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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December (1 of 7)
Pels, the Dutch commissioner at Dantzick, to the states general.
High and mighty lords,
Since my last of the 8th of December I am to inform you, that his majesty of Sweden finished his agreement with the city of Thorn upon the 4th of this month; and without any resistance made his entrance into the same the next day being sunday; and was lodged in the town-house till the 7th of the same month. What the conditions are, I cannot yet learn, only that the king doth promise to let them keep their privileges, they admitting of a garrison of 1200 men under a Swedish commander, and to disband their own garrison.
As yet there hath happened no action between the Brandenburger and the Swedes. The city Graudens is also surprized by the Swedes. In this city is also great alteration; and what this success may produce, a few days will demonstrate.
An extract of the resolutions of the states general.
On the report of the Heer Slingelandt, pensionary of Dort, and the other commissioners having in pursuance of their commissioners resolution of the lords of the states of Holland and West Friseland, dated the 7th day of the said month, desired the lord embassador of Spain residing here in the behalf, and in the name of the said lords the states, that he would take care and give order, that to the pretended service of God in his house henceforth none should be admitted, but those, which are of his family, without any more: after mature deliberation, and seeing the said lord embassador hath not been pleased to give satisfaction therein to the said lords the states, it is thought good and resolved in conformity to the before mentioned resolution of the 7th instant, that the president and council of the court of justice shall be required, as they are required by these, to hinder effectually by a guard about the house of the before mentioned lord embassador, in such times and hours, as the pretended service of God is kept there, the going in to the same house of all those, who are not of his family, or that have no necessary errand at his house. And the deputed council of the said lords of the states are withal required, and hereby authorized to afford such means of assistance, as well of officers as men of the guards of the said lords the states, as those of the said court of justice shall desire, or otherwise, so as the said court shall judge necessary for the due execution of the before mentioned intentions of the lords the states.
Viole, president of Brussels, to Barriere.
Le Tour hath sent me word, that he received letters by the last post from Cadiz, but no orders for any money, so that it makes us almost desperate; for we know not how to subsist any longer, all our creditors do so very much importune us, that they give us no rest at all. His highness hath been to see this place, and is to be to day at Namur, and there to distribute the winter quarters to his troops. He doth pretend, as I am told, to quarter them in Guelderland and Luxemburgh. When that business is over, he returns to this place, which will not take up above a fortnight.
The church at Wexford to H. Cromwell major general of the army in Ireland.
May it please your excellency,
We cannot but with all thankfulness recognize and acknowledge the great mercy of God to this poor nation, in providing such a person to rule over us, as is a lover of God, and the godly truth, and peace, which your lordship hath largely manifested since your coming hither, by countenancing of God's publick worship and ordinance, taking care for the repairing of the places appointed for the same, countenancing of faithful and able ministers not only about your own person, but declaring your readiness to maintain and place such in places, which have long sitten in darkness and the shadow of death, without any to break the bread of life unto them; whereby we have cause to hope (even by those beginnings that are amongst us) that God will make your lordship an instrument to advance his name in this sad, dark, and desolate nation. Blessed be God, who hath thus raised you up to act for his glory and his peoples good; and blessed be ye of the Lord, for that you have encouraged the hearts, and strengthned the hands of God's people in this nation. Go on, sir, and prosper, because of truth, meekness, and righteousness, and let no discouragements make you to faint or grow weary, knowing that your labour is not in vain in the Lord. Sir, we should not have presumed to have interrupted your lordship's more urgent affairs with this address, but that we are informed, that your lordship hath met with some discouragement in the way, which we thought it our duties to remove, and to be as forward to strengthen your hands in the work of God, as Satan by his instruments is to weaken them. We beseech you set before you the example of good Nehemiah; let it be your care to glorify God by repairing the breaches, and purging out the corruptions that are in our Israel, serving your generation by the will of God (as David did) here, and then you may expect that your reward shall be with the Lord, and your work with the Almighty, though possibly in regard of men (some at least) ye may be but evil requited.
Lord Broghill to secretary Thurloe.
It hath pleas'd the Lord at once to visit my eldest son dangerously with the small-pox, my selfe after a longe indisposition, soe violently with the gout, that ever since my last I have not bin, neither am I yet, able to stirr out of my bed; and what is as grievous to me as all, my wife after a longe languishinge, last night in greate payne and danger miscarryed; which sadd afflictions I beg may be sanctyfied unto me, and I hope will incite you to excuse my silence. Thes two are duplicates of letters to his highness, which it seems to have been mislayed. They are of concernment, and therfore answers are begg'd by, sir,
Eden. Dec. 1. 55.
Major general Haynes and the other commissioners to H. Laurence, president of the council of state.
May it please your lordship,
In pursuance of the orders and instructions of his highness and council for securing the peace of the commonwealth, we have called before us Anthony Aldham of Thetford, as a person considered dangerous to the nation; and upon debate we have adjudged him under the fourth head of the aforesaid orders of his highness and council, and have secured him in Bury goal accordingly. It now remains as our duties to represent to your lordship the reason of such our judgment, which we humbly offer to be, for that we are convinced by the information of persons of known integrity, that he is a very dangerous person to this commonwealth, and that he hath no estate nor way of livelihood, but lives idly and under great suspicion. All which we humbly leave to your lordship's consideration, and remain
Bury, December 1, 1655.
Your lordship's most humble servants,
Major general Berry to secretary Thurloe.
I am, in pursuance of his highness orders, at Sallop, where I meete with a very faire concurrence of the gent. of this county with your affaires. Some, that were a little disatisfied, I hope will be perfectly gained. Some of them have acted, and others resolve to act. All of them appeare and countenance my worke, and hope to receive not only satisfaction, but much good by it. I am perswaded it will tend much towards union; only some rumours doe a little distract. It is reported, that the taxe is to be doubled. This affrights some: others, and those honest men, startle at a report, that there will be a new oath imposed upon the justices of the peace and men in places of trust. I could wish, you would be tender in this. I thinke truly such impositions never did us any good amongst our friends. Some have stumbled, but few better fixed by it. As to the busines of the shreifes in this county, I confesse I know not what to say; because to put it upon our friends is to doe them a greate discourtesy, and to put it into other men's hands is to doe ourselves a greater. Doubtlesse col. Thomas Hunt is incomparably better then those others in the liste. He hath beene a little disatisfied; but I hope to perswade him. He hath apeared with us, and indeed I thinke him an honest man, but am loath to doe him the discourtesey to put him to the charge, if you can thinke of a fitt man. I feare I left a blanke unsupplyed for Herefordshire. I waited for the governor, who had told me of one mr. Powell; but truely I hear by others he is but an indifferent man, and is about to marry a great cavallier, which makes me suspect him. Flackett is the better man, if he will act; but I have not seene him. I hope on munday to goe hence into Wales, and I shuld be glad to receive from you the Welsh remonstrance, with the names affixed; for I heare that many of them are but supposed to consent, and their names put to by others, though perhaps now they will owne it to take of the blame from their friends. I shall improve it to the best advantage I can; and I hope prevent the danger, that it seems to threaten. Pray you beare a little with our Brittish zeale. A little more understanding would doe us noe harme in those partes. You have some prisoners in London, that were supposed to be in the late plott, whose estates are in this county. We desire to know what we shall doe concerning them. If you intend we should sequester them, we intreate you to let us know the informations you have against them. And if there be any danger in the discovered plott, I pray you let me receive instruction, that I may send for my cavalliers, they being at present set at liberty by this late goale delivery. I am this day to receive engagements for those, that are in prison here. I beseech, sir, excuse me, that I trouble you with these scribblings. I thinke it my duty, and shall at present give you noe more, but tell you that I am
Sallop, December 1, 1655.
Major general Whalley to secretary Thurloe.
I receaved yours of the 27th November, and shal bee carefull of our quarters, though we perceave nothing here looking towards a designe. I have left our buysnes in Leicester in a good way of proceeding. The commissioners there, I doubt not, will act very vigorously in my absence. I sat two dayes there upon the ejecting scandelous and ignorant ministers; came hither upon wednesday last. The mayor of the citty being major Beake, and one of the honest aldermen, presently after my coming, came to welcome me. The next morning all the aldermen in their furre gownes, without the mayor, did the like. I judge the cause of his not comeing was, he must then have brought his mace, and doubted as to what I writ to you before. The same day I having put him in, he met at my quarters with other commissioners, and acts very chearefully. I find, having some intimacy with him, that he hath exceedingly changed his judgment, and is zealous for the present governement, which, as he protests to me, is upon a full conviction upon reading and studying it. There is none here, I am confident, will be more faithfull to his highness; none I am sure so able to serve him in these partes, having a very great interest with the godly. Upon munday next the commissioners and my selfe are invited to dine with the mayor and aldermen; so that you may perceave a generall owning, with at least a seeming affection of his highnes his designe. And truly, sir, it is evident in most places, where I have bin, there is a great change in the godly ministers. They exceeding well resent the buysnes. I make it a great part of mine to discourse with as many, as I thinke feares God, and labours to satisfye them, and to gayne theyr affections by giving them more then an ordinary respect, which I thinke they well deserve. They have, and I hope shall have as much encouragement as I can give them in the wayes of godlines. They expresse great affections to his highnes, and pray for him in theyr pulpits. This I can say for diverse ministers in Lyncolne, Leceistershire, and these here at Coventree; and I hope I shal be able to say as much for them in Nottingham and Derbysheire, after I have sat sometime with them, upon the ejecting scandelous ministers. Sir, I have great cause to blesse God for giving me, so poore and unworthy a creature, these great encouragements. But, sir, I fynd, and you may have a little taste of it by this enclosed petition, that where the work of reformation should be most eminent, as in cyties and corporations, it is very much wanting; and where our worke as to that should first begin, wee have no power more then inspective. It hath bin a generall complaynt to me in Lyncolne and Coventree especially, that wicked maigistrates, by reason of their number, over-power the godly maigistrates. They no sooner suppresse alehouses, but they are set up agayne. They comfort themselves at present, as they tell me, with the hopes of my assistance, which they should presently have, were I in comission of peace in theyr corporations. However they imagine I am. I shall at present declare to them, what his highnes expects from them; that as they are called to bee magistrates, so they should answeare the end of theyr magistracy, viz. depresse sinn and wickednes, and incourage godlynes. I shall give them in charge to put downe as many ale-houses as shal be judged unnecessary; and present me with a list at my next coming of what they have put downe, and what remayne, and shal with major Beake and some others, that I judge godly, consider further of them.
For this alderman, that is complayned of, being by my commission a major general of
the corporations as well as the counties, I shal send for him, and with mr. mayor and
some of the best of his brethren, shall examine the buysnes; and yf I find him nought,
shall certifye to his highnes and the councill, according to my instructions. Excuse this
prolixitie. Having gonne over all the counties belonging to my charg, I shall be very
briefe hereafter. On fryday next, yf it please the Lord, I shall goe towards Nottingham.
Coventry, Dec. 1, 1655.
To the right honourable major general Whalley.
That in the execution of the same, particularly touching swearers, drunkards, and sabbath-breakers and the like offenders, they have met with no small share of revilings; yet those have not been comparable for discouragement to what they have met with through the default of mr. Joseph Chambers, late mayor of this city, and now an alderman and justice of the peace, through whose means and encouragement, as your petitioner John Haw can sufficiently make good, he hath had two several suits brought against him by such, whose offences he hath been the instrument to bring to light, one whereof is still depending in the court of record of this city, held before the mayor and bailiffs of the same, wherein one Christopher Randall is present, whom your petitioner convicted for swearing before the said mr. Chambers, and gives out that the said mr. Chambers encourageth him to go on against your petitioner, and saith he will be a witness for him.
That the said mr. Chambers hath frequently abated such offenders the penalties appointed to be inflicted upon them by law, and hath threatned some of the petitioners to bind them to their good behaviour for standing upon the penalties according to law and his own warrant.
That in regard of the mincing of penalties, your petitioners conceive most of the unlicenced ale-houses in this city have been much supported, of which unlicenced ale-houses there is now at least 50 in this city, with which things your petitioners and many others being much grieved, have thought meet to make their humble address to your honour, and to offer the same to your grave consideration for redress, being induced thereunto by notice they have had of your honour's readiness to redress just grievances. And so your petitioners shall pray, &c.
Major general Berry to the protector.
May it please your highnes,
I have onely one publique busines of great importance, that I make bold to trouble your highnes withall, haveing alwaise found you ready to accept such motions; and that is, that your highnes would please to make good your word to capt. Croke; but it must be whilest you live, or otherwise we shall feare it will never be done. You know whatt plotting there is against your person; and if any of them should take, what will become of our preferments ? Onely for my owne parte I may hope for something, when you die, if any thing be left, because I am promised it in the word of a kinge, from whom I crave pardon and a grant of this humble request of
Sallop, December 1, 1655.
Major general Boteler to secretary Thurloe.
I thought it meete to acquaint you, that I have beene this weeke in Rutland, where by reason of the smallness of the county, and paucity of cavaliers, the commissioners and I have at once perfected the assessements of their estates; which amount not fully to 500 l. per annum. As I was passing through the forrest of Rockingham into that county, I overtooke a gentleman, whome upon examination, as I rode with him, I founde to be a roman catholique; and upon a more strict examination at my inn, I finde him to be a priest, and one that hath no certeine habitation; but wanders up and downe from one catholique's house to another, having, as he confesses, no estate to live upon; but I humbly refer you to the inclosed examination, which you may please to reade; and acquaint his highness therewith, that I may receive and know his pleasure concerning him; and in the meane time I have putt him into safe custody. Your honour will perceive, he hath had his habitation for theise six months last past at the lord Brudenell's towne, and in the house of one of his servants; which may a litle evidence to his highness (what is so cleere to us that knowe him and live neere him) what a father and fausterer of the catholiques and their emissaryes he is; and certeinly if we be not deceaved in him, one of the most secret and desperate enemyes, this commonwealth hath. I have secured severall persons within my association, in order to a transportation; but shall not trouble the councill with their names, because that I shall have more of that sort, and intend to returne their names together. I shall be in Huntingdonshire againe this next weeke at the second meeting of the commissioners there, where if any thing occurre, that may deserve your time to reade, it shall be presented to you by
Oundle, Dec. 1, 1655.
I have together with a coppy of the examination enclosed one of the chatechismes I founde about the catholique. The Agnus Dei I have in my keepinge with his beads, a meddall of the virgin Mary, a crucifix and some other bookes.
Mr. Ed. Rolt to secretary Thurloe.
Being unwilling to lett slipp any occasion to give your honour an accounte of my selfe, and what I had in command to performe, I have made use of an opertunity to write to you by a messenger from this place to Stettin, in answer of a letter of yours of the 4th of 8 bris, which I received heere this day, wherein you are pleased to make your selfe merry with my supposed negligence, though I can speake it above excuse, that I have neglected noe meanes to performe my duty in writing to you; and therefore I beseech your honour to lay the fault, as in justice it ought to bee, on the iniquity of the time and place where I am, if you have not before the writing of that heard from mee. My short warning and sudden departure of the messenger will not suffer mee to write at large; only this I have leasure to acquaint you withall againe, that I have sent mr Swift 3 weeks since to Hamburg with letters, to give his highnesse an account of my reception by the king, and allsoe my delivery of the ratification. I write at the same time a relation of what I could learne of affaires in this parte of theworld to your honour, and since from Torne what happened in my march with the victorious king of Sweden from Warzow, which was sent you in the king's packett. The indeavours and diligence I used to prosecute my journey and to execute my commission gave me great trouble, but since I have marched with the king, I have no inconveniency but by the cold weather in a wild and frozen countery, for provisions I have twice a day sent me from the king's kitchen. I have the honour often to eate with him at his owne table. I travell with him often in his coach, and allwais one of his coaches is ordered to attend on me. He makes large expressions of affection for his highnesse, and not only to me but to all persons, and gives assurances of it to me dayly by his actions. Since the surrender of Torne it is thought there will be a warre between the king and the marquisse of Brandenburg. The king is very angry the marquisse hath spoyled the best parte of the regall Prussia by the forces he hath quartered uppon it, the king intending it for winter quarters for part of his army; wherefore he hath assigned to Konispolkey generall of the Quartzanes and 4000 of his men their quarters in the ducall parte about Osterod, and at this place hath entered in person with his owne army uppon the lands of the duke. Heere are at present commissioners from the duke, which treat with the king, but I cannot learne nor judg what will bee the conclusion; it is thought in a few days it will be known. The duke hath allsoe putt in garrison to severall of the towns in the regall part of Prussia, the cheife of which is Marienburg and Elbing, which is taken very ill. The king is intended to march for one of those townes, but whether I cannot yet understand. He expects in a day or two to joyne with count Magnus de la Guard, who commands the forces out of Lituania, which consist of 12 or 14000 men, which with these the king hath with himselfe here will make more than 24000 men besides his Quartzanes, which are near 4000, and are of the army with his person. Heere is like to be a winter warre, for I find not the king to soe much as thinke of leaving the feild in person, if the towns in the regall parte of Prussia doe not surrender, and agreement be made between him and the marquisse. I have not time to write more at present, but my humble sute (with earnestnesse I beseech) that you will be pleased to request his highnesse for my recall home, that I may doe my duty to him neere his person, to whome I owe all the services of my life. I am bould to take my leave, and subscribe what I shall studiously indeavour to expresse my selfe to be; I am
Freestad, Dec. 2, 1655.
Lord Broghill to secretary Thurloe.
When I tooke leave of you at London, you were pleased to assure me, that I should finde this worthy bearer a truly honnest man, which character from you obliged me to beleeve him such, and consequently to use him as such. And tho' my actinges towards him could not in any reasonable degree proportion my desyres, yet beinge he is to waite upon you, I could not abstayne from tellinge you, I have by experience found he does plentifully make good the opinion you have of him, and merrits that respect and usage from his highness, which heer we were unable, not unwillinge to extend unto him. I esteeme it needless to recommend a person to your favour, who you alreddy think worthy of it; and therfore what otherwise I should have desyred for him, I now doe for myselfe, that therby you may excuse this debt to mr. Saltiston, and the trouble which to pay it him is given you by, sir,
Edinburgh, Dec. 2, 55.
Col. Hewson &c. to the protector.
May it please your Highness,
We came over with you into Ireland, being well satisfied in your pious conduct, and that in your eyes a vile person was contemned, as to trust under you, your heart cleaving to those that feared the Lord, and observing that God hath given your highness a spirit of discerning between them that feared God and those that feared him not; and accordingly we were happy in your highness's immediate command over us, and residence with us for some time. And when your highness was called back into our native country we enjoyed, by your favour, our dear and precious lord deputy Ireton, who by his graciousness dispelled wickedness, and by his wisdom so guided the reins of this government, that our hearts were much comforted and hands strengthened in the service of the publick. But to our great grief, our God for our sins took him from us, and we left in the sadness of our souls to lament our loss. And whilst our hearts were musing within us what the purpose of God might be concerning us, considering the composure of the army and this nation, the Lord was pleased, upon the desires of those that feared his name, to move your highness's heart to send us, for our chief commander, our present precious lord deputy Fleetwood, which was a refreshment to all the godly in this nation; and his sweet healing peaceable spirit hath not only drawn over the hearts of some, scrupling in some points concerning the government, so that the most fearing the Lord are convinced there is no other means visible, whereby the interest of God's people can be secured but in your highness's hands, in the gracious exercise of your authority by this way of government the Lord hath now appointed over us and intrusted you with. And notwithstanding the hopes, plots, and secret designs of open enemies and pretended friends, we hope and shall ever pray, and with all our might endeavour the Lord may still preserve you and the authority in your hands. And now, may it please your highness, since your calling of our precious lord deputy into England, we have observed to our grief, that several persons in the civil and military lists have taken upon them to foist petitions all over this nation and army, which hath heightened the expectation of disaffected persons, and weakned the hands of many of your faithful servants, and insnared and deluded many honest persons to subscribe the same, who never had the least thought in their hearts of that which the contrivers chiefly aimed at therein, wherein they deal with his excellency our dear lord deputy as David's secret enemies did with him, Psalm lxii. 3, 4. And when we consider the principles of the persons most active, and contriving the business, we cannot be of any opinion, that it is out of affection to the lord Henry's person, whom they seemingly magnify, or to the government now established in your highness's hands; but rather with desire and expectation to abuse his lordship's good nature of the one hand, and weaken the godly interest on the other, to the promoting their private interest, thereby to prepare this people for some other dangerous designs. Upon which consideration we cannot but present before your highness our thoughts thereof, and humbly implore your highness's favour, that our precious lord deputy may still be continued in his conduct over us, under whom we have enjoyed so much of satisfaction, and by whom justice hath been impartially administred to the whole nation; whose experiences in persons and things rendereth him most advantageous to publick concernments in this unsettled wilderness. And we had not troubled your highness with these addresses, fith the lord Henry, whom your highness lately sent over unto us, as a further pledge of your highness's favour, did to his great honour speedily take care to suppress them so soon as the knowledge thereof came unto him, but that some of the chief promoters of them in the name of the army doth assure us, they intend to have it before your highness's view. And fith we your poor servants had the honour to command several regiments under your highness in the work of this nation, we have therefore assumed to take upon us the humble considence, to beg of your highness, that the chief government of this nation under your highness may rest in the hands of our present lord deputy; and that as soon as publick affairs will admit, he may return to his charge over us. And in the mean while your highness shall find us obedient, and faithfully serviceable in our places, to our present commander in chief in the station he now is in, or in any other second place under our present precious lord deputy, your highness shall think fit to confer upon him; which with your highness's favourable acceptance and charitable interpretation hereof, will add to the many great obligations heaped upon
December 2, 1655.
Sir J. Pettus to secretary Thurloe.
Understanding by the lord deputy of Ireland, that when his lordship moved the lord protector in my behalfe, you then pleased to expresse a kindnes for me; and having often attended to testify my acknowledgment for so great regards to me, but finding personall addresses difficult by reason of your late distemper (for which I pray recovery) to great affaires; I presume to kiffe your hand by this paper-proxy. If there be any further manifestation expected from me, then what is in this enclosed petition really declared, your directions shall be obeyed, and not onely in this my concernment, but in what else you shall at any time comand,
Dec. 3. 55.
To his highness the lord protector of the commonwealth of England, Scotland, and Ireland,
That by originall cohærence your petitioner may seeme to be involved with those against whom your highnes hath lately declared; but knowing his owne integrity, and that he hath, is, and ever will be, most faithfull to the governement, under which he lives; and that upon those grounds ever since 1645, he hath paid a conscientious obedience to those various interests, from whence your highnes is arrived to be protector of this nation, and resolving to performe the same to your highnes,
Humbly prayes, That he may continue in your highnes favour, without relation or suspition of adhærence to any interest but what concernes your highnes establishment, being willing to give such further demonstration thereof, as shall be most suitable to the salvo in your highnes late declaration.
Lord chief justice St. John to secretary Thurloe.
I Verry well remember the substance of what is contayned in the paper, which will be shewed unto you by sir John Trevor concerning sir Thomas Hanmer to be true. And the discovery of the king's intendment to the Scotch armie was at a verry sesonable time, which much irritated the Scotch commissioners heare, whoe denyed the thing, and had many indeavours to make my selfe an incendiary betweene the two nations for entertayning sir Tho. Hanmer's discovery, and making of it knowne. I was then a detter to him upon the publique account, but knew not the parlament ever did any thing for him, and hearing that he is now questioned for a 10th part, &c. I could doe noe lesse in justice to him, then to signifie what I now write, beleiving that it is not the intente of the protector and councell to charge those with the 10th, whoe have soe well deserved, since they deserted the king's partie. Sir, I rest
December 3, 1655.
Major general Whalley, to secretary Thurloe.
In my last I gave you an account off our meetinge att Preston for this county of Lancaster the 29th of November last. Our next meetinge for Stafordshire is upon the 7th instant, att which time wee shall proceed to the extraordinary tax with the most of the grandyes in that county; and the like for Cheshire the tuesday followinge, and soe for Lancaster. Imediatly after wee have had divers of them before us in these countyes, and have received there perticulers, and order'd things to be in that readynese against the next time of our meetings, that wee shall not faile to goe on with our worke; I am hopefull, that of the tax wil be pretty well over by the day prefixt. Upon my observation of the condition of these countyes, I find the want of good justices of the peace to be one, and not the least, both as to the condition of some alredy in, as alsoe for the number of them, which is very small; but I shall by the assistance of some good and knowinge men in every county make bould to present you with my thoughts, who may be fit for that imployment. With what speed may be, I have layd out to apprehend some persons, who I was informed were dangerouse, and lay sculkinge about, and seldome seen publicke. I hope shortly wee shall cause divers others to be apprehended. One thinge more I humbly offer, and that is the markit-day beeinge either on the saturday or monday, ocations the Lord's day to be much violated about constables, that are swerers, and drunken idle parsons themselves, and of the meanest sort of men, which is much ocationed by the want of good justices; as alsoe by a custom they have in this countye to goe by house-rows; and I shall endeavour to put on our justices to rectify this, if possible. What else comes to my observation, I shall present you with from time to time. The commissioners in every county are still presinge more to desire you, that they may every one have one off the orders and instructions of his highnese and counsell. The malignant party seeme to submitt to what is imposed with redinese. At our last meeting we had a debate concerning leasses, that where a gentleman hath granted a lease for three lives, and received his fine, and it may be hath reserved a rent of 40 s. or 3 pounds, which wee call an ould rent, whether he shal be taxed onely for the present rent, or accordinge to the vellew of the liveinge, hee haveing received his fine. Wee have not yet resolved it; but I shall give you an account when wee have. If you would spare us your thoughts of it, it would be of use to us: yet this wee resolve, that as leases fall into the hands of the lord, wee shall then take our proportion from time to time, as they fall, and soe add to that taxe set upon them. Wee shall (I doubt) not find much of a parsonall estate. I have noe more but to subscribe my selfe, as really I am,
Desember 3, 1655.
A letter from Stetin.
Last night I saw an express arriving here, which was sent by the commissary Van Brombergh, from Thorn to mr. Legaet, reporting that his majesty of Sweden made his entry with great magnifience into the said town on the 6th instant, at ten o'clock in the morning. The magistrates and the principal inhabitants went to meet the king with the keys at some distance out of the gates. The congratulation and tender of their most humble obedience and fidelity was made by one of the magistrates, in a fine speech, and answer'd by the chancellor of the realm Oxenstiern. Whereupon the magistrates preceded the king, their heads uncover'd, first to the church, where the Te Deum Laudamus and other joyfull hymns more were sung, and afterward to the city-house. During the repast, two discharges at two several times were made out of 80 guns each time, and other demonstrations of joy were seen. What conditions they have obtained, is not yet known here; so much is certain that not a gun is fired against the town. His majesty has been upon the ramparts, and has order'd some new fortifications to be made: about 4 or 500 men which lay in garrison there, are taken out, and three regiments (which are said to be above 2000 men strong) are left in the town, under the command of major general Mandevelt.
On the 8th instant the king march'd with his whole army from thence, directly for Marienburg and Elbing, having understood that the elector of Brandenburg would expect him there; and it is firmly believed, that we shall hear in a few days something remarkable from thence. 60 guns are order'd to follow the army down the Weissel in prames and other vessels. Count Magnus de la Gardie is said to have join'd the king already with some troops, or to be not far from him. Count Lewenhoost stays in Lithuania on the frontiers of Prussia.
They write from Marienburg, that the said town is glutted with people, as well by the garrison, as also by people, which are retired thither with their cattle and effects from the neighbourhood. Here at the court (as I am credibly inform'd) they are of a firm opinion, that the elector is now in earnest, and that he will declare himself an enemy to the crown of Sweden. However, they add to it, (as they are used to speak pretty high) that his said elector shall feel what it is to oppose his majesty of Sweden. There are sundry discourses here, which I dare not write of, till the time has made me more certain, From Elbing (unless the elector takes care of it) the Swedes expect no more resistance than of Thorn, for that town has been good Swedish, and is still. As to Dantzick, they expect, that they will defend themselves and make resistance; and certainly they would have made too great preparations for nothing, if they thought otherwise. It is reported, that the electress was gone from Koningsberg to Marienburg; but this cannot be very well believed, since that town, in the present conjuncture of times, is not a very safe retreat for her.
His majesty has left all the quartians, that marched with him from Warsaw beyond Thorn, and not taken them along with him against the elector, if this be done out of distrust, or for what other reasons, is not known. Count Wrangel, who is expected here every day, is said to be appointed commander of the quartians and other troops.
This day I read a letter from Cracow of the 11/21 November, wherein, among other things, it is mentioned, that the king of Poland was then at Oppelen, and had summoned thither those waywods and castellans, that are still on his side, who accordingly appear'd; but what was done there or consulted upon, was not known. They say, that the said king is going to buy a principality in France and retire thither; but this I believe not, as long as it is not entirely over with Prussia. The dyet at Warsaw is put off till the 20/10 of November; however the same is expected to be opened every day. The two deputies of Bremen, I am certain, are not gone to the king of Sweden, but directly from Franckfort on the Oder.
They have had a report here for some days, that the Russians would join the elector of Brandenburg, and assist him in Prussia against the Swedes; and that for that purpose they were marching on to Koningsbergh, but this day's letters do not make any mention of it, so that fortune doth not seem to be so favourable.
This is known here and reported, that the under syndick of Dantzick is sent to Denmark, the United Provinces, and England, to desire all their assistance. Denmark, they say, dares not do it; England has enough to do with itself, but they know not what to expect from the United Provinces.
Mr. Horn is set out already some days ago to the landgravine dowager. The count Woldemaar (in his own person) is arrived here, where he found an order from the king to march immediately. To morrow I shall know more, his troop marching through here, as also that of col. Assenbergh, whereof next post I will mention the number, hoping then to be able to acquaint your lordship likewise with something considerable from the king's army. This day I am again considently assured, that the Cossacks have not agreed with the Swedes.
Mr. W. Swyft to secretary Thurloe.
About ten daies since I sent from Stetin a pacquet of mr. Rolt's enclosed in a letter of mine directed to you, which I hope you have received. I came yesterday to the English house at Hamburgh, where I shall waite your honour's commands in answer to that packquett. Since my being here I have binn acquainted by my lord resident Bradshaw, that the councell of state have ordered 500 l. sterling to be paid unto mr. Rolt. nigh which summe the resident hath already disbursed upon the envoye's order, soe that I entreate your honour that you will bee pleased to give further directions to the resident, or appoint some other way that the envoye may not want a supply, if his expences require it; and I am confident, hee will give a very satisfactory accompt to his highnes and your selfe at his returne, as well concerning his disbursements as his imployment. I am certaine next his master there is none hee more truly honours then yourselfe, nor whose favours hee more highly values and depends upon then yours. I have often heard him say, that whilst himself and busines were under your guidance, hee could never doubt a successe, which bids mee hope, that as you have singular favours for him, you may have also a particular charity for mee, who serve him by your appointment. I adventure not to write newes, since I am assured, that you have already received from the best hands all and more then can bee conveyed unto from hence by him, who most humbly recommends himselfe to your protection, and is,
Hamburgh, Dec. 4. 1655.
Mr. Bradshaw, resident at Hamburg, to secretary Thurloe.
This weeke's post beinge not yet come, nor any thinge of moment arrived in theise parts since my last, other than what you will find in the weekely paper, I have onely at present to acquaint you, that captain Fenwick and mr. Swyst came from mr. Rolt heither yesterday, from whom I presume you will receive letters by this post, if you find them not here inclosed. I have allready paid 1500 rix dollars to the order of mr. Rolt, and expect dayly to have orders to pay out the remaynder of the five hundered pounds sterling, the councell gave orders for. Mr. Swyft tells me, hee believes mr. Rolt will have occasion for more money than yet you have ordered, in regard their travelinge hath been very chargeable, which you will please to consider of, and let me have your commands therein. In the meane tyme I have made bold to charge my bill of exchange upon you for three hundred pounds sterling, payable to my servant Gawen Hudson at six dayes sight, of which you will please to command punctuall payment, that my servant may keepe touch with the merchants, from whom the money was taken up here, to be paid to their use in London with the usuall punctuallity required. I beseech you, that he may not be delayed by those, to whom the order may issue for payment of my bill, left I suffer thereby.
This letter from mr. Rolt, with the former lately sent, I suppose will fully satisfie you
of his welfare and proceedings; to which I have nothinge to ad, but that I shall ever
Hamb. Dec. 4. 1655.
I perceive by mr. Rolt's letter now received, that my letters hence, though alwayes sent by the Swedes resident here, as he desired, have sped noe better in cominge to hand than his hither have done; onely I now heare, that the king of Sweden's pacquets, which accompanyed them, were all allsoe held up by the way, soe as I hope by this tyme mr. Rolt hath his letters.
Mr. Samuel Morland, to secretary Thurloe.
I have received this post no letter from your honor, the which I consesse I did extremely long for, as hoping to have received some light thereby, how to have behaved my selfe in this juncture of time, wherein I meet with severall difficulties, both in relation to the present distribution of 7000 l. and also the wayes and means of restoring those miserable people of the Valleyes into some settled condition.
As concerning the distribution of the 7000 l, and what progresse wee had made in the same, according to our orders in your honour's letters to mr. Pell and mee of the 8th of November: I was not capable by my last of giving your honour any other then a broken account, as being employed in the receiving with my own hands part of the abovesaid money. Wherefore I shall now attempt to doe it more distinctly.
Mr. Pell and I having seriously considered our orders conteyned in your honour's aforesaid letter, and forthwith advised with the most knowing and sober persons in Geneva concerning the most righteous and equall method of distributing the abovesaid money; wee were upon the whole fully convinced, that considering the state of affaires at present, no better or more equall method could possiblie bee thought of, then that which was lately constituted by those commissioners or deputies, which were lately chosen and sent as choise persons, and men of known fidelitie, by an universal consent of the cheife pillars of the reformed religion in the whole province, to visit those poore people, and also to make a right estimat of their number and sufferings, and accordingly to distinguish them by so many classes or ranks, to the end that the greatest sufferers might bee objects of the greatest charity.
Now after that wee had, upon mature deliberation, concluded, that this was the best way, that could bee at present pitcht upon; the next question was concerning the most safe and speedie way of conveighing this 7000 l. to Grenoble, where there is a treasury for this end and purpose, and from whence all the money, that has of late been sent those people from any place, has alwaies been conveighed with great care and industry into the Valleyes.
In order to this wee sent for mr. Calandrine, to know of him, as well what moneyes he had ready in his coffre, as also what wayes and meanes he had for the conveighance both of that and the rest to Grenoble. And finding by him, that he had no meanes, that were either speedie or safe; and also finding by others, that mr. Calandrine had no visible estate considerable, wee thought there might bee some danger, considering that hee is very aged, to let the money lay long in his hands. Wherefore by a mutuall consent, I have received out of his hands all that he had readie, viz. the summe of 5000 louis d'or. And having found out the most responsible, honest, and active merchant in Geneva, by mr. Pell's consent, I have delivered the money into his hands, and hee has engaged in writing to pay the said summe at Grenoble within the space of about 14 dayes. Wee also ordered the said merchant, viz. mr. Trunchin, to receive of mr. Calandrine the rest of the money, namely, as much as was at Lyons, which is 1120 louis d'or, by the way of a bill of exchange, and to conveigh that also from Lyons to Grenoble, the which he has likewise undertaken to doe within the space of 14 or 16 daies. All this will appeare more plainly by the papers (200, 201, and 202) which are copies of the originall papers, that have passed between us in this buisinesse. Wee cannot as yet give your honour a punctuall account, how much the conveighance of this money to Grenoble will cost. But thus farr this merchant mr. Trunchin has engaged, viz. that the conveighance of that money, which hee has received here at Geneva to Grenoble, should not at the utmost cost above 2/3 per 100, but hee hoped not so much; for, said hee, the case is thus, for as much as there is no trading of merchants between Geneva and Grenoble sufficient to make over such a summe, I must either send it by expresse messengers, and then I deserve 2/3 per 100 for securing the money, if it bee lost, after the charge that I shall bee at in thus sending it is deducted; or I must chose my time, and send it by small parcells by some merchants, that accidentally passe from thence thither. And then as it will cost little or nothing, so I shall desire no gaine from the poore people's money. And as for the conveighance of the money at Lyons, hee said it should not cost above ½ per 100, but hee hoped much leste.
All this was transfacted a weeke since, as your honour will find by the papers abovesaid; and a good part of the money had been alreadie at Grenoble by this time, had it not been that the duke of Savoy being informed, that a great number of French pistoles or louis d'or have been lately sent into the Valleyes, has issued out an edict to abate the price of the said pistoles; so that those of Grenoble have wrote to desire the money might bee changed into other species, as appeares by the paper (203).
The truth is, I had fully resolved, as I wrote in my last, to take a journey myselfe to Grenoble this weeke, and from thence into the Valleys, if need were, to bee more fully informed of the people's condition, and to see the money, or at least a good part of it, bestowed, according to the mind and intention of his highnesse and his councell; and accordingly had provided all things necessary for the said journey, but the ministers and most of the lords of Geneva, that I am acquainted with, being of a contrary advice.
1. Because I must goe a publick person, and by that meanes the papists would discover the way and method, how the money has been and is conveighed to those people. And that they being once discovered, the duke of Savoy would find some meanes to intercept the said money, and also procure the undoing of all those, which had a hand in it, who to this day have don it in secret. And although there may bee much suspicion, there can bee no proose against any of them.
2. Because in this nick of time, when all is like to bee on fire in Switzerland, it might proove of ill consequence to bee out of the way, when orders might probablie come from England to consult about affaires speedily, and also the nature of the thing require it. I assure your honour this is so universally taken notice of, and also talked of in Geneva by the most honest and sober party, that I am both ashamed and confounded to think of it; especially (said they) considering how mr. Pell appeares to have so little heat of affection for the cause of Christ, and also keeps himselfe so reserved, that wee can have no maner of freedome in the world of conversing with him; neither dare wee almost to speake to him, for feare of offending. They said moreover, that mr. Pell's desire of my going they did verily beleive was upon this ground.
I say, these reasons being by them urged (as I hinted in my last) did a little put mee to a stand. Wherefore I wrote a letter to the cheife and most active of those men in Grenoble, to signifie to mee speedily his thoughts thereupon; but withall resolved, that in case hee did not give mee satisfactory reasons, I would take a journey notwithstanding; that is to say, something more satisfactory then those of Geneva had given mee, as being afraid they would not, being weighed in the ballance, bee found sufficient to give full satisfaction in England; and so have ever since been signifying upon all occasions my intentions therein. And indeed for as much as I have received yet no letter from the gentleman of Grenoble, to whom I wrot, I had resolved (and mr. Pell had likewise consented) to goe on thursday morning next; but the ministers and severall of the lords of Geneva have again laboured upon the aforesaid grounds to divert my journey. I confesse the journey, it being now almost the midst of winter, amongst the snowy mountaines of Piemont, is not like to be very pleasant; yet for as much as (I blesse God) I promise to my selfe not much of pleasure or honour in this world, I am willing to hazard my interest therein upon so just a call, as I apprehend this to bee. However to reconcile all these things, I intend, God willing, to send an express to morrow morning privately to Grenoble to mr. D'lze, whom I have some acquaintance with, and who is the most famous man among the protestants there, and manages all things, to desire him to come immediatly to Geneva with all the informations possible concerning the affaires of Piemont, and especially concerning my journey. And after I have spoken with him, I shall take up a resolution to goe or stay. This is sure and safe, and I may send for him, and yet afterwards bee at Grenoble before the money can arrive there. I hope his coming and lively representing the sad condition of the poore people may quicken mr. Pell to set to his helping hand, to put things in order for opening a doore for my lord protector's intercession, which he has hitherto somtimes directly, somtimes indirectly waived. Mr. D'Ommeren is extremely disatisfied, and begins to speake very openly in Geneva against mr. Pell, both for slighting him and the cause; and I beleeve he is glad of the opportunity, his instructions being as yet but big words. This afternoon he promised mr. D'Ommeren and mee, to joyne in writing a letter into Switzerland, to draw forth, if possible, their intentions, without which, according to your honour's letter, wee can expect nothing from my lord protector; and indeed there is all the reason in the world for it. I know not whether he will stand to his word or no.
The newes from the Valleyes is most sad and lamentable. All the letters cry helpe for the Lord's sake, or else we perish; as your honour will see by the two inclosed papers (1 and 2). I perceive the poore people had been ere now in armes, had not they expected some reliese by a new intercession; in order whereunto they doe now very formally desire, and beg to know the utmost resolutions of England, Holland, and Switzerland. The plaine truth is, there are all the presages in the world of another and totall massacre. I have often mentioned the transplanting of them, but cannot perswade those people here to hearken to it as yet. They say, it would be good for the people indeed, but a great blow for the protestants of those parts, and must not bee thought of but as the very last remedy of all; concerning which I sent your honour a large discourse in my last.
The newes from Switzerland is, that the deputyes are come away from Baden, and nothing don, but that they are to meet again; some letters say within a weeke, others within
a month. Those of Zurich are very zealous; but those of Berne and the others are as
cold, and are resolved not to engage; and thereupon do exhort those of Zurich to some
moderation. All this your honour will see at large in the papers 204, 205, and 206,
which are extracts of the freshest date out of Switzerland, and from good hands, although
mr. Pell seldome communicates to mee a word to the purpose of any newes that concernes
Switzerland. I am afraid, that the prolonging of the treaty is, that they would willingly
have a good summe of money out of England. But those, who can suffer the bloud of
their poor brethren to be spilt for the cause of Christ just under their noses, I know not
what argument will prevaile upon them to compassionat their brethren, who are at a
greater distance. A little time, I trust, will make all these things cleare. In the meane
time I remaine,
Right honourable, your honour's most humble, faithfull, and affectionat servant,
General Monck to secretary Thurloe.
I Received yours of the 25th of November, and am glad you have lighted uppon Halsell. For newes heere is none, butt that there are five or six rogues broke out in Galloway, which I hope (by the course I have sett downe) will bee suddainly apprehended. I heare thinges in Ireland are not so well as I could wish; but I make noe question butt you will have an account of itt before this comes to hand. I thanke you for the care you have had of major generall Drummond. I am confident, if hee bee furnished with good officers, he will do his highnesse as good service as any collonell hee has, or will send thither, hee being both an active, flout, and honest man. The ministers have had a meetinge of late, to see what agreement they could make amongst themselves, butt are falne into a greater difference then ever they were. There are some of the protesters are resolved to act by his highnesse ordinance, and others have putt uppe these inclosed papers to the councill. Those that doe act doe desire, that wee would procure an order from his highnesse, that those powers which they have heerin desired might be granted; which I thought fitt to send, that his highnesse may see them, when hee is best at leasure. I remayne
Edinburgh, Dec. 4, 1655.
Col. Rob. Lilburne to secretary Thurloe.
Mr. Heighington, the late post master of Durham, was with mee th'other day to vindicate himselfe of any suspicion had of him, that hee is not cordiall to the government, and said very much for himselfe; first, that he had paid 120 l. for the place about 18 yeare agoe, and that he had been a sufferrer these times, and discharged his duty faithfully in his place, and was free to act upon such instructions, as was lately given to the post masters, and that it was his principle to be true to any government established. I promised to acquaint you thus much, and when you have read him in these apolloges, I must tell you alsoe, that I understand he has many freinds to sollicite you in his behalfe, and that will say much for him; but I am doubtfull upon the character given mee of him, that he would doe his office, rather upon grounds of prudence and pollicy then reall affection; for hee is a witty man, and able enough to doe his busines, as he is to conceale his judgment; and I must confesse the ground I went upon was the consideration of the present time, and how necessary it is to have cordiall men in places of trust; and that I doubted upon a pinch hee would not venter a broken shin for you. But he saying thus much for himselfe, and fearing you may bee soe much importuned, I shall leave it with you to doe him what favour you please; and if you thinke fit to restore him, I onely pray, that you will please to thinke of the present post master, as one willing and free to serve you in any reasonable imployment, and that he may not undergoe any discouragement; or, sir, in regard, mr. Heighington has paid soe deare for his place, which I knew not before, and officiated in it soe long together, (onely some little time the late undertakers interrupted him) I humbly offer it to your consideration, if you thinke him fitt for any other imployment about the courts at Durham. If you will befriend therein, it may be a satisfaction to him. I am wondring sometimes, that your instructions concerning the cavalliers are not put in execution in these parts, as in other countreys. I heare you have newly taken some new designers; and am glad it soe pleases God to discover them to you. Yet I cannot gather from any hand, that there is any thing of late transacted here. I could wish you would thinke of disposeing of these persons, that we might be free of the trouble of them. I am,
Yorke, Dec. 4. 55.
From Dantzick, December 15, 1655. [N. S.]
In regard the post of Elbing is not yet arrived, we know not what progress the Swedish army hath made. The elector is still at Koningsberg, where the syndic of this city is safely arriv'd. Marienburgh hath a strong garrison in it. The said syndic is to demand of the elector 2000 men for the defence of this city; where we are preparing to defend our selves.
Nieupoort, the Dutch embassador in England, to secretary Thurloe.
I am sorry that the disposition of your body is not soe healthful, as I wish it with all my heart; and I doe forbeare to trouble your honor as much as is possible. Yet in the present conjuncture of affairs, I hope you will excuse me, that I dare not dilay any longer to execute the instruction and order, which I have receaved from the lords the states generall in the last weeke, concerninge their ambassages to the kings of Sweden and Danemarke re spectively. And seeinge I have never conferred about those matters with any but your honor himselfe, I presume you will not take it ill, that I beseech your honor with these few lines to shew me soe much favor, that I may knowe wither and at what time his most serene highnes will be pleased to admit me to a private audience. In the mean time I wish your honor perfect health, with all prosperitie and contentment, remaininge, right honorable,
Barkshire house this 5/15 of December 1655.
An intercepted letter of sir G. Ratcliff to mrs. Traps.
On thursday last the peace with England was proclaimed. The king commanded bonfires to be made through Paris, and the great guns to be shot off. It is a shame to see, how it was performed: in most streets no fires at all; in some only a little straw. At the Greve (the town house and most solemn place) there was a thies hanged just before the fires were to be kindled, which some would construe an inauspicious omen. Pere . . . ., the most famous preacher in France, preached sharply against the peace before the king and the queen. Yet all this signifies nothing: the cardinal knows what he hath to do; and as long as the lord protector, the king of Sweden, and he hold together, they will not care for Turk, nor Pope, nor Spain, nor all the world besides.
Here came last week a book of articles of the peace printed at London; for here there is yet none published of it. One told me there are 25 articles all about trade. There is nothing of any persons to be sent away out of France in it; but it seems there are some private articles not to be printed; wherein that and some other things concerning the protestants of France and that league are provided for.
Major general Whalley to secretary Thurloe.
This enclosed to his highnes is from the commissioners of Warwickesheire. There is something in it concerning myselfe, that I was very importunate with them to obliterate, but could not obteyne that favour. The alderman mr. Chambers, that was mayor last yeare, of whom I writ to you in my last, I with mr. mayor and 4 or 5 of his brethren, examined, and took the examinations of diverse godly men, that came in agaynst him in writing, and rather then he would abide my certificate to his highnes and councill, this day he came to the house, as they here terme it, which is the mayor and alderman being met together, and desired to bee dismist. They comanded him to withdrawe, and after being called in; amoved him (which is the word of theyr charter) from his place, as likewise from being of the common councill and bearing any office in the cyttie. This hath strucke the worser fort with feare and amazement; but exceedingly rejoyces the hearts of the godly. Many have bin with me, and blesse God for his highnes his care of them, it being a mercy beyond what they expected. I assure you his highnes is very much in the heartes here of God's people, both ministers and others. Yf the Lord please, I shall goe from hence on fryday next towards Nottingham, where I shall put in execution the act for ejecting scandalous ministers. I conclude with the sinceritie of this profession, that I am, sir,
Coventry, Dec. 5, 1655.
Major general Goffe to secretary Thurloe.
I Came to this towne on saturday night, and on munday I met the officers of the militia troope, which I hope will bee very diligent and active in their station to keepe the peace of this county. Yesterday being tuesday the comissioners mett according to appointment, there being present coll. Whichcote, capt. Cannon, capt. Thornhill, major Allen, mr. Trappham, major Fincher, mr. Lush, mr. Cooke, mr. Keepe, mr. Sharpe, mr. Bell, capt. Blore, lieut. col. White, and my selfe, who have all exprest their willingnes to promote this service. Wee have made some entrance upon our worke, and shall proceed as fast as these short dayes and badd travelling weather will give us leave. There are some persons in this county, who were in the late insurrection, against whom some proceedings have bin made by the exchequer. The commissioners therefore make the same desire with those of Hampshire, that directions bee given by his highnes and the councell, how they shall proceed in such cases.
I received yours by the saturday post, and have communicated to the commissioners for Hampshire your opinion concerning the marques of Winchester, and shall likewise lett the commissioners for Suffex know his highnes pleasure concerning sir Edward Ford.
Wee have great cause to bless God for his continued goodness in discovering the bloody and wicked designes of our enemyes. I hope the Lord will teach those, whom it concerns, to make a wise improvement thereof. I gave a warrant to capt. Freeman of Coweold in Suffex to apprehend coll. Bushop. If you will bee pleased to write to him, it may further that busines. He is to be at Lewis with the commissioners the 10th of this moneth.
I am sory you were hindered from your busines the last week by sicknes; but I hope
the Lord hath bin gracious in restoring you to health, and will continue you as an instrument in his hand for much glory to his name, and good to this generation. I commend you to his grace, and remaine, sir,
Reading, Dec. 5, 1655.
You have heere inclosed the commissioners for Barkeshere as now settled. All that I have added hath bin by the advice of capt. Dunch, capt. Pitman and capt. Thornhill, except capt. Blore and coll. White, who have come downe to vissite me and some friends in this towne.
I thanke you very hartily for remembring the 100 l. It will come very seasonably. I hear my cole seed is in some danger for want of turning. I beseech, you wright to mr. Edwards to take care therein. I am ashamed to trouble you with these affaires; but I hope you will pardon mee.
The names of the commissioners for Berks, appointed to put in execution the orders of his highness and the council for securing the peace of the commonwealth.
Col. Wm. Goffe,
Col. Christopher Whitchcote,
Sir John Thoroughgood,
Major Francis Allen,
Capt. Wm. Thornhill,
John Barkstead esq; Thomas Trapham,
Major Richard Fincher,
John Blackwell junior,
Vincent Goddard dead.
Thomas Fettiplace of Fernham,
John Dunch of Hessey,
Charles Fettiplace of Upper Lainborne,
Captain Thomas Blore,
Lieut. col. Francis White,
Henry Sharpe of Reading,
John Hyde esq; Robert Lush of Sparsholt,
Mr. Cook of Wallingford,
Thomas Coxe of Stanford,
John Collins of Betterton.
An intercepted letter.
Since I writ last to you, I was at Brussels to inform myself of the temper of the Dons. My last letter was from Antwerp. I cannot perceive, that the Spaniards will be over hasty to imbark with the king. They will stand upon the defensive, and that will be all, till they see what effect the peace hath between France and Spain. The great expectation is, whether the elector of Brandenburgh will engage against the Swedes. The Spaniards hope to bring the states of Holland into a league with them. The princess Dowa ger and the new princes of the empire, prince William of Friesland and prince Maurice of Nassau, stadtholder for Brandenburgh, endeavour it. If they can effect that alliance, they hope to defend themselves against Sweden and England.
There is one mr. Manning discovered at Cologne to have given intelligence; and all his cyphers are taken. What he is, I know not; but a great noise is made of it. For my own part, I had rather starve in a ditch, than pretend friendship and be an enemy underhand; but it is odd to me to be hated at Cologne, I believe because I was able to have served the King then there, if he had lov'd men of business rather than slatterers; and at the same time to be excluded England, while to my knowledge all the confidents of the court converse publickly at London.
A letter of intelligence.
I Can add nothing to my last observations, and do believe you will find them so well stated, that what shall arise from time to time from them will be my task hereafter; though again I am to remember you always in Methodo Ignorantiæ. Count William of Friesland is pushing hard for count Brederode's imployment, which already is or will be soon conferred upon him, and that by those, who had the greatest hand in the late design against the house of Nassau, by whom also no small care is taken, that this nor ought else be done to the prejudice of the young prince of Orange, with whom do now concur our all-commanding mortals of Amsterdam. I am confident, you cannot but have heard of the detection of one Manning, who hath been since Christmas last a spy (as they say) in the Scot's king's court; his person and papers were seized on, and from these may be inferred, he wants not confederates, though as yet he hath not discovered them, infomuch, that that unhappy generation is fallen into no small jealousy the one of the other; and now at this time they fail not to put in execution the one against the other whatever rage and passion dictates.
A letter of intelligence.
I arrived here yesterday, where I am told of a certain, that the forces of the elector are come to Braunsbergh. This town is situated in royal Prussia upon the river Passara, and five miles from Elbing. It is reasonably well fortified. The town of Dantzick is supposed to be agreed with the elector, and will defend itself. It is also said, that no act of hostility is yet pass'd between the elector and the Swede.
Mr. T. Taylor to H. Cromwell major general of the army in Ireland.
Wee had scarce enjoyed (through the rich mercie of God) a breathing tyme from those prelaticall persecutions and tyranicall usurpations of the grand enemies of religion and libertie, when the people of God growne wanton with peace, and sick of contentious questions and disputings, were not only readdy to bite one another with unchristian censures, but verie many of them (out of an head strong zeale to theyr owne way and partie) were carryed violently to destroy the interest of those, that were of a different perswasion from themselves. Whilst thinges were in this posture, that infinitely wise God and father of all those that believe in him, was gradually raiseing his highnesse your renowned father, till at last hee gave the helme of this common-wealth into his hand; who sithence hath not onely rendered theise united nations peaceable at home, and honourable and formidable abroad, but also kept the diffenting spirits of men prosessing godlinesse soe evenly-ballanced, that in the injoyment of theyr respective libertys; they neyther canne oppresse nor bee oppressed one by another.
In the second place, and next unto this, wee account it a speciall mercie, that God hath taken of your father's spirit, and put it upon you; and sent your honour as a healer of the breaches in this divided nation; wherein the overflowing interest of those, that endeavoured (what in them lay) to null all churches, ordinances, and ministers (not to say magistrates also) which were not baptized into the same spirit and way with themselves, had almost like a land flood carried all before it. In this healing worke your lordship can hardly deal with soe tender a hand, but the impatience of your patients may expose your honour to misrepresentations and reproches; but bee of good courage (my lord) for your worke is with the Lord, and your reward with your God. The godlie in this land are your witnesses and remembrancers at the throne of grace; who at your lordship's first arrivall were comforted, when they saw you brought such pious and precious ministers of the gospell with you who now shine as lights of a greater magnitude in this our horrizon; and much more to heare of those gracious expressions, that dayly flowe from you, and that universally sutable carriage and demeanour, which speakes you not a superficiall favourer, but a reall patron and defender; yea a freind, brother, and companion to those, that feare the Lord, which is undeniablely evidenced by this, that you keep in closse fellowship with the Lord's people, comeing in and goeing out with them, and in all ordinances, by your presence, countenance, and assistance (in your place) strengthening theyr hands in God.
For which causes the church of God, which is at Carrickfergus, with other godly and
sober spirited men in theise parts, have injoyned me in theyr name to signifie to your lordship, how great an interest you have in theyr hearts, affections, prayers and (if in any
thing they could be serviceable to your honour) in their most sincere indeavours. And
our trust (through Christ in God) is, that hee that hath begun a good work in you, and
thus far carried it on, will still perfect it unto the day of visitation; and will (if our sins
deprive us not of that mercie) continue your honour amongst us in the same way, in the
same spirit; which shall bee the prayer of
Carricksergus, Dec. 6, 1655.