperse into that country on all occasions, what they thincke convenient to carry on there designes. It were well an eye were had on those persons in London, especially mr. Seagrave and Grace, who are men of parts and interest; and so is sir Robert Talbot. This inclosed was from some of there cheife heere, which was sent into the countie of Longford, where one of the scoutmaster generall's agents lives, and brought him this letter. Wee are endevoring to search what we can find out in this busines, and hope the Lord will discover and blast all there designes, and that the forces will be diligent in there respective places. The Irish are very high, but much troubled at dissolution of the parliament. I did not long since receave a letter from my brother Cromwell, that one colonell Treswell was in the late plott, who hath kept very private heere, but I heareing where he was, is now secured. There is a very strange scandalous book, intitled, Arguments against Transplantation, that is now come forth, which doth verie falfely and unworthily asperse those, that did and now doe serve the state heere. The person, who is said to write this, will, I doubt, as much deceave your expectation in England, as he hath bine disingenuous to us heere, who have bine ready on all occasions to show respect to him; but those, who know him better than I doe, have before this tyme bespoken what manner of spirit he was off, which I in too much charitie did hope had bine otherwise. It wil be a great discouragement to the state servants, if such may be allowed there libertie to traduce them. I formerly receaved a letter from his highness for the dismission of lieutenant colonell Scot from his command; and heareing since from an officer, that came latelye from England, of his continued dissatisfaction; and therefore desire to know his highnes pleasure therein. Excuse the trouble of this from
Concerning adjutant Allen.
Sir John Davis baronett reports, that the said adjutant said, at his last being in London, he was with the protector, and had roundly told him his mind; and that hee did nettle the protector extreamly; that he departed from him in a huffe without any leave, and yet immediately tooke his horse, and came out of London.
About the end of November hee meett in Exeter a kinsman of his wife's, one mr. Reynell, who was chosen a member of the last parliament, but had diserted. Hee told the said mr. Reynell, they were quiett in Ireland as to the common Enhemy, but there were many discontented there as well as here. He said there was a talking of disbanding some there, and that he was pitched upon to inform a committee concerning it, and other the affaires of Ireland; but he was resolved to say nothing in it. He said theire might be mischeif, besides the danger of disbanding any then. That there could not bee 5000 drawn into the field; and that there was 40,000 to be kept under. He did highly commend lieutenant general Ludlowe, and said he was come already or coming into England; that he intended to be himselfe in Ireland in February, but would first goe to London.
The said mr. Reynell telling him, he was ready to act in the country as a justice of the peace, though he could not as a parliament man, for that the best way (as he thought) to be secured against the common enemies was to acquiesce in and under the present government; he answered, that he happly might think so likewise, but there were many of another mind, and the protector might have overruled all according to the interest of honest men, without taking so much power to himselfe, which did displease many.
There are divers strangers, particularly from Somerset and about Bristol, that came to his meetings, which are often on week dayes. He rides comonly with a kind of vizard over his face, with glasses over his eyes; and this he did on the 5th of last month, being fryday, ridinge to a meeting at Luppitt, within this county; and that which did not a little cause suspicion of him was the coming at that time of Hugh Courtnay (that had been or is an officer in Ireland) to mr. Prouze's house, a cavalier of a good estate, where the said Courtnay scarce spoke any thing but treason, most bitterly revileing the present government and his highnes; said he was then goeing to London, where and thereabouts he was sure to meet hearts and hands enough to carry on the anabaptisticall interest; that his government should not stand many months, and that deliverance was at hand.
From adjutant Allen.
I have by this post received one from your lordship, mentioning one of mine that you have seen, wich you are pleased to give your sens uppon, and to charg me with disingenuity in writing as I did; but when you are pleased to looke again, and se your own mistake, my charg will be the less. I was tolde by captain Crook that he thought it was for words spoke at anabaptists meetings, and soe I gave account of it in my letter to the best of my memory. What spirit it shews to repeate his words, I know not, but you are judg in that case. I must contess I have a deep sens of my restraint, knowing it causless as to the matter alleadged; but my God, before whom you and I shall er long nakedly apear, will in due tyme cleare my innocency, and judg such deallings righteouslyOn him I desire patiently to wait. I did not say you seared me; I may now say in that you wrong me: if you had, you say, you could have taken my commission, but it seems that was too little, without my good name alsoe, wich, though I am but a poore man, it is to me precious, and I cannot but say, it is an ill reward for 13 years faithful servic. As for my designe to make proselites heer, you cannot but know I have had more advantagious places and opportunities for such a work, if I had intended it. I will not say, I have hinder'd the makeing som that might have added more troubl to you er this then you are aware of. You are pleased to say, I have but littl to say for my dissatisfactions, or els I dissembled, when I was with you last. Truly, my lord, you know I am not much given to dissembl my judgment. Doe not judg me, because I sayd but littl, fine you pritty well know the reason of it: you gave me but littl time, takeing up the whole almost your self, of wich I then complained. As to your intelligence from these parts of my divulging my dissatisfactions, wich you say will bee made good, I know it cannot, though envy doe it's worst. Yet I know endeavours have been used to make a man an offender for a word, if possibl: how just that is, or acceptabl to the Lord, doe you judg from Isayah the 29, the 20, 21. You are also pleased to tax me with having as light an esteeme of you as of C. S. though neither any word in my letter nor any action of mine did ever give you ground for such a surmise. What my esteem hath been of you in some verticall forsakeing dayes I beleev you can remember; and I cann truly saye, if I have erred, it hath been, I feare, in esteeming too highly of you. The different esteeme I yett have of your Lordshipp from the other in part is this; I coulde freely ingadge against the other as formerly, but I durst not list a hand against you, nor joyn with or advise the doinge of it. Doe not charge thinges upon me, which you in your owne conscience must needs be satisfied are not chargeable. I shall remaine heere duringe your pleasure, though I am ill accomodated having no money nor cloaths for me, my poore wife, nor littl one; but the will of God be don, and yours alsoe. The Lord grant you may find more mercy from him in the great day, then I have had from you in this. Beging pardon for this troubl, I comitt you to the Lord, and remaine,
Sand. Feb. 7, 1954.
From adjutant general Allen.
I Thanck you for your simpathy and care of me in this littl hour of my distres, wich indeed hath occasioned some conflicts in my poore heart, wich I finde in too untaught a frame to suffer wrongs and injuryes; but I hope the Lord will doe me good by it. I can asure you, that uppon the most dilligent search of my own heart and wayes, since I came into this country, I cannot finde my self guilty so much as a word to my knowledg, as to matters charged: the Lord knows I came downe resolved to bee silent, to wait, and se what God would bring forth, and accordingly have carried my self sinc, wich I durst not tell you, if I did not speake my heart in it; and I am the most to seek as to any probabl cause of such rumers as from me, that ever I was in my life. I speak not this, that I would have you acquaint the protector with it; let him doe what he pleases. I hope the Lord will teach me to doe and suffer his will, let it be what it will; though you cannot but thinck such thinges are of a verry tender nature to flesh and blood. I have sent you a coppy of his highnes letter to me, and my answer, wich I desire you to peruse, because advice is good, and I have som jealousy of my owne heart under my present tryall. I leave it to you to deliver it to him, if you judg it meet. I dare say noe more, though I beg you let not the plainnes of the stile hinder your delivery of it. I have forborne tart languadg as much as I could, and must tell you, I thinck it may verry well be delivered, and doe very much desire it might; but I submitt all to you, desireinge you would not be over hasty for my deliverenc, for I think I shall serve no longer with you as a soldier, my work being don. Oh that I had don more good in my day, but I am a poor creater. Pitty and pray for me, that I may profit by, and be upheld under the present dispensation. Soe my and my wife's love and service to your wife.
Mr. Thomas Herbert clerk of the council in Ireland to secretary Thurloe.
Mr. Justice Cooke, captain Shaw, and my selfe were lately ordered by my lord deputie and counsel to repayre unto lieutenant generall Ludlow, and to demand his two military comissions; and in case of resufall to take his parole in writing, that by the 10th of March next hee should present himselfe unto his highnes the lord protector at Whitehall. Hee choose rather to ingage the latter, then to give up his comissions. Whereupon wee tooke his parole, the coppy of which is inclosed, which by his excellencies and the councel's order is sent your honor.
I have by their order also sent inclosed colonell Eyre's examination. Hee hath been in close restraint at the sergeant at armes since the 27 of January, and so continueth. Yesterday coll. Dan. Treswell, late agent here for the pr. of Condé, was likewise secured and examined. Little appeares from him against himselfe as party to the late plott. Divers others are to be examined, which being perfected will together be transmitted to your honor. I am,
Lieutenant general Ludlow's engagement.
Whereas mr. Justice Cook, colonell Herbert, and captain Shaw (by virtue of an order of the lord Deputy and councel, dated the 29th of this instant January) are authorized to demand and to receive my two military commissions, as lieutenant general of the horse, and colonell of horse in Ireland; or to take my parole in writing, that by or before the 10th day of March next (wind and weather favouring) I should present myself unto the lord protector; I do hereby engage my parole unto the abovesaid Gentlemen, that I will accordingly (the Lord permitting) tender myself unto the lord protector at Whitehall by that time; and that in the mean time I shall act nothing directly or indirectly to the disturbanee of the peace, or the prejudice of the present government. Witness my hand at Monutayne near Dublin the 30 January 1654.
Captain Gregory Butler to the protector.
May it please your highness,
Tyme will not permitt me to give you such an account of your affaires heer as I thought to have donn. The commissioners this evening have resolved to send my selfe with 3 ships for the Leeward islands, to raise such force, as may conduce most for your highnes service. We have acording to your commands laid an embargo upon all ships heer, and seised upon 8 Dutch shipps we sound heer. The islanders here much desire commerce with strangers, our English merchants trasiquing to those parts being generally great extortioners. I humbly represent to your highnes the necessity of allowing forreigne commerse, which can be noe way prejudiciall, imposing upon them double custom to be paid in our English plantations in these parts. As yett our London shipps are not arrived with our store. We are now ready to sett saile; wheirforce being in haste I humbly beg your highnes pardon for not returning soe full an account as I intended. By the next conveyance I shall endeavour to render you as perfect an account as I can possible. In the mean tyme I presume to stile myselfe
Captain Unton Croke to the protector.
May it please your highnesse,
If my last letter of account concerning adjutant general Allen, (which I sent upp with divers papers inclosed in it by the same post, that he wrote to your highnesse) bee not yett come unto your highnesse hands, I cannot but suspect their hath been some ugly practise used in diverting the intelligence, which at large I presented your highnesse with; and alsoe an endeavour to render mee negligent and remisse in my duty towards your highnesse. And least what I (have reason to) seare should prove true, that your highnesse is yet in the darke concerning all passages of the seizing the adjutant's person and other things relating to him, I shall presume humbly to reiterate what I formerly hinted unto your highnesse. Soe soone as I received your commaunds for securing his person, which came to my hands this day 8 dayes in the evening, within few howers afterwards I sett forth of Exon towards his father-in-lawe's mr. Huish his house, where I heard the adjutant was, to which place I came about breake of the nexte day; and having enquired of some servants of the house, whither the adjutant were there, they told mee he was, and in bed. Soe soone as I heard this, I resolved according to what the high sherife and I agreed on the night before, imagining it might conduce much to the advantage of your highnesse, to seize on his trunckes, and then to search for papers, thereby to discover his designe, and to know who were his correspondents; but unhappily he had sent them up to London some few dayes before, soe that I was deprived of my intention. And heer, my Lord, if he could quarrell at any thing in his apprehension, it was at this action, where I was necessitated to send 2 or 3 souldiers to enter in his chamber with the first that carried him newes of my being come to the house, least he having notice, if he had any papers there, might convey them away. Some few letters were found, which I inclosed in my last letter to your highness. They were writt to him from some discontented spirrits, and many dissatisfactorie clauses conteyned in them. 'Tis true, my lord, the souldiers wore their swords by their sides, and alighting from their horses, tooke their pistols in their handes; but that the least violence was used, or any ill words gave, or any thing that looked like an affront, I doe deny, and well know that he cannot lay any thing to the charge of myselfe or any man that was with me. I should now, my Lord, render your highnesse an account of what words passed between us; but hoping that my former letter is ere this in your highnesse hands, I shall forbeare; only this I shall adde, that according to your highnesse instructions, I confined him to his father's house, he giving mee a noat under his hand, that he would their remayne, untill your highnesse further pleasure were knowne. This day I sent him your highnesse letter, and I desired him to remember his promise unto me, in continnuing at the present where hee was. All that possibly the high sherrife and myselfe with the greatest care and diligence wee have used can of a truth make out against him is this, that to two persons of very good qualitie in this countie in his discourses he vented these words; to the one he said (and that in a high bravado) that hee was not ashamed to say, that he was dissatisfied with the present government; and that hee had declared so much (said hee) to your highnesse, and added, that in his discourse to your highnes hee very much nettled you; and having put your highnes into a chasse, he left you, and then tooke his horse, and came into the countrey without taking leave. To the other gentleman he said, they being entered into severall discourses, and the gentleman asking him some questions concerning Ireland, as to the peace thereof, &c. to which the adjutant replyed, they were free from the common ennemie, but there were those that were discontented there as well as heere. He added, that it was reported, that some in Ireland should be disbanded, which he thouht could not be done; and then entring into a high commendation of lieutenant general Ludlow, he concluded the Irish discourse. After this the gentleman tooke the occasion to expresse the great sence of happines, that he and the whole nation had by your highnesse's government, to which the adjutant replyed, that he perceived he thought soe, and it may be soe might hee; but hee thought many others were of another mind. And then said, that your highnes might have overuled all, according to the interest of honest men, without takeing so much of the government to yourselfe, which he said displeased many. My lord, these words will bee exactly proved. Many others I have heard in many places spoken, but cannot prove them. All the countrie rings of his dissatisfaction, which hee spares not to tell every where, especially at the meetings of such of the baptized church, where hee resorts, but doth it so cunningly, that I cannot yet discover him further, though without all question his worke hath been in those parts to dissatisfie those people. They have had divers meetings of late upon the week dayes, to which places he hath gone disguised with kind of vizard; and this also can be proved. I sent all over Dorsettshir and Devon enquiring after colonel Sexby and Courtney, but as yett cannot heare of them; and your highnes need not doubt in the least of my viligence and care in all respects over those that are your highness and the nations ennemies. I have faithfull scouts in all parts of this countrie, who doe correspond with me; and if any thing be hatching, I hope the Lord will make mee instrumental to discover and suppresse it. I have according to your highnesse commaunds acquainted the baptized church in Exon with your highnesse's favour towards them, who have sent this enclosed letter of thankes to your highnesse. I now take leave humbly to subscribe myselfe
Mr. Longland, agent at Leghorn, to secretary Thurloe.
The Spanyards ar now sending back the train-bands of Naples, which this summer they carryed to Barsalona for its defence against the French. An English ship arryved at Civita Vechia met with the Flemish ships laden with thes soldiers, who seing the ships Duch with the Hollands Coullors sent aboard his boat to borro a hogshed of water. They kept his boat, and all his men, and sent theyr boat aboard the Inglish ship for the captain, but he seing his boat deteyned, deteyned theyrs lykewys, and carryed it with him into Civita Vechia, from whence he gives me thys advys. The ship is cald the Angel, captain Rand, who gives me this relation, and complaynes much of the incivillity of the Duch, who instead of being frends, hav done theyr endeavours to entrap and betray him, whereof I thoht good to giv you this short account.
The discords in the Switzers cantons is caus of much discourse: 'tis sayd both the duk of Savoy and the state of Millan ar bound to help the catholick party. I hope the other wil not be destitut: it much troubles Itally that the duk of Brandenburg has made peace with the king of Sweden. That queen in Rom seems latly to adhere much to the French: 'tis sayd she carrys herself very pollitikly, but with litle reputation or respect to her honour.
'Tis publickly advys'd, that general Blak's fleet coms into thes seas, where if they continue, 'tis convenient they should hav som port to refresh and careen their ships in, as also to hav provision for such things as they may want; to which end if you pleas to command me, I shal go to the great duk about it, or any other prince in Italy, wher you shall pleas to direct: only be pleas'd to give me some instructions, and I shall diligently obey your command, for 'tis not fitting such a fleet would com in any port upon uncertaintyes. If the fleet hav any occasion of powder, I can provyd here large quantety to the import of 4 or 5 thousand barrels to be laid up and kept as a store for them; but in such case pray let me hav 3 months warning to provyd it, and wherin I can be any otherwayes serviceable, be pleas'd to command,
Beverning to Nieuport.
Last tuesday we fastned the lord de Witt to a wife, and he sent me word yesterday, that being still busy with her, he had no time to write; and I will add withal my own excuse, that in regard I am here, and have received no letters out of England by this post, I have not much to write at this time; and in regard the difficulties, which are made by the members for your coming over, do only reflect upon the treaty, I dare assure you, that the same may be afterwards obtained to your content. Till that be done, I would not advise you to stir any farther about it. In the mean time I have something of importance to communicate unto you concerning the publick, which I defer till I return to the Hague.
Fleetwood, lord deputy of Ireland, to secretary Thurloe.
Wee have many difficulties upon us betwixt the adventurers, souldiers, and English protestant compounders, the firste alleadging 2 acts of parliament against the ordinance for compounding: however wee have proceeded towards a composition with them, and did begin with my lord Moore, whose fine was sett at 2 yeares vallew, and to be paid in equall portions at 6 and 6 monethes in 2 yeares, which he lookes upon to be impossible for him to performe, and presses very hard, that he may have 3 yeares time, and possession of his estate in the meane time. Wee as yet cannot satisfie ourselves to grant it, and he very much presses the representing of his condition to my lord protector. It wil be a great favour in you and advantage to our affaires, if you would privately let me understand his highness sence as to these persons. I know you will have many clamours against us from some of the adventurers, as if we did discourage plantation; and however we might formerly be strict in some thinges, yett let me say, we have of later times bine, I hope, ready the utmost we could to incourage that worke, so far as wee could be satisfied it was within our power; in which wee had the judges advice. The agent for the adventurers not long since put in a paper, which consisted of 3 demandes, with arguments thereupon, viz. 1. That he might have the possession of the moyeties of the 10 counties belonging to the adventurer in his possession. 2. That we would make voyd all custodiums. 3. Concerning the English protestants compounding. These 3 being owned as great obstructions to the adventurers, besides the opinion of the judges, wee desired justice Pepys to peruse his papers, and upon his report back, we, declaring our readines to encourage that worke, gave this answer, that we should give possession to every one, who answered there certificates, according to the act, and did hinder possession to none. 2. As to that of the leases, wee should doe the adventurers right in their applications to us in all perticular cases. The truth is, that is but a pretence of an obstruction, for most of our leases are void, the conditions not being performed by the leases. As to the 3. about delinquent protestants, wee plead my lord protector's ordinance. We have much reason to suspect, that some doe speake evill of us in this busines of the adventurers, because they would discourage people from improveing the adventurers, to the end that they might purchase them at easy rates. There is one thing in our instructions, wherein the state's interest is much concerned, and wee are at a stand what to doe therein. It is in the head of the instruction concerning granting of leases, wherein the terme of yeares is blancke, and we know not what his highnes and councell's pleasure is therein. I heare honest mr. Corbett is much asperst. Give me leave to say, he is a worthy person, and a faithful servant to his highnes and the commonwealth. His strictnes against particuler interest on a publique account makes him thus liable to exception by some persons. Excuse the troble of these from
Copy of an intercepted letter, in the hand-writing of secretary Thurloe.
I have received yours, and shall write you by this addresse, still findeinge letters come safe to handes, as I sayd in my last. I keepe my word, for this day I am come hether, and shall in few dayes be with you, and therefore pray let all thinges on your side be in a readines, that I might not staye longe in England, for feare of my owne miscarriage, although that is not valueable for soe good a worke as the ruininge hym, that hath destroyed both our master and all honest men. If madame Cleypoole nurse's Child can be made, it will be well and of great advantage to us. However the young gentlewoman will not faile in point of our accesse to the house. Enquire in Longe Acre for my cozen Godfrey, I meane hym that was lately a member of your house, not his sonne, for he is a justice, but the old man, wheither he can secure me for a day or two, for I heare he is noe freind to Cromwell, and foe may not be unwillinge to receive me. Soe God blesse your undertakeings, for it is better to dye like men in noble actions, then to live miserablye. Be of good courage. I doe assure you none is more at your devotion then
I will come about Portsmouth, and leave the vessel there, which will be more safe then where you advised me, and lesse suspicious; and besides I will call of your friend at Alton in Hampshire, where you must send me word the place I meet you, and be punctuall in this particuler, for I shall seeke at London to find you.
William Prior to the protector.
May it please your highnes,
In reference to your most honorable promise, I shall make a full and perfect declaration of what I know as to the questions you askt me, as I desire to find mercy at the great day when the secrets of all hearts shall be discloased. That I tooke my sen-land, because I would be from the heareing of newes, the Lord knowes it is a truth. That I have kept myselfe from any such temptation for above these two yeares last past, is as true; untill about six weeks agoe I came up to my landlord about my cattle, that were seized on for rent, that I durst not pay without securyty. I haveing received a discharg from mr. Henry Cromwell of Ramsey, and goeing to vissit a kinsman in Old Bayley, I mett with lieutenant Crossman, who told collonel Eaires were in town, and did enquire for me. I askt him, where he quartered; he told me at mr. Penicoats in Black-friers in Swan Aley. The next morning I went to him; he askt me what I thought of the condition of the nation under the breach of oaths, even wheeled about, and as they were, and how the cavileeres jeared us in all places, and could find better acceiptance with your highnes then those, who had borne the burthen and heat of the day. I replyed, as I remember, with the story out of the Isa fables; he desired me to com againe the next day; he would gett me to coppy out a paper, which he said a freind of his had, and to convey it to sir Arthur Hazlerig, which was not a declaration, but a kind of remonstrative pamphlet, which to my best rememberance the particulers was upon what termes the late warr ware; and for what all the blood was shead and treasure spent, and withall a desire of meeting in the countrey to consider of the chooseing of a free parliament, with somthing to the induceing the people against the government in one single person. This was the some, which I had from a black fatt man that came to collonel Eairs chamber, his name I cannot tell; I askt collonel Eaires, but he would not tell me, and this I carryed downe to Thurning, where I had not been 2 dayes, before that same John Dallington cam to my father's house, that your highnes questioned me about, who said he cam from sea, and that he belonged to the constant Warrick, and that he landed near Haridg, and that all the fleet was united to Oakley's papers, and that he was sent in that forlorne posture, to see how the countrey stood affected; and to give intelligence to his captain, and soe to the fleet: he said he had been with captain Loyd at St. Ives, and that he had been a little before in Scotland with the souldiery there, and that several officers of the fleet was com to your highnes with their resolutions; and that the governor of Langerpoynt had engaged to secure the fleet, if there was occassion. The aforementioned remonstrance I read to the said John Dallington, afterwards I carried it in my pocket to Gumley in Lestershire, where my wife is, who seeing of it gatt it out of my pocket, and burnt it. For seeking to promote it any more than what is here declared, or shewing it to any but what is hearein mentioned, as I desire mercy at the hands of God, I did not, and this I was prest in conscience to signifie to your highnes, which is the full truth of what I know; and I trust in God will soe dispose of me, that I shall never more meddle with publique busineses of this nature while I live. As to what passed bettween mr. Overton and myselfe, I doe not remember particulers, but only that it were matter of newes. I would have had him stated my busnes as to my landlord, and I would have borrowed 20 s. of him to bare my charges hom, I haveing but 5 s. when I came up. Severall particulers past bettween us as to those latter, which would not be materiall to relate.
And this, my lord, is the very truth, to the best of my understanding, that past between those men and myselfe; in the judging of which I shall freely submitt to your highnes mercy, and subscribe myselfe, my Lord,
Your highnes most humble servant,
The great duke of Tuscany's principal secretary to his resident Salvatti in England.
Those refreshing presents, which were several times sent to Leghorn to the lord general Blake by the great duke our master, were ever accompanied with such exquisite wines, as his highness cellar did afford, and received by his lordship very kindly, and acknowledging their goodness by returning ever answer, that there were never such rare wines drank in England, and how much they would be liked in those parts. Hereupon the general being asked, whether he believed that the lord protector's highness would be pleased to accept a taste of them, who answering, that he made no manner of doubt, but that the lord protector would like them very well; this answer made the great duke resolve, and to command the preparing 24 chests of several sorts of them, and to be addressed to you, as it hath been already done at Leghorn, upon the ship called the Endymion, at whose arrival at London the great duke hath commanded me to tell you, that as soon as you have received them, you would acquaint sir Oliver Flemming master of the ceremonies or others, as you shall think most fit; and to inform him or them, that the great duke, encouraged by the general's answer, did presently apply his thoughts of sending to the lord protector's highness this small quantity of chests, a sign of his most obsequious observance to his highness, &c. But before you shew yourself to present them, you must entreat sir Oliver Flemming or others to tell you freely, whether they believe, that the lord protector will take in good part the presenting unto him such wines; and in case they return unto you an approbation, then you may appear and present them yourself in the great duke's name, and in his name also to excuse him in presuming to send to his highness such small things as these are, and to beseech him to be pleased to judge (even by such a small toy) the true intention and desire he hath and ever will have to serve his highness in greater matters. Thus expecting your answer most affectionately I kiss your hand.
Noel Boteler to the protector.
May it please your highness,
In pursuance of that command I this day received from you, I send a partie of horse to Edston, where they aprehended major Wileman, and according to your order I have sent him to Chepstow. Att their coming into the house, where hee was, they found him and his man a writing these inclosed papers, and some few armes they have alsoe taken, which are heere amongst us. I am
Notes of major Wildman's plot by secretary Thurloe.
That the first meetinge was at mr. Allen's house, a merchant in Birchen Lane in the begining of September 1654. Okey, Alured, Saunders, Hacker, Wyldman, Lawson. Petition drawn by Wyldman and . . . . . . . . . . after Bishopp had it, and shewed it to Bradshaw.
The men they built upon was sir G. Booth, Bradshaw, Haselrigg, G. Finwicke, Birch, Her. Moley, Wilmer, Pynne, Scott, Fr. Allen, Person went with Hasel: &c. Bishop, Lets, Bradshaw, and their advises given by them.
At the same tyme a petition from the citty which Bradshaw advised in, and severall mett at his house, especially one Ayrs, sir Ar. H. Scott, col. Sankey, Weaver, directed both the bringing it in, and the manner of doing it.
Begin with a mutiny, and then they should seize and putt in Edenb. castle, which they were sure of; forced Overton to command. He writ up hither and then declaration ready, which was drawne by the meeting here, and sent G. Br. . . . . and printed here. Spoke, as if they should have Berwick.
Sure of Hull by Overton's means and the townsmen, and Overton's correspondence, Leicestershire, Grey and captain Baliard. Bedd. Okey, and Whitehead, and great depending on Hacker: they at last declared if any . . . . or a parliament, not medle against them.
A letter of information to secretary Thurloe.
I heard this day from an understanding friend, that the people in the West are to come to a rendezvous about Taunton on monday, and from thence to meet with other dissatisfied people; and the declarations, uppon which they engage, are to be scattered abroade this night, or to morrow, and endeavours to draw some of the soldiery to them, wherewith I thought fitt to acquaint you.
Col. Francis Hacker to the protector.
May it please your highnes,
According to your command, I have seised the lord Grey and captain Bodell. I have alsoe according to order seised 3 horses and 5 case of pistols, being all the armes I could find, and those unfixed. My lord did informe mee, that 3 of his best horses was not yett come from Stamford, where a race was lately; but he expected them this night, and if I would send for them, they will bee forthcoming. The lord Grey is much distempered with the gout, and was desirous to knowe, whether hee was to goe, which I consealed from him, and hee perceiving mee not willing to declare, said hee was willing to submitt to goe whether I pleased; but desires to come to London. I have not acquainted him, whether hee is to goe, but have presumed upon the advice and consent of those with mee, in regard of his indisposition of health, to let him rest at Leicester, where will bee three troopes for his guard, untill further order from your highnes. I shall be carefull to gett what intelligence I can; but yet see noe apearance of danger, except by those called quakers, who will not bee persuaded to returne home, but sayes they stand in the counsell of the Lord, and not in the will of man. My lord, there is a chirurgeon in my lord Lambert's regiment, who writ to one Smith, who lives in Newarke, who had beene his mate, that the under officers of the army had a designe in hand; and if it tooke place, wee should see glorious tymes. And this man is a great favourer of the quakers, if not one. The truth of this will bee testified by honest men, who have seene the letter. I am,
The humble information of major John Harris, sheweth,
That having seemingly complied with mr. Spittlehouse and others of the 5th monarchists, he hath gotten to such a frequent communication of company, and in a great part councels; that he doubteth not, but (if approved by your honour) to give you a more certain account of their actings, than you shall gain by their examination or other more visible scrutinies.
1. That the elder Jones, although made use of by the younger in delivery against the queries and other books, to such as came for them; yet that he is different from his brother in principle, and that ignorance and advantage were the inducements to his engagement herein.
2. That the younger (being one of the pillars of that principle, and active herewithal) hath by his procurement caused 1000 of the queries to be printed; the greatest part whereof he hath disperst into Wales and other parts of the country and city; and that the printing of them cost him 50 s. but the printer I could not so suddenly discover or know.
3. That the book called the Protectour Unveiled hath likewise gone thorough his hand, because he affirmeth, that if the truth therein shall be the only question, he knoweth the author will both own and justify it; and if a close restraint do not prevent, I doubt not but to give you a sudden account thereof.
4. That if your honour be pleased to certify by some private intimation your pleasure herein, he doubteth not but to be instrumental in the prevention or discovery of many scandalous papers, he having been bred a printer, and knowing the methods that are and must be observed in the discovery thereof.
About 5 weeks since commeth one Beckett, a souldier, an old acquaintance, to aske mee and my brother, whether wee had any of the queries concerning the lord protector. I having seene one of them, but not weighing the consequence of them, and being willing to accomodate my freind, went to mr. Larnar, where I had seene one, to enquire for some for him; but he had none: my brother hearing Larnar had none, told the party hee would enquire for some for him. The next time my brother went abroad, hee brought home a dozen for the party abovesaid, mr. Beckett. Larnar understanding that my brother had procured some for Beckett, desired mee ernestly to speake to my brother to procure some for him, which my brother also did, as I take it about a dozen, for which I received the money, and gave to my brother. About a weeke after comes a stranger, pretending hee came from some that knew mee, and that hee himselfe was of my judgment, with many slattering, and (as it proveth) lying pretences, and desired me to procure him some of the queries, because hee had some frends were desirous to see them, for their satisfaction. I answered, I had none, but there was a brother of mine had procured some for others, and may bee could for him; and thereupon ask'd my brother, who told me he could procure him some quantity within a week; in the mean time he cometh to ask for 2 or 3 of them. I went to my brother to know if he had any in the house, and he had some; and I brought from my brother above a dozen, whereof he had three, and for which I desired 6d. being pressed by him to receive money for them, which I gave my brother: a few days after he cometh for the remainder of the bookes he had bespoke; and as he was telling of them, I was called down, and seized by officers from my lord protector, who told me, they had a warrant to search my house for such papers; upon that I told them of all in my house; all which from first to last I did, not weighing the import of them. All men that know me know my affections to the present goverment.