A Collection of the State Papers of John Thurloe, Volume 5, May 1656 - January 1657. Originally published by Fletcher Gyles, London, 1742.
This free content was digitised by double rekeying. All rights reserved.
September (4 of 7)
Mr. Longland, agent at Leghorn, to secretary Thurloe.
I Writ your honor in my last, that Mr. Mettam was retornd from Lisbon to Genoa, intended for Rom, but the siknes being stil ther, does prevent his going, as the inclosed from himself wil more fully acquaint you. He has prest me to help him with some monyes, but I hav told him, til he coms to Rom, I cannot serv him without your order, which may happily make him hasten the sooner thether. I should be glad to receiv some directions herin from your honour, if your weighty and serious affares wil permit you so much leisure. A small Inglish ship with fish arryved here yesterday from Plymouth in 24 daies, but saw non of general Blak's fleet at the Streits mouth, nor no wher els; so here is not any further newes of them. What I write you in my last of the taking of Kirken yland on the Barbary shore by the Genowes fleet, here is no confirmation of it; theyr fleet is in port Boniface, which is betwixt Sardinia and Corsica. 'Tis reported they stay ther for a supply from Genoa of ships and gallyes. What they intend with so great a sea-force I know not, nor can I learn. This day is com into this port 4 of the popes gallyes, being thos that conducted the queen of Sweden for Marcelles; but here they giv no admittance to any that com from the pope's state, Genowes, or kingdom of Naples; in which citty of Naples is happened a terrible storm by rayn, that has thrown down many great pallasses and whole streets; one punishment on the back of another. Ther was collected for the publik use of the sick during the contagion, a stock of 30 thousand crownes, which the vice king has laid hands on as belonging to him.
Here has bin sometym in this citty one Kent, another consul of Killegrewe's creation at
Venis. 'Tis reported he is a pryvat agent of the quondam king of Scots: he keeps constant
correspondence with lord Culpepper at the Hague, and is the broacher of many things in
favour of the said king and his desynes. Sir, I should much rejois to receiv some commands from you, that I might apply myself to serv your honour in whatsoever is in the
reach of my abillity; which is the ernest and only desyre of,
Your most humble and faithful servant,
A letter of intelligence from Madrid.
My last was of the 13th and 16th current. I cannot but much admire, that I cannot heere one wourd from you, which henders much, but Ix ax things I doe not. Dayly I expect to heare from you. This advise/ax is come from Cadiz/cbrr, that one of the two galleons/gramps, that weare missing of the last that came, arrived two leages before Cadiz/clyrr, with five ships/stakes more, where they mett with 8 of yours, and fought a long time. The five weare merchant ships; one of them weare burned, and the other sunked, and it is thought the gramps/galleon is taken. This is the news liver/don Lewis has, but absolutely the gramp/galleon is taken. It gievesliver/don Lewis more, that the max/money should come to your hands, then the loss: he resents it much. There was at least 7 or 8 alosbu/millions of pottspieces of eight. They say, that 4 small stakes/ships went from clyrr/Cadiz to help them, which weare lost alsoe. This is the best nosegays/news yx/you can have. They know not as yet, if the max/money came to your hands, for the captas of the gramp/galleon were obliged to cast all in the sea. But it is thought, that yx/your commander axd/declar'd beforehand, if they had done soe, that they should have no quarter. I/IX have much more to say, but will sorbeare, till yx/you ax/advise the reseaipt of his cards, or of som of them. Those that are in Marga/Madrid about the palmepeace from Frux/France, are there as yet; and eavery second day almost a croude/councell, where Sparker/king and Livier assists;/don Lewis assists; and certainly no man as yet can judge, nor they themselves, what the issue will be; for noe mapp/man can give credit, that Creame/card. Mazarin intends really; and it is thought Livier/don Lewis has some ax/advise of that from Prant/Paris. Few days will let us know all. A continual croude,/councell where Sparke/k. of Spain assists, which was never yet seen; and the detension of the aux/agent signifyes much. Ix would yx/you had axd/advised me your own friends to forward my cards, but to neaver ax them my bea. I pray let me heere from yxyou, for it will import yx/you. As for newes, here is thoughts of great altherasions to be there by this parlement intended; and they say, that the protector has not been out of his house these 40 dayes.
An intercepted letter of Carter to Dr. St. Barbe at Mr. Drinkwater's, an apothecary, in Fleet-street.
I have enclosed sent you the papers promised by Blisson. Whether they will be worth all the pains, which hath been taken in getting them, I know not, but hope the best. The duke of York is gone for Flanders: he parted hence on thursday last, and had abundance of people of quality (English) who went with him. Their hopes are high. God answer their expectations to their wishes. Pray present my service to your brother-in-law, and his friend Mr. Chapman. If God please, I hope to see you in convenient time.
An intercepted letter to Dr. St. Barbe.
Noble deare doctor,
I Can nott possible omitt to give the truble of this letter, haveing soe good an opertunity as by the pacquet, by which meanes I presume it will nott putt you to more charge, haveing noe thing worthy to write of, that I durst venter your consideration on, only to wellcome you to London, and to lett you know, I am still and will ever continue your gratefull servant; that I desire to receave your commands heer as soone and as often as you can, which when trublesome to you to write, I knowe my cosen Cooke will take that paine for you. You know my condition and my inclination to trade, and (though I say itt) how sitt I am for itt. I hope your charity will not sufferr you to omitt any care or frendship to putt me in a condition to persue itt, which I much desire. Haveing, as you know, now ended my time, I would be glad to be employ'd, which you know cannot be done without money. You are acquainted with all my frends, and the expectations I have. Therfore I shall need to say noe more in that perticuler, only that you will please to be mindfull of me, and advertise me as soone as you can. Pray Robert to seale and give my letter to the gentlewoman, as soone as you can; and oblige me to tell my cosen Cooke, that I wrott to him, as you may remember, about 3 weekes since, and then tould him, itt was to her, that I desired him to give a plaister, and to visitt uppon her husband's accoumpt. My service alsoe to him and his good wise pray give from me. I will remember to call uppon madam Garno for her answer, and give you noatise alsoe of his credditors, and wher his mony lyes, if I can learne by the boy you employ'd, which I hope to doe by the next. All your frends, which are many, kindly salute you, and are very much your servants, perticulerly your ould patient and doctor Wakeman, but none alive more than myself, who am, and will ever continue,
Noble deare sir,
Your most faithfull, and most affactionatt humble servant,
J. de Bois.
Since I sealed this letter, I receaved a letter from a frend of mine, sir Robert Welsh, whoe tells me, that he hath cloath for me for a sute and cloake, which he will give to any frend of mine shall aske itt in my name, and wiil send itt me; which I have returned answer to, and tould him, I had writ to a frend to call upon him for itt, which I must beseech you to doe for me, that is, to send some frend of yours to him for itt, who must tell him, that they are desired by me to aske itt, and have an opertunity to send itt presently. I know you are allwaies employed, and have nott time, butt my cozen Cooke I doubt nott butt will find leasure to doe me that favour, or some other frend of yours. I confesse itt will be of great use to me, and a greatt curtesy to send itt me. Sir Robert lives in Marke lane, att Mr. Elkin's, a packer, next dore to the signe of the Castle: att least if he is nott ther, he will bring you or your frend to him. Pray excuse my bouldnes, whoe am,
Yours in all things to command,
A letter of intelligence from the Hague.
In particular I have much to write to you, only that Denmark doth begin to be very hot, whereas formerly he was somewhat moderate, and made as if he were asleep; but it was because he feared Cromwell; and besides that he doth conceive now, that fortune doth begin to turn its back upon Sweden; insomuch now that the Dane doth all that he can to delay the treaty at Elbing, and by that means to engage this state for Denmark against the Swede; to which effect the said king of Denmark hath at present sent his men of war to join with those of the States General, at a time when the States General recalled theirs. It is not without likelihood, that the Dane will undertake something upon one of the islands or places, which the Swede took from Denmark in the year 1645, especially upon Oessel. But this will very much depend upon the success, which the Muscovite will have, and if Riga be taken.
To speak the truth, if Riga be lost, the Swedes will have made a bad business by it; and this neglect is inexcusable to their posterity; but crowns have their satalities, yea their diseases, as men; or to speak more properly, the providence of God is unsearchable.
They speak here of a letter of the protector, which is to come to the States General, exhorting to peace and a
good correspondence amongst the Protestants. I see that those of Sweden do accommodate
themselves very much with the States General which is wisely done. I rest
Your humble servant.
A letter of intelligence.
Mr. Bostocke, and noble friend,
Your of the 9th and 12th September old stile have well receaved, as allsoe John Wright is here, thanks be to God, safe arrived, and accordinge to your order shall have care to see him safe to Mr. Colforte. Next I thank you for the great care you have in provydinge mee a knife and fork, and that you will send it me per next packet, of which I pray you fayle not. Last for newes, here is not any, only here layeth before Dunckerke 8 parlement men of warre, and 4 before the fort of Mardicke. Furder here is an order come to the marquis de Leda, and the governor of Dunckerke, for to let no passengers passe for England by the packett boate; nor none that cometh out of England by ditto packett boat, without expresse passporte from don Juan d'Austra, which I thought good for to advise you of, yf you had any friend to come, beseechinge you for to cause the inclosed to bee delivered to my cosen Hunt, who doth remayne, as I am,
Your freind and servant,
An intercepted letter.
There is no cinnabar to be had in this town, that I can light of. The reason, that hindereth me from sending your book, still continueth, and cannot be removed without your assistance. D. C. hath not yet proceeded any further in your business, but hath promised this week to go on with the work, and doth not question, but he shall be able within two or three days after he begins, to guess what success is likely to be expected; of which I shall give you an account as soon as I have his sense of it. The hopeful plant hopes to be here this week, and I think intends shortly to see Mr. Conyers. Pray direct your next for Mr. Martin Lister, at the Unicorn in Bucklersbury. We have strong reports here, that the French are agreed with the Spaniard. Pray in the next let me know, if you have any thing concerning it. I do not remember any thing else to acquaint you with, but that Birtha is come to town, and hath not so much kindness as to present her duty to you. The quarrel is so considerable, that she will trust no body with the ground of it but herself. I am
Your faithful servant,
C. Davisson to secretary Thurloe.
Maye it please your honnor,
This note I sende by my owne searvant, an honnest ladde, and not knowen by any within Whitehall, nor in the citty, by whome I doe very humbly praye your honnor to send mee worde, if I must come this night to wayth uppon your honnor, in order to be dispached; and if soe, at what houre; or if it maye not be this night, to let mee knowe when your honnor shall please to dispach, sir,
Your owne most faithfull humble servant,
A letter of intelligence.
The plague is very sore at Warsaw, Thorn, and Marienburgh. It is in this city, yet, blessed be God, not so hot as in other places. The king of Sweden and duke of Brandenburgh are drawing up their forces for Poland, the king having divided his army: 40,000 Tartars come for the duke's part of Prussia: the king with the Poles for Thorn, and 12,000 for Pomerania. These are the reports, but no certainty. The Swedes are much troubled at the invasion of Lyfland by the Muscovites: what with the war, and what with the plague, trading quite spoiled. But if God be working out his own glory, it is enough; 'tis fitting we be silent, and submit.
The Dutch ambassadors in Denmark to the gressier Ruysch.
Our last to your lordships was of the 24th current. We have here only by private hands advice, that the treaties at Elbing were signed on the 11th current by their high and mighty lordships ambassadors, and the commissioners of the king of Sweden, for we have not of late had any letters from the said lords ambassadors; but in regard the resident of Sweden hath given us a copy of the treaty, we make no doubt of it. Yesterday we communicated the same to the lord chancellor, with this precaution however, that we did not know whether the same was true or abusive, or whether the signing was made absolutely, or with some reserve.
This morning the lords commissioners of his majesty came to salute us in our lodging, and did propose in his name, that his majesty having agreed with their high and mighty lordships, that Dantzick is to be included in the treaties to be made by this crown or their high and mighty lordships with Sweden, doth understand with reason, that the said inclusion ought to be made in such a manner, as may be to the content as well of their high and mighty lordships, as of this crown; that besides the scruples, which his majesty had formerly moved to us, and also caused to be remonstrated to their high and mighty lordships about the said inclusion, in case Dantzick was not willing to be included in the said treaties, his majesty would also willingly know, whether the cessation of hostility agreed on between his majesty of Sweden, and Dantzick, would debar those of Dantzick from assisting their king in the war with men, ammunition, or other commodities; or whether the clause of salva atque integra side, quam prædicta civitas regi Poloniæ debet, did give them leave to do it; and then likewise, whether the fort lying upon their ground is to be restored to the city of Dantzick, or whether nothing was agreed about the same. And that his majesty had so much the more cause to desire some explanation of all this, in regard he is to be included in the said treaty, if his majesty desired it; and he saw at present no cause to hasten himself for it, before he first knoweth upon what grounds to do the same; for he had not found that in the treaty, which he had expected; and that, to name no more, the exception alone of societies in the equality of tolls would be an excuse; to frustrate all which doth not so much concern this crown, as their high and mighty lordships, whom they ought to have minded better. Their excellencies said further, that his majesty on the one side was invited by the Muscovite to a treaty, who made such offers as could not well be refused by this crown; and on the other side he was sought unto by the Brandenburgher to enter into a treaty with Sweden; but we do not know what answer his majesty had given them upon it; and in regard the ambassador of Brandenburgh before his departure from hence said, that he made guessing to return back hither within three weeks, to the end the negotiation with Sweden should be seriously and earnestly renewed, their excellencies therefore desired to know, what the resolution of their high and mighty lordships would be about it; and if, how far, and upon what foot they would be willing to agree to any such negotiation. We made answer to their excellencies upon the first concerning the inclusion of Dantzick, that we had no other information to explain the said treaty, than what his majesty and their excellencies have; and that we therefore could not make answer to their doubts, other than with our particular opinions, which could be of no consideration in this, but that we would willingly transcribe all things to their high and mighty lordships; that we did not know how the said treaty was constituted, and whether it was sign'd absolutely, or with some reserve; and much less what would happen about the ratification, whether it would pass simpliciter, or otherwise. That what concerneth the treaty or negotiation offered by Sweden to this crown, we had no instructions about it from their high and mighty lordships; and their excellencies might very well per ceive we could not have any; but that his majesty's intention ought well to be known to their high and mighty lordships, that so they may be the better able to take resolutions upon it. By that which was answered to us by their excellencies, we could perceive, that by his majesty as yet no firm resolution is taken upon the manner and design of the said treaty; and that the issue of the siege of Riga the one or the other way, as also the affairs in Prussia, and whether the king is like to maintain his conquest there or no, are affairs, according to which they take their measures here, and that they would not willingly do any thing, which might give any hopes to the king of Sweden of keeping of those conquests; and therefore they do hope, that their high and mighty lordships will not ratify their treaty made with Sweden, which is in itself offensive here, and looked upon here as more advantageous for Sweden than the common cause, being Dantzick is included in it with a cessation of arms, till such time that it is seen what they can do here conjunctim with Sweden, and what consilia they will take in regard of the Muscovite; and this is desired so much the more, in regard that they would willingly make use of this conjuncture to recover and get restored, by means of a treaty, the Halant which was given to Sweden, in assurance by the last treaty made at Bromsebro; and their high and mighty lordships would be obliged to cooperate thereunto. And now their high and mighty lordships being engaged with Sweden, it cannot be done so essicaciously; and the less, because such an engagement doth bring with it a premisse guaranty to Sweden for the said treaties. Their high and mighty lordships will be hereby able to consider, according to their great wisdoms, the disgust which the hastening a separate confirmation of the said treaty between Sweden and their high and mighty lordships will give here. We do find effectually, that it will not be small; and we leave it to the consideration of wiser, whether the attempts, which Sweden hath used, during these disturbances, to draw this crown without the interests of their high and mighty lordships, will not be thereby advantaged, to do ill effects, when time and opportunity shall serve. We do find ourselves obliged to acquaint your lordships with this, in regard we thought it our duty not to conceal it from their high and mighty lordships, in what manner such an important business is resented by such a new and well allied crown as this; and in regard we perceive, that the same is highly disliked by those, that are best affected to the state and welfare of their high and mighty lordships.
The ambassador of Muscovy presseth to be gone, but they endeavour to keep him here. The resident of Sweden hath also desired, that they will not hasten him away. The ambassador of Brandenburgh took his leave last sunday, and went from hence that day in a galliot. We do believe, that he is very well persuaded, how that they esteem here the preservation of his master's lands in Prussia to be the interest of this crown; and that to that end, if they be desired, that they will do their best; but that they do most earnestly desire, that Prussia may be cleared of the Swedes, and the duke to make his agreement with Poland.
At Stockholm is making, or already made, a sort upon a narrow passage between two waters, towards that side of the town, which can be approach'd from hence. In the last war they began to make it, but they left it unfinished.
Mr. Bradshaw, resident at Hamburgh, to secretary Thurloe.
I hoped at least by this post to have heard from your honor of the receipt and deliverie of my late address to his highness, of which Mr. Townley's servant here braggs to have a copie, or at least to know the substance of it, as he hath boasted to some of the merchants in scorne. That party seeme now arrived at their height, for yesterday at a court they tooke the boldness to effect what they have long threatned, fininge all the well affected, that have diffented from them in their late practises, assuminge a power to judge and condemne them in soe rigorous a manner for waitinge the pleasure of his highness and his councell, in a businesse dependinge before them by the application of both parties and the approbation of the court at London, whoe long since appointed a committee to attend that businesse, and solicit his highness pleasure therein. I have told their new deputy, how such proceedings may be resented by his highness, admonishinge him to forbeare such courses, and to let the diffenters live without molestation, whilst they are waitinge his highness pleasure; but I beleeve he will not be taken off, beinge backed by such a partie, as presume noe notice will at all be taken of any thinge they shall doe. They writ lately to the court at London for their concurrence with them, to force the diffenters (as they call them) to submitt to them without further stayinge for his highness pleasure; but findinge they were silent as to that point, not judginge it safe at least for them to appeare encouragers of them thereunto, because the diffenters had lately declared to that court under their hands, that the only reason of their absentinge was in dutie to waite his highness pleasure. These forward gentlemen have nevertheless proceeded by their owne authoritie to fine them in considerable sumes, which they may levie upon their goods; when they please; for those fines being made debts to the company by an act of court, as now they are, and registred, may be required at any time hereafter.
I cannot thinke your honor will approve of this heady proceedinge in them, nor that his highness and the councell will suffer such arrogant dealinge with men for doeinge their dutyes in attendinge the state's pleasure, as they themselves ought to have done; but that it will be thought upon in due tyme, though at present there may not be leasure for the consideration of such things. At Michelmass this deputie will be out of office, at which tyme, noe doubt, they will proceede to elect him againe, or some other of their faction, if noe check come in the meane tyme; and then the diffenters will be forced to submitt to them, or be imprisoned and disfranchised by them, if the state abandon them, as they have long threatned; which would be but an evill reward for their faithfullness and soe standinge for the state's honor, in which they could have noe advantage to themselves. But before that tyme, as neare as it is, I presume I shall have some order in the businesse, to prevent such dishonor to the state; for I submitt to your honor's judgment, if it will not very much reflect, to have strangers take notice, that such as have stood for his highness honor in his publick minister, should be suffered to be punished for it by the very partie offendinge, and that too whilst the cause depends before his highness and the councell; the controversie relatinge only to the state, and not to matter of trade and commerce, wherein the diffenters obstruct them not, but let them act as they please, and only diffent from them in that, about which his highness hath soe often signifyed his displeasure.
Sir, I hope you will please to take notice of what I now write, and formerly have writt, touchinge the proceedings of theise men, and acquaint his highness and the councell with it, that at least some speedy course may be taken for the releese of theise well affected men, whatever I suffer; for truly this goes very neare me, to looke on, whilst faithfull men are so notoriously abused for doeinge their dutyes in standinge for his highness honor.
I have inclose your honor a letter from my correspondent, with a copie of the k. of S.
private letter to k. Casamire, with his answer, and an accounte of the losse of 13 Swedish
troupes surprized by Chernizkie with 4000 horse, which was sent me by a freind out of the
Polish army, with whom I hope to holde correspondence for the future, though cannot expect it without some charge, and but as opportunity offers. To this I have only to adde,
that I heare some Scotch officers are listinge men privately heere in this city, and aboute it,
for Ch. St. I shall prevent them what I can, but truly my hands are almost tyed up from
serveinge his highness heere, as I desire. I remayne
Your honor's very humble servant, Richard Bradshaw.
Puncta Suecorum per privatum delegatum proposita Poloniœ.
1. Publicam tractationem sine mediatoribus non posse institui; privatim vero posse, si minister aliquis ita fidelis à rege Sueciæ tanquam captivos Samoscii visitaturus, ad servandam usque principis reputationem illuc mittatur.
Copia literarum dom. gen. Czernitsky ad archiepiscopum Gnesnensem de dato 26 Augusti 1656. O. S.
D E felici, quàm habui cum tredecim hostium turmis divinâ gratiâ, progressu facio illust. cels. vestr. certiorem. In festo Bartholomæi, unico à Rava milliari, sub Trzesimesma pago ita funditùs sunt deleti, ut ne quidem cladis nuncius apud Carolum Gustavum relictus est, exceptis aliquot officialibus, qui potius se dediderunt, quos S. R. majestati remitto: reliqui fortissimè pugnantes generosè occubuerunt: fateor enim in hoste virtus laudanda, quod pugnaverunt ut boni milites; omnes enim isti deputati fuerunt pro convoy ex præsidio Cracoviensi. In vigilia S. Bartholomæi veni Ravam, ubi accepi notitiam de reditu istius præsidii ad regem Sueciæ, & adhibitâ eâ, quâ par erat, celeritate, noctu illos adii, qui pernoctabant ad paludosa loca, quæ fortissimè munivi meo milite, & ipso diluculo aggressus sum divinâ gratiâ hostem, totus enim deletus, sed in officialibus maximum damnum patitur; cæsi erant legitinanti 3, majores capitanei 13, vice-capitanei 10, corporales 40, quarter-magistri 16; sed non fine damno nostrorum; multi enim globis trajecti supervivunt, fortiter enim dimicârunt. Quales fraudes agant dissidentes nostri in repub. potissimùm Arriani palatinatus Cracoviensis, intelliget cels. vestra ex copia literarum, quam mitto cels. vestræ; harum, inquam, literarum, quas ipsas inveni apud occisos Suecos, per illos ad regem Sueciæ a nostris Arrianis directas.
Extract out of the secret register of the high and mighty lords States General.
There being once more produced in the assembly the report made yesterday by the lords Vander Capelle and others, their high and mighty lords commissioners, containing in effect, that their lordships had found the treaty concluded at Elbing on the 11th current, between the lords Swedish commissioners on the one side, and their high and mighty lordships extraordinary ambassadors on the other, to agree in substance, and also most in verbis, with the seventh and eighth article of the 3d of March last, agreed on for the said lords ambassadors; as also with their high and mighty lordships further resolution of the 28th of March last, of the 1st of June, 7th of July, 17th July, and 18th August following, taken upon the subject of the negotiation of the said lords ambassadors: Whereupon being debated, it is resolved and thought sit, that the said treaty shall be sent to the respective provinces, with a request, that they will be pleased to bring in their ratifications as soon as may be; and the said treaty shall be also sent to their high and mighty lordships ambassadors in Denmark, together with a copy of the treaty made in the year 1640, between the crown of Sweden and this state, with order to demonstrate herein their high and mighty lordships real proceedings, as well in regard of the confident communication of their high and mighty lordships good meaning and intention, and that which hath been negotiated by the lords their ambassadors in Prussia from time to time, having been still given to the king of Denmark or his ministers, as also in regard of his majesty's approbation, at least no demonstration of considerations that followed upon it, as is writ in specie in the letter of the said lords ambassadors in Denmark, dated the 10th current, that the king of Denmark engaged, that the treaties begun between Sweden and this state ought not to be any longer delayed. The said lords ambassadors do likewise extend themselves especially upon the ample inclusion of Denmark, and the stipulation to their advantage was obtained with as much care and trouble by their high and mighty lordships; so that there hath been more performed than a bare communication and inclusion, which was only promised in their high and mighty lordships resolution of the 28th of March last. The said lords ambassadors shall also offer in the name and behalf of their high and mighty lordships, in case his majesty do make any further treaty with the king of Sweden, that they will second and assist his majesty with all sincere and friendly offices: and the said Van Capelle, and others their high and mighty lord ships commissioners, are desired to communicate the said treaty to the lord resident Charisius, with the same elucidation and presentation. Moreover it is resolved, that a copy of the said treaty, as also of that of the year 1640, shall be sent to their high and mighty lordships ambassador, the lord Nieuport in England, with order to communicate the same to the lord protector; and that he inform himself, whether his highness do desire to be comprehended in it, according to the tenure of the fifteenth article of the treaty of peace made with his said highness. The provinces are also desired, that they will declare themselves with as much speed as may be, upon the project of a defensive alliance to be made between France, England, and this state; as also upon the treaty of guaranty made between the king of Denmark and this state.
A declaration of the members of parliament lately dissolved by Oliver Cromwell esq.
Although we are turned out of doors, and threatened, for endeavouring to put some limitations upon the power of our mighty conqueror, Oliver Cromwell esquire, for the freedom, ease, and settlement of our native country, according to our duties and the trust reposed in us; yet we cannot acquit ourselves to God and man, without a protestation against the usurpation, oppression, cruelty, and falshood of the tyrant, and an information of all the well affected people of the three nations, of their (too manifest) present miseries and future dangers; with our sense of the duty and necessity, that lies upon them, for the prevention of the same.
And to pass over his cruelties and oppressions of particular persons of all forts of factions, with his frequent transgressions of the law (for which more eminent persons than himself have lost their heads of late years) we cannot but with grief and horror remember his unparalleled striking at the rest of all our laws and freedoms together, by the frequent violences offered to the lawgivers, and the reasons that moved him unto it.
And to begin with the long parliament: We know no other reason, why the army was brought to town to drive away the major part of the members then sitting, but because they inclined to a settlement of the nation, upon our excellent old foundation of king, lords, and commons, which would totally have excluded his ambition, rapine, and cruelty; for the king was reduced to the parliament's terms; and if he were not sit to be trusted, we know no reason, why one of his sons might not. Nor can all the world shew a better government than that of king, lords, and commons, where we look upon the lords as mediators between the king and commons, to hinder the incroachments of one upon other; if the king should incline to tyranny, or the house of commons to perpetuate itself, and meddle with the distribution of justice, in a corrupt and factious way, when they should only make laws, and punish evil ministers. And for the militia to secure all this, if it be only instrusted in persons hands of such known integrity, as all the three estates shall agree upon, we should be as certain of a continual and secure enjoyment of our liberties, as God will permit us to be of any worldly thing, who by his providence overthrows our best conceptions, whensoever he pleaseth to punish us.
And the wisdom of the parliament foresaw, that we could never long be secure from civil wars, and the dangers of invasions in behalf of the family of the Stuarts, considering their right, and the affections of the people to them, if any other family or government were settled, tho' it were a better; and for that reason, were they to be hunted away as enemies to his finister aims, and the worser and smaller number left, whom he hoped to have made as servile as he could with them. But he found some English spirits still amongst them, who would not be brought to offer one of their equals the throne he so wrongfully aimed at, and therefore he forced them out of the parliament house by his soldiers, with many insolent reproaches, as men not worthy to be his slaves any longer; and so sell the last remainders of our well built government, laws, and liberties, into the hands of our insidel grand seignior and his janizaries, after all his hypocritical vows and protestations to live and die a faithful servant of the parliament.
And to make it the more manifest, that this conquered nation had utterly forfeited all its rights, he took away the liberty of election from the people, and imposed a thing called a parliament upon them, that was to chuse succeeding parliaments like itself, to act those things for him, that he was ashamed then to own, though now his impudence is well increased; but to say truth, was sufficient then, to take away the fundamental privilege of election, which none of our conquerors ever durst think of before him.
But even these beasts of his own breed disdained such a rider; but when they could not throw him, they let him alight and turn them to grass, and then he had again (by his own confession, in his second speech to this parliament) an unlimited power to do what he pleased with his poor slaves of the three nations; and he tells us, that some men, whom he names not (but we suppose he means his great officers, whom he only fears) did frame the instrument of government, and put limits to his power; else he, good man, could have been as well contented, to have been an unlimited general as a limited protector. And this is evident by his well observing the limits they set him, and that he swore to; for though they restored to the people the freedom of the election of their members, which he had taken from them, yet, he struck out many of those chosen, that he thought were not like to be his vassals. But when we met, he told us, that we were truly a free parliament, that he assumed no dominion over us, but intended to be a fellow servant with us; and he often called God to witness of his desire to divest himself of all power. And yet (after a second purge of us) he hath divested us of all our power, for questioning his in those particulars, that are more intolerably burthensom and unlimited than ever any conqueror imposed upon the nation. But we know not what the world will think of us for so tedious a compliance with the unjustest usurper, and the greatest murderer and robber that ever England had; but we shall only answer, that we were desirous to give our country some ease of their burthens, since it was so difficult to restore them to their liberty and security. But the tyrant's heart is hardened, and our taxes must be again increased, according to his lawless will, upon pretence of providing for the army, which (he says) we have neglected, when it is well known, that the very customs and excise, without any other imposition, would pay the army, were it not for his excessive avarice, and the chargeable pomp of his family. But he will find another way of providing for the honest party in the army, if he be let alone; for since Scotland and Ireland will not consume them, there must be more honourable pretences found to send them to some part of the Indies, there to perish through want, or the intemperance of the air; and if any survive, they must there end their days in a perpetual banishment, as the four thousand already sent under Venables are like to do, who were so disposed of before he was so angry with them as he now is, and they were the only people he was invective against in his first speech to this parliament, page 7, by the name of Levellers, though he knew nothing of their design then. The truth is, he will do any thing for his interest, and that will lead him to destroy them by wholesale, since their spirits are not embased, by his former murthering of them in parcels. There is no doubt but he fears them the most of any people; and it is as unquestionable, that those he fears most, he will hate most; and for the Cavalier and Presbyterian, let them judge of him by what they have felt from him both in England and Scotland. The truth is, his demerits make him fear and hate all people of any principles, and therefore he imprisoneth men upon bare suspicions contrary to law, and threateneth to force out their very thoughts, to make them accuse themselves and other innocent people, that they may lose their lives, by no better a rule than his High Courts of injustice; and it is certain, notwithstanding his hypocrisy, that he must suppress all forts of people but Atheists, because no others will cut throats for him, if they think not themselves obliged to his destruction, which for our parts we think the whole nation hath the most conscientious obligation to, that ever mortal man had, for their religion and liberties. If then our oppressions and dangers are still growing upon us as fast as he can invent occasions both at home and abroad, to increase them for his interest, what should deter us (since we can have nothing worse) from joining with our countrymen of any principles, common interest, in the destruction of this devourer of all our security and happiness ?
A letter of intelligence from col. Bampfylde.
Since saturday laste this place affords litle to advertise you of, more then that mons. de Leon is nowe certaynly upon his returne hither. Tho' 'twas impossible to knowe what h e 55 w a s t o doe when h e departed; yet I am confident of give in g you knowledge what he hath done 90 55, being very well provided nowe for that journey. The guarrison of Valence is settled, and the marquis de Valavoire made governor; the prince de Taranto is set at liberty, upon condition that he retyres into Holland, and that the landts-grave of Hesse engages, that he shall not take up armes agaynst the king. The prince of Condé has intercepted a letter of the cardinall's to mons. de Turenne, advising him not to adventure a battayle, the loss of which (at this conjuncture) might ruine the king's affayres, and the gayning thereof (as things stand at present) would not much advance them. This is diversely construed, and gives some advantage to the cardinall's enemyes. When the Spanish army drew before St. Gillian, mons. de Turene at the firste attack tooke all the out workes of la Capell, there being but few men therein; but to prevent the takeing of the fort, which was not in a capacity of holding out 5 days, the Spanish army rose from theyr siege, having only 2000 men in two forts, which they had raysed, and marched with the rest of the army to the relief of la Capell. If the place were not taken before theyr arrivall (of which we cannot be yet advertised) the French army muste quitt the attempt, or fight; or if they have but juste taken it, before they can provide necessaryes to prevent it's retaking immediately, the Spanish army will be soe close upon them, that they will hardly gett off without a battayle. The next will informe you of the success hereof. I have had but one letter from you since I parted from you, which troubles me for divers reasons, but principally that I knowe not howe my letters come to your hands. I have many things more to say of another nature, then is fit for the ordnary, which I shall send very speedily by an express. Pray be pleased to let me hear speedily from you, what letters you have had of mine, and direct what I shall doe concerning some things I have wrote to you about. Pray be pleased to direct your letters constantly, A mons. mons. de Marine a l'enseigne du petit cerfe volant, sur le pont de nostre dame à Paris, and I shall take order, that they shall come safe to the hands of,
Sir, Your moste humble,
and moste faithfull servant.
General Mountagu to secretary Thurloe.
I Have written to you a letter of the 11th of this moenth, which I hope will come to your hands, and therefore, as also for the trouble of writinge in caracter (which I doe, because I reckon not the passage of these letters soe safe as I could wish) I shall not repeate much of that here. To this present houre we have not gotten any newes from you concerninge our businesse, although a shipp from Bristow arrived here yesterday, who was but 8 dayes in her passage. The tyme of the yeare and our affaire with divers urgent reasons have caused us this morninge to consult together. The question before us was, whither wee shall 11 s e n d h o m e 10 61 the great ships. Wee have resolved it in the neg at i v e: O u r r e a s o n s are.
Wee have noe o r d e r from Engl. for it. We have this harbour to f r e i n d for s h e l t e r and p r o v i s i o n s. Wee now heare, that Spayn hath o r d e r e d to fitt galloons and other shipps, which wee judge will b e e o u t neare the la t t e r end of J a n u a r y 10 99 and if ever there b e e 10 h o p e s to fight Spayne, that is like to b e e the tyme.
In execution here of wee p r e p a r e what wee are able in this place, and if wee have noe . . . . k. from Engl. this w e e k e, the next wee meane to s e n d the H a m p s h i r e 10 104 w i t h 10 a n e x p r e s s e t o this p u r p o s.
This last weeke or before, there came a merchant shipp, called the Love, into this port, and another called the Luke and the Falcon, and b r o u g h t 10 the some s of let t e r s 10 99 for the fleet, and in m o s t if not in a l l of them a paper, one of which is here e n c l o s e d. They were put in to the let t e r s after they were s e a l e d, and c l o s e d up w i t h w a x.
The let t e r s b e i n g 10 m o s t deliver'd before wee had knowledge thereof 10 32 wee thought best to let them passe in s i l e n c e, only m a d e 32 10 them b e e 10 32 taken o u t 10 104 of those let t e r s that were not deliver'd.
For other newes here is little: wee are in this baye wateringe our shipps. The kinge of
Portugall hath used us with much respect, and sent a person of qualitye with complements
and sweete meates to us yesterday, and other fresh provisions. Ther is a report, that a malefactor was condemned to die latelye in Lisbone, who before his execution proferred to discover those, that attempted to assassinate Mr. Meddowes; whereupon he was not suffered
to live to execution, but was poisoned in the goale by a Jesuite; whereat they say the kinge
is angry, and hath ordered noe Jesuites shall confesse the condemned prisoners any more, as
they were wont alwaies to doe. There is an English shipp come in here from Newfoundland. The master hath beene on board of us. There is not, they say, one person in the
shipp, officer or marriner, but are all Quakers. I feare they will meete with affronts from
these people, and I heare they have beene in danger alreadye for not puttinge off their hatts
to the Portugeses, when they have saluted them in the streetes. Excuse my brevitye in
greater matters, and enlargements in smaller. By the next I hope to have opportunitie with
more freedome to corresponde with you. Thus I remaine
Your very humble servant,
General Monck to secretary Thurloe.
I Received yours of the 17th instant. As concerning the lord Douglas, hee is to goe from hence about the 10th of October. In the mean time I have three thousand pounds engagement, that he shall not act any thing to the prejudice of his highnesse; besides he is a foolish young fellow, and can doe litle hurt; but I think he is secure enough from doing any mischief here. I returne you many thanks for the care of our business here. For news wee have little but what I acquainted you with before, that the whole designe of the partie, that is to come out of Flanders, is upon this countrey; and the duke of York is to command them; and I understand, that Middleton and Belcarres will come with them; and therefore I hope care will be taken to have shipping to cruise to and again before those portes, which, if it be carefully done, I believe will both break their forces and their designes, especially if you could gett intelligence, where they intend to ship, or where their shipping gathers together, that they intend to take up for that service, whereof I hope give you good intelligence, if you do not get it before. I thanke you for your good news of the Swedes. As for the Dutch, I heare, that for money they will help the Spaniard to shipping; and I think it were good, that their ambassador were spoke to, that there may be noe such assistance given for the transporting of men; but I believe they do intend to hire shipping there, and that the Dutch, if it be not prevented, will lett them have shipping for their money. I humbly desire, that the lord Kenmure's brother be very well secured, for I look upon him as a very dangerous man, and shall entreate you will lett me know in your next, what is done with him. I heare he talk't not becomeing a prisoner, when he was here; and had hee not resolv'd to goe back to prison, I should have secured him here. I remayne
Your most affectionate humble servant,
H. Cromwell, major general of the army in Ireland, to secretary Thurloe.
I Did by the laste weeke's poste give his highness an account of the force wee resolved to drawe into the field, which in the whole will consist of 5000 foote, collonell Abbott's regiment of dragoones, and aboute 30 troopes of horse. I allsoe acquainted his highness, that I had devided them into three bodies, and alsoe the stationes they were respectively appointed unto; and nowe haveinge fully perfected that business, and ordered the men to be on their march to their several rendevouze, I ame nowe consideringe and adviseinge with the major general, commissary generall, and others of the chief officers of the army, for the setlinge a militia in the severall counties of this nation, for the defence and securitie thereof; and for the better and more effectuall prosecuteinge this worke, I have had severall of the most considerable and and confideinge persons inhabitinge in the respective counties of Munster with me here, to conferr with them aboute that affaire. I finde in them a great willingnes and forwardness to putt themselves into a posture for the defence of their countrey against the common enemy, they haveinge a very great feare and apprehension of the ruine and confusion, which must necessarily followe, should Ch. St. and his interest prevaile, and see noe way to free themselves from it, but by useinge all their interest and power to support and assist the authoritie, which is over them. And I may assure you, that should the gouvernment have occasion' to make use of theise men, either against the common enemy, or uppon any other accounte; you would finde them as firme and steadie, and as readie to serve, as any others whatever. If need were, we could raise 12 troops of horse, and aboute 20 companies of foote in this one province, all consistinge of Proteltante inhabitants thereof, and such as have been faithfull to the interest of the parliament of England, and are well affected to the present gouvernment, Wee doe thinke, that the whole nation, accordinge to the best computation we cane make, will be able to raise of such persons as aforesaide above 30 troopes of horse, and nere 50 companies of foote, whoe will, beside the defence of their perticular counties, be readie and willinge to be applied to such other services, as there shall be occasion for them in this nation, which, I hope, thorough the blessinge of God uppon our endeavours, will be putt into such a posture, that you will have a good accounte thereof, in case either of an invasion or insurrection.
Though it is thus thought necessarie by the councell, myself, the chief officers of the army, and the best affected inhabitants of this nation, to setle the militia, as is here proposed, which will not only be an additionall securitie to the nation, without any charge to the publique, and will allsoe set loose a considerable part of the standinge army (which have bin hitherto imployed for the necessarie defence of the guarrisons and quarters) to be applyed to any other service his highnesse shall thinke fitt to appoint them; yet before I would take uppon me to proceede to the finall settlement of an affaire of this nature, I thinke it necessarie, and doe accordingly earnestly desire, that you would move his highnesse to signifie his pleasure therein; the speedie doeinge whereof will much advantage his highnesse service, and be a great satisfaction and incouragement to me to make a further progress therein.
This weeke's packett beinge not yett come to us here, I have not more to say to your intelligence, then what I write by the laste in answere to your former, which was verry full, and hath quickned us to an extraordinary care and vigorous prosecution of our busines. I here send you inclosed some intelligence, which I accidentally mett with, and doth confirme what you have write, and what I have formerly observed to you of the Irish here. I doe verrily believe, their designe was growne verry ripe; the securinge soe considerable a number of their heades and leaders hath bin noe small disappointment to them. Those that are taken up, are verry numerous, I beleive near 200 persons; and all of them such as it is not thought adviseable (by those who better knowe them then I doe) to set any one of them at libertie at this juncture; and it is thought as little adviseable to keep them in restreynt here. I humbly offered it as my opinion (which I finde is the best expedient that can be thought one by others uppon this place) that his highnesse would be pleased to appoint them for the present to some safe places, either in England, or islands adjacent thereunto, till you have time to consider of the further disposeall of them.
Lieut. collonel Flower, whoe is lieut. colonel to my lord deputie, and went over with
that party, which was sent from hence into England, beinge now uppon the place, and
eight companys of his lordship's regiment here, it is thought convenient to keep him
to commande one of the regiments appointed for the field-service here: there beinge a
lieut. collonel and a major with that partie in England, and a want of field-officers here,
wee hope his highness will approve of his stay. I desire you to move his highness, that
three of the 13 companies, which belonge to Ireland, and nowe in England, if they may
with safetye be spared, may be sent over. If his highness shall consent to it, I desire
that my owne company, lieut. coll. Flower's, and captain Owen's of my lord deputie's regiment, may be sent. I have often writt to know his highnesse's pleasure concerninge those
officers, who were chosen for the parliament, and thought fitt to be stayed here for his
highnesse's service, which is againe renewed by
Your most affectionate freind,
and humble servant,