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 (6 of 8)
Major general Goffe to secretary Thurloe.
Since my last wee have not donn much worth giving you accompt of. There are sixe rapes in this county, and wee have as yet dealt only with those malignants that are in this rape of Chichester, and the taxe, that wee have lay'd, comes to somewhat above 1000 l. per annum, which I believe is more then will rise out of the other five rapes. I intend, God willing, to goe from hence to Winchester to morrow morning, from whence I shall give you a more particular account of what hath bin donn here. Pray lett a messinger deliver the inclosed, with what speed you can; for I have appointed the commissioners for Hampshire to meet on fryday next at Winchester. I have not else, but that I am
Chichester, Nov. 19, 1655.
I cannot sattisfie my self to offer any gentlemen to be high shreefe. There is none heere, that cann soe much as informe mee what those three are, that are named for Sussex. They live in the east parte of the county, and those I converse with heere, doe not soe much as know them. I confesse, I should be very gladd, an honest man in every county were found for that service.
Major general Boteler to secretary Thurloe.
I Hould it my duty to give you the most frequent account that I can of my proceedings and motion, from time to time and from place to place. We do not finde many delinquents in this county, whose estates arise so high as to fall under our decimation: some we have taken notice of and assessed; others being at the terme, and otherwise absent, wee have refferred to another day; but in the meane time it is the humble suite of all the commissioners here, that your honor would do us the favour to know his highness pleasure, whether he thinks fitt to exempt the estates of my lord of Bedford and sir Robert Nappier in this county, especially of the last, for that he was sequestered three yeares together, though afterwards (as it is alleadged here) when he saw, which way success was like to goe, he did for some litle time sitt in the long parliament. Also it is humbly desired in the case of coll. Conquest, who hath woods in this county to the value of 8 or 10000 l. (and yet litle or no yearly profit is made of them,) that you would resolve us, whether they be taxable by us or not. And I finde a very great desire in the commissioners to go to the utmost bounds of their power against him, for that he has beene and still is so notorious an enemy. And yet they would do him jus, etiamsi summum jus. I must needs tell your honour once againe of the readines of the commissioners of this place, to execute the whole of our orders and instructions. And they do assure me, they will make it their business to finde out and give me notice of all their prophane and idle gentry and others, whose lives are a shame to Christian commonwealth, and of all inferiour persons, that are dangerous, and live without callings. We have secured (in order to his highness transporting them) one Pemerton, that was formerly in armes against the parliament, a very desperate person, having no estate, and living after the rate of four or five hundred a yeare; hath no other habitation then at Temsford in this county, where he is reported to bedd and board with mrs. St. John, and from whome he hath his whole maintenance. I do not thinke his highnes can be inform'd of a person more fitt to be made exemplary by banishment. Also one Paley an apothecary of this towne, we have thought fitt to secure upon the like account; but in as much as I shall have of the same stamp from the other countys, I do intend to present you with a lift of all their names together, by that time I am gone through my association. I am this day for Huntingdon, whence your honor shall heare further from, sir,
Letters of intelligence.
His majesty of Sweden came to Warsaw the 30th past, but continued not long there; for having understood, that the Prussian states and chief cities not only remained still obstinate, but also were making a strict league and combination with the duke of Bran denburgh against him, (which is now to be fully finished and concluded) he committed the consultations about the safety of the kingdom and commonwealth of Poland, with the states there present, to the management of the rix chancellor's excellency, and some others of the chief ministers of state, and so departed with some regiments and the Quartians (which are continually about him) to his army, with intention (for as much as we know) to take his march directly for Prussia. Some spargaments there have been, as if the Tartars were on their way to oppose his majesty, but there is nothing of it, we having certain intelligence they keep themselves very quiet; but suppose they should do their worst, we have no cause to fear them; the Cossacks (which only wait his majesty's orders how and where to be imployed) being able and valiant enough to encounter and subdue them. We hear of a dangerous conspiracy detected against his majesty, where it was intended to insect all the fountains or conduits, and thereby to have poisoned the king and his nobles, and the whole garrison. Some of the great ones, which are said to be engaged in the plot, are already apprehended and committed to custody. It's also said, some of our troops have already held a conflict with all Brandenburgh's party about Trebnitz, and got the better the certainty whereof per next.
Queen Christina of Sweden is now become wholly popish, having publickly recanted at Inspruck; which indeed is great scandal to all evangelical nations, yet would have been far greater, had she not heretofore been specially noted for a woman of no religion at all, and one which knew not herself what she was. Hanniball Seaslett is going for Spain, in service of that king, against the commonwealth of England, but is first to have a meeting or conferrence with Charles Stewart at Antwerp, who, as it is certainly reported, is to fellow him for Spain very shortly. The king of Sweden hath ordered a most costly livery to be prepared in this city for a hundred tragants or yeoman of the guards, and 300 other attendants, (as is said) against his coronation in Poland. The report of the queen of Sweden's being brought to bed of a young prince (which was here very current for some days) continues not; but that her delivery is every hour expected.
Conditions proposed by his majesty of Sweden to the lords commissaries of his electoral highness of Brandenburg.
The Danish resident to the states general.
High and mighty lords,
By his royal majesty of Denmark, Norway, &c. most gracious command, his resident at this place has prepounded and represented to your high mightinesses the manifold frauds and smugling, which have been committed and are still continued by the masters of ships of these provinces trading to Norway, against the true intent and sense of the treaty made on the 12th of February 1642, as also to the great detriment and prejudice, not only of his above mentioned majesty, but also for setting a bad example to others, contrary to your high mightinesses good will, knowledge, and intention; and the said memorial, after the report made thereof by the lords of your high mightinesses committee, being not only sent at that time to the colleges of the admiralty, but also after their answer and advice, your high mightinesses coming to a resolution on the 13th of August, wrote back to the said colleges of the admiralty; that their noble mightinesses to prevent the like frauds should cause the unmeasured or wrong measured vessels trading to Norway to be measured anew. The said resident therefore cannot help humbly to insist and petition your high mightinesses, that at his just request contained in his last memorial, your high mightinesses good intention may be brought into execution, whereby it will appear, that your high mightinesses contributing zealously your part to keep the said treaty inviolably, those frauds, which have been committed these many years to the great loss of his above mentioned majesty, will be effectually prevented, which according to his opinion might be done in the best and easiest way, by his said majesty's causing, according to the XVIIIth article of the said treaty, the unmeasured ships to be measured, in the convenient and for that purpose appointed harbours of Norway, so as the same has been hitherto practised, and at the same time the wrong measured vessels to be examined and new measured at the said places, or where-ever such frauds are committed, by trusty and experienced measurers, that the said frauds may be duly corrected, as justice on both sides requires; and to the end that the masters of ships of the one and the other side may be unprejudiced, and have no reason to object one against the other; all which would easily be obtained, if your high mightinesses would be pleased, by a serious placart, in your state and respective provinces, to publish, and to charge and command the said masters of ships, that they as well in this as in other transgressed points should punctually regulate themselves according to the true contents of the said treaty, and in no manner act contrary thereunto. In which said placart, according to the opinion of the lords of the admiralty, and according to the words limited in the said treaty, might also be inserted, that no ships under 50 lasts should be measured, and that the said masters of ships shall not load in any other places than in the timber harbours, and having quite compleated their cargo of timber, shall put their furs or fat wares upon deck or in the cabin, and not as some do in the hold or under the timber, declaring at the same time, as it is done by many, with whom they have traded, and of whom they have bought, and that after they are cleared out and discharged, they shall take in no more goods.
And whereas the above mentioned does agree with the said treaty and is grounded upon reason, whereby his royal majesty, as far as concerns him, will have some advantage, and your high mightinesses not any ways be prejudiced, nor your subjects injured, but rather by the like just proceedings, the trust and confidence between both nations will be corroborated; the said resident doth no ways question, but your high mightinesses will be pleased to second the same by a prompt and equitable resolution, demonstrating thereby the good intentions you have on your side, as his forementioned majesty has on his, for the preservation of a good and neighbourly correspondence. The more, since it is grounded upon justice, that his majesty for the future may not any more suffer such great prejudices and damages, without any advantage to your high mightinesses, putting by and forgetting what may any ways have happened these many years past, which would amount to pretty high sums. For which end it is now the best opportunity, since their noble and great mightinesses the states of Holland and Westfriesland are now assembled here, and the lords the commissioned counsellors of the respective colleges of the admiralty as yet present, with whom the said resident offers further to confer, if required, touching this affair, and to explain what further may be needful; to the end, that the said frauds, as abovementioned, by the said placart may be remedied this winter, and every thing redressed according to justice before the next summer.
All which the said resident expects from your high mightinesses great justice and famous
regulations of a good government, recommending the same again to your favourable considerations, and remaining,
Hague, Nov. 30, 1655. [N. S.]
A letter of intelligence.
Yours of the first of this moneth I have received by the hands of R: I am infinitly glad to heare you continue still in good health; soe are your other friends heare, to whome I communicated your letre, which is very mutch aproved of by them. Pray bee very earnest with sir Robert Shirly to returne his mony as soone as may be; and alsoe be as earnest as you find it convenient with Tho. Peyton and Warwich to doe what they can now 18 for this is 6. the time 10. 20. 6. Wee have reason 2. 36.26.24 to expect it will doe us 33 most good. Theise with all other wayes in order to this, is at this time earnestly recommended to you, and frequent accounts are desired of you by your best friends. Upon the whole matter A djutant 2. 23.27 Gen. 9. Hopton 27. 37. 25. 23 is to be 6. made great 47. use 6. of. You will doe in that accordingly. Your war with Spaine I heare is like to goe onne; it will, I feare, doe our merchants mutch hurt, and besides the common enemie the cavaliers (wee have * * * * by it, God's will bee done) but in my opinion, they never had a fairer game to play, if they doe not abandon on another, and totally neglect him, whome they call theire king, in this conjuncture, who is but too ready to take all advantages upon the protector and his partie. But noe more of this by letre. The discourse upon this subject is to large for it. Your delaye in the businesse concerning Cromwell is thought very reasonable, as you may judge by tow letres lately from mee to you writtin to the same purpose. I am extreame glad you have 62. 8. 43. 2: 8. 6. 5. 4. 27. 40. engaged 36. 4. Prescott 37. Wee are now in expectation of the fruits of it, which you are desired may bee weekely. I shall at this time troble you noe farther, but send this to you the way you have apointed mee, which I will constantly doe heereafter. My humble service presented to C. D. and pray say many kind things for mee to mrs. 2 : 3. Abots. 37. 36. I hope I neede say none to you. You are confident I am
General Monck to secretary Thurloe.
I received yours, and thanke you for the newes you sent mee: And as concerning mr. Bilton's businesse, there was only 5000 l. of the states monie, which he lent to capt. Bressie, for which care is taken to secure itt. I have lately intercepted a pacquett of letters from Charles Stuart, and lieutenant generall Middleton, a copy of which I have heere inclosed; and likewise I have taken many cyphers, which I have not time to write out, but shall send them to you next post; only amongst the rest of the papers I found this little note of severall names, which I suppose are Englishmen, to whome coll. Borthwick was to bring recomendations, which you may make use of as you see fitt. I understand, there is one John Browne, who was formerly banisht hence for being one of Charles Stuart's intelligencers, who is come into England about the same designe, and lies at one Gordon's on S. Mary Hill. I thinke itt would doe well to secure him, as alsoe lieutenant John Hamilton and lieutenant William Farley, who were formerly sent hence to the Barbadoes, and are returned and lie at the same place. I shall shortlie send an intelligencer to you, being a trusty man, who is well respected by Charles Stuart. I shall give him 20 l. and desire you will furnish him with a further supply of monies, in regard our contingent monie is scarce heere. Hee will repaire to Charles Stuart, after hee hath received such directions as you shall give him; and no question, but hee will imploy him over with the first packett, which hee will bringe, as you shall thinke fitt, either into England, if they concerne the carrying on any designe there, or hither, if the businesse bee to bee done heere. I have employed him for the present to get some notice of those men, that will write to Charles Stuart in this country, having in the meane time given a passe to goe off this country.
As concerning col. Lytcot, he intends speedily to waite uppon you himself, beeing
hee thinks his businesse cannot bee well settled without; which truly unlesse you helpe
him in, hee will bee neare undone, hee having lent capt. Bressie 400 l. which is like to
bee lost. I remayne
Edinburgh, Nov. 20, 1655.
Mr. Bradshaw, resident at Hamburg, to secretary Thurloe.
I this day received yours of the 9th instant, with the inclosed for mr. Rolt, from whome I have not yet received any letters, onely my correspondent writes still from Dantzick of his beinge at Warshaw, as I writ to you in my last. I doubt not of his wellfare, though doe very much wonder that all conveyances should faile him, especially now that Crackow is over, and noe forces but the Swedes on foote in Poland to obstruct the postes.
I humbly thanke you for the declaration, and mindfullnes of the companie's busines, with which I should not have trubled you soe often, as I have done, if I had onely beene therein concerned. I have by this post letters from the governour, and other of my freinds in the company there, giveinge me notice of a committee chosen by that court to attend his highness for a resolution in the busines. Some have writ me allsoe, how inconsideratly and passionatly the new deputie exprest himselfe, when he saw that court decline him, lettinge fourth himself very unhandsomly towards me, which I impute to the wyne, which I heare is seldome out of his pate. If the power of electinge officers should be put into the hands of that court, as you hint, yet except the antient men in the company have some checke upon the yonge men, at least for some tyme till their spirits coole, I believe the factious party will still carry things as they please, they beinge there as heere the greater number, and many in the committee last chosen great sticklers for them. I doubt not of the continuance of your favourable endevours to issue the busines soe, as that at last I may be sutably vindicated, whether I have hereafter any more to doe with the company or noe.
I am sory that a person soe honored and advantaged by the state as I heare col. Harvey hath beene, should soe shamefully falsisie his trust. Such places had neede of men both rightly principled and fitly qualifyed to answer the trust reposed in them.
Some letters this day from London say the peace with France was not like to holde;
but I hope otherwise, beinge yours mentions noe such thing. To the inclosed I have nothinge to add, but that I am, sir,
Hamb. Nov. 20, 1655.
Sir, by a passage in the governour's letter to me I understand, as if you tolde him, that you heard nothinge of the choyce of a deputie; but by my letter to him at the same time I gave you the like accompt thereof, which I presume came to your hands; otherwise that you will please to require it from the post-house.
Lord Broghill to secretary Thurloe.
I had the favor of a letter from you without a date, in answer to mine of the 6th instant; as also this day I received the honor of yours of the 16th instant; for both which I give you my very humble thankes, and for the newse you are pleas'd to acquaint me with in them. For my respects to col. Lidcott upon your command, you give me expressions, which more rellish of Whitehall 15 yeers past, then now; but in earnest, sir, I shall faithfully endevour to serve him upon your accounte, as much as any man's, and therfore desyer to know, whither ther be a probability of gettinge him mentioned to the councell heere from his highness for mr. Tucker's place, (as commissioner of the excise and customs heere) when the said mr. Tucker shall returne; for if that may be done, 'twill doe his worke, and the poore gentelman was resolved to goe to London, to sollicite your favor, which I have diverted him from, till I receive your answer to this, as knowinge such a jorney, at such a time of the yeere, wil be both troublesom and chargable, the last of which, I feare, he is not well able to undergoe.
The packet I mentioned inter nos, which was on ship-bord, was this day taken by one of our officers, and brought the generall. We have thought it best to send it to his highness, though it only contaynes certayne ciphers, which I feare will by thir knowledge, who have gott them, be noe more made use of; and som letters from Middleton to Glencarne and Atholl, as also one writt with C. S. owne hand to old Lesly, to diswade leavies of men; and a little peice of paper of names, which possibly may be the agents for the ennemy in England, beinge all English names. All thes I would have sent you transcripts of, but that the originals themselves are sent by the generall to his highness; that they are not of much importance, and that I am not by reason of an indisposition still hanginge on me, well able my selfe to coppy them soe as to send them by this post. I cannot well say, whither this be that packett col. Borthwick told his brother (the major) was aboard that ship, for that he sayd had comissions in it, and a letter to the kirkemen, which this has not. The major returned late last night, and saw his brother deliver to Glencarne C. S. letter, at which he was very much joyed; assured them he was satisfyed therewith, and would be a frend to Middleton, as was desyred; addinge further, that if C. S. would really re-ingage heer, he should neither want for men nor mony, as poore as this cuntry is. The colonel's cheif business is to see who will ingage, and what mony he can get. Glencarne has promised in a few dayse to get an accounte of both, and to returne it to C. S. by the hand of the col. or col. Plaketor, by either of which if it be sent, I shall have it. Plaketor is gleaninge up what letters he can from C. S. best frends, and then he shal be hastened away. What you mention in your last of the 13th instant of the neere ripeness of the designe, shall make us as diligent as possibly we can be, and make us minde the kirkemen, who have bin neer this fortnight in towne to see if they can agree; I meane generall assembly men and remonstrators: and tho they have com neerer a close then ever, yet mr. Gillespy and others, who bringe in dayly account of all is ther done, thinke ther is but little hope therof. But if they should close, it must make us the more eye them. I mooved the generall, least the major might be made away, or should repent what he has done, to get him on oth under his hand before only the generall and my selfe, to set doune what he knowes and has seene concerninge Glencarne or any other, that we may have what we can say against them fully proved, and reddy against wee shall ceise upon him, or any such other. This the honest gent. likes very well, and this we will, God willinge, doe som day the next weeke, if not this. I have bin often thinkinge, whither it might not doe well to secure lord Lorne, and such others, who are our enemies, and whos actinges we have now cleere knowledge of, for thes two reasons; the first, because not knowinge well what they may be doinge, such securinge of them may prevent the ill they may otherwise be acting. Secondly, it may make thos the more confident, whos actinges we know of from time to time, who will rationally beleeve, if we had any thinge against them as well as the others, wee would use them as the others; and heerby let what we can prevent at our pleasure goe on, and secure what we may otherwise be over-reached in. If you like this, let us receive his highness orders heerein, I beseech you, and possibly (what I had almost omitted) it may make all C. S. frends make use only of thos intellegencers we have, who carry their trust more secretly then the intelligencers and agents of thos, who shal be committed, will be thought to have done.
I heere inclosed send them the draft of a warrant for his highness to signe for some
mony to lay out in intelligence. Thos, who give it, must be well sed, or els they will
serve as they are payd. I have left a blanke for the sum; I thinke 300 l. may doe well,
for in such things often signinge of warrants is not advisable. What is not payd out, shal
be accounted for by me. All our monyes arisinge from the customes and excise are payd
in to the receiver general, who is only to pay it out by warrant under the hands and seales
of at left five of the councill, and in our warrants we express what the mony is for;
which renders it impossible but by his highness warrant to issue out privatly any mony to
pay intellengencers. I mention in this warrant one of the customs, and on third of the
excise, because the other two thirds are made over for the arreares of the army, and all other
revenue we keepe apart as his highness's owne by the government. Bracy is doubtless undon, and therby we have discovered much foule play; but we took care to secure the
publike mony as soone as we knew he had in his hands any of Bilton's, who had lent him
5000 l. of the states, and Eldred the comissioner 1500 l. which Bracy said was at 20 l.
in the 100 l. interest. You may be pleased to assure his highness, before we had his orders
therin, we had done our duty; so that I thinke, if all Bracy's estate be worth 6500 l.
the publike wil be no looser by him. For my part, I bore my testimony against the
wickedness of tresurers lendinge out of the publike money, and that too at interest, and
such high interest too. I thinke such are unworthy of future trust, if not of present
punishment. I heere Bilton is in ten thousand pounds upon his owne account; a great
sum for a private man, who lately was worth soe little. 'Tis said alsoe that som (who
none of us thought would have done soe) had neere double interest: but possibly Bracy may
say soe in revenge. I must acknowledg with you, I thinke Don and sir Jhon will make a
lovely mixture: such disparity in the associatinge is an earnest, that the Lord intends only
our trouble, not our ruin. I shall on all occasions give you a constant account of all things,
which come to the knowledge of,
Edenb. Nov. 20. 55
An intercepted letter.
That I am desirous to heare from you constantly, will be noe wonder to you. My affaires here shal be noe sooner in order, but, God willing, I resolve to be in Ed. I have wrote this without cover, since I trust the bearer, but with no other shall ye have a lyne. I have returned you this inclosed to Atholl: it is most necessary you take occasion to see him, for beleive it is of importance he be preserved. I shall keepe the other paper, while wee meet. This is from
Major general Worsley to secretary Thurloe.
In my last I gave you an account of our meetinge att Chester, off the redinese and willingnese I found in the commissioners there. The day after I mett with the commissioners for the citty and county of Chester, and found in them as great a willingnese as in the other. This day wee mett at Staford, where wee had 18 commissioners, and men in whom I am perswaded his highnese may very much confide; for truly if in any thinge they were disatisfyed here, it was because the tax was two litle; but wee have made that progrese here, that I hope wee shal be as forward as any of the rest of the countyes in one mounths time. Wee have sent for the most of the cavaleirs to meete us here att our next meetinge, soe that we shall, I hope, be shortly over the mony businese. Wee have sir Robert Sherley, that hath an estate in this county; and one Litleton, that's now in the towre, we desire some direction about. There is one thinge, that was forgotten, and that was, I had noe orders for the cittie and county of Litchfeeld. It is a county of itselfe, and wee have not authoritie to act any thinge there. If you please to order mr. Scoble to send mee orders, and that the commissioners for the county may be for the cittie two, it will doe well, for wee can hardly find a corom of honest men in that cittie. The commissioners here are presinge to send to you, that they may have every one of the orders. The commissioners have all ingaged mee to write to you to intreat this favour, that one colonel John Bowyer may not be prickt for sherife of this county, till colonell Crompton be with you, who intends to waite upon you one saterday next, and will then ofer you the resons of the commissioners desires. I humbly ofer, that for Lancashire one mr. Starkey, if hee be named in the list: he is an able man, one that will be very watchfull and carefull in his plase, and one that hath escaped 4 or five times. There is divers persons att Chester prisoners, who were sent by major Creed. I desire to know your pleasure, whether I may take security of them to deliver themselves to major general Bery or not. I have noe more, but shall put the rest of the instructions in execution with all speed. That's all from
Staford, Nov. 20, 1655.
Major general Kelsey to secretary Thurloe.
This day wee had a meeting at Maidston, in order to the puting of his highnesse and councell's orders in execution, where mett neare 20 commissioners, who all unanimously seeme to be very hartle and cordiall to the worke, and rejoyce to see, that such a checke and discouragment is put upon there old enemys, and incouredgment to there friends, who have ishewed out orders for delinquents to appear before us att our next meeting. I am not able to make a judgment of what wee shall be able to raise, but if wee had power to aseass all persons of 50 l. per ann. we should raise allmost as much more in this countie as now wee shall doe, and all our commissioners are troubled, that soe many should scape, as will by that means. I am able at present to doe little as to disarming malignants, till I have put the other busines in some forwardnes. To morrow I intend to goe into Surrey, to meet the gentlemen at Kingston upon thursday. I must confes the Lord hath given my unbeleiving hart the ly, by voutsaseing unto mee more of his prefence and comfort in, thes uncoth imployment, then I could expect. The Lord give mee a hart to answer his goodnes towards me, and make me able to answer the expectations of his highnesse and councell, which is all from
From Maidston, Nov. 20, 1655.
Major general Haynes to secretary Thurloe.
I am hugely ashamed of my neglect in inclosing the lyst of persons I promysed. Trusting to my clerke to seale up the letter, it was omitted; yet I hope this may come as soone as my former, haveing given directions for the speeding of it, that if possible it may overtake the post. Sir Thomas Barnadiston and a considerable number of the gentlemen are come to town; the last night. This day their affections wil be tryed, and an account thereof you shall have transmitted you with the first, by,
Bury St. Edmonds, Nov. 20. 55. six in the morne.
The commissioners for securing the peace of the commonwealth at Bury, to the protector.
May it please your highness,
Those commands signified to us by major Haynes, together with the orders and instructions for your highness and your honourable council, we have this day met to put in execution, in which (by the blessing of God) we shall use our best care and diligence as the importance of so great an affair requires. We are very clear in our opinions, that this undertaking is not only honourable in itself, but also the most probable and likely means to secure the peace and happiness of this commonwealth, nothing being more equal in our judgments than that those, who by the restless turbulency of their spirits do create new troubles and disquiet to the commonwealth, should bear the necessitated charge thereof themselves, without bringing a further burthen upon the good and peaceable people of this nation who have a long time born the heat of the day. We acknowledge ourselves bound to bless God, who hath moved your highness and council's heart to be thus careful of the security and ease of the good people of this commonwealth, and of those their dear liberties purchased with the price of so much precious blood and vast expence of treasure. We do pray, that as the Lord hath been pleased to make use of your highness as the instrument of our deliverance from that implacable generation of men, so that he will be pleas'd further to use your highness as the instrument of our preservation and further reformation, which shall be the daily request of
Your highness most humble servants,
The information of Francis Swan of Clerkenwell parish in the county of Middlesex, taken the 20th of November 1655.
This informant saith, that Henry Fox of Saffron Walden in the county of Essex, and Thomas Nittingell of Whittlesford in the county of Cambridge, have been of the late king's party, and sequestered for their delinquency, and yet do remain about the city of London, contrary to the late proclamation of his highness. And further saith, that they are persons very dangerous to the peace of the commonwealth, and verily believes, they are employed by and keep constant correspondencies with those of that party throughout the nation, and remain here to that very end, in contempt of the aforesaid proclamation. And this informant likewise saith, that the afore-named Henry Fox hath spoken treasonable words against his highness; for the proof whereof this informant refers himself to the information annexed; but yet saith, that what is in the annexed paper informed, was affirmed in this informant's presence by the parties, whose names are thereto subscribed, to have been spoken by the said Henry Fox.
The 4th of June 1655, mr. Allen the younger of Saffron Walden speaking with one Henry Fox about some wrongs done him by the said Henry Fox, the said Allen said to the said Henry, that if he did not do him right concerning his goods detained from him by the said Henry Fox, that then he would petition my lord protector; upon which the said Henry Fox replied, what to a brewer's bastard? These words the said Henry Fox spake the day and year above written, which I shall be ready to make oath of whensoever I shall be thereto required. In witness whereof, I have hereto set my hand this 16th of June 1655.
The 16th of April 1655, Henry Fox being at the house of one mr. John Allen the elder of Saffron Walden, the said Henry Fox said in the presence of mrs. Allen the elder, and mrs. Allen the younger, that his wife had written him a letter from London, to desire him to come up to London, for she had provided him a place under the lord protector, which he said would be worth to him forty pounds a year; but he would not accept of it, for he should kill him, meaning the lord protector, at one time or other, if he should see him. These words he spoke the day and year above written, which we are ready to justify upon oath, whenever we shall be thereto required. In witness whereof we have hereto set our hand this 16th of June 1655.
Pels, the Dutch agent at Dantzick, to the states general.
High and mighty lords,
Since my last of the 24th of Novemb. writ at Marienburg, the duke of Brandenburg is arrived at Rysenborgh, where I had audience the 26th of the said month, and did declare unto him the utmost of my power, that he might rest assured of the real affection and inclination of your high and mighty lordships towards him, and that you would sincerely, holily, and immutably observe, and cause to be observed, the late defensive treaty (fn. 1) made between him and your high mighty lordships. Whereupon the said duke did signify with sufficient demonstrations, how acceptable and pleasing such a message was unto him, and desired that as well myself as my father would assure likewise your high and mighty lordships, that he will always, and upon all occasions, behave himself towards your high and mighty lordships as a faithful friend, neighbour, and ally. For a further demonstration he alledged, that notwithstanding, that the crown of Sweden did all that they could to divert him to break the late alliance made with your high and mighty lordships, yet that he had rather expect all enmity from them, than fail in his word given to your high and mighty lordships; firmly believing, that your high and mighty lordships will contribute the like inclination to him. Afterwards he invited me to dinner, and placed me next to him, where he often remembered the health of your high and mighty lordships, wishing you all happiness and prosperity, and confirming to me what he had declared unto me at my audience. The Swedes do press towards Thorn with strong forces.
An intercepted letter of sir G. Rutcliffe to mr. Trapps.
It was given out confidently, that mareschal d'Hocquincourt was agreed with and content to quit his government of Peronne, and the terms of the accord were specified; and this was reported by persons of quality, but not one word true. And this day we expect he shall be denounced traitor in full parliament. So I believe the cardinal's hands are full. The general assembly of the clergy here is also unsatisfied. Francis either knows nothing, or will not take notice of any thing concerning his journey, though I believe it will certainly hold. I am told he will go away privately.
I am told, that the prince of Condé is stirring; which is the more probable, because he hath a great army, and is like to find but weak opposition, for the French army was grown very thin, most of their men being either put into garrisons or run away. It is a wonder to hear in Paris, how ready they are to report any ill news of their own side: but they speak with great liberty against the peace made with the lord protector. One cannot come into any company of any kind, where they do not take the liberty to censure it highly.
Sir Charles Coote to H. Cromwell, major general of the army in Ireland.
May it please your excellencie,
In obedience to your lordshipp's commands I have sent an agent to Dublyn for to receive what cloathes and money is to be received in lieu of them for seaven companyes of my regiment of scote in this precinct. And have alsoe signifyed unto the officers commanding the horse, your lordshipp's pleasure in relation to their satisfaction for their cloath, wherewith I hope they will rest satisfyed.
Your excellencie was pleased to lett me know, that your lordshipp was informed, that there is a petition carryed up and downe in this precinct to obtaine subscriptions, which reflects upon my lord Fleetwood. I have myselfe ben very lately in most parts in the county of Gallway, and assure your lordshipp, that I heard nothing of any such matter; and therefore your lordshipp's comands I have written to those I can best conside in in all parts of this precinct, to be very inquisitive after it; and that if they heare of it, to be very carefull to seize thereon, and send it to me, that I may transmitt it to your lordshipp. I am very confident, that if there be any such thing on foote, I shall by those I have imployed about it be advertized concerning it; and humbly beseech your lordshipp to beleive, that if any thing of that nature, which should in the least reflect on a person of soe much honour, should be hatching in these parts, I would not be wanting to use my utmost endeavours for the suppression of it, in whose hands soever it should be found, and return your lordshipp a faithfull account thereof, and take leave to remaine,
Major general Haynes to secretary Thurloe.
I Received yours of the 20th instant, with the enclosed orders of his highness and councill, and paper intelligence; for all which I most humbly thank you, promysing to doe my utmost in the due execution of those directions sent, and shall carefully transmitt them to the commissioners of the severall counties, to which I releate. Synce my last on tuesday morne, I have mett with a very full appearance of commissioners in this county; and they exceeding well resenting the worke commended to them, and are in a lively prosecution of the same, as you'l perceive by the enclosed to his highness (drawen by sir Thomas Barnadiston) they stand engaged to doe. Truly I could not have expected that readyness to this worke, as I find in the gentlemen now mett, who have not bin idle, but most zealously driving their busyness under the third head to some issue, there being (as you well know) not many delinquents in this county. The orders of his highness and councill, with their direction in my lord president's letter, hath bin the method hitherto we have proceeded in, and are now glad we are therein thus justyfyed. If more of the instruc tions could be sent they would be most acceptable. On mounday next I purpose for Cambridge, and the next weeke after for Essex, whence I hope to make a stepp to give his highness a further account then now I can. Begging your pardon for theise, not being in perfect health at present, I remaine, Sir,
Bury Edmunds, weddensday night, Nov. 21, 55. 8 at night.
Major general Berry to secretary Thurloe.
May it please your highnes,
Haveing received yours, I am bold to give your highnes this account of the busines, that concernes mr. Powell, if you please at leasure to reade it. When I came to Worcester, I sent for him, and acquainted him, that your highnes being informed, that they were about some designe, that tended to put things into distraction, I had sent for him to understand the truth of things. He told me, that truely it was farr from him or any of his friends, to designe any such thing; and that he should rather suffer any death then give way to any such thinge: onely he said, they were about signeing a paper to be presented to your highnes, and their ends in it were these two; first to see, if it would please God thereby to worke upon your heart (of whom they had a good opinion for godlines) to consider of those things they offered, and doe some thing in it; or secondly if not soe, then to discharge their dutyes by publisheing their disatisfactions and desires, and therein to acqueisce, and soe to make noe further troubles, but follow their occasions with comfort. I told him the first of those, if private, I thought would not have offended; but the second I judged to have the hand of Joab in it, being soe like the former practises of the enemy, where he met with discontented spiritts. It would be too large to relate the discourse we had about it; onely one terible thunderbolt he seemed to afright me withall : he told me, that my imprisoning of him would give occasion to the enemy to rejoice, and cause the godly to poure forth prayers and teares before the Lord against us. To that I answeared, that I did account it a dreadfull thing to stand in the way of the teares and prayers of God's people, when they were duely directed against me; but if I were found doeing my duty in the way of providence, and many more then those thousands he spoke of should poure forth their prayers and teares against me, I was confident, and could with comfort lift up my head, and trust that the shield of providence and faith should repell those as well as other darts, and they should not hurt me. And here I told him, with what confidence I came forth in this worke, as sent of God; and that my heart had beene towards those poore people in Wales, and particularly I did expect help and encouragement from him and his people, and did not doubt, but that we should come to a right understanding of each other; and I should prove usefull to them for the obteineing of much good; and that I thought it was his duty to improve me for as much good as he could, though perhaps I might not answeare all their ends. And indeed I thinke at last I began to win uppon him; but to shorten this tedious story, upon a promise not to meddle with any thing of difference I gave way, that he should preach the Lord's day at Worcester, where he preach'd very honestly and soberly four sermons in four churches, and had many hearers. I afterwards invited him and a justice of peace, that was with him, to diner; and after much friendly discourse dismissed him, and sent him home, upon promise to come to me whenever I send for him. And he faith, he is not soe fastened to his owne opinion, but if I can informe him in any thing, he can recede from his owne judgments. He told me a man, that had an ill name was halse hanged; but it neither was his purpose or practice to preach any thing tending to faction. I was glad, when I received your highnes letter, haveing let him goe before it came. I hope the busines is not soe bad, as it is reported to your highnes. I am hastening that way, and shall use my best indeavour to begett a right understanding in them. I waite upon God's assistance, and begg your prayers with your pardon for this presumption in
Worcester, Nov. 21, 1655.
Commissioners for securing the peace of the commonwealth at Huntingdon to secretary Thurloe.
According to a summons we received from major general Boteler we gave him a meetinge here on monday last, and have together with him made some proceed ings into that part of the work which we conceive requires the first dispatch, viz. the assessing of the estates of the delinquents within this county, because the time of paying the first moiety draws very nigh; but by reason of the absence of some of those gentlemen we had to do withal, we could not do very much in that particular at this time (nor indeed have we much to do in this little county) but have adjourned to another day, when we shall (we hope) complete that business. In the mean while we could not but signify by yourself (if you please to do us that favour) to his highness, that we are very apprehenfive of the necessity, that was upon his highness to consult the peace and security of the nation, and do greatly bless God, that hath also put it into his highness's heart so well to provide for the glory of God in the suppression of prosaneness, and extirpation of scandalous and malignant ministers and schoolmasters. We might mention our thankfulness to God for other good provisions expressed in the said orders and instructions; but we will not be over-troublesom, but shall rather beg we may otherwise manifest our thankfulness, by the care and diligence we hope he will give us to put the same in effectual execution, beseeching you to present this our sense, together with our humble duties to his highness. We humbly take leave and remain, sir,
Hunt. Nov. 21, 1655.
Major general Goffe to secretary Thurloe.
I am now (through the goodnes of God) come to Winchester, and am this morning going to waight of my lord Richard Cromwell and mr. Major, and to excuse my not accepting the greate civillity offered mee the last night by his lordshipp, who sent his coach to bring mee to Hursley; but I being to dispatch my letters to the comissioners, that are to meete on fryday, I was forced to returne the messenger with an excuse. This is only to cover the inclosed certificate, having the conveniency of a post, who stayes whilest I wright, and therefore I cannot, as I intended, give you the full accompt how I left affaires in Sussex, and the particular of the tax soe farr as wee proceeded; only you may please to take notice, that the commissioners have appoynted to meete againe at Pettworth on monday the 3d of December, and att Lewis on tuesday the tenth of December. Capt. Freeman resolving to bee att both the meetings, I hope will helpe on the service much. He was formerly imployed in the sequestrations; and the truth is such men are the fittest for this worke. This Goaring is a very troublesome fellow in the country, and hath beene often at the sessions, but I thinke able to doe little hurt, he is such a kind of a madd heady fellow, and now extreame submissive. Hee hath an estate of 160 l. per annum; and just as I was taking horse at Chichester, the messenger, that hath him in custody, saith, he will make some discovery, which I desired mr. Manning, the mayor of Chichester, who is one of the comissioners, to take from him.
Wee thought it our duty to certifie, and to lett you know, what wee could of the man,
for I beleeve his highness will be petitioned about him. His wife tould us, they are of some
kinne to mr. Bacon. Sir, I have not else att present, but to desire your servent prayers,
that I may yet have further experience of the presence and goodnes of God in blessing
mee in this affaire, and to subscribe myselfe
Winchester, [Nov. 1655.]
Dr. Cheynell was with me att Chichester, and seemes well pleas'd with this worke; he saith that the earle of Northamberland comends his highnes declaration much, and that he hath had particular experience of there refusing to marry with those who have beene for the parliament; it seemes the marquess of Hartford brooke of a treaty with him upon that very score, when it was allmost finished, which the earl of Northumberland took very ill, as he told dr. Cheynell.
Caillet to Barriere the prince of Condé's agent.
I have no other news to tell you at present, but that the business of Peronne is failed, the mareschal d'Hoquincourt being agreed with the king. Never any business was so near being done as this for his highness was within three miles of the place with some troops, which the said mareschal had sent for to put into the place, which his highness conducted himself. I will not tell you all that past while the business was in agitation, nor the reasons, which caused it to fail: they would be too long to relate.
A letter of intelligence from the Hague.
Yesterday the six provinces did name their persons for the embassy, Guelderland the lord of Gendt for Spain; Zealand the lord of Huybert for Sweden; Utrecht the lord of Amerongen for Denmark; Friesland the lord Vierssen for Denmark; Overyssel the lord Ysselmuyden for Brandenburg; Groningen the lord Ysbrants for Sweden. Those of Holland cannot yet agree. They have promised, that on tuesday next they will name theirs. The lord Witsen of Amsterdam named for the embassy for Denmark hath excused himself. The lord Beuningen will in no wise go for Sweden, pretending that there is no likelihood of doing any thing with that king; but in effect it is, that by reason he hath taken the freedom to speak some words to the prejudice of that king, which he fears may have been told him.
Those of Zealand perceiving, that those of Holland will have five in the present embassy, and that the ordinary embassadors in France, England, and residents in Sweden and Denmark are of Holland, and by this means having nine of fifteen, have made a complaint and serious contest against this advantage of Holland. It may be to pacify them, that they will yet give them one of their province to the embassy into Spain, and so three shall go into Spain instead of two.
Those of Holland having seen the day before, that the other provinces had debated the charge of mareschal de camp, fearing some conclusion by plurality, did propose yesterday, that they were ready to enter into conference with the other provinces, to propose some expedients and provisoes, which shall serve to establish a good correspondence and harmony in and between the provinces, to avoid all jealousy and umbrage, as well at home as abroad. Thereupon they have named the lords Gendt, Barendrecht, De Witt, Veth, Renswoude, Bootsma, Langen, and Schuylenborch.
Those of Zealand have proposed, that the chambre mipartie ought to be admonished to govern themselves more according to their instruction, and not take upon themselves all manner of causes and requests, that are made and directed unto them. In the mean time the instruction speaks clearly, that they shall accept of all causes, which they shall judge themselves to belong to the chambre mipartie. This comes from the suggestion of the lord of Crommon, who it seems doth not always find his account.
To morrow those of Holland are to enter into conference with the other provinces about the business of mareschal de camp. We shall see, whether they will remember in their conference those of Deventer, whom if they abandon, they will shew themselves very mutable.
Those of the council of state have been to recommend in the assembly there establishment of the passage-money upon the Meuse, for which there are some that offer to the generality 50000 guilders per ann. for the space of 16 years, with security for the payment of the money. The other provinces have a very great fancy to it, and do desire it very much, unless Spain do likewise abolish the several passage-monies upon the Meuse. But Holland doth still continue to oppose it; chiefly those of Dort. However those of the council of state are required to give their proposition in writing. The said council is also in labour to produce again some business of retortion against those of Limborch, in retortion of that which Spain doth in the country of Outremeuse.
The ministers of Denmark have again presented a memorandum concerning the defraudations of the masters of ships of this state in the country of Norway, which is referred to some commissioners. Those of Holland have not yet named theirs for the embassies. The lord of Gendt being president hath proposed, that they ought to amplify the orders and rules of the embassies, which are to be made at present; whereupon the rules are to be examined.
As well yesterday as to day there hath been a conference between the provinces. Those of Holland do shew themselves ready enough to give the charge of mareschal to prince William, but desire, that the resolution of the 18th Aug. 1650 may be abolished; wherein it is said, that one province cannot disband the troops separately. 2dly, That they will put out of the publick registers all writings made against the seclusion. 3dly, That they ought to desist from the election of the stadtholder of Overyssel. 4thly, That a mareschal or general of the militia may not hereafter be stadtholder of a province; and that prince William shall not pretend to more of the charges of stadtholder than those he hath already. 5thly, That he swear to the XXXIId article of the treaty made with England.
Yet to day there hath been no overture made of the persons, which Holland will name for the embassies; for they do wholly spend their time in conference, or the business of harmony between the provinces, to confer the charge of mareschal de camp with good correspondency and unanimity; and it is clearly seen, that Holland is as a maid that speaks, or a castle that parlies, the chief thing being to make a good understanding between them concerning the seclusion, wherein Holland will not oblige or engage the other provinces; but however doth desire, that the other provinces would desist from those oppositions, which they have made against the lord Beverning. And thus Holland is and will be glad to agree, and hath already quitted and recoiled much from the rigor of such points, as they stood upon two days since; and in regard there is a likelihood, that the lord Beverning will be also employed in one of those embassies, it is clearly seen, that Holland will defer their nomination till the next week, when Holland will be president; and in the mean time the business of the harmony will be finished: we shall see whether it will be cœlestial.
This day hath been made report to the states general of the business treated on for to make an harmony between the provinces, whereof a project is to be made of a good bigness, which they have promised to keep secret. And although methinks that the other provinces ought not to make great difficulty, yet I understand, that they would not consent to it. The principal point is concerning the seclusion, in which Holland doth offer and enlarge itself enough, and with much moderation and accommodation. But those, that are for the house of Orange and Nassau, do hold the seclusion for a great stone of offence. And it seems, that they prefer the interests of those houses above all things else.
The envoy of the prince of East-friesland is departed with very little satisfaction concerning the accomplishment of the marriage with the princess Henrietta, who hath an aversion to it; for he is a person very big and fat, and given to a life (as is said) irregular and vicious.
General Monck to secretary Thurloe.
According to my promise, I have sent you here inclosed a copy of the cyphers, which were sent with the letters, the copies of which I inclosed in my last. I heare there is an Englishman, who came in a shippe from beyond seas, and was driven in uppon Holly iland, who had some letters from Charles Stuart of concernment. I hope I shall light uppon him soe scone as he comes into these parts. His name is Elvis, sonne to major Elvis. I remayne
Edinburgh, Nov. 22, 1655.
A letter of intelligence from col. Bamfylde.
By this poste I have not had any letter from you, nor but tow by any former since my arivall here. This is the seaventh I have written to you, which I shall request you to let mee knowe, if you have received, especially one by the way of Rou en 90, 5, sent the laste weeke. The king and cardinall came hither the laste night late, the business of Peron being fully accomodated, and Condy not besiedged, nor in danger to be soe this winter. The private intelligence which the king received proved falce, and the enemyes drawing up neer the towne, was but the effect of theyr having beaten and pursued the governour's troopes into it. 859 is nowe come hither, with whom I have spoaken, but wanted a convenient opportunity to propose the mayne business to him, but shall doe it soe, as to render you a positive account of it by the next poste; though if what I am informed be true, I doubt my success therein, though it bee what I undertooke, will come shorte of the expectation you may have of another's endeavours now upon this place; but if the event prove answerable, I am sure I shall be very well contented. The business at the present here is concerning the assembly of the church, whoe at the beginning of all such solemne conventions are to have a mass, which they call du St. Esprit, performed cheifly by the archbishop of Paris or his vicar in his absence, of which I finde there are nowe tow, one of the king's appointment, the other of the cardinall du Retz. The clergy would have had it done by the later, but the king sent his countermande, and that they showld defer it to his coming, which has been done, but with great disguste. The pope by the last express from Rome had left the nomination of the person to officiate here in the bishop's place to the king, not barely out of compliance to him, but as it is likewise an advantage to himself, and the see of Rome, the Gallique church having had some privileges to themselves not absolutely or immediately dependant on the pope, amongst which this of the severall bishops deputing of persons to officiate in theyr absence has been held as one of the cheif, it not being justifiable in the king (salvo jure divino) in theyr accounte, to establish one by the civile power, desires the pope's sanction; he to invalidate the ancient priviledges of the French church, and to reasume a longe since worne out power, finding the court of his side, consents to the king's desire, who has nominated the bishop of Meiux, the lord chancellour's brother, but the church refuse it as an intrenchment of the pope upon theyr priviledges. The generall oppinion is, that this will produce some very great matter; but one of the moste knowing tells me 'twill be accomodated very speedily, and I have very particular reason to believe some part of it a jugle to amuse, betwixt pope Maz. and some of the bishops I have spoaken concerning the 686 of 916, which I thinke is not soe difficulte as to be meritorious, for I am told he desires himselfe to have liberty to 9, 48, 24, 428 himselfe for a tyme to communicate something from protect. which is not fitt forp a per and to returnagain speedily. I had this from soe good a hand, that I dare considently affirme it came from himselfe. I had has tolde a frend of mine, that Cowly shall apply to you and pretend to serve your interest, to secure and free himself. I beleive there will shortly a foolish knavish Ittalian come from hence to you shortly with the pretence of some great undertaking; you may make use of what he says, if it seem reasonable; but I thinke he is neither to be trusted, nor to knowe that you have any thowghts of what he proposes, thowgh you showlde finde weight in it, for he is both a light and an ill man. I hope you will forgive me for saying this, since it may be to much to a discreet and cautious person. I shall give you the reasons of this, and advertise you of divers other things by the next, which I have not tyme for by this, having been entertayned a little to longe to day by other affayrs. Here is a stronge report and consequently beleived, that all the English are cut in peices at Jamaica, and 12 ships taken. I shoulde be glad to knowe the verity of it from you. I am, sir,
Paris, the Dec.2/Nov. 22 1655.
Mr. Longland, agent at Leghorn, to secretary Thurloe.
Som weeks since I sent you the letters of one Metham writ me from Rom, a gentleman that accompanyed mr. Bayly out of England thither, and can best giv an account of his proceedings. He is now com to town to tak passage for Portugal. I hav had much discours with him; he professes himself a good subject to this government, and a faithful servant to you, and pretends to wryt you so much himself. He has lyk wife desired me to recommend his servis unto you, that if you pleas to imploy him in any part of Itally, he would do you faithful service. I told him I durst not do any such thing; you used to be very wary whom you imployed, and mak chois your self of your own servants. Indeed the gentleman is very understanding and discreet, and I am confident capable of any imployment in thes parts, only he is a papist, and has had al his education from the Inglish colledge of jesuits in Rom. Wherefore he may hapilly be the fitter for your servis in that place, if the scope of it be what you formerly imparted unto me, that is, to dyv into all their secrett councels and acquaint you therewith, wherin he trusts you, and not you him, with any thing. He has been bred at Rom from a chyld with the jesuits, and intends to mak himself a cardinal's secretary, which wil be a hansom way to com to the knoledge of what you desyre. This I wryt you, I discourse not with him of any thing tending herunto, that Holstain, of whom I wryt you last week my opinion is, he wil be a very fitt man (if he proceeds cardinal) to make your pentioner, becaus he is a great enemy to the government of Ingland, and spares not to publish and envey against it often in his ordinary discourse; if such an one wil be true, he is able to do you more and better servis then another more moderat man; but thes cardinals wil expect a good round pention of at left 2000 pistols a year, which wil be dollers 7000. If I can do you any servis herein, be plesed to rest assured of my readines therein.
The great duk's court is now at Pisa, within a dozen miles of this place, and within a month it wil be here they ar al very sad that his hyhnes the protector made peace with France, and war with Spayn. Our merchants ships ar in a very bad condition in passing the Streits mouth, but this not unknown unto you. I hope a remedy wil be spedely applyed. The queen of Sweden is not yet at Rom. The pope this last week sent to al the merchants in Rom, to know what the queen had amongst um, but synding non, he was very melancolly. He is afraid she wil prov too chargable a guest: he has desyned to spend fyv hundred thousand crownes on her intertainment, but not out of his own purse, for he has alredy raised taxes on the piple to pay it. The Turks ships of war at Tripoly ar very strong, and do much mischif. When a fleete is desyned for the Streits, pray tak som order, that a peace may be made with them. Wherin I may serv you, pray command,
Out of England you have the news more directly, though I hope in a fortnight I may have some particulers thence to send you, which others will not put to paper. Where the king is, few know, and none will by pen make knowne; they fear and look for him in England. The Scotts are anew raising of forces in the highlands, and Monke in the low providing to oppose them. The Duch are very timerous, they have done ill to conclude their peace with Cromwell, since their agent writes of high and generall discontents upon the last parliament (as it is called) dissolving.
James Allin to major general Skippon.
Since my last, being the 16th of September, wherein I writt to you of col. Rogers returne out of France from the lord Garrat and of his being at Collen, I have not hard ani thing worth the acquainteing you withall; but lately having had some knowledge of a greate meeting that has been at Antwerp by the lord of Newcastell, where has bin the king's secretarie with above twentie more of qualliti and divers others, and the king is expected to bee there and at Brassells very shortly. They have some new designe in hand, for now at Middleboro is divers of them, that stayes only for the wind to bring them for England. Being now my selfe at Middelboro have seene divers of them, but know but three of them, which is colonel Price, and one Boston, and one Clepstone, who was sent for Ierland in the year 1651, to rayes some comotions, as he had commission for; and at the same time came one Fitch for England, and one Williams for Wales for the same purpose, as I did informe the lord St. John's and the lord Strickland, being then at the Haage. I have yoused my best endeavour both with Boston, and Clepstone, to have gained something of theire designe, not sparing some cost to keepe them and some others of them company, but cannot atayne to any sertaynetye to advise you of as yet; but some times by flashes they will vent out vile language, which makes mi mind much troubbelled to heare, not knowing how to help it, and they often drink divers lords and knights healths by severall names they have for them; but I do perceive there is one lord come, they call Crawfford, home they much depend uppon. I shall doe my best to get some farther knowledg, and if I can, I shall not fayle to aquaint your lordship with it. Soe beseeching God to protect his highnes and your selfe from all your enemyes, for heare is a greate manie of them, soe he rests, that is,
Middleboro, Dec. 3. new stile, 1655.
Major general Kelsey to secretary Thurloe.
Yesterday wee had a meetting att this place, where wee had before us divers persons, whome wee had somoned to apeare. Among the rest was the earle of Southhampton, whoe pleads his articles, and was very stout, and would give us noe perticular of his estate, weareuppon wee did consine him for disobeying our orders; but att last he complyed, but afterwards I demaunded securitie, according to my instructions, which he peremptorily refused, whereuppon I have secured him; only his mother lying very ill, and himself not well, I lett him goe home to his owne house, which is within three miles of this place. Sir, wee have many others, that refuse to give in securitie, which I have secured alsoe. Sir, I make bold to trouble you in this busines, because I have noe prison to put them in; especially I would desire you to advise mee what I shall doe with the earle of Southhampton. Sir, I find in my instructions that only persons, that have beene in arms, or are dangerous, are to give in bonds; and yett I perceive it's intended, that all persons of the partee should doe it. I would desire you, that you would give mee your opinion in that alsoe. Sir, I pray favor me with a line or to this night or in the morning; which is all but that I am, sir,
Kingston, Nov. 23, 1655.
Major general Boteler to secretary Thurloe.
At my returne from Huntingdon, I received your honor's of the 21st instant, which came very opertunely to my hands, being to go the next day to a second meeting of the commissioners for this county at Kettering, at which we made the much better dispatch, being resolved both by yours and my lord president's letter, that we were taken off from the trouble of hearing and examining conveyances and pretended incumbrances upon delinquents estates. The objection of the commissioners of Surrey, which you both mention, and resolve alsoe, was once stated among us at our first meeting, but soone answered in one of the explanatory heads. I most humbly thanke you for your assistance to mr. Watts, whome I had not been soe bould to have troubled your honor withall, but that I had more then ordinary knowledge of his godlines, and a more then ordinary sense of the neede of such a man in that place. I hope you will give me leave now and then to trouble you in such a case. It shall not be often, I assure you. I beseech you, sir, give me leave to minde you with what a caution I recommended mr. Maunsell of this countrey to you for high sherriffe; for really if it should prove a charge to him, I would not have done it for 500 l. though he hath a competent estate, yet an extraordinary charge of children, and is in debt besides. I do understand, that mr. Robinson, one of the three you had prickt before, is a gentleman (though somewhat sparkish) of good affections to the present government, which I could not say before, having neither personall knowledge of him, nor made any enquiry after him. But in as much as I understand by sir George Pickering, that it's like yet to be some charge to him, that is sherriffe, I beseech you with all importunity to excuse mr. Maunsell, otherwise not; and yet if it were come to standing sherriffs, and the charge wholly taken off, I should commend, (if it were required) a much fitter man then mr. Maunsell also, though in respect of his affections to his highness, he deserves exceedingly. The inclosed I am desired to present to you, and you are by all the subscribers humbly entreated to present the effect of it to his highness and councill. I had need trouble you no more, but let me add, that I am
Oundell, Nov. 24, 1655.