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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July (1 of 6)
President Viole to Barriere.
I have received your letter of the 2d. Landrecy is still vigorously besieged. The enemy doth hasten all that they can, to make themselves masters of it, they having want of provisions, all the passages being beset by our forces, so that no provisions can be brought into their camp.
Mr. W. Prideaux to secretary Thurloe.
My last to your honour was the 10th of Maye, which was a little addition to a dupplicate of my former of 18th April, sent under covert to the Russia company. Since my last I have not bine wanting to solicit this chancellour of th' embassador's office, Almas Juaniuich, by my letters and else, for my departure to Archangell, giving him to understand, that I had advise from England, that shipps would departe from thence bound to that porte sooner then they did former yeers, and that it was requisite I should bee there at theire arrivall; that my staye here, and not permitting me to departe the middle of March last in winter waye to Riga, hath prooved very prejudiciall to his highnesse lord protector's affayres. But al the answers I could have was, that untill order did come from th' emperor, I could not have my dispatch and departe.
The 17th of the last moneth came a poste from th' emperor to these lords, and chancellor of th' embassador's office, that have the goverment in his absence; soe the daye following hee sent mee my prestave, to advertise mee to bee ready to goe to him the next morning, as I did; where, after some few compliments, he told me, that the priveledges granted by these emperors to the Englishe merchants was only to twenty three persones; then he showed mee theire names, and tolde mee, that except two or three of them, the rest dyed many yeares past, and whilst they lived had noe trade to Archangell, and not to theire factors and servants; notwithstanding under the notion of the 23 nominated, hundreds have traded, and defrauded th' emperour of his customes for many years, which amounts to many thousands of rebles, for that not any of those that of yeares past, and now doe traffike to Archangell, have any right to the priveleges granted the twenty three.
That the now pretended company of Russia merchants in England have bin, and are still, cause, that many other Englishe merchants, that would trassike to Archangell, and paye th' emperour his customes, have bine, and are still soly and wholy hindred by that company; but if all the merchants, that are in England, would each of them give a summe of money to sayed pretended company, they should bee admitted into that society, and traffike under the names of the twenty three nominated in th' emperor's priveleges, and that to his majestie's damage.
That the Englishe merchants and factors, that lived in this country in former yeeres, and enjoyed the priveleges granted by the emperour (though noe right unto them) defrauded his majestie of his customes, not only of theire owne merchandizes, but alsoe by dispeeding in theire names, strangers and Russes goods, by which those Englishemen got great estates, and more by such frauds then by theire owne adventures, and commissions out of England, and this proved in the embassador's office in the time and presence of mr. Symon Digby agent.
That the Englishe merchants nominated in the priveleges were by them bound to bring theire cloth and other goods, good and warrantable commodityes; but contrary to it, theire cloth hath bine and is stretcht in length and breadth, and soe adulterated, that the garments made of it without wetting the cloth are spoyled, and in wetting it the shrinking is more then a third parte.
By the priveleges granted the Englishe company, they were obliged to sell to his majestie such goods as hee would have for his owne use, at the prises they cost in England; notwithstanding they made his majestie to paye excessive prises for them, and 20 per cent. more then hee payd to the Hollanders at same tyme, for like spetie of goods, and better conditioned then those had of the Englishe.
And for good servises the company pretend to have done the emperor and his subjects, when that a want of corne was here; in requitall of that his majestie caused to bee solde the Englishe, on tyme when they wanted corne, at a doller a measure, when others payed three dollers.
To the premises I answered; that if the Englishe company of merchants trading to these partes had acted as the chancellor had sayed, I wondred that his majestie and ministers had bine soe many yeares, and not till now made any complaynt; and if any of the company had bine fownd faulty of what they are now accused, his majestie might have punished the delinquents when fownd in fault, and it would not have bine ill taken in England, or at least to have made known into England the persones, and the fauts comitted by them, and justice should have bine done there.
That his imperial majestie would bee pleased to make a firme and irrevocable decree, that hereafter noe Englisheman should bee lyable for another Englishemane's debt, except were bound for it: hee promised mee, that both my demands should be accomplished; and with that assured mee to send mee my dispatch within two or three dayes.
It is very well knowen, that all the above denoted sayings of the chancellor proceed not from his owne intelligence, or other Russes information; but all, and more then what is sayed is come from malignant Englishe here.
As for my particuler complaynts for my long staye here, the keeping mee in house ten weeks without permission to goe abroade, the denying mee payment of the 400 rebles, heretofore advised off, and the taking awaye my cookes, I was desired by the chancellor, in the name of the emperor (making slender excuses to each particuler, needlesse here to bee incerted) to forget all, and accept of his majestie's grace, which the chancellor did agayne in the name of th' emperor offer me: soe I tolde him, I would accept thereof, and with that I tooke leave of him.
The 23d ditto, the chancellor sent mee the prime writer of his office, with such answers, as your honour will see herewith translated out of Russes; alsoe for the 400 rebles that I demanded, two timber of sable skines for a present to myselfe, 5 payer to each on of my sower gentlemen, and two payer to each on of two Englishe servants, that went with mee, when I went to audience to the emperor.
I have fownd the chancellor's answers to my speech and writings defective, and not fully answered, and in particular not declareing whether the Englishe merchants maye come into this country further then Archangell; wherefore have written him a letter (coppie of it I send your honour herewith) but as yet I have noe answer unto it, and I thinke shall not before my departure from hence.
A Holland merchant here hath advise from thence, that the states were aboute to send a persone to this emperor, but have deferred the same, to see what reception, entertaynment, and answers will bee given to my negociations. These Dutch merchants wishe, if the states send any, that it maye bee on that will stand on his termes for the honour of theire republike, as they saye I have done for his highnesse and ours: then they will hope of a better commerce and usage here then they have, and bee not soe much undervalued as they are, nor obliged to give such great presents to these lords as now they doe.
Five days past was dispeeded from hence, by these lords, a writer of the embassador's office, with the emperor's letters to the states of Holland. The writer hath noe other character then a passe: hee is accompanyed with an interpreter and three servants. I ame in formed that he hath order to enquire in Holland what personage (soe they speak) my lord protector is; the emperor he pretending to be ignorant thereof, not giving credit to my relations, and therefore in the chancellor's answers to me (and I suppose likewise in the emperor's letter) gives not those titles that appertaynes to his highnesse, notwithstanding my speech to the chancellor the 28th of February last. I perceave the cause that wee were soe slighted is in parte, that the emperor is held in opinion, that Charles Stuart maye come to the crown of England, and therefore if that should come to passe, his imperial majesty might receive damage for his correspondency with his highnesse lord protector. Moreover the emperor will see how this campagne will prove agaynst the Pole; if he be prosperous, his pride will be such, as cannot be imagined, he having already taken a motto in his standard, I flee high, and feare noe body. I believe Hebden, in his translations and speech of what I have written and sayed, hath willingly omitted the words highnesse and lord, speaking of the lord protector. If he have, and that I can fynde it out, I shall call him to account for it at Archangell. This I know, that he is not well affected to the Russia company, and is more a Russe then English in affection.
The chancellor hath sent me a verball answer to my letter written him, viz. that what I have written him to know if our merchants shall come further into this cuntry then Archangell, he can give me noe playner answer, then what he hath done, untill he have further orders from the emperor, to whom he will write about it, and before my departure from Archangell, I maye have my desire. In the meane tyme he will write that governor to free the English merchants warehouses, and to erect two bridges, and order the customer to execute according to my request.
Off the king of Sweeden's extraordinary embassadors to this emperor, that crowne's commissary here resident hourly expects advice of theire coming forwards directly hether, or from Plasco, to goe the nearest way to the emperor, if it be free from the Pole's souldiers; of which there is some doubt.
The advices from the emperour's armyes are such, that what one day is sayd for trueth, is contradicted the next. 'Tis judged, he makes noe great progresse by reason of the Russes silence. This we have for certayn, that 10 dayes past, he was noe more advanced into duke Roginel's country, then he was two or three dayes after his departure from Smolensko, and that the Pole's forces have beseiged the citty Weelips, belonging to Roginell, that was taken by the emperor last year. More truer and fresher advices from Dantzick and Hamburgh of those warrs may go for England, then from hence.
An intercepted letter to mrs. Mary Grosvenor.
Thine of the 29th of June came safe to hand. For it, thou hast my true thanks. I do assure thee, it was not little joy to see it; and am not only thankful to God, but you also. My time will not admit to inlarge, being now going ashipboard, the wind being now fair; and hope my journey will not be long. Fear not, my dear, I shall through God's assistance keep myself out of my creditor's hands, till I have wherewithal to satisfy his debts, which I hope will be e're long. In the interim, if God bless me this bout, I question not but shall satisfy all demands, and his shall be first. For thy coming to me, thou canst not more desire it than I do; but about that shall discourse, when come back again. In the mean time, I beg of thee to be very chearful, and let nothing trouble thee, for what the factor knows of me by the merchant that saw me at Brussels, it matters not; for whatever they may pretend to know of my trade, I know they know nothing, nor where I am.
An intercepted letter to mr. Isaac Kempe, merchant.
Yours of the 15th came safe to hand. I shall in all things observe your orders, fearing not with very great speed to do what I have to do when come there, to desire of you and all my other friends, as you love your partners, myself, and desire the good success of the fuit have had so long in chancery, you come not to a trial with our factor, till I have made up the accompts, lest you be baffled, and again nonsuited; for if money be wanting to see the lawyers well, you know their tongues will be dumb, and want it, I know, you will, till I send you a bill for the last goods I sold for you, which questionless shall do upon substantial persons within a few months, I trust 2 will be the furthest; but in that the wind hath held long out of the way, it hath much hindred me, but just upon writting of this it's come good, and so am going aboard, and trust in God it will so continue, till I come to my desired port, from whence you shall hear of me by the first. In the interim, you know how to write. I am glad if your credit will be able to retain those lawyers against the day of our trial, and hope for the deferring of it this term, it will prove no prejudice (putting the worst case that can be) that though some of our witnesses should be dead, and any living suborned, yet the advantage under a debtor's hand about the falseness of his accompts, with the getting up those desperate debts for you, will make good all.
An intercepted letter to mr. William Rich, merchant in London.
Sir, and dear friend,
Yours of the 29th of June came this moment safe to my hand. For it, you have my true thanks. Since the first of the last have received none from you till now. I do assure you, no endeavours of mine have been wanting to have done what I was about before this, but God's time is the best. To it we must submit. I have been these three weeks waiting for nothing but a good wind, the ship in which I go being ever since ready, and God hath upon the receipt of yours this moment given one, so that I am going just now aboard; I trust it will continue so, and trust in God to be again with great speed to follow our business; for it is not good, I see, to trust so much to servants, seeing factors, persons of greater credit, as would be esteemed, proved knaves. But as to the business I am going about, when come there, shall soon dispatch it, I question not, and then shall desire your further advice about our further trade, and disposal of what I have of yours and other partners in my hands. I hope you do believe, I shall not be wanting in my endeavours, as becomes an honest and laborious servant to serve you. Therefore, I pray, as you love me, and desire the quick dispatch, good and speedy end of our long law-suit, let none of our partners come to trial with our factor, for the cheat he hath put upon us, 'till I have made up the accompts, and got the money due and remaining in my hands, which, God giving me life, question not to do within two months at the furthest; and in the interim, if some witnesses should die, or others be subborned, I shall, by the testimony I and those whose hands will be to the accompts, make good that loss, and prevent the danger, that may arise there. Besides I know the reason hitherto we have done no more in this suit, which is so just, hath been the want of greasing the lawyers and solicitors, and well feasting the witnesses, and giving good fees to the bailiffs, which I know you and my other partners cannot do, in that you sue in form of poverty, till I get the monies in that are due upon this accompt, and return it you, which I believe will be two months longer before I can do it. I have no time mr. Bromley of Mursfield to write to mr. Holland, therefore pray present my respects and service to him, and judge you did wisely in what you did; but as to satisfy him and others, I do not in the least doubt, when I have done my business where I go. Forget not my love to thy good friend and mine, assuring that person, I am theirs, and also tell mr. Holland, I would have those col. Bishop commodities delivered to your master; and also to present my service to your master, with desire to him, that the white horse, if not lame, be delivered to one mr. Richard Fuller, for Barriere's intelligencer one mr. Thom. Arundell, to whom I gave him. I think it will be best to get Stephens the taylor to deliver him, to prevent all mistakes.
An intercepted letter to mr. Somes.
I DO very heartily thank you for all your respects for me, but more especially for your constant correspondency. I have mist none of your letters, but that of the 22d, which I hope is also safe, though I have it not. I shall be careful whom I trust, notwithstanding I thank you for your caution. Truly it's a hard time with poor merchants, when so many break as do; and truly the times are such, as those that will scorn to be knaves must be beggars. But I hope God will keep me as well from the one as the other. I have been this long time waiting for a good wind, and now, I praise his name, he hath given me one; so that I must ask your pardon for not inlarging, I being just now going on shipboard, and have only borrowed so much time as to tell you, I have received yours, and withal to beg you and all my other partners in that cargasoone of goods that base wicked factor cheated us of (which at this time is the cause of my journey) that you go not to trial with him for it, or any part of it, 'till I have cast up this accompt, least you be worsted. I shall make all the haste I can, and question not, if God give me a good passage, to be here again within two months at the furthest. To this purpose I have written to my other partners and masters. I pray weekly fail not to give me the price current of all goods, that I may know how to lay out the money to the best advantage. I am sorry to hear any of my old acquaintance, that were so honest traders and able merchants, that might and would have been helpful to me in gaining acquaintance, are made unserviceable to themselves, by being clapt up into prison for debts. Truly, sir, I see men so hard hearted, that you shall not need to fear I will venture, till I have enough to discharge all, and have a little to do some good to others, as well as to live upon my self, which question not in a short time to gain; therefore shall take your advice.
An intercepted letter to mr. William Mathews, merchant.
This is the first I received since the 1st of the last month. I am sorry any of mine should miscarry; but hope, if any have, it's not above one. I do assure you, I have not mist one post since I came over, to tell you how the goods went off here. The bill I received for the payment of that sum, what the goods I sold for you would not reach to; an accompt of it gave by the first post after I received it to you. I thank you for the care of all my concernments. I pray you continue your respect to my friend and friends still. I hope one day it will lie in my power to requite your love. In the interim you have my thanks. You must excuse my shortness, for I am just now going abroad. Therefore in your next write, I pray, as formerly desired. I am sensible, how angry some are with me. I hope God will so preserve me out of their power, that I shall not need to trouble my self with their Wrath; but as it may be vented on my friends, which I hope they will have a care of owning, for fear of my creditor. I shall have as much care as a man can have, that hath to do with men, to meddle with none but such as are honest; but the wisest of men may be deceived. I hope I shall be no more cozened. I thank you for your advice. I hope shall in all things follow your order, and do what I have to do for you and other principals to your content.
An intercepted letter.
I HAVE here inclosed sent one to mr. William Turner, but I have dated it from Brussels; for it I have some reasons, though I think the person is honest, to whom, I pray, when he comes, be very civil. I am so shortened in time, I can say no more; but that I desire your prayers, and the direction of the next to be by the French post, which goeth twice a week. Pray to the forementioned person say nothing of my journey, under the cover of mr. John Borroughs English merchant. I thank you again and again for your care of what is left in your custody.
An intercepted letter to mr. William Turner, merchant in London.
I Received yours, and am glad to hear of your health, I trust in God he will continue it with all prosperity for your resolution. I cannot speak a word to hinder it, except it lay absolutely in my hand to do what my heart desires, to make good your past by losses, as well as for the future to assure you of what you would answer your pains; but know, if it ever lye in my power, I shall desire a brand of infamy may by you pass upon me, if I do not acknowledge your civility. I have sent to have the white horse delivered to mr. Fuller for you. The person that he will be brought to will be my taylor, who will bring the horse to you.
An intercepted letter to mr. Richard Whitehorse, merchant, [Stephens.]
I Received yours, and give you my true thanks for all your love, but especially for what you inform me of, to prevent the base people from doing my friends any wrong. I have by another hand sent to thee, — in which is one to thee— by me writ last unsealed for you to see it. I pray act therein according to your best judgment to your friend's advantage. I question not, but it will lye in my power one day to demonstrate, I am not ungrateful to any, nor, assure yourself, shall be to you; let no soul alive know of this, for I do not care to be murdered by such people as I see now those are, though I shall not need to care who knows the business, as you will see when this letter comes to your hand.
Mr. Bradshaw, resident at Hamburg, to secretary Thurloe.
By the last post I gave you an accompt of the receit of his highness's letter to the company, and now by the inclosed addresse to his highness, you will see what effect it hath had heere. Theise men are not (as it seemes) to be reformed with words; they are and indeed have been a longe tyme letter proofe. I am sorrie to be inforced at such a time as this to give his highness and yourselfe so much truble aboute such a petit matter. Nor shall I desire any more letters to theise men, beinge trubled that strangers should have allready noted their sleightinge of soe many from his highness, their indulgent protector and benefactor, in whose hands the very beinge as well as the well beinge of the company rests, they beinge (indeed) nothinge more then he is pleased to make them; but shall rather waite how it will please his highness to command concerneinge them. Knowinge the desperate foole-hardines of theise men, and their malice, I would have layd down the place of myselfe to have prevented, or at least lessin'd this second affront, had it not beene that his highness had commanded, and you advised me otherwise formerly. Now I shall waite yet a little longer to see how the company at London will carry the matter to whom it's referred by them here, to chose a theird person. I have much adoe to beare the base insultings of Townley, who vaunts it out stoutly, that he will ere longe lay me on my back, which if he doe, I must then needs say, my tyme hath beene ill spent. Theise men are very confident, that the company at London will espouse a third man, and prevaile with his highness, that it shall be soe; which if they doe, I hope his highness will please to command my returne, for it will be noe living for me any longer here. The well affected would have addressed themselves to his highness and yourself, for a redresse of theise things; but findinge so little successe in their former applications, they are resolved to be silent under their sufferings, and to quit the place as soone as they can. My wyfe is coming over hither in the first ship, if his highness please to order any thinge by her. I shall not further detayne you from your more weighty affairs, the truble of peruseing these and the inclosed beinge much more than I would have willingly given you on this subject. With due respect I subscribe myselfe,
Sir, you writ in your last, that if mr. Townley did not conforme himselfe upon this letter from his highness, he would be required to live in England. Sure I am, if he have his desert, he will be sent for over by a messenger; but I may not prescribe. Townley and his partie having got the companie's seale into their hands, doe this night write to his highness in the name of the company, though there is not one of the company, that knowe what they write, nor assented to their writeinge; so that hereafter what they write is theire owne devises.
Intelligence from resident Bradshaw.
The states of Hungary at Presburg sent a committee to his imperial majesty the 16th present, desiring leave to make choice of his majesty's son prince Leopold Ignatius for their king; which being granted them, they went thereupon to the prince himself to have his acceptance, who dispatched them with no less content; so as they making relation thereof to the assembly, within few hours after his highness was most solemnly declared king of Hungary; which being published with the sound of trumpets, kettle drums, and canons, great acclamations were heard of vivat Leopoldus primus Hungariæ rex.
From hence nothing of news, but that about 40 ships with souldiers are gone down to the Dollers, waiting only for a fair wind. The conclusion of the Rix day is now in hand, and the king stays for nothing but the publishing of the same, it being believed, that his majesty will not enter into treaty with the Polish embassador here.
From Stettin it is written, the Swedish forces out of the Stift of Breme were safely arrived there; and that thereupon a general march was appointed within few days after. The king was also expected daily with the land folk out of Sweden, who are already embarked, and the ships lying at the Dollers waiting only for a fair wind. However it is thought they will not stay for them, but are already gone, or at least have orders to go upon their design without them, of which more per next.
Mr. Bradshaw, resident at Hamburgh, to the protector.
May it please your highnesse,
Having received your highnesse's most gracious letter of the 15th of June to the company of merchant adventurers here residing, I published it at an assembly held the 28th following, for the settling of the government of the fellowship for the year ensuing.
Francis Townley and his partie gave your highnesse's letter the hearinge, as they had done several letters formerlie, and as at the same time they did to a letter from the court of the company at London, advising them to comply with your highness's pleasure, and to make no change in the government; and they gave eare alsoe to the advice I gave them, to give a due respect to the favourable admonitions given them by your highnesse, minding them how often and how graciously they had been reiterated with much forbearance and clemencie by your highness, in expectation of their conformity at the last But when they had done that, with much resolution they layd your highnesse's letter aside, and followed their own counsells and determinations, taken, as it seemed, before their coming there, which was to passe me by with as much seorne as they could devise, reflecting on me with many bitter and malicious expressions not fit to trouble your highness with; and to elect the said Francis Townley, their ringleader, to the place of annual deputie. The honest and well affected partie diswaded and opposed them what they could, protesting against their proceedings, but all was in vaine, for they were resolved to have their wills, though it should ruine them and the company, as one of their greatest confidents and chiefe abetter at London did lately openly declare in that court, and as themselves have often done here. Accordingly they made choyce of the said Townley, which yet they carried but by two hands; who that he might maske over his designe and surreptitious seeking of the place, feignedly desired to be excused, which not being taken well by some of his partie, who knew how earnestly he had laboured it, desired him to explayne himself what he meant by such his excuse; who then said, that he meant not thereby to reject the company's respect to him, if they thought him a meere man to serve them; but yet however he desired tyme to consider, whether he should accept of the place or noe; which accordingly they did, giving him 2 or 3 days tyme, which they soe imployed in fortifying him to encounter all difficulties, as that the third day he accepted of the place; which when he had done, those of his owne partie, who had designed with him to worke their further end, as it shortly after appeared, which was to bringe in a third person, (resolving to have their wills in the outinge of me, whatever come of it) presently reassumed the place into their hands, his acceptance and present resignation giving them opportunity for it, which otherwise they could not so well have done; and then that partie in the assembly sent unto me a dissembled message, desiring me to give them my advice, how they might best proceed for the composing of the present differences among the company, protesting solemnly, that they realy desired it, as well for my satisfaction as for their owne future peace and quiet; to which I returned them the annexed answer; whereupon they presently sent to me to acquaint me, that they had it in consideration to referr the choice of their deputy to the company at London, with limitation to a third person, desiring my assent to it; to which I gave them for answer, that I once offerred to resign the place to a third person, if the company at London approved of it before the next election, that it might be my voluntary act for peace sake, if that were the way to it; which they did not approve of, but desired my continuance; and therefore to do it now, after they had a second time soe basely affronted me in the eyes of the Dutch, I neither could nor would assent, before I had acquainted your highness with their manner of proceeding. Whereupon they presently ordered, that the election of a deputy should be referred to the company at London, limitting them to a third; and to write to them by the post of it, and that for my answer to their message for a reconcilement, they would lay that aside, as they did. Having given your highness this true and impartial account, as I conceived it my duty, which I shall make good with all that formerly I have remonstrated, concerning their unworthy proceedings, if I be thereunto commanded, whatever they say to the contrary; I most humbly submitt it to the consideration of your highnesse, not doubting but your owne honour in your servant will be tender unto you; and that it will please your highness to preserve my reputation from the persisting malice of these men. Not that I desire to returne to the place, except it be only to lett strangers see, they cannot in such an unworthy manner force me from it; and then throw it up to them; for I profess, I had rather trail a pike at your highness command, then serve such men. Nor should I soe farr forget myselfe, as to take the boldness to prescribe how these men should be dealt with, but chearfully wayte your highness's pleasure therein; that at last I may be suitably vindicated, without which I shall not be able to serve your highness longer in this place; Townley having made his boasts openly, that he doubts not but ere long to lay me upon my back. With my most humble acknowlegement of your highnesse's most gracious acceptance of my poor services, and the favourable mention you have been pleased to make thereof in this letter to the company, I humbly crave pardon for this enforced diversion, and leave to subscribe myselfe
Mr. Townley and his partie have gotten the company's seale into their hands, and this night write what they please to your highness and the court at London; the honest party not knowing of it, or assenting to their writing. The men most active in putting the affront on me are Francis Townley, Clement Clarke, and Nathaniel Cambridge.
Mr. Bradshaw to the company of merchants adventurers in Hamburg.
In complyance with your desires as a company assembled, lately made known to me by a commissioner, viz. that having resumed the place of deputie for this residence into your hands, I would now advise with you of a way how to compose the present differences soe unhappily raised amonge you, to which you solemnly professed yourselves both realy and affectionately disposed, as well for my satisfaction as your own future peace and quiet. I chearfully assent, being desirous to do all good offices for the fellowship, however unkindly I have beene dealt withall by any particular members of the company. Only I must needs say, it would have been much more sutable to have made that proposition before you had layd me asside the second time, contrary to the gracious admonitions of his highness, and the advice of the company in London, for that I could then have been more servicable to you in the business. However, if I may be yett instrumental, to stopp the breach, and cement the company, it will not repent me to have done good for evill; in order to which good worke I have, according to my promise to the committee, had conferrence with some of either partie; and truly I doe not fynd by them the remora soe greate, but that it may easily be removed, if both sides stand alike affected to peace; for the obtayning of which I conceave it sutable to propound thus unto you, that some of the more moderate men on both sides be deputed by this assembly to meete together, and in a friendly and Christian like way to hear each other's grievances, if there be any, and to give and receave satisfaction, if it may be. And whereas the maine of the differrence at present (as things have been carried and heightned by the subtil management of some men, who have wrought up their private disgusts into one grand division of the company, the better to maske their selfish designes) seems to proceed from a desire in the one party to remove me absolutely from the place of deputie, wherein I served the company now five years to their advantage, as by their offten acknowlegement appears, let reasons be assigned to those men for such their design, which if the other party cannot satisfie them in, that then I may be acquainted with them, to see if satisfaction may be had from me, professing myselfe ready to give it, if reason require it; which Christian course should have been taken before such publique affronts were putt upon me. If such a meeting and moderate debating of matters in differrence make way for a better understanding betwixt the parties, as it may be hoped it will, it may then be sutable, in the next place, to endeavour a thorough reconciliation and cementing of the company, which probably will not require much tyme or trouble; for if the cause were once removed, it's like the effect would be easy, and peace enter by the same door it went out at; which great and necessary blessing to the company, especialy at such a tyme as this, if it shall please God to give it by this way, it will then, in my apprehension, be most sutable and seasonable for you to proceede to the electing of a deputie for this residency; and this the rather, because it seems to me, that you have resumed the place into your hands, to see if you can make up the breach before you dispose of it again; that soe whoever you choose may come to the place with the love and joynt approbation of the company for his encouragement. If you shall thinke fitt however at this tyme, or whenever you shall goe upon that worke, I desire you to take into your consideration these few following particulars, which I conceive myself obliged, from the commands that lye upon me, to tender unto you by way of advice, for your owne good.
1. That as it becomes Christians and discreete men, who apprehend their owne welfare in that of the companie's, you would impartialy consult, whether the laying of me aside hath realy proceeded from any just cause given by me; and that it is for the good of the company in general, that you soe withdraw your respects from me; or if it be not rather the design of some particular men arising from principles of selfe and will, whose actings are knowne to you as well as to me.
2. Whether it be not the company's concernment, rebus sic stantibus, rather to comply with his highness gratious admonitions, in whose favour consisteth the well being, yea (at least in my apprehension) the very being of the company, as likewise with the good advice of the court of London to make no more change in the government, then with the desires of such men as affect a change.
3. Whether the hopes you have of advantaging yourselves by another deputie may in an equal ballance outweigh the prejudice you may probably bring upon the whole company, by so slighting the benigne advertisements of his highness your gracious protector and benefactor in soe small a matter; as alsoe whether you can probably promise yourselves the enjoyment of that peace, which at present you want and seeke, in the having of another deputie, with the dislike of his highness, the company at London, and many of yourselves. I expect to be censured by some among you for this advice, as if I pleaded for myselfe, having received that measure from them formerly, for advisinge you, according to my dutie, to comply with his highnesse's letters. But others, whoe may penetrate further into the nature of the business then they, I presume, will acquitt me of it, upon this account, that your now twice laying of me aside by the power of one partie, without any just reason for it that I know of, and contrary to the advice beforementioned, doth oblige me in this friendly manner to reason the matter with you, in order to my vindication among strangers, who will otherwise conclude me worthie of all the disrespect hath been cast upon me, which my publick character will not submitt unto; though otherwise I professe myself in the presence of Almighty God (whoe must one day judge us all) as desirous to be quitt of the trouble as any among you do or can will my remove.
Gentlemen, at your request I have thus hastily, by reason of the streightnesse of time, given you my slender apprehensions how you may hopefully proceed for the obtayning of what you seemed by that message realy to desire, viz. the restoring of peace by cementinge the company, which if God shall incline you to hearken unto, I shall be glad to have been instrumental of your good also in this particular, desiring that whenever I leave you it may be in in as much love as I found you, and for a long time found from you, when I was less able to serve you then at present others conceave me to be. I suppose, you registered your said message to me, and therefore I desire that this my answer may be also registered under it, and before this assembly rise I may hear from you thereof, which will oblige me to remayne,
A letter of intelligence from Turin.
Le pape voyant, que les pauvres reformez des Vallies recoyvant de l'assistance de la charité des eglises reformes de France, de Suisses, d'Angleterre, & du Pays Bas, & a l'opposite envoye de l'argent a ceux, qui ont fait le massacre; & continuent de leur faire la guerre, dont aussi l'armée des persecuteurs a grossit. Mais a l'opposite les dits freres reformes recoyvent de l'ayde de plusieurs volontaires, qui viennent de divers endroits bien loing a sacrifier leurs vies pour la defence de la vraye religion, & de temps en temps tuent plusieurs de ces persecuteurs, qui leur ayant ravi la moisson de leurs champs de la plaine, veulent encore leur en lever celle de la montagnes, selon que nous apprenons par diverses lettres du 17 de Juillet. Le due employe contr'eux esquadron de Savoye & la milice du Piemont. Josue Javavel, capitaine des dits reformez, quoy que blesse, de son lict a trouve moyen de delivrer des prisons de Luzerne 25 prisonniers de la religion. Le duc de Savoye n'a pas voulu permettre a monsieur le major Wys, deputé des messeigneurs les cantons evangeliques, d'aller conferer avec les freres des Vallies pour retourner a Turin, & faire rapport de leurs raisons & de leur estat a S. A. R. & a messieurs les quatres embassadeurs des dits cantons, qui sont en chemin pour aller a Turin, pour ceste affaire; les quels aussi il dit ne pouvoir a present recevoir comme entremetteurs aux traites, l'ayant remis entre les mains du roy de France. On dit, que monsieur le marquis de Piene va commander en l'armée, ce qu'on estime avoir esté procuré par ceux, qui le croyant equitable envers les reformez des Vallies, veulent par ce moyen l'empescher d'intervenir au traité qu'on doit faire avec eux.
Extraict d'une lettre de monsieur Gabriel Wys, deputé de messeigneurs les cantons evangeliques a Turin, de Turin du 3/13 Juillit, 1655.
Je n'ay pour ceste soy autre chose a vous dire, sinon que S. A. R. ne veut en aucune façon faire suspension d'armes avec ces pauvres peuples de la religion, encore moins recognoistre les cantons pour mediateurs, disant qu'elle a remis l'affaire a la disposition du roy tres chrestien, ou m'a bien voulu permettre d'aller aupres ces pauvres gens, mais non pas de retourner pour certaines raisons, que je n'ay peu comprendre, de sorte que je me suis resolu demeurer icy en attendant nos ambassadeurs cependant je tascheray d'envoyer aux freres les lettres consolatoires. Monsieur Morland est bien logé & magnifiquemment traité aux despeus de sa dite A. R.
Extract out of the register of the resolutions of their high and mighty lordships the states general of the United Netherlands.
The lords of Beverning, Vander Hoolck, and Isbrants, have exhibited to the assembly, likewise caused to be read a project of instructions, according to their high and mighty lordships resolution of the 3d of this instant, for an extraordinary commissioner to be sent in the behalf of this state to the protestant cantons of Switzerland, as also to Savoy; whereupon being debated, their high and mighty lordships do return thanks to the said lords commissioners for the pains taken about it. And the said instructions being agreed on, they are desired to sound the lord Rudolph van Ommeren, and to desire his lordship to accept of the said commission, and to officiate and effect the same in the quality of embassador extraordinary of this state; and all such necessary dispatches and writings shall be made ready, as are requisite thereunto. Likewise a copy of the instructions and resolutions shall be sent to the lord Nieuport, their high and mighty lordships embassador extraordinary in England, to serve for his information.
An intercepted letter.
I DO entreat you, with all the writings and informations of that little you are trusted to procure for me, to meet me with them and their good advice at Calais the last of July new stile. I shall desire you to struggle with your necessity; and what damage in expence or time you have suffered for me, I shall immediately cure the first; and the latter time itself shall shew my gratitude to you. I pray you fail not; for by God's leave I will not fail you.
A letter from mr. Harris.
Sir, and honoured friend,
I Writ to your honour from St. Sebastian all that I had observed worthy of your knowledge. In this city (where I arrived the day before yesterday) we do stand here all trembling, as for fear of the design of general Blake, who having refreshed his fleet with water, victuals, and other necessary provisions, by leave of the duke of Medina, he set sail, under pretence of returning for England, and presently after seated himself five or six leagues from Cadiz, and in sight of the said port, just in the passage where the fleet is to come from the Indies. This caused the king, as soon as he heard the said news, to send an express to the said duke, and to his other ministers of these parts, that they should keep a good guard; and especially that they should hasten and make ready all the ships upon these coasts, as soon as is possible, to desend them, if need be. But the fleet not being yet come, and the most part of the foreign merchants that are interested therein, through the stay and risk thereof, do make good the old proverb, that between words and effects there is a great distance. And I can assure your honour, that in the port or harbour of Passage, a league from St. Sebastian, there are no more than 10 ships, great and small, and that the biggest of them all carries not above 45 pieces of ordnance, and that there are but four, which deserve a better name than good barks; besides that they are all unaccommodated and unprovided, and that it is above a year since they were ordered to be rigg'd forth, if they could have provided money enough to have done it withal. I was told, a few days since, by a person worthy of credit, that in the bay of Cadiz there are no more than four gallions, and six other ordinary merchant-men, which expect the com ing of the fleet; so that all the threats, which we make here, serve to no other end than to declare the sense, which we have and ought to have of the misfortune we are like to fall in, if we be forced to break with the English, although we say that we shall be able to set forth to sea forty men of war, and that we will go and ask Blake the reason, why he continues to lie so near our ports, for who is so blind, that cannot see our weakness and poverty? in effect, I do really conceive, that if the English take the fleet, they can never send another fleet to the Indies, unless we make peace with them there, which they say they cannot obtain of the lord protector, unless they will part with the inquisition, and give the English a port in the West Indies; a bit too hard of digestion. Here is very little spoken of the fleet of general Penn, either by reason we do already hold, that he hath executed his design, which we cannot prevent, or remedy; or more truly, in regard the greatness of the present fear, and near at hand, doth stupify the sense of that which is more remote: the speech and prayer of the common people is, that God would defend them from a war with England, foreseeing a ruin and an unavoidable destruction to befal them, if it be not prevented. As to an accommodation between the two crowns, it doth seem as if the zeal and fervor of his holiness was grown very cold, it may be through the intercession of some French ministers at Rome.
The factor of mr. Peter Blisset doth humbly desire your honour to send him spedily some monies, for his subsistence during his abode in these parts, in regard his negotiation doth put him to great charges, in travelling from place to place. You may remit the money to mr. Francisco Kerye, merchant at St. Sebastians, by means of his correspondent, mr. Roddon, at London. I am going in all haste to Cadiz, to adjust there my accompts with some merchants, from whence I will write at large to your honour of all things. In the mean time I kiss your hand, in the quality of your most affectionate servant,
Since the writing of my letter here is news come, that general Penn hath taken the island of the Canaries, and other places adjacent to that; and that the pope doth labour roundly to make a peace between the two crowns, through the means of a marriage between the king of France and the infanta of Spain; so that those two kingdoms may join their forces together to chastise (as they say) the insolence and pride of the English; to which end it is said, that his holiness doth offer great sums of money, and that the emperor will join all the strength he hath likewise. But the best of all is, that our king will treat with the Turk, to induce him to this union against the English; and the silver fleet is safe in some good harbour (without a name) in the Indies; but there is no credit to be given to these rumors.
A letter of intelligence to mr. Petit.
We have been six days without hearing any thing from the siege of Landrecy; but yesterday night I saw some letters written by the mareschal of Turenne to his lady, from the camp, dated the 10th in the morning. They bear, that mr. de Montpouillan his nephew had been greivously wounded; and that he had sent a trumpeter to mr. le prince to obtain a pass, that his nephew might be carried to St. Quintin. And as for the siege, he writes in general, that it's in a very good posture, and that he hopes to render his majesty master of the place very suddenly. His secretary, which wrote the day before, saith, that the 7th the counterscarp was gained in two assaults, in one of which was the regiment of Turenne, and in the other that of Uxelles; which being done, the ditch has been pierced, and the mines ready to be grapled into the bastion, as he writ. It's written from St. Quintin, that mr. de Montpouillan was arrived there extremely wounded in the eye, throat, and thigh; that the miners were grapled to the body of the place; and that it was verily thought, the said place would be obliged to yield the 15th or 16th instant. That a great convoy was preparing at Guise and at la Fere, which are intended to pass into the camp, as much to refresh the soldiers, as to fortify the place, when it shall be taken. It's to be conducted by the mareschals of la Motheaudancourt, of Grammont, and Grancay; and to hasten the march thereof, cardinal Mazarin and mr. le Tellier have come to la Fere ever since sunday last; and mr. le prince is still incamped towards Estreu, l'Escheille, Vandaucourt, and other places. Victuals begin to be rare in our camp, but as the place is at its last gasp, it's hoped, that the pains mr. le prince has used to hinder our convoys, will be to no purpose. The prince of Conti has taken Castillon, don John of Austria not daring to succour it, although he made a shew thereof, having marched with all his army on that side. The rumour runneth, that we have besieged Valence in the Milanese, which I hardly believe, by reason that place is too far in the enemy's country.
Last week mr. Martarel was put up in the bastille. The cause is unknown, unless it be for having had some intelligence with the cardinal of Retz, who is his great friend. This is all I can inform you by this ordinary, hoping to inform you by the next of the taking of Landrecy, unless mr. le prince doth attempt to succour it.
Another letter to mr. Petit of the same date.
The siege of Landrecy is much advanced. It's monsieur de Montpouillan, brother to the marquis of Cugnac, who has been wounded to death, and not the mareschal of la Ferte Seneterre, as had been said. Although the king's army be exceeding great, yet nevertheless levies are making to put in the place of those, which have been killed. I hear the duke of York is gone to court.
We are also informed from Grenoble, that mr. Lesdiguieres is making levies for Italy. Some write from Flanders, that queen Christina having sent to Swedeland to demand her pensions, they had been denied her, unless she came and spent them there.
A letter to Bordeaux, the French embassador in England.
In regard we are not the friends of the Vallies of Angrogne and Lucerne, as you English, who do take their business to heart, therefore we are not so curious to enquire after them, nor to know their affairs, nor liberal enough to assist them in their afflictions. But now you do desire to be informed thereof, I shall make it my business to give you the best advice I can from thence, and of their affairs, which shall be by the next post. In the mean time, the town of Landrecy is giving up the ghost. We do expect every day to hear, that it is taken. I perceive by your letters, that we are not like to see you here so soon as we had hoped; and if I do rightly understand the humour of the lord protector by his deportments, I cannot imagine myself, that you will be able to return so soon. However I pray God my prophesies may prove false.
General Blake to secretary Thurloe.
I have received your letter of the 14th of June sent by the Endeavour smacke, together with the inclosed cipher, for which I thanke you. Though I have carefully preserved the originall, I cannot inlarge myselfe at present, according as I desire, being incumbred with accidentall businesses, but shall give you a further account of affaires by the shipps, which I am to send from the fleete. In the mean time I remaine
General Blake to the protector.
May it please your highnes,
The pacquet sent by lief. Major, master of the smack, with the instructions of the 13 and 14 June, and also another for sending some part of the fleete, I received monday last about midnight. The s e c r e t instructions concerning t h e p l a t e fleet e x p e c t e d f r o m as also o t h e r ships b o u n d t o America s h a l l b e c a r e f u l l y o b s e r v e d a s G o d g i v e s o p p o r t u n i t y The twelfth of the last month I sent your highnes an account of our affaires by capt. Peck in the Amity, as also two duplicates by the Fame and Ketch, which I hope are or will shortly come to your highnes hands; since which time there is not any thing. That your highnes may have speedy notice of my receit of your last commands, I have dispatcht away this smack before, intending in obedience to the same, to send after a part of the fleet, assoone as all are come together, some being at present employed in fetching licour, by whome your highnes shall, God willing, receive a further account from mee. At this time, seeing it hath pleased your highnes to command my longer stay in and about these parts with the rest of the fleet, I shall make bold to offer one humble desire, which I conceive to be my duty for the service of the commonwealth, and the better effecting the ends proposed, that your highness will be pleased to consider the condition of our fleete, especially of the great ships, which are very foule and defective, particularly the ship, in which I am, being very leaky, and the head of the main-mast unsound; and that in lieu of them you will send thre other ships or frigats, as your highnes shall thinke fit, for the carrying on of your service. I have no more at present to trouble your highnes with, but my humble thankes for your favourable acceptation of our action at Porto Farino, and to desire the continuance of your good opinion of me and my future endeavours to shew myselfe in all things
Fleetwood, lord deputy of Ireland, to secretary Thurloe.
You may please to remember, that I gave you my feares and thoughts, that the worke of transplantation might receave some obstructions from England, thorough misrepresentations, and that you may not be deceaved into a prejudice against the worke by what reports may come from hence, by reason of some late orders, I shall give you a breif account thereof, that upon our journey we found the officers objecting in several places, that some of our own orders had obstructed the work of transplantation, which were made on the behalf of sir William Fenton, sir Hardress Waller, and other English proprietors. The words of the order were so penned, as gave them libertie to keep Irish proprietors on there estates, which words were disowned by most of the councell, not to be within there intentions to grant; and we finding those orders to be pretended hinderers of the works, wee did recall them; the orders themselves alsoe giving us a libertie therein, they being but till further order. This is a true state of the case; and though I should be willing to incourage and gratifye these persons wherein I may, yet to obstruct so good and necessary a work for my particular interests, it would be against our trust. I clearly see, that we must encounter with more and more difficulties, when the adventurers and soldiers are in possession, Irish tenants being easier to get, and of more present profitt then English. But if the Lord hath not a further scourge for us here, he will strenghten our hands to the carrying of it on. We intend to morrow, if the Lord please, to spend some time thoroughout this nation, in the behalf of the poor Waldenses; and I hope, considering our povertie, here will be a very liberall contribution. I desire to know his highness pleasure, how it shall be disposed of when collected. One great fear is, that it will be misimproved, as the contribution was formerly for Ireland: the certaintie of the contrary will much advance the business. I shall not further trouble you, but that I am
Order of the states general.
Ordines generales fœderati Belgii audito ex relatione commissariorum suorum quicquid generosus dominus Henricus Canasilles, serenissimi & potentissimi Poloniæ regis ablegatus, vigore regiarum literarum datarum Varsaviæ 19° mensis Maii proximè præteriti dictis commissariis aperuit exposuitque, ac perpensis omnibus, quæ isthuc spectare possint, declarant, sese perlibenter et quam tenero grati animi sensu percipere egregiam confidentiam, quâ serenissimus rex in rebus arduis cum hoc statu ægrè insistit, affirmantes vicissim sese mutuâ & incorruptâ fide tam candidæ regii affectus & confidentiæ demonstrationi quovis tempore pro virili responsuros esse, semperque laboraturos quantum in se est, ut commoda pax & tranquillitas regnorum, dominorum, ac subditorum serenissimi regis, communi commerciorum navigationisque bono omni meliori modo promoveantur. Requirunt porro domini ordines, ut dictus dominus ablegatus antememoratum regem de hujus status integerrima voluntate & paratissimis studiis atque officiis erga regiam majestatem ejusque regna & subditos certiorem omnimodoque securum reddere velit. Actum Hagæ, 15 Julii, 1655. [N. S.]
Count Brienne to Bordeaux, the French embassador in England.
His majesty and the whole court is come to this place, where I have received yours of the first; in answer to which I have only to tell you, that notwithstanding the assurances, which are given you of the good intentions of the lord protector, and the affected excuses, which are managed to delay the signing of your treaty, his majesty is resolved to be no longer delayed therewith; and therefore you are to endeavour to conclude the same one way or other. It is very probable, that the having let the marquis of Leda go away unsatisfied, and not having concluded any thing with him, that orders are given to Penn to damnify the Spaniards, and to assault them in their most sensible part; for if he should take from them their Indies, or only render the navigation more uncertain, they will not have wherewithal left them to maintain their greatness, since they do draw all their gold and wealth from thence to carry on the war; and one might conclude with assurance, if that the protector doth intend to take that course, that he will agree with us, to the end he may the better carry on his designs, the Spanish forces being employed to defend themselves against us. I cannot tell you any certain news of our siege, nor what passeth in the enemy's army; for since the 3d of this month, we have not heard any thing, and the last advice we had did give us some hopes, that we shall march into the place within few days, which God grant; the consequence whereof is well known unto us.
An intercepted letter.
I have yours of the 12th current. Though I have little subject, yet I can hardly forbear to write to you; and now these are to tell you, that my intended design is frustrated. The divine power will so have it, and I am content, and I do rejoice, that he hath brought me to it, and can say with delight, it is the Lord, let him do what seemeth him good.—A friend of mine proposed it to the French embassador, but he very much slighted it; so as I judged it not fit to proceed any further in it, especially finding his highness to be alienated from me, and all his promises to prove ineffectual. Well, let God do what he pleaseth. I will trust in him.—What will become of the peace, I know not; till then I have no hopes for my return; so that you may command me to come to you and go with you where you please; but let all things be well weighed.