A Collection of the State Papers of John Thurloe, Volume 5, May 1656 - January 1657. Originally published by Fletcher Gyles, London, 1742.
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May (2 of 6)
A letter of intelligence.
My last to you was by the post of the 14th currant, when answered yours of the 7th, 10th, and 25th March. The originalls of the two first I have received with severall from friends, for which thanke you. I have of late given you advice of general Blake's being here with his fleete, part whereof remaine here still, although the admirall, vice admirall, and about 35 saile more went 5 dayes past for the straights, where the scouts from hence bring word have descryed them watering in the river Tition in Barbary, soe that every day wee expect them backe, and believe they intend to stay here this summer; in which time there will be noe thoughts of negociation. The two generalls, the day before they went away, sent a boate on shore with the white flagge and letters to the duke of Medina Cely, desiring that the English merchants, that remained, might come aboard their ships, to which the duke presently returned answer by the same boate; but directly what it was, wee cannot tell, only conceave their request will not be granted; for that the Spaniard have a saying, that the petition of the powerfull implyeth as much as a command, especially if made with sword drawne; and not to have them thinke they doe it out of feare, conceive they will not grant it. Mr. Royden of Mallaga came hither to take his passage, listed himselfe a souldier in Cadez, and escaped the same night in a boate abboard the fleete. It is reported, he is come ashore againe; if soe, and that they finde him, he will be presently hanged. This hath bine the occasion of imprissoning some of our nation at Cadez and San Lucar. Your letter and bill of exchange on Mr. Ambrosse Canham, payable at three daies sight, I have received, and presently sent it to San Lucar, where the said Canham is, that my friend there might present the bill, and receive the money; but he returnes me answer, that Mr. Canham, Mr. Abra. Lee, and some others are there clapt up in close prison by the governour, where noe body is permitted to see or speake with them; soe for present can doe nothing in your busines; for if I should use any rigour, that it be knowne, it will be ceased on for the king. Soe long as our fleete remaine here a boate cannot passe in or out, which will spoyle Mr. Nowell's trade, and the hare in the field, conceiving our fleete will not susfer a packe to enter on shore; and here not a strange face can appeare without being apprehended and imprisoned. Wee have noe news of any more ships from the West India, nor are any of those commoditys to be had here. I purpose to stay here for some time, and shall be glad to serve my friends. I pray God send us peace and quietnes.
P. Florissen, the Dutch admiral, to the States General. In the ship called the Joshua in the Vlie.
High and mighty lords,
I cannot omit to acquaint your high and mighty lordships with the condition of the states fleet lying here ready in the Vlie, strong 22 sail of men of war, and two galliots, as your high and mighty lordships will see by the inclosed list, wherein is specified the number of their guns, seamen, and soldiers. I hope to set sail within a day or two with this fleet, if God permit, for the Sound, according to your high and mighty lordships order given to me by the lords of the admiralty. At my arrival there I shall address myself to your high and mighty lordships ambassadors residing there, and give your high and mighty lordships advice thereof. Furthermore I shall always pursue, according to soldiership and seamanship, the order of your high and mighty lordships as a faithful servant of my country.
The Dutch ambassadors in Denmark to the States General.
High and mighty lords,
My lords, since our last, here hath happened nothing worthy our pen. The six Swedish men, which were equipt a while since, have served to transport the queen of Sweden into Prussia. Whether, as some presume, they are to be employed before Dantzick, we shall soon understand; as yet we do not hear of any alteration about the commerce upon the East Sea. All those masters of ships, that come from those parts, and especially from Riga, declare, that the commerce is very dead; and that hardly any lading is to be had. The Rycks Chancellor is not yet returned.
The Clergy of France to the Pope.
Communionis ecclesiasticæ memores, cujus caput est in cathedra Petri, breve, quo juxta morem decessorum pontificum sanctitas vestra hunc ecclesiæ Gallicanæ cætum convenire, eique benedictionem apostolicam impertiri dignata est, ea, qua decuit filios erga parentem, reverentiâ suscepimus; cumque ex ejus lectione intellexissemus, studia uniuscujusque nostrûm ad muneris sui partes implendas et gloriam Dei promovendam devote sanctati vestræ probari, gratiarum illi prolixè agendarum materiam nobis apertam perspeximus. Sed eam summoperè auxit, quod literis suis testatur pacis publicæ conciliandæ pro christiani nominis restauratione flagrantissimum desiderium, pro quo et singulari erga nos beatudinis vestræ humanitate gratias illi tantas debemus, quantis reddendis impares nos esse cum prositemur, abundè reddimus. Hujus publici boni adipiscendi studio incensa, nos literis illis hortatur, ut sedulò agamus erga regem christianissimum ad pacem alioqui per se propensum, quo votis omnium expetitum bonum diu, quod in ipso est, ne differat. Ex monitis hisce ad nos missis apertè colligimus ad sanctitatis vestræ non pervenisse notitiam illius epistolæ ad universos regni episcopos a rege datæ, cujus exemplum transmittimus, quâ illis impense commendat, ut supplicationes publicas in suis quisque dioecesibus decernant, ad impetrandum à Deo pacis exoptatæ munus, et flectendum eorum animos, qui adversus tantum beneficium contumaces, pacis tamen desiderium simulant. Sacrilegii instar apud nos esset de sincera principis mente dubitare, quando cordium scrutatorem Deum precibus exorandum satagit, qui ludibrii vindex, simulationis reum, infamiam ejusce criminis in hostes rejicientem meritò ulcisceretur.
Quarè inutilem planè operam, simulque regiæ pietati injuriosam in eo agendo posuissemus, in quo suis hortamentis princeps optimus vota nostra anteverterat, adeo ut gratulatores potius quam hortatores ad illius clementiam accedere debeamus. Sanè si veluti cunctantem regem, qui nos ipse suis adhortationibus occupavit, tentâssemus ad pacis consilia precibus nostris importunè adhibitis impellere, ingentem ab Hispanis gratiam promeriti essemus. Illi etemin cum proferendæ dominationis suæ cupidinem simulato pacis studio, et religionis tuendæ obtentu (ad tuendam scilicet populorum fidem, et firmandas fæderatorum amicitias) callidissimè tegere solliciti sunt, dilatæ pacis causas, episcoporum ea de re tunc apud regem perorantium præjudiciis adjuti ad Gallos retulissent. Attamen ut sanctitatis vestræ commotioni, quantum a nobis fieri debuit, morem gereremus, illius voluntatem brevi ad nos dato comprehensam, regi significavimus per delegatos episcopos, et secundi gradus sacerdotes, testati tamen nos interim nullam de negotio pacis consultationem instituisse. Excepit illos clementissimus princeps pietate solitâ, clerique Gallicani fide quam integram inconcussamque semper expertus fuerat, benignè laudatâ, se non solum pacis desiderio teneri dixit, sed ad eam procurandam omni industria atque animi contentione conniti, ut difficultates superet, quas adversarii obsirmata mente divino huic muneri hucusque objecerunt, quod uberius ex mandato regis illico explicuit dominus cancellarius, religioséque affirmavit, non tantum grata esse regi pacis ineundæ consilia, sed ejus se profiteri sedulum instigatorem; eo quippe loco posita esse divini numinis auspiciis et fælicibus armorum eventis regni negotia, ut non animi demissioni imputari possint studia urgendæ pacis, sed potius tribui debeant generosæ mentis proposito, quæ christianæ rei, et populorum bellis exhaustorum saluti ac fælicitati consulit. Conquerendum porro de Hispanis, qui soli tanto bono moras nectunt. Absolvit regium responsum ad stipulationem suam piissima regina, professa, quamdiu regentis jure imperii Gallici regimen moderata est, conciliandæ pacis occasiones omnes captâsse, administratorum conciliis adjutam, ac deinde regi per ætatem ac leges patrias plenam regni gubernationem indepto, eadem consilia suggessisse, neque defuturam ab opere incepto, donec fælicem exitum sortiatur, quod statim humanissimis verbis et testimonii sui pondere rex optimus confirmavit. Nihil jucundius nobis accidere potuit allocutione illâ, qua gloriosissimi principis firmum constituendæ pacis propositum in solemni procerum consistorianorum cætu patefactum est.
Quamvis tam illustri asseveratione opus non esset, ut nobis constaret de sententiâ principis, qui se tranquillitatis publicæ studiosissimum in omnibus negotiorum momentis apertissimè jam antea monstraverat, adeo ut asserere non dubitemus regis atque regni hostem esse, si quis contrariam huic regiæ in publicum beneficentiæ inducere quacunque arte moliretur. Quare tam augustis auctoribus fieri fidejussores sumus regem singulari consilii sui prudentia nixum gravitèr daturum operam, ut absque mora pax tantopere expetita sanciatur. Sponsionis nostræ adstipulatorem habemus conventus nostri præsidem S. R. E. cardinalem, præcipuum scilicet regis administrum, cujus consilio cum Gallici nominis robur infractos hostes jam olim compresserit, cujus industriâ cum vestres regni in integrum restitutæ sint, quæ fuerant domesticis dissidiis labefactatæ, non deerit ille famæ suæ, quin suo quoque consilio obtinere nitatur, ut gloria victoriis parta per decus pacis ultimum splendoris incrementum accipiat. Id unum ergo superest sanctitati vestræ, ut Hispanos, artibus eorum dissipatis, ad sincerum pacis desiderium tum persuasione cleri Hispanici (ni jam factum, ut par est credere) tum sedis apostolicæ dignitate quantociùs adigat; statimque exul, quæ jam olim fuit, in christiani nominis regiones veluti postliminio pax omnium votis efflagitata revertatur. Itaque supplices beatudinem vestram obtestamur, ut inceptas mediatoris partes continuo labore peragat, quo deletis ex animo christianissimi regis si quæ sint offensionum suspicionibus, expeditius atque suavius tam ingens pacis beneficium humano generi et christianæ religioni conferre possit.
Nos quidem Deum pacis rogare pergemus, ut per Alexandrum VIIum, quem certissimis consiliis providisse jamdudum et destinasse ad tantum opus visus est, populos omnes altissimâ pace componat, ut ipsi decus hoc concedat pacati orbis terrarum, eundemque quietis suo munere populis diutissimè servet in columem.
Hæc sunt ecclesiæ Gallicanæ vota, quæ liquido concipiunt, qui summam erga sanctitatem
vestram venerationem profitentur,
Obsequentissimi ac devotissimi filii vestri et servi,
archiepiscopi, episcopi, et ecclesiastici viri, cleri Gallicani nomine Parisiis congregati.
Major Sedgwick to colonel Ed. D'oyley.
Your's this day I received by the hands of our friend, major Smith, and know you cannot but expect an answer thereof. It is true, according to your apprehensions, his highness hath byn pleased to give me to understand in his letter to me, that there is a commission sent over by theis shipps concerning the command of the armie, and as in refference to myselfe; but being not soe full satisfied therein, as I conceive there wil be occasion, when admiral Goodson's letters are opened and perused, I thought it not soe necessarie to speake of it at your last being heere; and being something troubled in my spirit about it, was the cause I did not shew you his highnes letter to me at that tyme, which otherwise I should have done with much freenes and opennes of heart.
Sir, I hope you have some knowledge of me, and know something of my spirit: wherefore you cannot but be acquainted with my weaknes. Yet I hope you have ever bin satisfied of my respects to yourselfe, and of a full desire of a mutuall intercourse of affections between us for this busines; as it was undeserved by me, soe was it as unexpected as undesired. I am cleare with you, the imployment (rebus sic stantibus) by any indifferent man cannot be much desired; yet what is the will and pleasure of God must be attended. The busines stands soe, that not any thing can be setled, till admirall Goodson come in; yet if it could, there is a necessity of my being heere in reference to the publick in many respects.
Sir, the good spirit that breaths in your letter I am much taken with; yet more troubled in my heart and soule as to my present condition, it being soe extreamly contrary to my expectations and desires.
I am yery much indeared to you in any affections, and I hope noe occurrences shall disengage each from other. If in any way wee may doe any worke for God, let us doe it. My
study and prayers to God shal be to guide and direct us. Be pleased to looke uppon me,
and owne me as one that studies love and peace, and as one that will ever to his uttermost
Your most faithfull affectionate friend and humble servant Robert Sedgwicke.
Dr. Ralph Cudworth to secretary Thurloe.
I have now, according to that engagement, which you were pleased to lay upon me, more particularly and scrupulously informed my selfe concerning Mr. Leigh, being desirous in any thing that I may to serve you. Hee was the last and the youngest of all those, which I named to you; yet in respect of the solidity of his parts, and maturity of his judgment, I conceive him no way inferior to many, that are in years much before him, and for the peculiar fitnes of his genius for politicall affaires, so farre as I am able to judge, surpassing many of them. He is a sober and modest man, but of much real worth and substantiall parts, and one that will farre outweigh many, that may make at first a more vapouring shew. In a word, sir, I beleeve he will proove a very fitt instrument for you in any way you shall thinke good to employ him in. For as for the Latine toungue, of which I could not speak upon my own knowledge, when I was last with you, but had very good assurance from divers of the society concerning his ability therein, I have now my selfe made triall of him therein, and am fully satisfied concerning his ability and dexterity in it. He hath a very good Latine stile, with perspicuity and facility, and without any affectation. And if you should resolve to make use of him, he will make that his busines to accomodate his stile to such a mode and garb as you should desire, as to be lesse scholastick, and more easy, facill, and popular. Otherwise men of his standing here do usually give themselves more to mind things and realities then language. But I know his abilities are such, as that he can easily command whatsoever he shall give his mind to, and can sorme himselfe into any shape, in which you would have him to bee. My desire is onely to serve you, and gratify you, in commending one to you, that I thinke will be a serviceable instrument for you. Otherwise I should be very unwilling to part with Mr. Leigh. or that the colledge should loose so usefull a Member as he will bee.
Sir, if you thinke good to pitch upon him, (if you please to signify your desires to me)
he shall waite upon you, when you thinke good. However I shall now take my leave, and
subscribe my selfe
May 12th, 1656.
The Dutch ambassadors in Poland to the States General.
High and mighty lords,
My lords, some few days ago marched by this city some companies of soldiers to Dirshaw, over the Vistula, coming from Elbing and those districts: they carried some canon and mortars along with them. Yesterday morning his majesty set out with all high officers of the army, and it is thought, that the rix-chancellor will follow this day. The ships that have brought over the queen of Sweden, have till now lain at anchor before Pillaw, but it is not doubted but they will very soon sail for Dantzick to block up the river. The Dantzickers have left the place, which they had occupied about Dirshaw, and partly destroyed the same. The fortress called Hooft, lying in the Vistula between the little and great Werder, was yesterday, and the day before yesterday, violently cannonaded by the Swedes, and couragiously defended by those that are in the fort. Of what strength the Swedish army is, we cannot tell for certain, but so much we dare say, that it is not very considerable.
The king of Poland is said to be with his army near and about Warsaw, and that Witepsky with 20000 Masurians has joined the same, consisting mostly of boors, and as it is said armed for the greatest part with iciths, forks, threshing flails, and the like weapons.
The revolt of the nobility and boors in Samogitia and Lithuania continues, and encreases daily, killing all who appears in a German dress, and not shaved after their way; they have made themselves masters of some small towns laying on the Memell, and garrison'd by the Swedes, and put all miserably to the sword. However, they say that count Magnus de la Gardie has dispersed a large body of those troops and routed some of them.
At this court they expect the ambassador of the Muscovite. How the Cosacks will behave herein, is uncertain: if they join to the one or the other party, they will add a great weight to the same, and will give an overweight to that side.
Upon the recommendation of your high mightinesses commissary at Dantzik, and in favour of some Netherland merchants, we have obtained the release of a certain ship (the master whereof is one Evert Jans of Teuningen) and goods, freighted at Dantzik, and bound for Holland, which in February last was attack'd by some Swedish vessels, and carried into Stralsund, by order of the rix-vice admiral count Wrangel, by reason, that in the said ship were laden several casks belonging to the king of Poland, or were seal'd at least with the arms of that crown.
The lord ambassador of France arrived here last Saturday from Elbing, and after he had spoken with his majesty, he went back again the day following to the same place. He did us the honour to send us a compliment by a gentleman with civility, we did not fail to return immediately in the same manner by one of our gentlemen. It is said that he has delivered his full power, to negociate upon a new alliance. Wherewith, &c.
A paper of Mr. Ph. Meadows to the generals Blake and Montagu.
I am now to salute your lordships with the good news of the conclusion of the peace; for
his majesty of Portugal hath ratified the treaty, togeather with the secret article, as they
were concluded by his ambassador and plenipotentiary in England; only in the two articles
of religion there is soome litle diference remaiening, which yet standes refer'd unto his
highnes, who, I doubt not, but upon the accoumpt and representation of afaires, which I
shall give him, will rest satisfyed with what is propounded by his majestie in this behalfe;
especially since his majestie hath declared the reality and sincerity of his desires towards an
accommodation, not onely by a due performance of all other things agreed, and perticularly
the paiement of the 50000 poundes, but allso by granting soome other things in favor of
his highnesse, to which by the treaty hee was not simply obliged. And I doubt not but
as occasions present, I shall finde him as ready and willing to gratifye you with all freindly
offises in reference to the present service you are now upon. Wherefore it remaines, that
your lordships satisfie his majestie concearning your amicable intentions towards him and
his dominions, according to the tenour of the treaty of peace betwixt both states; for which
purpose I desire, that his highnesse letters, which you brought with you out of England
directed unto his majestie aforesaid, bee spedily dispatched unto me, that I may deliver
them accordingly, togeather with other letters immediately from your lordships, by which
I have engaged my faith unto his majestie, that security shall be given him against any
hostile attempt to bee made by the fleete under your command, not onely upon his fleet's
from Brasile now expected, but upon any other his subjects and dominions; and that you
you will demeane your selves both towards him and them as becomes freinds and confederates.
This as instantly intreated I earnestly expect from your lordships, in discharge of that faith
I, as a publicke minister, and by vertue of my credentialls, have given, who am
Lisbonne, 13th May 1656.
Mr. J. Aldworth, consul at Marseilles, to secretary Thurloe.
My last unto you was of the 16th current, giving you notice of the arrivall of the plate fleet att Cadiz. Said advice hath beene since confirmed from severall places. The duke Merkure is suddenly to depart for Italy with his forces, and att Thollon they are arming all the ships and gallyes they possible cann. The king of Spayne hath lately made proclamation for the confiscation of all English comodities, that shal be brought into his countrey; a copie thearof doe heare with send you, with the copies of two letters the king of Spayne writt to the vice king of Valentia. Our fleete is sayd to bee in Cadiz-Bay. So for present I humbly take leave, and remayne
In Marseille, 23d May 1656. [N. S.]
Extract out of the resolutions of the lords states of Holland.
The raet pensionary hath referred to the assemblie the considerations and the advise of the lords their noble great lordships commissioners for the Swedish affaires; and in pursuance and performance of their commission, on the 18th currant they viewed and examined a certain letter writ by the lords Slingerlant and Dorp, two of the extraordinary ambassadors of this state to the crowns of Poland and Sweaden, and dated on the 15th of the last month from Lauwenburgh, containing amongst the rest, how that all the said lords ambassadours were deteined there by the commander of that place for some days against their will and consent. Whereupon being debated it is resolved, that this business be referred to the generality, to the end that their high and mighty lordships will give order for the writing of a serious letter of complaint to the king of Sweden about the said detention against the law of nations, desiring reparation by some punishment to be inflicted upon the person of the said commander.
An extract out of the secret resolutions of the states of Holland.
The raet pensionary hath reported to the assembly the considerations and the advice of the commissioners of their noble great lordships, having in pursuance of their resolution of the 20th currant past their thoughts about the points of deliberation contained in the letter of summons; upon which the assembly of their noble great lordships is assembled, and especially in the first place, whether at this conjuncture of time and affairs they will think fit to make any alteration, or to give further order about the employment of the fleet for the protection of the navigation, and commerce of the good inhabitants of these countries lately equipt, and at present lying ready to set sail. Secondly, if any, what alteration ought to be made in the instruction for the lords ambassadors of this state to the kings of Sweden and Poland, agreed upon by their high and mighty lordships on the 3d of March last. And thirdly, what upon the declaration made by the ministers of the duke of Brandenburgh to their high and mighty lordships or their commissioners concerning the treaty between the said king of Sweden on the one side, and the said duke on the other, concluded on the 17th of January last upon; on all which they humbly conceive some resolution ought to be taken, which may tend most for the service of the state. Whereupon, being debated, it is resolved upon the said point, that the business should continue as yet awhile as was agreed upon in the last resolutions of the 22d of December of the last year of the 31st of March, and the 6th and 9th of April of this present year, all concerning the same business, as were successively agreed upon in the assembly both of their high and mighty lordships, and the assembly of the states of Holland; and with that the several colleges of the admiralties be writ unto, to make all what hast they can in setting forth the men of war ordered to be equipt, and as fast as any of them are got ready to send them away for the Sound, without staying for those that are not ready. Upon the second point it is resolved, the business be referred to the generality, to the end the lords ambassadors of this state may be writ unto by their high and mighty lords, that at this present conjuncture of time and affairs their high and mighty lordships chiefest aim and design is, on the one hand the furthering of the peace between the two warfaring parties there, on the other side the securing of the commerce and navigation, especially of the inhabitants of these countries; and that they therefore, in case of no remarkable alteration or new resolution of affairs in those parts, upon all occasions, as well in publick audiences as private conferences, shall further and promote the point of the said mediation, and endeavour that the inhabitants of these countries may be secured in the commerce and navigation, as well in the territories of the king of Sweden as the king of Poland; and in case of any new imports, that they may not be taxed in any place more then the subjects themselves of the said kings. And likewise their said lordships are upon a fit opportunity to make complaint to the king of Sweden about the excessive imposts, and the raising of tolls, which have been imposed upon the subjects of their high and mighty lordships for these two last years, in the ports of his majesty; likewise about the unequal exacting of toll the last year upon the road of Dantzick, with request that not only his majesty will be pleased to give such order about it, that the same may be abolished and not permitted for the future; but likewise that all such monies, as have been exacted from them by force of ships of war upon the said road, may be restored to their high and mighty lordships, and the said lords ambassadors, to give advertency and advice to their high and mighty lordships, what they shall be able to effect about this last point, that so such further resolutions may be taken hereafter, as will serve for the securing and freeing the inhabitants of this state from all unjust impositions.
And upon the last point having taken notice, that the abovementioned ministers of Brandenburgh, besides the generalia comprehended in their memorandums or propositions upon the 28th of the last month exhibited to the assembly of their high and mighty lordships, which do not seem to require any special resolution or deliberation; also in that of the 4th currant they were pleased to propose, that in the said treaty concluded between the king and the duke, something concerning toll and imposts was comprehended, but as yet not perfected, and wherein the said duke was loth to proceed without the consent of the said lords States General, desiring that whilst those of Sweden do urge the same, that their high and mighty lordships would take the business into consideration to assist the said duke with such advice and counsel, that therein may be proceeded with mutual consent, and the business adjusted in love and peace on all hands, and, if possible, all things to be regulated, as may answer the expectations and interests of all parties. Wherefore it is resolved, that the business be referred to the generality, to the end that their high and mighty lordships may return an answer to the said lords ministers of the said duke of Brandenburgh upon the subject and request, that their high and mighty lordships can in no wise comprehend, that it can consist with the common interest, but on the contrary, that the same is altogether repugnant to it, that in the harbours of the said duke upon the East sea, the subjects of their high and mighty lordships, and the inhabitants of the united provinces, should have a higher impost or toll layed upon their persons, ships, and merchandizes, under any pretence whatsoever, then was imposed at the conclusion of the defensive alliance in July last between this state and the duke; and with this addition, that in case of necessity the toll not to be received without the consent of their high and mighty lordships, nor to suffer any higher impost to be introduced in the said harbours by any persons else. Wherefore their high and mighty lordships do declare by their said answer, that they do not find it equitable and reasonable, that the tolls should be raised, nor can they in any wise suffer the same to be done, being notoriously tending against the said alliance, which doth prohibit the raising of the tolls by himself or any body else, or the surrendring of his ports, or farming out the same directly or indirectly; the performance of all which, as being conformable to the express text of the said alliance, their high and mighty lordships will expect, without taking any consideration of any thing, that shall be urged to the contrary on the behalf of Sweden, in regard the said ministers of the said duke have declared upon the 19th February last, that there is not any thing concluded with the king of Sweden which, can hinder them to perform all that the said duke is obliged unto by the said alliance.
Extract out of the resolutions of the said lords states of Holland and West Friesland, taken the 23d May 1656. [N. S.]
The raet pensionary hath referred to the assembly the consideration and advice of the lords their noble great lordships commissioners for the affairs of Sweden, having in pursuance and performance of their resolution of the 18th currant, perused and examined a certain letter write by the lords Slingerlant and Van Dorp, both ambassadors of this state kings of Sweden and Poland, and dated the 3d instant from Dantzick, sent to the government under address of the lord pensionary, containing amongst the rest a full relation of the great inconveniency, wherein the said city doth find itself at present, with this addition, that they were desired by the magistrates thereof favourably to recommend their condition to their high and mighty lordships, and to second their particular recommendation; the request of the said city to this state is, that their high and mighty lordships would be pleased to favour the said city with an assistance of 1500 men, or at least a 1000; and secondly, with a money-subsidy of 12000 rix-dollars a month during their bad condition; and thirdly, a loan of 500000 guilders at interest upon sufficient security. Whereupon being debated, and by several members provisional inclination being shewn for the furnishing of a monthly subsidy in money, but by others not instructed concerning the same, reflection being made upon the lords their principals; the final resolution to be taken concerning the same, is therefore referred to a further deliberation; and yet notwithstanding it is thought fit and understood, that in the mean time, in the behalf of their noble great lordships shall be consented in the generality, also the business of managed there, to the end that by order of their high and mighty lordships, by the commissioners declaration may be made to the lord Scroder as their deputy here, and assurance given him, that their high and mighty lordships are not only resolved by their lords ambassadors to send to the king of Poland and Sweden, not only powerfully to further the interest of the said city, together with the preservation of their liberty and privileges, but likewise that they will not be wanting, in case the christian offices endeavoured in the name of their high and mighty lordships for a mediation and accommodation of the war risen between the said kings, and also for the preserving of the said liberties and privileges, do not chance to take effect, or that the said city is molested and streightned with sieges, blockings up, and the like, to cause them to feel with reality and much assistance the effects of their high and mighty lordships affection and inclination.
Mr. Francis Townley to secretary Thurloe.
May it please you, I did hope that my humble addresse bearinge date the 8 Aprill to your honor, and thereby to his highness, would have prevented this trouble, and that irrepairable wronge and mischeefe don unto my reputation and affaires by a letter of summons from the right honorable councill of his highnes, requiringe my present personall appearance before your honors, to answer such things as I stand charged withall; which in generall the sayd letter imports to bee the author and instigator of several miscarriages and affronts to his highness's minister, Mr. Bradshawe, and otherwise; things not more hainous in their owne nature, then detestable in my hart, and discordant to my actions; the innocence whereof, and my owne integrity therein, as God, his holy angells, and my owne contience doe beare witnesse, soe I doubt not to approve unto those honorable persons, who require cognizance thereof.
And my particular request unto your honour as one of that nomber is, that you will please to signifie unto the right honorable councill my ready observance to their commands; in order whereunto I am setlinge and disposinge my busines, as much as may be, to mittigate my inevitable greate losse and prejudice by this removall, which is not only deffer'd by contrary wynds.
And now cravinge excuse for the intrution upon your honor's more searious affaires, which
I attempted not knowinge any person, unto whome I might practice that freedome of accesse with the like hopes of successe, beinge experimentally assured of your honor's readines to promote the just defence of any, especially those that are well affected, of which
nomber I doubt not to prove myselfe constant and stedfast, and alwayes to bee
Hamburgh, 13 May 1656.
The inclosed came late to my hands this eveninge from Danske, bringinge the latest and most certaine intelligence of the Sweeds affairs, which please to accept from,
Sir, your servant,
Lord Broghill to secretary Thurloe.
By the favour of yours of the 6th instant I have, I humbly thanke you, received his highness's pleasure concerninge my lord Glencarne and the ministers. As to the first, I wish we had an order to the governor of Scilly for his beinge received ther, since any from hence will not be authentick; as also, that tho' he allow him any reasonable and fittinge liberty, yet that he be verry carefull he does not escape. I find thos, who were sure tye for him, are not very solvent; soe that possibly 'twere best he had a pardon for his estate, befor the bond were sued, because the estate, I am assured, must pay it, or the creddit of it, or els 'twil be hardly recoverable. However, if I heere not speedily your pleasure as to his estate, we will cause the bond to be sued. I am certaynly informed, his estate is soe meane and soe incumbred, that 'tis not worth much more then 5000 l. sterling to be sold. I shall suddenly give you an accounte concerninge the ministers. I told you in my last, how I had engaged one captain Maitland, an intelligencer of the lord Lorne's and Mac Naughton's, to be my intelligencer, and sent you a coppy of a fresh letter from the lord Napier to som intimate frend heer, &c. Likewise that he was gone to the lord Lorne, to receive his dispatch to C. S. wich Maitland had engaged to bringe me; but even now I have met with the unwelcome newse, that as soone as he came into Argile, he died suddenly which truly is a very unhappy accident, for by that what I had from him alreddy, I was cleerly convinsed, that Lorne is playinge the roge; and could we have made it out, we should have, I thinke, defeated all C. S. best hopes heere, for both his partyse were managed by Glencarne and Lorne. I wish the poore man may have had noe foule play. Just at the poynt of his death he wrote and sealed up a paper, which he gave his servant to give that gentleman who had engaged him for me; perhaps ther may be somethinge in it of consequence. If ther be, as soone as I receive it, I shall present you it. We must cast about to repaire this loss, for I am of opinion, if ever C. S. makes any stur heere, Lorne will occasion it. I hope that good caution you gave me about his father now with you, will not be forgot; for I heere he is gettinge generall Deane's first articles (which the marquiss very unworthily broke) confirmed, and som other thinges, which may be prejudiciall to his highnesses service heere. I wish, before any thinge be done for him, either our good generall, or my self, may have a hint of it, that his highness may be thoroly informed. My intelligencer I last sent for Flanders arived at Amsterdam the 25 of Aprill, from whence that day I had a letter from him in cypher, to this effect, Middleton is ther in the towne: he has struck in with him, and learned from him, that he holdes a strict intelligence with his frends in Scotland; that his intelligencers are Sir Archibald Primrose, and one Mr. Ihon Flectcher, both of this towne, and notorious malignants; that tho they are verry wary, yet I may now light upon their letters in the post office, espetially in ships, which pass to and fro between Holland and Scotland. He bids me also looke in the letteroffice of London for any packets directed for Mr. William Davidson or Davidquon, I cannot cleerly reade which of them. He is a factor at Amsterdam. This I must humbly beg your favor in, my letter to the London letter-office beinge of noe vallidity; and for what concernes lookeinge after them heere, I shall mindefull. He farther sayse for certayne, the Dutch ships broughte or convoyde much silver for the kinge of Spayne's use into Flanders, which has much refreshed them ther.
The inclosed is the cypher he is to make use of. He is to direct his letters to the Venetian resident at his house in Coven Garden. I have bid Sir James Mac Donnell, give him this farther instruction, to be verry diligent to learne (if possibly) who are the Spanish intelligencers in England, which is an instruction I give all my intelligencers abroad. I doe not much doubt, they wil be honnest, because none will give them soe much to forbeare giveinge me intelligence, as I doe to give me intelligence His highnes haveinge given my lord Ranelogh a verball assurance I should have his leave for 3 months this summer to goe into England, I have ever since bin expectinge it, but in vaine. I make it my humble and earnest request to you, that if his highness be free to it, I may receive by your favor, in your answer to this my pass for soe longe, which I faithfully promise not to exceed; or if his highness be not free to give me leave, I may then know soe much, and leave off the thoughts of that jorney, and settle my affaires accordingly. Indeed, I have som earnest occasions at London, and in the west of England; but as to obay his highness, I have neglected my greatest concernements in Ireland, soe if it be his pleasure, I can neglect this. Yet truly, sir, I can say, I doe as much desyer this leave upon the publike account, as my perticular one; for ther ar many thinges, both for the more hopefull settlement of this contry, and lesseninge the publike expences in it, which I have to offer, and which I know cannot soe well be done by letter as by discourse; for a letter can only make and answer the objections of the writer, but not of the reader; and thinges upon debate may be cleered up, which otherwise may remayne still obscure. But if it be not held fit for me to goe, I shall write them at large unto you, and press them by letter as well as I may. However, I most humbly beg in your answer to this I may be at certayntye in it, for I feare either in not writinge, or by not speakeinge, som thinges may have bin too longe omitted. But if his highness give me leave, I must beg, that either colonel Howard or colonel Scroope (both now at London) may be commanded downe to releeve me; for now we are but a bare quorum; or els the quorum heere may be foure, which holds as equal a proportion to eight, as five did to ten. At first we were ten, but now Cooper and Lokhart are gon, we ar in the Commission but eight. I shall suddenly present you with names and a draught of a commission for decidinge the latly arisen differences upon the borders of England and Scotland, and should have sent both to you with the letter to his highnes, had I not thought it a little too confident.
I humbly thanke you for your good newse out of America. The lord be praysed, that
he hath withdrawne his heavy hand from our frends ther. I have observed, that in most
of our attempts the lord has humbled us with ill successes in the beginninge, the better to
try our faith, to endeare our mercyes, and to take from us a rise to arrogate any thinge to
ourselves. It is almost admirable to see how free a spirrit ther is in all our soldiers heer to
goe thither; soe that instead of 500 heer, I thinke, if they could be spared, you might
have 5000. I beg soe many pardons of you for this longe scrible, and that you will conclude me perfectly, sir,
Edin. the 13th of May 1656.
The protector to the lord deputy and council of Ireland.
Right trusty and welbeloved, we greet you well. Whereas sir John Clotworthy knight hath set forth to us by his petition, amongst other things, that there is a growing pension of six shillings and eight pence per diem due unto him for life, which by a report of the tenth of August last, upon our reference of the 23d of April 1655, appears to be so, and is submitted unto us: now for as much as the said sir John Clotworthy, and his father sir Hugh Clotworthy, have long served against the rebels in these parts, to the end some mark of the value of their services may continue upon them, where their service was performed, and for extinguishing the growing pension during life; our will and pleasure is, and we do hereby direct and appoint, that a lease of ninety nine years be made unto the said sir John Clotworthy and his assignes of the Lough called Lough Neah, as it was surrendered to the late king on the first day of July 1640, by the then and now lord Chichester, there being such acknowledgment of rent reserved on the same, as unto you may seem meet. And our deputy and council of Ireland are to take care, that this our pleasure be put in execution, that the said sir John Clotworthy be immediately possessed of the said Lough, according to the aforesaid surrender.
Major general Worsley to secretary Thurloe.
Yours beareinge date the 10th instant I received yesternight; but as to his highnese letter I have herd nothinge off it as yet; but by yours. I have bene now neere upon one mounth ridinge abroad in the 3 countyes and Chester cittie, and had apointed a meetinge to morrow at Bury; and indeede, sir, I am not well. My intent was to have taken a litle rest at my cominge home, and some phisick; but seeinge I have received this command, I intend (if the Lord will) to be with you with all speed; but if not att the very day, it it shal be, because I am not able, but I shall take post, and observe your commands as neere as possible: that's all from
Warrington, the 13th May 1656.
Commissary Pels to the States General.
High and mighty lords,
My lords ! since my last of the 20th instant his royal majesty of Sweden is arrived personally with about 3000 men, horse and foot, at the so called Dantzicker Werder, about a mile from hence, lying before a pleasure house called Grebbin, wherein lie about fifty or sixty men of the troops of this city; but parties which are detached from hence have almost every hour new skirmishes. The Swedes endeavour to cutt off the communication of the Dantzicker camp, with this city, by some intrenchments lined with troops, and lying on the Vistula, three miles from hence. As I am told, this city has stop'd the sluce on the river Modlau, whereby, in a short time, a considerable part of the Werder will be put under water: this said city, as well in relation to their troops without, as the citizens within, is very watchfull; accordingly we must leave it to time, what issue the affairs will have.
The dyet at Koningsburg is broke up without effect. The Swedes insist very much upon hightning the imposts at Pillaw, but hitherto in vain. The Swedish six men of war are sail'd from Pillaw, and we expect them every hour in this road.
The nobility and boors, which are assembled together in Samogitia and Lithuania, are dispersed by the Swedish Livonian army and routed, and 500 boors are brought prisoners to Riga to work on the fortications. Wherewith &c.
P. S. Just now arrives the trumpetter from the lords the ambassadors with a packet of letters for their high mightinesses, which I send hereby: his majesty threatnes to block up this city very close both by water and land, and to alter the post roads.
A letter of intelligence.
Triremes nostræ, quas habebamus super Frischaff, quâ regina Sueciæ a portu Pilou Elbingam vecta est, præda, quam sperabamus, non sunt potitæ. Si successisset, negotium, non Elbingam ad regem maritum, sed huc debebat advehi. Interea rex Sueciæ cum exercitu quinque millium ex aliquot tormentis bellicis fortalitium nostrum, cui à capite nomen, situm ad brachium Vistulæ, ubi Frisch-haff incipit, obsidet, quatitque, et jam ictu tormenti commendans istius loci capit: Dilner percussus mortem oppetiit. Nostri post biduum cum aliquot millibus auxilium obsessis allaturi expeditionem parant; veremur ne satis sero. Legati Hollandici adhuc morantur Marienburgi; præter audientiam, ut vocant, nihil adhuc actum. Tartaricus legatus apud electorem Brandenburgicum est, minas adferens nisi redeat ad partes Casimiri regis. Moschus, qui Konigsbergæ erat, ad Suecum profectus est. Cæsareus quoque Marienburgi expectatur. Polonicus exercitus citra Wartam duobus leucis a Posonio consedit. Dom. Weyer sexcentis cum hominibus suæ partis oppidulum Konitz in Pomerellia incendit, præsidialiis Suecis in arcem pulsis. Palatinus Moschicus in Newgard hominem quendam de magni ducis expeditione contra Suecos multa affirmantem fustibus ad necem dedolari jussit. Exercitus Suecicus hostem observat ad Wartam. Aiunt Polonos denuo cæsos, quod nondum creditur. De rege Casimiro ubi sit, quidve moliatur, nihil certi: periimus, nisi advolet cum justo exercitu. Ex Pomerania properant legiones ad Suecos. Wittenburg cum peditatu exiguo Warsaviam defendit. Attenuatæ nimis copiæ Suecorum remedium suo malo quærunt, et majus nobis parturiunt malum. Elector Brandenburgicus in Westphalia copias scribit. Konigsmerck ducatui Bremensi defendendo incumbit, si forte electores pontificii aliquid machinari vellent. Magnus et Pontus de la Guardie fratres rebelles Polonos in Livonia dissiparunt, cæsis 400. pluribus captis, cum 24 Vexillis, &c.
A letter of intelligence.
The Hollanders are high, now they have got home their Spanish plate. And some report require a categoricall answer of his highness, whether or no he will suffer their ships to pass and repass unvisited. They give out also, that the king of France and cardinal Mazarine are murdered. The Poles do much harm to the protestants in all places, where they come, utterly destroying some towns and villages. The defeat given to Charintsky holds, but we have not the particulars, nor here of any further action from above. Its reported by some, the King of Poland is come the length of Warsaw with a potent army; others say he is gone to Samoski, and expects the Cossacs and Tartara to come to his assistance.
The Swede hath formed an army near this town of 6000 men, as reported, and is passed the Mudlow, a mile or two hence, and surprized some of this town's soldiers at Grubin, and so intends to intervene their forces which lye about a sconce they are making, some five miles off this place, in defence of their warder, from whence we have our chief provisions, for prevention whereof this town hath shut their sluices, and intend to put a good part of their warder under water. What the issue of these things will be, a little time will shew The Muscovite ambassador still at Koningsberg attends his passage for Holland. Another is come thorough there to the king of Sweden the 21st present. A Tartar ambassador is also come on, by the elector, and as report goeth, a Turk is expected to follow. Some of our merchants, in the name of our nation, have desired leave of the prince elector to tranport their goods about from hence for Elbing, through his part of the Pillow, whereunto he hath condescended, that what goods we send home out of our pack chambers shall pass custom free, adding not in reference to the Swede, but in honour of his highness, and favour of the English nation, for which we are much obliged.
Lockhart, resident in France, to secretary Thurloe.
My last gave account of my reception heare, and some hints of what I had discoursed with the cardinall. I have not had the happinesse to see him since, though that favor hath been promised me this three dayes successivelie. I know it's not his unwillingnesse, but affairs hear are in a ticklish posture; he is necessitated to be everie day with the assemblie of the ecclesiasticks in the morning, and with the counsell in the afternoon. The king had been gone from this ere now, if that assemblie would either have dissolved, or removed to Soisons. They are unwilling to either, and it is not safe to leave them heare behinde. Its supposed this day will bring them to a resolution. His eminence hath been there ever since six a clock in the morning, and his returne to court is not expected till foure at night.
I have been addressed unto by manie persons heare, who pretend to have advantagios projects, which they desyer to reveale to his highnesse, and for that end desyer my recommendation to his highnesse or your honor. Some of them seem to be discreet, but most of them appear to be idle crack-brained people. I give them good words, but noe incouradgement to goe for England. One of them I told (who is a person, of condition and offered something concerning the probabilitie of surprising Dunkirk, by reason of some intelligence, that he can assure their) that his highnesse was in that way of friendshipp with the king and cardinall, that he would not undertake anie thing of that nature without their advyse. I look'd upon him as one sent to fynd my pulse, and thought it my dewtie to give him that answere; because I was confident he that sent him would have taken it ill, if I showld have showen anie great inclination to entertaine such a proposition.
I had the honor to waite upon count Brienn, who was very civill, ax'd me severall questions concerning your honor, and intreated me to present his service to you. I shall encroach no further upon your tyme, then to give you my best assurances of being
Paris, May 24th, new style, 1656.
To his highness Oliver, lord protector of the commonwealth of England, Scotland, Ireland, and the dominions thereunto belonging.
May it please your highnes,
We the commissioners for securing the peace of the commonwealth within the county of Chester, in obedience to your highness's reference to us directed upon the petition of Henry Harpur hereunto annexed, have in our publick meetings informed ourselves of the particulars of the said petition; and we do hereby humbly certify your highness, that in the year 1643 and 1644, the said Henry Harpur, then and for many years before, dwelling in the city of Chester, and this then being a garrison for the late king's party, was for his affection to the parliament plundered of his goods of great value, and his person imprisoned by the commissioners of array; and that 20 houses of his were burnt; and that for service by him done for the parliament party in Cheshire, he was in jeopardy to have lost his life by a council of war of the late king's party. All which actings and sufferings of the said Henry Harpur were taken into consideration by the parliament, and by order of the said parliament he was discharged of his sine and delinquency. And that he hath hitherto been discharged by the committee and commissioners for the parliament of all payments; and that for the space of ten years last past he hath constantly, and carefully, and faithfully acted for the service of the parliament and commonwealth, and for your highness, and the present government, in several important offices, trusts, and imployments; so that we do humbly conceive the said Henry Harpur to be an object worthy of your highness's grace and savour, held forth in your highness's declaration; all which we humbly submit to your highness's great wisdom and consideration.
To the honourable George Moncke, commander in chiefe of all the forces in Scotland.
The humble address of the officers conveened together at Edinburgh the 14th May 1656, for holding a court martial for the head quarters, and in that court, as is humbly conceived, personating the officers of all the forces under your honour's conduct, which court consisted of six field officers and twenty captains.
The which day judge advocate Henry Whalley presenting unto us one order, bearing date Tuesday the 18th of March 1655, subscribed Henry Scobel, clerk of the council, the words whereof are as followeth: At the counsel at Whitehall, ordered, that William Murray, now prisoner in the custody of the martial general, be forthwith sent into Scotland, in order to his trial there for murdering three dragoons, and the examinations and papers touching the same be transmitted to the judge advocate there, to the end he may be proceeded against accordingly. And also he then produced the said examinations, which are of two witnesses taken before the honourable commissary general Whalley, and considering, that the said Murray being sent by the said council's order, prisoner to the martial general, his deputy, in Scotland, and by their said order, the said examinations, touching the same, transmitted to the said judge advocate, to the end the said Murray may be proceeded against accordingly; we humbly conceive possibly it was the council's intention, that the said Murray should be tryed for the said murder before a court martial to be held for your head quarters in Scotland. And not knowing but that not only the said council, but also your lordship's may expect the same from the court as their duty, this court therefore took the same into most serious consideration, and after full debate and reasoning the matter pro and contra, whether in capital crimes the said court had jurisdiction to try persons, not members of the army, other than such as are comprehended within the laws of war, as spies, &c. And having consulted with a former opinion of this court had upon the said matter (hereunto annexed) which was immediately upon the first coming, into this nation, of the commissioners for administration of justice in causes criminal to the people in Scotland; and finding the court's opinion, that the parliament of England having established that judicatory in Scotland, the same was superseded to any power the court martial had formerly exercised of that nature, which necessity had required, whilst there was no other visible judicatory in being; are unanimous, that in matters capital (otherwise than as aforesaid) they have not jurisdiction of any person, except such as are members of the army. Notwithstanding many of the officers of this court having had the sad experience of the trial of Scotsmen, and those adhering to their interest in the late rebellion before the civil judges, by an assize of fifteen jurors, for the killing of officers and soldiers of the English army that although to the understanding of the English judges present and indifferent hearers, the evidence hath been full and pregnant, to prove the person guilty of most barbarous murder, yet the assisors have acquit them; so as if trials shall run still in the same channel it now doth, we have little hope to see justice done upon those, who have been guilty of the murder of our brethren, and still thirst for our bloods. And therefore we have no incouragement, till some other way of justice shall be established to impeach any, though, the proof be very pregnant, for thereby we are had in scorn by the people, and the guilty being tried and acquitted, shall for ever after escape the hands of justice before men. Many particulars of this nature, if the records were searched, might be discovered, but we shall only instance some, which being notorious came to the hearing of all or most of us, and some of us were ear-witnesses to the same. For instance, was it not proved against captain Richardson upon his trial, that he was on the head of those moss-troopers, who murdered that worthy commander captain Dowson, his reformade cornet, and several of his party; and because Richardson pretended he had commission from the titular king of Scots to be an officer in arms, but proved none, was, contrary to the judges direction in point of law, for matter of evidence found not guilty? Was it not proved against one Cranston, a notorious theif and moss-trooper (for whom the said captain Dowson, when he was wounded, and some of his party killed) came-on purpose to apprehend at Jedburgh in Scotland, and by the Scots people, who positively swore, that Cranston with three or four more came to a mill, where Richardson lest Dowson, and the cornet, desperately wounded, and promised to send them a chirurgeon, having a pitch fork in his hand, and the captain and cornet being brought to the milldam, where Cranston stood, said to the captain, I am the man you look for, or words to that effect, and carried him away, and about a quarter of a mile off the captain and his cornet, had their throats cut to their ears? Notwithstanding the assisors found him not guilty. Was it not proved against one Wishett, another notorious moss-trooper, who in the year 1653, when there was not an enemy in the field, with three more of his company,, surprised five foot soldiers of our army in their orderly march, disarmed them, carried them prisoners, and afterwards murdered four of them, himself running two of them through their bodies with a sword, raper, or tuck, of which they died; and the fifth man, being a Scotsman, they let go, who positively swore the same in court? Notwithstanding the assiors found him not guilty. Here it is to be noted, that it was crime enough the other four were English men. Note also, that at his trial there were as many Scots as the court could hold, besides those in the parliament guard; and how were the Scots overjoyed at his acquittal, and the English ashamed, is notoriously known. Besides, while Wishett was in prison, numbers of visitors he had, who constantly sent him relief, as if he had been persecuted for well-doing. And that very day after his acquittal, one captain Rogers, a Scots commander about a mile from Edinburgh, lurking in our quarters, stabbed a foot soldier, of which he presently died; for which fact it was not thought fit to hazard his trial by an assise, but being tried before a court martial, was found guilty, and hanged for a spy. Was it not proved against the laird of Womate, who was broke out into the hills, and having a coalpit under sequestration, which was let to one Berridge an Englishman for rent, the said Womate came with four or five more, robbed him of his money, horses, and goods, and with a durk or dagger with his own hand struck Berridge into the breast, of which he died, which by a Scotsman of his own company was positively sworn in court ? Notwithstanding the assisors found him not guilty. Was it not lately proved against one Nemo, now prisoner, that he with four or five more took a trooper prisoner, serving the people in guarding their coal and horses; the said Nemo having his sword drawn called the trooper dog, rogue, demanding his other pistol, carried him away two miles (he begging for quarter) and there killed him? This was positively sworn in court, and yet the jury found him not guilty. The evidence for proving the several murders remains of record in the justice court. Now what others have been tried for killing our fellow soldiers and countrymen upon the like evidence, and have escaped, we are ignorant. But if what we have instanced be true, as by record will be made clear, if search be made into the same, the clerk having faithfully taken the evidence; we then in the name of all the army under your honour's conduct, humbly present the premises as our aggrievance, beseeching your honour to pardon the same, that there may some other judicature be established, not by an assize, although part of them be English; for that care the honourable judges have already taken: nor by a court martial, for that may be thought as unequal by the Scots; but by some such other way, that impartial justice may be so administred both to the English and Scots, where either a Scots man killeth an English man, or an Englishman killeth a Scotsman, as shall be thought fit; that our bloods from henceforwards be not spilt as water, and that blood-guiltiness may be taken off the land, and all the people fearing the Lord may live in safety and peace, and rejoice under the present government, which we know hath and doth aim at nothing more then to see justice and truth embrace each other.
That for as much as this court hath to this time proceeded against several persons not members of the army, by reason of the necessity thereof, for preservation of the army against many guilty of robberies and murders frequently committed there, being no other judicatory to take cognizance of offenders: but in as much as the court conceiveth by credible information, that several judicatories are erected, as well for criminal as civil causes; it is therefore thought fit and ordered, that by the president captain Lisle, captain Townsend, captain Hutton, captain Freer, and the judge advocate, or any three or more of them, who are appointed and authorised a committee, the major general be acquainted, that this court is dissatisfied any further to take cognizance of matters civil or criminal against any person or persons, except such as are within their cognizance authorised thereunto by the laws and ordinance of war; and that the said committee attend the major general his pleasure therein, and report the same at the next court,
To his most serene highness the lord protector of the commonwealth of England, Scotland, and Ireland, with the dominions thereunto belonging.
The subscribed extraordinary ambassador of the lords the States General of the United Provinces having received by the last post the annexed certificate, and also a letter from the said lords the states, sindeth himself obliged to represent the same to his most serene highness; instantly beseeching, that the captain of the frigat therein mentioned may receive condign punishment for his excess and unusual carriage against a vessel employed in the immediate Service of the said state of the United Provinces. And whereas the said ambassador hath on the 6/16th of this instant remonstrated, following the special orders of his superiors, what inconveniencies and disorders are to be apprehended, if such proceedings be not timely prevented, the said ambassador doth yet very earnestly desire in the name of the lords his superiors, that it may be effectually ordered, that henceforth all ships of war and merchant ships belonging to the said state of the United Provinces may pass freely without let or molestation; and that they be not seized nor delayed by the ships or people of this common-wealth, that so all unkindness ceasing, a true and sincere friendship and union may be confirmed betwixt the two states and Nations. Given this 15/25th of May 1656.
I underwritten having been commander of a yacht, or small vessell, in the service of the
lords the States Generall of the United Provinces, called the Pearlé, do certify to be
true, that I on the 29th of the last month, by reason of a dark mist did stray from the
vice-admirall de Ruyter, and the ships under his convoy about the coast of Dover, and
met there a frigat in the service of the commonwealth of England, being mounted with
about 34 pieces, whereof the captain, with commanding words, bid me set out the boat,
and come aboard to him. Whereupon I speaking to him answered, that that could not
be, by reason that my boat was broken and unfit to put out. Whereupon the chalop
of the frigatt was manned and came aboard to mee, asking, where the ship belonged; whe
ther I was bound, as also from whence I came. Upon which I replyed, that the said
yatcht or vessell belonged to the admiralty of Amsterdam, and that she had been a fire-ship
of the said de Ruyter, under whose protection we came from Cadiz; after which information they went presently in the bulk of the yatcht, and searched it thoroughly. In the
mean time the frigat approaching very near, the men of the said frigat who were aboard,
called and acquainted the captain of the said constitution, telling him, that there was nothinge in the yatcht but ballast. Whereupon the captain commanded, that they should
come aboard with the shalop again, and bring me along with them; which I endeavoured
to excuse with sit reasons; fearing because of the darkness to stray from my yatcht, and
thought no body therein capable enough to govern her on such an occasion in my absence; yet being forced thereunto left two of the people of the said shalop in my yatcht,
and coming aboard of the frigat, informed the captain, as before is mentioned, who asked me further, what that shouting meant, which he had heard windward. I answered,
that some of their frigats mett with the fleet of the said de Ruyter. Asking thereupon, if
it was out of freindship or enmity, answering out of friendship, not knowing to the contrary. Asking further, how strong they were in company, and how many men of war;
concerning which I told him the plain truth; the captain saying moreover, that he understood, that the said de Ruyter had nine ships under his convoy loaden with Spanish goods
appertaining to the king of Spain to defend them from the English; which I contradicted;
and told him not to be true; and that I had no notice at all of it. Thus having all certifyed brought me again aboard my yatcht; taking a long spit to pierce through the ballast,
and searching also the earth tubs, where the lemons and orange trees were in, besides all
the cabin's corners, and desks in the whole yacht, presuming to find in her some Spanish
goods. Amongst the rest was in the cabin a piece of board made new, and not coloured,
which the suspected to be a hole, and would break it open to find something in it; but
having informed them to the contrary, did let me pass undamaged. This all being so
past as here before is recited, remain
Your lordships obedient servant.
The answer of the states of Holland to the question sent to the Dutch ambassador in England, the 18 April.
The lords the states of Holland and West Friesland, having seriously ponderated and examined the paper, which was exhibited on the 18/28th of April last past, containing three queries, have ordered to answer thereunto as followeth:
I. That the defensive stipulation, in regard of the state of the United Provinces, should then, and not before, be obligatory against Spain, when after the conclusion of a peace with England or France, or one of them, Spain in an open war should aggress them.
II. That the second query is of such a nature, that in case there be an inclination to the treaty, it shall be requisite by good and sufficient elucidations, to the contentment of the contracting parties, to agree the same in or by the said treaty.
III. That the said lords the states having sounded the mind of France by the lord ambassador Boreel, are informed by him, that there is on that side a good inclination thereunto, adding expresly, that a concept or draught of articles on the behalf of France heretofore hath been exhibited, wherein the defensive obligation in regard of the United Provinces against Spain was not demanded, otherwise then in case of a new breach after the conclusion of a peace.
The said lords the states do further declare, that according to their usual and true considence on the lord protector, they would be glad to see at this present time the said alliance
established betwixt the three states; wishing that they may have as soon as may be to the
proposition offered on the said subject. . . . .
Received 15/25 May 1656.
General Monck to secretary Thurloe.
I received yours, and shall observe his highnesse commands for looking after the Dutch shippe, that was cast away near Tayne. The officers att Invernesse have done what they can to recover her, butt cannot att the present gett more then some few of her goods, and two or three fathome of cables. She lies in seaven fathome water. The judges of the admiraltie heere have sent some men to try what may bee done; and the ingineer att Invernesse sayes, assoon as the weather is a little warmer, he will see what cann bee done. There shall bee all possible meanes used for the recoverie of them. Wee have little considerable of newes; all thinges are quiett, and I hope will continue soe. I remayne
Dalkeith, 15 May 1656.
The information of Thomas Carter, aged 30 years, borne at Norwich, and William Clarke, aged about 27 years, born at Exeter, taken the 15th day of May 1656.
Whoe say they were planters in the island of Barmudas, from whence they imbarked
in a small vessell belonging to the island for Barbadoes; but the winde being contrary,
they fell to the leeward of the Havana, and came to Mevis, where they stayed about 6
weekes time. From thence they tooke shipping in a small vessell to returne to the Burmudas, and touching at the island of salt Tartudas, were there taken the 25th of August 1654
by captain Domindo, comander of the ship called the Pattach of Margaretta, being one of
the Spanish plate fleete, who sayled thence to Cartagena in 6 weekes tyme, where he joyned
with 5 other ships belonging to the fleete, namely,
The admirall, burthen 1000 tuns, 44 brass guns, 300 men.
The vice-admirall that was lost, 900 tuns, 26 brass guns, about 300 men.
The rear-admiral, burthen 500 tuns, 22 brass guns, 200 men.
A gallion that was lost, burthen 700 tuns, and 26 brasse guns, 150 men.
The pattach of Margaretta, 350 tuns, 20 brass guns, 120 men.
The pattach of the gallions, 150 tuns, 14 brass guns, 80 men.
Where they stayed together about 8 months, untill they had notice, that the plate was brought over land to Porto Bello, and then the whole six sayle sett forth for Porto Bello, where they arrived in 6 dayes, and there took in great quantitys of plate, some in barrs, and some in chests and bagges, that was ready coined. But what quantitye, they cannot tell; yet they heard some of the Spanyards say, the king's plate was about 4 millions, and the merchants about five times as much. And having stayed neare 5 weekes in Porto Bello, they then made sayle for Cartagena again, and in 14 dayes arrived at the port, namely on May-day 1655. That they stayed there about 6 weekes. The occasion of their stay soe long was (as these informers heard) a relation, that was brought by a small bark, of the arrival of English fleet before St. Domingo. But hearing no further of the English fleete, they adventured to set sail for the Havana; but espying the English fleet, being about 28 in number, two mornings together, to the westward of the isle of Pines, the Spanish fleet stood off to sea for about two dayes; then standing into a cape (the name whereof these informers know not) where there is a sentinell kept to make discoveries, whoe (as these informers heard) gave the fleete information, that the day before the English fleete being 28 sayle passed by homeward bound; whereupon the admirall called a councell of warr, where, as these informers heard, 'twas resolved, not to touch at the Havana, but goe downe to New Spaine; which accordingly they in 14 dayes performed, and stayed in the river of Ceute about 2 months, till they had intelligence by a small barke from the Havana, that the ships were all gone of the coast; then they set sayle for the Havana, and arrived there in 44 dayes, where they took in some tobacco, sugar, dying wood, hides, and other goods, and having stayed there about 3 months, set sayle for Spaine the 21 day of December last; and about 5 dayes after going through the gulph of Florida, the wind being high at north in the night, they lost sight of the vice admirall and a gallion. That about two months after in their voyage near the island of Canaries, they came up with a small Dutch man of warr of about 14 guns, which the fleet onely spoke with, and with noe other vessell, till they came upon the coast of Spaine. That they arrived at Cadis with 4 ships towards the latter end of March, having performed their voyage from the Havana just in 12 weeks time. That they, these informers, stayed about 12 dayes at Cadis, whilst they were unlading their ships; and then made their escape to the Dutch admirall Ruyter, by whome, in a month's time, they were brought into the Tessell, and having stayed there about 15 dayes, came thence for England in the Norwich frigatt, captain Hutton commander, and arrived at Deale the 9th of May present.