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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June (6 of 7)
Mr. Thomas Peerce to secretary Thurloe.
It greeves mee to the hart, that his hihness and your honor are so incensed against mee for my faithfull duty to his hihnes. Your honor knowes thear is not the least thing in thoes papers, but I did acquaint you with. When you were pleased at first to receive mee, I acquainted your honor to the full in what I had comitted and what I knew: with your honor's advies I went over, and met with mr. Armorer at Antwerp. Hee was glad to see mee, and asked about my escaep: that I will let aloen. I had studyed what to say, that I might knowe what thear intentions were against his hihnes's person and the commonwealth. I tould him, that I had frinds, that would willingly serve the king, if they might doe it with safety. Hee asked mee, what they were. I put down soem merchants in a noat, which is in my syfor; but truly it was to fiend their full intentions, and desiered I mieght have the assistance, which they thought fitt to murther his hihnes. Mr. Armorer went with mee two days jurney to meet my lord Wilmoeth and sir Edward Hyed, and acquainted them, what I had sayed. They were very well pleased at it, but would not by any means have any atempt as yet upon his hihnes person. Thoes pakets, which I broeght overr, should have coem to my hand loong befoer I was taken, which I aquainted your honor of all; and that letter, which is for mr. Dampert, by your orther I was to keep till he caem to town. I tould you of the particulars of it then; for their instructions how I should treat with as many as I could waeriely, and they thinck my father and brother will bee a great asistance to mee. I am shuer my father will cary it discreetly, if occasion weor for his hihnes advantage. I did intend when I had coem to your honor to take your advies, whether I should make him aquainted with mr. Morton, or not. I am sertain hee will bee faithfull in what hee undertakes. Then I acquainted you, I must wriett what I thought would bee for his hihnes, which you bid me doe. You wear of the opinion, when I caem over, that they had a plott upon his hihnes person. I could not beleeve it, by reason I am shure I should have bin one of the first in it. To bee better informed, I writt that the greatest of my freinds weor dead, and thoes that were alive wear very fearfull, by reason his hihnes and the counsell had taken such a strait orther, and soe great a malisha rayesed, that they would not meddle but upon good grounds; and I tould him, theer was but small hopes at present to deal with any of the army by land or sea, till his hihnes wear cut off. In answer to it hee would by noe meanes, till he had spak with the rest of his frinds, hoe hath full power from them to treat with mee in all things; and in his last, which I have not, his man hath it to shoe mr. Rankers and mr. Clee, that he may get horses from them; but all that is in it is to dispatch his man away, and mr. Watters with all speed, for now is the time to treat. This last letter I could not aquaint you with, but I did it with all partickelers of the rest. If your honor's busness will make you forgetfull of this which I aquainted you with, I have not; and when your honor pleases to spare soe much tiem, I will rehears all partickulars in all what I tould you, which will be doen in Tower. I have not had the instructions of the gentleman, which came with mr. Armorer's man on satterday. I should, but I was prevented by my imprisonment. What letters I received you have, and what I sent I faithfully aquainted your honor with, and what I had from oethers I shoed you, and sent them away by shiping, which I aquainted you with. Wheather they be goen or not, I canot tell. I hope this imprisonment will not misinable at all to serve his hihnes: if it doe privatly, it shall not doe publykly to death. Those letters which I brought you knoe in oen packett, was for mr. Moerton, one for doctor Wyeld, one for mr. Clee, which I protest is all, and that to Damport and mrs. Gree, which I had from a merchant. I was to hasten mr. Morten and doctor Wild and Clee to follow ther busnes; but they find all people sloe, and have done nothing as yet, unless mr. Morton hath, which I shall knoe to the full, when I meet with him. Your honor was pleased to tell mee, that you would have mee deal ingeaniously with you, which I did and will to death. I am shuer where any of them coems over upon an atempt, I shall have the secuering of them, and his hihnes and your honor's disposing, and then it will doe well, that I should bee put up for a tiem, and a little severly uesed. Your honor and I agreed upon all this. You knoe what a considence they have of mr. Firkark, which they think gives mee intelligence, and thereupon I desiered the pas to keep him and I in credit with them and it would not be amis, if hee did not wryet soemthing, and let it bee sent over with mr. Armorer's man. They have a good opinion of mee yet; and I desiered them they should provide for mee theor, for fear I should be forsed to leave this countrey. Since I was received by your honor, I vow to Almighty God, and as I desier to bee saved at the day of judgment, and by my Saviour that suffered for mee, I wriett noething to you but the trueth of my proceedings, nor acted either in thought, or deed, against his hihnes, the coun sell, or commonweleth, let mee never coem to heaven, and whenever I doe, lett me be maed an exsample to all maen living. My wife tould my keeper, that one mrs. Dyek and mr. Nelson went to the gentlewoman, that uesed to bring my letters to your honor, and tould her, they wondred how I durst goe abroad; but they swor by their faith, they would quickly set mee fast enoue. I can say noe more, but leave all to the Almighty God, with my prayers to his hihnes, and your honor. I will continue till death
Lord Broghill to secretary Thurloe.
I have had such good experience of your kindness to me, that if it were my owne private concernment, I could not thinke you needed a remembrancer; but beinge for some dayes hastily called out of towne, and the requests I make unto you relatinge to others, I hope you will pardon my mindeinge of you concerninge my lord Grandison's allowance, who really is ready to perish; as also the referringe my lord Suffolke and sir Charles Harbord's business to the lords commissioners; and if to thes two obligations you will excuse this considence, you will at least as much oblidge,
Major general Haynes to secretary Thurloe.
Synce my last to my lord Lambert (wherein I gave him a briese understanding of what the gentlemen of theise fowre counties had done in prosecution of his highness instructions) there hath come to their hands some further account of those, that weare apprehended uppon their severall orders; the persons of greatest quallity are found absent from their homes: a perfect lyst of such as are taken, with the places to which they are sent, as also the names of those that we could not apprehend, with what information we can gett of their now respective abodes, you shall receive soe soon as the whole comes in. In the meane time I thought it my duty to informe you, that my lord Maynard playd least in sight, and hidd himselfe (as we have cause to feare) for he was at home but a little before our party came to his house; and hearing that he was escaped to my lord of Suffolk's, they followed him thither, but missed of him, he being (as they understood) gone thence directly to London. In his house were found sundry armes well fixed, and newly fitted for service above 20 foote armes, and 12 case of pistolls, and proportionable furniture for soe many horses, besides eleaven carabines, with halfe a hundred halberts and javellings, all which are safely brought to Colchester. My lord Lucas dwelleth in Common Garden, and my lord Rivers in London, but the certaine place I cannot learne. The gentlemen heere haveinge putt their instructions in full execution, doe now most earnestly desire their liberty, haveing had little to doe for this weeke, and have noe other satisfaction in their present stay, but that thereby they performe their promise to his highness, that one of a county would abide uppon the place to be in reddiness to persue any further instructions his highness should transmitt to them. Please therefore to mynde his highness thereof, that soe his pleasure may be knowne therein, which I am fully perswaded wil be by them observed with all chearfullness, wherein also shall not be wanting the best endeavours of,
The chancellor of Russia's answers to mr. William Prideaux.
A Lexander Michahlowich, by the mercy of God great lord emperor and great duke of all the greater and lesser Russia, self upholder of Moskokeof, Uladomer, Novogorod, emperor of Cazan, emperor of Astracan, emperor of Syberia, lord of Pszafesko, and great duke of Smolensko, Twersko, Ugorsko, Perasko, Vatsko, Bulgarsko, and others; lord and great duke of Novogorod in the lower lands, Charnegodsko, Rezansk, Polotsk, Rostonesko, Verestavesko, Belozersko, Oodorsko, Obdorsko, Condinsko, Weeptepsko, Mustis-Lansko, and commander of all the northern parts, and lord of Everske lands of the Kurtolmiske, and Gruzinsko princes, and Kebardinsky lands of the Cherioske and Egorsko dukes, and many other empires and countries in the east, west, and north, successor of his father and ancestors, lord and commander. His imperial majesty's chancellor of the embassadors office, and prince, counsellor, Almaze Juaneue, his answer to William Prideaux, messenger from Oliver protector of the commonwealth, of England Scotland, and Ireland, and other lands, which are added to them.
In the present year 7163, and the 28th day of February, you being in the embassador's office spake with me, and gave me in writing, viz. That Oliver protector of England and all his council ordered you to speak to his imperial majesty, that he would be pleased to renew and confirm the former gracious privileges to the merchants of the English company, which were given to them formerly by his imperial majesty, and that his majesty would be pleased to name the number of them, that they, their heirs, and their servants, that they send into his majesty's dominions, may freely trade without any custom or other impost on themselves or their goods as formerly, and that it was advised of by the protector and all his council, why the English merchants were sent out of his majesty's dominions, and were commanded to come no further than the city of Archangel.
Answ. In the four past years in the days of the former emperors of Russia, and in the days of the great lord duke and great emperor Michael Phederowich of all Russia, lord and commander of many countries, the father of blessed memory of his present imperial majesty, there was given to them his majesty's gracious letter upon the desire of the former lords of famous memory, James and Charles, kings of England, and order given to them to trade in Russia freely beyond all other nations without custom; and they by that his majesty's grace of trading free and without custom, were to bring into his majesty's dominions all forts of goods, velvets, satins, damasks, taffeta's, cloth, gold, silver, pewter, brass, silk, and all other outlandish wine, spices, powder, lead, and all other goods to be good as formerly. And whatsoever goods they bring to Archangel, or to Mosco, and that there were need of any of these goods for his majesty's use, they were to give those goods into his majesty's treasury at their prizes they cost in England without any profit; and those English merchants that traded in Russia heretofore by his imperial majesty's grace, traded many years without custom, and by that free trade without custom grew very rich, and got great estates, and brought their goods and delivered them into his majesty's treasury at the true price without any addition. And when those former merchants left off trading, there were in their places other English merchants, and they by his imperial majesty's grace traded, but brought few goods, which were needful in his imperial majesty's treasure, and never gave them at the true English price, but set them not only at the English price, but much dearer than the Dutch; and because of their so dear prices for many years goods were taken into his majesty's treasure, not of the English, but of the Hamburghers and Hollanders, because the Hollanders sold their goods into his majesty's treasure a great deal cheaper than the English; and what goods the Hollanders had not were taken into his majesty's treasure of the English merchants, it was at excessive rates, and a great deal dearer than the Hollanders goods, and from thence much damage was done to his majesty's treasure. Therefore the taking away of the privileges came from themselves; and the English merchants, to whom the privilege was given by his imperial majesty's father of blessed memory Michael Phederowich of all Russia self upholder, are now near all dead; and there traded in their places other merchants, factors, and call themselves by their names; and these merchants brought secretly into Russia and carried secretly out of Russia forbidden goods, and they took from other strangers much outlandish goods, and brought those goods from Archangel to Mosco, and never entered these goods in the custom-house at Mosco, or any other city, but sold them as their own goods, and at Mosco and other cities bought Russ goods for many strangers, as if it had been for themselves, and carried them to Archangel without custom, and sent them secretly as their own goods beyond seas. By this false trade much damage was done to his majesty's treasure; and of these things they were often told, but they would not desist from their false dealing. Therefore his imperial majesty commanded, that for those their faults they should be graced no more. And he commanded, that those English for their much falshood should go beyond sea with all their estates, and that they should trade in Russia with all kind of goods from beyond sea to Archangel, and custom to be taken of their goods as from other strangers, but over much custom not at all to be taken of them. And for the future his majesty's order concerning the English merchants, by the desire of Oliver protector of England, &c. shall be fitly given concerning friendship and amity. But now in regard his imperial majesty hath so much warlike affairs in hand, he cannot so suddenly give any order.
Answ. Because the English nation in the time of war did any friendship to the former emperors of Russia, therefore those emperors graced these merchants to trade here many years freely without custom beyond all other strangers; and by that trade they got themselves great estates, and therefore they ought to know and remember that grace of our emperors. And that it is written, that corn was brought out of England in the time of the great emperor of famous memory, Michael Phederowich of all Russia, sent by their late lord king Charles. Therefore by the order of the said emperor corn was suffered to be sent from hence for England at a low rate, without any profit; and had it not been sent from hence by his majesty's order, a great dearth of bread had been among them.
Answ. By the order of his imperial majesty it is commanded, that his subjects, that are indebted to the English merchants, should suddenly and with all conveniency pay their debts; but there appears much falshood among the English merchants concerning their debts, they having received their money by bills, kept those bills by them, and gave receipts under their hands of the payment of the money, and afterwards petitioned for payment the second time on the said bills, as it was told yourself, and a copy of the receipt given.
And it stands in your writing, that what debt an Englishman makes in Russia, it may not be reckoned upon all the English, but that he that made the debt may pay it, and not any others but those that are security for it.
Answ. The subjects of his imperial majesty, or those English merchants that are indebted one to another of a long time, they are to account together according to their bills. If the debtor be not present, the debt is to be demanded of their servants that are present; and his majesty's order concerning debts is to the English on his subjects, so it is to his subjects on the English; and those that are indebted one to another by new debts, that they make an end together amongst themselves, and to have nothing to do with other men's bills.
And that it stands in your writing, that his imperial majesty's gracious letter concerning the making of pot-ash was given to the English agents, Symond Digby's wife, and to their cousin John White, an Englishman, for ten years; and that business being taken away from John White, was damage to them alone 4000 rubles.
Answ. That John White's design of making pot ash was not of much consequence, and it was in company with his imperial majesty's colonel Alexander Crawford, and all of it was not for a thousand rubles, therefore it could not be, that much damage should arise. And it is well known to his imperial majesty, that that English man was indebted to colonel Alexander Crawford, and he sat up that making of pot-ash on gentlemen's lands; and Alexander Crawford on his debt, and those gentlemen, on whose land the pot-ash was made, petitioned to his imperial majesty many times, that the Englishman John White paid not Alexander Crawford his debt, nor them for their lands and trees, and all necessary. Therefore that business was taken from John White, it arose from his false dealing.
And it stands in your writing after a lofty manner concerning your cook and Russ servants, which were taken out of your house in the holy great Lent, and that therefore you would not receive his imperial majesty's grace of sables and allowance, but took it as a great affront.
Answ. Those cooks were taken out of your house, because they were runagates, and would not live at their own homes, and would not pay his imperial majesty's subsidies; and concerning their running away, many of their own friends petitioned to his imperial majesty, and upon their petition they were taken and sent with security to their former place of living, there to pay their part of contribution. And moreover those cooks were taken away, because it was the time of the holy Greek Lent; and according to our true Christian faith and Greek religion, at that time we are to eat no flesh of any kind, neither could they boil any flesh; and in the room of those cooks it was commanded, that other people should be lent you, but you would not accept of it.
A it is true, that the chancellor gave me a copy of the receipt, but the contents are therein contrary to what he sayeth; for that Thomas Woodcock the English merchant by that receipt discharges the Russes, that were his debters, for the sum contained in it; and by virtue of that acquittance they may receive up their bills that were put in the office before the acquittance was made. The chancellor's error I made appear to him the next day after I was with him, when that I had the acquittance translated out of Russe into English; but it seems the answers he hath given me were made before that.
B. The excuses he makes for the taking away my cooks, are altogether most false and frivolous; for when they were taken prisoners, led to the embassador's office, and then put in irons, it was then told them by the chancellor (as I have already written) that they were punished for serving me his highness lord protector's messenger; and that it was done in that respect may plainly appear by this, that as soon they were freed out of prison, they served in the Sloboda two English merchants for cooks, and serve them to this day. And well it is known to the chancellor, and nothing is said unto them. They are both of them poor young men, and under their parents, and cannot pay any thing to the emperor except it be for their persons.
To Bordeaux, the French embassador in England.
The court was forced to remove in some disorder from la Fere to Soissons through the approach of the prince's forces. The siege of Landrecy proceedeth very well; the trenches are opened; a fortnight's time, it is thought, will make us masters of that place. In pursuance of the cardinal de Retz's letter to the two priests, they have taken upon them for the function of great vicars, which hath very much displeased the king, who hath sent them to come to him. This business doth cause some alteration in the minds of people, and may be in the end of some bad consequence. Endeavours are used in the mean time to accommodate the same.
A letter of intelligence.
Yours of the 28th of last month I received, importing not much of news. What here is you may see in mine of occurrents. What I 'writ in two former letters, that there is a present and late treaty betwixt cardinal Mazarin and R. C. for a marriage, is true. R. C.'s mother would never consent; but R. C. unknown to her has passed his word to cardinal Mazarin. What further shall be of it will appear; and if this be as true, as it is said, what peace can his highness expect from France? Our treaty with you is at a stand on your part, yet we are confident it shall be soon concluded.
De Lionne, the French embassador at Rome, to Bordeaux, the French embassador in England.
I have received your letter, wherewith you were pleased to favour me of the 7th of the last month, and now I shall answer you by the way of Holland, which I find to be the safest. I hope that the pretence, which the protector takes to defer the signing of your treaty upon the business of the Vallies of Savoy, will suddenly cease, since monsieur Servien, embassador for the king at Turin, hath writ me word, that he hoped to accommodate the same in a short time, according to the orders, which he had received from the court, although it is not a war for their religion, but a pure revolt against their prince.
This court is still barren of such news as is worthy to be sent to you. The great business, which we have here, and that which doth take up my time at present, is that about the cardinal de Retz, whom the king would have to be suspended, having recourse for that to the justice of the pope. The difficulty, which doth hinder us at present, is, that I have demanded of his holiness to have French canons for commissioners, according to the custom of France. His holiness is willing to give commissioners, but he will send from hence. This is in short the business in dispute. I expect further orders from the court.
Heinsius, the Dutch resident in Sweden, to the states general.
High and mighty lords,
The general assembly, which hath lasted for these four months, is now at last brought so far, that the same will be ended to morrow, as the same hath been publickly proclaimed by sound of drum and trumpet by order of the court through this city. And now the departure of his majesty is daily expected. There are two extraordinary embassadors from Poland arrived within few miles of this place, certain advice thereof being brought to this court, and will be here to morrow. It is believed, that this will not hinder his majesty's departure in the least; and that there is order given to make ready a ship with all speed for the said embassador to follow the king for Pomerania, where he doth intend to treat with them.
Avaugour to Bordeaux, the French embassador in England.
I shall be less surprised at the rupture with England, if it happens according to the advice, which you have given to mr. Chanut, than at the signing of a treaty, which hath been delayed from time to time upon such weak pretences. That which they take at present, doth sufficiently declare the little good will they have at present to an accommodation; but it doth still justify more and more the good intention of France to a peace. But I shall forbear to publish any thing till I hear further. This court is now busy in consulting about the choice they are to make, whether of peace or war with Poland, and the resolution will be taken within few days. Here are arrived two extraordinary embassadors from Poland. They only signified their arrival half a day's journey off this place, where they do receive embassadors. The king of Sweden doth make an account to part the next day after their first audience, and to take them with him, either to treat with them, or to advance his army, being not willing to lose any more time.
A letter of intelligence.
A letter of intelligence to mr. Petit.
We have at present no news from Landrecy, save that the enemies have to no purpose strove to cast a relief therein; and that they have posted themselves two leagues from our camp, to incommodate our army. The queen and his majesty's brother are at Soissons, where his majesty is expected with the cardinal. There is a rumour, that an express from Rome is come to court, with order to speak only unto the king, who thinking to send him unto his eminency, the said express hath refused to see him, and will deliver the pope's pacquet to none but unto his majesty.
The abbot Ondedei, sent here by the court to watch over the affairs of the clergy, having founded here the chapter of the archbishoprick, to know if the vicars heretofore established by the king, instead of those of cardinal de Retz, would receive that quality, the great dean hath answered him in the behalf of the company, that if the said command was renewed by a decree of the council, it should be obeyed.
The chancellor, the keeper of the great seal, the overseer of the exchange, and the attorney general named Bignon, have met of late upon the notice received, that the pope will name twelve cardinals as commissioners to examine cardinal de Retz.
Process with nomination is pretended here to belong unto the king, and the approbation thereof unto the pope. The said chancellor hath caused command to be made in his master's behalf unto two curates of our parishes, St. Magdalen and St. Severin to go to his majesty. The first has obeyed, but the second was gone out of town, the subject whereof yet unknown. One named Berthet, secretary of the king's closer, and a person well beloved of cardinal Mazarin, was set on by some persons appointed by the duke of Candale, as he passed by the Louvre in a chair, which persons cut his hair, his beard, and tore his linnen and his clothes, for saying in a company of ladies, that the said duke, his fine apparel and his perriwig laid aside, was not handsomer than another man.
A letter of intelligence.
I have but little of news since my former. It's written from our camp or siege about Castillion in Catalonia of the 18th of last month, that prince Conti continues always the said siege very hot; he himself both night and day on horse-back, to observe the designs and march of don John of Austria, who was then within two leagues of that place with 3000 horse and 4000 foot, being equal to the number of our army there. Don John is watching to relieve the place the best he can, having received express orders from his majesty of Spain to that purpose; and it is thought, that this siege will hold till the beginning of July. By the next you may hear something of it. It is written from the camp of Landrecy of the 30 last month, that the convoy last entered to that camp, met with 200 horse of the enemies, which were beaten by the dragoons of mr. la Ferte, which killed several of them, and took prisoners above 80 of them; of which the most part are Lorainers, and of which about 80 took party with ours; as also their commander. That the prince Condé marched with 8000 men towards the river of Somme side, and the rest of the Spanish army marching after, and very near him, being certainly 14000 horse and above 8000 foot, all the Spanish army being comprehended, except those of duke Francis of Lorain, being but a small number, which did not ÿet join the body of the army, and another little body of 1000 men, that are yet about the river of Lys. However the whole Spanish army are now within 6 leagues of la Fere, and less to the camp of Landrecy, which torments ours highly, knowing not their designs. However it will not be long before they will undertake something. What it may be is not yet known. The king came last wednesday from Soissons, to visit the queen and his brother, but returned to la Fere next day again, where the court continues as yet.
The court sent last sunday letters de cachet to the two grand vicars made here lately by cardinal de Retz, commanding them to follow the king, and come to him, where he is, that they might satisfy his majesty about their proceedings in Paris, since they received commissions from cardinal de Retz. He of St. Severin obeyed, but the curate of St. Magdalen was not found within, though several of the commissioners looked for him. However the abbot Ondedei, first secretary to the cardinal, who was here about that business, parted on thursday, and is gone to court.
Last monday mr. Berthet, secretary of the king's cabinet, was met by 10 or 12 cavaliers near St. Thomas at the Louvre. They entered the secretary's coach, their pistols in their hands, and one of them drew out a razor, and cut the secretary's beard and hair, for which the secretary having informed against such people, not knowing what they were, it was found out at last, that that piece was played by monsieur de Candale, of whose hair the secretary had some impudent discourse before a certain lady. We have from la Fere of the 30th last month, that the prince has taken a fort or two of ours, called Bouchain and Cattillion, in hopes ours would raise the siege of Landrecy, or that that would hinder relief from the camp; but he is mistaken, for ours have enough of provision in the camp for these 30 or 40 days to come; so that he can but hinder our convoys, or besiege some other place. The cardinal is a little indisposed of a colick, which caused him to be let blood. The gentlemen lent to Savoy by the protector of England arrived at Lyons 6 days ago, being conveyed along by 8 of the king's body guard, which is more civility (as they say) than ever the protector shewed to his majesty of France as yet. It is not believed here, that the protector has broken out with Spain as yet, notwithstanding marquis de Leda's return, which is all at present. By the next you may hear more from,
It is written from Marseilles of the 22d of last month, that duke Vendosme arrived there, where he was gallantly received, and within two days after returned to Turin, to prepare his fleet to go to sea. We know not yet to what design, only thought he must sail towards Italy or Catalonia.
It is reported here of late this same day, that admiral Blake came near Tunis, where he demanded the liberty of some English slaves there, which he was refused, and there sunk a great quantity of their ships that were in that port, as you had before. Upon which the grand Seignior gave orders to seize upon all English merchant ships that pass in their seas; having now, as said, to the value of fifteen millions, of which expect more by the time, &c.
The states general to the burgomasters of the city of Embden.
We have received yours of the 18th of May last, written there the 12th of the same month; and did therein perceive, that you were resolved to send hither your commissioners against the appointed time, being the first of this month, to confer about the limitation with the commissioners of the prince and state of East Friezland, according to our resolutions of the 28th of April last. But we have not yet seen any of them, notwithstanding that the day is already elapsed, and that the commissioners of the said states have already appeared here. Wherefore we have thought fit to desire you most friendly and neighbourly, that you would dispatch hither your commissioners to the end aforesaid, according to our resolution; otherwise we should, though unwillingly, be necessitated to order our commissioners, appointed and authorized for the said liquidation, to proceed with their business, and finish the same, notwithstanding the absence of your commissioners; which we hope you will take into worthy consideration, whereupon we do rely. Done the 3d of July, 1655. [N. S.]
H. Cromwell to secretary Thurloe.
I Gave you the troble of a letter from Northampton, desieringe that the judges commissions might meet mee heer, but have not heard any thinge of them. I came hither with all my family safe and in good health the laste night. The Lord make us thankefull for it. When I came out of towne, I thought I might have performed my journey in less time, but indeed the wayes and the weather provinge soe very bad, I coulde not possibly gett hither sooner. I intend to loose noe time to gett forward, and therefore resolve one monday to goe to the place of shippinge, wheer I shall only waite for a winde. It would be verry convenient, that I hade the judges comissions to carry with me. If they be sent by next poste, they may possibely overtake me. I have bin treated with a great deall of respect frome the countrey in my journey hither, and finde noe less heer. I pray God direct you in your greate affairs, and bringe us to a good issue in them in his good time. I ame
Allowances of the lords of the council.
The commissioners appointed by his highness the lord protector of the commonwealth of England, Scotland, Ireland, and dominions of the same, with advice of his council for managing affairs in America.
Whereas it hath pleased Almighty God at present to visit general Venables, our fellow commissioner, with sickness, the issue whereof is only known to his divine majesty; and we, according to our duty and his highness's commands, taking into consideration, what effects might follow thereupon amongst the army, in case it should please God to take him away, none being nominated or authorised to succeed him in point of command. And we having good experience of, and being well satisfied as to your wisdom, vigilancy, fidelity, fitness, to manage and supply the said place and trust, do by virtue of a power derived to us from his highness commission and instructions, elect, nominate, authorize and appoint you the said major general Fortescue, to be commander in chief of his highness's army now in the island of Jamaica, and the same to command and govern in as full and ample manner (and do all things else in reference to the said army) as the said general Robert Venables did or might have done by virtue of his place and charge, for the advancement of his highness's service in America, till his pleasure be further known and certified touching the same. Hereby desiring, and (in his highness's name) requiring all colonels, lieutenant colonels, majors, captains, lieutenants and officers whatsoever, together with all subordinate officers and soldiers, to take notice of, observe, and obey you accordingly. And yourself to adhere to the advice of his highness's commissioners aforesaid, or such of them as shall be present with you upon the place, or in their absence to your council of war, in all things tending to the good of the service and design, for which this army was set forth, according to his highness's instructions given the said general Venables. The force of this commission to commence immediately after the death of the present general (if God please to dispose before his highness can otherwise order) and continue till his said highness shall further provide on that behalf. Given under our hands and seals this 24th of June at Jamaica abovesaid 1655.
William Penn, esq; one of the admirals and generals of the fleet of the commonwealth of England,
Whereas his highness by letters patents dated at Westminster the 9th of December 1654, for several considerations him thereunto moving, hath been pleased, by and with the advice and consent of his council, to commit the conduct and command in chief of the fleet and ships employed in this expedition into America unto me; and hath thereby given me power and authority to give commissions to all officers, as places respective should be vacant by death, or otherwise; and to exercise martial law, according to the rules and articles appointed for government of the state's fleet, and the general and known customs of the sea; and also to dispose of this fleet, as might be most advantageous to the publick, by advice of his highness's commissioners or a council of war. And forasmuch as I have, by the advice of the above-named, ordered great part of this fleet to go presently home for England; and that by advice abovesaid the ships Torrington, Marston-Moore, Gloucester, and several others, (as by a list of them) do continue in these parts of America for the service of his highness till further orders; I have for many reasons to me well known, and for the trust and confidence I have of your ability and faithfulness, thought fit, and do hereby accordingly nominate, constitute, and appoint you vice-admiral William Goodsonn, to be commander in chief of the said squadron of ships to be continued out in these parts. And do hereby authorize and empower you to order, manage, and command the same; and to do, execute, and perform in them all things and matters, in as full and ample manner, as if I myself were present; thereby willing and requiring all commanders of or belonging to the said remaining squadron, or such as shall hereafter come and be joined thereto, to observe, follow, and obey in all things relating to the fleet for the good of the service, as ought to be done unto myself, until further order. And for your better direction in the ordering and managing of the trust committed to you, you are to observe and follow the directions and instructions herewith delivered unto you; and all such further orders and instructions as you shall hereafter receive from his highness or others authorised thereunto. Given under my hand and seal of anchor this 25th of June 1655.
William Penn, esq; one of the admirals and generals of the fleet of the commonwealth of England,
Whereas by a commission on that behalf you are constituted admiral and commander in chief of that part of the fleet, which is to stay for the affistance of this army, and advancement of his highness's service in America, you are to follow and observe these instructions following:
1. You are to take into your charge and command the squadron hereafter particularly to be mentioned; that is to say, the Torrington and all other ships hereafter following and arriving in these parts, unless some other be commissionated for the same by superiors.
2. You shall use your best endeavours (by all opportunities presenting) to seize, surprize, and take all ships and vessels belonging to the king of Spain, or any of his subjects in America, or of any other who shall assist or aid him, or shall be enemies or rebels to the commonwealth; together with the tackle, apparel, ordnance, and ammunition, and all and singular the goods, wares, merchandizes, and monies; and in case of resistance, to sink, burn, and destroy all such ships and vessels; and require all persons under your command to do the same.
3. You shall take care, that such goods, ships, monies, wares, and merchandizes, together with all their cockets, bills of lading, invoices, accounts, and writings whatsoever, that shall be found in them, or belonging to them, which you shall take and seize upon by virtue of the power given unto you by these instructions, be preserved without embezzlement, and delivered to his highness's commissioners, that so they may come in account to the state.
4. When you shall seize, or take any purchase, and bring the same where the commissioners appointed by his highness are, that then you desire the said commissioners to appoint some able trusty person or persons to join with the like, which you shall choose; and that the said persons so appointed do set a due valuation and apprizement of ship and goods; and when you deliver up the said prize or prizes by the commissioners order, you are to take a receipt for the full of what you shall so deliver, that the seamen may be satisfied in how much they may expect shares from the state.
5. And whereas divers people of this commonwealth have sustained, and do daily sustain great damages by having their ships and goods seized, pillaged, and surprized by divers French ships, and Frenchmen subjects to the king of France; and although redress hath been fairly sought, yet none can be obtained; you shall therefore, by virtue of his highness's instructions to myself in reference hereunto, seize, arrest, surprize, and detain, and in case of resistance to sink, burn, and destroy all such ships and vessels of the French king, or any of his subjects, which you shall meet with; together with their tackling, apparel, ordnance, and ammunitions, and all and singular the goods, monies, wares, and merchandizes therein, wheresoever the same shall be met with upon the seas; and the same so seized, arrested, or surprized, shall secure without any manner of wasting or embezzlement of any part thereof, and shall deliver the same to the commissioners as is above expressed.
6. And whereas there is an act of parliament of the third of October 1650, entitled, An act prohibiting trade with the Barbados, Bermudas, Virginia, and Antego (which was seconded by his highness's special command to myself) to seize, surprize, and take, and in case of resistance, to sink, burn, and destroy all ships and vessels belonging to any foreign nation whatsoever, which shall come to trade in, or traffick with, or that you shall find coming from any of the English plantations in America, or any islands, ports, or places thereof, which are planted by, and are in possession of the people of the commonwealth of England, without licence first had and obtained from the supreme authority of the commonwealth, or those impowered by it thereunto. And yourself is to take notice of this article, and issue out orders to all ships of war that shall come, as I have done to those that are already come, to the same effect.
7. You shall take care to preserve the honour, jurisdiction, territories, and people of this commonwealth within the extent of your employment; and in all places where you shall sail, endeavour, as much as in you lieth, that no nation or people intrude hereupon, or injure any of them.
8. You shall in this employment take care, that all instructions given to you, and other flag commanders, as to matter of discipline and other things relating to the well ordering and managing of a fleet, be put in execution, according to the laws of war and ordnance of the sea.
9. And you have hereby further power allowed you, that upon just grounds, and by consent and approbation of a council of war, you may suspend any captain from his employment, and also give commissions or warrants for places in any of the ships under your command, as they may happen to become vacant by death, or otherwise.
11. You shall be careful to give to his highness the commissioners for the admiralty and generals of the fleet, and communicate intelligence of your proceedings as frequently as you can, that you may receive further directions as there shall be occasion.
12. So long as you shall continue upon this employment at this place, you are to receive directions from his highness's commissioners, and by all opportunities advise with them touching the improvement of your time, and benefit of the service; and in case of their absence, then to govern your most eminent affairs by advice of a council of war.
13. You shall herewith receive about 1000 l. cash, which you are to manage as thriftily as you may upon contingencies; and when you issue order for the payment of any part thereof, cause some principal commander in your squadron to sign together with you; and so (in case of mortality) let all other bills be signed. You shall also receive a sum of money to pay your seamen remaining with you for their short allowance for the time past, all which money is in pieces of eight, which you are to issue out and pay at the rate of sterling per piece.
14. You shall as constantly as may be keep sea with so many of the fleet as you can; and that in such places, where you may most infest and annoy the enemy, and otherwise advance the service required by his highness.
16. And whereas there are large stores of provisions, of ammunition and other things, arrived from England for this army, and they having no conveniencies of store-houses to receive it ashore, it is by order of the commissioners put aboard several prizes in this harbour, till they can make provision to put it on land; and for that the said army have as yet raised no fortification to defend and secure the harbour, it is desired by general Venables (and I pray you order it accordingly) that two ships always in the absence of the rest, may be left as guard for it, untill such time as they, by fortification of the port, or otherwise, shall further secure it.
17. And whatsoever you shall deliver out of any ship under your command for the use of the army, cause receipt to be carefully taken for the same, that there may be a due charge laid upon the officers which receive it.
18. And whereas there are several stores taken out of those ships, which go first home, and left here for the supply of those that stay with you, you are therefore to take punctual care, that the same be issued and disposed to such as shall most stand in need of it, and that receipt for it be duly taken, that the state by neglect of such care be not endamaged.
19. And whereas (as is before mentioned) there is a sum of money left in your hands to pay for the victuals, which hath been gained to the state, by men's going to short allowance, you are to cause the certificate (of the just number of men borne, and quantity of victuals saved to the state) of every ship under your command to be signed joyntly by the respective commander, master, steward, and checquer; and upon payment of the said short allowance money, you are to cause two at the least (of the aforesaid officers) to sign the receipts, according to the orders I have formerly issued out to the whole fleet on that behalf.
20. And whereas all particulars cannot be foreseen, nor positive instructions for such emergencies so beforehand given, but that many things must be left to your prudence and discreet management, as occurrences may arise upon the place, or from time to time fall out; you are therefore upon all such accidents relating to your charge, to use your best circumspection, and by advice either with the said commissioners or your council of war, as occasion may be, to order and dispose of the said fleet, and the ships under your command, as may be most advantageous to the public, and for obtaining the ends, for which this fleet was sent forth; making it your special care in the discharge of that trust committed unto you, that the commonwealth receive no detriment.
10. Arms of Holland.
13. Unity Dogger.
General Penn to major general Fortescue.
It is my request, and so farre as my authority may allow mee, I require you, that commissioner Butler bee acquainted with all transactions of your affaires, that from time to time hee may bee the better able to give his highnesse an account of all passages in these parts. Likewise hee being the only commissioner, that continues here, I desire you would not dispose of the treasury-stores, prizes, or prize-goods, without his knowledge and consent, his highnesse reposing such confidence in his faithfulnesse; and that accounts be carefully and justly kept, to the end his highnesse bee not endamaged. Thus farre I thought fitt to impart my desires, nothing diffident of your willing complyance to the same, because only things just and reasonable shall ever be desired by,
Major general Disbrowe to secretary Thurloe.
I am this morninge goeinge for Taunton, wher I hope I shall settell the other troope for that county; and from thence into Glostershire, and settell those; and within ten or twelve dayes to be backe againe at the furthest. If you judge it convenient to order me to apointe some persons to se these troopes in these 6 counteys muster'd, I shall doe it, because I have a desire to be at their musters, to se them together, and talke with them. I thinke it will doe no harme. I did write to you about coll. Bennett, who is yet at London, for ought I heare; and his absence hinders that troopes raysinge, though I hope it will goe on. But I pray let me heare what he will doe, if you can speake with him. I desire you would not forgett that, which I did writte unto you about mony for the shrifes foote here. I thinke it very strange, that men should be raysed, and kept up nere 5 months, and no pay allowed them, noe not one peny. I have sent all our Devonshire gentlemen, we have in custody, to Plymouth, and ordered one company of foot theither to be their guard. I doe intend the Somersettshire gentlemen to this place; they are to come to morrow. I have not yet had any word about the prisoners here, what shal be done with them. I shall not troble you further; only rest your harty freind and servant,
The prince of Condé to Barriere.
I send you a letter for monsieur de Cardenas, wherein there is a letter inclosed from don Lewis, for me to receive 25,000 escus more, besides the 50,000. I pray take of him such necessary orders under the name of mr. de la Cour, my treasurer at Antwerp, for the payment of the said sum, and put them into the hands of mr. Chantemesle, to carry them to the lord president Viole: if not, you may send them directly by the post, as you did those for the 50,000. I pray lose no time.
An extract of a letter from Zurich.
The deputy Histrel is to go as embassador to Turin, together with the secretary Schmidt and three others from the cities. The envoy from England spake high to us, and will speak louder at Turin. He went through Lyons the 16/26. There is a truce, but will be dangerous, if it tend to a treaty without mediators. England and Holland are sued unto to send embassadors to act jointly. The king of France is advised to take those Vallies into his own hand, that he may always have the gates of Italy in his power and free. Great stirs in Languedoc. In England they are not rightly informed, what Zurich will do, and war cannot be begun, because the popish cantons, being in league with Savoy, would also take arms; and the canton of Berne itself is not free from alliance that way; and if we become a party, we cannot be mediators. We wish your presence. We know not whether England and Holland cause with their letters money, also help, to come to the Vallies, &c.
Mr. William Prideaux to the chancellor of Muscovy.
The 23d current I received from you by your writer the 400 rubles, in part of Shorine's debt to Robert Caning, as also the emperor's answers to my speech made unto him, and writings delivered you the 28th of February last; in which answer there is nothing mentioned, whether our merchants may have free commerce to Archangel and further into this country. Wherefore I desire you to let me have in writing, whether they may come free and with security to the said port and city, Colmegro, Vologda, Yearlslane, Mosco, and other parts of his majesty's dominions, as other strangers merchants do; and on what conditions our merchants shall commerce; for this is most necessary to know, that according to the answers I shall have from you, I may order those, that at present are in these countries, to dispose of themselves and their effects. I did verily believe, that that particular would not have been omitted in the answer I have read.
The business about the debts of English to Cassles, and of them to English, was by the emperor at the beginning promised, that it should have a speedy end; and that his imperial majesty would give satisfaction of his proper; but it is near seven years since that affair hath been in agitation. There is yet no end made thereunto. Therefore I desire to know, when that business shall be finished; whereby I may give an account thereof at my return into England, where it will be expected from me.
I pray you to write the vayvode of Archangel, that the English imbarres there may be emptyed of his majesty's corn, whereby the merchants may have their goods under covert, and not be exposed to rain and ill weather, as they were last year. Also to write him, that two bridges be made at the landing and lading places, as heretofore was the custom to do, the better to avoid any accident of fire, that may happen. Moreover to give the customer order, that our merchants may receive their dispatches, when they demand them, which was not done the last peace; by which means they were like to lose their passage for England.
The prince of Nassau to the states general.
High and mighty lords,
Your high and mighty lordships agreeable letter of the 28th of the last month came safe to hand, with the original copy of the eternal regulation, by which the differences risen in Ommelands between the Eems and the Lauwers, through your high and mighty lordships wisdom, are decided, together with an act of amnesty in order thereunto. . . . . The gentlemen, heritors, and the representatives of the said Ommelands, will for the future avoid the like disputes and dangerous differences, and will give your high mightinesses no further trouble in such like affairs, but behave themselves according to the aforesaid clear and firm regulation, to comply hereafter with the same, to live and to govern together in botherly love and unity. And as to myself, I will regulate myself exactly to the same in all occurrences, according to the tenor of the said regulation, to fulfill the same at all times, as well in these as all other affairs that may happen, and thus to effect the well-meaning of your high mightinesses good intention.