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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January (2 of 9)
A letter of intelligence from the Hague.
Notwithstanding all what is said, the Swedes and those of Brandenburg do still continue to treat, so that the hostility, which is done, is only yet in ostentation. If there be any killed, it is through a mistake; and if any prisoners be taken, they are releas'd without any ransom. Nec pax nec bellum. True it is, that the elector is the weaker of the two, yea much weaker; but however being lodged in a great city as Koningsberg, with twelve thousand men horse and foot besides the citizens, he can easily maintain himself without being forced. And the worst he can expect is, that the Swedes as the strongest do not spoil his winter quarters by ruining and destroying the provisions and provender.
The embassadors for Denmark are at last departed from hence. Those designed for Sweden and Brandenburg do yet delay to see more clearly into the success of affairs. It is told unto me from very good hands, that at the council of m. of B. there is a division and difference. The politicians do advise for war, and to try the extremity. Pr. dowager boasted formerly to have also advised him to a war. Now she is said to be altered, seeing the misery of all this country for certain and the issue uncertain.
However it is also held, that Sweden will hardly prevail in his designs, if Brandenb do oppose; for what places, where there is never so little resistance and fortification, can they take in winter ? There is much talk of the Tartars, but they are only reports without any ground, as also of the new endeavours of king of Poland as to the emperor I have told you formerly stat magni nominis umbra, and he is terrified by king of France as Denmark is terrified by England alone. The states general and states of Holland shew the teeth, but hitherto they have scarce bit. I perceive that states of Holland are not yet fully agreed with grave William. True it is, that he doth declare himself or seem to be content; but there are a great many of the Orange party, who have much aversion to it; and it is believed that grave William is agreed with those of p. Orange party, and will let them do. And they assure him, that if enmity doth come between states gen. and Sweden, that in necessity all wiil come into the hands of grave William without those hard conditions, which states general do propose unto him, and without which they will not do any thing. In short I perceive, that this business will not go so fast, and that in grave William there are several motions. Scinditur incertus studia in contraria; and the true Hollanders are in effect angry in their hearts to see, that states of Holland do admit amongst them the m. of B. and gr. W. more than they need, insomuch that it is sufficiently seen, that in the body of stat of Holl. of stat. gen. as also of grave William there are corrupt and contrary humours; and that nature is not strong enough to expel and purge away the bad and obnoxious; and the doctors for the remedies do differ. However, I perceive, that those, who govern at present, are masters in states of Holland, and are no ways resolved to part with it, but to maintain themselves. I am
They thought to have surprized the ambassador of Sweden in something, by proposing interrogatories to him by word of mouth; but that misluck'd, for he demanded it in writing, which they gave him by the resolution here inclosed. What he will answer to it, we shall see in the sequence.
Boreel, the Dutch embassador at Paris, to the states general.
High and mighty Lords,
Monsieur Le Primier Beringham, who was formerly employed in your high mightinesses services, is dispatched in hast by the king into Italy, and first to the duke of Mantua, as also to examine the city and fortifications of Cazal and its garrison; from thence he is to go to Turin, as it is reported, to negotiate some affairs of importance at that court. It causes here some jealousy, that the duke of Mantua, with the prince Palatine Edward have taken two or three times a tour through the territories of Milan, and that they at Pavia have been very splendidly treated and entertained by the marquis de Caressena, having had at every time a very close conference with the said marquis. They think here likewise to be well informed, that after the treaty concluded here at Paris between the king and the duke of Mantua, Spain nevertheless continues still paying the promised subsidy for the maintenance of the garrison of Cazal, and that the payment thereof is made so regular, that the marquis de Carassena had presented the same already last month. Upon the birth of another young princess in Spain, they now say, that all the appearance of a marriage of the king with the eldest princess infanta is intirely vanish'd. And some pretend to say, that the said mr. Beringham should be order'd at Turin, to propose the marriage of the king with the eldest princess of Savoy; which proposal at all events, here as well as there, can produce nothing but advantages. The couriers from Spain hither bring as yet always assurances of the intention of the court of Madrid, that the place of negotiation for a general peace between the two crowns ought to be held in the city of Rome. This affair, as to that point, is here facilitated so much, that this court has desisted from their former positiveness, to wit, that the place of negotiation for the peace should be in a frontier town of France and the Netherlands; and it is said, that the king has now given orders to mr. de Lyonne at Rome to propose to the pope the town of Savonna in Italy, under the jurisdiction of the republick of Genua; and in case this place is approved of and accepted for the negotiation of peace, the king here has made an overture, in order to advance such a salutary business, that his majesty would set out from here to Lyons, and from thence to Marseilles, to be at hand, upon a report, to give his resolutions in all matters. These and other condescensions begin to give hopes of success, and they assure me, that the intention of this court for a peace with Spain is sincere and well grounded.
In the mean time constant and diligent conferences are held here, to make the necessary provisions for a numerous army; and I hear that designs are forming in Italy and Catalo nia, but especially and above all against the Spanish Netherlands, where they say the greatest effort will be made.
Monsieur de Bordeaux de Neusville is not yet set out back from hence for London, neither are here as yet published any copies of the treaty of accommodation between this kingdom and England. They write from Flanders, that there have been begun some hostilities at sea by the English against the Spanish Netherlands, the English having taken out of several of your high mightinesses ships all Spanish passengers. The ports in Flanders are all reinforcing, and it is said, that some new fortresses are order'd to be made between Nieupoort and Ostend. Of the fleet of Seville, which is still cruising for the silver ships, three large galleons are stranded on the coast of Portugal. They write from Turin, that orders are arrived there from France, to send the troops into winter quarters, in the vallies of Lucerne, of Perouse, and of Pragelas, to be so much nearer Piedmont, where they shew every where a great discontent against the inhabitants of the said vallies, so that they are afraid here for a new massacre of those of the religion, that live there. At Turin were also arrived two extraordinary embassadors of the popish Swiss cantons, to demand assistance against those of Zurich and the other protestant cantons; as also the like embassadors have been sent to the governor of Milan, the grand duke of Tuscany, and to the pope for the same purpose. Those of Turin have been very well entertained there and favourably received. In the mean time that the said duke has sent one of his noblemen to the cantons of Zurich and Bern, to intercede in favour of Schwitz, his highness at the same time has also order'd his troops to march to the utmost frontiers of Switzerland, whereof I have thought it my duty to acquaint your high mightinesses.
A letter of intelligence from the Hague.
Upon the memorandum of the ministers of Brandenburg, there will be a conference held to morrow at four of the clock, especially upon the borrowing of 200 thousand rix dollars; upon which those of Holland have brought in a provincial advice that they do agree to lend the same upon very hard terms, whereof the chiefest is, that of those 4000 men, which towards the month of May this state is to furnish, there shall be a garrison and commander sworn to this state in the Pillauw, to assure the payment thereof; and after the war is ended, the garrison is to continue in it at the charges of the elector, so long time till the sum is paid. Item, they demand security of the city of Cleve; item, the right to nominate the magistrates there.
The city of Geneva hath writ a letter to the states general, praying this state to assist them with some considerable subsidy for the reparation of their bulwarks and fortification; upon which they have resolved to make report thereof to the provinces.
Upon the admonition of the lord president they have resolved to write to the lords Huybert and Isbrants to come hither, as soon as is possible, to undertake the embassy and voyage to Sweden. As to that, which they have demanded of the ministers of Brandenburg concerning express procuration, or acquittance of the elector; the princess dowager hath offered her caution that within two months the elector will give an acquittance : this caution is accepted of.
Yesterday was report made of the conference held the day before with the ministers of Brandenburg; and this day again there was another conference, where only was endeavoured to agree upon the condition of the security for the loan of two hundred thousand rix dollars, which Brandenburg demands upon the toll of the Pillauw. Amongst the provinces here there is not uniformity enough for the conditions; and those of Brandenburg have offered more than they do at present.
Those of Brandenburg would willingly remain masters of the Pillauw; and Holland they would be master of it. Those there will condescend, that the governor of the place shall swear not to surrender the place to any body whatsoever, before that this state be paid the said 200 thousand rix dollars; but those here will have the putting of a commander into it, and that the garrison be half of one fort, and half of another : in short there is yet nothing done.
Yesterday they were again about the business of the Pillauw; the engaging of that toll upon what conditions and upon what security, about which they cannot yet well agree; for the one side will have the garrison to remain as it is in the Pillauw, only that the governor will be sworn to this state not to deliver it up till the said sum be paid.
Yesterday there were commissioners of the assembly with the resident of Sweden to render him reciprocal wishes of prosperity in this new year; and in regard he spoke in his last memorandum of neighbours, who did countermine the peace, as well of this state as of the elector, &c. and that by the alliance of the year 1640 is said, that the one ally is bound to advertise the other of harm and damage, which is hanging over them; they did desire him to tell them, who those neighbours were.
The lord pensionary and the lord of Renswoude have reported, that having proposed the demand to the resident of Sweden, what neighbours he did understand in his memorandum countermining the peace of this state, he had answered them, that he demanded the question or interrogatory in writing, to the end to return an answer, as he should think fit. And as they prest him again, he told them, that it was so long ago since he delivered them a memorandum, and that in writing, without receiving any answer to it than this intirely by word of mouth, that it was but reasonable, that he should have the like time to return an answer upon what they proposed to him at present; that therefore he requires it in writing.
Concerning the subsidy of 120 thousand gilders for the elector, those of Holland have declared themselves to day, to have their share ready; but that they will not furnish any thing, till the shares of all other provinces be also present.
The lord Nieuport hath writ in particular, that the embassador of Sweden doth labour very much to renew and re-establish the peace with Spain. Item, that the protector was very much busied for the affairs of Sweden and Poland.
This morning the princess dowager signified by the president of the states general, that the princess Henrietta her daughter can in no wise be induc'd to consummate the marriage with the prince of East-Friezland; and in regard that this marriage was resolved upon the year 1641, with the knowledge and interposition of this state, she desireth, that it may be dissolved in the like manner.
Nieupoort, the Dutch embassador in England, to the states general.
High and mighty lords,
My lords, they begin here to long very much to hear some news from the West Indies, in regard they have not heard from those parts in a great while, and several understanding persons, whom I have spoken withal, do assure me, that they have 9000 men effective in Jamaica and aboard their fleet, which consists of 30 good ships. I was formerly told, that general Monck was sent for out of Scotland to command over some of the fleets; but now I am informed by a very good hand, that the lord protector doth judge, that his person cannot be spared out of Scotland, to keep all things quiet there; and that therefore in the place of general Pen, col. Mountagu, one of his highness's council, was chosen a few days since general of the sea. I hear he was never much at sea, but he is counted by every one for a man of conduct and courage.
A letter of Nieupoort, the Dutch embassador in England.
The secretary of state sent me word on tuesday last, being new year's day here, that the lord protector had thought fit to give me audience in the afternoon at four of the clock. I was fetch'd by the master of the ceremonies. After I had performed a compliment in order to the time, the lord protector caused all the officers and gentlemen, who were there in a great number, to withdraw, and there remain'd only with him the lords Lambert, Pickering, and Thurloe. I declared unto him, that the lords embassadors were to hasten their journey by land to Denmark and Prussia, with such instructions, and upon such grounds formerly communicated to his highness; and in regard the interest of this state and nation was no less concern'd than that of their high and mighty lordships in the present affairs in Poland and Prussia, that I hoped his highness would now make no difficulty to make me capable to communicate to their high and mighty lordships his final intentions concerning the above mentioned business, assuring him, that their high and mighty lordships had no other design than what was communicated in confidence to his highness.
The lord protector thereupon made a large relation from the very beginning of the Swedish preparations, and that he must acknowledge, that he had found no difficulty in the progress of the Swedes against the popish Polanders, nor in taking of Warsaw, Cracow, and other places in the upper parts; and though the king had thought fit to pursue his conquests as far as Constantinople, that he should have wish'd him from his heart good success, or (said he) if he had struck in towards those parts, where there are great store of protestants, where they have suffered for some years great persecutions, that for his part he could very well have endured it; but that at present he did confess, that it was not so pleasing to him, that those parts should be assaulted, which do belong to protestant princes, that he doth find himself highly obliged in his conscience to endeavour in this constitution of time not only to prevent a rupture between the protestant princes and states, but also to unite the same more closely in a common league of mutual defence against the inhuman cruelties of popery; that he had earnestly signified his mind to the present extraordinary Swedish embassador in this city, and that he had formerly assured me, that he would not only accept no offer in prejudice of the united Netherlands, but also that he could now tell me in the presence of these lords, that he hoped it would never enter into their hearts to receive any thing distinctly and not in common with the united Netherlands in regard of any privileges, liberties, or otherwise in the commerce and navigation in the east sea, and in those parts near adjacent; that they had not yet judg'd it necessary to send an embassy thither, believing that they shall suddenly see, which way the business will go, and that we should find, that they had not sat still, and that he hoped, that it will yet come in it's time, promising, that he would communicate to me from time to time what he shall understand; but he desired me for many reasons to recommend that it may be managed with discretion. I answered, that in my mind there being an able minister in loco, in the behalf of his highness, he would find the affairs to be quite different from what, it may be, they are related to him at present. That also in former times upon all treaties in those parts, ministers of this nation were employed, and shewed him the consequences of the places which the duke doth possess by succession from his predecessors, who enjoyed them time out of mind; and how hard it was, and strange, that the present king of Swedes should endeavour to take from him that, which he hath thus long preserved amongst the popish Polanders king and Jesuitical council. The lord protector made answer, that he did very well perceive the business, and that he hoped, that it would be found, and said, that he would always shew his true affection for the good of the united Netherlands.
The day before that the extraordinary emb. of Sweden had been to signify to the protector the birth of the young prince: on wednesday night he had another private audience. I hope in a short time to be able to give to their high and mighty lordships a full account concerning that business.
The secretary of state doth assure me, that the secret article with France is only a list of the names of persons, that are to be remov'd out of France: he hath promised me a copy thereof the next week.
Vice-admiral Goodson and major Sedgwick to the officers in Jamaica.
You cannot but know that our present work and imployment is to attend the service of his highness, and our nation, in their affairs in these parts. In reference therefore to our duty, in the consideration of the present state of ourselves and dear countrymen with us in this island, we thought it a duty incumbent upon us, to present these unto your serious consideration. We must first grant, that God, in many outgoings of his towards us, seems to frown upon us and not to own us; and that he is just and righteous in his proceedings against us in all his visitations, yet we cannot but acknowledge, that there is some smiles of favour towards us, it being a mercy we are not all consumed. Providence hath brought us hitherto, and so far answered the design we are upon, as to give us at present a residence and being upon this island; and is by many thought might be a place, if well improved, answering all the charges, that hath been disbursed about it: we cannot think this island will be slighted, or quitted by his highness or the states of England; neither are we ignorant of his highness's very great care, and his readiness at all times since this design was set on foot, speedily to supply what might be for the comfort and well being of people imployed in these affairs.
Taking it for granted, that the island must be kept by the English now upon it, we propose, whether it be our wifest and best way to have a sole dependance from England for our subsistence: although we no way doubt of his highness and council still minding us; yet we cannot but know, that ships and provisions are subject to many miscarriages; and if your dependency be wholly on them, we perish for want.
We are fully satisfied the country is capable of producing variety of provisions, and that God hath so stored the island with various blessings of that kind, that were there a good and wise ordering of them, the place might be made very comfortable in that kind, and cannot but think, that his highness and council do believe much is done that way already.
We cannot but own it was a very great mercy and smile from God, that in many of your quarters the soldiers begin in some measure to recover and gain strength, and are somewhat lustier and willing to possess the country.
Upon many considerations we therefore propound these to you, that there is on board the ships and in your storehouses on shore as much provisions, as will in a comfortable way supply the army near four months; taking this for granted then, whether it would be convenient and of absolute necessity, to resolve to put some provisions into the ground, thereby to prevent and avoid an inevitable and undeniable ruin.
To animate the soldiers, which are many of them planters, we should be willing to admit of any incouragements to them; as thus, to allow and lay out to every man his particular land formerly allowed him, and to have the propriety made sure (as far as in us lyeth:) secondly, we shall be willing to allow them any seed corn we have by us, or can procure for them at present, as pease, Indian corn, and such gavances. Thirdly, we shall be willing to assent to this law, in case his highness call them off this island upon the prosecution of this war, that then satisfaction shall be given them in money for their provisions so planted, and that any pains taken that may be recompenced to the full.
We also lay it before your considerations, whether in many respects it were not better for you, to reduce the army into three or four regiments; then the charges of state would be lessened. Secondly, if the regiments be full and complete too in officers, they would be better enabled to the attending any military duty, as guard and the like. Thirdly, they would be in a better capacity thereby to fit themselves, planting every regiment in the manner of a township. Fourthly, there may be an open and fair way, to dismiss some whose condition may be more considerable, and to employ and impower others as may be desirable and deserving.
We offer this likewise to consideration, whether it were not best to remove the head quarters; it being generally apprehended the air of the town by many occasions to be much putrified and infected, and will, if not deserted, destroy our people, we well knowing that most of the other quarters are far more healthful.
We offer this likewise as our request and desire, that colonel Doyley would join with us, and sign too that instrument made in major general Fortescue's time, that he may be assisting and helpful with us in the management of the affairs in this place, until his highness take further orders.
And lastly, to undeceive the army in general, who at present are effected, that the army shall be carried off from hence by the present fleet; we do declare, that by the orders and instructions of William Goodson admiral, he is as much as in him lyes to keep to sea to annoy the enemy, but so as regard and respect be had to the army; and that he is not to leave his station, until he receive further positive order from his highness and council, unless he be inforced by necessity thereunto, and that as yet he hath not any order to remove from hence any part of the army; which orders and instructions he resolves, by God's blessing, to wait and attend upon. We desire God to be amongst, and assist you and your undertakings and proceedings, and remain
To col. Edward Doyley, commander in chief of the army.
Whereas we are every day importuned both by our officers and soldiers of this army, representing the sadness of their condition, and discouraged by their mortality, and continual sickness, that hath utterly disabled them from performing any service for the commonwealth, or to plant for their subsistence here, that we commiserate their condition, and use some speedy means for their removal hence, that so the handful of people yet remaining may be serviceable to his highness the lord protector and the commonwealth of England.
We therefore, from the sense of the great duty lyeth upon us, both towards God and our several charges, have made bold to make these our humble addresses to you, that you would be pleased to represent them effectually to the admirall and commissioner Sedgwick, that speedy course may be taken for their relief accordingly.
Major general Disbrowe to the protector.
May it please your highness.
Since my last I have not much to trouble your highness withall, only to give you a briefe accompt of my proceeds at Bristoll. Sundry of the commissioners, after I imparted the instructions, craved tyme to consider of them, and at last made their excuses. I have added others, that will effectually carry it on, and have made an entrance thereupon. From thence I came to Glocester, and have given a dispatch to the persons sommoned heare. There was a generall appearance of the commissioners; only mr. Hodges was troubled with the toothake, and mr. Howe with the goute; but the best is, they are diseases not catchinge, for the worke goes pleasantly on. I shall now steare my course for Wells, where I have desyred the gentlemen of the country to give me a meetinge. My lord, upon inquiry I find nothinge done either at Bristoll, or in Glocestershire upon the ordinances of ejectinge scandalous and insufficient ministers, and the reason is for want of active commissioners. Now the worke beinge of soe high a concernment, it were sad, it should fall to the ground, which unavoydably it will doe in these partes without your highness and the councell's order for an additionall number of commissioners, whose names I can give you, that will adjudge your highness commande as authenticque as an act of Parliament. May I know your highness pleasure in it, and it shall be accordingly observed by him, who is
Major general Disbrowe to secretary Thurloe.
I had yours, for which I thanke you, and have at present little to trouble you withall. I have bin at Bristolle and sett the wheele a goeinge there: though mr. Haggett and some others (I cannot say fairely) drew their necks out of the coller, yet I have added others, that will with all chearefulness putt their shoulders to the worke, and adjudge it a mercy they have the oppertunity. Sir, I came from thence to Glocester, and have made a dispatch in my business there; only the objection I hinted unto his highness in my last I frequently meete withall, and therefore if the councell see not cause to make those of 50 l. per annum or 500 l. personall estate lyable to this additionall tax, it will be but expedient, that an explanatory order of the councell be sent to the commissioners in each county for their satisfaction therein. I must alsoe desyre you to crave his highness advice for the addition of new commissioners in ejectinge the ignorant and scandalous ministers, especially in Bristoll and Glocestershire, for untill I came there was nothinge done for want of honest commissioners, which hath bin noe small discouragement to the well affected. I could give you such names, that if by an order of his highness and councell they were but added, a thorough worke might be expected, which indeed (I am perswaded) would be very acceptable to God and good men. This day I came from Glocester hither beinge 30 myles. To morrow I intend (if the Lord please) for Wells, where I purpose to abide untill tuesday or wednesday; but the answeare to this I shall expect at Exon. I have one with me, that gives notice to the office, where the letters shall find me. Soe rests
Monsieur Augier to secretary Thurloe.
I Had the happinesse to render an account last wednesdaye unto his highnesse and unto your honour of my conference with cardinall Mazarin. The counte of Brienne promised me the next daye, that he would know the king's leasure for to present me unto his majesty. Yesterday was the said counte's writing daye, and this morning he sent me his excuses, and that he would take the first opportunity to speake thereof unto his said majesty. To morrow is a daye of rejoyecing in the Louvre, a maske being daunced before the duke of Modena, and att the said counte's, by reason of his eldest sonne's wedding with late monsieur de Chavigny his second daughter, which will doubtelesse delaye my presenting till betweene this and next ordinary. In the interim wee presse in such manner for the payement of mr. de Cezi's debte, that mr. le Cardinall hath ordered unto mr. de Servient great treasurer, to give us such valable and present assignements as that monsieur de Bordeaux (who hath declared he would not depart from hence untill that debte be acquitted) maye as soone as possible returne into England, soe that wee expect realitys thereof in consequence of his said highnesse's favorable protection, and your cares, which cause me to be more and more,
Bordeaux, to mr. de la Bastide.
I Have received your two letters of the 3d and 6th of January. They oblige me to tell you, that his eminence is engaged to cause the levy to be made by col. Douglas, who will bring you the king's letter very suddenly, to the end you may assist him in his designs. I am told that I must depart very speedily, and to this effect order is given to the treasurer to pay me some money.
You are not to fail to let mr. Secretary or my lord Fiennes know, that we are expecting the two commissioners from St. Malo and Roan to pass into England with me for the execution of the treaty; as likewise, that all the persons named in the catalogue are preparing to depart out of France; amongst the rest the duke of York, who takes his leave this night of the king to depart after the ball, which is to be danc'd to morrow; but his eminence being advertised that his departure will debauch all the Irish, and that they will go with him to serve Spain, which will be prejudicial both to France, England and Spain, he hath charged me to write unto you, that you should signify this inconveniency, and having made it known, that you do what you can to prevail with the protector that he may stay in France. His stay shall cause no jealousy, for he shall be imployed in such a country where the royalists can have no advantage by it. If these considerations will not prevail with his highness, the king notwithstanding will let him go along with the rest of the English. Do what you can in this business, and manage it with all the dexterity that may, and get me an answer with as much speed as you can conveniently.
An intercepted letter of sir G. Ratcliff.
D. of York
Francis gave your friend very good words yesterday, but they signify nothing, so long as he is where he is. He wants money as other men do, but he hath large promises to be supplied after his departure. My tutor would say I believe in God.
The P. royal was to begin her journey from the Hague towards Paris on thursday last. The reason of this voyage at this time I cannot learn; her mother desires to see her, but her brother would not have her to stir now: but sure there is more in it than I must know; for to see her mother at St. Germain's fair seems to be an odd undertaking.
We talk here of an agreement between the lord protector and Spain; that Spain hath an agent in England; and that the protector hath given over his great preparations of his fleet for the West, for which Spain must give him 200 thousand pistoles.
Erasmus Smith to major general Goffe.
I Was to waite of you that morneing you went out of towne, to acknowledge my thanckfullnes for your labour of love, which I must ever acknowledge, and which will for ever oblige mee. Since your departure our chariot wheeles have driven heavily, and our sonne seemes to stand still. If your power hath not a further influence then my indeavour, I must dispaire, and decline my further attendance; for as the judge saieth, hee is waisted both in purse, body and minde, truely soe I may say concerning my selfe, to see those horrible delayes, which are able to waist the spirits of any man. I doe appeale unto you, and intreat the continuance of your favour, and the use of your power with those that are our judges, which will command
Col. Robert Lilburne to major general Whalley.
There is one Marke Morley, who is at present, as I understand, servant to mr. Grantham, or col. Grantham in Lincolneshire. 'Tis the same Grantham, that lived in Holdernes neere Hull, and the said Marke Morley his servant was at the rendevouze at Hessey Moore, and did then serve sir Robert Strickland, and it's conceived did goe with mr. Walter Strickland his master's sonne from his house to that rendevouze. I would intreat you to send to apprehend and examine him, whether his master Strickland was privy to his goeing on the Moore, and whether he rid on one of his horses, and whether he went in Walter Strickland's company to the Moore, and whether he returned of the Moore, and whether he did not goe to Sandford Nevill's, and how long he staid there, and what converse he had with the said Nevill, and whether the said Nevill did not know, that he came from Hessey Moore; and if you please to aske him other questions, after you have gott ought from him, I hope you will please to let me understand his answer at large, and send him in safe custody unto
Major general Berry to secretery Thurloe.
In observance of my lord's commands I have delayed my intended journey, and stay here till the quarter sessions be past; and when I intend next to steale a little time, I will tell noe body. I have mustered and payd the troops in this place, and have now begun to looke into the civell affaires of this county, which truely I find to be much out of order; and in your last comission for the peace, if I may be bold to tell you soe, you have furnished us with some men not to be desired; but I hope ere longe to find them out. I beseech you be carefull in disposeing powers and places, to put them into good hands, or you undoe us. We have such a pittifull company of officers in state affaires that it is a shame to see it, excisemen, treasurers, clerke of the peace, pronotaries, stewards, bayliefes and captaines, and broad - - - - - - ministers. I am filled with complaints of them, and when I can have while to serch them out, shall trouble you with an account of them. In the meane time all I beg is, you would be carefull what new ones you make. Indeed, sir, it is sad to see what ministers are approoved of and sent abroad; but these alsoe I hope to find out. I beseech you pardon this freenes. I confesse this complaint is a little too soone, but I am full of it, but you shall heare noe more till I am more particular. We have given order to secure sir Tho. Harries his estate, which began to be imbezelled, and we wate for instructions concerning him, whether you have sufficient testimony against him. I have writt to his highnes concerning mr. Newport: I beseech you let me know his pleasure therein. We have imprisoned here divers lewd fellowes, some for haveing a hand in the plott, others of dissolute life, as persons dangerouse to the peace of the nation; amongst others those papists, who went a hunting when they were sent for by major Waringe; they are desperate persons, and divers of them fitt to grind sugar-cane or plant tobacco, and if some of them were sent into the Indies, it would doe much good. I hope the comissioners will give you an account of them. I pray you, if you have annother honest and fitt man, keepe of mr. Tho. Hunt from being high sherrife, and forgett not to send a dedimus to give him his oath for a justice of peace; he hath beene off the hookes, but intends now to act; he is an honest man and will doe good. If you have any thing to doe in Worcestershire, Hereford, or Shropshire, direct your orders to capt. Crooke at Hereford; but if in Wales, to capt. Robinson at Wrexham or Oswestry. Truely, sir, I am very sorry to see soe unhansome a thing from mr. Powell and the poore Welshmen; I am perswaded some of them wil be ashamed of it; and indeed I thinke that people will not be wrought up to any comotion: the enemy getts advantage against them by reason they are an affectionate, tender-spirited people that want judgment: they live farre of, and want information, and haveing got a little prejudice, stumble at every straw. I hope a small time will weare away their dissatisfactions. Some of the names were not subscribed by the persons, but presumptuously put to by their freinds; but I trouble you too much. Sir, I am
Major general Goffe to secretary Thurloe.
I Am informed that coll. Busbridge is very much troubled att his being made high sherrefe, and that he intends to endeavor to gett himselfe discharged by an application to his highnes. It may be he will alsoe desyre to be freed from the command of the millitia troop, which if he should doe, I am perswaded it would be for his highnes service to lett him have his desire in both. Sir, I have some ground to be of this opinion, which I am loath to mention att this time, because I am not sure he will make any such desire to his highnes; but I could wish the man a great deale better then he is, if all be true that I have heard reported of him. I need not desire your privacy when I wright things of this nature, being unwilling to keepe any thing from you, that may be fitt for you to know, though it be a very erksome thing unto mee to speake or wright in another's disparragement. Hee hath not soe much as appeared att any of our meetings, being very unapt for bussines, and I heare his new wiffe is very much against his being in publicke imployment, and if he be discharged from them upon his owne desire, it will be noe disobligation, and it may bee another person may be more for his highnes service, especially in the militia troop.
Mr. John Stapley was with us att Lewis, and I am perswaded is very cordially resolved to serve the protector; hee hath saide to some of his friends, that he will venter his liffe and estate for him; and therefore because I find some of the justices of this county much troubled, that they have noe custos rotulorum, some of them saying that defect may make all there proceeding questionable, I am bould once more to fill up that blanke in the comission with mr. Stapley his name, and to add mr. Anthony Sherly of Preston, capt. Thomas Jenner, and capt. Walter Everenden of Fairelegh to the commission. The man last named seemeth to me to be a very honest sober man, and liveth neere Hastings and Rye, where he may doe much good; he is one of the comissioners for the extraordinary taxe, and hath soe good a mind to the bussines that he hath come allmost as farr as Rye to Chichester to the meetings, and I heere is well respected where he liveth, and the honest men of the country apt to follow him, if there should be occasion. I heere the comission is still with the clerke of the crowne. But I shall not further trouble you at present than to subscribe my selfe, sir,
The Dutch embassadors in Denmark to the states general.
High and mighty lords,
Hitherto we have met in our voyage with nothing worth mentioning: however, by the opportunity of the present ordinary post, we have thought it our duty to give your high mightinesses an account of our voyage, as far as we have been able in these short days to advance therein, with the train and baggage, which we are obliged to carry with us by land. After we had received your high mightinesses last instructions, and sent away part of our retinue, we set out from the Hague on monday, and arrived safe at Utrecht on tuesday the 11th of this present month in the morning, where we were complimented in the name of the lords the deputies of the states of that province by a considerable number of their noble mightinesses, and in respect of your high mightinesses were elegantly treated and defrayed. In the afternoon we broke up from thence, and arrived in the evening at Amersford, from whence, being complimented in our lodging by the burgomasters in the name of the town, we proceeded without intermission in our voyage by the road of Swoll, (where we were likewise waited upon, in the name of the council, and defrayed with the city wine) and further over Hardenbergh and Niuwenhuys. We arrived yesterday very late in this town, where we are detained this day, by the necessary repairs of our coach, which was over-turn'd with us yesterday not far from this town, and fell from a high ridge in the road; however, God be thank'd, without hurt to any body of us. To morrow we will continue our journey to Loeningen, in hopes to be within three days at Bremen. All that we hear, besides the news, which we communicate to your high mightinesses by a safer hand, is, that the Swedes are very diligent every where, to reinforce their armies with new recruits, and that near this town, from time to time, some small parties of four, six, and eight men are passing by, which are said to be raised under-hand near or within the frontiers of your high mightinesses, to be employ'd in the dutchy of Bremen for the service of the king of Sweden, to raise thereby a regiment of 600 dragoons, with which general Koningsmarck is said to be busy at present. Some passengers from Koningsberg and Dantzick, which came away from thence the latter end of last month, have told us here, that they are of good heart in those two cities. But as to those affairs your high mightinesses have apparently some fresher and certain tidings, so that we will not enlarge upon the particulars, which we have heard from the said passengers.
A letter of intelligence.
Your last I received, dated the 27th of December, wherein youe ritt to me, that my mother would not be transplanted. I have not ritten to youe the last post, by reson I expected an awnswer to my last, wherin I desired youe to direct your letter to me thus, A monsieur le Broise en le rue de St. Ann a Brussell. Your last I receved by chance in Antwerp, for I ritt to youe still to direct your letter to me to Brussells, and not to Antwerp. I have dealt heere with one, that undertakes to lett youe know three things; that without the knowledge of which your 26. 33. 39. 24. 36. 31. 24. 32. 38. is in as great a hassard as can be. 'Tis such a business, that he tells me, I must goe over to youe, and there to remaine with youe still. This person will know as much as any about the 1, but he gives me such instrustions to be sure, that I agree with youe for a certaine - - - of 100. 'Tis not on any sleight buisness, that I goe to youe; yet as all wee desire is, that youe will send me over by the next a note inclosed to one to receve 100 to beare my charges, and to leave somewhat with my freind heere. Youe ritt in the last letter, that youe would not paye for the comodities I sent youe. Sure youe cannot expect, that the comodities, that youe demand, are to be had every day. The buisness is now, that my self will be with youe with what I promiss in this letter. None shall know, that I goe see youe neither heere nor there; therfor faile not to send to me the 100 by the next. I beleeve your surest way wil be by the Dutch merchant Judoico Marss, that lives in mr. Cullen's howse in Lime-street in London, for he hath his factor in Gant. My freind tells me, that the comodities heele send youe by me wil be worth us ten thowsand pound there, soe as I am readie for my jornie. Nothing delaies but the 100. Be sure youe direct your letter to me thus, A monsieur la Brose en le rue de St. Ann a Brussell: doe not direct to Antwerp. It will be your owne faut, if youe have not those comodities in time. There shal be noe delay in me, if youe send the 100 by the next. I am readie, and hope to see youe imediately. I wil be back heer before any shall be the wiser. One Griffin is taken by the 1. the last weeke. I remaine
Major general Disbrowe to the protector.
May itt please your highness,
I had yours of the 3d instant, wherein your highness seemes to hint, that longe ere this you expected to have seene two out of each troope of my regiment to have compleated your new guard. I must assure your highness, that it proceeded more for want of orders then a hart to observe your commands, for it was the first sillable I heard of itt. I have this morneinge taken order with my officers with me, and dispatcht letters to those that are absent, commanding them to select and hasten their men to my lord Lambert with as much expedition as is possible. I had not tyme by the last to give your highness an accompt of all my proceeds, therefore shall take the bouldness at present to acquaint your highnesse, that at Bristoll intymation was given me by some honest people, that sundry of the aldermen and justices were enemyes to the publique interest, retayneinge their old malignant principles, discountenancinge the godly, and upholdinge the loose and prophane, which indeed is a disease predominatinge in most corporations. Now I adjudged it my duty to declare against such, wheresoever I find them, but resolved to doe itt with as little noyse as I could; and in order thereunto I made my repaire to mr. mayor, and acquainted him, that such of his bretherene I understood were soe and soe; and desired him from me to advise them tacitly to resigne, otherwise I should be necessitated to make them publique examples. Whereupon mr. mayor ingaged to deale faithfully with them, and, as I understand, they have taken my advice, which will make way for honester men. There were alsoe articles of delinquency proved against nine of the magistrats of Tuexsbury, and particularly against Hill their towne clarke: I have alsoe dismissed them and four of the common councell of Glocester for adheringe to the Scotts king's interest. Now I must humbly begge this of your highness, that if any addresses should be made in the behalfes of any that I have layen aside, that his highness will favour me soe farr as to respitt judgment untill providence returnes me to London. I am now at Wells waiting for the gent. to impart your instructions to them; and upon wednesday hope to sett forward for Exon. I have alsoe presented your highness with what additionall directions I left at Bristoll, and should crave your pleasure upon itt, and signe my selfe, as I am,
To his highness Oliver, lord protector of the commonwealth of England, Scotland, and Ireland.
That the petitioners having understood of some resolutions to set prizes upon Spanish wines for their sale in gross, did apply themselves by several petitions to your highness, as the fountain of justice and their sole protector in this their distressed case, and did set forth their many sufferings by embargo of their estates in Spain, by the many thousands of pounds, which they must pay their ships dead freight, which have returned from Spain empty, and by the damage that will succeed to them by the very same of setting prices upon their wines, and did also implore your highness's favour for the restoring of the allowances and privileges, that have been granted them by parliament, (and since taken away) and did also shew the interest and advantage of the commonwealth in general by the exporting of manufactures, whereby many thousands of poor are relieved and have their subsistence, and by the imployment of so many ships and seamen for the carrying forth and bringing home the returns of goods exported, and by the imployment of so many ships in the fishing trade, with the maintenance of the nursery of mariners, and the benefit to the commonwealth by the returns of the proceed of the said fish in foreign parts, is without any example in Christendom.
And for these considerations, and many more in their remonstrance, the petitioners did humbly pray your highness, that they might not be made subject to the vintners wills by setting the prizes of wines in gross, but that it may be suspended and the petitioners left to sell as they can, and not made subject to stay their leisure in buying, whereby the expence of manufactures, the imployment of ships, and the fishing trade will be hindred and much impaired, and the customs and excise much diminished. And though your highness did give a gracious hearing to our petitions, and did lately promise, that we should be heard by the right honourable council appointed for the setting of prices upon wines, and that they should take into consideration the petitioners most humble supplications; yet having attended daily, the petitioners cannot be heard, nor receive such remedy as by your highness's most gracious dispatch they expected:
The petitioners therefore humbly implore your highness's favour, that the setting any prices in gross may be suspended, and that they may not be injoined to sell their wines for 26 l. which stands them in above 30 l. per pipe; nor that they may be obliged to observe any rules for sale of their wines, but such as have been ever used, by calling the merchants, and taking due information of what their wines stand them in, the which hath not been done; and therefore, and for that as yet there is no proclamation made, it is in your highness's power to suspend the setting of any prices, or to prorogue the time of Midsummer for the taking place of the prices of Spanish wines, and to assign it for Midsummer come twelve months, which the petitioners humbly pray and hope, it being the only means of their preservation, and for the continuance of their trade to their own comfort, and for the general good of this commonwealth.
And the petitioners, &c.
Col. Rob. Lilburne to the protector.
May it please your highnes,
I Cannot be satisfied in spirit, (though I am loath to turn informer) untill I have performed that, which my conscience tells me is a dutie; and that is to let your highnes know, (as it is here reported) mr. Richard Robinson being pitched upon for sherriffe of this county, it gives distast, as I understand, to many conscientious people; he being noted amongst them as one somewhat of a lose conversation, and one that is too much addicted to tippling, and that which is called good-fellowship, and was lately accus'd before the commissioners to be somewhat concerned in point of delinquency. He is reasonable able of parts, but I doubt not, but it is your highnes care and advantage rather to call good men to places of magistracy, then such; and I know it wil be more acceptable to godly men, and more honourable to your highnes, and tending more to the quieting of the spirit of all good people, and to the stopping the mouths of those, that may lay this as a stumbling-block. I crave your highness pardon for this presumption, which I assure you is in sincerity of heart, and a servent desire of seeing all your actions prosperous before God and men. I remaine