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 (5 of 7)
Nieupoort the Dutch ambassador to secretary Thurloe.
I Can very wel consider, that in the present conjuncture of time your honor hath many important domesticq affairs. Yet seeinge it appeareth soe manifestly, that all desaffected persons, and such as thinke it to be their interest to raise jealousies and unkindnesses betwixt both states and nations, are daily to that purpose very active, I hope your honor will not thinke it amisse to bee mindfull alsoe of the forrain; most instantly beseeching your honor, that I may bee able to give some accoumpt to the lords my superiors, concerninge my proposals to the lords his serene highnes comissioners for the marine treaty on the 5th/15 instant. That it may alsoe bee ordered (if it be not done already) that the two Holland ships or vessells expressed in the papers, which I delivered to his most serene highnes on thursday last, be released without charges. The depositions here inclosed are sufficient to cleare all scruples; and I doe not doubt, but that the certificat, quoted with the letter A, concerning the torturinge the cooke in the ship called the Sheep-fold of Ameland, will operate soe much, that the man guilty of such exorbitant and inhumane proceedings may receive condigne punishment. The master of the said ship complaineth, that the oats laden therein beinge detained soe long in the port of Dover, are much heated, and like to be utterly spoyled, yf they muste remain longer a shipboard; beseechinge therefore, that the same may bee sold and disposed of for the use of his owners in this commonwealth. To which end I doe seriously recomend to your honor his most humble petition here inclosed. Truly I have found myselfe obliged to trouble your honor with these lines, beinge sure, that such seisures and detentions as aforesaid doe very much exasperate the people's minds, and grief the best affected to the present gouvernment, which I pray the Lord to preserve, remaininge,
Your honor's most humble servant,
Tuesday, the 15th of September, 1656.
That it be offered to his highness, as the advice of the council, that his highness will be pleased to grant a commission for the enlisting of a regiment of foot, consisting of twelve hundred, besides officers, as part of the militia forces in the county of Southampton.
That it be offered to his highness, as the advice of the council, that his highness will be pleased to grant a commission for enlisting of two companies of foot, consisting of two hundred in each, besides officers, in the town of Southampton, as part of the militia forces there.
Secretary Thurloe to H. Cromwell, major general of the army in Ireland.
This is the eve of the parlament, and our thoughts here are soe taken up in prepareinge for it, that I must begge your lordship's pardon, if I be very breife by this post. The councell, upon consideration of the elections, have refused to admitt of neare 100 of those, who are chosen. This greives very much, and it disappoints alsoe some men, who exprest very great readines to be at their old worke. By the next your lordship shall have an account of our condition and temper. His highnes is willinge, if your lordship thinkes fitt, that sir John Reynolds come over; and I humblie beseech your lordship to let hym knowe as much. There hath nothinge occurred since my last worth your lordship's knowledge; and therefore I may with the better grace make an end already, and signe me
Your lordship's most humble
and faithfull servant,
A letter of intelligence from Madrid.
My last was of the 23d current, axing/advising how one of the gramps/galleons was comeing with five merchantmen, 2 of which was dxtbf/burned, and that by themselves sooner than yeald, and most of the max/money is saved. 2 more arrived in Clyrr/Cadiz, and after all this the gramps/galleon was seen to continue BlkwibI./fighting. The governor of Clyrr/Cadiz sent out three gallies and A ucosqu/40 shallops to releive the gramp/galleon, and they found neither gramp/galleon nor Bartaine filb/admiral Blake's fleet, soe that it is not knowen, wheather the gramp or noe is talke/galleon be taken or not. This is what news the Spanish king has; noathing resents them more but the feare of the max/money to come to yx/your hands. Sparker/Spain loses not above W/400 thousand pieces of eight/pieces of eight his was in those that came.
As for news they say, that in the 2 ships that was burned, there were 4 or 5 men of quality, and all their familys, and above 500 men all drowned. The k. of France agent in Marga/Madrid about the palme/peace departs this day/week, without effecting any thing, after all hoapes we had. I beleeve he will not be stopt the 3d time, for Liver/don Louis de Haro has good ax/advice, that card. Creame/Mazarin intends not really, and that ax/advice both from Prant/Paris and Rome/Rome. It is not Sparkers/the k. of Spain's fault but the palme/peace is effected, for he offered very advantageous candles/conditions, and he is of opinion, that he thinks, that if he had come in all what Creame/the cardinal desired, that he would not consent to it: the montage/marriage we thought to be with Fruxe buckler/the k. of France's brother came to be with hemselfe, uppon condition he should claime no title to Sligo/Spain.
It does trouble Ix/me to have waxed/written soe often to yxyou, and neaver receave an answer, which hinders much, and that yx/you have not advice of 3 or 4 things that concernis. It is but litell comfort for a man to write and ronn hazard, and not to have the comfort to know if it comes to yx/your hands. — These Stakes/ships that came, brings no nofegayes/news from 133/Jamaica. If Bartaine/admiral Blake had not gone away the day before with most of the fisb/fleet, he had talke/taken the gramp/galleon and the 5 Stakes/merchant men without any question.
Ix/I have wander/written to my brother/brother in Prant/Paris, that if in case he had a umbgt/cypher with yx/you, to let yx kapp/you know how Ix/I proceeded with Liver Starkle/don Louis de Haro's secretary with somewhat ealse, and this Ix/I did for fear of my 153 letters to be miscarried. I/I perceave by a lard/letter I received now from hem, that he has communicat all with Cocke Bampfield/colonel Bampfield. Now I have charged him to doe soe no more, unles there was order from yx/you, and writ to hem a lard/letter to show hem a purpos, that Ix/I would have nothing to doe any more in intelligence with what more that was requisite to recall that error; but my buckler/brother neaver told him, that Ix/I had a umbgt/cypher with yx/you. News is come from Clyrr/Cadiz, that the gramp/galleon is burned, as they suppose. This day Liver Starkle/don Louis de Haro's secretary of whom I wander/writ to you, told me, that if the bussune/business would take effect, it should be requisite Ix/I make a journey to London.
You may be pleased to take notis, tar/that there is one dispached thither called Ulasb Urctlu/Simon Suarez, Portugal: he has vanden/to give intelligence of all that passes, and got for his journey 500 pearls/pistoles. It is above twantie dayes since he parted Marga/Madrid: hee has ben often times before in London, and som dayes before, he was lately after coming from Portugal, and was aboard general Blake's fleet. He is a proper man, short kgeltg/haired, and somewhat item/grave. Yx/You would a had this sooner but the want of keering/hearing from yx/you hended it, and somewhat more.
One of the chiefest things that broke the palme/treaty of peace of France, is the peace of the prince of Condé they hope this wenter perry/the pope will end the difference. This is all at present, till I hear from yx/you.
Minute of the protector's councell, drawn up by secretary Thurloe.
That the councell beinge by the government intrusted to examine the returns of such members as are chosen to serve in parliament, who are not to sitt &c. untill they be approved by them, have, to the best of their judgments, discharged their duty and trust therein, and shall be ready to give an account of their proceedings thereupon, when they shall be required thereunto by his highness or the parliament.
Charisius, the Danish resident, to the States General.
High and mighty lords,
In regard his majesty, my most gracious king and master, hath been informed, that the treaties, which were for some time negotiating between his majesty of Sweden and your high and mighty lordships, sooner than he imagined, are brought to a conclusion, he will not hope, that it was your high and mighty lordships aim and intention to negotiate any thing apart and separately without his majesty, and to the prejudice of both sides interest; for he did believe, that according to their good promises made by the lords ambassadors in Denmark, that the treaties to be made hereafter with Sweden, should be negotiated jointly, and the which his majesty promised to observe on his side. His said majesty therefore, my most gracious king and master, hath commanded me to represent to your high and mighty lordships, as also to desire communication of the said treaty, and to use serious and earnest endeavours, that before the same be finished and perfected by a ratification, it may be perused by his majesty's ministers, to consider of the necessities and interests of his majesty to be inserted jointly in the same treaty; and this out of the considerable reasons and motives, that his majesty hath united himself with your high and mighty lordships upon their good liking, and are obliged, with common consent and mutual help and assistance, to take upon them the preservation and security of the city of Dantzick, and to warrant withal the interests of each other, not to treat with Sweden without each others consent; and conceiving therefore his majesty, that if so be he hath really performed the same, by adding of men of war to your high and mighty lordships fleet, and all that may make for the said preservation, he will not doubt but that it was always your high and mighty lordships good intention so to do, which you can yet easily perform, for the further observing and effecting of the said foregoing promise, upon which his majesty doth wholly rely, and which will make for both sides satisfaction. In regard this request doth consist of such strong reasons, and no less equity, I shall expect upon it your high and mighty lordships favourable and speedy resolution, that so thereupon there may be further debated by the councell in Den mark. Wishing your high and mighty lordships herewith a happy and prosperous government, and rest,
High and mighty lords,
Your most humble servant,
Resident Sasburgh to the States General.
My lords, the certainest advice we have here is, that marshal Turenne is like to take la Capelle, and the prince don John is with his army near Advennes; it is thought with an intention to raise the siege, or fight the French, notwithstanding that a good part of his army is run away, which is very certain. What will be done between those two armies, is expected with great impatience. St. Gillain in the mean time is forsaken by the Spaniards, and that siege given over. It seems they find the French army so considerable, that they dare not attempt it.
Mons. de Bordeaux, the French ambassador in England, to cardinal Mazarin.
The sitting of the parliament is the only business, which doth busy the minds of England. Your eminence will see, in the duplicate of my letter to monsieur de Brienne, the result of the two first sittings of that body. I will add, that the lord protector did very much enlarge himself against Spain, exaggerating all the enterprizes, which that king had made formerly against England, and the motives, which obliged him to break. They are the same, which he caused to be published the last year. He did also seem to be persuaded, that Spain and the duke of Newburgh do give to the king of England 9000 men to be transported into England. In regard there is very little advice conformable to this, many believe that it is invented and feigned to give an alarm, and to keep the army united at this present conjuncture. The exclusion of 160 members of parliament doth increase the bitterness of the people. Four of the considerable commissioners of the city are of the number, and some counties are wholly left out. If the rest, who are admitted, do not recall them, the body will be wholly submitted to him, otherwise he will be forced to break them as the rest. There was this morning observed a great deal of motion in the assembly, and every body doth admire at this conduct; but it was premeditated, and in all likelihood the army approved of it; wherefore the consequences are not to be feared. Here was a rumour at the beginning of the week, that the marquis of Lede had sent a man into England with letters to the parliament; but it is not confirmed, and no more mention made of it.
The report of the peace doth still continue, and the return of the queen of Sweden to Rome doth contribute much to persuade men to believe, that the negotiation of mons. de Lionne will have a good success. The royalists do also endeavour to persuade it; and in regard it is a consideration, which will induce the people to a free contribution, no body hath an interest to undeceive them. I am, with respect, &c.
Mr. H. Norwood to secretary Thurloe.
Allthough I have beene loath to rub the sore, whilst the stitches were tender, that some unjust insinuating persons have made uppon me, yet by the favour of this worthy gentleman (with whom I have the honour of an alliance) I crave leave, after 23 moneths silence, once more to aver, that if it were impartially enquired into, nothing could be more apparent, then of the truth of armes being the best commoditie Virginia vends. But, sir, because I know you have reason to prefer the oath of another to any thing I can say in my owne defence, I shall not hope nor endeavour to recover your charitable opinion, by contradicting a plausible evidence (how true God and mine owne conscience best know) but doe most humbly apply myselfe to the bounty of your goodnes in furthering the inclosed, which onely speakes the sad relation of my present condition; and that my desires by this address may not seem (in respect of the conjuncture) to promote any sinister end, or malignant designe (very alienate to my temper) I shall chuse (if his highnes deny my petition) much rather to be throwne away in exile into those deserts, where I never had health nor content, then to languish here under soe great prejudice and clamorous necessity as I am, and long have beene too sensible of. In that case, I shall onely aske a little liberty uppon bayle to make some preparations necessary to soe long a voyage; to procure which if I obteyne the favour of your good word, I shall be obliged readily in all places and conditions to acknowledge myselfe, with very great respect, sir,
Your most gratefull and humble servant,
Mr. Longland, agent at Leghorn, to secretary Thurloe.
A Smale ship arryved here yesterday with fish from Famouth, 12 dayes ago spok with one of generall Blak's frigats at Faro, which told him generall Blak had sent hom the great ships, and had put himself abord the Fairfax, who with 14 saile more was at ankor in Cales Bay. I hav had no letter thence; but this man tels me, the fleet wil sudenly com into the Streits to make peace with Tunis and Tripolly. Here is arryved this day ann Inglish ship from Alexandria, who was forc't to run away thence. The Turk, upon his great los, not being able to furnish and suply Candia with vittels and amunition from Greece or Asia, does now endevor to do it from Egypt; to which end he has sent to tak up all the Flemings and French ther, to goe for Candia with theyr lading. Your honour wil hav more ful and quicker advys of the taking of Valensa by the French then I can wryt you hence; but this I must tel you, that al the Spanish and papall party are much cast down at it, insomuch that the whole state of Millan seems to be in danger. The seven ships of war latly set out by the state of Genoa in company of theyr gallyes, yesterday past homeward in syht of this port, not having don any thing of noat; only shewed theyr strength to the world. I am,
Your most faithful servant,
From Boreel, the Dutch ambassador in Paris.
Formerly I advised your lordship, how ill it was resented here, that the emperor had sent an army into Italy. Now it is further certain, that this crown by their envoy at Vienna hath caused to be signified to the emperor, how that the king of France doth take the said sending to the Spaniard for an open breach of the peace formerly concluded at Munster; and that his majesty doth understand, that the said peace is effectually broken by the emperor. The said envoy hath precisely order to return home from that court; and the war is looked upon as certain to be waged the next spring against Germany. I desire you to acquaint their high and mighty lordships with this resolution.
A letter of intelligence from the Hague.
The ambassador of Spain hath signified, that the children at Lisle are either stoln away, or fled: and in regard that formerly his excellency signified, that they would restore them to their father, he angry at present, it being said, that they would imprison some other priests in retortion.
The ambassadors at Elbing having concluded and signed the treaty the 11/1 Sept. in the night, have sent it hither; and as well the States General as those of Holland are glad of it, yea are very angry, that they have put a term of four months for the ratification, for they were desirous that it had been to be ratified forthwith. I know not whether it be for fear of the Muscovite or somebody else.
As to the fleet and the troops that are aboard, if they do persist in their resolution formerly taken without any alteration as yet, but there is likelihood that Tromp shall be likewise recalled. As yet Dantzick doth not care for the inclusion. In the treaty is also the inclusion of the king of France. Gelder and Zealand did also formerly put them in mind, that this state ought to include France; but then Holland said, that in such a case Spain ought likewise to be included.
And since France is also included in the treaty of Elbing, as well as Denmark, they proposed to make likewise a league guaranty with France upon the treaty of Elbing. Item to make of this treaty of Elbing a perpetual treaty: but upon those two points the provinces declared, that they were not yet ready.
From Prussia they write, that the envoy of Muscovy doth summon the elector to acknowledge Prussia as fief of Lithuania, to quit the alliance with Sweden and all others, and to give the Pillauw or the Memell to the Muscovite, who hath already good store of troops to invade Prussia. They are of opinion here, that Riga doth run great hazard.
The ministers of the elector of Brandenburgh are very jealous of the commissioners of the states of Cleve, saying, that those states are subjects of the duke of Brandenburgh; that they cannot, nor ought not to act, but by order of the said duke and his ministers; and these ministers will have at least, that those states should act jointly with the ministers of the said duke; for they fear, that those states underhand do endeavour to obtain and employ the power and strength of this state against the levies and contributions, which the said duke doth draw from the country of Cleve; a thing which is opposite and contrary to the rights and privileges, to the prescriptions of the emperor, and the constitutions of the empire. Holland hath named one Oostdorp, of their counsell, to go for East Friesland, to demand the payment of that, which formerly this state lent to the states of East Friesland. The States General will add to him one of their assembly.
The resident of Denmark hath by an express memorandum represented and required, that this state will not make so much haste with the ratification of the treaty made at Elbing on the 11/1 Sept. Of this copies are to be sent to the provinces. In the mean time they remember, that formerly the lord minister of Denmark did recommend the hastening of the said treaties; but he did it only by word of mouth to the lord president; wherefore they have resolved never to receive hereafter any report but what is in writing.
There was this morning a conference to be held upon the business of Outremeuse, but there happened to be none. In Holland they scruple the ratifying of the treaty of Elbing, by reason of the passage, which beginneth, sub qua tamen aqualitate, &c. for it is said, that in Sweden all the commerce almost is driven on by companies.
A letter of intelligence from the Hague.
The ambassadors, who are with the Dane, and the Dane by those ambassadors, have made very great endeavours to inflame the States General against the Swede. They lately writ that letter, which speaketh of the Muscovite rather in terms of a romance, than any true letter; but however, if he takes Riga and Revel, whether he have 30,000 men, or whether he have 700,000, it is all one. They say in the Dutch language, to have is to have, and to have is honourable; that I say is all one, and will cause a very great alteration. And if that envoy doth speak after such a manner in Denmark, he that is at Koningsberg doth speak to the elector of Brandenburg after a manner no less strange; that Prussia is a fief of Lithuania; that the elector ought to do homage to the Muscovite, as great duke of Lithuania; that he doth demand the Pillauw and the Mannell. When the elector made him answer thereupon, that he had allies, and amongst the rest the United Provinces, the envoy replied, that he is to renounce all alliances. In short they speak wonderful things. Yea, this czar of Muscovy doth give jealousy as far as these parts, and the more since by the treaty of Stockholm, as renewed and reconfirmed word for word, this state is obliged to assist the king of Sweden, if he be assaulted by the czar of Muscovy. And it is presumed and feared, left the king of Sweden should come and summon this state, wherein it will be observed, how they ill consider the said alliance; and if to observe it, they will measure it by the yard of interest, as usually, they will alledge, it may be, that this reconfirmation is not yet ratified, and they may delay the ratification year and day, as they did the treaty made in the year 1649 with Denmark, which was not ratified till the year 1651. Item, they must first attempt viam concordiæ & amicabilis compositionis. Item, Holland having a great trade at Archangel, will fear, that those barbarians (who understand no jesting) will confiscate all their effects in Archangel.
Of the imprisonment of sir Henry Vane was spoken in St. Gen. as of a business, which doth deserve little compassion. The royalists do hate him for the original quarrel; the well affected of Holland, because he can do them no more good, and because he got some money by the marriage of the prince of Orange and the princess royal.
By these two letters, the one of Charisius, and the others of the lords ambassadors in Denmark, dated the 20th of September, it is to be foreseen, or at least feared, that these two
evils will yet happen to the Swede; that the Dane will quarrel with him, and Brandenburgh will forsake him.
I am, sir,
Your most humble servant.
Courtin to Bordeaux, the French ambassador in England.
We have at last received the news of the conclusion of the treaty of alliance and commerce between Sweden and the United Provinces. Dantzick is comprehended in it; but it must be, that there is still lest something undone in its regard, since that the ministers of the state at Elbing write, that they will endeavour for an accommodation of that city with the king of Sweden. It may be, it is to obtain more particular and positive conditions. In the mean time the orders are sent to Opdam, to return with thirty ships of war, and to have twelve at an anchor before Dantzick, under the conduct of admiral Tromp. The admiral is to put 1300 soldiers on board the ships, that are to be lest before Dantzick. Those, that busy themselves to penetrate into secrets, interpret this action for a kind of defiance in the observation of the treaty on the side of Sweden, as if that king had concluded by force and necessity; for they conceive, that those few men of war being ready to put into Dantzick, when the rigour of the winter will oblige the twelve ships to retreat, will suffice to defend the place, in case the Swedes will assault it: and some others imagine, that this state not delighting, that the Muscovites come so near the borders of the sea, hath left those twelves ships of war, with soldiers, to assist the king of Sweden against a barbarian, who will spoil their commerce. The bearer of the letter of the lord protector to the lords states did deliver it to them nine days since. There have been several opinions past upon it, and many have taken notice of some terms, which offend the sovereignty of these provinces, and some others made no great account of it, in regard it arrives after the conclusion of the treaty. I make no doubt, but your excellency hath seen it; yet I make bold to send you a copy, and the answer to it in print.
A letter of intelligence to secretary Thurloe from Bruges.
I Marwell verry much, that I can receave noe countenance from your honour to proceed in my intended service. I assure you, I should as really serve you, as any man you may employe, and with as great an affection as you can expect from any man in the world; and if I have gained your honour's displeasure by any misprision or misbehaviour committed by mee in your service, I hartily am sorry for itt, and doe desire your honor's candid forgivenes, which I hope you will bee ready to grant to a penitent suppliant. My collections this weeke, which I deeme worthy your knowledge, are, that the king is about settling a guard (for his owne person) of 200 men, whereof 40 are to bee Scots, the rest English and Irish to make up the 200. Men come in but slowly to him, because of the small allowance, which is 4d. per diem; and now, as I understand, ammunition-bread is added, and all (I believe) will not doe. Charles Steward hath a great hope in some people in England, which I immagin are the Papists in chiefe. Hee hath a smale confidence of the English officers, of whome some are dischardged, and some are yett in command. Some hopes hee hath from the seamen and merchants. The news of the clapping upp of some men in England, which wee did receave this weeke, was a great disheartening to them, that depend upon Charles. Some of them swore (dam them) their designe was spoyled; and the lord Newcastell receaved advertisement, that the militia of London did begin to stirre, and that the common people did begin to complaine of theire heavy grievances, and the request of the army for a new generall; whereupon the parliament was adjorned for the space of three weekes. This is the last and best newes, that gives them hopes; but I trust your wisdome, under a divine influence, will better dispose of the affaires of your countrey. Lilly, that rogue, who lives by Strand-bridge, hee hath sent a letter unto one sir Edward Walker, one of his majestie's secretarys, who is also an astrologer, and one formerly acquainted with Lilly, to wish them have a good hart, and bee currageous; hee was confident, and foresawe it by arte, that the king and his adherents would be restored in the year 57 to the throne and kingdome of England. And hereupon they depend much, because such a prophett said itt, who hath rightly prophesied of the former king's death, soe hee must needs have an infallible prophesie of this man's restauration. Have a care of the navy, for some of the ships are expected in hopes; to which end Charles Steward hath got the Spanish ports to be open for their amicable re ception, as well here in these countreys, as in Spaine. Middleton, the Scottish generall, is gon away discontented out of this court, and things beginne to goe crosse. The duke of Yorke is come, accompanied with 120 horse, and three coaches, as they say, and speciall order was given in all places for his reception, as if the king of Spaine (foresooth) had bin there in person. The chancellor, sir Edward Hide, is now at Antwerp, with the lord Tasse and lord Delling, and withall one Mr. Hannam, a Dorsetshire or a Hamshire man. They labour hard to forward thire busines, but yett they are now at a stand; for the securing of many men in England, and the newes of the adjourning of the parliament makes them sit (as itt were) amazed; but yett however I perceave they have verry great hopes, that their busines will bee don without any forraigne helpe, which as yett I cannot understand, nor dare not bee too inquisitive, least they should absolutely conclude mee to be a spie. By the next you shall understand more of itt. Looke to your selves att home. The report is come hither out of Bruxells, and that thither from the Champeigne, that don John is totally broken with all his army, and that the French army is 23 or 24,000 men at least, and that Chappell is taken for a truth, and Sinte Gilant relieved, and that things goe on the French side secundo Marte. The report is here dubiously reported, but I believed it to be true in some degree, which you shall understand by the next more perfectly. One, that went by the name of coll. Bordeck, is clapt up here for a spy, and one Ascue is also lookt for; but I am not suspected in the least; therefore I humbly desire your honor to send mee your directions to the hands of one Mr. Guill senior, merchant att Flushing; and if I had your directions and commands, I could bee soe privy to all transactions, that I could serve you in most high manner.
Sir, I doe it out of the good will I beare to my country, and that incomparable man,
which the world cannot equall, or in any wise parralell; besides the absolute relation
I have to your most noble selfe, as haveing eaten of your bread, and being in all devotion,
Your honor's most humble,
and undoubted servant.
Generals Blake and Mountagu to the protector.
May itt please your highnesse,
Being out of water, and our victualls allmost spent, and having not heard from your highness, since the receipt of your commands by the Griffin, we found it necessary to sayle for this place with the greatest part of the fleet, as well to recruite our wants, as to be in the way of further orders. Accordingly we arrived here on the 11th instant, and the 17th following in the night received the enclosed accompt from the commander of the fleet left before Cadiz, which we humbly present to your highness, hoping we shall be shortly able to informe your highness more particularly thereof, having sent out what friggotts wee could, as well to reinforce the guard before Cadiz, as to secure the prizes hither to us. In the meane time, the providences that have already come to our knowledge concurring to bring these ships into our hands, doe very much convince us it is of God in a more than ordinary manner, and we trust it will, by the same good hand, be sanctifyed unto us. We humbly take leave, and remain
Your highness very faithfull and obedient servants,
Rob. Blake. Ed. Mountagu.
General Mountagu to secretary Thurloe.
The Lord hath beene pleased to afford an occasion of writinge to you sooner then I thought off, with soe much safetye and upon soe good an account. Blessed be his name, who hath looked upon the low condition of the nation, and hath turned the reproaches of wicked men with shame upon theire owne faces. Indeed my hart is very much warmed with the apprehension of the singular providence of God, in bringinge this about for us in soe seasoneble a tyme (as I doubt not you will experiment in England) as also the considerablenesse of the thinge in itselfe, which mercyes I trust he will be pleased to perfect, by giving all a safe passage and conveyance to you in England. The Lord keepe up a thankfull hart in us for these and other his wonderfull favors.
On wedensday last (September 17) late at night, we received an account from the squadron wee lest before Cales, of theire meetinge with the kinge of Spain's West India fleete; and the successe of theire encounter with them, concerninge which I referr you to our letter to his highnesse, whereby you will have a coppy of captain Stayner's letter to us. Here is now on board us the eldest son of the marquis of Baydex, with whom I have had much conference; he is but 16 yeeres of age, borne in the Indies, a most pregnant ingenious learned youth, as I have mett with, and whose story is the saddest, that ever I heard or read off to my remembrance. From discourse with him, I give you the inclosed account (for the most part.) I shall only observe to you a singular providence in the bringinge the shipps in to ours. The Portugall prize they took neere the western islands, upon their enquirye, told them, that the English fleete were all gone home, and gave them such assurance thereoff (I suppose upon the fight of our partye going for Lisbone) that they steered directly for Cales, and there (as I heare) they saw a barcalonga cominge out of St. Lucas, as they passed by the barr; but beinge confident of their information, failed on for Cales, and in the evening mett with our ships, and kept company with them all night, and kept their lights out, and shootinge of guns, as they used to doe, and mistrusted them not to be English, untill our shipps bore up to them, and God gave oppertunitye for what was done.
There is mention of the marquesse of Baydex, in the vice-admirall. Concerninge him understand this sad storye, and true. He was born 18 leagues off Madrid in Spayne, of a noble family, but theire fortunes consumed: the kinge of Spayne made him governour of Chili, which he continued 9 yeares, then remooved him to governe the kingdome of Lima, which he did 14 yeares; and now havinge gotten a considerable estate, and his time of government expired, and beinge sent for home, was embarqued with his whole family and wealth in this fleet for Spayne, where he was to have been made governor of Cadiz. By the enclosed paper you may perceive the event of the vice-admiral, wherein they were. In the fire the marquesse's lady, and one of his daughters sell downe in a swound, and were burned. The marquesse himself had opportunitye to have escaped, but seinge his lady and his daughter, whom he loved exceedingly, in that case, said he would die where they died, and embracinge his lady, was burned also with them. The younge gentleman here on board is thus left without father, mother, or meanes (havinge none in Spayne nor in the Indies) and you see how much he lost in that shippe, and I beleeve he hath little lesse taken by us in barrs of silver (as is reported) himselfe borne in the Indies, and soe not knowne to any person in Spayne.
I send you two letters of myne, which were one of them putt aboard a merchant bound
for London, the other intended to be sent by other shipps. By them you will perceive
the posture wee are in, unlesse we heare from you, and receive other orders, which in that
case wee shall comply withall. Thus at present I remayne, sir,
Your very humble servant,
Inclosed in the preceding.
The Spanish West India fleete consisted of 8 shipps, whereoff two are taken, and in our possession, 3 sunke and burnt (as the prisoners say, our men write 4 sunke and burnt) and 3 escaped (ours say but 2.)
The admirall shipp (don Marcus del Porto, an old soldier, generall) reported to have in her in plate about 600,000 peeces of 8/8 (he carried the lesse, in respect the reare admirall was esteemed a more experienced and trusty person, and a sitter ship for burthen) was runn ashore in the bay of Cales, and sunke.
The vice admirall, a gallion (don Francisco de Esqueuel, a Biscainer, commander) reported to have in her about 600,000 peeces of 8/8, besides, upon the account of the marquesse of Baydex, in jewells and plate 500,000 peeces of 8/8, was taken by our ships, and after sett a fire by the Spaniards themselves, and soe burnt downe and sunke.
The marquis of Baydex was in her, and his wife, and children, and family, and all burnt, except his eldest sonn don Francisco Lopez, and don Joseph de Sunega, a younger son, and two of the sisters, donna Josepha and Catalina, and a little child of a yeare old, which are now aboard our shipps. There was saved of other persons of divers qualities in her about 90 persons.
The reare admiral, a gallion (don Francisco del Hayo commander) reported to have in her two millions of plate, is taken and in our possession. Wee have many prisoners of greate quality in her, gentlemen of habitts, and Spanish merchants, as also don Diego de Villa Alva, the governor of the Havana.
Another shipp, commanded by captain John Rodrigues Calderon, who is sayd to have in her, in sugars, tobacco, and plate, to the value of 600,000 peeces of 8/8, was taken by our shipps, and in the bringinge off, by an accidental fire was burnt and sunke.
Another shipp, commanded by captain John de la Torre (one who was borne and married in Cartagena in the West Indies) reported to have in her 12,000 West India hides, some quantitye of sugar, which he brought to sell in Cales, and with the proceed thereof was intended to buy negroes at Angola, and soe to returne to Cartagena againe, is taken, and now in our possession.
Another man of warr, who had little or noe plate in him, but some hides and sugar, and other small vessels of noe force or ladinge considerable, one of which was a Portugall, which they had taken as prize betweene the western islands and Masagam in Affrica; the other was a small vessell of advice from the vice-kinge of Mexico into Spaine. These escaped to Gibralter.
General Mountagu to secretary Thurloe.
Since I dispatcht my pacquett to you, I have had almost a whole afternoone's discourse with don Francisco de Lopez, the now marquesse of Baydex, who is a most ingenious and intelligent youth, about 16 yeares of age, born in Lima. He hath given mee very much light concerninge the Westerne Indies; and I have thought it not amisse to trouble you with some of it: if it be of noe use, it is but my labour lost in writinge. He saith, that about 5 moenths since, presently after his father and family departed out of Lima in Peru, there happened the fearfullest earthquake and raininge of fire from heaven in Peru, that has beene heard off in the world, insomuch that the whole cittye of Lima is swallowed up, and also the island of Calloa, in which places there perished about 11,000 Spaniards, and not above 100 Indians with them. In that cittye alsoe the king of Spaine hath lost by the earthquake 50,000 millions of barrs of silver readye wrought up. The famous mines and mountains of Potosi are destroyed, soe that there is noe more hills to be seene, all a plaine, nor any further possibilitye of having silver or gold in Peru. The king hath had noe knowledge hereof, untill now by the shipps, that escaped of this company. It is too large to repeate all that he hath told mee of the monstrous cruelty of the Spaniards to the poor Indians, even those of them, that are counted freemen, and professe the Roman Catholique religion; insomuch that they cry to heaven against them, and are beyond measure greeved with theire sufferings.
He tells mee assuredly, that the island of Hispaniola is abundantly rich in mines of gold and silver, and that the only reason, why they have not hithertoo beene wrought, hath beene the kinge's edict, which he hath read, severely prohibitinge the digginge or transportation of any thence; intendinge that as a reserve, in case warrs should grow upon him, that might cause a greater expense of monye, or the mines in Peru faile; and he saies, undoubt edly now that this fatality is come upon Peru, the next order from the kinge of Spaine will be, to open the mines of Hispaniola. He sayes, that scince our attempt there, Santa Domingo is mightily fortified and provided in all points for defence, both with men, and armes, and provisions.
He saith also, that the Mexican fleete is now in the Havana; that there are 10 shipps of them, the admirall and vice admirall only gallions for burthen, and they have in them seven millions of plate; the other 8 are gallions only fitted with ordinance and soldiers for warr. They will arrive in Europe (probably) about the latter end of November, or rather in December, as he thinkes. They alwais make the Canaries in theire returne, and they there receive advice from Spaine, whether to betake themselves; and 'tis possible that they may be directed for Gallicia, if they soe will in Spain, as these ships wee have taken would have done, if their Portugall prise had not lied to them and betrayed them.
He faith, the Havana is a place almost impregnable; Cartagena easye to be had by starvinge, and that way only; it is a peninsula, and may easily be deprived of commerce and assistance. The people upon the maine are generally very fearfull of attempts from the English, and their unaccustomednesse to warr is the cause thereof, though otherwise naturally they are a people bold enough, and shew it in private and particular quarrells.
He faith, if the English be able to mayntaine a fleete at Jamaica, the Spaniard can trade noe more in the Indies but with great fleetes, for already, he saith, the Spanish merchants give over, and will noe more venture theire estates, unlesse the king provide sufficiently for theire protection. He saith also, he heard before they came out of the Havana, that some of our fleete of Jamaica had taken some Spanish shipps laden with negroes, but none of silver. He also saies, there was a report, that 9 shipps were sent by Sedgewicke to England, and that he demands supply of all thinges from England, viz. victualls and weomen, &c. if it is expected he should continue there. And he saies, the natives and negroes of Jamaica insest them sorely, whensoever they adventure out of their fortifications for cattle or the like.
He faith, that though the natives upon the maine be readye to receive libertye from the hands of any people, by reason of theire oppressions unheard of almost (as before is said) yet the Spaniards are exceedingly loyall; which appeared not longe since by a prosser, which the Dutch and French made to them at Lima in Peru, that they would engage to come yearely to them with a certaine number of shipps, and bringe them commodittyes at a sarr cheaper rate then they have from Spayne, and trade with them upon there owne account, which the Spaniard refused totally.
He saies the inquisition is most severe and cruell in the Indies, but the inquisitors are universally hated to such a degree, that an inquisitor dares not stirr out of his owne house, not soe much as to see a friend, for seare of violence from the people.
Col. Bampfylde to secretary Thurloe.
Yesterday I received a letter from you, but not dated; only by the contents I may conceave it longe since written. 'Tis all I have had from you, since my arrivall in France, though this be the sixt, that I have wrote myselfe, and dictated 2, beside 3 or 4 shorte ones under Mr. Firbanke's cover, to advertise you by what adress I have sent the 3 laste, which I thinke were of some importance, and had been of more, if I cowld have assured myselfe of theyr coming safe to your hands. The 3 laste were dated the 13th, 16th, and 18th of this present, and directed for Mr. James Smith marchand at London. Pray be pleased to let mee knowe by your next, whither theise came to your hands; and if not all, which has missed; for I suspect my laste upon wednesday the 20th may have beene intercepted by one Bennett, the duke of Yorke's secretary. I wowld very willingly be satisfied of the certaynty in this, the letter being of some consequence. In it I gave you an accounte of the interview betwixt the queen of Sweden and the cardinall at Chantillie, and of the king's galloping over thither from Compiegne with his brother and some few attendants, under a pretended designe of seeing the queene incognito, but the business was soe layd, that she muste discover him; which manner of visit from the king was taken as a greater obligation to hir majesty, then all she had received before. The king stayd not above three howers, but returned to Compiegne. The queen of Sweden and the cardinall were longe private, and the next day they 2 alone went in a coach to the house of the marescall de la Mothe's in the mid-way betwixt Compiegne and Chantillie, where she was met by the king, queen, and whole courte of France, and then conducted to Compiegne, where hir entertaynment was with the highest respect, and greatest magnisicence, that the place and condition they were then in cowld afforde. I likewise advertised you, that 2 or 3 dayes before hir departure from Paris, she told those of the clergye, whith whom she conversed with greatest considence, that she intended for Pomerania, aboute the settlement of what she had (upon the resignation of her crowne) reserved for hir maytenance. After she had discourced with the king and cardinal, she gave out, she had received a packett from the king of Swede, which had given hir full satisfaction, and that she intended to returne with all speed for Ittaly, towards which she began hir journey upon wednesday laste; goes by Orleance, Lyons, and soe throwgh Piedmont, and to the court of Savoy in hir way. They have payd hir some part of a debt due to hir father from this crowne, and assure her of the rest. Whither this negotiation is syncere in order to the prosecution of the peace, or that she 88 55 19 43 16 937 229 37 8 99 satisfaction 110 1038 and 218 790 836 which 20 26 22 544 214 13 30 70 74 for 991 as the other 350 20 408 29 31 3 748 is very hard to determine; thowgh the greatest polititians and the finest wits of this place make it the present theame both of theyre meditation and discource. I likewise advertised you I had perswaded 90 73 29 42 74 27 55 to 406 and 424 477 37 35 26 42 36 803 and soe to 137; by which meanes 862 544 515 549 of 796 he is 662 408 790 and faithfull to his owne interest, which I have made this appear to bee, and will take great care, that if he does noe good, it shall not be in his power to hurte 863 174: but I hope he will 5 1 153 392 and 751 102 his unkle powerfull 90 58 146 790 263 35 71 1037. Valance is taken, and one thing I have seen in the capitulation very extraordinary, that as I remember 16 persons were to pass out of the guarrison with the rest, with vizards and in disguise, without any offering to discover them. I have here inclosed sent you a liste of the imperiall forces, which were marching to theyr relifee, but are, as I am informed, recalled, the emperour intending to send an army under the arch-duke Leopoldus to the assistance of the Hollanders, as soone as his sonne is crowned king of Bohemia. The duke of Saxony, and the Protestant princes begin to arme: the prince of Transillvania, and the Cossacques have certainly leagued with, and declared for the Swede. That king is marched with great speed (having actually demolished the castel and fortifications of Warsovia, and left the duke of Brandenburge with his owne, and the gross of the Swedish army to defend Prussia) with 6000 Finlanders and 4000 Germans, and left troopes to joyne with count Magnus for relief of Riga, which is besiedged by a more numerous then either orderly or valiant army of the Muscovite, the grand duke of which offers to enter into a perfect aliance with the king of Poland, upon condition his sonne may be elected after this king's death, which is a ridiculous proposition in wife men's oppinions here. If it pleases God to bless the king of Sweden in this enterprize, the emperor may finde but an ill effect of his breaking the peace. He was once resolved agaynest it, but the Spanish and Jesuits prevayled over his reason and resolution. His army, when alltogether, besides what he has sent into Flanders, will be about 28,000 men. This court is either gone or goeing to la Fere; but if it be true, which is come hither this afternoone, that the Spanish army having raysed a very strong forte upon the mayne pass to St. Gillian, having a castle on the other side, are retyred from thence, I beleeve the king will be shortly at St. Jermin's. But laste night I heard at a great man's table, that the Spaniard had besiedged St. Ghillian, and that marscall de Turenne was resolved to sit downe before Chattellet or la Capelle. The king of France has given passes to allmost all the Irish officers, that repayre to their king, and will not hynder the common souldiers to followe; which is to mee a great wonder; but I am confident it is true. Ten thousand Irish and Spaniards will contribute much to the preservation of the Protestant religion in England, and the liberty and freedome of the nation. They cannot but be very godly men, and vast lovers of theyr countrey, whoe have from the beginning been of the parliament party, and are a postatased and now correspond with and invite the se dear frends. God will, I am consident, blast theyr projects, and them and their designes to nought, as great Ahittopells as they are.