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 (6 of 6)
A letter of intelligence from the Hague.
It is unspeakable how they find themselves troubled at the detention of their ships in the Downs. The vice-admiral John Everts being now at the Hague, the news is odiously reported, that the English captains should have said, that soon or late it was necessary, that Cromwell should begin the war again with the States General, as not being able to endure that the states of Holland and Zealand should pass the sea so freely without being visited.
A wise man of the States General did confess to me, that he found the last declaration of the council of the protector concerning these two points, free ship, free goods, and the visiting of them at sea, most reasonable and just; but as well the states of Holland as Zeland distasted by the said detention, are very much animated against Cromwell, and do seem as if they would in no wise suffer such like visitations at sea, which is ridiculous; for, as I have writ formerly, those of the States General did not only visit all the ships of neutrals, but also plundered them, without having ever made reparation or restitution of such plunder; and this notwithstanding that the States General were obliged by a good maritime treaty, forbiding and prohibiting all such plundering, limiting the visitations, and Cromwell hath in no wise obliged himself by any maritime treaty.
It is also very pleasant (so say those of the Swede and the el. of Brandenb.) that the States General dispute for the religion of one or two in the magistracy of Rynberck, and in the mean time they endeavour all what they can to cause millions of their own religion to be ruined and undone in Livonia, Lithuania, Prussia, Pomerania, and Poland, by the introduction of the Muscovites, Polanders, Tartars, and Cossacks; so that some do find themselves obliged (so say the Swede) to believe, that the chief patron honoured by the States General is the sanctus denarius or divine Plutus.
It is very observable, that during the English war those of the states of Holland and Zeland were so jealous and suspicious, lest their commerce should go from the states of Holland to other nations, that the states of Holland and Zeland said openly, that they would not let pass one neutral ship at sea, but would plunder and take all what they met withal at sea, for fear that the other nations should enrich themselves by traffic, in the mean time that the states of Holland and Zeland suffered.
Yea all the equipage (in effect war) which the states of Holland make at present, is only from the pure jealousy taken but not given, that one day the Swede may take from the states of Holland more toll than from those of the protector.
Observe ergo those of Cromwell may take real jealousy; likewise that during the war, which Cromwell shall have with Spain, the states of Holland and Zeland will draw all the commerce from Cromwell to the st. of Holl. and Zealand, consequently Cromwell may make an equipage against the states of Holland (at least use the right of visiting the ships of the states of Holland and Zeland) at least with the same right, that the states of Holland and Zeland had to plunder and take them. It is very certain, that between the States General and Denmark there is an alliance made, by which the Dane doth not only let pass the men of war, but doth promise to add ten more of his own before the end of the month; and in case that for that, or any thing else, the States General or Denmark do happen to be assaulted, they promise to one another the assistance of 8000 men. The design and scope of this alliance is to protect the Dantzicker, and to hinder the raising of the tolls. This alliance is already finished brevi manu, signed, concluded, and ratified; and thereupon the men of war of the States General departed from thence the 23d July.
The states of Holland have made a new instance, to the end that the States General may declare themselves concerning the projected alliance with France and Cromwell; yea the states of Holland do urge that mainly, for fear that Cromwell and France do not happen to be distasted and offended at the said alliance with Denmark for in effect the states of Holland do all what they can for Poland against Sweden; yea Amsterdam said, that they alone at their own charges will equip thirty ships of war against Sweden, if need be. The detention of those three ships in the Downs doth cause Amsterdam to murmur and prate very much, who were never heard before, yea do already begin to threaten the states of Holland themselves, in case they do not take some speedy course to prevent the like; or if they delay it so long as in the year 1652; yea the merchants themselves will equip against Cromwell, if the states of Holland do connive and suffer these visitations at sea. Risum teneatis amici?
Although that those of Charles Stuart do make a great noise here, yet I cannot see that Charles Stuart can promise to himself any great matter from Spain; likewise those of Spain do confess, that Charles Stuart doth only serve them for a scare-crow, but if a correspondence were between Spain and France, that then Spain would do something.
As to the alliance, which is said to be newly made between the States General and Denmark, it is not a perfect thing, but affected. Likewise the States General will endeavour to conceal it, not to give too much suspicion to Cromwell; but the wind blowing so favourable for Poland, without doubt the Dane will follow the example of the Muscovite, and the emperor will do the same, and so each will recover their own again.
It is a pleasant thing, that the States General do colour the assistance, which they give to Poland, by the alliance which they have with the Hanse Towns; but Dantzick was never in alliance with the St. Gen., and Bremen was in alliance with the St. Gen., yet did nothing for Bremen. I have it from a very good hand, that from the army of the emperor, the one is to come into the country of the el. of Brandenburg.
The Dutch ambassadors in Prussia to the States General.
High and mighty lords,
My lords. Since our last to the lord greffier of your high mightinesses, bearing date the first instant, we have held no further conference with the lords commissaries, for which their lordships alledge as an excuse the pressing affairs, which lay before the lord rixchancellor. We will not omit any thing, but insist, that the said conferences may be forwarded, and endeavour to bring the same to a speedy conclusion, according to their high mightinesses intentions, as we have mentioned in our last.
We do not as yet hear for certain, that the king of Sweden and the elector of Brandenburgh have passed the Weissel, much less how far it may be true, that a bloody and obstinate battle has been fought betwixt the Swedish and Polish armies, whereof we hear here daily different reports. Schimilintsky has offered the king of Sweden by an envoy, to assist his majesty with a hundred thousand men, to be employed when and where his majesty shall think fit, desiring no other pay than to have a free liberty of robbing and plundering in those parts where they shall happen to be employed; and further assures his majesty of the sincere friendship and affection of the prince of Transylvania. Wherewith, &c.
A letter of intelligence.
Te Deum is daily sung here, that the designs of your triumvirate, viz. my lord protector, Mazarin, and Sweden, are so blasted every where. There are hopes of jars betwixt you and Holland, for those ships you have stayed of theirs, and the close of the league you have made with Sweden; and to be revenged on you, makes them to wish well to the Spanish interest, as their universal joy for Valenciennes doth witness. Condé is close besieged. Turenne is marched; some say for Bins, other to pacify tumults in Paris, or for forage. Have at la Basse next to this. This is my third letter since I was sick. If by the neglect of the messenger of Brussels or post of Flanders letters miscarry, I am the next unfortunate sacrifice. If you correspond with master Manning under the name Buchanan, change it. I have not heard from my friends since I came from Scotland, which makes me fear some discovery of me there. I cannot stir from this place till I get some money.
A letter of intelligence from the Hague.
Concerning the three ships stayed in the Downs, (the one is of Zealand, the other two of Holland) they have resolved to write seriously to the protector; also with this clause, that is, violatio juris gentium visitare & abducere naves in pleno mari; but yet this is not agreed on; for Holland hath taken it into consideration. There hath been a report made about the business of Rynberch, which seeming a little too much in favour of the elector of Cologne, the most part of the provinces have taken it into consideration.
The commissioner of Dantzick hath seriously represented, that he must know and have a final resolution; upon which the other provinces have admonished those of Zealand to declare themselves in one manner or other, if they will not conform with the rest; but those of Zealand, without saying any thing, have taken it into consideration. Holland did formerly conclude in this business with 2½ provinces, they might also conclude with six provinces. The ambassadors in Denmark, and the admiral have concluded, that the 23 July the fleet should go for Dantzick. The king of Denmark hath declared at least pro forma, that he would not consent to it, but could not hinder it, going with the prince his son into Norway to cause him to be sworn successor.
Concerning the project of the treaty guaranty with France and England formerly proposed by those of Holland, there is not one province that hath declared themselves, but I am told that Friesland is ready to declare itself.
There is also in the assembly itself much discourse of a ship that went from the Texel, going for Spain with 24 pieces of ordnance, that should have sunk an English ship, that would have visited it; whereupon came the other English ships, which sunk the said Holland ship, killing the mariners that would save themselves, except two.
As yet those of Zealand have not produced their provincial advice upon the Baltic affairs, but on the contrary, when that business is mentioned, as it was again this morning, those of Zealand caused to be entered, that they do protest, that they have not yet consented to that; and yet they give hope, that not having power enough, and having writ for more, that they shall receive it.
The business of the magistracy of Rhinberch being brought again into dispute, notwithstanding the contradiction of Zealand, and the half contradiction of Friesland, all was concluded according to the desire of the commissioners of the elector of Cologne.
The states of Holland having considered that, which the ambassador of Spain hath laid down in his memorandum concerning a treaty with England and France, have proposed in the States General, that there ought commissioners to be sent to his excellency, and to declare to him, that this state hath no mind to make any alliance with France and England to the prejudice of Spain, but to have a design to observe and maintain with Spain all good peace, amity, and neighbourhood, and to observe perfectly and inviolably the treaty of peace made at Munster.
There is now a conference between some commissioners of the States General and those of the council of state concerning the demand of troops, which those of Dantzick make. Those of Zealand have not yet produced any provincial advice concerning the Baltic affairs; yet by reason of the assembly of Holland doth also speak of adjourning, they have been summoned to make an end, upon which they have promised to dispatch. I am told again, that the treaty or agreement made with Denmark is not yet concluded.
For a great secret is this day communicated an advice of the lord ambassador Nieuport, that the protector hath made no new treaty with Sweden; that it is nothing else but the old treaty, which hath been seen here, and that he was assured of it from a very good hand.
At last those of Zealand are delivered of their provincial advice upon the Baltic affair; which is, that they will first have the treaty of Stockholm proposed to the king of Sweden, to ask of him whether he will observe and stick to it; and likewise that the town of Dantzick, as also the king Denmark, and the elector of Brandenburgh, may be comprehended in it; otherwise, and in default thereof, that then they presently consent both to the fleet and the subsidy, and to the troops, and to all that Holland shall desire. With this advice Holland and the other provinces are no ways pleased or edified, but that will not stop the course of the resolution; but they will endeavour to do as is resolved, and they will consult and advise with the council of state for and concerning the 1500 men, which the town of Dantzick doth demand to reinforce themselves.
Although that yesterday the lord Nieuport did assure, that there was no new treaty between the protector and Sweden; yet this day the contrary was assured, namely, that there is a treaty, which doth oblige the protector to assist Sweden.
A letter of intelligence.
They write to me from Milan of the 4th current, that the duke of Modena having sent for 3000 foot and 1000 horse to reinforce his camp before Valence del Po, they were met withall upon the way by don Grancalo del Walle, who is camp master general of the state of Milan, sent to dispute with them the passage, as he did the first of this month, sighting them with so much courage, that the lieut. general of France, called the earl of Bayardy, was taken prisoner; and besides, 8 captains of horse, 7 lieutenants, 6 cornets, 22 captains of foot, 33 lieutenants, 40 serjeants, 16,000 common soldiers, and 700 killed upon the place, and all the baggage, with a great many arms.
A letter of Nieuport the Dutch ambassador in England.
Upon saturday last the ambassador of France communicated to me, that he had audience the day before by the protector, and that he had desired him most, since there was come order from the court, as he said, to the end that he would use all good endeavours with the government here, that the differences about the navigation and commerce between this state and the United Netherlands might be decided; that he had fully proposed the same to the lord protector, and said, that as I had laboured diligently on the behalf of their high and mighty lordships to bring the treaty between France and England to a conclusion, that he now also found himself charged and obliged to use all good endeavours, that the maritime treaty might also be brought to a good conclusion between this state and the United Netherlands, and all the misunderstandings prevented for the future. Upon all which he said the protector had made answer, that for his part he was ready to do all that might tend to the good of the state of the United Netherlands, and that he did not know, that the differences were so great, but that he could submit them to new tryals, yea to France itself; and that he doubted not but the business would be accommodated; but that the lord protector had said, that besides the abovementioned differences concerning the commerce and navigation, another business was look'd upon by him very considerable, namely, that of the fleet, which was sent by the lords States General to the east sea, and other proceedings, which had a great reflection upon the crown of Sweden. I thanked the said lord ambassador for his communication; and concerning his good offices for the furthering of the business of the maritime treaty, I told him, that undoubtedly it would be very acceptable to their high and mighty lordships to understand, that the crown of France and his excellency had thought fit, and was inclined to give the assistance for the concluding of the maritime treaty, whereby all misunderstandings would be best prevented; but concerning the last point, that the lord protector should have declared his discontent concerning their high and mighty lordships conduct about the affairs of Sweden and the east sea, that I did very much wonder, that the lord protector, with whom I had spoken two days before a good while, should not have mentioned any thing of it to me; and the next day make known the same to his excellency, that I thanked his lordship for the communication, and would endeavour to speak with the lord protector about it, but his lordship advised me to let it alone; that he speaking by an interpreter, might say, that the words, it may be, are to be otherwise understood; but that I speaking with the lord secretary upon occasion, might make some mention of it by the by. Wherefore I thought fit yesterday to speak with the lord secretary of state; and I communicated to him in confidence that, which his said lordship had signified to me. His honour acknowledged, that the first concerning the differences about the navigation and commerce was proposed in the same manner; that he shewed himself willing and ready to do all good offices for an accommodation on both sides; but he had not heard, that the said ambassador did propose it by express order from the court, and that the protector had thanked him with general and civil words for his good affection; and that concerning the second point, about the affairs of Sweden and the east sea, he had not heard one word of it by the mouth of the lord protector tending to the same, although he was always present; but he did well observe and find, that there was a very strict confederacy between Sweden and France.
Advice of the states of Zealand.
The commissioners of the states of Zealand having ripely considered the points on foot concerning the affairs of the east sea, and particularly the assistance of Dantzick, do declare the intention of the lords their principals to be, that it is not only godly and honourable, but also politic and serviceable, that men should preserve by all means old friends, confederates, and those who have hitherto lived in neutrality with this state, and fortify and promote more and more the mutual amities and alliances without giving any reason or occasion of offence: that it is not only reasonable, but also necessary, that the treaties and agreements should be inviolably maintained and observed, which were made for the liberties of commerce and navigation every where, and especially in the east sea, as also in the countries and rivers adjacent thereunto, without raising the tolls than what were agreed upon formerly. Therefore that therein no trouble or molestation might happen, the said commissioners do judge, that the course and employment of the fleet sent by this state to the east sea ought to be made punctually in conformity of the resolution of their high and mighty lordships of the 7th of July last, and that besides the said fleet ought to be reinforced with soldiers to the number of 1500 men, besides those that are already in the fleet, and that they be put under able and fit commanders, that in time of necessity they may be used for the protection and securing of the commerce upon the east sea, and for a defensive assistance of the town of Dantzick. But to proceed in this great and important work with order and all just circumspection, the said commissioners do find it to be reasonable and serviceable, that there be proposed to his majesty of Sweden by the lords extraordinary ambassadors in Prussia, the declarative act annext hercunto, with a friendly request, that his majesty would be pleased to accept and approve of the said act; but in case, beyond expectation, his majesty after the presentation and delivery of the same should make any difficulty of it, and that he could not presently resolve upon it, whereof the lords ambassadors there shall inform this state with the first and successively, then in such a case the town of Dantzick shall be effectually supplied with a subsidy by this state of 10,000 rixdollers per mensem, which from henceforward in case as abovementioned agreed upon, and shall be speedily and successively paid by the general chamber of accounts; but yet upon this condition, that those of Dantzick shall promise to their high and mighty lordships, and assure them, that the inhabitants and subjects of those united provinces, with their ships, wares, and merchandizes, sailing and trading to the said town, both at their coming and going, shall not be troubled or molested with any tolls, licences, or any impositions, under what name soever, more than the inhabitants are; and that the said inhabitants and subjects of the said United Provinces shall henceforward be no more assessed in their persons, ships, and merchandizes, than the inhabitants themselves are; and that the said town shall likewise not suffer any new import to be made or introduced there by any body else; all this under express promise to be ratified by the king of Poland; of all which the declaration and obligation in writing is to be demanded of the lord de Bye, resident of the king of Poland, and of the magistrates of Dantzick respectively by their high and mighty lordships commissioners; and besides all this, those of Dantzick shall be obliged to maintain the reformed religion there in its antient rights and privileges, and give them all assistance, to the end that they may perform their devotions in quietness without any molestation.
Col. Barkstead, lieut. of the tower, to secretary Thurloe.
Mrs. Overton is gone for Hull, though she told me, when she came for her order, that she resolved now to continue with her husband. Mr. Portman, I am informed, is at Chatham with the commissioners of the admiralty, he having a place under them. Venner was seene this day near his house by a neighbour, that did not know he might apprehend him. I shall use all the means I can to recover him, and doubt not but to doe it in few dayes. I am,
Commissioner Pels to the States General.
Yesterday your high and mighty lordships ambassadors went from hence for Elbing. It is to be supposed, that they will suddenly go from Thorn, and help endeavour an accommodation between the two kings. This town will not hearken to any neutrality, but remain firm to the king of Poland.
Your high and mighty lordships fleet is still in this road: the lord admiral Opdam, by reason of some distemper in his leg, hath not yet been in this town. Every one admires the considerable strength of the fleet, but few can imagine what design they have, whereof are several opinions, especially by the commonalty of this town.
An intercepted letter.
I Have had this day a great deal of discourse with my friend sir E. H. concerning your adventure to the Barbadoes; the result of all is this, that they desire here fully to understand the way, manner, and means of carrying on that trade; and conceiving it to be a matter of great consequence, they have ordered me to let you know, that it will be necessary for yourself to come hither, and by all means to bring with you the adventurers reasons and resolutions concerning that business; assuring me, that nothing will be wanting here for furthering of it. You will receive a great deal of satisfaction by coming hither, which this letter is not capable of. When you shall come to Flushing (if you think it not fit to come directly hither) let me know of it (which you may by Thomas Dossey) and I shall bring those with me, who shall be enabled to dispatch your whole business, that so, if need be, you may speedily return for England. Again, if you resolve not to come in person (but I hope you will) then at least let me have the adventurers resolution attested under their own hands, directed to me, to be communicated to whom they shall think fit, and I shall be their faithful servant in it. I will not at present trouble you any further, because I trust I shall by the first see you; and desire you to believe in the mean time, that I have been ordered to write this, and have reason to conclude, that your coming hither may very much advance my master's business. I pray you, before you come from thence, find out a way how to direct my letters to my friends in Gray's-inn-lane during your absence; also if you stay after the receipt of this for passage, let me hear from you by the post, that I may know this is come to your hands. All goeth very well here; and if you make haste, you may be at the publication of our so long expected good news; for the truth is, we hitherto lived by hope, but now we are confident of enjoying that reward.
Marigny to Stoope.
I Do not wonder, that your friends of France are so circumspect to let you know the defeat of their army. We others who are more politic, do not care to write to you freely, that mons. la Ferté is at Mons with a good number of soldiers, whereof Renaudot maketh no mention in his gazetts. He will not fail to signify, that mons. de Turenne hath made a shift to convoy some waggons and cannon into St. Gillain's, but I know not whether he hath the courage to tell you, that all that is in Condé doth run hazard of being made prisoners of war. I am sorry you are troubled at the consequence of this famous victory. It would be some sport to have some discourse with you. Pray send me word if your commerce be in a good condition. We know that the treaty of Sweden is concluded with you at a very good conjuncture.
Col. Tho. Cooper to H. Cromwell, major general of the forces in Ireland, and the council there.
There is in the towne 26 priests, popish school-masters, &c. a liste of them I have heerwith sent, expressinge their names, conditions, with descriptions of their persons and age, and all the papers, that came to my hand with them. They plead themselves all poore, and say they have not to maintaine them. Your lordshipp provided uppon their travell heather, they should have sixe pence a day payd them by the receavers of the severall precincts. I desire your lordshipp would please to order the receaver heer to pay them such dayly allowance, as your wisdome shall thinck meet, whyle they continue heere, that soe they may not starve, as they say they shall, if not releived. Till I have your pleasure heerein, I shall take care for their releife; but it will not bee in my power to doe it longe, and I fear they may lye veary longe in the place heere, beinge none that doth trade in the Barbadoes. Had they come sixe weeks agoe, heer was a ship, that came from London, would have carryed them. I suppose, that from Dublin they might have been best and soonest sent away. Exept these shipps, that goe to Jameico, when they come, will take them in, they may lye, for ought I hear, this yeare or two at this porte; besides, ther are some of them, that are such weeke and feeble persons, that I thinck will not bee acceptable to any person to carry away, exept they be payd for their fraight; and some of the prisoners say they doe not come within the quallifications, but have been taken up upon spight. I have not further to trouble your lordshipp, but remaine
An intercepted letter of sir G. Ratcliffe.
We have a great year of fruit, and corn in much plenty. If they had peace also, this people would think themselves happy, and they hope for that also; for the duke of Orleans, who hath not seen the king these four years, as I take it, is gone by, and will be at the French court this night, and there is an ambassador, mons. de Lionne, gone into Spain, and at this time at Madrid. Perhaps the loss the French had at Valenciennes hath helped forward this business; what the next will be, time must declare; in the mean time Condé is besieged by the Spaniard, and if it be not taken (as some report) it is not likely to hold out long. The Spaniard hath offered battle to Turenne, but he seems not yet to be ready for it. Don John thinks himself master of the field, and, as I hear, is making some new and great preparations for some fresh design: he seems to be an active prince, and desirous to make use of his good fortune. The cavaliers brag notably of his civilities to their Charles, but some wise people will not believe, that all is gold that glisters in Spain: when they pretend most friendship with Charles, they may intend a renovation of the peace with the lord protector. I have been told, that this hath been the opinion at the palace royal, who know no more, as it seems, of Charles's business, than who knows least. This young man it seems is grown close and wary, trusting very few with his secrets, managing his own business himself, whereby one may easily guess what is like to come of it. The Spanish ministers were wont to be too great an overmatch for a young man.
To Bordeaux, the French ambassador in England.
Your apprehension about the business of a negociation is not ill grounded; the uncle of him that is already sent, is sent for, and doth depart to morrow for la Fere; in all likeli hood it is for that intent. As yet no certain news is come of the condition of the siege at Valence; certain it is, that it is not taken.
The enemy hath besieged Condé; they seem to be in earnest; I wish they may, they may chance to lose men before it. The queen of Sweden passeth through Germany, and so doth not come into France. The assembly of the clergy doth still continue in their ill humour, and no likelihood as yet of their dissolution. I have some suspicion, that the duke of Orleans will settle at Paris in some great authority, and that a good understanding is like to be between him and the cardinal.
The towns and particular men assist the king with money, so that his army will be stronger than that of the enemy in a short time. There is a report of a convoy of ours defeated by the enemy, but it is nothing, only 25 horse taken.
A letter of intelligence.
Just now we receive certain advice from Thorn and Koningsburgh, how that the Polish forces are totally defeated and beaten, and likewise that Warsaw, the place of residence, is retaken by the Swedes, whereof we expect all the particular from the army.
Advice from Stettin, August 8, 1656. [N. S.]
They are still here between hope and fear for the success of the so long threatned battle which is expected. The high water and breaking of bridges is only, they say, what has hindered his Swedish majesty so long from going in quest of his enemies. They say now, that the Swedish and Brandenburgh army has passed the Weissel, and that every thing was aiming for a battle: however most people are still of opinion, that they might make such a shew, but would come very slowly to the act. The king of Poland shews sufficiently a good resolution, that he will expect the Swedes, to try his numbers against their strength. What further shall happen we must expect to hear: in the mean while the printed news-papers here are very liberal, to confirm the people in opinion and hope, that the king of Sweden will in a short time retake the city of Warsaw with all the booty he has lost there: however such prognostications find but litle credit, since the appearances for such a great change of affairs are but very small.
They write from Dantzick nothing else, but that the two lords ambassadors of their high mightiness, that were lately arrived there, set out again from thence on the 4th instant, going to Thorn instead of Elbing, whither two other lords ambassadors should go likewise, to be the nearer to both the kings, whom they hope still that (by the mediation of the same and other ambassadors) will be reconciled together.
From Lithuania, Livonia, and those parts we hear nothing worth mentioning. It is said that an embargo is laid at Stralsund upon some ships, to carry some troops from Gillau to Livonia and Ingria: they believe that some will be pressed here likewise to sail thither.
Passengers coming from Posna bring no other news, than that there a flying report was arrived, that both armies had fought together, and that the Swedes had got the victory; but since neither time nor place is mentioned when and where the same has happened, it is not credited, for letters arrived this day from Thorn and other places do not make the least mention of it, but only that the foragers and other parties sent out to get notice of the enemy, come now and then to blows, which is presently aggrandized into a great engagement, which is not seldom the case here. The said passengers say, that the revolt and the plague do still more and more increase in upper Poland.
They endeavour here continually to make the common people believe, that the Dantzickers are highly nettled at the Dutch fleet, and disappointed, not knowing whether the same is come to assist or to block them up; and that hereby they will learn and be forewarn'd hereafter, no more to desire such a dangerous assistance; and such ill-grounded stuff more, which is believed by the vulgar, but laughed at by understanding people.
It is likely, that collonel Wolff by the authority of count Steinbock (who they say is expresly come here for that purpose) will soon come from the castle into an inn again, and more liberty will be given him than before.
The Turkish ambassador, that was lately at Marienburg, is expected here this evening; and the government here has expresly ordered, that he shall be lodged and defrayed in an inn, where no other people whatsoever are lodged, and not in my inn here, where he desired to come. It seems, that the said ambassador, being (as it is said) a very able man, is a little distrusted here, as if he intended to pry and to enquire a little too much into affairs.
Beuningen, the Dutch ambassador in Denmark, to the States General.
Noble great mighty lords.
My lords, Since my last to the raedt pensionary of the 30th of the last month we have advice, that the king and prince are safely arrived at Christiania in Norway. It is certainly resolved on, that his majesty will be here back again at the latter end of the next week, winds and weather permitting. The Swedish fleet, consisting of 24 ships, is sailed to the Daelers, and is to be reinforced with other ships. We have no particular information of their strength, guns, and men; only I am told, that two of them have fifty guns apiece, and the rest thirty.
The Holland head officers and sea captains in the Swedish service were made to take a new oath of faithfulness. The garrisons of Gottenburgh, Helmstadt, and Colmar are reinforced with a reasonable number of men. There are some Swedish companies transported out of Prussia for Lyfland to put things in order against the approach of the Muscovites.
The lord Cleyft arrived here yesterday in the quality of ambassador from the duke of Brandenburgh to this crown here. At this court no foregoing denunciations made of his coming. He came in without any reception, and presently desired to speak with the ryxhoffmaster; he also hath caused us to be complimented by his secretary, and that he had express order from the duke his master to communicate some certain affairs to us; we thereupon caused his lordship's arrival to be bid welcome by our secretary. In case his majesty should not return so soon as is said, he is to follow his majesty into Norway, as he saith.
Lockhart, ambassador in France, to secretary Thurloe.
I Have waited upon the cardinall, and spent this whole afternoon with him; and after some discourse in the generall touching the particulars mentioned in your last by the French courrier, I did propound that concerning Dunkirke but found him absolutlie averse to it. He told me, he cowld not undertake the carying of it, without resolving to loose some other place, which the enemy wowld not faile to attempt, so soone as they showld see him engadged their; and to loose another place, and deliver up what he had gott their to his hi nes, wowld render him so odious to all France, as he durst not venture upon it at any rate. I omitted none of the arguments yowrs furnished me with, and added a few of the most pressing reasons I cowld thinke upon; and urg'd, that his enemys wowld give over the thoghts of further plotts against him, when they see him fortifyed by all that force he might draw from England whenever his interest in the government showld be questioned. But all I cowld say did not prevaile with him. I know to give you a large account of what was discoursed upon that subject wowld be tedius to your honour, and my own present distemper, which is augmented by this daye's going abroad, will not suffer me to enlarge. I mentioned the advantages my master had receaved from his carying on the warr in winter; and told him, that ours were a great deale more violent then those heare; and that after the taiking of Dunkirk he might verie well undertake another, and might promise himself to take it more easilie then in summer, because he wowld have tyme to provyde all things necessar for it; and the enemy not knowing his design, wowld not be able to keep the fields. He said, he had better fight ane army in the field, then force the French out of their old way of comming into their winter quarters at their usuall tyme.
At lenth, after some more then ordinary earnestnesse on either syde, he desyerd to know positively, whether I wowld not aggree on my master's behalf to the levye, except Dunkirke were rendred to his highnes. I answered, that at present I cowld not; but showld with all speed acquaint my master with what had past in that discourse, and showld give him ane account of what further commands I showld receive concerning that particular. He told me, that he wowld lose no more tyme about it, and that immediatlie after I showld leave him, give order for the altering his desygne, and prepare for the beseaging of ane inland town. Their did not in all his discourse one word escape him, that was not full of respect to his highnesse, whensoever he had occasion to mention; and I did endeavor to give him the best assurances I cowld of the continuance of his highnesse kyndnesse for him.
After I had offered to take leave of him, he made me sitt againe, and assured me, that his regraits were exceeding great, that he could not at present satisfy his highnesse desyer in that particular; and that he wowld with all his hart aggree to all that was demanded, so the execution were delayed till the next spring. And the better to expresse the sinceritie of his intentions, said, he was readie presently to syn articles for it; and if my master showld not thinke fitt to perfyt the agreement concerning it now, that in January next he wowld begin a treatie both concerning it and concerning a joynt prosecution of the warr for that whole campayne. I excused myself from giving him a present answere to that, and shall desyer to know your pleasure in it; but fynding he had reasumed his good humor, I told him, it was generallie beleeved the peace betwixt France and Spain was verie farr advanced. He protested verie highlie to me, their was no such thing; bid me assure his highnesse of it. upon his reputation; and if ever he showld have any such thoghts, he wowld communicate them to his highnesse, and follow his advyse in it. By mons. de Lion's jorney he had gott his end, which was to lett the world know, how insolent the Spaniard's demands were. Mons. de Lione was upon his jorney, and showld no sooner return, but all that past in that negotiation should be putt in print.
The duke of Orleance is the lenth of Soissons in his way homewards: he was highlie treated at court. The little pleasure he seemed to take in the great carresse was made to him, and the shortness of his stay, makes manie beleeve his dissatisfactions ar rather increased then lessned by this entervew.
The French ambassador will insist in his desyer for 2000 men to serve upon his master's own account: a refusall of them will be hardly resented, and at this tyme to oblydge them with such a favor will be ane act worthy of his highnesse, and I am perswaded it will be for his interest to give that expression of his kindnesse.
I do not see, that my longer stay heare can be usefull to his highnesse; for if it be
thoght fitt to take the cardinall's offer, the articles may be aggreed upon and syned in
eight dayes tyme; and if that treatie be delayed till January next, my stay heare will
be a vast and unnecessary expense. If by your favor my recall be procured, I shall expect no mony. My creditt will furnish me with as much as will bring me home. And
besyds the obligation I shall receive in it, I am confident it will be for the good of his
highnesse service; for you will find the cardinall to be of that temper, that he will need a
little rownd dealing. The honor his highnesse did me in the offer mentioned in your last,
I look upon as a new effect of your goodnesse to me. And if to all your other favors you
will add that of mediating for my return, at my waiting upon you I shall have opportunitie of letting you know, how much you have oblydged me to be,
Your most humble and faithfull servant,
I have writt this in verie great torment, and have sent an express to Amiens to meet the post their, that it may come as soon as is possible, to prevent the preparations the confidence of ane aggreement upon the terms you sent me may putt you to. The cowrt is to depart from this in the beginning of the next week. If my fever increase, I shall not be able to follow it.
Mr. Bradshaw, resident at Hamburgh, to secretary Thurloe.
Mr. Scobel hath acquainted me by this post the reason of your not writinge to me of late, which satisfies me, that my business is not quite laid aside; for, as he sath, you had engaged the committee to meete the followinge tuesday, promisinge, that you would endeavour to see me righted, for which I return you my humble thancks, presumeinge, that by the next post I shall heare from your honour, how the councell have resolved, that I may dispose of myselfe accordingly; for truly in this condition I cannot continue, laying under the scandalous aspertions of my adversaries of that faction, some shamelessly reporting me to have falsified my trust to the state; others to have abused the company in sidinge with their oppressors, to the overthrowinge of their privileges; in which strange and malicious reports they gain credit (as I heare) to my great prejudice, and therefore do inforce me to vindicate myselfe, if I would not betray my owne innocencie, though I could otherwise slight their womanish malice. The mast-ship departed hence last weeke with 24 large masts; I sent an accompt thereof by the shipp the Hope of Hamburgh to the commissioners for the navie, and desired them to pay the charge to my servant Hudson, being 440 l. 17 s. 4 d. for the masts and their freight, I being obliged to pay that sume heere to the merchant, that let me the ship, upon notice of her arrival. Having nothinge to add to the inclosed papers of intelligence, I cease your further trouble, remaineinge
Hamburg, 29th July, 1656.
Secretary Thurloe to H. Cromwell, major general of the army in Ireland.
I Had none from your lordship by this post, nor have I much to trouble your lordship with from hence. We have received letters from the fleet this weeke, but no newes at all by them. Some attempts part of the fleet hath made upon their harbour, and fired some few of the ships, two whereof were men of warre, but the maine of their designe cannot be executed, I meane that of Cadiz. They have by command sent home ten of their ships, who are now in the channel, on purpose to attend the service here. Nothinge hath happened either in France or Flanders since my last worth your lordship's trouble, save that they say the Spanish armye have beseidged a towne they call Condé, the French army lookeing upon it, not able to releive it. The French have alsoe received a great losse in Italye before Valencia, soe that their affaires seeme much to decline, and the Spanyard to encrease. Noe newes at all from Sweden or Poland. I am,
A letter of intelligence.
I Received yours of the 6th, 12th, and 18th ultimo/ at owne time, which brought me the comfortablest newes I could expect, understanding of your living/; being at liberty, which God knows rejoyces me to the hart. Since my arrivall here I writt to you two letters; the first to the sumaker, and the other by this conveyance. As for Mr. Ingland,/ lord Inchiquin, there is no service, that lay in my power, but I will doe him; but for Mr. Rowland/ Richard White his condition, before and now since his arrival in Marsia/ Madrid he never received one penny, nor any hope of it, he having many marchandies, that conserned, so unfortunat he is. Sir, till that of Frigia/ Flanders be proved, all what he or any of the butlers/ brothers ails with Mr. Longee/ don Lewis is as much as nothing, nor will take effect. They say clearly it was only to gett mace/ money and believe it real from me, that it is now putting off, but that they hold it soe, that Fackson/that White in Lambeth must gett the proofe of it by all means, and in the second place he must be sure of Mr. Allen,/ don Alonso and get some employment from him. Concerning Mr. Comfort,/ the protector therehence come to Mr. Longee/; don Lewis de Haro here is no other way but this for brothers to come in with Mr. Longy/; don Lewis; till these two things be don, there will never any business take effect with Mr. Long/. As for the nutmges/ news for Mr. Cro./ Bampfield there is a way found out to get Mr. Long's sadler/ don Lewis's secretary to it; if it takes effect, you may aske of the other man, what he would give to Long's sadler/ secretary a yeare. I would you had spoken to the writing master, to see if he would doe what he promised; for if he would, I would not have Aylmer/ this White here go to Mr. Peroy/ the pope, onles sure of subsistance, for if the writing master will perform what he promest, there may be subsistance got outt of it for Aylmer/; it is with Mr. Long/ these ten dayes and no resolution taken, and all that of Mr. Ingland/ Inchiquin which he spoke at first, he would com to Mursia/ Madrid, also the pich/peace with Prussia/ Portugal with two other business, and none takes effect, because Rowland/ desires much, on seeing that the Friga/ Flanders was not proved; I believe this last to be the caues; for you know that a man failing once, can hardly gett any credit; this broake Rowland'/s hart, having soe many, and none of them to take effect. God help them. I would speak of the man of Constantinoble, but a man must know what he is able to do, and what he would doe for Mr. Long/; if a man could gett match/ money for to bring hem to advise to the full of this; and if he comes not, I would you had tryed the writing master, and if he will do what he promesed, Mr. Aylmer/ this White may be sure of a livelihood, for I may have gott 5 or 600 grills/ pounds a year; Mr. Long would have at least 2 or 3000 of Inkeeper's/; Irish; or if those with Mr. Mollineaux com./ card. Mazarin would if this Aylmer/ can doe them by the way of Corkia/Catalonia rather than by the way of Frigia,/ Flanders yet I beleive both would take effect. Lett me know if the leavies that were agreed with Mr. Molneaux/card. Mazarin goes through. I have not heard from Fackson/ his brother law since I left him, which I admire: els for Mr. Edward's/ Charles Stuart business, I beleive that will come to no great matter; they will keepe in with him for feare of the wourst, but they cannot beleeve, that he can do much in Egington./ England. Secondly, them hould him to be a man of noe great resolution nor witt of himselfe. Thirdly, they suppose him to be too much a man Mr. Frux./ for the king of France. Fourthly, they have no great confidence in his councel; if they see that he can doe any good, and the comfort/ protector will make pitch,/ peace they will make ues of Edward particularly I assure you, that Rowland/ himself did as much as any man could. I hope you have mine of the 22d/ ultimo, which I directed to the sumaker, and that you will send me Mr. Ingland's/ Inchiquin resolution, if he will com to Mr. Spencer,/ king of Spain, which at cares/ condition he will have. I hope Mr. Jibb will looke well to his studys, his fortune depending on it. As for that of the trouncke lost Mr. Longg will not believe it upon any condition, such confidence he hath in Mr. Cock, soe that it comes to no accompt, it being the only hoapes I had of arch Rowland will wriackel/ more at large to you by the next. I owe to Clement but 43 l. remember the bigger 2, and advies Jackson the contents of this letter, and get an answer to the inclosed. I rest yours,
This 9th of August, 1656.
Is there no way to bring innkeepers from Islington? The want of match/ money hinders me to wrikel to the sadler of comfort./ write to the secretary Thurloe. Your nutmeg of the Tubano came five dayes too late. I would I had it the first.
To Bordeaux, the French ambassador in England.
Pray don't believe that I have abandoned you in these dangerous times, by reason I have not writ to you since the misfortune of Valenciennes. I do confess to you, that all the news we have had since have been so doubtful and so interested, that I could not resolve to give you an account. They write me from la Feré, that our army is recruiting, and that it hath been provided with cannon from Sedan, Amiens, and other places, so that it will be in a condition shortly to undertake something. That of the enemy is still about Condé, which I believe they will take, and which we shall be willing to lett them take it, to fatigue their troops, whilst that ours do refresh themselves, and put themselves in a condition to be able to undertake something more considerable. The duke of Orleans was very well received at court: the king went a mile to meet him: he will be here to morrow to stay some days, and then return to Blois.
After all this I will tell you, that mademoiselle de Ribandon was stolen away yesterday from a house in the country where she was; it is said he is a priest that did it, and who doth now enjoy her. He doth certainly possess one of the rarest persons of Paris.
A letter of sir M. Vernatti.
Errors in the conduct of military affairs committed prove most times to be of a dangerous consequence, for forces once wasted, often, though rallied again, seem not to be composed of the same men, or prove of the temper of others, that are new levied; the the one apt to forsake his colours, the other entered into a habit of running away; neither very trusty in present pressures; and therefore no wonder, that the prowess of one man is of so much moment to the hopes of good success. Occasions are sudden, and require an expedite judgment quickly to discern, and a courage as ready to execute resolutions; qualities seldom concurrent in one and the same subject; for that experience of age, foreseeing dangers, is proper for the one; mettle of youth, that can despise them, fit for the other; joyned together in one or distinct subjects, where 'tis required, commonly of admirable efforts, single degenerate into timidity, and the other into temerity. What to say of the French I know not: when first they appeared, they all seemed young men, ready for action, now grave like senators, in perpetual deliberation; they have hovered up and down, as if they had some great purpose in the end; Condé is yielded in their very faces, without the offer of a blow to relieve it. Hitherto I have judged their alternate losses instances to infer, by advantages of moment to the English nation; but if this strange luck were to continue, I must be of another mind, and subscribe to my countrymens opinion; they liked the success of Valenciennes well, but they will suspect this of Condé, and that the French do not or cannot act what the common interest requires. If their fortune proved not better in Italy than here it doth, necessity peradventure would put them to find out new ways, and others too perhaps that depend upon their valour; but we hear nothing here, than that their affairs before Valence are yet in a prospering condition, and that Byron hath rallied some of his horse and foot, and is lately past the Po about Cremona, to join with them about Valence. Condé is yielded yesterday the 8th instant, the French to march out with arms and baggage, as they did two thousand men with five pieces of ordnance, leaving 1500 sick and wounded behind, to follow when their health permits them, fifteen pieces of ordnance, with a good quantity of corn, and powder enough to have served them three weeks longer. What a mystery is this, that the French army should impair so much, as not to be able to attempt the least fort for the relief of so considerable a place? the situation thereof makes it impregnable by force, and able to give or debar the access of all relief to Valenciennes, and many other circumjacent places, for they cannot be discouraged more than our side is, set aside the conquering way they are in. Monies are so scarce here, that with infinite troubles one month's pay is procured and sent to the camp for the army, and comes not to nine shillings a man: what is that to such vast arrears? Were the example not visible, words could not express plain enough the inconveniences, that a company so fitted must suffer; yet do they subsist and prevail, as if they had the wit to live without bread or cloth. The next design must be upon St. Guelain 'tis thought, and the rest in order, Qiesnoy and Landressy. Some believe, that it were possible to raise our thoughts to something upon Arras, if the enemy change not his posture. I must take information of their intent in the acting, for being but pro re nata, 'tis a hard matter to conjecture. Of Dunkirk I hear not any thing. 'Tis probaole their mouth is stopped, because there falls nothing to say to their advantage, and I could wish there never were, and as well believe it can be so, if none venture without good convoys. As little speech there is of Charles Stuart; some would say he was to meet don John with don Alonso in the camp, but don Alonso is returned, and I cannot learn that he was there. There is neither time neither money for any design with him. He passes his time with shooting at Bruges and other such obscure pastimes, not so much as taken notice of Most of the English are scattered up and down, or gone to travel. Newcastle seldom comes near him. Goring is here. I see him attending sometimes some young ladies in the park. That humour he leaves not, poor man, though his condition might well prompt his years to some other recreation, for no attendance there appears about him. The Hollander courts his opportunities in the east sea, but he would turn his face with an humble congè towards you, if don John should continue his victories. The emperor, they say, has sent some aid towards Italy, but if so, happily too late to succour Valenciennes. The victory of the Venetian against the Turk makes a great noise here, but of these you have more pertinent informations than I am able to make you. I will deem it enough at this time, if I may continue in your favour, and deserve it, as I will if I can.
General Mountagu to secretary Thurloe.
Scince my last wee have beene in the Streights to water our shipps, and make our beveridge. Wee were in the bay of Buzema, where wee made a shift to serve those shipps wee had with us, but it is not such a place as was described to us, neither for water nor ryding of shipps in safetye, nor for careening at all (unlesse it be for some petty small toole.) Wee sent five or six shipps to Malaga to doe what mischiefe they could there, to provoke the Spaniard, hopinge also, that they might there light upon one Balthazar with his shipps, who is a noted pyrate, that keepes ther, and hath of late done hurt to our merchants. The shipps wee sent, were the Lyme, the Newberrye, the Maidstone, the Nantwich, and the Rubye; captain Smith commanded them. They sett saile from Cales the same morninge, as wee did, viz. July the 10th, and came suddenly upon them at Malaga, and with the Fox fireshipp sett fire of two shipps under the mould, and sett fire also of one galley, and six or seven other small vessels there, and bestowed a greate many shott (too many) upon the towne. In the encounter the Spaniards forsakinge the moulde, where they had seven peeces of cannon, our men went ashore, and spiked them up (6 of them.) Captain Smith had nine men killed outright in his ship, and I believe all the rest have not lost above as many more. Wee are now (this 31st of July) come to an anchor againe in Cales bay, where wee finde all thinges (as to preparations of the Spaniards) as wee left them, savinge that they say there is orders come for the fitting out of two of their Dunkerke vessels here, which yet it is beleeved they are not able to doe in two moeneths tyme. Wee are resolved (God prosperinge our intentions) to sayle with the first wynd to Sallye, whither wee have sent two or three frigatts alreadye before us to catch some of theire shipps, if wee cann, and make our way the better to bringe them to termes of complyance. Wee shall make what speed wee can hither againe, and in the mean tyme wee leave a good guard of shipps before the place, to those ends wee have done it hithertoo, at this tyme also verry much eying them to have some in readynesse to receive commands from England, the winter drawinge on apace. Here came a merchant from Venis, who relates an insolent behaviour of the Dutch there, who hoissed up English colors, and their Dutch colors over the head of them by way of scorne, which occasioned them and the English there to goe together by the eares.
H. Cromwell, major general of the army in Ireland, to secretary Thurloe.
I have now sent the inclosed, which I spake of in my laste concerning the behaviour of the captain of the Bristoll merchant shipp. I thinke it will be verry good to encourage such an action as this, which without doubt is true, according to the relation in the inclosed. I have had it confirmed by severall other letters. I am
To his most serene highness the lord protector of the commonwealth of England, Scotland, and Ireland, with the dominions thereunto belonging.
The subscribed extraordinary ambassador of the lords the States General of the United Provinces hath received with the last post some papers shewing, that two of the frigats in the immediate service of this state, which with two or three other had forced captain Cornelius Evertz junior, and the merchants under his convoy, to sail into the Downs on the 8/18th of July last past early in the morning, had in the afternoon of the same day met at sea betwixt Dover and Calais, a captain of Amsterdam named Albert Graeff, in the immediate service of the said United Provinces, being a convoy to the several merchant ships belonging to the said provinces, and bound hither, coming together in company from St. Martin and other ports of France, all laden with French fruits; and that an officer belonging to the said two English frigats was come aboard of the said man of war of Amsterdam aforesaid, requiring the said captain, that as the said frigats had visited and received an account of the said merchant ships, so he should go in person himself also aboard of one of the said English frigats, to satisfy the commander thereof concerning his ship and intended voyage; that the said captain Graeff wondering at such a message, had answered the said officer, that it had never been practised, and that it was not fit, that friends should be so used, and desiring to be excused of it; declaring withal, that he was not unwilling to send his lieutenant to salute in his name the said commander with all friendship and civility; but that the said English officer had rejected that offer, and with rude expressions threatened him, that by force he should be compelled thereunto. To which the said captain Graeff had replied, that he desired a thing which was altogether unjust and unusual amongst friends; declaring, that if yet they would not admit of his well-grounded reasons, that he was resolved to defend himself to the utmost; and that so after many words betwixt them, the said English officer at last told him, that he would be contented with the sending of his lieutenant; and the same being done, that they passed towards the Texel in Holland. The lords the States General duly considering the premisses, as also what about the same time was done to captain Cornelius Evertz junior of Flushing in Zealand, and ponderating the consequence of such actions and unkind encounters, have given special order to the said ambassador, that he would use all serious and efficacious means and ways, to the end, that such unfit proceedings of the ships of war in the service of this state against the ships in the immediate service of the state of the said United Provinces, as also the search or visitation of merchant ships belonging to the subjects and inhabitants of the said provinces may be prevented for the future. Beseeching therefore, that it may please his most serene highness to order with all possible expedition, that such irregularities may be rectified, and further inconveniences avoided. Given this 31 July,/10 August, 1656.