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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March (3 of 8)
Mr. Henry Beale to the protector.
May it please your Highnes,
Accordinge to your order, which I received at Guilford, I came to this place by springe of the day this morninge, with my colonell's troope and my owne, and uppon our strickt search in the towne, wee have apprehended col. John Morley and sir George Egglesbye. Sir Robert Byron went from hence to London on munday last, and from thence he was to goe to the assizes att Nottingham, aboute a suite dependinge at lawe. His lodgings in London is at the lord Byron's house in White-sryers. The mayor of this place, and some others, I finde to be very free to give us intelligence. Wee have searched severall suspetious houses in this towne, butt cannot finde any armes or papers considerable. This inclosed letter wee found att sir George Egglesbye's house. I have apprehended one captain Alexander, which I found in sir Robert Byron's house, who hath formerly beene a cavilleer, and can give noe good accompt of his beings their. I shall send him to Portchmouth with the rest. Att one of the clock this day I received your highness further order, and shall after this daye's refreshment march to Chichester, and shall be very carefull to apprehend those persons mentioned theirin; and shall be mooveinge towards Portsmouth, accordinge to our best intellygence, if I finde that I may leave Chichester with safetie. Wee shall be very carefull to keepe considerable guards for our securitie, and to send forth parties, as need shall require. I am inquisitive after col. Sexby, but cannot yett heare of him. Thus humbly subscribinge myselfe to be
Chichester, March the 11th, at 4 in the afternoon, 1654.
Instruction unto col. Philip Jones, one of our council, upon his repair unto Shrewsbury.
Whereas we have received several letters and advices this morning, that the cavalier party, who have long prepared for a general insurrection through England, were ready to put it in execution upon thursday night last, and some of them did in order thereunto meet together near Shrewsbury, for the surprizal of that garrison, and others of them in North Wales; you are forthwith to repair down to Shrewsbury, and there further inform yourself of the designs aforesaid, by speaking with the governor, and col. Crowne, and such others as you shall think fit; and to examine the persons, who have been apprehended upon this business, and all others you shall judge necessary for your better information of the premises. And you are hereby authorized and required to send for any persons whatsoever, which you shall think fit; and likewise to cause to be apprehended all such, as you shall find to have a hand in this design, or are otherwise to be suspected to be dangerous to the peace of the nation. And for that purpose to require the commanders and officers of any of the forces of horse and foot to observe your orders and directions therein. And you have also power to give any orders to any of the forces in your way thither, as you shall find necessary for your own security.
You shall, as you have opportunity, acquaint the gentlemen of the country with what information you shall gain, and the danger that the cavalier party would put the nation into; and to use your best endeavour to put the country in the best posture of safety you can; for which purpose some commissions are herewith delivered unto you for the raising of horse and foot, which you have power to deliver or not, as you shall find it for the good of the service.
You shall endeavour to correspond with col. Berry and col Hacker concerning the insurrection intended, and in part executed in Nottinghamshire; giving them such knowledge of affairs with you, as you shall find they may be serviceable in; and we have required them to communicate the like to you; and you are also to hold correspondence with colonel Lilburne, and col. Bright high sheriff of Yorkshire. Given at Whitehall this 11th of March, 1654.
Bordeaux, the French embassador in England, to Brienne.
The next day of the conference, which I had with my commissioners on thursday last, I received your lordship's letter of the 4th of this month; the contents whereof were no other than what I had declared in the conference to my commissioners, who only replied with several protestations of the real intentions of the lord protector to conclude the peace; but have not been able to draw any satisfactory answer from them since, upon what I then insisted, and still do, to execute the orders of his majesty. They will needs persuade me here, that the cessation of all acts of hostility will suffice; and that I ought to be satisfied with this answer, and the protestation of his highness; which not being conformable to my instructions, I shall suddenly put an end to my long negotiation, unless some sudden accident happen, which I cannot yet foresee; and without expecting new orders I am resolved to do all that I can to hasten my departure, or else conclude. I make no doubt but your lordship doth hear by other letters the publick report, that are here of new commotions, that are like to be in this country. Some do affirm, that they are already up in arms towards the northern provinces; but some that are come thence lately do affirm the contrary. So that these reports are not well grounded, the people being very quiet in all parts. Strict search is said to have been made after the king of Great Britain and the marquis of Ormond in and about this city, who are said to be landed in England.
Bordeaux to cardinal Mazarin.
I Have received the letter of your eminence of the 13th of this month, that hath confirmed me in what I declared to my commissioners in my last conference, that the protector must not think of any treaty, if he would not oblige himself not to assist the enemies and rebels of his majesty; and not receiving from them any satisfaction, I have demanded audience to take my leave. I will continue to pursue it, if so be they do not resolve to put in writing the verbal protestations, which my commissioners made unto me. They did not forget any expression, which might induce me to conside in what the lord protector would say unto me of it, if I would receive them; but although I am persuaded, that he is of that opinion, yet because his resolutions do govern themselves according to his interests, and do also change often enough to have insisted upon an assurance in writing, or else that he would be likewise contented to take the word of his majesty in lieu of the secret article; this overture was received no better than the relative clause in the ancient treaties, which they found worse than a formal expression of assisting the enemies and rebels. All reason will have this to be preferred before a rupture; yet however the lords of the council themselves do publish the treaty to be broke off; and that general Blake hath orders to return to guard the narrow seas. Want of provisions will also oblige him shortly to quit the Streights. They are equipping of ships here to send to general Penn, who is said to be arrived at Barbados. They threaten here Portugal for not having done according to the treaty, the ratification whereof is come out with some small alteration. I cannot yet assure your eminence of any thing concerning the levies; colonel Cooke doth still promise to perform as soon as these jealousies are once over.
At a meeting of the commissioners for the militia of the city of London.
The commissioners finding, that one thousand pounds will be needful at present to provide trophies for the three regiments and other incident charges; also that it will be fit to have one hundred barrels of gunpowder, with match and bullet proportionable, for the present use of the regiments; and not seeing any other way of raising the same, do appoint mr. alderman Atkin, sir Thomas Vyner, knight and alderman, mr. alderman Dethicke, mr. alderman Ireton, mr. sheriff Sleigh, mr. sheriff Allen, mr. Riccard, col. Sheppard, col. Langham, mr. Noell, and capt. Storey, or any seven of them this afternoon to attend his highness the lord protector with this intimation; and humbly pray, that his highness would please to direct the said money and ammunition to be supplied from such treasury and stores, as to his highness shall seem good; and, if his highness please, that the same may be in part of payment of the money and ammunition formerly lent by the city for the service of the commonwealth in their military affairs. They are also to move his highness, that eight or ten of the small field pieces of the ordnance lately lent by the city upon the letter of his highness's council now remaining in the Tower may be ready upon carriages, there to be delivered to the commissioners, when occasion shall be to use the same in his highness's service.
The protector's instructions to general Disbrowe.
Whereas there is an insurrection in the west by the cavaliers, who have armed themselves, and seized upon the judges of assize at Salisbury, and proceed on to commit other violences and outrages upon the people; you are therefore to repair with your regiment into the west, and to take into your charge and conduct the troops of col. Berry, now in the west, the two troops of col. Twisleton's, whom we have ordered from Chichester to join with you, and also all other forces both horse and foot in the western countries. And you shall use your best endeavours to prosecute the said cavaliers in whatever parts of the nation they shall go; and to suppress them; and also to put the said counties into the best posture of defence you can: for which purpose commissions are herewith delivered unto you; and all commanders and officers of the said forces are hereby required to observe such orders, as you shall give them, and to obey your commands, according to the discipline of war. And all justices of the peace, mayors, bailiffs, and all other officers and ministers, are required to be aiding and assisting to you; and are hereby required to fill up every troop in your regiment to a hundred in each troop; and you shall give the same orders to all other the troops aforesaid; and you are also to seize and secure all persons, which you shall judge dangerous to the peace of the nation, and to search their houses for arms, and to seize their horses for the use of the state. Given at Whitehall the 12th of March, 1654.
The protector to * * * *
I writ unto you the last night by an express, and inclosed in my letter an information received of a rendezvous, which the cavaliers had at Rugford in Nottinghamshire upon thursday night last. We have since heard, that there were endeavours of rising in other places at the same time, as you may see by the inclosed. We do not doubt, but you have prosecuted with effect the directions you have already received: however we have thought it necessary to send the party himself, who gave the information, and was amongst them at Rugford, who knows the parties mentioned in the information, and likewife their dwellings. It will be of great use unto us, that this business be followed home, and examined to the bottom; for which purpose I desire you to go upon the place, and examine the people of the inn, and other persons, who may probably give you information therein; and as you find or suspect any to be of their party, forthwith to seize them, their arms, and horses. There is no question to be made, but sir Roger Cowper is in it, and so sir George Saville. I hope you have secured their persons and horses. If you shall understand that any of these people are gone into other countries, give notice thereof to the forces, who are next unto them; and I would have you correspond with col. Jones, whom I have sent to Shrewsbury to examine things there; and also with col. Lilburne, and the high-theriff of Yorkshire; and let them know how you find things. I desire you to use all diligence and care in the prosecution of these things. It will not be difficult to find out most of the persons, who were at the aforesaid rendezvous. I rest
Whitehall, March 12, 1654.
Information of Edmund Turner.
The information of Edmund Turner of Morpeth in the said county, taken at Morpeth the 12th day of March in the year of our Lord 1654, who upon his oath faith, that presently after the apprehending of suspected persons for the late plot, this informant was told by one Edward Bell the elder of Duddon in the said county, that there would be a plot throughout England, to surprize the troops in their quarters; and asked this informant, if he would be one in that plot, who utterly denied the same; but afterwards the said Bell sent to this informant, to tell him, that his mother was not well; and to come to her his mother upon thursday at night, being the 8th day of this instant march; and to call at Duddon as he went, to speak with him; who when this informant came, the said Edward Bell told him, that the party, that was then at Duddon, being about threescore and ten horsemen, armed with swords and pistols, were to go to Newcastle, where one Delavall was to meet them with three troops of horse out of the west of this country; and also they were to meet with forces coming out of Bishoprick at Newcastle, which should have fallen into the town by Gateside; and that the party at Duddon commanded by major Thomas Carniby, should have fallen into Newcastle at Sandgate, and Delavall's troops at Westgate; and that there was in the said party at Duddon, as he heard them named, mr. Henry Widdrington of Ritton, and one Gawen Snawdon, whom they called captain, who brought into Duddon about 50 horse, and that the said party stayed at Duddon from seven of the clock that night until eleven of the same, about which time came major Thomas Carniby, and one with him, whom they called major Hebburne's man, with orders from Newcastle, as he had heard them relate, who said, that there was three hundred sail of ships come into Newcastle, for fear of whom they durst not fall upon Newcastle at that time; and after consultation had in private by some of the chief there present, the party thereby commanded marched westward into the country; and the informant did then leave them, refusing to march with them.
This informant further faith, that Edward Bell within named, and Michael Wondigates, who came along with captain Gawen Snawdon, as he heard them named, were present with that party at Duddon within named.
Capt. John Griffiths to secretary Thurloe.
Since my last our intelligence was, that the enemy (haveing notice of our readiness and preparation against them) had wholy dispersed themselves, which made us almost secure; but last night came notice from a very good hand, that theire designe, notwithstanding what discovery was already made, would be attempted very suddenly; and that it was generally layd in England, Scottland, and Ireland, and in those partes most especially against Chester, Sallop, and Chirke, which made mee this last night to doubte my guard (in this cytty) which I have attended every night, save one, since the first discovery; and purpose by the blessing of God to continue the same, untill either this business bee over, or further directions come from his highness. For although severall persons (formerly officers in the army) would freely have assisted me, yet I find the cittizens generally averse to serve a straunger (as they call them.) I beseech you therefore, that alderman William Wright may bee apoynted to command the foote in this citty; his interest, estate, fidellity, &c. being equal or above any other cittizen's; and for former command he was captain of horse during all the warr, and in every other respect unblameable. It's true, lieutenant colonel Birkinhead and captain Whittworth may be capable of doeing you contry service; but in the cytty they will disingage many, whom (under a cittizen) would be very faithfull; for really I finde them very unanimous and cheerefull in the duty, upon which I am at present, and do confydently beleeve, they will foe continue. Although I am as confydent, that this present designe of the enemy is totally broken and dispersed; yet I urge this as to our future safety and the publique good; both which are equally desired by,
Chester, March 12, 1654.
Mr. R. Aldworth and mr. J. Powell to secretary Thurloe.
The allarume wee have receaved from Sarum, and how that the enemye is upon the winge, hath put us upon our utmost indeavours to apeare in the best posture wee can for the defence of this place; which hath detayned the post, which otherwise had been with you much rather. Wee are very much discomposed as to the setlinge of a malitia, in regard wee have noe authoritie or comission for it: to which ende this expresse is sent to his highnesse; meane while wee arme and list all that wee can for guards upon all partes of the cittie; and have scoutes abrode for intelligence. Ther hath been lists given you for commissioners and captains; and mr. Farmer hath inclosed another list. If they may bee aproved of, wee endeavour to rayse a troope of horse alsoe, which wee desire may be comanded by major John Harper. Wee have declared the grounds of our undertakinge accordinge to the writings inclosed. The stop of our posts since saturday hath made us very solicitous how thinges stood above. Wee humbly pray you to further a speedy answer to the inclosed, that wee be the better inabled to stande for our lives in this publique danger; which is all at present from
We are yett in quiett, and all the adjacent parts.
Mr. Manning to secretary Thurloe.
All that I shall now say is, that you would please not to faile writing 2 or 3 lines to me the next post, and send itt in the inclosed cover sealed up, and send me a bill of exchange for 40 or 50 1. sterl. made payable to mr. John Clutterbook or his assignes, loose in a cover, and not inclosed in your letter to me; but in your letter send me a pass I last writt for without faile; and as you order me, I will not faile disposing of myself. Herein for most important reasons I pray faile not. I am satisfied in my self, that mine by the last post came too late to you to have a dispatch by this last pacquett; but this next I expect your's with much impatience, being,
Sir, your humble servant,
Mr. Bradshaw, resident at Hamburgh, to secretary Thurloe.
I am truly glad to heare, that his highnes and his councill were in foe hopefull a way to gett to the bottome of that dangerous designe. It was tyme indeed to secure those, that would neither owne the government, nor engage to live peacably. God direct your counsells to make the best use of his soe providentiall discoverys made to you for secureinge against such distructive projects.
Notwithstandinge the last letters from England of the 2d instant, speakinge all there in
quiet, yet will not this people beleeve, by reason of what's writ them from Flanders, France,
and Holland, but that C. S. is certainely landed in some part of England, and lyes there
perdue, till his partie appeare for him. By some vessels hence for London since last post,
I gave you an extract of a letter then received from Colonia, directed to the post-master
at Gravesend, to hast to you; but I doubt they got not out of this river, the wind cominge
contrary; yet may probably come on e're theise, the winds beinge now more favourable.
This inclosed is a copie thereof. If you can find one of the two disguised persons,
much may be discovered by them, as likewise by Day, if he have beene false to his
trust. I suppose Paul Roll hath writt to you of it, and what other matters he could
discover. Your order concerneinge him I expect. I cannot yet heare from the expresse I
sent to Berlin; soe conclude him either miscarried or false to his trust. This day I send
my secretary after him. Certaine it is, that great leavies are on foote in theise parts by the
kinge of Sweaden, both horse and foote, draweinge towards Pomerania and the ports on
the Baltique sea; and that he equips a great fleete; but most conclude that he designes all
against the Pole, in or about some part of Prussia. His resident gave me a late visit; and
then I gathered soe much from him, which is alsoe the generall opinion here. The duke
of Brandenburgh alsoe raiseth men, but that's most like to be for his owne defence,
findinge the other to arme soe powerfully. I hope, there's noe cause to feare any harme to
you from these parts, especially if you secure well at home. However I will endeavour
to sounde those preparations to the bottome. There were five shipps this last weeke taken
on heere for the transport of soldiers to Gottenburgh, but there's now a countermand come,
and to hast the men by land to Pomeren. Here's a story from Paris, from whence many
such come, that the quondam queene and duke of Yorke had taken their leave there, to
meete C. S. in England; at least to lye wayte about Callis and at Dunkirk. The Holland
merchants were soe confident of what they desired, that they offerred their goods to sale, to
be paid for them, when C. S. should raigne in England. For the busines of the companie,
I find by lookinge over the copies of my late letters, that myne of the 13th of February, with
the narrative (which I heare from others was come on) together with my former accompt
to his highness, of the 9th of January, answers to your last letter of the 23d of February,
for the sendinge over of this particular case, if the companie would not doe the justice,
which is fitt. I am glad the companie there have soe plainly discovered themselves to his
highness. I well knowe whence mr. Townley and his partie had their encouragement; a
little tyme may discover more of it. If he can purge himselfe by that opertunity, I shall
be glad of it. What I have charged him with was not done in a corner, but for the most
part in a court, and with soe much confidence, as shewed he valued not beinge called to an
accompt for it. I have noe malice to the man, nor any of his partie, but am sorie for their
peevishnesse. They have forced me to what I have done. If his highnesse thinke fitt to
putt the government into their hands, it shall be done soe soon as I have order for it. In
the meane tyme, they act their affaires by an assembly, as is usual, in the absence of a
deputie. If I had not understood it a dutie incumbent upon me to remonstrate, as I have
done, I should not have busied my selfe with the business. If care may be taken of the well
affected, that they be not abused for their faithfulnesse by malignants, it will give me little
care, who the companie take for their deputie. They cannot be more weary of my service,
then I am of their's. They make their owne distractions, and then complaine of them;
a pritty specious way of proceedinge. I expect your next will inclose some copies of the
petition and remonstrance, with a commission to examine witnesses, which I have soe longe
desired. I doe not doubt of his highnesse's justice in heareinge me before any thinge be
done to my prejudice. God willinge, I shall make it appeare, that I have deserved no lesse;
and that the matter concernes me noe further than as it comes within the verge of the trust
reposed in me. Therefore I thinke it somewhat strange, that a disaffected partie should
be soe countenanced against me for it; but this may be noe tyme for such matters. I shall
waite what further is comanded me, and remayne,
Hamb. March 13, 1654.
The inclosed comes to my hands, as I am sealinge my packett. I suppose the party will be with you ere theise come on. Now that mr. Townley is gone home, Spurway is come back to keepe that party in hart, and to counsel them; and it's said by them, that George Waites is shortly expected here with the emperor's protection. I longe since desired a letter might be writt to the senate, owneinge what I had done in his expellinge, which you promised should be sent me. I pray, hast it. I am sorie what I have said doth not satisfie you of my endeavours for peace; but I have that testimony in my selfe, and from others, soe as I can acquiesce. The wynde is come contrary, foe as the ships cannot get home. At instant comes this second from Colonia: thence they write chancelor Hyde is gone with old Hardinge, it's thought for England, whence it's conjectured the storme is not yet over. God direct your counsells and actions to prevent and disappoint your enemies.
Information against John Morgan.
There met at Edward Jones's, at Elsmeer an alehouse, major Manley, captain Jones, captain Bellingham, two captains more, with Randall Eaton. They continued all that day at Jones his house, and went thence to John Morgan's, an alehouse and fidler, and continued there most part of the night, and pretended mr. Kynaston of Halley was to meet them, and that they were to buy lands. This John Morgan being after at Wrexham fair, said to . . . . . . . . . their work shortly would be cutting of throats, and being asked by one mr. Huxley, that was by, what he meant, took a knife in his hand, and put it to his throat, and said, this way and that way.
The examination of John Butler of Felhampton, taylor, taken upon oath, before Charles Langford, esq; one of the justices of the peace in the county of Salop, the 13th day of March, 1654.
Who faith, that upon friday or saturday last was a sevennight, being the 2d or 3d days of this instant March, he was sent for by mr. Vincent Edwards, of Streaton, to come to him, and speak with him; but this examinate went not to him till tuesday last, being the 6th of March; where after some conference betwixt them, the said mr. Vincent Edwards told this examinate, that there was a plot to take Shrewsbury upon thursday or friday next after; and asked this examinate, whether he would go with him; but on the morrow, being wednesday, he returned home to Felhampton town, where he dwelleth, and did not go again to the said mr. Edwards; and that when he came to Wistanstowe, he acquainted mr. John Rushback his wife of Wistanstowe of the business; but this examinate knoweth not of any other person, that had any hand in the plot; and farther faith not.
This examination was owned before us by the said John Butler, this 3d of April; and he farther affirmed, that he believed mr. Edwards knew the design, and did intend to persuade him to engage therein, and he this examinate did acquaint mrs. Rusback therewith, that they might provide for their safety, that if the design upon Shrewsbury succeeded, mr. Rusback and his wife, and that family might not be prejudiced thereby.
Captain John Griffiths to secretary Thurloe.
I went my selfe into Wales yesterday, to the end I might be able to give you some exact satisfactory accompt of this present designe, and do realy finde the thinge it selse to be true (although not many of the particulars formerly sent either to us or you) for that there was a reall plott, and generally layd, is not denyed by several persons now in custody; the execution wherof was prevented by the speciall providence of God directing some to discover, and others upon notice to prepare for the preservation off the peace under the present government. A copy of the designe, as it is given by one of the party, with a copy also of his owne letter unto a gentleman of worth and fidellity, I have herein inclosed sent you; both which I received yesterday from his owne hands, to whom it was sent. If any person in these parts were authorised to apprehend and examine suspected persons, you might suddenly have a better accompt; but at present I finde, that 20, 30, 40, or 50 cavilleers have lately been very frequent at theire meetings, and given sufficient cause of offence, but no persons here being in power to apprehend them, in order to their further accompt, they disperse themselves, acting, as they say, nothing tending to the breach of the publique peace, although I doubt not the contrary might easily be made out, if well inquired into. I shall not trouble you further at present, but subscribe my selfe,
Chester, March 13, 1654.
Col. Robert Lilburne to general Lambert.
I Understand by col. Bright, that none of your troopes can conveniently goe into Lancashire by reason two are gon to Newarke, and two men out of the rest to Hull. I have onely two heare of my owne, two at Durham, and two about Beadell, and every man's hands full as they can be, as I perceive the 6 Irish troopes are, all of us being, hard at worke fetching in great persons, that were at several randevouzes on thursday night last; and at present, if spare any of these troopes, many considerable persons wil be untaken, that are guilty, and now discovered to mee; for they begin to flye away alreadie from their homes, where they thought they should have rested undiscovered after their being at a randevouz, where they were strangely frightned with their owne shaddows. Therefore I pray supply Lancashire for the present some other way; but least they should againe rise or returne upon us, I am listing 10 men in each of my owne troopes. I hope the greate estates these blaides leave behinde them will pay for all the charge, if you forgive them not againe. I have sent a large account to his highness, and therefore intreate your acceptance of these at present from
Yorke, March 13, 1654.
Lord chief justice St. John to secretary Thurloe.
I Received yours this morning betweene 9 and 10 a clocke, as I was going to give my charge. I hope the Lord will be pleased in goodnes to keepe the nation from blood, but his will is allways perfecte and good. As for my selfe, it matters noe great matter, foe as the nation and cause of God may prosper. I am, I beleeve, in his way; and therefore I thinke I should goe out of it, if I should neglecte the performance of the presente service; and therefore, relying upon his protection, I am resolved, God willing, to goe on the circuite. My brother Atkins is not yet acquaynted with your letter, being on the nisi prius side. I hope itt will not be judged presumptuousnes, but dutie, which makes me thus to resolve. Sir, I am
Martii 13. 1654.
Mr. Anthony Nicoll to secretary Thurloe.
I Know you are foe full of weighty affayres, that I shall very unwillingly give you the least trouble; only give mee leave to retourne unto you my harty thankes for all the care and aboundant love you shewed mee in my businesse. I shall saye noe more as to that, but that you have obleedged one, that will faythfully serve his highnesse in any thinge that comes within the compasse of my poore power. My actions, by the permission of my gretious and good God, shall give hym and you the clearest evidence of this. I am very hopefull, that affayres will goe on very smoothly heere. As soone as I cam into the country, I sent for the agent to the committee of the army, which particularly lookes after the assesements, and hee informes mee, that busynesse is in a good forwardnesse; and I doubt not, but that his highnesse shall have as very good accompt of that, as likewise of the keepinge the peace and quiett of the county; though I must tell you, 'tis generally cavillerish enough. And truely, 'tis apprehended by many honest and well affected people, that the caveleeres in these parts had likewise a finger, and would have had a hand in this last plott, had not the lord discovered itt, and by his highnesse care and industry nipt it in the bud. I shall labour and earnestly looke out after particulars of itt, and as any thinge is discovered, you shall be sure constantly to heare of that or any other things worthy your view. Divers cavileers are committed; and truely 'tis not more then need; for I thinke some of them very dangerous, and would engage in any designe. If this letter com safe unto your hand, you shall be sure to heare from mee by next more particularly; and foe I humbly take leave to tender unto his Highnesse by your hands my most sincearly devoted faythfull service; and be you assured, honourable sir, I am ever
Penrose, March 12, 1654.
Col. H. Haynes to secretary Thurloe.
Ever honoured sir,
I Received his highness my lord protector's letters of intelligence, and yours of the 12th instant by one a clock this day, and soone dispatched the same messenger, that brought them, to Norwich (who wil be there by morning, I doubt not) with instructions to the officers there to conforme to those I received; and there care therein I doe not question. Synce when I sent to sir Thomas Honywood, col. Cooke, major Templer, and others of good affection in theise parts, to meet heere in the morne, to agree what to doe in order to the securyty of the county. I gave them coppyes of the intelligence I had, to provoke them the more to expedition. An account of their results uppon their meeting I'll transmitt to you with all speed. I sent also to Ipswich, Sudbury, and Berry, and gave them a hint also, in which county, if col. Fortergill of Sudbury had a commission for a foote regiment, and major John Moody for a major of some horse, there also, it would doe exceeding well. They are persons both knowne and interested much, and of very good affection; but I submitt it. I purpose this night to fly about for malignants and their horses; but there are but few, that have engaged, though many of ill affection, Papists, and others up and downe; the earle of Oxford, sir Frauncis Cammock, Sir Benjamin Ayloff; and all theise parts yet quyett, but not to be trusted. This towne, especially the government of it looking ill uppon us, and incredulous of any trouble, if some speciall regard be not had to it, will certainly run malignant. I am sure Merfey island is not a hundred part that consideration, as this place: if therefore that companie might be sent hither, if we remove, it may secure the maine chance; else I feare, if we goe hence, the thousands, that are fitt to bare armes, and extreemly malignant, as any I came amongst, may doe mischeife. I feare them not, whyle we stay. The towne is not to be trusted with armes: if they should, the country gentlemen would be troubled, least they should turne them uppon the best freinds of the publique. I pray, sir, one word thereof, if it be not too great boldness to divert you from your more weighty occasions. I shall carefully communicate all intelligence that comes to hand. In the meane tyme begg, that you would account me for,
The want of pay is the great discouragement of getting recruites. I knowe noe endeavours of that kind are wanting. Papers would helpe us to many, if we had them.
The information of Michael Pratt, taken at Morpeth, the 13th day of March, 1654.
Who faith, that he this informant was upon thursday at night, being the 8th of this instant, at a place called Duddo, where he saw major Thomas Carnaby, Gawin Snowden, Michael Windegates, William Pott, of Warton, and one Wallas of Castron; and they reported, that one Roger Hall of Rutchester was there; John Davison of Newton in Coquatt, Edward Bell of Duddo, and his son Edward William Bell of Stannington. And this informant faith, that he heard some of the company say, that mr. Henry Widdrington of Ritton was there, and one William Aldcorne of Morpeth, who persuaded this informant to go along with him to the said Duddo.
The examination of George Clayton, &c.
George Clayton, servant to Pennistone Whalley of Screton in the county of Nottingham, esq; of the age of 16 years, examined, faith, that upon thursday last, about one a clock, the said mr. Whalley went out from his house with a greyhound to course a hare, which the examinate had found in the morning, and that mr. Whalley rode upon a black horse, and he the examinate upon a galloway of the same colour; but the hare being gone before they came, mr. Whalley and the examinate rode directly the road to Nottingham, where they alighted at the Blackamore's head, at the house of mr. Cornish, and from thence went to mr. Topladies, to a mercer's shop, and thence mounted and came home again to Screton that night about sun setting: and faith, that mr. Whalley hath been constantly at home at Screton ever since; and faith that mr. Whalley's two men, Simon Barnefather and Edward Dovey, were at home all that night at Screton.
Captain Chement Nedham, of col. Hacker's regiment testifieth, that on Monday night last coming with two troops of col. Hacker's to the house of captain John Cooper in Thirgaton; and that having taken sir Roger Cooper and two Coolers, servants to the said captain Cooper, presently fell into discourse with Frances Whittoph, a maid that waits on mrs. Cooper, and pretending to know the whole truth of the late insurrection at Rufford; and that it was contrived in that very house of mr. Cooper's aforesaid, at the meeting there the week before, the maid said, that the would be hanged, if Peniston Whalley had not betrayed them; and confessed he was at such a meeting, with two of the Baldwin's, major Scott, and several others, but that the believed mr. Whalley was not at the rendezvous at Rufford, but that his two men, Simon Barnefather and Ed. Dovey were there.
Simon Barnefather, coachman to Peniston Whalley, esq; examined saith, that upon thursday last mr. Pen. Whalley, and Geo. Clayton, his boy, rode forth about 10 in the morning, and the examinate heard they went that night to Barlor, and believes it to be true, because he faw his master there the next day at a greyhound match. And farther faith, that on thursday night aforesaid about 6 a clock he this examinate, with Edward Dovey, another servant of mr. Whalley, took each of them a horse out of their master's stable, and rode to Thirgaton, to mr. John Cooper's house, where mr. John Cooper gave this examinate a case of pistolls and holsters, at which time he saw a cart standing on the backside, in which were arms; and that, after half an hour's stay at Thirgaton aforesaid, he the examinate and Dovey aforesaid, marched along with the said mr. John Cooper, his man Peter, and mr. Thomas Naylor, and about 6 others whom the examinate knows not, and above 11 of the clock came to the green near Rufford Abby, and mr. John Cooper with some other gentlemen went into a private room in the inn there, and others stayed upon the green, and about 12 a clock the cart aforesaid laden with arms came thither, but at length mr. Cooper came forth, and told the examinate, that they were discovered, and bade every man shift for himself; whereupon the examinate and Edward Dovey aforesaid returned the same night to Screton, to their master's house; and faith, that mr. Whalley came not home to Screton untill the saturday night following, but denies he saw him at Rufford aforesaid.
Edward Dovey, servant to Peniston Whalley, esq; examined, faith, that on thursday last, a little before dinner time, his master aforesaid, with his boy, went forth on horseback, and the examinate heard his master say, that he intended to go that night to Barton to mr. Leache Verill's house, and he did not return till saturday night; and faith, that on thursday about day light, that he the examinate, with Simon Barnefather, his master's coachman, took two horses out of the stable of mr. Whalley, one a bay, which the examinate rode, and the other an iron-grey mare, which Simon rode; and they both marched to Thirgaton to mr. John Cooper's house, where they found two of the Baldwins, one mr. Thomas Naylor, and one Binns, and they all marched together to Rufford Abby, and alighted at an inn there, where they found divers gentlemen, some coming in, and others going out; and the examinate about 12 a clock faw a cart laden with arms come to the door of the inn, but presently the company dispersed; and denies he knew any of the company, saving as aforesaid.
The examination of John Maddockes, of Shrewsbury, dier, taken the 13th day of March, 1654. before William Crowne, esq;
Being asked whether he knew sir Thomas Harris, he faith, that if he met him, he did not know him, neither doth he know of any design against the garrison or castle of Shrewsbury; but faith, that about a fortnight since, he this examinate, being at one Andrew Dawes his house, of Shrewsbury, there were with him one Thomas Maddockes, corvisor, and the said Andrew Dawes and his wife; and then one Joseph Tyler told this examinate, that he saw eight hundred men upon Delamere heath. And being asked, whether he spoke any thing touching the taking of Shrewsbury, with one Joseph Jenkes; he faith, that on wednesday last he went with the said Joseph Jenkes and one Samuel Gough, at one Jebb's house, who lives at the Saracen's head in Frankwell, one of the suburbs of Shrewsbury, and that upon conferrence with them he told them, that he heard that there was eight hundred men on Delamere heath, but denieth that he expressed to the said Jenkes, that if he did discover any thing what he this examinate told him, he would cut his throat, or any words to that effect: and this examinate doth acknowledge that he did meet with the said Joseph Jenkes upon the last sabbath day, and then did desire him to say nothing of what he before had told him touching this business, for that it was as much as his this examinate's life was worth.
The information of William Bell, of Stanington, taken the 13th day of March, 1654.
Who saith, that upon thursday the 8th of this instant he this informant went to Duddoe, and there met with a party of about fourscore horse; and he knew amongst them Henry Widdrington of Ritton, Gawin Snowden, and Mich. Windegaites. And this informant farther faith, that it was reported amongst them, that Sir Thomas Fairfax was to be their general, and farther faith not.
The information of Joseph Jenkes, taken the 13th day of March, 1654. before Humphrey Mackworth, esq; and William Crowne, esq; a justice of the peace.
The information of Joseph Jenkes, of Frankwell, one of the suburbs of the town of Shrewsbury, who faith, that one day this last week, coming from work home to his quarters, there was one John Maddox, dier, in the house; and upon conference between them, the said Maddox said, that there were five hundred men to meet together; and this informer asking him where, the said Maddox bid him come to Rowse-hill, and he should meet him or fee them, but in the conclusion said to this informer, that if he did disclose it, he would stab him, or cut his throat, or kill him, which of the three expressions he doth not very well remember. Much more the said Maddox said to this informer, to the same purpose, but now do not very well remember. And farther this examinate faith, that upon farther conference with the said Maddox upon Wednesday night last, he this examinate asked him, what they could do by the castle of Shrewsbury, the said Maddox answered to this examinate, that that castle is as good as ours, or that that business is as good as done, or words to that effect.
And farther this examinate faith, that upon sabbath day last the said Maddox met this examinate, and told him, that if he did discover any thing of what he the said Maddox had told this examinate, it was as much as his the said Maddox's life was worth.
Col. Barkstead, lieutenant of the Tower, to secretary Thurloe.
I Received yours at 12 the last night, in which his highnesse's pleasure as to the seizing of all the serviceable horses within the division was formally assigned mee, which is accordingly done. I have noe convenient place for them to remaine in the Tower. I therefore earnesty desire you would hasten his highnesse's pleasure to mee as to the dispose of them. I feare Southwark, Islington, and the towns neere hand, were omitted, in which at all times there are great numbers of horses, and usually belonging to the worst of people. I am, sir,
Tower of London, March 13, 1654.
At an assembly of the mayor and aldermen and common council held the 13th of March, 1654.
It is ordered and declared, that this house doth engage for his highness the lord protector, and the commonwealth under the present government, against Charles Stuart, cavaliers, levellers, and all other opposers of the publique peace of the nation and of this citty.
Mr. Isaac Dorislaus to secretary Thurloe.
The letter, which was intercepted under cover to mr. Constable, to be delivered to Ig. was for one White, who doth belong to the marquis of Barriere. Hee writ last night to the party, that sent him the character, which was salne into the hands of his highnesse, that hee should send him another under a merchant's cover, whereof I intend to take a coppie, as soon as it comes. This is hee, I am perswaded, that doth give the intelligence to monsieur de Bourdeaux, both concerning the affaires of this state, and them of the Prince of Condé. Two or thre of his letters will discover to your honour in a short tyme his whole designe. I have made enquiry of a friend of mine about the place of the clarke of the passage at Dover; and hee tells me, that one Jeniper hath been imployed in that place for many yeeres, and was put in by the earle of Suffolk, being his servant; and the said earl being then admiral, and the place being in his disposall. For the worth of the place, that is according to the honesty of the person therein imployed; it may be worth some 300 l. per ann.
Order of the protector to the governor of Jersey.
Whereas col. Robert Gibbon, governor of our island of Jersey, hath represented unto us, that for the better safegaurd of the said island and accommodation of the soldiers now in garrison there, that the castles and forts standing thereon be not only repaired, but that some addition of building be made thereto, and that beds and coverlids be provided for the use of the said soldiers, as also carriages and other materials for the great guns there; and a considerable store of provisions, as well of war as victuals and other necessaries, be laid in the said castle; least any attempts be made upon the same by any our enemies whatsoever; we have taken the same into our consideration, and being willing, that what is necessary and convenient should be done therein, do therefore refer the same to the care and prudence of the commissioners appointed for making compositions with the islanders, or any two or more of them, who are hereby authorized and enabled to do therein, what shall seem to them to be needfull and requisite for the ends aforesaid; and who are also impowered to issue orders from time to time under the hands of them, or any two or more of them, for the payment of such monies, as they shall judge necessary to be expended about the same, out of the monies arising upon compositions with the islanders, and such money as our receiver general of the said compositions shall issue forth upon the orders given as aforesaid. The respective officers of our exchequer are hereby required and authorized to allow the same upon his account accordingly. And we will, that the said commissioners for compounding, or any two of them, do immediately repair to our said castles and forts, and inform themselves by the best way and means they can, as well what arms, ammunition, and other provisions and utensils of war, as also what houshold stuff, furniture, goods and other necessaries were left in the said castles and forts, by col. James Heane, late governor there, and they take care, that the same be inventoried and delivered over to the present governor, to be by him employ'd and kept for our use and service. Given at Whitehall the 13th day of March, 1654/5.
General Blake to secretary Thurloe.
Your's of the 25th of January, as also the former mentioned in that, I have received. In the latter you informe me of the dissolution of the parliament, with the grounds and consequents of it. I was not much surprized with the intelligence; the slow proceedings and awkeward motions of that assembly giving great cause to suspect it would come to some such period; and I cannot but exceedingly wonder, that there should yet remaine so strong a spiritt of prejudice and animosity in the minds of men, who proses themselves most affectionate patriots, as to postpose the necessary wayes and meanes for preservation of the commonwealth, especially in such a time of concurrence of the mischievous plots and desseins both of old and new enemies, tending all to the destruction of the same. But blessed be the Lord, who hath hitherto delivered, doth still deliver us; and I trust will continue soe to do, although he be very much tempted by us. Sir, in my last unto you I gave you notice of our intention to saile out of the roade of Leghorne to Trapanoe, and thence to Tunis; but upon intelligence after given us of the soden meeting of the Algier and other men of war in Tunis-bay, bound into the Levant for the service of the grand signor (which intelligence proved to be untrue) we hasted away towards Tunis directly, and somewhat sooner then did well stand with the state of our provisions at that tyme. After our arrival there, which was the 7th of February, I did forthwith send ashore unto the dye of Tunis a paper of demands for restitution of the ship Princesse, with satisfaction for losses, and enlargement of captives, according to the particular instruction, which I received for that purpose. After some answers and replyes commissioners of both sides were agreed upon to capitulate, which met abord our ship; but the meeting proved altogether fruitles, they resusing to make a restitution or satisfaction for what was past, but pretending an earnest desire to conclude a firme peace for the future. Hereupon we failed away before Porto Farina, not farre off where theire ships of warr lay, being kept in by a party of our frigats sent thither before. At our coming before the place we perceived their ships to be drawne up as neere the shore as they could, lightned and unrigged; their guns planted upon divers batteries upon the land, and a kind of formed campe, consisting of some thousands of horse and foote, as if they feared some invasion. Some debate we had amongst ourselves, whether we should faile into the port with our fleete, and attaque theire ships where they were; to which there seemed to be a willing inclination in all; but entering upon consideration of the best ways how to effect it, we found the enterprize to have much difficulty, in regard of a strong castle within, before which we must anchor with our great ships at halfe muskett shot, and the port too narrow for our fleete to turne in it, especially at that time. It was judged to be an attempt unreasonable and desperate, there being not in the fleet above 5 dayes liquor, and a great scarcity of bread. And here I hold it seasonable to let you know, that we are not fully satisfied as touching the power given in that particular instruction, authorising us, in case of refusal of right, to feize, surprize, sinke, and destroy all ships and vessels belonging to the kingdome of Tunis, that we shall meet; which, as it doth not expressely forbid us to enter their ports to that end, so neither doth it expressely impower us, especially being compared with that part of the generall instruction, concerning Turkish pirates, limiting us in such cases only to block up theire harbours for some dayes. This I write, as wishing that the intent of this and other instructions of this nature might be more cleare and explicit, and more plainely significant as to our duty; but upon the forementioned consideration we desisted from the enterprize at that present, and failed directly for this place, leaving the Plimouth, Kent, Newcastle, Mermaid, Taunton, Forefight, to attend that service. At our arrivall in this place, we found the Langport and the other three fregatts sent out of Leggorne roade to ply between Majorca and Cape Paul, which brought in with them a new French frigat of 15 gunns, but one that will beare more; another ship of war, called the Percy, an English vessel, well knowne, of 30 guns, they forced ashore at Majorca, where not able to possesse themselves of it, being also extreemly battered and spoiled, they tooke 3000 dollars of the governor of that place for it, who was likewise upon agreement to be at the charge of sending home all the French in her, which were 300 in number. This morning I sent the Langport and Diamond to Majorca, to take in what bread they can gett, and so to range as farr as Alicanet, and thence to go to Genoa, to meet with the Maidston, and Hampshire, which I have ordered to saile thither to make, cleane, and also to gett a supply of bread. We were also this morning under saile with the rest of the fleete, the Hope fly-boat only excepted, which is to remaine here to make provision of bread, till further order. But it proving first calme, and then the wind, which was contrary, we came againe to anchor. Our intention is to saile hence with the first opportunity to the Bay of Tunis, to put an end to the business there, which we shall endeavour to doe with all the resolution and circumspection which we can, as God shall direct us, it being a busines of manisold concernments and interests, and subject to divers consequents and constructions. Of the issue thereof, with all the particular passages, I will hereafter (the Lord willing) give you an account. Sir, the commands of his highnes the lord protectour writt with his owne hand, of which you gave me an intimation in yours, I have received, and here made bold to returne an answere thereto in writing, which I desire you to present, together with my most humble and faithfull acknowledgements of duty and service for all the favours, which for many years I have received in a very large measure from his highnes. You will hereby very much endeare mee, and continew to add, as you ever do, to the obligations of,
Abord the George, in the bay of Calarie, March 14, 54.
Oliver P. Oliver lord protector of the commonwealth of England, Scotland, and Ireland, and the dominions thereunto belonging, to sir Francis Russel, bart. major general John Disbrowe, John Thurloe, esq; George Glapthorne, Tristram Diamond, Francis Underwood, esqrs. doctor Richard Staine, captain Moses, and Henry Farrar, esqrs. greeting.
Whereas the enemies of the peace of this commonwealth are still restless in their designs of raising new troubles in our own bowels, and have at this time raised forces, and are now in actual rebellion in several parts of this nation, robbing, plundering, and spoiling the good people thereof; and we holding ourself obliged by our trust to take care of the peace of this commonwealth, and of every part thereof, we have therefore, by advice of our council, constituted and appointed, and by these presents do constitute and appoint you the said sir Francis Russel, John Disbrowe, John Thurloe, George Glapthorne, Tristram Diamond, Francis Underwood, Richard Staine, captain Moses, and Henry Farrar, or any three or more of you, to be commissioners for the militia of the isle of Ely; and shall have power, and are hereby authorized, to raise, traine, exercise, and put in readiness, all such persons, to serve as well on horseback as on foot, as you, or any three or more of you, shall think fit, in the said isle of Ely, and as are meet to bear arms as aforesaid, under such colonels, commanders, and field-officers, as we shall appoint and commissionate for that purpose; who shall have power to lead, muster, conduct, and employ the persons aforesaid, armed, and weaponed, for the suppression of the said rebels, and of all rebellions, insurrections, invasions, tumults, and other unlawful assemblies whatsoever, that may happen in the said isle of Ely. And farther we do authorize you, or any three or more of you, with the said forces of horse and foot, or otherwise, to oppose, seize, secure, and disarm, or, in case of resistance, to kill and slay the said rebels, and all other persons, who have or shall cause or make any such tumults, insurrections, or invasions, or levy any force against us, this government, or commonwealth; and shall have farther power and authority to difarm all known papists, and dangerous and seditious persons, and all such as shall raise, or endeavour to raise, any tumults or insurrections, and to put the arms of all such persons into the hands of such well affected persons as you, or any three or more of you, shall think fit, to serve as aforesaid with their said arms, under such officers as aforesaid; and you, or any three or more of you, shall observe these instructions, and such other instructions and directions as you shall receive from us, with advice of our council. Given at Whitehall, this 14th day of March, 1654.
Oliver P. Instructions unto sir Francis Russel, Bart. major general John Disbrowe, John Thurloe, esq; George Glapthorne, Tristram Diamond, Francis Underwood, esqrs. doctor Richard Staine, captain Moses, and Henry Farrar, esqrs. appointed by commission from his highness the lord protector of the commonwealth of England, Scotland, and Ireland, by and with the advice of his council, to be commissioners for ordering and managing the militia of the isle of Ely.
1. You, or any three of you, shall immediately, upon receiving of the said commission and these instructions, meet in some convenient place in your island, and so from time to time, as ost as the service shall require it, for putting in execution these instructions with effect.
2. You, or any three of you, are to inform yourselves of all conspiracies, practices, and secret meetings of papists or disaffected persons; and from time to time any of you that are in the commission of the peace, are to take informations and examinations upon oath in writing, as you shall see cause, concerning the matters aforesaid, whether expressed by word or action, spoken, printed, written, published, or done wheresoever, against the peace and welfare of the commonwealth.
3. You, or any three of you, are authorised and required to difarm, secure, or commit all papists, or other ill affected persons, that have of late appeared, or shall declare themselves in their words or actions against the present government, or shall hold correspondence with Charles Stuart, son of the late king, or with any other person or nation, tending to the disturbance of the public peace, or have or shall minister any supplies to the said Charles Stuart, or any adhering to him, or any other the enemies or rebels of this commonwealth, or who have or shall raise, or endeavour to raise, any tumults or insurrections within the same, or be justly suspected to do the same, and also to seize the horses of all such persons for the use of the commonwealth.
4. You are likewise from time to time to observe, what strangers, or other persons, from other places resort to your island, and to what persons they apply themselves. And you are to inform yourselves, as near as you can, of their business and occasions in those parts; and, in case you are not well satisfied with their reasons and accounts given you, you are then to acquaint us or our council with the names of such persons, and to endeavour to secure them in the mean time, and till farther order.
5. Whereas many arms were raised and provided by the authority of the late militia and other occasions, which remain dispersed into several places, whereof there may be a dangerous use made, to the disturbance of the peace of this commonwealth, for prevention whereof you are to take special care, that all the arms, so as aforesaid raised, and all other arms in your island, as well horse as foot, whether defensive or offensive, and also all ammunition, provisions of war, and trophies be secured, by putting them into safe places, or leaving them in safe hands, in such a way, as you upon the place shall judge to be most for the peace and safety of the commonwealth; and that inventories be taken and kept of all the arms, and other things, so taken and secured, or left in the owners hands, to prevent imbezzelments and misconversion of the same; and to the end there may be assurance of having them in readiness for the publick use on all needful occasions.
6. Whereas by our commission you are impowered to raise such horse and foot, as shall be necessary for the peace of your island, under such field-officers or commanders, as we shall appoint; we have herewith sent to you commissions for field-officers, which you shall cause to be delivered to the several persons therein named respectively; and you, or any three of you, are hereby impowered and authorised to grant commissions to such inferior officers, as shall be recommended to you in that behalf by the said field-officer or officers, upon your approbation of them respectively.
7. Whereas there is a necessity of suppressing the present insurrection and rebellion, wherein no delay can be admitted, without apparent hazard to the three nations; you, or any three of you, in this exigency, are hereby authorised to charge any person or persons with horse and arms within your county, riding, liberty, or precinct, with respect had unto the quantity of his or their estates, and with respect also to the ease of the peaceable and well affected people of this nation; that the charge and burthen of these forces may be laid upon the malignant and disaffected party, who have been the cause of this insurrection.
8. You, or any three of you, are to take care, that such horse and arms as shall be charged to be provided as aforesaid, and all such other horse and arms as you shall find fit to make use of for the present service, during the time of any insurrection, rebellion, or invasion, be put into the hands of such well affected persons, and fit for war, as any three or more of them shall approve, which person and persons are hereby required to serve in arms, horse or foot-men accordingly; and that such persons be listed, trained, and mustered in several troops and companies, and formed into regiments, as you shall fee cause; and you, or any three of you, are hereby authorised and required to cause the said forces to be drawn out and employed for suppressing and resisting the present rebellion, and all other invasions, insurrections, and rebellions, in your said county, riding, or precinct; and to bring the authors and abettors thereof to condign punishment. And you are to act and proceed farther, as you shall receive orders from time to time from us or our council.
9. You, or any three of you, may imprison any mutineers, disordered persons, or such as shall not do their duty, according to such commands and directions, as they shall receive from you, in pursuance of these instructions.
10. You, or any three or more of you, shall hereby have power to fine such persons for not sending in, or appearing with their horses and arms, upon any rebellion, invasion, or insurrection, the same not exceeding twenty pounds for each default; the said fines respectively to be employed for the service aforesaid and likewise to levy, or cause to be levied the same on the lands and goods of the parties so offending.
11. For the better enabling you to put these instructions in execution, you are to require the sheriff of your county, and all other officers and ministers, to be assistant unto you, and to keep correspondence with the commanders of the forces in pay of this commonwealth, who are hereby required, if there be cause, and as you shall make your application, to give you assistance for the execution hereof.
An intercepted letter.
I Received yours of the 4th ould stile but yesterday, which is the first I have had from you this three weekes; notwithstanding I should have written, if I had not feared, that in theise troublesome times I might have endangered you. As to some particulars of your letter, I can say nothing yett, till I enquire more at large, then the departure of this post will affoord mee time for duke of Yorke and lord Jermyn were at Paris upon tewsday last, but had both beene from thence 9 or 10 daies. lord Jermyn denyes to have seen the king, or that hee hath beene in France; but I am very confident of both, having beene informed of it by a letter neere three weeks since from lord Percye who, you know, is likely enough to dis cover the certainty as soone as any. I doe verily beleeve, hee is either in the north of England or in Scotland not as you imagine in London nor yet, as lord Jermyn gives out, secretly in Holland the queene is very confident. I doe not believe the duke of Yorke will stir, till hee fees some better assurance but of these things I presume lord Jermyn has written more fully to you than I can. Heere is great underhand labouring for a peace betwixt the two crownes, all being for itt, except the cardinall, and such of the sould. as are in great charges; yet some beleeve (though I am not of that number) the cardinall inclines more towards itt than ever. The emperour, from the apprehension of domestique troubles, advises and perswades the king of Spaine to an agreement; and itt is confidently reported, that the conclave seeing what factions are endeavoured to be made for each party, have (amongst other particulars which the next pope is to signe and swear to) agreed, that hee sweare not to interest himselfe on either side, but to use all possible meanes to worke a reconciliation betwixt the two crownes, and to endeavour to the uttermost the generall peace of all catholique princes and states. 'Tis whispered heere, as a great secrett, but upon what grounds I cannot yet learne, that Holland and England may yet breake, which is not improbable, if France does, and if there shall be peace with Spayne. Pray write me all the newes you can safelie, for I am impatient to heare the issue of what mine eyes are upon; and I shall not sayle to write to you all I can learne heere; and by the next post shall give you an account of the other particulars you wrott about I am, sir,
Rouen, March the 24th st. no. [1654/5.]
Nieuport, the Dutch embassador in England, to Secretary Thurloe.
I am sorry, that I am necessitated in this conjuncture of affairs to trouble you with the inclosed paper, whereof I made mention on saturday last. Believe me, that it is very requisite to redress such disorders, and to make it appear to your truest friends, that such illegal actions are not countenanced by the government. I am well informed, that the private men of war act still by virtue of the commissions issued out in November 1652, whereof a copy is here inclosed; and leave it to your own judgment to consider the consequences thereof, and to what constructions it is subject, that almost a year after the conclusion of a peace, such commissions are not repealed and annihilated, at least as far as is concerning the United Provinces; and assuring you, that I have as great a reflection in the premises to the interest of his most serene highness, as to my own country. I remain for ever,
Right honourable, your most affectionate humble servant,
I have yet no answer to former papers delivered on the ist of Feb. concerning the Blew Door of Amsterdam, and the St. Peter of Flushing, nor to that of the Sea Fortune exhibited the 19th of the same moneth, stilo Angl.
Nieuport, the Dutch embassador in England, to the protector.
Nicholas T. Hoem, Peter Kneght, Peter Groot, and Cornelius Boes, merchants of Edam in Holland, and owners of some salt pans in the said town, where they make white salt of French salt, have humbly shewn to the lords the states general of the United Provinces, that to their great loss and inconveniency their ship called the Sheep, whereof is master Jacob Jansen Shaep of Aeckswyck, coming with a salt lading from Cheutres in France for their account towards Edam aforesaid, hath been taken and seized at sea near Portland, by a private man of war of this commonwealth, under pretence, that the said salt lading doth appertain to French subjects; whereas indeed it was solely bought and laden for the said four merchants of Edam aforesaid, every one having for his own account a fourth part of it, for to employ it in their aforesaid salt-pans, having paid, as appeared by the bill of exchange, for the said salt, in banco two thousand seven hundred and six and twenty guilders Holland money. And considering by such proceedings the free trade and navigation is disturbed, and the people of the United Provinces, contrary to the peace and amity, prejudiced and damnisied extremely, the said lords the states general have by their letters of the 1/11 of this instant given express and special order to the subscribed embassador, that he should represent most seriously the said proceeding to his most serene highness, and desire in their name most instantly, that his highness be pleased to give order, that the said ship with the salt lading aforesaid be forthwith released, and that the captain and owners of the private man of war, which hath taken and detained the same, be ordered to allow the said merchants just and reasonable satisfaction for their costs and damages. Given at Westminster this 14/24 of March 1654/5.
Mr. John Clarke to major Haynes at Colchester.
At my late coming from London, mr. Moody shewed me your letter dated the 7th of this enstant, the which wee intended to have answarred the next post, and this night about 11 a clock I received your letter dated 13th of this enstant: by it and the inclosed I understand how things are. I shall fourthwith communicate what you wish to our alderman mr. Moody and others, whome I dare conside in, and be assured, sir, there shal be noething wanting in us, as to watchfullnesse; but how at present to put ourselves into a posture of defence, I knowe not, except wee doe receive order from his highnes in order thereunto. In the meane time wee are in a naked condition, and the grouth of papests is greate in this towne. I could hartilie wish, that col. Fothergill, who hath allwaies bene faithfull, weare impowered to have his regiment in a readinesse, &c. Sir, when I have consulted with others, I shal be in a better condition to write more fullie to you. In the meane time I crave leave to subscribe myselfe,
Bury, March 14, 1654. 6 a Clock in the morning.
Col. John Fothergill to major Haynes.
Much Honoured Sir,
I Received yours with the inclosed copyes last night, by which I understand, that the olde cavalier enemie beginnes to stirre in several partes, which newes hath much trobled my spirit; but I hope that as the lord hath hitherto delivered you, soe he will owne us still, by discovering all theire wicked plotts, and preventing all theire hellish intentions.
Sir, I have desired the honest men in this towne to gett theire armes fixed, that in case any disturbance doe fall out, we may be in what redines may bee, to opose it; but truly, sir, in regard I have not received as yet any comission, or other instructions to his highnes, then what I have from your selfe, I cannot be in soe good a posture, as the state of afaires seame to require; but, God willing, I shall not faile to be as serviceable as I can, according to such instructions, as I shall receive from his highnes the lord protector.
Sir, the assise for this countie beginnes at Burie to morow, where, God willing, I intend
to be, and to consult with mr. Clarke and some other honest and trustie men, what we had
best to doe for the preservation of the peace and sastie of this countrie. Blessed be God,
all things are quiet heeraboutes, and I hope will soe continue. In great hast I rest
Sudburie, March 14, 1654.
W. Rogers to the protector.
May it Please Your Highness,
I have received all your orders, and have beene in Monmothshire, and am raising the regiment, which I hope wil be speedily ready, besides two troopes of horse, that we are raising. All honest men (though never so differring) are ready to unite and engage against this common enemie.
I have sent two letters to your highness, to let you understand what condition we are in here. We want armes and ammunition. I am at extraordinary charges in raising these men, and sending messengers and spies abroad, that I might be furnished with intelligence, which is the guide of all our actions. And through the assistance of God I shall lose no time to be servicable to your highness and the publique good of this place and nation. All the men I have listed are upon duty.
The enemie is not yet up neere me, but a scout of mine (an honest man) being out in the night in the country, hearing a party of horse coming, gott behind a quick headg, and hidd himselfe; who, as they past by, heard them speake these words one to another; gentlemen, if this designe will hitt, we shal be gallant blades. Another answered, it would hitt.
W. Gough to W. Malyn, esq;
Much Honoured Sir,
I Shall make bold to communicate unto you what hath lately happened in these partes. On tuesday last, about two in the morninge, captain Pike, post master of Crewkerne, gave us an allarme at Ilminster, assureinge us, that M. G. Wagstaffe, C. Penruddock, and neer a thousand more of the late king's party, were inbodied at Sarum, where they tooke the judges, and did much mischief, and were then come to Sherburne; whereupon I hasted to this towne, where I mett col. Pine, col. Ceely, sir Thomas Wroth, C. Georges, major Sampson, C. Barker, and diverse gentlemen more, with a considerable company of such as were formerly of the militia; and indeed, for ought I could discerne, they came with very cheerfull resolutions to engage their all against this upstart crew, and had the Lord seen it good, our strength in reason had been more than sufficient to have accomplisht their utter downfall; but I had not been long here, before I saw my hopes of their ruine quite frustrated, which I must very much impute to the unhandsome carriage of C. Gorges towards col. Pyne and some others, refuseinge to joyne with col. Pyne in any thinge relating to this present business, C. Gorge takeinge upon him the charge of the towne, comissioned thereunto by the magistrates thereof (as he is pleased to say) whereupon arose this great inconvenience; C. Ceely with divers officers and soldiers, to the number of 40 or thereabouts, being resolved to alarum the enemy, who then lay at Chard (or at least more perfectly to learne their number and condition) cominge to the outguard of the towne was denied passage by the guard, they alleadging, that C. Gorge hath soe given order, that none must passe without his licence; whereupon wee halted there about a quarter of an hour, and in the mean time sent to know of C. Gorge, what his meaninge was, who then gave a ticket for our passage, which C. Ceely tooke soe unkindly, he being the older colonell, that he refused to march by the other's leave; and by this meanes we were altogether disappointed of what in probability might have been easily effected; I meane the ruine of our enemies, who were not in number above 160, as I am since very certeinly informed; and in a very tremblinge posture. Their horse are many of them very good, but the riders very ill accoutred for the most parte; yet notwithstandinge these discouragements, their purpose is, to pursue to morrow with what horse they can make, and, if possible, joyne with the sheriffe of Devon (to whome they have wrytten to that purpose) that soe they may, being united, if not take them, at least disperse them; which I heare they begin to doe already. Truely, sir, I am hartily sorry, to see these divisions, that are amongst us; and truely though I cannot say that C. Pyne and the others fully comply with the present government; yet I am verily perswaded, that they were very harty in this present worke; and I am sure have been formerly very good instruments for the secureing these partes, and for any publique good; and therefore I cannot but be troubled, that C. Gorge, a man but of yesterday, who hath not soe fully borne testimony against the cavaleirs in former times, should soe much insult and greive the spirits of those gentlemen. I observed further yesterday, that C. Gorge tooke some distaste at C. Bovett, for that he, upon the alarum, entered the castle of Taunton, and secured it with some of the company, that formerly served him in the militia, and refused to turne out his men againe, and deliver the possession thereof to C. Gorges. Indeed my opinion is, that what lieutenant col. Bovet did was meerly for the preservation of the place, without any sinister end; and to my knowledge was exceeding forward to further any designe against the enemy, and to reconcile divisions here. But I must begg your pardon for this trouble: at present I shall not much inlarge, but desire, that if opportunity be offered, you wil be pleased to acquaint my lord herewith, which, with the tender of my reall and hearty respects to you, is all at this time from,
Taunton, March 14, 1654.
Being newly come to this towne with 4 troopes of our regiment, where major general Disbrowe will meete to morrow, I thought it necessary for your helping us with intelligence in our pursuance of the enemy to open your letter. I have honestly sealed it up againe.
Col. W. Crowne to the protector.
May it please your highnes,
In regard wee discover daily designeings still against this garrison, and that upon monday last in the night was the time, when they should have sett upon us (as by our intelligence wee understood) I have adventured to call in my owne company, for the better strengthening of the place, and quarter them upon the cheifest malignants here; for we were before even quite tired out with duty, our number being soe small, your other parte of your troope being not come in; but we expect them this night. The rest of the gentlemen (the officers) are unwilling to raise their companies without speciall order from your highnes, not knowing where to quarter them, for want of money. Wherefore I humbly begg wee may receive your instructions herein. The inclosed the gentleman hath desired mee to send to his friend, for to procure his enlargement; which I have first sent it for you to peruse, and to doe as your highnes shall thinke fitt. I having noe more to give you an accompt of since my last. I remayne
Salop, March 14, 1654.