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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August (7 of 7)
An letter of intelligence of col. Bamfylde.
It is hard for mee to desern, whether the payne my disease gives me; or the incapacitie that it has throwne me into for writinge to you myselfe, troubles me the most, especially at such a time as this, when I have much to say unto you of greatest consernment. But although I find little mitigation of the furie of my diseas in myselfe, yet my physicians give me great hopes of a suddaine recoverie, and then I shall give you an accompt at large by an expresse of some things, which I am com to the knowledge of conserning card Mazarm and Spain. I have receaved letters within these two of the 13th of August from Madrid, from the person I recommended to you, which advertise me of things of great consernment, which beinge prudently managed, may be of vast advantage to protector in this present conjuncture. I resolve to continue my correspondence with that person, accordinge to my own discretion, until I cann send to you, and heare from you; and to that end shall cause his brother to write my opinion to him conserninge some particulars, which he mentions, that requires som speedy leight from hence. You may assure yourselfe, I shall be very carefull of what is written, and shall send you the copy of it as soone as I am up myselfe. If I understand any thinge, this may redound very much to your service. Mons. de Lyonne is expected the 12 of this. Of that you shall here more hereafter. I am not able to hould out longer, and therefore shall conclude with this assurance, that as long as I have lyfe, I shall continue stedfastly,
Sir, your most humble and most faithfull servant,
Resident Sasburgh to the States General.
High and mighty lords.
My lords, it seems that the Spanish army is ready for some design or other, in regard it sometimes moveth, and now it lyeth near to Baulm. The prince of Condé hath divided himself from the Spanish army with a good part thereof, either to make a diversion or an inroad into France; but in regard the marshal of Turenne is holding a watchful eye upon their motions, he is again joined with the prince of Austria. Some skirmishes happen between them, but of small importance, with the loss of some French. All these progresses and designs of the Spaniards do not diminish the good hope of a peace, and men are consident here, that they shall see the certainty thereof yet before winter, and of this opinion are the chiefest persons here; and to this good meat they say there is a sauce made of a high taste, the marriage between the two crowns; but whether these designs will take, God alone knoweth. It is firmly believed here, that mons. de la Meilleraye, mons. Grammont, and mons. de Lionne will not leave Madrid till they have concluded a peace.
An intercepted letter.
I Have since my arrivall in these partes writte to you, but thay have not arrived to give you a testiemone of my kindnes, so I must beg your pardone. I supose the newes here is none with yow, by resine thinges are comonly reported there or acted here: howsoever I will confferme so much of flieing report as shall say here are 4 regements a raseing, on of Scoch, of which generall Melldtin is coll. an othere of Eyerish, of which my lord marques of Orman is coll. 2 of English, the duke of Gloster and the earle of Rochester collellns. The duke of Yorke is dayly exspeckted: hee is lest. generall, and the king generall: these regements have sre quarter: the Eyerishe is full allready, and the others will not longe be emppty, by reson pepell goe belowe themselves; generall is but a coll. and a coll. but a captin, and pepell of greate quallity, as thinges faule out, subemette for the presante. My respecktes to all frendes. My mother is very sike, and really wee have noe thinge in the wourhld at presante to hir sickenes or suestane us that are well. The God of heven bee our comforte; therefore dew me the faver to speake to my cozen in Cornewell, hee lives with allderman * * *, and knowe whethere hee hath hearde where is; I am shure hee hath done what posabell, but it may bee you being a stranger, may finde Barette better, and hee not knoweing what you come aboute, and will spake with you, and then I woulde have him arested at the shute of my cozen Pallmer. Yf you can be so happy to finde him oute, let me heare. I supose Mr. Gill in Turners-hall can give you direction where to finde Mr. Barette. Thuse in haste, 3 in our howes beeing sike, reste
Your affelicted frende,
Lockhart, ambassador in France, to secretary Thurloe.
The bearer hereof, Mr. Perciville, having a resolutione to carry his wyfe into England, to the end he may settle his family their, is a person of so much worth, and deservs so much both upon the account of his religion and parts, that tho' I have esteem'd it my dewty to be very shy in giving you the truble of recommendations of persons, by whom I have been much importuned, yet I know your respects to honest and ingenious men is such, that I dare promise myselfe, you'll pardon for my boldnesse in begging your favourable eye upon this gentleman, who is owner of both these qualityes in a very good measure.
I shall not burthen your honour with many discourses concerning him; only shall assure you, that in so farr as I am able to judge, his affections for the present government and the general interests of England as a nation, are as great, as if he owed his birth to it.
Sir, I had the honor to receive yours by doctor Clarke, who is now at Paris, inclosed in
one from himself; and must returne my most humble thanks for the favor you did me in
laying your commands upon one, who hath no greater ambition then to be,
May it please your honour,
Your most faithfull and obedient servant,
Major general Haynes to secretary Thurloe.
I Received yours of the 23d instant at Wisbeck thursday last by the hands of Mr. Edwards your bailiffe, wherein I cannot but take notice of the continuance of your great respects towards me, which I most thankfully acknowledge, and shall study how I may deserve it. It troubleth me to hear of Mr. Sheldrack's falling ill in his way to your honour, believing I might be much the occasion of his journey. I trust the Lord will speedily perfect his recovery, and bring him home again, whence he cannot well be spared, although upon this occasion I could not see that he was in any capacity to do much. In my way to Wisbeech I was met by young Mr. Fisher, and with a complement from the capt. his father to lodge at his house; but consulting your honour's letter and Mr. Edwards's, I judged it was not adviseable to engage till I could be assured what the capt. would do as to standing; whereupon I discoursed the young gentleman as to that point, acquainting him what your honour had wrote, which he in part confessed, but would not own an absolute engagement; yet said he was then of that mind, and so continueth, and hath done his utmost to persuade his father from appearing, but sound the sollicitations of friends so strong, and his own engagements to the country so great, that he could not decline it. So I went to Mr. Sheldrack's, and there meeting with colonel Underwood, colonel Castle, lieut. col. Diamond, Mr. Glapthorne, doctor Stanes, Mr. Ferrer, Mr. Coldwell, with some others: consideration was had of what was fit to be done as the case stood, capt. Fisher having prepared the people of all parts to serve him in the election, and having also provided three or four inns for their reception. That meeting issued in this resolution, to wait till the next day to see what the appearance of the country would be, and every man to try his utmost, and some of them with myself put upon the discoursing of capt. Fisher, which accordingly was done; and meeting the next day after dinner to compare notes, we found capt. Fisher so strongly engaged, that he would not recede by any means; yea so violent in it, that your own interest seemed to be called in question by him to myself and others, resolving to dispute the first election with you, if it came to a pole, which could not have been avoided by any third man standing; also that by himself and instruments making use of my being a stranger, a soldier, and elected in another place, which he carefully diltilled into every man, as also acquainting many, that notwithstanding your writing, he was assured from his son, that you were not against his standing, he had so universal an interest for him, that there could not any assurance be given of any reasonable numbers to be in competition with him, as also your own town of Wisbeech either engaged for him or else standing neuter, of which resolution was Mr. Coldwell (he telling me soe) and many others: theise things duely weighed, it was agreed as best, we not being able to controul his election, he might be let alone, and I advised to make it as speedily publick as I could, and those friends that were coming, to be stopped, and myself to leave the place, which I did this morning accordingly, and came to Feltwel to have waited on my lord deputy, but missed of him. Indeed, sir, I am extremely troubled your honour should have to do with men of so contrary principles and uncertain tempers; and if I may speak freely, I judge the most that speak you fair, are false in heart to you, and are unworthy of the protection and friendship they have from your honour. For capt. Fisher and his sonne, I have reason to think they are under so many engagements from eminent persons of like principles to themselves in other counties (which were in great measure by capt. Fysher acknowledged to myself to be so, and one great reason of fixing his resolution of standing) that all the ways you had obliged them could not balance these, those very men being wonderfully transported with the opportunity they are like to have to serve their country, as they call it, and what the sense of that is I shall not need to hint; adding thereto the ambition of his spirit, no longer able to lye under a cloud, as himself phrased it, I think verily is all that hath acted him so strangely contrary to your honour's desire, yours and other expectations, and his own interest. I have much more that I might add to illustrate what I have before said, which I shall refer to my coming to London, when I'll give your honour the grounds for my calculations. A credit being given to what is before, it will easily occur to you, that there was not a door open for the mentioning any other, he caring not with whom he came in competition. I humbly beg your pardon for this tedious interruption of your more weighty affairs, assuring you I shall be an earnest sutor at the throne of grace, that the Lord, whose is counsel and wisdom, would order and direct all the consultations of those in power for the best, and that in the mount he would be seen of his poor despised interest, preparing them for the worst of times and most difficult services, in the faith of which I remain, sir,
Feltwell, Aug. 28, 8 at night, thursday, 1656.
Mr. John Cooke to H. Cromwell, major general of the forces in Ireland.
That Mr. Worth, Mr. Stawell, Mr. Ayres, and the rest of the classicall Presbiterian
ministers in this county have sett up a weekly lecture at Corke, and have rejected and excluded Mr. Weld, Mr. Wood, Mr. Nicolett, Mr. Coleman, and all the rest of the congregrations ministers in this county, who are not ordained by bishops imediately or derivatively, which is a very great grief to all the honest well affected people in theis parts;
whereof I being made sensible did take an occasion in my charge to the grand jury at Corke
to desire all good people, that were lovers of and well affected to his highnes and your lordship, to decline all waies of sedition, and to study peace and love, and used the best arguments I could to convince all persons of the necessity of a reall and firme conjunction between all honest interests; and that for any part of the ministers to make themselves a party,
and to disowne and vilifie their brethren, who were approved and sent forth to preache by
his highnes and his councel, was a very high act of over boldnes, and had in it a very manifest tendency to the breache of the peace, and to make a difference betweene godly men:
and (indeed my lord) all that I said extended onely to unity and love between all honest and
peaceable men; and the next day I went to the lecture, where young Mr. Ayres took an
occasion to speake of such as countenanced or pleaded for any ministers, but those that were
ordained by bishops; and what great enemies they were to religion, and did acknowledge,
that there was no lawfull call to the ministry but of those who derived through the pope,
but not from the pope, with many bitter expressions against all that differ from him in
doctrine or discipline: and so they intend to procede weekly. My humble motion to your
lordship is, to send to Mr. Worth and the rest of them, that they may permitt Mr. Weld,
Mr. Wood, &c. to take their turnes with them, which will be a great incouragement to
all godly persons. I am the more bold herein, because I fear misrepresentations; and though
I am very willing to yeeld to any honest person in a reasonable competition, yet cannot condescend to any person in this nation in point of reall and cordiall love and honor to his highnes and your lordship, to whom I am by so many particulars obliged, which constranes me
not so much in formalitie as conscientiously to subscribe
Your lordship's humble orator at the throne of grace,
A letter of information.
I Was last night till 8 a clock at your honor's chambers in Lin: in hope to have had the good fortune to have given your honour an account of some things, which I thought might in part have recompenced that trouble; and that which keepes me from writing it at large, is the occasion which I have to name several persons in the discourse, and the gentleman being sick to whom I send your letters, one miscarriage might undoe all. I shall now only say, that there is a designe on foote abroad, which reaches hither, and I have more than bare suppositions or guesses for it; therefore if your honour will be pleased but to tell me where I may wait upon you and when, I shall be ready to relate what I have luckily found out. For the petition I have seen it, and will give your honour an account of that likewise. I am now most infinitely desirous to beg leave of your honour for a short time to go into the country to take of that jealousy, which else may very much prejudice that small service, which I am capable of; but I hope your honour will be pleased to let me receive a command to wait on your honour, or else to write, which I shall most gladly embrace, as being
Your honour's most obliged and most dutiful servant,
If your honour please but to addresse your commands for Wm Johnson at Mr. Brombricke's house in Castle-yard near Cursitors-alley, I shall wait for them all day to morrow, or when your honour's leisure will admit: but I hope your honour will be pleased to remember the notice that is taken of my stay in town, now my friend is come from the waters and gone home.
A letter of intelligence from the Hague.
Yesterday again past nothing considerable. The son of the lord Hockelom made oath upon his charge, which occasioned some discourse and opposition, for being so young, namely eighteen years; but they reproached the lord Veth, who had advanced his cousin to the office of clerk to the States General, being only fourteen or fifteen years old. There was also some murmuring and dispute concerning the company, which is to go from Cadsant to Groningen; Zealand opposed it very much, yet that past in the States General, and Zealand intending to cause their protest to be entred, it was ordered by plurality of voices, that the protest shall be taken out, as was done, but now it is said the council of state will not obey it.
The advice from Prussia doth contradict the second battle, which was said to have been between the Swedes and the Poles; that the king of Sweden doth advance towards Cracow to victual it; that the elector of Brandenburgh doth continue at Warsaw. They write from Lubeck, that the Muscovites have taken Dunenburgh by storm. It must be that the affairs of the Swedes do not go well there, for the marshal of camp Douglas is to go thither with some regiments for Lysland.
Here inclosed goeth the treaty at last concluded at Denmark, which in effect doth tend to the preservation of Dantzick ad esse, sed non ad bene esse; for they must treat for the ex pulsion of the Swedes out of Prussia, without which Dantzick cannot be restored to its flower.
There is great likelihood, that the Swedes will also conclude with the ambassadors that are at Elbing, and by that means those ambassadors, as well as those who are in Denmark, will endeavour to return home; but from those ambassadors at Elbing there come no letters.
I do hear by a very good hand, that towards the isle of Walcheren are gone several companies of foot, and that to chastise the country people, who lately made a tumult, whereof we had advice a while since.
Those of Geldre have proposed, that there ought to be writ express letters to the militant kings in Poland; and to the elector of Brandenburgh, to exhort and admonish them seriously to peace; but those of Holland and Zealand said, that that was a supersluous thing, and very impertinent, in regard that this state had ambassadors in those parts, whose office it is to do it, and would signify as if they had some mistrust of the said ambassadors; and by this means the said proposition was not entered. They have at last fully resolved to negotiate at interest the sum of as much as will serve to pay the Brasil soldiers. The ambassador of Brandenburgh hath had audience in Denmark, and did therein expresly desire the king not to engage himself with the United Provinces, but join himself with the king of Sweden and the said elector.
The advocates of the chambre mipartie being returned from their commission about the abbey of Postell, have made report, that they were not able to do any thing; that the abbot would not suffer the producing of witnesses, so that there happened only protest and counter-protest.
The ambassador Boreel hath writ in particular, that in France (upon the letters of recommendation of this state, in favour of the relaxation of the prince of Turante) it was asked, whether this state would be caution and responsible for the actions of the said prince; which was ill taken, and only for a notification. The lord Spanheim, plenipotentiary of Geneva, is to be given an answer concerning the 30,000 guilders, which are consented unto for the fortifications of Geneva. To the commissioners going for East-Friesland is to be given a charge to demand the payment of old debt.
There being a dispute between the admiralty of Amsterdam and that of North Holland, they are writ unto, that each shall send commissioners hither. By sea is come advice, that the king of Denmark hath sent eight ships of war to reinforce the fleet before Dantzick.
Having expected a ratification from the city of Dantzick upon the treaty of the 13th of July, it is observed underhand, that they will not ratisy it without demonstration of some other effective assistance; for the city having demanded first a subsidy of 12,000 ryx-dollars per mensem, secondly, a loan of 500,000 guilders, thirdly, an assistance of 1500 men, doth not receive any of these three.
A letter of intelligence from the Hague.
La conclusion du traité entre cest estat & la Danemare, & le contenu d'iceluy cy joint, donnera asses a connoistre, en quels termes l'on soit. Je ne remarque pas, que la victoire de Warsavie aye fait quelque alteration dans le susdit traité; au contraire il semble asses, que Danemarc. s'y soit monstre plus resolu qu'auparavant, ayant remarqué, que le protecteur ne mesloit pas dans l'affaire, au moins que le protecteur n'envoyoit nuls navires de guerre.
Et toutefois je suis d'opinion, que tant Danemarc que Dantzick se contenteront mal de traité; car
Danemare tenet alta mente repostam injuriam (1645) & Dantzick ne sauroit soufrir, que Swede demeure
en Prussia Royale. Tout cela se manifestera bientost. Si Swede & Brandenburgh se peuvent maintenir bien leur
sera; autrement ingruet in utrumque tempestas. Je suis
Ce 8 Sept. [1656. N. S.]
Extract out of the register of the resolutions of the high and mighty lords States General of the United Provinces.
The lords commissioners of Zealand have according and in conformity of the lords their principals conformed themselves with the other provinces upon the mutual ligne garantie made between the king and crown of Denmark and this state, concerning the assistance of the city of Dantzick, and the freeing of the navigation and commerce upon the east sea: they have likewise conformed themselves with the considerations of the lords of Holland, and taken in a resolution by them the 23d of June last upon the projected defensive alliance between France, England, and this state, except that in case the one or the other of the allies should be assaulted, or in their freedoms and commerce molested by the said or other allies, that then this state shall not be obliged to endeavour viam concordiæ by intercession, being ready to enter into conference with the lords commissioners of the other provinces to adjust the said affair. Whereupon being debated, their high and mighty lordships gave thanks to the said lords commissioners for their overture.
Courtin to Bordeaux, the French ambassador in England.
Three days since the lords states received from their ambassador at Copenhagen an act of guaranty, by which they engage with the king of Denmark to protect Dantzick, and the commerce of the Baltic sea; but it is not yet certain, whether they will ratisy it, having referr'd it to commissioners to be examined. It is conformable to the instructions given to the said ambassadors; and if it be not contrary to the treaty of alliance, which they project to make with the king of Sweden, and this word of protection being methinks very remote from the intentions of these provinces, it is likely the ratisication of this act of guaranty will be sent with much slowness; for it is said, that Dantzick hath no mind to agree with Sweden; and that this state will abandon that town, provided they may have their commerce secured. The lords ambassadors Avaugour and de Lombres are gone towards the king of Poland to endeavour a peace, having been first informed of the intention of the Swedes.
To Nieuport the Dutch ambassador in England.
I doubt not but your lordship hath successively put the lord Thurloe in mind of the disposition of the fifteenth article of the alliance and union lately made with this state, and that you have successively desired to have overture made of what was negotiated between Sweden and England. Also I doubt not but that you have mentioned, that their high and mighty lordships desiring the same, ought to be comprehended therein; and the excuse of the said lord Thurloe doth seem very strange to me, which you writ in your last, that the said omission concerning the same happened through forgetfulness, and by not being advertised, whereof I will not doubt but the omission will be soon remedied. We do very well conjecture, that the lord protector will not desire to be comprehended in the act of guaranty which we have made with the king of Denmark, in regard he having been solicited to it from the beginning, did decline it; yet we would fully observe the contents of the fifteenth article on this side, as we (under correction) in such occasions are obliged. Some proposed, but by way of discourse, whether we should not supersede the overture of the said act, till such time that the overture of the Swedish treaty were given on the side of England; but afterwards the resolution was taken by all the provinces unanimously, to observe the said treaty in all its articles and clauses.
Copy of a letter from the consul of Aleppo.
Worshipful and much honour'd sir,
You have added much to my obligations in those most courteous and large advices, printed and written, wherein you have been pleased to honour me by yours of the 7th July, which the 21st of the same I received from the Lady frigat; and very sorry I am, that I cannot requite you with the like pleasing variety out of this barren corner, where only tyranny and disgusts are in request, and the trade at a low ebb, commodities having been, ever since the siege, exceeding scarce and dear, and our general ship the Fleece like to make long work of it, and to ramble about to Cyprus, and to John d'Acre, to seek for part of her lading, at which last place she now is, and may return hither again by the beginning of October, and about the end of November depart for England.
The Turks are very sensible of the total ruin of their armado this year by the Venetian fleet, and ashamed of the cowardice of their janizaries and soldiers, threatning the next year to do wonders; but the same divine hand, that hath assisted thus far this year for the honour of the Christian cause, will not, I hope, be wanting the next, to support the maintaining of it against this profest and great enemy of Christ and his church, until the princes of Christendom find themselves ashamed at their own quarrels against each other, and join hand in hand to the destruction of him and his party.
From India I have received late letters, advising, that from Swalley Marino, the port of Surat, 4 English ships departed homeward in January last, namely the Constantinople and Aleppo merchants, the Merchant-adventurer, and Adventure; but that the Adventure was so leaky at sea, as she was forced to put into Goa, and supply her desects, yet by the end of January she set sail thence again, and plyed her voyage after the rest, who methinks should all be arrived in the river of Thames by this, if they have escaped enemies and other sea dangers.
The Portugal and Hollanders are at great warrs in those parts, and at present are strugling for the island of Zeylan, the cinnamon island, where yet the Portugezes have most sway; but the Hollanders have laid strong seige to the principal city Columba, and though they have been very much routed by those within the city, and lost several of their ships and men, yet they continue the seige still; and many think, that before they leave it, they will be masters of it; and if so, they will have the spice trade in a manner to themselves, and questionless gain more places upon the coast from the Portugals, who are in a very bad condition in the general, and the worse, by reason of discord among themselves; for about three years ago they took the government from the vice-roy of Goa, and sent him for Lisbon a prisoner, setting up a governor of their own chusing, which the new vice-roy this year turned out, who brought commission to seize upon and imprison all those, that had a hand in the sending home the aforesaid vice-roy, which he did accordingly; and had no sooner done, but he died in January last; so again there was a new election of another governor, which hath sent other delinquents for Europe, but of this man's government they are already weary, and it's writ, are about to chuse another. These distractions do much advantage the Dutch, who know well what use to make of them.
The great mogul Shaw Jehan is weary of his chargeable war against Candahore, and hath deserted it once more, so that at present all is quiet in India, but only for some differences occasioned by his own family of late: his son Oran Zeeb sent his son sultan Mahmud with an army against Cantub Shaw, king of Galcanda; upon whose approach he drew near his castle, and gave him battle, wherein the king of Galcanda lost 4 in 5000 men, the other not above a 1000; but before any compleat victory could be obtained on either side, letters came from Shaw Jehan, the great mogul himself, commanding peace, lest these jars should occasion more disturbance in his kingdom, for several other subordinate princes were upon their march to assist the king of Galcanda, whose marches were stopped by the news of a peace, confirmed by the marriage of sultan Mahmud to Cantub Shaw's daughter, with whom he gave one piece or rich diamond ground, four mules lading of precious stones, eight elephants, and ten lack of pago. (one lack being 100,000.) During this war, the Dutch propounded to the prince Oran Zeeb, the great mogul's son, that if he would send part of his army against Damon, a city of the Portuguezes standing by the sea side, they would come against it by sea, and when it was taken, he should have it, and they only to have their customs free: to which he answered, that his present business of Candahore would not permit him to spare so much strength nor time; but what he may or will do now that the war is ended, is unknown. The like they offered to the prince Morodi Bux concerning Dio, but his answer was, without his father's (the great mogul's) command, he would meddle with no such business. Thus industrious are the Dutch to get by force (saith my author) what we might have by fair means, did our trade flourish; for the Dutch have more holds than they can well hold, and would willingly resign one or two up to the English, of which we may hear more hereafter.
Papers delivered to the Dutch ambassador, August 28, 1656.
His highness and the councell haveing received an accompt from some of the captains at sea of a very extraordinary and unusuall carriage of some captains and officers of the lords the States General of the United Provinces in one of the ports and roads of this commonwealth, do find themselves obliged to cause the same to be represented to his excellency the lord ambassador extraordinary of the said lords the states: the matter informed them is as followeth:
3. The Italians, that were imbarked aboard the ship St. Nicholas, one of that fleete, coming ashoare, were upon oath examined before the mayor of Dartmouth and capt. John Pley, deputy vice-admiral for Devon.
4. In their examinations they depose, that three of the fleete were (as the men of the ship told them) frigotts of Ostend, but did wear Dutch colours, to the intent thereby the sooner to surprize English ships; but upon examination would soon appear to be Ostenders. They likewise depose, that there were aboard the said ship St. Nicholas (in which the Italians sayled) a Spanish priest, a Spanish captain, and three or four Spanish marriners.
That another of the said ships, called the Hope, with a woman and a pigeon in her hand on the stern, bound for St. Sebastian, laden with goods for Spaniards; and so likewise another, called the St. Bartholomew, and severall other of the ships likewise with goods for accompt of Spaniards.
6. Upon consideration of the said informations, capt. Pley, deputy vice-admiral, repaired aboard the Fagon frigott, in his highness immediate service; and having called in other ships of this state to assistance, sent up three boates to search those ships of the Dutch fleete they most suspected; but they refused to suffer themselves to be searched;
7. Whereupon capt. Pley repaired aboard the Dutch convoyes, and acquainted them with the said informations touching the ships and goods in their fleete belonging to Flandrians and Spanyards, and desired they might be visited; and told them, if they opposed it, they would be the breakers of the peace.
8. The convoyes at first were very froward, yet at last yielded, that some slight search might be made in the captains of the convoyers presence; which being begun, and capt. Pley directing, that they should search for ammunition intended to be carried to the enemies of England, the capt. of the convoyes then startled at that; and though upon that slight search it appeared, that Spanish merchants were aboard, and that there was just cause to bring in the ships for a thorough search for Spanyards goods, yet that was refused.
10. Capt. Eaton upon his arrivall wrote to the commander in cheife of the Dutch fleete (Aug. 17, 1656) that the cause of their coming was not to prejudice their friends the states of Holland; but upon information, that some of the vessells under their convoy had ammunition on board them for the Spaniards, being enemyes to England; therefore he and the other ships were comanded to seize such ships in that English road as they should most suspect therein.
11. The captains of the convoyes, though by words they assented to a search, yet instantly indeed opposed it, and spread their red flags, and fired each of them a gun, and went to saile away with their whole fleete.
13. And that night the two Dutch convoyes and a new frigott of 24 gunns came and anchored by the English that laid by the three surprized, and gave out they would force them to re-deliver them before day.
15. But at length they seeming to yeild to a search, the English perceiving that two of those they had seized were bound for France, dismissed these two; and gave order, that one capt. Parker should search the said new frigott.
17. And the Dutch convoyes thereupon answering, that they would stand by them, they thereupon reseized and took by force from capt. Parker the said new frigott's papers; and then the said new frigott cutt her cable, and sett sayle, attempting to fly away to avoyd the search.
18. Upon this the English ship the Bryar ran aboard of the new frigott to stay her (in which the Bryar lost her head and boltspritt) and presently after the English ship the Fagon layd the said new frigott aboard on the other side;
19. Whereupon one of the Dutch convoyes forced in betwixt the Fagon and new frigott, and at her coming in the Dutch convoy fired a musket, and the Dutch abused and provoked the English with reviling and opprobrious language:
21. At last the new frigot made a shew to give hostages to undergo a visitation, but yet delivered not up the ship's papers; nor was any more done but a shew only or punctilio of honour, but no reall or thorough search, nor reall submission by the new frigott; which so much clearer appeared, for that the vice-admiral capt. Pley endevoring to goe away in a boate, the new frigott run purposely at the boate to have overturned it, and over-run capt. Pley, who was forced to rowe again to the ship Bryar, and gett aboard her to save himself.
23. But while this passed, the third ship first taken being sent away by the English (as conceiving her good prize) though they had released the other two bound for France; which being perceived by the Dutch convoyes, they presently cutt the cables, and attempted to rescue her;
25. And tho' all this was done upon the English coast, within the English chambers, part in Torbay, and part in port, yet did not the Dutch convoys or any of their fleet strike their flaggs to the said shipps of warr of this commonwealth; viz. the Bryar, the Fagon, and the rest aforesaid, nor lower their topsailes:
26. But made that hostile opposition aforesaid, and by that means gott away all the said ships of Ostend, and all the said Spaniards, and goods and ammunition laden for Spain and Spaniards, and hindred the said ships of warr of this comonwealth from seizing and surprizing of the said new frigott, and the rest of the said Flemish and Spanish ships and goods belonging to the enemyes of this comonwealth, which had it not been for the Dutch convoyes opposition, resistance, and hostility, they had seized.
This being the state of the case, as it is represented to his highness and the councell, it is evident, that these Dutch convoyes, and the rest of the Dutch their adherents and assistants have evidently violated the ports and jurisdictions of this commonwealth, and carried themselves contrary to the amity and good correspondence between these two states, and particularly against the late treaty of peace establish'd between them; for in the thirteenth article of the said peace it is provided,
"That the ships and vessels of the said United Provinces, as well men of war as others, meeting with any of the ships of war of this commonwealth in the British seas, shall strike their flag, and lower their topsail, in such manner as hath ever been at any time practised heretofore under any former government."
But here neither the said Dutch convoyes, nor any of their fleet (though the most of them were armed with guns, and warlikely equipped, though they went as merchant-men) did either strike their flags, or lower their topsailes to the said ships of war of this commonwealth, though this was not only within the British seas, but in Torbay, and within the range of Dartmouth.
"That neither of the comonwealths, or the people abiding, inhabiting, or dwelling within either of them respectively, or within their power, shall yeild, give, or afford any aid, councell, or favor to the enemyes or rebells of either, but shall expresly, really, and with effect hinder any inhabiting, dwelling, or abiding within either of them, or within their power, from giving any aid or assistance unto such enemyes or rebells by men, shipping, armes, ammunition, money, victuals, or otherwise, by sea or land.
"And all such ships, arms, ammunition, money, goods, or victuals of or belonging to any person or persons whatsoever, that shall be provided, imploy'd, or made use of contrary to the intent of this article, shall be consiscate forfeited to the respective comonwealths; And the person or persons, who shall willingly and willfully doe, attempt, councell, or be imploy'd therein, shall be declared enemies to both comonwealths, and shall suffer the paines and penalties of treason."
1. For here in this case they receive amongst them three Ostend frigotts, enemyes of this commonwealth; and they palliate them, and colour them, and permitt them in their fleete to wear Dutch colours (as merchant-men, tho' furnished as men of warr) the better, by that deceit, to surprize English ships as they might meet them.
2. They carry in that fleete (and convoy it) ammunition for the Spaniards (being enemies to the English) and being told so much by the English and by capt. Eaton's letter, they deny not but they have such ammunition.
That thereupon spred their red flaggs, and fire each of them a gunn, and after oppose the English at push of pike, and revile them with opprobrious language, and incourage and joine with the new frigott in forceably taking away that frigott's papers, from capt. Parker, which only might have disclosed the whole matter.
There is a fleete of fifty ships and two convoyes, all or most of them warlikely equipped and furnished with guns and navall military furniture, yea, not only the three Ostend frigotts, that colourably wore the Dutch colours, but even the most of the merchants ships well furnished with gunns, men, and ammunition.
They amicably and in a friendly manner, according to the treaty of peace, acquainted them with what they are informed, and desire them, that they yield to be visited, to the end they may seize and secure what is pertaining to enemyes, and acquitt their friends. This is refused, and upon this the proceedure hath been.
The case then being so plaine, and the unjust proceedure of those convoyes and Dutch in this fleet so evident, and to the English so injurious, we believe, that they have done it without the least direction from the said lords the states; and doubt not, but that on the contrary they will disowne them therein, and cause the captains and other criminall persons to be proceeded against as enemyes to the peace of both nations, and that satisfaction be made for the damage, loss, and dishonour, which this comonwealth hath suffer'd in this encounter; which his highness exspects from the justice of the lords the States Generall.
Nieupoort, the Dutch ambassador in England, to Ruysch.
The lord secretary of state signified to me yesterday in a letter, that the lords commissioners of the lord protector would come to me in the afternoon about four of the clock; and having returned an answer, that I would expect their lordships, but that I desired also to speak with him afterwards, he assured me, that he would come along with the lords commissioners. He said, that the lord protector and the council had received some depositions and declarations from the vice-admiral of Devonshire, and other officers in the west, concerning a great excess (so he called it) committed by some Netherland men of war and merchant-men in Torbay near Dartmouth, about which was delivered in a writing, which they had order to deliver me to send over to their high and mighty lordships as soon as I could. I answered, that I had also heard something out of particular letters of some unhandsome carriage, but had received no certainty; that it could appear by my written memorandums several times reiterated, that I have often earnestly represented to the lord protector, that it was impossible to prevent such inconveniences, as long as we were not agreed upon just and good rules, according to which the inhabitants and officers of both sides have to regulate themselves, and that it was a miracle had happened before this; so that I thought their lordships were come to me to adjust with the remedies, which are necessary to prevent all further breaches. Thereupon answered the said lord secretary of state, that the lord protector and council were fully inclined thereunto, but in such a manner, that it may not be too prejudicial to them. Thereupon I repeated in short (the lord Wolsely being absent) that which I had remonstrated in my last conferences concerning the sea-passes and cockets, desiring that their lordships would be pleased to declare themselves concerning the same. Thereupon several debates happened to and again; the said lords insisted, that in their papers, which they had delivered to me, sufficient precautions were inserted therein, partly for the sixth article of the writing, delivered on the 4th of April; also in the sixth article of the other writing, delivered upon the 19th of May last; as also in the last paper, delivered to me upon the 20th of July last. I replied, that by all the said projects the chiefest grief, namely the bringing in of ships, oftentimes upon suspicion, which is altogether ungrounded, the ill favoured breaking open of chests and trunks, the opening and taking away of letters and papers; and if such like abuses were not prevented, all which proceedings will not fadge with the amity and peace, and were directly contrary to the laws of nations: that the projects of the both sides preservators of the commerce, by reason of the variety of colleges of admiralties in the United Provinces, was judged altogether impracticable; and that the captains at sea should be obliged to make good and repair any injuries or wrong done; that likewise in all ancient times the lawful sea-passes and cockets had given satisfaction; desiring once more, that their lordships would be pleased to give way and condescend, that we might agree upon the form of sea-passes and cockets. The lords commissioners presently alledged again, that they might be easily counterfeited, and likewise misused: thereupon I answered, that there were never any false sea-passes shewn me out of Netherland, except one which was produced; but it doth not follow from thence, that therefore there ought none to be made, or that none could be made, but that they would be counterfeited; for all treaties and contracts may be counterfeited; but it doth not follow, that therefore none ought to be made. And after many reasons past on both sides, the lord secretary asked, whether I had delivered in any form of such a sea-pass as I meant and understood to be agreed on. I said, that I had not done it, not knowing the intention of the government here; and as it pleased their lordships, I would make ready such a project. The lord secretary said, that if I would take so much pains, and roundly signify unto them the final resolution and intention of their high and mighty lordships concerning the said business, that they at any time will meet again, and demonstrate on their side, that they do not seek to delay the work; adding withal a very earnest declaration, that the lord protector and the whole council do seek and intend nothing else but to observe sincerely the ancient amity with the state of the United Netherlands.
A letter of intelligence.
The troops which the emperor sent for Milan are got into Italy, to the number of 10,000 foot and 3000 horse. The letters from Italy do say, that 400 horse, carrying each a fantasin behind him, have made their way into Valence, which will secure that place from being taken this year. This will be a very bad campaign for mons. de Mazarin. Mons. de Turenne was quartered very advantageously near Lens, whither mons. the prince of Condé went to engage him, but he retreated: he is still in pursuit of him, and it is likely that France must defray both armies for some time.
A letter of intelligence, receiv'd Aug. 28, 1656.
[Paragraph contains cyphered content - see page images 362-3] It may be others may send yow more, but I will send you nothing but what is true. Major Honniwood has bin here twice, and is gonn from hence the last weeke; he is gonn by Zealand. In my next I wil say which way he goes over he came from those persons I named, and more I am sure, but I cannot gett their names. I am in hopes he brout money to ief that I cannot say sartinly. Look wel into there actionns, but doe nothing to them as yet: believe me you have time enough, and as I can get more of it, you shall have it, but al things are kept between Charles, Ormond, and Hide. Bristow is admitted to sum of their counsels, but not all, so that you may see how hard it is to come to any thing. But now Bristow is gon to don Jean to get quarters for men and there wil be raised regiments, 2000 in each; there is two Fleming gentlemen that wil raise him two regiments of hors of 500 each; the duke of Nuberg wil send him 1000 foot, besides other great assistances he wil have those of England help him with money, and will join with him with horse: he treats with al parteyes, som are absolutely for him, others are against you, but wil not join with him. This in private he said himself. Lord Willowby of Parham is my working and doing in most business; and amongst the sea men there is one Hubbart, captain Allans brother in law that manageth the business of sea for him. I do assure you nothing is yet ready, and would not have you clap up any person as yet. There go over many priests and Jesuits: if you think or have confidence in any of them, they will deceive you. When men are raised, we shall see more clearly. There is som design uppon an iland, I believe it is Silly. It is not to be suddenly. You desire my writing of ten: truly things are not so much here as to give you business every week and to write you every little story were but to til you diurnalls and that mitte spoule al, but dout not you shall 17on nye and m2x fy f52 he82 y9 ny882 m7x com out of t 83062 70 a forth and f53n f87082 3x f52 787p5 m7x 94xxym 571 148 f52 Spanish have not any thing at present, it cost to much to run to and from. It is thought Sexby is in England. I did hope you had gone off. Pray give me a place at Paris, that I may send my letters to be sent to you that way, if I should have occasion: and let me know if I should send by the convoye by this Dipeltion if it would come safe. Pray have a care Burghill does not find out any thing between nye and 12 7 53e2 oyt 53h y9 571 49 x3f2 and let me 8oym 18ef x7ff2x m53x nye doe in that business according to your commands I shall prof our dire how to send me money; but pray have a care by what person you send it to him, that he may give no suspicion. Pray let me hear from you assoon as may be, but not in either till I write again. How they will dispose of these men is not yet agreed of, but I believe they will strive to get a town in the west, and so send some there, and some norword, and he himself with a third boddie nere London, but there counsel is not so far advanced as yet here is. Lovel is going over, he is much trusted heere f5252 7p 3 Scotch man but in prison one Borthwicke, he it 7p f5yef5 f53n was that carried the letters into Scotland to Glincarne. It is thought they will torter him. Hide is 4yoo Brussels receive money, and has clapt up one corronel Ogle as be employed by you: therefore as yet pray do not write an p79925 as yet; but if you send me money m57f fyy y5f5822 my8hp 3p y nye h7h before, before I will not miss you when there is none. I wish you would send to me assoon as you can. be confident all is true I send about those persons, but before you do any thing you must let me know or less in your examining them I may be found out. The news is just now come, that mounsieur Turen is beaten and has lost 3000 horse nere St. Paul in France, but is gotten himself into the town the fourth of September. If you think I can serve you the better condition you put me in the better I can serve you. Do not speak this that I am craving 1302n f57049 sales out whereby to take advantage by when one has it by 7f which other wares one cannot do.
The protector to the generals at sea.
We have received your letters of the 19th of June; brought to us by captain Lloyd, who arrived here the 11th of July. By those letters, and by what capt. Lloyd related by word of mouth (which is not contradicted by yours of the first and third of July, received by the squadron of ten ships, which are all safely arrived in the channel, nor by any other intelligence received by other hands, we find that the Spaniard keeps his ports, and doth not yet prepare any considerable fleet to come to sea; and that in the condition you and they were then in, they were not to be attempted in their harbours. And as for any design upon Gibraltar, we see by general Mountagu's letter to the secretary, that nothing therein was feasible without a good body of landmen; so that upon the whole there remains nothing to be done in these seas for the present, which should require the whole fleet now with you to remain here, besides that the great ships cannot without great danger be kept out the winter time upon that coast.
Upon these grounds we are of opinion with you, that a good squadron of frigots will in this season be sufficient to answer any opportunity of service, which may present itself; and therefore we have resolved, that about the number of twenty ships (such as you shall judge proper and fit for that purpose) be kept in those seas, and the rest be sent home with the first opportunity of wind and weather; and desire that you will give order therein accord ingly. And in respect it will be necessary, that we advise with one of you (at least) upon this whole affair, and it being also very inconvenient, that you should be both from the head of the fleet, which remains behind, the management whereof being of so great consequence to the commonwealth; we would have general Blake to stay with the fleet, and general Mountagu to come with the squadron, which comes home. For the service, for which these ships should be applied to, we need say nothing therein, but refer you to the former instructions. That which we believe by the enemy will most intend, will be the carrying on his trade to the West Indies, which if he can effectually do, he will not much care for what else is done upon him. And our intelligence is, that at this time he is fitting out some ships of war and others, to send from Cadiz into those parts; the certainty whereof we suppose you may know; and therefore that which is most to be endeavoured, is the spoiling him in that trade, by intercepting his fleets, either going to or coming from thence, and as much as may be to destroy his correspondencys thither. It will be of great use also to prevent the coming of any materials for shipping, or other counterband goods into Cadiz, or any of his ports, which you can have an eye to, and as much as may be prejudice his trade and correspondence with Flanders. Besides these things, and what other damage you may have opportunity to do the enemy, we in our keeping the said fleet in those seas, had an eye to the preservation of the trade of this commonwealth in the Streights and to Portugal, which we suppose could not be driven on without a very good countenance and strength, in respect the enemy would otherwise be able, with a few ships, to obstruct this trade wholly, and to take all that past either to or from the one place or the other. But our intention is not to reckon up every particular, wherein this fleet may be useful, but only to let you know our general scope, and to leave the management and improvement thereof to the prudence and direction of him, who is to abide upon the place, whom we beseech the Lord to be present with, and to guide him to that, which may be for the good of this commonwealth, and according to his own will.
These have been our thoughts, and the considerations we have had upon this affair. If any thing else doth occur to you different from what is here exprest, either as to the number of ships to remain in those seas, or the way and manner of weakening the enemy, and managing the war against him, we desire to understand your sense and advice hereupon, with all possible speed, sooner if it may be, than the return of the aforesaid squadron; and in the mean time we are not willing to tye you up positively to the number of twenty ships to remain on that coast, but give you a latitude to keep a lesser or greater number there for answering the ends aforesaid, and as you shall find the occasion to require, which possibly may be very much varied since the last we had from you. For what concerns the provisions of victuals and other things, which the fleet will stand in need of, the commissioners of the admiralty have direction to write at large to you, unto whose letters we refer you, and desire you and the whole fleet to rest assured, that nothing shall be omitted to be done here for your supply and encouragement upon all occasions.
An intercepted letter.
I Very much desire to here from you, to know if you reseave myne: if I had reseaved ansors to my letters I have writt, I myte have bene forwarder in my busenesse; at presant I have an acquantance, who is able to instruckt me consarning the 58 89, no man bettar; he is a 90 50 48 46 to it. He tells me there is thirty 78 49 at Jemica; twelve 18 49 at 13 27 11 48, but them are devided, halfe of them are gone to 50 14 11 18 50 46 17 50 48; and hereupon the last of 210 211 and 212. Here is 26 46 50 58 78 49; 48 54 81 39, one who the 79 17 226 love extreamly had a garde set over 35 38 was fower dayes wating before he cowlde get to speake with the 16 52 29 79 27, which he tooke very ill; 75 50 19 14 is sent presonare to Winsor, and every day one or other 16 29 25 59 11 10. My frind's name is Mr. 52 15 48, he is very kind with 48 54 81 39, in so much that they call brothers. He hath promest me to labor all he can to bringe him to goodnesse; he is considerable. When I here further, you shall here from me consarning that. I have sent you this inclosed, to show you what honest men it hath pleased the cuntry to chuse 242; I did except aganst sum of them that were chosen; we pray daly, that it may brede no defarance, yet it is much fered. 50 40 38 is strictly looked to; 50 14 15 46 51 hath promist me, that he shall be able to doe noe more aganst me than he hath allready, and that hereafter he will call him to account; he assures me, he allwayes tooke him for a knave. I would be with you, but hopps of getting them goods maks me stay as long as I may; you were pleased to promis me, that I shoulde here from you when it was seasonable to render you a vefit; tell then I expect to here what further sarvice lies in the power of
August the 29th, 1656.
Major general Haynes to secretary Thurloe.
Synce the wryting of the enclosed, which I sent to the post, but was returned back again, I received about nine last night, by Mr. Hill the messenger, your honour's as the cover to his highnesses, to which I have returned this enclosed in answer; and according to what you hinted, have burnt his highnesse's. I have begged to be excused from going further into Norfolk, Mr. Woolmer being with me, and engaging to give an account speedily of that countye, in the several particulars desired. And truly, sir, I have upon my several journings since I came into the country, contracted such a weakness of body, and extreme cold in my head now near a month old, that it threatens both my hearing and sight; so that I am not well able to travel; and am put upon a necessity to attend the removing thereof, as Dr. Wright shall direct, whom I have sent to, and expect to meet his directions at Bury, where I have not bin now near fourteen days; yet if my strength will hold out, shall not stay long there. By Mr. Hill, who had been at Wisbeech to find me (where I was come for the reasons in the enclosed) I understand your honour and Mr. Fisher is chosen for the isle. I am not well enoughe to add ought to my former, purposing to hasten home to wayte the pleasure of the Lord concerninge me, much fearing I have caught the county illness, viz. an aguish feaver, which is very common; in truth so indisposed at tymes, that I am fit for noething, which is all the apology I can make for soe broken a discourse from, sir,
Feltwel, Aug. 29 56. fryday nyne in the morne.
Major general Goffe to secretary Thurloe.
Though I have noe busines, I cannot be soe ungrateful as to neglect to thanke you for the first and second part of the same tune, in reference to the elections, concerning which I hope it may be saide, that though they be not so good as wee could have wished them, yet they are not soe badd as our enemies would have had them. Neither must I omit to thanke you for your endeavours for lodgings, and am well contented, though you cannot doe me the kindnes therein you designed. I must also thanke you for your willingnes to solissit for us in reference to the militia. Capt. Dunch, with the other capt. for this county, and myselfe have been just now considering about drawing the troopes together, and to learne them with a word of expectation, before wee goe up to London; but because wee have noe money, we must (as wee thinke) rather let them alone. The truth is, unless wee may be paid as the rest of our neighbours are, wee doe very much feare, if the times should prove troublesome, wee should find a greater inconvenience then I doubt is apprehended at Westminster; but I am confident if you will be pleased to speak to his highnes, some better care will be taken for us. I shall hope to receive some word of comfort in your next, at least a good lusty promise.
I am very glad, that there is care taken to hould a good correspondence in the army, and
I hope it is beleeved among other things, good and equall pay will contribute much thereto.
But I shall add noe more at present, but that I am, sir,
Winton, 29 Aug. 1656.
This day fortnight I inclosed in your letter one to his highnes, which I hope came to your hands. I would not willingly it should miscarry. I only desire to know, whether you did deliver it. There was nothing of busines in it, yet I should be sorry it should fall into any other hands but his highnes.
An intercepted letter.
Your kind letter of the 13th of June obliges mee to a perpetuall acknowledgment. My friend Mr. Conyers is infinitely pleas'd with his gloves, and very thankfull for them; they are soe rare in these countryes, that I am hugely prest by his brother to gett him halfe such a parcell, but how that may bee done on free cost, I cannott yet imagine. 'Tis unreasonable to move the same friend agayne; that I will not doe; but if you will acquaint him with it, and aske him, whether hee cannot promote such a sale, whether his cos. Ch. C. would accept of such a favour or noe. If Birt bee in town, pray lett him know of this opportunity to pleasure his friends. Pray lett mee know how Mr. Smith does; I shall bee glad to have a word or two from him of his welfare. If you can furnish mee by the helpe of your friends with the foremention'd parcell, the size must not bee lesse than the lesser of the last, bigger is noe fault; whole or cut finger'd, soe they bee well shap'd and serviceable; 'tis noe matter whether kid, cordevin, or sheepskin. I hope you have read mine of the 27th from St. Omer: since then wee have little news; the army are both towards the frontiers, the French retreating, and the Spanyards following fayre and softly. Mr. Parsons I looke for here next week. Send mee the first diurnall, that gives the names of the parliament men. You never told mee yett, how the par goes on with you, whether the hot sand did work its effect or noe. My service to all our friends. We are all well here in hopes to see you, according to our first purpose, if God permitt, soe remayns
Your most faithfull,
Col. Tho. Cooper to H. Cromwell, major general of the army in Ireland.
I have receav'd your lordship's of the 26th instant, and shall obey your lordship's order in seeinge colonell Moore's regiment on ship-bord befor I set forwards for Dublin. I did offer that as my opinion in my laste with colonell Mervin's busines of indeavouringe to come to live at Belfaste: what this stores in the castle will afforde for the suplly of his regiment shall bee given out to him; hee hath had 80 firelocks allready, and yet wants, as hee saith, 250: its his desire to have all firlocks, other muskets this store will afforde him; bandeleeres here is none, but such as ar all to peeces; and exept capt. Pratt's company, here is few in his regiment have any. I think wee can fit about 100 collers, by mendinge these ould ones, and new stringinge them, but hee will want 200 paire more. If your lordship is shure, that in these shipps ther is of provision for them, it may suffice best to have them there. I could wish I had seen a liste of the justises for the provinces, before they had acted in their places, because I might have given your lordship what information I could of their fitness or unfitness of persons, before the comission had come downe, because to keep out unfit men will not so much discontent as to put them out after they have acted; but I fear that's to late now. I doe veary much admire, consideringe what wynds wee have had, that these shipps are not come. Colonell Bryan hath been at Edenburgh this fortnight and more: which is all at present, but that I am,
Your lordship's faithfull servant,
General Monck to secretary Thurloe.
This inclosed letter coming to my hands, I thought fit to send it to you, and I shall write to the governor of Orkney, to take the informations upon oath concerning this busines, which when it comes from thence, I shall send to you. All our parliament men are chosen here, but you will know few of them but such as are English. The Englishmen that are chosen are, the lord Broghill, sir Edward Rhodes, Mr. Disborow, col. Whetham, judge Swinton, col. Winthrop, col. Fitch, judge Smyth, col. Salmon, Dr. Clarges, Mr. Godfrey Rhodes, Mr. Thomas Stuart, col. Henry Markham, judge advocate Whalley, and scout master general Downing; and the rest are honest and peaceable Scotchmen, and I believe will be all right for my lord protector, which I thought fit to nominate, because they are not known to you. I remain
Your very loving freind and humble servant,
An intercepted letter of Timothy Carme to col. Rob. Overton.
As opportunity presents, I make bold to trouble you with my rescriptions; and tho' I have little worth your perusal, yet I cannot but still acknowledge my thankfulnes for your good regards to mewards upon all occasions. Since my last I heard; that you continued still in the Tower, though little was objected against you, and I doubt not less proved in order to any crime committed either against conscience or country. I beleeve, sir, though amongst men you may want an advocate, yet you have one, that pleads for you in that court, where justice one day will impartially judge the most hidden actions of men. Suffering was Paul's closest companion, where it left him, you it will, who look for the appearance of our Lord Jesus Christ, who as he doth, he ever shall rule king of saints. I should be very glad to hear from my friends in England; from you I suppose I cannot, having been, as I am informed, debarred the company of my mistress the time of your restraint. I have written several letters both to you and my father; I hope some of them are come to your hands, though I have not received one letter since I came into your Indies. I can say little as to any business in these parts. We have lain off the Havannah about nine weeks, in expectation of a Spanish fleet bound homewards; but parturiunt montes, we took a small vessel, which when we last water'd at the bay of Matanza we burnt. Whether the fleet be gone home, or return not out of the Indies this year, we are ignorant of; if we had seen them, I suppose we should have put a period to this long and unfortunate expedition. Five of our best frigots are so defective in almost all particulars, that the councel have thought it fit to send them home next spring; we are in expectation to follow, having a grant from the admiral by petition to the same purpose. As many as are left of us are in good health, being seasoned to the country. We shall, with part of the squadron, suddenly return for Jamaica, if wind and weather permit, for our victuals grow to a low ebb; however we doubt not of recruits, either out of Old or New England. I am loth to be too troublesom to you and take you off your more important occasions with my prolixness. With my duty to yourself and mistress, my service to Mr. and Mrs. Overton, my respects to all my fellow servants, I take leave, and subscribe myself,
Selby, off the Havannah, Aug. 30, 1656.
A paper of capt. Benj. Blake, concerning his deportment in America.
Upon coll. Penn's leaving Jamaica, he appointed me (and accordingly admirall Goodson gave me a commission for) vice-admiral of the remaining part of the fleet; whereby I hold myselfe obliged to a more vigilant inspection into the affaires of the fleet, and a more free and frequent giving advice concerning the same; to which purpose I did oftentimes (as humbly and privately as I could) counsell the admirall to employ the fleet at sea, and not keep it in harbour. How farre this advice was followed, I need not mention.
By our much being in harbour I had occasion (with much regrett) to see and heare of a generall miscarriage in his highnesse affaires on the land, occasioned partly through the officers disaffection to the place, and what was expected upon the place; and partly (if not mainly) through the indulgent remissnes (as I conceived) of the commissioners. Whereupon and the forementioned encouragement, I humbly and privately presented to the commissioners my second paper of 29th January, 1655/6.
But things growing worse and worse, by a generall inclination and tendency of the army (both officer and private soldiour) to a quitting the island and whole designe, after much trouble of spirit I made bold to present a third paper unto the commissioners of the 28th of Feb. 1655/6, hoping it might put them upon calling some miscarriages (therein mentioned) to account; but I found it quite otherwise; and that instead thereof, they highly questioned me for the said paper before a convention of five or six land-officers, and as many of the fleet; while I endeavoured to cleere up by my good intentions in what I had presented, and offered to stand to a triall (before my proper judges) upon the particulars contained therein. But that not taking, major Sedgwicke told me, that if I would rase the copies, all should be well. I desired to be excused from doeing soe, and told him, that I should not make any use thereof, but in my own defence. Whereupon they ceased further to meddle with me about it. Afterwards it was desired, that on the day following, in the same convention every man would be ready to give his best advice for what was necessary to be done; whereupon at the meeting appointed, being willing to put forth my talents of a soldiour and planter (in which waies I had spent some of my daies before my navall employments) I digested my thoughts into another paper-advice (being March 4th, 1655/6) being conscious enough of treacherousness of my owne memory; which advice was better accepted than followed.
On the 5th of Aprill we set saile with eleven ships, for the designe of Rio de Hacha, though some persons (considering the intelligence from Mr. secretary Thurloe, as I remember, of the fleet to be expected from Spaine into the Indies about this time) gave advice, that we should ly off cape Antonio, in order to meeting with that fleet, which if we had done, we had probably met with them. After our return from Rio de la Hacha, and the death of major generall Sedgwicke, the designe of lying before the Havana being on foot, I being newly come into the harbour from the maine, and consequently ignorant of the grounds of many things in the fleet, the admirall shewing himselfe strange to me (I suppose for my prying into some abuses formerly and very lately committed) I privately delivered to him a paper, desiring information, and containing my wishes towards the best ordering of his highnesse affaires; which paper (as alsoe all things else, that came from me verbally) he disliked, and prevailed with (I will not say forced) the councell of warre to vote it unlawfull, and so leave it, not trying whether it came under any of the articles of warre.
The same day, at a councell of warre, he produced, and caused to be read, an accusatory petition against me (signed W. Aylesbury) a copy of which I desired, and was denied by him. I likewise desired a copy of the councell's votes against my late paper, but was alsoe denied it.
Upon all these injuries I desired to have leave to lay down my commission, and goe for England; and that my accuser might likewise be sent home to make good the charge. The first was graunted, and soe I came home passenger in the Great Charity; but the latter part was not graunted.
I desire that capt. Saunders, capt. Kirby, and capt. Blyth may be heard what they can say in relation to these or any other passages between admirall Goodson and me, and my generall deportment in America.