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 (6 of 6)
General Venables to lieutenant general Searle governor of Barbados.
The commissioners haveing this day beene with mee, wee at last came to some resolves concerning our store-ships, wherein I did wholly concurre with them; but had not time to stay to signe the same, when it was faire transcribed, but doe earnestly desire you, to value this letter, as if my hand had beene joined with theirs. My service to your ladye, with the rest of my freinds. I have had a fluxe for these twelve dayes, but hope it now beginneth to stop; if not, you may bid adieu unto,
April 28, 1655.
General Monck to the protector.
May it please your highness,
Haveing received a leter from your highness, by the earle of Linlithgowe, concerning the earle of Calander, I have enquired of the judge advocat, what is against him; and the judge advocat informing me, that hee knowes of noe more then is conteined in the two inclosed letters, I thought fit to send the gentleman to your highness, which I did, and hee is now on his way to your highness. What more there is against his lordship, col. Lilburne (in whose time his confinement was appointed) can inform your highness. If your highness should thinke fit only to fine him, I humbly desire your highness, that very good engagement may bee given for his peaceable liveing. I humbly take leave, and remaine
Dalkeith, April 28, 1655.
Extract of a letter from Lyons, dated May 8, 1655. N. S.
The persecutors having at the first assault of the Piemontese lost most of their men, through the couragious resistance of ours, they lost all hope of effecting their design by open force. Their general dissembled his ill will, and made a shew, as if he had received order from his prince to spare those poor people, and to promise them, on his behalf, abolition of all that was passed, provided that, for the future, they would be more retired and better subjects, and upon condition that they would presently give way for the quartering of the troops as well of his majesty as of his royal highness, in their valleys, which lay near Pignerol; whereupon, those of the Valleys having consulted, they were advised to accept of this unhappy condition, which they did; and as soon as those troops were got into the places, that were designed them for quarters, they had orders to seize upon all the passages and to destroy ours, which they were ready to execute, by reason of the plunder which they expected; so that they killed, destroyed and plundered, all that they met withall, without any distinction of women or children. Mr. Saul de Rosuane, as godly a man as ever I knew, with three more elders of the church, were hanged up in the Tour; 18 men were carried prisoners to Turin, amongst whom is mr. Gros, a minister. Those, that could escape this desolation, saved themselves upon the territories of Dauphiné, where they are expecting a favour, and liberty to return home, which is made them to believe, they shall receive from the prince.
The syndick and council of Geneva to the canton of Zurich.
Your lordships having given us to understand the desire, which you have, that we
should communicate unto you what we should learn of news concerning the reformed churches of the vallies of Piedmont, we send unto you the extracts and memorandums here inclosed, which contain the particulars of the most horrid massacres and
cruelty, which barbarism ever invented, which have been exercised upon the inhabitants
of the said churches, with a total desolation of their houses, and of their churches;
to the end your lordships might make such convenient reflections, according to your
singular prudence. We pray to Almighty God, in the mean time, that he would be pleased
to hear the cries and groans of his children, appease his anger kindled against them,
and preserve his church in general, and your lordships and their state in particular, in
happy peace and prosperity; remaining
This 8th of May, [1655.]
Magnificent, mighty, and most honoured
lords, good neighbours, singular friends,
most dear allies and confederates,
Your most affectionate neighbours,
friends, allies and confederates,
to do you service.
To the magnificent, mighty, and most honoured lords,
the lords, burgomasters and council of the city
and canton of Zurich, our good neighbours,
singular friends, most dear allies and confederates.
The marquiss of Pianese having oftentimes reiterated to the commissioners of the churches with asseveration, as they affirm it, that upon the parole of his royal highness, and his own shewing a sign of confidence and obedience in the reception of some regiments, there should be no displeasure done unto them, he was suffered to come in without any resistance whatsoever, hoping so much the more, in regard those places were comprehended in the order published, and no wise disputed for habitation, but those of St. John, who had all their goods and families at Angrogne, and for whom there was no quarter, fled thither to save their wives and children, which those of Angrogne did likewise, who presently perceived the treason, and how they observed their faith to pretended heretics. They also kept prisoners the commissioners of St. John and Angrogne, who went to speak with him upon his parole. For as the troops agreed unto did march that way that was ordered, three or four thousand men more fell in on the other side of La Tour, firing and killing all that they could meet withal, and causing the houses of Angrogne to flame before that the rest were arrived in the centre of Angrogne, which they had chosen for their quarter. The same did the other troops on the side of St. John towards Bricheras, and in many places of that of La Tour, as long as they could see. Amongst so many violent assaults, so many attacks, deceits, and such black treachery, and all the houses and churches flaming or smoking, there was heard nothing but cries, and lamentable groans and sobs, rendered the more pitiful through the multitude of echoes, which are in the rocks. The mother hath lost her sucking child, the brother his brother, the husband his wife; some were miserably massacred whilst they were busy to save some little of their goods, others lost upon the tops of the mountains, were flung down into the hollow places of the rocks, and many women with child were found dead with their fruit for want of food.
The next day the 21st the boutefeux and murtherers were not idle. A frier of the Franciscan order and a priest, who would have the honour to be the chiefest incendiaries, with their artificial fires, being able to do it at their ease, did not fail to burn the church of St. John, and almost all that did remain of the rest of the houses, a part of Angrogne, and the rest of La Tour; and where they found any thing, that had escaped the first firing, they presently caused it to be wholly burnt down; and the bloody and cruel soldiers got upon the highest rocks, which did seem inaccessible, to destroy all human creatures which they should meet withall, though they made no resistance whatsoever, and might have caused with their tears the arms to have fallen out of the hands of the most barbarous Tartars and Canibals. Only at Tailleret, a village situated upon one of the highest hills of La Tour, they did put a thousand reproaches upon 150 women and children, and afterwards they cut off all their heads; they caused some of them to be boil'd, and eat the brains, but they discontinued saying, they were too tastless, and made them sick at heart. They cut some pieces, which they afterwards flung at one another, from a poor woman, who got away from them, and who is still living, but miserably used by them; they took her sucking child, and went and flung it down a precipice with many others. There was likewise a great number which were torn and cut off by the middle between two soldiers. Many prisoners were stript stark naked without distinction of age or sex, and they cut them after a manner, which doth cause one to tremble to recite it; and afterwards put salt and powder upon them, and then put on their shirts again; and afterwards set fire to the powder, and so burnt those poor martyr'd bodies. Others, all naked, had their heads tied between their legs, and rolled off of high precipices, without exempting one Peter Symon, who was a hundred years old, nor his wife, ninety-five years old. Many were burnt in their houses, whom they would not take the pity to kill beforehand, though they did beg it upon their knees. Others had their breasts opened, and their hearts taken out alive. Many had their private parts cut off, and their entrails pulled out. Several women were most wickedly abused by them, 'till they died. Others were hanged up in trees by the feet, and there left to die in that posture, had stakes thrust in at their fundaments, &c. Of those, who were conducted alive before the marquis, who would not abjure their religion, a good number were brought to Turin, and amongst the rest, mr. Gros and mr. Aggit, pastors; and that, after they had seen with astonishment the admirable constancy of Paulais, and Clement a poor countryman, the latter an ancient deacon of the church of La Tour, the former having chosen the gibbet before the mass, the other two were brought after him, to frighten them; but as he was on the top of the ladder, and that the emissaries did renew their exhortations, saying, that there was still time, if he would turn catholick, he bid the hangman do what he was ordered to do; praying to God to pardon those murtherers; adding, that he saw as present the vengeance that God would take for so much innocent blood that had been spilt. The pen doth fall out of my hand in writing these things; yea, by only bringing of them into my mind, my whole body doth tremble, my hair stands an end. A heart of diamond, a hand of steel, and pen of iron, could not express half of the horrid prodigies of the cruelty and pitiful spectacles which were seen, unheard of in antiquity the most barbarous. You might have seen here the leg of a woman, the head of a child, sometimes the private members of a man, the entrails of another, the thighs of another, which the beasts had not devoured. The tears do blind my sight, and the sobs, that fall between, do hinder me from making an end. Of the spoil, that was made of provisions, of wine spilt by them in abundance, of the beasts and the plunder we do not speak a word. French, Irish, Piedmontese, banished and guilty persons have shared that amongst them; and that which could not be carried away, was burnt. And they are almost as miserable the one as the other, in the vallies of Perouse, Clusson and Keiras; some wandring with their wives and children in a miserable condition, and others lamenting the loss of theirs. Val Lucerne, which is destroyed, did comprehend three churches, each, except Rocheplate and Roras which were smaller, composed of three or four thousand men.
My lords, the consuls and governor of the city of Pragela,
I write to you these lines, to let you know, that his royal highness, being unsatisfied of some inhabitants of the valley of Lucerne, not only for opposing his orders, but also for making others directly contrary unto them, by an attempt full of insolence, hath resolved to have that obedience, that is due unto him; and in regard the inhabitants are of the reformed religion, and that possibly they might demand of you some private assistance, I have to tell you, that if you should therein offend the first cousin german to the king, and who is in his interests, you would incur his majesty's indignation. After this consideration, all others seem useless. I shall not fail to let his majesty know, how you shall behave your selves herein, believing that you will continue to oblige me to be your affectionate to serve you,
Resident Heinsius to the states general.
High and mighty lords,
My lords, they are still endeavouring here to find out means for the raising of monies to carry on the designs of this campaign, and to this end they have raised the imposts and customs upon all merchandizes and commodities; also they have set an imposition of half a rix dollar upon every last of every ship, that goeth out or cometh in, which will amount to a very great sum of money in the year.
Avangour to Bordeaux, the French embassador England.
After a long silence your welcome letter hath refreshed us all here, giving us again new hopes of a conclusion, which is as much desired by this court as by ourselves. They make no doubt here but all things will end to your content.
The embassador of this court, who is designed for England, is preparing himself to depart very suddenly; and every body here is preparing likewise for the campaign. The king of Sweden himself will not be long here. His armies both by sea and land being now in a readiness, one may now declare, without any fear or scruple, that the design of the Swedes is intended against Prussia. They do hold their conquest so sure, that what offers soever should be made unto them from Poland for an accommodation, will hardly be accepted of, they imagining to themselves a greater advantage by a rupture, than any that can be obtained by a peace. So that, my lord, I perceive all our offices for that end have been in vain, and we must expect another conjuncture to employ the mediation of the king. This design will make you to judge of the necessity and interest, which the crown of Sweden hath to make a strict league with England, and to assure themselves of their power to oppose others, that might be jealous of them, and that would undertake to intermeddle.
A letter of intelligence.
Yours I received by the last, and now we are all here by them and other letters satisfied, that R. C. his designs are come to nothing, and all the risers taken or pursued. God knows, our news not long since have been quite otherwise, as I writ you, but now omnes conclamant infelicem R. C. cum omnibus suis.
Here is very little news since my former. Of the coronation of the archduke Leopold here is very little appearance, the differences are so many and so great, as I writ to you in my former letters. The protestants and the catholicks cannot agree, which displeaseth highly the emperor.
To morrow his imperial majesty is to go a hunting to a house some three leagues from Presburg, belonging to count Palsi Palatin, called Marec. The Spanish embassador goes with him, who lately feasted most gallantly all the principal nobles of Hungary.
The Dutch East-India company to the protector.
Quandoquidem societatis Belgicæ, quæ in Indiis ad orientem mercatur, curatores è re esse censuerunt in Angliam ablegare consultissimum et prudentissimum virum Petrum van Dam, ejusdem societatis advocatum, ut ibidem negotia quædam illorum nomine susciperet, quæ ad mutua tam Anglicæ quam Belgicæ societatum commoda spectant, non potuimus non dicto ablegato hasce præsentes literas nostras ad celsitudinem vestram, tanquam fidei tesseras, impertire; rogantes, et celsitudo vestra illum benigno suo favore et gratiâ amplecti dignetur. Quod nobis omnino gratissimum erit, semperque conabimur illud mutuis officiis erga celsitudinem vestram agnoscere.
Bordeaux, the French embassador in England, to secretary Thurloe.
I Understand by the relation of that gentleman, whom I this morning sent unto yourself and my lords the commissioners, to the end that they would be pleased, according to that assurance that they had given me on thursday last, to give me a meeting, and so to put an end to the treaty, that instead of answering my expectation in that particular, they had thoughts of changing one article which before we had fully agreed to, and wherein also it is not in my power at all to make any alteration.
This proceeding of theirs having made me something apprehensive of some new delays (which the commands that I have received from France by the dispatches of this day will not at all permit me to consent to) I thought myself obliged, for prevention's sake, to give you to understand, that since my accommodating myself to those very expressions, which his highness desired, viz. in those articles, which were in debate, and my agreeing to such conditions as were not to be found in any treaties of a strict alliance, and also such as were derogatory to the laws of the kingdom of France, observed by other nations for above a hundred years, and from which we have never departed in any treaty made with England; as also that compliance, which the king my master has shewed for the satisfaction of his highness, and the great desire, which he has testified of establishing a perfect understanding with England, has produced no other effect than such daily pretensions, which may not unfitly be termed unjust, since that they are both contrary to the customs observed between France and their allies, and also to that demand, which was lately made to me, and the resolutions taken in the last conference.
I cannot look upon these motions of the lords the commissioners about this matter, as any
other than a meer pretence for the delaying and prolonging of the taking of my leave of
his highness; and I hope that his highness will not believe, that I have wrote unto you for
the passing of the article as it has been proposed unto me by reason and example, without
mentioning, those states which treat upon equal terms, and receive a reciprocal advantage
by the peace; but for the fulfilling of his majesty's commands, whose affairs and honour
would be much prejudiced by my long delay in England without accommodation, and by
a treaty, which would hinder him of an opportunity of disadvantaging his enemies; of
which I would also intreat you to certify his highness, to the end, that if his highness
think it for his interest to comply with those offers of amity, which have been made unto
him by the king my master, he would not recede from his own voluntary forwardness in
that particular, so much to the prejudice of France; and also give order to the lords the
commissioners to make a final determinaton of the said treaty. I am,
London, 9 May, 29 April [1655.]
The Spanish embassador to the protector.
Most serene lord,
The king my master having given me order to pass out of hand into Flanders, it grieveth me, that your highness hath not been pleased to give way, that I might make you reverence before the performance thereof; and it not being in my power to defer my journey any longer, I find myself obliged to perform this office, and to take my leave of your highness by writing, desiring you to believe, that my affection towards your service and the welfare of this nation remains still very conformable to what hath hitherto appeared in me at all occasion. God preserve your highness.
The Spanish embassador to the protector.
Havendose presentado el decreto (cuya copia authentica và inclusa) a los comisarios de presas para que en conformidad del, restituyessen los 30000 reales contenidos en la cedula aneja, dilataron la respta todo este tiempo, y la que dan aora es, que no pueden satisfazer dicha suma, porque no ha llegado a su poder, sino llevadose a la Torre, y acuñadose con otras partidas de plata, por orden del consejo de estado que entonces era. Con que me hallo obligado a recurrir a V. A. y suplicarle se sirva de mandar luego se restiuyan dichos 30000 reales que hazen patacones 3750 que valuados cada uno a esquilines 4–6. conforme a la certification aqui inclusa del precio a que corre, firmada de diversos mercaderes de esta placa, son 843 l. 15 esquilines de esta moneda; y siendo esta plata del rey mi señor, como consta por dicho decreto no puedo dudar de que V. A. darà sin ulterior dilacion las ordenes necesrias para que se restituya. Deviendolo esperar de la justicia de V. A. cuya serrna persona gde Dios muchos años como deseo.
We the merchants undernamed, resideing in London, doe heereby certifie, that peeces of eight of Mexico coyne have beene usually sold heere in London at any time for these three months past, for four shillings and sixpence English money for every such peece of eight, or more; and at the same price wee know they are now usually sold, and not under. Witnesse our hands, the 4th of April, 1655.
The protestant cantons of Swisserland to the states general.
Illustrissimi & præpotentes domini, domini nostri plurimum observandi,
Triste jam nuncium accipientes de luctuosissimo statu fidei sociorum Pedemontanorum, ut ex copia literarum à ibi pastoribus & senioribus missarum percipere licet, per sanctæ sidei unionis ac communionis jura deesse noluimus; quin etiam illustrissimas ac præpotentes dominationes vestras participes redderemus, certifsima spe fulti, ipsas pro solita quâ sunt pietate et Christiana charitate, scissuram hanc Josephi curæ omnino cordique maximè habituras esse. Affingitur huic persecutioni prætextus omnino plausibilis a parte contraria: interim tamen de ecclesiâ Christi bene sentiens, de technis, quas adversarii moliuntur hinc inde, quis dubitabit ?
Ex verâ cordiali omnino ac calidissimâ sympathiâ condolentes et commoti rogamus iterumque rogamus dominationes vestras illustrissimas, ac præpotentes, velint causam afflictorum in modum curæ cordique ut non dedignentur, quæ ipsis pro sua quâ pollent et prudentia et potentiâ, ad sublevandum ac salvandum miseros et affictos illos præter ardentissimas, quæ pro iis ad patrem misericordiæ suscipiendæ preces et stipem, quam efflagitant, eleemosynariam, vel pacificando illos apud principem suum, vel transmigrationis concessionem . . . . . conducibilia quæ videbuntur media afferre, sicut et nos pro virili nostra non deerimus. Summus ille rerum arbiter misereatur ecclesiæ suæ ubique locorum, rem ejus agat, omniaque adversa ac sinistra potentissimo brachio suo avertat.
Dabamus raptissime ad diem tricesimum mensis Aprilis anni M. D. C. lv. sigillo civitatis Tigurinæ secretiori munitas,
Illustrissimarum ac præpotentium dominationum vestrarum studiosissimi,
Consules ac senatores cantonum Helvetiæ evangelicorum, nempe Tigurini, Bernensis, Glaronensis, et Abbatis-cellarii.
A letter of intelligence to mr. Petit.
Cardinal Montalto's death hath caused many processes to be made touching his succession; but the greatest losers are his creditors, by reason that he is found so much indebted, that his means will not suffice to acquit the same. There are two pretenders to the archbishoprick of Montreal in Sicily, which is empty by the said cardinal's death, namely, cardinal Savelly and cardinal Astalli: it is thought this last will carry it away, by reason of the great services he hath rendered to Spain, and of the persecution he hath endured on that account under the last pontificate.
Cardinal Spada is sick, but without danger; cardinal Anthoni Barbarini came hither from Loretto on thursday last; it is said, his voyage is making for France, to have the archbishoprick of Rheims, but cardinal Mazarin is not thought to be much satisfied with his substituting cardinal Rapaccioli in the Camerlingat. Cardinal John Charles of Medicis is upon his return for Florence, but the old cardinal his uncle remaineth here. It is said, the pope will absolutely send mr. Massimi, as nuncio to Spain, and mr. Corsini in France, saying, that he is not obliged to send unto crowns persons of their own choosing, but this is not yet certain. Great rejoicings were made yesterday for the taking possession of St. John of Lateran. The pope went in a litter by reason of his indisposition.
Cardinal Harach had resolved to return for Germany to his archbishoprick of Prague; but he hath deferred his preparations at the instance of cardinal Colonna, and of the constable his brother, until the return of the post sent by this last unto the emperor, upon the subject of the refusal the pope makes to admit him as embassador of his imperial majesty. The said cardinal Colonna seems to be much discontented thereat, being always in the country, having not assisted at the rejoicings made yesterday, nor unto the chapter which was held before, although he was seen to walk the same day in Rome incognito.
What difficulties soever the pope hath made hitherto to let his kindred come hither, yet so many reasons have been shewed him for their coming, that it is thought he will send for his brother and two of his nephews, it being impossible for him alone to take care of the government. Others do nevertheless assure, that he doth still remain in his first resolution. They used to put in the pope's chapel clerks, and other petty officers, who bought those charges, giving sums of money for them according to their value; but the pope hath changed that order, to put therein persons of honesty, and of the same quality as those, who enjoyed the first charges, reimbursing all those, who had bought them under the late pontificate.
A letter of intelligence from mr. Manning.
I have here inclosed given you a farther accompt touching the proceedings in your case in the court of admiralty here; and being much of it is the advice of counsell, for the management of the cause, which might be very prejudiciall, if publiquely known, I have writt it in cipher, for which trouble I know I may with freedom aske your pardone. The newes here is much in expectations from the fleet now with Penn, and the proceedings of the Swedish armey. None can say any thing of Penn, for one weeke the exchanges ring of his taking French plantations; the next, of his designe on Cuba, Hispaniola, or at least secureing the Haven, which doth not a litle perplex the Spaniard, who was never lower. The wisest here say, the Swede never had thought of assisting him, but to take Gulickeland frome the dukes of Newburghe and Brandenberghe, on a pretence of title; and that this is most probable, appeares by his draweing that way, which, if true, questionless will cause a new warre in Germany. A few weekes will produce the truth. The Spaniard and Hollander strengthen their frontiers towards the Rheine; the French prepare amaine for the campania; the Spaniard, as my Bruxells letters tell me, only for a defensive warre. I pray let me hear weekely from you, for by the next I shall be settled, and you may expect then the schedule of the goods I told you of from Antwerp. All I shall say is, lett not your cause in the admiralty suffer for want of money; and by the same hand you sent the last, as you shall thinke fitt. Many charges daily thought of we must be att, to manage itt to the most advantage. I question not but you will receive a satisfactorie accompt; and assure your self, none shall with more integrity indeavour itt, then
Sir, your affectionate servant,
Instructions unto Edward Rolt, esq; one of the gentlemen of our privy chamber, upon his going to Sweden.
1. Upon your receipt of these instructions, our credentiall letters to his majestie the king of Swethland, and our ratification of the treaty lately made and concluded at Stockholm betweene the plenipotentiarys and commissioners of us and the most serene and potent lady Christina, late queene of Sweden, and such other papers, as shall be delivered unto you by our secretarye of state, you shall without any delay repaire on board the ship appointed for your transportation, now in the Downes; and, as soon as wind and weather shall permitt, shall saile to Hamborough, where you shall direct your course to such places, where you shall understand the king of Swethland to be.
2. And upon your arrivall with the king, you shall desire audience of his majestie; and at your audience shall salute him in our name, expressinge to him the great esteeme wee have of his friendship and amitie, and that no meanes shal be omitted on our parte, which may give him demonstration thereof. That wee doe congratulate his accesse to the gouvernment; and wish him all prosperity and good successe in the manadgment thereof. That as wee doe with much content ratifie the treaty made with the queene of Sweden, soe wee shall with all care and realitye see the same firmly and inviolably observed on our parte; and have sent our ratification thereof unto his majestie by you, commandinge you to assure him, that we shall contribute our endeavours for contracting a nearer union and alliance with the crowne of Sweden; and that wee doe not doubt, but to finde the same inclination in his majestie, seeing he hath, since his accession to the crowne, expressed so much his affection to us and this commonwealth, and particularly, that he hath been pleased to send unto us an extraordinary ambassador, who, you may assure his majestie, is welcome to us, using such further expressions as you shall judge fitt of our good will unto his majestie. And, at the close of your speech, shall deliver our credential letters, and acquaint his majestie, that you are ready to deliver the ratification, as he shall direct.
4. You shall endeavour to keepe and preserve all good correspondence betweene us and the said kinge and crowne of Sweden; and to remove any jealousies, which you shall observe to growe in the said kinge, concerninge us and our commonwealth.
5. If any ambassador, resident, envoye, or other agent or minister should be sent unto the king from Charles Stewart, as king of Great Britain and Ireland, you shall endeavour to hinder his reception. And if you finde it necessary, you are impowered to protest against it, as being contrary to the amity, which is betweene England and Sweden.
6. Whereas monsieur Coyet hath demanded of his highnes, that the kinge his master may have libertie to leavy six or seven thousand souldiers in Scotland; in case the kinge or any of his ministers shall make mention of this business unto you, you shall give assurance of our readines to doe in this or any other perticular, which may be of advantage to the kinge, as farre as may stand with the condition of our owne affaires at home, which were in such a posture, as would not suffer us to give a present consent therein; but have taken it into our consideration, and will acquaint monsieur Coyet, or the ambassador extraordinary, with what we shall resolve therein; which his majestie may assure himself will be with respect to that amitie and good understanding, which is betweene us.
7. In case any thing be moved unto you concerning that article in the treatie, whereof satisfaction is to be given for the losses and damages susteyned in the warr with the Dutch; you shall have herewith coppies of the papers past betweene our commissioners and the said monsieur Coyet; accordinge to which you shall regulate your selfe in your discoursinge on that subject.