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 (7 of 8)
Major general Boteler, and the commissioners for securing the peace of the commonwealth in Northamptonshire, to secretary Thurloe.
In obedience to the orders and instructions we have lately received from his highness and council, we have made what progress we could in assessing the estates of delinquents within this county, and will diligently attend that business till we have finished the same; and we cannot but acknowledge his highness singular justice and wisdom in securing the peace of this commonwealth, at the charge of those who have been unwearied in contriving the subversion of the same, and from whose rage and malice we cannot see how we could have been otherwise secured. Neither are we insensible of the great care of his highness and council in prescribing other excellent means and rules for the suppressing of all profaneness and encouraging of goodness, and the professors thereof, and do most humbly beseech your honour to present our sense thereof to his highness and council, as also to assure them we shall (through help of him that enables weak instruments) lay out ourselves to the utmost in the execution of them all, as we shall have opportunity. We remain
Kettering, Nov. 23, 1655.
We could (upon several considerations had amongst ourselves) offer to his highness and council the assessing of the estates of all persons (under the qualifications contained in the instructions) who have 20 l. per ann. real estate, or 300 l. personal estate, many of that degree being as dangerous and disaffected to the present government as those of higher quality: besides it would add considerably towards the maintenance of the militia forces, which with us falls short of our expectations.
Mr. W. Swyft, to secretary Thurloe.
I Left mr. Rolt by his directions the 11th instant with the king of Sweden at Czerwinsko, a town of Mazovia in Poland, his majestie being then upon his march towards Prussia, having allready subdued the greater and lesser Poland, mr. Fenwick being with mee. The chiefe reasons of his dispatching mee (as I was informed) were to cause the enclosed safely to bee conveyed to your hands, to waite your commands att Hamburgh for my returne to mr. Rolt, if my lord protector or your selfe shall be pleased soe to appoynt, and to bring off waggons and men, which were formerly hired at Stetin, and have continued with the envoye upon his charges till my departure from him. He had his first audience, and delivered the treaty tuesday the fifth instant, since when much respect hath been confer'd upon him by the king and courtiers. Hee would willingly returne to his highnes, if he might receive directions to that purpose; but hee hath not heard any thing from England by letter since yours of the 10th of August last, which discontents him very much, hee having writt many letters to his highnes and your selfe, sometimes twice a weeke; but hee believes the extravagancies of the warrs hath rob'd him of such favours as are your letters. I came into this towne an houre since, and the post immediately must have my pacquet; soe that I cannot write more or better, least I bee too late. I take time only to professe my self, what really I am
Stetin, Nov. 24, 1655. [N. S.]
As I was sealing this paper a pacquet came from Hamburgh directed to mr. Rolt. I will convey it as spedily and securely as may bee, having some hopes, that your honor's letters may be under the cover.
A letter from Stetin.
I Postpone for this time all news of less moment, to inform your lordship of what I think to be the most important. This moment, it being eight o'clock at night, I come from my ordinary, where I found at table a certain colonel, whose name I as yet do not know, he being arrived here in the evening. He has brought with him severall let ters to the lords Legaet, count Steenbock, and Lelystrom of the regency here, from the king and other noblemen of the Swedish camp, of the contents whereof, I hope without doubt to learn something against next post. This gentlemen has related at table in the presence of the count Forbus, who arrived here the day before yesterday from Rostoch, monsieur Horne, and the whole company, that it was this day fortnight, since the king of Sweden decamp'd from Warsaw marching towards Thorn; that he parted from his majesty fifteen miles from the said city, and arrived yesterday was sennight at Thorn; where he had found nothing but the usual garrison, consisting in 3 or 400 men, without having taken the least re-inforcement of the elector of Brandenburgh. The friday he staid there, and set out from thence this day sennight. The secretary of the English envoy mr. Rolt, who had rode with him about two miles, had been obliged to go back again, having forgotten some papers; but came back to him again in the evening at the inn, and told him, that he entering the city had found every body in arms, because of the arrival of the Swedish army; that there was a great consternation among the people. The said colonel doth positively believe, that the same were the avant-guard, and that the king arrived before the said town with all his forces to morrow will be sennight. Dobresinsky the envoyof the elector of Brandenburg set out with him at the same time from the king, who had received no other answer from his majesty, but to tell the elector of Brandenburgh, that he would do well to trouble himself only about his own Prussia; but in case he would needs take the party of the king of Poland his country and places, that in what place thereof he should find him, he would treat him like an enemy, and knock him on the head; these are near the very words of the colonel. The elector, as to his person, was at that time at Marienwerder, and had caused his army to draw back a little, as I mentioned in my last preceeding letter.
Count Magnus de la Gardie, at the time when he set out from the king's army, was not two days march from his majesty, who would be now doubtless with him: he would have defeated four regiments of the count of Waldeck, if he had not received contrary orders from the king.
The dyet at Warsaw is not yet begun. It was a Greek bishop, and not Schimilmisky
himself, who has treated with the high chancellor Oxenstern, in the name of the Cossacks:
there are three thousand of them with the king, and the rest at his disposal. This is
what I for this time can acquaint your lordship of, as the surest tidings from those parts.
Next post I shall have more knowledge of every thing. I had finish'd already a letter,
but kept it back, to hear matters more exactly. I know perfectly what troops the emperor raises, and next post I will send the names of all the colonels and regiments. The
time forbids to write more, it being now 9 o'clock, and the post goes out. I remain with
all my heart,
Stettin, Decemb. 4, 1655. [N. S.]
Commissary Pels to the states general.
High and mighty lords,
On the first instant, my son acquainted your high mightinesses most humbly of his return, whereby, as likewise by his last, your high mightinesses will have observed the good intention, which his electoral highness of Brandenburg has had, to protect and defend the whole dutchy to the utmost according to the treaty concluded with the states of Prussia. But whereas the cities Thorn, Elbing, and Dantzick do as yet remain irresolute and obstinate, to take in electoral troops, and put themselves under his protection, or to declare themselves further, it has now happened, that the Swedish army lies before Thorn, and will apparently make themselves soon masters thereof: part of the said army consisting chiefly in Polish quartian troop, have made a further inrode into Prussia, and suddenly taken the town of Straesberg. On the other hand the elector's artillery, and most of his army, lay in and about Marienburg. His electoral highness with a small retinue has made a tour to Koningsberg by post, whither the elector's consort is set out this day, being treated here three days by the magistrates. It is said, that the king of Sweden has made again some other more equitable proposals of agreement; and that his electoral highness in consideration of the small confidence of the towns, is resolved to accept of the same; however I hardly can take this for credible, time must reveal it.
Mr. W. Pierrepoint to secretary Thurloe.
You know his delivering to my lord president of the councell the privie seales sent to him, and the circumstances of his soe doeing, which are made knowne to my lord president, doe manifest his integrity and good affections, and I know you believe what I have sayd to you of him.
I most humbly beseech your assistance, that his integrity may be soe declared as none
may conceive him to bee within any instructions concerning delinquents to be putt in the
list. Your love to justice and to inocency I know will move you to doe this, and your
frendship to my brother herein shall ever bee acknowledged by
Nov. 24, 1655.
Major general Berry to secretary Thurloe.
I am bold still to trouble you with what progresse I make in my busines. Yesterday the gentlemen of this county mett here, and with much readines, and (indeed I thinke) joy began to put my lord's orders and instructions in execution, and I hope will carry on their busines vigourously. Some that have seemed disatisfyed, and have declined action formerly, have now declared their hopes of good by this dispensation, and are resolved to assist in this worke, and are perswaded it will bring forth some desireable reformation. I have here alsoe taken engagements for divers of the cavalliers, and some that are peevish I have beene pettish withall, and resolve they shall lye by it till the heate is allayed. I mett with (as a prisoner here) coll. Birch, who hath applied himselfe to me as to a little king, that could redresse every grievance. I confesse upon examination of the busines, though there were some ground of jealousy, yet I cannot see any great reason he should now be kept in restraint. It is true, the man is popular in these parts, and he loves to be soe. He is taken for a great wit, and guilty of some honesty, and upon that account able to doe hurt, if he have a mind to it; but he professeth desire of peace and settlement, and saith he is for the same things that we are, but could have beene glad to have them in annother way; but seeing the time is not yet for it, nor we fit for it, he thinks we had better have it as it is, then make disturbance. And trully I thinke it were an easy matter to gaine him, if he be worth getting; but not to trouble you with my thoughts, I shall tell you of my actions. I have desired the governour (whose prisoner he is) to give him liberty to be at his owne house upon his promise to appeare, when he shal be called for; and because I heare my lord and the councill have been acquainted with his case, I told him, I could doe noe more, till I have received instructions from his highnes; which I intreate you to procure and send me. I am intended on monday, God willing, to goe to Ludlow, where I shall have a daye's worke in that unrully towne; and from thence to Sallop, and soe into Wales, if this snowy weather leave the wayes passable. I have inquired of the persons nominated for shreises in this county, and find that none of those named are like to doe you any service. There is one . . . which I am informed by collonel Rogers, is the only man for that worke. As I get into the other countys, I shall give you account of the rest. I want extreamly some more of the printed instructions and orders, which I intreate you to send me, as soon as can be. I pray present my most humble service and duty to my lord, and tell him, that though my busines be toylesome and tedious to me, and indeed somewhat chargeable, yet I shall goe on with comfort and confidence, hoping for the assistance of God and his highness acceptation, which with the successe of the worke will be a sufficient recompence to
Hereford, Nov. 24, 1655.
I am forced to unseall my letter to tell you, that money is demaunded of me for the letters, that my lord and your selfe send me; and the post-master of Worcester tells me, that he is forced to pay it out of his own purse, it being charged in the office. If I must needs pay for such packetts, I pray forbeare to send to me, for I cannot afford it; and my lord promised I should be post free. I pay for all my owne private letters; but truly for publique packetts I must beg excuse.
The commissioners for securing the peace of the commonwealth in the county of Lincoln, to secretary Thurloe.
By the instructions we lately received from the council, we find our selves impowered to act only within the county of Lincoln, from the which this city is altogether distinct, having a county thereunto particularly belonging: we therefore desire another of these printed orders and instructions to be signed by the clerk to the council, enabling us to put their orders in execution within the county of Lincoln, city of Lincoln, and county of the same, there being several delinquents in this city, with whom (as we continue) we are not yet authorized to meddle, but within the county we have so far proceeded, as that we have already summoned threescore of the most considerable delinquents, and charged the tax on several of them; yet some objections we meet withal, in which the orders and instructions seem not so clear unto us, as to enable us therein to give a positive resolve. We therefore address our selves to you, that by your means we may from his highness, or the council, receive directions in these our following doubts.
1. Whether we be to tax the estates of delinquents as now we find them, or to look back to the first of November 1653, (the third instruction seeming to us to direct so much, though not mentioned in the third head of the orders) and so take those lands in whose hands soever we find them, though really sold, or otherwise charged since the day aforesaid; or whether we are only to certify the same.
3dly, It is the doubt of some of the commissioners, whether if any person taxed have 1500 l. personal estate, and under 100 l. per ann. in land, the said 1500 l. be to be charged with 100 l. in money, or with ten pounds a year, after the rate of one hundred pounds a year in land.
Sir, the resolve of these doubts will much unite us in judgment as to the carrying on
of this worke, and very much expedite our dispatch thereof: we therefore intreat your
endeavours to procure a speedy answer to these, and the contents of our former letters,
and to excuse this trouble proceeding from the care of,
Lincoln, Nov. 24, 1655.
Major general Gosse to secretary Thurloe.
I Have already given you an account of my comeing hither on tuesday last by a letter sent you on wedensday, which I hope you have received. I spent that day with my lord Richard, and mr. Major (from whom I have received very much kindenes) and upon advice with them I added severall commissioners to those formerly ordered by the counsell; some of which, together with mr. Muspratt (named by captain Pitman) having bin formerly imployed in the sequestrations, will bee of very good use unto this service.
When I came to my inne on wednesday night, I mett with colonell Norton there, unto whom I communicated the orders and instructions from his highnes and the council, and had some discourse with him; whereupon hee having a few scruples, which I thought were easy to bee answered ; but our conclusion was, that he must consider, since which tyme he hath been with my lord Richard and mr. Major, by whom I doubt not but you will more fully understand his spirit as to this worke, as also by his owne letter, which I herewith send you, part of which I made some use of amongst the rest of the commissioners, who doe not yet take notice of his being unfree to act.
I spent thursday with the officers of the militia troopes, who seemed to bee very well satisfyed with affaires, and I hope very fitt for the imployments with which they are intrusted. I perceive money is ernestly expected by the soldiers, and I hope care will be taken in that behalfe with all possible speed; for till we be in a capacity to give them sixe months pay, I cannot judge it convenient to draw them to a muster. The officers tell mee, the country beginns to jeare the soldiers, telling them they are but cheated, and must never expect any pay; but they say that shall not discorage them from their duty.
On friday the commissioners mett according to appointment, there being present major Husbands, major Bull, mr. Bettsworth, Jacob Legar, captain Pitman, captain Dunche, mr. Wroth, mr. Hayes, mr. Cobb, mr. Rigg, major Hooker, mr. Muspratt, and my self, in all whom there hath appeared a very great readines to act in this busines, some testimony whereof they have given under their hands in the close of a certificate herewith sent, which they were willing to have done in a more ample addresse to his highnes, but that wee were rather desireous to improve our tyme in doeing the worke then in promising to doe it. Wee have chosen our officers, and made a list of some 20 or 30 delinquents, some of which wee have summoned to appeare before us on tuesday next, and to bring with them the yearly valew of their estates in this county, of which also wee shall endeavour, as well as wee can, to inform our selves in the meane tyme.
Some of the commissioners say, that the marques of Winchester hath a very great estate, which though it bee purchased in the name of my lord Strickland and other trustees, yet they conceive it is for the marquess his use, and therefore taxable: a word of advice would be very seasonable as to that point. The commissioners here, as in other places, are very desireous to have copies of the orders and instructions; and truly I could wish they were made publick. I thinke the mayne objection against it is, that the commissioners are not setled in many counties, and therfore I humbly offer whether the orders might not bee printed without the names of the commissioners. I humbly conceive the publishing of the orders would doe a great part of our work; for wee should then have much more information concerning delinquents and their estates, and the malignant chaplins would bee discharged from their entertayners, and all ejected ministers silenced, and the cavaleers were easily disarmed by the major generals, there being penalties in all these cases appointed by the said orders. And if it shall bee thought fitt to publish them the next week, it will come forth before the first day of December, after which day the commissioners for the securing the peace of the commonwealth may not only take away the armes of such as have bin of the late king's party, but also imprison their persons for three monthes.
I have here inclosed sent you a particular (so farr as wee have yet proceeded) of the taxe in Sussex, wherein if wee have bin too short, ether with sir William Morley or any other, it was because wee wanted better information: wee may go higher when wee have cleare grounds so to doe; wee thought it best to bee doing something for the present, for it will cost very much tyme and charge to come to an exact knowledge of mens estates.
I received yours of the 21st instant, with the letter from the counsell, and additional instruction from his highnes and the counsell, which I shall communicate to the commissioners as there is occasion. I could wish when any thing is ordered for the commissioners in the county, it might bee directed not only to my selfe but to the rest of the commissioners.
I have received many outward civilities from the gentlemen in and about this citty, and I hope the Lord will blesse the sincere indevours of those that labour in his good work, in which I have hitherto had some incouragement.
Col. R. Norton to major general Goffe.
I am sorry I am not able to waite on you at this time. I came soe late home last night from mr. Major's, looseing my way in the night on the downes, that I was not able to rise early this morning to have waited on you, which I intended to have done, though I could not have stayed, in regard of my goeing presently towards London; for besides that I am sommoned thither to be there on monday night, I have a kinswoman, that I feare is in great distresse, that depends wholly on my helpe. I wish you prosperity in soe good a worke, as securing the peace of the country, which we shall all have reason to be thankfull for. Could my presence be of any advantadge, I should venter to disapoint other expectations; but in this worke I see noe need of interest; though I have but litle, yet if it were needfull, I should imploy what I have. My being there, and not staying, would doe more hurt then good; therfore I have the rather resolved on this way. I have noe more to say, but that I am
Alsford, Nov. 23, 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.
The commissioners for the town and county of Southampton, appointed to put in execution the orders of his highness and the council for securing the peace of the commonwealth do humbly certify, that upon debate of the first head of the said orders, we find there are within this county several persons that have estates, who were in the last insurrection, which estates, by the said orders and instructions relating thereunto, we are directed to secure and sequester for the use of the commonwealth.
That there hath been commissions of enquiry directed to several gentlemen of this county, issued as we conceive from the exchequer, by virtue whereof the said estates are already seized for the use of his highness the lord protector, and returns made into the exchequer. It is therefore humbly prayed, that his highness and the council will be pleased to direct how we shall proceed in such cases, that there may be no clashing between us and the other commissioners appointed from the exchequer, which directions shall be readily observed by us the said commissioners, who are most willing to afford our utmost assistance in this so just and necessary a work.
The tax laid upon some delinquents in Sussex as follows.
Theise are ordered to bring in the first moyety of their tax by the one and twentieth of December next unto mr. Thomas Collins of Chichester, who is appointed by the commissioners to be the receiver and treasurer of the monys to be raised by the tax in the three western ports. Mr. Alcocke of Lewes appointed receiver for the three eastern rapes. These gentlemen are already imployed as receivers for the army tax.
Major general Whalley to secretary Thurloe.
On tuesday night last I came to Leicester, where by the mayor and his brethern I was welcomely receaved. I have put his highnes and the councill's orders in a good way of proceeding in Derbysheire. On monday last wee had a very good appearance of commissioners at Derby: many cavaleers appeared upon theyr summons, who all submitted. I know not any of the commissioners for that county, that were constituted by the coun cill added by my selfe, that refuse to act, but coll. Sanders, who notwithstanding he lived but four miles from Derby, yet neither would come to me, nor send his answeare. He is a good man, but too much over-perswaded by col. Barton, who preacht an angry sermon the day after I came to Derby, but was very cautious. Yesterday being thursday diverse commissioners for this county met here with me at Leicester. Wee have sent out our summons to divers delinquents to appeare before us on monday next. Sir, I am exceeding glad you sent me his highnes and the councel's orders, not to allowe of debts and incumberances upon delinquents estates. It will very much shorten our worke. And certainly had not such an order bin made, the tax would come to little, not halfe enough I dare say to pay the militia. I shall dispatch the orders to the commissioners at Derby and Nottingham. Wee thinke it very cleare, comparing the orders and instructions together, that is, the third article with the third instruction, that wee should onely tax such estates, that the delinquents or any in trust for them were possessed of, at or since the date of the said instructions, being September 21st 1655; but that wee should certifye what estates they or any for them had November 1, 1653. Yf wee bee mistaken, I pray rectifye us. And now let me tell you, that yf the major generalls, that are apoynted for this worke, be fit persons, I have cause to suspect none but my selfe. It is the best way, that I thinke could have bin taken for the securing the peace, and carying on the worke of the reformation in this comonwealth; for I fynd, to say nothing of the former, that what some justices, in order to reformation doe, others undoe; and the spirits of the best very lowe for want of such an officer to encourage them all. Some out of feare, some out of love give a respect to your major generall; and I hope a very good outward reformation, the Lord assisting us, will be caryed on; but 'tis of absolute necessity you put us in commission of peace, where we are major generalls, and that his highnes (which I doubt not of) countenance us in all good things. Sir, in all the corporations, where I have yet bin, I have bin solemnely wellcomed by the mayor and his brethren (all but at Leicester) without bearing up theyr maces before the mayor in my presence. Here the serjeant stood charged with it all the while almost the mayor was with me. Sir, that I might not be counted proud, nor suffer any thing derogatory to his highnes authoritie, for indeed I am in the darke, wee being constituted major generalls as well for the corporations as of the counties, I desire you would enforme me, where the precedency is; as likewise concerning the sherife of the countie, for I have heard it hath bin controverted betwixt them and the lord Leicester. I desire a word of direction and advise from you, which shall be observed by
Leicester, Nov. 24, 1655.
A letter of intelligence from the Hague.
Il est vray, que les Estats d'Hollande proposent a grave Guilliaume non seulement la seclusion, mais aussy desirent, qu'il se deporte de Overyssel; mais cependant il y aura bien de temperaments touchant la seclusion, qui, doréront ou addouciront cette pillule, et qui la luy feront avaler aisement. L'affaire de Overyssel aura bien quelque plus de difficulté; mais neantmoins l'un et l'autre laschera un peu, et grave Guilliaume ayant grandissime envie d'ester maistre de l'armee, ne regardera pas une petite chose, sachant aussy bien que l'objection de seclusion n'est que de la poussiere qu'on jette aux yeux de Cromwell, a sin qu'il soit aveugle, et ne voye pas les voyes et maximes de les estats d'Hollande. Cependant aussy je vous puis dire, que parmy les le party du prince d'Orange il y en a des bien opiniastres, et qui tascheront de divertir le grave Guilliaume, et a l'animer, a ce qu'il ne se plie en nulle façon soubs la seclusion, comme voyant asses la foiblesse de les estats d'Hollande et de Amsterdam, qui flattent le prince d'Orange le Brandenburg, et la princesse Douariere, et semblent avoir honte de liberté, comme aussy les estats d'Hollande en general sont asses et entre eux divises et aussy changeants.
Tant y a aussy qu'ils craignent le protecteur voire plus que le Swede au moins en apparence.
Car ils donnent l'argent a Brandenburg et Branden. est si fin, que de dire qu'il ne desire point
de l'argent qu'il en a asses; mais qu'il desire infanterie et tout cela asin de les tant plus
embarquer et engager en union contre le Swede Car par ce moyen les estats de Hollande auront necessairement besoing de le prince d'Orange, et grave Guilliaume veu que donner infanterie est plus d'union que
non pas de donner argent. Autre fois le roy Henry IV, ayant desja descouvert le complot du
mareschal de Biron le voyant jouver a la prince, luy dit, monsieur de Biron, vous trouves
bien, mais vous faites mal vostre party, ou vous choisies mauvais party. Je vous laisse a
juger, si de mesme ne font les estats d'Hollande. Car de Brandenburg (quand bien il gaigne) ils ne
peuvent attendre qu'aggrandissement de prince d'Orange de Denmarc de mesme, quoy que Denmarc
soit plus sage, ne voulant pas s'engager. Et felon toute apparence Brandenburg sera un party fort
mal choisy. Car je ne comprens pas comment il pourra subsister seul contre le Swede et en cas
que le Swede reussit, il dira (pour le moins) vous aves donné tant de l'argent a Brandenburg
contre moi: donnez moy en autant, ou il le prendra sur le commerce. De donner cela soit de gré soit
par force, sera honteux, et s'ils s'embarquent a l'union c'est ce que Brandenburg et 170 cherchent.
Je scay que les estats d'Holland sont grandement jaloux de ce que le Swede fait pres Cromwell le amb.
de les estats d'Hollande aura escrit, qu'en une audience qu'il a eu sur les affaires de Poland le protecteur
luy a respondu si obscurement et equivoquement, qu'il estoit aisé a voire, que Cromwell estoit
d'accord et en alliance aveq le Swede. Et sur ce propos je scay qu'a esté parlé qu'on ne sauroit
mieux faire que de parler a Espagne d'un costé (contre Cromwell) et a le empereur de l'autre costé
contre le Swede. En quoy encore s'ils choisient un bon party, je ne scay, et le temps nous
en rendra sage. Je suis
Ce 3 Decemb. 1655. [N. S.]
Je remarque, que les estats d'Hollande s'accommodent fort; apporten tant de moderation et temperament, que les autres les estats generaux n'y peuvent avoir rien au contraire. Il est vray, que literalement Cromwell ne peut rien avoir a l'encontre; mais neantmoins Cromwell n'est pas si aveugle ny insensible, qu'il ne voyt et ne taste que les estats d'Hollande en cette façon s'accommodant aveq le prince d'Orange, grave Guilliaume, Brandenburg, et la princesses d'Orange en mesme temps s'aliene de Cromwell et doibt craindre que Cromwell s'unisse aveq le Swede. Comme aussy que Cromwell ne voudra nullement entendre a un traitté de marine.
Mr. W. Metham to secretary Thurloe.
Right honorable sir,
Being somwhat more then ordinariely acquainted with what mr. Thomas Bayly, in his highnes name, of late pretended in Rome, I thought it my duty to present these; first, to give an account of my owne actions; and secondly, to tender my whole selfe, who shall never be so much engaged to the service of any sorraigne prince (which is now my onely livelyhood,) but that I may be at his highnes commands, if happly I deserve that honour; whence believe me, deare sir, seeing my nation never more honored and dreaded abroad, nor fuller of hopes to become rich at home by the industrie of this present government, I alway felt a singular inclination to dedicate my selfe to his highnes, and in him to my country; especially finding the same right in him to his power as was in the beginings of all soveraignes, who at first could claime nothing but their hansome merits looked upon and mantained by the greatest part of the subjects; nor besides did I read ever of strainger providences then what have attended his highnes attempts: all which still made such deepe impressions in me, that I never professed in word or deed the contrarie. This my desire I communicated with the lord generall Lambert, to whose lady I have the honour of no remote alliance; with the lord Strickland likewise, and with mr. Robert Stapleton, once his highnes chaplaine, by whose means I endeavoured to tender my obedience to honour and serve his highnes, with whatsoever nature or education had bestowed upon me. Neither did I feare my religion could be a lett to my intentions, being I was and am prompt to renounce really all such propositions, as begett difidence and mistrust twixt papist and protestant. Nay I was and am ready to give any assurance of fidelity by oath or otherwise not contradicting the substantiall points of my faith. Yea I do fully hold, that no spirituall subjection can or ought to recall or free me from such obedience; the which if my services might be accepted by his highnes, I am still willing more particularly to vow. All these aforesaide considerations made me forward to assist mr. Bayly with what I could, and he wanted; and since he thought my little experience abroad and benefitt of languages necessarie to his then pretended buisnes, I translated out of English into Italian a booke of his, hopeing, according to his promiss, that so my promptnes and industrie in his highnes behalfe might the better by mr. Bayly be commended, and made knowne to his highnes; which I esteemed then my chiefest happiness; espeacially when mr. Bayly, by his long discourses, had imparted many particulars, that he alleadged to have passed of confidence twixt him and his highnes, as also twixt you and him, when he delivered to your hands his booke. Nay he soe well answeared all difficulties and objections, that I was perswaded to accompany him to Rome, as if I had seene credentiall letters; and this most of all, when to me objecting the publicque speeches of his goeing from his highnes to the pope, which to me seemed disadvantageous to both, he made answeare, that you your felse informed thereof bid him notwithstanding take courage and goe. Thus crossing the sea by your pass he came to a kinsman of his, one mr. Queftall, an English merchant at Antwerpe, to whom in hopes of some interest he too much imparted himselfe, being that thence, as mr. Longland also had it, all the world was full of an unexpected agencie from England to Rome. Finally comeing with him to Rome, and seeing then, as by the way in our jorney many notable miscarriages in his behaviour, I left him, especially because by mediate meanes he had too much and disrespectfully laid open whatever had passed twixt him, his highnes, and your selfe, wherein he seemed to mee either to mistake or betray his pretended commission. 'Tis true, I allway, even in my jorney, denied and disavowed to be in any such agencie, as was bruited, not that I should be ashamed to appeare for his highnes, if occasion should serve, and he so required of me; but because as I ever mistrusted his mistake, so I was confident so much noise in such a buisines, and in such a court, could not be approved by his highnes. When at last I heard how his actions were totally denied in England, I resolved to leave Rome, though to free my selfe of the suspicion of agencie, I had given out my departure long before. Mr. Bayly, for his confidence with the pope by mediate meanes, (for he never had audiance) hath obtained a very beneficiall place of 150 pistoles per annum as a soldier in Ferrera. At present I disapointed by the pragmaticalnes of mr. Bayly am returned to Ligorne, to embarcke my selfe for Portugall, where I have imparted these my reall inclinations to mr. Charles Longland, and peradventure in Rome, where I had most of my education, secretly I could learne that, which might be pleaseing, if not advantageous for his highnes to know. And if I should deserve to be looked upon by his highnes, my goeing for Portugall and comeing thence will be a greater colour, then I can have now in Rome, by reason of mr. Bayly's late noise and clamours. If sequestrations for my faith in England, and my losses for the late Portugall embassador's brother in London, would permitt me to live in Italie with that decencie I formerly did, I would not depart hence, untill I had your resolution to these; but I am compelled to trie what the Portugalls will returne me for my late sufferrings, and to imbarque for Lisbona. In the meane tyme begging your pardone for this confident boldnes, I kiss your hands, and humbly beseech you to let his highnes know, that I am and shall ever bee his most humble, faithfull, and obedient subject,
Livorno, Dec. 4, 1655. Stilo Novo.
Commissioner Pels to the states general.
High and mighty lords,
The first of this month my son signified unto your high and mighty lordships the good intentions of the duke of Brandenburgh, who hath endeavoured to his utmost to preserve and protect this whole dukedom, according to the treaty made with the towns of Prussia; but in regard the cities Thorn, Elbing, and Dantzick are yet irresolute, and remain obstinate to receive his garrisons and protection, it hath therefore happened, that the Swedes are come as far as Thorn, which it is supposed will be delivered up unto them, since they have surprised the city of Straesburgh, which hath occasioned the said duke to draw his army towards Marienburgh, and he himself is gone post to Coningsbergh, whither the dutchess his lady is going after him, having been treated here three days together by the magistrates.
A letter of intelligence.
I Omit all other advices at this time to inform your lordship in haste of that, which doth seem to me to be of greatest importance. Just now is a certain commander arrived here, with letters from the king of Sweden to the lord embassador, the earl Steynbock and Lelystroom, the contents whereof I cannot yet learn; but in my presence he told the earl Forbus, who arrived here two days since from Rostock, that the king was marched from Warsaw towards Thorn about a fortnight since; and that he took the same yesterday was eight days upon articles, wherein was only a garrison of 3 or 400 men, without meeting any opposition from the duke of Brandenburgh.
President Viole to Barriere, the prince of Condé's agent in England.
I have received yours of the 26th of the last month. There are as yet no orders come from Spain, so that nothing can be done in your business till they come. I hope his highness will be here shortly. Since the business of Peronne hath failed, the mareschal d'Hocquincourt has made his accommodation with the court. His highness is now busy preparing winter quarters for his army, afterwards he will make a journey to Rocroy; and from thence he intends to return through Namur for this place, where he will stay till the next campaign, when we shall do wonders; for as for this we had not wherewithal to do any thing.
Motet to Barriere.
The paper you desire in ample form to write to me freely, shall be sent you, and I thank you for the favour in communicating unto me the news where you are. The business of Peronne is come to nothing. I did not expect any other, in regard that negotiations of this nature, published before their execution, do not succeed any otherwise. The preparations for the Indies, Streights, and coasts of Flanders, do seem to be very great, although those where you are do pretend to be very glad of having made this war, whereof they say the state doth stand in need.
Sir Kenelme Digby to secretary Thurloe.
I Have beene desired by the merchants of Calais, that trade with England, to represent unto my lord protector's highnesse a great prejudice and obstruction, that happeneth in their trade, which if not remedied they will be faine to give it over. And all other wayes they have tryed without effect, so that for their last refuge they have recourse unto his highnesse. It is this; the marchandize, that is landed att Calais, is carried by cart to Paris, and is to passe through Bologne and Monstreuil. Now the governors of these townes have layed (by their owne private authority) an imposition upon every cart of English goods, that goeth through their towne, Monstreuil, three pistoles for every cart, and Bologne two pistoles for every one. The marchants have petitioned the lordes of the councill att Paris for redresse, and have obtained orders and decrees to that end; but these governors will obey none, unlesse they see the king expressely engage his authority in it. Their sute therefore to his highnesse is, that he will be pleased to recommend the matter to the French ambassador, to write efficaciously to his master, that so just and violent a taxe may no longer be exacted, but that trade may have its free course; and therein his highnesse will do an action worthy of him, by protecting his owne marchants, procuring justice to others, stopping the unjust violence of an arbitrary power, and keeping on foot a considerable trade, that else will fall to the ground. I thought it my duty to acquaint his highnesse hereof by your honor's meanes; and this not being for else, I humbly take leave, with assurance of ever being,
Paris, Dec. 4, new style 1655.
The examination of James Halsall, taken this 25 Nov. 1655.
Saith, that he was sent over hither three years since by Charles Stuart, whom he calls the king, to procure some monies for the king, then in great streights, and was sent to a particular person, who did furnish him with some money, and did then return, and was afterwards sent back to sollicit persons to rise upon the last insurrection; but having little interest he could not much promote it. After that he went back with the lord Wilmott and his brother, and now was employed to procure some money, and was address'd to some persons, who were said would advance some money, but he hath not been able to procure any; and saith, that if he could have done it, he was therewith to have procured some horse, to send them into Scotland. And further saith, that he hath sent Charles Stuart over at one time about . . . . since 2000 l. . . . Being demanded who were to command the horse in Scotland ? he saith, he knows not. And being ask'd how many horse he had provided ? he saith, not one; but was in hopes to procure some horse. He further saith, that the business in Scotland was in likelihood to begin about a month or two hence, but believes they are willing to have the fleet first gone out.
Being ask'd what foreign forces they expected, he saith, that they have little hopes, unless it be from the elector of Brandenburgh, who hath promised him supplies of men, and the said king relies much upon him.
That at the time of the insurrection he was in Lancashire, and his business was, that if the town of Shrewsbury had declared, he should have engaged such horse as could be spared, to have sent them into the north; that he spoke with colonel Booth in this town a little before the insurrection, and a little afterwards he met him in Lancashire.
The person he sent to by the name of mrs. Clerke is mr. Charles Davison, but knows not where he is. The letter now shewn him, dated the second of November 1655, and signed H. Newill, was sent him from the lord Wilmott.
The letter without a direction, signed Rochester, and dated from Cologne the 8th of July 1655, and without any direction, was to be delivered to sir Robert Shirley, and was sent to him; but he refused to receive it.
He saith that he hath sent over to Charles Stuart before the insurrection about 3000 l. 2500 l. whereof he had from the lord Mollineux since dead, and the other 500 l. was also by his direction sent to his lodging.
A letter of intelligence.
According to your desire, I shall from tyme to tyme give you the inteligence these parts afford. The news of the Spanish ambassador's beeing gone out of England into Flanders sounds harsh among these people. During his aboade with you, they had hopes of peace, but now they are prepareing for warr, especially seeing the peace is absolutely concluded with Fraunce and England. Here is a great galleone of 1500 tons upon the stocks, which I conceve cannot bee ready for to goe to sea this six months. The king of Spayne is gathering all his fleets together to meete at Cadiz; and it's thought there will bee aboute 60 or 70 men of warr of them, which I beeleive will not bee ready in a long while, in regard there is not mony to set them out. They generally give out, that the gallcones from the Indias will bee at home aboute the end of this December. Most of the fleete, that were at the cape, are retired into Cadiz and other places thereaboute. My next shall bring you notice what preparations are at the Groyne. This being what offers at present, I rest, &c.
Mr. E. Rolt to secretary Thurloe.
On the 19th instant four of your letters came together to my hands, one of the 17th, and another of the 24th of August, two dated in September, the 14th and the 21st, which were the first I had received since my leaving Stettin. I assure you, they were wellcome; and I doe speake with glory to God and a thankfull harte for his mercies, they were the greatest temporall comforte to me, that yett in all my life I was capable of, having with them an assurance of my lord's recovery, whoe was heere by divers reported to be dead, but by all affirmed to be desparately ill, which was a great affliction to me, that I should be absent from his person at such a time, my desires being to be neere him allways; and I hope, and pray (with submission to his pleasure) he will by his sudden commands for me to retourne, give me an opertunity to be soe. I have since, on the 21st of November, received another letter from your honour of the 19th of October. I am much troubled, that non of mine are come to your hands, as you are pleased by yours to informe me. I have by all oportunitys endeavoured to give you an account of my condition, and likewise what I could learne of affaires in these parts of the world, both by the hands of friends to Dantzick, and those messengers, which at any time went from Warzow, (during my residence there) either to Dantzick or other places; and since my coming from thence being perplexed to have not in more then three months time received any orders from you; and the maine of my commission to my contentment being executed, viz. the ratification being delivered, and with great affection accepted. Upon my march towards this place with the king, I have about 14 days since dispatched away capt. Fenwick, and mr. Swift with a letter to Hamburg, to waite uppon all opertunities of hearing from you, and sending to you, not knowing how otherwise to be informed of your pleasure. Since my leaving Warzow nothing considerable hath happened here but the surrender of this place. The king came before it uppon the 20th instant with only 1000 horsemen; the next day they treated, and on the 24th, upon agreement, the towne took in a Swedish governor and garrison of three regiments, which are to be maintained by the contribution of the adjacent countery. The king entered in person the 21st, being sunday, and received the keys of the citty from the bourgermasters, which he delivered back to them, and assured them of the confirmation of the rest of their privileges. If I may judge of the considerablenesse of this place, it is of very great advantage for his majestie, being stronge and one of the keyes of Prussia; and that which is more important, it is a great assurance of these conquests he hath allreddy made, and will importe him very much in the effecting what he is resolved to prosecute, which is the taking in of the other cittys and places of strength, in the regall parte of this county; for which end he is resolved to morrow to march from this place towards Marienburgh, Grudents being surrendered, as information came this night: it is one of the strongest holdes in all Prussia, and the only place that is able to make any considerable resistance betweene this place and Marienburge. Thus leaving farther to trouble your honour at present, I rest
Torne, Nov. 26, 1655.
After my letter was finished, the king sent me word by the master of the ceremonies, that it was his pleasure, I should march along with him, all other publicke ministers (of which sorte there are and will be many att present, one from France, one from Russia, one from Transilvania, two from the elector of Brandenburge, and likewise one from the Grand Seigniour, and another from the emperour, bothe expected to be heere within two days) being ordered to transacte their busynes with the rix chancellor and others commissionated for that purpose; soe that your honor may perceive, the king is pleased for my master's sake to use me as one of his courte, and not as a publike minister, which I find both by his words and actions.
The examination of Edward Anderton of Deene in the county of Northampton, gent. taken before William Boteler, major general of the counties of Northampton, Bedford, Huntington, and Rutland, the 26th of November 1655.
Who saith, that he was born at Billing in the parish of Wiggin in the county of Lancaster, where he lived the most of his time till within this four or five years; since which time, he lived about the space of two years at one mrs. Gifford's, a recusant at Wolverhampton in the county of Stafford; from which place he went to Norwich to one mr. Richard Yaxley's, a recusant, where he sojourned about the space of two years; since he came to the parish of Deene in the county of Northampton, to the house of one William Clawton a recusant, (servant to the lord Brudenell) with whom he hath sojourned ever since. And being asked how he maintained himself there, and what visible estate he hath of his own? saith, that he hath an annuity of ten pounds a year, (when he can get it of his brother) and that he was to pay after the rate of five shillings the week for his board at the said Clawton's. And being further asked, whether or no he was a priest in orders? saith, if he were one, he was not bound to accuse himself; and being asked again, whether he would say he were not a priest? saith, he would neither say he was one, nor he was not one. Being asked, whither he was travelling to-day, when he was overtaken by me? saith, that he was going to the house of one Charles Umpton, a recusant, at Dry Stoke, within the county of Rutland; and further saith not.
Who being asked, whether he said mass in any recusants houses or chapels, or otherwise publickly or privately within twelve months last past? saith, that he is not bound to accuse himself; and being further asked, where he had the Agnus Dei, that I caused to be taken from him? saith, that he had it of mr. Berry at London, but where the said mr. Berry liveth, or what countryman he is, he knoweth not. And being asked where he had those catechisms that I found about him? saith, he bought them at a bookseller's in Holborn, but will not make known the place, left it might be to the prejudice of the man; and saith, that his intent in buying the said catechisms was to give to those that stood in need of them. And being asked, whether he would take the late oath of abjuration? saith, he cannot take it, and further saith not.
Major general Worsley to secretary Thurloe.
The commissioners for this county of Chester met this day att Namptwich, att which time I received your letters, with the inclosed from the counsell, and the progrese wee have made is, wee received the particulars from those gentlemen, wee sent our governors two, and have taken a course to come to a true account of there severall estats by comparinge, that they bring in with what survay wee have of ther estates in 1640; and if wee find that deficient, wee intend to survay anew those estates that wee have a doubt of. And as for those things, wee find a scruple in other commissioners, wee did not doubt of, but were resolved to act as wee are now confirmed by the orders I received from you this night. I am well assured eare longe wee shal be able to give you a very good account of our worke in this county, as alsoe in the other two. Wee have sent out our orders for all the rest of those gentlemen that were compounders. Wee have already disarmed the disaffected persons in these three countyes, and indeed have done (if I may say soe) to the purpose. I shall be at Preston in Lancashire on thursday, where the commissioners meet for that county; and if the Lord will, I am resolved now to strike while the iron is hott, and give my self no rest, till I have (through the assistance of God) brought the businese to some good issue. As to putting the laws in execution against drunkennese and all profaine nese, I find good succese; for some tounes have made proclamation, and take a very strick course, and make diligent search every night for such, and especially the towne of Namphwich. I cannot but admire at the freenesse of good people of severall judgments to promote this worke. I shall give you a farther account by the next. That's all from
Namphwich, Nov. 26, 1655.
Major general Whalley, and the other commissioners, to secretary Thurloe.
We desire to be ever thankful to the Lord for the continuing the good hand of his providence over us, so lately manifested to us in directing his highness, and induing him with so much wisdom and vigilancy, as under himself to discover and frustrate the destructive designs of our implacable enemies, and to provide so well for the peace of this commonwealth. We hope we shall not be wanting to contribute our best assistance in our places to so good a work being thereunto called; and to the end our endeavours may be the more effectual, we desire you to send us the examinations and other proofs that you have against sir Robert Shirly and sir Kenelme Digby, or any other that you know have had their hands in these late designs and insurrections, that have estates in this county, (if there be any such) and we doubt not to give his highness a good account of what he hath intrusted.
Mr. J. Aldworth, consul at Marseilles, to secretary Thurloe.
My last unto you was of the 30th past, giving you notice, that admiral Vandoisme was putt by his office of high admirall, and that his sonne monsieur de Merkure was gone for Paris; but as yett there is noe certainty theareof, in regard four days past the duke of Merkure gave his father a visitt att Malteges; so that not being yett gone for Paris, it is generally believed, that the duke of Bofort his brother will have the charge, his father desireing it also. The gally of Genoe, that in my last I gave you notice was perisht going for Rome, is generally thought to bee the same, which carryed the Portugall ambassadour from hence, and a certain report att present is in toune, that advice is come from Genoe of the same; butt hitherto I can find noe assurance thereof. By my advice from Barcelona of the 25th past, the Naples fleete consisting of 12 ships and 10 gallyes was then theare; that the gallyes was to part the 27th, and the ships sudainly to follow for Naples; which undoubtedly hath since so proved, in regard four days past about the same number of ships was seene on this coast going towards the Levant heare, off which not any thing more att present worth your honor's notice; so I most humbly take leave, and remayne,
In Marseillia, Decemb. 7, 1655. [N. S.]
The Dutch conful at Malaga to the states general.
High and mighty lords,
Since my last of the 28th of Sept. here arrived on the 4th currant vice admiral de Ruyeter, with four men of war under his command, bringing with him a Turk's prize called the Golden Spread Eagle, which he had taken in a fight, and such another whereof the Turks were all afraid by their swimming ashore, being it was not far from the land when they met with them.
On the 5th of the said month arrived here the commander Dirck Verveen and captain William Vander Zaen, who say likewise that they once met ten Turkish men of war, and another time nine, but they still got from them, and could not engage them; and since the writing hereof news is just brought me, that the vice admiral de Ruyter with all his ships is to see if he can meet with any of them, in regard they are said to be still roving to and fro upon the coasts of these parts. High and mighty lords, &c.
An extract out of the letter of the agent at Cologne, writ the 7th of Dec. 1655. [N. S.]
The king of Scotland did cause to be apprehended the 5th of this month in the night the person and papers of a certain person called Manning, who hath formerly served as captain against the parliament of England, and now followed the court of his majesty, who keeps him in custody by four of his men. He is charged to have kept secret correspondency with the lord protector, which, some say, he hath already confessed.
Mr. Bradshaw, resident at Hamburg, to secretary Thurloe.
I Have received your letter by this post, and sent the inclosed to mr. Rolt at Stetin, where by letters thence I understand he was daily expected, but as yet I have no letters from himselfe, which to me seemes somewhat strange. I am glad the peace with France is ratifyed on both sides, and that you have soe good newes from Barbadoes and St. Malo, hopeinge the frigatts will meete with some of the plate-fleete to helpe beare the charge of the warre. I perceive that for want of tyme the busines of the company yet depends. The court of London have highly pleased and heightened Townley and his party with a letter, they have writt them by this post; wherein they say plainely, that they could willingly have complyed with them in their choyse of that man for their deputie; but that they feared to offend his highness, standinge engaged to expect his pleasure. It seemes his beinge not famed, but knowne by themselves for a common drunkard, would have gone downe well enough with them to serve their ends, if nothinge else had stuck with them; but I presume you knowe how the court there, as well as here, is ruled at present. That party, whoe call themselves the company, because they doe what they list, doe by this post write to their new deputy to encourage him, whom they will have to them in despite of whomsoever shall oppose it, and he as resolved saith, that he is and will be their deputie; so that it would be a great pitty to part them. They now commissionate him to overlooke the actions of the committee of the company, whoe are to attend the committee of the councell; and if he perceive they act not as they direct and expect, then to appeare himselfe as their sollicitor, and to engage all the friends he can make, that they may come off with this busines, accordinge to their former and present boastings. In the meane time the well affected are contented to sit still in expectation of the issue, thinking that if what hath been remonstrated do not satisfie, a repetition of things would but offend. The late declaration against the cavaliers in England is grievously taken by them of their partie here; but the well affected joy at it, and hope there will be a tyme to consider of their condition, that malignants may heere also be curbed, without which the litle commonwealth of the company can nether enjoy quiet nor safety. To the enclosed paper I have nothing to ad, but that I am,
Hamb. Nov. 27, 1655.
Sir, at instant of closeinge my pacquett comes these letters from mr. Rolt, myne with them bearinge date the primo present from Warshaw by Stetin post. I am hartily glad of mr. Rolt's safety, and of the satisfaction these letters will give his highness and your selfe. I wrote weekly, yet I perceive my letters to him to be conveyed by the Swedes resid. here have had noe better success than his to me, for he writes he hath not received any letters since he left Stetin. He hath drawne 500 - - - - more upon me, which shall be paid and re-charged on you next post. I shall further supply him as he hath occasion, having given order for it both to Dantzick and Stetin. I perceive he hath left Warshaw, and is cominge with the king towards Prussia.
Lord Broghill to secretary Thurloe.
In my last I acquainted you, how we have got a packet of col. Bort. wherin were all his cyphers, wherby we have made noe further discoverys, the major beinge every post to have brought me his brother's letters; for by him he was to have sent them every postnight to the post-office heere, and was engaged to have pickt his pocket in the night, and have transcribed and brought me the cypher, wherby all that he had writt to C. S. I had seene, and all Ch. S. had writt to him; for the major was to have gon and fetcht the letters to his brother, who durst not have gon for them himself to the post-office heere. But tho' the interceptinge of his papers has lost us this advantage in this way, yet I am more than hopefull in obtayninge it suddenly in another; for now he has writt a new cypher, which he intends next weeke to send C. S. by col. Placketer, who he therfore presses to be gon; and for that end I hast Plaketer away, who is to bring me col. Bort. letter to C. S. and the cypher, that I may coppy it and them weekely. The major will bringe all letters sent to C. S. or received from him, which by the cypher I shall be able to read and send you an exact accounte of, wherin, the Lord willinge, I shall not sayle. The major has soe well ordered affaires, that he now convayse all letters betweene Glencame and his brother; a coppy of one of which I heere send you, that the major brought me last Lord's day. C. S.'s letter marked with T was in it, by which it is now cleere, it is directed to Atholl, as that with L was to Glencarne himselfe. You may see also by the poscript that Bortw. and he under false names are to manadge ther plott, and under the same false names formerly have done the like. You may also observe, that C. S. letter markt with L mentions the receipt of a letter from Glencarne, with some assurances of fidellity in it: all which, and some other things heere, make the generall and I beleeve we have enough against him; soe that if you finde the villany ripe in England, wee will ceise upon Glenc. when he comes to towne: if not, we may delay as longe as you please. I pray, sir, heerin let me have his highness's sense and orders.
I am hartily glad to finde the honnor of your letter of 22d instant, which I have now received, that the Lord in his greate mercy not only hath discovered those assassins, but hath delivered two of them into your hands. Methinks soe many eminent testimonys against ther wickedness should, if they had any conscience, invite them to desiste in the future. We heer of an emissory --- of England to some of the clergy, and I hope we shall take him and his papers. The meetinge of our ministers for a reconciliation is growne hopeless. Att length wee have finished our business concerninge justices of peace. Ther instructions I heerwith present you; as also a declaration thes times made us thinke fit to publish. I hope your justices are well chosen; but lean assure, I did not name one. I only hindred my lord Argile from beinge made one, because of that touch you gave me about him, your wordes beinge, noe not so much as a constable.
We have not yet received one full answer to any publicke letter writt to his highness
or the councill, wherby not only many thinges are at unhappy stand, but also it is som
disanimatinge to our poore endeavours heere. It has pleased God at this instant to vissit
me with a violent fitt of the goute: be pleased therfore to excuse this scribble sent you by,
Eden. Nov. 27, 55.
Lord chief justice St. John to secretary Thurloe.
The trouble of these is in pursuance of my former request concerning my son William. From what I heare since, I have noe cause to receade from what I intended att your last being heare. I cannot learne in the least, wheare he hath any lodgings, or wheare either his or any of his comrayed haunts are; and yet some of my servants sometimes meete him in the streets. My suite at present is, that you would sende mee three severall warrants to persons severally, and to leave blanks for their names, I intending to inserte the names of such as know him, that having each of them one of the warrants, if they shall meete him, may execute the same uppon him, and bring him unto you. If you please let the substance of the warrant be only, that the partie bring him before you. Sir, I crave your pardon for this trouble, and rest
Nov. 27, 1655.