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 (3 of 7)
Memorandums to be left with mr. Secretarie.
Major general Disbrowe to secretary Thurloe.
Upon perusall of my papers I find the instructions for Poole wanting; as also an order, which past the council for commissionating the major general to enquire after any moneys remaining in the hands of any receivers or collectors, which I should request may be dispatcht unto me at Salisbury by the next. I have also to desire, that Walter South may be left out of the commission of the peace, and Edward Midelcott and Isaac Burges added in his room. Pray fail not to give directions in these particulars, while it's fresh in your memory. To morrow I purpose (if the Lord will) to be for Dorchester, and to return hither upon saturday. Noe more at present, but that I am
Sarum, Dec. 10, 1655.
Mr. Bradshaw, resident at Hamburg, to secretary Thurloe.
I am now with yours of the 24th of Nov. but your letters for this weeke are not yet come. In my last of the 4th instant I enclosed a letter from mr. Rolt, and a pacquet from captain Fenwick and mr. Swift, whoe came lately from him. Since then I have not received any letters, save onely to pay some more money for him, which I have done, the whole 500 l. sterling beinge now paid to his order and use. I shall further supply him, as he shall have occasion, accordinge to your order now received. Onely I entreat you to appoynt some merchant in London, on whome I may drawe my bills of exchange, in regard merchants here, from whom I must have the money, are unwillinge to take bills upon the state, which is the reason I charge my bill upon my servant in London, and give him other bills upon your selfe, as I did by the last post for 300 l. sterling, and now by this for 150 l. sterling more, all which I have allready disbursed for mr. Rolt, prayinge you to cause the bills to be punctually paid, that my servant may keepe touch with the merchants. It seemes neither lenity nor severitie will prevail with that implacable generation to cease their wicked designings; blessed be God, whoe dayly disapointeth them. I doubt this last hath beene a plot against his highness's person, for the junto at Cullen resolved upon the routeinge of their late rebel-party, to designe onely for the future upon the lyfe of his highnes, as the cheapest and readiest way to attayne their end. But I trust the Lord will still in despite of them preserve him to the worke, for which he hath raised him up.
I hope ere theise come on, his highness and the councell will have resolved in the busines
of the company, which your last letter spake soe neare a conclusion. I acknowledge my
selfe very much obliged to you for your favourable hastinge it to an issue, not doubtinge
now the other party have soe notably declared their folly and mallicious designeings,
but that somethinge will be done effectually for myne, and the well-affected's suitable vindication and encouragement. It were easy to let you see indeed besides what hath discovered
itselfe, that mr. Townly's religion may (without the breach of charity) be judged onely
such as Machiavell allowes of; but as I shall carefully observe your commands in keepeinge
what you write to my selfe, soe I request you will please to doe with myne; onely give
me leave to assure you, I have just cause to suspect the man hath little of religion in him.
Sir John Henderson beinge lately returned hither from the emperor's court, where I perceive hee hath received some old debts, desired me to put the inclosed into my pacquet and
to intreat you to affourd him your speediest answer, in regard he lyes here at charge; having
raised some horse, but will not dispose of himselfe till he have your answer. He conceives
the warre with Spaine gives him a fit oportunity to present his service again to his highness.
Craveinge pardon for thus long detaineinge you, I subscribe, as I shall ever approve myselfe
Hamb. Dec. 11, 1655.
Stetin, December 11/21, 1655.
The king of Sweden hath caus'd the citizens of Thorn to be disarmed, and therewith supplied his own soldiers. He and his army were upon their march towards Marienburg and Elbing. The lords Oxenstiern and Todt were appointed to treat with the embassadors of the elector, who after several conferences were forced to break off re infecta. The embassadors are since departed, and the said lords are gone after the king.
Just now we received the letters from Dantzick and Thorn, which advise, that the king is march'd directly for Elbing, and had taken up his quarters within half a mile of that place; and that his majesty had sent twice a trumpetter into the town to demand the same, and to offer them all favour and amity; but that the magistrates would not yet resolve to deliver up the same. Between the 17th and 18th of this month there had been heard great shooting, but what the issue is none could tell. It is certain, that the commonalty is much divided in the town, so that many do doubt, whether that place will be able to hold out long. Some are of opinion, that it is already taken. The circumstance is very great, in regard they denied to remove the forces sent by the elector for their assistance. The place is strong and of great importance. Those of Dantzick do make greater preparations than ever to defend themselves. It is certain, that they are resolved to oppose the Swedes.
Mynheer Dryelenborch to the states general.
High and mighty lords,
Upon the 16th here came news from Alicant, that upon the height of Cabo de Palas there were nine Turks tacking to and again, who had there mastered three ships with fish. It is here hop'd, that the squadron, that is steered that way, will meet with the said Turks.
On the 19th current here arrived a Spanish private man of war, advertising that within the narrow he had seen a squadron of ten Turks; and that he had kept company with a Turk's ship for two days near the height of Cabo de Mol, with whom he had been engaged, and by his swift sailing did get away from him. He had also taken a prize.
Mr. Samuel Morland, to secretary Thurloe.
Wee have not received either by the last or this post any letter from your honour, neither has there come any thing to our hands this weeke very considerable, so that I have not at present whereon much to enlarge.
I trust your honour has received all my letters, that I have of late written, wherein I have endeavoured, according to my weake apprehensions, to give your honour a true account of all affayres, which concerne this employment. Amongst other things you honour will find, that as to the consultations, which wee ought to have had with the Dutch commissioner, as touching the redressing of the affaires of Piemont, wee have as yet done nothing at all, neither are wee ever like to doe any thing to purpose as things at present stand. For as much as mr. Pell (upon what ground and reason the Lord onely knowes) will neither doe any thing himself, nor joyne with any other in endeavouring to sound the true intentions of the Switzers, which according to all your honour's late letters has been one of the principall affaires, and that which his highnesse judges necessary to be known before he can proceed or engage himself further in this buisinesse.
The Dutch commissioner, whome the truth is, mr. P. has very often disappointed, even when he has promised him to do such or such a thing, makes great complaints, and, as I am informed by a very good hand, has written into Holland concerning it; and all the sober and honest people of this place are so extremely scandalized and troubled at the strange carriage of mr. P. that they begin to talke openly of it; and it is almost in every man's mouth, that hee has no regard to the cause of Christ, or love to his poor people. Ever since his abode here hee shutts himselfe up in his chamber, and by his good will converses with no man, and (as I was told this afternoon by a verie sober person that had it from Zurlch) hee did the verie same during his abode at Zurich. And if so, the truth is, I cannot well see, how hee could possiblie informe himself of the true affaires and interest of that people. For my part, if I doe but mention Switzerland, hee is manie times almost impatient, and askes mee with some kind of indignation, who it was, that gave mee power or authority to enquire after the affaires of Switzerland ? The Lord knowes what the end of these things will bee. In the meane time I think myself bound, as I alwaies have don, to give your honour cleare information of all that passes.
There is no newes from the Valleyes more then what I sent your honour the last weeke, viz. that the poore people are now almost impatient, and do desire in a very formall manner the last resolutions of the three states, and what they will doe for them, and after that in case there bee nothing don by them, they intend themselves to petition the duke, and if he refuse their request, they intend to take up armes againe. And if so, they will bee all destroyed in a very short space, the duke having made preparations for the same purpose, as all men doe conclude who are acquainted with those affaires.
All the newes from Switzerland that I have received is in the inclosed papers (A and B). Most men doe now think, that Zurich, if possible, will force those of Berne to joyne with them in chastizing the popish cantons.
The money, which I have received of mr. Calendrine, concerning which I have given
your honour a full account in my last, with all the papers of acquittances, &c. is now at
Lyons, and daily going to Grenoble by parcells, and will bee all delivered there before
the Lord's day next. I expect mr. D'Ize daily with all maner of papers of accounts, &c.
in order to giveing his highnesse a cleare account concerning the distribution. The inclosed
paper (C) is a letter from him; after I have spoken with him I shall determin my journey
to Grenoble. In the meane time I remaine, right honourable,
Your honour's most humble, faithful, and affectionat servant,
Mr. J. Aldworth, consul at Marseilles, to secretary Thurloe.
My last unto you was of the 14th currant; since which is arryved here and on the coast of Itally most of oure English Newfoundland-ships. Some of them have beene in the midst of the Spanish fleete eight days together, butt received no displeasure att all from them. Last night by order of the king of France the peace twixt the two states was proclaymed with very much seremony and rejoycing; the governour of this province in person with the magistrates of this place performing the seremony of lighting a greate fyre, with shooting off many gunns, and commanding each inhabitant to make a fyre at his doore, which accordingly was performed to the greate satisfaction of those people. The Cadiz fleete hath beene returned about 60 dayes past; butt although they have used civillity to our ships, yet all those, that by hazard fall under command of theire castellos, are seazed on. Hetherto we heare butt only off two galleons of the plate-fleete, which brought only three millions of dollars. So for present I must humbly take leave, and remayne
In Marseille, Dec. 22, 1655. [N. S.]
An intercepted letter.
All the discourse and inquiry in these parts is, whether Brandenburg will adventure to stand out against the Swedes. It is reported, that the emperor's general in Silesia by private contract with Brandenburg is to fall upon the Swede, in case he attack the Brandenburgher and the Hollanders. The Spaniards have yet some hope to make a peace with England, and in case of the general peace, if England will be comprized in it, Spain will assist them more than any body. Thus the world is at a stand. If England and Sweden league close, the Hollanders will join with the house of Austria, if they dare. As things come to light, I will acquaint you with my foolish conceptions about them. A little time will give day unto great designs. I pray you, if you have any resolution about my particular, let me know. It is an easy matter to say ay or no. The peace with France and Portugal might open some way for me. There are greater discontents in Flanders than ever. All the nobility and the very abbots of Brabant would mutiny against the Spaniards, if they knew what to do next. Nothing but the matter of religion on the one hand, and the aversion to the French keeps Brabant and Flanders true to the Spaniards. If they could join with the Hollander in a republick, they would do it; but the power of the soldiery joining with the Spanish counsels will hold Flanders under it, or lose it quite. If your friends have any kind thoughts for me, it is easy for them to shew it. In the mean time I will be wary and look about me. Wheresoever I engage, I will be true to death.
Commissioners for the county of Dorset to secretary Thurloe.
May it please your highness,
In obedience to the commands of your highness and council communicated to us by the right honorable general Disbrowe, we are assembled to put in execution your orders for securing the peace of the commonwealth; wherein we cannot but acknowledge the goodness and mercy of God in directing your highness in a work, so much conducing to the good and quiet of the nation, and the great encouragement of the well affected, and withal manifest our sense and humble thankfullness to your highness therein, and shall carefully endeavour vigorously to prosecute these and all other your further commands according to the trust reposed in
Dorchester, Dec. 13, 1655.
Your highness's most humble and faithful servants,
Rich. S * * * * *,
A letter of col. Bamfylde.
Yours of the 29th of November (which is all I have had these five or six posts) came to my hands thursday laste. I cannot yet with that safe t y which is requisite as to your service perfect your m a i n e business which might have been dispatched sooner, if through too much haste, I woulde have run the hazard of your be i n g abus' d which howe innocent soe ever I had been, would reasnably enough have reflected on mee, if it had proved soe. That, which has nowe brought these thoughts more carefully into my head then before, is my being confident upon good grownds, that the proposition made by the duke to you was either conserted betwixt h y m 51 and card. or els the p r in c e s s P a l a t i n e whoe is h i s m i s t ri s and trusted with all things, has discovered it to prevent the success of that interest, which s h e allready has, or els the person, that w a s to doe i t has communicated it for the same reasons to to cardinal M. I doe not say this conjecturally, from those reasonable circumstances of his w r i t i n g i t to you open l y (not in cypher) and from Come p i e n but that card has sayd to M. Gra. that he knowes there is such a designe on foote, which is the reall cause, why I am yet very tender howe I proceed; for corespondence o f that nature would doe much more hurte then not to have any. If you thinke fit to leave me to my selfe, though it may take yet some tyme, I shall doe it more surely; but if the condition of affayres require more haste, let me have your positive directions for it by the next post, and I will put it in without further delay, for I have oppertunity enough. In the mean time you may rest confident, that the interest col. B. has with consider a b l e persons h e r e will afforde you knowledge the most importa n t m a t t e r s at present. I am informed one mr. H a l s y and D u n g a n are prisoners at London The firste k i l e d mr. A s c h a m in Spain and was imployed to doe the same to protector tow years since or thereaboutes. One Dailly, an Irish friar, much trusted by the king of Portugall, was employed hither as an agent to the king of France, whoe has beene here aboute a fortnight, and till monday denyed publike audience upon some disgustes given by the king of Portugall to this state. They offered before to heare his business in private, which he refused; but after publike reception in the usuall forme, and desiring the confirmation of amity betwixt the tow powers, delivered the moste material parts of his negotiation to king and card in private; w h i c h w a s to desire war 591 with Spain and to offer the p r i n c e s of P o r. to the French king with four hundred t h ou s a n d p o u n d st e r l i n imediately. What the resolution will be, you will knowe hereafter. Cardinal Barbarino came hither on monday last to informe the cardinal of the state of the court of Rome, and to be archbishop of Reimes in the place of the duke of Neimours, and comes allsoe instructed to assure card. from pope o f the c e r t a i n t y of his interest in the peace with Spain. The duke de Auvile is gone hence yesterday to meet the duke of Modena two days journey hence, and to bringe him to Fountainbleau, where the king's officers are appoynted to attend and receive him as a sovereign prince; whence he is in two or three days to be conducted hither, and lodged in the court. Here are orders given to the governors of the frontiers of Germany to repayre all the fortifications, and to recruite theyr troopes: thirty thowsand armes and a vaste proportion of amunition i s o r d e r e d t o B r i s a c k for a m a g a s i n I doe very much desire to come over suddenly into England, it being in my oppinion necessary for 821. 717. I shall not stay above ten days, having very many matteriall things to acquaint you with, and have directions in, which cannot well be done either by the ordinary or express. But I must request you to retorne m e e s o m e m o n y for I have not any left, and have disbursed really 80 l. of my owne, This place and condition of life is very expensive. If my owne affayres were once setled, which may be done with one word's speaking, I shall defray the e e x p e n c e myselfe. None here, nor very few in England, shall knowe of my coming over, if you doe approve it, for divers weighty reasons; if you can relye upon my judgment, I conclude my speaking with you of absolute necessity, but shall not stirr without your consent. Pray be pleased to write particularly of these things to me, and let me know what things you chiefly d e s i r e informa t i o n of for the present, which peradventure I cannot thinke on. I am, sir,
Dec. 22, 1655. [N. S.]
H. Cromwell, &c. to Fleetwood lord deputy of Ireland.
May it please your excellency,
Having lately given your lordship very much trouble in the affairs of this nation, which we are assured upon the account of your accustomed care to the welfare thereof is acceptable, we presume further to take the advantage of your lordship's being there, and of the experience you have of the wants and condition of this poore country, that by your lordship's favour such remedy may be had, as shall be judged fitting. And first we lay before your lordship the frequent coming in of his highness and the states men of war to anchor at Dublin, more than other ports of this nation, where many times they are (by reason of contrary winds or otherwise in attending the publick service) forced to solicite this board for a supply of victuals for their ships companies at this porte; and finding by a late order from the commissioners of the admiralty, that Kinsale and Milford are the only ports assigned all the ships imployed in the Irish service to receive their supplies of victual, we desire your excellency would be pleased to consider thereof, and (if it stand with your approbation) to procure an order, that a victualling office may also be erected at Dublin, for such a proportion of victuals at least, as may be a constant supply for one hundred men, or such other number, as your lordship shall think sitting; or that the orders of this board may be a sufficient warrant unto the victuallers of the navy for the supply of the number aforesaid upon such extraordinary occasion. And that your lordship will likewise be pleased to speak with the commissioners of the admiralty, and to procure their allowance of the sum of one hundred and seventy pounds already disbursed by the agent to the victuallers of the navy in supplying of the Prim-rose, the Wexford, frigats, and the Wrenn Pink, in November last upon immergent occasions, as we have likewise acquainted them. And for as much as this commonwealth is now in war with Spain, and that by reason of the vicinity of the coast of Spain with this nation, and of the ancient friendship and correspondence both nations had with each other, 'tis probable their attempts may be more upon this than other places; we desire, that some ships may be speeded hither, and that some of them may be vessels of force, the enemy for the most part using ships of great burthen, which will require ships of answerable force for the countenance of this nation. We have received a late letter from mr. Walter Carwardine, signifying his waving the imployment intended him by your lordship in this country, (which we understand by mr. Attorney was to be one of the clerks of the crown in the upper bench) he intending to look after some other im ployment in England. Now for as much as there is a vacancy thereby, and that by your lordship's adding mr. Leech to mr. Cary in the office of clerk of the pells, the subsistence intended him in that place falls very short of affording him a considerable livelihood, we thought it not amiss to represent thus much unto your lordship, withal desiring, if it may stand with your good liking, that the said mr. Cary may be joined with mr. Percivall and mr. Foules in that place mr. Carwardine refused; his abilities for the discharge thereof, his necessities and well deserving from the state having given us the incouragement to order his officiating de bene esse in that place, until he may receive your lordship's confirmation. In former addresses to your lordship, we have represented the miserable condition of this country through the over-spreading of the base Peru and other like money, which like a cancer hath eaten out the good, and that we can find no other nor better expedient or remedy then by a mint, which we humbly requested your lordship - We are humble suiters for your lordship's especial care for such supply of money out of England, as formerly desired. The great necessity we are in enforces us to be urgent in a business of such main consequence. We likewise pray, that some considerable ships may be dispatched to ply to and from the west of Ireland, and some smaller vessels to scour the channel, and --- Robinson may be hastned hither. It is also humbly desired, that the Lambay --- with 14 men may be appointed for the service of this place to run over with the pacquet and other occasions, and to be taken into the pay of the navy; and have but this to add, that we are
Dublin-castle, Dec. 12, 1655.
Major general Whalley to secretary Thurloe.
I Thanke you for your newes. Wee sometimes stand in need of a right information of affayres above for enabling us to satisfye others. I doe not at all wonder at the mad (for soe I may safely terme it) zeale of John Simpson and cornet Day. They have long bin possesst with it. I wish, as the apostle prayes, that theyr zeale was according to knowledge. I thinke the comitment of cornet Day is very just upon him. Certaynly he hath deserved it long agoe, and I have admired, and so many more, at the great and long patience of his highnesse towards John Simpson. I am glad so godly and prudent a course is taken concerning the Jewes; yet cannot conceive the reason, why so great varietye of opinion should bee amongst such men, as I heare are called to consult about them. It seemes to me, that there are both politique and divine reasons; which strongly make for theyre admission into a cohabitation and civill commerce with us. Doubtlesse to say no more, they will bring in much wealth into this commonwealth; and where wee both pray for theyr conversion, and beleeve it shal be, I knowe not why wee should deny the meanes. Besides, when wee were aliens from the covenant of promise, they prayed for us. But I shall not trouble you any further with this. I shall only pray the Lord would direct you.
I perceave coll. Lylburne and the commissioners with him would have every 40 l. reall
estate and 500 l. personall to be taxed. When the letter from you came to me, the commissioners with my selfe were sitting at Nottingham about 15 of us. I desired to knowe
their judgment, but all were against it. It would discontent many, and ruinate some
in this countie, and I am perswaded in the rest of the counties under my charge, bring
very little into the treasury, the middling fort of men being almost all for the parliament, or neuters. For personall estate we shall make little of them, nay though you
should charge those of 200 l. it being so hard a thing to discover them. I hope now
very suddenly to give you an account of what the taxes in this and the rest of the counties
under my charge will amount to; as also a good account as to the things incumbent upon
me. I am
Yours to serve you,
The city of Geneva to the states general.
Tres hauts et tres puissants seigneurs,
Vos altesses ayants tousjours esté de plus fermes & solides appuys de l'eglise de Dieu, ont fait paroistre en toutes occasions ce soin, qu'elles ont de sa conservation; & la nostre, qui est un des membres de ce corps mystic, a aussy ressenti les effects de leur saint zele & pitie par toutes fortes de tesmoignages de l'honneur de leur bienveuillance & de leur beneficence pour la faire subsister au milieu des dangers, aux quelles elle est exposée. C'est ce qui exige de nous des sentiments d'une sincere recognissance, & semble aussy nous permettre d'esperer la continuation de ceste bonté de vos altesses envers nous, d'autant plus que de nouveau il leur a pleu nous en asseurir par monsieur d'Ommeren leur deputé extraordinaire. Et c'est aussy ce qui nous fait prendre la liberté, apres l'avoir communicqué au dit sieur d'Ommeren, de representer a vos altesses l'estat present de nostre ville, & justes apprehensions en ce temps, auquel il semble que la rage des ennemis de la verité soit venue a son comble, & supplier tres humblement vos de considerer, que la haine de la cour de Rome contre nous est d'autant plus grande, que nostre ville a tousjours esté de la reformation le refuge des fidelles persecutes ailleurs, & qu'elle a este reputée un feminaire de la religion reformée, qu'ils appellent heresie, & qu'en consequence elle est un des principaux objects des machinations, qui se font pour l'extirpation du sainct evangile; surquoy nous supplions tres humblement vos altesses, de faire par leur tres exquisite prudence les reflexions convenables, & particulierement sur les nouvelles & puissantes conjurations, qu'on recognoist par les practicques & menees des ecclesiastiques Romains, qui n'en est espargnent rien pour animer les princes, estats, & peuples á la persecution des eglises reformées & des fidelles, & les poussent a des executions sanglantes, ainsy qu'on a pu voir en ce qui est arrivé es vallées de Piedmont, & encor de nouveau par le trouble suscité en Suisse, dont vos altesses auront sans doubte esté informées, & dont il est fort a craindre, qu'il ne s'ensuive tost ou tard une rupture & ouverture de guerre, dans laquelle nous nous trouveront infailliblement engages. Toutes ces considerations nous mettant devant les yeux un peril imminent nous font bien comprendre la necessité de mettre nostre ville en estat de se garentir des invasions des ennemis, & nous ont aussy fait prendre la resolution de nous munir & fortifier, d'y traviller incessamment, & ne rien omettre pour conserver le pretieux icy au de la predication du sainct evangile, dont il a pleu a Dieu nous rendre depositaires. Mais comme il nous est absolument impossible, a cause des grandes charges ordinaires & extraordinaires, & du peu de revenu de notre estat, de fournir aux frais immenses, qu'il convient faire pour la perfection des travaux commences & d'une nouvelle fortification jugée absolument necessaire pour resister a toutes fortes d'entreprises; nostre impuissance nous contraint de recourir a ceste mesme liberalité, dont il a pleu a vos altesses fair sentir les effects, & les supplier tres humblement, que faisants consideration de l' interest de la cause commune, il leur plaise, suivant le zele, qu'elles ont a la gloire de Dieu & au maintien de son eglise, & leur inclination favorable envers notre republique, nous faire recevoir une subvention, selon leur bon plaisir, & le grand pouvoir, qu'il a pleu a Dieu par sa grace leur mettre en main, pour estre employée a la munition & fortification de nostre ville, laquelle obtenant ce benefice des vos altesses, non seulement nous & nostre peuple, mais aussy les eglises reformeés en general, leur en auront une infinie obligation, & nous en particulier tascherons de tout nostre pouvoir de'en tesmoigner nos resentiments a vos altesses par nos treshumble services; & en attendant qu'il plaise a Dieu nous en presenter occasion & donner les moyens, nous continuerons nos prieres ardentes a sa divine bonté, qu'il luy plaise rendre a vos altesses la remuneration de leurs bienfaicts envers son eglise en general, & la nostre en particulieur, & les combler de toutes sortes de benedictions spirituelles & temporelles, comme estants,
Le 13 Decembre 1655.
Mr. Longland, agent at Leghorn, to secretary Thurloe.
I Hav received yours of the 15th November with the inclosed declaration publisht by his highnes about the laying the charge of the new militia upon the disturbers of the peace, which certainly is very just and rational, thoh themselves wer judges. For the gentleman, whos letters I sent you from Rome, 'tis my opinion he wil be real; there is no other way to what is in the hart, but by expressions of tongue or pen; both which I hav found to agree in one principle contrary to al papists, that I hav converst withall; I mean Inglish papists (for of any other nation I never met with any half such humble vassals to the Pope as they). This gentleman mr. Mettam professes, and wil giv it under his hand and oath, that nether the pope nor the popish religion, which he professes, can, shal, or auht to withdraw him from his obedience to his prince, that ether now or hereafter shal govern our nativ country; and that he owes no other obedience to the pope but in spirituallibus. I tould him, if al the papists in Ingland wer of the sam faith, they may liv better ther then in any place of the world. One prejudys I fynd in him, which his present voyage for Lisbon wil tak off, his coming for Rom in Baylye's company brauht the sam report upon him; for this gentleman presenting a paper of verses to cardinal Barbarini, the cardinal answered 'twas no marvail, he was so good a wit, for he that sent him thether did out-wit Rom. You may possibly remember this gentleman in Ingland, who was in al the troubles with the Portugall ambassador's brother. He is now going for Lisbon to the sayd ambassador, who has promist him reparation for the damages he suffered for his sak in Ingland. In 3 or 4 monthes he may retorn; this voyage (the caus ther being so publickly known) wil wyp off the former varnish, which Baylye's conversation and confortship gav him; so that then he wil walk the more unsuspected, and consequently be able to procure you good advys. This week is arryved here 17 Inglish ships with salt-fish. A this syd Mallaga, it seems, the Spanyards will give no trade to our ships, which is the reson of such a large confluence to this place. The queen of Sweden has bin at Loretta, wher she has presented her crown and scepter. She was to be yesterday at Rom. 'Tis said the cardinals of the French faction (the chief of them) absent themselves, becaus they know she declares her self al Spanish.
I am humbly thankful, that you are pleased to tak not ill and bear in mynd my request about my losses by the French. What reparation you pleas to allot me shal be
owned from your special favour unto,
Leghorn, Dec. 24, 1655. [N. S.]
A letter of intelligence from the Hague.
The ministers of the elector of Brandenburgh caused to be proposed yesterday by the lord president (without any writing, for fear lest the writing should fall into the hands of the king of Sweden) that the duke of Brandenburgh doth offer to mortgage the toll at the Pillauw and Memel for two hundred thousand ryx dollars, desiring that this state would be pleased to lend him so much. Item, he desireth speedy furnishing of the pecuniary subsidy and other things promised in the treaty for the present.
Holland hath yet taken this ad referendum; but there is a great deal of likelihood, that most part of this will be agreed unto, although that a good many are of opinion as well of the generality as of the other provinces; that all offensive things may be declined, and that they may only walk in the way of amity.
Again, this day hath been proposed and urged the passage money or toll at Maestricht, which all the provinces urge except Holland. It is believed, that to morrow the provinces will conclude, notwithstanding Holland is against it.
The lord Slingelandt (by constraint of the lord Strevelshouck his father-in-law) dares not undertake the embassy for Sweden; he gives no reason for it, only that in regard of his old age he will keep his son here, imagining himself, that they will remove him to oppress him.
To morrow those of Holland are to adjourn; it is doubted whether they will resolve any thing upon the harmony. The lords of Beverweert and Nortwyck are against it, as also the princess royal; but it's very certain, that prince William doth much desire it, as also the old princess dowager; and thus this will be the return of the year 1640, when prince Henry opprest prince William, obliging him to give the survivance of his government to prince William of Orange.
At last the lord Slingelandt hath also declared to accept of the embassy to Sweden, so that there remains nothing more to be done but to begin their voyage: however, I perceive, that the embassadors for Denmark will begin their voyage a little before the rest, having fixed upon the 4th day of January for their departure. All the embassadors have proposed and demanded a new regulation to be more liberally treated than formerly, which is taken into examination. Here is advice, that the king of Swedeland doth offer a neutrality to Thorn for five years; this is a sign, that he will do the same to Dantzick and Elbingen; but here they would rather have those cities to wage war as the elector of Brandenburgh. As for the half million, which the said elector doth demand here upon his tolls at the Pillauw and Memel, Holland saith; what toll, where there is no commerce ?
The council of state hath been in the assembly of the states general, proposing and demanding, that in lands of the generality there may be introduced the 40th peny upon the sales and collateral successions.
They will enlarge the instruction of those that are to go to the king of Sweden with a request, that he would be pleased to permit the exportation of great guns, which are bought in Sweden, and which the said king hath since prohibited the exportation thereof.
The 120 thousand guilders of subsidy for the elector of Brandenburgh are gathering, but those of Guelderland and Overyssel declare, that they have not wherewithal to satisfy: from the rest they hope better; Holland will be ready.
The embassadors have demanded each of them their coaches; but they shall have each two, one with 6 horses and another with 4; they have been desired to be served in silver at their table, but they shall have good pewter. The other things as usually.
The question of presidency between the lord Slingelandt pensionary of Dort, and the lord Dorp lord of Maesdam senator in the court of Holland, both of them embassadors designed for Sweden, is decided for Slingelandt, as coming from a sovereign body; Dorp coming from a body, which is under oath to another.
Holland hath sufficiently and favourably declared itself for the petitions of the elector of Brandenburgh, to agree in the loan of two hundred thousand ryx dollars, and the other points which are demanded; but however, without any final conclusion, but that within ten days the members would send their consents or advice. And in the mean time the assembly is separated, and will not come together again till February; so that this delay is only to see what progress the Swedish march will have in Prussia; for it is believed, and that very probably, that the elector of Brandenburgh will make some agreement, and here they will give him the full measure, to the end he should not say, that they have failed him here in any thing, nor that they did abandon him; yea they have as good as concluded to send him 6000 instead of 4000, and for the fleet of 48 ships. All is also agreed upon, but the event of the Swedish march will sway all.
The resident of Sweden hath signified the birth of a prince in Sweden by the lord president, which news was received almost after the same manner as that of the taking of Thorn; it being observed, that that prince was born between the 4th and 5th of Dec. stilo novo, which was just the same time that the king agreed with Thorn.
To morrow these of Holland are to declare themselves concerning the placart of collateral successions in the lands of the generality. The lord of Somersdyck, who in the year 1651 was excluded out of the nobility of Holland, hearing that at present they were treating about an union between the provinces, doth labour to be likewise comprehended in the same, to be re-established in the said nobility.
Those of Holland have declared themselves concerning the points demanded by the elector of Brandenburgh, that they will permit the levy of 8000 men, assigning the city of Boisleduc and Maestricht for a rendezvous; but as for the money to make the levies, nothing is yet resolved.
The equipage of 48 ships is agreed with by Holland. As to the loan of 500 thousand guilders, a conference is to be had about it. As to the passage money, Holland doth agree in the abolishing thereof upon certain conditions; Holland doth also agree to the 40th peny of collateral successions upon the lands of the generality, provided they will also agree in the same thing for the ascending and descending successions.
A letter of intelligence from the Hague.
In regard that the Swedes do still continue in their happy progress, having taken Thorn, Grandens, Strasburgh, all keys of Prussia, with great likelihood that the elector of Brandenburgh will make the best agreement he is able, they do here begin to be in earnest with their sending of embassies to the king of Sweden and others; they do begin to see clear, that the opinion of those was very good, who (first) did disapprove of those rodomontades of equipping a great fleet of ships (for it would have been as much, as if the fish would have carried some relief to the birds) and who (secondly) did disapprove those treaties with Brandenburg for it was to get the support of a weak reed to quit the amity and to provoke a powerful prince.
Yea and very ridiculous it was, that Amsterdam have so laboriously sought the amity of Brandenburg as if the philosopher's stone were in him; for you know they have sent unto him; how they received, caressed, flattered and treated the princess dowager and how they have changed their maxim, being willing to submit again the militia to prince William instead that they had before well otherwise protested; but it is the love of commerce which doth make blind their intentions and understandings. I have often said and still say, that the nation of England (having help'd to overcome the Spaniard by sea) hath brought and occasioned to Holland this great commerce et iisdem artibus debebant sibi conservars this commerce but they have an impression (incurable) that England hath no other design than to ruin commerce of the states of Holland. As to Sweden nature itself dictates, that those of Sweden are not capable of great commerce but they believe, that the design of Sweden is to give all commerce to England and their belief or unbelief is incurable, and they do not perceive, that Orange party do studiously cast oyl into this fire, instigating the states of Holland and Amsterdam to irritate and offend the Swede more, and more to the end to oblige the states of Holland to enmity.
In the mean time the thing itself, or the issue of this campaign will declare the truth of all; and I perceive that Amsterdam do put, or at least do seem to put, much water into their wine. Of equipping fleet there is spoken but in general, that there must be one had for the great hazards, which the navigation will run every where, as well towards the west as towards the east.
The Brandenburger doth lose much of his reputation, although that it be flattered; for true and real he never had; for he never had any thing but very much exact of his country and to bad purpose; and it was a madness to believe, that Brandenburg would do that, which neither Dane nor the emperor durst do. But the wisdom of Amsterdam was so good, that they for their wealth and subtility could make a Mercury of every piece of wood. I have it from a very good hand, that Denmark hath sent for hence his resident (he that was with Cromwell remains here) to be considently informed of the true inclination, constitution, and resolution of S. general and Holland to the end to be better informed and instructed when that the embassadors of S. general shall be come there; for the instruction of these embassadors is the most important, and as the secret basis of all what the others shall do Sweden and Brandenburg. But it will be very difficult for this ambass to inform thereof the Dane in regard that in Amsterdam there be many heads and too much alteration; that which is often times bad, oftentimes good, for God doth not always work by the same means, and doth laugh at the wisdom of men. The friends of the prince of Orange would well, that all were put into the hands and head of one alone, as prince of Orange or grave William but when that only head is spoiled or of bad conduct, all is bad; for example the king of Poland Item likewise the Brandenb. who doth not do that which is expected from him. It is to be hoped, that Sweden will be wise, and will be contented with an equal and moderate treaty, otherwise he will create to himself much trouble, and moderata durant. I do always alledge, that Amsterdam and states of Holland are in an error in their opinions, that the Swede would exclude the states of Holland of commerce for every wise body that hath goods to sell doth draw the merchants, and the more merchants the more money; and a little is better with quietness than much with war and trouble.
One of states of Utrecht (who was ambassador to the deceased K. Scots) have lately discoursed in
states general (upon occasion that the affairs go ill for S. general in Poland and Prussia) saying, that to
be a just punishment of God, in regard that S. general had made such an ungodly and minute
peace with Cromwell excluding the K. of Scots true, legitimate, and undoubted heir; that God would
not be just if he did not punish that; and that it was only a beginning, that more punishment would follow, I am
This 24th Decembris 1655. [N. S.]
An intercepted letter of sir G. Ratcliff to mrs. Traps.
We hear of great preparations for war this next year. France, we say, is raising two great armies. The cavaliers here talk much of one Manning discovered for a spy at Cologne by the industry of Charles their king. He had 150 l. given him by the lord protector; and though he blanched the matter, when he was first examined, yet by his letters and papers many particulars were discovered against him; and since it is said, he hath disclosed sundry things to king Charles. The magistrates at Cologne were pleased to afford Charles the means to restrain him; and it is thought he will receive punishment severe enough, by their assistance or permission. He used to eat with the lord Wilmot, Wentworth, and Taaf; where every one had a pot of wine set by his trencher, as their usual allowance, which it seems gave him the confidence to promise the lord protector, that for 500 l. he would let him know from time to time, what every one said at the council table; for so it seems he writ in a letter, which was intercepted. This man's father was kill'd in the last king's service, and himself wounded.
The pope will have all cardinals, who have bishopricks abroad, to reside at their benefices. Cardinal Antonio having a bishoprick in France is sent hither. He came to Paris on sunday last. The duke of Modena is also come hither for assistance. His son married cardinal Mazarin's niece, and now the duke joining with the French against Milan is like to be driven out of Modena by the Spaniard. We expect here an embassador from England; but we hear not any certainty, who it is, or when he comes.
Here is an excellent chirurgeon belonging to the charity of Fauxbourg St. Germain: about a fortnight ago he had a message sent him from the lord protector, who desires his advice or help concerning something concerning his bladder; but he says he will not go, till he have a 1000 pistoles paid him beforehand.
Mr. Ed. Wale to Dr. Harrison.
I Have understood your willingnesse to convey letters from mee into England by the post. Indeed I thinke it best and surest to send letters to London by the way of Dublin. The letters sent from hence doe often miscarry, and when they miscarry not, yet theyre soe long in passing, that I am forced to seeke a better way. You shall doe mee a great kindnesse, and I will endeavour to requite you, if you will convoy these and other my letters by the post. What charge you are at I pray set downe in your booke, and I will repay you, and become your debtour besides for your invaluable love and care; which though I cannot requite as I would, yet I doubt not but you shall have consideration too from the lord of love. I hope you are well, and your good wife, with the rest of our deare friends with you. I heare of some strange passages of your Anabaptists of Dublin to the greife and offence of lord Henry Cromwell. I doe marvell what that people would have. My lord's demeanour hath bene such every where since his coming, that godly people doe generally speake well of him, and are much satisfied in him. But the anabaptists, I heare (those of Dublin especially, for I heard our governor coll. Leigh much commend him) are not pleased. Surely the pride and uncharitableness of that people shall ere long bring them low. I hope, that the horrid schismes of the anabaptists, the madnesse of the quakers, the crueltyes and insolencies of the romane beast, together with our owne differencies and confusions every where, shall make us all ply that petition more, thy kingedom come. Alas, methinkes, how weake are our hands at present, and what a covering of shame is upon the face of our affayres ! but when Christ shall reigne, the kingdome, power, and glory shall goe together. I would not be mistaken, I am not for innovation nor change of the government; but I would have the present government and our whole state established by the kingdome of the Lord Jesus Christ. O that God would worke it; I never look for better dayes, till the saints set themselves to their duty in that respect. I hope you are well, and mrs. Price. I heartily salute you both in our deare saviour, and earnestly craving your prayers still, I continue
Your brother in the Lord to serve you,
My wife remembers her love to you and to mrs. Price. I pray present my love to doctor Winter, your brother Price, mr. Will. Markham, doctor Fog, &c. The Lord hasten his coming to releeve and restore his people. If you receive any letters for mee out of England, I pray send mee them by the next Waterford post.
A letter of H. Warren.
Since I came from Dublin I have scrutiniously observed the behaviour of my neighbours in these parts, against whome I would not take any advantage in theire private con cernments, but to testifie my freindship to the publique tranquillity, wherein I may be helpfull to it, when I groundedly feared a common designe to be carrying on against it. For there is a certaine generation amongst us are of a muddie and disturbed temper; and if they cannot get into governement and greatnesse, as the Hebrews did into Caanan thorough Jordan, they will (maugre the promise, which leads against them) attempt it by the way of Munster.
Captain Vernon (the church's emissary) has ben abroade; whether proselyteing those of
his religion to his present designes, as before he did their judgments to his religion, I knowe
not certainely; but confident I am, that somewhat is in agitation and secretly mannaged,
which speakes it the more dangerous and to be reguarded. Clonemell, Waterford, Kilkenny,
and some other places he has very busily visited. What their consultations have ben is
yet darke: however it concernes you to have a speciall care of my lord, and that none
of them be aloane with him. Remember Leyden. Though the same principle doe not
allwaies produce the very same effect in circumstance, yet give it time, and but a coniveing encouragement, and in substance it will. The honour and duty I owe my lord,
whose preservation I heartyly desire, occasions you this trouble; and if in future any thing
shall occurre to my knowledge, it shal be imparted to you, with the gratefullest acknowledgements of your favour to, sir,
Kilferar, Dec. 14, 1655.
Major general Worsley to secretary Thurloe.
Upon tuesday last I met the commissioners at Middlewich for the county of Chester, and there wee continued for two or three dayes, and had divers off the gentlemen of the county before us; att which time wee proceeded to the extraordinary tax, and taxed as many as amounted to 15 hundred pounds per ann. or thereabouts; and have sent for the rest to come in the next meetinge, with whom wee shall proceed accordingly. Wee have likewise sent orders for proclamation to be made throughout the county, and a day set, when wee shall put in execution the ordinance for scandelouse ministers and scoolmasters. Upon tuesday next wee meet att Preston for the county of Lancaster, and hope I shall be able to give you a good account shortly, and then I hope wee shall fall upon the rest of the perticulars. I have received a good testimony of the post-master of Chester and Nantwich, Warrington, Manchester; and of the rest I shall acquaint you shortly. I cannot but take notis of your favour to mr. Hutchins. I hope hee wil be faithfull and diligent in his place; and soe long humbly begg your favour. Wee are extreamly trobled with quakers in these parts. There is divers counstables here and there, that are honest, who are doubtfull of what poure they have, and how farr they may proceed of themselves in punishing sin, &c. The law is very darke in that; soe that divers have suffred upon that account; and they find it hard to find justises, that will encourage them in that worke. I have noe more at present, but I am
December 14, 1655.
There beinge a horse race apointted in this county the last weeke, beinge informed of it, I sent a party of the troop. They apprehended the chiefe actors; and they tooke the horses, which I heare since I came to Manchester are still in custody. I desire your direction what to doe with both.
Col. Werden to secretary Thurloe.
I Have allredey receaved a summons for the payement of my tenthe, and (if I maye creditt reporte) am intended by these commissioners to be muche worse used. What I have done, howe much suffered, and with howe little encouragement, your honour knowes, and here cannot but think I have (at least) deserved preservation. Yet am I lyke (in this place) if you some waye and in tyme prevent not, to be rancked in punishment with the moste criminall of the states enemyes; thoughe I am confident, they have no thinge to charge mee with, but what must come thorowe your hands; so that 'tis wholly in your power to ruine or preserve mee; and if you please in that manner to preserve mee, that ere longe I maye doe somethinge to deserve your favour; for he that knowes all hartes, knowes there is none has more zeale to his highnese's servise then
Your honour's moste humble and moste obedient servant,
If my letters from beyond the seas be not fallen into your hands, they are some other waye miscarryed, for since my leavinge that place, I have receaved none; thoughe my last there assured mee some were cominge of muche concerne.
Major general Berry to secretary Thurloe.
I Thanke you for the bookes you sent: they are of much use in these partes, and I may rejoice to heare, that your worke goes on in all parts soe effectually. We are very hard at it here. The commissioners have not omitted one day since we mett, and they intend to keepe together in this place about ten dayes longer, and then to remoove to the Welshpoole in Montgomeryshire; and there they hope to perfect the taxe for six counties. We are necessitated to bring the busines of North-wales to one committe, and judge that most for your service; and to that end we have inserted all the commissioners into the commissions for each county, and they hope to doe their worke very effectually. Onely this I find by experience, that the gentlemen of Wales have more honour than inheritance; and you will sooner find 50 men of 50 l. per ann. than five of an hundred; but we shall waite your further order therein, and in the meane time proceed according to our instructions. I intend, God willing, to spend a little time in Mountgomeryshire amongst those poore disatisfyed people, many whereof I heare are very honest, and see if God will (by me) doe any thing towards a reconciliation; however I shall have peace, when I have done my endeavour. I have little pleasure to stay in these parts; but indeed here is much worke to be done, wherein when we understand it, I believe we shall need your assistance very much. But I shall trouble you noe further, because I beleeve you meete with many of these papers. The office of a register would much ease you. I am, sir,
Wrexham, Dec. 14, 1655.
Major general Disbrowe to secretary Thurloe.
Understanding that mr. Swetman late post master of Shafsbury hath petitioned his highness for a restitution of his imployment (as postmaster) and obtained a reference thereupon unto three gentlemen of the country, two whereof, as I am informed, have certified in his behalf, though the particulars in the inclosed certificate were proved before them, as it is testified by major James Baker, who is a person of known integrity, and one of the commissioners, and certified by captain James Dewye. Much more might have been proved, as I am credibly given to understand; but I adjugde this sufficient to render the said Swetman incapable of that imployment, and must crave a continuance of it in the hand of mr. Lewis Evans, who is and hath bin faithfull to the publicque interest, and well approved off by the well affected. All which I leave unto your consideration, and rest
Blandford, Dec. 14, 1655.
These are to certify, that the late post master William Swetman of Shaftsbury in Dorsetshire was turned out of that office for his many neglects from time to time, and miscarriages of pacquets of state and merchants letters; and (as hath been observed) after he and his had received money for port of such letters, they have thrown them away, to the great damage of the persons concerned.
And in this last rebellion at Salisbury he removed his letters from a very honest man's house, where (before that) his letters were commonly left, unto another's custody, who at least was a person disaffected to the present government, by means whereof such letters, as were sent from his highness and council for the affairs of the county and commonweal were detained, and could not be got out of his hands, until such time as he was much threatened; also many other letters taken up by me were thrown into a furz-bush, at a place called Boys Lane near Blandford, being directed to colonel Bingham, as to many others of our county.
So also the said Swetman, upon the Scots invading England, and coming up to Worcester, received a pacquet from the parliament or council of state directed unto major general Disbrowe, brought it to Blandford, and (the general being that morning gone to Salisbury) he threw it into the street unto the bailiff of the town; and had not the bailiff and the rest of the well affected magistrates taken care to get a horse and guide, and so to send it after to Salisbury, it had been lost, as doth appear by mr. Blunden the said bailiff and mr. Jonadab Gilliott, they having affirmed the truth hereof upon examination before major James Baker, Thomas Grove, and John Still esqs; who were commissioners for that purpose, and much more might be reported.
Commissioners for the county of Essex to the protector.
May It Please Your Highness,
We no sooner received by the hands of major Heynes, the orders and instructions of your highness and council, but we did unanimously agree and apply ourselves to put the same into a due and ready execution. It can be acknowledged for no less than the dictate of right reason, that those, who will not be convinced, reclaimed, and won by lenity, should have the streighter reins of government imposed for a curb and terror unto them; and it is as reasonable, that as they, who by their restless designs endeavour continually to interrupt and undermine all their dearly bought liberties, which the divine hand of God hath wrought out for us, should be made instrumental (though against their wills) to conserve that they so labour to destroy. And the consideration thereof having necessitated your highness and council to direct this just and equal way, as the readiest and best means conducing to the protection of the peaceable and good people of this nation, and restraining the power of that irreconcilable interest, we shall not so far as is committed to our trust by your highness and council, betray or neglect, but shall manifest the sincerity and reality of our hearts in the prosecuting of this great affair. The all-powerful and onlywise God lead your highness with his right hand, and make you his blessing unto this nation; which shall be the daily prayer of
Chelmsford, Dec. 14, 1655.
Your highness's most humble servants,
Commissary Pels to the states general.
High And Mighty Lords,
The town of Elbing surrendered it self the two and twentieth current towards the evening to the king of Sweden without any opposition. 400 of their garrison the king hath taken to himself; and hath put a 1000 men of his own into the new town. The king is since march'd with his forces towards Koningsberg. What resistance he will find by the way by the forces of Brandenburg, is yet uncertain; and yet there hath not happened any act of hostility between both parties.