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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April (3 of 6)
Mr. Thomas Herbert, clerk of the council in Ireland, to secretary Thurloe.
I am commanded by the lord deputy and councel, to acquaint you, that colonel William Eyres, who hath been now full 11 weekes a prisoner in the custody of the sergeant at armes, is (through his impatience of that restraint) grown very much distempered both in body and mind; and doth earnestly importune their lordships, that hee may bee either brought to a triall for what shal bee laid to his charge, or else permitted (upon sufficient bayle) to follow colonel Venables in his voyage. But they, not willing to determine any thing concerning him, untill directions from his highnes bee given therein, their lordships doe desire, you would move his highnes and councel in this matter, and procure that the pleasure of his highnes may bee signified, as to what further proceedings shal bee thought fitt to bee had against him, either as to a triall here, or for permitting him to passe to colonel Venables, as is desired.
There is now also in restraint (and upon the same account) one colonell Treswell, concerning whom it is likewise desired, that his highnes commands might bee received, the
gentleman being as desirous as the other to come to a speedy triall and determination in
the matter hee stands charged with. For resolutions in both which cases, his lordship
and the councel here request your care and effectuall remembrance; and when obtained,
that speedy intimation may thereof bee given. Not having further at present to trouble
you with, I remaine,
Dublin, April 11,
The examination of mr. Francis Smith, alias Carrington, taken before captain William Hubbert, at Leicester, April 11, 1655.
That the said mr. Smith hath never seen mr. Moore (living in the dairy-house at Newstead in the county of Nottingham) save only twice; the first time that the said mr. Smith saw him was at the said mr. Smith's in Newstead house about six weeks agone, and never saw him from that time, 'till sunday last, that the said mr. Smith remembers. And there being a new horse collar found in the house of the said Moore, and the said mr. Smith being asked, whether he knew the collar, or ever had seen it before, saith, he never saw it before sunday last. And it being further asked, where mr. Smith was about thursday the 8th of March, he the said mr. Smith at present doth not remember.
The city of NEW SARUM. The information of James Trasey of Meere in the county of Wilts, tallowchandler, taken the 11th of April, 1655. before John Ivy and Francis Dove, gentlemen, two of the justices of the peace for the city aforesaid.
Saith, that upon friday before the insurrection was at Salisbury, he this informant was at esquire Willoughby's house at Knoyle, where there came in a gentleman, that had rode very hard that morning, his horse much sweating, who enquired earnestly for mr. Willoughby; and as soon as mr. Willoughby came down to the gentleman, he told him, that he had a letter to be carried to mr. Richard Greene, the younger, of Meere; to whom mr. Willoughby answered, here was a man, meaning this informant, should carry it, lest the letter should be delivered to any other besides young mr. Greene's hands: and this informant going forth of that room into a cellar, to hang up the candles, which he this informant brought in that morning, saith, that when he came back again, the letter was sent away by one, that must bring an answer, but who it was this informant knoweth not, whether by a messenger hired, or by one of mr. Willoughby's servants. And this informant doth verily believe it was one John Sheppard, formerly dwelling in Meere, that did bring in the letter into mr. Willoughby's house; but cannot speak that of a certainty, because it was a long time since that the said Sheppard was at Meere, in the sight of this informant. And this informant further saith, that the gentleman did not stay for an answer, but as soon as the messenger was gone with the letter, the gentleman took his horse and rode away again. And further this informant saith not.
Roger Hill to secretary Thurloe.
I Presume, that mr. attorney generall doeth upon all occasions give you an accompt of our proceedings heere. I find noething to the contrarie, why all things should not goe according to your expectation in the busynes we are now upon. We find in this place a great and full appearance, besydes the lord commissioner Lysle, the lord chief justice Rolle, baron Nicholas, justice Wyndham, mr. serjeant Glyn, and mr. serjeant Steele, there are of Hampshire, Wiltshire, and Dorsetshire, commissioners of oyer and terminer about twelve or thirteene. Heere appeared about twentie justices of the peace of this countie; three and thirty gentlemen, that were returned of the grand jury; three and twenty of them were sworne. I doe heartiely wish, that we had found here some of those that are accompted the most considerable persons, that appeared in the late insurrection, this being the place, where they shewed themselfes. Such as we have heere, that we intend to proceed against for treason, are John Lucas, John Deane, Henry Zouch, Edward Zouch, Henry Lawrence, John Fryer, John Thorpe, John Kensey, and Edward Macke. The rest we shall indict for highwaymen and horse stealers. The evidence will not set them higher. Wagstaffe, sir Henry Moore, Thomas Momperson, Robert Mason, Boles, commonly called lieutenant col. Boles, Gabriel Pyle, sir John Moore, and about 9 or 10 more of the meaner sort, which are fled, we intend to indict in order to be utlawed. Some of that crew, whom we find will be good witnesses, we shall forbeare to prosecute for the present. The proofes we find very lame, our busynes haveinge not bene soe well prepared for us, as it might have bene; we shall be the more carefull and industrious to make up what is short. I beleive, that many of the prisoners will confesse the indictments, and referre themselves to the mercye of his highnes. This is all the accompt he can give you at present, that is,
The grand jury have this morneing done their part, in finding the bill against John Lucas, Wagstaffe, and four more, that are to be outlawed. The evidence hath bene given to the pety jury against Lucas: it spent four houres, and was very cleere and full against him, who made a very meane defence. He desired counsell might be assigned him, but could not tell for what. I doubt not, but he will be found guilty by that jury within an houre or two, although I did not like some of the jurors questions.
At a tryall of oyer and terminer and generall gaole delivery, held April 11, 1655.
Sir Benjamin Wright to secretary Thurloe.
Your letter of 15th of Feb. came to my hands but the third of this month. It hath layne longer then ordinaryly on the way: by it I perceive, that your honor has received my severall letters, and of his highnes's favourable acceptance of my zeale and affection to his service, and to my native country; most pleasing and welcome newes unto mee. And therefore, obeying your commands, I write this, and will continue correspondinge with your honor, unlesse I receive your order to the contrary, dureing my abode in this court; though I know, that I put myselfe into an assured danger of imprisonment, if not of looseing my life, in case any of my letters unto your honor should fall into the hands of these ministers, as in my former I have written you: but I depend and build my safety upon the promise your honor gave unto my brother, as he writt me, that his highnes would take me into his protection, and free me of any danger I might fall into. But my danger is, that before it can come to his highnesse notice, so suddayne a resolution may be taken agaynst me heere, that my head may be cutt off, before his highnes can have notice of my being in prison; and then, although he would take satisfaction for me, by cutting off other heades ther, none would be found to fitt my shoulders.
This, Sir, I leave to his highnesse and his discreete councell's consideration, for don Alonso de Cardenas ther will not be backeward, to search out what correspondent you have heere. What doth your honor thinke in sending to me his highnes etter of credencie? the which if you command me to keepe private, I shall not make it knowne to any man liveing, until I finde my selfe in danger of being imprisoned, or looseing my life, by some secrett command, as I have knowne some hath, being once suspected by this state for intelligencers.
As for your fleete sent out under the command of general Penn, it hath, as yow say in your letter, occasioned many imaginations and consults heere, whether it may be gone. Some say, to the island of Santo Domingo, others, to the Havana, others to Buenos Ayres en el Rio de la Plata, or to the island of San Lorenço. These last is confessed will cause no breach, being beyond the equinoctiall line, but not the other too places, unless it be because they finde themselves heere soe weake, and soe environed with enemies on all sides, that they must passe by and put up any thinge that yow will doe against them. And although yow may have no intention to medle with ther plate-fleet, now dayly expected from the Indias, yet they dare not assure themselves therof; and certaynely, yf it be not come out of the Havana before they shall receive advize of your fleete goeinge upon those coasts, they will not adventure to put to sea, wherby this king's affayrs wil be mightely hindered, for all his hopes are upon the monies expected by the fleete. They have heere bin jealous of your sendinge your fleete to the West-Indias these many months, and so long since gave their orders to all the porte townes in the Indias, to provide themselves with all things necessary for ther defence, and to receive yow. Ought else they cannot doe; for shippinge to encounter with yours they have not, as supposeing themselves the best Christians, they trust much in God's protection, hopeing that yow will finde both windes, seas, and the Indians themselves redy to hinder your disembarkeinge ther. The fleete, that yeerely useth to goe from Spaigne to the Indias is commanded to departe in all this month from Cadiz. In the meane time some advize may come of what your fleete hath attempted, and accordingly they will governe themselvs in ther designes. It seems yow expect from hence an extraordinarie ambassador. It hath bin said heere these many months, that the marquess de Leyden was to goe from Flanders. These people looseth themselves by delayinge too long, and I beleeve, that they are led away with some vayne report of an appearance of niew trobles in England; for within these 3 dayes came advice from France, that the king of Scotts was embarked for England, and that Hull was to be delivered up to him, and Farfax to rayse an armie for him. Of this I thought fitt to give your honor advize, though I presume it is needlesse more then to lett yow know, that though these people be no Jewes, yett they live contentedly, in hopes of the comeing of a faviour, for to free them out of ther many miseries, that they have plunged themselves into for want of good government.
They have now began ther cortes or parliament; the 7th of this month was the first day of meeteing in the king's pallace, his majestie present as usually, the secretary of the Reyno read the propositiones, the which were to let them know, the great expence his majestie hath bin at these many yeeres, to defend himselfe agaynst his home and forraigne enemies; and that God had bin pleased to assist him for the retakeing from the French Barcelona, and other severall townes of importance in Flanders; and also of his want of monies to prosecute the warre, wherby to oblige his enemies to an honorable peace. Wherfore he hopes, that they would finde some meanes to assist him with the needfull; and that it might be with the lesse burthen possible to his poor subjects. Wee shall now soone see what course they will take to supplie his majestie's wants.
The sweareinge of the prinçesa was not in the propositiones, as it was once resolved on. The queen, it seemeth, hath hindered it; yet her majestie proveth not with childe. God graunt shee may, and of a sonne, for their majestie's comforts, and good of ther kingdoms. Within three daies they goe both to Aranxues, a house they have 7 leagues off. Ther they will remayne some 20 dayes, for the heates comeing in, it is unhealthfull. In my former letters, I have given your honor notice of the imprisoning of an alcade de corte for severall sowle accusations layd and proved agaynst him; yet because he was a judge, the rest of his companions hath favoured, all possible they have bin able, his cause; but at last, by expresse command from the kinge, they have given a sentence, but not yett published, nor wil be, 'till the kinge is gone out of Madrid to Aranxues; so wee know not certaynely what it is. The reporte is, that he is condemned to perpetuall imprisonment, and incapable of any honors or publicke employments; the false wittnesses, that he had made use of, to the gallies for ther lives.
Sir, I must now beseech your honor to doe me the favour, as to present my most humble thankefullnesse to his highnesse for the letter he hath vouchsafed to write to this kinge in my behalfe, that satisfaction may be given me for what his majestie is oweing unto me; the which said letter, beareing date the 23d of February, I received the 6th present; and after makeing don Luis de Haro acquainted therwith, and desireing his leave to give it, I gave it the 7th into his majestie's hands; and I hope it will move him to command, that satisfaction be given me, whereof I shall give your honor an account, that you may know what effect his highnes letters doth worke with this kinge and his ministers. To your honor also I give most hearty and humble thanks, that you have bin pleased to procure the said letter for me; and I beseech yow to continue me in your favours. I am resolved to speake to all the counsellors of state, and to give to each one my just demands in writeing.
The difference 'twixtt Spaigne and Genoua is not yet agreed on; and it is doubted, that they may at laste breake out into a warre. The ambassador speaketh of goeing from hence. The Portugueses maketh dayly incursions into this kingdome, and have lately carried away above sixe thousand head of cattle, great and small, out of Estramadura. He hath no armie of importance; so beseegeth no towne; neither have we souldiers sufficient in the frontiers to hinder him from makeing incursiones both by Badaxos and Cividad Rodrigo. Sir, being you command me to write, I finde that I am obliged to let yow know what here passeth, wherby yow may be capable of the inclination or disposition of these people to his highnes good succes, though peradventure they have no great grounds for what they reporte; it is, that his highnes hath bin pleased to give liberty of conscience to the roman catholicks in England; that don Alonso Cardenas hath writt it to this kinge. It is not credible how great joy and contentment all men of all sortes and conditions have received therat, extolling his highnes, and praying for his good successes, and truly I thinke from their very heartes. And so doth, sir, &c.
The former written is the copie of my letter to your honor, sent by the way of
France, under cover to my brother Nathan Wright; but in regard yesterday came
advice, that the French had proclaymed a warre agaynst England, and made an arrest on
all English men's goods in France, I feare that my said letter may not finde passage that
way. Wherefore I thought fitt to send to your honor its coppie by a ship goeing from
Bilbua to London. I have little more to ad therunto, more then to lett yow know,
that I have bin informed this day, that the differences 'twixtt Spaigne and Genoua are in
a maner agreed on. God graunt they be; for it will be good for both. In my last
I tould your honor, that I would visitt the councellors of state, as I have done, thinkeinge,
that his majestie would have remitted his highnes letter to that councell, whether indeed
it ought to have gone; but he hath remitted it to don Luis de Haro, to be seene in
his junta, from whence I expect no good effect, beinge now 11 dayes since, and hath
not bin seene, by my vissiteinge of them. I perceive, yow will receive no extraordinary
ambassadour from hence as yett, and some other things not sit to trust to paper. I beleeve
that yow are both upon your close guards; and I assure myselfe, that yow will make the
best use of them, and not leave to honor with your commands
Madrid, April 22, 1655. [N. S.]
Bordeaux, the French embassador in England, to his father.
I have received within these two days your two letters of the 14th and 17th, and as many from the earl of Brienne, all which I intend to answer by his express, who shall go away to night or to morrow morning at the farthest, time enough to get to Paris before the post, who will bring you this. You will see by my letters, that I had pacified the noise, which the general seizure had occasioned, before ever I knew that it was taken off; and that I have accomplished, as well the orders of the court, as those of his eminence, in the conference I had yesterday with my commissioners, to whom I shewed the dispatches of the court, and especially that of his eminence, and gave full assurance, that although we should enter into a war, there should be kept neither English ships nor goods. This discourse was held in pursuance of a declaration of rupture made by them, to give me satisfaction upon the article of enemies, so that it cannot be attributed to meanness of spirit, but to generosity; and I believe I have acted according to the intention of my superiors in all the sequence of this accident, which hath delayed the conclusion of the treaty for some days; yet it is not so, that although this obstacle be removed, that the conclusion of the treaty can be warranted, but at least I have been able to see clearly into the designs of this government.
There can be nothing added to the protestations, which they made unto me yesterday, of the protector's inclination to the peace; however, I do not yet find, that their proceeding doth correspond with it; there is still some jealousy to be had of the business. I fear that the protector hath still a mind to delay us. We have brought it thus far already, there want now but two words to finish it, which my commissioners cannot contradict.
I was this night to have received a negative or an affirmative resolution, but it would be contrary to their custom, if the same were given me so speedily; and likewise I did not think sit to precipitate the execution of my orders, but to delay them for some time.
Capt. Unton Croke to secretary Thurloe.
I Received yours at Exceter on saturday last, and accordingly repayred to Sarum to attend the judges, where I at present am. You were pleased to putt mee in hopes, that his highnes might bee intreated for the sparing of those 5 persons I wrote about, and promised me your assistance in promoving my request. Sir, I doe agayne intreate your intercession, and that if it be possible, by the very next post I may be ascertained, whether there is a possibility of their reprievall. One of them is Wake, 2 brothers, whose names are Colliers. I profess I have forgot the others names, but they are all 5 contemptible per sons; yet by reason of my engagement, I cannot but continue my importunitie, that they might bee spared. Sir, I am very tedious with you, but I hope you will pardon,
Sarum, April 12,
Col. Morley to secretary Thurloe.
Perceivinge by his highnesse letters to the justices of this county for the settinge of watches, that the greatest danger was upon the sea-coasts, I gave private directions to John Mullet, an officer of the customes in this county, to search diligently in all vessels for letters and papers, and more especially in any vessel, that should bringe over from France one Rose of Lewes, who often goes betweene England and France, and is suspected to be a papist; and this morninge I received a letter from Mullet with the severall letters and papers heerwith sent you. Those that are open were opened by him, for beinge directed to persons of greate honor and quality, I durst not have adventured to have done any thing of that nature, haveinge no authority enablinge me thereunto. The gentleman that brought the letters from France, I suppose to be a papist, and one that is much employed by them. Whether the letters themselves may be of consequence worthy your perusall, I know not, but comeing thus to my hands, I held it my duty to dispatch them to you, as also mr. Anderton's examination, who will also attend you. I beseech your pardon for this impertinent troubling you, and that you will please not to communicate my letter. Soe I remaine
Glinde in Suffex, April
The examination of Robert Anderton, gentleman, taken before me April 12, 1655.
Saith, that he went out of England upon the eigth day of March last in a bark of Rye belonging to one Keyes living in that town, and that he entered into 200l. bond with the officers there to appear at Whitehall before the lord protector upon summons. He further saith, that he landed at Dieppe, and thence went the streight way to Paris; where he was employed in making up accounts with some merchants there, as also to attend sir Charles Hatton (there called the lord Hatton) for the signing of a deed for sale of a small parcel of lands lying in Northamptonshire, which he not obtaining, the examinate returned to Diepe the 7th day of this instant April, where he staid three days for his passage into England. Being willing to take the first opportunity of returning because of the embargo in France, he came away in a French shallop, and landed at Sussex the 10th of this instant April. He further saith, that it is believed by the English at Diepe, that the embargo of the English vessels in France is like to be continued, and that this French shallop was sent out as a coy duck to fetch in more company, which he is the more induced to believe, because when the governor of Diepe had by proclamation upon monday or saturday last declared the king's order for the taking off the embargo, the lieutenant of the admiralty in that town immediately laid on a restraint upon all vessels as well English as others, by order of the duke de Vendosme high admiral of France, which restraint was to continue 'till 500 mariners were raised for the king of France his ships, which the examinate looked upon only as a pretence, because he did not see any course taken for the present levying of men. He further saith, that the duke of York was in Paris when he was there, and that he was in very great esteem with the French nobility and gentry; and that it was generally discoursed and believed in France, that the king of Scots was residing with his sister privately in the United Provinces of the Low Countries; and that the states challenging her for entertaining him, she denied his being there. He also saith, that he received these letters from the lord Aubigny's servant May about 8 or 9 days before he came from Paris, to be delivered as directed, and further to sollicite the business about the honor of Aubigny with the duke of Richmond according to the directions given him in writing.
Copy of the indictment of the rebels at Sarum.
The jurors for the lord protector of the commonwealth of England, Scotland, and Ireland, and the dominions thereunto belonging, upon their oaths do present, that A, B, C, D, &c. together with a great number of other men to the number of two hundred to the said jurors yet unknown, as false rebels and traitors against the said lord protector and the government of the commonwealth aforesaid, not having the sear of God in their hearts, but being moved and seduced by the instigation of the devil; and their due obedience to the lord protector, and government of the commonwealth aforesaid, not in any wise regarding, but the same maliciously and despightfully contemning, and the laws of England not at all weighing, nor the penalties therein contained in any wise fearing, but maliciously and devilishly imagining, contriving, and endeavouring to bring the said lord protector and government into great hatred, ill will, and contempt with all the people the commonwealth aforesaid, and sedition, rebellion, and a miserable and bloody war within the said commonwealth to move, stir up, procure, cause, and levy; and also maliciously, wickedly, and devilishly, rebelliously, and traiterously, devising, plotting, intending, and with all their strength endeavouring the publick peace and common tranquillity of the commonwealth aforesaid, to disturb, and to stir up and raise force against the said lord protector and government of the said commonwealth, for the subversion and alteration of the same. They the said A, B, C, D, &c. together with the said two hundred rebels and traitors to the said jurors yet unknown, the better to effect and accomplish their said most wicked treasons, traiterous conspiracies, imaginations and intentions aforesaid, the 12th day of March, in the year of our Lord 1654, maliciously, rebelliously, and traiterously, at New Sarum aforesaid, in the county of Wilts aforesaid, and in divers other places within the same county, did arm and array themselves with trumpets, swords, pistols, pikes, guns, powder, leaden bullets, and other warlike, invasive and offensive weapons; and themselves being then and there so armed as aforesaid, in a warlike posture, and in the manner and form of an army, maliciously, suriously, rebelliously and traiterously, did then and there gather together, assemble, ride and march; and wickedly, devilishly, maliciously, rebelliously, and traiterously, then and there did plot, contrive, and endeavour to raise, incite, and stir up the people of England to rise, and together with them, the said A, B, C, D, &c. and the said two hundred rebels and traitors, to raise arms and force against the said lord protector and government aforesaid, for the subversion and alteration of the same; and also that they the said A, B, C, D, &c. together with the said other two hundred rebels and traitors, to the jurors unknown, being so assembled in a warlike posture, and arrayed and armed as aforesaid, a publick, open, cruel, and bloody war against the said lord protector and government of the commonwealth aforesaid, then, that is to say, the said 12th day of March, in the year of our Lord 1654. aforesaid, and divers other days and times afterward, at New Sarum aforesaid, in the county of Wilts aforesaid, and in divers other places, within the same county, wickedly, devilishly, maliciously, and traiterously, then and there did prepare, ordain, and levy, to the great disturbance of the publick peace and common tranquillity of the said commonwealth, to the great terror, affrightment and damage of the good people of England, and to the imminent danger and hazard of the subversion, alteration, and overthrow of the government of the said commonwealth, and of the raising, causing, and procuring sedition, rebellion, and a miserable destruction and bloody war there, and within all parts of the said commonwealth, to the great peril, danger, and disquietment of the said lord protector, to the evil and most pernicious example of all others in the like case offending, in manifest violation and contempt of the laws of England, against the due obedience of them the said A, B, C, D, &c. to the said lord protector and government of the said commonwealth, against the publick peace, and against the force of the statute in such case made and provided, &c. And also maliciously, devilishly, and traiterously conspiring, plotting, compassing, and imagining the death, destruction, and utter ruin of the said lord protector, and also wickedly, rebelliously, and traiterously intending, proposing, plotting, and endeavouring, by all the ways and means they could and might, to promote Charles Stuart, eldest son to Charles the late King of England, to be king and chief magistrate of England, Scotland, and Ireland, and of the dominions thereunto belonging, they the said A, B, &c. together with the other two hundred rebels and traitors, to the jurors unknown, being so assembled, armed, and arrayed, the 12th day of March 1654, at New Sarum in the county of Wilts aforesaid, the death, destruction and ruin of the said lord protector salfely, devilishly, rebelliously, traiterously, and of their set and forethought malice did intend, compass, imagine, and endeavour to execute and procure; and that they the said A, B, &c. together with the said other two hundred rebels and traitors unto the said jurors unknown, being so assembled, armed and arrayed as aforesaid, the 12th day of March, in the year aforesaid, at New Sarum aforesaid, and in other places within the aforesaid county, in further execution of their wicked, rebellious, and traiterous purposes, intentions, and imaginations aforesaid, wickedly, devilishly, maliciously, traiterously, and as false traitors against the said lord protector and government aforesaid, did with loud voices proclaim, declare, publish, and promote the said Charles Stewart, eldest son of the said late king, to be king and chief magistrate of England, Scotland, and Ireland, and the dominions thereunto belonging.
Attorney general Prideaux to secretary Thurloe.
I Received both yours of the 9th and 10th instant. Mack is already in the common goale, and the indictment drawne against him. The judges are all here. My lord com. Lisle, baron Nicholas, justice Wyndham, sergeant Glyn, and sergeant Steele, came all yesterday; my lord Rolle not till this morning about nyne of the clock: untill his comeing, it was not held convenient to have a publique meeting to agree upon the indictment, though sergeant Glynne approved it. What I doubted in my last proved true. After a pretty long debate amongst us all, that it might bee soe done as to satisfie all, it was at length agreed, it should bee only for leavying of warre; the reasons whereof I must acquaint yow with hereafter. I pressed to have it otherwise; but I must submitt to those that were to bee my judges. Though they were not soe inclined; yet rather then to make a difference in this greate service, were contented to submitt. Wee sate not till the afternoone, where was a good appearance of the commissioners and justices of peace; of the grand jury 32 appeared, whereof 23 were sworne. My lord chief justice intends to goe from us on fryday, and soe doeth mr. Justice Wyndham; but they say, they will meete us againe at Exceter: the rest intend to goe through. Collyer and Wastfield (whome yow sent downe) have appeared before me, and been examined, and prove to bee soe materiall witnesses, as wee had been lame without them; and indeed I was necessitated to respite proceedings against some of the prisoners, or else I could not have applyed this rebellious action to the most active persons; for though I could in generall prove there was a rebellion, yet that such persons were actors in it, I could not have done it, but by plowing with theire owne heyfars. But for the principall ones, we have not a thought of sparing them. For the highway men, they were soe cunning, as to confesse, they went after this party, thereby hoping to have drawne us on to accuse them for that, and soe not to have questioned them for the robbery; but having noe other evidence but their owne confessions, which they might deny at the tryall, wee thought fitt rather to proceed with them upon the other. For altering the manner of execution, it is not legally to bee done, but by warrant under the great seale of England; or if done by any other warrant, to bee pardoned afterwards. For mr. Harrison, it is true hee is here, and came downe at the same tyme wee did; and I feare one mr. Turner of the Middle Temple is likewise come; but not he, who was the late parliament man. I heare hee comes in relation to major Clerke, who is his brother-in-law. I cannot advise that to be done to mr. Harrison, as is mentioned in your letter; for I ame most confident, hee can doe his highnesse noe disservice, hee is soe inconsiderable. At this instant, the grand inquest have found the bill against Wagstaffe, Lucas, Bowle, Mompesson, Andrewes, and sir Henry Moore; and Lucas is now at the barre on his tryall. I rest hastily
Wee have been nigh 3 houres giving evidence against Lucas; the length of it was occasioned, because wee were necessitated to make proose of the first designe, the outrages in Salisbury, the proclayming the king at Blanford, and the routing them at Molton. His owne examination proved and acknowledged was sufficient in itself; besides diverse other witnesses applyed it to him. The evidence was full; the court gave full and cleare direction in point of law; wee have adjorned, and expect a verdict this afternoone; and then goe on with the rest.
Mr. Ja. Nutley to secretary Thurloe.
In obedience to your command signified by your letter of the 10th instant, I humbly certifie your honour, that the lord com. Lisle, my lord chief justice, baron Nicholas, mr. justice Wyndham, mr. serjeant Glynne, and mr. recorder, sate yesterday in the afternoone, when the charge was given by mr. justice Wyndham (23 being sworne of the grand inquest). wherein after his apologie of this unexpected call to that service, in regard of the personall concernment of my lord chief justice and mr. baron Nicholas in the businesse in hand, he proceeded to declare the nature of the horrid and unheard of crime in question; which as well by the common law, and the statute laws both ancient and moderne, was adjudged treason to leavy warre against the chiefe magistrate; aggravating the same with the circumstances of tyme, place, and persons of the judges; the delay of justice, and the damage of the people, and taking away the commissions from the judges. Hee likewise declared the great obligation lying on the people to his highnesse, for directing this offence to be tryed by commission in the ordinary legall way, and not by extraordinary commissions, as hee might have done in tymes of such imminent danger; wherein hee manifested his carefull desire to mainteyne the lawes. This day the bill is found by the grand inquest against Wagstaffe, sir Henry Moore, Lucas, Bowle, Andrewes and Mompesson; full evidence was given to the jury; and Lucas is at this instant at the barre, on his tryall for his life. I am called away, which putts mee on this hasty scribling, which I most humbly begg your honour to pardon, who am
Serjeant Glynne and attorney general Prideaux to secretary Thurloe.
At the instance of my lord chief justice Roll, wee are to present a request on his behalfe unto his highnesse, and wee conceave yourselfe the fittest to offer it. Hee is verie much troubled at the losse of his horses, which were taken from him by the cavalier party lately here at Salisbury. Hee hath sent to the souldiery in a legall way to demand a restitution of them; but theire answer is, that by the law of armes they belong unto them. The chiefe justice hath spoken with captaine Crooke (who is now here) about them; but hee sayes they are not in his power; and my lord Rolle pretends, that without haveing his horses, hee is not able to attend the service at Exceter. Sir, the thing is not of that value, that perchance other men would seeke for; yet since my lord chiefe justice thinkes fitt to presse for them, wee humbly conceave it may not bee unworthy my lord's taking notice of it, if hee soe please as to give order for restoring them unto him, though his highnesse should direct some course for satisfying the souldiers for them. Having thus intimated his request according to our promise unto him, wee crave leave to subscribe ourselves
Attorney general Prideaux to secretary Thurloe.
I gave you an accompt by the ordinary post, what passed 'till one a clock this afternoone; since which tyme the petty jury brought in theire verdict, and found Lucas guilty of high treason. After that, wee proceeded against three in the list (against whome wee had noe evidence to convict them of this rebellion) for robbery; and the petty jury found them all guilty. Then the grand Jury brought in billa vera for treason against Robert Mason, Thomas Curre, John Deane, Gabriell Pyle, John Saint Loe, and John Kensey; but as to sir John Moore, ignoramus. Of those, wee had only in custody Deane and Kensey. Deane was the only sonne and childe of his mother, a young man, whome some of the court and myselfe had a mind to have made an object of your mercy, and for that purpose did even woe him to have confessed the indictment; but it seemes the London counsell had otherwise prevayled with him, though his friends both in private and publique were desirous of it, and pressed him to it; but hee standing it out, wee proceeded to tryall, and the same petty jury, that were upon Lucas, went on them, and found them both guilty of high treason, and so wee closed this day between 8 and 9 at night. My lord chief justice Rolle went hence this afternoon; his sonne and his daughter being come hither, he went to his owne house with them. Wee shall put all the rest, against whome we intend to proceed, in one inditement; and soe we hope to make an end to morrow about noone, and the next day to beginne our journey towards Exceter, and to lodge at Dorchester on the sabbath day. Indeed I am somewhat troubled concerning Macke; I have examined him, and can discover noe more then what he hath informed you, and doe really beleeve hee knowes noe more; but having your positive order to proceed against him, wee cannot yet resolve what to doe. Wee know hee was the first that came in, and a very honest man of this town, that hath been active and faithfull, is very pressing to preserve him, declaring that he thinkes himself partly engaged, and the other hath merited, in that he hath discovered a greate number of pistolls and other armes, which hee thinks were designed for mischief, and by his only meanes, hath gotten them into his possession. Mr. Hill and mr. Graves present theire service unto you. Our great work wil be at Exceter, where the principall offenders are, and wee have concluded, as very necessary, to carry severall witnesses from hence and from Blanford to Exceter, where wee must bee able to make appeare the severall actings in those places, as to the whole designe. And I shall (with your leave) make bold with your steward to give charges to some honest poore men, that must be carryed thither as witnesses, as the serjeant at Blanford, who absolutly refused to proclaym the king, and some such like honest people. Wee have now (I hope) broken the ice, and shall with less difficulty (I also hope) wade thro' the rest. The confessions made by Macke cannot be made use of, because taken at London, and none heere to make oath of it; and I am afraid wee shall be at the like losse at Exeter by those taken by generall Disbrow; for wee make use of none but such as wee sweare a justice to the truth of them. I shall conclude, signeing myself
Sollicitor general Ellys to the protector.
May it please your highnes,
In obedience to your commands, mr. Aylisse and myselfe are come to Grantham, intending to have been att Yorke on friday next, but unexpectedly, about 12 of the clocke this night, I received the inclosed by mr. Barnard, whoe was appointed to sollicit this businesse (whome I find to bee very ready and willing to promote your highnes service in all things) whoe having been upon the place, and spoken both with the judges and col. Lilburne, is able to give you the best accompt how your affaires stand. Therefore I have intreated him to repaire to you with all speed, knowing nothing more then what the inclosed and hee hath imparted to mee: but upon the litle time I have had to consider of matters, I doe not judge it fit for your highnes service, that I goe further northward, untill I receive your further commands, wherein if I erre, I humbly begg your pardon, it being don out of a reall intention for your service. And I am the more imboldened in it, because I perceeve the opinion of the judges to incline that way; and as present affaires now are, my beeing att Yorke soe speedily may doe you disservice, but cannot, as I humbly conceave, bee of any advantage. I humbly desire, I may receive your further commands att Grantham, which shall without dispute bee readily obeyed by
Sollicitor general Ellys to secretary Thurloe.
Having received a letter from the judges, a copy whereof I have here sent you, the originall beeing inclosed in my letter to his highnes, I have resolved to stay att Grantham, untill I receive his highnes further commands; for until the time of meeting be agreed upon, my going to Yorke (as I conceave) wil be rather a disservice, then any advantage to the businesse. If 15 dayes time between the summons and the sitting bee of absolute necessity, as I perceave the judges opinions are, that it is, it wil bee worth consideration, how this bussinesse and the terme can agree together. In the next place I perceave by mr. Barnard (whoe hath been very dilligent and active in this businesse, and will informe you of all perticulars) as also by the judges letter, that the evidence will not be soe cleare and plaine, as I did apprehend it would have been. And if the evidence bee by those only, that were actors in the designe and plott, unlesse they have good assurance, that they shall not bee proceeded against, I doubt there evidence wil be but lame, and not to bee relied on. If that bee granted, we have had late experience what Hudson did att the late high court of justice, whoe denyed all there, that hee had confessed before upon oath; neither will the testimony of those bee soe prevayling with a jury as persons not ingaged. The testimony in this case ought to bee very cleare and evident of the plott, designe, and intention, of those men; els a jury wil be hardly perswaded, that meeting togeather, though in such a manner as they did, and going away without effecting more, is high treason. The westerne busines seems to bee much more cleare, because of the proclayming Ch. Stuart, and the assront offered to the judges, and obstructing justice. If I have erred, either in my stay att Grantham, or any thing I have now written, I desire, that you would give it the most candid interpretation, that it is don out of my zeale to promote the publique service, and not out of any neglect of my dutie, which shall bee evidenced by the ready obedience that shal be shewn to his highnes commands, by
Col. Boteler to secretary Thurloe.
I writt formerly to his highness concerninge mr. Saint Loe, whome I sent by captain Horsington to have beene delivered to the keeper of the gaole here (but much to my admiration he carryed him up to London.) Here is as evident proose against him as against any man, for his being in the late rebellion; and he was once captain of some of the clubb-men in this county, a bussiness his highness well remembers, and not to be forgotten; and I have him here prosecuted, and he will be utlawed this day. I heare captain Horsington keepes him at his house, and is a great friend of his. I hope his highness will be perswaded, that next to Penruddock there is scarce a man among them deserves less favour. I received his highness order just now about Harrison, and shall presently take care in it. I am, sir,
Sarum, April 12, 1655.
Mr. Longland, agent at Leghorn, to secretary Thurloe.
This week's ordinary from France has brauht in two letters from you, to say, of the 15th and 19th of March, which wer very welcom, in that they brauht the good newes of dispersing the cavalliers, which were newly risen. Som letters from Paris advysed hether with much assurance, that the king of Scots was in Ingland in the head of 7000 soldiers; so that had not thes your letters come so sesonably, t'other newes had past for current al Itally over; nether wil al yet believ the contrary, so blynd ar men's judgments, to believ whatsoever simpathyzes with theyr affection, how unlyk soever it be unto the truth. I hav lykwys fully informed the great duk's court herof, and the improbabillity of such advys as is given him by others, who would put al Ingland again in a flam. God be thanked for this happy prevention, I hope the wisdom of his hynes and councel wil so settle the militia in each county, that no more such alarums be given him.
The Spanyards pretend to set out about twenty sail of ships, and fifteen gallyes from Naples, but they go sloly forward. The lyk do the French from Toulon, yet this fomer must bring both fleets into the sea. The Spanyard is only on the guard of his own dominions, which if he wer able wel to do, he were a myhty prince. Generall Pen's fleet maks them al hang down theyr heads. My correspondent at Naples has yet bauht but one horse, which he gives a hy commendation unto, being an yron grey of the duk D'oro's race. General Blak has sent a ship to take them in, but she is com a month too soon. He has writ to the vice king about thes horses, on which letter ther is no dout of theyr fre exportation. Seventeen dayes since generall Blak was at Trapana, a port on the west end of Scicilia. I understand he intends to go once more to Tunis, to try what can be don to mak a peace with that prince. He has sent two frigatts for Algier to buy biskett. I am
The examination of Lancelot Brecknock, taken at Leicester, before captain Hubbert, April 13, 1655.
Being examined, faith, that a party of horse, upon sunday last, being at Newstead Abbey, he the said Lancelot Brecknock was sent for to the said abbey, a boy coming from W. Moore to acquaint him, that the said soldiers had broken open some doors, whereof the said examinate had the keys, which keys the said examinate received from one mr. Ashton, servant to mr. Flower, and hath kept the keys for the space of one whole year or thereabouts, save only, that about a quarter of a year agone, according to his remembrance, there came one Monsieur, servant to mr. Byron, and took away the keys, and brought the keys again the same night to the said examinate's house. And the examinate further faith, that when he first received the said keys, that there were no trunks in those rooms; and when or how the trunks came there, the said examinate knows not, nor what was in them. And further faith, that mr. William Byron, son to sir Richard Byron, formerly governor of Newark, hath been at London about six weeks agone, and as he remembers, used to lye at the Green Dragon in Holborn; and what place in London the said mr. Byron is at now, he the said examinate knows not.
The examination of mr. William Moore, taken at Leicester, April 13, 1655.
Being examined, faith, that about one or two of the clock on sunday last, being the eighth day of April, a party of seven or eight soldiers came to Newstead house, the habitation of the said examinate; and the said party enquired of the said examinate, what gentlemen there were in the house, and the said examinate said, there was not any; upon which the party entered the said examinate's house, and searched every room of the house in the said examinate's possession, but found no man, neither any arms, only one trunk, which they broke presently open, taking nothing out thereof; and there being several rooms in the house the said examinate doth inhabit, which the said examinate saith he hath no interest in, the said rooms the said soldiers did also search, wherein the said soldiers found only one small fowling gun and a fauchion, also (fn. 1) some trunks, which they broke up, and found in one of the trunks one new horse collar, which collar they took along with them, and so sealed up the trunks again, taking nothing else out thereof. And further faith, that he knows not whose the trunks are, or how long they have been in the said house; yet that he heard one mr. Brecknock, servant to mr. William Byron, say, that they were the said mr. Byron's, his master's; and that mr. Byron had the keys of the said trunks. And the said examinate being asked, how often he hath been in the company of mr. Smith, alias Carrington, faith, never above twice. As also, what other gentlemen hath lately frequented that house, viz. Newstead Abbey, faith, that to his knowledge not any, save only mr. Carrington, and mr. Gerrard, and mr. Copley. And further faith not.
To the right honorable John Lisle, one of the lords commissioners of the great seale of England, and the rest of the lords commissioners of oyer and terminer and gaole delivery for the county of Wiltes.
That whereas your petitioner was most unhapily drawne in to bee a partye in the late rebellious insurrection att Salisbury, for which offence of his hee hath ben nowe indicted before your honours, and upon his tryall hath ingeniously confessed the fact in hopes of mercie. And whereas alsoe your petitioner the very same day as hee engaged in the rebellion, and in sewe howers after he went forth with the partye, returned back and rendered himselfe prisoner, and went and submitted himselfe to his highnes the lord protector, and made an ingenuous consession before him and his counsell, of those that were the chief actors in the designe; whereupon for the present he obteyned his highnes protection. But may it please your lordships (as your petitioner conceives) that since his submission to his highnes, some false information hath been given against him, that hee hath not made a full discoverie of all those, that hee knewe were actors in the plott, which your petitioner doeth heere in the presence of God utterly denye, and yf any such thinge can be proved against him, he is contented to dye without mercy, and will freely forgive those, that shall endeavour to prove it, whatever becomes of himselfe.
Hee therefore humbly desires your honors to take pitty upon him, and respite his judgment, and spare him from execution, and to make some favourable certificate to his highnes of the truthe of the matter on his behalfe, of whome he hopes to finde mercye; which yf your honors please to graunt, both him and his shall ever bee bound to pray, &c.
Mr. W. Stephens to secretary Thurloe.
This daye his highnes's judges and commissioners of oyer and terminer and gaole delivery for the county of Wilts, did finish there bussinesse in this place aboute 8 in the morning, and are proceeded towards Exeter, where they sitt on wednesdaye next to distribute the same justice they have done heere. Fifteene persons are here condemned, whereof eight for felonie, and seaven for high treason; but two of the eight were in the rebellion, and did act therein, yett because the evidence laye clearer for felonie and takeing (I mean stealeinge) of horses for that horrid designe, therefore they have been proceeded against accordingly. Upon the whole matter, indeed, judges, counsell, and juries have so acted theire parts in the discharge of theire duties respectivly, that I believe (if his highness be not over mercifull) people will hereby be sufficiently terrifyed from the like desperate designs; yet some fit objects of mercy I conceive there are; and that it will be extended to them accordingly; but I hope without assigneinge any cause of relation, as tenants, or seduction of superiors, or primarie offences, &c. least remission to one offender prove an encouragement to many to become soe. And indeed severitie is now necessarie, otherwise all these proceedeinges wil be but as a meere pageantrie. I forbeare the nomination of persons condemned, or their crimes, because I knowe it will be presented unto you by a better hand, together with such as are thought to be objects of mercy, or will be soe upon more mature deliberation. It was not thought necessarie, that the gentlemen of Hants or Wilts, named in the two commissions, or either of them, should go into Devon, because there would be sufficient upon the place, and in the counties adjacent, for the discharge of that service; and upon that account, an excuse is granted to
Mr. Thomas Bingham to major general Disbrowe.
At Sarum appeered most of the gentelmen in the commission. Had it not ben for the zeale of my lord Lisle, the recorder of London, and serjeant Glinn, I thinke not a man had been condemned, barron Nicholas lips being tyed fast as his condition stood; major Ludlow and mr. Heyley of this towne, two honest godly men, whispers me thus; here hath been such dabing and knavery in slubering over matters in examination against gilty persons, by mr. Tucker a justis of peace for Wilts, and by mr. Swanton the assise clarke, that many men were brought to tryal. Major Wansey and others of the militia officers tould me, that those two justices made it theire worke to extenuate offenders faults. Mr. Ludlow after the first day was left out, and not sent to, to examin persons which were in this great rebellion, one mr. Kitson and his brother, both in the rising, the one in custody and brought not to trial at all. His brother, as mr. Ludlow says, came lately from beyond the seas into this towne, was a secret agent. One of these brothers married Swanton's sister's daughter, the agent fled. This horse is poorely curried in these parts. The sherife examined divers brought in on high suspicion seecretly in his chamber, the dore being kept shut. The friday before the riseing, a servant of Penruddock's the elder went over a pas or ford of this river with a grayhound, and told a countriman in the way, he was goeing with that dog to the marques of Winchester, as a toaken from mr. Penruddock. This major Ludlow tould me. The well affected of these parts his heighnes faithfull servants ar sad, that so many ingaged knaves are soe past over, and not brought to punishment or to trial. These things I could not but send you. Here be divers of us in the commission do heartily beg, that none of these may be pardoned now condemned, but Macke of this town.
Attorney general Prideaux to secretary Thurloe.
Yesterday the grand jury for this county having found another bill of high treason against Henry Zouch, Edward Zouch, John Thorpe, Henry Laurence, John Fryer, William Willoughby, and Edmond Mack, in custody, and Thomas Chivers, John Seamour, Richard Greene, and John Cotterell, at large; the petty jury have acquitted the two Zouches, though the evidence was sufficient to have convicted them, especially Henry Zouch. They have likewise acquitted Willoughby, against whome we had noe evidence besides his owne confession; but Thorpe, Laurence, and Fryer, they have found guilty. It appeared upon the evidence, that Laurence, being inveigled by mr. Penruddocke, his landlord, came into the company of the rebells, and some other circumstances, which may render him capable of mercy. Edmond Macke acknowleged the fact upon his arraignment; and this morning all the prisoners, which were cast, received their judgment. Sir, wee are now hasting our journey towards Exceter, from whence you shall receive an account (as occasion offers) of this service; and I shall desire you will please by the next opportunity to send me directions, what shall be done with such as are in custody, and against whom we do not proceed; prisoners in the gaols of Exeter and in Somersetshire, and what prisoners shall be set at large after the assizes. It will be very necessary for you to consider of it, for the judges expect it from me. And having given you this short account, I take leave, and rest
Some of the prisoners for treason acknowleged theire offences by petition before judgment, and the horridness of it, which were publickly read. Dean confest, he had confest it upon the indictment, but that mr. Harrison did advise him not to be guilty of his owne blood by confession.
Those in prison heare are bailed to appeare att next assizes, if further evidence may come against them. The twoe Zouches are to give very good securities for their good behavioures for a yeare before they be discharged.
Attorney general Prideaux to secretary Thurloe.
I Received yours of the 13th instant by this messenger. In the first place, I begge your pardon for the ill writinge of the letter I sent you yesterday, for it was done in suche hast, as I had hardlie time to thinke of what I wrote, beinge soe late, as the judges were gone out of towne whilest I was givinge directions for Exon, and writinge that letter. Judgement was not given until yesterdaye in the morninge, and then was done by mr. justice Windham. Att our first meetinge wednesday morninge, it was agreed, he should give the charge, and manage the triall against them, and mr. serjeant Glynn att Exeter, and mr. recorder at Chard, which I well liked, the greatest nomber and the worst offenders being in these prisons; my lord chiefe justice and baron Nicholas beinge unwilling to do it, in regard of the injuries and affronts offered them. Baron Nicholas is nowe with us, but my lord Rolle went away, as I have written you; and Windham went away yesterdaye, but hath appointed to be at Exon. I have herewith sent you a copie of the indictment, upon which the traitors are convicted, which is the same I delivered you in London, only two clauses omitted, which you will herewith receive also, otherwise there is noe alteration. What passed at the debates upon the indictment cannot well be imparted in a letter; and the work being soe well done, upon this, I desire you will not enquire further after it, nor make any search more of it, untill my return, and then it will be necessary you know it; but in the mean time, it cannot be any prejudice to his highenes nor the service. The maine reason why it went upon this single point was, because all agreed to justify that to be treason by all lawes; and yet, if you observe it, they are the very words of my lord's ordinance, and this hath past current, without dispute or objection against it. Mr. Nuttley is not heare with us, but gone to Exon, to prepare. Mr. Francis Swanton, and one mr. Richard Hill, a justice of the peace in Salisburie, have been very faithful and active in this bussines, and were very much assistinge unto me, and I had greate helpe and directions from them. I yesterdaye sent you by an expresse a list of all the prisoners, that were convicted and attainted, and their severall offences; but lest that should miscarry, I have herewith sent you another. I likewise with that sent you a list of such as were found by the grand jury, but were at large, and against whom we must proceed unto the utlawry. There is noe certaine time appointed for execution. The cause given out was in regard the sheriffe was to go into Devon with us, and it was thought fitting he should be present; but the true cause was, that his highnes pleasure might be knowne, which is desired may be as soone as his highnes shall think fitt. For a certificate concerninge the prisoners, I communicated that part of your letter unto them, and they are not willing to make any, in regard the letter was to me, and noe direction to them; but thus much I am to inform from them, that they conceive Henry Laurence to be a fit object for his highness to shew mercie unto, being only a poor tenant to Penruddock, and drawn in by him, and a person of noe quality or ability to do mischief. I am also to represent Edmond Macke from them, as fit for mercy: it's conceived, ill offices are done him by some at Salisbury, yet some honest people spoke to me for him, to have spared proceedinges against him, though mr. Richard Hill, the justice, were one of them. Your havinge signified my lord's pleasure in it, I believe you will have enough to interceed for the prisoners condemned. I shall say nothing for any of them. By directions, I send you copies of theire petitions which were presented by themselves in court, and openly read; indeed I dare not of my self give a character upon those persons, as to be a guide to my lord's judgment; only thus muche, I may say, by the report of all, that John Thorpe, who was formerly keeper of the prison there, and now active in breaking up the prison, getting away the prisoners, and breaking open the stables, and taking away horses, and riding along with them, is not fit for mercy; neither is John Woodward, a stubborne froweard man, active in this busines, and riding with them and the horses, for which he is convicted, were taken for that service. Willoughby was tried by the petty jury, and acquitted; and I could not but say, they did justice in it; for havinge married Green's sister, who is to be prosecuted to the utlawry, he made it appear, he was desired by Green's mother to go after him, to bring him backe with him, whom he overtook at Blandford, but not prevailing with him, he returned that night to his own house. Besides, it was testifyed by the sheriff and others, he was :sumoned to come to Salisbury, to be of die grand jury. Upon this evidence, the court was satisfyed he was not guilty; but I cannot acquitt that jury, for acquitinge Henry Zouche, whom I prosecuted, having clear evidence against him, and being a bold confident young fellow, and likely to engage in such actions and highway robbing. I reserved Lavington and Heyward out of your list, for this fellow, and some others, whoe testified fully and positively against him, and soe did Westfield, whom you sent from London, and in my chamber, Collier, that you sent downe, and one Tarrant, that major Butler produced, assirmed the same; but the two last minced their evidence at the barr, saying, they were much mistaken, if they saw him not. This brought a jealousie upon the rest; but if those had not been produced, the others without them would have convicted them; but labouring it seems too much in it, and endeavouring to make it very clear, because upon theire examinations they denied them to be in the companie of the rebells, and declared in what other particular place they were, though they offered not one tittle of proof to any one place, yet the jury, some of them being neighbours unto him, acquitted them; in all other thinges did well. I shall not put his highness to much charge about witnesses; all those that are suspected to be in the rising, I make to beare their own charges. I have bound divers to appeare at Exeter that knowe the prisoners there. I will give you a little account of some passages this day at church. Mr. Gower, in his prayer after sermon, blessed God for suppressing those people, and prayed the Lord to direct the judges, that justice might be done. Mr. Bence, in his prayer in the afternoon said, that a treason was plotted, but blessed the Lord, that nothing came to execution but the traitors. In my last I wrote unto you for direction, what should be done with those prisoners, against whom noe indictment shall be framed, the commission being to deliver the gaole. Mr. Hill and mr. Greaves present their service unto you, and I desire you will accept the like from
Serjeant Glynne to secretary Thurloe.
I Sawe your letter, that you sent by this messenger to mr. attorney generall, whereby I perceive you have received an accompt of our proceedings at Salisbury, where the grand and the pettie juries behaved themselfes well, only one mr. Zouch paste them a litle too easie; but I doe not blame them soe much as the evidence, that somewhat shrunke from their former examination. Judgment is given against them all, but wee referred the sheriffe of Wiltes to receive his direction for the tyme of execution from us at Exeter, where hee is to attend to give evidence. This wee did, that wee might give opportunity to his highnesse to receive an accompt of our proceedings, and that wee may have his direction, if his pleasure bee to reprive any. But indeed I hould not fit to delay the execution of such as muste suffer, longe; therefore you will doe well to dispatch it as soone as conveniently you may, but by all meanes before wee depart from Exon. It falles to my charge to manage the affayres at Exeter, where I believe there will bee worke enough. I hope God will strengthen mee to performe my duty there, accordinge to the talent hee hath bestowed upon mee. I thinke, that county beinge dispached, there will not much remaine of the principall bussinesse to bee acted in Summersetshire; and therefore I hope to obteyne leave to goe streight from thence to London, which I purposse to doe, without I receive a command to the contrary (which I hope I shall not) and leave Summersetshire to the other commissioners. Mr. Recorder gives the charge there. The indictments for treason were upon conference by us altogether somwhat altered from the frame they brought from London. The reason I shall impart to you when I see you. You may discerne by the coppie, that wee incert onely the leavyeinge of warre against the lord protector and the government, which is a treason by the fundamentall lawe of the land. I have trobled you too longe, and shall conclude myselfe
Major general Disbrowe to secretary Thurloe.
I am come to Salsbury verie wearie. I doe not perceave by any I have yet talked withall, but that the country is verie satisfied in the tryeinge of those people, and the manner of theire trial is looked uppon by the people to bee accordinge to the government, and on the accompt of the present power. I have sent you the inclosed, which I met with heere; if you please to peruse itt; you may see what his thoughts are in the busines. Soe not haveinge any thinge else at present, I rest