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 (8 of 8)
W. Armyne, &c. to the protector.
May it please your highness,
In obedience to your commands in your letter of the 24th of March, which we received the 26th instant, the justices of the peace in these parts of Kesteven in the county of Lincoln, have issued out our warrants to the several chief constables of our division for a strict watch and ward to be duly and carefully kept, according to your highnesse's letter; and also have taken care for the sending your highnesse's letter to Lincolne, and dispatched coppyes thereof attested under our hands to Stamford, Boston, and Grantham. Our prayers to the Almighty are and shall be for his blessings ever to goe along with you, your councell, and armyes; and our utmost endeavours and dilligence shall never be wanting in our several places to preserve the peace of this country and nation, and in all things to approve ourselves.
The Danish agent to secretary Thurloe.
Quandoquidem commoda mihi sese offert occasio Roterodamum transmittendi navi quadam presidiaria, quæ in procinctu est, quam primum faverit ventus, Gravesenda solvere, rumorque percrebuit mandato serenissimæ suæ celsitudinis prohibitum esse, ne qua navis ex ullo hujus reipublicæ portu exeat absque speciali in hunc finem obtentâ licentiâ; quod si ita sese habeat, non modo iter meum, sed et serenissimi regis domini mei clementissimi aliis in locis negotia plurimum remoraturum effet. Quocirca dominationem vestram peramanter rogatam volo, uti pro solitâ suâ in me humilitate a celsitudine suâ ejusmodi licentiam mihi impetrare haud gravetur, qua memorata navis una cum aliâ Gedanensi a Sto Georgio denominata, cui residuum samulitii sarcinarumque mearum ad fretum Oresundicum transvehendum impositum est, destinatum, sibi iter quamprimum ingredi permittatur, quâ in re is mihi exhibebitur a dominatione vestrâ favor, quo præter ea, quibus jam ante ipsi plurimum obligatus eram officia, etiamnum alterius sibi devinciet. Vale. Dabantur Londini 28 Martii 1655.
Bordeaux, the French embassador in England, to cardinal Mazarin.
Your eminence will be informed by my letter to the earl of Brienne, of the new obstacle, which hath been formed within these three days, against the conclusion of the treaty. I did of late threaten to be gone, and took such courses, as might persuade them to believe, that I was in earnest, and that I would be gone, if I had not satisfaction given me. Now they hold the like discourse unto me; and if the letters of France do not arrive, before that the commissioners come to treat with me, I know not what to do. I judge by the discourse, which my secretary had with them to day, that the conference to morrow will be rather to prolong, than to advance the peace. It is hard to give them upon that point any other satisfaction, than that which they ought to have already received by the disowning of the said general seizure, and assurance of a discharge; if it be done as soon as the accommodation is resolved on. I have also signified unto them, and convinced them of the little foundation, which their complaints have, after all these acts of hostility, which have been exercised against France, in the taking of the fleet of Dunkirk, in the conjunction of Blake with Spain, and in the taking of the forts of America. The said commissioners had nothing to reply, but the lord protector, by reason of the war between France and Spain, doth not fear to answer and act, as if the power of the one and the other crown were not of any consideration unto him. I cannot yet attribute this sierceness, which they declare towards us, to any thing else than an affectation, and not a resolution of a breach. If it were with that design, the protector would have expected a confirmation of the seizure, which this day's letters would have brought, had it not been for the bad weather. Without doubt he will make a noise, and affect great zeal for the merchants; yet their complaints shall not hinder me to press to morrow for satisfaction to be given me upon the difficulties, which do yet remain to be decided.
Bordeaux, the French embassador in England, to count Brienne.
Having within these two days sent to press the resolution of my lord protector, the secretary of state and one of my commissioners sent me word, that his highness had advice of a general arrest upon all the ships and goods of the English, which are in the ports of France; and till such time as he should be fully informed, he would not proceed any further in the treaty.
The said secretary did write a word or two to me upon that subject, and sent me the merchants petition, which did confirm, that their goods were seized on, and that at Havre they had unladen some of their merchandises. These complaints and this answer caused me to let them know, that I had no advice of the said seizure; that the king being to set forth a fleet might have caused his ports to be shut, as is usually done in other states; but that the English were no more interested in it than other nations. And although that these reports were true, they ought rather to advance than retard the accommodation, to the end that all subject of bitterness might be removed; and if so be they should pretend under some one pretence or other to delay me here, there needs nothing more be done than to send me a pass. One of my said commissioners took upon him to make report, without giving me any hope of an answer. Till that the post arrive, I cannot tell what to resolve; but that being come, I will make an end one way or other within four and twenty hours; after the ministers of this state publishing and likewise declaring to me, that it doth concern them in honour to have satisfaction before they conclude any thing, to the end it may not be said, that they were made to agree by this means.
To cure this scruple, I told them, that his majesty doth not pretend to force them to a peace; but though he should have seized on the goods of the English, it would be with more justice than there was, when his ships of war were taken, and his forts in America. And since he had no preliminary reparation made him of those acts of hostility, so likewise this government could not expect any, and ought to be contented to have their goods discharged, after that the peace is concluded, which I could assure them would be done. In my last audience I gave them to understand the condition France was in, and how that we needed not to apprehend England. It is true, they might disturb our trade; but we should be able to do them no less prejudice in point of commerce.
All the prisons are full here of the royal party: it doth pass for current here, that the lord Fairfax had agreed with the king to rise for him; and had caused the lord Wilmot to come; but finding the design not likely to take, did discover the whole bottom to the protector. They pretend they will try their prisoners at the common courts of judicature. Here are lately dead two famous persons, the duke of Richmond, and sir Theodore Mayerne; the first died this afternoon, and the other some few days since, aged 83 years, and had his senses to the very last.
Bordeaux, the French embassador in England, to his father.
I still find my self deceived in my expectations. My commissioners sent me word to night, that they would speak with some of my attendants. I sent unto them the secretary. The two commissioners declared unto him, that his highness had ordered them to signify unto me, that he would not proceed any further in the treaty till such time that the king had given satisfaction for the general seizure of the ships and goods belonging to the English. I charged my secretary not to receive any word whatsoever; but if the commissioners would charge him with it, that he should excuse it. And withal I bid him to tell them, that after I should have received an answer from the lord protector, I had nothing further to do, but to take my leave of them, if satisfaction were not given me. I thought, I should have had an answer ere now in writing, or else that they would have brought it themselves. This discourse did produce another message. An hour after word was brought me, that the commissioners would come to a conference with me at two of the clock in the afternoon. This conference may be followed with my departure; so that I see myself nearer than ever to go, and make by word of mouth all the compliments, which you would have wrote; and the breach doth pass already for so certain, that my merchant, in the apprehension of a seizure of all the effects of the English, hath refused to furnish me with money, since the arrival of this news; which doth a little trouble me. If I must be gone, I see no other course, but to sell my plate to the prejudice of my reputation. I cannot yet judge, whether this proceeding of the protector be affected to declare, that he sets but a little value upon France; or whether he, having little inclination to the peace, would make use of this pretence to break with the approbation of the publick, whose interest is considerable unto him, since it doth make for his establishment. Let happen what will, I am resolved not to stay any longer; and although the precipitation should be prejudicial, I cannot dispense with it in the condition, wherein my domestick affairs are at present, without money here, and without land at Paris, to acquit my bills of exchange.
General Monck to secretary Thurloe.
There is one Finley (I suppose they call him, mr. John Finley) a Scotchman at London, who is conceived to be a privat agent for Charles Stuart, and the duke of Yorke. This Finley is full faced, and browne haired. Hee uses at Robert Hume's a taylor in Black-horse-alley neare Fleet-Bridge, and at one Bizard's (who is alsoe a Scotcheman borne at Aberdeene) liveing at the head of Fishe-streete, or some where thereaboute. Of which I thinke fitt to give you notice, to the end the said Finley may bee taken, secured and examined, for (I am informed) hee will bee found as aforesaid. I remaine
N. de Bye, the k. of Poland's agent, to the protector.
Mirum absque dubio serenitati vestræ videbitur, quod aliquanto tardius benevolentiæ testificatione ac propensi animi declaratione ad serenitatem vestram accesserim; verum ubi perpendere lubet, quibus periculis bellisque implicatum sacra regia majestas dominus meus clementissimus in regnum successerit, ac quasnam expeditiones contra hostes obire coactus fuerit, facile admittet, quod graves et ancipites belli curæ animum ad exolvenda officia vicinis regnis et principibus applicare non permiserint.
Verumenimvero etiam in hoc flagrantissimo bello in animum revocans, quanta semper Poloniæ cum Anglica natione firma intercesserit et culta fuerit amicitia, non potuit suetum inter principes officium diutius differre, quin serenitati vestræ omnem benevolentiam animique propensionem contestaretur, pollicereturque se operam daturum, ut serenitas vestra sibi rebusque suis sacram regem majestatem dominum meum clementissimum optimè affectum intelligat; quod vicissim de serenitate vestra sacra regia majestas dominus meus clementissimus sibi pollicetur.
Quibus confisus utique sacra regia majestas dominus meus clementissimus nihil magis in votis habuit, quam veterem necessitudinem ac magis intimam animorum conjunctionem cum serenitate vestra ac Angliæ republica renovare, ac in perpetuum prorogate; ita quoque congruum ac necessarium ducit serenitatem vestram per me internuncium ipsius certiorem reddere, quomodo Moscoviæ dux, cum nihil hostilitatis ab illo pace perpetua freti vereremur, Cosacos rebelles contra sacram regem majestatem ad arma stimularit, fraudeque illorum Smolenscum arcem per aliquot menses obsessam occuparit, ac nulla lacessitus injuria, nulla clarigatione præmissa, rupto jurato fœdere, quod cum illo Uladislaus rex frater facræ regiæ majestatis anno 1633 constituerat, injustissimum ac fraudulentum bellum slorentissimo Poloniæ regno intulerit, mox violationem titulorum Moscoviæ ducis, mox conspirationem in eum cum Tartaris, tandem quoque Polonorum in Moscoviam incursionem prætexens, quæ tamen utique a veritate longe sint aliena, ita quoque nullum earum exemplum adducere poterunt.
Qui enim prætextus? Quod aliquando, cum injuriæ, ut inter confinantes solet, ab hac vel illa parte exorirentur, proceres ac nobiles regni ad ipsum ducem scribentes, in exprimendo nomine vel titulis ducis enumerandis, aliquando etiam levissime unius literulæ omissione errarint ? Cum in literis Moscoviæ ducis ad sacram regem majestatem scriptis similes errores deprehensi fuerint; regnique proceres solenni juramento in legatorum ejusdem præsentia affirmarint, se neque malitia, neque studio, neque contumelia aliqua, sed mera ignorantia aliquos titulos omisisse.
Quæ præterea in cum conspiratio cum Tartaris? Quæ Polonorum in Moscoviam invasio dici poterit ? Cum sacra regia majestas studio pacis ducta ipsa Chami Crimensis literarum originalia, quibus sacram regiam majestatem ad ineundum contra Moscoviæ ducem fœdus armorumque conjunctionem stimularat, Moscoviæ duci transmiserit, eumque de destinatis Chami Crimensis præmonuerit.
Neque tamen novum dici posset tale fœdus, cum ab immemorabili tempore Tartari stipendiarii sint regum Poloniæ, quibus certa pecuniæ summa quotannis a regibus Poloniæ stipendii nomine numeratur, ea conditione, ut Tartari contra regni Poloniæ hostes, præsertim Moschos, ubi necessitas requisiverit, bellarent; sicuti etiam præterito bello, quod Uladislaus rex contra Moschos gessit, Tartaros tanquam stipendiarios suos adscivit, opeque eorum usus sit.
Imo vero occasio, occasio inquam, eum ad hanc manifestam persidiam stimulavit; postquam enim Poloniæ regnum contra Cosacos implicatum videret, ea uti volens, Lithuaniam et Russiam, quibus jam diu inhiavit, igne ac ferro omnia devastans sceleratè invasit.
Hinc serenitas vestra facile colligere poterit, quantum et serenitati vestræ reique publicæ Angliæ intersit, ne in detrimentum vicinomm regnorum et ipsius Britannia; potentia Moscovitica in immensum crescat, cui imposterum, ubi Poloniæ et Lithuaniæ provincias occuparit, sibique subjicerit, resistere nimis durum tardumque foret. Quid enim superba ac barbara gens spiret; quid et Angliæ, si commoda occasio, qua pacta et fœdera metiri solet, daretur, cogitet; facile ex illatis jam antehac mercatoribus ac Angliæ nationi injuriis innotescent.
Quapropter sacra regia majestas, dominus meus clementissimus, firmiter sibi pollicetur considitque, quod serenitas vestra Moscho auxilia mittere, arma suppeditare, aut militem ex Anglia educere minimè sit permissura. Verum e contrario cum Moschus jam omnes, quotquot habet, vires in Lithuaniam converterit, nudis aliis imperii sui lateribus relictis, opportuna ulciscendæ injuriæ, gloriæ propagandæ, ac Britannici imperii dilatandi occasio serenitati vestræ nata videtur, quod facile serenitas vestra sibi persuadere patietur, ut classe aliquot saltem navium portum Moscoviticum Archangeli nuncupatum impetere, viresque nonnullas contra eundem vertere velit, quibus non tantum animos ac viros Moschorum in diversas partes trahere, et diversionem facere, verum etiam Poloniæ regnum, quod semper antimurale Christianitatis suit, ab hac barbara gente eliberare poterit.
Quod certè sacra regia majestas regnumque Poloniæ non solummodo in firmum amicitiæ testimonium sunt accepturi, verum etiam serenitati vestræ benevolentia, studio, et ope, ubi requisiti fuerint, respondere æternum sese obstrictos profitebuntur.
Examination of mr. Saint Loe. [Taken by secretary Thurloe.]
Mr. Saint Lowe: he faith that about halse a yeare agoe mr. Penruddocke came to his house, and acquainted him, that there was intended a general rising all over England for the kinge, and that this rising was to be upon Valentine's day, after which the kinge himself would be here; and to persuade this examinate to joyne with them in it, said all the countrie would joyne with them in it, and that sir William Waller was to head the cittie, and Penruddocke to undertake Wiltshire, and other gentlemen the other counties; he said further, that the levelling party in the army were discontented, and would oppose the protector.
He said, he went afterwards to the house of mr. Penruddocke, where he met with one mr. Thornbury, whose father was sequestered, and there this examinate and mr. Penruddock discoursed of the aforesaid business, when Penruddock told him, that colonel Bennet and some other of their partie were taken at London, which had disappointed them, and their day was put off; but said the examinate should heare of it, when another day was appointed. He saith he doth not knowe, whether mr. Thornbury heard this discourse.
He faith, that he had a third meeting at the house of this examinate. Mr. Penruddock and his brother came to hym and told hym, that the business was much dasht, but that they should knowe more very shortly; and faith, that they should have mett at a great horse race to have beene at Salisbury about the 15th of February, but that being forbidden they were disappointed in that.
He faith, that the examinate went to the house of mr. Penruddocke on friday before the rising, and then Penruddocke told hym, that all was ready, and they were to rise upon monday after, and askt him whether he had furnisht himselfe with armes; and this examinate answered him, that he had not, in respect he thought the business was over; but Penruddock pressed him to goe home, and get ready; and soe he did, and promised him to meet him upon monday, which he did accordingly, and came to them before they came to Blandford, and went with them to Sherborn, and there left them.
He faith, that Penruddocke was before this with Grove and several others in Wiltshire, and sir Henry More, to have fallen upon the horse at Marlborough; but the horse keeping strong guard, they were discouraged; and their design was to have 12 men gon in in a cart, and they to have seized upon the horses in the stables, whilst those without fell on, and faith, that Mack of Salisbury was to have been chiefe in the business, and it was to have been some weeks before.
He further faith, that the marquesse of Hertford was expected with them, and that mr. Penruddocke told him, that the marquesse was engaged, and that the lady Phillips, as he said, told him soe. And being asked, whether mr. Penruddocke did not tell him, he had beene with the m. of Hertford, he faith, he did, as he remembers, when he first spake with hym. And being further askt about it, he faith, Penruddocke told hym, that he knew of his owne knowledge, that the m. of Hertford was engaged, and bid hym take his word for it, and faith, that he told hym he had beene with hym.
The information of Richard Rowe, of Henisham, taken the 29th day of March, 1655, upon oath, before Francis Swanton, esq; viz.
Being asked, where he was on sunday and monday the 11th and 12th of this instant March, when the rebellion broke out at Salisbury, faith, that he was at esquire Willoughby's house, and came thither on sunday at night, and there remained until wednesday; and this examinate further faith, that night he came to esquire Willoughby's, he was not at home, and that he was at Salisbury: and further faith, that William Breman, one of mr. Willoughby's servants, did take this examinate's horse out of mr. Willoughby's stable at Knoyle the sunday night, and did ride him away to the rebels, as the said Breman told this informant, at Salisbury, and was there with the rebels that did rise on monday morning; and this examinate further faith, that mr. Richard Greene the elder and esquire Willoughby came to Salisbury upon sunday night, and one Richard Sheene of Meere, bailiff of that hundred, came along with him, and his servant, and George Barnes servant to esquire Willoughby came to Salisbury with his master; and this informant being asked what company did resort to mr. Willoughby's house the week before the rising at Salisbury; this examinate faith, that there was a great company, amongst which there was mr. Henry Butler, mr. John Butler, mr. Langford, mr. Holles, mr. Edward Hyde of Hatch, mr. John Mervin of Pertwood: the servants that were with them, are these that followeth; mr. Hollis two men, mr. Henry Butler a man and a boy, and mr. Edward Hyde one man; and faith, that mr. Butler and mr. Hollis staid near a week at mr. Willoughby's house. Being asked where they did use to keep their rendezvous; this examinate faith, they went one day to Hindon, and faith they were another day at Meere, and sometimes did go a fox hunting, where divers countrymen did come in to them, but what they did at their meetings this examinate knoweth not.
The information of Richard Jones of Weston, gentleman, aged 27 years, or thereabouts, taken before me Humphrey Mackworth, esq; one of the justices of the peace for the said county, this 29th of March, 1655, in the presence of commissary general Reynolds.
That about a month since one mr. Cleyton, born in Cheshire, lately come out of France and Holland, as he himself faith, about two months before that time, met this informant upon the way, between Chirke and Westonkhyng, and after some renewing old acquaintance, he asked him, whether he knew or had heard any thing of a design of rising in England, to which this informant replied, that he heard not of any such; whereupon he asked, in case he could shew a probable way of prevailing, whether I would not engage, to which I replied, that my condition was altered since my first acquaintance with him, and that I had a wife, and partly a family, and that I would not engage; upon which he urged, that if I knew what preparations there were, I would not deny rising. Thereupon I demanded what probabilities there were of that design; he then told me, that there was a party to appear in the north, and another in the west, and in several other places of the nation. I demanded, what garrisons, or places of refuge, would be secured; he said, that there was or would be by the time of rising. I asked, if garrisons failed, what would then become of the party, which would rise; he replied, that six regiments of the army were engaged, and would appear: being asked the names of the colonels, he answered, that he knew them not. When I seemed to pause upon the discourse, he told me, that he would not court me unto it, but that if I liked of it, he would be at Wrexham on monday following, and would, if I came thither, give me as much knowledge of the design as he had: this time appointed was three days before the fair at Wrexham. Upon my engaging under hand to go along with him, he then told me, that he was going into Cheshire, where he knew that there were at least six; and if but ten or twelve would engage with him, he knew that he could pass securely to the party in the north, whither he intended to go. I asked him, who would head the party; to which he answered, that as good men as were in England would appear; and going afterwards to a house which used to sell ale, but there then being none, thereupon parted; and since that time I heard not from him.
The deposition of Richard Jones of Weston, in the county of Salop, gent. aged 27 years, or thereabouts, taken before me Humphrey Mackworth, esq; one of the justices of the peace within the county, upon oath, March 29, 1655.
This deponent being asked, whether he had no knowledge of a rising intended in this county, faith, that he hath mentioned all the knowledge he had thereof in his information preceding: being demanded, whether he was not acquainted with some attempt intended by sir Thomas Harris and a party upon Shrewsbury, upon thursday the 8th instant, he faith, that he was not acquainted with any such purpose or design, but doth believe, that there was an intention of rising in this county, and in most parts of England. Being asked, who this mr. Cleyton was, who is mentioned in this deponent's information, he faith, that he knew him in the late king's army, and that he had been a quarter-master, but was, when he knew him, a horseman in sir Thomas Howard's regiment and troop, and pretended to scholarship, and afterwards he belonged to a knight in London, and went to the north, and came with duke Hamilton into Lancashire; after whose defeat this deponent saw him in Chester, and immediately after went beyond the seas, and returned about Midsummer last, or before, into South-wales, and went back into France and Holland; and about two months before the meeting mentioned in the information of this deponent, he the said Thomas Cleyton returned into South-wales, being, as he said, imployed upon some business of secrecy. What since became of the said Thomas Cleyton, this deponent cannot tell, further than is mentioned in his said information.
Being further demanded, whether he was not, at the time of his being at Boreacton, on Thursday the 8th instant, in company with sir Thomas Harris and other gentlemen, acquainted with some purpose of their coming in the same night to Shrewsbury, he faith, that he was not, neither was inquisitive concerning any design, lest miscarrying it should be imputed to him, as having discovered the same.
The examination of Thomas Rogers of Burgedine in the said county, gent. taken at Welch Pool the 29th day of March 1655, before Thomas Lloyd, esq; high sheriff of the said county, Hugh Price and Thomas Niccolls, esqrs; justices of the peace of the said county, on the behalf of the commonwealth, touching the late plot contrived to raise forces against the lord protector and the present government.
The said examinate saith, that upon friday the 2d day of March 1654, he went to mr. Ralph Kynaston of Pentrehelin to desire him to go along with this examinate to mr. Kynaston's of Brangwynn to speak in his behalf concerning tythes; and the same time mr. Kynaston of Pentrehelin asked this examinate what was the news; and this examinate saith, that he told him that he had none. And further saith, that the said mr. Ralph Kynaston told this examinate, that he heard there was great news stirring in this kingdom; and thereupon this examinate did ask him what it was; and the said mr. Ralph Kynaston told him, that he should know when he next met him; and upon tuesday next following, being the 6th day of March aforesaid, the said mr. Kynaston sent for this examinate, who accordingly went to him; whereupon the said mr. Kynaston told this examinate, that the news which he did mention was come very near a period; and that upon thursday following in the afternoon the castle of Shrewsbury was to be surprised by some of the townsmen; and that sir Thomas Harris with his men were at the same time to take the town. And further being examined, saith, that the said Ralph Kynaston asked this examinate, whether he knew of any men in his neighbourhood, that would engage upon that design, meaning to go along with sir Thomas Harris to take Shrewsbury; and this examinate told him, he knew of none And further this examinate saith, that the said mr. Kynaston asked this examinate, whether his brother Arthur Vaughan were at home, and if he were, he desired this examinate to send him to speak with the said mr. Ralph Kynaston the next morning; and this examinate and his brother went to the said mr. Kynaston on the morrow, and found him at Maesbrooke in an alehouse with six or seven strangers which this examinate knew not, saving one of them called Truston; and when his brother Arthur and mr. Ralph Kynaston were met in the alehouse aforesaid, they both went to the backside, and there spoke privately; and upon their departure this examinate saith, that he asked his brother Arthur what discourse they had in private, and the said Arthur told this examinate, that mr. Kynaston would have engaged him in the design aforesaid; and the said Arthur, told this examinate that he refused to engage himself in the said design. And further this examinate saith, that coming home, the said mr. Kynaston told him, he would not go upon that design, but that he would send some men to sir Thomas aforesaid to further the said design; and further saith, that upon the 8th day of March 1654, being thursday, this examinate being at Llandrinio at the house of one William Smith, the said Kynaston came in and said, that the intended plot was discovered in Shrewsbury: and further is not examined.
The deposition of Thomas Rogers of Burgedine in the said county, gent. aged 32 years, or thereabouts, sworn and examined the 29 day of March 1655.
Deposeth, that upon the 19th day of March 1654, this deponent being in bed at his father-in-law's, mr. John Vaughan of Tretherwen, mr. Ralph Kynaston of Pentrehelin came unto this deponent's bed-side, and told him, that the plot was discovered by a colonel of the army, and that he was to go to Red Castle according to his engagement the night before to the deputy of the said county. And the said mr. Kynaston told this deponent, that the last night some company called at his house after he went to bed; this deponent asking him who they were, the said mr. Kynaston told him they were some men from Colfrin, and that he thought one called David Ap Hugh of Colfrin was one of them, and further is not examined.
The deposition of Edward Edwards of Maesbrooke in the county of Salop, gent. aged 34 years, or thereabouts, being sworn and examined the day and year aforesaid.
Deposeth, that upon the 8th day of March 1655, about four hours in the night, this deponent saw three horsemen at the house of Ralph Kynaston of Pentrehelin, gent. one of them having a case of pistols and holsters, the other two each of them a sword, who asked this deponent whether he saw any soldiers that night: then this deponent said, that he saw some soldiers, meaning, as this deponent faith, the deputy sheriff of the said county and his company; and further faith, that they asked this deponent, whether he were a servant belonging to mr. Ralph Kynaston; and thereupon this deponent told them, he was a servant belonging to the house; then one of them which had the case of pistols before him, who by report was called sir Arthur Blayney of Tregunow, asked this deponent, whether he would take his pistols, and keep them until he should call for them; and thereupon this deponent answered, that God willing he would not meddle with them nor their pistols, but said, secure your pistols, and let your pistols secure you. And further being demanded whether he saw any more men that night by his master's house, or betwixt that place and the new bridge, faith, that he heard there were some company there, but who or what number there were he knoweth not: and further is not required to depose.
At the meeting of the commissioners for the militia of London.
The commissioners now further considering the proposal of the commanders of the three regiments now raised in this city and liberties, that the commissioners would allow the exercise of arms in the Artillery-garden, London, did resolve and order,
1. That the citizens of London, such as are desirous, and shall be approved and allowed by the commissioners for the militia, or any seven of them, shall be admitted to exercise arms in the Artillery-garden, London, as an artillery company, observing such rules and directions, as they shall from time to time receive from his highness the lord protector, or the commissioners for the militia.
Mr. John Dove to secretary Thurloe.
I have received yours of the 6th instant. Since my last to you I have had some of those gentlemen, that Lovelace nominated in his discovery, amongst whom, young mr. Tregonwell I have examined, and finde, upon good proofe, that he and his servants never were out; and that Lovelace, when they were brought face to face, did not knowe the gentleman; soe I finde mr. John Tregonwell cleere as to this business: he hath engaged to his highness in 2000 l. bond, to appeare, when called on, and not to act any thinge against his highnesse, nor the commonwealth, &c.
Sir, I understand a commission of oyer and terminer is issued out for tryall of the rebells in the West; and ther is a mistrust of my under sheriffe. Sir, I resolve, that not one man shall be returned in the one or other jurys, but such as may be confided in, and of the honest well affected party to his highness and the present government. Yf there be but enough to be found of them throughout the whole county (which I hope there is) it is and will be my greatest care for that business to see it punctualy don, and not trust my under sheriffe therewith, that is soe much spoken against by some here, that would have had one of their relations bin my sheriffe, which, had either of them prevayl'd, I should not have trusted them in this great worke: there is such abominable falshood amongst some men now a dayes, that a man knoweth not whom to trust.
Sir, you would be glad to knowe, what men were fittest to be proceeded against in the first place; to which I give you my thoughts, humbly submitting to better judgements, that in the first place to proceed against the cheife and principall actors, that were com missionated, as they said, by Charles Stewart; for if any of them goe free, it will soe much disharten the honest party of the country, that they will be affrayde to shewe themselves to act for his highness. Therefore due care must be had of that.
For the second place, against such as are knowne to be of implacable spirits in the country, and most disafected to his highness and the present government. And in the third place, against such as thinke to escape by favour, and may remayne as nest eggs, to cherish others hereafter, that may prove a pest to his highness and the commonwealth.
Sir, I beleeve great suit is and wil be made to his highnes for some of the principal actors, by reason of relations; but I am consident his highnes will looke more upon the publique good, then there addresses, as the case now standeth with England, &c.
Sir, the county of Dorsett I heare have a commission for the militia. I feare some may stop the sendinge one hither, on pretence of ease to the country. Be confident, that if it be delayed, it may prove dangerous.
The deposition of Edward Bayly of Rhysnant in the said county, sworne and examined the 29th day of March, at Poole, before Thomas Lloyd, esq; sheriff, Hugh Price, and Thomas Niccolls, esq; touching the discovery of the late plot, contrived to raise forces against his highness the lord protector and the present government.
The said examinate saith, that mr. Ralph Kynaston sent his brother-in-law, Joseph Jones, to desire the said deponent to come to speak with him upon tuesday the 6th day of March last; whereupon this deponent went along with the said Joseph Jones and one Humphrey Thomas of Llandregenon in the said county, unto the house of the said mr. Kynaston, where he was demanded, whether he was a cavalier, or a round-head. This deponent answered, that he would neither make nor meddle with either side; and then the said mr. Kynaston told this deponent, that the army was divided, and that the one half was for the king, and desired him to go with him, and he would provide him a horse, as he believed, to go in arms against the lord protector; whereupon the said mr. Kynaston desired him the said deponent to consider of it against the next morning, and then to give him his answer. This deponent then told him, that he would have no further to do with him. Then the said mr. Kynaston wished him to speak no more of it; and further saith not.
The deposition of Griffith Pugh, of Hauleton in the abovesaid county, aged 32, or thereabouts, sworn and examined the time and place abovesaid, before us, as touching the discovery of the said plot.
Deposeth, and saith, that upon the 8th day of this instant March, one Griffith Evans of Llandrinio, in the said county, came to this deponent, being a messenger from mr. John Penryn of Llandrinio aforesaid, as he affirmed, and said, that the said mr. Penryn did desire the said deponent and Hugh Pugh his brother, and one Richard ap Robert, both of Hauleton aforesaid, to come that night to the said mr. Penryn's wedding, about half an hour in the night to the dwelling house of mr. Smith of Llandrinio aforesaid, and wished them to come on horseback and with swords, and wished this deponent to borrow his brother Solomon's horse, which he did accordingly; and the deponent, in pursuance of the said desire, did acquaint his brother Hugh with the said mr. Penryn's desire. And this deponent did likewise the same day acquaint the said Richard ap Robert with the said mr. Penryn's desire; and at length this deponent ask'd the said Richard ap Robert about the tyme desired, by the said mr. Penryn did ride on horseback to the place appointed, but found not any body there, but he, Smith's wife, and one Edward Gelking; but this deponent, nor the said Richard, did not go into the said Smith's house, nor make any stay there; but returned back and went home. And further deposeth, that the said Griffith Evans the time aforesaid told this deponent, that mr. John Matthews the younger was to procure the match for the said mr. Penryn; and it was to come from the upper country towards Llauvillin, and that none of the company should return till after saturday following. And further deposeth, that he did not know any thing of the said plot; but that he being upon friday following, being the 16th of this instant March, at a mill at Pentrehelin, in the county of Salop, near this county, where one John Davy miller told him, that he heard, that there was some great shire the night before in a field near Llanymynych, and that therein met together 60 or 80 men at the least. And further deposeth, that he doth believe there was something else intended by the said mr. Penryn, than a wedding, as it appears to this deponent. And this deponent doth likewise believe, that he the said mr. Penryn did intend to ingage in the said late plot and rebellion; and further cannot depose.
Griffith Evans, of Llandrinio aforesaid, yeoman, aged 25 years, or thereabouts, likewise sworn and examined before us the said time and place, against the said mr. Penryn, touching the said plot, deposeth and faith,
That upon thursday, the 8th day of March aforesaid, the said mr. Penryn sent for this deponent to come to speak with him; which this deponent did, and then the said mr. Penryn did desire this deponent to go from him that day to the former deponent Griffith Pugh, to wish him to come that night about the twilight to the said Smith's house, to go along with the said mr. Penryn for a wife, up to Wales, which mr. John Matthews would help him unto; and that the said Griffith should come on horseback, and with a sword if he had one, and wished that he the said Griffith should speak to the said Richard ap Robert to come likewise on horseback, and with a sword, and that the said mr. Penryn would be glad, if Hugh Pugh would come with him that night to the said wedding; and further deposeth, that he went the said day, according to the said mr. Penryn's desire, to the said Griffith, and acquainted him with the said message, who told this deponent, that he would come according to the said message, and perform the said mr. Penryn's desire; the rest and this deponent did, in the evening of the said day, go to the said Smith's house, to the said mr. Penryn, who then told this deponent, that he would not go that night for his wife. And further deposeth, that the said mr. Penryn at first that day told this deponent, that he would not return three days after; and faith further, that there was at the said Smith's house that evening the said mr. Penryn and Matthias Lloyd in company together, which this deponent left then there. And this deponent being examined upon his oath, of what he thinks the said mr. Penryn's intention was touching the said marriage, this deponent thinks, as things fell out since, the said mr. Penryn did intend to engage and join with others, that were engaged in the said plot against the present government. And further deposeth, that he on the morrow after, being the 9th of this instant March, was at a mill at Pentrehelin, where Robert Peirce is miller, in this county, where he heard the said miller say, that he heard that there was many men risen and gathered together, from Maesbrooke and thereabouts, and that they were together the night before at Llanymynych, and that it was reported, that they were to come to meet mr. Ralph Kynaston; but for what end he doth not know; and further cannot depose.
The examination of Richard ap Robert.
Richard ap Robert, of Haulton aforesaid, aged 21 years, or thereabouts, a witness likewise sworn and examined before us, the time and place aforesaid, against the said mr. Penryn, touching the said plot, deposeth and faith, that Griffith Pugh, the former deponent, came to this deponent, in the evening of the said 8th day of March, and acquainted this deponent, that the said Griffith Evans came to the former deponent, Griffith Pugh, as a messenger from the said Penryn, and desired him to come and give notice to this deponent, to come along with him about half an hour in the night of the same day, on horseback, with swords, to the said Smith's house; and to bring with them two clean bands apiece, and that they were to go with the said mr. Penryn to his wedding; and this deponent did accordingly go in company of the said Griffith Pugh, both being on horseback, and armed with a sword apiece; and took two clean bands apiece with them, and came the time before mentioned to the said Smith's house, where they saw only the said Smith's wife and one David Gethin by the house; and having enquired for Griffith Evans, who had been biding the said Griffith to the wedding; who, as the said Smith's wife was not there, this deponent and the said Griffith returned back, and went home. And being examined, what he conceives the said Penryn's intention was by the said wedding; this deponent doth believe now, as things fell out, that the said Penryn had some other intention there than to be married, and that this deponent and others were deluded by him; and this deponent doth believe, that this Penryn did intend to rise in arms with those that were engaged in the said plot; and further cannot depose.
Mr. Longland, agent at Leghorn, to secretary Thurloe.
I hav received your letter of the 26th of February, which should have com to hand last week with the rest of the letters from London of that date, and then I had sav'd the charge, which now I must be at, to send an expres with the inclosed letter for general Blak. His pinnas departed hence six dayes since with what letters I then had for him. I hope to get the French pryz unladen in two dayes, when I shal dispach her away unto him imediatly; and this is the only saf conveyance I can at present fynd to send your letter unto the general, wherin you may pleas to be assured, all possible celerity and dilligence is and shall be used. What I formerly writ you of the arryval of the 7 fail French ships at Tollon, which wer chast into Lisbon by general Blak, is most certainly true; the lyk of 15 Spanish ships arryved at Naples; but for the Portugal fleete to com into thes seas, althoh much talkt of, yet uncertain, except the pope (not yet made) prov French, and way made by that king to receiv the Portugall ambassadors at Rom: in such case no doubt but king John wil send a potent fleete to shew his greatnes. I know not whether I may er or no, but in my best judgement, thes few years of good government, which that nation has had since theyr separation from Spayn, has made them as considerable by sea, as either Spayn or France. Yesterday arryved here a bark from Marsellia in twenty four howers, from whence the general vois is, that a war with Ingland is very nere proclaiming, and that Inglish ships are deteyned. Six shipps and six gallyes ar redy to put to sea with soldiers and amunition, given out for Rosas in Cattalogna; but most thinke theyr desyn was to hav brauht men for Itally to hav helped the duke of Modena; but 'tis now nedles, for that duke has made a shift himselfe alone to beat home the Spanish forces for Millan. This duke of Modena pretends to the citty and territorryes of Ferara, which pope Urban tooke from him as feodary to the church; and now in this sede vacante, as the general report goes, this duke has som hopes of recovery of sayd state, and on this score he has raised about ten thousand men; whereupon the Spanyard, as lord paramount of Itally, pretended to cal him to account, enters his country with an army, and was wel beaten back hom to his dores, with the los of a frontier castel. The great duke, as I understand, treats for an accomodation betwixt them. The Spanish ships of war at Naples are fitting to be redy for the sea next month. They wil mak them up 20 sail and 18 sail of gallyes. The Dutch here report, they are to furnish the king of France with 40 sail of shipps for this somer's servis, and that his hynes the protector requires of them the lyk quantity, which they denyed. We do not hear discover any integrity in that nation since the late war. The chief desyn of the Spanish fleete is to transport men for Barsalona from Naples, and to observ what the French fleete does, espetially against Itally. We hear noe certain newes, what passes betwixt the Spanyards and the Genowes, but suppose, according to that nation's gravity, they wil tyre them out with a tedious treaty, which in conclusion shal signifie nothinge.
Two dayes since I received a letter from Cales, from the gentleman I sent thither by your command (mr. Bartholomew Harris.) He wryts me, his 4 monthes sallery is exhaust with the tyme, and that it is not possible for him to subsist under two peices of eight (or dollars) a day in that deare countrey; which I humbly recommend unto your consideration. I doubt not but when he shal have received your instructions, he will faithfully and dilligently answer all your commands. I am most humbly thankfull for the frendly assistance you promis in recommending my petition to his highnes. I am very sensibe of what you say, that ther is no president of such a grace or favour: however your good patronage, I dout not, but wil bringe the desyred issue (a reparation of my losses in thes seas by the French) and since I understand it is his highnes wil, what is taken from that nation be distributed to the sufferars, it would perpetually oblige me unto you, that general Blak might hav order to pay me my losses, being star. — out of what he has taken from the French: by this means I may hav hopes to se my country the sooner, and ther your worthy selfe, to render you all due thankes for soe great a favour. I hartilly rejois at the tymly discovery and prevention of the disturbers of our peace at hom, by securing theyr persons. Here hav bin great alarums made, as if al Ingland had bin lost; but now the world may se (not babes, but) the sons of nobles ar our governors. You will se here inclosed what was writ from Holland this week to one in this town. Al possible dilligence is and shal be used in procuring his hynes Neapolitan horses; but the truth is, I would hav non but the very best, and thos that hav them are as loath to part with them. You shall suddenly hav a good account of this business from,
Sir Marmaduk Langdal wryts from Coullen to sir Theofillus Gilby, in this prince's servis, thus; the king departed this weeke towards Ingland; he told me of his intents but the nyght before; soe could not dispatch to goe with him, but will suddenly follow.
Chanut, the French embassador in Holland, to Bordeaux, the French embassador in England.
That which you were pleased to write to me of the affairs of England hath destroyed a great number of informations and advice, which were given here of the great success of the affairs of the king of England. A man must be very cautious in giving credit to their reports, their zeal having made them so blind, that they are soon persuaded into belief of good success.
I bless God from my heart, that your negotiation is renewed. I cannot but think well of it, since there doth remain nothing more than the difference mentioned in your letter. I hope, that the lord protector hath as much interest as we have, not to leave any hope to those, who henceforward should frame new revolts under new pretences. The form of the present government of England doth seem more exposed to that sickness than ours. In short, I did hold your treaty as good as done. I will not fail of a compliment, which is really due to the good offices of monsieur Nieuport; and I give you thanks, my lord, for giving me advice thereof; but I conceive it will be more convenient to stay till the next week before I do it, for then it may be done more largely, when we shall fee the effects of his labours.
An information of mr. Robert Wiseman concerning mr. Read.
About a fortnight after Christmas, there came one mr. Read to my house, to desire me, I would take in cure his soare legg, saying withall, that hee had been a great while under the hands of those of my profession, and was never the better. His soare legge I undertooke, and had well nigh cured itt, when hee was committed to the Tower, where after the said Read had been 3 or 4 dayes a prisoner, hee sent for mee to come and dresse his legge by one Steere, a warder of the Tower, and his keeper. The first time this Steere came to my house, I was dressing a patient in our streett; and when my servant tould mee, that mr. Read's keeper desired to speake to mee, I bidde him to give the said Steere a peice of emplaister for mr. Read, and to denie him the speaking with mee. The next daye the said Steere comes to mee againe, and brings mee a note from mr. Read, which was to desire mee earnestlie to come and dresse his legge, and soe did the said Steere, telling mee, there was noe danger in itt; I had the lieutenant's leave: it was a thinge very ordinary, and could bringe noe prejudice to mee. I replyed, it was true, mr. Read had been my patient, and was my debtor for what I had donne; yett I was a housekeeper, and mr. Read a criminall, and I would not doe any thinge that might drawe the least disrepute upon mee; and soe in short told him, I would not goe. Notwithstanding this the said Read sends mr. Deane's man the next morning, to whom I returned the said answer as formerly. The next day came mr. Steere againe, and prest mee very earnestly from mr. Read to goe, telling mee, he was very ill; upon which I told him, since he assured mee there was noe danger in going to him, I would not saile to see him the next daye. The next daye about three a clock I went to the Tower, enquired for mr. Steere, whoe came to mee, and conducted mee to mr. Read, and was present during my stay there: there passed little discourse betweene us, save that he desired mee to speake to mr. Thomas Mackworth for money that he owed him, and to keepe it in my hands for his use. When I tooke my leave of him, he desired to see mee ost; I tould him, once in eight or ten dayes would bee enough, I leaving him emplaysters in the interim to dresse himselfe. During his imprisonment I was not with him more than three or four times. The last tyme I was with him, I had not emplaysters enough in my boxe to leave him to dresse himselfe with, but tould him I would send him some the thursday following; as alsoe a dose of pills, which I did accordingly by my servant. The sunday following the lieutenant of the Tower sends for mee to come to him by two a clocke, which when my servant acquainted mee with, I hastened dinner, and soe imediately I went to the Tower attended by my servant. In Cannon Streete I meett a servant of my lord Crayford (whoe knewe that I used to come to Read) whoe asked mee, whither I was going ? I tould him to the Tower. He replyed, I faith you will bee held fast, for Read, whoe you used to come to, hath been attempting his escape, and is in irons. I replyed, what was that to me? And soe made noe stop, till I came to the Tower; where after a while I was brought to the lieutenant, who accused mee of having sent that aqua fortis to Read. I enquired when it came; the lieutenant replied, on thursday last at three of the clocke in the afternoone. I told him, my servant had been there that day at eleven a clock with pills and emplaysters; and soe I called in my servant to the lieutenant, whoe examined him, and after he had taken my examination, I was dismissed, and soe I returned to my house, and continued the following my vocation till the 12th of March, being tuesday, and then about one of the clock coming home, my servant tould me, that Steere, mr. Read's keeper, was drinking att the Anchor, and desired to speake mee, to whom I presently went. Asking his business, he gave mee a note, which when I begun to read, hee said itt desired privacy. I replyed, come to my house, and read it; soe taking him into a usuall rome, I read the note, and was extreemly surprized, gave Steere the note againe, and askt him, if he was resolved to carry mr. Read awaye: He answered, yes. I sell into a passion, and askt him, why mr. Read should send him to mee; I had noe obligation to him att all; I had taken much paines in cureing him, and was as yett unpaid: mr. Read had already putt mee to much trouble; I would have nothinge to doe with this; I would not hazzard my libertie for him. Steere then desired me to advise him: I asked Steere, if hee apprehended no hazzard in the attempting of the escape. Hee tould mee, yes. I wisht him to have a care what hee did; for my part he had frightned my senses with the very mention of it. I could not tell what to advise; but if hee would come the next day at 12 a clock, I would consider of itt, and advise him. The said Steere asked, if I had noe good newes to cheere him up with. I answered, yes; there is strange newes, if trew: 'tis reported, that judge Rolls is taken prisoner att Salisbury, and the country is up. Do do heare nothing of it ? Yes, replyed hee. I replyed, I will send him the 5 l. he sends to me for; and I praye you stirr not in the busines, till you speake with mee to morrowe. The said Steere prest me earnestly to write to Read. I denied him several tymes; yett at last tooke a little bit of paper lying by me, and writt, as I remember, thus; Sir, those paines you complaine of will easily discusse, and soe will that paine in your head, without the taking of any cource of physick; and soe without setting my name to itt, I gave it him, telling him, I had written something I knowe not what; yet was it truth, and in answer to that part of his letter, which concerned mee. Soe away goes Steere, leaving mee to my considerations, which was these; that if Steere should carry away Read, I having been already suspected, 'twas tenne to one, but the lieutenant would trouble mee for it. Againe, should they be taken in the attempt by Steere's or Read's confession, I should be a partie, and soe again be troubled. If, on the other side, to free myselfe, I should discover their intentions to the lieutenant, it would cleere mee, but ruine my reputation amongst those of the royall partie, in whom my livelyhood consisted; to avoyd which I resolved upon a thirde way, which was, that mr. Steere should with good languadge cleere him, and soe lett the lawe take its course. And this I told Steere, when hee came the next day; and withall forbid him my house, telling him, I would have nothinge to doe with itt; and that when I had a desire to speake with him, I would send for him: so bidde him farewell. This impudent fellowe presses mee to write a word or twoe to Reade; that otherwise Read would not beleeve hee had been with mee; upon which I called for a peece of emplayster, and writt upon a bitt of paper thus: Sir, this peice of emplayster will, I hope, finish the cure, and soe I shall not trouble you further. I am your servant, R. Wiseman. In this paper I rowled up the emplayster, and soe sent him packing; and I take God to witnes, this is all I ever writt to Read during his imprisonment; and that night, when I thought myselfe freest, was I fetched to the Tower out of my bedde betwixt twelve and one at night, and my house searched for armes and letters; but of those I was as innocent as of the former. As to the bottle of aqua fortis, I vowe to Almighty God, I knewe not of it, till my lord Crayford's man first, and then the lieutenant of the Tower told mee of itt.
On saturday March the 24th, betwixt 8 and 9 of the clock, Steere, the warder of the Tower, knockt att my chamber doore, to whom I opened it, and demanded his busines with mee. Hee replyed, hee came to see mee, and that mr. Read desired to bee remembered to mee, and began to tell me something; but I imediatly replyed, that I would heare nothinge of Read, nor would I have any discourse with him; telling him, that by his base misinformation I was imprisoned. I dared him to saye (before the gentleman that laye in bedd by the doore, where wee discoursed) whether I ever asked him, what hee was to have from Read, for the carrying of him away; or whether I ever proferred him 100 l ? He said, noe. I asked him, whether ever I had spoken any braving languadge to him, of fetching Reade out with a high hand ? Hee said, noe. I asked him, whether he had ever carryed any letters from me to Reade, save twoe little papers, and the one with emplayster in itt ? He said, noe; and withal hee said, truely if hee might be called face to face, hee could and would cleere me. This I desired major Harries to take in writing, and give mee under his hand; which hee presently did, and I have it to shewe; as alsoe another to that purpose from another prisoner belowe; for when Steere saw I would not admitt any discourse with him, hee takes his leave; and I, glad that I was rid of him, made my selfe ready, and came downe staires, and there I sawe Steere drinking with the keeper, whoe called mee to him, and desired mee to drinke with him, and told mee, hee had a note for mee, which I told him I would not meddle with; and withall desired the keeper, that a captain of a guard might bee fetcht to seize this Steere, and carry him before mr. secretary. My keeper refused itt; upon which I presently writt a letter to acquaint mr. secretary Thurlowe of his being here, and that he would please to send for him, and examine him; but my letter could not be received soe soon, but that Steere was gonne; and in truth I have no certainty, that my letter ever came to the secretarie's hands; yet was it left with the doore-keeper, whoe promised the delivery. And thus have I given you a true relation of my proceedinge with Steere.
Mr. Francis Cheynell, &c. to col. Robert Tichborne.
We thanke you for your affectionate care of this county. We do upon many considerations, but especially from intelligence sent us by col. Whetham, and the lieutenant governor of Portsmouth, major Monford, conceive ourselves to be in a greate deale of danger, both in this citty of Chichester and county of Sussex, not only in respect of home-bred conspiracys, but foreign invasion also; since the French have laid an imbargo upon our ships. Be pleased to quicken mr. secretary Thurloe in dispatching the militia of Sussex; for if we have our militia to forme, and our soldiers to raise, when there is either an insurrection, or an invasion, or both, and must send as far as London for orders, when the enemy is at our gates, we are certainly lost. Portsmouth will be distressed, London endangered, the nation quickly enslaved and ruined. We have abundance of cavileers galantly mounted and appointed. Wee know where armes lay ready, but we have men enough, that are faithfull and valiant, if they were but encouraged and directed to gett into the same posture of defence, in which, by the providence of God you are settled in the great city. We need add noe more, but that we are cordially the city of London's servants, and yours,
Mr. Edward Winslow to secretary Thurloe.
About twelve daies since I wrote to you by capt. Collens, wherein I gave you a large account of our proceedings in this iland of the Barbados; how that by God's blessing we attayned our passage in 5 weekes, made the 2500 men we landed 6000; and becawse our stores for the army are not as yet come up close, we should lose the drie season, and my lord's honor suffer thereby, have scrabled up so many arms, as to make 1500, we hither brought, 6000, or neer thereabout: that we raysed two small troopes of horse upon the island; and gotten such and so many other stores, as we are to sett faile this evening from the place: we thought to have gone the 24th instant, but could not attaine thereunto. Since which time came in capt. Hassefield of London, and tells us of the Great Charity, that she was at sea with him; but faies, that she with many others in company were forced back by the sowle weather. This gentleman was above two moneths from Falmouth hither, and tells us, our store-ships were in the Downes, with a safe convoy, and beleeves they will be heer speedily; but truly, sir, we are so weary of wayting, and the season so neer spent, as we are resolved to cast ourselves into the arms of Almighty God, whose providence we trust will be ever for good, and will owne us as instruments in his right hand, to execute his determined vengeance upon that tyrannous, idolatrous, and bloudy nation, that hath inflicted so many cruelties upon the nations of the earth, in their distressed members, and not the least upon ours. We have agreed to order the Great Charity to stay heer till our stores come up, and then to convey them to us. The general hath setled the militia of the iland, and given commission to sowr regiments of horse and 4 of foote, and made the governor his lieutenant generall, and coll. Collison major generall of this island.
I hope it will conduce to the publick weale of the place. We have made bold to refer our commissioners to make use of their excise office, whereof the governor had a 3d, which 3d we still leave him to possesse; but whereas they call upon their articles, I tell them, they have broken that article: for whereas they were to pay the publick debts of the iland therewith, they have received all those two yeares profitts past, and we none at all, and now we shall reape the cropp of this 3d yeare, but with a greate deale of indignation to many. We aske them how long his highnes shall waite their pleasure to receive his royalties. We have such a body of busines to goe thorough this day, that I feare I shall not be able to write over my letter anew. If it so fall out, I had rather send you a blotted paper then a note, and write amongst a crowd of people, as I do here, than not to write at all: and I trust your honor will bury it amongst the rest of my infirmities, which is the earnest desire of,
The mayor of Dover, &c. to secretary Thurloe.
We have inclosed sent the examination of Andreas Janson Grove, of whose quality, business, &c. you will understand. We thought good also upon his request to send him up, we conceave the accompt given by him to be so shallow; found him a man pretending at first, that he could speake noe English, as also of a loose swearing tongue, that we thought good to give you this trouble about him; which is all at present from,
The examination of Margaret Cheney, servant to mr. Edward Kynaston of Oakley, taken before me Humphry Mackworth, esq; one of the justices of the peace for the county of Salop, upon oath at Shrewsbury, being this 30th of March 1655.
Being demanded, whether sir William Neale was at her master's house, she faith, that she doth remember, that sir William Neale was there within less than a week before mr. Kynaston was sent for into Shrewsbury; but exactly what day, or whether he had one man or two men, or whether one of them might be a trumpeter or no, she knoweth not. Being demanded, whether she heard any thing of a rising or plot, she faith, that she heard not any thing of it, or what business sir William Neale had, further than by way of visit. And further faith not.
Examination of William Wannerton.
William Wannerton examined faith, that being at Salisbury, upon the 12th day of March, he there saw Sherrington Talbot, esq; coming into the town with sir Joseph Wagstaffe, who was then commander in chief of a party that did declare themselves to be for the king; and that the said Talbot did give this informant threatning words, as fearing that he would discover him. He faith, that Talbot was not in the body, but coming after into the town, upon the very heels of the party.
Mr. Longland, agent at Leghorn, to secretary Thurloe.
I Writ you last nyht more at large. This morning arryved a bark from Tunis in 6 dayes, gives newes, that general Blak was departed thence two dayes befor; but whither was not known. Som say for Tripoly, but I rather beleiv he is gon for som place of Cristendom, in regard he was in want of bread. It seems the dy or king of Tunis would com to no agreement, nor giv no manner of satisfaction for the injuryes don our nation, but rather incenct and increast 'um by telling or sending the general word, if he would fyht, he should send his men ashore, and they wer redy for 'um. By what I understand from others, and by discourse with this bark, for letters from the fleet I hav non) the general intends to send the consul of Tunis (a discreet gentleman, one mr. Browne nowe aboard his fleete) with a frigat for Constantinople, to lament to the great Turk of the dy, which may hapily mak them repent theyr insolent behaviour; for what els was it, to shoot at our skiss going a shore, as is reported ? 5000 Turkes keepe al that great country in subjection. This is what occurs. The fleet's want of bread maks me believ they ar gon ether for Naples, Trapana, or Callari. I am,
Monsieur Minard to Bordeaux, the French embassador in England.
It is a week ago since your father went to take the air at Ruell, where he is at present. I went thither on wednesday last with your letters of the 1st of this month, wherewith he remained very well satisfied, and in great impatience to know the consequence; but through misfortune the English post is not yet arrived. He sent me presently with your letter for his eminence to Bois de Vincennes, where I could not speak with his eminence myself, by reason that the queen was newly arrived there; so that I was sain to deliver them to the captain of the guard. By the next your lordship may expect an answer. It will be this week first before his eminence doth return to this city.
Cardinal Mazarin to Bordeaux, the French embassador in England.
I see by your last letter, which is of the first of this month, that they do still dally with you in the place where you are, with the same artifices, which they have used for a long while together, framing continually new difficulties, having no mind to conclude. Some days since they would write nothing of the most essential articles of the whole treaty, although they do confess the same to be just: now you write me word, that they are willing to add to it the word presentment, which would render it useless, and if one may say so, ridiculous; and the most that I find in it is, that they say, that it is you that have proposed unto them for expedients the most part of the things, which have been, and which are in contest between them and us; and that when they have accepted of them, they did admire that you would not agree unto them the next day. And in truth, they have some reason to complain of that, but that is none of our fault; on the contrary, if you had kept yourself firm and constant, to what we writ you from hence, either the business had been finished e're now, or else you had been returned back into this kingdom long since, whereby we had received less prejudice than by the delay, which hath been used in the negotiation, without concluding any thing. I am sorry to see, that we cannot doubt of their ill intention, by the care which they take to leave some tail in the treaty, which will give them an opportunity to assist our enemies, and to do us harm, when they shall think fit, with some likelihood of justice, that the same was permitted to them by the treaty.
In short, there is no better witness than yourself of what we have suffered hitherto for want of concluding a good accommodation, and to infuse this into the mind of the lord protector, that we do act sincerely. I do again reply unto you, and so you signify unto him, that if so be the article that is in contest (besides that there is not an example of the like dispute in any treaty that was ever made) were not the fundamental point of the whole treaty, I had, and still would employ my whole credit with his majesty to depart from it, in the conjuncture of all those rumours and reports, which have passed in England, to the end, that it may serve to declare more and more to the protector the desire, which we have here to live with him in a perfect amity, and that we are not to be persuaded to be interested in all those attempts, which are made to weaken his authority.
I desire you only, whether that you conclude, or whether that you return, to take an occasion to declare to them, that we would never hearken here, directly or indirectly, to any propositions of commotions in England. This I believe the lord protector will do us so much right as to give credit unto, since we never meddled nor engaged in any thing to his prejudice hitherto.
Major general Boteler to secretary Thurloe.
Notwithstanding that information I had against sir Seymour Pile (a coppy whereof I sent you by the last post) and the confidence of the prizoner to wittness the same to his face, yet I thinke it will prove utterly false. For I have examined severall credible persons that do affirme, and are ready to make oath, that sir Seymour was in bedd at that very howre, and stirred not out of the house further then to church all the day before. Also I have sent to the sheriff to examine those prizoners now in Sarum, that my prizoner saies were at the rendezvous with sir Seymour; and they deny that they saw him, or heard of his being there: and I now feare the ground of my information was hopes of liberty to the informant thereupon; yet I have taken very good bayle for sir Seymour his forthcominge. I writt to you a week since, to know, if you might have any thing against one collonel Bennett (formerly of the king's party) whom I secured upon suspition, and would willingly let goe free, if I knew his highness's pleasure therein. I have now sent me an inventory of mr. Lucas his personall estate, which I gott two honest men of the towne to take with an officer of myne. I shall send it up to you some time by a messenger, it being of too great a bulke for a letter. I have employed two very honest men to go up and downe the countrey, and bespeake such as may be fit matter for jurors at Sarum; and monday and tuesday severall honest gentlemen will be with the sheriffe and myselfe at Sarum, to direct and correct us therein; and, indeed, his facileness, and my unacquaintance with the countrey, made me thinke of this course. The next time you shall write any commands to me, you may please to direct them to me at Salisbury, where, and wheresoever else I shall be, I am,
William Sheldrake to secretary Thurloe.
May it please your honour,
Since my last, I have visited some freinds at Norwich and elsewhere, and finde, that malignants are exceedingly exasperated every where, and my L. P. whoe, while their hopefull parliament sate was very good with them, is now much undervalued by them; and some are not backward to talke broadly of my lord; insoemuch, that as I heare two men are committed for words against my lord. What the words, or how considerable the men are, I cannot tell. The godly party are generally well satisfyd, and the 5th monarchy men alsoe, till the imprisonment of Harrison and Rich, at which they seeme to be much amazed, and many alsoe good men not of their judgement wonder at it, that (as they say) my lord should imprison such men without a cause. But the misery is, that all will be statesmen, and meddle to judge at such a distance, whether they know the truth or circumstances of any thinge or noe; and as I have had occasion to discourse with any of them, I finde they are as easily taken off from their censures as may be.
How our parliament men behave themselves at home, I cannot tell; but they would not be drawne to act publiquely about the assessments by any meanes, but openly declined it; which, if all the rest had done, might have brought a great inconvenience uppon us.
The commissioners for assessments, when they mett about it, (whether it was suggested by any of our parliament men, or noe, I know not) were ready to putt it to vote, whether they should act or noe; but they resolved to act, and then, whether their warrants should be to desire or require; and the reason was this, because it was only an order of my lord's and the counsell, and noe ordinance; for said some, my lord will not meddle with the legislative power himselfe, but put it uppon us, and wee must by action establish it a lawe, and soe may be sued, and may prove a ship-mony-cause. But they overcame it, and are in a readyness and posture of peacable action; and here is amongst us noe other account, but quietly to pay it. Here is much enquiry about the militia, and many wonder, why it goes not on; for wee seeme soe naked and unfitt, uppon occasion, to doe any service. Here is much speakinge about sir John Hubbart's being of the counsell, &c. There was in the list for our county, captaine Steward put in for the foot; but he desires to be in the horse; and indeed I beleive he will doe rather better service for the horse. Major general Skippon knows the man, and his usefullness. My most humble service presented, I rest,
Brienne, to Bordeaux, the French embassador in England.
By the copy of the order, which was sent to the duke of Vendome, you will see how the officers of the admiralty did exceed that, which was sent them first for the shutting of the ports of this kingdom; in pursuance whereof they had proceeded to the seizure of foreign ships, namely, of those of the English, as if it had been to have counterpoised the prizes, which have been taken from the French in the place; whereas his majesty's intention did extend no farther, than to hinder a great number of his subjects from sheltring themselves aboard of strangers ships, to avoid the service which his majesty doth desire from them. By this order you will see clearly, that we have no intention to make any breach. This you are to make use of, in the place where you are, to finish that which you have begun, if it be possible to be done. I do expect with impatience to hear from you. Quesnoy hath been relieved. The Spaniards, with the loss of their reputation, are retreated out of the territories of the duke of Modena; and it is to be believed, that that which the king told so handsomly and firmly to the lords of the parliament, will cause their assemblies to cease; which they began under pretence to examine the edicts, though it be feared they treated of other affairs. This was a master piece, and I hope it will take the effect, which is expected; at least the wifest and greatest part of the officers of the campaign do declare, that men ought to obey it. We have just now received advice, that Blake hath order to join with the fleet of Spain. I pray inform yourself, and advise us of it.
A letter of information to major general Lambert.
Yesterday I gave your lordshipp an account of ten gentlemen, who travelled southward, all well mounted and armed. Since then I tooke my horse, and scouted about the country, to finde out the younge tinker, who gave my friend notice of it. Late last night I found him; he is a subtil and crasty younge man, at times pretending much simplicity, but one of a notable dexterity in all sorts of games, as dice, &c. and knavery. He hath frequented all the gentlemen's houses westward from hence; and I perceive hath run with them on huntinge, and hath been kindly received into their houses; and there hath of late fixed their armes for them, and hath knowne of their late meetings, as he broadly hinted unto me before Michael Dawson and his wife. He gave me a distinct account of several of those gentlemen. He particularly nominated Ramsden of Langleyhall, sir John Key, major Beaumont of Whitleyhall, sir John Armitage of Kirleas-newhall, at whose house they all were wednesday evening. There were two or three Lancashire gentlemen, which the informant hath seene at sir John Key's, and are his kinsmen. There were also three with vizards upon their faces; one he fully described, having seen his face bare, the wind blowing off his hood; he was very tall, of a black visage, full lipped, a longe arme, carrying one sword drawne in his hand, and another hanging by his side; he had many side pistolls about him, and under his coate privy armes; for drawing forth one pistoll, he heard it jarre and rattle upon the armour. They enquired for Stumpe-crosse and (having made diligent search) they did not call at Battleshall, but went further; it's probable to a house of Ramsden's, not farre from Ferry-briggs. 'Tis plain, our westerne gentlemen, and those of Lancashire, were a guard to those three with vizards. Jack, said sir John Key to the tinker, keep a good tongue in your head; and he with others gave him 6 or 7 shillings; and indeed, had not the tinker gott a little ale, he would not have opened his budgett soe freely. I perceive he cannot easily be compelled to any informations. I did promise to write to col. Lilburne for him, that he might be a trooper, which he kindly embraced, and hath promised this day to goe towards him, and I have given the col. his further information; and alsoe that the tinker overheard one of them saying to sir John Armitage, we will be at the house back againe next tuesday. He further told me, that as any of the knights came by him, who had the drawn sword, they putt of their hatts, and did him honour ('twas the tinker's owne expression.) They keepe noe high way, they are exceeding well mounted, and ride in the dead of the night. I have no more at present. What I can further gather shall be speedily sent to your lordshipp by,
The examination of Thomas Sacheverell, of Baliscott in the county of Oxford, gentleman, taken before me major Richard Creed, the day and year abovewritten.
Saith, that about the 10th of February last past, one mr. Beeston, of NewCollege in Oxford, did send a letter to the said Sacheverell, desiring that he would meet him at Great-Tue; and there did desire the said Sacheverell to take into his house to sojourn one, that he said his name was Standley, a Kentish man, being some what tall, and of a spare visage, and of a brown hair, and the said gentleman did also name himself Standley, and went by that name; and the said gentleman did goe some time to Banbury and elsewhere. He did meet at Banbury mr. Walker, a captain formerly on the king's side, and sir Thomas Chamberlayne was in the same roome with the said captain, and two others. The said Standley did send out one of his servants several times into Hampshire, as this examinate conceived, and at the return of the said servant, he brought word of the rising at Salisbury, and that the assize was over at Winchester, at which the said Standley was very merry. All the time that he continued at the said Sacheverell's house, he was very full of money, and very generous. And Sacheverell faith further, that three days after he heard of the rising at Salisbury, he went towards Hampshire, and staid by the way at mrs. Oldife's at Whitford, and so went forward. At the time of the said Standley's being at the house of the said Sacheverell, major Moore and Martin Justin came to the said Standley, and were in company with him, both having been of the King's army formerly. At the going away of the said Standley, he changed his name, and said, he was the son of esq; Wallop in Hampshire; but the said Beeston said, that he was the son and heir of the said esq; Wallop; which Beeston did keep the said esquire's son company, for the most part, whilst he lay at the house of the said Sacheverell. And he faith, that the said esquire's son was given to ranting and drinking sometimes. And further saith, that he had a case of horse pistols with holsters, that he did fee; and had two servants to attend him, and four horses; and mr. Beeston had two horses.
The second examination of mr. John Saintloe, taken March 31, 1655. [By secretary Thurloe]
That the chaplain of the marquiss of Hertford had been oftentimes at mr. Penruddock's of late, and mr. Penruddock told him, that he had had much correspondence with him about the rising; and that his chaplain was to be with him upon the saturday night before the rising, and by him was to learn from the marquis of Hertford, what strength he would bring, and how the business was to be managed. And faith, that the lord Winchelsea was to rise in Kent, and to keep Rochester, and after to seize upon Colchester, where a great party was to rise with him. And this he said the marquiss of Hertford had sent him notice of.
That there was a great meeting at Salisbury, either at the lady Phillips her house, or at the King's-arms, where was the same mr. Penruddock, mr. Reeves, mr. Grove, mr. Mompesson, mr. Greene junior, of Meere in Wilts, and some others, concerning the general rising. And there they had directions what to do from the lady Phillips, who came from London a little before, and had often been in France and other parts beyond the seas with the queen. This was told him by mr. Penruddock. And said, that the day for the geneal rising was agreed on there.
He faith, that he was told by mr. Penruddock, that one captain Twyne, who lives near Blandford, was engaged; and also captain Kirles, of Woodcuts in Dorsetshire; as also mr. Robert Freake, of Upway in Dorsetshire.
Informations against sir Henry Berkeley of Yerlington, William Vigar, the rich usurer of Yerlington, and Francis Swanton, attorney of Wintanton, and steward to the said sir Henry Berkeley, touching the late insurrection.
1. Sir Henry Berkeley living 25 miles from Salisbury, upon that very monday that the judges were surprised by the late rebels, on that very monday about eleven of the clock at night, had one that came riding post to his house at Yerlington, where he was such a stranger to the house, that being before the door, he did not know it, but asked John Bowen then of Yerlington, which was sir Henry Berkeley's house; and when he had told him it was just before him, yet he was such a stranger, that he knew not before he asked the said John Bowen, which was the way unto the house. If one Dugdale, mr. Dugdale's son of Evercruch, Morris Berkeley, son to the said Henry, Barnard, now of South Cadbury, and the late ejected incumbent in the rectory of Erlington, who was ejected for being in arms for the late king, together with every party, whom they should affirm the said man to be, who then came riding post, were examined apart, either they would unanimously conclude the man to come at that time of the night from the rebels; or by their difference and disagreement in their relations, it would appear, that this messenger came to him from the rebels.
2. The said sir Henry Berkley told William Ponter of Erlington, yeoman, which William had formerly spoke against the said sir Henry's burying of his son Harry, a captain unto the late king, with his sword upon his hearse, captain-wife, late at night, that the said William Ponter was an old rogue, and had matched in the family of a company of round-headed rogues; but he hoped now the times would turn, and then he would make him rue for it. This he spake not long before the insurrection.
3. The said sir Henry Berkley did shelter and obscure continually at his house, and doth yet, one Dugdale, the son of one doctor Dugdale, of Evercruch, against whom he knew warrants to be issued forth from my lord chief justice Rolls, to apprehend him on suspicion for murthering of a parliament trooper at Compton in somersetshire, who was there murthered barbarously in the night; and the said Dugdale, sheltered by the said sir Henry, never could be apprehended; and that blood yet remains unrevenged.
Informations against William Vigar, the rich usurer of Yerlington.
1. The said William having a musket taken from him, being an old cavalier, by John Andrews of Yerlington, according to his order from captain Hilliard, at the time when the Scots were going to Worcester, the said William, a little before the insurrection brake forth, came to John Andrews, saying, I will now have my musket again; the time is now come, that I will make thee bring my musket again: a little before the rising.
2. The said William Vigar, a little before the insurrection, when his highness forbad all cudgel-playing, &c. to inhibit concourse of people, caused a stage to be erected in Yerlington for cudgel-playing; which when John Andrews, with the tything man, by virtue of a warrant from a justice of the peace, had pulled down, the said William caused to be set up again, and said, where is he, I say he, that came with the tythingman to pull down the stage: he had best be quiet, or I will stick close to him.
3. The said William Vigar about the same time said to John Andrews, come, come, we must have a government. To whom the said John Andrews replied, why, we have a government, have we not? To whom the said William, turning him about scornfully, cried, hum! and so went away,
Informations against Francis Swanton.
1. A Little before the insurrection, he threatned mr. Dorington, rector of Yerlington, who was put in by the committee of Somerset and the committee of plundered ministers, that he would ere long make him run the country.
3. The said Swanton, a little before the late insurrection, was ost seen in great Surry, with one William Strode of Wintanton, who was actually found in the last insurrection, and for that cast into Exeter goal.
4. Swanton, and Berkeley, and Rydout, William Vigar's son-in-law, and one Robert Parry, have got mr. Dorington's servant, who was a chief witness, to run away; and he hath been seen with many of them. This argues, they have done that which they fear should come to light.
5. These articles have been hitherto obstructed in their passage; and the men, hearing of it, grow insolent; but were they taken up, we believe others; that are of the godly party, who are now daunted because they think it will be vain to speak, will speak the fulness of their knowledge.
The protector's letter to baron Thorpe and serjeant Glyn.
Right trusty and right well beloved, we greet you well;
Whereas upon occasion of the late insurrection and rebellion in several parts of this nation (which through the blessing of God is suppressed) we find it necessary to advise with you concerning some proceedings to be had against the persons engaged therein; you are therefore, as soon as you have made an end of the circuit, to repair up hither with all convenient speed; wherein we would not have you fail, in respect our service is very much concerned therein.
To his highness Oliver, lord protector of the commonwealth of England, Scotland, and Ireland, &c.
That at Sarum, your petitioner being seduced into the late unhappy engagement against the publique peace of your highness government of this commonwealth, but being truly sensible of the evil of such proceedings, withdrew himselfe from the party of Sherborne, upon monday night, and voluntarily delivered himselfe a prisoner to major Hansey, submitting to your highness mercy for this your petitioner's first offence.
The premisses considered, your petitioner humbly prayeth, that your highness favour and mercy may be extended, to pardon the offence of your petitioner, whoe hopes, that God will enable him for the future, foe to behave himselfe, as to wipe of the memory of his transgression, by your petitioner's faithfull endeavours to serve your highness in the government of this commonwealth.