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 (2 of 7)
Major general Berry to secretary Thurloe.
Untill you give us notice of a register, I hope you will give me leave to trouble you with my papers, to acquaint you where I am; which is now through the blessing of God at Wrexham in Wales, where I thinke I shal be saine to stay some time, it being the onely place in this countrey, where any thing may be done, and the season threatening to deny accesse into other partes. I hope to get most of the well affected hither, and the others I doubt not to command; and when any thing considerable is done, I shall give you a further account. I feare the delinquents in Wales are poore, and few of them will fall under the rule of our taxe. It seemes they made their composition joyntly for all Northwales in one sum; and it is beleeved, that if a taxe were required after the same manner, it would farre surmount a particular taxe of each man's estate, that hath 100 l. per annum. If you please to advise about it, and let me have your commands, I shall send for the cavaleers to give their engagements, which I find them every where ready to offer. Indeed, sir, I know not what to say to you about the sherriffes. If you put it on friends, it is a burthen, and they cannot long beare it; and knaves will not doe your worke. My best information bespeakes for Montgomery sir Thomas Wittewronge, for Denbigh sir Owen Winne, for Flint Andrew Ellis, and for the rest I know not who.
I finde my lord's declaration concerning the cavalleers to be very takeing with all men. If you could send some into these darke places, it would doe good. This people extreamely want information. I beseech you let me heare a little, what is done in other partes. I hope my worke will goe merily on, if the winter were a little over.
A letter of intelligence from the Hague.
The resident of Sweden interceded, as well yesterday as to day, for a Swedish col. Van Dyck, prisoner at Amsterdam, for having made a levy of soldiers: item for col. Bolsey, to have leave to transport some men raised elsewhere; but they would not resolve upon this, and therefore they committed it without any order upon it. They have resolved to make a project of a letter to be sent to the great duke of Muscovy, to keep good correspondency with the elector of Brandenburg.
There is a report made of a secret business concerning the assistance for Brandenburg, whereof the ministers have very much recommended the secrecy; not to offend or irritate Sweden. And this is upon a secret conference, where the said ministers of Brandenburg have represented the ambiguous and hazardous condition of the elector of Brandenburg; and that he does stand in need of a considerable assistance for the present. They urge the speedy furnishing 120 thousand guilders promised, and afterwards of a real and greater assistance as well by land as by sea. In the mean time Holland begins to put water into their wine, and would rather have the business determined by the embassy; and therefore they have resolved, that the embassador shall depart within two or three weeks.
This morning again there hath been instance made in the behalf of the ministers of Brandenburg, for the speedy furnishing of 120 thousand guilders, which is agreed unto. They would have, that the same should be negotiated and advanced by the receiver general for the provinces; but as yet there hath been no admonition made to the provinces.
Those of Brandenburg have also proposed in their secret conference, that they would permit to several reformed officers here, who receive pensions, that they may serve the elector. Item, that they will give to the earl of D'hona (captain of the guard) the commander generalship of 4000 men, which those of Brandenburg desire may be sent to the elector.
There hath been again complaint made of the Drossard la Haye of some contributions in the country of Outremeuse; whereupon the embassador of Spain is to be conferred withal. Here hath been spoken of a general placaert upon the succession of the papists.
There was this morning read a letter from the chambre mypartie very much complaining, how that the judges of the said chamber do adjourn and make holy days each at pleasure, and according to their own fancies, which doth cause very great interruption in the expedition of affairs. They do talk very much, for this and other delays and disorders to abolish the said chamber, and leave the affairs rather to the decision of the law.
There hath been again a memorandum read of the ministers of the elector of Brandenburg, to the end the 120 thousand guilders may be forthwith furnished, which Holland hath again taken into consideration in their assembly. In the mean time there is advice, that Thorn capitulated, Strasburg being taken for the Swedes, and that the king march'd directly towards the camp of the elector, to hazard the battle. Some write, that the elector was already gone towards Koningsberg.
This morning there was a very long writing, in the form of a protest, presented by the lord Wolssen by express order of his principals the states of Overyssell, containing some arguments against the embassy to Denmark, namely, that his principals judge, that the said embassy tending to induce the king of Denmark to an offensive alliance against the king of Sweden, at least to induce the king of Denmark to take in hand with this state some efficacious means to break the designs of Sweden, and consequently to hinder the excess and exorbitancies in the impositions, which the king of Sweden may establish there, fearing that in such a case the Swedes might make hostility by land, that then Overyssell had most to fear; declaring that it would be better, that they would send in the end the decreed deputation to Overyssell, there to determine and decide the provincial differences. But as to the embassy to Sweden, that those of Overyssell can very well suffer that the same be dispatch'd. This writing is judged of such substance, that all the provinces have advised, that the same should not be enter'd, but that it should be laid up without taking any copy of it.
The lord Slingelandt hath not yet accepted of the embassy, but is gone towards Dort, to consult with his principals, or to have their leave; which it is believed will be undoubtedly granted to him, for no body will go thither, so much aversion they have of it.
It is very certain, that the elector of Brandenburg hath left the field, making an account to guard and defend well Marienburgh, Pillauw, Koningsberg, Brandenburg, and Mennell: all the rest will fall to the possession of the Swedes for their winter quarters, and that is enough.
A letter of intelligence from the Hague.
I perceive that the states of Holland have had some consideration upon the jealousy, which Cromwell hath already conceived or may conceive of the states general sending just at this time to Spain; and therefore they have resolved to defer not only the nomination, but likewise the very sending it self till further opportunity. And although that herein they seem to have respect to the protector, yet I have it from a very good hand, that a considerable Hollander did say, I foresee, that assuredly states generall will fall again into a union with England, for he will visit our ships upon the sea, and we will not endure it. But one must not rely upon what one man faith, unless some retroacts do give some ground for it. As for Sweden. I know that the embassador of states general hath writ, that he will not be against the design of states general against Swede; and upon this assurance they will endeavour to engage the Denmark against the Swede, if they can; but if the Dane durst not do any thing rebus adbuc dubiis, what will he do at present now that the affairs of Sweden are so assured ?
And in the mean time they have been very much put to it to find persons, that would accept of the charge of embassadors to the Sweden. I know not whether it was through fear or through aversion at last they have named the lord Slingelandt, pensioner of Dort, for the embassy to Sweden, with the lord Dorp, the lord of Huybert, and the lord Ysbrants; and the lord Vogelsanck, pensionary of Amsterdam, goes to the elector of Brandenburg; and yet it is very observable, that the lord Wolssen by express orders of the states of Overyssell hath expressly protested against the embassy to Denmark, presupposing that the same would be to engage or provoke the king of Denmark to unity against Sweden; and saying, that the reflection would also cause the union of Sweden against states general, in which case Overyssell would suffer the most, as well for being frontier, as for being divided into parties and factions, declaring that it would be better, that states general would send a deputation to Overyssell, to the end to accommodate these provincial differences.
As well those of the states of Holland as all the states general have been surprized and ashamed of this protest, and they have suppress'd this writing, and forbidden the same to be entered, or copies given thereof, for fear it come to the knowledge of the Swede. But experience will clearly demonstrate, that the embassy to Denmark will render the treaty with Sweden very difficult; for I do not see states general in a condition to make, nor Sweden in a condition to accept a treaty by threatnings or bastinadoes.
Likewise as well states general as the states of Holland do differ very much in this; for one party is of opinion, that they ought to prepare men of war, and they are the same, who likewise advised in the year 1652 to treat with England with arms in their hands.
Others on the contrary advise and counsel to treat according to the rules of ancient amity and good correspondence, which since the beginning hath been between states general and Sweden, and which hath not been molested, but in the year 1649, by the treaty of redemption, hoc est, through the greediness of Amsterdam, who (as it is said of the jesuits) sing no other than all for us, nothing for you.
They are here very ill satisfied of Dantzick, in regard that it hath not hazarded all with Brandenburg; but it is to be laught at, for at the approaching of Sweden, elector of Brandenburg the forsook all the little cities to make a body; a fine protection! He desires that the great cities would receive his garrison at Thorn; how would he have furnished them with garrisons, when he had not enough to supply the little ones ? Witness Strasburg, which being forsaken by Brandenburg was presently taken by the Swede: and this Strasburg doth open the passage into all Prussia. Brandenburg blames Thorn, by reason it would not accept of his garrison, but that needed not; there wanted no garrison; if only Brandenburg would have encamped himself near to Thorn, there he would have had a good post to have resisted the Swede; but in lieu of protecting Thorn thus, he withdrew his army towards Marienburgh, and his person to Koningsberg. It is said, that the person of the general is worth ten thousand men; ergo, he doth weaken his army of so many. The Swede on the contrary is at present in his army.
They do discourse here also very merrily, that Dantzick cannot keep his liberty by treating
with Sweden. This would be very well said by any body else, but not by Amsterdam, who themselves could not keep their liberty, but was the first to make treaty with grave William, by the (so
called) harmony; for who is master of the militia, is master of all. I am
Dec. 17, 1655. [N. S.]
A letter of intelligence.
The last weeck I wroate you a letter from Rotterdam, which was no less brief than ill writt, for which I beg your pardon, being interrupted by some caviliers, whoe came soe rudely into my chamber with the joyfull news (as they said) of mr. Manning's imprissonment, that I began to feare he might have confest something of mee, in case he knew of my imployment, being he concealed nothinge of himself. His cyphers are taken, and his letters to you, which they have unlock't, and founde those, which weare wrote to him. He sayes, he did not serve you out of zeale and affection to your cause, but for necessitye; and that he was to have for his paynes twelve hondred pounds a year. They belive he had a larger stypend. The truth of these things you best knowe; yet I thought good to give you notice, what they write thence. There is yet no charge drawne up against him, hoping they shall finde out some person or persons of qualitye at court, that are his correspondentes, whoe gave him information of their secrets in counsell. Every man of that partye cryes out to have him presently executed: more moderate men thinke the magistrates of Ceullen will not pass sentence uppon him. Nevertheless I doe not thinke he can escape alive out of their handes; for if C. S. doe desier his counsell maye adjudge him in the dominions of the duke of Newborg, he will not denye it. There is no means to save him, except the protector please to owne him, and feare them with threats of executing some of their complices, which are now secured in Ingland for the last plot, if they put him to death. The king and counsell are so busie in the examination of mr. Manning, that all other affaires are layde aside. I am assured by a confiding person of the court, that there is no desingne in hande at present, then how to perswade the king of Spayne to espouse C. S. intrest; and that severall letters are wroate to his friends in Ingland, to let them knowe what great hopes he hath from that crowne, whereby they may be encouraged to remayne loyall to him. I have often informed you, that the Duch ships doe commonly transporte that party toe and froe; therefore your officers at Gravesend ought to be charg'd to looke more strickly, whoe they carrye thence or bring hither; for there are few shipps, wherein some of C. S. his partye doe not pass. The cittye of Amsterdam, for seare of displeasing the king of Spayne, are cautious of giving convoye to Inglish shipps, least they might loose that trade, which they esteem above your friendship. Both there and in Zealand, some merchants will be adventurers in shipps of warr from Dunkerck and Oostend against our nation. 'Tis thought they will goe to sea with comissions of C. S. whoe, as I wrote you, hath already distributed 13 of 16, which wear sent to sir Henry de Vick, whoe hath the disposition of those affaires in Flanders. Embassadours are to be sent from these states to several countrys, and they talke of callinge Newport home; which is all now in agitation at present. Wherewith I conclude, and remayne,
Dec. 17, 1655. [N. S.]
An intercepted paper receiv'd from Scotland concerning a rising there.
It seemes my last wreiteing came not to your hands. The time goes away; let us take time when time is; for if wee miss this spring, wee shall not recover it; for I hope to see the day the victory will be ours, and that they will runn before us as many sheepe. Soe let us rejoyce and be merry, and hope of alterations; sue the knave, who writes thus. I rest
Rotterdam, Dec. 1655.
I pray lett my best respects be remembred to our brother major Bigger; bidd him call to minde, what words passed betwixt him and me, when wee was at his old mistress the Diamond of Dunapeace. Lett hearts be trumpe; soe farewell till meeting; noe change shall alter me.
Courtin, secretary to Chanut the French embassador in Holland, to monsieur de la Bastide.
At this time the states general would have nothing to do of consequence, were it not, that they busy themselves about sending of embassies to several places and parts; those that go for Denmark are ready to depart. Their instructions are very secret; but as much as I can learn, the substance thereof is to offer an alliance defensive and offensive to the king of Denmark with this state against the Swedes, if he should be molested or assaulted by his troops in any of his places upon the Baltick sea. Those, that go to the duke of Brandenburg, are to carry him a subsidy of money, which was promised him a while since upon the request of his ministers here. The affairs of the said elector are in none of the best condition in Prussia, if we will believe the news, which we received yesterday by the post out of Germany. The king of Sweden doth advance himself in person towards Thorn with the army of the general of the ordnance Steinbock; but there is fresher news than this: the king of Sweden is said to be entered into Prussia, and Thorn is supposed to be taken.
A letter of intelligence.
The 8th of this month they write mee from Madrid, that the queene was delivered of annother infanta upon the 7th of this month, which is but sad newes to them: they would have had it a prince. The king and his councel is much displeased with his highnes for the warr hee is making against them, they not beeing able to maintayne a warr against him for want of cash: if the galleons arive not speedyly and in safety, they will be totally routed. It is thought (up at court by juditious men) that they must comply, and that the ambassador (or som other) will bee sent againe into England, to obtayne a good understanding beetween his highnes and this king. Since the imbargo there is noe alteration; the goods and ships imbargoed remaine still in deposite, and there are noe letters of mark given out here against the English as yett; neither is there anny English prize brought in as yett. This being what at present offers, I take leave and rest.
The states general to the czar of Moscovy.
We have understood with singular pleasure, content, and joy from the ministers of the lord duke of Brandenburgh, that your majesty in the middle of the victorious course of your invincible arms hath assured the said duke, that your majesty will afford and continue to him all manner of good amity, and a proof of your affectionate good will towards him. We acknowledge therein your majesty's high renowned generosity; also especially your majesty's wisdom, which you have been pleased to use to prevent, that the apprehension and fear of his great power should not be abused by others; for the suppressing of the said duke in his countries of Prussia would occasion considerable alterations in the neighbourhood of your majesty; and have therefore large subject and reason highly to praise and extol your majesty for it, as also for and in consideration of the great honour, which your majesty is pleased to do us, after the good and renowned example of your majesty's predecessors, to observe such a worthy amity with this state. Wherefore upon this occasion we lay hold on the opportunity to give your majesty a particular account, that the near amity and inviolable course of commerce, which we have time out of mind held and observed with the house of Brandenburgh and his countries and subjects, and which now lately we with the present duke of Brandenburgh have renewed and made a firmer league and amity than ever for the protection and defence of both sides countries; so that we look upon his welfare as our own, and have therefore cause to affect, embrace, and take to heart the interests of the said duke; whereby your majesty may be pleased to observe, that we will not conceal from you, all that passeth between us and your majesty's neighbouring princes, wherein we do intend to continue always unalterable, and observe all occasions, which may anywise concern the service of your majesty and his full satisfaction, to which we earnestly, friendly, and neighbourly desire your majesty to give full credit, and to do us the honour to continue and reckon us in the number of his best and faithful friends; and that your majesty would be pleased, not only to preserve your amity and affection, which you have assured and promised so liberally to the duke of Brandenburgh, and that he shall enjoy the full effect thereof, but also that you will encrease and strengthen the same to him; not doubting but the same will tend to the glory, praise, and service of your majesty, and the spreading of your immortal name: wherewith we end, praying to God Almighty, &c.
To monsieur de Bouchwalt.
Here hath been no great matter done since my last. The states of Holland have now filled the embassies, by the nomination, which they have made of some persons, that were wanting; so that into Denmark are to be sent the lords Amerongen, Beuningen, and Viersen, who are to depart hence the 4th of the next month: to the king of Sweden, the lords Slingelandt, Huybert, and Ysbrants; and to the duke of Brandenburgh the lords Vogelsanck, and Iselmuyden. It is much doubted, whether these gentlemen will arrive time enough, in regard the affairs of Prussia are reduc'd to such a crisis, that in a short time we shall see on which side the balance will hang.
The later letters from Dantzick advise, that the city of Thorn did capitulate upon the approach of the Swedes army. If this be true, he will have done the best part of his work in that province. Strasbourgh, which is a reasonable good place, is already taken. We shall have within a day or two some news of importance from those parts.
The prisoner at Cologne called Manning hath confess'd, that he hath writ to the protector for these 3 years together; and that he had a 100 l. per mensem allowed him for it. I believe when all is discovered, they will let him go.
Lady Mary Cromwell to H. Cromwell, major general of the army in Ireland.
I Canot be any longer without beging an excus for my so long silens. You canot but hear of my sestir's ilnes, which inded has ben the only caus of it. You might justly take it il otherwis, and think ther wer want of that afection I owe unto you. Inded, dear brother, it was a grat deal of truble to me, to think I should giv you any ocation to think amis of me; for I can truly say it, you ar very dear to me, and it is a grat truble to me to think of the destans we ar from on another; and would be mor, if I ded not think you ar doing the Lord's sarvis; and truly that ought to satisfy us, for whil we ar hear, we cannot expect but that we must be seprated. Deer brother, the Lord direct you in his ways, and kep your hart clos unto himself; and I am sur therin you wil hav tru comfort, and that that wil last, when al this world shal pas away. I cannot but giv you some item of won that is with you, which is so much feared by your frinds that lov you, is som deshoner to you and my dear fester, if you hav not a grat car; for it is reported hear, that she ruls much in your family; and truly it is feared she is a descountenanser of the godly people. Therfor, dear brother, tak it not il, that I giv you an item of her; for truly if I did not dearly lov you both and your oner, I would not giv you notis of her. Therfor I hope you wil not take it il, that I hav delt thus planly with you. I supos you know who it is I mean: therfor I desir to be excus'd for not naming of her. I desir not to be sen in it, and therfor desir you, that you would not tak the left notis of my writing to you about it, becos I was desir'd not to spek of it; nor should I, but that I know you wil not tak it amis from your poor sister that lovs you. Dear brother, I tak leev to rest.
Major general Kelsey to the protector.
May it please your highness,
On tewsday last wee had a meeting att Maidston; and have issued forth warrants for the assessing of such delinquents estates, as wee have come to the knowledge of; which doth not amount to a little above 1000 l. per annum, but the chiefest men of estates we have not meddled withall, because we have not yet attained to the knowledge of their estates. The commissioners are much discourag'd, that the chiefest enemys of greatest estates are like to be freed, as sir George Sonds, of whom it is reported to be cleared by your highnesse and council, who, whatever he pretends, is as great an enemy to the state as any of the rest; and we have it in proof upon record, that he was in arms at Feversham, and there did encourage the enemy in their rebellion. And that which makes me give your highness this trouble is, if possible, to prevent his escape; for he was with me on monday morning, and told me, he had hopes to get off; and desired me to excuse his appearing at Maidston the next day, where he was summoned to appear; but I refused, and told him, that I and the rest of the commissioners did expect him there, according to his summons. I hear this day, that the earl of Thanett and sir Edward Hales are both gone for London, with hopes to get an order to supersede our proceedings; but I presume their is no feare of that. And for my part, I judge the other as bad as they. But neither of the three has given in security, and so ought not to be at London. I could wish they might be seized upon for contemning your highness's proclamation, which prohibits all delinquents to come thither without lycence. This morning the French ambassador tooke shipping in the Bristoll frigatt at this port for France. I have appointed business at Canterbury on monday and tuesday next; and having not been here a long season, took this opportuniny in the interm to come hither to dispatch some business, that relates to the garrison, which is the occasion of my being at this place; which account I thought good to give your highness, and remain
Dover Castle, Dec. 7, 1655.
The summons of major general Berry &c. to sir Thomas Hanmer.
Whereas wee with others are by his highnesse the lord protector, by and with the advice of his council, appointed commissioners for the securing of the peace of the nation within the countys of Northwales, and have power to send for all persons therein concerned; these are therefore to require you to appear personally before us at the house of John Perry in Wrexham upon the eleventh day of this instant December, and to bring with you a particular, both of your real and personall estate, as is now or was on the first of November 1653; at which time and place you shall understand what is further required of you. Given under our hands at Wrexham this 7th day of December 1655.
Major general Goffe to secretary Thurloe.
I am informed by major Creed, that captain Prince of my regiment hath quitted his command, and taken leave of his highness; and being desired by the major to use my endeavours, that his lieutenant lieut. Pretty might have the command of that troop, I could doe no less then comply with him herein. I take the lieut. to be an honest man, having many years since been well acquainted with him. He hath been almost nine years a lieut. in this regiment, and is brother to coll. Pretty in Ireland, who is well known to his highness, unto whom his highness hath bin pleased to make some promises to preferr this brother of his, when there should be a good opportunity, as I have been very lately informed by a letter from coll. Pretty. I doe humbly desire you to take the first opportunity to present it to his highness, as the humble desires of major Creed and myself, that lieut. Oliver Pretty may have the command of this troop, if it may stand with his highness good pleasure so to dispose thereof. I am, sir,
Reading, Dec. 7. 1655.
Col. Robert Lilburne to the protector.
May it please your highnes,
Upon the receipt of your highnesse's commands this day, I sent immediately to coll. Wright and other commissioners to meet at Yorke on monday next, to put our business into some method of proceedure, and intend, God willing, to prosecute it with all diligence, being very glad to heare, that affaire is soe well recented by the godly. I doubt not but it will meet with the like acceptation here. I could humbly wish your highnes would lay your commands on alderman Dickenson to returne home to assist us, for he is not onely more resolute and active then many named; but indeed knows more against the late designs then any country gentlemen in these parts, and has divers examinations in his custody, that will be very usefull. I hope though these instructions and authoritys your highnes mentions slow not soe imediatly from your owne, nor come with that stamp to mee, as to other of my comrades, who are more worthy; yet your highnes may be consident of a faithfull performance of my duty to the utmost of my abillityes; and if I were reduced to a corporall, I should cheerefully undertake it rather than this worke should want my best assistance to carry it on.
The commissioners for the county of Sarum to the protector.
May it please your highness,
In obedience to your commands, we this day waited upon the right honourable general Disbrowe; who having communicated to us your orders and instructions for the securing of the peace of the commonwealth, we humbly resenting them as most just and reasonable, and much conducing to the end therein specified, did and do most cordially engage ourselves in the work, and both in this and all things else shall be ready to obey your highness's commands, who are
New Sarum, Dec. 7, 1655.
Mr. Longland, agent at Leghorn, to secretary Thurloe.
This week arryved in this port several Inglish ships, two from Muscovia with caviar, four from Newfoundland, one from Ireland. Som of them hav bin in the Spanish fleet, others in theyr ports. It seemes they ar very much calmed since theyr imbargo, for theyr men of warr not only let our ships depart frely, but they hav permitted commerce to som of our ships at Mallaga and Cales. I hav had letters from Barsalona of the 22d of November, which advys the Naples fleet to be then in that port, and that they had landed all theyr soldiers, who were gon with the garrisons of that province to besiege som place; and that said fleet was ordered by the king to go for Cales to winter; and in conformity thereunto one of the abovesaid cavear ships saw a dozen sail of ships off cape de Gat, bound westward, which he made to be Spanish, and althoh they were 22 sail when they past by here, yet there was not abov a dozen sail of them Spanish, the next were a Nepollitan and Duch ships taken up at Naples to transport soldiers and ammunition. You may pleas to consider, that the Spaniard intends to gather all his naval strength together against the spring, to keep theyr rendevouz at Cales, wher they report will be 80 sail, but I believ they may mak 50 at lest. I should be glad, if in the place I am, I could be any wayes servitiable to your self or my contry in serving your fleets, or sending them provisions of oil, rys, or wyn. Here is advys from Ruter the Duch comander of 10 sail against the Turks, that he has taken, sunk, and destroyed 13 sail of theyr ships; and in March next intends to com this way against the Tripollins. He is now gon to Cales to furnish himself of amunition, for there is his store or magazin.
I forgot to tel you in my last, that in the declaration you sent me, publisht by his
hyhnes against Spayn, theyr wants two leaves (the second and the thurd leas, fol. 117,
118, 119, 120) which must be the error of the stationer in making up. I should not trouble
you with such things, but that the great duke does earnestly desyre it. I must needs tel
you that the politik Itallians ar very mellancolly upon the reading of it, occasioned, I
suppos, from two causes; the first to se such strong reasons of vindications against Spayn
for the many and great injuryes and indignityes don our nation; the other to se the pope
and the king of Spayn linkt together throhout the declaration, so that they begin to
think theyr beloved papacy is in as great a danger by this war as the king of Spayn,
and that they must ether stand or sal together; and indeed it is the very truth, that if
the house of Austria fal, the pope cannot stand, for 'tis the Austrian princes, that do only
now support, and giv strength and power to the beast. The king of Sweden is now in
a fair way to clip one of theyr wings in the east, and I hope that in the west wil be
ether clipt or plukt, which is as bad. God graunt al may redownd to his glory and his piples good. I am
Leg. Dec. 18, 1655. [N. S.]
A letter of intelligence.
It's here strongly reported, that the king of Sweden at his being in Warsaw should
say, that the duke his gossip had a worm in his head; but he would go, and see to
pluck it out. And by the Swedish propositions (hereunder specified) you may find the
duke will be constrained to fight; but it's reported, the chancellor of Sweden did beseech
his majesty, before he went from Warsaw, not to fall upon the duke, but to compose the
business. Some say the propositions are moderated; which is to be wished, otherwise
it's holden, the duke hath a better army in the field then the Swedes, although he be
not so well beloved in this county, because he is reformed, and they Lutherans. There
is a strong report, that the Swedes have taken Thorn upon submission the 4th instant,
and Grudens also, a place that could have resisted the whole Swedish power. So that if
there be no agreement between the king of Sweden and the duke suddenly, there will be
an engagement. The said duke hath lately at Koningsberg protested before God and
his people, if any blood be shed, he shall be forced thereunto in defence of his just rights.
By this day's post from Riga the Swedes are said to have raised the customs to such an
height, that the people are in a manner impoverished thereby. The Swedish propositions
to the duke are conclusively these; they demand,
1. Renunciation of his league with Holland.
An extract of the licent set upon these following goods at Riga [sent by mr. Richard Bradshaw resident at Hamburgh.]
To the states general.
High and mighty lords,
The deputies of your high mightinesses by your commissorial resolution of the 16th instant, being required to search the old regulations, in relation to what here before has been resolved concerned embassies, and afterwards to make a list of the retinue, which the lords your high mightinesses appointed embassadors to the kings of Sweden and Denmark, as also to the prince elector of Brandenburg, are to take along with them for the honour of this state, are respectively of opinion, that they, according to former lists, and resolutions taken formerly on the like subject, ought to lay before your high mightinesses, and to make allegation of the said resolutions, to the end that the said considerations may be communicated respectively to the said lords embassadors, as a list and regulation of their retinue.
Stetin, December 8, 1655.
As yet there hath happened no act of hostility between the Swedes and the Brandenburg forces. Most are of opinion, that the business will be decided between them without any effusion of blood: yea, this city hath been all this day full of a report, that they were already agreed, but not credited. This is held for certain however, that the elector hath sent embassadors to the king of Sweden. What the issue of all this will be, is yet uncertain. The elector is said to be at Koningsberg. The lord Sparr with most of the army is quartered near Marienburgh. Those of Dantzick do still continue in a resolution to desend themselves, to which end they make great preparations. It seems as if the mountains will bring forth; and who knows but it may be a ridiculous mouse? It is supposed, that the Swedish ships, that are now again come before Dantzick, will endeavour to cause the Holland merchant men, which lie ready laden, to pay the new toll; to which end they do keep under sail on purpose to meet with them.
Those of Thorn do seem to rejoyce in their condition, and give God thanks they have made so good an agreement; but it is yet too soon. The landlord doth not yet know his tenants; they may chance to weep hereafter, though they seem to rejoice so much at present. There is no certainty at present where the king of Sweden's army is at present.
Viole president of Brussels to monsieur Barriere.
I Have received your letters of the 10th with one for mr. de Cardenas, which I have caused to be delivered unto him. He can say no more to your business than I have done, till the orders from Spain are come, which are promised by every post. But still we are in misery for want of them. I can assure you, we are all here brought to the last gasp, and his highness more than any body, who is gone for Luxemburgh to settle the winter quarters of his army; so that he will not be here yet a while; which I am sorry for, having so much upon me, that I know not which way to turn myself.
An intercepted letter.
The Hollanders send an embassador to Spain, to desire that king to remedy the ill government of Flanders; otherwise that they must handle it and seek ways. Others speak, that they intend to combine with the Spaniards. They say, that the Scots king sends hither sir George Hamilton; but I do not see the Spaniards so very affected to him.
Our quarters are in Alte near St. Ghillain, a poor beggarly one. I must as soon as I
have my dispatch, go to my quarters, and there stay till I get some money, which will
prejudice much 26 his business. This being all, I rest
A letter of intelligence.
I Have received thine of the 16th. Thy cozen O is at the Hague, and hath been there ever since the return of the princess royal from Cologne, which is now about a month; and I had the last week a letter from him. Her highness intends the next week to make a journey for France to see her mother, whither it is possible he may also go; but thereof I know no certainty. I shewed your last letter to you know whom; the contents thereof being sit for that person to know, who was glad to hear of thy welfare.
A letter of intelligence.
The mareschal of Hocquincourt is returned to this city with his wife. He hath been well received by the king, and yet better by his eminence, with whom he hath conferred several times about the ransom which the Spaniards demand for his son.
The express of the emperor, who arrived here some few days since, brought a letter from him to his majesty, wherein he doth exhort him to make peace with the king of Spain. On this his majesty hath returned answer, that the assembly of Munster may serve for an irreproachable testimony of his affection and disposition to have the same concluded.
At the setting sorth of the nave, ther is several people to be intruded into it; which shall seeke to corrupt the inferiour offesers, as the botsons mates and such like, with promises of reward, wherof sume of this saide people are Dutch; and hereby to stir up the seaman and soldiers to mutyny, and upon the muteny to promise two months pay to the soldiers and seamen downe in hand.
Major general Worsley to secretary Thurloe.
Yours dated the 12th of November last I receved but one tuesday last att far of the night, and therefore could not give you that account about the sherriffs, which you might expect from mee. Yet however I gave you some account of Lancashire and Chester. As to that of Lancashire, I thinke ether of those are as well as wee can pick. And for that of Cheshire, hee doth not act with us; yet I heare hee's honest, and therefore I humbly conceive you may repose that trust in him. And as for Staford, wee find none of those in your parchment soe qualifyed as you expect; nether indeed is nesisary; and therefore wee two or three of us have thought it our duty to consider of such a man, as you nominat; and thereupon have offered to your consideration one John Shelton of West-Brumick esq; and one John Whithall of Whithall esq; but the later is thought fittest. I hope these will be answerable to your desires; yesterday we had a meeting att this toune; and I have made a good progrese in our businese. Wee have assessed divers, and the rest must expect it with all speed, I doubt not but before the five and twentyth of this instant. I hope wee shall pay our county troope out of what we have done allredy, and provide you a considerable some for other uses. Wee have sent out warrants to give notice to the whole county, and our day of meeting, when we shall sit upon the ordinance for ejecting off scandalouse ministers. We have disarmed the disafected in this county. Wee shall now fall of snapping some of our old blades, that will not let us be quiet. There is so few in that ordinance for scandall, that they have much a doe both here and in other countrys to get a coram. I comend that to you from the commissioners upon their desire; and allsoe in their name to beleive, that what is in their power shall not be wantinge to effect what they have received from his highness and council. I shall be at Middlewich in Cheshire, where wee meet on tuesday next and that day sevennight at Preston, where we shall I hope make the progrese. In hast: by the next post expect a fuller account from yours to command.
Wee understand that mr. Halsoe is taken att London: if soe, he may, I beleive, discover divers of our Lancashire and Cheshire gentlemen. Wee have found an estate of
Penridock, that was executed, and have ordered it to be sequestered; for I have taken orders for the takeinge of security for all disafected persons in this country. I hope shortly
to give you a good account of the rest of the countyes. All from
Yours, C. W.
Major general Disbrowe to secretary Thurloe.
I Have given his highness a brief account of my proceeding here, where we had a full appearance, and a general resolution to carry on the work, mr. Grove only desiring time to consider of it, which can be no impediment to it. Each of the commissioners desire the printed instructions under mr. Scobel's hand for their indemnity, which I cannot but join with them, if it may be without prejudice. I have only added three more, viz. John Dove, Richard Hill, and James Hely. The persons in the inclosed paper are ordered to be summoned at a time and place prefixed, where I shall endeavour to be; I hope the work will go on chearfully. As often as you can, pray let me hear from you; and what intelligence you have will kindly be accepted by
Sarum, Dec. 8, 1655.
Major general Disbrowe to the protector.
May it please your highness,
I Have in pursuance of your orders given notice unto the commissioners of Wilts; and yesterday had a meeting with them, and made known your highness's instructions unto them; where little else was done by reason night came on. But this morning we met again, and had a full appearance, save mr. Grove, who craved some time to consider of it. The others are very unanimous and clear in the work, only they desire your highness's favour in affording each of them a paper of instructions under mr. Scobell's hand, for their indempnity; and have ordered the persons within mentioned to be summoned upon monday sevennight, where I propose (if the Lord please) to be present. I have alsoe dispatcht letters to the commissioners of Dorsett, and intend to be with them upon wednesday next, in order to the setting that work on foot; and from thence to return hither at the time appointed. Mr. sheriff of Wilts presents his service to your highness, and begs your nomination of mr. Thomas Grove, who I adjudged very fit, and must also make it my request, he being honest and able, tho' tender. I have no more at present to trouble your highness with, save to sign my self, as I am,
Sarum, 8 Dec. 1655.
Being very unfitt by reason of my present weaknes and distemper of body for any buisines, I shall humbly begg your honor's pardon for my not waiting on you this morning, having a longing desire (if the Lord please) to be in mine owne house againe, and not to be surprised with sicknes in an inne. I must ingeniously confesse, that had I been in a fitt capacity for buisines, I intended to have made it my humble request to your honor in private, that you would please to affoarde me a little time of consideration before I acted in this; for indeed I cannot undertake any buisines of consequence, till I have had some serious thoughts about it, and have debated it with mine owne weak judgement, that soe my conscience may be cleerly satisfide in what I doe: for the grounds of this designe I cannot be more fully satisfide then I am allready viz. that the old enimies have their old hearts and their old hatred still, and that they wil be ready upon all occasions to disturbe the peace and quiett of this common wealth; and that it wold be a very great happines and blessing to all the godly and quiet people of these nations to have them suppress'd or removed; but there may be some scruple in the manner of doing this. I shall not (upon hearing the rules once read) mention any exception, hartely wishing there may be none. But if the Lord please to give me health, I shall with my best care and dilligence speedily examine and peruse the instructions, and then if it be cleer to me, that the way and manner be as righteous and warrantable as the thing is good and desirable, I shall as cordially act in it as any man in England. And this is a Christian liberty, which I cannot but be confident to obteyne from general Disbrow. Soe humbly begging your lordshipp to pardon whatever you find amisse in these lines, which were written in much hast and paine, and earnestly begging the blessing of God upon you in this and all other your great affaires, I rest
The Whitehart, the 8th of Dec. [1655.]
To mr. Minard.
Here is no other news but the conversion of the queen of Sweden, who is gone to Rome, to find holiness and godliness, where every body loseth it. The emperor plays the fox, and will do all that he can to prevent the Swedes quiet possession of Poland. The king would fain be emperor, but the craft will be, how he shall accomplish his desire and intention. The king of Poland doth all that he can in the mean time to get forces to regain his country. Fain he would, that his nobility would take pitty on him.
The king of Spain is fierce, and yet trembles within himself for fear of the English fleet. There is only the poor king of Scotland, who lyes lurking behind the hangings, having no part to act upon the theatre of the world.