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)
Copy of a letter from Mr. W. Prideaux to Almao Juanuah, chancellor of the possesco-office in Mosco.
Vol. xxiv. p. 215.
Upon saturday last, when I received from the emperor's princely hands his letter to his highnesse lord protector of the commonwealth of England, &c. and that your lordship told me from his majesty, that I should have in wryting an answer to such wrytings, as I had given you for his majesty, and returne by the same way I came, I then answered, that my order from his highnesse was to returne over land by Riga, with such convenient expedition as I could; to which your lordship replyed, that I should speake no more of that matter there. Soe it is that I see noe tyme limitted, when I shall have that his majesty's answere; and to keepe me here in this country before the 1 of September next, that shipps departe from Archangell, cannot be but much displeasing to his highnesse lord protector. I have thought good to advertise your lordshipp thus much, which I esteem it, as if I did write immediately to his imperial majestie, and to desire you to consider of it, and to lett me have your answer in writing, to serve me for my discharge with his highnesse. So auguring your lordshipp the completion of selicity, I remayne, &c.
Mosco, March 14, 1654/5.
Col. Wade to general Disbrowe.
Vol. xxiv. p. 212
I had a mettinge yesterday with captain Nicholas concerninge the raiseinge of forses for the defence of our county, to which I answered him, that there is noe doubte, if authority be given for that purpose, and provision made for accomodation, force will be speedily raised; and therefore if you thinke it will be with anie advantage to the publicke, noe doubt by God's assistance men of a sufficient number shall be forthwith raised for the safe keepeing of Gloucester, whereby the horse heare may be spared for servis abroade. I came to Gloucester this day, beinge sent for by the mayor and aldermen of the citty, and am a puttinge the well affected of the citty in a posture of defence, which at present is foure hundered men. I doe thinke to goe into the forrest againe to morrow, to put things in the best condition possible. What you conceive me sitt or capable to doe, in order to the raiseinge of men, lett me have commaund and authority, and there shall be noe want in me. I conceive it were not amisse, if there were a forbearance of raising of those for the present, money being a precious thinge with you, and rawe iron a vendible comodity. Your forge is on worke. Thus, desireinge your answer to what you shall thinke fitt, I rest
Gloucester, March 14, 1654.
To the right honourable general John Disbrowe these be presented.
In his absence, to col. John Clarke, at Whitehall.
Your faithful servant,
Mr. J. B. to the protector.
March 14, [1654/5.]
Vol. xxiv. p. 213.
May it please your highness,
Your highness letter by the express I received, and shall now as formerly render you an accompt of the guarrison at Hull. Itt is att present as to the officers and souldiers and the inhabitants in a very good condition; the blocke houses and fortifications much out of repaire, with the magazine; the greatest part of the traine useless; the carriages of most or all of the great peices being rott and destroyed; the magazine in that condition for want of repairing, as that little store there is can hardly be kept dry. A particular of the store (having not armes for 100 foote to spare) was presented in my last to your highness, as also the charge was conceived these repaires would amount unto, wherein a particular request was made, that 200 l. might be speedily ordered for the most necessary repaires of that garrison, the which I humbly beg may be done. I know not what grounds of hopes the enemy may have for assuring themselves of the place. It was my endeavours, when I was there, as well to enquire into the temper of the souldiery as their numbers and strength of the place; and if I may trust the engagements of men, they promised, not only all faithfullness, but diligence; and since I have not hearde the least to make mee suspect or believe the contrary, there is but few that is disatisfied with the present government in that place; the cheif is mr. Cann, whose removall, as I humbly conceive, and hinted as much to your highness, would be very necessary; hee doth disservice amongst the souldiery, his spirit not agreeing with the government. The charge of that I committed to major Elton during my absence, finding him to have a deputation from your highness for that purpose, and in truth one, who for his carriage, care and diligence, deserves encouragement, notwithstanding my care (soe much as my present civill imployment will give me way) I shall not be wanting, learning weekly from them, and they from me. The number of common souldiers are only 500, which are sufficient for the present duty and service; but in time of danger the number must be doubled. I wish it may be with men from the army, and not by recruites, of which sort the greatest part of that garrison doth now consist, the officers having neither experience nor assurance of their faithfullness; which makes me humbly beg for the returne of two of the lord Lambert's companie, in lieu whereof, if your highness thinke it necessary, the like number of the recruites from thence shall be ordered. A place of soe great concernment is nott to be kept with men either unexperienced or unknowne: however, in obedience to your highness's commands, I have ordered the raysing of our company under good officers. Whether or no the common soldiery prove soe, 'tis doubtfull. For preventing of any present designe, and for encouragement of our friends, and security of that place, I have ordered thirty horse thither, as not at all confyding in the recruites, My lord, I beg that 300 l. may be ordered for the most necessary repaires of the place, as the making of a cross bar to shutt over the mouth of the harbour; to prevent the running in of some vessels in a dark night, which may both syer our owne ships, and land men on the Gainsom syde, to the hazard of the towne. This damage prevented by this means, the towne will be very secure, if your daungers continue. Here is some gentlemen would raise a regiment of horse for the security of this county, if they had but authority for it. A settlement of militia would be very convenient in this county. A meeting of thursday night last uppon Hessa-moore by some gentlemen, which are fledd uppon it, and some apprehended, of which your highness will have a more particular account thereof from col. Lilburne. I am
Your highness's most humble servant,
Col. James Berry to the protector.
Vol. xxiv. p. 220.
May it Please Your Highnes,
We have at last extorted this consession from captain Barker, and haveing made as much use of him as we can, we have sent him to you, together with mr. Whalley and two of his men. Their confessions you have by the post. We cannot but judge mr. Whalley guilty, because his two men were there, and himselfe at many meetings at John Cooper's house, particularly the friday before the randevous with the 2 Paldwins and some others. We hope you may get the truth from him. We have found the cart load of armes, which is according to the list inclosed. We hope your highnes will bestow them upon 5 troopes, who are much harrased by the busines; or if you please to comand them for any service, we begg you would give us leave to price them, and allow us soe much in money. We shall endeavour, as we are able, to make further enquiry into the busines, and hope to apprehend more of the persons. We have sent mr. Whalley's examination, that you may finde wherein he varies; and thought it lesse inconvenient, that he should travaile soe farre, though guiltles, then you want an opportunity to trie him. We begg your pardon for this scrowle, and want of paper, and shall desire to be ever found
March 14, 1654.
Your faithfull servant,
Examination of Mr. John Barker.
Vol. xxiv. p. 219.
Mr. John Barker of Halam, examined 14 March 1654. saith, he was at Southwell till about so of the clocke on thursday night last, from whence he went home to Halam, where he stayed till morning, and then he went again to Southwell. He was there by 7 of the clock, at W. Lambe's. There he stay'd till monday in the afternoon about 4 of the clock. Thence he went to Newmarket, where he stay'd till he was taken yesterday. He saith upon farther examination, that he was at Rufford on the Green, near the Pound, about one of the clock the said thursday night; and at that time there was captain John Cooper; and they said his brother since had been there, but was gone. There was also mr. Thomas Paldwin, and mr. Gregory Paldwin, and mr. Bins, and his man, at Dodworth, and one Robert Felton, of London, and a gentleman or two more. He saith, he met the cart coming away, and he heard some mention the throwing of them into the water, and one of the carters said, he could carry them back. He saith, he saw Hankin of Fernshild, as he came, and spake to him. He saith, he had a led horse, which was led by one Whelpedale.
This examination taken before col. Berry and capt. Needham.
The examination of Mr. Penniston Whalley, of Screton, in the county of Nott. taken March 14th, 1654.
Vol. xxiv. p. [221.]
He saith, he was at mr. John Cooper's house at Thurginton, on friday was sevennight about two of the clock in the afternoon, where he stay'd till about five of the clock. There was with him, mr. Cicil Cooper, one mr. Monnaxe, one Thomas Paldwin, one George Taylor, and one mr. Bins, all which he lest there, when he went away. He saith, he walked in the garden with mr. Cooper only, and no other. He saith, he remembers not he was there before since Christmas. He saith, he was on thursday last at Barton in the Beans, at justice Sacheverell's. He came thither betwixt nine and ten, and stay'd there all night. He was at Nottingham from two of the clock till seven. He stay'd at several places, but was last at widow Dally's, where he stay'd till about seven of the clock, and then went to Barton as aforesaid.
Being asked, what he said to his servants, Simon and Edward, before he went, he saith, he had no discourse with them, but bid Ned go to his hedger, and bid his man Billings go to mr. Cooper, to ask for money. He saith, he knew nothing of his men's going out or coming out that night, nor the next morning. He saith, he hath not seen mr. Gregory Paldwin, who sojourned at mr. Cooper's, above once (whereas I say once, perchance it may be twice) in any house.
There was nothing interlined, when this was subscribed.
March 14, 1654. Found in a barn at Fernesfield
Vol. xxiv. p. [222.]
54 Case of pistols.
16 Saddles, with furniture, whereof 3 are great saddles.
19 Pair of holsters.
2 Suites of good arms.
3 Head pieces.
2 Buff coats.
The examination of John Baggelow servant to Mr. John Cooper, of Thurgaston, taken the 14th day of March, 1654. before col. Berry and captain Needham.
Vol. xxiv. p. [214.]
This examinate saith, that on thursday last mr. Thomas Paldwin, mr. Gregory Paldwin, and mr. Scott, of Nottingham, came to his master's house, where they stay'd until night; and this examinate was called to go away with a cart loaden with 4 or 5 sacks, and two hampers of pistols and arms, to the green near Rufford abby. He accordingly went, and carried them thither, and there he spoke with his master, the said mr. John Cooper, who said to him, he could not tell what they must do with these things. He saith, he saw mr. Gregory Paldwin there at Rufford; but knows not whether he saw mr. Thomas Paldwin, or not. When he had been there a while, divers gentlemen being together, they said, they were betrayed, and some had cast their arms into the pond. But captain John Barker came up with another with him, and said, they should not throw them in the pond, but carry them back; and then this examinate and Richard Newball drew back the cart to Fernhall, where Newball intreated one Hankin to put them up in a barn. He believes Hankin knew nothing of the business, and there they were lest. He saith, the Paldwins and mr. Scott were used to meet at his master's house, and mr. Whalley was twice or thrice there, when the Paldwins were there. He said, mr. Paldwin and some others dined at his master's house on friday was sevennight, and mr. Whalley came after dinner, or the next day, but stay'd not.
John Baggelow his mark.
Capt. George Bishop to secretary Thurloe.
Vol. xxiv. p. .
I HAD given you an account of the enemy's action at Salisbury by mundaye's post, had hee not departed (notwithstanding I charged him otherwise myselfe) whilst wee were speakeing with some friends, and looking after others, whce came thence that day, and were amongst them. But! I suppose you had the particulars therof as soon as wee, only I presume it may not be unnecessary, if the post have a checque given him, least in other cases of danger, which may happen, hee serve us soe againe, to the prejudice of the commonwealth.
Monday night wee heare the enemy quartered at Shaftsbury some, and at Sherborne
others, and soe in parties at divers places, to inforce their numbers what they can in that
disaffected county of Dorset, then which there is not one greater in England. Tuesday
they were at Dorchester, broke upp the gaoles, and horsed the jayle birds; and it is
sayd, that from thence they went to Weymouth, wher they reported they expected
the landing of some amunition and armes from France, though I rather thinke it is (if
it bee soe) to looke amunition in such a port towne. For their numbers wee cannot
get a particular account, all wee have being from travaylers; and you know how uncertayne
for the most part is such intelligence. Ther were not 100 horse of them in Salisbury,
and yet report brought them 1000. They are sayd now to bee by some 2000, others 1000,
some 500; they have noe particular rendezvouzes, but disperse themselves, and lye beyond
measure. Wee alsoe heare, that many went with them out of Sherborne and other places,
and that in and aboute Taunton honest men are imbodying together against them; and from
one of Road, nere Phillip's Norton, understand that by this tyme, as hee supposeth, 300 horse
of friends are ther together, whoe hee sayth intend to march after the enemy. And what hath
been here done, you have had and will have account of from other hands; though I must
tell you, with that eye you cannot understand nor judge impartially of the condition of
this place. I shall say noe more, because we have lately seen an unexpected issue on our representations of danger, which were noe dreames or fancys. Wee know, what wee wrote,
though the hand hath been turned against us. This riseing wee hope is only the residue
of the plotters discovered by Stradling, whoe fearing apprehension and other just reward,
have desperately put themselves into this hostility; though wee feare it hath a larger extent,
not only because of the universall laying of their designes, but in regard the monday's post
is not yet come hither, nor any newes of him. One from the Devizes assures us,
that major Boteler with four troopes marched out thence yesterday at 7 in the morning
towards the enemy; but of these things I suppose you have a particular account; and therefore I shall not add further, but that I am,
Bristoll, March 14, 1654.
Sir, your assured friend and servant,
Mr. J. Nicholas to the protector.
Vol. xxiv. p. [216.]
May it please your highnes,
I Received your letter of the 12th instant about 11 a clocke this daye, and shal be as diligent in the executing your commands therin as possible I can. I heard of noe insurrection any where, till last night very late. The assizes, that was this weeke held in our country, hath somthing hindered our leavies; but I hope this night we shall be five hundered together. I shall endeavour to secure Trevor, Williams, Morgan of Machen, and some others, who I heare are at this present together at Morgan's house. If the Lord doth blesse us in this designe, I feare noe danger in this country. My lord, I'lle assure you, whatever is done by your highnes, the adverse party have the knowledge of it before us, and have better intelligence in all things, than wee. I have confered with major Wade and other friends in the forrest, and they are very cordiall for your highnes. I have done my endeavours to perswade them to raise what men they could. Mony is the greatest hinderance with them; but the least orders from your highnes with commissions to Wade will presently raise one thousand men. This he hath engaged to me. I shall not further troble your highnes, but to assure you, I shal be as vigilant and carefull as I am able. I am
Chepstoll Castle, March 14, 1654.
Your highnes most faithfull and humble servant,
Col. W. Boteler to the protector.
Vol. xxiv. p. [217.]
May it please your highnesse,
This morning col. Dove is come hether from the enemy upon his parole: he lest them neere Evill, and saith, he thinks them to be above 300 in number. Now, my lord, though I know 'twould be of sadd consequence, if wee assaulting them should be worsted, yet, my lord, I hope your highness will easily pardon me, being I shall freely adventure myselfe upon the good providence of the Lord, who I knowe will owne us; and I am perswaded, succeed us in this business. And indeed, my lord, I cannot with any confidence stay here, nor looke the country in the face, and let them alone. I doubt not but to give your highness a speedy good account of this matter. I shall be this night at Sshaftsberry, and then send to your highnesse againe. The judges I have set at liberty here, and they were like men that dreamt to see us so sudainly here. I shall take care of their safe passage to London, whether they desire to come. Col. Dove saies, that Mack, that lieutenant Heely sent up, is come off but as a spye, and desires me to informe so much. I am, my lord,
From Salisbury, upon my march towards Shaftsbery, 14 March, 9 a clock in the morning.
Your highness most dutifull servant,
If I heare any of our freinds coming towards us, I shall delay falling upon them, unless I see a very probable opportunity.
Col. Barkstead, lieutenant of the Tower, to secretary Thurloe.
Vol. xxiv. p. [218.]
I Earnestly desire your care of these twoe papers I delivered you yesterday. I am very confident of the honesty of my warder, and have therefore permitted him to goe once more to mr. Wiseman with the small note from Read, the coppie of which is inclosed. His returne will not bee till betweene one or twoe. What Wiseman returnes, I shall, as soone as I have taken a coppie, send it to you, and then desire your further directions. The warder tould mr. Read, that he thought mr. Wiseman, as himselfe, was mistaken in dateing his letters the 13th of Feb. he told him noe; what was done now should have beene performed that tyme. I am,
Tower, London, March 14, 1634.
Sir, your affectionate friend and servant,
Wiseman who was chirurgeon to sir Ralph Hopton, from the begining of the warre, and was by him about 7 or 8 years since recomended to Charles Stuart, to be chirurgeon to his body, was taken at Worcester, and afterwards getting away hath lived in the Old Bayley at the signe of the King's-head, ever since in great practise.
My service to all. Mr. Nedd G. is well, and all the rest.
Believe me, that I am not timorously fearfull, but a providential care, you believe, ought
to be alwayes prepared for, especially by mee, whoe am subject to such extreame sitts of the
chollicke, and other diseases, that now in health, I ought to prepare against sicknesse, if it
should attempt to asseaze on me. It is the councell of the Wiseman, but now that you and
my good friend are acquainted by whome I received the 5 l. I am much at rest. I receive
not only a cordial by him, but that which is better than any physicke, which is, that you
are confident, my disease in the head will be cured, without entering into a cource of phy
sicke, which I am heartily glad of, and pray for it, as for my owne soule. I pray you informe me how the health is of all friends, and what else you thinke fitt to be imparted to
Feb. 14, 1654. J. B.
A true coppie taken by Richard Barton.
Your servant for ever.
The information of John Griffiths, of Stanwardine of the Field, taken before Humphrey Mackworth, esq; and Jonathan Rowley, gentleman, upon oath.
The 14th day of March, 1654.
Vol. xxiv. p. 223.
Who saith, that he coming upon wednesday night, the 7th day of this instant March, he having a horse, would have putt him up in the common stable at sir Thomas Harris's, and the doore of the stable was locked; and this informer was told, that the said stable was full of horses, that he could not putt up his horse there; and saw, that the best stable was full of good horses, and in the cow-house he saw three in one, and three in another, and two in another, three being sadled, and the five unsadled.
Judge Aske and mr. recorder Steele to secretary Thurloe.
Vol. xxiv. p. 224.
We knowe not how you might approve of the message sent this morning by mr. Godfrey touching our having a troope of horse from hence, to be with us at least until the other come you have ordered out of Kent; but to us, the more we consider how much the thinge may be of great consequence, not only to our security, but to the publique service, the more we cannot but insist upon the desire of it. Wee believe by the appearance at the assizes of the sheriffe of Surry's men, together with our owne, there will goe this morning out of Southwarke at least one hundred horse; which the enemy, without all scruple, knowing soe long before of the day of our going, will endeavour to surprise, which may be easily done with a few pistoles, the sheriffs men being not armed with any such weapons, and being sent in from gentlemen in the country, who we know not what affections they may be of. Sir, we suppose some troopes lye in Southwarke, which may with ease be procured, if his highnesse please to command it; and though noe forces have visibly appeared in these parts, yet doubtless their affections being the same, they will as suddainly appeare as at Salisbury, if an opportunity as fairely offer itselfe. And truly, to our apprehensions, except wee have a good guard, as well to attend us thither, as there, there will be a booty well pleasing to them. We shall stay this morning in Southwarke, at mr. Warcup's, the baylie of Southwark's house, as long as conveniently wee may, till wee heare from you. Pardon this trouble from, sir,
March 14, 1654.
Your affectionate friends and humble servants,
Examination of Edward Vaughan.
Vol. xxiv. p. 225.
Edward Vaughan of Tredezim, in the said county gentleman, examined saith, that the examinate was at his father's house the 6th of March 1654, and went not from the said house any way, that he remembers, that day. This examinate saith, that the 7th day of March, 1654, he went with his brother Arthur Vaughan to Kanamunoch, and from thence to Penny-parke in Masbrooke, unto mr. Ralph Kynaston's, where were about 12 men, which the examinate said he knew, as Edward Thurston, and Edward Jones, and some of the others he knew by sight. And this examinate said, that he heard then no discourse of any of the persons about any plot. But this examinate further saith, that as he went from Kannamunoch homewards, one Arthur Garner asked the examinate, when the wedding would be, and the examinate said, it was time enough about half a year hence; because he understood he had meant his own wedding. And on his way when word was, his brother Arthur, there passed some discourse; and the said Arthur told this examinate, that there was a plot to raise men against the present government. And this examinate faith, that his brother Arthur told this examinate, that mr. Ralph Kynaston had asked him to be in the said plot; and that the said plot was a plot throughout the whole nation, and that Ralph Kynaston had told him, there would be a rendezvous in Salop by sir Thomas Harris's house. And the said Arthur told this examinate, he would not go unto the said rendezvous. And this examinate saith, that the day after his brother Arthur bid him to tell the same unto his father, and this examinate did so the same day; and farther faith not
Edward Vaughan aforesaid, examined upon oath the day aforesaid, saith, that he hath heard, that mr. Ralph Kynaston was in the said plot; and also saith farther, that it was reported in the country, that John Penchin, of Kanadimoie, in the county of Montgomery, gentleman, was in the said plot. And he farther saith, that dame Humphreys, of Kanamonoch, told this deponent, upon saturday the 9th of March, 1654, that he heard a pistol shot off, and as he heard, it was one Billinger, a scout from Swiney, and it was about midnight when the pistol was shot, and it was shot against one Griffith Pugh, brother to dame Pugh, of Colnerin, as this deponent hath heard by Edward Edwards, servant to mr. Ralph Kynaston.
This deponent farther saith, that Davie Githin was reputed by the country to be in the said plot. This deponent farther saith, that the said Edward Edwards told this deponent, that sir Arthur Blany was at Ralph Kynaston's house upon thursday at night the 8th of March, 1654, and that the said Ralph Kynaston then spoke to the said sir Arthur Blany, and wished him to go home. And the said Edward farther told this deponent, that the said sir Arthur had about 60 or 80 horse with him.
This deponent farther saith, that the said John Williams, of Uston Coller, and Reece Lewis, as he believes, on the 7th of March, 1654, at Kanamonoch, were with some others, at the house of dame Homfreys, and that there was then one captain Edward Kynaston, of Salop, and they discoursed about a cocking.
This deponent farther saith, that the said Edward Edwards told this deponent, that some of the party, with sir Arthur Blany, being at mr. Ralph Kynaston's house, after he persuaded them to go home, would have lest some pistols at the said Kynaston's house, but he refused to receive the said pistols; and then he offered them unto the said Edward Edwards, who also refused them; and the party said, will you cast them into a ditch? and he said, no; but said, secure you your pistols, and let your pistols secure you; and farther saith not.
Edward Vaughan, being examined before commissary general Reynolds, William Browne, esq; justice of the peace for the county of Salop, col. Mackworth, and captain Price, this 20th of March 1654, at Shrewsbury, doth acknowledge and stand to this his deposition, and what is laid down in his former deposition is true.
Fleetwood, lord deputy of Ireland, to secretary Thurloe.
Vol. xxiv. p. 238.
I Understand by yours, that our old enemyes are still at worke. It the less troubles me, because 'tis with them, for though the Lord reproveing us by them should awaken every one to see what there is in us, that might be a provocation to him, yet am I confident the Lord will witness against them, and not suffer his righteous cause, which he hath so fignaly owned, to be subject to their malice. The Lord may please by this means fully to see the evil of our divisions, which how great a tryal and trouble it may bring upon us, if the Lord prevents it not, is very apparent. Wee are heere under expectation of the same disigne to be driving on, though nothing at present appearing more then some few turning toryes, rather than to transplant. I wish Wales be not too much neglected, and Chester, in both which places there is so much of malignancie. I trust wee shall yet find the Lord's goodnes to us in our union. I cannot see there is any appearance, but that you may be as confident of us, as of any partie of men, though I know very well, that our harts are in the hands of the Lord, and can only be kept in peace and union, so long as he is pleased to owne us. If wee may be kept from provoking him by sin, I care not. I hope you will speed away my brother Cromwell, which is the desire of
March 14, 1654.
Your affectionate freind and servant,
I am very confydent ad. gen. Allen's confinement is of more inconveniency to his highnes and government, then his inlargement can be; besids I understand he hath ingaged not to act any thing to the disturbance of this government. I am confydent you may tak his word, and it seemes liberty on thos termes was offered to M. G. Harrison, &c.
N. Hole to col. John Clerke.
Vol. xxiv. p. 241.
This is to give you an acount, that I have binn at Andover since I sawe youe yesterday at noone, and all things are very quiet in those parts. The enemie is gon towards Crewkhorne, and there thay ware last night, and have stoped the maill of letters. Ther is three tropps of our horse now in Saulsbery, which come from Bristow, and that way they are in pursuit of the enemies. I am now goeing to meet the generall at Nubery; to give him the inteligence. Sir, one captain Buttler, of Dorsetshire, whom thay askt to rise with, and thay depended upon him, but hee refused, and tould them, hee would not act aney thinge against the publicke. Allfoe in Dorsetshire, where thay expected 3 or 4 thousand, thay all refuse to rise with them. So I understand most of them are the scorn of the country. This I had from a gentleman, that came this morning from Saulsbery. I have not more at present, but that I am
Basing-stoake, March 15, 1654.
Your most humble servant,
H. Hatsell to col. John Clarke.
Vol. xxiv. p. 239.
This evening I came to this place, and doe understand, that the generall quartereth this night at Amesberry; soe I hope to be with him in the morning timely. Just now is come in one post from Taunton, who came by the way of Crookehorne, and tells me, the enemy is gonn towards Cullamton and Tiverton, and intend, as 'tis supposed, for Cornewall; they are nowe less than two hundred. The same person tells me, that the country people came into Taunton neer 3000 men, to imbody themselves; but differences arose about whoe should command; the most part of the gentry and others were for col. Pyne and Busset; some fewe were for col. Gorges, and in dispute he lest them. I suppose they may agree before any need wil be of them. My service to your good wife. To the father of mercies I commend you, and remayne
Andover, March 15, 1654.
My service to col. Rouse.
The mayle of letters comming upp is taken by the enemy.
These for the honourable colonell John Clerke, att the Admiraltie-Chamber in Whitehall.
Your faythfull freind and servant,
Lord chief justice St. John to secretary Thurloe.
Vol. xxiv. p. 242.
My brother and my selfe returne our humble thankes to his highnes for his soe speedy promise for our safety. Cornet Chapman and quartermaster Lloyde, of captayne Lloyde's troope, came hither last night with the troope. I intreate your advise for the future. You know whether I was bound after the circuite; in relation to the drayning and otherwise, I shall much order my jorny as I shall be advised by you. I received an order from the company on tuesday, which desyres my meeting with mr. Gorges and others upon the place in order to the workes on the south side, and that not meeting in that and other respects may be verry prejudiciall. We goe to Thetford on monday, and shall make an ende there about fryday. Information from your selfe how businesses stande may fully informe me in these particulars. Sir, with my humble thankes for your last favours and expressions of your care of me, I rest
March 15, 1654.
Your most affectionate servant,
Ol. St. John.
General Disbrowe to the protector.
Vol. xxiv. p. 240.
May it please your highnesse,
I Came the last night to this place, and intended this day to be steering towards the Devizes; but upon some intelligence from major Butler at Salisbury, I shall (God willing) goe to Almesbury, and hope to be there by two of the clocke, in order to a conjunction with major Butler and the two troopes from Chichester, and after a few houres refreshment shall proceed, as I shall gett intelligence, which I have by all wayes layed out for, and as the Lord shall please to direct us. I understand that the high sheriffe of Wiltshire is gott from them, and reports them to be bounding (when he came away) for Evill, and thence for Bath and Wells. I doe not heare of any considerable accesse of force they have attained in all their progresse. I recomend your highnesse to the Lord's gracious protection, and remaine
Newbury, March 15, 1654.
Your highness's humble servant,
I received both your highnesse's letters this night; the one by the old messenger about eight a clocke, and the other by captain Crescet, between 4 and 5 this morning.
Col. H. Haynes to secretary Thurloe.
Colchester, March 15, 1654. thursday morne.
Vol. xxiv. p. 243.
Synce my last to his highness of the 14th I received the inclosed from out of Suffolke, which speake the same thing, and agreeing with my desire in my last to you, that some commissions might be sent to col. Fothergill and major Moody; but I shall use noe more arguments in it. Our Essex gentlemen have in pursuance of their former resolutions ordered three companyes of sir Thomas Honywood's regiment, in and neare Colchester, to muster on fryday next, and major Templer hath appointed his troope to muster the same day at the same place, and purposeth to keepe them together 4 dayes, and then discharge them, in case he receive noe further orders, because the souldiers are to have but 4 dayes pay of the owners of the armes, and longer then they are payed they will not staye. I am confident this collection, if we should not have more, will secure theise parts. However they have also resolved, that on saturday following all the other companies of foote of both regiments, and the rest of the horse, should muster in their respective divysions, and I hope such an appearance wil be, as shall daunt the spiritts of those, who have purposed to putt in execution their designes in theise parts. All but the troope of horse are but to muster and returne home againe, if not continued by an order. I have secured many of those neare this towne, that have manysested any considerable affection to this wicked interest now in armes, as sir Edward Pierce, captain Browne, captain Lemon, captain Lynn. The other, which were taken in towne, I have delivered over to the mayor of the same, and he hath putt them in the towne hall. Yet am I afraid, he is too much their freind. Many more I should have sent for more remote, but that by reason of the troope being gone to Berry, which I appointed to be there last night, I had too fewe lest to secure this desperate malignant towne. Please, I pray, sir, to direct me how I shall rid my hands of theise; for I should be in a great streight what to doe with them, in case I should be sent away. We get but fewe recruites; money runs soe lowe, that we are forced to goe uppon the trust to shoe our horses; and had not mr. Barington helped us to a small summe of 60 l. for the troope, which I sent to Bury, to beare their charges in their absence, they must of ne cessity have taken free quarter, which I desire to avoyde. If we had but our warrants, we would have monyes in the counties, where we lye. Excuse this trouble, and be assured, whatever shall further occur, I shall carefully advise you, and remayne
Your truly humble servant,
S. Sanderson to capt. Tho. Lilburne.
Vol. xxiv. p. 244.
I Thought fitt to give you notice of an information, that I had from an honest hand, well affected to this present government, concerning the cariage of some malignants in this county, who have bene for most parte of two weeks past wonderously busied in rydeing too and againe from the houses of disaffected persons, which hath given occasion to such as are of honest temper to feare something may be toward, (through wicked practices of men,) that may be of evil concernement. And because I heare and believe, that some inquisition after such hath bene made by you or some other, I doe herebye certifie the names of two in especiall, viz. mr. Willyams or Willyamson, of St. Helen Aukland, and mr. Joseph Crawdock of Harperley; two as eminent (by information) for evill words and actions against the present power, as any can be found, and such as do deserve to be as narrowly eyed, and as severely delt with, as any. I have, out of my real affection to the good of our nation, acquainted you with what I have bene creadably informed of, not having any thinge myselfe whereof in particular to accuse them. I leave the consideration of what I have written to your owne discretion, and remaine,
Framwellgate, March 15, 1654.
To my honored freind, capt. Tho. Lilburne, these present.
Sir, your very humble servant,
Mr. Robert Aldworth and mr. James Powell to secretary Thurloe.
Vol. xxiv. p. 245.
Wee sent you an expresse tuesday night, it beinge to entreate his highnes for a commission to inable us to put our selves in a posture of defence in this tyme of danger; but doubtinge, that our packquet may miscarry, wee have sent this expresse, that wee might be sure of an answer, and alsoe to bringe us intelligence, how all thinges goe in the upper parts of the nation; for that we have not heard one word from London, neither have any post come from thence since saterday last. Wee are quiet here, soe is Wales, soe far as we heare; as alsoe Gloucester, Hereford, and Worcester. Those roauges, that rose up at Sarum, weare at Blanford on tuesday, where they proclaymed Charles the second, and reade their commission to take up armes for him.
'Tis credibly informed, the sheriffe of Devon is in a good posture to give them a checque, if they goe that way. They are gotten into the most rotten and corrupt places of the nation, as Blanford, Sherborne, and Evill, &c. but wee hope major Butler is in pursuite of them. Wee cannot here of any persons that are gone in to them out of these partes, and doe verely believe they will misse of those numbers they pretende to meete withall.
Wee are upon the best means wee can for our defence, making the strongest guards we
can, and have listed all our horse, and doe randevouze them this day, and have sent into
the county of Somerset to acquainte them with our resolutions, and the posture wee are in,
whom wee understand waite for a commission from his highnes, to inable them to raise the
county. Sir, if our former letter to his highnes be miscarried, which was from the
mayor, aldermen, and common counsell, then wee make it our humble request to your
honour, that you would please to move his highnes for a commission to be granted to
the cittie, as he doth to the cittie of London, or else to particular persons, accordinge to
such a list as was given you at Whitehall, or as in his highnes wisdom shall be thought
fit. The cittie is extreamly naked for want of armes, which hath beene taken away severall
tymes heretofore. Therefore it wil be necessary, that a power be given to charge all persons
of estate with proportions, accordinge to their respective abilities. Wee beleeve, that you
may have complaynts againe from some persons, that have beene frequently playntifes against
the cittie, that differ upon the grounds of the quakers doctrines, that will labour to blast
any undertakinge; but if you please to speed a commission, wee hope to give you a good
account, though we cannot shape thinges as we would, meerly for want of authoritie. And
you shall be sure to receave a very faithfull intelligence from us from tyme to tyme, as any
thinge shall occur fitt for your notice. This is all at present from
Bristoll, this 15 Martis, 3' clocke, 1654.
At this instant wee heare all thinges are well at London, specially at Whitehall, which doth much rejoyce us.
Your very humble servants in all love and faithfullnes,
Mr. Ed. Winslow to secretary Thurloe.
Vol. xxiv. p. 247.
The injunction you laid upon me at my departure constraines me to put pen to paper, that you may have an impartial character of things, even of all our weighty transactions since our arrival at Barbados. And though I know I act a part in obedience to his highnes and your commands, that never profited any man, wherein if a man deals ever so faithfully, yet once discovered, he becomes an object of revenge; nevertheless I shall trust God and you therewith, and doe what I doe with that sincerity, as shall beare me out before the most high God, and not spare the discovery of any thing may conduce to the benefit or detriment of his highnes and the commonwealth.
Sir, when I wrote to you from Portsmouth, I told you, how easily that soare was cured betweene Ven. and Pen. whose demeanor mutually towards every other at sea was sweet and hopefull; but the last of these two gentlemen is too apt to be taken with such conceipts; but I trust all will be well; onely I feare, that going hence without our stores, some occasion will arise of disturbance between the land and sea forces. The Lord God prevent it in much mercy. I onely speake my feares, but shall endeavour against it with all my might; but we have touched soe much upon supplies in our general letter to his highnes (and noe more thereto is requisite) as I shall forbeare any further thereabout.
[Paragraph contains ciphered text - see page image 249] When we came to Barbados, which was the 29th of Jan. wee found all things out of order upon the place: our English merchants neglected, a free trade entertayned with strangers; and though a seisure was made some tyme before we came upon some strangers estate, as trading contrary to the statute, and the governor's assistance required, it was by him referred to a tryall at comon law, where all the atturneys of the court were taken up for the strangers, and none could be procured for the state; but the English merchants, that pleaded the state's cause, did it thoroughly, being sufficiently able. Yet nevertheles, though the act of the 3d of October 50, which you sent with us, and the other of 9th of October 51, were both pleaded, the jury found for the strangers against parliament and state, grounding all upon the articles of Barbadoes. Hereupon there was great joy and rejoycing on the one side, but the poore English merchants forced to send some of their principals to stop their hands, which hindered many thousand pounds worth of goods from coming hither, not being regarded, who lay here, and spent themselves to the ruine of some of them. On the contrary, the Dutch were courted, and highly prized, and sent home in a triumphant manner, to invite them freely to the trade of Barbados; by which means many more of them are expected before the end of May next. And truly, unless we can leave a ship here to make seisure of them, as they come in, his highnes friends are consident, the new commissioners will not be able to carry on their worke. All our hope is, that Venable having new molded the militia, and we requiring their assistance, it will be that way prevented. As for the Gov. of Barbados his demeanour herein hath been very strange and wary, leaving to himselfe in his owne apprehension a starting hole in every case: he referrs this to a tryal at law, and yet when the aforesaid verdict was brought in, desires his protest may be entered against it, which accordingly is done, as he informes us; but when we came hither, and had made seizures upon the Dutch and other merchant strangers, who for the most part plead and swear licence from him, then to us he pleads the articles of Barbados against both the aforesaid acts, our instructions as commissioners (notwithstanding the oath he hath taken thereupon, and his personal letter also from the protector insomuch as in plaine tearmes he refuseth to joyne with us in commission in anything belonging to the seizures by us made, upon any of them, or in any commissions, instructions, declarations, &c. thereabouts. And when we demand reason, he tells us, his hand was to the articles of the place; and therefore cannot give it against them. The skippers sometimes, yea for the most part, sweare they had not traded, but by his leave to trade; he denies not but he gave them free leave to trade, but in the tail of all he tells them, if they trade against the laws of England, at their peril and fortune be it; insomuch as now they complaine exceedingly of him, and one of them hath produced a lycence under his hand and seale, whereof a true copy is sent herewith; but I feare the great gifts he is said to have received from them, have been a snare unto him. 'Tis strange to see how generaly they dote upon the Dutch trade, the English merchants protesting they will give more for a worse comodity to the Dutch, than for a better to themselves; soe that you may hereby guesse, how unwelcome we are, for that we made seisure of them. And indeed the counsell and assembly were very much grieved at it, and at our coming hither, some of them flew out against col. Muddiford, as the cause of all this, and stick not to call him traytor to the island, insomuch as some of us were necessitated to excuse him; but the very truth of it is, no man hath more closely adheared to us, and so much furthered our designe, as he; nor is any man able, he being master of more reason than half the island, if not all; which is no small crime in other parts, as well as here, especialy amongst persons of ordinary education. He was the man, that perswaded the assembly, being their speaker, to give the sixty horse to his highness for the present expedition: he convinced them, how good it was for them to lett us beate up our owne drums for men, telling them, they were all undone, if they did it not with cheerfullness; for, said he, if the commissioners hold but up their singers, all our servants will leave us; and then we are undone indeed. Briefly, the gentleman setts himselfe to the utmost, to see how he may endeare himselfe to his highness; how he may recover his lost reputation; and for this also he is not a little envied.
And whereas you told us of a great parcell of sugar was ready for our use, which was due upon the prizes taken by sir Geo. Ascue, we found not a penny in readyness, but abroade in such hands, as were not well affected for nothing; having had the use of large sums for these three yeares, and have upon that foundation raised sine estates, which they are so loath to part withall, as I feare you will find them to be most ill affected, when they either pay, or must have those debts leavied upon their estates, which must be forthwith done to discharge our engagement. The reason wherefore col. Morris will not goe with us, is, because he hath so lovely an estate, which he fears may be seized for some other debts, after he is gone. At first he told us, he hoped we would forgive him a small debt he owed the state, in regard of former good services he had done them, and losses sustained for them. To this we seemed willing, provided he went freely, knowing how necessary an instrument he might prove. This we found to be twenty six thousand nine hundred weight of sugar. Afterwards he told us in plaine terms, if we would give him an hundred thousand weight of sugar, that so he might pay his debts, and leave his estate cleere to his wife, then Lewis Morris would spend his blood for us. We told him, it was beyond our commission; and general Venables told him, if he should offer up his commission, he durst not accept it, because it was sent by his highness, who expected so much service from him; besides what he demanded was as much as all the field-officers of the army had; and it would make them thinke they were very much undervalued. After all this he came to me and said, there was another way, whereby we might enable him to goe with us, and presst me to move it to general Venables, and the rest, viz. the people of this island, (faith he) never look for pay for their quartering the soldiers. Now if we would bestow that on him, it would serve his turne. This I told him I would move, at his request, but was sure, that the general and commissioners more prized their honour, than to do it. So this we rejected also; and the truth is, he confesseth he never was where we intend first to pitch and sett downe; so at last he told us, he would conceale his intention, and march his men on board the ship, for which we gave him thankes; but all these things are private as yet; but the commissioners of the prize-office have summoned him to pay in his debt to the state, or shew cause. The truth is, he prizeth himself at so high a rate, as if the expedition could not goe on without him, which made some of us in a loving way tell him, we should be glad of so experienced an instrument as he was; but withall let him knowe, our trust and relyance was not on him, but on God; and if the Lord would be pleased to use us as instruments in his right hand, and owne us as such, which we hoped he would, we doubted not, but we should be able to give a good account of our proceedings; and thus stands the case betwixt him and us.
As for the 1500 musketts we are promised we should receive here (which I ever wanted faith to believe) 'tis credibly reported, that about six weeks before our arrival (information came hither from London of our intended voyage, and that they were appointed for our service) by way of anticipation they were disposed of, insomuch as we had very few of them, as we mentioned in our general letter to his highness; but a great fear seems to be upon them, lest their servants should rise, when the fleete is gone, because so many of their freemen goe with us; and if things be not better ordered, before we depart, as to the safetie of the place, they most justly seare it; for all places of trust are disposed off by favour, and not by a sounde judgement; for few active able men are in power, that may prevent such a mischief, or provide for their safetie; and I hope it will be placed, I mean the military power, in such hands as will doe both: they have 1500 horse, viz. the island, whereof the one half of them may be brought to service. The riches of the island far exceeds England's apprehension, the Dutch having hitherto reaped all the effects of the peace; and if we lay not a command upon the militia to be aiding to the commission-office, I verily believe, when we are gone, we shall have them stopt by an injunction from the governor, and the cases referred to the common law; and my reason is, because these words, or the like, have many times come from him; what serves my power for, I received first from the councell of state, which was afterwards renewed againe, and since confirmed by his highness under the broad seal in July last; and since that by letter, as governor of this island; besides all this, he had his power from the prizeoffice in England, and is all this nothinge? To which he hath received many and sufficient answers; but I perceive not, that he is satisfied; and for their tryals at law, 'tis worth your observation, the laws of this place are generally made in favour of the debtor and the delinquent, whereas in other places the law gives every man the possession of his owne, &c. and this is the complaint of many of their owne to us, who seeme to groane under the burthen of it.
'Tis true, that at the request of the gentlemen of the island, when we had spent many days in debate concerning the present expedition, to perswade them by all the arguments we could use, what gayners they above all men would be thereby, yet after all we were forced to bluster, and let them knowe, that general Venables, whose carriage therein, and soe all along, deserves a good testimony, was generalissimo of all the English in America, and soe of this island; and so he had command of all their sorts and forces; and this became effectuall, and upon this they condescended to the beating up our drums, nay pray'd us to do it, and raise our men ourselves. And since they must be weakened by the losse of soe many men, and quartering of soe many soldiers, they prai'd us to mediate for them with his highness, to give the Dutch licence to bring thither goods of their owne growth, of their owne manufacture, horses, and negroes, as in our general letter; but I thought it my duty, though I am tedious therein, to lett you understand the spirit of the place, that so his highness, and the right honourable the counsel, to whom I pray you present the remembrance of my most humble duty and hearty service, may the better knowe how to demean themselves towards them. Yet truly, sir, withall take notice, they are great sufferers by us at present, and therefore we may and doe beare with them in many things; and I shall be glad to heare, that his highness is sensible of it, so as the people here may see his care of and for them some way or other.
Our want of more commissioners is very great. We are like to have little assistance from captain cs. Butler, though we all perswade ourselves he is very honest; but hope, yea perswade ourselves, he will take with the better side in case of difference in judgement. I beseech you, in case any be sent, let us have men of such principles, as will neither scruple to give or take an oath. For my part, I looke upon an oath as an ordinance of God, and as an essential part of government, the very bond of societys; yea so necessary, as without it the magistrate will not be able determine betweene man and man. But if this particular be spoken of, I shall lose G. Pen from whom I have and doe receive much love, and owe him also a great deale of respect for the well performance of his trust. However after I had spoken as full to him as I have written about it, I never heard more of it. We have mett with the Dutch governor of New Netherland, with three ships under his command: he is commander in cheife of all the parts in America, under the states command. This man's business was to settle a faire trade between the Netherlands and this place; but we spoiled the sport. He hath bin under the embargo ever since we came; and the rather because he told us, he had business with the Spanish plantations, and we are in more feare of him for the discoveryng our raw and defective forces, than all the world besides. And yet if ever those provided come to us, we shall be gayners by the same, so as we be settled before they come; but don Alonzo is not worthy the name of an ambassador, if by advise to Dunkerke he hinder not those from ever coming to our hands; and yet he shall doe no more then God will lett him.
This Dutch governor undertooke to pleade the cause of his countrymen, and hath our answer in writing; and if I can gett it copied out, I will now send them; for what with drawing the general letter, and writing and coppying my owne to his highness and your selfe, I am brought behindhand more than all the rest. Major general Haynes desired me to entreate you to remember his duty to his highness and his service to yourselfe; but to tell you, he will not write a line to England, till we have engaged our enemies. I hope, sir, that my sallary, according to promise, is settled upon the exchequer, and that you will send us some very able ministers.
I beseech you consider the place we intend by God's blessing to settle upon, the many
townes built upon it, besides the many citties, and each must be quitted and resettled by
us; and truly how to doe lesse than settle a minister in each, I know not; only entreate
my lord to remember, that the settlement of the protestant religion is one of the grounds
he goeth upon. Sir, I have been very tedious in my writing to yow; and if it be a fault,
I pray you deale plainely with me; but I did it purposely, that his highnes might understand the place as fully as if he had beene here; and upon that account I rather chose to
write three words too much, than one to little. I shall be glad to heare of your perfect
recovery. Oh! what would we give, and how do we long to heare from England of
the conclusion of the parliament with his highnes; and soe what settlement is made in
the nation. I beseech you, when you have occasion to write and send to us, let us not
be strangers to England's condition; but impart such news to us, as the tyme affords. I
beseech you also present my humble duty to the lord Richard and the lord Henry; and
let me beg one further favour, that you will be pleased to doe the like to the lord St. John,
my deare friend. I hope you have seated the lord chiefe baron long before this tyme.
His hearty prayers for you and yours, who desireth the like from you, and is,
Barbados, March 16, 1654.
Sir, your honor's most humble servant,
J. Nicholas to the protector.
Vol. xxiv. p. 254.
May it please your highnes,
This day I received your's of the 14th instant, and in obedience to your comands I have drawne to this towne, and hereabouts, four hundred horse and foote, and upwards; out of which I shall send one hundred horse and dragoons to Gloucester, to obey such commands, as they shall receive from major Creed, or those that command the horse there, and the rest of this party to quarter in this town, being upon the borders of Hereford and Gloucestershire, to assist as occasion shall be offerred, or as your highnes shall otherwise command. I have two hundred more of horse and foote in readines, lying in such places of this county, as I think most convenient for the safety therof. I have secured the most considerable persons, as the honest people did judge most dangerous in this county, in Chepstow-castle, according to your orders; and have already secured some horses and armes, and am upon securing the rest, which I hope will be effected suddenly. The good people are generaly as one man, willingly acting in this busines. The greatest straight we are in is want of armes for foote and horse; two hundred would make us complete. I understand, that Vavasor Powell have discovered some part of the plott in North Wales, and secured the persons himselfe, and brought them to Red-castle; and likewise Jenkin Jones of Breconshire, with the good people in that county, offers themselves to serve your highnes in this service. I shall wait your highness's further commands, and remaine
Monmouth, March 16, 1654.
Your highnes faithfull servant,
Capt. Thomas Harrison to the protector.
Vol. xxiv. p. 255.
Being given to understand by lieutenant col. Kellse, that it was your highnesse's pleasure, that I should accompany him in the present service he is upon, I did accordingly, but now am returned to my command, to execute an order for the securing of some horses of the duke of Richmon att Cobbham, and the last night I marcht thither with a partie of horse, and tooke an account of the said horses, which are 16 in number, 9 of them very gallant younge horses, five years owld a peece, with an ould stallion, and 4 ordinary geldes, with two colts 2 years owlde a peice; and this morning I have sent for them to be brought to the crowne at Rochester. I shall humbly beg to knowe your highnesse's pleasure herein, for that it will be a great trouble to secure them there from spoyling one another, being most of them stoned, in regard we want that accomodation of standing, which they ought to have. Sir John Boyce, col. Clarke, col. Newman, major Child, captain Leay, are all in my custody; and sir Henry Pamour brought to Rochester, who is a weakely, sickly man, and of little or noe interest in this county; his estate consumed in paying of his father's debts, together with a considerable sume of money for his ingaging as a committee man in the Kentish business. He was taken by captain Ellis's horse after lieutenant col. Kelsie was gone from Canterbury; otherwise I presume his condition understood would have prevailed to have taken such security of honest men, as might have fully answered your highnesse's commands. His lady is greate with childe, and much afflicted at this business. I have in this humbly offered the truth of his condition, leaving the same to your highness's christian and pious consideration, to order as in your wisdome seemeth best, it being somewhat on my spirit, to offer this. My Lord God assisting, I shall continue to supplicate at the throne of grace for you, and humbly subscribe
Upn. castle, March 16, 1654.
Your highness's servant to command,
Col. H. Haynes to the protector.
Vol. xxiv. p. 257.
May it please your highness,
This day; according to former order, part of the regiment of soote under sir Thomas Honywood, mustered at this place, and had a verie good appearance, where also there mustered major Templer's owne troop, who had about fourscore. The foote are dismissed with a charge to be ready at an houre's warning. The horse the major purposeth to stay heere with foure dayes, and then to discharge them, in case he receives noe further orders from your highness. On the morrow, being saturday, the rest of the foote belonging to the two regiments of sir Thomas Honywood, and col. Cooke, and the other troopes of horse under the command of major Templer are to muster in their serverall divisions; and to returne home with the like warning to be ready at an houre's call. Truly there hath bin such a forwardness by the gentlemen before named in this action, and noe lesse ready complyance in the country alsoe, as could not have bin expected. Wherefore if your highness shall please to signifie your good acceptance thereof to sir Thomas, &c. I am confydent it would engage for the future. Indeed sir Thomas hath bin mighty active and reall, and such a damp seemes to be uppon the spiritts of malignants (of which this place is full) and soe visible a change in so little a tyme, as realy demonstrates the finger of God is in it. I trust the Lord hath a purpose of good to the nation in it, and to theise parts in particuler. The troope I sent by your highnesse's order to Bury was joyfully received by the judges and the well affected of that place. I shall not fayle to attend them at Thetford with another troope out of Norfolke, from whence I am assured all is in quiett, and noe appearance of a rysing. Our recruits come in more freely than expected; and had we but monies, men of good affection would not be wanting. I humbly beg your highnesse's order for the prisoners I have in custody, being forced to keepe them in inns. I am,
Colchester, March 16, 1654. Fryday 6 at night.
My lord, your highnesse's most humble servant,
Examinations taken before Thomas Lloyd sheriff, Hugh Price, John Kynaston, Edward Price, Thomas Nicholls, Edward Allen, Edward Vaughan, and John Griffith, esqrs; touching the discovery of a late plot, &c.
March 6, 1654.
Vol. xxiv. p. 258.
Arthur Vaughan of Treherwin in the county of Montgomery, gentleman, aged 25 years, or thereabouts, being examined the day and year abovesaid, faith, that on wednesday the 7th day of March past this examinate was sent for from his father's house by Thomas Rogers of Burgedin to come to speak with Ralph Kynaston at Kanamunouch; and not finding the said Kynaston there, this examinate faith, that he went into Pena Park in Musbrooke, and there found the said Kynaston at an alehouse, with one — Thruston, and about 7 or 8 men more, which the examinate faith he, knew by fight, but not their names; and this examinate faith, that the said Kynaston asked this examinate, whether he heard of a plot against the lord protector: this examinate said he heard of no such plot. Then the said Kynaston said unto this examinate, that there was a plot against the lord protector, and asked this examinate, whether he would not go with him. This examinate then said, he would not. This examinate said, that the said Kynaston said, that he had promised one sir Thomas Harris to go, and to have some men to go; and the said Kynaston said, he would send ten men, according to his promise, but he would not go himself, because his wife was not well. This exami nate farther saith, that the said Kynaston said unto this examinate, that if this examinate would go, that he must go the next day after; and that he must go unto the said sir Thomas Harris, and there would be many more men, that would go with the said sir Thomas Harris to meet him in sir Thomas Harris's park.
This examinate faith, that upon thursday the 8th of March this examinate was at one W. Sunthes house about eleven of the clock, where this examinate found no company, but his own brother and Rogers, who went with this examinate; and while this examinate stay'd, there came Ralph Kynaston, John Penrin, Andrew Williams of Winnington, Matthew Lloyd, and Thomas Lloyd of Melverly; and this examinate then had some discourse with the said Thomas Lloyd, who then said, that it was heard, that there was a plot intended, and that the draw-bridge at Salop was drawn up, and the castle was well manned.
The said Arthur Vaughan the said day examined upon oath saith, that he this deponent heard nothing of any to be in the foresaid plot, but what he hath heard since the discovery of the said plot, save what he hath before spoken in his examination.
This deponent saith, he heard from his father, since the discovery of the plot, there were about 80 men horsed together about the new bridge in the said county.
This deponent farther faith, that upon friday the 9th of March, 1654, this deponent was with Thomas Rogers his brother-in-law, at one Whittingham's, and there they had some discourse of the plot; and the said Rogers said, he was very sorry for Ralph Kynaston; and that night this deponent was at one Cureton's house, where he was all night; and there was one Thomas Corbet a glover, and his occasion to be at the said house was about some barley to make into malt, which the said Cureton's wife was to buy of this deponent's father. This deponent farther saith, that on saturday the 10th of March, 1654. this deponent met with his brother-in-law Rogers upon the way; and that this deponent had then no discourse with his said brother-in-law, unless his brother-in-law said, God help these people, that are in the plot.
This deponent went with his said brother-in-law into mr. Edward Tanat's of Trewells, and there he found one Andrew Parry of Musbrooke; and the said Edward Tanat then said, that he would have all punished that were guilty of the said plot, and then mentioned Daniel Pugh of Colfrin, and his brother; and from thence this deponent came to Poole, and thence unto his father's house. And farther faith not.
Arthur Vaughan, being examined before commissary general Reynolds, William Crowne, esq; one of the justices of the peace for the county of Salop, Humphrey Mackworth, esq; col. Price, &c.
This deposition was again confirmed and acknowledged by the aforesaid Arthur Vaughan this 20th day of March, 1654, at Shrewsbury; and farther deposeth, that he told his brother Edward Vaughan, that mr. Kynaston told him, that there was a plot against the lord protector, and a rendezvous to be on the 8th instant at sir Thomas Harris's house, as it is laid down in his said brother's deposition.
The examination of Rees Tanat, of Abbertanat in the county of Salop, esq; taken before Humphrey Mackworth, esq; governor of Shrewsbury, and col. Croone, esq; March 17, 1654.
Vol. xxiv. p. 263.
Who being asked, whether he knew of any plot touching the taking of the garrison of Shrewsbury, he denieth, that he knew of any plot or design against Shrewsbury, or that he knew of any rendezvous, or that any person whatever gave him any intelligence of any such design or rendezvous; but faith, that one mr. Ralph Kynaston, coming to a place called Llanamuay, upon wednesday last in the afternoon, and he hearing, that this examinate was there at the clerk's house, whose name is Thomas Morris, being an ale house, came to this examinate, where he spent half a dozen of ale upon this examinate; and this examinate being asked, what was his occasion of being then there, he faith, that he was walking his ground, and came thither to treat with the said Morris about some ditching, and other husbandry, that he this examinate had to do; and denieth that the said mr. Kynaston during the time that he was with him this examinate, or at any time before or after, told him this examinate of any plot or design whatsoever, or from any other person whatsoever, as in relation to the garrison of Shrewsbury, or any other garrison. And being asked, where he went upon wednesday night last, he faith, that he went to one David Humphreys, at Karytouah, to meet one mr. Edward Edwards, of Colfrin in Montgomeryshire, to speak with him concerning some law business betwixt sir Perry Herbert and this examinate, which was referred to the arbitration of mr. James Mytton and mr. Thomas Jones of Cargtovak; and from thence he went to the said David Humphrey's, where he tarried all night, because he this examinate was troubled with the tooth-ach, and from thence to the said mr. Jones's house, and from thence to a place called Serneneweth, upon thursday in the afternoon, about the said reference, where he met with the said mr. Jones and mr. Mytton, and from thence after he parted with them, he this examinate went to his own house, where he stayed all night, in all which progress he met with no body whatsoever, that he had any discourse with, or any intelligence from, of any design or any plot whatsoever.
Extract out of the resolutions of the lords the states of Holland and West-Friesland, taken in their assembly.
Wednesday, March 17, 1655.
Vol. xxiv. p. 266.
The lords of the council have caused the lord pensionary de Witt to propound to the assembly of the said lords the states, that they were informed by the common report, that king Charles had undertaken to come into this province, and especially that he should at this present uphold himself at Teyling by the princess royal, the relict of the last deceased lord prince of Orange his sister; and although the said lords of the council had no certainty thereof, they have notwithstanding thought it their duty, to give notice of the same to the said lords the states, to the end that their lordships may make such a reflection on the same, as they shall think sitting and requisite for the service of the commonwealth. Upon which having deliberated and considered the 9th article of the treaty of peace made in the last year with the commonwealth of England, as also taken notice of the contents of the resolution of the aforesaid lords the states, dated the 30th July, as also the 2d and 4th of August, all of the year 1653, mentioning the coming in of the said king and other great persons within this commonwealth, without leave of the states general of the united provinces, and especially within this province, without permission of the said lords the states of Holland; it is thought sit, that on the behalf of this assembly, a serious letter be written to the princess royal aforesaid, to make her acquainted, that the said lords the states of Holland are advertised by the common report, that the said king should have betaken himself within the district of this state, and especially to abide at present at the house of Teyling: and although the said lords the states of Holland can in no manner believe or expect from the wisdom of the said king, that the same would or should dare to undertake contrary to the treaty of peace, and directly against the particular orders of the said lords the states of Holland, contained in their before-mentioned resolution, and the letters sent to that purpose accordingly to the said princess royal; that yet for several good reasons, and for their absolute security, the said lords the states have found fit and convenient to represent the premises unto her, desiring and requiring her highness in all speed to certify to the said lords the states of Holland the sincere and very truth thereof; and admonishing her highness also, that by all good endeavours she will be pleased as much as she is able to prevent, that the said king do not undertake to come within the district or territories of the said states general of the united provinces.
Mr. W. Prideaux to secretary Thurloe.
Vol. xxiv. p. 268.
What is above is a coppie of my last to your honour, to whom I confirme, that the sixth of last moneth I went to the chancellor of the possesco office, Almao Juanuich, in manner as is above related; that at my arrival to that office I found him there, where after some civill compliments he asked me, if I had the provisions, which his majesty did allow me; that if I wanted any thing, it should be supplied to me: to which having given him a satisfactory answer, I demanded of him, if his I. M. had appointed his lordship commissioner (this I did to have from his owne mouth what I had the day before by my prestave) to heare me, and to receive from me such writings as I would give him. He replyed, that he was; then I spoke to him as followeth:
That his highness lord protector, &c. with the lords of his honourable counsell did much wonder, that the English merchants (who were the first that introduced the commerce into this country by the post of Archangel, and had continued it so many years to the weale and great benefit of this empire,) should be sent away in this manner, as they were from Moscow and other parts within land, and permitted no further ingresse into these dominions than Archangel, where the other natives had free permission to trafsique to Moscow and elsewhere in this empire, that were more modern in these parts, than ours, and this without cause given by our merchants, at least in England noe cause knowne: if there were, and that it pleased his imperial majesty to nominate any one or more of them, that had committed offence, to have meritted the expulsion done them, that if any such were to be found in England, he or they should receive punishment according to their demerit.
I had reduced into a few lines the 1st cause, for which the emperor of that tyme granted our merchants the priveleges they then had confermed by the emperor's successors, and ratified by his I. M. present at his entry into his happy reign, of some good offices done to this empire by our nation, signal and beneficial services by the merchants, which I delivered his lordshipp in that writing. The copy of it is noted (A), which I desired him to have translated into his owne langwidge, and referre the contents to his I. M.
I alsoe delivered him another writing, (which is that noted B) of such demands, as I supplicated the emperor to grant our merchants, in which I needed not further to discourse, but referred my selfe to it. Moreover I delivered him the petition of widdow Dorothy Digby and company, that they by me did present to his majesty, concerning his patent granted them for the making of pot-ashe in this country; to which petition I alsoe referre my selfe, and is that, which is mentioned in the 7th article in paper B.
Having finished what concerned the merchants business, I desired his lordship would heere me in the subsequent particulars:
That heretofore, when England was governed by kings, and they did send an agent or gentleman messenger to these emperors, at their first audience, when their I. M. did demand of the health of the king, they were pleased to rise from their throne, and stand, as did alsoe their lords, that assisted their majesties, stand, and were uncovered. That ceremony was not used, when I had the honor to deliver his highness the lord protector's letter to his majesty, when he demanded of his highnesse's health. That although the commonwealth of England hath altered and reformed the government of state, it hath not for that diminished any thinge of it's greatnesse and condition, but is rather augmented, if the just conquest and addition of countrys be an augmentation to a state in several wayes. That the kings of France, Spain, Portugall, and other princes and republicks of Christendom, that have sent their ambassadors to his highnesse, have deferred unto him the like ceremonys and respect, as such ambassadors did formerly to the kings of England; and that his highnesse ambassadors the last yeare to the crowne of Sweeden, and other princes, had like reception and entertaynment, as formerly was used to the kings of England ambassadors; so that his highness reasonably cannot expect lesse from his imperial majesty, then such ceremonies, as heretofore have bein used to those kings in their ministers. That I did not advance this as a complaynt, but an advertisement to his lordshipp, to be humbly represented to his imperial majesty.
That I had seene several of the greatest courts in Christendom, and had had the honour to be employed before now by a great prince to other princes, but never saw nor heard of such proceedings, as I fynde here; as when I was sent for to go to his I. M. I was in the name of his lordship commanded by my prestave to leave my sword, who also taketh the right hand of me. Such actions are accounted very uncivil in princes courts of other countrys; and for such personages as have been sent by these emperors into England, they have found a cleane contrary courtesye and civility used towards them, as the last that was sent from his imperial majestie may have certified; and if he have not done it, he hath done wrong to his majestie, and to our republicke, for that a publick minister ought to referre to his prince the truth of all matters in his imployment.
For a conclusion I told him, that the present warr his I. M. hath against the king of Poland, the causes of it were spoken in the courts of other princes in divers manners, according to the passions, interest, or affection of the relators. That therefore if it pleased his I. M. to lett me have the honour to know the real motives of the said warr (which if I had by his majestie's command I should esteeme them true) whereby to make a relation of them to his highnesse, credit will be given to that, which would not be to other narratives. That I did not insinuate myselfe in makinge this demande to know more then what his I. M. was willinge to imparte.
The chancellor made me answer, that to all what I had spoken and given in writing, he would make a perfect and true relation to his majesty, and I should receive his answer. All was done by the interpretation of John Hebden, and as he spoke it in Russ, two secretarys that were by tooke it in writinge.
The 7th currant came advice, that the Pole hath regayned a great cittie, that was taken from him the last yeare by the Russe, putt all them to the sword, and quarter given onlye to the strangers. That newse was cause, that all the strangers, officers and soldiers, that were here, were forthwith all sent away to their quarters and randevouz; but are all gone disgusted, by reason of their small paye, and that payed the greatest part in a new coyne of base money, which none will take but by constraint.
Sundaye 11th currant, in the morning very betimes, my prestave sent to me to be ready about eight of the clock to goe to the emperor. So about that tyme my prestave came, and at nine we were at the possesco office conducted as formerly; but no companies of soldiers stood as before, they being departed to the army, according to their assignment where, having stayed about an hower, came notice, that the emperor was gone to church, and that I must stay till his retorne; and then 'twas past mid-day, when I was sent for to go to his majesty.
I had audience in the same hall I had the first time, where the emperor was in his throne, and his nobles, counsellers sat at the lower end of the roome, as they did the first tyme. There was this tyme, more than at the other, two Tartar princes of the Russe religion, the one a Sybersky, the other a Casimersky, that satt at the upper end of the hall. The emperor's brother-in-law stood on his right hand, and his father-in-law on the left; and the chancellor went to and from his majesty to me, as formerly I have narrated. When I came before the emperor, he told me by the chancellor, that I had brought him great lord emperor and great duke Alexsea Michaylouich selfeupholder of the greater and lesser Russia, and of many other dominions lord and monarch, a letter from Oliver Vladitela, that is, sole director of the state of England, Scotland, and Ireland, and other lands, to which he had made an answer, and did there deliver it me. His majesty then commanded the chancelor to take the letter, which was in a window by him, and I was bid goe to the emperor to receive it; which I received from his majestie's owne hand; and being returned with it to the place, where I first stood, and delivered it to one of my gentlemen, the chancellor spoke to me agayne, saying, that for such matters, as I had delivered in writing, I should have an answer likewise in writing; and then I should returne, the way that I came; to which I replyed, that my order was from his highnesse lord protector, that as soone as I had his majesty's letter, I was to retorne over land, with as much convenient expedition as I could make. Hebden then signifyed soe much (as he sayeth) and for an answer from the chancellor, that I should not speake of that matter there. Then the emperor putt his hands on his lyps, and moved a little up from his throne, and said unto me, that I should remember him to Vladitela, to whom he wished good health. Whilst his majesty spake these words, the two princes at the one end, and the nobles that were at the other end of the roome, stood, and were uncovered; which ceremony for certaine would not have beene done, had I not used to the chancellor the discource above mentioned touching this matter. After this the emperor by the chancelor and Hebden told me, that he did favour me and my fowre gentlemen to kisse his hand; which being done, and returned to our places agayne, the chancelor told me, that the emperor did grace me with his dinner, soe as his highnesse servant and messenger. I thankt his majesty for my entertaynment, of which as of what I had treated of I would give his highnesse a particular and true relation; and auguring his majesty all prosperity, I was dismissed. When I came neere the door to goe forth, I bowed to the noblemen, who rise up uncovered, and did the like to me, which they did not doe at my first audience.
As soon as I was come forth from the emperor, a messenger from the duke of Coland went to his majesty, and had his dispatch and returnes by Riga, the waye he came.
That saunday about four of the clocke his majesty, accompanied with this patriarch, some bishops, and other clergymen afoote, departed this cittie, having at the gate where he went forth received many blessings, holy water, and a great many crossings from some bishops, placed on scaffolds on each side of the gate, for that purpose; and soe went so fare as the river (which is a pretty distance from the gate, where he mounted on horsebacke, with a number of nobles and gentlemen, 600 souldiers on horsebacke, and 300 musqueteers on foote, with 20 led horses for his persone, and soe went that night to a house of his about two miles of this citty, and the next morning continued on his journey to Smolensco. The newes of the taking the cittie above mentioned by the Poles, and their growing strong, made his majestie to departe from hence sooner than he would have done, and putts them in some confusion.
The superscription of the emperor's letter to his highnesse is, as it is interpreted to me, to Oliver, protector, or sole director, of the state of England, Scotland, and Ireland, and other lands.
Munday morning the 12th I sent to the chancellor to tell him, that being the day before he told me, that I should not there speake to the emperor more than I did of my going over land by Riga, according to my order from his highnesse lord protector, I therefore did now send to know of him, if I could have those answers in writing, that were promised me, and my full dispatch, to goe that waye. I had for answer, that the emperor had decreed, that I should goe by Archangel; and that the chancellor could not alter what his majesty had determined. And for the answers in writing, that they were full of business for the present, but I should have them in tyme convenient to goe downe; but this answer not giving me satisfaction, I writt him a letter (coppie of it is here inclosed) to which yet I have no answere.
I cannot imagine, what the true reasons or causes be, that the emperor will not lett me departe now over land by Riga. I understand by Hebden and by my prestave, to whom I have told, that his highnesse lord protector cannot take well this my detention, that his majesty doth it for my good, for that winter is now past, or will be before I can be farre from hence; and then the snow being liquified, the waters will be soe great for a month, that there will be no travelling; and that might take me on the waye in such a place, where I could have no other than bad accommodation. Moreover the dangers on the waye for incursions, that may be made by his majesty's enemys, whereby I might receive damage, and be robbed, are the considerations his majesty hath made, and would not, that in his state I should receave wrong, but returne out of it with safetye, and as hitherto I have bine. These are plausible reasons, but I believe none of them. I rather conjecture, that the emperor's letters to his highness will not give satisfaction; and the answers, that I expect in writing (which it may be I shall not have till farre in summer, to see what progress his majesty may make in his warrs against the king of Poland) will be given me, according as they shall see occasion fower or five months hence; and by that tyme they imagin to have advice of some alteration of some of the affayres in England, as here some doe hould them in opinion; and this I take to be the true causes of my detention. The treaty of his highnesse in discourse from the emperor, and the superscription of his letter, in my judgment, is in too playne and low a style. I have employed persons to procure me a coppie of it, and his highnesse letter to the emperor, as it is translated into Russ. This is as much as for the present I can advertise your honour to my employment.
I am to beseech your honour, for what concerns my owne particular, to take notice, that by my goinge downe to Archangell, I shall be six or seven months in my employment more than was expected I should be, when I came out of England; and likewise come to a farr greater expence for his highnesse's reputation, (the company in that have had too little regard, as well in their instructions given me, as in their allowance for expences;) and if I had not at Archangel, and since carryed myselfe in another porte, than what they intended, I should not have had a boate there nor entertaynment on the waye; noe nor delivered his highnesse's letter to the emperor, as I have done, which would have bin no small indignity to his highnesse. And therefore your honour will be pleased to send for the governor and some of the company, and order them, that by the shipps they will send this yeare to Archangell, they remitt me moneys to discharge such debts, as I shall be forced to make for my expences in so many months, as I shall be extraordinary; and for my owne paynes and travil soe long time, I leave that till it please God I returne to England.
This is what I have for present to advertise your honour of. So I humbly take leave,
Moscow, March 17, 1654/5.
most humble servant,
Sent under covert to the company by Riga, and so to Hamburgh, it went by the duke of Coland's messenger to Riga, who is gone at the emperor's charge and conduction.
The information of Francis Thornes of Shelvock in the county of Salop, esq; before commissary general Reynolds, Humphrey Mackworth, esq; governor of Shrewsbury, William Crowne, esq; March 17, 1654.
Vol. xxiv. p. 283.
Who faith, that upon wednesday the 7th of this instant, Edward Lloyd of Oswestrey deposed, that he was at the Knuckyn upon tuesday, wednesday, and thursday, and his business was to buy a horse of mr. John Williams; and there was in his company John Williams of Knuckyn, mr. Richard Payne of Argoyes, Roger Humphreys of Argoyes, John Fisher going only with him thither.
The information of Edward Tristam of Maesbrooke, March 17, 1654.
Upon oath deposeth, that he heard after sir Thomas Harris was taken, that Ralph Kynaston had inlisted soldiers, but knoweth not of any man that was inlisted.
The information of Nathaniel Rogers, son of Edward Rogers, of Maesbrooke, upon oath, March 17, 1654.
Who faith, mr. Ralph Kynaston upon tuesday was sennight came to this deponent's house, and asked him, if he would go with him; this deponent said, he had business of his father's to look to; and the said mr. Kynaston said, he was very hasty, he could not stay at that time; but that this deponent should know the business within two or three days.
William Cotton of Maesbrooke sworn,
Saith, that he did not see mr. Kynaston this week and above, and desired this examinate to go to one Thomas Trystan to leave a horse, and nothing else; and that he knoweth not of any man that was inlisted, but what he knew he discovered unto mr. James Hanmer.
The examination of William Cotton, March 17, 1654.
Vol. xxiv. p. 284.
That being in company with John Rogers at Pena Park at the house of Edward Rogers at Pena Park, tuesday March the 6th, John Rogers told this deponent, that Ralph Kynaston was enlisting men to join with sir Thomas Harris; that they were to have rendezvouz near Clanmonoth, and then to march and join with the said sir Thomas.
Mr. R. Aldworth to secretary Thurloe.
Vol. xxiv. p. [287.]
In answer unto yours received by the speciall messenger yesterday about 5 a clock in the afternoone, you may be pleased to understand, that in complyance to what you writt about manning out a vessel to stopp the passage of the enemy over the water, I did effectually move concerning the same, and presently obteyned a concurrence; insomuch that this evening that vessel falls downe, and will sett sayle with all expedition may be sitt for the service to be employed about. We sent away also a dispatch to the officers at Minehead, and Uphill, and other places about the coast, to give notice, that they seize all vessels and passing boats, and suffer none to passe in them. This day we had intelligence by two several persons, which came out of Exeter on thursday, that the sherrife of Devon with the forces thereabouts had taken between 50 and 60 prisoners, and many more horses, and that party of the enemy thereabouts, wholy dispersed. We have received my lord protector's commission, and instructions, for settling the militia in this citty, and in pursuance thereof have mett several tymes for the furthering of that service. I am very much engaged to his highness and to your honour, in thinking me worthy of soe great a trust and command, when as there are others in this place very willing, more able and deserving of such an imployment. I shall with your honour's leave informe you, that since this new rising at Salisbury, by the helpe of coll. Tysen, major Collins, major Harper, capt. Grigg, major Yeomens, capt. Pope, capt. Kelly, capt. Blackwell, and some other honest and faithful citizens, this place hath been putt into the best posture of defence we could, by raising of horse, and securing the ports by good guards, and that without the helpe of coll. Higgett, major Clerke, and that party, the management of which business without them I doe assure you was exceeding acceptable to the people here, who now understanding, that they come to be intrusted in the chiefest command againe, are far more disatisfied and troubled; insomuch as I cannot but humbly lett your honour knowe, that I doe much doubt there is soe great a discontent upon this among the people (though very conformable to the present government, and who would sacrifise their lives for preservation of the citty against the common enemy) as the two regiments will hardly be completed, or the inhabitants perswaded to march after them, looking upon them (as plainely reputed) to be great friends to quakers, and levellers, and disaffectors of the civill government here. Many well affected persons say, the number gayned by intrusting these two commanders will be very incon siderable, to the number that will be disatisfied and disingaged by it. Truly, sir, in the relation I have not in the least measure any refferrence to my selfe. My aime, indeed is to a publick good. One regiment will be enough, aud fully sufficient for this citty; and we do much doubt there will not be found persons chargable here for men and armes to compleat two regiments of 6 companies in each, nor men sitting and qualified for bearing armes in two regiments, besides the exceeding charge in raising and paying inferior officers; and therefore doe propose, that both colonel Higget, major Clerke, and myselfe may be lay'd asside, and one regiment only appointed for some of those officers beforementioned, which for some years have had the command of the people here, and are still very faithfull, and well affected, and zealous in preservation of this citty. For my owne part, I shall most willingly submitt (if soe thought fitt, on this publick good account) to resign up my commission, with the consideration of the weaknesse of my body, and my unexperience in such military affayres; yet am willing still to the utmost to prove a faithfull servant to the commonwealth; and shall proceed, as much as possibly I can, in settling the militia, as now ordered, till it shall be thought fitt by his highness to be otherwise disposed of, or putt into other hands. Thus craving leave for troubling your honour with such rude lines, I subscribe with all thankfullnesse
March 17, 1654.
Your honour's most obliged and faithfull servant,
Mr. James Powell to secretary Thurloe.
Vol. xxiv. p. 285.
I Fynde amongst those comissions sent downe from his highness, one directed to myselfe, to be lieutenant colonel to mr. Robert Aldworth; which though I hartily embrace as to the thinge itselfe, as being willinge to pledge all I have for the publique good, yet such is my imperfection of health and insufficiency for this service, having not been exercised in armes, that I doe make it my most earnest request, that your honour will favour me soe farre, as to procure a commission in my steade unto mr. Jonathan Blackwell, a man of as unquestionable faithfullness to his highness and commonwealth, as any I knowe, and of credit and interest in this place. Sir, I doe not this to slip my necke out of the businesse, but I professe to doe it for the most publique advantage of the place, and in knitting togather the honest interest.
There are several honest men amongst us, that have upon all occasions shewed themselves for the common cause, and have beene captains and other commanders over the people, and have an interest in the affections of the people; and as there is cause, can ingadge the greatest part of the inhabitants, of which the abovenamed is one; and did, when the Scotts were at Worcester, rayse and arme a company at his owne cost, and did draw out and arme the greatest guard in the cittye in this juncture, and one, who, if the commissioners of militia had had their choyce, would have had him. Therefore, sir, I beseech you to take soe much trouble at my request, that a commission may be sent by the next post.
Mr. Robert Aldworth, intending to have written you per this post, is suddenly taken ill, and therefore desires me to intreate your excuse till next. Had he beene well, he had joyned with me in this request. For my owne part, I shall be able to doe better service in other capacities than in this.
Sir, if I may be soe bould, I could humbly desire, that a commission may be sent downe to major John Harper to be captaine of the troop of horse. When the business was at Worcester, he commanded the troope under col. Scroope. We have listed them, and although the militia commissioners may give a commission, yet I know the busines will not be animated without it.
His highnes hath expressed a good considence in the cittie, by trusting them with the militia, which I hope will be an obligation on them to answer the same; but the makeinge of two regiments, and placeinge of some persons in commission soe much laid asside in the affections of the people, I doubt will occasion extreeme jarrs, and much interfering upon the grounds I have formerly written you. For my particular, my principle is not to devide with any man, if he will be faithfull to the good old cause, against the cursed cavileers; and as to religion, I disclayme all morosity towards any, that are sober minded, however they differr; but this quakerisme is the grounde of great division, and will be the title of the regiment. I doubt, let us doe what we can, you will finde all interests will not be grasped handsomely in this bonde. Sir, I humbly pray your pardon for this abruptnes. We are made glad by the good newese of taking soe many rougues nere Exon.
Bristoll, March 17, 1654.
Your most faithfull servant,