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 (4 of 8)
Major Sedgwicke to secretary Thurloe.
A Duplicate of what was sent by the ship Wildman I make bold herewith to enclose. What occurrences have passed since we have particularly made known to his highness, which I am sure will, if safely arrive, come to your view; yet give me leave, according to my accustomed boldness, to represent to you the trouble and perplexedness of my thoughts as touching our affairs here. I cannot but with much thankfulness acknowledge that good hand of mercy to us, that hath lately been manifested even to admiration, in restoring our people to much health, considering in what a sad condition we were in this island, which is now more healthy, and our people begin to recover strength, though some still die, and many are weak, yet generally they recruit strength, a marvellous great mercy.
I have had of late not few revolutions and turnings of heart and spirit about our business, and have, I hope, sometimes been willing to go to heaven, to the God of counsel, what advice, and which way to act, to improve both fleet and army to the best carrying on to an end our work; and I must profess, I am yet to seek which way to determine in my own thoughts.
At our last great council we determined to send, and have sent two good frigats to view Carthagena, to see what ships are there, and if we can, to gain some intelligence from the enemy. We have also sent two frigats to the leward of this island, upon intelligence form some prisoners of expectations of a supply to the enemy from Carthagena: we have also one good frigat lyeth to the windward of the island, all which are to be in again, if God bless them, about 14 days hence. In the mean time our admiral is careening his ship, which is this day upon the careen, as also other of our ships are upon that work intending to be all ready by the return of those ships before specified, by which time we hope the other three ships dayly expected may be with us with some intelligence from England. It is our intention at their return (if God assist) to send out the better part of our fleet in a body, and only to keep here some few ships, that are most unfit for service in these seas, to be as a guard to this harbour.
What action soever we pitch our thoughts upon to improve our fleet, we must not expect a man out of the army, which cannot but obstruct us much in our designs with the fleet. Admit we send out sixteen or eighteen of our best frigats as ships, I do believe they may be able with the blessing of God in an ordinary way of providence to encounter with any force of the Spaniards, that they may meet upon the seas; but it is certain there may be long waiting before they meet with any of the enemy at sea: it is possible they may happen upon some stragling ship by accident, but if once the fleet be discovered on shore, intelligence runs all along the coast, not a ship or bark stirs till intelligence of their departure off the coast; but being out, our fleet is not over man'd, I mean not furnished with so great numbers as to spare many to land at any place, for if they should attempt to land, and have any miscarriage, it might ruin fleet and army. Again, seamen on shore in land service are so extremely uncommanded and undisciplined in that service, that it is thought it may be ruinous to them, if much imployed that way, so as if we do fall upon small towns and places, it is true we may burn, and it may be destroy the estate of our encmy; but by attending such a course, as I humbly conceive, it will be prejudicial to the great ends proposed in this design; for first we are not able to possess any place we attack, and so in no hope thereby to effect our intents in the dispersing any thing of the knowledge of the true God in Jesus Christ to the inhabitants, but rather render ourselves to the Indians and Blacks as a cruel, bloody, ruinating people, when they can see nothing from us but fire and sword, we having no opportunity to converse with them, but in such a way, as will cause them I fear to think us worse than the Spaniard, which might be otherwise did we converse with them; but I doubt some former carriages this way hath rendered us but sadly to the Blacks and others our enemies. Secondly, we lose another end, because we obtain no income to the estate or commonwealth at all; for the inhabitants of the lesser towns, as soon as ever they descry any ships, carry all that little treasure they have into the woods, which is thereby preserved to the enemy, unless pursued and followed after: witness the gallant business of Santa Martha, yet reckoning all got there on the state's share, it did not pay for the powder and shot spent in that service. But out the fleet shall go, and we hope God may cast in something, that may answer expectation. The truth is, our seamen are bravely resolved, and much gape and breath after action: God in mercy own them in their outgoings; but such is our present state, that such strict positive commands are laid upon us in order to the preservation of this island, that the fleet must in a great measure eye that affair, which makes us out of capacity to act otherwise as we would.
I make no question were this fleet left to act without reference to attend this island, they would either meet with some of the Spanish plate, or else not suffer it to pass into Europe; but still in all our agitations and consultations we are confined to eye the settlement of this island, and the fleet is especially to regard that service, which makes us we cannot venture the ships so far to leeward as otherwise we might; if they should, they would not many of them be in a capacity to turn up to this island against a great space of time.
As for the present state of the army, although they be far more healthful than they have been, yet they are but weak many of them, however, getting strength daily, albeit some die, and many are brought so low, that I know they will scarcely recover.
There are two things by his highness principally enjoyned us to put them upon, fortification and plantation. Should I give you a character of the dispositions and qualifications of our army in general, some few particulars excepted, I profess my heart would grieve to write, as it doth to think of them. I believe they are not to be paralleled in the world, a people so basely unworthy, lazy and idle, as it cannot enter into the heart of any Englishman, that such blood should run in the veins of any born in England, so unworthy, slothful and basely secure, and have out of a strange kind of spirit desired rather to die than live.
As for the fortification, there is at our harbour mouth a fort almost finished, twenty one pieces of ordinance more, within which we intend to build a round tower of stone, as we have stone enough at the water side to effect it; but we find it so exceeding difficult to attain either masons or other materials, that the army protested they could not spare us thirty men to make us a little lime. The work, so far forth as is effected, hath been wholly done by the seamen, without any help from the army, save by a few carpenters belonging to the train. I will not say much of our grand fort; it is as good as the materials it is made of would permit, and may, if occasion be, prove useful.
We have been long putting the army upon a small work about the magazine of provisions at the landing place, as also a small pallisado work at the town to secure the ammunition and themselves from any sudden incursion of the enemy, both which we have been in hand with a long time; poor small things, that I dare say with a hundred men, in a month's time, would have been effected, but one is almost finished, the other I fear will not in a long while, if ever.
As for planting there is but little done in it, and the truth is I verily believe little will, though they have had all the entreaties and encouragements that were possibly in our power to assist them. The commanders and officers say the soldiers will not plant, when it is most certain they are not willing they should, but still stand gaping to go off the island as after a goal-delivery, and you may be confident there will be little done that way by this sort of people. Such kind of spirit breathing in Englishmen, I yet till now never met withal.
Concerning the state of the enemy on shore here, the Spaniard is not considerable, but of the Blacks there are many, who are like to prove as thorns and pricks in our sides, living in the mountains and woods, a kind of life both natural, and, I believe, acceptable to them, and are enemies to us, looking upon us a bloody people, giving no quarter. I am sure they give none to us, but destroy our men: there scarce a week passeth without one or two slain by them, and as we grow secure, they grow bold and bloody: a people that know not what the laws and customs of civil nations mean, neither do we know how to capitulate or discourse with them, or how to take any of them, though there is a work we are now contriving to effect, for be assured they must either be destroyed or brought in upon some terms or other, or else they will be a great discouragement to the settling of a people here.
The island, if planted by an industrious people, would questionless answer any labour bestowed upon it, and be exceeding profitable to the inhabitants and to the states of England, and as convenient to the carrying on our design in the Indies as can be thought of; but as for planters, we have not one yet settled amongst us: we have sent letters to all the colonies in the Indies of our present state and health, and give all encouragements that in us lay, and we hope that governour Stokes with his people may come to us.
Sir, I pray let your goodness overlook what you may apprehend amiss in me. I thank God my heart is to the work in hand, yet in my own spirit much troubled, in that I cannot see God as yet owning us, a scattered generation, and a strange mix'd multitude. I see a vast expence of treasure and no return, no none at all, and methinks I see little will be; yet sometimes think God may return in mercy, and yet own a poor people; but on the other side sometimes am thinking he will not own his generation, but that they will die in the wilderness. The truth is, my heart and spirit are in a confusion, and think sometimes it may finish my few days I have here to be.
I was since I began this letter to view the Torrington upon the careen, and do perceive her somewhat eaten with the worm, as many other of the frigats are much defective that way, but we are as careful of them as may be.
Our provisions we find will extend for fleet and army four months and a little more. I intend if possible to get all the army's provision on shore to their store-houses, and to let the army know when that is done they must undoubtedly die unless they will plant. While the fleet is fitting, some, whose ships are ready, are willing with the seamen to go on shore and to plant 20 or 30 acres of provision, which will either convert or confound our army if it prosper, which I question not but it will.
Since the finishing of this I have had notice, that a party of men sent to the leeward part of the island to take horses, having been about 30 miles up in the country, and out 17 days, are returned, having taken about 40 horses, and did encounter a party of Spaniards, who ran from them into the woods, so that they took only 3 or 4 women, whom they have brought prisoners to the town.
Sir, I shall presume to make one request to you apart, that if my wife have occasion
of supplies, you will be pleased to countenance and assist her in her addresses to his highness, which will be a singular obligation upon,
Sir, your most faithful and most humble servant, Rob. Sedgwicke.
H. Cromwell, major general of the army in Ireland, to secretary Thurloe.
I have received yours of the 4th instant, by which I perceive his highness hath reade my letter, and that it is resolved there shall bee ane addition of able sober men to the council here. I shall not further trouble you aboute that, only acquainte you, that wee much wante them, (or rather your affaires) and therefore desire, that there be as much expedition used herein, as may suite with the business of that nature. I perceive by my laste frome my brother Fleetwoode, that there hath bin some thoughts of returninge John Jones to us againe. I knowe not what alteration you have seene in him to make choice of him. It is not, I hope, forgott, upon what grounds hee was laide aside. Hee may possibly be better minded towarde the government, or at least pretend soe to you; but I assure it was vissibely otherwise, whilest hee was here. You have refused to employe any persons in that trust, whose former relations and interest in this place might probably be a temptation uppon them to nourishe factiones here, or such, whoe would be apt to make use of there power to selvish ends. I knowe noe old protestant in Ireland can bee more dangerous and prejudicial to the publique upon that account, then this gentleman; and I must needes confess, I much wonder, that my brother Fleettwoode, whoe hade the same opinion of hime, when I was sent over by his highness, should have other thoughts of hime nowe, he being judged a person, not only dissatisfied with the government, but alsoe one, who had acted verry corruptly in his place.
You were pleased to write to me, as if Spaine hade influenced some of your owne people in England. I beleive there are a generation both in England and here, whoe would embrace any interest to serve their lusts upon what is nowe; and I knowe none more given upp to that madeness then those you mentioned. The divell will not wante instruments and artifices to carry one his designe; but God is above all, and his decree shall come to passe in despite of divells and men.
I bless God thinges here are at present quiett bothe in relation to the common enemy and others; yet wee are not idle in our preparations, in case a storme should come. The councill the last weeke by an express gave his highness ane account, howe that wee had secured (upon the account of non-transplanting) severall Irish men, whoe hade bin in armes; and are like againe to bee troublesome to you, in case there should be any new attempts. It was offered to his highness (they being clearely at your mercy as they are) that it would bee very good service to the publique, and tend much to the future quiett and peace of this nation, to send these men either to some of your forreing plantations or to some other service. Wee continue them bothe to our charge and trouble in restreynt, till wee receive his highness pleasure, which I desire you would hasten to us. I beleive the number of them will be nere a 1000.
I have inquired about Clancy, and doe understande, there is one of that name in France, whoe hath a brother liveinge in the county of Lymerick; and had a good estate, but nowe forfeited by his being in rebellion. The mane is knowne to sir H. and some other officers, but this is all the accounte I cane give you of hime; doe not trust any of them nere his H. I suppose, that it is not your intention.
The corporation of Dublin were with me, to desire, that according to ane antient custome they had in this city, they might have liberty in their several companyes in armes upon Easter monday. It is thought adviseable to make use of this occasion, to setle a militia regiment of foote, consisting of 2000 men, and those to be put under the conduct of persons, whoe are thoroughly principled bothe as to godliness and the government. Some of the honest aldermen have bin with me aboute it, and are verry readie and willinge to promote itt. Let me have your thoughts aboute it; and whether it were not good the same were done thoroughout Ireland, where wee have English, whoe may be trusted.
Good sir, let us not bee put to any more such freights and hazards, as wee have bin for
want of our timely supply of money. I have other thinges to reminde you of, as judge
Donellan, &c. But I have bin too longe, therefore shall remaine
Your truly affectionat freind and humble servant,
major general Whalley to secretary Thurloe.
I have little at present to trouble you with more then to give you my harty thankes for your affectionate respects to my selfe and care of my brother Middleton's buysnes. The assizes at Lincoln beginnes to morrow. I shall attend upon his highnes service here during the time of it, and so remove as the judges doe, to the rest of the counties under my charge. In these great times of action, places of temptation, that the Lord would deliver us from every evill work and way, and keepe us by his myhtie power through fayth to salvation, is the prayer of, sir,
Lyncolne, March 12, 1655.
Major general Whalley to the protector.
May it please your highnes,
In my way to Lyncolne, at Stamphord, I met with the earle of Exeter, who, I suppose, came on purpose to know of me, whether I would permit the lady Grantham's cup to be runne for at Lyncolne. Yf I would give way to it, he should put in a horse. I assured him it was not your highnes intention in the suppressing of horse races, to abridge gentlemen of that sport, but to prevent the great confluences of irreconcileable enemies: he havin therefore timeously advertised me of it, I should presume to give way to it, and what your highnes at my last wayting upon you spoake to me gave me incouragement thereunto. Yf it stand not with your highnes pleasure, I humbly beg it may be made knowne to me by mr. secretary. I lay on munday night at sir William Brounlowe's: his sonne is marryed. I am now at Lyncolne, where I shall attend your highnes service this assize, and shall make it my endeavours as to the Lord in all thinges to approve myselfe,
Lyncolne, March 12, 1655.
Mr. W. Cooper to secretary Thurloe.
The inclosed is a transcript out of a French printed copy, which I have by mee, whereby you will see upon what terms the Dutch consuls, i. e. the French and Spanish, &c. consuls in Holland are setled there. My brother le Maire and I in his behalf doe thanke you for that instrument, that is sent him; but it is altogether ineffectuall and insignificant, eyther for him to act in that spheare, or to bee entertained by the states in that capacity, whose manner and reception there I have alsoe in print by mee. My brother would gladly act as to putt you to least charge; I mean as a privado and intelligencer to you, which he can secretly and handsomely doe under the covert and disguise of a consul, and for the allowance of a fourth per cent. which the French and Spanish have in their place to themselves without doinge their respective crownes any service, which my brother shall bee willing to doe with that salary. The name and thing of consul you see in Holland is noe novelty; and I judge upon noe grounds to be scrupled or boggled at. My brother's informers will doe nothing without being sed by gratuityes, and having some hopes to bee soe fed still for their discoveries. You are too noble to thinke my brother should serve this state upon his private purse, without some visible way of being indempnifyed and reimbursed by this proposition; but to bee at a certainty, for he is offered to be agent at the Sound, and resident there; but I have yet diverted him, because I would faine have him serviceable to this government at the Hague. Wherefore I humbly desire, if you shall judge meet, to bee positive in favour of my brother and his desire, that your honour would please to vouchsafe an answer to this thing, that I may informe my brother by this post, who would faine know whereunto to trust, that hee may be ready to act, which he longs to doe. If you please to grant him such a letter of recommendation, which the king of France hath to Janot the French consul in Holland, I shall be ready to waite for the expediting of it, which if by his highness condescended to, there will remaine no more but to signifie to the court of merchants at Rotterdam or Dort, if they be setled there, that it is his highnes pleasure the said court receive his highnes consul upon the terms specified. Your honour will excuse this freedom. I have noe more but commending your person and affaires to the Lord's blessing, to rest
Martii 12, 55.
To his highness the lord protector.
The humble certificate of your highness's commissioners for securing the peace of the commonwealth in the county of Oxon, in obedience to your highness's order of reference upon the petition of sir William Walter.
Upon a due consideration of the petition, and a full hearing of the petitioner, we find that he did leave the king's garrison of Oxon about the year 1646. But that it was from a dissatisfaction, as to the king's interest, doth not appear to us, than by his own declaration.
We also find that the petitioner did make his composition and obtain a pardon for his delinquency; and hath not since (to our knowledge) had his hand in any plot or design against the peace of the commonwealth: nevertheless it is our opinion, that he hath not hitherto done any thing demonstrating his good affection to the commonwealth and present government, in opposition to the late king and his interest.
But claiming the benefit of your highness's declaration, as a person who would be exempted from that confederacy and the inconveniences depending thereupon, he hath this
day tendred to us the paper and declaration hereunto annexed, which we humbly submit
to your highness's consideration, as becomes
Oxon, March 12, 1655.
Declaration of sir W. Walter.
These are to give real demonstrations, as solemnly and effectually to declare and publish, that I have and do hereby profess, to have had it always in my heart and mind since the breaking of the treaty at Uxbridge between the late king and parliament, whereby I was convinced of the errors in that party I adhered unto, for to change and forsake my former interest and adherence. And since it pleased the Lord, to own the present government, by his so many signal testimonies of his allowance and approbation thereof, I do hereby promise and undertake to change and forsake all interest and adhe rence with or unto the late king, his heirs or issue, their or either of their party or parties, that in place thereof I shall be true and faithful unto the lord protector that now is and his successors, that I shall not at any time hereafter act or contrive any thing whatever prejudicial to his highness or present government, that I shall not hold or have unnecessary correspondency or conversation with any of the late king's party to any intent or purpose prejudicial to his highness or the present government. And in case I shall know or understand of any plot contrived, or to be contrived against his highness's person, or to the prejudice of the present government, that I shall reveal the same with all possible speed to his highness and council, or to some of them; and in the mean time (if need be) shall resist the same to my uttermost power and ability. And because my real intention of being not involved under the character of those, who are so separated from the rest of the good people under this present government, may more effectually appear, I do most willingly offer to contribute towards his highness's great occasions he hath in hand for the preservation of the commonwealth the sum of five hundred pounds, the one moiety to be paid (as shall be ordered) within the space of one month after these presents, the other moiety within six months after that, which I tender as a free will offering, and wish heartily, that it stood with my abilities to tender more, and to make it a greater sum.
Resolution of the states general.
The lord of Renswoude, commissioner of the province of Utrecht, hath signified to their high and mighty lordships by express order of the lords states his principals of the 11th instant old stile, that their noble great lordships had consented to give their share of the subsidy to be given to those of Geneva, amounting to the sum of 5000 gilders, and to the benefit of the evangelical cantons their share of the 150000 gilders to be given to them; and that their commissioners may enlarge the same to 200000 gilders, or more or less, as these united provinces shall agree to give amongst themselves. Whereupon being debated, the said lord Renswoude had thanks given to him by their high and mighty lordships, and the other provinces desired copies thereof, which was granted them.
The said lord Renswoude also urged by express order of the lords his principals, that their high and mighty lordships would appoint forthwith a day of fast and humiliation throughout all the provinces. Whereupon being debated it was thought fit that a draught for a fast should be drawn up to be delivered and read in the assembly to be by them concluded on. Yet the lords of Holland took this business ad referendum.
Mr. Holton and mr. Hely to the protector.
May it please your highness,
It having been your pleasure to appoint us two of your highness's commissioners for this county of Wilts, we with others have made it our business faithfully to pursue our instructions, as also to discover such of your highness's enemies as heretofore hath been concealed; divers whereof have been brought under this new assessment. Finding there have been applications made to your highness by and concerning some persons contrary to our expectations, we cannot but in faithfulness to your highness and the trust we have undertaken, make known our thoughts unto you therein. At our first sitting in this county the commissioners received a letter from your highness, to forbear the assessing of the lord Seymour, which in obedience to your highness's said letter was done accordingly, though for our parts we are much unsatisfied of any change of his former principles. Since that time we find there hath been applications made to your highness concerning mr. Seymour, son to the said lord, who was of the late king's commission for sequestring the parliament's party for this county, and sat in the execution thereof; as also for one mr. Yorke, who was actually in arms in the late king's own troop, and otherwise a dangerous person, as doth appear to us by his discouraging honest men in assisting the parliament at the late Worcester fight, and is still a discountenancer of religious people. And as it is a wonder to us, how such a person as this latter should lye unquestioned all this while; so we can no less admire, now he is bringing to the light, any should appear to your highness for him; as also for the said mr. Seymour, so as to hinder just proceedings against them, a thing of which nature we that have run the hazard of our lives with your highness for these twelve or fourteen years, durst not adventure to attempt. Mr. Yorke hath never yet been publickly questioned for being of that party, by which means both himself, as also one mr. Norden, another dangerous person in this county, obtained to be of the last parliament, through the disaffection of some people, to the great grief of honest men. Now, my lord, all that we aim at is, that the masks of these men may be pulled off, and the country have a right knowledge of them; as also that we may be able to give an account of the justness of our proceedings in carrying an equal hand to all, that come before us, according to our instructions, without respect of persons; and lastly, that they may not stand in the way of good people for the future. Thus having faithfully acquainted your highness concerning the persons aforesaid, we humbly leave it to your highness's consideration, whether you will please to refer the said mr. Seymour and mr. Yorke to a trial before the commissioners here, or otherwise do as to your highness shall seem meet. And so craving pardon for this boldness and trouble we subscribe our selves
Sarum, March 13, 1655.
Extracts out of the resolutions of the states of Holland, taken the 24th of March 1656. [N. S.]
The raet pensionary hath referred to the assembly the considerations and advice of the lords their noble great lordships commissioners for the affairs of Denmark, and in pursuance of their resolution have examined a certain letter of the lord of Beuningen, one of the lords extraordinary embassadors of this state to the king and crown of Denmark, which he had writ to the said lord pensionary from Copenhagen, and likewise seriously considered of the contents of the later letter, also writ by the said lord Beuningen from the place above-mentioned of the 11, 12, and 15th instant. Whereupon being debated and considered, that formerly in the year 1652, at that time when the said lord Beuningen was sent commissioner extraordinary from this stateto the crown of Sweden, that there was sustained against him by that crown, that the treaty of alliance between Sweden and this state made in the year 1640, according to the full intention of the contractors, should be only obligatory against Denmark, notwithstanding the general stipulations of assistance against all aggressors or disturbers made therein on either side: it is resolved that it be furthered at the generality, to the end by their high and mighty lordships there may be writ to the lords embassadors of this state sent to the crown of Sweden and Poland in explification or amplification of their instruction, the good intention of their high and mighty lordships for the strengthning of the said alliance to be no other, but that the same must be received as a general confederacy of defence, and so and in such a manner as the words themselves do import, without pretence of any secret intention of the contractors to be drawn to any other meaning; and that therefore in case the said lords embassadors do chance to perceive in the Swedish court, that there are still such thoughts amongst them, they then are to declare the contrary, and to make express declaration of the above expressed their high and mighty lordships good intention.
Likewise it is resolved, that whatsoever the said lords embassadors shall negotiate with the king of Sweden, they are to communicate the same with full confidence to the embassadors of the crown of Denmark residing in that court, as also to the minister or ministers of the lord protector of England, in case any be there on his behalf.
Extract of a letter of the most serene lady Louisa Charlotta dutchess of Courland, born of the electoral house of Brandenburg, to the serene lady Sophia Margaretta, married and born princess of Anhalt. Dated Mittau, March 24, 1656. [N. S.]
It seems, that my temporal and eternal welfare is threathened to be shipwrack'd. We have to do here with a very inveterate Lutheran, who would fain persuade my lord to suffer none but his religion: herein I know no where to address my self better than to your serene highness, with a request, that your highness would do me the favour, by means of the prince your son, to enquire for himself and by way of discourse, if such is the intention there. The popish king has shew'd himself in every thing like a father to me, and I hope the Lutheran king will not be more unkind to me, nay I cannot believe that he so much as knows of it. In the mean while it is not to be expressed how it goes. I own our sins may have deserved some chastisement, but that the work of the Lord should suffer therefore, is what I cannot think; however, those that are faithful shall be known, and persecution and oppression make perfect Christians; this they cannot take from me, but rather must contribute towards it. I hear your serene highness has at present mr. Dury with you: that good gentleman has always shewed a good will for our house. I wish that he could help me, by means of the lord protector, (but so that it was not known that it came from me) to write to the king, and to express himself, that he hoped, since his majesty by his prosperous successes had also got many reformed subjects, that he would give them liberty of conscience, and protect them in their religion, as well as those of the Augsburg confession, finding himself obliged to intercede in their favour; for as I understand, he will be obliged, when he comes back, to apply to the Swedish ministers, not only to second the affair he has in hand, but also to recommend the same to the prince. If in your kingdom such a good thing could be brought about for us, our peace-haters here would be soon silenced. I beg your highness humbly, not to take my liberty amiss, for I do not know to whom to apply better than to a princess of the reformed religion, whose house is almost the only one that means well and heartily. And because my church here is built by Anhalters, perhaps God will strengthen the same likewise by an Anhaltish princess. I almost imagine, that this affair comes from our own people, to whom the peace-loving soul of my lord has been hitherto a heart-sore in their sinful minds. I expect impatiently an answer hereupon, &c.
A letter of intelligence from the Hague.
There is a letter come from the admiralty of Amsterdam, containing, that notwithstanding the interdiction or prohibition made to the ships not to go to sea till the 1st of April, yet there are at least 70 or 80 gone out from the Vlie towards the Sound; whereupon is resolved to write to the fiscalls of the admiralty to proceed against such at their return.
The commander of Wesel hath writ, that at least 6000 men are to be raised in the country of Cleve by order of the elector of Brandenburgh, and therefore desires more men for his garrison; this is referred to the council of state. There was this day again a great deal of dispute concerning the employing of the embassadors, or some of them, to the elector of Brandenburgh. Holland will in no wise consent, that they should go to his electoral highness, unless they chance to pass through his territories, not on purpose. But the rest (and that at the great instance and endeavours of those of his electoral highness) say, that that would be ridiculous and disrespectful, and will that the embassadors may be absolutely authorized to go to the elector.
Those of Holland say, that to send directly to the elector would be as if there were a doubt made of that which is expected from the elector, whereas on the contrary they have with him a clear and full treaty, by the which he hath promised: 1. Not to raise the tolls in his harbours. 2. Not to charge the subjects of this state more than his own. 3. Not to surrender nor engage his ports and harbours to any other. But those of the elector do speak and utter much, that the elector can do a great deal of good to this state, and that this state cannot well live without him, and that of necessity this state and the elector must remain friends.
There hath been again urged the prohibition for the ships designed for Greenland, not to depart for these next two months, but there were some that did suspend it; believing that those of Amsterdam do urge it out of some design to forbid others, now that their own ships were already provided with men, and most of them gone their voyage.
The lord of Opdam lieutenant admiral hath presented a great memorandum of the necessaries which he requireth for his ship the admiral, which is referred to commissioners. Holland spoke strenuously of the fleet.
There is advice come, that the French pirates have taken and carried to Calais 6 or 7 Dutch ships; which will be in sequence of a quarrel, which those of Calais had with those of Zealand, whereof speaks the resolution of the 15th of March here enclosed.
The states of Groningen do still make a great deal of difficulty to agree to the harmony, and it is believed, that that example will be soon followed by others, and consequently Holland likewise will not condescend to it; and the particular harmony of Overyssell is also likely to come to nothing.
In what manner is resolved concerning that which is due to the troops, that were at Brazil, is to be seen by the enclosed resolution. Friesland (who would never have to do with the West-India company) hath caused to be declared, that they will not consent in the conclusion, as having order altogether against it.
The embassador Nieuport hath writ a letter in particular, how that complaint hath been made him on the behalf of the council, that some Holland ships were either sold or hired into the service of Spain, and which had made chase to some English ships in the Mediterranean sea.
At the same time it was advised, that the king of Sweden doth still advance with success further up into Poland, having taken Lublin and Zamoisky, going directly to Leopolis or Ruis Limborgh, and the king of Poland is retreated to Caminiec Podolsky. And the surrender of the castle of Marienburgh is likewise assured. So that the courage for equipping the fleet is somewhat abated, seeing that England will also grow jealous of it.
I am told by a very good hand, that in Zealand the harmony is taken so ill, that the cities were resolved to give their votes to prince Maurice, in case that there be proceeded to the election of a mareschal of camp.
And the diet at Groningen being separated on the 18th instant, news is come of the separation, but nothing of the harmony, which doth cause the same to be doubted; so that it is observed more and more, that prince William doth become unfortunate, and loseth much of his credit and favour.
The resident of Sweden yesterday caused to be presented by the lord president a memorandum, being a protestation how that the Hollanders in the new Netherland have turned the Swedes out of a colony belonging to them, which the Swedes say to have bought of the natives of the place: the same is referred to the hands of the West-India company; but that company is poor, and if the Swedes do chance to be overcome in Poland, they will hardly get any satisfaction from the Hollanders in the West-Indies.
Those of Holland have proposed, that the edict ought to be prolonged, that no ships ought to go to sea being bound for the Sound, till the 25th of April, to the end that in the mean time the fleet may be made so much the stronger, for hitherto they are but poorly manned; but the other trading provinces do not incline to this proposition.
At Amsterdam is arrived a ship from Cadiz, having been only 3 weeks upon the way, affirming that the Spaniards had defeated an English fleet, and brought 8 frigats to Cadiz. Yea at Amsterdam wagers are laid upon this truth, and in general they rejoice at it.
I understand at present from a very good hand, that the lords of Holland do now shew again an inclination to be willing to send to the elector of Brandenburg an express embassy; this is a sign, that they will go the way of moderation and quietness, and make use of the elector to help them to as advantageous a treaty of commerce as they can get, so that the equipage will not be a very serious thing, and yet a party of them however may be sent to the Sound.
London, March 14, 1655-6;.
Worshipful sir and sirs,
Having received your letter of the 23d of October last; by which (beyond either my expectation, or merit) I was by you called to the place of deputy of your court, I then acknowledged presently the obligation I found myself in for your favours, in such manner as I was then able, upon such a surprisal. And having since received your second and third summons (of the 27 November and 29 January) to the same charge, whereby you both confirm your good opinion of me, and again invite, and encourage me, to repair unto you with the first opportunity, intimating that you must otherways provide for the reestablishing of your government; I have now found it my part, to give you such a due and respectful return to both letters, as may at least satisfy your worships, how sensibly I am touched with the honour you have cast upon me; however, I may not perhaps be able to answer you in your own reasons, expectations, and persuasions, which invited me to render my self there personally, so suddenly as you have prescribed me. But your worships having so often understood the mind of this court in this affair, I hope you will consider, that both for the honour of your court, and mine own particular reputation, I ought not to be too forward in that, wherein others are so circumspect; and when according to your letters to this court, they have not yet thought fit to second your invitation to me, you will judge what disservice it would be to you, and how prejudicial it might be unto me, if I should have declared myself singly against so general a deliberation. I will therefore trust, that it will be enough for me at this time to acknowledge, how much I esteem myself honour'd in your love, and to assure you (how conscious soever I am to myself of many disabilities) that yet however, if I had found those encouragements, which are fit to precede such an engagement, I would have adventured before this to have given you that satisfaction, which your affections oblige me unto; and so still recommending myself to your good favours, I rest
Your worships very loving brother,
Major general Berry to secretary Thurloe.
These are onely to give you the names of the quakers, who were imprisoned at Evesham, and released, whose fines you say my lord is willing to remitt. I cannot understand as yet either their faults or their fines. Their names are Tho. Cartwright, Humphrey Smith, James Wall, John Clement, John Knight, Richard Walker, Joshua Fransam, William Walker, and Richard Bennett: and this is all the trouble at present from
Worcester, March 14, 1655.
President Viole to Barriere.
At last the fleet is arrived, and by this means his highness and the ministers of this country will be in a condition to help you out of your trouble. Do not doubt, but that I do what lieth in me to advance your business, being obliged thereunto for many respects. His highness sendeth every day to see monsieur de Cardenas and the earl of Fuensaldagna, to know what answer they get of the merchants about your business.
General Mountagu to secretary Thurloe.
I most kindly thanke you for yours of the 13th of March. We have not omitted an houre's tyme (according to my little understandinge in these matters,) that might have beene improved for our voyage. This morninge is the first breath of northerly wind wee have had scince wee came to this place, and now it is little or none to speake; the water is as smooth as the Thames. Neverthelesse wee intend to be endeavoringe away, and tyde it downe, if we meete with noe contrary winds; for which purpose our anchors are now weighinge, I hope well, that you will not have ground to creditt either of those newes, which you were pleased to communicate unto mee, especially that of the more generall concernment. This is all at present from
March 14, 1655. on board of Nasebye fregate in St. Ellin's roade, 10 of the clock before noone.
Major general Lilburne, &c. to the protector.
May it please your highness,
We do here inclosed send you a list of such persons, with their qualifications and additions, as have been convened before us and found guilty, and within compass of the first head of our instructions, with the grounds and reasons of our judgments; whereupon we have secured their persons, (viz.) sir Henry Slingsby, col. Brandling, Henry Darcy, Walter Strickland, Sutton Oglethorpe, William Frankland, and capt. John Crost, and Richard Hutton, esq; being men of quality in the garrison of Hull. Mrs. Catharine Walters is sent to the marshal general at London, where we are informed mr. Robert Walters her husband is. Sir Richard Malleverer is fled; the rest of them being of mean quality are secured in the common goal for the county of York, and such of them as have estates are sequestred. We remain
York, March 14, 55.
An extract out of the resolutions of the lords states of Holland, taken the 24th of March 1656. [N. S.]
There being read a certain letter of the agent de Clarges writ to their high and mighty lordships from Calais; containing that eight Netherlands skippers and ships were brought in, and kept there, and that the king's express letter found no respect there; but that all things were managed very disorderly and acted by pure force to the advantage of the captors and pirates. Whereupon being debated, it is resolved, that the business be referred to the generality, to the end that the copy of the said letter may be sent to the lord embassador Boreel, to represent the said excesses to the king and court, and to desire to have the said excesses remedied by some vigorous orders, and prevented for the time to come.
P. Wibem to monsieur Petkum.
I promised you in my last to answer your foregoing letter. Exactly to keep my word, I will tell you, that I have spoken to king and chancellor and the secretary, to obtain some order concerning the place and precedency before the residents and agents of other kings, princes and sovereigns; and although I could get no decision herein, yet I could gather and conclude so much by their discourse, that his majesty and the ministers would have you to avoid all such rencounters with the ministers of other princes and states, where the precedency of the one or the other would fall in contest or dispute; and that it would be advantageous to you to observe this as much as is possible: but in case you meet by accident with some of those ministers, it is thought fit, that you should give place to those of the emperor and kings, but not of princes or electors and commonwealths.
The tempest doth still continue here; severall ships cast away, amongst the rest one of his majesty's coming from Norway, and that hindereth the embarking of the horses and deer, which the king hath promised his highness. We are here very much troubled at the misunderstanding, which ariseth between the protector and the states general, for if they proceed to a rupture between the two nations, it will likewise engage us in their quarrel. They write from Dantzick and otherplaces, that the Swedes army is totally defeated by the Polanders: we expect the truth thereof per next post; if this news be true, it will occasion great alteration in the present affairs of Europe.
The Swedish resident arrived here the day before yesterday. We know not yet whether he will continue his commission concerning a new alliance between the two kingdoms or no; he will not know any thing of the defeat of his king; but since it is usual with the Swedes to put the best countenance upon a bad business, I make no great account of what he saith.
A letter of intelligence.
Here come reports from several places, that about the 4th of March not far from Samoisch there happened a bloody fight between the Polish troops and those of his majesty of Sweden, in which not only general Douglas and Wittemberg are said to be killed, but also that the king of Sweden was wounded. The Polish forces were commanded by general Charnitsky, who not long since in a sharp rencounter near Lublin was forced to quit the field. The certain truth on whose side the victory remained cannot be writ from hence, in regard the news must come to us hither from Warsaw, Thorn and Elbing, which are under the Swedish jurisdiction, and in which places it is strictly forbidden to write any thing to their prejudice. The king of Poland was not in the fight, but retreated to Caminiec Podolsky, to accelerate the conjunction of the Tartars and Cossacks.
An extract of a letter out of Dantzick, de dato 15/25 Martii, 1656.
These are to certify you, sir, of the bad news we have here at present, which God amend; viz. that the king of Sweden gave battle to king Casimir of Poland with 9000 men, viz. 6000 horse, 3000 foot, and very good artillery; but the Poles being of a considerable body 8000 strong routed the Swedes whole army, and slew many of their generals, amongst which were general Douglas and Wittemberg. The rest are not yet mentioned, and the king himself wounded in the neck with a sabre, that it's thought he will hardly recover thereof, if he be not dead already. These will suddenly work great things with us; but it's thought it had not gone so bad with the Swedes, had not Conispolski revolted from them with 4000 men in the hottest of the battle (God so rewards such usurping people.) I should not myself have believed this news, had not I had writing from a principal man thereof; but now sir, you may give credit to the certainty hereof, for in Elbing are already 10 coffins of tinn made to enclose the generals dead bodies slain in this battle.
The commissioners of the duke of Brandenburg to the states general.
High and mighty lords,
Your high and mighty lordships may be pleased to remember what we delivered to your high and mighty lordships on the 17th of February last: his electoral highness hath since writ us word of the 9th of March, that he knew very well, in case your high and mighty lordships were willing to send any body to the king of Sweden, that he would be very welcome and acceptable to him, as being inclined to remain and continue in the ancient good correspondence; and that his majesty declared himself at several times, that he could very well suffer, that his said highness by his negotiation should signify so much to your high and mighty lordships, which we are ordered by his said highness to declare unto your high and mighty lordships, and to assure your high and mighty lordships, that his said highness will contribute all that lieth in him for the satisfying and answering of your high and mighty lordships desires and interests. We doubt not but your high and mighty lordships will be mindful to signify your good intentions to his electoral highness concerning this. High and mighty lords,
Hague, March 25, 1656. [N. S.]