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 (8 of 9)
Commissary Pels to the states general.
Since my last of the 2d of February here hath not happened much to advise. The duke of Brandenburgh doth divide all his men upon the frontiers of Prussia against Lithuania for fear of the Muscovites; and likewise his majesty of Sweden doth advance with most of his forces towards Thorn and Poland, in regard the king of Poland is raising and gathering together all what he can possibly to strengthen himself.
The prince of Condé to Barriere.
Marigny is arrived here: he delivered me your letter of the 27th of January, and hath entertained me of all things. You will receive herewith a bill of exchange for 200 l. sterling. I am doing all what I can to prevail with these gentlemen for a subsistence for you. In the mean time I pray continue to let me know all that passeth where you are.
A letter of intelligence.
A French merchant, Olmet by name, he lived formerly at Hamburgh, arrived here this night, and gave me further notice of some things than what we have yet had. Concerning the articles of the agreement between the king of Sweden and the duke, he gave this relation for as much as came to his knowledge.
The king of Sweden is to stay at Thorn, and prince Adolph to march with the body of the army towards Warsaw. Mr. Rolt the English envoy took his leave of the king three weeks since, and is expected here within ten or twelve days; he had much honour and favour shewn by the king.
Mr. Longland, agent at Leghorn, to secretary Thurloe.
I know you do very wel remember, althoh in the midst of so much bisnes, the commission you gav me to buy the Naples horses and mares for his highnes; theyr cost and charges I sent you, which came to dollar 2832 1 5 which, according as you then ordered, I plac'd it to generall Blak's account, who promist to see me imburst upon his arrival in Ingland; but now his secretary mr. Hempson wryts me, that by meanes of generall Blak's sudden departure to sea he cannot attend it, but refers to your honour for payment; wherefore I herwith send you an account of disbursments for generall Blak, by which is due unto me for ballance dollar 2761 16 4 at 5 s. per doller is starling 690 l. 9 s. 1 d. which moneys I hav this day drawn upon you payable to mr. Geo. Smith marchant, at two monthes after date, be pleased worthy sir to giv due acceptance and payment unto my bils when due. If I had not paid for his hynes horses generall Blak would not hav bin in my det.
The great duk's court is gon hence towards Florence: when I took my leave of him, I put his hynes in mynd of a kind of necessity, that our nation had here of a church, living in a manner like hethens without faith or law: he gave me little answer unto it, but told me, if he saw other parts of Itally grant it, he would lykwys tak it into consideration. I knew nothing would com of it, and that it is a string thes princes do not lov to hear toucht; however I thought it good to motion it, althoh but to keep the demand alyv and in memory, against such tym as his hynes the protector shall ask it, when I am very confident it wil not be denyed him. The nois of the great fleet coming into thes seas under generall Blak's command has caused the pope to remov all the great treasure of Loretto, which they ar fearfull of being so nere the sea. Tis advysed hether from several parts of Turkey, that a great rebel has stormed and sackt the citty of Alep in Syria, wherin is a great factory of Inglish, amongst whom your servant has spent som yeares ther. I am
The Dutch embassadors in Denmark to the states general.
High and mighty lords,
Since our departure from Hamburgh, from whence we writ twice to your high and mighty lordships, we have pursued our journey from day to day without any intermission; only one day we were obliged to spend in waiting upon the duke of Holstein at Gottorp, where we found the duke, and so we thought it our duty to take the occasion to salute his highness in the name of your high and mighty lordships, in conformity to the letters of address and credentials given to us for that end. He was pleased, after he had given us audience, to invite us to dinner, where he held several discourses of his affections towards your high and mighty lordships. Our credentials were answered with recredentials, which we shall bring over with us at our return, together with our report, if God pleaseth. We past this afternoon the water called the little Belt; but for want of vessels we were fain to leave our coaches, horses, and the rest of our baggage on the other side of the water, and will not be brought over till to morrow; and in regard the ways are very bad, we shall not get to Copenhagen in seven or eight days yet. Of the articles of the treaty of peace between the king of Sweden and the duke of Brandenburgh we could not learn any certainty, neither at the court of the duke of Holstein, nor elsewhere; and we shall expect with devotion your high and mighty lordship's good pleasure upon what we writ to the lord griffier Ruysch, in our letter from Hamburgh upon that occasion. Concerning our abode at Hamburgh, we were civilly treated and enterained by the magistrates, for which we are to return them thanks, and for the protestations which their lordships made to us of their good affections to your high and mighty lordships.
Commissary Pels to the states general.
High and mighty lords,
My lords, since my last of the 2d of February nothing considerable has happened. The elector of Brandenburg quarters all his troops on the Prussian frontiers towards Lithuania, for fear of the Russians. His majesty of Sweden marches likewise most of his troops towards Thorn and Poland, since it is believed, that the king of Poland draws together all sorts of nations near the mountains of Ungary; yet he continues still at Crossen without acting. As to the fidelity of the Tartars and Cosacks nothing certain can be thought nor mentioned.
The electress of Brandenburg is said to be on the mending hand; and the elector's train of artillery was carryed already out of Marienburg. The Swedish troops are pretty near the town. The Swedes have taken by surprise Stoum, a certain pretty strong place by nature, and a fortress, situated about 2 miles from Marienburg, belonging to the baron of Guldenstern.
They have made at Koningsberg as yet no publication of the peace or agreement which is concluded, except only the inclosed translated edict concerning foreign goods and people flying to that place for refuge.
Resolutions of the states general.
The lords the deputies of the province of Overyssell having informed the assembly, that severall commissaries of the said province, according to their high mightinesses request contained in their letter of the 28th of January last past, relating to accommodation and composition of the differences in the said provinces, that happened there some time ago, were arrived here, did at the same time declare, that it was their opinion, that the said differences could be accommodated the sooner and with the more dispatch, if the said accommodation were attempted previously by some few persons. For which purpose they did propose the person of the lord prince William of Nassau, together with the lord John de Witt, councellor pensionary of Holland and Westfriesland; which being put under deliberation their high mightinesses did well approve thereof. Accordingly the said lords prince William of Nassau and the councellor pensionary de Witt are hereby desired and authorised to use their best offices and endeavours, to the end that the said differences may be adjusted in an amicable way, making from time to time their report.
A letter of intelligence.
Yesterday here died the duke of Chevreuse of a stopping upon his stomach; the chancellor is likewise afflicted with the same disease, which is the reason why the parliament hath not yet had audience of the king, nor likewise an answer upon the demand which the commissioners have made to this minister.
The prince of Orange arrived here last night in the company of the king, the queen, and monsieur the duke d'Anjou and the queen of England, who went as far as St. Dennis to meet her; she is lodged in the palace royal. The duke of York went as far as Perronne to welcome her into France; she was conducted to the palace by their majesties, and was complimented the same night by the count d'Estrades, . . . of the cardinal.
Monsieur Augier to secretary Thurloe.
All that I have to adde unto my last of this day sevennight is, that in sequele of the assurances the cardinall caused to be given me that daye, that he sent all manner of orders unto the count of Brienne for the dispatching of mr. de Cezi's businesse; the said count having since mett to that purpose with mr. l'embassadeur de Bordeaux, they have resolved to send to morrow for some treators (sufficient persons that we have directed unto them) to treat with them of the securities that shall be propounded unto them, upon condition they shall paye us in such a time and terme as we shall be contented therewith; the said lord embassador, who hath hitherto chiefly laboured to be reimbursed of the advances he hath made during his embassage, assuring us, he will henceforth be more free for the ending of the said mr. de Cezis businesse, being still resolved not to part from hence untill it be concluded.
The said count of Brienne had appointed me last mundaye for to present me unto the king before that the councill fatt; but the chancelor being fallen very sick that daye, and his majestie having spent all the weeke in dauncing, I am put off by the said count untill the occasion of next councill, which maye be about next mundaye or tuesdaye, being the said chancelor is a little better.
This parliament doth notwithstanding the king's prohibitions meete every day for the revoking of the edict his majestie hath given for the fabrication of a newe coine called Lys; all the corporations assemblies of this kingdom have deputed here for the said revocation. The parliament of Tholose hath given a decree prohibiting the said fabrication within their jurisdiction upon peine of death. This morning his majestie hath sent word unto this parliament to send unto him their deputies. Whereupon the first president and several councellors have had audience of his majestie in a close rome; mr. de Servient had in the said chancelor's absence informed them of his majestie's intention, which was, that they had not to meete upon the subject of the said edict, nor to meddle nor make with the coine; and as for their five compagnions, which are newely exiled, that his majestie would recall them when he should think it sitting for his service. It's thought neverthelesse that some alteration will be brought unto that edict in the generall discontent of these people and parliaments.
The duke de la Rochefoucaut is appointed extraordinary embassador for Suisserland, to appease the difference between the Cantons, with threatnings that his majestie will assist that partie which shall seeme to be most reasonable. The popish clergie continueth its papisticall leagues, whilst that the strengths of England and the union of the Sueds with Brandebourg increaseth their jealousie: this court on the contrarie looketh on all things with an indifference, meddling in no manner with the princesse of Orange's interest, who is here arrived by her mother since two dayes, whereof your honour maye see the particulars in the here annexed Gazette.
A rumor hath runned here of the emperour's being deceased, of a marriage of the said princesse of Orenge with the duke of Savoye, of the prince Francis of Loraine's eldest sonne to one of the cardinall his neeces, and of the king's voyage to Lyons; but all this without any solid ground. There is more likelyhood of the king's going within few weeks to Fountainebleau, where the duke and dutchesse of Orleans will come and make a turne to visite him. This is all that this season affords for the present. I remaine alwaies
Col. Rob. Lilburne to the protector.
May it please your highnes,
I Thinke it my dutie to give account of affaires as any thing considerable occurres. Haveing had a good appearance of commissioners this weeke, we began yesterday with the plotters, and proceeded against sir Rich. Malliverer and major Waters. This day wee had sir Hen. Slingsby and col. Brandling before us, and made good proofe against the former; but upon his earnest motion, that time might be given to make his defence, his sentence is suspended till to morrow morning; and for the latter, we have got soe much from his owne mouth to day, as (I thinke) will serve his turne without any further proofe. The rest wee shal proceed against as time will permit, haveing something or other dayly discovered unto us. I thought it my duty also to give your highnes an account of this inclosed. Many of the commissioners meeting with great and hainous complaint of the wicked carriage of many excisemen, (many of whom are desperate cavalleires) are thinking of representing some expedient to your highnes about the excise of ale and beere, which wil be an addition to the yearely proffit it affords your highness, and take away those great abuses in the present collectors thereof, and will not be a little satisfaction to thousands of people, and tend much to the knitting the hearts of abundance of people in affection to your highness, and great satisfaction to the people in generall in these counties, if your highnes thinke it worthy your countenance or consideration; and in the interim I humbly move, there may be noe disposall of it unto such untoward people, that bring contempt and reproach upon the present government, which my zeale to preserve inviolable occasions this presumption, which I hope your highness will pardon in
Commissioners for Nottinghamshire to the protector.
May it please your highnesse,
When wee seriously consider how implacable and indefatigable these bloody enemies to religion, state, and commonwealth, have beene and still are, (notwithstanding the severall graces and indulgencies they have really received) and how dangerously and epidemically such plotts and designes (formerly and of late) have beene layd, contrary to atheisme it selfe for ingratitude, and how insolently and confidently they prosecuted the same designes, (assuring themselves of infallible successe;) and when we likewise consider, how by the infinite goodnesse and providence of God, and the greate care and wisdome of your highnesse, those hellish plots and designes have beene both wonderfully discovered, and timely prevented, and those irreconcilable enemyes (by reason of conscious guilt) dispersed and defeated; and when wee further alsoe consider, what frugall and prudentiall meanes are used by settling a militia in every countie, to prevent the like for the future, and consequently to preserve the safetie and peace of the nation, (wherein this countie of Nottingham is concerned and involved) wee cannot but stand amazed, and leave all others to admire the infinite goodnesse and providence of God, and the univeral care of your highness; and therefore (as wee are obliged) doe with all humilitie (as is most due) ascribe all praise and glory to God, and honour and gratitude to your highnesse. And yet we rest not here; for if wee still further consider, that there was and yet is lex necessitatis, (not of your highnesse's, but of the enemies owne making) both to continue and to pay forces, else noe salus populi, (which is suprema lex) what can wee (or any others) say, but must acknowledge, that the instructions communicated unto us by major generall Whalley, (under which wee, though unworthy doe acte, and of which wee hope to give your highnesse a good accompt) are composed of great justice and mercie, wisdome and equitie of justice, in chargeing the guiltie, and easeing the guiltlesse; and of mercie in charging the guiltie noe more; of wisdome in finding out, and settling such an excellent course, (as most probably will discourage and prevent the designes of the wicked, and incourage, and procure the peace and safetie of the good people); and of equitie, in laying a charge upon all that have beene guiltie, and in laying a greater charge upon such as are more guiltie. If all did suffer because they were Midianites, soe all ought to suffer because they are enemies. Had any wicked designes of any of the enemies taken effect, all the enemies (being wrapt up in one clew, and involved in one and the same interest) would have had their proportionable share in the successe; and therefore (in all equitie) ought to beare their proportior able charge or burthen in the losse, accordinge to that just and equall rule in lawe, qui sentit commodum, debet sentire & onus. May it please your highnesse, wee humbly conceive, that out of the whole premisses this conclusion will follow, that there are diverse things, which are absolutely necessary, and not fitly or properly parliamentary; for although parliaments are held the best for makeing of lawes, yet they are not the best for the execution of lawes: and therefore although the execution of lawes, the discovery and prevention of plotts, and the carrying on of designes, are absolutely necessary for the well being and preservation of a nation, yet in regard both secrecy and expedition are therein soe requisite, none will say, those are proper works for a parliament; then consequently lex necessitatis (for that present) must take place. And for the carrying on that necessary worke, truly (wee speake sincerely without any flattery) wee cannot but redouble our gratitude unto your highnesse, for sending us a person soe acceptable, who is our native countryman, of an antient and honourable family, and of singular justice, abilitie, and piety. And with him wee earnestly desire, and shall (by God's assistance) soe carefully endeavour to prosecute your highnesse instructions and commands, as shall render glory to God, honour to your highnesse, justice to every one, peace to our country, and satisfaction to our owne consciences. All which shall not onely bee the endeavours and desires, but alsoe the constant prayers of,
Your highnesse most humble, faithfull, and obedient servants,
Mr. W. Pierrepoint to the lord chief justice St. John.
My brother Francis is made sheriff of Nottinghamshire, for which hee is more troubled then ever hee was at any thing in his whole life. If he cannot gett a discharge, hee must suffer what shall bee imposed uppon him. And in truth if it were my case, my lord protector might doe what hee pleased with mee; my conscience would not permitt mee to execute that place. I would have writt to your lordshipp about 10 dayes since, when I first heard of it, but that I beleeved you were not in London; and knowing your great busines in the terme time, I would not now have troubled you, but that this is soe heavie upon my brother's spiritts, as a necessity is uppon mee to beseech the help of all my friends.
I writt about ten dayes since to my lord president, and to mr. secretary Thurloe, to whom I am exceedingly obliged for ther promise of assistance. I beseech you lett mr. secretary have yours and my thanks for it. My brother and I doe very much honour my lord protector, and are most desirous to doe him service, but in this wee cannot. I most earnestly beseech your lordshipp's uttmost assistance, that my brother may bee discharged.
An intercepted letter.
I Writt you the needfull by the last ordinary. Since you may please to take notice, that this king hath absolutely admitted those pirates, that formerly inhabited Brest, and all Irish are to have like priviledg with the natives. I understand it is upon the termes they were at Brest, viz. to have liberty to make sale of there prizes they take by the king of Scotts comission, paying this king a see out of it.
They goe on roundly at Cadiz provideing their fleete, which consists of the number I writt you off in my last. They have sent away three shipps to Hispaniola, with 800 stout land soldiers, and all sorts of amunition, fitt for the defence of that island.
There are orders gone in those ships to the Indies to all the ports to fortifie themselves the best they can; the like order is come downe to all our ports in this kingdom, and they are in action about it. All the English goods and ships that were imbargoed are sold, and order given to the baron de Battevilla to receive the money for the king's use, and to imploy it in setting out a galloon that is at St. Sebastens.
The Spanish and Ostend frigatts have taken six small English and two Scots vessells, and carryed them for Biscay: and the English frigatts have taken three Biskey frigats, one Brest frigat, and two Ostenders, as wee are informed, soe that now a warr is began at sea, and I see little hopes of accord as yett; being the needfull, I rest
Boreel, the Dutch embassador in France, to the states general.
High and mighty lords,
Amongst other discourses I had lately with a great lord, he would assure me, that this crown, neither in men nor money, did give any assistance to the king of Sweden, and also that they were not obliged to give any assistance; and when I told his lordship that I was of another opinion, and that it was certainly known, that great sums of money were paid at Hamburgh, the said lord made an oath, that the same money was not sent from hence; but his lordship assured me, that there was between the king of Sweden and the protector a great and strict confederacy, whereof he had formerly given me advice; and for confirmation of this he related to me several credible passages, which he bid me to write to your high and mighty lordships for a truth.
Boreel, the Dutch embassador in France, to the states general.
High and mighty lords,
The enclosed articles were sent to me out of England, as being the secret ones of the late treaty made between France and England; but having shewn them to the cardinal, he told me they were seigned by some body that is disaffected to this crown, saying they were false, except a part of the 2d and 4th articles; and to the second he said, that the same was not yet effectually true: only his eminence said, that the lord protector was very earnest for a league offensive and defensive, not as a general business against all, but Spain alone, with whom both the kingdoms were ready to engage in an open war; without doubt his eminence thought in case Spain would not condescend to a peace, whereunto France is very much enclined.
A copy of the secret articles of the treaty between England and France.
That England shall furnish the king with his ships at his charges to retake Dunkirk and Graveline, and the king is likewise to assist the English to retake Nieuport and Oftend; and no assistance to be given to the declared enemies or rebels respectively.
A project of the union of the states of Overyssell.
Since that upon the 8th of April of the year 1654, there happened to arise a contest in the assembly of the lords states of Overyssell between the members, about the form of chusing of a drost of Twent; and that the said contest and differences have encreased from time to time more and more, in such manner that presently after there hap pened to be a formal separation and division of the said members, to the infinite sorrow of all honest governors in the said province, and to the excessive disturbance and trouble of the good inhabitants thereof; yea the separation since that time became so great, that both parties of the said dissenting members assembled themselves at two several places as states of the said province, and put forth acts in that quality, and chose high and low officers both in the politick and military employments, and also turn'd out others that were legally chosen before the said separation, and took upon them several other affairs of the like nature, and importance: whereby the necessary authority of the government in the said province was much slighted, the finances prejudiced, and both the justice and militia almost turned into confusion, which if the said separation should continue much longer, it would soon be the ruin of the said province.
Wherefore their high and mighty lordships the states general of those United Netherlands, after several offices and loving admonitions made and endeavoured for the re-establishing of the peace and mutual unity in the said province, at last out of a peaceable mind being willing to shew their further singular affection and love to the said province, did desire in their letter of the 28 Jan. 1656 to the lords states of Overyssell, that they would be pleased to depute some of their members sufficiently instructed and authorised to the Hague, to suffer the said differences to be accommodated by their high and mighty lordships, or their commissioners, interposition, upon fit propositions and expedients as should be produced for the determination of the contests between them. And since that the said lords states have shown themselves pleased with the good intentions of their high and mighty lordships, by sending several of their members to the Hague to the said end, their high and mighty lordships have therefore deputed and authorised to that intent likewise the lord prince William of Nassau, as also the lord pensionaries de Witt of Holland and West Friezland, to use all good offices and endeavours, to the end the said differences might be accommodated in love: who also in pursuance thereof having first desired and had overture of the letters alledged on both sides, after mature examination of the same, for the accomplishing of the said their high and mighty lordships christian design, the said lords commissioners have proposed and projected that the said lords states of Overyssell, to re-establish their province again in its former peace, and to meliorate the said inconveniencies as much as in them lieth, as also especially to prevent all further differences and breaches, would be pleased to order and declare by a solemn act to be past after the best and most legal form, that all what was done or acted in the said separated assemblies, not any one thing to be excepted, shall be held as null and forgotten as though it had never been done; and all what commissions, resolutions, letters, deductions, and other writings published by them during the said separations, to be held annulled, and of no effect. But for as much as concerneth, amongst the rest, the person of prince William, therewith regard shall be had to the form in the project of the harmony framed by commissioners out of the respective provinces, and reported to their high and mighty lordships on the 3d of December of the last year: that likewise the commissions, and benefices, and offices, both temporal and spiritual, which were taken away during the contest and separation, shall be continued, and the displaced officers and ministers restored; so likewise all contracts and obligations made by the one or the other side before, and since the 8th of April 1654, in the bestowing of charges, places, or benefices, in general or in particular, shall be annulled by virtue hereof.
And that henceforward no such disorders, confusions, and separations shall be undertaken for any cause or occasion whatsoever, being so highly prejudicial both to the state in general, and the said province in particular. And likewise that all what hath happened during the said animosities to the prejudice, damage, and dishonour of any members of the said province, whether noblemen, or towns of the one or the other side, made, spoken, writ, or undertaken, shall be held as not done or forgotten, so that this shall tend for a general amnesty over the same, in such a manner however, that the same shall be understood to be made on both sides only out of pure inclination to the restoring of peace and unity in the said province: and without that the same shall tend in any wife to the prejudice of the honour or credit of the one or the other, which is wholly preserved to all and every one in particular, and especially that of the lord Rutgert of Haersolte, drost of Lingen, &c. as being herein most concerned, and is hereby expressly declared to be so.
That morever to remove all further matter of separation, and to avoid all occasions of further differences, the said lord Rutgert of Haersolte, drost of Lingen, &c. hath only out of a peaceable mind, and without prejudice of his honour and reputation, suffered himself to be disposed to renounce the said election, about which the said differences did first arise and proceed from, which was made on the 8th of April 1654, for the charge of drossart of Twent: that in the mean time provisionally the execution of the said office shall be left to the lord of Bevervoorde: and that as soon as may be such a regulation shall be agreed on for the chusing and disposing of offices and places, as that it may be done without any disturbance to the publick peace of the province.
Boreel, the Dutch embassador in France, to the states general.
High and mighty lords,
The resolution of the 9th of January doth also command me, that I shall endeavour, to the end the lord embassador of France being in Switzerland, may be ordered by his king, to intercede, together with your high and mighty lordships commissioner, with the duke of Savoy, in the behalf of the Waldenses; and to the end to perform the same, I had so much discourse with the lord cardinal, that his eminency did promise me at last, that he would undertake to insert in the instructions of the duke of Rochefoucault, that he should hold communication with the said extraordinary commissioner, and also review and examine the late treaty made with the Waldenses at Pignerol, and to consider if they can find therein any articles and conditions which are too hard and rigorous, that they shall use their endeavours to get the same altered and mitigated; whereof his eminence said he made no doubt, but that the duke would willingly refer it to the consideration of the king, by whose mediation the treaty was obtained.
Major general Disbrowe to secretary Thurloe.
I Am under some dissatifaction within myselfe, when I consider, that I am necessitated to act beyond his highness commission. I have this day mustered the two troopes of this county, who appeare full in their numbers, and free in ther resolutions to ingage in his highness service. And I am under a promise to provide money for them, and that speedily, which I shall be in a capacity to doe, had I but his highness order for the payment of them; but if it comes not by the next post, I shall for once adventure the payment of them, but must againe begge you to hasten the order unto me, for it's unpleasant to me to act without rule. Too morrow is the day, that the cavilleirs are sommoned to be at this towne, and upon friday att Liskerd; att which two meetings I hope to get money enough to satisfy the two troopes. I have no more at present, but that I am
I pray get his highness orders for me to come to come to London when I have gone back againe through the countryes, and settled all my affairs here. Were not my poore wife very ill, I should not desire to come up, for I think I am as well here as there, though I have work enough two. I pray present my humble service to his highness.
Mr. N. Brewster to secretary Thurloe.
I Thought it my duty to communicate a line or two, partly in obedience to your honour's appointment, which was that I might minde you (with the next) of that distressed friend of mine, some time of Ireland, where he was utterly impoverisht by the warres. He was long since recomended to your honour, and I am the bolder to revive it, since his olde age and growing infirmity hath now disabled him to make longer use of a porter's imployment, by which alone he hath been constrained many yeeres to maintaine himselfe and family in London; and being so willing and capable to plant in Ireland, with some competent succour allowed him toward the voyage, I doubt not but your honour's Christian pitty will be ready to his furtherance in this behalfe.
Our affaires hereabout are quiet, so farre as yet I have learnt, onely about North Walsham the Black-Fryars-way seems to gaine upon some (ministers and others) so farre, as grieves many sollid Christians, and perhaps may tend to worse effects. I cannot but beare witnesse to the godlynesse of those that carry it on, yet so as I must acknowledge, that the more knowing ancient Christians about us are generally amazed to behold such undertakings among them, that professe the humble way of Christ. I shall pray your honour to keep this in your breast till I write next, for I am intended to draw out (from the chiefe of them) what they meane in plaine tearmes, and what they would have, and thereupon give your honour a full account of this distemper, (whether better or worse) whereby I may with more boldness stand for an evidence whensoever your honour shall see meet to improve the report, for prevention of those inconveniences, which I feare doe inevitably attend this way; a way, I am sure, that never was in fashion till now among men that pretend to piety and learning. The good Lord blesse, guide, and comfort your honour amidst your greate and weighty incumbrancyes, for the good of his poore distracted inheritance: amen. Sir,
Major general Worsley to secretary Thurloe.
Yours I received by the last post, and shall redilie observe your directions therein, and shall send in for those persons that can say any thinge concerninge sir Robert Sherley and the rest; I supose you meane one Randle Egerton: I have somethinge against hime alredy; I shal be glad to receive what you have. Wee are sechinge in one sir Charles Egerton, one that was a member in the beginninge of the long parliament, and left it and went to the king's forces; wee dobt not off proufe to make him a delinquent. Wee are resolved to find out all such persons as soone as can be. I writ to you formerly about my lord Byron, hee hath some estate in this country. Wee are puttinge downe alehouses, accordinge to the orders, as alsoe such as are not able to entertaine strangers, and of evell same and name; and those wee intend to stand that bringe in theire lysence, and to give new suretyes, sufficient men, unlese wee find them such that have alredy given in, and to let them give good somes, and to know what they are bound two, I meane the articles; as alsoe to take some course, that honest and sufficient men be put in the plase of constables, for truly the want of that is a great evell to this nation. I am now takinge securitie from all papis, and delinquents, and disafected persons. I will send you that list you mention as soone as possible, but I cannot doe it till wee have met in the rest of the countyes. Wee meete att Preston for this county one wedensday next, and before wee part upon the ordinance for scandelouse ministers and scoolmasters; one wedensday sevennight for the cittie of Chester, and for the county of Chester this day forthnight. I have herein inclosed sent you a list of fit persons to be added to that ordinance for scandelouse ministers for this county, which done would be of much use to us; for in these countyes wee can hardly get a coram, there is soe few named in it, and some that are dead, and some that will not act. I shal be at a straight how to gett fitt and active men in these countyes for the commission of peace, but I'le shortly send you up the list. After our meetinges I shall give you an account of our proceedings, noe more but that I am
Col. Barkstead, lieutenant of the Tower, to secretary Thurloe.
Haveing taken a strict view of mr. Halsall's lodgeings, I cannot find any possibility of his makeing an escape either by the leads, or any other way, (except his keepers should prove treacherous, of whome I have very much confidence) only I doe find that one of his former keepers wifes, who was for some time admitted to make his bed, hath delivered twoe letters from his sister to him, and likewise delivered twoe from him unto his sister, of whome I shall take care for the future. The enclosed I found upon the tester of his bed, together with a black lead pen with which he wrote, and a sheet or twoe of small paper. H. P. mentioned in the letter he saith is now a prisoner, and he thinks with the martiall generall, being a young youth that was taken a day or twoe after him. Not moore, but that I am, sir,