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 (6 of 7)
Lord Hereford to secretary Thurloe.
This gentleman mr. Willett hath given mee a large declaration of the continuance of your noble respects unto mee, and that you were pleased att my request presented you by my highely esteemed freind captaine Maydston, steward of his highnes houshold, to procure mee a warrant to preserve his highnes game in this countey of Suffolk, which I acknowledg and owne as a speciall favour for him, who wil be ready uppon all occasions to manifest himselfe
An additional instruction for the major generals and the commissioners, in their respective counties and cities, appointed for putting in execution the orders of his highness and the council, for securing the peace of the commonwealth.
You are authorised and required to examine and find out what monies, which have been raised, gathered and collected from the country for publick service, by force of any act of parliament, ordinance, or order of his highness and council, are yet remaining in the hands of any person or persons within your respective counties or cities, undisposed of, to the uses, for which the same were raised; and you are to require such persons, in whose hands the same remain, to pay in the respective sums into the hands of such person or persons, as any three of you the said commissioners, with the consent of the major general, shall appoint; and the warrant of the said major general, and any three of you the said commissioners, together with the receipt of such person or persons, by you appointed to receive the same, shall be unto all and every the persons so paying such sum and sums of money a sufficient discharge for the same.
Major general Goffe to secretary Thurloe.
As soone as I came to town, I was informed that coll. Henry Bishop was attending the commissioners about his tax. I imediately sent for him to come to me, and after some discourse with him, he having used many arguments why he should not be taxed, I told him I had an order to secure him, but I should doe him the favour to send him to Whitehall, which would be the most proper place for him to plead his exemption from this tax, it being not in our power to excuse him, having been formerly of the king's party. He endeavoured to excuse his being out of the way, when the partys of horse was sent to his house; and said, he was then in London, and was brought by sir Edward Foard to mr. Harvey, by which meanes he hoped to have spoken with his highness; but finding it difficult, he went down into the countrey without obtaining his desires herein. I did not say any thing unto him, that should make him think we did apprehend him under much guilt; but I have given a very strict charge to his keepers to be carefull of him, till they have delivered him into your hands; and have accordingly sent him to you by this bearer lieut. Parkhurst, who is lieut. to the militia troop under the command of captain Freeman. I desire you would be pleased to discharge the lieut. and his party of their prisoner, as soon as you can; as also to allow them some encouragement for their care and pains in this service; at least so much as may bear their charges.
I am informed by a servant of capt. Freeman's, that about the latter end of February last there was a stranger enquiring of him the way to this Bishop's house, who told him, that he came out of Yorkshire, and had been at London, and was to goe from Bishop's house unto Blanford. It is very probable, that fellow was an emissary from the cavaliers, it being just at the time of the late insurrection.
I find, that the commissioners for this county have been active on carrying on the tax since I left them. Our next meeting will be at Lewes a week hence; after which I shall (God willing) give you an account of what is like to be done in this county. Men do now begin to be very industrious to bring their estates to be under 100 l. per annum, which makes us more earnestly desire an additionall order, that those that have 50 l. per annum may be taxed, which I hope you will endeavour to procure, together with the other proposalls I left with you. I have not else at present, but I am, sir,
At the council at Whitehall.
The humble petition of Robert Sutton, lord Lexington of Kellham in the county of Nottingham, directed to his highness, and delivered this day by the lord president, as referred by his highness to the council, was this day read. Ordered, that it be referred to mr. Strickland and coll. Jones (to whom other petitions of like nature are referred) to consider of the said petition, and report their opinion thereupon to the council.
A letter of intelligence.
How true this is, I know not; but it stirs a great indignation against those, that are zealous for the Roman religion. Cardinal Mazarin lately told a bishop, that the duke of York need not go out of France. If this be gospel, then so —.
Mr. Pell, resident in Swisserland, to secretary Thurloe.
In that former, having said somewhat concerning Geneva, I began to tell you of the Helvetian deputies, that came hither, and of the private discourse, that I had with one of them, a secretary of Zurich. With that letter I sent their relation of what had beene done at Baden. In the latter I continued the secretary's discourse, and adjoined in English the summe of the High Dutch speech, that they made to mee December 14.
December 22 I received a letter from the senate of Zurich, which I send heerewith in English. Other letters came with it, no lesse earnestly expressinge their desire to be included in the English-French treaty, than to be supplyed speedily with a considerable summe of money. The same poste brought a letter from the same senate to the senate of Geneva, of which I got a French translation, and delivered it to mr. Morland to english, and send you by this poste. M. H. Van Ommeren had a letter from the same senate, altogether like mine. The same day, instead of an answere to Zurich, I wrote to their secretary, that had beene heere, telling him, that I had received the letter from his city, and would have a care of it. I also told him, that we had sent an expresse towards England, as he had desired.
We have since also spoken againe with M. H. Van Ommeren concerning the articles of the treaty of Pignerol. By several discourses with him I perceive, that his principalls did beleeve, that the whole businesse might be done by sending somebody to speake big at Turin; and therefore they never had consulted what to doe, if the duke refused to graunt such things as they demaunded.
Yours dated December 6 I received yesterday, which was a whole weeke later than usuall. I know not why our letters come so untowardly to your hands. I have written to you weekly ever since I returned hither from Payerne, namely Octob. 10, 17, 25, 31, Novemb. 7, 14, 21, 28, Decemb. 5, 11, 19, 20, and now Decemb. 26.
Van Ommeren, the Dutch envoy in Swisserland, to the states general.
High and mighty lords,
My last was of the 29th of December last year. All the Swiss cantons are at present assembled at Baden, in order to attempt there once more, if the heretofore mentioned differences can be adjusted by the efficacious endeavours and mediations of the lord embassador of France. And whereas the small popish cantons have sent some deputies to Basil and Schaffhausen, to prevent those of Zurich from being seconded in their great zeal, but rather be disposed for moderation, without suffering the affair to break out into open hostilities, or to persuade them that they might deny them their assistance, the lords of Zurich have not been behind hand with them, but have also sent thither a deputation immediately, to reassure the minds of the people, in case some should have been intimidated, and to awaken the same to a righteous revenge against the faithlesness of their consederates, which deputation accordingly is come back with an entire good satisfaction.
All the protestant cantons have been assembled on the day appointed, being the 15/25 of December, at Bruck, and have there resolved unanimously to venture them all in the cause, and thus went and arrived together on the 15/28 at Baden, where they understand, that all the little popish cantons except Switz were with the said lord embassador of France at Mellingen, in order (as it was guessed) to appear there likewise on the day following. The protestants are resolved to demand from the popish cantons a categorical answer, if they will help to bring that canton, which shall be found guilty among them, to reason, according to the old Swiss laws, by one means or other; and in case of affirmation, that they will directly cause those of Switz to be summoned, (if they should be still absent) but in case of denial, that they would forthwith break off all farther negotiation, in order to act afterwards as they shall think meet.
The pope's nuncio makes great promises to the popish cantons, that they shall receive a good sum of money from Rome, and the marquiss de Caracena, that they shall be assisted with three regiments. The Spanish embassador Casati uses all possible endeavours to keep the garisons in a neutrality, fearing, because they are most of them of the reformed religion, that they will go to the assistance of the protestants. The magistrate here has chosen the officers of the three companies of their succours, and has the number of soldiers also almost ready; that they, according to the result of the negotiation of Baden, and upon the first demand of the lords of Zurich, may be ready to march. By the inclosed letters of the lords of Zurich your high mightinesses may observe, how little success they promise themselves of the result of the assembly at Baden. Wherefore they are obliged to take their chief refuge to those, that are of the same interest of religion with them, that they would not desert them in this their present great difficulties.
Mean while we have no farther news from out of the Valleyes, neither do we hear of any farther remittances, than only of nine thousand pistoles from the lord protector, and of three thousand pistoles of their noble and great mightinesses, and of ten thousand guilders from the province of Utrecht.
From the same.
The lords deputies of England here present, have communicated to me a certain letter of the 29th of Novemb. O. S. which was sent them from England, whereby they are informed of the good intention of the lord protector in the affair of the poor Waldensers, and that he was still resolved to contribute all possible means for their relief; and whereby those poor people might be put into a better and safer condition: farther, that the agreement being made in a precipitate manner, without waiting the arrival of other deputies, had made this affair more difficult; and that therefore quite another plan ought to be projected, whereby especially was to be minded the form and manner to promote the redress of this affair, and that the same ought to be couch'd in such terms, whereby those, from whom we demand it, may not be taught to deny the request; and therefore it was thought necessary to desire the cantons of Switzerland, whose deputies were imploy'd therein, and who according to all appearance ought to have the best knowledge thereof, that they would be pleased to shew in what points those people are most grieved, and the means which ought to be used to get the same redressed; and that this being settled and agreed upon here, their lordships should inform the lord protector of every thing; to the end, that thereupon the necessary orders may be dispatched by the said lord protector, who in the mean while would not be wanting to do his utmost endeavours with the king of France, in favour of those poor people. Mr. Pell told me, that he had acquainted the lords of Zurich therewith, and desired a speedy resolution thereupon, which we now expect every day; though we could have wish'd at the same time, that the said orders had been thus worded, that there had been no necessity to stay afterwards for new ones. The said lord told me further, that the lord protector did considet the request of subsidies made to him by the protestant cantons, and whereof I have sent herebefore a copy to their high mightinesses, in such a light as the nature of the matter required; and that they, the deputies, accordingly should assure the said protestant cantons, that he took the welfare of the reformed religion as much at heart in these parts, as he did where he was more particularly obliged to watch for the same, being resolved to give real proofs thereof, whenever opportunity should require it. They expect here no less of the usual zeal of their high mightinesses, if the Lord God be pleased to grant them as many means and opportunities, as they have always shewn inclination to protect the Lord's church every where.
Capt. Silas Titus to major general Browne.
That I have not for soe many yeares given you any trouble of this kinde, the condition I have beene in will easily excuse, and make it needlesse to tell you, that this silence had quite another cause then either the want of memory, or sense of those obligations, which I owe you. But uppon this occasion, wherein I have a considence I may receive new effects of your favour and kindnesse, without the least prejudice to your self, I have ventured to renew my old importunity, and to desire I may owe you more, to whom I owe soe much alreadie. It is now a great while since I made use of such endeavours, as I was advised to by my friendes, for the obtaining my liberty to returne into my owne country; and this I had encouragement to doe, not only from theire perswasions and advices, but likewise from the knowledg I had, that the same favour had beene graunted others, who I thought had at least as great disadvantages uppon them, as I could imagine I had myself. But though my actions have not beene singular, in this my fortune hath; for I have founde no effects at all of my applications, neither any thing to give me hopes, nor, as I can learne, to make me quite dispaire. I am farre from indifferency in these two, for I thinke no man loves his friendes and country more; but if the former cannot be obtained, to fall into the latter hath certainly lesse trouble and disquiet, then perpetuall irrosolution and suspense. What to impute this to I really doe not know, except my freindes have beene colder in the prosecution then I hoped, or have used low and improper mediations, which I have reason to feare. I know you (sir) too well to distrust any thing of the one in you, or apprehend the least of the other; and therefore hearing that you have good accesse to the lord protectour, I take this considence to desire the trouble of you, that you will take an occasion to minde his highness of me, and of the request I have made him. I am not conscious to myself of any carriage, that should make me dispaire of finding freinds, that will be content to engage for my peacible living; for though my owne relations have assisted my enemies to wast and ruine my small fortune in my absence, yet I doe not thinke myselfe so destitute, but that I have something lest me in the opinions of many honest men, which it must be my faults, and not misfortunes, that can take from me. If you shall thinke fitt to give your selfe the trouble of moveing in this businesse, I shall not only have a considence of issue, but that likewise it will be accomplisht in such way, as shall not at all diminish the favour it self, but make my obligation greater both to him that graunts it, and your self that obtaines it. This is all (sir) I have to trouble you with, and more than I can excuse: only I may very justly pleade, that it comes from one, that is without all vanity of compliment, sir,
H. Cromwell, major general of the army in Ireland, to secretary Thurloe.
I Writt by the laste a large letter to his highness, and by this have bin necessitated to doe the like to my brother Fleetwood, and it is probable the next will be your turne to receive the like trouble. I suppose ere this you are more particularly acquainted from mr. Brewster with our condition heer: if he cane keep in one mind, Ile assure you he is able to say much as to thinges and persons heer; for he hathe bin much conversant with our good freinds heer, and indeed hath carried it very honestly and soberly. I knowe not what effect col. Hewson's letter hath wrought with you; and as to any thinge of my particular concerns, I ame not verry solicitous, more then that I should be grieved, if any thinge should impress uppon his highness, whoe I know is apt to be jealous of his relations; and indeed coll. Hewson's letter might afforde matter enough to fill his highness with feares concerninge me; but I bless God, through his grace, I have comforte in my own integritie. My great care and feare is one behalse of the publique, and the interest of the sober godly people in Ireland, whoe doe generally begin to feare and dreade the effect of such practices and misrepresentations. I knowe not certeynly by what meanes (but I can guess) not only his highness letter to Hewson, but allsoe his to his highness, are dispersed throughout the nation allreadie, much to the sadeninge and greiveinge the spiritts of sober men, and to the listinge up of others. Howe I ame slighted by meanes thereof, I will not complaine; I shall beare with patience, but while I am intrusted, I shall not neglect my duty.
Cane his highness believe, that the Anabaptists, and especially those heer, to be his best and most faithfull freinds; and that when others will desert him, they will stande by hime, as coll. Hewson sayes ? But lett the sober good people throughout Ireland be asked their knowledge, they will be able to tell you, that when they appeared for the owninge of his highnes, these men did openly deny him, and not only soe, but reproached and reviled those that did owne him, and I am consident have marked him out for revenge, if ever the scale should turne. Let us not be deceived. You write me worde in your laste of Daye's and Sympson's carriage. Dare they be soe bolde, if they had not good backe ? Howe longe have the Anabapt. and they bin at odds ? from whence comes John Sympson ? Wee have cause to bless the Lord, that he has not left us to such a spiritt. It is good to use tenderness towarde them. I have done it, and shall still doe it; but shall withall be carefull to keep them from power, whoe, if they hade it in their power, would express little tenderness to those, that would not submitt to their way. The petition and petitioners, soe fowlely represented to his highness, was cheifly carryed on by the independent churches heer, whoe highly resent it, that they should be accounted cavaliers and dissaffected persons. And whereas coll. Hewson chargeth it uppon sir Theo. Jones, he professed that he had noe knowledge of any other petition, save that of the army, which was brought to him by some of the cheif officers of the army, before he saw it, whoe have bin ingaged in these warrs with us from the very beginning. I doe not pleade for the thinge; I hope you will have a more favourable construction for me; but it is sadde, that a good man should be prevailed uppon to make a representation soe false and groundless.
He is pleased to say, I should doe well enough, if I were acted by my owne principles, and were not darkened by other men. I profess, I know neither whom he means, nor scarce what he means by this. I know not any, that I have conversed with, unless with those, with whome I am intrusted for the carryinge on the publique worke, wheer I have attended every day before my illness; and when I have come home at 9 a-clock at night from the councill, I have sometimes founde the good ministers of the citty heer, whoe have been very wellcome to me, and for which they are pleased to say my house is preistridden; and some other times I am necessitated uppon the army affaires to advise with himself, the majors and com. gen. but for any other I thinke I may say it, that I have hardly had time to enterteyn soe much as common discourse; to which heer are witnesses enough. He is allsoe pleased to say, that he hath reproved me wherein he hath judged me to act irregularly. Truly I have often earnestly intreated it of hime, and it is that, which I should begg of all my freinds; and surely they that bare true affection to me, will manifest it in that; but he himself uppon recollectinge his thoughts hath confessed his error in that, and, as I heare, both and in some other perticulers concerning my self, hathe done it to his highnes. But I'le assure you, though he hath often bin privately with me, and pressed to it by me, he never favored me with that freedome but once, and that was before my lord deputy lest this nation; and it was uppon my sheweing too much of my owne spiritt (which through grace I am sencible of as my burthen) in a debate aboute some perticuler persons, (of whome I was not fully satisfied) whoe had bin lately disbanded; and there weer some inclinationes to have brought them into commandes again into the army, with which I could not close. The persons were Barrowe, Richards, and Leigh. It is harde to make these thinges cleare att this distance, by writeinge; but I'le assure you, I have endeavoured to give you the plaine truth, which I doubt not ere longe will be made to appeare; as allsoe, that they themselves, whoe looke uppon themselves to be soe highly concerned, weer at the frameinge of coll. Hewson's letter to his highnes. But I have troubled you too longe, and shall only say this, though I meet with discouragements not a few, that the Lord assisting me, noethinge shall putt me off from my duty; wherein I shall endeavour thorough the grace of God to carry with an even hande even to those, that have done me all this evill. I bless the Lord, thinges heer are quiett, and I doe not doubt, they will with much ease be soe kept. Wee have some hints frome the northe, as is there weer somethinge transacteinge secretly their by the cavelier partye: but their is ane eye uppon them, and I doe think they will be scarce able to doe any thinge considerable their; and the rather, we haveinge in our custody those, that in all probabilitie weer most likely to have headed them. Wee shall depend uppon you for forreign intelligence, in case the king of Spaine should designe any thinge uppon us. The Irish seem to expect some such thinge, but wee shall be carefull and watchfull. I have been too tædious, and therefore shall rest
Dr. Tho. Harrison to secretary Thurloe.
Your sweete and sober councell is not only approved in our judgments, but also (through grace) by our practice, whatever they, who waite and wish for our halting, may suggest: qui monet ut facias quod jam facis, ipse monendo laudat. My lord, I assure you, is tried daily, and put to it to purpose. His highnesse's letter to coll. Hewson, and his reply to the same, are boasted of even by the meanest persons of that party, with no little reflection upon my lord. They say, it is evident by that from his highnesse, that my lord was sent over to be commanded, not to command; to serve, and not to rule. They say, my lord protector, contrary to his intentions, is necessitated to send backe my lord deputy, through the importunity and prevalency of their freinds in England; otherwise Whitehall perhaps might tumble, &c. and when he is once returned, they will soone make my lord weary of Ireland. This is part of a late discourse betwene Morley, Clayburne, and others of name and note here; and we have it immediately from one of the company, who begins to dislike their wayes. My lord lately made serjeant Middleton's son (who is here) an ensigne, for which he hath bene shamefully threatned by doctor Carteret, that the blame of violating my lord deputy's order should lye at his doore, &c. Yesterday my lord very calmely and christianly debated this and other matters with him; but how unsuitable this deportment is towards the son of our protector, I refer it to you to determine. I wish you could come to a sight of major Morgan's late letter to my lord deputy, wherein, as he told me yesterday, he dealt freely and plainely, and told his lordship, that if he returne, none shall serve him more faithfully, but yet that he can neither wish nor pray for it; and he gives him his reasons for this strange assertion.
The truth is, though these things may looke like the packings and contrivances of men, there is an eminent and irresistable hand of God therein; putting the sober people of these nations, not upon feigned, but reall necessities of adhering to the lord protector, and such relations of his, that tread in the steps of his highnesse, with whose lives and welfares ours are bound up. This, if I were imediately to retire to my former comfortable condition in London, or to leave this world, would immutably be owned as the conscience of, sir,
By the commissioners of the county of Cambridge and isle of Ely, appointed by his highness and council for securing the peace of the commonwealth.
This day mr. Henley failing to bring in his particular according to former order; and information being given, that his estate is and hath been since the year 1653 three thousand pounds per ann. in this county and isle of Ely, the said estate is assessed and taxed at three hundred pounds per ann. to be paid to Thomas Bendish esq; treasurer, according to the instructions of his highness and council; unless a particular of the estate of the said mr. Henley under his hand and seal be produced on wednesday the second day of January next, whereby the commissioners shall be satisfied concerning his said estate.
Manifesto, or a publick declaration of the weighty reasons, which have obliged the protestant cantons of the union, openly to wage war against those of Schwitz, and their adherents. Printed at Zurich 1655.
We the burgomasters, judges, bailifs, and counsellors of all the protestant cantons, cities, and lands, viz. of Zurich, Bern, Glarus, Basil, Schaffhausen, and Appenzell, wish to all men, especially to those that live in the territory of our union, the grace and the peace of God; acquainting them hereby fundamentally with the truth of those grievous and dangerous affairs, which of late have happened between us and our confederated allies of Lucern, Uri, Schwitz, Underwalden, and Zug; how honourably, faithfully, and justly we have acted, conformably to the hitherto well preserved rules of government; and how anxiously we have endeavoured to the utmost of our power to avoid, what any ways might disturb or break that joyfull and wish'd-for peace, which we have hitherto enjoyed; declaring and protesting before and in the sight of God, and the honest world, that, whatever may be the consequences of these affairs, we are forced and necessitated to act thus, in case we will preserve the name of men, that fear God and love honour, and that we are entirely guiltless and innocent of all those disasters.
But the cause and the chief reason of the last, as well as of the present disturbances among us, is the peace, which the said cantons forced us to, in the year 1531, after the battel of Cappel, and that great pride, which they shew'd afterwards against us: they would explain the same always as they thought fit, but we as it was just and equitable. In the first years after the same was made, they agreed pretty well with us, as it appears by some authentick acts, whereby all affairs were thus settled and regulated, that we could live and converse together, without any great quarrels or disputes; but afterwards matters are grown worse from time to time, though we have always highly complained of it, and have insisted upon a necessary reformation, as well in a friendly as in a serious manner, and not without our great charges. But we were not able to bring this affair to a happy conclusion, nor bring it about, that they would submit to the majority of votes in matters concerning religion, which they abused, and did and acted, in those dominions and territories, which are in communion, whatever they listed. Of the joint government we have to this very time nothing lest in some places, than the mere title, and that we by rotation on our sides do likewise appoint the magistrates, to whom however for some time they have added some others of their religion; so that every thing is come to the last push, and so far, that we can sit still no longer, but are resolved to remedy matters in what manner soever it may be possible, since we have clearly seen and perceived to our great grief and vexation, that they have it intirely in their view, how they might, in the lands, which are in communion, by all sorts of intrigues, cunning, and slyness, make the protestants renounce their religion, and join even with them, to our great prejudice and detriment; for which purpose they have not omitted any means, that were fit and proper for the said end. They have advanced to all places of honour and employment, as also put into the council and seats of judgment, nay even conferred fees and all other preferments on the subjects of their religion, giving them the greatest preference above the protestants, although in the marquisate of Thurgow the protestants exceed to the number of some thousands. Especially, the like advantages have been given with a witness to those, whom they have prevailed upon, by their great promises and offers, to change their religion. Fines and punishments have been likewise made use of for the said purpose, the same being always executed against the protestants with the greatest rigor, and against those that have changed their religion, very mildly excusing them at times intirely from all fines and amercements; nay they have been winked at, though they have committed the most heinous crimes, which according to all spiritual and temporal laws ought to have been punish'd unpardonably with corporal punishments and death itself. In short, they have not forgot to practise any means or ways, whereby the protestants might be seduced, contrary to the treaties and many various acts, which among other things require, that the government shall be carried on, without any hatred, passion, favour or prejudice, honestly, uprightly and impartially; which is nothing else but what we desire actually to be perform'd, and not to be lest or considered as a dead cypher, as it has been done hitherto. Thereby all the frequent gravamina in the article of religion, and of a tyrannical government, as also all injustices, which are openly committed and lest unpunish'd, would be duly prevented, and peace and unity preserved. Further, and in order to remove all the manifest complaints of the protestants, we have demanded nothing else, but only, that according to the treaties of the union, as also according to the customs practised in other places, where both religions are mixt, they might be lest in a full and uncontrouled exercise of their religion and consciences, and not be forced to any ceremony or rites of the other religion; and that all honours and places should be disposed of as is just and equitable, and in such a manner, that no hatred against the religion might appear. And whereas the so-called catholick cantons have labour'd with great diligence, and obtained, that their religion might be thus looked upon in the two honourable and old cantons of Glarus and Appenzell, it is our request, that the same may likewise and with the same equity be permitted and practised in those dominions that are in communion.
Besides this momentous affair of the common government, there has happened another very remarkable one concerning some honest minded people, under the jurisdiction of the canton of Schwitz, who, for a vast many years ago, have learn'd out of the holy word of God the fundamental knowledge of the protestant religion, on which account they have been very ill looked upon and dealt with, and were now again and anew threatned to the highest degree; wherefore some for the better safety have withdrawn themselves into other allied cantons, and afterwards, with due submission, petitioned for their goods and effects, that they might have wherewithal to support themselves. Those that staid behind in the country were hereupon immediately put into prison, and by great and repeated tortures cruelly tormented on account of their religion, their goods and effects being secured under arrest. This went very much to our heart, since it concern'd our religion, and therefore we did not fail to take their part, by sundry moving letters of intercession, as also by a solemn embassy of all the protestant cantons to Schwitz, endeavouring in two general diets, with several good and convincing arguments, exhortations and representations, to bring this affair so far, that those of Schwitz, in consideration that according to our union, association, and treaties it is allowed, and practised also in several other countries, to have a free departure continued for the safety of one's faith and conscience, which no mortal man ought to force, and to withdraw from one place into another, might not think ill of those, that were retired out of their jurisdiction into another, but release the prisoners, and restore to both their goods and effects, as the like has oftentimes been done to those, that withdrew from out of the protestant cantons into the so-called catholick cantons, to whom also for the future a like free departure should be allowed. But no praying, exhorting, representing, nor proving things according to practice of the union was of any effect, for their wicked intention got an upperhand, so that even some men and women of the imprison'd were executed, and others sent to such parts and places, which are harder and worse than death itself, of whom they reported a great many wicked things, to blast their reputation; but those exiles appeal for their innocence to the omniscient God, and to all those that have known them during the whole course of their lives. Nay, they deserve the less belief and credit therein, since the deputies of Schwitz in the preceding diet at Baden durst declare in open session of all the 13 cantons an unheard-of boldness in this country, that they held all those under their jurisdiction, that went over from their religion to the protestants, to be malefactors. From whence it is clearly and palpably to be seen, that they have thus cruelly martyred, killed, and transported these poor people only for the sake of their religion. All which, and the ill consequences thereof, have been represented to those of Schwitz, in the best form, friendly and neighbourly, even in the presence of the so-called catholick cantons; and it was shewn unto them, that such proceedings could not subsist with the union, for the same sets forth expressly, that they shall not do to one another any prejudice, harm, or diskindness. And whereas all amicable entreaties have proved quite ineffectual, and the means, which, to prevent all disturbances, in our union, has been salutarily provided for, viz. an impartial enquiry and justice, in several cases, but especially in the affair with the canton of Schwitz has been refused and denied us, notwithstanding our earnest representations, admonitions, and desires, (which said means however has been constantly practised among us as consederates, and which we for the future in all occurring differences most willingly submit to) so that thereby in relation to us, the union and publick peace has been violated, especially by those of Schwitz; and whereas besides this, we at present more than ever, by the so-called catholicks, even by the clergy themselves from the publick pulpit, in a most unchristian-like manner are cried down as hereticks, scorn'd, and insulted to the highest degree, our religion and state aspersed and vilisied with all sorts of malicious, false and untrue imputations, and described and made out worse, than if we were either Turks or Heathens, and this with impunity. Add to this, that the said pretended catholick cantons, instead of the renewal of the general union, which was offer'd them some months ago in a friendly and consederate-like manner, have but newly among themselves renew'd, and actually sworn to, a particular so-called religious treaty and confederation, contrary to the publick peace of this country, and highly prejudicial to the general union, because all the ancient and former treaties of union are thereby abolished; which causes, and not without reason, still more suspicious thoughts in the minds of the protestant cantons. Wherefore, being called upon by our reputation, conscience, and religion, we can no longer endure such wrongs, violences, and denial of justice, but have resolved, for the honour and glory of God, and for the sake of our solemn oath, whereby we are obliged to the maintenance and defence of our true protestant religion, and our sovereign authority, as also to the due support of our sworn union, to do our selves, and to procure that legal and due justice, which has been so haughtily denied us, especially by the canton of Schwitz; and seek a remedy and satisfaction as far as possible for our complaints and grievances, and the wrongs which are done us.
Most devoutly praying to the Almighty God graciously to bless this our honourable and christian intention, to the glory of his most holy name, preservation of his beloved church, and the settling of a good, safe, and lasting peace. At the same time duly requesting all men hereby to judge reasonably and equitably of this our intention and forced resolution; and that we much rather would have wished these differences to be decided in a legal and amicable way; so that the fault and blame lies solely in the contrary party, especially in the canton of Schwitz, who would not listen to any reason, but drew the other cantons into their sentiments. We also hereby do expressly declare, that it never was our intention any ways to wrong those of Schwitz, nor the other so-called catholick cantons, in their sovereignty, jurisdiction, nor religion, but to try only by the way of impartial justice, whether they had acted in their proceedings according to the laws of our union. Much less was it ever our demand, that they in their territories should allow the free exercise of our religion; but on the contrary we have great reason to complain, that in several places they have highly wrong'd our jurisdiction, which we have in communion with them, since they without our knowledge have fortified and garrison'd sundry places, and instigated and inflamed the inhabitants, and especially have petitioned for foreign aids against us. Which sundry proceedings have also dissuaded us from consenting to any further prolongation of these affairs, because we saw thereby no better hopes, but on the contrary have a violent suspicion that such delays were only intended to gain time and advantages to our greatest prejudice and evident danger. Therefore we are also resolved to deal with those that do not resist us with calmness and mildness, and especially to seek out those proud authors of the said wicked proceedings in the canton of Schwitz, and to hurt no body on account of his religion. Having the unquestionable hope, that in these true circumstances of affairs, all men, that delight in what is just and equitable, will approve of our resolution, favour our interest in the best manner, and not believe any other sinister report against us.
A letter of intelligence from the Hague.
Besides the pretences, which the king of Denmark hath concerning the damages, which the English have done to the Danes, the said king hath also caused to be seconded the pretences of damages, which the Hollanders or the private men of war of this state have done to the Danes, especially to certain ships of Tonningenberg in Norway; which complaint is now again in debate. Those of Amsterdam, who were writ unto about it, have writ back, saying, that they were private men of war of Friezland that did it.
The lord of Merode with assumption of - - - - - is to return thanks to the embassador of Spain for his good wish of a new good year, which he caused to be made to the states general by the lord president.
Yesterday there was only read the memorandum of the resident of Sweden; whereupon it was resolved, that the embassadors shall go to see him and compliment him, and also assure him, that this state hath no bad design, but to observe a good correspondence; and the commissioners appointed to consider of the affairs of Sweden and Denmark are to draw up a civil answer to be delivered to him in writing.
This morning the lord president was pleased to ask the government of Orsoy for his brother, which is very ill taken by the lords of Capelle, Aertsbergen, and Ysselmuyden, who had designed that for captain Essen, commanding at Burick; but all the said gentlemen being absent, there was no regard had of them.
The greatest apprehension, which they have here now, is, that the Swede will put into practice the custom or English act, that every ship ought not to bring or transport any commodities than what are of the proper growth.
Those of Holland have brought in a provincial advice, that their province doth not think it advisable to contribute any more for the Vaudois; and that it would be well done to recommend them to the lord protector.
Major general Disbrowe to secretary Thurloe.
I had yours of the 25th instant, with the inclosed additionall instruction, a coppy whereof I have sent both to Wiltshire and Dorsett, and thase accordingly observe it. I must desire, that Henry Gibbs, Edward Tyson, James Powell, Nehemiah Collins, and Jonathan Blackwell, esqs; may be inserted in the commissions of the peace for Somersett and Glocestershire, in respect there is not one justice in either of these counties near the citty of Bristoll, and yet much vice reigning. If his highness orders you any thing relating to me, pray give it a dispatch, which is all at present from
Paris, Jan. 6, 1655/6. [N. S.]
The Swedish earl Tot, who was thought to have come hither in the quality of embassador from the king of Sweden, hath now given to understand, that he is come only about his own affairs. They write from Thoulouse of the 23d of the last month, that the states of Languedoc had sent commissioners to the parliament, to demand some acts to sustain the soldiers of the king, according to the orders of the King; whereupon it was agreed, that according to the said orders provisions should be given to the effectives only, with prohibition to the counsellors and commonalties of the cities to furnish the said soldiers with monies; and that all loans and bonds made for that purpose were declared void, with prohibition likewise to buy no movables of the soldiers; and the said parliament having sent three commissioners to Thoulouse, Carcassonne, and Nismes, one of them being come near to Thoulouse, he was received in battle-array by the soldiers, whom he ordered to return to their quarters, but they likewise ordered him to retreat; who presently raising the country, the gentry came to his assistance, and after a short dispute, the soldiers were brought to give obedience, and one of the officers of the said soldiers was beheaded in Thoulouse for an example. The parliament hath since named commissioners to go to the said states, to establish some good orders in their province.
At the council at Whitehall,
That the case of mr. John Ashburnham be referred to the major generals of the respective counties where any part of his estate doth lye; and mr. secretary Thurloe is desired to send to the several major generals copies of such informations against the said mr. Ashburnham remaining in his hands, as may be of use for the major generals, and commissioners satisfaction.
Commissioners for Gloucestershire to the protector.
May it please your highness,
The command and orders of your highness for securing the peace of the commonwealth being communicated unto us by the right honourable general Disbrowe (in obedience whereunto we are at this time assembled) we thereupon, considering the inveterate and implacable malice of the late king's party, seeking upon all occasions to involve the nation in a continual deluge of blood, notwithstanding those many acts of mercy and favour extended unto them, cannot sufficiently acknowledge nay admire the great goodness and mercy of God in directing the heart and counsels of your highness to a work so much conducing to the peace and security of this nation and all well-affected people thereof, whom God hath owned and stood by in the day of their distress. And we should judge ourselves wanting in our duty both to God and your highness, did we not in some measure express our cordial sense thereof, and with all our due and humble acknowledgment and thankfulness both to God and your highness for the same, with this assurance that no opportunities (that the Lord shall offer unto us) shall on our parts be neglected, whereby the said orders may be effectually put in execution, according to the trust reposed in
Your highness's most humble servants,
Tho. Pury, jun.
Rob. Lexington to major general Whalley.
I Here present you with a coppy of the order made by the lords of the councill uppon my humble petition to his highnes my lord protector, in which I prayed to have bene referred to your selfe and the comissioners, but his highnes pleased to referr it to the honorable councell, who hath made this order, herewith humbly sent you. I give you many thankes for your patience with mee thus longe. I wish I may be in a capassyty of serveinge you. I shall make it appeare, that I am, sir,
A letter of intelligence from the Hague.
I Have but very lately understood, that in the year 1652 the great resolution of equipping stadtholder, army, and to signisie that to Cromwell, came from Amsterdam; who to stir up the others the states of Holland, sent express deputations to all the rest; whereof some, chiefly the southern ones, were very averse and displeased; but Amsterdam carried it; but the sequel shewed, how those of Amsterdam had reckoned without their host. So likewise at this time all these bravadoes, attempts, combinations, threatenings, or murmurings against the Swede come from Amsterdam. Pray God it do not happen now, that they reckon without the host. It is true, that those of Brandenburg do make the states of Holland believe, that the Swede hath a design to break and destroy the states general, all their commerce. That would be ill done; for I am still of opinion, that one must live and suffer another to live likewise. But I cannot comprehend, that the Swede can destroy states general, all their commerce, although he should defire it; and therefore to remove any ill will from the Swede, they should make use of some proper and good means; for to think, that they are to do it by bastinading of them, I cannot conceive, that to be the right way. The offices of the amity do seem to me the best, as in the end did appear after the war against Cromwell, but you know how much at that time those of the friends of the prince of Orange and the like did endeavour a union. The same do they at present, but I will not judge it. I leave it to the world to judge by the event. The alliance with Brandenburg is a weak support; it is seen and it will be seen.
In the mean time I confess it is a business full of perplexity; and as for the Swede, it doth seem, that there is a fatality; so that I know not what fatality one can foretel from thence for the states of Holland.
Those of the states of Holland having always said, that they did not get the commerce but by industry, not by an union; insimulant the protector, that they will get it by an union. But I know not. At present it seemeth however, that the states of Holland will preserve the commerce to themselves by an union against the Swede, but I do not see, that that will be to be done; at least not without Denmark or without Cromwell; for as for Brandenburg I fear his weakness; and if the emperor do meddle or engage in it, I fear that France will also meddle and engage in it.
Advice from Koningsberg, Jan. 7, 1656. [N. S.]
The negotiations of peace mentioned in my last of the 4th instant have not met with such quick dispatch nor happy success hitherto, as we flatter'd ourselves with at the time, when I wrote my said last letter. The day before yesterday the Swedes made a shew, as if they would go away re insectâ, saying that they were not come to lose time with long-winded disputes, but to get a categorical answer to the articles, which their king had prescribed to the elector, however they most willingly staid, without any great invitation, the more, because the Prussian nobility understanding, that the king would consent, that in this dutchy proceedings should be carried on by way of arrest, whereby their licentiousness would be tamed, begin to talk of a war with Sweden, with promise that they would furnish money for that purpose. They say the chief difference to be, that his electoral highness should be obliged to hold Prussia in fies from the king of Sweden, ut tali, in case the affairs in Poland should happen to take another turn. Moreover it is said, that the said king of Sweden doth also demand half the toll, which is taken in Pillauw and Memel, from the demand that his electoral highness should renounce the alliance with their high mightinesses. The Swedes are told to desist, for this reason, as they say themselves, that in case their high mightinesses at any time were willing to assist the said elector with a fleet of ships, the same would be soon hinder'd them by the protector of England, (whom they boast they have intirely on their side:) likewise they brag very much of their pretended strength and forces, which they have in Prussia and Samogitia, in order to obtain the aforesaid points. The king, who incamp'd in and about the small town Fridland 5 miles from this city, on this side of the Pregel, as the Swedes say has 23000 effective men, among which are comprehended the troops which Bogislaus Radzevil has brought to him. John Neuxius Radzevil has 5000 men in Samogitia and Leuwenhaupt, 15000 about Thorn, besides about 1000 Polanders called Quartians. Yet we know that all the said king's forces in Prussia do not exceed 15000 men. The electoral horse brings in here daily 30, 40 to 50 Swedish prisoners; they get also a fine booty, among which was the day before yesterday taken all the silver plate of count Styrum, which was immediately distributed by major general Cannenberg among the horse: they must after this way get their pay, since till now no other has been given them. This day arrived here again a trumpeter of the said king, and I am told, that order is given by his electoral highness, that to the cavalry, which have been quarter'd here, other quarters shall be assigned out of the city, which it is thought is a good sign that an agreement is made, but that the same, for certain reasons is still kept secret. The said city is already order'd to furnish several thousand of lasts as well of rye and barley as also of oats.
Commissary Pels to the states general.
High and mighty Lords,
The letters from Koningsberg, which arrived just now, import, that his majesty of Sweden, by his chancellor the count of Oxenstiern continuing to insist too hard on some impracticable conditions, and among the rest also, upon the annulling the alliance with your high mightinesses, little else can be expected but an open war. The said Swedish chancellour has his discharge, and was to set out that very day to his king (without having had any the least success,) who with his army is advanced again till within two miles or nearer, of that city. His electoral highness had also anew sent out several parties to the number of 2000 horse at once, which like the former came always back with success, booty and prisoners; among which having brought in the count of Styrum's silver service, the latter is said to have received orders to commence open hostilities.
The Breslaw and Thorn letters do still inform us, that the Cosacks and Tartars in all above 10000 men strong are march'd into the kingdom of Poland, having his Polish majesty along with them. On the other hand there are letters from Warsaw, that they are but a few troops of poor gentlemen, that strive to get their living here and there by robbing and plundering, and who soon may be dispersed.
Some Swedish troops begin to appear in strong parties about this city, especially in the Werders, till, within a mile from hence, and whenever they find any Polish troops they cut them to pieces. The small town of Meven 8 and Dirshow 5 miles from hence, they have taken within these three days. What further shall happen time will shew us.
The magistrates, citizens, and inhabitants of this city have anew engaged themselves one to the other upon oath and promises. The guards as well of the citizens as soldiers are carefully and strongly manned. The impost of a poll tax, to witt of 8/9 parts of a rix dollar for all persons (children and servants in proportion) is paid, and probably within a few days the 100th penny will be levied. The excise upon wine, beer, bread, &c. is likewise raised.