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 (4 of 6)
Mr. Francis Barrington to general Disbrowe.
It is the grief of my soul (and all honest men amongst us) that so glorious a designe should be blasted by our owne miscarriages. Indeed wee have been instruments of much misery to ourselves, besides the loss of many gallant men in Hispaniola, amongst whom was major generall Heanes of renowned memory, whose death is still much lamented, and will every day more and more, as our difficulties come uppon us, for he was a man that acted upon a cleer account to serve his God, prince, and countrey, laying aside all other interest that might obstruct these his good intentions. But the actions of our generall have not so cleerly demonstrated themselves unto us. Sir, here is much discontent betwixt our generall and collonel Buller, collonel Carter, and collonel Doyly (by them justly taken) occasioned by his irregular acting, they have not so much power here as his highness allowed the captaines (under his conduct) both in England, Scotland, and Ireland, neither hath he summoned them twice (since our arrivall here) to consult about the safe disposall of this your poore army for the future; nay, that which is worst of all, he acteth as his will leadeth him, notwithstanding the vote of the councill. In one particular I can sadly instance this truth. At our invading this island the generall called a councill of warr for the further disposall of his army that night; it was resolved, that wee should immediately march to the enemies chief towne (being but five miles from our landing) in order to which the army advanced very cheerfully, but before the reare mooved, command went to the van to stand untill further order, without giveing any further reason (for this sudden alteration) then, what will you dispute command ? Which answer was given by our now major generall. Wee marched not untill the next morning about eight of the clock, at which time the generall came up to us, he haveing returned aboard, and lay there all night from his army, which was not the custome of his highness to use his armies so. The lying still of the army the first night (contrary to the councill s resolve) hath wonderfully prejudiced his highness designe, for by itt the enemie had libertie to quitt thier towne with bagg and baggage; accordingly they did so, for wee comeing to itt found neither man, woman, nor child in itt, but the enemie did send unto us some horssmen that evening to know our desires, and whether or knowe wee would treate with them; they had libertie to send commissioners, in which time of the treaty some of the gentlemen abovenamed (if not all) much desyred of the generall, that a party might be sent out to keepe the enemie from conveying themselves and goods away, (they then lying within three miles of us) in case they should breake off; this would not bee assented unto. The enemies commissioners were little less then compelled by our generall to signe conditions, but their party haveing carryed away their estates (and too much drove the country) would not make good what their commissioners signed, which they must in all probabilitie have done, if wee had either marched the first, (it being ordered by the councill) or, according to the collonels desyres, sent out a party to stop the enemies motion from us: the doeing of neither hath occasioned the loss of much blood; never was a poore army so conducted. My lord protector hath done well for us, and our provision came very seasonably to us, but strangely disposed off; for I have not had (from the store) fix pound of bread for myself and familie since my arrivall here, neither doth the collonel know what is in the store, being not privy to any thing: thus sadly hath the general acted, but blessed be God he is now goeing from us. I am confident our good God will stirr up the heart of his highness, to make a strickt enquyrie into the so much blood spilt both in Hispaniola and here. The Lord direct his soule in so weighty a matter. Sir, wee are in a good island for effecting his highness designe, and am assured wee may yet flourish (God giving a blessing) if in time we have one sent to head us (with some other provisions) which I hope will bee a man fearing God, and hating covetousness, which hath hitherto been our ruine. To have written to your honour every particular would have taken up many sheets; but my collonel and commissioner Butler (both honest men) goeing for England, will give you the full and particular relation of all our transactions since our being in America, the which will appeare very sad. My collonel is ordered by the councill of the army to wayt on his highness on our behalfe; he is a gentleman of experienced fidelitie to us, and hath stood up saythfully for the advancement of the present expedition, but whatsoever he or the other two collonels sayd or desyred, yet the general would doe what he pleased. Although he would not call them to councill, yet they severall times desyred and pressed earnestly to have some thinges done, which undeniable were for the advantage of the army: he would not act therein, but by some meanes or other evade them, sometimes saying, such wayes were better, not at all adheering to their advice, but tooke our collonel Holldepp (to bee of his cabinett counsell) who hath been a very ill member to this army. I now begg pardon for this my boldness: I thought it my duty to give your honour this brief hint of passages here (his highness honour being much concerned herein, and chiefly the cause of God) fearing that the larger account might miscarry, which is signed by some gentlemen, that I am confident are and will prove faythfull and loyall subjects to his highness, and I hope are willing to sacrifice their lives in the present cause, although general Venables is strangely leaveing us without the consent of the forementioned collonels. One thing remarkable I had almost forgott; the generall and councill ordered that noe commissioned officer should depart the island without leave from the collonels; but since that he hath given passes to many, and I heare will carry more with him, notwithstanding the collonels protest agaynst itt. They may be prosecuted as runnawayes, he havinge not power to send or carry any off. Ceasing your trouble at present, I humbly subscribe myself
I beseech your honour present my humble service to my lady and my little cousens, with my loyall duty to his highness, for whose welfare my soule is earnest to the throne of grace: the God of heaven direct him and his councill: long may you live to be instruments of much glorie to his name; it is the prayer of
The examination of William Pinckney, taken by me Edward Whalley, esq; July 14, 1655.
This examinate faith, that on the 11th day of this instant July, one Henry Seyley, a bookseller, living over-against Dunstan's church in Fleet Street, came to his shop, being next to the Three Daggers in Fleet Street, and told him, he had a piece or two of plate in the form of a trumpet to sell him, which was left him as a legacy by a gentleman in the country; the day or two following the said Seyley sent two new silver trumpets in a box nailed up to this examinate; which box he broke up, and whilst he was weighing the trumpets the said Seyley came to his shop and sold them to this examinate for 5 s. an ounce.
This examinate further saith, that both the said Seyley and himself being brought before commissary general Whalley, as they were coming from the Meuse to him, the said Seyley, supposing that this examinate would be released, desired him to go to one Dosset in Fetter Lane, and tell him, that he was in trouble, or something to that purpose, and withal to desire him to affirm, that the box with the two trumpets was left at his house for him by Rowland Thomas, late a prisoner in the Tower, and that they had been left with him the space of three months.
Examinations and informations.
William Roughton the elder, of Wilcott, in the county of Wilts, consesseth, that twice or thrice he was in company with major Clarke, mr. Bowles, and others of the late risers, this last winter at hunting near Everlie, and dined with them at the said Everlie, after their sport ended. He faith further, he had a son engaged in the rebellion; as also that he sold the lord Sandys at Luggershal the day the rising was at Sarum four horses of a good price, and went thither the same day on purpose to hunt with the said lord Sandes. He denieth that he met on purpose with the said Clark, Bowles, &c. to hunt, but accidentally as he was airing his horse upon the Downs.
This acknowledgment was made by the above-mentioned mr. Roughton unto me upon the 14th of July 1655. and upon enquiry after him, I find him to be a reputed cavalier, and to have been formerly questioned by major Boteler.
John Strong of Dunhead in the county of Wilts informeth, that captain Robert Grove of the same parish, and formerly of the cavalier party, was absent from his house about five or six days, at the time of the rising of Salisbury, and was at the house of one mr. Molines near Sherburn, a reputed cavalier, on the sunday before the said rising; upon which day he sent his servant home to his house at Dunhead for a suit of clothes, which, as the servant alledged, his master was to wear at Dorcester assizes four days after. He further informeth, that there went one out of the said mr. Molines house, that joined with the rebels, whilst the said captain Grove was there. And further he faith not.
Mr. Keate of the same parish of Dunhead informeth, that in the dusk of the evening, four or five days after the rising at Sarum, he observed with his daughter two persons on horseback to ride in hastily into the said captain Grove's yard, and he enquiring after their going away the same night, or the next day, but could not learn that they did either.
Amy Gaine of Dunhead St. Mary, in the county of Wilts, informeth, that about a fortnight or three weeks before the rising at Sarum, her son-in-law, doctor Dunne, that then sojourned in her house, invited certain persons to her house to a feast, whose names are as followeth, captain Grove and James Bennett, both formerly in the king's army, mr. Cross, mr. Green, mr. Goddard, Richard Freaker, Robert Mullins, William Meggs, and that there were present two brothers of the said doctor's, and others whose names she had forgot. And being asked what was the reason of the said meeting, she replied, it was to make merry at her son-in-law's farewel, who was then to go to live in the Isle of Wight. And further she faith not.
Martha Lush of Dunhead abovesaid informeth, that the said doctor Dunne, about two or three days after the said feast, and about a fortnight before the rising at Sarum, came to her house, and beginning discourse with her about her husband, said, that the roundheads religion was the worst of all religions; and that you and I shall see the time, when Inch and Legge (meaning two ministers) shall be turned out of their parsonages; for that the said Inch preached a fermon of thanksgiving after Worcester fight for the victory obtained there: he said further, that the time may come, that I may be a friend to him for it; and that the parliament men did deserve to have their heads some of them cut off. She further informeth, that the said doctor Dunne at the same time was very much offended with her, for that her husband, that had been formerly a cavalier, was now led away by the said Inch his preaching. And further she faith not.
The said doctor Dunne, his brothers, and the rest of this meeting are by all the honest people thereabouts all accounted cavaliers, the said Grove and Bennett having formerly been in the king's army, and the said Dunne was imprisoned so soon as he came in the Isle of Wight for suspicious words he spoke then, with some others that went over thither with him, but were since released upon bail.
Mr. Swanton of Sarum informeth, that the high sheriff of Wilts saw mr. Willoughby amongst the rebels near Blandford (he being then a prisoner amongst them) the same day the rising was at Sarum; and the said mr. Willoughby doth not deny his being there, but faith, it was to fetch off his wife's brother, one mr. Green junior of Meare in the said county, that was gone along with the said rebels.
Mr. Kitson of Bishopston in the county of Wilts, and one engaged in the rising at Sarum, informeth, that as he was marching along with the said risers near Evill, on the west side of the said town, as he remembers, or he is confident upon the road between Blandford and the said Evill, he observed a gentleman riding very fast up from the rear unto the front of the said party of risers; and thereupon asking, who it was that rode up so hard, one that rode next this informant, replied, that it was one mr. Willoughby, who, as this informant observed, was well mounted, and had a sword by his side, but what other arms this informant knoweth not. This informant also observed another man riding up the same a little after the said mr. Willoughby, but doth not know who it was, nor did he enquire after him.
The information of John Smith, of Luggershal, in the county of Wilts, carpenter.
Saith, that there was a fox hunting at the said town this week before the rising at Sarum, which continued for four or five days, where were present the lord Sands of Hampshire, sir Henry More of Berkshire, old mr. Garrett, Charles Garrett, and Thomas Garrett his sons, living at Lamberton in Berkshire; mr. George Browne, and old mr. Fisher, mr. Deane, esquire Hill, and one mr. Newman. He saith further, that mr. John Mompesson came on foot the morning that the rising was to go a hunting with them. He further saith, that the said lord Sands had eight horses at the said fox hunting, and that he and some of the said party staid to hunt till monday, the day the rising was, and the same day broke up their sport, and rode away, and others of the said party went away the thursday before.
Mr. Mompesson informeth, that the lord Sands bought three or four of the said horses of one mr. Roughton, at or about the same time; and that one of the said horses was fit for the great saddle, and not for hunting, being of a very great value.
Col. Fortescue to secretary Thurloe.
I Understand by my wife, that she received civill respects from you, when she had occasion to make her applications to you about my old business, for which I humbly thank you, begging the continuance of your favour towards me therein, without which through unreasonable and vexatious persecuting, my family is like to suffer very much, which is no small affliction to me. You may please to remember, it was the thing I promised to his highnes, when he was pleased to send for me, that if an end might be put to the suit, which they faithfully stated, as appeares by the trustees certificate in your hands to his highnes, I would readily serve his highnes in this expedition, otherwise I could not without manifest ruin to my family, being followed by a malicious adversary: his highnes was pleased to undertake it should be done; in confidence whereof I engaged, and am here at this day through divine providence. I did no evill to incurr so much trouble, only desire to be indempnisyed in pursuance, and by virtue of an act of parliament. The trustees sell me land and woods distinctly receiveing my money. I cut down part of these woods to reimburse myself, am impleaded on the statute of Gloucester, condemn'd unheard, trible damages, adjudged to lose the lands supposed to be . . . . and am without remedy. Please you at leasure to peruse the trustees certificate, and you'll finde I am very hardly dealt with. Appeare and pleade for (as the case now stands) the stranger, widow, and fatherless, who otherwise under God have no helper. It will be a greate encouragement to me to goe on chearfully in the publique employment, if I might heare care were taken for my family, otherwise it will be, as now it is, a great discouragement. I did likewise informe yow of some detts, which I had contracted, which I could not satisfie, unles his highnes would please to order satisfaction of my arreares, which are stated and bonded to be paid mee in money, which his highnes told mee he would cause to be done in some short time, though he could not doe it at the present, by reason the treasury was lowe, and soe ordered me only 200 l. with which I satisfyed part of my detts; he left above 1000 l. unpaid, which did very much trouble mee, fearinge least (as it falls out) it should prove fraudalous to mee. That in confidence his highnes would please to order payment of the rest in some short tyme, I for present silenced my creditors, and came away in obedience to his highnes commands. But that which I feared is now befallen mee, reproch and shame, for borrowinge and not payeinge; a thinge, which wounds mee, as in reputation, soe in conscience, and without your favourable and effectuall asistance I must, as things stand, groane under this burthen. I have taken the boldnes to spread my grievances before yow, and implore your freindship theirein. Please to take it into your serious consideration, and procure relief. The bond for my arreares I have left in mr. Hodges hands, with direction to waite on yow. Sir, I shall forbeare to give yow account of proceedings, in regard so many will waite on yow, who will informe yow . . . of particulars. General Pen went hence with 2 parts of 3 of the fleete, and 4 daies since our general Venables is likewise embarqued, and commissioner Butler will accompany him. Truth is, I know not of what use he is, unles to make up a nomber: if I may without offence speake it, he is the unfittest man for a commissioner I ever knew ymployed. I suppose his highnes and councell had little knowledge of him. Please to pardon mee, that I thus speake it: my zeale to the service is a trouble to me to see my lord's busines ill managed. I wish with all my heart God may finde out and fit instruments to all intents and purposes for the worke. General Pen knew of general Venables resolution to goe. General Venables acquainted captain Butler with his inabillity and unfitnes, by reason of sicknes, to act; and desired his concurrence to appoint me to carie on the worke, and manage affaires. The commissioner went that night to general Pen, as he alleadged, to communicate the same to him, returned againe 3 daies after, but will not declare general Pen's or his owne resolution in that matter. General and commissioner are all gone, and I am left to act without booke; but God assistinge mee, I shall doe my utmost for his glory and the service of his highnes; but desier his highnes pleasure may be signified as soone as possible, to,
Col. Fortescue to mr. Taylor.
That you may see I am not altogether unmindfull of my promise, I have heer sent you a breif narretive of our proceedings since we came from England. The 26th of December we sett saile from Portsmouth; the 29th of January arived at Barbadoes, where we stayed two months in expectation of our store ships. They not coming, and we having compleated our regiment, and desirous to be in action, made the best provisions we could, and the 30th of March embarqued ourselves, the 13th of April we arrived at Hispaniola, but our pilot and conductor, viz. one Cox, being sent away two daies before, I know not on what errand, by general Pen, came not up to us time enough to direct us in landinge at the river Hine, soe as we were enforced to saile above 12 leagues to the leward of St. Domingo, where we landed, marching an unknowne countrey without any guide, many faintinge with the extreame heate of the sun and want of water. By this meanes we alarum'd all the countrey, who ymediately forsook their houses, and sled into the cittie, the onely place of strength. All the wells they dam'd up within 8 miles of the citty. We wanted necessaries to carrie forth water, by which meanes (we marchinge up twice towards the towne) were disabled to prosecute the busines with effect. The countrey beinge wooddy, and waies narrow, some advantages were taken by ambascades, and several persons cut of; but we soone beate them out of their fastnesses, but could not advance by reason of the weakenes and faintnes of the souldiers, who fell downe dead for want of water. When we first landed, our army was healthy and stronge, but exceedingly weakned through sicknes in the island. Findinge drought too powerful an enimy to encounter with, a resolution was taken to embarque for this island Jamico, which was a more seaseble place to undertak, and farre more advantagious in order to our designe on the Indies than Hispaniola. Here we arrived, marched up to the towne fower miles from the sea side, the enemy fled, we possest ourselves of it, lost not a man their, and our commissioners afterwards treated the articles confirmed by their governours and commissioners, who were and are hostages; but the countrey would not conforme, but fled into and secured themselves in the mountains, where they make a hard shift to live, till the great raines, which are accordinge to the season expected, force them to buckle. We are sendinge out small parties continuallie. Last weeke we tooke 24 of them, and 50 others came in voluntarily. It's a very fruitfull and pleasant land, a fitt receptacle for honnest men, which is our greatest want here. Who knowes, whether God hath not sent us before, to make way for the gospell. I hope God will incline and dispose the heart of such as feared God, to come and sitt downe amongst us. We have encountred and waded through many hardships and difficulties; but all's nothinge, soe as we may be instrumentall to propagate the gospell. Were it not in this confidence, I should have sunk in the worke, as others have done, but this consideration beares me up. Doubtles God is doeinge a greate and strange worke. Who would not be forward to have a hand in it? Meethinks I can doe and suffer on that account, that I may see the promises and prophecies fulfilled, and which is more to be instrumentall therein, tho' an honour, of which I am not worthy; yet such honour shall his people have. Consider and revolve God's word and the present worke; and let none stande still that be helpfull and serviceable in God's worke. Had I 5000 lives, 1000 sons, all should be offerred up to it. I bles his name, that hath made me soe willinge amongst many unwillinge, who though they . . . . wish and expresse their desires to be in Egypt again. I trust God will spirit men for this worke, and give them other hearts: men of ordinary spirit are not fitt for extraordinary atcheivements. What a desirable and joyfull thinge would it be, to see many godly men flock and flow in hither, there is accumodation worke for them ? Here they may serve God, their countrey, and themselves. I dare say, he that cumes on such accounts, shall not have cause to repent his voyage: many there are that came out with us vauntinge, as if they would have carryed the Indies, bigg with expectation of gold and silver ready told up in baggs, not findinge that, but meetinge with some difficulties and hardships, wherewith God uses to try and exercise his people, they fret, fume, and grow impatient, and wish that they were at their onyons, &c. Severall of such, accordinge to their desires and discontents, we have dismist, and may returne with shame enough. We expect in their owne defence they will disparage the place and service; but I hope wise and sober men will not give much credit to them. General Pen with 2 parts in 3 of the fleete returned 14 daies since for England. Our general, who hath beene sicke 8 weeks, is now embarqued for England; so that the care of the army under God depends on me. I suppose the protector will not be well pleased to see them; but we shall have the best care we can in their absence. We heare of great preparations in Spaine, but feare them not, I know God (if England should) will not neglect and forget his interest here. Thinke not that I write to entice and inveagle men hither groundlesly. I speake my owne and judgment of wiser then I, that is the best land they and I set foote on. Here is only want of bread for the present and godly society. Had I that, I mean the last, which is the best, I could dispence with all other disaccommodations. Here is sufficient with God's blessinge to make men's conditions very comfortable. And if men are able to furnish themselves with servants, they may soone enrich themselves. I trust God will stir up the hearts of his people, to ponder and consider this operation of his hands, and enquier what the Lord meaneth by it, and follow him though into a wildernesse. Please to present my love and service to my sister, and salute all the good acquaintance of
An intercepted letter of Charles Wheeler to his mother, mrs. Wheeler at Enfield.
Most dear mother,
I did use my best endeavour, that it should be said, that I was gone into the north; but if mine of the 26th miscarried to you, then this will be the first, that will bring you the news that I am at Amsterdam, where I shall remain privately till I know what punishment it shall please God to bring upon all the imprisoned gentlemen in England. I gave you in that of the 24th some account of my business that I had finished with my lord Byron, by taking a statute from a gentleman of a good estate, for the payment of 600 l. in February to my brothers and others where I am in debt. And I continue the assurance I gave you in that, that I will always acquaint you with my intentions.
An intercepted letter to mr. Stephens.
I Cannot but tell you a piece of good fortune, that is like to happen to me. I being resolved to go in the waggon, having no other way of going: my lord of Stafford is pleased to furnish me with horses, and mr. Medcals's company to boot. My trunk is this day gone, and I have written to the master of the Ship at Dover, for to receive them. I hope to be so happy as to meet you on wednesday morning, and to put you to the trouble of providing a morning's draught for me. This inclosed is from Roome's, little Map's sister. Let your answer be as sudden as is possible.
A paper of mr. Vermuyden to the protector.
That the king of Sweden is in union with the emperor, and have had no suspistion of a quarrell since the receivinge of his crowne. And that the late queene of Sweden doth still hold frequent correspondency with the emperor.
That if the Swedish army had or doth intend any invasion into the united provinces of the Low Countries, they must have gone over the Rhyne farr higher then now they are come; for beinge so low in the country, betwixt the Rhyne and the sea, there is small possibility for them to harme the Low Countries; neither cann they enter on Friezland side, in reguard of a moorash, that runs along the coast, and not pasable but by a broad casy, on the end of which are inpregnable fortes, and allso the warres in the Low Countries being holly by seeges. The year is to farr spent. And allso considdered the mutuall concurrances, which have binn betwixt Sweden and the Low Countries, it is not probably against them intended.
That theis and such like thinges being well weighed and debated with reason, it is the most probable against England. Also considered that courtly behaviour, which hath bin and is betwixt the queene of Sweden, and the eldest sonne of the late kinge.
That the strenght is great, and the consequence farr greater, and it is to be considdered, that this vast army, which is the very bowells of Germany and Sweden, is conducted by none but protestant princes; and if they should land in England, it is to be considdered, that they will be necessitated to fight, which will cause much resolution, and then difficult to be beaten; neither will they accept of a golden brige, if proferred; witnes the battaile of Newport in the year 1600, or thereaboutes. The old prince Mauricius used to say, that there was no greater weakninge to any power, then to sitt in selfe-securitye. It is wisdome in a comander, to foresee danger, and not to discover the least to his souldiers.
It is probabell, that they will land one part in Scotland, so to have footinge and help, the Scot being a people willinge to rise upon such an occasion. Allso it is probabell Hull to be the other place: 1. Because of the strenght of the place. 2. Because it is overagainst Emden, a probable haven to embark themselves. 3. They may march up the river Trent, and by secureing the passes cutt England into two peeces. And it is further to be considdered, whether they will not land one Essex side, with the whole bulck of the army, and march up to London. There are many other thinges of much validity to be thought of, and how best to settle the people; but without debate they are not to be set downe. But as it is a maxime amongst princes to eye any army, being on foot, so it is true, that England ought to eye the Swedish.
And truly though a forreign army is odious to the English, and by consequence will be reddy to oppose them; yet when a Englishman comes in the head of them, under collor of his right, it will alter the condistion before spoken.
My desire is, that your highnes may have sound intelligence and secret debates, which are the nerves of government. In what your highnes blames mee, pardon by reason of my presumptions unskillfull age, the which in what I may, if your hignes thinkes sit, I shall be willing to amend by your directions; the which will be a happynes to me, but farr greater to see the government settled in the everlastinge peace of content; and, as the Psalmist faith in the 108, verse 13. Throw God wee shall do valiantly, for he it is that shall tred downe our enemies; which is the prayer of
Bordeaux, the French embassador in England, to his father.
I do understand, with much displeasure, that your indisposition, and not the design to sequester yourself for some time from all affairs, doth keep you in the country. I had word writ me of the contrary, but it is not extraordinary, that judgments do ground themselves upon bare appearances, nor likewise, that the discontent of the mind doth alter the health of the body the most robust. The terms of the letter, which you were pleased to write to me, do resent a little of the first; and I do believe, that the other will get strength, if you can overcome the disquietness, which the condition of your affairs doth cause unto you. I must confess, they are not in that condition as you could wish them, in regard all those fair hopes which the court gave you have not produced any elevation yet. However your condition may be supported with patience, if you consider, that the greatest persons have not been always smiled upon by fortune. I do likewise imagine myself, that you have no great cause to be so much tormented through the consideration of want, notwithstanding any disgrace whatsoever that may fall upon the charges of intendants, if you have not had some considerable loss during my abode in England; and your policy is sufficiently known unto me, not to take alarm at the taxes laid upon the intendants, nor upon the rents, whereof you have not paid any thing; only I judge that you are not yet well disposed to supply my wants, unless it be by fine prayers to God, which if they be no more efficacious than mine, I shall be suddenly brought to an ill condition. It is to be hoped, that you will be one day troubled at my ruin, since you have contributed to it, for making me to come into a country, where my inclination and many reasons did hinder me from coming; and though my negotiation have never so favourable a success, yet there will still remain some bitterness behind; and if I had come away without concluding the treaty, I perceive I should have suffered all the disgraces, wherewith it is possible to lade a negotiation.
I see that publick same doth already condemn me, and that the fault of all the delays, which the government of England hath used towards me for almost these three years, is imputed to me, as if I suffered myself to be delayed without taking any notice of it. All my letters will justify me from this reproach before the eyes of the ministers. And although they declare to the world some discontent of my conduct, yet I have cause to believe, that they do me justice in their particulars. You did conceave me to be in some fear, that my abode here, after the last orders which were sent me, would anger them; but the last letters of the earl of Brienne do wholly dissipate my apprehensions. Here hath past nothing considerable since my last, which gave you an account of the last conference I had with the lord protector, who hath sent the royal party 20 miles distant from this city, and it is yet uncertain what he will do with them. Here is yet nothing certain of the fleet in America.
An intercepted letter from mr. Fra. Stephens to mr. Foster, at the sign of the ship in Dover.
I shall beg the favour of you to look after a couple of trunks on saturday next, which are directed to you, and are marked with a seal in the middle. I cannot be there my self till tuesday next. A friend of mine did assure me you would assist me, I being a stranger in this place.
An intercepted letter.
I shall desire the favour to send me word how the gentleman doth, and what he intends to do, that landed at Calais some ten days ago. He had once some trading with a nephew of mrs. Tape, in which he had no advantage: therefore I desire you to let me know what becomes of him, and advise him what you think is best to advantage himself, and not lose nor hazard the main stock. His time well spent may be to his advantage, but I hear he intends another way than he told me of. I am much his servant, and if he please to let me know in what way he would have me to serve him in here, I will; for his friend is much for his return, but I think he will not like that. I beseech you oblige me by your answer with what speed you can; which I shall not doubt, if the gentleman be near you.
Extract of a letter writ from the Vallies of Piedmont, dated 17/27 July, 1655.
You will have seen the answer, which we made to my lord embassador of France his letter, which he writ unto us. He hath sent back his secretary unto us with another letter, tending to cause us to accept of the truce, till the peace can be concluded, and accompanied it with a writing signed by his royal highness, which doth contain, that he doth agree to it. We have agreed to it for 4 days, beginning the 29th of this month; and in the mean time we will speak to the said embassador at Pignerol, the place agreed on for the treaty. We will not do any thing without the advice and consent of the other lords embassadors of Switzerland and England, if he comes back, although that they do continue to serve us as they used to do formerly, to debar us as they used to do of all communication, that we cannot send any letters to them, nor to mr. Morland, who is gone away to our great gries, without knowing what impressions they may have made him to take, nor what answers we are to make unto them, and without giving him thanks for the pains he took, and the zeal he declared, as also by his means to his highness my lord protector, for the great causes, which we have had of him, and to pray him for the continuation of his graces and favours, wishing with passion that there might be somebody on his behalf here, if we come to treaty. We see that they continue to disguise our rights, and that they deny the persecutions, which they have used towards us, and that they will delay us, to weary and tire out our benefactors and mediators. Wherefore although we be resolved to accept of the desired peace, if it be a reasonable one, so likewise we ought to provide against all contrary accidents, and not send away those that are come to assist us, although this doth consume a good part of the charities that are sent us, the foot soldiers being at 9 d. per day, besides an ammunition loaf of 24 ounces; besides they are most them yet useless unto us, for want of horses. We lose, or at least we do not get much. We do forbear all hostility out of respect to the embassador of France, who did desire it of us; but the enemy doth not forbear to come and burn the remaining parts of our houses, which are yet lest unburnt. And we, to endeavour to destroy that nest of rogues at la Tour, went yesterday and assaulted them, and burnt the whole place down, except a corner, where the enemy had made a fort, which we had likewise conquered, if the enemy had not prevailed with their horse against us. We have some prisoners, amongst the rest three friers, whereof that wicked Fra. Prospero Tarana is one, and one of the chiefest instruments and authors of our ruin. We lost seven of our soldiers, who, being loaden with plunder, could not get away fast enough.
The Swedish agent to secretary Thurloe.
Paper cannot blush. It is my unhappinesse, and not my sin, that makes me to suffer; and the most of my suffering is for being an Englishman, and for having been ever true and faithfull to my native country; the which hath bred me many enemys in Swedland, who would be very glad to see me fortaken here, and to fall into some inconvenience; not that they or any of them can accuse me of having been any way wanting in the service I owe to the king my master, whom I have now a long time served with as much fidelity as any man could have done. I have now a long time been promised and kept up with hopes from time to time, that my sallary should be sent to me by exchange, else I would have provided myselfe of mine owne means, which, thanks be to God, are able yet to maintaine me; but being frustrated of my long hopes, and the necessity of my pressing departure not giving me time to send into Sweadland for my owne money, which would take up above two months time, I have been necessitated to addresse myselfe to your honour, humbly beseeching your honour to move his serenissime highnesse, that in case his highnesse would be pleased to vouchsafe to gratify me, his most humble servant, with what I made bold to speake with your honour lately, assoone as ever I come over, I will be ready to lay the same downe at his highnesse's command and pleasure. Sir, a thing soone done is double done; and therefore I am the more pressing, my necessity forcing me to it. And in what place or quality I am, or hereafter shall be, I shall assure your honour, that I am and will ever be till death, his serenissime highnesse's most humble, true, faithfull, and obliged servant, which I will endeavour to shew with deeds and effects, and will always approove my selfe,
The information of James Hely, of Sarum in the county of Wilts.
That on the 12th of March last, being the day that the rising was at Sarum, there were seen, at mr. Buckland's of Standidge in the said county, some ten horsemen together in a party, with swords by their sides, amongst which were sir William Courtney, sir Charles Blunt, sir Alexander Carre, and one mr. Rally of Donneton, this being according to the relation of a justice of the peace of the said county; witness my hand, the 17th of July, 1655.
A copy of the letter wrote to the count de Brienne, by Servien, the French embassador.
Not having had the honour to receive any from you by this last post, nor by that of the foregoing, I have only to inform you of what past here. I will begin in telling you, that this physician and minister of Lausanne, who at his return from the Vallies of Piedmont was apprehended by the governor of Suze, the last week, was presently set at liberty, after that copies were taken of those memorandums which were found about him. I signified this enlargement to the said Vallies, and mr. Morland, envoy of the lord protector, as done in consideration of his majesty, as the effects of those vigorous and cordial good offices, which his majesty hath commanded me to use towards their royal highnesses, for the pacification of those troubles. I believe, my lord, I sent you word in my last, how that the said mr. Morland is lodged and defrayed by their royal highnesses, who gave him the first audience at Rivelle on saturday last. I believe they will give him that of his farewel within two or three days, having no orders to treat, but only to desire them to receive them into mercy, and to re-establish them in their favour and their estates; and that they will endeavour (as I do exhort them to it) to send him back the best instructed and satisfied as it is possible, to the end he may make a good relation to those that sent him; as I do on my part, for the interest of the king, in the visits, which he made me, and which I gave him. He makes a great foundation upon a capitulation of the year 1561, between the earl of Raconis and the inhabitants of the said Vallies, by which they are permitted to inhabit out of the ancient limits, and to declare themselves of their religion without fear, being required. But although that this piece be essential for this particular pretence of inhabiting out of the said ancient limits, there is no original, nor any authentick copy of it to be found. All the orders of the same Emanuel Philbert, and likewise in the year 1561, and all those of his successors, do reduce them to the said ancient limits; although it be very probable, that the said capitulation of the said lord de Raconis is really intervened, in regard there are many copies not signed, and likewise allowed in printed books, by the permission of the officers of this country. But the ministers of this court, besides the want of an authentick copy, do oppose the default of the ratification, by the duke, whereof was never seen any original or copy signed. They do likewise oppose the entring thereof in the sovereign companies, without which such privileges are invalid, although they were agreed unto by the proper person of the prince. The said ministers likewise alledge, that the prince cannot subject his substitute successors to the crown, to conditions, which are prejudicial to their sovereignty, being as well sovereign in their turns, as their predecessors. Besides that such privileges cannot subsist, if not confirmed by the succeeding prince, who hath power to recal them, add, or diminish. In short, to conclude, they say, that in case all that is aforesaid were of no value, yet the last rebellion of the inhabitants rendred them guilty of the highest punishments, and consequently unworthy of all graces, which have been formerly granted unto them. And they do add, that those, who govern at present in England, ought to think it so much the less ill, in regard they have banisht and ill used the catholicks of Ireland, England and Scotland, to the prejudice of the concessions, which their legal kings had granted them.
I ought not (my lord) to omit to tell you, that I have declared to the said mr. Morland, that notwithstanding all these considerations of this court, I hoped that that of his majesty will prevail with their royal highnesses to re-establish the said inhabitants in their ancient limits, and to permit them to sell what they have purchased out of them; although that by reason of their frequent rebellions they were resolved to banish them out of their state, or at least to confiscate those estates, which they have purchased out of their limits; but that which I fear most, is the obstinacy of those people, and that they will not make such use of those graces, as they ought, which one shall procure for them.
A letter of intelligence to mr. Petit.
Since the departure of mr. de Servien embassador of France his secretary, we have stood so well upon our guard, that our enemies have not been so hasty to come and surprize us; and as our brethren's courage and numbers do daily increase, and that it was not just to stand still, we resolved to make our profit of the advantage God has been pleased to give us in the three last fights; and having to that purpose deliberated upon what was to be done, it was resolved, that one should go and unnestle the Savoyards, who had entrenched themselves in the borough of the Tower. After which having put our troops in order, and called upon the name of God, we untied 1000 foot, which passed Pelles, and assaulted the borough of Lucerne, where they found some resistance, while that the main body of the army did beat the Tower, where they found some small defence by those that were within, which being unable to stand out against us, run away, and were chased out of several places in which ours went, which did not only plunder all they found therein, but did also put to death those which remained without remission; after which they fired all, and amongst other the church and house of the missionaries; and beside Fra. Prospero their superior, and chief author of the massacres, whom they have detained prisoner, and put into irons, they have made some other prisoners, and taken some quantity of arms and other provisions, and horses, which will serve them in their need. Those which were gone to Lucerne, after they had plundered some houses, withdrew themselves with the loss of one of their men, and another wounded, and taken by the enemy in their retreat. But since this expedition there hath been a truce granted for four days, which doth end this day, it was granted in consequence of a letter sent by mr. de Servien to treat of an agreement. He is to come to Pignerol to treat, where some of our chiefs and our minister are to render themselves, having given us all the necessary assurances: we will inform you with the events thereof. The deputies of the evangelical cantons are come to Turin, notwithstanding their highnesses inhibitions to not come, upon the subject of our agreement, for which he would only suffer the intermission of France. We think they have order to declare war unto that duke. God give us a good peace.
A letter of intelligence.
Our rebel Hugonots of the Vallies, having given a surious assault to the Tower, were strongly repulsed, although joined by 400 foot and 50 horse, come from France, from whence they receive, as well as from Geneva, and from the cantons, all necessary provisions; and being since returned they have burned a cloister of monks, and carried away the superior; but having been followed by the catholicks in their retreat, they have lost 60 men, amongst which is Paulo Vachiero their chief. In the interim the ordinary embassador of France and the deputy sent by his majesty into those quarters to treat of an agreement, have often been visited to that purpose by marquis de Pianezza. That four deputies of the Swiss cantons are also here arrived to that purpose, and the agreement is so much the more expected, by reason the French embassador is going to morrow for Pignerol to labour thereunto. My lord protector's envoy parted from hence on sunday last.
At last prince Thomaso joined with the duke of Modena; after several counterseitings to assault Lody and Cremona, they besieged Pavia the 24/14 instant, and have already taken the bridge and a half moon, so that it is thought they will carry it within 20 or 25 days at furthest.
The marquis Ville doth still remain in his post of Lomellina, giving great jealousy to Verseil, from whence the governor has been forced to send out the syndic and several other inhabitants little affected unto him.
A letter of intelligence.
Upon complaint made unto the council of state concerning some ill usage made of late to some poor protestants which lived at Langres, a decree has been given, by which his majesty permits unto all those of the religion his subjects, to dwell in what place soever of his kingdom, be it within or upon the frontiers as they shall find good; his majesty understanding that they should enjoy the same freedoms and liberties as his catholick subjects, so that they undertake nothing against the good of his service, enjoining unto all governors and magistrates to not trouble nor hinder them, but on the contrary help and comfort them in case of need, under great penalties.
The king having written unto the duke of Lesdiguieres to not suffer any of the religion to pass to go to the relief of the persecuted protestants, whilst his majesty has given order about their agreement, the said duke has returned an answer, that his majesty must declare war against the protestants of Dauphinè and Languedoc to hinder it. We have no news from our army since the 6th instant, that it was written from Maubeuge, that 4000 horse were united under the command of mr. de Castelnau, which went and seized the little city of Bovines, and 4000 under mr. de Uxelles were gone towards Sambre to hinder the enemies passage, which were posted under Montz. The king was that day to depart from Maubeuge with all the army to follow mr. Castelnau: their design is unknown. But this march makes us believe they aim at Luxemburgh; some think it is for Namur, but that place is too much advanced, and the siege could not be made unless the Liegeois were willing. A short time will make us see clearly.
The letters from Marseilles say, that besides the loss of our five gallies, they had ill news of four ships of our army, which went before to land some foot soldiers in the gulph of Specia, namely, that they have been met and taken by the Spanish fleet, and some say besieged in the gulph; but this news is yet uncertain.
The duke of Mantua arrived here on saturday night, and went to the palace of Longueville, where he is sumptuously feasted, he will stay there some eight or ten days for his train, and then will go towards the king, who will, as it is thought, repair to Mesieres.
A letter of intelligence.
We are informed, that the court is gone from la Fere, and that the king arrived at Guise the 22/12 instant. The Capelle and the Chastelet have been found so well provided with men and all necessaries for their defence, that our generals have not yet framed any siege, both that they might not expose our soldiers to the butchery, as also because they will not hinder the other progresses they make in the enemies country, whose army, as also the taking of Landrecy, do afford us great advantages, which in all likelihood will be crowned by some other siege. The cardinal doth much watch Rocroy, because of Sedan; but mr. le prince has given such good orders thereunto by his last voyage there, that it will hardly be taken. We are informed, that mr. Guyonnet, overseer of the said prince's house, having been brought prisoner to Quesnoy, and not to Paris, hath saved himself; and as during his imprisonment he has received letters from the said prince, and had conferences with the duke of Grammont, it is from thence inferred, that he hath let himself be taken to treat about the said prince's agreement with the king; but the hatred the queen and cardinal Mazarin bear him is so implacable, that this overseer's escape seems to be a craftiness for to render the Spaniards jealous of his said master. You may see our other news in our two following extracts.
A letter of intelligence.
We are informed, that the troops of Savoy, being gone to assault the protestants of the Vallies of Piedmont, in an intrenchment, upon which their chief commander had caused few men to appear before the spies of their enemies, on purpose to draw them, but that he did so well receive them in their assault, that 200 Savoyards were killed upon the place, and the others forced to retire with the shame of being followed very far on the plain. And that, being come to revenge themselves by Pignerol, and try to make some other attempt, they had again been repulsed beyond the river of Chison, with another considerable loss. So that we see God's providence doth watch for the preservation of these poor persecuted, who find themselves reinforced with 4 or 500 experienced soldiers. Nevertheless they desire their agreement may suddenly be made, whereunto my lord protector's deputies together with those of Swisserland and Geneva do much labour towards the duke, insisting that punishment may be made of the authors of this massacre.
A letter of intelligence.
The town of Landrecy being reduced to the obedience of the king and the arms of his majesty, according to the capitulation made between them, the enemy marched out of it 1500 horse and foot, and 300 wounded, with arms and baggage, and two pieces of ordnance; for which Te Deum was sung here on wednesday last.
Yesterday came news, that Capelle and Chastelet were both besieged, the first by the marquis of Castelnau, and the other by the marquis of Durelles, defended by monsieur de Sensy for the prince of Condé.
A letter of intelligence.
The king of France hath had great success this year, first, in Catalonia (where Mompomard is, and hath gotten a good recruit) upon taking of a town there; secondly, towards Milan, where the French besiege Valence, and have gotten Casal, by composition with the duke of Mantua, whom they expect at Paris within few days; and thirdly, towards Flanders, by the taking of Landrecy; so as now they think to fetch contribution as far as Brussels, and it is probable will sit down before some other town this year. This makes them high in France, and (as is reported) not so desirous of peace with England as they were; the rather because the news from Hispaniola makes them believe, that Spain and England must certainly fall out; whereas the French desired peace chiefly with England, to keep off their assistance to Spain against France. By the way I heard of a pleasant story of a picture set to sale on Pont-neus, wherein the lord protector was sitting on a close-stole at his business, and the king of Spain on the one side, and the king of France on the other, offering him paper to wipe his breech. But there was great offence taken at it, and the pictures were taken away.
A letter of intelligence.
This brings this, that wednesday last, Middleton and Belcarris were made friends by Charles Stuart himself, and all hush'd. The same day that the calumny was taken off, Belcarris propounded to the king from the body of the Scots presbyterians, that if the duke of York or prince Rupert might be solely lest to be their leaders and managers of that affair, and that Hyde might not be privy to any thing of it, or that party, that then all their interest for money; men, and arms, should be employed against you. And now he proceeds to treat concerning a reconciliation between Charles Stuart and the queen, which is the sum of all his business at present. Particulars you shall know as they fall out.
The same day prince Rupert had an express came to him from the Landgravine of Hesse, which shortned his stay at Cologne, and made Charles Stuart abruptly make him the proposal, which was suddenly answered, viz. that he would quit all employments to serve him, and he would endeavour to defer his journey for Modena this summer, if an handsom conjunction might be procured with all parties, he would serve him with all his interest, either in men, money, arms, and friends, and so the next day took his journey for Hesse, as ill satisfied as ever with Hyde. The same day Ormond, lord Newburgh, and O Neil, went from hence in disguise into Holland; as also arrived here old Goring, Philips, and Heath; and by the post this day we hear of Wagstaffe, Darcy, and sir James Hamilton's being got on this side the sea; and the marquis of Newcastle's horses are come, of which I gave you timely notice, as also of the lord Downe's.
The lord Gerard was sent hence on friday, the lord Craven with him. They are to treat with Newcastle, Massey, Langdale, and others, and are to endeavour the new modelling of our plots. They being sent, I come not to Antwerp.
Gerard is to go then into France, to treat with the duke of York, queen, &c. Most of his stay will be at Calais. If you sent somebody to observe his actions, you would do well; for hearing Talbot, Stephens, &c. to be taken, he intends to attempt the murther of the protector; and remember I have warned you of the Park.
De Vries, the Dutch envoy in Denmark, to the states general.
High and mighty lords,
My lords, being arrived here on the 25th instant, I have ever since endeavoured to find out, if any or what knowlege there may be at court, of the present designs of the Swedes, and as far as I have been able to get information, it is certainly believed, that this armament is designed against Poland, and that the city and harbour of Dantzick, as yet, has not to fear any attack; however that they would endeavour to secure the river Weyssel (Vistula) above the town, to get the corn which is coming down there into their possession. I can see no sign, that there is any favour or support to be expected from this crown, in behalf of the design of the Swedes; and they assure me in general, that this kingdom had always shewed itself, and would not be wanting for the future actually to shew itself, to be most seriously and to the highest degree concerned in the dominion of the Baltick sea, and that the same, together with your high mightinesses, as well in the article of trade as otherwise, had unseignedly one and the same interest in view. I find likewise, that neither by letters, nor by the Swedish envoy, any open mention has been made of any apprehension of your high mightinesses speculation or intention against the designs of the king of Sweden, and consequently it is not likely that any deliberations on that head have been held here. To bring this about, as also the last article contained in your high mightinesses letters of the 7th instant, I see hardly any likelihood, unless your high mightinesses think fit to give me further and nearer charge, to communicate the same openly to one of the lords of the high government here, who have always shewn a great affection towards our state, which however in case necessity should require it, ought to be done, with submission to your high mightinesses, in a more rough and precipitate manner. And in this case (which I, with submission, humbly propose) it would be of great service, if your high mightinesses would be pleased to facilitate a little the conferences there with the Danish deputies; upon which subject I have been seriously pressed by way of discourse.
Two ships belonging to the subjects of your high mightinesses are seized near Iceland, by the company that is trading thither, and brought in here. The owners whereof have petitioned for the restituation of the same, and I have recommended this affair already.
Mr. Nathaniel Brewster to secretary Thurloe.
May it please your honour to beare with the rude salutation of your Christian friend and servant, who is emboldened hereto by the experience of your love. Since I saw your honour I had a wearisome journey to West Chester, where I overtooke my lord Henry the evening before his departure to Holyhead, and came with his honour safely and comfortably to Dublin, as I suppose your honour is allready informed (of which allso I have presumed to certify his highnesse.) There is one occasion somewhat forceible upon me in this undertakeinge of writeing to your honour.
One lieutenant Axtell, formerly mentioned to the counsell, and to your honour, yet delayed (in his distressed condition) entreates your honour's mediation (as occasion shall serve) either to the counsell, or to the lord St. John, in such matters as by his petition shall be explained to them.
Honorable sir, I love not to intrude upon a person of your place and charge, in respect of your many incumbrencyes; but I must needs reporte this Axtell to your honour, as a very consideing usefull man, both for clerkship and armes, and a sad object of pitty in this juncture of his affaires, when he is undone by his good will to the commonwealth. Please your honour to send for him upon the delivery hereof (himselfe being appointed to be the bearer and to attend at the doore) that he may know your pleasure. The Lord blesse your honour, so resteth
Mr. Roger Pawlet tould me, that he heard esquire Windham say unto his brother Gilles Pawlet, that he the said esquire Windham would within a short time charge this lord protector at Whitehall gatte, though hee were a better man then hee is. And Pawlet replied, that he spake treson, and that he would acquaint the lord protector and his counsall with it. Then the aforsaid Windham replied, that he would save him the labor, he would kill him presently, unles he would answer him in the feild. And further the aforesaid Roger Pawlet said, that Thomas Hazard and others heard these wordes the same time. This is the copey of mr. John Bryne's information. The partys will not say the same to me, therefore I intend to have them to a justis, and put them to there oathes. I am perswaded to it by som, who doe think they will not only say that, but much more.