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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June (6 of 7)
Lady Mary Cromwell to H. Cromwell, major general of the forces in Ireland.
In the possession of the right honourable the earl of Shelburn.
Your kind leters do so much ingag my hart towards you, that I can never tel how to expres in writing the tru affection and value I hav of you, who truly I think non that knows you but you may justly claim it from. I must confes myself in a great fault in the omiteng of writing to you and your dear wif so long a tim; but I supos you canot be ignorant of the reason, which truly has ben the only caus, which is this bisnes of my sister Franses and Mr. Rich. Truly I can truly say it, for thes thre months I think our famyly, and myself in particular, hav ben the gratest confusion and troble as ever poor famly can be in: the Lord tel us his * * * * in it, and setel us, and mak us what he would hav us to be. I supos you hard of the braking of of the businese, and according to your defer in your last leter, as well as I can, I shall give you a full acount of it, which is thes: after a quarter of a yeor's admitons, my father and my lord Warwick begon to tret about the estate, and it sems my lord did not ofer that that my father expected. I ned not nam perteculars, for I suppose you may hav had it from beter hands; but if I may say the truth, I think it was not so much estat, as som privat resons, that my father descovred to non but my sester Franses and his own famylie, which was a deslik to the young person, which he had from som reports of his being a visious man, given to play, and such lik things, which ofis was done by som that had a mind to brak of the match. My sester hearing these things, wos resolvd to know the truth of it; and truly dud find al the reports to be fals, that wer raisd of him; and to tel you the truth, they wer so much ingagd in afection befor this, that shee could not thenk of breaking of it of, so that my sester engagd me and all the frinds she had, who truly wer very few, to spek in her behalf to my father; which we dud, but could not be hard to any purpos; only this my father promised, that if he were satisfyed as to the report, the estat shold not brak it of, which she was satisfyed with; but after this ther was a second trety, and my lord Warwick desered my father to nam what it was he demanded more, and to his utmost he woud satisfy him; so my father upon this mad new proposiseons, which my lord Warwick has answered as much as he can; but it sems ther is fiv hundred pounds a yeor in my lord Riche's hands, which he has power to sell, ond ther are some people, that persuad his highness, that it would be desonerable for him to conclud of it without thes fiv hundred pounds a year be settled upon Mr. Rich, after his father's deth, and my lord Rich having no estem at all of his son, becos he is not so bad as himself, wil not agre to it; and thes people opon this persuad my father, it would be a desoner to him to yeld upon thes terms; it would shew, that he wos mad a fool on by my lord Rich; which the truth is, how it should be, I cant understand, nor vere few els; and truly I must tel you privatelie, that they ar so far engaged, as the match canot be brok of. She acquanted non of her frends with her resolution, when she did it. Dear brother, this is as far as I can tel the stat of the bisness. The lord derect them what to do; and al I think ought to beg of God to pardon her in her dowing of this thing, which I must say truly, she was put upon by the of things. Dear, let me beg my excuses to my sester for not writing my best respects to her. Pardon this troble, and belev me, that I shal ever striv to aprov myself,
Your afectionate sester and servant
June 23, 1656.
Mr. Bradshaw, resident at Hamburg, to secretary Thurloe.
Vol. xxxix. p. 422.
By your honour's letter this weeke I am satisfyed of your receit of myne of the 3d instant, with the inclosed papers concerning Mr. Townley. I shall now wait the issue of that busines. I am laying such a correspondence as you desire, and hope to effect it, though I find it difficult to engage any, both sides prohibitinge the giving of intelligence, besides the danger of the posts miscarrying from both armies; but you may be assured, I will doe what possible I can to perform your order. I have already engaged one in the Swedds armie to give me weekly the remarkable passages there impartially; and I hope to doe the like from the Pole and Muscovites armies. I have now sold the remaynder of the powder heere, but was forst to take some pot-ash to the value of 200 l. sterling in part of payment, and the rest at six months. It had layne soe long, that I feared to keep it any longer. The potashe are a good commodity at present in England; only I thought good to give notice, before I send them, to have your order for it, least they should miscarry by the way, or be seized on there, before it be knowne they belong to the states. I pray your order in it per first post. The masts are loaden from 20 to 26 palmes aboute, greater than any I have sent yet; onely now I knowe not how to get them safe home. Letters from Holland say, the lord Whitlocke was come ambassador to the Hague; and that five Ostenders meetinge with the ship Grayhound, and boarding here, the boteswayne gave fyre to the powder, and blew up the ship with 100 of their enemies. I am
Most humble servant
Hamb. 24 June, 1656.
Its most certayne, that the k. of S. and d. of Brandeburgh have joyned in an offensive and defensive league, to the great disgust of the Hollands ambassadors; and I beleeve it's as true, that the Emperor, Muscovites, and Pole are confedera es against the Sw. The inclosed papers are the most approved intelligence from all parts.
Intercepted letters written by lord Wilmot, and brought by John Walters.
June the 24th, 1656.
Vol. xxxix. p. 428.
This inclosed does soe much concerne mee, and my speedie receiving an answer to it, that I shall earnestly desire you to make a steppe into the countrey with it your selfe, that thereby I may hope for a present answer to it. You may write to mee by the old way, or by the directions that this bearer will give you; which I thinke will be best and speediest. Your good friend here hath been extreame ill of an ague long, otherwise I had sent him to you. Hee is now past danger, but is too weake to stirre farre yet for a moneth. Wee desiring earnestly to heare from you, and to receive an answere of this, I wish you all happiness, and rest
Your very affectionate friend,
I hope my friend may be at London; if soe, it will save you a journey into the country.
June 24th, 1656.
Vol. xxxix. p. 429.
I Did not meane to have written to you upon this subject, but I am at present forced to doe it: therefore let me not only desire you to excuse mee for doeing soe, but also to comply with what I now desire of you, which is, that you will send me presently some money. The way of doeing it wil be soe easie for you, that I will not soe much as direct you a way. And the occasion of my writing soe earnestly to you upon this subject I cannot communicate to you now, but I am confident you have soe good an opinion of mee, and are soe kind to mee, that you will believe it is noe ordinarie one could perswade mee to it, since I wish your good and contentment equall with my owne; and I know this is a hard age. I thought to have sent to you, but hee, whom I would have sent, hath been extreame ill, and is not yet strong enough to go abroad. I am extreamly troubled, that I am soe long without seeing you. Methinks it were much better for us both to be together for many reasons. Therefore pray think once again very well of it, and lett me heare speedily from you in answer to this letter.
Capt. Gookin to secretary Thurloe.
Vol. xxxix. p. 431.
Please hereby to understand, that I have written severall letters by way of Barbados, and commited them to the faithfullest persons I could meet with; some whereof (I trust) are long since come to your hands; but I never had opportunitie to write directly from hence, untill this present, and I saw not any necessitie for an expresse. I have given particular accounts formerly, what successe his highnesses affaires (committed to me) hath found in these parts; the summe whereof is, that the generalitye of the godly in all the country do cordial resent his highnes good will, favour, and love, as well in this as other matters; and do unfainedly (I trust) beare upon their harts before the Lord, him, his work, and helpers; and I have ground to thinke, that all the English colonies will see cause in perticular letters of thanks to manifest their duty and special respects to his highnes. As soon as the weather was travellable, I visited all the united colonies of the English, which are four in number, and a good distance from each other, and in all of them endeavoured the promotion of his highnes desires and offers of transplantation to Jamaica. Indeed I found sundry considerable persons, who have had much motion uppon their harts to gratifie the cordiall offers of his highness; but discouradgments from the great mortalitie of the English upon the place, the prophaneness of the generalitie of the souldiery, the continuall hazard of mens lives by the sculking Negroes and Spaniards, all which and sundry other matters were and are strongly reported here, which doth (for the present) cause many to suspend their resolves, and desire to wait longer, intreating the Lord to guide them in a right way for them and their wives and little ones. Only there are about 300 souls, who have ingaged to remove next autumn, if there be transportation, whereof I have advised the commissioners at Jamaica about a month since by one of the state's ships, that laded masts here for Jamaica, in which ship also went three godly persons from hence to see the island, and upon their liking, to take possession for their brethren and companions, that I intend to follow; divers whereof, especially heads of familyes, are godly, honest, and industrious people; and if the Lord see meet to carry them thither, I have cause to hope they wil be a blessing to the place. I have not absolutely ingaged shipping to be sent for them, being their numbers are so fewe, but have left it to the commissioners at the island to do as they shall have orders.
It is a trial to mee (but the Lord's disposeings silenceth my hart) that his highnes cost and my travill hath been hetherto so ineffectuall; but I doubt not the Lord will accept and own in Christ Jesus whatever hath been intended in this matter in order to his glory and his people's welfare; and that those concerned shall find returnes of his bread cast uppon the waters in its best season.
Sir, I now wait for his highnes and your honour's further pleasure in this or any other matter here, wherein such an unworthy one as myself might be any way serviceable; for 'tis upon my hart to spend and be spent for the Lord, and for his highness and the saints, whome my hart is much devoted to in the Lord, being perswaded through grace, that the Lord will be with his highnes and helpers in the worke of the Lord, though the floods of Sathan and his instruments bee very deepe in their enmitie and malignitie; but the Lord hath laid helpe upon one that is mighty and able to save to the very uttermost all that come to God by him, and the government is upon his shoulders; and though instruments may some time be plunged deepe, yet with him is wisdom, councel, and strength, &c.
If his highnes pleasure bee to dismisse mee from this work (which seems ended) I humbly intreat it may bee signified unto mee the next return of shipping to these parts, because the Lord seems to call mee back to England, for the issuing a business of some concernment to me, which I left at my coming away unfinished, but committed it to friends, who have made no progresse therein.
Thus, right honourable, desiring hartily to pray to the Lord for his gracious presence and
assistance to follow his highness and helpers, and that your persons and prayers may be near
unto the Lord day and night, that he may maintaine the cause of his servant and the cause
of his people Israel, and doe every day in the day as the matter shall require, I humbly take
leave, intreating to be accounted one of the number his highnesse's and your honour's faithful
(though unworthy) servants,
Camebridge in New-England,
24. vth month, 1656.
Mr. J. Aldworth, consul at Marseilles, to secretary Thurloe.
Vol. xxxix. p. 434.
My last unto you was of the 27th past, advising you of the departure of the barke with the packquette to the admiralls. The wind hath beene very favourable to give her a quick passadge; so I hope in few dayes to receive answer. At Thollon is fitting four ships of warr, which may not bee ready this two months; and in probability are to go in cours. Its generally heare spoaken, that the duke Merkure's army joyned with the duke of Modene's will beseidge Finall in Italy, and that some of our frigatts are to block up the said place by sea. I am still opposed in my establishment, as consull to our nation, by the old consull, and one John Holworthy; principally the old confull, as pretending his commission is not revoked, and the other out of hatred, that hee will not bee subject to one, that shall be heare establisht by our states. The last post I sent your honnor an attestation of his publike actions against them. If you desire the information in a more exacter manner, I shall send it. To cover his malice, hee hath framed an attestation, which hee hath caused to be signed by about thirty persons of this place, of meane quality, and not traders; intimating, that it is unnecessary to have consull heare. But the next post I shall send you one very authenticque attested by the chiefest gentry and merchants of this place, which will declare the necessity of one for the upholding of trade, which is the heighth of my ambition, as also to maynetayne to my utmost the honnor of his highnes against all such, as would lay a blemish thereon, not having the least regard of particular profit therein. So for present I most humbly take leave, and remaine
Your honnor's servant,
In Marseille, 4th Jully, 1656. [N. S.]
An intercepted letter of Mr. Windham,
Boulogne, 4 July, 1656. [N. S.]
Vol. xxxix. p. 438.
I Received yours of the 21 July last. In it no certainty, when my bills are like to be paid, which doth very much trouble me in a business of so great concernment to be so long delayed, and to meet with so many put-offs; but I am in hope every post to hear, that I shall be dispatched, and that I shall no longer attend to my great trouble and prejudice. You cannot imagine in how good a condition our trade is like to be in the opinion of all merchants; and how much I am vexed, that I am hindered so as I cannot be attending of it. Certainly if ever there were hopes, that our company should thrive and grow rich, it will be now, when all things concur so prosperously towards it. So expecting to hear comfortable news from my friends, I rest, &c.
Petkum to the king of Denmark.
4 July, 56. [N. S.]
Vol. xxxix. p. 440.
The resolution (fn. 1) for the calling of a parliament is at last taken, whereof the first meeting will be of the 7th of September. The cause, which hath moved his highness for it, is reported variously. Some say, that his highness would have the parliament to invest him with the legislative power. Others, that it is to assure some one of his family in the succession of his dignity; but the opinion the most approved of by those, who best understand the interests of his highness, is, that he would have the parliament to authorize the war begun at Spain; and that they should find means to continue the said war vigorously.
The fleet of this state is still upon the coasts of Spain; and I believe it may stay there two months longer, not for any harm it can do to the Spaniards, but because the parliament should be obliged to raise money upon the people to pay the mariners and soldiers.
The ambassador of Sweden doth give out here, that his treaty with his highness is concluded and signed. I believe it to be far advanced: a maritime treaty is more advantageous for his highness than for the king of Sweden.
I am told, that his highness is resolved to send some body to your majesty; I know not whether in the quality of an ambassador or otherwise, much less for what subject. I will do what I can to learn it. I have not yet been able to get a letter from him in answer to that of your majesty.
To Nieuport, the Dutch ambassador in England.
Hamburgh, the 4th July, 1656. [N. S.]
Vol. xxxix. p. 442.
The letters, that arrived here this night from Dantzick, do bring no great matter of news; only that those of Dantzick have gotten the river Rodam to run into their town as formerly. The duke of Courland hath signified to the king of Sweden and duke of Brandenburgh, that the Muscovite will assault Lysland with five armies.
We now begin to believe, that their high and mighty lordships will not let Dantzick be lost at this conjuncture of time; and that with this conjunction of the Brandenburgh forces there is some great resolution in hand no less considerable.
Secretary Thurloe to H. Cromwell, major general of the army in Ireland.
In the possession of the right hon the earl of Shelburn.
I Did informe both his highnesse and my lord deputy of the condition of the souldiers at Carickfergus designed to Jamaica; and I suppose my lord deputy returned a full answere to your lordship thereupon by the messenger, which went from hence the last weeke, by whom I had neither tyme nor matter to give your lordship any trouble. And as for the comeing of the ships to take them in, wee hope they will soon be under sayle, being all ready. However I have sent your lordship's to Mr. Noell, in whose power it is to quicken them, he beinge the person contracted with for carryeing these souldiers.
And whereas your Lordship is pleased to judge, that matters here are carryed very secretly,
I have not writt foe perticularly upon those thinges (which I suppose you meane) because his
highnes hath himselfe writt soe larglye of late to your lordship, by whom I suppose you have
very fully understood the state of those matters. Besides some meetinges there have beene
of all sides before his highnes, which I have not beene present at; whereof either Dr. Harrison
or Sir John Reynolds could have given a perticular account upon their owne knowledge, which
I thought would be more certeyne then mine, that was only upon the relation of others.
What my oppinion and observation was upon the whole, your lordship had by former letters,
wherein I knowe I was right; and that I tooke a true measure of thinges, notwithstandinge
what your lordship may have apprehended from the letters of any other persons whatsoever.
Wee heare nothinge from our fleet, nor certenlye from Portugall; only there are severall
letters come from merchants there to merchants here, that the kinge hath ratified the peace
with this state; alsoe that Mr. Meadowes, the agent about the tyme of the conclusion thereof,
comeinge from one of the commissioners in the eveninge in a litter, was assaulted by two horsemen, who discharged two pistolls upon hym, and shott hym through the left hand. This
is sayd to have beene done upon the 11th of May; but in respect wee have had noe letters
from himselfe, wee hope this of his beinge hurt is but a fable. I cannot perceive, that
they have any present designe from abroad upon Ireland, I meane this summer; but it's certeyne, they have at the end of their campaine in Flanders, intendinge to give us trouble in
all places at once. And they are makeinge preparations at St. Sebastian, which wee suspect
may be intended for Ireland. I shall not be wantinge to give you all the informations,
which I shall have from tyme to tyme, which may concerne Ireland. Thinges stand in
Prussia and Holand as they did by my last. Wee expect some newes of action by the next,
as also what the resolutions of the states of Holland will be as to the releivinge of Dantzick,
which they have made a great shew of for a long tyme, but most men thinke they will
scarce attempt ought against the kinge of Sweden. I have nothinge else to trouble your
lordship with. I am
Your lordship's most faithfull
and most humble servant,
Whitehall, 24 June 1656.
Major general Goffe to secretary Thurloe.
Vol. xxxix. p. 424.
The quarter sessions for this country being very shortly to be held at this towne, I beginn to be sensable of the clamour, that will be uppon mee for the money laied out by the counstables for searching for seamen; and how I shall looke upon the justices, who were active in that worke, and to whom I was comanded to give assurance in his highnes name, that what was laied out should be readily reimbursed. If I be not putt in a way to answer there reasonable demands, I beseech you to considere: truely, Sir, I have soe often pressed you in this business, that I am ashamed to be soe troublesome to you; and were I not extreme poore, I would lay downe the money myselfe, rather then his highnes word and promise should be thought to be soe little worth; and indeed I thinke those, that put his highnes upon making such promises, should be as ready to see them made good. If the commissioners of the admirality will be pleased to putt 30 l. into the hands of any person in this country, he may have order to disburse it upon the certifficate of myselfe and 2 justices of the peace, that soe much was laied out by such an officer.
I know this is a very triviall business, and it doth therefore the more trouble, that
I cannot in soe long time get it issued. And the truth is, it is my unhapines to be in the
same condition in referrence to all other persons I have to deale with in my major generallshipp, which if not the sooner remedyed, will render more very inconsiderable. I am very
sensable of my great inability to manadge this greate trust, as I ought; yett am not convinced
of any unfaithfullness; and therefore may hope to be supported by my master, while I am
thought worthy to be imployd. I beseech you doe not thinke I am discontented, though I
was once a little discouradged, because things were soe exceeding long in settling. The
establishment might have helped us long since; and whether it be againe asleepe I know
not, for as yett I heare nothing from the committee of the army. But I desire to doe my
duty with faithfullness, and to as good effect as I cann; and leave it to those, that sett mee
a worke, to pay myselfe and the rest of the workemen; and if the worke and ourselves perish
for want of our wages, it will not, I hope, be laied to our charge. I know money is your
greate want; but under favour I humbly conceive you must keepe your army and militia
force in hart by constant pay, unlesse you intend all shall come to ruin; but when wee have
donne all wee cann, it is the Lord himself, that must be our support, on whom wee have greate
reason to trust. He hath hetherto helped in all the straights wee have beene in; and I am
perswaded will yett be our helper; and notwithstanding all our unworthynes, will save us
and bless us for his owne name's sake. Sir, pray pardon this rude addresse, and be confident,
that I am,
Your most affectionate friend
and faithfull servant,
Winchester the 24th June, 1656.
Admiral Godsonn to secretary Thurloe.
Jamaica. Torrington, the 25th of June, 1656.
Vol. xxxix. p. 457.
Yours of the 13th of Feb. (55) by the last 3 ships arived here on the 8th of May last. What occurrences happened between the departure of the Grantham and the Falcon fly-boat, you had a ful relation of from major generall Sedgwicke, I being then at sea; a copy of which letter remaining in the secretaries hands I have herewith sent you a duplicate thereof, and shal now give you the best account I can of our proceedings since both in fleet and army; but more particularly of what belongs to my own charge.
The 15th of April I set saile from this harbor with ten of the best sailing ships, and turned to windward along the coast of Hispaniola as high as Alta Vela, in hopes to have met with some Spanyards, which we understood were bound this way; but missing our expectations, stood over for the maine, and the 4th of May landed neere 450 men at Rio de la Hacha, where the people having six houres sight of us before our arrival, fled out of the town, carrying their wealth or what was considerable with them, and left only 12 men to secure a castle, which ours stormed, and in les then halfe an houre had possession of it, in which were mounted foure greate brasse pieces of ordnance of neere 4000 pound weight each, which we brought away, and demolished part of the fort. The Spaniards pretended to redeem their town, which retarded our departure one day; but upon their non-complyance, we burnt it, and the 8th of May in the morning set saile from thence.
The 11th instant we arived at Sta Martha, where we stayd to water til the 13th in the morning; then departed, and upon the instant of our departure espyed a smal vessel in the offing, which we chased, and took the same day. She was about 100 tuns, and came from Sta Luca, her lading for the most part being jarres of wine, intended for Cartagena. The copy of her cargo is herewith inclosed. The news she brings in general is this, that she set saile in company of the Nova Spagna fleet the 10th of March stilo novo, consisting of 28 saile, 4 whereof where bound for Angola, and others to scattering ports in the Indies. Two or three were Flemish ships for Sto Domingo, who carryed thither a new governor, and 500 souldiers, and among the rest bound for Nova Spagna were 4 gallions with 4 great merchant men, maned by the king as gallions; the rest merchants vessells of smal force. But he saith, two or three dayes after their departure being separated from them by a storme, he was forced to beare for Cadiz, the rest keeping the sea; and that he set saile from thence the first of April their stile, al the galions being then haled up in the Craik, where they lay their ships, and none fiting for the sea. I have sent you the captain of her, Mr. Sweet's son, an English man, late merchant in Sivil.
The 14th of May we anchored in view of Cartagena, where we rode till the 15th in the evening. In that harbor were six ships rideing in the same equipage as formerly; but not being able to do any thing upon them, and having taken into consideration, whether those ships above mentioned might not be intended for Jamaica, we deserted that coast, and bent our course thither, leaving the vice admirall and two ships more to lye yet some time upon the coast, to intercept any scattering ships, that might come thither; and in our way standing over for this place the 21st of May, we took a small vessell of about 80 or 90 tons laden with cocao, comeing from St. Domingo, and bound for new Spaine; from whom we have advice of the arrival of the new governor with 50 men, and that the ships of Nova Spagna making noe stay only watered at Porto Ricco.
We arived here the 23d; where we found major generall Sedgwicke, who the next day after God was pleased to take to himself; a person, that I have cause to beleive truly feared God, and one, whose losse we have reason to lament, being of singular use in this worke, and generally beloved of the souldiery.
The third of June the vice admirall arrived from the other side, who in the time of his stay there chased a vessell close under the wals of Cartagena, but, as he saith, could not come at hir.
The Portland and Falmouth remaining still upon the coast about the 8th instand chased a frigat ashoare upon a drowned island neere Rio Grande, and sent his boate ashoare after hir; but, as they say, the frigat staved al to pieces, as also their own boate, whereby the men were like afterwards to have perished, being constrained for want to travel 15 miles along the coast, and remaining 5 dayes from the ship. The frigat was laden with tobacco.
At my arrival in this harbor I found a letter here from governor Stokes, intimateing his resolution to transplant himself and collony hither; and in order thereunto desireing shiping for theire transportation. Whereupon in obedience to his highnes commands we presently ordered three ships, the Marmaduke, Adam and Eve, and Mary fly-boate, for that island; and a small vessel we took at Rio de la Hacha to go before, to advertise them thereof; but whilst these ships were making ready, a vessel arrived here from Nevis, with 3 gentlemen sent by the governor to treate with us, and view that island. Their propositions were but few. I soon answered to satisfaction (a copy whereof is herewith inclosed) so the smal vessel was immediately dispatched away with letters to the governor; and the other three doe set saile this day with the Great Charity, which upon the major generall's death was likewise ordered for England; and those gentlemen that were sent hither, go in company with them, as they say, wery wel approving of the island, and expressing a forwardnes to advance his highnes design in the planting and peopling thereof. They affirm, that a thousand persons, besides women, children, and servants, are resolved for this place, which number is likewise mentioned in the governor's letter, which wil give a good begining to a future settlement here.
The rest of the ships are disposed of in this manner; 14 of them are appointed to lye between cape St. Antonio and the Havanna, or thereabouts, to encounter such ships as comeing from Cartagena, Nova Spagna, or elsewhere, and bound for the Havanna, although it is to be feared, that the Nova Spagna fleet comeing so late wil not returne this yeare; and the other 7 ships are to guard this port, and to lye upon the coast. I had forgot to tell you, that the Church was about the begining of May sent to new England for provisions, and an inventory whereof you have with this.
The 14 ships abovementioned to be sent to leeward are to lye there as long as the time of year or condition of the ships wil permit. We find many of our ships upon the surveys much defective; especialy those, that have bin longest out. Yet the Cardiffe, one of the latest, is judged disabled for the sea. Our stores are much exhausted, and the sailes excedingly decayed: here is a great complaint of bread sent in the last ships, as also of scarceness the provisions brought by major generall Sedgwicke, great damage of liquors, tar, &c. by leakage of caske, being wood bound. There is much want of water caske, and generally the brandy and cyder caske is over gaged; but these things I have particularly intimated to the comissioners of the admiralty, as persons most concerned therein; not doubting but they wil fully informe his highnes and you thereof. Wherefore I shal not farther trouble you about it.
Touching the condition and state of the army, I profes, I know not what to say. Something I have mentioned in general to his highnes, intending to have inlarged myself to you; but when I consider their actings, and would make a judgment thereupon, my reason is so confounded, that I am wholly at a stand. There are some cordially wel affected men amongst them, who have no other ends, I believe, but to serve God and his highnes in their imployes; but there is a sorte, that designe nothing but their returne into England; to which end they have not encouraged planting for the necessary support of the souldiery. Coll. Humsryes regiment hath don nothing therein, others but little, and coll. Holdipp, who thought he had not don much, was the best and most forward planter: being upon articles preferred against him by his lieut. coll. for detaineing the dues of the regiment, &c. totally casheired, cannot be suffered to enjoy his plantation, which with some little encouragement, or only being suffered, he might have brought to good perfection. Besides til within these very few dayes the army would never consent, that a declaration should be sett forth to assure a property in lands to the private souldiers; but in short resolved, if they must plant, they shal plant only as their servants. There are il favoured actings among them, which have concealed ends; and those late troubles stirred by major Throgmorton, were, I doubt not, at first countenanced by the most eminent amongst them, to raise commotions against major generall Sedgwicke should take the command of the army upon him; though afterwards upon his death disowned. Some ingenuous publique speritted men of eminent virtue to be sent among us can only remedie these distempers, which have bin formerly intimated. I doubt not, but his highnes is mindful of us; and then, by God's help, he wil have a better accompt of his affaires here. In the meane while I am ashamed, and it is an exceeding affliction to me, that instead of some actions fit to be mentioned, I can only fil my paper with complaints, and must tell you, that the Negros and Mullattos upon this island are as far from being reduced, as when we first arrived.
There are some things, wherein our instructions are noe cleare directions to us; and I desire you wil be pleased, that we may have more punctual orders how to act therein.
How Negros and Mulattos, being slaves and comeing in freely to us of their own accord, shal be received.
How slaves, that are taken flying, shal be disposed of.
How slaves taken in actual service against us, shal be disposed of.
How Spanish prisoners shal be disposed of for the future. At present we have sent some to the windward island; others into England, which were of best quality; and some few, that may be useful we have detained in the fleet; but it was necessary to send the others away, because they were a great burden to us in wasting our provisions, of which there is not now for above foure moneths for the fleet, and not above 3 for the army.
Some former passages, though I have bin already tedious, I cannot omit to particularize unto you, which are, that about the 20th of June (55) as I am informed, foure gallions and 2 frigatts set saile from Cartagena, who about 2 or 3 dayes after meeting with a storme were seperated, the vice admirall with one gallion from the admirall and the rest; and that the admirall and those with him having sight of generall Penn's ships off from Capo Corrente, immediately thereupon made saile for Vera Crux in Nova Spagna. That about 2 daies before our ships came before the Havanna, the Nova Spagna fleet went in; that about 2 days after our ships were past, the other two Cartagena gallions arrived there. That after the admirall had advice of our ships being gon, he came from Nova Spagna, and joyning with the other two set saile for Spaine; but in the gulfe of Florida meeting with shoales in the night, the vice admirall ran aboard of the admirall, whereby she was foundered; and of 500 of that ship's company only 40 were saved, whereof it is said 16 were English. One gallion beate off hir rudder; the admirall with the rest went safe for Spaine, and the other gallion, which beate off hir rudder, arrived, as we understand, in Cartagena. But al those ships escaping away so narrowly, hath bin accounted a very great miracle, and a dedication made thereof to two saints.
I must now acquaint you with some wants we have among us; and the first and most material is a supply of seamen; for though, God be praised, we enjoy a good measure of health, many fal sick, and not a few dye.
We have also great need of an able ingenious man, who is perfect in the Spanish tongue, so far as to read al written hands, and to write it himselfe; for want whereof we cannot make use of those papers and letters, which we take or intercept, and might perhaps be very advantageous in affording us intelligence; and the misse of such a one for al occasions we find dayly, there being now many letters, which we tooke in the last two prizes in our hands, directed to persons of quality, which we have noe means to peruse. We also want what we conceive was only an omission at the first, a publique feale for the commissioners, which defect you may be pleased with his highnes order to supply.
Coll. Doyley, who upon the death of major generall Fortescue was by the commissioners, being eldest coll. made commander in chiefe of the army, I being at sea, when the last letters came with a comission for major generall Sedgwicke (by which reason he never took the command upon him, but deferred it till my returne) remaines still in that command, and doth likewise continue in that regard to act as a commissioner; which could not be altered, he being besides his seniority, soe long settled, and an alteration would perhaps have bred distraction and confusion.
I have no more to adde, but craveing your pardon for this confussed relation of our busines, with my prayer to God for you to have you alwies in his protection, and to be your
guide and director in al your affaires, I humbly take my leave, and shal ever remaine, Sir,
Your most faithful and most humble servant,
Admiral Goodsonn to secretaay Thurloe.
Jamaica. Torrington, the 25th of June, 1656.
Vol. xxxix. p. 453.
In a letter to his highnes, which I doubt not wil come to your perusal, being subscribed by coll. Doyley and myselfe, there is mention made of capt. Blake's carriage and deportment among us, of which I must crave leave to give you this further private advertisement; that he was a person of such a turbulent spirit, and so opposite to me in most of my commands, that in regard of my duty to his highnes and his affaires, I could not but think it necessary to remove him from hence; and because he had by his frequent feastings and entertainments only to that purpose seduced a great party in the fleet, so that it was more then probable nothing could be don therein by an ordinary way, I was content to admit of a charge against him put in by the secretary, which I dare affirme may be made good in every particular; and that the secretary had no other end therein, but the advancement of his highnes affaires; for which he is in his way very studious and industrious. But captain Blake haveing desired me, that he might lay down his commission, I was, the obstacle removed, content therewith, partly in my respect to the generall his brother, and also to testifye the integrity of my heart in being free from passion, and void of all private interest in that particular against him; wherefore the charge, with al the informations belonging thereunto, are put into capt. Bunn's hands, fealed up with a direction, that they are not to be delivered to any but yourselfe, or to be opened but in your presence; and my earnest desire is, that unlesse he appeare maliciously active in vindicating himselfe to deprave our proceeding, that they may not be produced, or any way made use of to his prejudice; which I beseech you be pleased to confirme, because my word being passed, I would not have it frustrated, in which I doubt not but you will have a regard to the reputation of,
Sir, Your most faithful
and most humble servant,
The bearer hereof, captain Bunn, I have made choise of as an intelligible man; and therefore fit to be sent into England to give you an account of our proceeding. Wherefore you may be pleased to look upon him accordingly.
Mr. W. Aylesbury to secretary Thurloe.
Jamaica, the 25th of June 1656.
Vol. xxxix. p. 455.
Not having the honor to be known to you, I am sorry my first addresses must be made upon so great disadvantages, as not only to be streightened in time, but to appear with a complaint against an eminent commander of the fleete, Capt. Blake, which was a busines very repugnant to my nature; but being a witness of his proceedings divers moneths, and finding he was not only a great obstacle in obstructing his highnes affairs, but, as I conceived, an extreame affliction to the admirall, I was willing, in the discharge of my duty and the the trust that is reposed in me, to prefer a charge against him, with a desire, that he might be sent for England, the papers and informations, which belong thereunto, being put into Capt. Bunn's hands, and, as is desired by the admirall, not to be produced, but by order. For my part, I was very willing thereunto, having no other end or aime, but to serve the publique so far as I am able; and I hope my endeavours therein will counterpoize any objections can be made against me by Capt. Blake. I came hither, as Mr. Blackborne, secretary to the commissioners of the admiralty, can informe you, with major general Sedgwicke, whose favor, which I enjoyed in a large degree, was as great an honor to me, as his death was an unhappines. I may truly say, never man had a more real friend, nor a greater losse. Yet I do not so much bewaile myself as the publique, to which he was exceeding useful, being generally beloved and esteemed by al sorts of people. He dyed upon the 24th of May, not of any visible great distemper, only a little feaverish; and the very morning it pleased God to take him from us, I as little apprehended his death, as at any time since our departure from England. But his disease was inward; he never enjoyed himselfe since the last letters arrived, but, as was apparent to al men, from that time lost much of his freedome and cheerfulnes. When he had perused his letters, having bin private about two hours, he called me to him; and when I came into the roome, perceiving a great alteration in his countenance, I asked him, what was the matter. He replyed, Ah Mr. Mr. Aylesbury, I have not since we were together concealed any thing from you, that most concerne me; and I think never shal. I am utterly undon. I have had the greatest conflict in my spirit, that ever man had, and find I am not able to beare what is layd upon me. Sir, sayd I again, what is the matter? Peruse those letters, he replyed, and you wil see; whereupon the letters lying upon the table, I read one from his highnes, another from your self, and three from his brother Mr. William Sedgwick; after the perusal whereof, Sir, sayd I, there is nothing contained in these, that ought to afflict you. His highnes hath made choise of you to command his army; and both he and Mr. secretary have expressed so great an esteeme of you, that on the contrary you have great cause to rejoice your endeavors have bin so wel accepted, and to be thankful to God for it. Ah Mr. Aylesbury, said he again, it is that, which undoes me. There is so much expected of me, and I, conscious of my own disabilities, having besides so untoward a people to deale with, am able to performe soe little, that I shall never overcome it; it wil breake my heart; and so, notwithstanding al arguments I could use in several private discourses afterwards, I verily believe it did. He was a truly religious man, and of the most innocent conversation I ever accompanyed. Wherefore having lost so perfect a freind and support, pardon me, though I now be so bold to cast myselfe upon you for protection. I shall faithfully endeavor to deserve it, and desire you no longer to owne me, then whilst I appeare truely, according to those poore abilities God hath given me, industrious to discharge that trust is reposed in me by my imploy, without any private ends or interest. And I thanke God, I can truly say, though as others I missed, I must confes, of my first aimes, yet I was never in the least dejected therewith, but have the more cordially endeavoured to render myself useful, and to be serviceable in al occasions.
The admirall is pleased to be very favourable unto me; which being conscious of my own weaknesses I look upon as an act of charity, and a respect to the deceased major generall.
I shall not need to mention any occurrences I know. The admirall hath writ at large;
therefore I shall only beseech you to accept of such humble addresses, as shal be made to
you in my behalfe by Mr. Rob. Blackborne, and to owne under the denomination of,
Sir, your most faithful
and most humble servant,
I must not omit to let you understand, that the reason, why this ship has been so long detained after the major generall's death, was the unexpected proceedings in the army, and the due consideration of capt. Blake's busines, being it was thought convenient, that the three ships for the windward islands and this should goe together in company from hence; and the arrival of the Nevis gentlemen and their entertainment and busines took some part of the time.
It is omitted in the admirall's letter, that at the businesse of Hispaniola some of our men being taken prisoners, about 30 have remained there in a condition bad enough; some being close prisoners, others constrained to worke; but we are informed, they are now to be sent for Spain. What else is not sett down capt. Bunn wil be able to discourse to you at large, who truly understands this place, and the nature and condition of our people.
Secretary Thurloe to H. Cromwell, major general of the army in Ireland.
In the possession of Joseph Jekyll esq;
I have beene prevayled with by much importunitie to trouble your lordship with a suite on the behalfe of one Mr. Fluellin, who is now in Ireland, who much desires to be serjeant at armes to carry the mace before the chancelour. I knowe not the man myselfe, but am assured by an honest freind, that he is very fitt for the imployment (though I confesse that freind is mother in lawe to hym.) I leave hym to your lordship's favour, as you shall finde hym of desert and merit; and referre myselfe to your lordship's goodnesse for this trouble you have upon this occasion received from
Your lordship's most humble and faithfull servant,
25 June, 1656.
Nieupoort, the Dutch ambassador, to the protector.
To his most serene highnes the lord protector of the commonwealth of England, Scotland, and Ireland, with the dominions thereunto belonging.
Vol. xxxix. p. 418.
The subscribed extraordinary ambassador of the lords the States General of the United Provinces havinge seene an order of the councell, bearing date the 27th of May 1656, concerninge the monies payed into the hands of syr Thomas Vyner in pursuance of an award of the arbitrators named in the 28th article of the peace lately concluded betwixt his highnes and the said lords the States Generall, beseeching most instantly, that John Beex, one of the surviving arbitrators therein named, may be added also unto William Vander Cruysen, the other of the said arbitrators yet in being; that it may not be reputed a disparagement to him, who hath taken all along unwearied pains and care in the said business of the said award; also that now in the finall conclusion of the whole matter he should be left out, and so seem to be neglected. Given this 25th June,/5th July, 1656.
The Genoese agent to the protector.
Vol. xxxix. p. 542.
At my last audience (most serene prince) I supplicated your highness in the name of my superiors, that command might be given to your generals and commanders at sea, not only to abstain from molesting or detaining any of the ships or goods belonging to their citizens or subjects, wheresoever, in what manner, or with whom they should be found peaceably trading; but to shew them all good passage and friendly offices, as occasion required, according to justice, the laws of nations, and good correspondence between the two commonwealths, which your highness was then graciously pleased to grant; and desired Mr. secretary to prepare such orders for your signature, as the matter required, and wished me to mind him for the same, as I did, and received several promises from time to time, that I should have them. But lastly, in lieu thereof a great complaint was made me by him in your highness's name of an ill and unequal compliance of my commonwealth.
That it was certainly advised, the same to be then actually under hand supplying the present necessities of Spain with money, the sinew of war; and consequently (as justly might be said, if trew that advice) to repay your highness's great favours and everlasting signals of affection towards us with contrary effects. I must confess I was not a little startled at such an unexpected complaint, so considently averred unto me; yet well knowing the constitution and inclination of my commonwealth, and reason telling me otherwise, I endeavoured to satisfy Mr. secretary of the insubsistance of the said advice, and promised him to give an ample account thereof unto my superiors, as I have done in such terms I conceived most suitable to the duty I owe my charge and zeal to the good of both nations.
I have now (most serene prince) received their answer, whereby I am strictly commanded to present myself before your highness, and fully to remonstrate the insubsistance and malignity of the said advice; and to assure you, sir, that they are and have been far from supplying the crown of Spain with money, that not so much as a treaty or thought hath been thereof; which if so, the effects could very hardly be concealed, besides the conditions of times past to have wholly obliged them to all other considerations and applications.
That such advice being so ill grounded and contrary to truth, is feared to have been transmitted hither by persons, not only ill affected to my commonwealth, but also to the good government and service of your highness, seeking thereby to divert (if it were possible) or at least to breed suspicious that very good and sincere amity and correspondence, which at present doth pass between this nation and ours, which as it hath been always by them endeavoured to advance and make greater, so they shall never hereafter omit any occasion, that may offer to do the like, and particularly to serve your highness, from whom they should receive for a great satisfaction to themselves, that you would command the issuing out of such orders, as this matter requires for the discovery of the authors of the abovesaid invention, to the end found out they may receive their deserved retribution.
And that it may fully appear unto your highness my superiors ardent desires to continue, sir, a perfect good impression of their candid proceedings, in relation to what hath been said, and intire credit given to my words, they have deliberated to write these, and commanded me to present them. And because your highness may see, that I have been rather wanting than otherwise in what I ought to express, I have brought the original letters received to that purpose, which are these, this being a faithful translation thereof, which I beseech may be read.
Your highness having now seen with what zeal my commonwealth hath proceeded to satisfy you, sir, in this particular, as I am assured it will be ever most ready to do the like in all occasions whatsoever relating to the good of this nation; so I doubt not, but your great goodness will reciprocally comply therewith, and give command those orders abovementioned formerly granted by your highness be delivered unto me, that I may send them to my superiors, as I am commanded.
Most serene prince,
Your highness's most devoted humble servant,
Duke, governors, and procurators of the commonwealth of Genoa.
Vol. xxxix. p. 544.
Magnificent our agent, your letters of the 27th of March last came to our hands; we having with due attention considered the manner of your writing and advice given us therein, and particularly what had been related unto you by Mr. secretary in the behalf of the lord protector, and of all you answered in opposition thereunto, that it could not subsist and a mere invention proceeding from malignant people.
And being it highly concerns us, as reason requires, that his highness and ministers should remain fully satisfied of the clear and candid proceeding of our commonwealth, and insubsistance and malignity of the said advise; we have therefore deliberated to send you our credential letters to the said lord protector, which you shall receive with these, the contents whereof you may read by the copy here annexed, charging you to present them, and withal by word of mouth fully to remonstrate unto his highness the insubsistance of the advice transmitted thither, and communicated unto you in his name, that our commonwealth should be or hath been actually underhand as you write us, as openly treating to supply the present necessities of Spain with money, which is admitted the sinew of war; and that consequently we should not correspond with his highness's candid affection towards our own commonwealth, but act a contrary office, if in truth the said advice had any substance or foundation, which in reality hath not, for that our commonwealth is so far from supplying the crown of Spain with money, that not the least treaty hath been touching any such pratique, which, if so, it would be very hard to keep the effect thereof secret, having also the condition of times past obliged our commonwealth to all other considerations and applications.
And whereas in truth the abovesaid advice is insubsistent and ill grounded, we may with reason fear the same to have been transmitted thither by persons, not only ill affected to our commonwealth, but also to the good government and service of his highness, seeking thereby to divert, if it were possible, or at least to breed suspicious that very good and sincere correspondence, which at present doth pass between the English nation and ours; the which, as it hath been always by our commonwealth endeavoured to advance and make great, so we shall never hereafter omit any occasion, that may offer to do the like.
And we should also receive particular satisfaction, that his highness would command the issuing out of such orders, as this matter requires, for the discovery of the authors of the abovesaid invention, to the end found out they may receive the deserved retribution.
With all which reasons you shall procure fully to undeceive his highness and ministers, and intirely take off any ill impression whatsoever, that may have been caused by the said untrue advice.
Procuring also to have and receive from his highness those orders in writing, which he was pleased to grant in favour of our subjects ships and goods, which you shall forthwith send us with a distinct advice and report of what you have operated and penetrated with all your attent, observance, and ponderation.
Vol. xxxix. p. 546.
The continuation of those daily commands, which I receive, most serene prince, from my prince, my superiors have now obliged me to assume the boldness to kiss your highness's hand, to revive in you, sir, that ardual service and sincere affection deservedly by them due to so renowned and great a prince, unto whom I am extremely sorry, that my abilities cannot fully express, as I am specially commanded, their living sentiments of all thankful acknowledgment for the supernumerary favours and everlasting signals of affection, which your highness was graciously pleased to honour them with in their late ambassador, assuring you, sir, that they wait not on any thing with a greater devotion than the happiness of your commandments, to manisest, that their deeds shall be no way inferior to these their words.
And being it hath pleased the omnipotent God of his mercy not only to render these nations now happy under the prudent government and protection of so wise and valorous a prince, beloved and feared through the whole universe, but also to state your highness a counterpoize to all Christian princes; so they hope, being not the least of your friends and honourers, to partake of so great a goodness, that thereby their citizens and subjects may receive better encouragement than heretofore in their trade and commerce; humbly intreating, that your highness would be pleased in order thereunto, strictly to command your admirals and commanders at sea, not only to abstain from molesting or detaining them, their ships or goods, wheresoever, in what manner, or with whom they shall be peaceably trading, but to shew them all good passage and friendly offices, as occasion shall require, according to justice, the laws of nations, and good correspondence between the two commonwealths.
A paper relating to the Genoese agent.
Vol. xxxix. p. 463.
His highness having received 2 papers from mons. Bernardi, resident of the most serene councel of Geneva, expressing the good wiil of that state, and sincere affection, which his superiors beare to his said highness councel; and thereupon desiring, that his highness would be pleased upon occasion of the war with Spain to give command to the generals and commanders at sea to abstain from molesting or delaying any of the ships goods belonging to their citizens or subjects, and to shew them all friendly offices, as occasion requires, according to justice, the laws of nations, and good correspondence between the two countrys; his highness thereupon commands, that it be made known to the said resident, that he had always a singular esteem of the amity and friendship of the said commonwealth, whereof his highness hath not been wanting to give assurance to their embassador extraordinary at his being here; and upon all other occasions, that he doth still retain the same mind and intention towards them; and shall on his part give no occasion for the lessening the good correspondence, which is between these two states, but on the contrary be ready to cultivate and increase the same by all good means, as a testimony whereof, although his highnes hath already given orders to his commanders at sea, that they give no offence or offer any wrong or injury to any of the friends of the state, but to use them with all favour and friendship; yet he will upon this occasion give them orders in particular, or to the state of Genoa, being confident of the reciprocal friendship and good will of that state, and that they will not give any help, aide, or assistance to his enemy.
25 June, 1656.
Paper delivered to the Genoa agent.
A letter of intelligence.
Dantzick the 5th of July, 1656. [N. S.]
Vol. xxxix. p. 468.
The king of Sweden, and prince elector are joyned in offensive and defensive league. The Muscovite ambassador dispatched away from Marienburgh without content. The Brandenburgher lets the Swede over 8, some say 10000 men, with whom his forces join, and are marched for Warsaw, from whence came letters yesterday from the king of Poland to this town, that he lay before it, and encompassed it about with 70000 armed men, besides the unarmed as many; and when he hath taken it, will send this town assistance and relief: but the king of Sweden being marched to relieve Warsaw expect to hear of action; and what the effects of those things will be. Letters out of Courland yesterday dated the 2d instant say, the Muscovite is sallen into Leiffland with 40000 men, and have taken in Newscons about some 15 miles from Riga; but how true we know not. It's absolutely reported here, the Hollanders have resolved to assist this town as one of their own members; and for that purpose the Holland fleet is come into this road, and have their ambassadors here to mediate for them. I am informed, good conditions have been lately offered this town, but they dare not trust the Swede, alledging several instances of breach of promise. And now our cause with this town, which we have defended so long, is come to a conclusion, that we must either sweare, pay taxes, and serve in persons, as the Hollanders do (who do so much for them, whereas his highness contra assists the Swede with men, as they say) or else we muse depart this place by the 15th instant, which is a very short warning to dispose of our affairs, breake up housekeeping, and depart; but I hope we shall be introduced again, the troubles being over, in better conditions than now we are upon.