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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July (4 of 6)
Major general Goffe to secretary Thurloe.
I Thanke you for your care and paines you have taken with colonel Clarke to gett the monie laied out for the seamen. I am sorry there is soe much trouble in it. I shall be more wary in makeing promises to the country hereafter. If they shall be willinge to performe this last promise, I desire the money may be paid into the hands of my brother, Mr. James Goffe, at the signe of the Starre in Canning-streete near London-stone. I am allsoe obliged to you for remembering mee as to lodgings in Somersett-house. I wish you would command mee to serve you in any thing, which lieth in my power; you should find mee your very ready and willing servant. I have received a letter from the committee of the army, with some printed orders of his highnesse and the counsel, and shall hope, that wee may now be brought into better order than hetherto wee have beene but it seemeth the committee have not yett received the establishment. I was all the last weeke in Barksheere, and was att the assizes, where things were caryed very well by the judges. I found too many differences amongst the godly people there, and did what I could to reconcile them, and exorted them to agree and unite against wickedness, which I am sure is the common enemie. They seemed verry desirous to unite in choosing mee for their parliament man att Abbington; but all the rabble of the towne were last yeere for one Holt, who is an ill man, and noe friend to the protector. Mr. Dunch is for his sonne in law Mr. Beck, who he faith is sollicitor to the counsell of states, and he thinkes he can make a good party amongst the ordinary fort for Mr. Beck. Pray lett me know your opinion both of Mr. Beck and the busines. I doe not designe it for my selfe: to keepe out the badd man is the worke; and if you can recommend Mr. Beck to the honest people of the towne as a good man, I shall be contented with all my hart. If in this or any thinge else I may serve his highnes in helping on a good choyse, I shall be gladd, and doe hope I shall have your advise. I suppose you may have heard of our greate grand jury for Hampshire, in which colonel Norton is foreman. My lord R. is verry apprehensive of designe in the foreman, his second being Mr. Bulkeley, and such like; but having seene the list, I find there are many cavelleers, some whom wee have decemated. We thinke the honest part of the country will not soe well like, when they shall heere they are of col. Norton's choosing; and upon that account it may be the grand jury may not have soe great a sway in the choyse of parliament men as it is thought by some they will. But my thinkes my lord R. Cromwell and col. Norton should debate and agree their men before the day of choyse; and certainely they would carry it without dispute. My lord faith Mr. Lowe is growne more moderate. He is very civill to mee. The Lord knoweth his hart. I am somewhat searefull, how he may prove. But the Lord hath the harts of all men in his hands, and cann turne them as he pleaseth. Oh! that wee could be in nothinge carefull, but in all things make our request unto him without ceasing. Unto his grace I recommend you, and remayne,
Sir, Your most affectionate freind, and humble servant,
Mr. P. Meadowe, the English agent in Portugal, to secretary Thurloe.
The Saphire and Phœnix frigatts I hope are safely arrived in England, and Mr. Mainard with my dispatches, an answer to which I expect before this comes to your honour's hand. The Angel, a rich merchant man, coming from Leghorn, and touching at Genua, put in heer, and being bound from hence for Portsmouth, gave me opportunitie of the present conveiance. Those of the English nation, who come into this port, express no smal joy for the peace lately concluded; for had there been a warr betwixt England and Portugal at the same tyme we have war with Spain, the English trading to the Levant had not had a port to befriend them 'twixt the land's end and Constantinople, but onely the forenamed of Genua and Leghorn. The Algiers men have 24 ships out at sea, but they observe very justly the capitulations with England. Tripoli hath nine very able shipps from 30 to 54 gunns. It were to be desired, we had either a peace with them also, or else that our fleete could serve them as they did those of Tunis the last year. When our fleet was heere in Cascais-road, the generals sent captain Blagge with a squa dron of 7 or 8 frigotts to the northward as high as Vigo, who upon his return gave me this accompt: That coming to Vigo he found there two Ostend men of warre, one of 15 the other of 17 gunns, which had been there to cleane, and being newly haled from the shore, their guns were not aboard: upon his arrival they runn themselves into the bottom of the bay for their securitie; one of them was blown up by a shott received into his powder room, yet the captain and some others saved, who was exchanged for your captain of the Cullyn; the other, seeing the state of his companion, fired himselfe, and so did a little Portugese prize, which they had lately taken. Captain Holland in the Assurance, who stayed a day or more behind the rest, brought off a Dutch vessel laden with salt upon the king of Spain's account. Captain Blagge having received my letters to the generalls, sett saile for the fleete the 2/12 instant, and sends up captain Holland with the prize to me to dispose of it for his highness's service, assuring me the salt would be of no service to your fleete, yet 30 lasts were taken out and putt on board the frigats. When I came to examine the business, I found the proceed of the salt would not pay the skippers freight, and having no warrant to free the ship, I resolved to send her to the fleet, but she being leaky and defective in her main mast, I was enforced, as my last resuge, to take the Dutch consul's bond, that the ship should remain heer in the river 20 days, that so I might have competent time to receive the general's orders concerning her. Our fleete is in the old quarter in Cadiz Bay. The Spaniard uses his buckler more than his sword. In the Dutch warr we were sure of an enemy that would sight, besides good prizes to help pay charges; but the Spaniard will neither sight nor trade. It is said the Ostender, that took the Cullyn, carried another English prize into Vigo, two days after our frigatts came off. Those petty ports of Galicia are the nests of all the rogues, which gave me the boldnes to submitt it to the general's consideration, whether it will not be convenient, that some frigatts ply in that quarter; besides, they have it here from Spain, that 12 ships are sitting at the Groyn, and six shipps at St. Sebastian's. The same intelligence saies, the English have lost al in Jamaica, the contrary to which I can very hardly perswade them here to beleeve. The long expected Brasil fleete is not yet arrived, but a French man came in to day, who saies he discovered him the day before to the northwards, and that they are not many leagues off. My lord chamberlain is embarqued upon their armada, but was it carried so privately, that the lady knew not of it the night before; he putt himself at first as a voluntier gentleman upon the admiral, but is since removed into the vice-admiral. He was pleased to find fault with the admiral for keeping downe his flagg too long, when he faluted the English fleete in Cascais; he returning him a rough answer begat some difference. Hitherto they carry things faire here. They tel me his highnes shal make choice of any place for a magazinc of provisions for his fleete, and they wil undertake for the safety of it. I had further conference with them concerning Tanger, but it is not yet ripened to any thing. The ship by which I send this is presently to saile, and therefore I am forced to be brief. I am in expectation to know whether his highnes will give me my revocation before the winter, which if so, and his highnes orders and my own health would permit, I should gladly return by the way of France. And so I humbly kisse your honour's hand, and shal ever remain
Lockhart, ambassador in France, to the protector
May it please your highness,
I Know that to importune your highnesse with unnecessary trobles doth render me guiltie of the breach of that distance my dewty tells me I ought to keep; and therefore would not have presumed upon this addresse, ys I had not been pressed by his eminence (even beyond refusall) to return your highnesse his humble acknowledgments for the kyndnesses I made bold to offer him in your highnesse name, and to give your highnesse his best assurances, that if by your assistance he shall be able to remount his beast (as he calls it) he shall desyer to ryde him for no other end, than to have an opportunitie of witnessing the hight of his resentments of your highnesse respects to him, and of expressing a gratitude for them, that shall be without example. I have used his owne terms as near as I can render them.
Lockhart to secretary Thurloe.
Yesterday in the afternoon I was sent to by his eminence, and was desyerd to waite upon him that evening, if possible. Though it was late, I went, and was with him betwixt six and seven a clock. I had manie kynd expressions from him. When compliments were over, I mentioned the peace with Spain; he told me, that Mr. de Lyon was gone to keep a meeting with some of the Spanish ministers; and protested, that he had condescended to the propositions of peace upon no other account, but to stopp the clamor of the pope and French clergie. He knew the king of Spain's demands would be so high, as all honest Frenchmen would thinke it sitt and just to continue the warr. The issue hath answered his expectations, for the Spaniards demands are so unreasonable, as even the clergie offer to contribute largely for the carrying on the warr against them.
The demands are these: 1. That all townes and forts taken since the beginning of the warr in Itallie, Flanders, and Burgundie, shall be restored. 2. That Catalonia be restored. 3. That the dutchie of Lorrain be restored to the duke, who is now their prisoner. 4. That the prince of Conde be restored to all his rights in France. And lastly, that this peace may passe as betwixt a good uncle and nephew, who may henceforth have common friends and enemies, so that he said, France must sacrisice Portugall to the creweltie of the Spanyards, and renounce the friendshipp with his highnesse, which to him was the hardest conditione of all. Mr. de Lion is upon his returne, and will be heare in the beginning of the next weeke. I hope your honour will pardon the disorders of this account, seeing I have scarce tyme lest me to consider what I wryte; and that I doe say is as I am able to remember it out of a discourse that past last night.
The cardinal was verie earnest with me to moove his highnesse to lend him three or or foure of his old regiments of foote for three months, and offerred them conditions so high, that I believe they would be easily induced to accept of them, if they could be spared. I told him, that was not to be expected at present; and that I could not offer a propositione to my master, that to my own knowledge was against his interest.
In the next place he pressed a levie of soure thousand men to be raised by his highnesse authoritie in 8 dayes tyme, and to be transported by his highnesse shipps to Calais. I desyred to know his desygn, and assured him, that the grannt or resuse of that desyer would depend much upon his highnesse being satisfied with it. He said his design was either to reaseidge Vallenciennes, or to beseige Cambray or Doway. I told him, I was assured his highnesse kyndnesse for France and himself was such, as would willinglye permitt a levie to be raised with all possible speed; but I knew that could not be done under six weeks or two months tyme, unless his highnesse would interpose his own interest and authoritie for it, which I durst not wish him to doe, except he would alter his desygn, and resolve to attaque some place in Flanders. I made bold to say this upon the knowledge I have, that 4000 men raised and marched anie considerable way, and after that putt to the hard dewties of a seige, and having nothing to subsist upon but bread and water, would quickly melt away; and the clamor their friends would make for their losse would be very disadvantageous to his highnesse.
At last I told the cardinall (in as kynd termes, as I was able to expresse myself in) that I was consident my master did esteeme himselfe verie nearlie concerned in the misfortune of his late losse; and that he would deny no assistance, that might reasonablie be expected from him. And I thought, he could give no greater testimonie of his frendshipp at this tyme, then to be willing to goe on with the old businesse. It was the only probable mean I could see for recovering his reputation in this campaigne. I found he had a huge mynd to have on blow more for it, either at or neare the place, where he had received the affront; but when I proposed to him the difficulties of such an enterpryse, and the almost impossibilitie of carying anie of these places so late in the yeare, with a great deale of appearance of being satisfied, he at length agreed to the seige of Dunkirk and Mardyk. It was so late, that all wee could doe was to aggree in the generall upon the tearmes formerlie mentioned; and I did repeat as manie of the particulars as I then could remember; a list whereof I send you here inclosed; to all which particulars he condescended.
He desyers to know in what species the monie for the levies and provisions shall be provyded; offerrs either Spanish gold, French gold, or silver; and desyers to know, if it be possible to remitt it by way of exchange.
The cardinall offerred me extraordinary great conditions, if I could serve him; and told me, he would wryte to Mr. de Bordeaux to move his highnesse in it; and that by a particular letter from himselfe he would make it his request to his highnesse, that I might have the command of what forces were sent. I excused myself from it, and told him, a proposi tion of that nature from him would be as great an injurie to me, as he could doe me; and assured him, that his highnesse would bestow the command of anie men he should send upon a person, that would meritt it much more than I did.
The Spanyards are now soe high, as they give it out, that they intend sisteen thousand of their men shall have their winter quarters in England; and brag much of the great intelligences they have theire.
The Lord preserve his highnesse person from the cruel plotts his enemies have against it. The apprehensions they have, that the ensuing parliament will bringe things to a good settlement, will both heighten and hasten the crueltie of their desygnes of that nature; but I hope his God will be with him to deliver him and disappoint them.
Sir, if his highnesse and his Christian majestie doe agree in their joynt prosecution of the
seige of Dunkerk and Mardyk, the importance of the affair will oblydge me to desyer, that
those who syne for the king, may have commission for it; and I am still assured, that they will
scruple my power. If, I say, my master is bound by what I doe, provyded it be agreeable to
my instructions, they will then desyre to see my instructions, and that I shall not venture
to doe without your positive order for it; and if I should, they will not know what to make
of them, most of them relating to that businesse being in cyphers. Howsoever if your
honour continue of the judgement, that the power I have may serve the turne, I shall make
the best shist I can with them, and shall study nothinge more than how to desire the esteem
Your most humble and obediant servant,
Sir, Mr. de Bordeaux hath order to presse a levie in general without relatione to any joynt seige; and if the conditions for the seige do not please, I humbly begg he may be allowed a levie. I know he will content himselfe with three or two thousand men: if he can have no more. The cardinal hath great need of your contenancing him at this tyme; and if I be not mistaken, it is your interest at present to do all that can be done for his preservatione.
Lockhart to secretary Thurloe.
As I was doing up the packett, I received the inclosed from count Brienne. I have refused all have applyed to me in the particular he mentions, synding them persons, whom you needed not much oblydge; but I think it my dewtie to be a suitor to your honour for this favour to the count; and though the number of twentie horses be great, yett I hope you will be pleas'd to allow him a passe for them, which he desyers may be given to the French ambassador, from whom his servant he sends for them will receive it. I have also just now receaved yours of July the 10th, and a packett of my own returned, which it seemeth hath missed the monday's post at la Ferre. I have sent it with this, and ame glad, that my cariadge to the cardinall since his late losse seemes to answere the commands I have just now received from you about it. I had the intelligence of Sexbye's being in England from Mr. d'abbey d'Ondidey, his eminence's principall secretary. His master had it from one now with Charles Stuart; and I am perswaded, it is most trew. If he be returned, it must be latelie, for I shall heare of it within a little tyme after. I could learn nothing where he was, but was assured he was upon dangerous desynes. I am confident, if he had known more of that, the cardinal would have allowed him to have told me. I have all this daye been in verie greate haste, and therfore, must beg pardon for the confusions you will meet with from this daye's letter. I am,
A letter of intelligence.
I Have yours of the 10th from London. I had before that sent you my accounts, as they stood then. I shall by saturday post be able to send a bill of some good parcels, that if you like, when you know what they are, our correspondents may take or leave them at their pleasure. I desire you will be very punctual in answering my last, that we may not fail to keep such with our friends, that venture the goods in our hands. The messenger that Ferley sent to his friend Knoxley, /Charles Stuart duke of York, is returned satisfied of all he came for, which they will publish to their friends, though yet it be in a manner a secret. We are not yet certain, what use the Spaniards will make of this victory, for yet he lies down before no place, but hovers up and down near mons. de Turenne, who is at Quesnoy, and both shortens our provisions, and hindereth our recruits. His army decreaseth every day; and whatever we make of it, ours is in a very good condition, as sew here sorry, unless they have either relation to the court, or live by the cardinal. The truth is, unless our protector's victories against the cavilliers, I have not heard of one to compare this of the Spaniards to. They took 430 commission officers, 37 pieces of cannon, and 4 mortar pieces, and slew between 6 and 7000 men upon the place. Mademoiselle d'Orleans is now come within five leagues of this town, to what end I know not; but all those of quality go to visit her. If she make new broils here, judge in what condition we poor tradesmen are.
A letter of information.
Yesterday I was at North Walsham, where the messengers of the several churches in the publique meeting-place gave their sence and some arguments against dipping, and for baptizing of the children of believers. Mr. Brewstre and Mr. Powly being both dipped, stood up to plead the contrary, and shewed so much unsoundnes as to doctrine, that I was ashamed. But to relate no more of that, as I came home, an honest Christian man, one in whom I putt much confidence, told me, that he having a kinsman an Anabaptist, did heare very suspitious words spoken by him, as if that party did intend disturbance, and to rise very shortly; and he wished me to signify so much to some trusty friend, that soe all timely care may be taken, and means used to prevent the disturbance of the peace of this country; and if you thinke fitt, I pray (with my humble service and thankes to your much honored master) declare speedily unto him what I have written, that so he may as he sees cause, improve his powere to oure safety.
Major general Berry to secretary Thurloe.
I Have not much at present to trouble you with, but to give you an account of my motion, which is this day unto North Wales, where I thinke to spend about a fortnight. We begin to talke busily of getting parliament men; I hope there will be a good choice. I am sorry, there should be any mistake in the information for justices in Carnarvon. If I was deceived, it was by honest men; and if colonel John Jones be at London, lett him answere it. I shall promise you not to be soe easily deceived another tyme, and I shall make a full enquiry into the business. This day is sessions, and much busines, which may excuse this hast of
Major general Haynes to secretary Thurloe.
I Received your honour's of the 5th of July, but the 10th at Norwich, haveing bin a progress to visite the corporations along the sea coast, as Colchester, Ipswich, Oldborrough, &c. where I finde they are full of great complaints of their losses at sea, and want of trade, especially most northward; and the country will soone also be sensible thereof: I pray God direct therein. I shall take all possible care in Martyn's busyness, the post master, haveing acquainted my lord St. John therewith in part already, and purpose to wayte on him further about it at the assizes there, communicating the contents of yours. The writts of elections in this countye came to the sheriff's hands yesterday, who will I am consydent promote the publique good therein to his power; but noe declaration in order from my lord and the councel comeinge therewith, it hath exceedingly heightened the spirits of the ill affected, and putt great discouragement upon your friends, the more in regard the newes booke lately proclaymed a free election, which is made use in discourse to the worst sense, and feared wil be practised accordingly. Indeed, sir, I am jealous we shall send you as badd as we dare choose, and if there be any alteration in the choyse, it will be for the worse; for honest men are not yet perswaded to appeare, they had soe ill successe in their endeavours heere, by threats and frownes of those last chosen, as also in their prosecution of exceptions above against some, which proved verie chargeable and fruitlesse; yet shall there not be wanting any endeavours of mine; and if I might not be thought too impertinent, I would againe offer to consideration, that the militia troopes might be paid, and soe mustered before that tyme, as that which might be improved to a good advantage in this affaire; but I submitt it. If nothinge be done to releive the spirits of men exceedingly disponding, I am consident, we shall not choose one good man more then my lord deputy and Sir John Hobart; and the first by the helpe of the last, whose comeing downe will certainly prejudice your election here, for he is the darling of this country, and chooseth, whom he please; and as he did the last tyme, it's beleived he will againe putt in for the worst against the honest intent. I leave it to your consideration, whether speaking to him by some one be not advysable. The bailiffs of Yarmouth acquainted me with a letter you sent them in relation to one Tobias Barnes, a prysoner with them, whom you desired might be still secured, and referred to myself, to be proceeded against by his highnesse instructions; but there lying noe evidence before me against him, I can doe nothing. It's their humble request, your honour would order his being sent up to London, or the takeing good security for his appearance, when called for; and they assure me he hath tendred verie able and well affected persons to that end. I begg a word as to this, being greatly importuned. Our North Walsham fifth monarchy bretheren, who weare lately dipped, are synce growen exceeding high in their expressions, and that tending to bloud, as by the enclosed your honor will perceive; and Buttephant of the lyse guard, Rudduck, and Pooly the cheistances of them. It's not conjectured they are able to doe any considerable thinge to a disturbance heere; yet it is communicated, that if you meet with like intelligence from other parts, your honour would direct what cource to take with them. Buttephant is come to London: some horses better then usualy such persons had, and some pistolls I am informed they have. Pray pardon this tediouse discourse from,
Norwich, July 16. 56.
The governor of Barbadoes to secretary Thurloe.
Some ten days since came to my hands yours of the 17th November, in the behalfe of one Mr. Dixon a chirurgon, whom you are pleased to informe me hath a suit depending in this islande for a summe of money to him dew from the estate of Mr. Archibbald Hope deceased, now in the possession of Mr. Pourie of this place. I have not hitherto heard from the said Mr. Dixon concerning it, nor from any other person as atturny or agent for him, or on his behalfe; nether do I heare of any sute depending in this island relating thereunto, and being wholy a stranger to what is alleadged, am not able to give you any accompt thereof. If the said Mr. Dixon, or any other person in his behalfe, shall applye himself unto me, I shall most readily, in obedience to his highnesse's command, and your honour's recomendation thereof unto me, give him the utmost assistance I may for the recovery of his just right.
I have likewise received an order of his highnesse, bearing date at Whitehall the 5th of March last, on a petition presented to his highness by captain Thomas Chapman, wherein his highness is pleased to refer the matter therein contained to myselfe, and some others heare, to putt a period thereunto, if by consent of parties it might be done, otherwise to certifie the particulars with our opinions thereon, to his highnesse further orders.
The said captain Chapman, upon presenting me the petition, with his highnesse's order thereon to me directed, requested there might be no proceedings in order thereunto, untill he should hear further from England, which hath bin granted unto him: what his reasons are for it I know not, unless it be, that he finds that his agent who there acted for him, have inserted some untruths in his petition, to the scandall of justice, which he is unwillinge to owne. He hath had full and free libertie to prosecute his right alledged to the land in question, in any the courts of common pleas within this island, and hath not bin denyed or any way obstructed therein, as your honour may finde by the enclosed coppie of his action, brought at a general session here held for gaole delivery and common pleas, at which tyme the action abated, for that the parties concerned to make their defence, had not a legall summons to appeare; since which tyme he hath no further prosecuted, notwithstanding the constant monthlie sitting of our courts in the several precincts of this island. I have likewise sent your honour a coppie of the defendant's bill exhibited in chancery, by which you will finde the whole plea of the defendant's, but the chancery, upon a hearing of both parties, referred the tryal thereof at common law, as moste proper for that courte to take cognizance of. I humbly request your honour to give his highness this account of those two referrences unto me, if either of the proficients appeare. I shall proceede therein in pursuance of his highnesse's commands and directions given me. I have not any thinge of intelligence worth communicating to your honour from hence, but with my dew respects and service tendered you, remayne
A letter of intelligence to Mr. Matthew Bonnell.
My last to you was of the 15th and 22d current. In my last I advised you, how we were uppon debaet, wheather they should accept of palme/ peace from pantba./ Portugal. It is broken of; for here they will not admitt of it upon any score. Kainfer/ King of pantba/ Portugal has offered the Kainfer/ king of Silgo/ Spain as much by the yeare as pantba Portugal was wourth hem, when he injoyed it, and all would not doe. This was but a privat tarte/ treaty by the resident of pantba/ Portugal that is heere, to see if Sparter/ Spain would consent to this, and afterwards he would wourke with Kainfer/ king of pantba./ Portugal. Many wayes pantba/ Portugal has taken these two yeares to see if the Sparter/ Spain would com to any agreement, for Fruxe/ France makes hem paye yearely great sumes of max/, money, and domineers much over pantba/, Portugal, for Fruxe/ France cannot be persuaded, that Sparter/ Spain will eaver make palme/ peace with pantba/; Portugal; and I hope also, that others will make ues of the time; for rest assured, that Sparter/ Spain will not admitt of palme/ peace with pantba/. Portugal. Heere is nofegayes/ news from Clyrr/Cadiz, that Bartaine/ adm. Blake and his fish/ fleet were forst from Clyrr/ Cadiz by a storme, and constrayned to leave his 29 31 cables 21 16 beheind, soe that before he came back, those of Clyrr/ Cadiz cutt his boyes: allsoe that Bartaine/ adm. Blake tooke a Starr/, ship, that was coming with nofegayes/ news from the Indies. If Bartaine/ adm. Blake and his fish/ fleet, or any other fish/ fleet stays before Clyrr/ Cadiz these foure yeares, Sparter/ Spain is resolved to provid noe fish/ fleet at all; and as long as war water/ houlds, they will never engage in any way your fish/ fleet. Some Stakes/ ships they will send for the Indies in winter, when your Stakes/ ships will returne. They all admire heere, why the protrax/ protector keeps a fish/ fleet before Clyrr/ Cadiz, to noe benefit, and to great charges; for all the marchandies, that foraine places sends or brings to them, they can doe without them. It prejudisses much, that many of your marchands has sent orders hether, to see if any lycence could be had for admittance of marchantdies to be brought there hence. This makes Sparter/ Spain think yx/ you cannot doe without palme/ peace. Som reamedy to this will not be amiss. I will wander henceforward partly by the other waye you know. I am endeavouring for the necessarys, which cannot easily be had here. I will longe to heere, that you receaved my former. It is not as yet knowen, what effect the palme/ peace with Frantford/ France will have. I cannot beleeve, that Creame/ card. Mazarin Creame/ intends really, nor I cannot perseave, that any thinge of purpos is don with Starme/; Scots king; but they are hamering about it; but they will not conclude any thing of consernment, till they see if yx/ you will com to palme/ peace this winter. This is all, that offers at present wourth your advice, excepting to heere from you.
Major general Packer to secretary Thurloe.
I Give you many thankes for your last leter, and for that therby I perceive you put yourselfe to that trouble to propound my doubt to his highnes: the answer thereunto I doe much rejoyce in, and doe hope I may apply it to very good purposs in some places. People doe begine to ripen in theyr thoughts towards the election of the parliament, but with some differrence as to persons; yet not soe much by farre as at some other tymes. The Lord, in whose hand alone is the great worke, I hope will order and dispose thereof, for the refreshment of the hearts of his owne deere children, for the perfecting the worke of reformation, and for the exaltinge his owne great name in the earth. Sir, I have one request more to you on the behalfe of the bearer, who is a widdow, and doth now keep the post-house at Waltham-cross. I have formerly prevayled with you for her continuance, but now she is informed, that you are disposing the place to another. Now my great request is, that you will please to continue her in the place, she having a great charge of children, and I believe her estate low in the world: and I have heard . . . report of the woman of her honest conversation; and I doe beleive is very well able to manage the busines. Sir, what you doe herein I shall esteem it as a reall favour towards me, and shall putt it upon the account of the many others received, by which I am obliged as
Mr. Spencer Bretton to the governor and company of Turkey merchants.
Right worshipfull sirs,
I Am to informe your worshipps of a difference, which lately happened betwixt us and the Dutch in the port of Smyrna, the manner thus: A vessel of theirs, called the St. George, Meyndert Evertson commander, laden with marchandize from Amsterdam, arrived in this port upon the fabbath day, when our commanders and their people were at their devotion, and was the cause they did not salute him as accustomary. This begott a dispute, when he and some of our commanders mett on shore, in which the Dutch captaine (as I am informed) was exceeding rude; and not content so, but upon the 4th current towards evening, came to Mr. Robert Peckett's seale, when captain Browne, commander of the Bendish, was then newly landed. The Dutch had in his boate 16 or 17 men armed with swords and pistolls, falls upon some of Mr. Browne's men, being but five in number, and those unarmed, which defect was soone supplied from Mr. Peckett's and Mr. Barnardiston's, the adjoining house, and then fell so roundly upon them, that the Dutch captain and most of his men were beaten into the sea, himself wounded, yet made shift to recover a Dutch seale, but his boate, with six of his men, seized and detained; and all this without having an English singer cutt in this broyle. Two of the Dutch mariners were soe wounded, as that since they are dead, besides a Greek, guardian of the custome house, shott through the head and slain; whereupon I caused the forenamed six taken men to be delivered into the hands of the cadee: to gett of these it cost them 300 dollars, and the blood of the Greek (which sell to their shares to pay for) cost them double that summe. This was the worke of fryday the 4th current. Upon monday following, being the 7th present, appeared a Dutch ship from Venice, called the Pomerland, Rodolph Pieterson commander; before she came nigh this towne, some of the Dutch marchants and masters of their shipps got on bord, and prevailed with her commander (as drunken a beast as he of the St. George) to putt out an English pendant fastned to the end of one of theirs, placed under their flagge, and soe come sayling into port. I sent on board to desire them to take it in, but they refused: this begott another quarrel; and had the Prosperous and those our other shipps (latelie come in) been sailfast, they had laid the Fleming on board, and forced down the said pendant, but this might have proved a work of dangerous consequence, and therefore gave no encouragement to it: howbeit, for preservation of our nation's honour, and the prevention of further blood-shed, I caused a pendant of theirs to be putt under our colours, and so rid untill night, when both parties tooke them in, and since have putt them forth no more. Notwithstanding, to cleare ourselves from all demands and attaints which might follow, myself and nation went to the cadee's, made our complaint, and desired an hodgett, concerning these abuses, which I did intend to have sent unto his lordship; the cadee gave faire promises, for which and his hodgett I was to have paid 100 dollars. But whilst this was in agitation, the French consul (as we suppose, upon request of the Dutch) did send his druggerman and two of his merchants, desiring me to forbeare further prosecution, prosessing himselfe to become moderator of this differrence, with promise I should receive all reasonable satisfaction: both myselfe and the Dutch, with the approbation of sundry of our nation, did wholy referre the business to the determination of the said French consul, who composed the differrence thus:
Three of our merchants, such as I should appoint, were desired to meete the like number of the Dutch at the French consull's, where the Dutch (according to the said consull's award) made this acknowledgment: First, that their captain landing at Mr. Peckett's scale, and assaulting his house, was a rash and unadvised act, not owned by their merchants, and that if it were to performe again, it should not be done; being sorry for what was past, and the like should be forborne hereafter. Secondly, that the pendant worne by the ship Pomerland, at her coming into port, was not done on purpose to affront our colours or nation (although we know the contrary) and that the same pendant might as well be termed the Genoa crosse or ours, and had been worne in other ports by the same ship without exception; however, seeing it gave distaste, it should be worne here no more; conditionally we would not weare a pendant of theirs under our colours, as we did at the same tyme; and that upon this acknowlegement we might become friends as formerly; to which both parties agreed, and thereupon both merchants and commanders, English and Dutch, were invited by the French consul to dine with him the next day, which accordingly they did, where all were made friends, and it shall be their faults, if we doe not soe continue. And here your worshipps have the full and true relation of this business, which is chiefly given to prevent misinformations. I remayne
A letter of intelligence.
The king of Sweden being joined with the forces of the duke of Brandenburgh, doth find himself at present near the river Buck; and it's said, that he is resolved to pass the river Wessel, with an intention to attack the king of Poland, and to draw him out to a battle. The Poles are also said to be resolved to sight.
A letter of intelligence.
We have no news here since the defeat given at Valencia, but the beleaguering of Conde. The French with some recruits they have had make a body of 12000 men, and lie under the cover of their own garrisons, not far from the Spanish army. Just now is news come here of the defeat of the French at the siege of Valencia in Italy, their cannon taken, and all their baggage; their lieut. general taken, and the duke of Modena fled.
An intercepted letter for Mr. John Swasey, at the Golden Sheaf in Grace-church street.
I Am glad, that any of mine are come safe. You desire me to deal freely, and so I have and shall do. There shall nothing of concernment happen, but you shall have notice of it. In the mean time you must have the like patience there we have here. The English here begin to look high, having heard, that the dispatch from Spain is come to don John, who intends shortly to come, and visit the king, and to have the articles of agreement solemnly proclaimed. They say, that all that was demanded is granted, and proffers of doing more. However merchants must trade, it's good to engage honest seamen, but not to entertain them. To morrow is the great triumph through Flanders for their good success at Valenciennes: don John is expected here as soon as he hath settled things in Bruges. The English here are huge rich in hopes, as we suppose you are, for the good expected from the intended parliament.
A letter of intelligence from the Hague.
The lord de Merode hath made report, that he had spoken with the lord ambassador of Spain, how that he had understood of a treaty, which England had with Sweden, and what particular he knew of it; upon which the ambassador made answer, that the king had writ him word of it.
As to the large memorandum, which the ambassador exhibited yesterday, they have judged of it as a piece well penned and full of reason; but that his excellency is not well informed, the project of the treaty, whereof he speaks, being no ways offensive; but for some equal defence of the commerce, and to preserve each in its own. In effect the other provinces took this project for a meer trick of Holland, to demonstrate, that they do incline to ally themselves more strictly with France and England, and in the mean time they have no desire, unless it be to establish themselves on all sides in the advantages of commerce.
Also Holland thought then, that England and France would take very ill the sending of the fleet to Dantzick; now this fear by reason of the disgrace of the French before Valenciennes, and the remoteness of the English fleet doth cease; therefore this project will be laid useless, the truth being, that the other provinces do not believe, that Holland hath any desire to contribute the least thing for the advancing of the interest of France or England.
Zealand hath not produced any thing concerning the Baltic affairs. I am told that they will not agree to those points, which go so far as the advice of Friesland, nor embroil themselves in a war chiefly against Sweden; having an old speculation, that upon the ruin of Sweden, the Imperial or Austrian party will mount too high.
There are come no letters from Marienburgh nor from Denmark: the taking of Warsaw is very certain, but they vary about particulars. Upon this letter of the election nothing is yet done, but they refer themselves to what two of the ambassadors who are at Marienburgh will do, having charge to summon the duke of Brandenburgh upon the treaty of the 27 July 1655: that otherwise they will resent it according to the means, which God and nature give.
The business of the elector of Cologne for the magistracy at Rynberck is referred to the council of state to make some kind of regulation, and to report the same; and that being seen, they will order it.
The memorandum of the ambassador of Spain hath pleased some so very much, that a principal one said in the assembly of the States General, that he saw true that which his deceased father had foretold him already in the year 1622; saying, that the time would come, when that this state would hold Spain for its best friend; and that this state did never hate the king nor the Spanish nation, but the bad government.
There is advice, that 33 ships coming from Spain near to Dover were forced to retreat to the Downs; one ship or two of war were dismissed that convoyed them, which brought the news; but yet the admiralty of Amsterdam and Rotterdam have writ about it; this doth not diminish the joy for the not taking of Valenciennes, nor the jealousy which they have against England.
Those of Brandenburgh have already received the letters from Koningsbergh, confirming the conjunction of the arms of Brandenburgh with those of Sweden, and that they march directly to Warsaw to encounter the Polish army; they have already printed the capitulation of the surrender of Warsaw, which is said to be honourable, being marched out with their colours flying, leaving however all their great guns and the plunder of Poland. Of the Muscovites no mention. This is that which those of Brandenburgh publish.
Those of Zealand, in lieu of consenting in the assistance of Poland cum annexis, do insist and desire, that this state would do as France and England; that this state would only meddle with the peace, and interpose between Poland and Sweden. Holland, and other provinces desire the same thing, but will first, that Dantzick be assisted: thus we see their irresolution and little of their assertion, and consequently all this week they did not advise upon that.
There hath been a great contest between the States General and the council of state, in regard that the council of state doth give so many passes or permissions for the priests of the Roman church to come into the Mayerie. The States General had made some inhibition.
Report being made of a private man of War of Ostend prisoner at Flushing, all the provinces did advise, that the admiralty in Zealand should proceed against him as a violator of the free river; but Holland advised that he should be sent back to Dunkirk.
The princess of Tarante required letters of recommendation of the states to the king of France and the cardinal for the releasing of her husband, shewing likewise a copy of the letters of the landgrave of Hess to the same end; they presently granted her desire. This morning again those of Zealand had a particular conference concerning the affairs in Poland.
The queen of Bohemia hath again caused to be proposed in a memorandum the continuation of her wants, and to demand the 12,000 guilders per annum; to which Geldreland hath declared their consent; the rest have taken it into consideration.
A letter of intelligence from the Hague.
This long and prolix memorandum of the ambassador of Spain is in effect that, which was projected to Ghent to draw the St. to General to alliance; but I do not see that the St. General do take any delight in it; and states of Holland, who otherwise favour the Spaniard, do find themselves a little distracted by the words of pre-occupied minds; for this project of alliance, whereof he speaks, is no wise a design to offend Spain, but only to smooth up the protector and France, fearing that Cromwell and France do not formalize themselves too much, by reason that the States General send men of war towards Dantzick, but that being over at present, I do not think that states of Holland do think any further upon it; and likewise the said memorandum of Spain is more to dissuade the states of Holland from the designs of an alliance with Cromwell and France than to have hope to draw the States General to alliance, and yet I do find, that he doth all what he can to draw them to that, and there are some that would hearken, if the body of the States General were not so big, and the members thereof so numerous and differing; otherwise a chief one of the states of Holland yea of Amsterdam did discourse in the States General very much to the advantage of Spain, and that they ought to join with Spain.
The vice-admiral John Evertson is now here, being the first that communicated the news of the detention of three ships. At first they spoke of 33 ships coming from Spain brought into the Downs. He communicated it with much heat and sharpness, that the English captains had used very base language to captain Cornelius Evertson (the son of John Evertson) saying, that soon or late they should be forced to break again with the United Provinces; that the United Provinces could nor ought not to imagine any thing else; that they would also stay the said Cornelius Evertson; but then he told them, I will rather fight as long as I have a bit left of my ship, before I will be brought in or stayed.
But the ambassador of the States General hath not yet writ any thing of it, but he sent an answer of the council, which they gave him concerning the visiting of ships at sea, which to all moderate persons doth seem reasonable enough, but not to those that desire all. The detention of the said three ships doth give some after-thoughts to the states of Holland as if Cromwell would also do something for Sweden in lieu of what the States General do for Poland; but that at the same time cometh another tiding, that Spain will have a peace very suddenly with France; so that the States General in effect have no great regard to Cromwell. I do wonder, that in Zeland itself the well affected of Holland do shew themselves moderate enough, no ways willing to have any enmity against Sweden, yet men believe that all Zeland do this not wholly in favour of Sweden, but to have some counter-contentment in their other provincial affairs: likewise the Zelanders make a profession to be religious, and to have a zeal for the gospel; they preach often a whole year before they make one convert; and in Poland and Prussia they run a hazard to lose thousands.
In so much that those Zelanders will not altogether agree with the States of Holland for an alliance against Sweden but desire that they may march pari passu with France; in which path it is said that Cromwell will also walk; and to this end those of Zeland desire, that new orders might be sent to the ambassadors, who are with the Swede: the States of Holland and other favouring the Polander say, that it is not necessary to send them any such new orders, for their instruction doth contain that already; and the States of Holland fear, that when they have agreed to such a new order, that then Zeland will say, that they must expect the issue and effect thereof, before they agree to the subsidy for Dantzick.
From Brussells they write me the same thing, which I see, that from Brussells is writ directly to you, and more largely; so that it will be superfluous, and therefore I will not write any thing but what I shall judge particular. Whatsoever was said, that the resident of the States General come to Brussels was not bid welcome nor received, till such time that an ambassador came to Madrid is false; for I know that at Brussells all manner of civility was shewn to the said resident of the St. Gen. and the Spaniard hath given order to cause all manner of demonstration of amity to be shewn as well to this resident who is at Brussells, as to him who is come to Madrid.
In regard in general the Spaniard hath established this maxim to shew all manner of benevolence, and make a demonstration of intimate affection, he will not fall short of it at present; and the ambassador of Spain hath made a loving visit to those of the city of Amsterdam here, and will do all what he can to insinuate the Spaniard and his alliance.
I know from a very good hand, that now the Dane doth shew himself inclined to treat with the ambassador of the States General having had a mind to see first, if the States General had had the boldness to send the men of war to Dantzick. seeing that, and that Cromwell doth not do any thing against it, it is very likely that the Dane will conclude something. My lord Culpepper is still here, but is to return suddenly to the king of Scots. He doth assure here, that the treaty made between Charles Stuart and Spain is very advantageous for Charles Stuart and that very shortly Charles Stuart will put himself into a very good posture: that shortly Charles Stuart would have an occasion to employ his followers. An officer come from the Brill hath been to see the king of Scots, who told him, that he should assure all other officers come from Brasil, whereof here are good; that he hoped shortly to give them employment, praying them not to engage elsewhere.
An intercepted letter of sir G. Ratcliffe.
The inclosed you will send to Mrs. Fitzwalter /Ormond. I am much her servant and her husband's, but my being with him will signisy little. I am very desirous of such employment. Fitzwalter /Ormond is gentle, and loves his ease and quiet, and therefore suffers Skinner to do all, which I do not envy Skinner for; only it grieves me to see old Edward kept out from knowing some things, whereas I am confident that Peter Charles Stuart hath a kindness for him. If Fitzwater were like old Thomas, it were a comfort to be amongst them; but he is too easy. I have forborn to press him to take more upon him, lest I should seem to aim at my own ends. I hope things will go well with them by the blessing of God, whose providence brings his pleasure to effect by such means, as himself thinks best to use. Let the miracle be wrought, I care not who doth it.
The raising of the siege of Valenciennes is doubtless the greatest action, that hath been done there many years. Half the French army commanded by la Ferté was totally destroyed; only two regiments came safe and handsomly of, whereof one was an Irish regiment called Muskerry. They say he brought off his men, colours flying, and in good order, when all that part of the army was totally defeated, except his regiment and another; a great many prisoners were taken, 7000 said to be killed, many arms and horses to a very great number taken; all the great guns were lest upon the place.