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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September (2 of 7)
Major general Kelsey to secretary Thurloe.
I Received yours concerning sir Henry Vaine, and have sent to those parts to satisfie myselfe of those things you wrot to mee about; but I have understood sence I came to this place, that he is gon to London. Sir, I find all the honest people in thes parts full of fears of what the event of this parlement will bee. The enemy carryeth it high, both caveler and presbeter hinting, that they will hes highnes for breaking up the long parlament, and soe for what he hath donn sence. I could wish, that all that sett in the house, may bee put to signe a recognition to one the government, as it is in the instrument, and not to medle with what is past; for by this means many of your ridged fellows would be keept out, which if not, as soon as the parlament setts, you will have the countrys thronging att the doors with petitions, which will put us into confusion.
I could wish his highnes would labor to fix all the officers of the army; for they give it
out, that they shall divide the army, and then the day is thers. I conceve thes things are
nesesary; yett I hoope wee have a better reffudg to fly unto; and the God, that hath heatherto caryed on his own cause, will still owne it, and cary us through the darke despensations, and bring us to a haven of rest and hoom at last; which is the ernest desier of,
Sir, Your humble servant,
Mr. W. Metham to secretary Thurloe.
Since my three last after yours, I am com to Genoa, as soone as I could, and sooner then is convenient for my further passage, finding all Italie in a suspected if not reall infection, so that all commerce is prohibited, till it be seen, wither the approaching colds will lessen this contagion. In the mean, if there occurre here any thing worthy your reading, my pen and hart shall serve you according to my engagement.
When I lest Portugall, one thing was in dispute, of which to my power I advised
Mr. Meadowe (though otherwise sufficiently experienced in the Portughes humours) concerning the 3 per cent. for which he had the king's hand, although the commissioners, since
they heard of the arriveing fleet, desire to omitt the publicque seale to it, to avoid scandal,
as they say, of other nations, as if it could be allowed without that all the world know it:
besides after the said halfe yeare, the time pretended for delay, the same difficulty of scandall will still remaine; whereas if it be now granted, all will thinke it a particular reason of
state, which required this priviledge for English, which no other nation could pretend.
Pardon this indiscretion in discourseing such things, which you better understand; yet because one of my great condes telling how they wished their 260 thousand crownes in their
king's pockett again, and asking how they might deale with Mr. Meadowe, I made bold
to speake my opinion, which I then gave him. Nevertheles, if at any time my phrase be
indiscreet, ascribe it to my reallity and love to the honour of countrie, according to circumstances where I am. What I writ, I confirme, and espeacially concerning my conde
Camerero, of whom though I have no certainetie, yet I have many undeniable truths concerning Mr. Medow's wound, in whose discoverie I should scarce be safe abroad, and withall
annull such expectation of interest, which I deferred, if not waved to begin thence handsomely this my resolution to these parts. I must confess, if for me to be in Lisbon had
equally complied with your service, I had alreadie purchased there that interest, which proportionably must cost much elsewhere. Notwithstanding at Rome when I arrive or elsewhere, you shall heare from me, as from one faithfull, if not efficacious. Now, my lord,
if this infection should continue thus in these parts all winter, so that I could not get to
Rome, in Flanders, the place of my first education, peradventure I might advantage you
somthing to accompt, especially by giveing my selfe out, as I doe now, for an earnest cavalier. There is a certaine man now resideing in Ligorne, called Joseph Kent, who hath now
and then diverse letters from the titular king of Scots or his attendants, of whom, if I can
reach Ligorne, I will endeavour to learne what I can, in order to a letter, which one here
by its suprascription before seen assured to com from that court. In Portugall there be halfe
a dozen little English boys kept by condes as runegados from our fleet. One is kept in the
English colledge at the charges of the marquis of Caschais, another by the conde de Torre,
of whom I writt you; others by diverse gentlemen. Also before I left Lisbon I understood,
how one Francis White, an Irish Jesuite, hath constant intelligence from England by everie
ship, to whom the Portughese agent with you oftentimes directs his letters by meanes of
Mr. Page and Mrs. Marie, of whom I writ you. There is now in England one Mr. Richard Barton or Bradshaw (being his right name) provinciall governor of all the Jesuits in
England, a man that hath lived long in Paris, but a great Spaniard, as all his coate are,
who may do harme; but I can learne no more of him, unles I were in Rome or Flanders.
Here notwithstanding I humbly beg of you, in order to him or any else, that you never
proceed 'gainst life, unles otherwise you find them traitors, besides preisthood, if you seaze
on them by my information. Here they have a fleet abroad, consisting of eight galleys and
seven ships, pretending to take Turks; yet this state, and espeacially som particular families, are so much devoted to Spaine, that I suspect them particularly, because they are still
arming more ships as convoyes to the Portughese traid, and more galleys as for their owne
service; six of their galleys are now sent for Sicilie, as I, though new arriv'd, heare. The
Spainiards feare some attempt upon their islands, and that five of our frigats serve the French
in Catalonia. In your next this way, I beseech you send me a caracter to be used upon occasion; as also wither or noe you esteem me worthy of a present support, as well till, as
when I reach Rome, being indeed of my own fortunes as a younger brother unprovided for
so long travells, and withall to keep myself in that garbe, as best may advantage my undertakeings, espeacially being I waved some preferment and promises in Portugall to pass the
better and unsuspected under the naked colour of a knight of Christ (as your agent see)
the reward of my conde for the moneys he ows me, but pretends he cannot as yet pay me.
The said conde Camerero privately imbarked himselfe in the Portughese armado, to gaine
the love of the people, which he much lost in his legacie in England. Some think him out
of favour, but I beleive it all to be king's consent, if not invention, which I could not learne
by reason of my suddain departure. I was invited into Spaine by my brother, then a Jesuite, and had gone that way for a passage, unles, as I writt you, the ship had been sequestred by king John. In the meane I am by name now here
Your humble and devoted servant,
This day, being 16 of Sept. here, the 6th with you, Valenza hath capitulated, that if no succorse enter all this day, that to morrow being 17 detto, or 7 with you, the French are to enter it. I heare much of a peace generall, but my fresh arrivall as yet can neither informe my knowledge, nor instruct my judgment.
Commissioner Pels to the States General.
High and mighty lords,
I Have, by order of your high and mighty lordships ambassadors, communicated to this city the extract of the article of their inclusion in the treaty, which was signed and sealed at Elbing on the 11/1 current with the lords Swedish commissioners; upon which the magistrates of this city, being a point of very great consequence, cannot so soon declare their opinions and approbations, but is to be further debated with the rest of the members of the government, in regard much is comprehended in this article, whereof they must necessarily have some further declaration; as for example, in the beginning is put, Salva atque integra fide, quam prædicta civitas regi Poloniæ debet; a little further, Omnis hostilitas inter regem Sueciæ & civitatem Gedanensem cessabit; and lastly of all, Ita ut vera firma amicitia & bona correspondentia mutuo & reciprocè coletur; which before there be a peace between the kings of Sweden and Poland, is judged to be impracticable here, and which is no ways able to relieve them of their heavy burthens, by maintaing of garrisons and the like, and is no security to this city for the future; which with many more are the particular discourses of the town, but what declarative answer the city will give, shall be sent to your high and mighty lordships in its due time.
There was a report at Koningsberg, that Riga was surrendered to the Muscovites upon agreement, and that earl Magnus had made a sally out with 1500 men, but was mortally wounded, and that the earl of Thorn and many other officers the Muscovites had caused to be beheaded, and the rest put to the sword; but of this I hear no confirmation. It is believed, that the king of Sweden and the duke of Brandenburgh will endeavour to make a peace with the king of Poland, before that the Muscovite doth make any further progress; and besides especially now it is perceived, that the archduke Leopold, as head of the Dutch order, doth also pretend to Prussia.
A letter of the Dutch ambassadors at Elbing.
By our last to your lordship of the 13th current, their high and mighty lordships will have seen, what hath been proposed by the ambassador of Brandenburgh, about the reassuming of treaties between this crown and Sweden, and was signified to us upon that occasion by the lords his majesty's commissioners. The next day the said lord ambassador came to salute us in our lodgings, and told us, that he upon further order of the duke his master hath presented to his majesty the said duke's good offices to remove all differences and disputes between his majesty of Sweden and this crown, and to make a good agreement between those two crowns, without making any mention to reassume with us the foregoing negotiation, which happened here with the resident of Sweden, as if no such thing had ever been set on foot by the duke of Brandenburgh, but only proceeded from the king of Denmark. We have reason to believe, that the said ambassador doth very much dissemble with us, and especially since that we are informed from a very good hand, that the said ambassador at the last meal with the king at his departure did use some expressions to debauch his majesty from their high and mighty lordships, and to give an introduction to make his conditions with Sweden and Brandenburgh apart. Besides one of the lords commissioners, that did treat with the said ambassador, did assure us, that the whole design of his last commission did clearly appear to be set on foot to draw Denmark from the United Provinces; that also his lordship did expresly propose to several lords, that the king of Denmark might do his business with Sweden; that their high and mighty lordships endeavoured to draw all the advantages upon the east sea to themselves; and that he would undertake, that the king of Denmark should obtain of the king of Sweden all reasonable content to his full satisfaction, declining in as much as in him lay, that in the treaties, which are to be re-assumed, their high and mighty lordships should be admitted. We do so much the more wonder at these strange proceedings, since that the said ambassador doth know, that they do use great considence here with the ambassadors of their high and mighty lordships; and also he hath understood out of the king himself, that the treaties with Sweden are suspended, by reason they here will not treat without the consent of their high and mighty lordships.
To what end likewise that the said envoy should tell the lord chancellor, that the king of Sweden would not observe the treaty made with their high and mighty lordships we cannot imagine, unless it be to deter the king of Denmark from joining with your high and mighty lordships to persuade him to agree with Sweden. In the mean time we can assure their high and mighty lordships, that we do not perceive any inclination here to hearken to any proposition, that tends for the separating of his majesty from your high and mighty lordships. And therefore in the written answer given to the said lord ambassador, it is expresly set down, that their high and mighty lordships are to be admitted to all such treaties, as shall be made hereafter with Sweden; and that his majesty will not make any separate treaty for his own particular advantage; and this the ryx-chancellor hath assured us of, and therefore earnestly entreated us, that their high and mighty lordships will not finish their treaties with Sweden as long as the city of Dantzick doth not consent in the inclusion of their city, which they understand here to be a just and reasonable condition. Their high and mighty lordships will be able to judge, how just the same is, and how much it doth concern them to agree with this crown in all things at this time; especially since the renovation of the alliance with Sweden, as being defensive also against this kingdom, cannot be pleasing here than with condititions, which give contentment elsewhere, there being enough, who maliciously go about to persuade, that their high and mighty lordships do their own business, without taking the interest of this crown into consideration.
A letter of intelligence from Madrid.
My last was of the 13th current, wherein I advised, that hee, that is heere from Fruxe/the French king about the palme/peace, took his leave, and was going away without effecting any thing. I did but leave my letter in the post that night, when orders were sent to prolong his journey, soe that they tarte/treat again. There was a crowd/council of state three times these two days, where Sparter/the Sp. king as sisted in person, and Luier/don Louis de Haro alsoe, a thing seldom or ever seen; so that it is absolutely thought the palme/peace will be effected. Moreover there are several ixgon/jewels making of great value, with several other presents to be sent by Fruxe/the French king his agent, that is heere. You would not believe all this nation is to have Fruxe/the Fr. king his brother to marry the k. of Spain's. They are mad to have it; and though I advised before, that Flanders was to be given him with the k. of Spain's, if k. of Sp. might happen to have a son now that is changed, and he is to have Portugal and French king is to assist to take it by sea, and k. of Spain by land; and notwithstanding all the victory that k. of Spain has this yeare, it will rather advance the peace than hinder it. And now news is come, that the duke of Modena is destroyed altogether, but this news is not confirmed. Rest assured, that Sp. king will doe for the Scots king all that he can. You would not believe how much k. of Spain is invected against the protector for not corresponding with him as he ought; and after all that Sp. king did for the protector.— Since writing of the above, the French his ambassador, that is here, would not accept of the present, and the hopes of the peace mitigated much; but this very day there was a council of state, where Sp. king assisted in person, and more hoapes of peace than any tyme before, and the agent is to stay till monday. Resolved it is by Sp. king to advance the k. of Scots; and I believe his conditions are signed by this tyme. I long to heare, that you receive myne; the 4th current I writ at large. As for newes, generall Blake is before Cadix, and it is reported, that the Turks fleet is joyned with him: they do nothing. Newes is come, that the king of Poland's army is defeated by the Swedes. We disgest not well this newes. In Cadiz there is a fleet expected from Holland, wherein there comes great store of the Sp. king's fleet wants much, and can hardly sett out without it. I knowes one man in Madrid has for his one account twenty thousand crownes worth in the Holland's fleet. I pray faile not to write to me, for it may concerne you.
C. Davison to major Ellartson, at St. James's house.
The inclosed to his highnes and Mr. secretarie I commend to your hands to present, hopeing, that if I have failed any thing in the superscription of that to his highnes, it will the more easily be pardoned, by reason of my unacquantednes with addresses of this nature. I shall begge of you, sir, that none but themselvs may know of them, and doubt not they may find the better acceptance comeing from your hands. Sir, if you please in two words, when your leisure serves, to acquaint me with the receipt and deliverie of them, you will eternally oblige, sir,
Your most humble servant,
C. Davison to secretary Thurloe.
May it please your honour,
I Have presumed once more to give your honour the trouble of this paper, at once to let your honour understand, how desirous I am to serve his highnes, and withall to intimate, that I believe I may now have an opportunitie of doing my country such eminent service, as may quite blot out the remembrance of all former disservices whatsoever. Things are now come to that passe, that I can zealously engage for that cause, which I confesse myselfe for a long time to have bin an enemye to; and if there be any place for such as convinced of their errours shall returne to their duty and obedience, I hope I shall so discharge my part, that his highnes shall have no cause to repent of any favour or trust he shall please to conferre upon me. Having signified thus much to his highnes himselfe, I shall only adde this, that I thinke I shall be able to make it appeare to your honour, that I really intend what I here professe, and desire to be accounted
Your honour's most humble, most obedient,
and most faithfull servant,
The king of Spain to the States General.
Most dear and great friends,
The lord Henry de Reede, who had audience of me, presented to me your letter of credit in his favour; and I received him with much affection and much esteem, as he himself will have assured you, and also of the great desire, which I have, that I may have the opportunities, in which I may declare to you my affection and good will, whereof you shall have experience in as many occasions as shall happen, wherein you shall be concerned; all which I refer myself to what he shall write to you, and with what pleasure he is received and heard by me and my ministers, upon such businesses as he shall speak about and propose in your name. Upon which we pray to God, that he will take you, most dear and great friends, into his holy protection, &c.
Lockhart, ambassador in France, to secretary Thurloe.
The cowrt heare hath been wholly taken up with the preparations for the reception of the queen of Sweden. The king and his brother (who had seen her two dayes before incognito at Chantillie) did meet her yesterday three leagues from Compeigne in that pomp and glory, as no man can remember to have seen the lyke in France. In all his deportment to her, he kept the distance and payed those profound respects, that the dewty of a subject oblydgeth one to pay to his soveraine. To get yow of this unsavory subject, I shall summ up all I have to say in it in a word. Her receptione at Compeigne was sutable to her humor, which is extravagant beyond what is imaginable.
The pretended duke of York is not yett parted from Paris; the perplexitys his mother and lord Jermin are putt too to accomodate his businesse with his creditors, confirms me in the opinion, that the summ given by the king hath not been very considerable.
Collonell Muskerry (who I told your honor formerly had received an order from Charles Stewart to march with his regiment into Flanders) hath been this last week at cowrt, and hath solicited his discharge from the French service; which the cardinall hath refused him. He is gone to Paris to receive the duk's orders concerning his further carryadge, and givs it out, if the cardinall continue to refuse him his passe, he will goe withowt it, having by demanding it don all, that he conceives to be the dewty of a man of honor.
Charles Stewart's emissarys are very busy in debawching all the Irish soldiers; and their is no dowbt he will have them all, and that *****. Sir, yow may assure yowr self, the army, that Cha. Stewart pretends to gather in Flanders, will consist of such trowps, as I beleeve cannot be matched in all the world besyd; and I am confident all Englishmen (that can but pretend to the lowest principles of common honesty) will abhorr a conjunction with soe barbarus a crew as they will bee.
Some of the officers of the Scottish regiments have been with me, and tell me, they feare Charles Stewart's desygn of debawching of soldiers may reach their regiments also. I have been prittie free with them, and assured them, that if by their active diligence they doe not prevent and oppose that desygn, their recruitts, that are not yet come over, shall be stopped; and that hencefoorth no recruits for either of these regiments shall be allowed; which will break them both in a year's tyme. They have promised very faire to me, and if they performe, I have promised, that his highness will protect them as his subjects, and countenance them in all their just pretensions at cowrt. And being upon this discowrse, I beg leave to informe you, that one of their collonells, my lord Dowglasse (whose interest in Scotland, both upon the accownt of his family, and the allyance it hath by his brother's being marryed to the dutchesse of Hamilton, is not inconsiderable) hath been in Scottland seven or eight months last past. It will not be amisse to give generall Monk a hint, that he may be desyerd to hasten his departure from thence; for besyds that he is a soldier, and hath some reputation that way, his mother is dawghter to the marquesse of Huntley, so that the interest of three of the greatest familys of Scotland may meet in him, whom all of them may follow as a person, in whom they are joyntly concerned. I cannot accuse him as guilty of any intentione that way, and must acknowledge, that he is one, with whom I have some friendshipp, and whom I really honor; but being a young gentleman, he much may be tempted, and the fear of that has given you this troble concerning him.
The cardinall doth employ one, who calls himself bishopp of Dromore in Ireland, as his emissary amongst the Irish, and promiseth to himself great matters from his meditatione amongst them. I am informed, that he betrayeth his interest, and sollicites that of Charles Stewart, and ame resolved to advertise the cardinall of what I have heard concerning him; but because I heare the card. hath some opinion of his honesty and good affectione to his person, I wowld be gladd to have a caracter of him, if he be knowen to any abowt Whitehall.
I shall again begg leave to remember yow of the pass for count Brienn's horses, and my
own letters of recomendation, and must beseech yow to beleeve, that what you doe in these
two particulars is don for one, who is ingadged in all the fathfullness he is capable of,
Your most humble and most obedient servant,
P. S. I have sent a coppie of some papers I received from his highnesse resident at Zurick. I have not translated them, because there are some words in them I cowld not understand, as that of censes, soe often repeated, and some others besyds.
A letter of intelligence from col. Bampfylde.
This being the 7th letter, which I have wrote, or dictated to you (when I was alltogether unable to write to you myselfe) since my arrival in theise parts, and not having heard one sillable from you in all this time, the great uncertaynty, whether my letters have come safely to your hands, makes mee a little vary in my resolution, which I had put on, of adventuring by this post (or indeed by any other till I hear, whether my letters reach you or not) divers things, which I conceived of great importance to your affayres. The queen of Sweden departed hence yesterday towards Chantillie, where the cardinall was to receive her, and conduct her to Compeigne. Her stay there will be but short. She made her entrance into this city with great splendour, has been treated with great civility by these people, and her wit much magnifyed by all, who have conversed with her; but this I believe proceeds rather from the change of her relidgon (which has rendred her generally acceptable to all here) and from the strict orders of the courte, then that there wanted matter both in her conversation and comportment, for the French to have exercised theyr raillerye upon; but they are alwayes in extreames, either the greatest parasites, or the severest satirists in the world. The late success of the king of Sweden has really much changed the condition of the af fayres of the empire, which occasioned some resemblance of a mutation here. The king of Poland sent an envoie to the emperour, to advertise him of his condition, to demande speedy assistance, or else to let him knowe, that he must be constrayned to conclude a peace speedily with the king of Swede, noe lesse disadvantagious to his allyes, then to his own particular condition. The emperour has not yet declared, what he will doe in this affayre, the princes of the empire having manifested great dissatisfaction at his intermedling in the affayres betwixt the two crownes of France and Spaine, whereby they declare the treaty at Munster soe solemnly sworne and ratifyed. However the emperour has commanded the troopes sent towards the Millanois, either speedily to joyne with the Spanish troopes for the relief of Valence, or if not to be effected, to returne with all possible speed and dilligence. In the mean tyme he has given orders for the raysing five new regiments, and in the place of Picolomini (whoe dyed about a month since) he has made the marquis of Baden governour of Prague, and count Mansfeldt generalissimo. If this treaty betwixt France and Spayne shoulde not take effect, there is not any thing, which is future and contingent, that seemes to have more of certaynty then a new and dangerous rupture there; the great probabillity of which, together with the taking of Valence, which is in all likelyhoode rendred ere this, the French having lodged themselves upon the bastion, and planted their cannon there before mons. Brachet's departure thence, whoe arrived here three dayes since with the newes, and that the governour offered to render, if he were not relieved in that space, provided there might be a cessation of armes during that tyme, which the dukes of Merceure and Moudena wowld not assent to, fearing the arrival of the emperial forces in that tyme, but the cardinall seemes much dissatisfyed, that they agreed not to it. The reason of the queen of Sweden's splendid reception here (as I am now informed from a good hand) was, neither the change of her relidgeon, her great wit, nor yet any message she brought from the pope, but that the king of Sweden wrote hither to desire her entertaynment in France (being in aliance with him) might be the same they would have yeilded him, had he passed through France. She likes this place and treatment soe well, that she willingly wowld make it her winter quarter; but the French like it not in divers considerations. The two armyes lay encamped three days together within cannon shott of each other, with (as they say) strong inclination on both sides to a battle; but they had taken up such advantagious posts, and lodged themselves soe strongly in them, that neither would adventure the attacke, but after having spent some part of their fury in skirmishes, the Spanish army retired towards St. Ghillian, which 'tis believed they will beseidge. The governor writes hither and to the court, that the guarrison is in a very good condition to defend itselfe, and the French armye, whoe is marched after them with a new recruite of 4000 men, is certaynly stronger than they. 'Tis possible the French army may conclude this campagne as the Spaniard began it. The marquis de Chevere passing from Dowrlans to Arras with a convoye, was taken by the enemy, and with him a packquett of great importance from the marshall de Turenne. Monsieur Chevallier, whoe was deputed by the cardinal de Retts as his vicar generall, and acting therein contrary to the command of the king, was sent prisoner to the Bastile, and yesterday released, upon the request of the clergy, provided that he immediately leave Paris. The cardinall de Rets is certaynly retyred from Rome, haveing reduced his family to six persons, upon pretence of his not being able to support himselfe according to his quality; but they have here private advertisement, that he intends to pass throwgh France in disguise, and throwe himself into this place, and take up sanctuarye in his cathedrall church, and either disturbe the affayres of this place, or dye like Thomas a Beckett. He has great courage, noe less invitation (as is believed) to this cource, both from some of the chief of the assembly, and other great personages, and will have (in this conjuncture) a great influence, not only upon his owne diocess, but upon moste others. Theyr apprehension of this is kept as secret as a thing of this nature can bee; and divers places layd for him. Whether this will advance or breake off the treaty with the Spaniard, is hard to judge, the cardinall apprehending the great discontents, which will arise upon the frustrating their expectations, whoe wish the peace, and fearing on the other side the interest of the cardinall de Retz and the princes of the bloode; and indeed the universallity of France being bent agaynest him, and will have more power to ruine him, upon the consequence of a peace (the disbanding of the armye) then they can have whilst the militia is kept up. I can say more nowe upon this subject, and shall shortly knowe more then I yet doe; but till I finde my letters come to your hands, I shall be wary howe I adventure what for others sakes owght to be kept with the greatest secrecye. I hope I shall hear from you upon tuesday; if I doe not, I shall put you to the expence of a particular express. Both in what referrs to Madrid and France great use may be made of the W h i t e s, whoe are to be purely used, but not trusted. The reasons for both you shall have evidently, as soone as I hear from you, or by my express. The duke of Yorke goes hence upon wednesday, and is to be made admirall of all the fleet, that the Spaniards can set forth. They have great hopes 55 o f l and ingan army in England this w inte r 65 5. I am, sir,
Your moste humble and moste faithfull servant,
A letter of intelligence.
I Have not much at this tyme to ad to my last, wherein inclosed I sent you the cypher I wryt by, which I hope is come safe to your hands by this tyme, which I doe long to heere whether it bee soe or noe. Newes wee have litle, onely the earle of Bristoll is returned from the Spanish army four days since, with orders for quarters for all Scots, English, and Irish, at a place called Ferne, within 3 howres to Dunkirke, for 12 or 14 dayes, untill a generall course bee taken for ther settlement. I am ingaged in the business myselfe, which I hope will not be taken ill by frends, especially yourselfe. Sir, bee confident you shall suffer noe prejudice by it, if I live. The duke of Yorke is expected heer on monday or tuesday next: wee have it by several leters heer of a peace concluded between Fraunce and Spaine. I have heer inclosed sent you the Gazet, that mentions it, with the rest of the foraigne newes, which I will not take upon mee, in regard of the distance. It may bee you have more from others with aditions; but I am confident non more truth then this. I shall forbear the cypher, untill I heer your further comands; but when you are pleased to wryt, direct yours as you did beefore, untill you heer from mee, and let me know, whether all myne comes to your hands or noe. Pray you wryt noe more particullars then need requires, unless you fynd a safe hand, that comes to that place, wher your last leter came. Ther comes many passengers, who lande in that towne, wher you sent your leter. I hope you forget not the name of the towne, for I am lothe to mention it for sum reason. What further proceeds, you shall know by every occation. If you please to bee myndfull of mee, I have need. Noe more at present, but I am, sir,
Your servant till death,
A letter of intelligence.
The last weeke I did not write, but the time before I did, and sent you a directiones how to returne moneyes. Scince the lord Bristol is returned from the armey he has brought an order for quarters for 15 dayes for such men as Charles has entertaned at Bruges, which nomber, as nere as I can gess is 200 Irish and Scoch, for English there is none as yet that comes. Hyde has benn at Bruxells and Antwerpe 12 dayes, not yet returned. His busnes is moneyes. He has sent to Ormound to com to him. Most thinke moneys wil not be had, and most televe there busnes in general goes not as well as they make it, and if you wil beleve me I thinke if the Spanish gave them al they desired, they are such fools they know not how to rase an armey. — The popes nunshow has benn in private with Charles, and it is sayed the pope wil disburse moneyes. If you have any desine against Flanders, I am consident I could demonstrate to you how you mite with ese posses your selfe of a verey strong towne and with ese. The gentelman I sent you word of comes into England by this convoy, and al is truth that I have sayed of him. — If you write to me yet in carrictter you spoile al, but I have sent you a directtiones to the same man you sent by last, pray write me only as you did then, tel you here againe from me. He I sent you word of has taken shipping this day for Graves End. I here from a verey good hand just now that in months there wil be great things donn against you.
An abstract of the contents of several letters.
A letter of intelligence from the Hague.
By the letter here inclosed you will see, how the Dane (seeing that Cromwell doth not meddle with it expresly) doth begin to quarrel with the Swede; for that, which those ambassadors 124 do write, is by the instinct and suggestion of the Dane. This separation of the elector from Sweden is nothing else, but to put the Swede into such a condition, that he may not be able to resist against the Dane; so that without doubt the Dane hath a secret intention to fall upon the the Swede, and break the treaty, which in the year 1645 the Dane made with the Swede: and although, that in effect the Swede and the States General be well enough agreed, and that the treaty at Elbing is as good as concluded, yet it is seen that the Dane will endeavour to break it, or delay it; and when it is concluded and ratified, yet he will endeavour in that manner, that the Swede shall not have much fruit from it by debauching from him the elector of Brandenb; and undoubtedly the Swede will also endeavour to incite the Muscovite on the one side, the Polander on another, and the emperor on the third side.
Here inclosed you will see the advice of Zealand concerning the ligue guarantie, or a defensive alliance with Cromwell and France; but believe me, it is only for a colour, and to continue
in a good order with Cromwell and France. The bottom of that business is, that it will be delayed,
or rather it will never be brought to perfection, or it will serve to separate or to keep the
protector and France from joyning with the Swede, as on the other side they endeavour to separate the
el. of Brand. from the Swede. I am
Your most humble servant.
A letter of information to the protector.
May it please your highness,
I Haveinge something as I conceaved in order to a discovery of the highest concernment to impart to your highness, I made my address to one of your highness counsell, of whose fidelity and candour towards your highness interest I doubt not nor have not the least diffidence; but sayling of my expectation by him in being admitted to a personall attendance upon your highness, I thought my selfe obliged to leave noe lawfull means unattempted in the discharge of soe incumbent a duty towards my God, my countrey, your highness, and my selfe. The matter I had to communicate was thus; Mr. William Howard, late of your highness life-guarde, and, as I am informed, is a greate preacher in the Anabaptist congregation, and a seeminge great stickler for theire interest, keepeth his forreign correspondencie, and hath his letters conveyed to him in a case, directed to one of my acquaintance, that hath bine of the king's party; neither are his letters inclosed directed by his own name, but by the name of John Fisher. If your highnes will but please to commaund my attendance, I shall give your highnesse further satisfaction concerneinge the circumstance, how I came to the knowledge of this; and what use may be made of it for the continuall interception of his letters, the which out of all doubt would produce the discovery of much hypocrisy and juggling. I have likewise to imparte to your highness, that lately I receaved a letter from an acquaintance of mine now in Bruxells, wherein he doth intimate his willingness in beinge instrumentall by his weekely correspondencie to doe your highness service. If it were not for the confidence I have in your highness candour and ingenuity, I should not have presumed upon this way of address, knowinge the debillity of my penn; but I hope your highness will looke more upon the matter then the method of my writeinge, and I hope for soe much blessing upon my endeavor herein from him that is the searcher of all hearts, and who knoweth the integrity and uprightness of mine in this application, as to discover to your highness, that I am no seemeing or verball frind to your person or interest (as I doubte your highness hath to to many such) but that I am and shall bee, if thought fitt by your highnes, a real and an active instrument for the effectuall discovery of all plotts and conspiracies, that are or may be against your person or government. I humbly desire your highness to signifie your pleasure concerning my attendance by this gentleman, and withall to conceale both my name and this paper from the knowledge of all persons whatsoever, or ells his endeavours, I doubt, will be ineffectuall, that takes the boldness to subscribe himselfe
Your highness most humble and most obedient servant.
A letter of intelligence.
Right honorabel sir,
I Sent your honour by the last post a letter different from the others formerly sent over concerning the treatie between the king of S. and the duke of Brandenb. As for newes this time of affliction in those parts affords but little newes, because the plague is in both the armies, and none is lett or permitted to come into this citty, but with great difficulty, so that correspondency from the Swedish armie is at present by this reason verie much hindred. The king of Sweden continues still at Frauenberg with his queene. It is reported, that his majesty intends to goe himself into Livonia, for to mantaine the warr against the Muscoviter, who is now verie strong, and finds their but little resistance; and to that end a great number of the Swedish forces in Polland are ordered to march with all haste out of Poland into Livonia, to which alsoe some of the duke's his forces are to joyne, for to hinder the great progresse of the Muscoviter. The queene of S. intends shortly to goe into Sweden. Shee feares much the plague in these parts. The king of Poland is with his queene yet at Lublin: hee is busy to gather his forces together; but I hope the French embassadors both now at present being with the king of Poland at Lublin will dispose him to a treatie of peace, to which the king seemeth not to be inclyned, if Prussia bee not restored to him againe.
I have taken great care for to gett the conditions or articels of the treatie betwixt the
king of Sweden and the Dutch embassadors concluded at Elbing eight dayes agoe; but the
chancellor being gone to Frauenburgh to the king, to see the same treatie ratified for his
majesty, I must expect his return to Elbing, and then I shall not saile to send them over to
your honour. I did faile to mention in my last letter to your honour, that the treatie of the
Dutch embassadors with the king of S. were concluded, but a little bill of Mr. Acton was
putt in afterwards, who supplyed the neglect of this particular, and so nothing was lost.
The Dutch embassaders are gone from hence in the contrey for to take the fresh aire, but
now at present they are at Frauenburgh with the king of Sweden about the ratification of
their treatie. It is spoken, that by the benefit of these treaties the citty of Dantzig is made
a republick, and that they are to send their commissioners shortly to the king of Sweden,
the continuation whereof, please God, I shall impart to your honour more by the next post.
Againe that eight menn of warr of the king of Denmark are comme lately into the rode of
Dantzig continues. This is all at present, and for feare to enlarge my letter with common
stuffe, I conclude, and remaine at all times
Yours to command.
I did not send this letter to Mr. Acton to bee inclosed in his, because his wife dyed verie suddainly. If she dyed of the plague, I cannot tell, but I must feare in these dangerous time the worst; therefore I did forbeare, and sent this letter to another friend of mine for to send it over to Hamburg.
A letter of intelligence.
The ambassador of Muscovy hath not yet got his dispatch from the court: men conjecture, that he will expect to hear what the ambassador of the duke of Brandenburgh (who is at last gone to the great czar) will have negotiated. What concerneth the progress of of the Muscovites in Lyfland is now confirmed from all parts. They write from Mittauw (which is but six miles from Riga, and one from the Memel) that the towns Dunenburgh, Cockenhuysen, and Newhuysen were taken by storm, and all persons found therein put to the sword; and that now Riga is closely besieged by them, which is furiously assaulted by them on all sides, and little hope is left for the Swedes to relieve it: those within however defend themselves courageously, and have beaten off the Muscovites three several times that they were assaulted.
Two days ago about 2000 Swedish soldiers set fail from the Pillauw to relieve Lyfland under the conduct of the king's brother, being assisted with general Douglass; but it is to be feared he will either come too late, or not be able to effect any great matter with so small a number of forces: in short that province is held for lost from the Swedes, and is like to have the Muscovite for its master, in regard the Swedes have neither men nor money. The Swedes and the duke of Brandenburgh do earnestly intend the defence and protection of Prussia; for if the Muscovite conquereth Lyfland, its believed the next design he will undertake will be against Prussia. The new fort, which is building in this city, is now finishing with as much speed as may be.
The king of Sweden is at Frauenburgh, three miles from Elbing, situate in Ermeland, to which place the queen hath retired herself for fear of the plague, which is broke out very much in Marienburgh, and other places of Prussia, and doth rage very much in Thorn, where the Scots sent by the protector are most of them dead of it.
Now then in this sad condition of the Swedish affairs they give out here to keep life in those that are yet in arms, that not only 20,000 Tartars, but also 60,000 Cossacks have offered themselves to serve the Swede, and that Chimilnisky hath sent an archimandrite to the king of Sweden, who is arriv'd at Elbing (as they say.) Of the truth of this last the lords ambassadors of their high and mighty lordships there can inform you, whether it be so or no, but here no more credit is given to it, than is to the dreams of sick people, knowing very well, that it is easy enough to give to any quidam the title of archimandrite or the like.
Sir Tho. Bendyshe, ambassador at Constantinople, to the protector.
Sodaine resolutions here, at least the sodaine disclosure of them, hath hastned this, after my former of the last of August; which with humblest service tendred your highnes the then present state of the affaires of this port. So animated, it seemes, is the young emperor by his vizier's successe at the castles (though nothing fresher from thence than what my former recounteth, save the cutting off some chiefe officers there and at Smyrna) as that he resolves to promote his greater designe of warre by a personall appearance abroad, the greate businesse at present of this citty being a preparation for his advance intended on saturday next towards Adrianople, where the vizier awaites him, in order to farther counsells and conclusions, whereat we can but rovingly guesse. That the emperor himself will winter at Adrianople, and the vizier farther off upon the confines, is much the beliefe and discourse here, but to what intent variously conjectured. I continue my feares for Transilvania and Poland, and the rather conceiving the Tartar employed as a taster there, where these hope to feast themselves. Nothing lately from or concerning the prince of Transilvania. The Swede ambassadors are further assured of theire speedy and honourable dispatch. I humbly crave your highnes please to construe this boldnes zeale (as truly it is) to your service, which shall ever be advanced to the utmost of,
Sir, Your highnesse's faithfull servant,
and most obedient subject,
Capt. Whitehorn to the commissioners of the admiralty and navy.
Vol. xlii. p. 239.; Of Ostend, Yarmouth, Mermaid, Norwich, Drake.; Flemish road near Dunkirk, President, Jersey, Assurance, Dartmouth, True love, Red horse, Hawke ketch till the spring is over.; Sparrow pinke of the hooke, in case they come out betweene the Splinter and the maine.; I have at present sent the True-love and a good shallup with her to stand of to sea in the sight of the enemy; and in the morning to cut of some of the Nieuport fishermen if possible.
Since my last of the second instant, there came out from Dunkirke a ship, as your honours will see by the examination of the maister, who had order from his highnesse councell for the buying of the said ship from the enemie. I doe the more give credit unto the man, because he is a Protestant, and much against the enemy. The 7th instant, being the Lord's day in the morning, there were severall guns fired in the Flemish road from our ships, and the towne, which troubled me much to be soe farre from them, supposeing that some thing more then ordinary had hapned; soe I repaired presently on board the Hawke ketch, and failed for the road; but the businesse was over, before I could get unto them; the which was a double slupe of about four or five guns got close to the shore by the eastward, who was discribed by our ships at breake of day. The tide of ebb running and calme, our small vessells could not weigh to get unto him; soe at last all the boats were sent unto the True-love frigot, and they did tow her towards him with what speed they could, many of the ships plying their ordinance at her, yet she got under the command of the peer and town, that the enemy beat off all our boates. The enemies vessell setting alongst the shoare with his poles and oares got clear in from them, doe what they could. I remained in the road all that night; and I perceive they are tallowing againe severall vessells to get out this spring. All possible indeavours are used to prevent them. I shall, God willing, to morrow morning returne here again with the ketch, and stay with them in the Flemish road, untill the tides take of againe. There is very carefull officers on board the Essex: I hope your honours will not be displeased with me for leaving her for a time. Here inclosed is an account of the ships provisions, and how they are disposed. I humbly gave your honours in my last to understand the danger of staying here too long. I desire the Lord to direct your honours in it. I see by experience, that here is great want of some small smacks, that should not draw above four or five foot water, with four or six guns a piece. They would do very good service here and at Ostend: likewise they would wholly cutt of their fisher boats; but the time of the yeare is gone for it at present. I thought it my duty to present these few lines to your honours, that you might know the state of your affaires. All the commanders here desire their most humble and respective service might be presented unto your honours. I have not else at present, but to wait your honours commands, for I am,
Your most humble and faithfull servant,
General Monck to secretary Thurloe.
Your letter dated the 4th of September came to my hands just now, being nine of the clock this night. And according to his highnesse commands, I have putt the forces heere in as good a posture, as I may, uppon all occasions to make resistance against any enemy, that shall either rise att home, or come from abroad. But if there should any such thinge happen, wee should very much want that regiment of foote, that was lately call'd away, or another in itt's roome; which if occasion should bee, I hope you will putt his highness in minde of itt. My intelligence tells mee, that they will attempt something in October; but I beleive, if they doe not doe itt in that time, they will nott be able to land, where they have a minde to land in the hills, being the nights will bee soe short, and the seas soe dangerous, in case they come with any forces beyond seas. Wee heare nothing as yett of the Jamaica shippes, but lieut. generall Brayne is gone his journey this day towards the water-side, where his men lies, and hee will bee with them on friday night. I thanke you for the good newes you sent mee concerning the Swedes. I hope God will prosper them in their designes, being itt is for the preservation of all the Protestants on that side of Christendome. For newes wee have none. Sir Edward Rhodes goeing away being chosen a parliament man, and judge Swinton a weeke after him, there is none of the councill left but Mr. Disbrow and myself; soe that businesse cannott now bee carried on. I desire you to move his highnesse, that some more councilors may bee sent downe, or else affaires heere will bee speedily in a confusion, for there is noe warrants can bee granted for matter of sesse or paying of any officers, that belonge to the courte of justice, to the admiraltie court, or commissioners for sequestrations or excise. This I thought fitt to acquaint you with, that you may befriend us by putting his highnesse in minde of setling a councill againe speedily. I remayne
Your affectionate humble servant,
The 15 shippes, that lay about Ilay, were gone 12 dayes agoe. I thought fitt to acquaint you, that heare was lately the lord Kenmure's brother. He came into this countrey to gett some money for his occasions, but I thinke it were necessary hee were secured, being hee is a more active man, and more dangerous then the lord Kenmure himself. I thought fitt to give you this notice, that hee may bee more carefully lookt after. Hee was prisoner about Yorke. Hee is gone from those parts thither againe, according to the time given him.
Major general Goffe to secretary Thurloe.
On monday last I spoke with Cole of Southampton, who I find to be a perfect leveller, and soe well knowne in Southampton, that he is called by the name of Comon Freedome. He could mee, he was where he was, and where the army was seven yeare agoe, and pulled out of his pocket the Agreement of the people, soe called indeed by the officers of the army, but, as I could him, not consented to, but rejected by the people. After a greate deale of discourse, he not confessing or denying, but putting mee upon the proofe, that he dispersed the pamphlett, I demanded of him, what assurance he would give mee for his peaceable demeanour. He could me, he would promise mee not to disperse any of those bookes, and that it was his intention to live peaceably, for that he knew a warr was not soe easily ended as begun. Whereupon with the best exhortation I could give him, I dismissed him for the present, apprehending, if I should have done otherwise, they would have made their advantadge of it. The post master is very honest, and one of the millitia troop; soe alsoe is the post master of this towne, to whom the letter was sent. Clem. Ireton was last weeke at Southampton, and remembered himself to mee by Mr. Cole; but I heere he expressed greate dissatisfactions against my lord protector. He tould captain Dunch, that his high, would be forced in a few dayes to lay his hands upon some of the saints, and other stuffe of that nature, that bespeakes him a fifth monarchy man. I feare he may be engaged amongst the hott spiritted men in London. He is my old acquaintance and freind, but I doubt misledd.
The designe in this county worketh notable high, and I hope God will turne it to good;
for I hope some are awaken'd, that were asleepe before, and I hope my lord R. and col.
Norton will see a necessity to joyne there strength in a list, that goeth industriously about the
country. These are both left out, as alsoe Mr. Major, and all that have any relation to his
high. There list you may see in the margent, but I hope (thro' God) we shall prevent
them. His highnes letters doe come very seasonably. I find they are very well accepted by
some honest men, that I have communicated them to, who promise theire prayers and utmost assistance, and with their lives to stand by his highness, and to pursue the things, that
make for peace. The common enemys last and great designe is now to divide between the
protector and parliament, which speaks aloud our duty to seeke an agreement; which that it
may be accomplish'd, shall be the servent prayers and faithfull endeavours of
Your very affectionate friend and servant,
I have written a few words to his highness; I beseech you to put them into his hands. This Mr. Cole is very angry at the Spanish warr, and faith wee deale most ungratefully with them, for that they were so civil to us in the time of our late difference, and that all our trade will be lost.
By the commissioners for the admiralty and navy.
The said commissioners having considered and advised upon the danger and hazard of the states ships now riding before Dunkirk, by reason of storms, which usually about this season of the year are very frequent, and for that in such cases for want of convenient drift the ships there may suffer wreck and loss; the said commissioners humbly represent the same to his highness the lord protector and council, to the end such seasonable consideration may be had, and directions given therein, as may conduce to their safety and preservation; and withal do crave leave to remind his highness and council of the condition of the southern fleet, mentioned in a report made thereof the 24th of July last, concerning whose supply with provisions the said commissioners have as yet received no directions.
Tuesday, the 9th of September, 1656.
That it be offered to his highness, as the advice of the council, that his highness will grant a commission for raising a regiment of foot, consisting of 1200 private soldiers, besides officers; and that the same be added to the establishment of the army; and that the muster-master do muster them; and that the committee for the army be authorized and required to give their warrants for payment of them accordingly.
That it be offered to his highness, as the advice of the council, that his highness be pleased to grant commissions for raising and inlisting the forces hereafter mentioned as militia forces in the several counties, viz.
Secretary Thurloe to H. Cromwell, major general of the army in Ireland.
His highnesse thinkes it by noe meanes advisable, to suffer the cheife officers of the army to come over from their charges in this time of eminent danger. He named in perticular colo. Cooper and sir John Reynolds, and leaves it to your lordship, what others are to remeyne there. Our intelligence growes clearer and clearer as to the enemyes intention upon us. Through the goodness of God, the army is here put into a reasonable good posture to enterteyne them. The regiments of foot are recruited to 1200 in every regiment, and one new regiment of foot raised, under the comaund of colonel Gibbon. The coasts Norss. Suff. Essex, Kent, Sussex, and soe westward are secured, by layeinge some both of the standing force and the militia upon them. Some garrisons are altered, there beinge a suspition, that there was a tamperinge with some of them; and I beleeve they will have a very hard pull of it to land, if they be not sure of some garrison upon the sea.
Ormond doth promise very much for Ireland; and it is certeyne, the greatest strength they prepare is of Irish; and the intelligence, which your lordship sent me by the last, is very significant as to their intentions that way.
I perceive John Davies is chosen to serve in parlament. It is certeyne, he is and hath beene as great an intelligencer to the royall partie, as any man; and therefore hee is by noe meanes fit to serve in parlament. I have papers by me, that can convince hym of beinge guiltye of treason in the highest measure, and they had been made use of against hym, in case wee had thought hym worth the lookeinge after: but truly I thought he had beene buryed under an invincible debt; but seeinge he is become soe considerable as to be chosen to sitt in the supreame counsell, he must be look't after; and therefore I offer it to your lordship, wheither you will not be pleased to send for hym to Dublyn, and require his attendance there, untill your lordship receive directions concerninge hym from his highnes. Truly, my lord, I judge it most necessary: he is a most pestilent fellow, and nothinge could be stranger to me in the world, then to finde him in the list of parlament men. I have not had tyme to acquaint his highnes with it, but thought it my duty to let your lordship knowe thus much by this post, that his comeinge over may be prevented; and by the next I shall send his highnes directions therein.
My lord Steele is prepareing to be gone from hence to Ireland: he begins his journey
upon next munday. Your lordship will be pleased to send a ship to Beaumoris to transport
hym, with orders to observe his directions. He doth alsoe humblie begge of your lordship, that, if it may be, his goodes, which are to be transported from Chester, might have
the benefit of a convoy from thence to Dublyn, if there be a ship to be spared for that purpose, besides what is to be sent for hym, which will not serve both occasions, in respect he
desires his goodes may be at Dublyn before him Wheither this could be done or not, I
was not able to assure hym, but promised hym to write to your lordship therein. The
newes wee have from France and Flanders is, that those two armies lye very quietly each
by other, pretendinge a willingnes to fight, but are very farre (as they say) from intendinge
it. It is imagined, that they expect the issue of the present negotiation betweene Spayne
and France for a peace or truce. The latter is soe farre advanced, that very able men doe
begin to thinke it may happen; but I am of very hard beleise in that perticuler; though
its certeyne, that those, who by their interest are enemies thereto, doe put on a very great
semblance, that they are most positively for it. The affaires betweene the Swede and the
Pole remeyne as by my last. It's certeyne, that the Pole is beate out of the feild, soe that
if the Swede doth not meet with trouble from the Muscovite (which is much apprehended)
it will not be hard for hym to settle his affaires. I remeyne,
Your lordship's most humble,
and most faithfull servant,