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 (6 of 8)
Mr. Ed. Rolt to secretary Thurloe.
Vol. xxxvi. p. 549.
I am informed by some English merchants heere, that the friggat your honour hath pleased to order hether for mee, hath a commission first to convoy some shipps to New Castle, and from thence to goe towards the Sound; but your honour having not mentioned any such thing either in your last to mee, which I received at my first comeing to this place, or in any of your letters since to resident Bradshaw, it makes mee fearfull, least some accident at sea hath befallen hir, there being the weeke past great stormes, and as I heard very dangerous for this cost. I have expected daylie ever since my coming hether (which is allmost a month) newes of the shipps arrive, which I cannot hope for yett, if shee be commanded to attend the north countery merchants, who will keepe hir it may bee some time in England before they be reddy, which I should be sorry for. It is reported heere, that there hath been a fight lately neere Leopolis between the king of Sweden and the king of Poland, but I cannot yett learne the particulers, or to whome is the successe, it being variously reported. I was this morning with the Swedish resident in this place to informe myselfe of it, and allsoe of a report, that there was an agreement between the king of Denmark and his master, but hee did assure me there was noething yet concluded.
The greatest newes heare at present is of a great defeat wee have had by the Spaniards,
who is reported to have fought a part of the fleet to our great disadvantag and losse; but
I hope though it be related with many circumstances, it is but the fiction of such as are envious of the prosperity of his highness and the commonwealth of England, and soe it is
beleeved by most. I assure your honour, here abroad the praiers of all good men goe along
with his highnesse in that designe, and I pray that the Lord may owne his people in the
worke. I shall not trouble your honour more at present, but take leave to subscribe myselfe what truly I am
Hamburg, March 11, 1655.
Your honour's most faithfull and most obedient servant,
An extract out of the register of the secret resolutions of the high and mighty lords the states.
Martis, March 28, 1656. [N. S.]
Vol. xxxvi. p. 581.
By resumption there having been deliberated upon the letters of the lords extraordinary embassadors of this state to the king and crown of Denmark, writ from Copenhagen on the 27th of last month, It was resolved and thought fit, to authorize herewith the said lords embassadors, if need be, to corroborate and re-enforce the treaty of defensive alliance made by this state upon the 9th of October 1649 with the said king of Denmark; and whereas there is express'd in that treaty, that either side doth promise to give to each other an assistance of 4000 well-armed men, to encrease the same to 6000 men, and if it be needful, and that the king do very much insist upon it, then they may proceed to grant the doubling of the said promised assistance, making 8000 well-armed soldiers. And likewise to assure his majesty, that in case the waters happen to be frozen, when the said assistance is required, and that the same cannot be speedily conveyed to him, that then they will furnish without delay with so much money, as shall counterpoise the said assistance of men. And in case the said mentioned assistance, or the value thereof, be not thought sufficient for the defence and protection of that party to whom the same is granted, that in such a case the unoppressed or not molested party of the allies shall be bound to assist the oppressed and molested party with such further strength and means, as shall be thought necessary for his defence and protection; about which the contracting parties are particularly to agree before-hand after what manner such further assistance shall be performed, and upon what conditions. An extract of this their high and mighty lordships resolution is also to be sent to the lords their extraordinary embassadors to the kings of Sweden and Poland, to serve for their information.
Sir B. Wright to sir Walter Dongan.
Madrid, March 28, 1656. [N. S.]
Vol. xxxvi. p. 571.
By the last correspondence I writ you what then offer'd worth the writing. Now I have yours of the 13th of March, wherin you say you have newes ther, that the queene of England, my lord Digby, and my lord Taafe, weare to come for Spaine; but beleeve it not, I pray, for heer they never have taken the queene, nor the other tow to beare any affection to Spaine; and therefore desire not ther company.
I give you the nova buena of the arrivall of the galleons de plata, most happy and joyfull newes, God be praised for it, that they be arrived before Cromwell's fleet be on that coast; the which I beleeve may be by the time this letter come to your hands.
Coll. O Brien hath spoke something to me concerning coll. Fitz Patrike, but withall
tould me the busines was at an end. Our king is still in Collen, and I fear the Spaniards
will not admit him into Flanders, nor any way assist his majestie. To tell you true, I understand not his councellors; but I am sure they have lost a brave oportunitie for not following some men's councell, that peradventure wish as much good to his majestie as any
of them, and understandeth the state of things heere no lesse then they doe. I greeve
and greeve, and say noe more, but that I am yours to command,
Al Mre de Campo Don Gualtero Dongan Cavallero y Barronete, que Dios guarde Cadiz.
Secretary Thurloe to H. Cromwell, major general of the army in Ireland.
In the possession of Joseph Jekyll, esq;
Your lordship cannot have a greater sense of the want of some supply to the councell in Ireland then his highness hath: however I thinke the want must be much greater then yet it is, before the persons your lordship mentions in yours of the 6th instant will be sent. When that comes to passe, I beleeve all those now there must be sent for home, and all things begun againe upon another bottom. My lord, I pray be assured you need not apprehend any such matter.
I have lately had some hints of a designe upon Ireland by C. S. which I shall labour to be better and more certeinely informed of. It is, that there will be some insurrection in Conaght, and that Sligo and some other garrisons in the county of Mayo will revolt, and the Azinsbyes, Gores, and one Ging a colonel are engaged in this. And it is sayd, that there is now one from them in Flanders to transact this buissines with the archduke and C. S. who is now come privatelye into Flanders. But I shall endeavour to finde out perticulers, if this prove to have any reality in it, which yet I know not; but I would not omitt to send your lordship all manner of hints relating unto Ireland.
The fleet sayled from Portsmouth upon saterday night, and since that they have had
very good weather, and a faire wynde; soe that wee hope they are well onward of their
way. In the meane tyme there is some discourse, that the Spanish plate fleet is come in,
but wee are not willinge to beleeve it, untill it be well confirmed. The Swiffers have
already put up their swords, and made a peace. The conditions thereof wee must expect
by the next letters. I wish it be not made after the patterne of that of Savoy. Those
of our religion had never good lucke at treatyes. Wee are here (blessed be God) in a
quiet condition and posture, much against the will of some. There hath beene the last
weeke a meetinge of many of the Anabaptist churches in severall parts of the nation,
wheither resorted all the discontented of that partie and of the fist monarchy men, with
a full intention to have engaged the churches in blood, many of them haveinge layde
their matters beforehand, and prepared both horse and armes; but their intentions beinge
knowne beforehand, some grave and sober men of their owne judgment in matters of
religion were sent to meet them, where matters were soe handled (through the goodnes
of God) that these men with their principles were rejected, although they were soe bold
as to provoake the churches to arms; but they are now looked upon as men of wrathfull spirits and savouringe the thinges of satan and of this world: what course will be
further taken with them I cannot tell yet. Colonel Danvers is one, who would saine
be in armes, and was at one of these meetinges to incite others to the same thinge, and
he is all which your lordship knowes as I suppose, unlesse it be one Buttivant lately of the
life-guard, but now reduced. I begg your lordship's pardon for this trouble, and rest
18 Mar. (55).
Your lordship's most humble and faithfull servant,
For mr. Roberts his buissines, your lordship need not be troubled about the suspension made by the counsell in Ireland. His highnes doth very well understand it, and judges the counsell have done prudently.
Minard to de la Bastide.
Paris, March 29, 1656. [N. S.]
Vol. xxxvi. p. 583.
I can now assure you of the departure of my lord embassador, which happened yesterday about noon, intending to lye that night at Vernevill, a house of monsieur Denier, and the next morning he takes post for Clermont, and from thence he pursues his journey to Calais. We now expect to hear of the arrival of his excellency, and the reception, which will be made him.
To col. Bamfyld.
Paris, March 29, 1656. [N. S.]
Vol. xxxvi. p. 588.
The king of France diverts himself and his court at running at the ring before the palace royal garden; and though there are spectators of royal blood, yet it so happens, that when he looks up, he still encounters the regards of madamoiselle Mancini. The king of Sweden is so victorious, that if he proceeds, he will complain like Alexander, that nature hath not furnished matter enough for his ambition. In earnest I believe he will be one of the most considerablest potentates in Christendom.
The very discourse of a general peace is put off till the next winter; and notwithstanding those specious reasons of the cardinal to persuade his inclinations to it, yet the other day his pupil the king of France said publickly, that he could not entertain any treaty until this campaign was past.
Copy of a letter dated in Roan the 29th of March of that style, translated from Spanish.
Vol. xxxvi. p. 589.
The commerce here rejoiced with the news, which came of the pataches arrival into Cadiz, which came out with the galleons, and had left them behind; but at present they are in great care, by reason of an advice, which is come, that coming through Bahamas channel, they had a great tempest, and that one of the galleons was seen to run ashore upon the banks, and that the vice-admiral was wanting; and the remaining, coming further on the voyage, had another great tempest upon the Bermudas, where the patacha of advice left them, there being no further news, and their long stay doth cause much doubt of their being in safety.
A letter of intelligence from the Hague.
March 25, 1656. [N. S.]
Vol. xxxvi. p. 551.
The lord Vander Steen and other commissioners of the states general having been
in Zealand, are returned back, and made report this morning, that in the equipage
of the 48 ships they do agree; but provided that one squadron of them shall be employed for the occidental navigation; and for the last and conduct money they have agreed,
as also to the placart of the year 1655; but with so many clauses, reserves, limitations
and conditions, that in effect it doth signify nothing; the resolution given is very large
The ministers of Brandenburg have presented a memorandum, recommending very much the embassy to the elector, yea recommending it in the name of the king of Sweden, as well as in the name of the elector, declaring and assuring, that the king of Sweden is very much inclined to a good treaty and to admit of the elector for mediator. And although that yesterday there was or did seem some likelihood, that Holland did incline to it; yet however to day Holland appeared very cold in the business: yet the six provinces have concluded in a manner the sending to the elector: we shall see on monday how it will go.
The lords Welanborgh and Bockhorst commissioners of the elector of Cologne, conducted to audience with two coaches and the agent de Heyden, and met at the bottom of the steps by two commissioners of the states general, have had audience after salutation, making a hot complaint against the advice, which the states had, as if the states had some design upon Rhynberck; said they were authorized to swear the contrary, yea, that his electoral highness never had any such thought, but well to hold and preserve all good amity and correspondence, yea to make an alliance, desiring commissioners.
The castle of Marienburgh was surrounded the 2/12 of March; those of Dantzick will not consess, that they attempted to relieve it, not being willing to exasperate the king of Sweden; there being a great deal of likelihood, that they will likewise endeavour to make their agreement; seeing the great coldness of this state.
One can see likewise no otherwise, but that the king of Poland hath no body, which is worth any thing, and that he makes his retreat towards Hungary, as he formerly made towards Silesia.
The commissioner of Dantzick again, by a short memorandum, hath desired a resolution upon the two last points, men and money. But the resolution was, that the provinces should be admonished to declare themselves upon the same, which is only to gain time.
There was again proposed to prolong the inhibition for any ships to go to sea, that are bound for the Eastland, till the 15th of April.
Holland doth insist, that power may be given to the embassadors in Denmark, to enlarge the 9th article of the treaty formerly made with Denmark, according to the memorandum which was sent you in my last.
There is proposed to take 3 musketteers out of every company to put them a board of the fleet of the 48 ships, which is referred to the council of state. There is resolved to write to the embassador Boreel concerning the arrests and detention of the ships of Zealand, which those of Calais make; to the end to make a sharp complaint.
That which those of Holland proposed yesterday concerning a certain 9th article is the 9th article writ out in this resolution here enclosed of the 23d and 24th of March, for in the year 1652 this state would also apply the treaty made in the year 1640 with Sweden against England, and Sweden on the contrary said, that this treaty of the year 1640 was made at the express instance of this state against the exactions and insufferable excesses of Denmark; consequently had no reflection against England. On the contrary the lord Beuningen then in commission in Sweden faith the words of the treaty to be general. I saw what the lord Beuningen writ of that in particular; to the end they might instruct the embassadors that are gone for Sweden, in case the Swedes should by chance speak of that again. That is so agreed and concluded to day.
As also the prolongation of the day till the 15th of April for the going out of any ships towards the Sound.
At last was concluded to day the power, that is to be given and sent to the embassadors of this state in Denmark, to enlarge the assistance promised by the foregoing treaties of the years 1649 and 1653 to the king of Denmark, namely of 4000 men, to enlarge it to 6, 7 and 8000, according to the circumstances and dependencies, which were formerly observed. Item likewise the embassadors of this state in Sweden are to be instructed to declare, that the intention of this state in the treaty of the year 1640 was sincere and general; as the treaty doth import of assistance against the aggressors whatsoever, not specially against Denmark, as the queen Christina would interpret in the year 1652 and 1653.
This day were read letters from France containing the arrival of the silver fleet, and from Geneva containing the peace of the Switzers.
Those of Zealand have also consented their shares in the fortifications of Geneva and in the subsidy for the Switzers.
This day was presented a request and protest of the lord of the Stavenisse, beseeching the states general not to admit the lord Vryberg, nor to give him a commission to be of the council in Zealand; saying to have taken a mandate out of the court of Justice, in case of complaint against the said lord Vryberg. But this morning notwithstanding the said lord Vryberg did appear in the states general, and afterwards obtained a commission, for they considered that as a provincial case, wherein the generality had nothing to say. In the mean time it seems strange to the whole assembly, that the law (that those charges should be permanent and during life) being so fresh and lately, should be broken; a sign that the affairs in Zealand are subject to much alteration.
Major general Boteler to secretary Thurloe.
Vol. xxxvi. p. 590.
I thought it my duty to acquaint your honour with what hath past here at this meeting of the commissioners of this county and my selfe at this present, viz. that upon the articles formerly exhibited (and now substantially proved) against the mayor and some 4 of the common council of this town (a coppy of which articles I have here pointed to your honour) I did summon the said mayor and common councell men before the commissioners and my selfe, and upon hearing and proving the said articles (the first and last especially of which you will see were very gross against the mayor) instead of making any defence to them, he designed to resigne his mace and staffe to his brethren the aldermen, and have his quietus, which I perswaded the said aldermen to accept, and to chuse among themselves a man qualified (according to the proclamation of his highness and council of the 21st of Sept. last) which they have done. The common council men did very desirously (fearing worse) withdraw themselves also. And truly, sir, I beleive you will understand from severall hands, that this business will prove very much to the uniting of the godly party here, as also to weakening the hands of the contrary party, as also the greate security of the peace of this place, and preventing of many evil consequences that were at the very doore; and I can assure you not any noise or stir does or hath appeared, but the business hath gone off very smoothly, and as you will be informed to the great satisfaction of the good interest here, and not to the offence (in the least) of any, unless playnly malignant and prophane, and that we must needs suppose, though there be deepe silence upon them. But I am sure the mayor will take it for a great favour, if he may thus escape; but the commissioners are of a mind, if possibly his estate will come within compass, to decimate that also; but of that at our next meeting. I thought it much my duty to acquaint you with this at the present, the case being somewhat extraordinary, and I having (though for eminent cause) exceeded the bounds of my power, as I am enforced to do in something or other every day allmost, yet at this tyme not without good advice, and good success, and I hope good acceptance from his highness and councill, having discharg'd my conscience very much in the thing doing. Pardon this prolixity from, Sir,
Bedford, March 20, 1655.
Your honour's much obliedged and most humble servant, W. Boteler.
A list of the names of the severall persons committed to the goal by major generall Boteler within his association.
In the goal at Northampton.
Vol. xxxvi. p. 593.
C. Davison to secretary Thurloe.
Vol. xxxvi. p. 592.
May it please your honour,
Having through misfortune, not any malicious intention, offended against the lawes, I readily submitted my selfe to a faire and legall tryall prepared with all patience humbly to undergoe what penaltie soever should be by law inflicted. Here, notwithstanding the severitie of the prosecution, God was pleased to own my innocencie, and acquit me of blood. I had hoped, that upon the receiving the sentence of the law I should have had an end of these troubles, and so have been in a capacity of relieving the distressed widow, and of doing his highnes such service, as would have sufficiently proved the reality of my former intentions. Sir, I can at present acquaint your honour with some things considerable, but dare not commit them to this paper, by reason of my former letter's miscarriage, and had I my liberty (though that is not the thing I aime at) could be further usefull; but I am not to perswade your honour into a beleife of my sinceritie: now that I have made a proffer of my selfe, it is your honour's choice how to accept or dispose of him, who is most desirous to approve himselfe, Sir,
From the Upper bench prison, March 20, 1655.
Your honour's in all dutie,
faith, and humilitie,
The protector to major general Fortescue.
Vol. xxiii. p. 9.
You will herewith receive instructions for the better carrying on of your buisines, which is not of small account here, although, our discouradgments have beene many; for which we desire to humble ourselves before the Lord, who hath very sorely chastened us. I doe commend, in the midst of others miscarriages, your constancy and faithfulnes to your trust in every * * where you are, and takeing care of a company of poore sheepe lest by their shepheards; and be assured, that as that which you have done hath been good in itselfe, and becomeinge an honest man, so it hath a very good favour here with all good Christians and all true Englishmen, and will not be forgotten by me, as opportunitie shall serve. I hope you have longe before this tyme received that good supplye, which went from hence in July last, whereby you will perceive, that you have not been forgotten heere. I hope alsoe the shipps sent for New England are before this tyme with you; and let me tell you, as an encouradgment to you and those with you to improve the utmost diligence, and to excite your courage in this bussines, though not to occasion any negligence in presentinge that affaire, nor to give occasion to slacken any improvement of what the place may afford, that you will be followed with what necessary supplies, as well for comfortable subsistance, as for your securitie against the Spaniard, this place may afford or you want. And therefore study first your securitie by fortifieing; and although you have not monies for the present, wherewith to doe it in such quantities as were to be wished, yet your case being as that of a marchinge army, wherein every souldier out of principles of nature and according to the practice of all discipline, ought to be at the paynes to secure the common quarter; wee hope noe man amongst you will be soe wantinge to himself, consideringe food is provided for you, as not to be willinge to help to the uttermost therein; and therefore I require you and all with you for the safetie of the whole, that this be made your most principal intention. The doeinge of this will require, that you be verie carefull not to scatter, till you have begun a securitie in some one place. Next I desire you, that you would consider how to forme such a body of good horse, as may, if the Spanyard shall attempt upon you at the next comeinge into the Indies with his gallions, be in a readines to march to hinder his landinge, who will hardly land upon a body of horse; and if he shall land, be in a posture to keep the provisions of the country from him, or hym from the provisions, if he shall endeavour to march towards you. Wee trust wee shall furnish you with bridles, saddles, and horseshoes, and other things necessary for that worke, desireinge you to the uttermost to improve what you have already of those sorts. Should it be knowne, that you had 500 horse well appointed, ready to march upon all occasions in that island, even that alone might deterre the Spanyard from attemptinge any thing upon you. Wee have sent commissioners and instructions into Newe England, to trye what people may be drawen thence. Wee have done the like to the windward English islands, and both in England, Scotland, and Ireland, you will have what men and women we can well transport. Wee thinke, and it is much designed amongst us, to strive with the Spanyard for the mastery of all those seas; and therefore wee could heartily wish, that the island of Providence were in our hands againe, beleeving, that it lyes soe advantagiously in reference to the mayne, and especially for the hindrance of the Peru trade and Cartagena, that you would not only have great advantage thereby of intelligence and surprize, but even blocke up the same. It is discoursed here, that if the Spaniard doe attempt you, it is most likely it will be on the East end of the island towards Cuba, as alsoe Cuba upon Cuba is a place easily attempted, and hath in it a very rich copper mine. It would be good for the first, as you have opportunity, to informe yourselfe, and if there be need, to make a good worke thereupon, to prevent them; and for the other and all things of that kinde wee must leave them to your judgment upon the place, to doe therein as you shall see cause. To conclude, as wee have cause to be humbled for the reproof God gave us at St. Domingo upon the account of our owne sins, as well as others; soe truly upon the reports brought hither to us of the extreame avarice, pride, and confidence, disorders and debauchedness, profanenes, and wickednes commonly practised amongst the army; wee cannot onlie bewaile the same, but desire that all with you may doe soe, and that a very speciall regard may be had soe to governe for tyme to come, as that all manner of vice may be thoroughly discountenanced and severely punished, and that such a frame of government may be exercised, that virtue and godliness may receave due encouradgment.
Instructions unto major general Fortescue, vice-admiral Goodsonn, major Robert Sedgwick and Daniel Serle.
Vol. xxxvii. p. 55.
Whereas we by our commission under the broad seal of England, dated the 9th day of December 1654, did constitute and appoint general Robert Venables, general William Penn, Edward Winslow, Daniel Serle, and Gregorie Butler, to be our commissioners for the ordering, managing, and governing our affairs in the West Indies, according to the instructions we then delivered unto them, and such others as they should from time to time receive from us. And whereas the said Edward Winslow is since departed this life, and the said general Venables, general Penn, and Gregory Butler are returned home, whereby our service there cannot be carried on without an appointment of other persons in their room for executing the powers and authorities they were intrusted with, and such others as shall be necessary to be given on that behalf: And we reposing trust and considence in the ability, faithfulness, and circumspection of you major general Richard Fortescue, vice-admiral Goodsonn, Daniel Serle, major Robert Sedgwick, have constituted and appointed, and do hereby constitute and appoint you to be our commissioners for managing, ordering and governing our other armie, and do therefore hereby require and authorize you or any two of you to put in execution the following instructions.
1. You, the said Richard Fortescue and William Goodsonn, shall assist each other in the execution of each other's instructions, according to the purpose thereof; and you the said Daniel Serle, Robert Sedgwicke shall from time to time advise, aid, and assist them the said Fortescue and Goodsonn, and either of them in the execution and discharge of their trusts, according to the tenor of their respective instructions, which they are to communicate to you, and shall use your best endeavours for the promoting of the matters and things therein contained.
And whereas it hath pleased God since the sending of our forces into the West Indies, to put into the possession of this state the Island of Jamaica, which being fertile in it self, and commodious for navigation and commerce, we have resolved to use all possible endeavours, by the assistance of God, to people and plant with all convenient speed, and have to that purpose dispatch'd into New England mr. Daniel Gookin instructed to make propositions to such colonies and others there, who may be inclined to remove to this place, (a copy of which instructions are herewith sent unto you) you shall therefore as any addresses shall be made unto you either from the said mr. Daniel Gookin, or such of those people as shall upon the aforesaid propositions transplant themselves into this island, or others on their behalf, cause the agreements to be made with them, as they shall be certified to you by the said mr. Gookin, to be put into effectual execution without delay, and all other encouragement given to them, according to the meaning and intent of the aforesaid instructions.
Whereas we have publish'd and made known unto the governors and people of the English islands and plantations in America, such terms and conditions, as shall be granted to those, who shall remove from thence to this island; and have also by patent under the great seal granted to Martin Noell, merchant of London, twenty thousand acres of land parcel of the said island, with several privileges to be enjoyed by him, his heirs and assigns, copies whereof are herewith sent unto you; you are hereby authorized and required, to cause the same to be executed and observed on our part in all things according to the true meaning and purport of them respectively, and to see what is to be done on their part be likewise performed.
You are hereby authorized to admit any other of the people of this commonwealth, or the dominions thereof, who are protestants, to inhabit, and plant upon any part of the said island, where you shall think convenient to allot them, upon the terms and conditions granted to the said mr. Noell; and accordingly to assign and set forth land and allow to them the like advantages in all things, and what you shall do herein pursuant to these instructions we shall ratisy and confirm.
You shall cause the terms and conditions to be published and proclaimed in the islands and plantations of the English in America, and use such other means as you shall find necessary for inciting people to come and plant upon this place.
You shall take a view or otherwise inform yourself of all such harbours and landingplaces, as are upon the island, especially the windward of St. Jago; and shall take care that those, as well soldiers as others, who shall become planters, may have their land set forth next adjoining to such harbours and landing places, and be likewise engaged to make some desensible fortifications thereupon, especially in such harbours or landingplaces, as are within 15 miles or lels of St. Jago; which you shall endeavour to be well peopled, and also to be fortified at the states charges, if you cannot get it done upon the account of particular plantations.
Whereas those, who shall transport themselves to Jamaica upon the terms granted by his highness in that behalf, are in their hunting and taking of horses and other beasts for the space of 7 years out of their own bounds and limits, to be subject to such rules and directions, as shall from time to time be made by the persons authorized by his highness for managing the affair of the said island; you are hereby authorized and required, to give such rules and directions from time to time concerning the killing of cattle, as that the stock and breed of cattle be not destroyed thereby; which we are informed will be done in a very short time by the great numbers, which are yearly killed for their hides and grass; the preventing whereof we particularly reserve to your special care, and that you make timely provision therein.
You are hereby authorized and required to take care, that the stores and provisions sent from hence, or otherwise provided for the forces at land and sea, be justly and equally distributed. And you shall use your endeavours from time to time to provide the fleet with flesh and such other necessaries, as may be had from the island of Jamaica.
Instructions to upon their repair to the island of Jamaica.
Vol. xxxvii. p. 7.
1. You shall forthwith upon the receipt of these instructions, repair on board the ship in which you shall with the first opportunity of wind and weather set sail for Jamaica in the West Indies.
2. And being by the blessing and mercy of God arrived there, you shall without any loss of time apply yourselves to such of our commissioners for managing the affairs of America, as shall be upon the place, and such of the land and sea officers as shall by you and the other commissioners be thought necessary.
3. And shall acquaint them, that his highness and council have received and read the letters sent unto his highness by major general Sedgwicke and vice-admiral Goodson, as well those of the 9th of November, as those of the 24th of January last; whereby the present condition both of the army and fleet is largely and particularly represented; and that we find it to be such, as doth administer to us great cause to be humbled before the Lord, who had in such legible characters made known his displeasure towards us and the poor people there, snatching away so many of them by death, and denying health, strength, and spirit to them, who do service, that they seem like men as in their chusing rather to perish and pine away with hunger, and to leave themselves exposed to the enemy, than to make use of the means the country where they are offers them for their preservation.
4. You shall further let them know, that these fore and heavy dispensations of God have occasioned many searchings of hearts, and enquring what the will of the Lord might be therein; and that after a serious seeking of them, we can't find cur selves satisfied to leave off and desert the design itself, which we are fully persuaded God will in his own good time bear a merciful and gracious witness to. And therefore we have in his name and fear resolved to proceed with and prosecute the same, according as the Lord shall please to afford us means and opportunity; and to that end and purpose you are sent over to them to assist and join with them in the management of those affairs in the several trusts we have by our commission pleased you in, which you shall shew unto them.
5. That in order to the carrying on this design, we do intend with all possible speed to send unto them from hence two regiments of foot, consisting at least of 1200 men, with such further supply of provisions as shall be necessary; having already ordered, that 4 months provisions for 6000 men should be forthwith made and sent away, and shall, as we are enabled, send yet further supplies of men and victuals.
6. That in the mean time, and immediately upon your arrival, you shall consider with them of the true state and condition of the present forces there, and in what manner they and the other 1200 men upon their arrival may be best improved and disposed of, as well for their health, their security, planting the country, annoying the enemy, and other the ends express'd in these instructions, and give orders therein accordingly.
7. To which purpose you, with the said other commissioners, shall consider of what fortifications will be necessary to be made upon the island, as well for the further security of the harbour, as also for securing such habitations and plantations, as are already or shall be made hereafter; and take care that all which is necessary be done therein.
8. And whereas it is too apparent, that a want of due government in the army, and timely and orderly taking care of providing food and refreshment for it of such flesh and such other things as are upon the island itself, hath been a great occasion of the sickness and other distempers, which is fallen among them; you with the other commissioners to take the whole business of providing for the army into consideration, and to put the same into an orderly way, as well for the taking, killing, preserving, and dressing of flesh, as for the sowing and planting of such seeds and other things, as will produce bread and other food; which through the goodness of God will be a means of restoring and preserving the health of the soldiers, and lay a good foundation of easing the extraordinary charge, which the commonwealth is at of sending provisions from hence to a place which abounds with all things.
9. You and the said other commissioners shall consider of drawing the people from the service of St. Jago, in case of the continuance of the infection there, to the end they may be removed by your orders to some more beneficial and secure place upon the island, as shall be judged necessary and convenient; and in such case also care must be taken to keep the 1200 men, which are to be sent from hence, apart from the rest of the forces in some fresh places, secure and commodious for the ends aforesaid.
10. You and the said commissioners shall inform your selves, what other ports and places are upon the island or elsewhere in the Indies, which may be sit to be possessed, planted, and secured, and are commodious to trade, and upon which there may be a convenient correspondence from the places now possessed; and to give such directions concerning the same, as shall be meet and in order to the ends express'd in these instructions.
11. Endeavours shall also be used to take and tame as many horses as is possible, and to fit them for my service, that they may be ready upon all occasions, as well to take cattle with, as for attempting the enemy.
12. You and the said other commissioners are hereby authorized to give such encouragement for planting, as well in respect of the proportion of land or otherwise to be taken upon the place, both to the soldiers, or any other protestants, who shall remove themselves thither, as you and the said other commissioners shall judge meet and reasonable; and shall use all sitting endeavours to draw those, which are either in New England, or upon other English islands or plantations, thither.
13. You with the said other commissioners shall inform your selves of the state and condition of the fleet, and what number of ships, and which of them will be necessary to be kept there for the service intended by these instructions; and the lame and useless ships you shall order to return for England with such provisions only, as will serve them for their voyage, leaving the rest for the supply of those who shall stay behind.
14. And you with the said other commissioners, or any two, have powers to execute those instructions, as also all the former instructions and powers given to the other commissioners.
15. And whereas it is not possible to give particular directions in all things, which may emerge, or be necessary to be done in a work of this nature, our intention being to keep and secure an interest in the West Indies for the present, - - - - - - - and further prosecuting of our first intended design against the Spaniards, as the Lord shall enable us; you and the said commissioners shall consult and do in all things tending thereunto, as you in your judgments and discretions shall judge necessary and conducing to these ends.
An intercepted letter of Halsall from the Tower to his sister.
March 20, 55.
Vol. xxxvi. p. 594.
I cannot be satisfied, before I know of your health; for whatever besals you, I must confess my self the only cause of it. You must eat some hot thing every morning. I much desire, that you could speak with Will: it might be much for my advantage, if Simpkin should invite him to dinner, and you at the same time might come as by accident. He was here, and desired to have seen or spoken to me. I fear he is now gone away with the ships. Do not think of any clothes for me. I am glad our friends in Lancaster are so well. I hope Will Sk. will not return to prison. For H. P. it is a fiction, that they say of any new thing against him. I am more troubled for him than for any thing, that cannot happen to my self. Really you cannot imagine the great civilities I received from serjant Dendy, his wife, and all the family. Had I been their chiefest friend, and the greatest person in the land, I could not have had more kindness then I had with them. I am consident the lieutenant is neither serjant Dendy's friend nor mine, and will endeavour to hinder your petition, because you make use of him. He will not permit me to write to him. I hope mrs. Abbott and all hers be well.
A letter of intelligence from the Hague.
Vol. xxxvi. p. 603.
At groningen the assembly of the states is ended, without that the one or the other member was willing to agree or consent to the harmony, although that grave William did seriously endeavour to induce them to it. In Zealand there was also an assembly. But there was no mention made of the harmony. Those of Overyssell and Guelderland (being the most part friends of the pr. of Or.) are of the same opinion. The two first members of Utrecht of the same. We shall shortly see how those of Frizeland will resolve, where is an assembly at present. I am assured, (otherwise I did make some doubt of it) that grave William doth endeavour most seriously for the harmony. I am assured, that those of Zealand and others friends of the pr. of Orange do chiefly oppose and speak against it, that it doth confirm the seclusion. And the friends of the pr. of have the Or. grave Wil. very much suspected, that he doth intend harm to the prince of Orange that he enclines to the states of Holland yea, that he is perfectly one of the well-affected in Holl. And the friends of the pr. of Orange do discourse freely enough of him, that grave William is ungrateful, that he is a turn-coat; that he abandoneth his old friends; that he adheres to the enemies of the pr. of Orange and the like things. And yet however (a wonderful thing) the best well-affected in Holland are likewise not contented, fearing left grave William should be a dissembler: and doth only endeavour to get into his hand the army and having the army he will have all. In so much that on all hands, the states general do still embroil themselves continually.
Against the Swede hitherto they have been unanimous enough, but at present the states of Zealand are very much suspected, who in that is singular and doth seem to have other speculations; in effect, the states of Zealand are not so much interested in the east sea Item, the states of Zealand do fear more the protector (juxta illud, quem offenderis eum & odisse) and that Cromwell should not prejudice Zealand and yet they will employ the fleet against those of the protector Item, they fear that the states of Holland do not precipitate themselves in unity against Sweden likewise the states of Zealand have very much suffered in their finances during the war against Cromwell Item, they are jealous, and do hold all suspected that cometh from the states of Holland As is to be seen at large in this long resolution; wherein is to be seen the intrinsick humour and interest of Zealand.
On the other side I can assure you, that the states of Holland are extremely ill satisfied with Zealand and this resolution. And I know that some of the chief of the states of Holland have spoke of it with commination. A chief one of those who was in this commission said, that he had taken special notice of the affairs of Zealand and their government and management, and that he saw it to be a government, that was not worth any thing; and likewise that there is no divine benediction amongst it. Truly they were very much dejected by the unity of Cromwell then it was clearly seen quantula sint hominum corpuscula, and how much repugnant it was to the truth, that a little before that time they boasted, that they alone were able to conquer Cromwell. But that is no more to be thought on.
In the mean time methinks that the states of Zealand are in a very great error, if they believe, that the states of Holland have any serious intention of unity against the Swede that hath no likelihood, yea less than ever, for the Swede hath established himself too well in Prussia; and if the states of Holland had one hair upon their heads, which thought to hurt the Swede they would make use of Dantzick, and would not use them so coldly as they do. Dantzick is the only remaining means, that can prejudice the Swede for though Poland should get some advantage upon the Swede upwards in Poland that is nothing. The Swede can vex the states of Holland in several forts. If the states of Holland are so very much interested in the east sea they do too much discover it; and if they are not so much interested, they put themselves to too much expence for so small a business. I remain.
[March 31, 1656. N. S.]
P. S. Those of Zealand had made a law, but two years ago, that their provincial charges should be during life. Notwithstanding this the city of Tolen hath changed their counsellor, the lord of Stavenisse, the only gentleman of all the province, that is in the government, and the well-affected in Holland having put into his place a friend of the pr. of Orange. Item, they have east off two companies of their repartition, putting two other captains or companies into their places that are their friends and kindred. A business which doth properly belong to the union or council of state.