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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March (2 of 8)
The commissioners for Caermarthenshire to secretary Thurloe.
Being met at Caermarthen in pursuance of his highness's orders directed tous, for securing the peace of the commonwealth, we received information, that one sir Robert Shirley, a prisoner in the tower, hath an estate of three hundred pounds per annum in Cardiganshire; and being ignorant of his offence, whether he is secured for the late rebellion intended, or some former offence, we know not how to deal with him. We do therefore humbly beg the favour of you, to let us understand, what his crime is, and what proceedings hath been made therein, with your directions how we are to deal with him. Your advice herein we beg with what expedition your weightier affairs will permit, and to pardon the trouble given by, Sir,
Your most humble servants,
John Hughes, senior.
The commissioners for Bucks to the protector.
May it please your highness,
The large experiences of the love of God and glorious outgoings of his providence in making your highness so eminently instrumental for the protection of the faithful people of his commonwealth, not only obligeth us to duty, but also calleth for a thankful acknowledgment from us of your continued care and watchfulness in frustrating all the late plots and dangerous contrivements of our restless enemies, and preventing the future birth of new designs, as is abundantly manifested by the late commission and instructions sent unto us by your highness, in order to the preservation of the publick peace; the endeavouring whereof hath been the continual endeavour of that party, who although (by the good hand of God) they have formerly been reduced to such a streight condition, that they might have esteemed those former dispensations and acts of grace and favour held forth unto them a mercy beyond their hopes, (they being made almost equal in indulgence with true friends;) and what your highness upon the late provocation hath been pleased to lay upon them cannot be look'd upon as an extraction of vitals, but the correction of distempered humours, that the whole body may be brought into a right frame again; the whole tenour of the work speaketh good, the uniting of the fellow sharers in the grace of Christ, the exciting of magistrates and ministers to the faithful discharge of their duties, the bridling of idle and licentious persons who threaten an inundation of sin and consequently of wrath and ruin. We do therefore by God's assistance seriously resolve cheerfully to proceed in the faithful discharge of the great trust reposed in us by your highness and those worthy persons consulted therein, we having so great an interest and share in the good success thereof; and that the influence of heaven may still be upon yours, and give you strength and wisdom and counsel for the weight of your care, shall be in the hearty prayer of
Your highness's most humble servants,
The company of Stationers to secretary Thurloe.
May it please your honour,
We the master and wardens of the company of Stationers crave leave to inform your honour, that we have lately received his highness pleasure touching the entrance of the bible in our register to mr. Hills and mr. Field, signified by your warrant: to which we profess our willingness to yield most ready obedience; but humbly beg pardon first to inform your honour,
That during the late and long liberty taken to comprint the bible, divers members of our company have expended very great sums of money in buying of printing–press and letter; and have taken the lease of a house at about 100 l. per ann. rent to that purpose. And they are at present very far engaged in printing several impressions of the bible, whereby they must necessarily (after such entrance) be exposed to the hazard of great penalty by the law, (wherewith they are already threatned) or suffer deeply in their estates by being compelled to leave off in the midst, unless some provision be made to prevent so great mischief. The which we thought consistent with our duty to represent to your honour, humbly submitting the same to your great wisdom.
A letter of intelligence.
The same day I writ my last, here arrived in this city a Polish embassador with a reasonable retinue from his king to the duke, whose coach met him half a mile out of the city, and conducted to his lodging, which is not in the court of the duke, as the Swedish envoy had formerly. He had audience of the duke on the sunday following, and staid dinner with him, where he had the honour not only to sit above the duke, but in his chair, but did not receive so much satisfaction upon his proposition; whereof the contents were, that the duke should join his arms with his king, for the recovering of his countries, which was quickly denied him without many compliments: and upon his complaint, that the duke had lent the king of Sweden 3000 men, was answered, that he was necessitated to it, for otherwise he could not have made any agreement with Sweden; whereby this whole dukedom would have been exposed to utter ruin. That moreover his highness should have held himself neutral between two striving crowns; and in effect this pretended necessity is but the paint, wherewith they endeavour to put upon the peace here made with Sweden an acceptable colour.
The resident of Sweden here doth assure publickly, that in case the Hollanders will hinder or prejudice his majesty's designs upon the East sea, that Cromwell will of a certain break with them, and send a good number of ships to the assistance of the Swedes.
A letter of intelligence from the Hague.
This day the commissioners of Dantzick had an answer; upon which it will be seen, what he hath to reply. They have resolved and permitted, that a levy shall be made by beat of a drum to furnish the 24 ships at Amsterdam with seamen. They have nominated the lords Vander Steen, Ysselmuyden, and secretary de Wildt, to go for Zealand to induce the states to consent to the safe–conduct money.
The lord of Ysselmuyden hath excused himself from the commission to Zealand, in regard that the province of Overyssel hath not yet agreed to the equipage of the fleet, and less to the sending of the same to the Baltick sea. 2dly, Overyssel is also singular and differing concerning the placaert of the year 1653, chiefly that which doth speak of redressing the inland pass, so that in the end they have named the lords Vander Steen, Backer, and Gelas, with the secretary de Wildt.
The lords Vander Steen and other commissioners departed hence this afternoon: all their instruction is contained in the resolution of the 3d of March here enclosed. The commissioners of the elector of Cologne arrived here some days since, they have not yet made any address to this state.
The coming of monsieur Bonyn sent from the elector of Brandenburg to the state, doth vanish; also some great person here said lately, that the treaty made between Brandenburg and the king of Sweden is nothing. And that the duke of Brandenburgh (in case the king of Poland doth prevail) will as soon adhere to Poland, and that the treaty will not hinder him from it.
The commissioner Pels hath again writ from Dantzick of the 1st of March a great complaint, how the magistrates of that city do use the Holland nation worse than any other; in exacting and demanding of them the 100 penny and other things, and letting the English in the mean time to be exempted. And they were here upon the point to write to the magistrates of the said city, and to expostulate the business; but in regard that here is a commissioner of the said city, that to morrow a conference is to be held upon this matter, where the commissioner of Dantzick is to be desired to come, and to explain the meaning of such proceeding. The embassadors of the state in Denmark do still write and give assurance of the propensions of that king to this state, and that he will not do any thing that may be prejudicial unto it; and yet however he doth not say, that he will engage himself against Sweden: but those of the said king do sufficiently declare, that his majesty will not take it ill, that the fleet of this state do come into the Sound, and to get it to pass, doth cause several expedients to be thought on. These letters being private are put into the hands of the lord Bemmell and others, to take the material points out of them.
At the request of prince William, is writ to the king of Denmark and to the embassadors of this state, in favour of those pretences, which the said prince hath upon the inheritance of queen–mother of king Christian the fourth, who was grand–mother of the mother of the said prince.
This day there was a conference with the commissioner of Dantzick, where the lord Bemmell told him, that the said commissioner Pels had writ, that they do tax and assess the Holland nation at Dantzick more than the English: that this complaint was not new; that the same had been made formerly: that it was strange and very unhandsom; and thereupon the commissioner made answer, that this state was ill informed, and that if some English were exempted from the 100 penny, that they were only such English as were passengers, having no houses of their own, and that the same favour was shewn to such Hollanders as have no houses. But he desired they would give him the complaint in writing, and that he would remit it to the lords of Dantzick. Of all this soon after report was made to the assembly; and before they made any resolution upon it, Holland took it first ad referendum. They also mentioned to the said commissioner the answer given to him, for which he returned thanks: and by reason of the same occasion desired, that this state would also be pleased to resolve concerning the other two points, namely of assisting the town with men and money, which they have taken ad referendum.
There hath been also a serious deliberation upon the negotiation in Denmark. That king doth assure, that he will not treat any thing with Sweden but with the inclusion of this state and of England, and for this effect he hath sent one to the protector and another to the king of Sweden to let them know so much; and that he had declared as much to the minister of Sweden, that doth treat with him at present.
But the embassadors of Denmark have writ, that the council of Denmark hath given to understand, that the assistance promised by the treaty of alliance formerly made is only of 4000 men, that this is too little, and that the assistance ought to be much more. This morning there was some further mention made of the duke of Brandenburg, that the embassadors that are gone for Sweden may have letters credentials sent them to the said elector; but hitherto Holland will not hearken to it, being and remaining very ill satisfied with the said elector. And in case they should agree to send credentials unto them, they will only be to salute and compliment the said duke, and not to make any mention at all of the treaty made with Sweden, quod non voluit facere tanti.
The lord president hath signified, at the request of the princess dowager, that they have appointed and constituted the minister Sterrmont for governor of the young prince, and to instruct him in the religion. The lord president is authorized to return thanks to her highness.
The lord Rosenwinge has again made instances, how that his king ought to be satisfied of the remainder of the subsidy. Whereupon they have resolved to admonish those provinces, that have not yet paid in their shares, forthwith to furnish the same.
This day those of Holland proposed their provincial advice, and as a secret instruction to the embassadors that are gone for Sweden, concerning what is to be done with the elector of Brandenburg, upon which nothing is yet resolved.
And in regard that king doth shew himself inclined to embrace the common interest, as well the embassadors who are in Denmark as Holland itself, are of advice, that they ought to enlarge the treaties formerly made with that king, but the provinces have declared to make report thereof. Zealand hath sent an express to their states, who are assembled at present.
The admiralty of Amsterdam hath writ, that they can hardly find mariners for the fleet, and that therefore it is necessary, that a prohibition be made to suffer none of the Greenland to go out for those two next ensuing months, which otherwise will render the furnishing of seamen almost impossible. Item, they likewise propose, that it will be needful to furnish the ships with some soldiers, as they used during the English war.
A letter of intelligence from Holland.
Jay de tres bonne part, que Denmark se monstre ou commence a se monstrer plus resolu, que cy devant, & ceux qui de states general sont pres de luy, principalement celuy de Amsterdam sont fort animeux d'eux memes, n'ayant pas besoin d'esperon, ains s'eschauffent l'un l'autre.
Il est certain, que ceux de Denmark conseillent & persuadent a states general d'avancer les navires de guere & a les laisser aller vers east sea si que le traité projetté entre Denmark & Sweden n'est que pour eschausser les states general Et je voy grandissime apparence, que nouvelle alliance se sera avec Denmark & qu'on promettra a Denmark beaucoup plus de argent que cy devant.
En effect aussy je voy que Dennemark fait a estats genereaux le danger fort grand, & que le dessein de Sweden ne soit pas tant contre Poland comme contre Dennemark & pour se rendre maistre de 165 sans lequel le Sweden ne sauroit pas estre maistre absolu de commerce.
Je voy que estats de Hollande ont beaucoup d'inclination pour Dennemark & font grand estat & fundement sur Dennemark & pourtant font fort peu de cas de Dantzick opinant qu'ayants Dennemark ils ont tout. Et en effect Dantzick n'est nullement aimée icy pour des vielles pleintes mal fondées, que maintenant on reveille mal a propos; & pourtant je croy, que estats d'Hollande ne seroit pas marrie, si Dantzick fust un peu abaissée, ou bien a mesure que Dantzick reçoit benefice de estats d'Hollande; ils voudroient bien aussy que Dantzick a mesme mesure quitast de ses privileges & droits au profit de estats d'Hollande.
Car la plainte qu'a Dantzick ceux de Cromwell seroient mieux faités que ceux de estats d'Hollande cela est une sable: l'on y traite tous ceux qui sont de meme nature de meme façon. Mais s'il y a un ou autre de Cromwell qui ne soit que passagern on ne le charge pas comme des domicilies, & de meme façon l'on traite les passagers de estats d'Hollande. Mais ceux de Hollande sont un peu avides; quieren todo, comme l'on dit des Espagnols. Tant y a que Dantzick vient peu en consideration: ainsy faisoit on de Bremen l'an 1652, on croyoit alors aussy (comme a present) qu'ayant Denmark on a tout. Mais la suite du temps a monstré, que Hollande se trompoient fort, & que ce traité avec Denmark ne leur a apporté que grande & inutile depense d'argent; & pendant que Hollande pensoient de fermer le Oresundt a ceux de Cromwell, ceux de Cromwell fermoient a Hollande leurs propres emboucheures de la volonté de Denmark (pour faire union a Sweden) il ne faut pas doubter. Mais le pouvoir luy manque & argent: on verra done ce qu'il resoudra & fera par Hollande. Ceux de Espagne font icy a croire a estats generaux que de Cromwell & de France, viendront icy ambassadeur pour induire les estats generaux union a contre Espagne; voire que Cromwell veut offrir a Hollande la restitution de Seclusion, a condition de faire union contre Espagne; ou que Cromwell, a fait tenir tel propos au ambassadeur des estats generaux.
Mais je doubteroy fort, si Hollande seroient fort aise de cette restitution; voire meme si grave Guillaume grave le seroit; car Guillaume travaille tout ce qu'il peut pour avoir la armée & pour faire approuver seclusion Je suis
The Dutch embassador in England, Nieuport, to the states general.
High and mighty lords,
Last saturday the 11th instant one Alcock, who has formerly been in your high mightinesses service, as captain of a company of English foot, as it is believed, cut his own throat; what reason has brought him to this desperate resolution, is not yet known. His relations use their utmost endeavours to save his estate, (which however is not much,) from being consiscated, since the same by the laws is entirely forfeited. I am told this week by persons that have letters from Portsmouth, that there are already about thirty ships ready; and since it has been now for some days milder weather, it is believed, that all the others will be there the latter end of this week. The weather was here in the beginning of this week very stormy, whereby a ferry–boat in the river betwixt Lambeth and Westminster, wherein a coach and six horses of the lord protector's was crossing the water, over–set and went to the bottom; three horses which got out of the harness saved themselves, and the three others were drowned; the coach was haled out again the next day. The lord protector was gone abroad to take the air, and intended to go to Hampton–court, but came back apparently by reason of the tempestuous weather, and went to Wimbleton to pay a visit to major general Lambert; from whence being come to Lambeth, he crossed the river to Whitehall in a boat with mess. Pickering and Strickland. The day before yesterday the lord protector declared to the lord mayor of London, the aldermen, and common–council, the reasons and motives, which have induced him to appoint major generals over the provinces, which were principally, that by that means the state could best be preserved in peace and quietness, and the people kept from sin and wickedness, and excited to virtue and piety; and having found that the whole country, by the said major generals, was grown stronger in virtue, as he expressed it, for the promoting and bringing about of such a salutary end, he did likewise believe, that it would be of no less effect in the city of London; wherefore he had also, and in the like manner thought good, to make general Skippon major general of the said city, to the end that he, with the assistance of sir John Barkstead, major general of Middlesex, and governor of the Tower, and some other persons, might likewise promote the same; declaring at last, that due regard should be taken for the preservation of the liberty and privileges, as also of the civil government of that metropolis. I am told that the late bishop of Glocester, Godfrey Goodman, departed from this world some time ago, and that he at his last hour had declared, that he was of the Roman catholick persuasion. Some days ago set out from here for Plymouth mr. Meadowe, who goes envoy of the lord protector to the king of Portugal, to sail from thence in a frigat to Lisbon. They tell me, that it is to receive the money for the English merchants, and to hear the king's final resolution, concerning the admission of the ratification of the treaty, as the same is concluded, without any alteration. Because the time of the general stoppage of ships or embargo is not yet expired, capt. Banchart of Ulissingen being here to convoy the ships that were ready thither, I desired, that the said ships under the protection of the said captain might be permitted to depart, notwithstanding the said embargo, which was immediately granted as yesterday; and in the evening the order touching the same was brought to my house, so that the same intend to sail next week.
Nieupoort, the Dutch embassador, to Ruysch.
Saturday last I found an opportunity to walk with the lord secretary of state a good while in the park, and spoke with him, first concerning the disturbances and troubles in Switzerland, and the endeavours of the king of France, and the duke of Savoy, to remove and accommodate them. Whereupon his honour communicated to me, what mr. Pell had advised by the last post, and that the lord protector was very much troubled about that business, conceiving that they would endeavour by all means to oblige the evangelical cantons to accept of a prejudicial agreement; and that on his part he had given such charge and order to mr. Pell, that he doth believe, that he shall make it appear, that he is faithfully and sincerely inclined to contribute for the good of the said cantons both with his advice and assistance, as much as is possible for him, having such an insight into the business, that it hath a very great reflection upon the whole evangelical being. I also acquainted him, that their high and mighty lordships did take the business very much to heart; and in regard that the papists do endeavour all that they can every where, not only to unite but to enter into close confederacies with each other, that it ought to stir up the supreme authorities of the reformed to the like design and purpose, and especially to remove from among them all cause of jealousy and distast, that I had so long and so many reiterated, written, verbal propositions insisted from time to time, that we might convene and agree about a just and reasonable regulation for maritime affairs; but that on the one side was nothing done to my knowledge, although his highness and his honour had several times assured me with very strong expressions, that it should be dispatch'd; and that I now by this last post had received new order and command to insist with all vigorous instance by the lord protector and elsewhere, that the inhabitants of the united provinces may drive their navigation and commerce free and unmolested, that so all vexations and inconveniencies might cease for the time to come. Thereupon his honour told me, that I might rest assured, that I should receive a writing upon that subject from this government before the next post day, which I under reverence thought that I ought to expect, that so having seen the same, should be able to propose to the lord protector with more likelihod of success, that which is comprehended in their high and mighty lordships secret resolution of the 1st instant. In the mean time the lords Fiennes, Woeselly, and Strickland came to me on wednesday last in the afternoon; the first said that there were letters communicated to the lord protector and the council, writ from Civita Vecchia, as also two others from captains in the service of this state, who were lately at Flushing, which being read in the council, were conceived to be of great consequence, and that the lord protector and council had thought fit to injoin them, that they should communicate to me the contents thereof, and leave copies with me, that so I might transmit the same to their high and mighty lordships, with a very serious request, that their high and mighty lordships would take such ordinance according to the late concluded treaty, that the Netherland ships should not serve the present enemies the Spaniards, and strengthen them against this state, and likewise that they should prevent them from bringing the prizes into any of the ports of the United Netherlands; and thirdly, that they ought likewise carefully and effectually to prevent that no contraband goods ought to be exported out of the said ports. I told them I would not omit the contents of the letters to their high and mighty lordships; but in regard their lordships were pleased to alledge some articles of the last treaty, that I was very desirous to know which they thought could be applied thereunto. Whereupon said the lord Fiennes, that the articles did not import that, but that it was agreed in the 6th, that neither of the states should permit any thing to be attempted against each other, or suffer to be favoured with advice and effect, in each other's countries, which might tend to the injury and damage of the other, but on the contrary, prevent all those who would undertake the same; and said likewise, there was provided against it in the 9th and other articles. I said I could not omit acquainting their lordships of all the said articles, being drawn out of the great treaty of intercourse of the year 1495, that the enemies and rebels ought to be sufficiently declared such, that the ships of merchantmen serve in the commonwealth of Venice, and other potentates in the Mediterranean sea; and that the same was done without the knowledge, much less any act of their high and mighty lordships; and that without doubt the 3 ships named in the letter from Civita Vecchia were long since freighted or hired, before any body could imagine of a war with Spain. And to the two other letters, I told them, that the practice was always formerly such here, that the enemies of their high and mighty lordships not only with their prizes had the free use of the harbours here in this state, but that they have oftentimes disposed of the prizes here; and that after many suits in the court of admiralty, and afterwards appeals had to the council of the king anno 1632, it was understood, that jure postliminii no ships ought to be restored which had been 24 hours in the power of the taken; and concerning the exportation of contraband goods, I had long insisted to come to a good conclusion of a maritime treaty, and that I hoped that their lordships had been come to confer with me about it. The said lords said, that the lord protector and council thought, that our amity ought to be more sincere at present than in former times, and that we ought to have better affections to them than the Spaniards. I answered their lordships, that on behalf of their high and mighty lordships, all things were so managed, that not only that which was agreed upon was fully accomplished on their parts, but likewise that care was taken for the re–establishing of the old confiding amity, and that no occasion in the least was given to the subjects of this state to complain; but that I was so often forced to address my self to this present government about many and insufferable excesses committed and used against the inhabitants of the united provinces, not only in and about the Channel, but in other remote parts; that I did not speak it by way of reconvention, but because I thought that in the present conjuncture of time and affairs there ought to be such orders made on this side, that the good inhabitants undisturbed and unmolested might enjoy the effects of peace and amity. Whereupon having exchanged a few words with each other, I told their lordships I would make a faithful report of all to their high and mighty lordships, and desired them on their parts to acquaint his highness and the council how requisite it is to come to some agreement about a maritime treaty. All the lords assured, that the intention of the lord protector and the council was to cultivate more and more the amity with the United Netherlands, to which they were fully affected, and to remove all occasions of discontent. I hope their high and mighty lordships will do me the honour to communicate unto me their intention upon what is here related; and referring my self to their wise consideration, &c.
General Mountagu to secretary Thurloe.
Generall Desborough will acquaint you, how matters stood with us when he was here. Since that wee have this morning called a council of warr, to understand the state of the fleete, and to provide such thinges as are necessary for our speedye dispatch from this place; and I hope wee shall gett away with as much expedition as can be expected. This morninge capt. Ableson (whom wee had sounded whether he were free to this voyage, by reason wee knew of his relation to 607,) came on board us, and delivered us up his commission. I demanded the grounds of his soe doinge; he told mee, that it was meerely in relation to his wife, who could not beare his abscence upon soe longe a voyage; and said, that he did desire the commissioners of the admiraltie, that he might have beene employed in the Channel; but scince he is designed for this expedition, he could not undertake it in the respect beforementioned. He further said, that he judged the designe very lawfull, and that 607 had never disswaded him, but on the contrary perswaded him to it; tellinge him, it was a lawfull designe, and like to be a good voyage. There is but one more, that I can heare off of this gange, and that it is in the 609. Wee have heard, that in discourse he hath justified 607; and said, if he had beene in his case, he would have done as he did. Wee have given direction to his commander, to see whither he owne it or noe; if he doe not upon the testimonye of our informer, wee meane to sett him ashoare, judginge it more honourable to turne him off, then that he should take the advantage to leave upon dissatisfaction in his mind. This with thankes for your last which I received, and desiringe your favor to present my most humble dutye to his highnesse, is all at present from
At the council at Whitehall.
Commissioner Pels to the states general.
High and mighty lords,
The Polish post being arrived brings but very little to be depended upon. We hear that his polish majesty is still at Lembergh or a little beyond it towards Laminitz Podolsky, expecting the conjunction of the Tartars and Cossacks, who, before the grass is in the field, do no service; however they say, that again a smart rencontre has happened betwixt the Swedes and Poles near Samosch, but they write of it from Warsaw and Thorn so darkly, that nothing certain can be judged from it.
They say likewise that Chimnitsky is personally with the king of Poland, and has submitted himself with his Cossacks to his majesty with faithful loyalty, being made in reward thereof a waywoda of Poland.
The town and fortress of Marienburgh is now Swedish, according to the inclosed agreement. The lords, waywodas, weyers, (of whom one, called Lewis, died suddenly,) together with my lord Guldenstern, are this day expected here: the garrison are most of them entered into Swedish service: 50 or 60 Swedish troopers, who have been for some time in the convent of Oliva, a mile from here, were last night suddenly attacked by a party of horse of this city, and all of them taken prisoners, whereby the said convent is now free again.
A letter of intelligence.
The spring of news doth seem to be dried up at present, but here will be matter enough shortly to furnish you again. In the mean time here is great hopes of the accommodation of the prince, and already madam the princess hath full power to come with her son upon those lands of her patrimony.
Sir and brother,
I have dispatch'd this express to your majesty, to inform you, that having been exhorted to make a general peace by the emperor, I do find myself altogether disposed to it, provided that you do as much further the same as I shall; whereby our differences will be soon determined, and our kingdoms will enjoy that peace and tranquillity so much desired by them: which I pray God with my whole heart to grant, and that I may live with the quality of
Sir and brother,
The disposition, which you declare to have to make a general peace, so much overjoyed me, that I am sorry to see, that our kingdoms have been in war for so many years: I can assure you, that it will be a most acceptable thing unto me to see our differences ended, and I will employ myself to that end in such a manner, that your majesty shall be persuaded, that I desire to live with the quality of
The prince of Condé to Barriere.
I am newly returned from seeing the earl of Fuensaldagna, upon your letter, which you writ to me of the 10th of this month, to find out some means to discharge your debts. He promised me to do all that lies in his power to help you; but he told me, to effect the same, he must speak first with monsieur de Cardenas, who could not be spoken with to day; so that it will be the next week before I can send you any positive thing concerning it: in the mean time be confident, I will do all I can to assist you, being obliged therewith as much in my honour and reputation, as in the affection and acknowledgment, which I have of your services; but I pray you to consider, that I have not wherewithal to do it of myself; so that I must get monsieur de Fuensaldagna to do what lies in his power for you; which he hath sufficiently promised me. Therefore be not impatient, and do what you can to prolong the time of your abode as much as is possible. I protest unto you, I am very much troubled to think I should not be able of myself to keep you out of the trouble you are in for my sake. I assure you, I have a greater feeling of it, than of any one thing that hath happened to me of late. I pray you take care about my own particular business, that it may suffer no prejudice by your coming away.
Sir Kenelm Digby to secretary Thurloe.
The French ambassador taking leave of me yesterday, told me, that his secretary at London had among other things written to him, that sir Robert Welsh had spoken somewhat to your honour much to my prejudice; and that since, some letter of a lady to me had bin intercepted, the contents whereof did in some sort make good, what he had spoken. I believe, your honour hath so good information, what this wosull knight is, that if there were nothing but the venome that his malitious tongue can spitt, I should not thinke it needfull to troble my selfe, much lesse your honour's more serious occasions, with taking any notice of it. But since he hath contrived (as I verily beleeve) some better name then his owne, to seeme to justify what would have no credence from him, I may not sitt down, without beseeching your honour to search the matter to the bottome, and to drive it to the utmost. I looke upon this as a contriving of his; because forging of letters, and doing treacheries of this kind, hath bin his ordinary course; and because I am consident, that no body in the world, who hath so much familiarity with me, as to write to me, but knoweth me so well, as to be sure, that whatsoever may be disliked by my lord protector and the councill of state, must be detested by me. My obligations to his highnesse are so great, that it would be a crime in me to behave my selfe so negligently, as to give cause for any shadow of the least suspition, or to do any thing, that might require an excuse or apology. I make it my businesse every where, to have all the world take notice, how highly I estime myselfe obliged to his highnesse; and how passionate I am for his service and for his honor and interests, even to the exposing of my life for them. If your honor cannot readily find out the bottome of this villany plotted against me, upon notice of so much I will take post the next day to returne into England, (though it may be much to the prejudice of my domesticke affaires in my broken estate, because my debts are not yet quieted;) and I doubt not, but I shall soone make discovery of some wicked treachery intended against me; for this wretched creature hath as much malice to me, as he is capable of; first, as being an Irish papist (whose whole tribe have an implacable animosity against me,) and next because I have heretofore shamed him, and have broken some cheating designes of his by making publique some of his infamous villanies; for which he never durst make any expostulation with me. I humbly crave pardon of your honor for suffering my selfe to be thus farre transported. My excuse is, that I should think my hart were not an honest one, if the blood about it were not warmed with any the least imputation upon my respects and my duty to his highnesse, to whom I owe so much. I humbly crave a line or two from your honor, that I may either resolve to returne presently home, or remaine satisfyed by your having discovered the villany attempted against me; which with all humility expecting I rest
Mr. Le Broise to mr. Johnson.
I hope you have receved my last, wherin I gave youe a full acount of our friends in Conaght, what I certainly heard of them. There is noe newse heere, but the king, Ormond, and Wilmoth are come heere to towne, being sent for by the Spaniard. They are very privatt, and like to doe their business, they came hether on the 15th of march. The king is in one of the king of Spaine's howses within tow leagues of the towne, the duke of Bockingam wass heere likewise. On my word, they will be in action sudenly; my frend presents his service to youe, and desires to know of your by the next, whether he will send youe any comodities heerafter, or shall he desist quite. He desires youe, if youe can lett him have any mony by mr. Cullensway, that dwells in Lime–street, for he is in great want. He desires your answer. I rest
Generals Blake and Mountagu to the protector.
May it please your highnesse, This morning we received your commands of the 7th instant, which we shall (God willing) use our best industry to obey; and to that end have given strict orders to the several commissioners to get all necessary provisions on board, and put themselves into a posture of sailing with what speed may be, wherein the badness of the weather (till within these 2 or 3 days) hath much hindred us.
The expectation of the provision and fireships shall be no cause of stay; but as soon as ever we can get a supply from the shore of the things, that are essentially requisite, which we are labouring aster, we shall with the help of God be gone. The Lime and Bristol arrived here to day, but the commissioner of the Lime is not yet come. We remaine
Major general Gosse to secretary Thurloe.
I have receved yours of the 6th instant, by which I perceive some progresse is made in the bussines of the militia troopes; but I feare it may be long before money will come, at least soe long, that I shall not be able to muster the troopes in Suffex, and the rest of the countryes before the quarter day, but I must doe as I cann. I am just now going to Chichester, and hope to be at East Grinsted on tuseday next; unto which place I hope you will send to mee on the same day, that I may have a full knowledge of his highnes and the counsell's resolves, and dispose my affaires accordingly. I suppose I shall there meete with col. Morley, and speake with him about the bussines you wright off. Methinkes it's strange, those people you wright of should bee in such readines to take up armes. I hope the Lord will in mercy prevent the mischeeife intended by them. I hope I shall be watchfull in the station God hath sett mee; but except the Lord watch the citty, those that watch, watch in vaine. Pray be pleased in your next to lett mee have a word concerning major general Harrison and the rest; it's saide, they are released. I beleeve I shall meete with many of there freinds in Suffex. I neede not desire you to lett mee know from time to time, what is sitt to be communicated concerning this new designe. I could tell you of one or two unhansome things as to my letters sent by the post, which makes mee seare some knavery about that letter of mine you told mee you did not receive. I should be sorry, if it came not to your hands; because I wrought my opinion, as you desired, concerning the troop, that is to be reduced into Suffex. Sir, I have not ellse, but to assure you, that I am
W. Strickland to major general Lilburne.
I Must begin with thankes for your letter received on saterday last, of which we have now reaped good fruites, for yesterday captain Sansum commander of the Porchmouth frygott landed seaventie eight prisoners by him taken in a frygott, beinge usefull for the service of the state; and he having authoritie to make use of the same, the commissioners of the prize office resideing at Scarborough doe refuse to take charge of the prisoners; because the shippe wherein they were taken was not putt into their possesion as a prize; that the prisoners are att present at Bridlington, where there is neither any place of saftie, nor the towne able to sustaine so greate a charge, as must of necessity be expended for the sustentation: wherefore my earnest desire to you is, that by this bearer you will send a warrant to mr. Deighton and the rest of the commissioners of the prize office at Scarborough, to take charge of the prisoners, and alsoe that you will forthwith cause captaine Sansome's letters to the commissioners of the admiralty and navie, to be immediately sent away by post, wherein it is submitted to their pleasures, whether the shippe nowe taken from the enemie shall be delivered to the commissioners of the prize office at Scarborough, or imployed for the service of the state, for which the captaine faith she is exactly furnished and very usefull. Captaine Sansome is nowe with me, beinge brought by mr. Styringe (a justice of the peace) my neighbour, whoe for the dispatch of this affaire, doe all joyne in the request of
The prize officers have noe cause to feare damage by these prisoners, the captaine haveinge the 4th of this present March sent them in a prize that will undoubtedly desraye the charge; and besides it is their dutie, out of the stocke of prizes in generall, to take care of prisoners.