A Collection of the State Papers of John Thurloe, Volume 4, Sept 1655 - May 1656. Originally published by Fletcher Gyles, London, 1742.
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November (5 of 8)
A letter of intelligence from the Hague.
Formerly I sent you a letter of prince Maurice, wherein is seen, that he doth offer himself in effect to make head against grave William, yea against the prince of Orange party What shall I say? I admire how he durst speak so, for I assure you, that I doubt very much whether in the states of Holland there be any one that durst speak so. It seems that they are ashamed of their liberty. I declare unto you, that within these six days I happened to dine with two several persons, whom I know to be good affected or Hollanders republicans, and did admire to see, that they drunk with so much respect the health of prince of Orange, as if he were king of France Of states of Holland not a word. I do verily believe, that the sole respect of the protector doth yet maintain the seclusion. I held lately a discourse with a good Hollander a republican, and told him that I did admire why they were so cold for liberty. He said it was impossible to use any rigour; that a great number of the prince of Orange's party were still in states of Holland. That it was impossible to purge states of Holland so clean. I told him, that they ought to keep amity with such whom they knew to be confraters to prince of Orange but instead thereof they admitted into the most inward amity those, who every manner of way would set up the prince of Orange. He said that Amsterdam was the chief of the states of Holland; that Amsterdam did very much observe commerce: that the rest would not oppose Amsterdam; that also they do not believe that France, Denmark, Brandenburg, (although akin to the prince of Orange) yet however did not favour the prince of Orange; that great ones did not regard blood nor parentage. Item, that the prince of Orange's party are very much divided amongst themselves; this is true in part, but yet to erect and set up the prince of Orange, all are friends enough.
I know also now that in Zealand (in the two places that belong to the prince of Orange) there is a very great joy, and that there will go from thence a very great number towards Dunkirk, so that undoubtedly all, as well the Orange party, as the good people of Holland, in this unity, are more inclined to the Spaniard, than to England the Orange party for the interest of prince of Orange, and of the seclusion and the states of Holl. and Amsterdam for commerce.
I do also assure you, and I do know it of a certain, that in the states of Holland there are endeavours used for a reconciliation between the states of Holland and grave William, with very great likelihood of success.
Yet before the end of this, a good republican had some discourse about it with a chief of the states of Holland, who told him if that and the like proceedings would not give new and great jealousies to protector, &c. he made answer in such a manner, that he did confess, that such a way was endeavoured, but however that the states of Holland would not do any thing but upon such grounds, which should in no wise offend the protector. I do also very well believe, that they will not openly reverse the seclusior; but however they go the way, which will necessarily bring them to it; for first they have a design to hinder Cromwell all visitation at sea, and this by very strong and sufficient convoys, and by this means they will draw all the trade to themselves and their ships. If however Cromwell will endeavour to make the least against it, presently the people will set open their throats, and this discourse will be fomented by the prince of Orange's party, and from their bawling they will fall to making of verses, and the printing of invectives, and by these means endeavour to stir up the people against Cromwell; and thus in the end the Orange party, with the people, will oblige a second time the states of Holland to enter into an union against Cromwell.
And against Sweden the same game is play'd as in the year 1652 against Cromwell so at present
against Sweden. they do resolve to treat with cudgells in their hands. The women of Muscovy
are of a fancy, that they are not beloved by their husbands, if they be not beaten by
them. Amsterdam states of Holland, and I do seem to believe the same thing of Sweden, as they
believed in the year 1652, likewise the same thing of Cromwell; but as they were then deciev'd
in their opinion, so likewise I fear they will in regard of Sweden, who in the east sea can do a great
deal of harm, and the states of Holland do abuse themselves in many things. I would to the lord, you
were here to inform yourself, for the business doth deserve it. I am,
This 26 Nov. 1655. [N. S.]
I have been in several companies of the states general and states of Holland since that the manifesto of the protector against Spain is translated and read here of states general States of Holland and of every one; but I do protest to you, that all as many as I have heard, did declare, that this manifesto contained as little reason as that of Sweden against Poland. In the mean time there are some, who in their hearts are of another opinion, but this is a true time of the year 1652. The torrent of passions doth drown the judgment; it is half a crime to speak well of Cromwell. Some are carried away by prince of Orange and grave William, others by commerce Cromwell but hath this consolation, that Sweden is as little beloved as Cromwell; and therefore Cromwell hath all the reason in the world to unite with Sweden, and Sweden to unite with Cromwell. I do also perceive, that the Brandenburger doth seek and caress very much the king of Spain; and I think that the states general likewise (as in the year 1652) against Cromwell, at present will address themselves to emperor, and especially to the Spaniard, to the end to dispose the emperor by the Spaniard, for there is an express proposition to send towards Spain; and by provision they will make a resident for Brussels undoubtedly. As to the project coming from Amsterdam of sending embassadors to the Spaniard, be assured that Amsterdam and states of Holland do that especially to the prejudice of the protector, namely to animate and uphold the Spaniard against the protector; for Amsterdam is greatly interested in the silver fleet, and would not have that any part of the West-Indies should fall into the hands of Cromwell; but as well Amsterdam as the states of Holl. who do follow very much the city of Amsterdam, would have Spain to subsist against Cromwell; besides the city of Amsterdam will endeavour to draw all the trade of Spain to themselves, for those of France are in an union with the Spaniard, those of Cromwell likewise, and the Hans towns are always snarl'd at. In short, Amsterdam will endeavour to draw advantages from that. There is a gentleman with Spain, who repast by here, and the embassadors of the states general will endeavour to incite the emperor by the Spaniard against the Swede. Item, they will encourage the Spaniard by all means to make himself formidable at sea against the English, to the end that England do not reign sole dominator of the sea; and that Amsterdam, under the cloak of Spain, will endeavour to moderate the protector.
In regard that the states of Holland themselves seem, that they are not able to avoid the election of a head of the militia, and that prince William and prince Maurice will be suspected by England, would this be inconvenient, that there be recommended the Prince Tarante?
Monsieur Courtin (secretary to monsieur Chanut the French embassador in Holland,) to mr. de Bordeaux, the French embassador in England.
I Would not have given myself the honour to write to you, if my lord Chanut at his departure from this place to go and imbark himself aboard of a man of war, which the lords states general have appointed him for his passage to Diepe, had not commanded me to give your lordship most humble thanks for the letter, which you were pleased to write to him of the 12th of this month, and for the pass you have sent him.
The province of Holland hath resolved to assist the elector of Brandenburg with a sum of money; and this resolution hath been since confirmed by the states general; but they only gave him 40 thousand rix dollars for three months, they being not willing to engage for more, till such time as they see what course the affairs of Poland will take with Sweden, of whom there is a report here, that the king hath been proclaimed great duke of Lithuania and his successors; to whom the Muscovites have also rendered Wilna, the capital city of that dukedom. This news is not yet well confirmed. In the mean time the states general are very busy about the instructions for the embassadors, which they are to send shortly for Sweden and Denmark to secure the commerce of the north; and they have sent orders to the lord Nieuport to sollicit the lord protector to take this business into consideration, and to send thither likewise some in his behalf.
Now your negotiation is happily ended, they speak of renewing the alliance. And in effect in this assembly of Holland they have drawn up a new project of this renovation, which their lordships are to present to the generality, declaring unto them the sincere desire, which this province hath to treat seriously.
Monsieur Chanut having left me for the affairs of the king, till such time that his majesty is pleased to send a minister, your lordship may be pleased to command to send you the news of this place, or to do you any other service, whereof you shall judge me capable.
Beverning, the Dutch embassador, to secretary Thurloe.
Propensissimum vestrum in nos favorem ac studium multis jamdudum argumentis perspectum, nobisque nuper beneficiis exploratum, dum demereri studeo, oportunè mihi reddebantur vestræ gratissimæ, quibus mihi qualiscunque data est occasio, qua & meritorum tuorum amplitudinem mutuis officiis amplectar, & cujusvis obsequii paratissimam voluntatem deferam. Nobilis illarum lator, vir tanto negotio & par & dignus, mandata vestra mihi diligentissimè exposuit; & ne quid iis deesset, ego sedulò curavi: quod privatorum nomine & ad certam causam præstari anxia secreti cura non permisit, nomme publico adimplevit supremi imperii majestas. Indigenæ Belgæ, & si voles Batavo (quippe re vera vester ille talem se professus est) publico diplomate ad omnes imperatores, reges, et ordines salvi conductûs tabulæ verbis quam fieri potuit honorificentissimis expeditæ sunt, iisque munitus decessum paravit quas fieri potuit celerrimè. Excambii duntaxat restabant literæ, quibus meo quidem judicio, eo quo par erat modo, non satis fuerat prospectum, cum & eo negotio larva, qua indutus procedebat, facillimè detraheretur. Itaque & in ea parte debita mea officia lubens & anxiè tamen interposui, de ducentis libris Anglicanis privato meo nomine respondens, non quod serenissimo principi & publicæ rei non lubentissimè vel totum meum peculium impendam, sed veritus ne nominis mei immixtione curiosis aut sciolis aliquid suboleret, quod eñ tiam nunc vereor. Consilium itaque meum sit, cum in multos fortè menses istius pecuniæ collatio deducenda sit (quippe satis viatici præ manibus esse asseruit) ut data qualicunque occasione pecuniæ illæ vestræ incidant in manus domini Neoporti, illeque per institoñ em suum (qui hic commoratur) ita agat, ut ille negotii ipsius inscius jussu domini Neoporti de excambii memorati solutione proprio suo nomine caveat, meum autem nomen (quod nobis hic curandum erit) expungatur. Si amplitudini vestræ aliter visum fuerit, ego libentèr acquiescam. Interim ita velim existimes, omne meum consilium, operam, studiumque tibi tuisque esse debitum. Vale, & me crede amplitudini vestræ
Dabantur Hagæ Comitis 15/26 Novembris 1655.
A letter of intelligence from Holland.
A Persson employed by C. S. in Brabant, whoe is lately come thence, tould mee, the governors there gave them great hopes, that the king of Spaine will espouse his intrest, and shew him all respect dew to him, if he pleases to come into those parts; so as he thought C. S. would shortly come from Ceullen to Bruxells to reside there, which would be best convenient for his affaires, whereby to set a better edge on the Spanniards zeale. The royallists report considently, that most of your fleet will revolt, when they see or heare C. S. flag goes to sea, which those in Brabant and Flanders seem to belive. My intelligencer assures mee, that C. S. hath sent oute 13 commissions for sea commanders; which he supposes are blancks, so as I cannot certainely learne, whether it be uppon hopes or any assurance, nor to whome they are sent to distribute. I shall use my uttmost indeavour to finde out the depth of this plott. They are now very reserved in their affaires. They have demonstrated to their friends in Ingland the condition of C. S. to be more hopefull in this conjuncture, then it ever hath bin since his leaving of Ingland, with designe to induce them to serve him againe, when he shall send to them. I heard a royallist saye, that the imprissonment of their partye hath lost them no friends, for that now most of them wear releast, and had given C. S. assurance of their fidelitye to serve him, when he had ocation for them. Here is a weeckly correspondence between those at Ceullon and their agents at London, whither there is a new one gone with the last passage by name Thomas Pearse, who formerly was servant to mr. Nicolas Armorer, and employed by him in the late desingne, is marryed to a daughter of Tymothy Cruso merchant in London, which they and he conjecture will give him a culler for his abode there. He hath given out, that he will not meddle with any of their affaires; but I am informed, he is to agitate there for C. S. and Armorer, whoe, I believe, is to keep correspondence with him; he hath bin formerly in apprehention, went under the name of Proctor. There is not a passage, but eyther brings or carryes over some of their creatures. This last weeck came over a gentleman of the lord Wilmot's, who brought over horses and houndes for C. S. and had bin with his ladye in the countrye. There ought now a more strict account to be taken of passengers, for I formerly wroate you, that there is Robert Williams, and Jaspars, masters of shipps, that trade constantly for Rotterdam, whoe doe ordinarily serve them. This is all I have to notefie to you in relation to the publick; now I must beg your pardon, if I ad a few lines concerninge my particuler. I am informed by some friends, that the company of merchants adventurers understanding, that you had formerly nominated me for the deputye's place, doe conclude I am here employed by the protector, and therefore the royall partye amongst them (which are the strongest) are indeavouring to prevent mee; and to this purpose they have already nominated one Antony Flecher of Yorckshire, whoe is well affected to C. S. and his partye, and if you doe not recommend mee forthwith to the governor Avery, and the chief men amongst them, and tell them, you expect no denyall from them, I cannot expect to have the place, for mr. Ford told a friend of myne, that if you only nominated mee, and it came to voyces, he was sure it would be carryed against mee. Not daring to trouble you further, I remayne
Nov. 26, 1655. [N. S.]
Ambassador Nieupoort to the states general.
High and mighty lords,
My lords, since my last, there has happened here not much worth mentioning. They take all possible care for the sitting out of the fleets. Some days ago was delivered an order of the lord protector to the judges of the court of admiralty, whereby the same is authorised, to deliver out private commissions or letters of reprisal against the Spaniards, and as I am informed there are already four of them taken out, and the ships ready, to put them into execution. They exercise the troops, both horse and foot, in the fields about this city, more than usuall. The governour of the Tower has received orders, to raise in Middlesex two companies of horse, to secure that county from all disturbances upon the same regulation and pay as the others in the respective provinces are raised. I am told, that there are recover'd already from collonel Harvey (a late commissioner of the customs, who is apprehended) 20000 l. sterling: it is thought, that a great many others more will be found, that will be obliged to refund what is ill gotten. For this purpose, there are eight persons appointed and authorised, to call to an account all those that have had the administration of the publick money, since the year 1642.
Yesterday I understood from some gentlemen, that there were arrived letters from Barbados, advising, that major Sedgewicke with the ships under his command was arrived there; that every thing was in good order, and the men well in health, and that they wrote, that there was not one man but who was strong enough to be put to the oar. They have brought also news here from St. Malo, that a small vessel with fruit was arrived there from Spain, and declared that there were arrived two galleons and two patachoes, but that the others were chaced by the English fleet about 30 sail strong, and escaped with much ado in the harbour of La vera Cruz, the English being parted from them by hard weather. At the pressing sollicitations of the ministers and elders of the Dutch church here, I represented some time ago to the lord protector, that many honest tradesmen, members of the said congregation, suffered some times great troubles, because they were not free of any company, and yet followed their trade, which nevertheless was permitted them in the time of queen Elizabeth of immortal memory, by a particular concession, and also after her time. And whereas the lord protector had granted letters of dennization or the right of citizens to several tradesmen of the French congregation in one letter or patent, that he would be pleased, to shew the same kindness to the members of the Dutch congregation, who humbly desired the same in their request. Hereupon the secretary of state sent me word some days ago, that the same was agreed to, and that the letters or patent were dispatch'd. Last night some deputies, ministers and el ders of the said Netherland and French congregations went to Whitehall to return thanks to the lord protector for the letter he had written to the lord mayor of London, to give orders that the said tradesmen may not any more be molested on account of their trades. On the 23d instant the lord protector and the council thought proper, to appoint a general day of fasting and prayer against thursday the 9th of December next.
Major general Boteler to secretary Thurloe.
I Came to this towne yesterday at two of the clock, being the howre I had appointed the commissioners of this county to meete me. I founde no less then a jurye of them (I meane twelve in number) at my allighting from my horse; and that I might not loose time, I did very breifly acquaint them with the occasion of theire meeting and mine at the time and place aforesaid, which being further understood by the reading and debate of those orders and instructions I presented unto them from his highness and council, they did express (and have since shewed) a great deale of readiness in putting the same in execution. And though I perceave by the copies of some letters, your honour was pleased to send me (which I received this morning) that God hath wrought a good promptitude in the harts of our honest freinds in other places to this great worke; yet I am apt to thinke more then ordinary in theise gentlemen, and that upon concientious grounds; and I consess it is no small incouragement to so poore an instrument among them as I am, and if we can so well get over the first part of our worke, which hath the onely matter of regrett in it, (if there be any) I cannot but please myselfe to thinke, how greedily we shall put downe prophaness, and delighfully (though with continual paines) pass through the rest. I have beene beating my thoughts severall times this day about some fitt persons to be presented to his highnes for sherrifs, there being none of those (whose names you sent me,) that will either lead or follow any of your commissioners in their worke, or that can be hoped to comply with the government. I have (enjoyning him all secrecy) taken major Wagstaff's advice for Bedfordshire; and we hope to fitt and please you betwixt us. He names Sir John Charnock of Holcutt; and I name Francis Astrey of Woodend esq; and I beleive they are both good men. The last is, I dare say, and a gentleman, that now appeares with us, and acts very throughly, hath 6 or 700 l. per annum. Major Wagstaffe saies you cannot do amiss, whichsoever of them you take.
For Northamptonshire I propound John Cleypoole senior esq; or John Maunsell of Thorp-Malso esq;. The last is a great asserter of the present government, appeared very freely with us at Northampton last weeke; but if I thought it would be a penny charge to him, I would not have named him. You cannot confide in any of them you named to me; nor can I name you on that side the countrey any other then those two (of estates and well affected) for Rutland I propound to you Christopher Browne of Tolthrup esq; or Benjamir. Norton of Tinwell esq;.—I shall give your honour no further trouble for ought I knowe, till I come to Huntingdon, which will be monday or tuesday next. Mean while and allwayes, I remaine
The commissioners for securing the peace of the commonwealth &c. to secretary Thurloe.
According to the commands and directions in the instructions lately communicated to us by major general Boteler from his highness and the council, wee have met at the town of Bedford, and are in some forwardness in the execution of the same, and do hope very speedily to give a further and more effectual account thereof. The which we hope through the blessing of God will much conduce to his glory, and the quiet, peace, and settlement of the present government and commonwealth. We cannot but acknowledge the great providence and mercy of God in this juncture of time, to put it into the hearts of his highness and council, to purpose such a way for the settling the hearts, and quieting the minds of all good people by this course now proceeded in; to the which we shall with all readiness set to our hearts and hands. And this is all at present can be signified to you from
Bedford, Nov. 16, 1655.
Major general Goffe to secretary Thurloe.
My last informes you of the first meeting of the commissioners at this towne, since which tyme wee have continued together, useinge our utmost indevours to discover the persons estate, with whom wee have to deale. And by the help of the sequestration-books, which wee sent for, wee have found somewhat to beginne upon. Wee beganne with sir William Moreley, who hath consented to bee taxed after the rate of 1500 l. per annum, but takes it very much to hart, that hee should bee still reckoned a malignant, having long bin satisfyde of the justnes of our cause, and indeed very good men here doe speake well of him, and I beleeve his highnes will bee solicitted about him. Wee have spoken with some few others, and sent for more, with whom wee hope to deale this day. Those, with whom wee have spoken, doe readily submitt, but pretend too much innocency as to any of the late designes. Moste of the commissioners are tyred and desired to be dismissed for the present, though very willing to doe their utmost in the busines; but capt. Freeman and mr. Manning (mayor of this towne) are exceeding industrious and helpfull to mee. Mr. Manning is a very honest and godly man, and has bin much baffled by the corrupt party in this towne, who kept him from beeing mayor as long as they could; but I looke upon it as a good providence, that hee is now mayor; and I hope hee shall with the rest of the well-affected party hereafter bee strengthened and incoraged.
There are so many of the delinquents dead, and soe much of their estates sould, that I feare the revenew raysed by the taxe in this county will not bee very considerable; but I hope the utmost indevours will bee used to improve it.
In regard the registry at London is not setled, I doe forbeare pressing upon them the bonds mentioned in the additionall orders for the present; and the rather because I doe apprehend, it may bee moore sesonable after the worke of the taxe is over. To put them upon all the hard termes at once, it may bee would not goe downe so easily, especially with those that bear the tax. I thinke therefore to beginne takeing the security from those, who are exempted from the taxe. If I bee mistaken in this way of proceeding, I hope I shall bee better advised by you.
I thank you for your intelligence, and doe desire (if it may not bee too great a trouble) that you would continue the same. It was an incouragement to the commissioners here to understand the worke was carrying on soe well in other places.
I am very much a stranger in these counties, especially in Hampshire and Berkshire,
having not yet soe much as binn here; and therefore I feare I shall not answer the expectation of his highnes in giving information concerning the high-sherriff sitt to be
rested upon; I am sure not to the satisfaction of my own judgment. I shall, as I may,
informe my self, and that with what speed I can. I thinke to goe from hence to Winchester on tuesday next. If capt. Dunce or mr. Hindersley, who lyeth at mr. Phelps's,
should bee in towne, I beseech you to desire them to hasten into the country, where I
am sure I cannot well want their assistance. Sir, I shall not further trouble you at present, but remaine
Chichester, Nov. 16, 1655.
The Dutch resident in Denmark to the states general.
High and mighty lords,
My last to your high mightinesses was of the 20th instant, the day after I made again a tour to Copenhagen, where I could observe nothing else, but that this crown will adhere to the treaties made with your high mightinesses. Nevertheless they are not quite free from apprehensions of the Swedish successes, in case the same should meet with no resistance in Prussia: the common people as well as them of distinction, begin to shew themselves more timorous than formerly, since no certainty of any succour begins as yet to shew itself. They judge (I speak of the commonalty) it safer to share with Sweden the sovereignty of the Baltick and of the trade there, than that by obstinacy this kingdom may be attacked and the inhabitants be frustrated of their hopes by the Pomeranians, which is the open discourse every where, that it is the design of the Swedish arms in Poland. An extraordinary embassador of your high mightinesses to this crown is impatiently expected here, which would cause a great tranquillity of mind in these parts, and augment very much the affection towards your high mightinesses.
It is said that above 40 merchant ships, most of them belonging to the subjects of your high mightinesses, are stranded and lost on the coast of Jutland and Norway by the storms and tempests of the last season.
Commissary Pels to the states general.
High and mighty lords,
My last to your high mightinesses was of the 24th. Hereby I communicate again another letter of my son from Marienburgh, to which I crave to refer. There is no other alteration of affairs, only we have the confirmation, that the king of Sweden, with the gross of his army, is broke up from Warsaw, and marching towards Prussia. It is very likely, that Thorn will be attack'd first, whereof I shall enlarge more hereafter. The Swedish army in Lithuania lies on the frontiers of Prussia, without having attempted as yet any hostilities; only it is reported, that the Swedish general count Magnus de la Gardie hath sent colonel Pleitner to the count of Waldeck, who, because they knew his errand, received no audience. It is said that the Swedish troops are very ill.
Mr. Servien, the French embassador in Savoy, to mr. de Bordeaux, the French embassador in England.
These shall serve to wish you joy of the glorious success of your negotiation, and to assure you, that besides the share, which I take by this union in the publick joy, by reason of the advantage, which his majesty and his state receive through the conclusion of this peace, I do moreover rejoice, my lord, with your servants, in regard the same is procured to us by your means; wishing you such happiness and recompence, as you have deserved, with the same passion as I have the honour to be &c.
Don Alonzo de Cardenas to Barriere, the prince of Condé's agent in England.
In regard I have found myself something ill till my arrival here, where I was received by the archduke with as much demonstration of honour and joy, as I would desire, I have not been able to do any thing in your own business, which I will take to heart as much as if it were my own. Francis duke of Lorraine is gone into France with all his troops.
An intercepted letter.
I Do much despair, that your kindness to me will not succeed according to your desires. We are all at gaze here, whether you and the Spaniard will patch up again. It is believed it will be endeavoured on the Spanish side. As yet there are no commissions granted to those of Dunkirk, though they have importuned to have them; and many of Zealand seek to imbark in that way of sea-roving. It is yet uncertain, whether the Spaniard will close with the king, even in case the war proceed. Duke Francis of Lorraine is run to the king, and hath carried away with him all the jewels of his brother to an inestimable value, and hath pillaged all the furniture even of his own lodging both plate and hangings, that were lent him for his use. I am now pretty well informed of the temper of the Spaniard. They would fain have peace with England. They are much weakened by the loss of the 2000 men duke Francis took with him. The Governor of Peronne still treats with Condé and the court of France.
A letter of intelligence.
The peace is now signed by the French king. It went away from hence in great hast on this day sennight. It is expected back again under the great seal of England; and then the great seal of France being set to it, and verified in this parliament, it will be published; and six weeks after that those that must be sent away must be gone. All this may be done by the middle of February or sooner.
We say now, that Hocquincourt and the cardinal are agreed, and that he hath received good conditions to quiet his rebellious humour, one hundred thousand crowns, the government of Mantes for himself, another government for his son, and some other honours. But it seems great news, that the princess royal is expected at Paris in January, to see her mother the queen of England. What the mystery of this journey is, I cannot learn.
The Venetian resident to secretary Thurloe.
Being resolved to go away, and in this occasion not to be wanting in the respect I owe first to his highness's greatness, and then to the obligation of the charge, I have so long borne here, I thought fit to address myself to your honour's prudence and goodness, with the expressions, which some weeks I have been desirous to have the honour personally to utter to his highness; but doubting lest the expectation of that grace should be perhaps an encrease of importunity from me, I hope your honour will not think it amiss, if rather than to be wanting therein, I make bold to make my address through your honour's hand, that by your favour the same coming to his highness's hands, he may know and be assured, that I go from hence with a perfect knowledge of my most humble duties, and with the sense of the obligation, and of the desires, which zealous persons for the axaltation, glory, and prosperity of this state may have. I hope likewise of his highness's generosity that little testimony of his agreeing and approving of my long services and great expences, which is yearly granted by this state to all the publick ministers. I beseech your honour, that now being upon my departure, I might have the same, having long since with all humility and respect demanded and expected the same of his highness's so vereign hand, and of your special favour, being resolved ever and in all places to approve my self,
Nov. 17/27, 1655.
Major general Berry to secretary Thurloe.
I Came this last night to Worcester, where I mett with your letter, as alsoe some intimations from his highnes, which I can find capt. Crooke hath taken notice of, and given his highnes an account of his proceeds thereupon. Mr. Powell is here in towne, but the hast of the post will not admitt speach with him this morning, I being busy alsoe dispatching letters to the gentlemen of this county to meete on tuesday next. I hope wee shal be able to obviate any designe, that these men may have tending to disturbance. I heare that capt. Williams hath beene lately at London, and is returned into Wales, whither I have sent for him to speake with him; and as soone as I can sett the wheeles going in these countyes, I shall hasten into those more northerne countyes.
As to the busines of shreifes, I am not able at present to make such returne as is desired;
onely this I heare at this towne, that mr. Turvey is a man of estate, and would willingly be
honored with the imployment of sherife, and they thinke he may be lead, if any would
undertake that worke. For Haslewood, I cannot yet find any that knowes him. Mr. Foley I know to be an honest man, but I feare it would be much to his prejudice, to have
the place, he haveing noe house or conveniency in the countrey; and being a friend, I
hope my lord will favour him a little. By the next I hope to be able to give you some
better account. In the meane time I beseech you excuse me to his highnes, that I have
not beene sooner at worke, and tell him I will now followe it like any thresher, and he shall
heare from me oft enough. I pray you send me some more of the printed orders and instructions: the commissioners every one desires to have one; and if one be lost, as it was at
Lincolne, we are at a great losse. I shall not at present presume to trouble you with any
more, but to tell you, that I am, without complement,
Worcester, Nov. 17, 1655.
Major general Whalley, &c. to secretary Thurloe.
I Thanke you for your letters. I pray let me have as many of them as you can affourd me. I shall make good use of them. Yf you please to send me a few more of the printed instructions and declarations, they are much desired, where I come. The declarations, as I formerly writ to you, give great satisfaction. Wee expect a list of the delinquents from Habberdashers-hall; not that wee shall rely upon them, yet they wil bee helpfull to us. What you send for this county, I pray direct them to capt. Hope of Derby. I came hither upon tuesday last; the day following I met with some commissioners, who all declare a willingnes to act. We had had more, were not some gonne to London, as mr. Bennet and sir Samuel Sleigh. Others I put in after my coming hither, who could not be here at our first meeting. On munday next having summoned diverse delinquents, wee are to meet agayne, when I hope wee shall have a good addition, and I doubt not but wee shall cary on the busines here as effectually as in other places. I prayse God, I have bin very well receaved both by the towne and gentlemen in the country. The buysnes for ejecting ministers goes on very well in Lyncolnesheire. Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire have made no entrance upon it, deferr it till my returne to them. I had almost forgot to tell you, that coll. Chadwicke is very forward to serve his highnesse in this buysnes both at Nottingham and Derby, being recorder for both the townes, and being very able and well esteemed of, (even amongst honest and godly men, so farr as I can hitherto learne.) Certaynely it was not a true caracter, that was given of him to his highnes. I shall, yf the Lord please, goe from hence on tuesday to Leicester; and I shall take the like care here, as I have done where hitherto I have bin, to leave the worke in such handes, as I doubt not will faythfully and vigorously cary it on; which that they may doe is the earnest desires of, sir,
Major general Whalley, and the commissioners for securing the peace of the commonwealth, to secretary Thurloe.
These are to intreat you to signify to his highness, that in obedience to the orders and instructions of his highness and council for settling the peace of the commonwealth, we have met at this place, and have made such entrance upon the business we are intrusted with, as we doubt not, God assisting us, in short time will render us capable of giving a good account thereof; and find that a list of all such in this county as have compounded at Goldsmith's hall, with the particulars whereupon they compounded, as also the names of such persons (resident in these parts) who have been engaged in any late plot or design, will make our proceedings more effectual and speedy: and further desire an additional number of the printed orders and instructions, which shall be endeavoured to be faithfully executed by,
Derby, 9bris 17, 1655.
Col. Barkstead, lieutenant of the tower, to secretary Thurloe.
In pursuance of his highness's orders and instructions to me directed, I have lately summoned diverse persons (of the king's party, and his sonne's in the county and citty under my charge) to enter into bond and give security, according to those instructions; and doe find that some of them, though at theire dwelling-houses or usuall places of aboade, now are as prisoners, haveing a guard upon theire persons. I desire to know his highness's pleasure as to such of them, whether in the condition they now remaine they are to give the security aforesaid, or to deferre the same, untill his highness's pleasure be further knowne concerning theire enlargement, or otherwise; and that you would, with what convenient speed you can, signifye the same unto,
Tower, London, Nov. 17, 1655.
The commissioners for securing the peace of the commonwealth at Lincoln, to secretary Thurloe.
We have, at our meeting yesterday at this place, made some further progress in the business intrusted to our care, and find a general compliance in the gentlemen summoned to appear before us, save that they insist upon the allowance of their debts, and other engagements upon their estates, by way of defalcation; which the major general acquainted us and signified unto them, was intended to be allowed, notwithstanding the orders of his highness and the council and their instructions do not thereunto particularly authorize or direct us. Our desires are herein to walk by a rule, as to what debts or incumbrances shall be allowed by us, and what proof we shall stand upon to make them good unto us; especially for the personal debts, for which they offer us their oaths: but whether we may take them (though voluntary) in their own cases, we are not satisfied. Therefore crave your speedy advise and direction as to these particulars; and that with the compositions formerly desired from Goldsmith's hall, the incumbrances and charges there allowed them may likewise be returned to,
Lincoln, Nov. 17, 1655.
To his highness the lord protector of the commonwealth of England, Scotland, and Ireland, &c. and the right honourable his council sitting at Whitehall.
That upon the oath of two witnesses, it doth appear, that John Goreing of Gretham gent. hath had his hand in abetting and countenancing the late insurrection and rebellion contrived in the year 1654, as will more particularly appear by the examination it self taken upon oath, a true copy whereof is herewith sent.
That the said Goreing is generally reported to be a very disorderly person, and a great disturber of the peace of his neighbours; and in words doth daily manifest his affection to the late king's party, in opposition to his highness and the present government.
That we have hereupon judged it our duty to apprehend and secure the said Goreing, who being brought before us, doth wholly deny, that ever he spoke any such words, and saith, that his accusers do it maliciously, and because they owe him money. But we have nevertheless ordered him to remain in safe custody in the hands of one John Masters of Chichester, messenger to the said commissioners; which we humbly submit to the farther consideration and direction of his highness and the council, according to the instruction in that case given unto us.
The examination of Thomas Petow of Cold Waltham, taken before the commissioners appointed by his highness and the council for securing the peace of the commonwealth, sitting at Chichester the 17th of November 1655, concerning the delinquency of John Goreing of Gretham gent. as followeth, taken upon oath the date aforesaid.
Saith, that on or about August 1654, this examinate being at husbandry work with him the said mr. Goreing, he was willed by him to ride a war horse for the service of the late king, to join with the lord Goreing, whom he further said would then shortly appear for the said late king, with some thousands of forces, and promised this examinate very good pay, and that Amberly castle would be the first place they intended to come against; and furthermore also, that the said lord Goreing would confer upon him the said mr. Goreing the honor and dignity of a duke.
William Pratt of Gretham husbandman affirmeth the truth of this examination abovementioned, and saith, he was present at the time abovesaid, when the said mr. Goreing mentioned the said Thomas Petow to go forth as a soldier to join with the lord Goreing's forces as abovesaid, and averreth all the rest of the particulars in the abovesaid examination to be true; and further, that the said mr. Goreing swore, that this examinate himself should have gone for a soldier also, if he had not been too old.
From Nieupoort the Dutch embassador in England.
Last wednesday I had an audience of the lord protector; and after his highness had caused all officers and gentlemen to withdraw, no body remaining with him but the secretary of state, I represented to him, that altho' during his highness's indisposition the secretary of state had received of me, with great demonstrations of a good affection, divers memorials and propositions of affairs, which ought to be considered; and that he had been pleased to procure me an opportunity to explain myself further upon several of them to their high mightinesses; yet that I saw my self necessitated since his highness's health would now permit it, to crave his highness's wise consideration, on some of the most important subjects, wherein this state, as well as the united Netherlands, was very much concern'd. And first, that his highness must needs have observed, with what open-heartedness their high mightinesses have formerly communicated to his highness their most secret deliberations, concerning the affairs in Poland, and the trade and navigation of the Baltick sea; that they had since order'd me, to beg the favour of his highness, that he would be pleased, in these important conjunctures, which draw sufficiently the eye and attention of the whole world, to communicate unto them in considence his good intentions for the conservation of the mutual interest, and to prevent, that the provinces and towns, which lay on or about the said sea, may not be disturbed. Hereupon the protector made me a recital of what he had assured me of before; and declared anew, that he would shew at all times his sincere affection for the welfare of the united provinces, and would always willingly help to prevent, whatever might be undertaken to their prejudice. That he had caused, in a conference, to be proposed to the lord embassador of Sweden so much, that he was of opinion, that all the protestant high powers ought to cultivate among themselves unity and friendship, and to be upon the watch against the conduct and intentions of the present pope and his adherents. And having discoursed a little upon this subject, I told him, that the time was very precious in such conjunctures, where arms, and sometimes likewise negotiations, can make a strange alteration in affairs, and ask'd him, if his highness did not think that matters might be better directed, and with more success in Poland itself, by able and faithful ministers, whereby all suspicions would be removed, and a good confidence restored, alledging, that the same had been practised in former times; whereupon he promised me to take his further resolution upon it very soon. Afterwards I informed him, that their high mightinesses had seen the known accommodation between the duke of Savoy and the Vaudois, and were of opinion, that one ought not to desert these poor fellow-christians, in the perplexity they are reduced to, but endeavour by all means and ways that the same may be put into some more and better security. For which purpose, their high mightinesses had written to the lord Van Ommeren their embassador extraordinary, and given him new orders and instructions touching the same. The lord protector replied, that it had rejoiced him exceedingly, that their high mightinesses did so much, and with such a servent zeal, take to heart the interest of those poor people of the true reformed religion; assuring me, that there was nothing he valued more, and for which he was ready, if it were the will of the Lord, (these were his words) to suffer anew the greatest torments; and that upon what I had formerly communicated to the secretary of state touching the same, he had given orders, that his envoys in Switzerland should promote that affair with the greatest application. He told me likewise, that mr. Downing and others had inform'd him, that their high mightinesses had made a very good choice, and that the lord Van Ommeren was a very able minister, to bring about by a prudent conduct and zealous sidelity a happy success. At last I told him, that I was again obliged to bring some complaints before his highness, of some of their high mightinesses subjects, whose ships and goods were taken from them against reason and justice in Barbadoes and other places, concerning which their high mightinesses were moved to write to his highness themselves; and that I had prepared a deduction touching the same with several documents, desiring that his highness would be pleased to give such orders, that the same might be enquired into, and that the said ships and goods, or the true value of the same, may be restored free from costs and losses. The lord protector did deliver those papers into the hand of mr. Thurloe, commanding him to procure, that the same might be forthwith read in the council, though it should happen that he could not be present himself. Further he told me, that as he believed their high mightinesses would not defend what would tend to the prejudice of this state, in relation to such persons, who have so grossly injured the same; so likewise he was always sorry, when he heard that any thing had happened to the loss of the subjects of their high mightinesses. Since the last memorial which I deliver'd, the sugars laden on board of the galiot called the Thirsty Hart are likewise released; and there is observed a greater moderation in the admiralty, in respect of other ships and goods that are reclaimed by the inhabitants of the United Provinces. This afternoon I had the opportunity, according to their high mightinesses resolution of the 22d instant, touching the letter of the lord Van Ommeren, dated at Geneva the 6th of this month, to speak with the secretary of state, who communicated to me what mr. Moreland had written; viz. in what manner he first by himself, and afterwards along with the lord Van Ommeren, had brought mr. Stocker so far, that he had promised, in the full assembly of the cantons to declare, that he had protested against the proceedings used in the conclusion of the well known treaty: the said gentleman was of opinion, that the whole ought to be disavowed, and assured me, that to mr. Moreland and the resident Pell full orders and instructions were given, to promote vigorously and communicatis consiliis with the lord Van Ommeren, the best for the said poor fellow Christians. I am informed by a good hand, that the articles of the treaty with France being drawn up in due form, they sent to the lord de Bordeaux, to enquire if it suited his conveniency, that the same might be sign'd; and that he having observed, that in one copy, which was to remain here, the commission of the lord protector was inserted before that of the king of France, had refused to sign in that manner, desiring, that it should be written over again, although all the articles were drawn up so carefully, that the name of the lord protector, to prevent disputes, was no when mentioned. To morrow I will see, if an expedient can be found therein.
A paper from the French embassador at London.
Puisque son altesse desire, que la publication se fasse le mesme jour a Paris & Londres avec les solemnites accoustumées en semblables rencontres, le roy estant presentement hors de Paris, les ordres n'y peuvent estre envoyes qu'au commencement de la semaine prochaine. C'est pourquoy, affin qu'il n'arrive aucune faute, il est a propos de prendre le mecredy de la meme semaine, qui sera le 8 Decemb. styl. nov. & le 28 de ce mois styl. d'Angl.
Par ladite proclamation, il sera expressement porté, que des le dit jour cesseront tous actes d'hostilité, & que s'il est pris quelque navire de part ou d'autre, il sera incontinent rendu sans autre procedure.
Quand aux solemnités, que se pratiquent en France depuis le traicté de Vervins, il ne s'en est pourveu, mais si son altesse trouvera a propos de celebrer cet acte par cris a son de trompe dans les lieux accoustumés, par prieres publiques, sons de Cloche, & feus allumés dans la capitale ville de l'un & de l'autre nation, j'escrirai a la cour, que le semblable soit observé en France, & j'asseure de n'estre poinct desadvoué la promesse que j'en fais.
Major general Berry to secretary Thurloe.
The gentlemen of this countie meete here this day, to putt his highnes orders and instructions in execution, and have declared much forwardnes to the worke, which I hope wil be effectually carryed on. Some question hath beene made, whether the citty of Worcester and countie of the same bee within our commission. Yf you please to move my lord and the councell, that they would declare theire intentions concerninge this and such other cittyes and libertyes, itt would remove those scruples. They alsoe desire to know, what his highnes pleasure is shall be done concerninge the estates of sir Henry Littleton and major Wildman. Yf you expect wee should proceed to sequestration of them, wee humbly beg you would acquaint us with the testimonyes you have against them. Here hath beene also this day many cavaleers, who have given engagements, according to order, and have promised to bring in to our next meetinge a particuler of theire estates, that they may bee assessed, and they seeme not att all to quarrell att itt. I intend (God willinge) to morrow to march towards Hereford, where I have appoynted the gentlemen of the countey to meete on fryday; from whence I shall give you an accompt of our proceedings there; and in the meane tyme give you noe further trouble, but remaine
I have inquired of those gent. nominated for sherifes in this county, and heare, that mr. Haslewood is good for nothing, not like to doe you any service. Mr. Turvey is good for little; a rich clowne, that would be glad to be taken notice of, and perhaps might be ruled. Mr. Foley you all know, yet for his owne sake I wish he might be spared, for the saying is here, that a man had as good be sequestred as made sherife. I hope, my lord will spare him.
Major general Berry, and the commissioners for securing the peace of the commonwealth, to the protector.
May it please your highness,
We are set at this place to put in execution, within the six counties of north Wales, your highness's orders for securing the peace of the commonwealth according to the power and trust committed to us, which we hope will be carried on through the Lord's assistance with so much faithfulness and integrity, as will answer those just and honourable ends, which your highness proposes therein, for publick good, although at present many of our number (whom we are confident will act cheerfully with us in this work) cannot by reason of the extremity of the weather repair unto us.
Upon perusal of your highness's said order we find, that in case the rates of 100 l. per
ann. on lands, and 1500 l. personal estate, do stand as the lowest rates of estates, which are
to be taxed for the raising of the revenue in the said orders mentioned, the said revenue
will fall short of what may be expected (to be raised in these counties) by those, who are
not acquainted with the country; and many persons, who have been most culpable, and continue most irreconcileable in their principles and affections, will escape from bearing any
part of the said burthen; for the generality of men of estate in these counties consist of
such as come under the said rates, and yet most of these men are better able to pay their
proportions, and more implacable and dangerous for the prosecuting of any wicked designs, than those men are, who fall within the said rates, very few excepted; which we
thought fit humbly to represent to your highness, that if you judge it fit, we may receive
some further signification of your pleasure herein, which shall be carefully observed by
Your highness's most humble servants, James Berry,
Major general Haynes to secretary Thurloe.
I Have nothing to plead as excuse, that I wrote not to you synce the 8th instant, save that I was constantly attending the commissioners in Norfolke, who have satt de die in diem for the carrying on the service desired of them; and I am consident none in England will appeare to be more forward. As also was I desyrous to see such progress in the worke, (especially in the tax) as that the whole might be perfected in tyme. Indeed such acceptance had this affaire in the hearts of all, that it carryed its conviction with it, honest men encourageing one another in the action, and the delinquent not one word to say, why ought should be remitted him; that every toungue must confess it was of the Lord, who is a righteouse God in the execution of his judgments; and when his hand is lysted up, he shall not only make them (though most unwilling) to see, but also make them ashamed for their envy to his people. The commissioners did the most of them meet every day for ten daies together till fryday last; and the greatest part of the most necessary worke being done, they have now adjourned themselves to every thursday and fryday in the weeke, untill they shall have perfected the whole, or soe much as they may take a further lyberty for their meeting without prejudice to the service. They have given summons to almost all wil be quallyfyed to bare any part of the charge; and the greatest part of them have they assessed, and that with the greatest care they could possibly, exceeding in their assessing the bookes of sequestration. That which remaines there to be done will not be found to be much; soe that I feare in that county there will not be enough by a great deale raysed to pay the three troopes therein, unless his highness and councell shall judge those of Yarmouth, that withstood our forces in 48, and such as weare sequestred for goeing beyond the seas (who are yett as malignant as any) to be lyable to the generall charge, for of the last are the principle persons of estate in that county, who made freinds after their sequestration, and returne home to free their estates from composition, and soe consequently are better able to bare this tax. Theise things are more fully represented by the commissioners in their letter to my lord president, which they pray may be comunicated to his highness and councell, and therefore desyred theise for their covert to your hands. You will also finde by their owne letters, that they have considered and acted uppon the second head of his highness and councill's orders in the apprehending and secureing of mr. Cleaveland, a most desperate enemy to God and good men, and one mr. Sherman, a most malignant episcopall minister, who though of a sober lyfe, yet of most distructive principles to the government and good people, and professedly owned and held forth by him most seditiously in a sermon preached before the authoryty of that cyty. Indeed he is the more dangerouse, by how much the government of the cyty is soe badd, being in the hands of persons notoriously disaffected uppon the worst principles, and he one that artificially drawes them after him. But I shall not trouble you further as to theise particuler persons, referring you to the commissioners certificates in that behalfe; only by how much mention hath bin made of the government of the cyty, I would humbly intreat the consideration of charters may be timously taken up, and of this cyty as soone as any, being as bad as any other in England, as to persons in authoryty, the comunalty haveing by degrees (encouraged thereto by the malignant aldermen) for theise three yeares last past ridd their hands of the honest interest. Further, there being one mr. Boteman, formerly of Hull, and great with coll. Overton, and formerly zealous for the parliament, who now hath chainged his principles, and fallen in with mr. Sherman aforesaid, and is thought to be the more active instrument to strengthen the malignant, and worke disaffection uppon every disatisfyed person. It's rumored, that there was an order from the councill three yeares synce for his removeing out of Hull. I could desyre it might be found to helpe him out heere, he not soe clearly falling under the commissioners powers as mr. Sherman, yet noe less dangerous to the peace of that place; and therefore have some of the commissioners and my selfe treated him, to try if we can gett him to leave the place; and in case he will not otherwise goe, its the desyre of the gentlemen, that an order of his highness or council may be obteyned in thañ behalfe. Pray, good sir, helpe in this, and I doe well hope to stopp by that meanes the great growth of episcopacy and malignancy in that cyty, which is hardly to be believed, and yet most true. As yet we heare nothing of the regester's office at London, to which soe much of our worke relates. One word to it: the post, that wentt from Colchester to Bury and soe to Norwich, is exceedingly wanted to the great disatisfaction of those places. I think it may be yet helped. The lysts of sherriffs you sentt will by noe meanes hold proportion with those quallifications you intemate. There is but one of all the four countyes I have relation to, who is like to answer expectation, and that is mr. Ward of Norfolke. Indeed, sir, it's very difficult to finde fitt persons. I have travelled in my owne thoughts, and privately discoursed freinds more knowing of men then my selfe; and for theise four countyes I cannott finde out any soe fitt as theise in the inclosed lysts; and I humbly apprehend, as they are named, soe are they for fittness; but I should be most unwilling to putt our friends uppon it to contract expences, unless some way might be found out to helpe them to bare the burthen. I am now ashamed, I have bin soe troublesome to you. This weeke I hope to sett the wheeles agoeing in this county; and the next in Cambridge-shyre; of all which you shall not (God willing) fayle of an account from, sir,
Bury St. Edmunds, Nov. 19, 1655.
I most humbly thanke your honour for the coppies of the letters of my fellow labourers in this worke. I hope you'l not judge me of neglect, because I have not communicated the instructions to the gentlemen of soe many counties as they, rather judging it most for your service to perfect what possibly may be as I goe.
Major general Goff to secretary Thurloe.
I Being putt upon the command of a regiment of horse, and the major generallship att once, found the necessary preparations thereunto very chargeable, soe that the 100 l. appoynted mee by his highnes was spent before I received it; and therefore I was forced, both to leave my wife bare of money, and to take but a little with mee, though by reason of lying allwaies in inns, I find the expences of his service will be greate, if I carry it any what honorably. And truely I would not willingly prejudice the service, nor be too prodigall of my master's purse. I never yett had a designe to grow rich, and I doe thinke it lesse seasonable now then ever. Whatever is allowed mee for my publicke service, I shall, God willing, spend it. God that hath hitherto, will still provide for mee and mine, and therefore I cann the more freely be bould to desire you to speake to his highnes, that there may be one hundred pounds more delivered into the hands of my wiffe, for which I will be accoumptable. I must shortly take up some money in the country for my use, and I desire my wiffe may be enabled to make punctuall payment of my bills. Sir, I beseech you pardon this bouldnes of
Chichester, Nov. 19. 1655.