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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October (3 of 5)
A letter of intelligence from Holland.
The 22d October I wroate unto you concerning affaires here; every on is expectinge what the seazure of our nation and goods in the king of Spayne's dominions will produce: most men thinke there will a warr followe, whereby these thinke to gett the trade of those countryes to themselves. None will be more glad thereof, then the royall partye, who promise themselves great advantages thereby. I have notice Armorer is commanded to goe for Brabant, and to remayne there with sir Richard Malleverer to agitate for their master C. S. whoe is supposed will goe in person for those parts. One writes mee they have great hopes againe and great things in agitation. Darcy, nor Armorer have not wroate more then I advised you in my last. I am assured from a very good hand, that the Spanish embassador hath bin with C. S. thence you may gather that his master intends, if he can, to advantage himself by C. S.'s interest. If those of Dunkerck and Oostend be kept in, which may easily be done, those countryes can doe you litle harme, nor their assistance to C. S. be of small importance. The Cavaliers saye, that if they can bring their king's flag in sea, they doubt not but to drawe many of your shipps from your service; for they saye there are great discontents amongst the seamen. Indeed 'tis here generally so reported, but I hope the Lord will direct you to prevent their evill intentions. I have not any thing more to advise you in reference to the publick; only I must beg leave to ad a few lines for my particuler. The commissioners of the merchant adventurers in the Hage have received a sattisfactory answear from the states, and are now preparinge for a treatye with some towne for their staple, so as undoubtedly the company at London will suddenly proceed to an election of a deputye; which place I have formerly beseeched you to obtayne for mee, and you wear then pleased to promise mee to recommend mee to the company, and indeavour to get itt for me. I should not trouble you about the same, but that I feare your serious and overmuch bussiness might make you forget it. Most of the company here knowe, that you have spoken in my behalf, which causes many of them to thinke it probable for mee to have it; therefore I am sensible it may turne to my disparagement, if I have it not; which makes mee redouble my request to beseech you to use your utmost indeavours for the obtayning of the place for mee; wherein I shall be capable to doe you service. Sir, I have receaved none from you in a long tyme. I should be glad to heare of your good health, which will be welcome news to, sir,
A letter of intelligence to Mr. William Whittle.
The 23d currant I answered yours of the 24th paste; since I have received none from you, neither have any thing more to write, than what is advised, only the enclosed sent to mr. Mount-stephen, which advises that the Exeter merchant, William Smith master, was the 9/19 current four leagues off Santonio, and as he heard there was an embargo in Spayne, sent a letter to Samuel Slad, and went for Nantz, where I hope he is now safe. Mr. Chalke and divers others were at Santonio. I offerred a great sum of money to have the ship in, with security as well to carry home goods, as to sell her fish, but could not be heard. God send us peace. As they write to me from Bilboa, there is an order come there, that out of what is imbargued, what the party owes to whom the goods belongs, shall be paid out of the same goods, which, if true, will ease our losses somewhat.
Commissioner Pels to the states general.
High and mighty lords,
The uncertain advices, which arrive here daily, make, that one can write nothing particular nor certain concerning the affairs of Poland. Most letters from Silesia and Thorn mention, that Cracow was surrender'd to the Swedes the 13th instant, and the Polish army ruined, and that the king of Poland is said to be at Little-Glogau on the frontiers of Silesia. On the other hand there are letters, especially those of the secretary of this city, of about the same date, which import, that Cracow defends itself still, but we must soon hear the certainty. The dyet at Marienburgh is not yet broke up, nor any deputies appointed. The nobility and the small towns, and likewise Thorn, have agreed with the lord elector according to the articles of the inclosed project; the other towns make still some difficulties and objections, however the issue thereof is expected per next, especially since the Swedish army out of Livonia is marching and approaching the frontiers of Prussia, to take their winter quarters near Jorgen in Prussia. Count Waldeck with 8000 men of the troops doth march against them, to prevent the same. They assure also for certain, that the Cosacks are marching into Poland, and that the general Poloski, with the crown troops under him, have declared themselves intirely for the crown of Sweden.
A project of some articles for an union between his electoral highness and the states of Prussia.
3. The same shall inviolably be kept, and no party shall have power to recede from it nor break the union, unless the other party gives occasion for it, altho' the same was forced and oppressed by any enemy.
6. After the conclusion of the union, deputies shall be sent to his majesty of Poland, for the ratification thereof, and the king of Sweden and likewise his generals shall be desired, not to attack the country of Prussia in a hostile manner, and to abstain from all hostilities, and grant a free passage. If they act contrary thereunto, they shall be forced to it, with sword in hand.
A letter of intelligence.
I have received both yours. Notwithstanding the arrests, which our king hath made in all places of his dominions upon the effects of the English, yet we hope the business will be accommodated, for if the protector will hearken to reason, Spain will continue the peace: in the mean time I have seen what you have writ, that it is not yet convenient nor a fit time to give in our claim, which we shall forbear according to your advice.
A letter of intelligence.
The archduke doth divert himself much with hunting, and takes great delight to visit the images of our lady, which have been brought thither since the trouble and taking of Condé and the other places.
A letter of intelligence.
There is but little stirring in these parts, and what comes from far is uncertain. The Swedes are not so victorious as we were made believe, for the Poles begin to gather head amain, being much raised by the pope's money and the emperor's encouragement, who sent the other word, that if he would not desist any further enterprising upon Poland, he should be obliged to assist the other with 20000 men. The English court is still at Cologne, but hopes to remove nearer you, if the dispute with the Spaniard groweth to an absolute breach, which we probably believe, being the dons are very much embittered against you.
A letter of intelligence.
Here is little news stirring. The pope presseth much for a peace between the two crowns, the Spaniard having referred himself wholly to him; and if the French prove averse to it, he threateneth them with bell, book, and candle. It is reported here, that the prince is sat down between Condé, but this is not certain.
An intercepted letter of lord Gerard to mr. Edward Dicket.
I hear we have peace with France, and war with Spaine. Tell Francis, it will spoil Charles's design; he was far advanc't in it. Tell him, the Modena lieut. generalship is offerred, if he can get levies in England. He would fain know, if his friend the lord Kinmore, or any other, hath power for that, and he will send to Diepe or Calais, to conclude with them. Robin the Devil (*) is invited to the imperial court, and Charles Stuart lessens the family, and goes and removes from Cologne ere long.
Secretary Thurloe to H. Cromwell, major general of the army in Ireland.
The Spanish ambassador went from hence upon saterday last; and it is very likelye, that wee shall engage in a very great warre with that kinge. He hath used some of our merchants very barborouslye in Spayne. In the meane tyme wee have concluded a peace with France, which wil be ratefied within these few dayes. Wheither this will hinder the catholique peace, which is soe much endeavoured by the pope, tyme will shew. Wee doe not yet perceive, that the French have any great inclynations to it, but on the contrarye declare themselves willinge to contract with England, that they will enter into noe peace with Spayne without our consent.
I have herewith sent your lordship a declaration of his highnesse concerninge the warre with Spayne, which I hope will be satisfactorye; by which your lordship will see, wee are now engaged to a vigorous prosecution, which wee are prepareinge for, and perticulerly for that of the West-Indies. The ships, which are next to goe thither, will be appointed to take on board them the Irish women or girles. It is agreed to provide their clothes here, and to put them in the aforesayd ships to be ready for them against such tyme as they come on board. Soe that all the charge, which will be required further, is the bringinge them to the port, where they are to imbarque, which we thinke wil be Galloway, and that wee thinke will be very little. The tyme that they must be at the port wil be about the latter end of December. But I hope to send your lordship the counsell's orders in these perticulers by the next.
Lieutenant-general Ludlowe is yet at Beaumorris castle. There have beene many instances and debates about his releasement. You knowe who holds hymselfe much concerned for hym; and it is very possible he may have his libertie given hym for a tyme;
but I assure your lordship, the care of the counsell of Ireland is very much commended,
that they sent after him soe speedily and effectuallye. I remeyne
Your lordship's most humble,
and faithfull servant,
A letter of intelligence.
Captain John Shelton, captain-lieutenant to colonel Killegrew of Holland, is sent by Hyde for England, as an additional agent for the west of England. He is allied to the Greenviles. The lord Craven will come over, if he can get your pass, which take notice of.
Mr. John Gorge, brother to the colonel of the county of Somerset, mr. Heyward of Sarum, mr. Richard and John Kitson, and Penruddock the six clerk, were engaged with Wagstaffe. They are joyed here, that you release prisoners on bail, and especially for the marquis of Hartford, who we hear is now at my lord Capell's, and at liberty. One mr. Richard Beeling is sent hence an envoy to the emperor, as a fore-runner to an embassy, which Charles Stuart would send, if he may be admitted, and to look after the money in arrear, whereof the emperor is the greatest debtor; and to the house of Austria is only court made at present.
The 28th of the last month Wilmot shewed me a letter from Price, wherein he pressed again the employing of Doleman, and answers to his letters of present affections and real intentions now to serve the king: he intimated many particulars. In fine, that he was disobliged by the protector, and was now most cordially intended to Charles Stuart's service. I doubt not e'er long to intercept some letters of his, and send them to you.
Armorer, &c. are now at Antwerp: they have sent over Hewet, that keeps the ordinary there, to make their way, before they will adventure themselves. Massey is sent to the king of Denmark at Copenhagen, as an agent.
Doctor James Hyde, who hath been lurking about Breda ever since Charles Stuart was in Zealand, a physician, and brother to that sir Henry, that was beheaded, is now sent for England by Charles Stuart and Hyde. He has been formerly a prisoner in the tower, with his brother, and goes by Dover.
Charles Stuart is much troubled at the death of the landgrave Fritz Van Hessen, who was slain near Cracow, brother-in-law to the king of Sweden, and much our king's friend and confident in that court. Sir William Ballendine is sent for from Brussels, to be sent after Middleton, to assist him, and will be here this night.
I most heartily thank you for your care of my supplies, as also for the care you have had of me, in giving me safe addresses to you, and observing mine. But if the breach with Spain should go on, probably there may be a stoppage of letters by Dunkirk, which I refer yourself to advise me of; for should it be so, you must think of some course by Calais, Zealand, or Holland. Once more I intreat you to let me have, with the first, a letter of credit to lie by me for a dead list.
The agents of the duke of Brandenburg to the states general.
The lord of Renswoude, now being president, is humbly desired to move it in the assembly of their high and mighty lordships, that a resolution may be taken upon what the ministers of the prince elector of Brandenburg by the extradition of the ratification, &c. and upon what the earl of Witgenstein did propose and desire in the public audience, concerning the promised assistance; and in regard it is notoriously known, that periculum in mora est, that the same may be granted without any delay, the said elector doth expect the same in pursuance of the treaty of alliance, and their high and mighty lordships may be assured, in regard such assistance tendeth to the honour and advantage of this state, that the same will be employed for the preservation thereof by the aforesaid elector, as a faithful confederate of this state.
Resolution of the states general.
Having received a letter from the lords burgomasters and governors of the city of Amsterdam, dated the 28th of October last, containing complaint about the great damages, which the merchants suffered there daily by the great number of ships, which the English take of theirs, and by bringing of them into their ports, where they do detain them for some time; whereupon being debated, it is resolved, that a letter shall be writ to the lord protector in very serious terms, to the end that such taking and bringing in of ships, which belong to this state, whether for the account of themselves, or other nations, may not be suffered for the future. And that the lord embassador Nieuport be writ unto, to use his utmost endeavour for the effecting of this good intention of their high and mighty lordships by the lord protector.
Mr. J. Aldworth, consul at Marseilles, to secretary Thurloe.
My last unto you was of the 26th past, advising you, that the duke of Vandoisme was arrived at Thollon with his fleete, excepting two ships of warr, and one fyreship, of whom as yett is noe newes; foe it's generally conceived, they perish't in the fight with the Naples fleete, although its kept private. Since the duke's arrivall hee hath proclaymed in Thollon the generall releasement of all English ships, and a free trade for the future. A copie of his ordnance I heare enclosed send you translated. To-morrow it wil be publisht heare also. I have in my two formers given you notice of several attestations, that hath been heare made by our nation in favour of merchants of this place concerning goods laden by them on a Hamburger and Hollander, that was lately taken by general Blake's ships goeing for Roan; but that little notice is to be taken of said attestations. The Genoe gally is still heare, attending the Protugall ambassadour to carry him for Rome. Not any advise yet of the progress of the three private ships of warr, that are gone a theving out of Thollon; but undoubtedly, and as I am well informed, they will take all English ships they shal bee able to master. Not any thing else att present offereth worth your notice; so I humbly take leave, and remayne, Marseillia,
A letter of intelligence from Cologne.
A letter of intelligence.
Ormond's commission and instructions are ready, and he and O Neil are preparing for their journey into Spain on their first certain news of a war. They will offer the bringing in of the duke of York, Inchiquin, Digby, Dives, &c. and the body of Irish, that now serve the French, which will much weaken them. They will undertake, with the assistance of prince Rupert, to compleat a body of 15000 men, before the spring. They are to treat and to get a proportion in Flanders assigned, and liberty in the ports for shipping, of which they promise great numbers, and to themselves, that they are able to make the war with you on Flanders-side, if that king will allow but a moderate proportion of money. The princess royal furnisheth money for this embassador.
A letter of intelligence.
The Scot is busy. I hear from the best, that about February you may expect somewhat from them, and, as they say, they doubt not but it shall be more considerable, than Middleton's last was. The agents are most presbyterians, mix'd with some of the royal party, which are sent from hence. They drive their design about Hamburgh, Embden, Amsterdam, &c. Belcarres is here. I shall be as careful as may be. One mr. Browne, a Scot, who hath an uncle of that name in the Barbadoes, came hither saturday last from thence, hath been employed to redeem prisoners into those parts, which he hath to the number of 500 and 600, and as a spy on your Indian design, of which he gives an account. He came by Plymouth, where he conversed with David Lesley. Charles Stuart is now sending him into Scotland, being a crasty young man, about thirty years of age, tall and well proportioned. Mr. Taylor is his public agent in Vienna; but the duke of Newburgh and the elector of Mentz his friends in private on the score of Spain, who were so courteous to them at Frankfort. No certainty that Massey is gone for Denmark, letters being not yet come. Ballendine's commission is signed to remain agent about the king of Sweden.
Mr. Bradshaw, resident at Hamburg, to secretery Thurloe.
Haveinge noe letters from yourselfe, nor any yet from mr. Rolt, at which I wonder, I have noe more besides the enclosed paper to divert you with at present. I have onely to let you knowe (which yet it may be will be signified from themselves, beinge confident their action will be approved of) that Townley and his partie beinge impatient of further delay, not knowinge, as they say, why they should waite any longer, the ships beinge come on with their doctor, and noe deputy chosen at London, have (as it's like from some underhand encouragement thence) chosen here one Alexander Barron, a merchant of the company at London, to that place, a man, I presume, not unknowne to you, at least, if you please, you may quickly be informed of his fitness to answer the ends of his electors. Theise men were minded by some of the wel afected how unsutable it was for them to proceede to the choyce of a deputie, before they acquainted the company at London therewith, to whom they had referred it; but they gave for answer (beinge violently hurried on by Townleye's perswasions) that a princepall might take his commission from a factor, when he pleased, without cause of exception; and Townley to second that insolent expression, asked, whether his highness would aske leave to take generall Pen and generall Venables commissions from them; as if the company at London had committed a lyke offence in not observinge their order in the choyce of a deputie. They are very much disgusted at the company's wayteinge so longe upon his highness' pleasure, whoe they say had soe longe since declared in his letters, that he would not abridge them in their liberty of chooseinge whom they pleased; which clause in his highness' letters they onely tooke notice of, sleightinge the rest, as I formerly acquainted you. This forwardness their doctor hath put them upon, beinge enraged, that he could not doe the worke for them, as he desired in England, and beinge the third solicitor they have sent to their charge.
I presume before their new deputie come over, (whome they are resolved to hast to
them, writeinge to the court at London this day to that effect, of whome they seeme to
be assured) I shall knowe his highness pleasure upon the busines referred to the committe
of the councell, if it be thought worthy a resolution at last, or that at least I shall heare
from you what I am to expecte. They have carryed this business allsoe with much insolence and scorne, and not without some saucie refflections upon his highnes, one of them
askeing (as I am told) what his highnes had to doe with their government; but I forbeare
to truble you further with such particulers, haveinge allready exceeded what I intended
on this subject. I remaine,
A letter of intelligence.
Little here at present, in Spaine they - - - - - - warr, and six fire-shipps, and - - - - - - that they shall bee readie - - - - - - - November to garde the fleet - - - - - - - so slowly, that it is impossible - - - - - - - readie by the latter end of January. There are at present - - - - - 30 galeons, carrying all of them between 40 and 60 guns - - - - - - fire-shipps expressly designed for the navy, but in so totter'd condition, that will cost very much time, and no small cost to repaire them, and put them in condition for service. Nay, the truth is, they will cost more the repairing, then if they should build all new vessels; however, they are resolved to fall to work upon them, and there are daily considerable summs of money raised for that purpose. And the common opinion is, that these shipps are design'd for the Indies, and that theyr strength is considerable enough to unlodge the English in Jamaica. But this enterprize is very difficult and doubtfull, and not to bee effected with so much facility as many imagin, for as much as they have very few in Spaine fit for sea affaires, as also their businesse of navigation is very ill govern'd, together with severall other reasons, which I shall not here mention. To all this I may add that they have to doe with a nation, who are accomplisht as to all the qualifications necessary both for marriners and souldiers, as wee find by daily experience. There are frequent - - - - at court, in order to the management of this buisinesse - - - - - - - their intent is to bring over the plate from - - - - - - New Spaine, which is thought to bee wintered there. I expected to have received news from Vera Cruz, that they were in expectation of 12 frigats from the other side to have gon to Havana. But in this, as indeed in all other affaires, wee have no certainty at all, by reason of the sicklenesse of their resolutions in their councells, which are wavering and changing every moment; and all things are so uncertaine, that affaires seeme rather to goe backward then forward, which is caused by the particular interest of some of the ministers of state, who preferre their private gaine and advantage - - - - - - - of the publick.
From Cadis there comes newes - - - - - - - - are prepared for the Indies, and nine for - - - - - to the Canaries to ply too and again. I expect every moment to receive a particular account of this affaire, and so soon as it comes to my hands, I shall most freely communicate the same to you.
Lord Broghill to secretary Thurloe.
I received yesterday the great favor of your letter of the 16th instant, for which I returne you my humble acknowledgments. I feare till we see the conditions you will give for Jamaica, little progress wil be made therin; for 'tis not the designe, but the conditions will perswade any men heere to engage. Besides it is strongly reported, that his highnes has permitted a leavy of 2000 Scots to the Swedes, which if soe, will soe alienate the mindes of all men from goeinge to America, that any proposall of that nature afterward wil be ineffectual; I say not this, that my opinion shall any way prevayle with me to slakken my labor and endeavors therein, that the event may justify it; but only that beinge thereby informed, you may prevent the ill, and if not, expect and prepare for it.
I know not how it comes about, but som have prevayled with the counsell in England to recommend to the councill heere the permittinge of major B o r s t e n to returne into Scotland, who hitherto has bin denyed that licence. He is G l e n c a r n e chief intelligencer abroade, and his brother is ours heere, who has advertized us, that it wil be best to let him com; and whatever he does heere we shall know it. He comes to see how things are heere, and what party he can get for his master, and then to returne again; upon which, as the thinge appeers hopefull or not, soe to proceed or desist. The 217 and I have advised pryvatly upon the business, and resolve, accordinge to the councill's letter, to give a permitt; but as soone as he lands, to cause him to be rob'd, and thereby get all his letters, which he looseinge upon a robbery, he will never doubt, can com to our knowledge, for the men, which give us the letters, to doe soe, must proove themselves to be theeves. His brother too shall know nothinge therof, the more unsuspectedly to carry it on. And because we would not loose our intelligence abroade, we are sendeing over a notable fellow to Cullen, who is G l e n c a r n s right hand, and who has told us most of what we know, who undertakes to bringe us the results of all councills ther concerninge this place; and possibly the commissions to thos, who are to acte with their names and all thinges; wherby, the Lord willinge, the designe will not only be disappoynted, but the carryers of it all discovered and taken, which possibly if made examples, will prevent the like practises in the future. This will cost us fom mony, but I know not how mony can be more advantagiously layd out. What from time to time is done heerein, you shall have a faithfull and punctuall account of. None but the generall and I know heerof; neither indeed dare we not trust any others therwith, havinge experimented that our most secret debates in the councill have bin discovered. I beleeve one of our Scotch judges, (the lord Southhall) wil be cast of, for I have fowle informations brought me against him; and then we shall not have a quorum left without takeinge of one of the councill to sit on the bench: therfore again I must beg you to hasten us fom English judges, for without them I feare your worke heere will never be well carryed on.
Wee have heere a thinge called a court of admiralty, and but two judges in it; it hangs by geomitry. It were well, if it were quite taken downe, and the powers of it placed in some other court; or that it were effectually revived and authorised, and a competent number of judges settled in it; our growinge warr with Spayne will require, for adjudicatinge of prises, such an authority. This weeke we have ceised a Spannish ship and a Hollander, which com in with prohibited commodities; but what to doe with them for want of a court of admiralty, we are yet to consider of. I pray take this also into your serious consideration, for much wronge wil be done, and much benefit lost, unless som good course be settled heere. I heere present you with a couple of letters to his highnes, which the councill begs you will procure a speedy answer unto. They are both indeed of concernement, and require an expeditious returne.
We are soweinge som seedes, as to the ministry, which possibly will produce a good harvest, if any thinge can be got out of that ground. But I have now alreddy troubled you soe much, that I will continue at this present doeinge foe noe longer, then to subscribe myselfe, as I really am,
Lord Broghill to the protector.
May it please your highnes,
I am appointed by your councill here humbly to acquaint you, that they being impowered by their seaventh instruction to use such meanes, as they (in their judgments) shall thinke best, for recovery of such part of the revenue, as hath bin concealed, detain'd, or made away, whether belonging to the crowne of Scotland, or any archbishops, bishops, deans, deanes and chapters, or any other officer belonging to that hierarchy, or to any other, which of right doth belong to the commonwealth, and to improove the whole revenue to the best profitt and advantage of the commonwealth; and inclining in their owne judgments to place in the exchequer heer all power relating to the adjudicating of whatsoever concerns your highnes revenue, (as they are assured 'tis now in England) both as it will more expeditiously determine of things concerning the same, not having other causes intermingled therewith, which any other court must have; as alsoe that it seemes to be the proper judicatory for determining actions of that nature, and erected principally, if not onely, for that purpose. And to the end that worke might have bin carryed on, att least without opposing any knowne law of this nation, your highnes councell heer have diligently perused the severall statutes, which have bin from time to time made in that behalfe. But finding, that one of them passed in the year 1633 seemes to give the exchequer in Scotland as full a power as your councill heer would restore it to, or erect it with; and that another act (passed in the year 1640, explaining that of 1633) does soe farr retrench the powers thereof, as it hardly leaves the said exchequer any thing but a name; it hath put your highnes councell heer to a doubt, what wil be in all respects fittest for them to doe. And although it may be beleeved, that the then judges of the exchequer, which were for the most part creatures of the then king, with the power the exchequer then had (if the act in 1633 were as large as the explainatory act in the yeare 1640 seemes to shew it was) as alsoe the king's dissatisfaction att that time with the powerfullest men of this country, who had grants from him and his predecessors, which by that court soe constituted and impowred might have bin revoked and annulled, might have invited the said parliament to passe the said explainatory act, who in that juncture of affaires did what seemed best to them; yett in regard it was a statute made by parliament, and not since revoked, and that by the councell's fifth instruction, though they are to endeavor, by the best waies and meanes they can to take care and give order, that the proceedings in all courts of judicature in Scotland, and the administration of justice there, be agreable and according to the lawes of England, as fully as the same may be done by the power and rules of the courts, judges, and officers there; yett they are, in such cases as they shall finde the same fitt to be done, but cannot be effected by the power and rules aforesaid, to certifie the same to your highnes, or your highnes councell. They have esteemed it best, before they determine possitively, to put the recovery of such concealed and alienated revenue belonging to the crowne, or to the bishopps, and their hierarchy, either into the courts of civill justice, or into the exchequer, humbly to lay the whole before your highnes with both the acts themselves; and humbly to move your highnes, to cause your speedy and positive resolves thereon to be sent to your counsell heer; for it wil be of very great concernment both to the improving of your highnes revenue, and as it will intrench upon many persons, out of whose grants from the last two kings such improvement of the revenue must be made, who, if to the losse of their possessions, have them taken away by the power of a court, which by the lawes of Scotland is divested of the right to doe it, may have some shadow or cause of complaint. It is alsoe apprehended, that if the power of the exchequer heer should be extended as farr as the power of the exchequer of England, in a short time all pleas, now properly determinable in the court of the sessions, will be brought into the exchequer; the tenures of this country being such, that noe land is held, but mediately or immediately, from the crowne, which likewise may possibly be worthy your highnes's consideration and prevention, by limiting the court of exchequer (if you shall thinke itt fitt to sett itt upp, impowred to judge in matters of inheritance betweene your highnes and the subject) onely to judge in what concernes any part of the revennue made away from your highnes by king James and the last king, contrary to the law of Scotland, and in any lands or profitts belonging to the bishopps, or any branch of that hierarchy unduely alienated, which will answer the necessary and desired end of it's erection, and not prejudice the just power of any other court: all which by the appointment of your highnes councell here is humbly presented to your consideration by
The information of Joseph Riches, gent.
This informant sayeth, that on fryday the 19th of this instant, about 8 of the clocke at night, he this informant did meet with capt. Richard Little, a captaine of horse in the late king's army, and went with the said Little, upon his entreaty, to his lodgings at one Hollensworth's a tayler in the Strand, over-against the inner court, where this informant lay that night, and hath lyen two nights since. And that the said Little did in the time of their converse then together tell this informant, that himselfe and major generall Digby, brother to the earle of Bristoll, and sir Edward Savadge, together with one collonel Weston, and major generall Massy, and major generall Middleton (notwithstanding the late proclamation) were all in London, and that they were raysing men against the present governement, and that none were acquainted yet with it but men of considerable estates. And that before Christmas next the streets in London would run with bloud. This informant further sayth, that during the time of his being in the company of the said Little at the lodgings aforesaid, he did see diverse very suspicious persons there, but was fearfull to appeare too inquisitive amongst them, least they should suspect he would betray them.
A list of the severall ships ordered by his highness and councell to be set forth for the service of the channell, the 23d of October 1655.
Secretary Thurloe, to H. Cromwell, major-general of the army in Ireland.
I am very sensible of what your lordship writes by the last concerninge the keepinge of your disbanded men for the westerne expedition. I doe assure your lordship I have not beene wantinge in my endeavors to further buissines, as alsoe to get some directions to the counsell as to the Irish wenches, but I have not beene able to get them dispatcht in respect of the many great buissinesses which are upon our hands. The comeinge in of two great fleets both at once, and that unexpectedly, put us to some difficulties about the payeinge of them of; but, blessed be God, that is overcome in a great measure, and without any discontent, which I assure your lordship is a great buissines. Wee are gettinge forth a good fleet to deale with Spayne, with whom we shall have warre. He continues to seize and keepe our merchants and their effects: wee doe neither yet; but hope to be ready for hym in another kinde. He useth our men very barbarouslye. Don Alonso desired to take his leave, beinge, as he sayd, comanded away by his master. His highnes refused to see hym, but sent hym a passe; after which he makeinge some delay, he is commanded by his highnes and the counsell to depart this comonwealth within four dayes.
The issue of our treatie with France is alsoe doubtfull; all things are agreed, and the treatie engrossed fitt to be signed, and now the ambassador refuseth to signe, upon pretence, that his highnes comission impoweringe his comissioners to treate with the ambassador, is placed in one of the parts of the treatie before his master's, although in the other part his master's comission is first placed. He sayth alsoe, his highnes calls hym in his comission rex Gallorum, whereas it ought to be rex Galliæ.
But in this forme have all treaties beene in ever since any treaties have beene made betweene the two states, and wee shall not suffer hym to innovate now; but I take this to be but a meere colour, although he is more like a ranglinge lawyer then an ambassador.
Captain Shaw hath beene with his highnes to give an account of his securinge Ludlowe in Beaumorris castle. It gives very little satisfaction to a person here, that he is secured haveinge my lord deputies passe, and his highnes is as little satisfied on the other hand, and therefore keepes hym in prison, and soe is like to doe.
I suppose adj. gen. Allen will be with your lordship before this. He hath expressed all manner of satisfaction, and promised utmost fidelitie. I perceived by your lordship's to his highnes, that Scott and some others have been troublesome. But I hope it ended there.
Mr. Throckmorton to mr. William Barner and mr. Walter Jago.
As long as we live in this world, we must expect crosses, losses, vexations, and molestations; therefore it is no novelty to undergo such accidents, as commonly happen to us poor mortals, which we must bear with patience, and pray to God almighty forgive us our sins, that he may bestow such things, as are most convenient and fitting for us, and make us worthy of his grace and favour, which is the greatest blessing we can expect in this world.
It pleased God some four days past to bring the ship Hopewell, John Gowell master, laden with fish from the Newfoundland; and no sooner was he come over the bar of Portugalet, but he was seized on for the king: his dispatches were sent up to the governor of the town, who presently sent for me to take my examination about the ship; and being a thing I was ignorant of, I told them I expected no such ship, and that it did not concern me. But when I saw the ship was consigned to me, I presently recalled my word, and then really made him believe the ship and goods were for my own proper account; so he caused her to be brought up, and the next morning being sunday the first of this month, he sent his officers aboard, to take notice of her cargazon, and what quantity of fish she brought; but the night before, about 12 of the clock, I went privately, and gave the master his lesson, what he should say, who in the morning declared he brought but 750 quintals of fish and 150 of pasta.
Yesterday we began to work; the kepes are left with me at my disposal: all what is over and above 750 quintals will be free; and so I hope to get the rest free, whereof I shall advise my next. Now my next way will be to clear your ship, and to get her away. I will do all what I can for you.
Van Ommeren, the Dutch resident at Geneva, to the states general.
High and mighty lords,
Since my last of the 27th, my lords of Zurich have sent me the inclosed answer, touching the report I made to them of your high mightinesses resolution of the 24th of September last past, and my request, that their lordships would be pleased to join their good offices to those of your high mightinesses with the king of France, in order to obtain by him a mitigation and redress in and concerning the treaty made with the poor Vaudois. Your high mightinesses will observe thereby, that they, as well as I, stay for the orders, which the lords deputies of England shall receive in relation thereunto, and which to their very great surprize are not yet sent them, yesterday's mail having brought no English letters at all, so that we fit idle here, not being able to concert or undertake any thing suitable to your high mightinesses good intentions and pious zeal. The differences in Switzerland betwixt the protestants and papists increase daily, and it seems they will burst out into a rupture: those of Zurich are upon the watch, and busy without any great noise to put themselves into a good posture, having appointed already the chief officers of their forces, and form'd the companies. The papists are said likewise to arm themselves, and to desire succours from Rome, some troops are offer'd them for this winter from the Milanese, against which the protestants know not where to apply better than to the lord protector and your high mightinesses, having again desired me to recommend their affairs in the strongest manner, that they might receive a favourable answer to their request herebefore presented to your high mightinesses, which I mentioned in my last. They have summoned a convocation at Aron, and appointed a deputation to the neutral cantons, which Switz has done likewise. The Nicodemites, who, out of a christian zeal for their religion, have left their native country, the canton Switz, and about whom all these differences are risen, have made at Zurich a distinct and orthodox confession of their faith in every article, and proved the same by scripture-places to the astonishment, and in the presence, of the deputies of both orders: the other prisoners remain and persevere in their saith with great constancy, and it is said, that a great many well-affected to the true religion, are found all over the popish cantons, which very well deserve to be incouraged by a vigorous protection by those of Zurich; and, on the other hand, those of Zurich also in this their religious zeal to be assisted and supported by their good friends. At Appenzell (which canton consists of protestants and papists) it is reported, that likewise some disturbances have happened, the papists having made an ordinance, that those of the protestant religion shall not be permitted to buy any estates in their quarters, against which the latter are said to have taken the resolution to demolish two convents of nuns, which hitherto have been tolerated by permission.
Yesterday I had here of the senate a public audience, and, in conformity to your high mightinesses credentials, assured this republic of the continuation of your high mightinesses good affection towards them; whereat they did shew an exceeding great satisfaction, and protested that they would always continue in their usual respect and devotion to be at the service of your high mightinesses, of whose affection they in several occurrences had seen and felt the effects; that they could not extoll sufficiently your high mightinesses servent zeal for the welfare of the reformed religion, particularly shewn in the protection of the poor distressed Vaudois. The misery, poverty, and exceeding great sicknesses of whom are such, that the same will hardly be removed before winter. The forty-two thousand guilders, distributed among them by order of the synod of Dauphiné, did not go very far, some of them having profited but five, four, and others but three guilders and some stivers, by it. They are about 10000 souls in number: there are some other sums collecting there, in order to free those wretches from still greater accidents and miseries. The malice of the papists against them is so great, that they endeavour to stop the ministers that are sent thither out of Dauphiné. Those that live beyond the river Pelice are pressed to sell their lands out of hand, and to depart. Gastaldo has cited all the landholders to appear at Turin on the 16th of October, to hear their condemnation for the payment of their taxes and imposts, since they cannot pretend to be exempted from them, because their lands shall be sold, and the money paid them for the same, which is a notorious cavil against that article, which promises them an exemption of taxes and impost for some years. It is to be fear'd, in case the lord Boreel (to whom I am writing concerning this affair) can obtain no prolongation for these people, by the intercession of the court of France, that they will proceed there with the execution, and expel them out of their old habitations and paternal inheritance, which however is one of the chief grievances, which are alledged against the treaty.
The fortifications of the fortresses La Torre Miraboca, (which lies higher up in the mountains) are still continued without ceasing, and with an extraordinary diligence: the garrison of the first is changed every month, the same is well provided with a large quantity of provisions, ammunition, and victuals, but is as yet unprovided of cannon, because the bastions are not yet advanced far enough. In short, these people being already in such great distress, are besides this in a continual fear to be every hour anew attack'd and abused, unless the hand of the Lord, by the intercession of some christian and compassionate powers, come to their assistance. Whatever endeavours or complaints have been made hitherto, to have the imprisoned children of both sexes released, it has proved all in vain, and the same are refused under pretence, to have first back the charges for their maintenance, which is an intolerable grief for the parents to be thus deprived of their children. The protestant cantons have very earnestly desired his highness the lord protector, by mr. Pell, that, in case a peace should be concluded between the crowns of France, Spain, and him, they might be included therein, chiefly thereby to render fruitless the treaties, which the popish cantons have formerly made with Spain, and whereof a copy is sent to your high mightinesses.