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 (4 of 7)
General Monck to the protector.
May It Please Your Highnes,
Since my last to your highnesse, my intelligencer gives mee notice, that he saw a letter, which came from Middleton to col. Borthwick, who (as soone as he received itt) read itt, and burnt itt; but the substance of the letter was, that the Scots kinge was in a good condition, and that the king of Spaine did intend he should live in Dunkirk or elsewhere in Flanders. And further he wrote to him, to give incouragement to this people, that they might bee in a readinesse to doe him service, as occasion serv'd; and that his designes went on very well, and hee did hope to see a good issue of them very speedily. I cannot conceive, what the ground of this letter should bee, unlesse they have employed some to attempt your highnesse person; for I cannott thinke they can have any other designe feasible in England or Scotland, and therefore most humblie advise your highnesse to looke to yourself. I remayne
Dalkeith, Dec. 15, 1655.
General Monck to secretary Thurloe.
I Received your letter by mr. Drummond, and thanke you for the care you had of him, when hee was with you; hee is one, who hath deserved, and will meritt yet more, having carryed himselfe very faithfull to our interest these many yeares, and hath done many good services. For newes, here is none: my lord Broghill hath still the goute upon him, soe that he cannot attend the councell; but I hope hee will be better in a few days, and that he will bee able to sitt with us the next meetinge againe. I remayne
Dalkeith, Dec. 15, 1655.
R. Bateson to secretary Thurloe.
May It Please Your Honour,
The enclosed came yesterday to my hands. All I can give you light in towards it, that this Montford is an English merchant liveing in Rotterdam, whose factor, one Shallon, was lately in custody under sergeant Dandy.
I would long ere now have begun my owne journey to York, had I got your honour's
licence and letter; but I have for want of it sent before my man. If your honor can
dispence with leisure to dispatch me now, or the begining of the next weeke, that I may
be there before Christmas, your honour will not onely thereby do me a very great favour,
but likewise enable me to have some servis there done you by
Saturday night, Dec. 15, 1655.
Yesterday the sadd newes came to me of mr. Parker being betrayed by Sym. Ruth's man, with whom his master would entrust his life. We hard some flying report of it before, but the manner how he was betrayed was first made knowne heere by mr. Monford's letter, to whom likewise the roague has made an apologie, under pretence of working his owne peace, assuring him he shall receive noe prejudis by him; but mr. Monford is, as he has cause, very fearefull of him. I pray enquire, whom that roague has undone, and how and wherein; for they say you are acquainted with him, though I am not, for you know it concernes many here and elsewhere to know it. Though mr. Hope be at the lowest that ever he was or will be, yet be of good cheer; God is strong, and if he would degenerat, as he tearmes it, from himselfe, he might do things more then probable. I assure you, he is underhand as much courted by the dons and the empire, as gaffer Hobs is openly by others, though there is reason for privacie.
I shall, if God lend health, by Christmas, see you with mrs. Headstrong. We are here
driven to as much privacy as there. I am much afeard of advocat's miscarriage, for then I
shall want the money he should returne to us. Write what you can to
Wilde-streete, Dec. 5.
A letter in behalf of sir Thomas Hanmer.
Sir T. H. came in voluntarily to the parliament before Naseby fight, and afterwards out of a true affection to his country discovered to my lord chiefe justice St. John, and by his direction to the then committee for the army, the dangerous practises betwixt the Scotts and the king concerning the drawing him to their army; which they utterly profest themselves to bee ignorant of; the particulars of which discovery were then of great use both for the security of the English army, and for the undeceaving of a great part of the parliament and nation. This information in the parliament was owned and justified by the said sir T. H. the 18th of June 1646 to the hazard of his life and estate, for some of the Scots threatned to kill him, and some of their party in the parliament house moved earnestly to have had him committed to the tower, and proceeded against as an incendiary.
Ever since hee hath beene lookt upon as an enemy by the king and his party, and hath amidst many conspiracies and insurrections carried himselfe with that integrity to the state and present government as hee was obliged by the covenant and engagement.
A particular of the estate of sir Thomas Hanmer bart.
His personal estate was all lost in the war tyme, and most of his houshold stuff, which was sent by him to Holt-castle, was taken from him by the governour thereof, because he left the king and came to London.
Jo. Cockayne &c. to secretary Thurloe.
Upon the return of captain Whitebread to us, and his rehearsal of the great favour and furtherance your honour was pleased to afford him in the grant and dispatch of that business, wherein he at our request addressed to his highness and his council, we could not be insensible of the great obligation thereby upon us in some manner to make known our grateful resentment thereof; and therefore in our own and in the name of every of the inhabitants of the parish wherein we reside, we have taken the boldness hereby to express our humble and cordial acknowledgment of your honour's respects manifested to us by your kindness towards him in the business he negotiated for us, assuring hereby, that in any thing we or any in whom we have interest are capable of serving or pleasuring you, we shall every of us with much cheerfulness and readiness, as often as occasion shall be offered, approve ourselves
Cardington, Dec. 15, 1655.
Major general Disbrowe to secretary Thurloe.
I Met with yours at Dorchester, and have accordingly sent you a list for Cornwall, Devon, Somersett, and Dorsett. By the next I shall not fail you for Wilts, being desyrous to have the advice of friends in the case; but for Gloucester I am altogether unable at present to pitch upon a fitt person, but must respit that, untill I come upon the place, being unfree to give a judgment at such a distance. Sir, I have received the instructions for Poole, and shall endeavour to satisfy the gentlemen with your answers. As soon as I have bin thorough my circuit, I shall give you a list of the commissioners in each county. I came this day from Blandford to this place, to the end I may give my attendance on munday, where sundry are summoned to appear. Wednesday I have appointed to return to Blandford, there being orders issued forth for 20 of the chiefest to bring in a particular of the estates both real and personal, as also a list of their servants, From thence I intend for Malborough, and soe to Gloucester; which is all at present from, Sir,
Sarum, Dec. 15, 1655.
Major general Haynes to secretary Thurloe.
On tuesday night the 11th instant I came to this place, expecting to have mett sir Thomas Honywood and major Templar with their officers; but in regard they were upon the commission of Colchester, wherein they were desirous to make some progress before they came thence, it was thursday morning following ere I could communicate these instructions proper for them, which accordingly I did; and that day many of the commissioners of the county being mett, wee sett upon the consideration of the orders and instructions of his highnesse and councell, and agreed the officers and such other rules as related to the method of our proceedings, and were judged needfull for the better prosecution thereof. What sense the commissioners had of this worke, and with what readinesse they applyed themselves thereto, their owne letter to his highnesse can best justifie for them; wherein I doe unseignedly thinke they prevaricate not; and if a judgment may be made of the truth of their professions by their actings, since they will sufficiently speak for them, for the number, there appeared more then I could reasonably expect, and many more also would have beene there, if some extraordinary providence had not detayned them. Sir Thomas Honywood, sir Richard Everard, and mr. Wakeringe are all exceedingly satisfied in the justness of the action, and most forward in it. Wee have yett but begun to set fines; and in regard of his highnesse comands to mee about the election of officers at Colchester for the year ensueing, (which is intended to be the next weeke) and that the sittinge of the commissioners there att that time may contribute some assistance to the honest interest therein, by being a witnesse for them in their just endeavours for a good magistracy, and by putting a discountenance upon the malignant party, it's apprehended by sir Thomas Honywood, mr. Wakeringe, and major Templar &c. (whoe purpose to be upon the place) that it is very adviseable, that a few dayes be spent in that towne in the execution of the orders and instructions aforesaid. And the rather, because there is like to be much difficult worke in the corporation it selfe, the army under Goringe in 48 being by them invited, and such honest people as came out of the countrey for their relief being by them beaten out. God willinge, I shal be at Chelmsford the munday followinge, the 24th instant, where the commissioners will meet for the further carryinge on of this affaire. I have inclosed the commissioners letter to his highnesse in yours, it being their desire you would present it. That to my lord president is but for the councill's confirminge the sallaries of the officers chosen to the commissioners. If I might not be thought impertinent, I would intreat the hastinge downe the additional instructions (as to persons of lesse estates) you were pleased to mention, when I was last with you; it being much to the advantage of their commissioners and the countrey. Please to excuse the trouble hereof, and let mee be accompted as, sir,
Chelmsford, Dec. 15, 1655.
Col. Robert Lilburne to the protector.
May it please your highnes.
I Thinke it my duty to give an accompt of what has been acted here since my last. Yesterday being the day appointed for the commissioners to meet, there did 30 at the least appeare upon the place, and with much cheerfullnes fell to worke; and put things into as ready a method as could bee; and this day haveing had several delinquents before us, that were summoned by 3 or 4 commissioners I got together on monday, we proceeded with much readines to tax them; and those, that did appeare, seeme to be very ready to doe what was required of them; that I hope this worke will goe on with much facility. I expected col. Howard here according to your highnes direction, but I perceive by a letter from him this day, that he is hardly yet come from Edenbrugh. I intend, God willing, to meet him at Durham about the middle of the next weeke, hopeing by that time busines here will be in a good forwardnes. Wee find already by this daye's experience, that 100 l. per annum. and 1500 l. will swallow up too much of those moneys, that might have been raised in these parts. If your highnes and the council had thought fitt to have resolved upon lesse, truely I find most of the commissioners very desirous, the rule might have been 40 l. and 500 l. for most of your desperate people, which are a more considerable number then those that are taxt, escape, I may say, unpunished. There wants also instructions for Hull, which I humbly move may be sent unto,
York, Dec. 15, 1655.
Secretary Thurloe to H. Cromwell, major general of the army in Ireland.
I Received a letter from doctor Harrison of the 5th instant, whereby I understood, that your lordship was under some distemper of body; but beinge then through the goodnesse of God upon the recoveringe hand, I trust this will finde your lordship in perfect health, and in a condition to attend the publique affaires, which will soone feele your absence. It is some trouble to us heere, that wee have not had any letters from Ireland of any later date then the 5th. Wee are in expectation every houre, and trust wee shall have good newes from them, when they come. This weeke hath proved very barren of newes, (for I doe not account any thinge, which falls out at All-hallowes, newes, and therefore doe not tell you that as such). Upon munday was senight cornet Day and mr. John Sympson preached, or rather rayled there, and did it in such scurrillous language, that all this towne ringes of it. The best termes they gave us at Whitehall were, the theeves and robbers at Whitehall, and the great theise Oliver Cromwell, the tyrant and usurper; which expressions they used above 20 tymes, cum multis aliis, stirringe up the people to action against the government. These thinges wee were informed of by some sober Christians, who came to heare their testimony of their owne accord, not beinge able to beare the reproach and scorne, which is put not only upon the magistracye, but upon the name and ordinances of Christ. Upon this information Day is secured, and John Sympson is fought for, but hydes himselfe. What proceedings will be had against them, my next letters will informe you. Wee have had very many disputations concerninge the admittance of the Jewes to dwell in this comonwealth; they haveinge made an earnest desire to his highnesse to be admitted; whereupon he hath beene pleased to advise with some of the judges, merchants, and divines. The point of conscience hath beene only controverted yet, viz. wheither it be lawefull to admitt the Jewes now out of England to returne againe into it. The divines doe very much differ in their judgments about it, some beinge for their admittance upon fittinge cautions, others are in expresse termes against it upon any termes whatsoever. The like difference I finde in the counsell, and soe amongst all Christians abroad. The matter is debated with great candor and ingenuitye, and without any heat. What the issue thereof will be, I am not able to tell you; but am apt to thinke, that nothinge will be done therein.
The buissines of taxinge the cavalier partie is of wonderfull acceptation to all the parliament partie. All men of all opinions joyne heartily therein; and there are only a few
of Day's spirit and temper, who now keepe a noyse; otherwise wee have great hopes
of bringinge thinges to some good consistencye. I will not trouble your lordship further
at this tyme, but only to subscribe me
Whitehall, Dec. 17, 1655.
Major general Worsley to secretary Thurloe.
By my last I gave you an account of what progrese we had made both att Staford and att Middlewich, and alsoe that to morrow wee meete att Preston for this county of Lancaster, off which I hope likewise to give you a good account shortly. I must humbly beg the favour, that you'l give order for the printinge of a number of those bonds in the private instructions, for there are a very great number, that wee shall use; otherwise wee shal be long about it. There is lord Byron, that is now prisoner at Jameses, hath an estate in this county. I pray your directions what wee shall doe about that; and they shal be followed fathfully. I have one thinge to mind you of, about which I onst spoke to you; and that is about the postidge of my letters. There is such a multitude comes upon mee out of all parts, that it puts mee to very great chardg, and not one of many but about publick bussinese. But I leave it to your consideration, when your leasure will parmit, to let mee have the examinations about Booth, Warbutton, Leister, and Werden. I am afraid I shall find some more of that gang. I have noe more at present, but to subscribe my selfe,
Dec. 17, 1655.
Mr. Bradshaw, resident at Hamburg, to secretary Thurloe.
The inclosed will, I presume, satisfie you, that at last mr. Rolt hath received your severall pacquets, which have layne soe longe by the way, as I hope you have the letters I sent you lately from him at the cominge of captain Fenwick and mr. Swyft hither, to which they expect your answer per next post, that therewith mr. Swyft may returne to mr. Rolt. Sir, you may please to rest assured, that as I have, soe I shall continue to supply mr. Rolt with what money he shall desire; onely I pray you appoynt me a merchant in London, on whom I may charge my bills of exchange, as in my last I desired.
I humbly thanke you for your kind remembrance of me in the busines of the company.
I shall not doubt, now his highness, the council, and your selfe are soe well acquainted
with those mens unworthy usage of me, but through your favour shortly to obtayne a
sutable and full vindication. The new deputy Baron hath by the last post writ a letter
of thancks to his partie heere; and either he or some other of the committee that attended
the councill have acquainted them with what past there, where they say you were against
them, and my lord Strickland for them. Whatever be the issue, they seem consident,
that by their freinds they shall preserve the power of the government heere still in their
hands, and then they value not the rest. They have great indignation at the governor,
because he kept up their letter to their new deputie, till he had conferred with you, and
are soe resentive of it, as that mr. Townley said in the assembly, that if it was but as neare
Midsummer as it was to Christmas, the governour should knowe how they tooke that
affront, makeinge themselves sure of power to revenge; wherein I beleeve they will be
disapoynted, and find accourdinge to their workes. It's most true, that doctor Elborrow
put them on heere to the choyce of mr. Baron, for which he railes against him now at
London, saying he was the man, that did it, though he knewe, when he moved him to
it, a little before his comeinge over, that he desired not to be put upon it. The truth is,
the doctor hath soe discover'd himselfe since mr. Gunter's cominge over, as that now he
cares not what he practiseth with the disaffected and loose party to keepe him in his
place, where none but such desire him. Hee hath and still doth what he can to discourage mr. Gunter. I doubt it will not be well for the honnest partie, till he be removed,
except God worke a change in his hart. To the inclosed paper I have nothinge to ad,
but that I shall ever remayne, honorable sir,
Hamb. Dec. 18, 1655.
Stetin, Dec. 18/28, 1655.
Elbing hath also followed the example of Thorn and more other towns of Prussia. This is very certain, there being several letters to the lord embassador here giving advice thereof, and that they delivered up the town upon articles, and that the king himself was in the town the next day to view the same. There are letters of this out of Elbing itself to particular men here. The termes are not yet known upon which they surrendered. A garrison of a 1000 men is put into the town.
The letters of Dantzick mention, how that the governor at Marienburgh had sent 500 Polish soldiers to relieve Elbing; and that being met withal by the way by the Swedes, they were cut to pieces; as also that it occasioned some alteration there, seeing that first one place then another did surrender itself to the king of Sweden without any opposition; yet that notwithstanding there was no other likelihood, but that those of Dantzick were resolved to defend themselves couragiously, and that a nearer alliance was made between the said city and the duke of Brandenburgh; that the one nor the other should not treat with the king of Sweden directly or indirectly without the consent of each other; that there were already 300 pieces of ordnance upon the walls, and more were casting.
It is said, that the king of Sweden hath writ a kind letter to the duke of Brandenburgh, letting him know, that he will suddenly give him a visit at Koningsberg; but whether he will come as a friend or an enemy, men do long to see.
Extract of the resolutions of the states general.
Received a letter from the college of the admiralty of Amsterdam writ from thence the 27th current, and enclosed therein three papers; the one being the articles, which vice admiral de Ruyter had delivered to the Santon at Sallee, to conclude a good and firm peace concerning the same. Moreover the said letter did contain amongst the rest, that the said college for the reasons alledged upon the good liking of their H. and M. L. had thought fit and resolved to write to the said vice admiral de Ruyter, and to order him, that he should return home with all his ships, as soon as he could possibly, and make to arrive here before the end of March next, to be employed where the service of the state should require. Whereupon being debated it is resolved, that the college aforesaid do forthwith send away their letter to the said vice admiral, with express orders for him to come with all speed. And as for the enclosed papers, the same are referred to the consideration of the lords commissioners for the affairs of the sea.
Lord Broghill to secretary Thurloe.
The last post but one mr. Rowe acquainted me with your indisposition, of which I can truly say, I was thoroly sensible, as I am to understand by the honnor of yours of the 11th instant, that the Lord has bin pleased to restore you again to your health; which I hartyly desyer may be continued uninterruptedly to you. I am still under the power of my old ennemy the goute, which I finde much more violent in this cold clymat then ever I yet felt it any wher els, soe that for three weekes last past I have not stirr'd on foot from my bed. I hope his highness will in meere pitty in the springe free me from this place, and send me where I may in all respects be less unable to serve him. I am glad to heere the taxes layd upon the cavaliers, and the powers of the major generals is soe generally well resented by all the well affected; but much more, that the Lord has soe mercifully discovered the villanyes of thos assassinates. I have weekely very full information of what passeth in Ireland, wher a party dayly express very high disatisfactions, but whether they will manyfest them further then in words, I know not; but in this they are very free. I could hardly have thought, that my lord protector would have sent back adjutant general Allen. I wish he may have cause to believe it was well done.
Coll. Plaketer is gone for Cullen with a high recommendation from coll. Bort. whos cypher with C. S. Placketer left me a coppy of, which I shall make the best use of I can. But the malignants here would not write by Placketer, fearinge a search. Their little paper contaynes Bortwick's last letter to Glencarne, who we hope will bringe him speedely to this place; wher we shall make bold to secure him, havinge enough to charge him with, and findinge the people heere are apt enough to play the roge: only we would first from hence expect to get a letter from him to C. S. in Bort. cypher; and what he writes, I shall have brought me by the major. In the little note Atholl is meant by T. All Middleton's letters to coll. Bort. are left at the signe of the Blak boy in Drury-lane neere the Horseshoe-taverne, and are directed to him somtimes by his owne name, and somtimes by the name of mr. Jhon Steele, and are sent downe from thence hither by the poste. Bort.'s letter to Middleton by Placketer I have a coppy of, but it consistinge only of generalls, I did not esteeme it worthy your trouble. Your commands concerninge my inquiringe after an honnest able Scotchman to imploy as an agent, I have put in a way; but I much feare a person soe quallifyed will be hardly found in all this nation; but yet if such a one should be, I shall fortwith acquaint you therwith. I did about five weekes past send you a warrant for his highness to signe to the receiver generall heere, for some mony to be layd out by me for intelligence, which as yet I have heard nothinge about it, tho' it were by your order, that I sent it drawne up. I have alreddy in expectance therof disbursed som of my owne mony upon that account; and therfore desyer to know your pleasure therin, that I may accordingly proceed or stay my hand.
We have two of the councill, who were formerly two of the judges; one of which viz.
mr. Swinton, does sit upon both commissions, and when the judges fallaryes were to be
paid, their names were returned for payment with the rest of the judges, which we all
thought was not fittinge, especially som of the judges assuring me, that when they
pressed mr. Swinton to contribute his helpe in goeinge the circuit, he replyed, that his
highness had told him, he should not sit upon both commissions of councellor and judg.
I pray sir, signify his highness's pleasure heerin, for some of the judges stik not to say,
that actinge in two capassityes does not only over-awe som, that sit on the judiciall bench,
but that therby the number of Scotch judges does exceede the number of the English,
wherby the words (accordinge to equity and good conscience) which are indeed the only
words in their commissions, that give a rise to bringe the laws of Scotland to the laws of
England, will be rendered useless, for all thos, who are Scots are much averse to that
expression; and pleade hard to keepe the judges to the knowne statute law; only the
lord Traquaire the other day 'scaped being found guilty of perjury by one of the councell
comminge to sit on the bench, as judge Smith informed me. I beg your speedy answer
to this particular, which at some of the councills and the judges request, I have acquainted
you with; as also your pardon for this long trouble now given you by, Sir,
Edinburgh, Dec. 18, 1655.
Major general Disbrowe to secretary Thurloe.
May it please your highness,
I Have received your letter in referrence to the lord Seymour, and have purused his to your highness; wherein I find no more than any cavalier in the west of England shall pretend for himself. I must confess, I should be glad of a real charge; but I humbly conceive, without some publicque declaration to the world by him of the alteration of his spirit and principles, and of his real ingagement to the present government, it will but open a door, and give occasion to the enemy to cry out of our partiality; especially if favour and respect shall be shewn to him, and denyed to others, that will doe as much, if not more than he hath done. If his spirit be such as he can cordially close with the people of God, (as capt. Burges seems to hold forth) he will not be ashamed to disown that interest, wherein he formerly engaged; and for satisfaction of friends manifest his integrity to the publique. However, for the present the commissioners understanding your highness pleasure, seem willing to let him alone, untill they may be ascertained, whether there be any difference betwixt him and his former practices. Yesterday we proceeded upon taxing 7 or 8 of this county, amongst whom was sir James Thynn, who was at the first a little averse, and did plead as much innocency as my lord Seymour hath done; but at last having no refuge was constrained to comply; and I think of those 8, which we have already dealt withall, the sum will amount to 6 or 700 l. per ann. There are four more to appear this morning; and then I intend for Blandford to attend the Dorsettshire gentlemen, and soe to Marlborough, where there are 20 more to be summoned. In my last I gave mr. secretary a list of some names for Cornewall, Devon, Somersett, and Dorsett, to be sheriffs; and have presented your highness with three for Wilts, the two former being of the last parliament and signinge the recognition. For Glocester I must crave leave till I come upon the place. I am
Sarum, Dec. 18, 1655.
Mr. Samuel Morland to secretary Thurloe.
On thursday last there arrived here two deputies, the one from Zurich, the other from Berne in Switzerland. On fryday in the evening, after they had been with mr. Pell, they gave me a visit, and after some few compliments the deputie of Zurich began and made a long speech; the which, because it is abundantly conteined in the inclosed paper (B), I shall not attempt to repeate, onely the summe and substance of it in breife: which was first to represent unto mee the many difficulties and daingers, that were at present hanging over their heads, the greatest and most whereof were upon the account of the protestant reformed religion. And 2dly, to desire mee, as before they had don mr. Pell, in the name of the evangelicall cantons, to give information of this to his highnesse by the speediest way imaginable; and also to recommend their present affayres to my lord effectually, in order to the procuring for them a pecuniary assistance. When he had made an end of speaking, the deputie of Berne told mee, that hee had nothing to adde to what the other had said. Whereupon I began and told them, that according as his highnesse my lord protector, ever since divine providence had call'd him forth to act more publickly upon the stage of the world, has given ample testimonies of his most christian and sincere affection to the reformed religion, and the professors thereof, and also more particularly has given both mr. Pell and mee most strict commands to testify his highnesse singular affection to the evangelicall cantons; so I doubted not at all, but when his highnesse should bee throughly and fully informed of their condition and present state of affaires, hee would make reflections thereupon suitable and agreable unto the nature of the thing, and would not in any sort bee wanting to contribute all in his power for the preservation and establishment of the evangelicall interest; and that I should not faile to act my part to give them full satisfaction, both as to giving his highnesse a timely information of all these things, and also a hearty recommendation, so farr as I was in any capacitie of doing the same.
After this I came something more close to them in my discourse, and desired to know
of them, what reflections they had lately made concerning those poore people of Piemont.
They answered, they had alwaies had a most tender care of them and affection towards
them, and intended, if God ever gave them an opportunitie, to make the duke of Savoy
know so much; they said moreover that they had made a resolution at Payerne, and
they had now a long time expected with impatience my lord protector's answer thereunto,
and what his highnesse intentions were therein. To this I told them, that is things were
so, I did beleive there were some mistakes on both sides; that is so say, on the one side
the evangelicall cantons were cordiall towards those people, and intended to joyne with
his highnesse in meliorating their condition, and accordingly thought, that the world would
have construed their resolution at Payerne no otherwise. On the other side his highnesse did
not see any thing in that resolution, which might serve as a certain foundation, whereon to
build as to further attempts and undertakings with the duke, and therefore longed earnestly to have a cleare information of the Switzers intentions therein. After this laboured to
shew them (though in the most soft language that I could imagin) the darke and leane
expressions of that resolution at Payerne; and that no reasonable man could possiblie imagin or expect, that his highnesse would bee willing to engage himselfe in an affayre of this
nature, being not assured of those meanes, which were absolutely necessary for the effecting
of the same, the consequence whereof must needs have brought dishonour upon himselfe
and inevitable ruin upon those poore people. To this they replied, that they were heartily sorry, that they had not understood this before, and also were verie important with
mee to speake openly and clearly unto them upon this subject. Whereupon I told them,
that since it was their desire, and also the nature of the thing required it, I would speake
plainely and clearely to them, onely with this reserve, that what I spake, it should bee as
a third man or stander by, that observed how the prosecution of affaires were and had a
long time been interrupted to the disadvantage of both parties, and so desirous to contribute his thoughts for the removing the said obstacles; first, because I had not orders to run
to farr into particulars; 2dly, because I was not certain, that it was wholly mr. Pell's
judgment, and would by no meanes say any thing, that should give him the least offence.
They told mee they would construe my words in no other sense. Then I begun and told
them, that I conceived the marrow and substance of affaires betweene his highnesse and
the Switzers might bee comprehended in this question or quære; namely,
'In case his highnesse should be pleased to furnish the evangelicall cantons with such considerable summes of money as he should be able, and more particularly for their necessities in this present conjuncture of their affaires, whetheir their excellencies had an intention to send deputies to joyne with those of England, in making a new adresse to the duke of Savoy in the most lively and vigorous termes imaginable, for the honourable establishment of those poore people of Piemont, with provision for their future securitie. And in case the duke should resuse to grant those things, which should be thought fitt to bee insisted on, whither the said evangelicall cantons were resolved and would engage to furnish such considerable troupes, as should bee necessary for the forcing the said duke to grant them, being assisted by his highnesse as aforesaid, by moneyes and any way else that lay in his power: and moreover, what summe of money the said evangelicall cantons expected from his highnesse to supply their wants at present.'
When they heard this, they told mee, it was a thing they had never the least light into before, and that they had suffered much wrong thereby, for otherwise my lord protector should have more plainly understood, that they were reall in the buisinesse of Piemont. That now they should have an army of 40000 men, and they could easily place 10000 upon the frontiers of Savoy, in case there were occasion, with many expressions to this purpose. I replyed, that for my part I had never instructions to go into Switzerland, not otherwise any opportunitie to communicat my thoughts unto them, neither did I know that they were ignorant of my lord protector's thoughts concerning their resolution at Payerne. They made answer, that they blessed God for this opportunitie of speaking with mee; they added, that they entreated mee to give them my thoughts in a letter, or at least in writing, that they might communicat the same to their superiours, and they doubted not but they would quickly give my lord protector satisfaction of their readdinesse as to the points abovesaid. I told them, to give them any thing subscribed by my hand would bee subject to manie difficulties, and it may be inconveniences; but I did not scruple to give them the question abovesaid, which was onely a simple and bare question in general, obliging no man, and yet might open a doore for cleareing up the intentions of the Switzers to my lord protector by the way of a resolution, which might plainly and directly speake to all the points conteined in the question abovesaid; and accordingly at their request I sent them the question in French the next morning, which they received with much gladnesse.
The same day being saturday I received your honour's letter of the 29th of Nov. with the Latin declaration against Spain, the English declaration concerning the cavaleirs, a newes book, and a copie of mr. Pell's letter, as also a packet for mr. Pell, with the declaration aforesaid. This came very conveniently, for I will assure your honour the letter to mr. Pell did so quicken him, that ever since hee has been in a very good humour; amongst other things hee was very well pleased, that your honour promised him, that his extraordinary journeys, &c. should bee allowed him. And hee now begins to speake and act like a man, that in some measure minds the buisinesse, for which I am exceeding glad, it being the greatest encouragement imaginable to mee (as before it was my greatest griefe) I beseech God continue and encrease the same. And the truth is I now begin to bee extreme sorry, that I was forced to acquaint your honour with many passages concerning him. After the receipt of your honour's letter hee mentioned the buisinesse of Piemont to the Switz deputies with much earnestnesse, and I hope the effect will bee good. I have here sent your honour a copie of our answer, that wee gave the Switz deputies both in French and England with their proposition. Concerning their proposition and the circumstances, mr. Pell will give your honour a more large account. The truth is, wee are straightned in time at present, but shall bee more large in our letters, &c. by the expresse wee shall send, the which wee are forced to doe by the formal entreatie of the deputies, as your honour will find by the enclosed papers. The expresse I beleive wee shall dispatch to morrow or the next day at farthest, and hope that hee will not bee long behind the post.
I shall not sayle to doe my utmost to give your honour full satisfaction as concerning the 7000 l. sterling sent to those poore people. I waite with impatience for mr. D'Ize of Grenoble for all papers, &c. for that purpose, and after I have spoken with him, resolve whither to goe or stay. In the meane time the paper (A) will certify your honour, that the money, which mr. Caland. had readie, viz. 5000 l. is almost all at Grenoble, and wee shall receive the acquittances. Also by my former letters your honour, I hope, is certifyed, that it shall bee all or the most part of it bestowed at Grenoble for cloth, linnen, shoes, &c. for to send into the Valleyes. The next weeke I hope to give your honour a better account.
I shall bee carefull also to observe your honour's commands concerning the history of
the affaires of Piemont during my abode in these parts, or any thing else, wherein I may
approove my selfe, right honourable,
Your honour's most humble, faithfull, and affectionat servant,
The last night the deputies of Zurich and Berne tooke their leaves of us in a verie formall maner, and seemed to bee much satisfied. They asked mee privatly, whither they should procure of their superiours to send mee their resolution in order to the former question, and not to mr. Pell. I answered them, that I had informed them privatly of the true state of affaires, as not knowing mr. Pell's mind to bee the same; but since mr. Pell has declared the same thing in effect, I entreated that it might bee sent to both joyntly.
The Switzers have certain intelligence, that the duke of Savoy is deeply interessed against them, and has resolved to assist their enemies; whereby your honour will easily understand the mystery, why they begin now to talk of Piemont with such a grace. It is impossible to judge, whither they will yet accomodate the buisinesse or no: the affirmative is almost as probable as the negative, save onely that those of Zuric ar very urgent in the buisinesse. There are many devices in the heart of men, but God has the disposall of all.
H. Cromwell to secretary Thurloe.
If you please to reade any of the inclosed, I desire you to take notice of that from the church of Carrick-fergus, which I thinke is a sober letter, and may be imparted to his highness. The petition soe exclaimed against was carried one by such of the army, not only by sir Theo. Jones, but it is to be seen sir Hard. Waller, sir John Reynolds, and others, their hands were to it.
I Received yours, and must make the same excuse for my late silence, which you were pleased to send to me, haveinge been ill of a colde, and thereby consined to my chamber for above these fourteen dayes. I thanke you for your good advise. I have endeavoured to carry my selfe with moderation, and to hold out ane equall hande to all; but I see howe evilly I am requited for my kindness, which you may perceave by the inclosed representation to his highness from coll. Hewson: howe true it is, God knowès. I am sure of it, all that have seen it, that are sober, judg otherwise of it. But who would expect better frome hime, he haveinge owned with his hande, what was the product of other men; he haveinge in this matter consulted with none others than the cheif of our peevish freinds heer, viz. Vernon, Laurence, Carteret, &c ? I must needs consess I ame not a little amazed hereat, and have noethinge to quiett my spiritt, but through grace the integritie of my owne harte in my actions. As a man, I could sitt downe under my discouragements, (which are not a few) but my confidence is in the Lord, whoe will in due time bringe forth the hidden things of darkeness to light, and will make manifest the most secrett designes of men. If coll. Hewson must be beleived (with his three anabaptist sons) I must be made a liar, if not worse: what hath made all the sober godly people in Irelande afraide of that interest, and groane under their oppressions, some of the inclosed will make it appeare, as also that I ame not without ane interest in godly men, whoe doe not believe of me as coll. Hewson would suggest. The bearer will tell you of my actings heer, and what my comp. and councells have bin, and whether they have tended. I have nothing in my ey of selfe: it's the honour of God, the safety of his highness, good of sober people I aime at. Let his highness doe with me as he please, send me into a Welch cottage, if it be for his service. If the bearer doe not meet with ill company by the way (though judged their friend, having bin courted and congratulated) I doe not at all fear his relation of things heer, wherewith he is thoroughly acquainted; and I desire you will gett speedy access to his highness, before he getts to Wallingford house. I have bin necessitated in my own defence to write a large letter to his highness, which makes we thus short. I bless God heer is no appearance of danger. I trust through grace to keep things quiett as I sound them, for so long as I shall be thought sitt to be trusted. Money would be welcome. I thanke you for your endeavours therein. I could enlarge, but neither strength nor time will serve my turne, and therefore I hope you will excuse
Your truly affectionate freind and servant,
Coll. Hewson hath made his highness letter to himself so publique, that not only some doe take advantage thereof to discourage such as are sober, but also some of the cheif officers of the army beinge acquainted not only with the letter, but also with the contents thereof have some regret upon their spiritts, that he should be thought the only person of his highness confidence, which I particularly hint to you.
Sir, not longer then this eveninge, at the funeral sermon of adjutant general Allen's wife, where I was invited and expected, but dare not to be present by reason of my late illness, preached by mr. Patience, the subject of his discourse was of presumption, and pressing the necessity and excellency of their ordinance of rebaptization. How this agreed with coll. Hewson's letter to his highness, you will see by the inclosed frome him; and because he so particularly insists upon it, as if there had not bin one worde mentioned by them of persecution, give me leave to add this, they were soe full of it in all their discourses, that both the towne and country were full of the clamors thereof.
December 19, 1655.
At a morning lecture in Michael's church, major general Vernon preached, that it was a great judgement for the people of God to be under young or wicked governors, such being apt to be listed up, and usually left to believe lies, that a servant or whisperer suggests, with (as it shall please your honour) such or such a lying report against a poor saint; the whisperer is beleived, and the poor saint contemned; neither is it to be a wonderment, that government comes to such a hand; when we find in the scripture an Absolom endeavouring to grasp an unlawfull power; and wishing, oh! that I were a magistrate in Israel, and the bramble of all the trees in the forest, desireous to be a king, that he might thereby scratch and tear the poor lambs of Jesus Christ; who though they may pretend they may be for them, yet it is as Pharaoh was for Joseph, and as Herod for John Baptist, only to serve their ends upon them.
He farther sayd, that when the people of God were in prosperity, knights would frequent the saints meeting, but when otherwise, they would withdraw both their affections and persons; all which is owned by himself since; but he waives it, and says he wonders how my lord Harry would be concerned therein.
A copy of the letter of monsieur Servien from Turin, the 30th of Decemb. 1655.
Having received of late a command from his majesty to assist in the execution of the treaty, which was made at Pignerol in August last upon the subject of the vallies of Piedmont of the reformed religion; and having been informed since, I caused enquiry to be made about it in pursuance of the said order, whether all had not been accomplished, and whether there was yet remaining any difficulty; I did believe I could not be better informed than by you, to give an account to his majesty, which doth oblige me to write these lines unto you, to desire you to take the pains to come into this city with some that are more interested in the register, and of those that are more knowing and better informed of what past in the said treaty of Pignerol, to the end all difficulties may be determined, which are still remaining, and so secure the publick peace, that it cannot be any more altered, conformably to the desire of his majesty; and that you and they may come to this city in safety, as well for his R. H. as the magistrates, and for the inquisition, whereof I have found all necessary words, that it may serve for you all for a sufficient security; yet if you desire more express ones before you come, I will send them, you letting me know so much. In the mean time I desire you to believe, that I will do you therein all the offices, that depend upon me; and that I am
Dec. 30, 1655. [N. S.]
Lord Broghill to secretary Thurloe.
This letter (havinge the last post troubled you at large) is only to beg you to hasten his highness pleasure and answer concerninge that letter longe since sent, about the power, which the exchequer heere is to be credited with, of which also a duplicate, ac cordinge to your commands, hath bin about a fortnight since sent unto you; for not only the people are much prejudiced for want of that court, and have very freshly petitioned the councill for it's erection, but also I dare say his highness revenue heere has bin the less for one hundred pound a weeke ever since this terme began, and wil be the like, till my lord's command therin be sent, of which I thought it my duty to advertise you, as it is to be, as I am
Sir, your truly affect. and faithfull humble servant,
Sir Henry Vane to secretary Thurloe.
The enclosed, which yours brought me, I have received; and as I have cause to acknowledge therein your great favour in your kinde remembrance of mee and my concernes, so I desire not to be insensible of the civility intended mee in it by the first hand, which accordingly I desire you to represent in the fittest manner you please, from one, who upon those primitive grounds of publike spiritedness and sincere love to our country and the godly party in it, am still the same as ever both in true friendship to his person, and in unchangeable fidelity to the cause so solemnly engaged in by us. I doe intend, God willing, to dispatch away a servaunt of mine on purpose to Raby with the order you were pleased to send mee, and shall then render you an account of the observation that is given to it; and shall thinke my self very happy, whenever I may have an oppertunity to testify how much I am
Belleau, Dec. 20, 1655.
Col. R. Norton to the protector.
May it please your highnesse,
I Had not omitted waiting on your highnesse before I came out of towne, but that I thought I should rather be a trouble in the multitude of your affaires, than adde any service to you by it. I this night late received your highnesse letter concerning coll. Goffe. I shall in compliance to your highnesse desire (if these horses be able to carry me, (for I am at this time from my own home) waite on him to morrow at Winchester, if he be there, being ready as farre as I may to observe your commands, as becometh,
Alsford, Dec. 20, 1655.
Major general Haynes to secretary Thurloe.
I Received your honour's of the 17th, and am glad his highness did soe well resent the commissioners letter in relation to the orders and instructions of his highness and councell; wherein wee had made a considerable progress, if the business of Colchester had not intervened, an account of which I shall not trouble you with, in regard I have given it in the inclosed to his highness, with the list of the persons elected; yet we shall make noe delay, although we have not the additional instructions expected, which would very much have eased the commissioners and county. However, I cannot but return your honour many thanks, for your minding those particulars I had the privilege to leave with you. I did before the receipt of yours hear of the strange carriage of cornett Day and others at Allhallowes, in reflecting upon the protector, the councell, and government, but not of his consinement untill now, which I think truly is in great kindness to him, so be it his mouth be but stopped, else most certainly he would become his own executioner; for his spirit is great, and his tongue boundless. Surely God cannot be pleased with such horrid hypocrisy as is manifest in their approaching to him with evil purposes in their hearts, and he will judge such contemners of authority; and if a special regard be not had of condign punishment of them, your friends that serve you have but little encouragement soe to doe. I am not without knowledge of some endeavours, that have been used by those persons to draw some of other churches in Norfolk and Suffolk over to them, or some members therein; against which I shall carefully watch, and give you an account, who am, sir,
Colchester, Dec. 20, 1655.
Major general Haynes to Fleetwood, lord deputy of Ireland.
May it please your lordshipp,
Since my comeinge from London, I have with all dilligence applyed my selfe to the worke I was sent upon; wherein I have not made so considerable progresse, as I might otherwise have done, had I not beene commanded to the bussinesse of Colchester, where yesterday wee went to the choice of a mayor, recorder, and other officers for this yeare; a coppye of which election I have here enclosed for your honour's viewe. With very great difficulty was this choice made; and yet there wanted no endeavours of mine to exclude all persons forbid by his highnesse orders and proclamation; which I did soe effectually, that there remayned not above 140 persons, as electors. Of them the honest interest had but 74. How great need these few and weake hands and hearts have to be strengthened, I submitt to your honour's consideration; especially considering the populousnesse of the place, and that here were 1300 hands sett to the personall treaty and petition. I humbly offered this as a consideration to his highnesse, that unlesse some speedy change be made in such malignant corporations, it's not for such honest men, that would serve you, to abide in their present stations; for no longer then such a seveere hand as there was in this election be held over them, will any good magistracy be countenanced; which if it may by any meanes provoke to the doinge somethinge effectuall in the charters of corporations, I have my end, and I am sure the hearts of most that feare God wil be rejoyced. The providence of God having clearly cast the recorder's place upon mr. Taylor (although the other party strongly and unanimously endeavoured for mr. Shaw, whose name was to the said personall treaty petition, and one, whoe is the cheife of the malignant interest in this place) it's humbly desired, that your lordshippe would prevaile with him to accept thereof, there beinge noe purpose to impose the person he feared, or any other upon him for deputy; it beinge only desired, that if he cannot be prevailed with to reside upon the place, that such a person may be deputed by him, as may adde some encouragment to honest men and able to performe the duties of that place. Truely if he should refuse, I doe very much feare, whither if they should come to another election, any honest man would be chosen, unlesse such a course as was in this be admitted. I shall not further enlarge, beinge,
Colchester, December 20, 1655.
For the right honorable the lord deputy Fleetwood at Wallingford-house near Whitehall.
Colchester ss. The election of a mayor, recorder, justices, corroners, claniors, and a chamberlaine for the said towne for this present yeare, by vertue of an order from his highnesse the lord protector, before major general Haynes upon wednesday the nyneteenth day of December, in the yeare of our lord 1655, as followeth:
Mr. Longland, agent at Leghorn, to secretary Thurloe.
Last nyht cam into this port part of the Spanish gallyes, which wer latly with the fleet on the coast of Cattalonia in fyht with the French. They ar left bare of men, the Spanyard having taken al the soldiers ashore, and now sends them to Naples, for more men. The gallyes ar so bare, that they hav not bread to eat, which they buy here upon trust; and the Spanish affaires suffer much in the state of Millan for want of money, althoh the 2 ships arryv'd at Cales with plate has somthing incourag'd them. 'Tis most apparent, that if the Spanyard be kept from his West-India-fleet but another year, his greate empyre wil quikly fal in pieces. The French mak use of the opportunity; now the Spanish fleet is gon for Cales. They hav this week brouht in 3 ships from Tollon 1200 soldiors, which they hav landed at Porto Spetie within a dozen legues of this place, to go for Modena; and several other ships ar dayly expected from Fraunce with soldiors, insomuch that the Spanyard begins alredy to suspect the treaty (if any be) will be fruitles.
The queen of Sweden has bin very sumptuosly received at Rom by the pope. She made
her entrance a horsbac betwixt two prince cardinals, the Lantgrav of Hessen, and the
great duk's brother cardinall Medici. The pope allowes her 1000 dollars a day to continue for 3 monthes. 'Tis reported shi is no zealous papist, wherfor 'tis lykly by the 3
monthes end she may retorn as good a protestant as ever she was. The Portugal agent
at Rome has had audience of the pope, but the Spanish ambassador and party hope by the
queen of Sweden's meanes to hinder his establishment in that court. When mr. Metham
cam to Rome this sumer with dr. Bayley, al ther believed he cam upon the sam bisnes; so it is verye requisit, that he proceed now on his voyage for Lisbon, the grounds
and reasons whereof being so wel known to al in Rome, at his retorn thither from Lisbon
he wil be clear of al thos former imputations, and walk unsuspected, and consequently be
able to do you the better servis, whereas if he should retorn now to Rom, befor he had
bin at Lisbon, he would be suspected by all. Truly, sir, I think this gentleman wil give
you good satisfaction in that imployment, as any Inglishman whatsoever. I am,
Leg. Dec. 31, 1655. [N. S.]
A letter of intelligence from the Hague.
The business of the harmony is still on foot, but of the progress there is not much doubt to be made; for it is perceived that grave William is very much affected with it, accommodating itself very much with the states general likewise the raedt pensionary is so assiudous and familiar with grave William, that it is to be admired, and there are some that have spoken ill of it; but in my mind the business is not so bad as some have feared, for I see many, yea almost all the friends of the prince of Orange who are but moderately satisfied, and by little and little may form themselves for the prince of Orange against grave William The princess royal seems good or cunning, for he doth not meddle with any thing, and doth not speak to any body; the princess dowager cannot hold, but must complain that now they make of seclusion a colour of oil, which was formerly a colour of water: and that now they engrave it in letters of steel, which was formerly but of paper. But it is in no wise credible, that she should not have been spoken unto, for she hath too much authority over grave William Likewise grave William will have made her believe, that having the office of mareschal de camp he might easily order the affairs to the content of the prince of Orange insomuch that pensionary told me so many reasons, that the states of Holland could not avoid that, and with that he sustained, that by this harmony the well affected in Holl. would get more than they formerly had for liberty. In some fort I do confess it, for grave William hath no great means; he is not rich. The prince of Orange on the contrary is rich and formidable: and he will remain low after the rate that they shall maintain grave William and seclusion.
That is a sign that grave William is very well satisfied: the princess dowager did discourse of it as of a thing very displeasing and as a great ingratitude, and that the prince of Orange being once of years will resent it; which being reported to grave William he said, when the prince of Orange is of age, we shall be dead.
The princess royal doth prepare herself to hasten her voyage to France: his mother hath writ him word, that in France they did expect some embassadors from Cromwell and that in such a case the said mother must withdraw herself, and therefore she doth admonish the princess royal to come suddenly if she will come.
They have here great jealousy how that between Cromwell and France there are some secret articles, that there is a great intelligence between them and the Swede, and that all three have conspired against the emperor and Spain. This doth in some sort revive the design of the embassad. to Spain Having writ thus far I received yours of the 24th current; and the time being too short I will endeavour to satisfy your desires, as well for that which concerneth the embassadors to the Swede as concerning themselves which are at Hamburgh and at Luckstad upon the same terms as at Amsterdam.
As to the embassadors to the Swede the lord You doth judge well: likewise several of the states general do judge the same; and if a rupture doth happen between the Swede and Brandenburg, it must of necessity, that the states general do fall into unity, or well the Swede will take it for an union: for to speak freely, I believe that all the designs of the states general is to treat with the Swede, to the end that when they settle the toll, the Swede should not use the states general worse than those of the protector.
But if Dantzick doth fall into action, or the union against the Swede, and that Brandenburg doth maintain his
strong places in Prussia Ducal in such a case I am of opinion, that the states general will really and truly send
some men of war. I can assure you, that states of Holland doth make more account of commerce in the east sea than
all the rest; and knowing very well that the Swede will and ought to sell that which groweth
in Poland, (for he cannot eat all that) they do fear above all, lest that commerce should come
to Cromwell or well that the Swede do build so many ships, that he do undertake to drive that
commerce with his own ships, a thing which doth seem to me absurd: for the money is master
of commerce, and as long as Amsterdam is master of money, Amsterdam will remain well master of traffick, as
hath been formerly seen, when Spain had forbidden the states gen. all commerce in Spain the states of Holl. for all
that did not forbear to drive trade and navigation upon the Spaniard and likewise Amsterdam will remain master of money, as long as they can keep their liberty. I remain
December 31, 1655. [N. S.]