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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May (4 of 6)
Secretary Thurloe to H. Cromwell, major general of the army in Ireland.
I Have spake with my lord deputy about further orders touchinge the 600 men; and he tells me by this his lordship will write more fully to you; and therefore I need not give your lordship any trouble upon that subject, but am exceedinge glad to heare, that the officers and souldiers expresse soe much readines to the worke. I shall alsoe forbeare to trouble your lordship touching the discourses which have been with colonel Hewson, &c. but make bold to leave that to Sir John Reynolds and doctor Harrison, they beinge much better instructed therein, then I am. Carteret is gone to Jersey, and intends to staye there a yeare at least, as he sayth.
Blessed be God, that all thinges remayne quiett in Ireland; soe they doe alsoe here. Both is very much against the intentions of enemies of all sorts, who have their dayly meetinges for begettinge trouble. The Spanyard, cavaleir, papists, and levellers, are all come into a consederacy. What monstrous birth this wombe will bringe forth, I cannot tell. They threaten hard, but I perceive they are not yet quite ready. The commonwealthsmen looke alsoe for a suddeine turne, and hope they shall play next.
What intelligences wee have in these thinges are not fitt to be communicated by paper. They doe however teach, that we are to be watchfull in the manadgment of affaires; and above all to sett our hope in God. I take the best care I can to discover what they are doeinge as to Ireland; but cannot finde, that they have any great matter in hand more then generall intentions to stirre up the Irish, and some of the old protestant party. As any thing comes to my knowledge, your lordship shall be sure to have it.
There is a meetinge heere to-morrow of all the major generalls, who are sent for up to give an account of their proceedinges, and of the posture and conditions of their severall affociations; that thereupon further consideration may be had of the security and peace of the nation. And if any thinge further be occasioned by their meetinge, your lordship shall have an account of it.
Colonel Lockart is very well entertained in France both with the kinge and cardinall. They are there draweinge into the field, intendinge to march into Flanders with two armies; soe that don John of Austria, who is there arrived to take the government instead of the archduke, is like to have hot worke this summer; and it may be will not be at leisure to doe soe great wonders against us, as they give out they will. The kinge of Sweden is come to Elbin to meet the queene, leaveinge his army at Thorne, which is there recruitinge and refreshinge themselves to give battel to the Pole, who hath got an army, the nobility of Poland, who at first revolted to the kinge of Sweden, haveinge againe forsaken hym, and returned to their old master. If they come to a pitched field, very much will depend upon the issue thereof.
I rejoice with all my heart to heare, that the Lord hath delt soe well with your lady
and sonne. The Lord continue and encrease his goodness to you, and be your shield and
exceedinge great reward; which is the hearty prayer of
20 May, 1656.
Your lordship's most humble and faithfull servant
A letter of intelligence.
The king of Sweden last week came into our Danzick Werder, and surprised about 400 of this town's soldiers, divers being slain, and divers taken prisoners, and so is master of the lands round about us; from whence we have our provisions, and so are forced to send to the Poles for relief, whose help, I fear, is not near at hand, the king of Sweden having given order to his brothers and general Wrangel to sight with the Poles, wherever they meet them. So that we expect to hear of actions suddenly, more forces being come to their aid in the Pomera out of Dutchland, as the report goeth, to the number of 4000 horse; so that if the Poles get a blow, we expect to hear something will be attempted against us. Many of the Polish people being got together in Samajeton near Lettaw, grave Magnus hath routed them: hopes of peace between the Swedes and Muscovites; yet noe certainty. A Muscovite ambassador cometh to the Swede, and a Tartar to the duke of Brandenburgh, who hath had audience, but nothing known as yett. The king of Sweden is marched towards Poland, and some report the king of Poland is marching this way. Something is in agitation, which a short time will produce. From Riga and Narva they write hopes of peace between the Swede and Muscovite.
Resolution of the States General.
Was heard the report of the lords Huygens and others their high and mighty lordships commissioners for the affairs of the sea, according to their resolution of the 27th current, having visited and examined the request of merchants, skippers, and owners of ships trading to Norway, containing in effect, that their ships in pursuance of the treaty made between the king of Denmark and this state on the 12th of February 1647, were first measured and marked here in this country by the commissioners appointed thereunto by the said king himself; yet notwithstanding the said skippers coming this year with their ships into Norway, they were fain to suffer contrary to the said treaty to have their ships remeasured and abundantly raised; and all this not according to the charter mentioned in the said treaty, but according to the good liking of the measurer there, who made the calculation of the last to his eye and own fancy; so that some ships, that were duly measured here, were overmeasured by him by twenty-five or thirty lasts upon his loose and ungrounding measuring, for which they were made to pay toll. Yea some were made to pay such toll, as the toll-master himself desired. Whereupon being debated was resolved, first, their high and mighty lordships return thanks to the lords commissioners for their trouble taken about this business; and that they be desired to take some further trouble upon them, and to declare and propose the said complaint to the ministers of the said king, and desire them, that they would use such good offices, to the end the said abuses may be remedied, and redrest for the future according and in conformity of the said treaty. And withal it is resolved, that the said complaint with all the papers annexed shall be sent to their high and mighty lordships ambassadors extraordinary in Denmark, with a request that they do propose and insist upon the said complaint, that all things may be speedily regulated, in conformity of the said treaty, representing to that end, that the said remeasuring is contrary to the eighth, tenth, and eleventh articles of the said treaty.
An intercepted letter of Sir G. Ratcliffe to one Traps.
I HAD no letters out of England the last week, and I was not satisfied. I have not heard from Ormond this week as yet: I may perhaps ere this be sealed. I had a short but very good letter from him the last week, wherein he gives me good hopes of Ch. St. health, which I am glad to hear, especially from him.
Do not streighten yourself to send money to your friend; though his stock be low, yet he hath credit. And if d. of York be not grosly abused, (which I will not swear, that he shall not) he will have money shortly; and then perhaps your freind may get some. He, that should give order for his money, went from hence the last week. He parted from d. of York with great expressions of kindness, and gave him a paper for a very considerable sum of money. What it will produce, must very shortly appear. I have no great saith: yet if it bring nothing, he is an arrant fool, for it may be in d. of York his power to vex him to the heart, though I fear it is not in d. of York nature to do it.
Secretary Thurloe to H. Cromwell major general of the army in Ireland.
There is a nephew of mine, captaine Ewer, and nephew to colonel Ewer, who it seemes fell within the last reducement of Ireland, and by that meanes is without any ymployment. Indeed, my lord, I heare that he is a very sober younge man, and valiant, and otherwise capable of trust; upon which account only it is, that I am bold to recom mend hym to your lordship's favour and consideration. And I take upon me this boldnes the rather, because he is the only person of my kindred, that I have ever moved for in any case. And I was brought to doe it now with some difficultie; but he beinge a younge man, and haveinge lost his father's brother, I meane colonel Ewer, who brought hym into Ireland, and upon whom he did relye, I was the readier to appeare in it, espetially to your lordship, who, as I knowe, wil be pleased to give a good construction upon any requests of mine, although they should not be agreeable to your lordship's owne intentions, which I doe assure your lordship I doe not knowe, that this is, he beinge a person (as I am assured) who will not be any dishonour to you in what your lordship shall please to owne him in. But I doe submitt the whole to your lordship's wisdome, beseechinge your pardon, if I have herein done any thinge unbecomeinge
Whitehall, 21 May 1656.
From Boreel the Dutch embassador in France.
By the last post I duly received (and as I think unviolated) their high and mighty lordships letters; and act of resolution of the 22d of the last month of May. I will regulate myself accordingly, it being an order on mine of the 18th.
The letters of the lord, their high mightinesses ambassador at London, the copies whereof were then sent me likewise, are also of great importance in these times, when they endeavour every where to give wrong impression, to the prejudice of your high mightinesses state.
The lord Lockart, ambassador of England, set out from here very suddenly some time ago, for the court, so that his excellency caused to excuse himself to me, since it had not been possible for him to take his leave of me before his setting out.
As to the lord ambassador of Venice, I have well understood your high mightinesses good intention, his excellency was for some days gone into the country, and came again to town the day before yesterday. Yesterday was here a great day of devotion, as soon as I can find an opportunity I will meet his excellency in conformity with the orders sent me.
I. Inclosed goes an exact list of the persons concerned in fitting out of two kings ships the Regina and le Chasseur commanded by the chevalier de la Lande and his lieutenant. I will endeavour to get also instructions of the other, if possible to be had.
II. Further is annexed a copy of the list of the Netherland ships and goods taken by the French (especially in the Mediterranean) for the enquiry and restitution of all which arrests of the king's council on the so called jugements du fait de marine, or lettres de cachet du roy, beginning with the ship the St. John, captain Barent Corder, in the year 1649, and ending in the year 1650, when I begun my embassy, to the number of fifty two ships, for which notwithstanding my continual and reiterated endeavours I work now near seven years, but to no purpose. I have also caused by continuation a list to be made of these obtained in my time, and whereof either no executions at all, or only imperfect ones, or in part have been obtained.
III. Likewise a list of the Netherland ships taken by sundry commanders of the king's ship called the Regina, as far as I have been able to extract within so short a time from the 28th of May out of the lists, which were given me in the year 1650, by the lords the burgomasters of the city of Amsterdam, under the hand of their secretary; as also out of the registers of their high mightinesses consuls here in France, so as they are sent to me, and out of my own annotations grounded upon good knowledge and information, whereof the register No. 2. here before quoted will give in part a short specification.
V. Lastly, a list of Netherland ships and effects (only reckoned in the whole) taken by the chevalier de la Lande extracted out of good registers, observations, and informations. Against next post, I will prepare some more registers concerning the affairs in general, whereby their high mightinesses may be fundamentally informed of all the excesses of robberies, and the injustices committed in relation to the same. Wherewith, &c.
Stokes, governor of Nevis, to major general Sedgwicke.
I gave you some intimation by two severall small vessels, that were determined to touch at Jamaica, of the state of this place; several of the inhabitants with my self having waited long for a transport with our wives, children, and servants, and that store of provision we have gathered for our settlement with you; but as yet know not how to accomplish it. Sir, I received by the Marston-moore frigot his highnes proclamation, with some commands, which I have endeavoured to put forward as far as I have been able; and the main block, I find, is want of a free transport for the people and theirs; for the removing of which I have thought good to make application to you, and the rest of such gentlemen, as his highness hath intrusted with his great designs there, to see if there might be a supply in this our want from you; hoping it may stand with his highness great designs and your instructions. Sir, that I may not be found slack in my furthering of his highness designs, I have hired this vessel by the month, thinking to wait upon you my self, but fearing I might receive further orders and instructions from his highness in my absence, so that matters might not return to so good accompt, as if I were present, I resolved to send these gentlemen, inhabitants of this place, being of good estate and repute, by name, lieutenant Michael Smith, lieutenant Conisbey Kettleby, and lieutenant George Gardyner, which I question not will, according to your accustomed manner, receive such courteous embracements from you, as you are accustomed to give to strangers. And if you please to treat with them concerning any thing, whereby we, with your assistance, may advance to his highness designs, you may be confident they and we here are ready to cast in our mite into his highness treasury. Sir, they are gentlemen, that I have desired to go down to you upon no other accompt. Therefore I desire you to be free with them. Sir, I hope to receive from you by these gentlemen full instructions, what is best to be done to the furthering of his highness colony Jamaica, intreating you to dispatch them with what expedition time will afford. Sir, I am a stranger to the most of the gentlemen with you, humbly desiring to salute them with my service. Sir, God hath made me a plain man. Strong lines nor long breathed expressions you cannot expect from me. I desire to take leave, and subscribe, sir,
Nevis, 22d May Ao. 1656.
Postscript, Sir, I have sent with these gentlemen my son to kiss your hands, and the rest of the commanders. His young years you can expect but weakness from. I desire you to look with an eye of favour upon him.
A letter of intelligence from the Hague.
Those of Holland have not yet brought in any advice upon the articles for the maritime treaty with England, it being true, that they have had several consultations upon them; but they found them of such a nature, that they are forced to report the same to the respective councils of their cities. Likewise those of Holland have past in silence all that doth concern the elector of Brandenburg, having brought nothing of it into the States General, neither the one way or the other.
The adversaries of this passage-money say, that they make a channel from Brussels to Hall, and from Hall to Nivelle, and from Nivelle to the Sambre, which will make a diversion of all the trade of the Meuse, if the passage-money be introduced.
There are great disputes between the States General and the council of state about the bestowing of a charge or office at Rhynberk. Each member hath put one into the place, and recommended him to the governor; but it is likely that the States General will be obeyed more than they.
The lord Sasburgh designed resident for Brussels is also kept here by Zealand. It is probable, that a serious letter will be writ to the king of Sweden about the detention of the ambassadors of this state at Lawenborgh, desiring that justice may be done.
The admiral of Opdam hath not yet taken his leave, expecting the letters that will come to-morrow, but those of Brandenburgh have already had their letters by the way of Cleves of the 19th from Koningsberg, and of the 20th from Dantzick, containing that the ambassador of Muscovy was still at Koningsberg, without that any thing was known of his negotiation.
The States General, according to the advice of Holland, have resolved to give to the commissioner of Dantzick (who this day did demand expedition by the lord president) a positive answer to assist the said city; but all genrally, and likewise without any final resolution
There was yesterday a conference about the affairs of the country of Outre-Meuse. It doth seem to me, that they do find the business more important than to finish it before the departure of the ambassador of Spain; for they desire, that an act may be past de non præjudicando, in case that the design of accommodating the difference doth not succeed; for it may be that this state may offer to quit one part of the said country, though they pretend the whole. Therefore they desire, that such an offer (which is done amore pacis) may not be taken in diminution of right.
The magistrates of Bois-le-duc in their difference about the non-payment of their share in the Beeden, do make very great use of the allegation of their privileges, pretending parity with the United Provinces, and that they cannot be charged against their consent. But answer is made them, that they are conquered and subdued; that they have dissipated the revenue of the city; and that the United Provinces several times themselves been forced to pay that, to which they had not consented.
The subsidy to be given to the city of Dantzick being in debate in consequence of the advice of Holland, they do find, that Holland itself likewise is as little charged to promise the least thing, as the other provinces. Consequently the answer, which would be given, would be only verba & vox, præterea nihil; so that they would rather, that the commissioner would expect a new assembly of Holland, and the advice of the other provinces; but the said commissioner saith he hath order to press for an answer and resolution.
If yesterday at the conference they were cold in the business of Dantzick, this day they were far more, in regard, that the ambassadors do write from Marienburg, that they were extraordinarily well received, entertained, and heard; and that the king had very much protested his sincerity, affection, good correspondence, amity, &c. and to be willing not only to renew the old alliance, but to make new ones; and more close and near than ever.
The lord of Opdam appeared this day in the assembly of the States General, declaring that his ship was ready to go to sea; that he came to take his leave, to offer his service, and to receive their commands, &c. The lord president made answer to him, that the assembly was very glad to hear he was ready; and that his person would do with the fleet; that they wished him good success and prosperity, recommending to him the service of the state, in pursuance of the order and instruction that was given him. He said, he had not yet the full number of his ships companies, but in the Sound or in Denmark he hoped to get men enough.
Yesterday and to-day there were two chief things in debate; the one concerning the difference of Overyssel, and the second concerning the differences and grievances, which the elector of Cologne hath caused to be proposed here. Concerning the first, after that they had made a project, whereof I made mention formerly, those of Deventer (in favour of whom that was chiefly projected) did come from it, and renounced the same, desiring and entreating that the same might be undone, and the resolutions put out, which was accordingly executed.
As to the differences, which concern the elector of Cologne, they have resolved upon several points, some to the contentment (altho' very few) of the elector, others not. But in particular they have resolved, that all the magistrates of Rhynberk shall be of the protestant religion, and those that are of a contrary religion to be turned out.
The ambassadors have had a particular audience with the king of Sweden, yea there was not any body by at that time besides themselves. And it was then that the king shewed them so much civility, going to meet them as far as the chamber door, remaining uncovered all the audience, recapitulating all the points proposed by the ambassadors, and only speaking of amity, of renewing the old, and making new alliances, &c. Afterwards he appointed commissioners to treat with them.
A letter of intelligence from the Hague.
I cannot learn, that the lord Culpepper is or hath been here; but I am informed, that one major general Bawir is come near to Holstein to make a levy of 5000 horse and 6000 foot for Charles Sewart, although that upon money of the Spaniard.
The time doth change very much. A good Hollander told me, that the princess dowager, Brandenb. and grave Will. are at present very well affected to Cromwell. I know not whether this be absolutely true; but the truth is, that the well affected in Holland have an opinion and jealousy of it, and this by reason that the elcteor of Brandenburg is still joined with the Swede, and in all likelihood the Brandenburger will continue to keep to the party of the Swede. And that which is said of the Muscovite, that he will break against the Swede, hath no likelihood, but the contrary.
As to the emperor, he dares not assist the Polander for fear of France. The Dane dares not, for fear of the protector. The States General do or seem to be very bold and couragious; but without the Dane they have no thought of doing harm to the Swede. And they believe, that the men of war will serve well enough to scare them. For Dantzick they do not yet any thing; but they make that place believe, that in case the Swede doth not do that which is just, that they will choose the party of Poland, and will break against the Swede; which are only words, and not believed by any body.
Also at present we do hear, that the Swedes suas divertuntur ad artes, and do shew a good countenance to the ambassador of the States General; insomuch that those ambassadors do write of their reception, entertainment, and audience with full satisfaction. The Swede had also appointed commissioners, with whom those ambassadors were to have a particular conference, where they will expose, (1.) The office of a mediation. (2.) The continuation of the commerce after the old manner custom, about with the states of Holland do also sufficiently explain their intention and opinion in this their resolution and advice of the 23d May upon the memorandum of those of the Brandenburger, which declareth, that as well the Brandenburger, as the Swede, will upon that treat, and make a good, equal, and reasonable regulation with the States General.
If now the Swede doth offer the same to those ambassadors of the states of Holland, I do not see, quid plus poterunt pretendere in æquitate. For the Swede will say it is equitable, that I have the same right as the Dane; yea I have more right to take upon all what is consumed and vended in the countries, which I possess, than the Dane hath to take upon the merchandizes in the open sea, which are not consumed nor vended in the countries of the the Dane, but do only pass by.
If then the States General will remain in the terms of commerce, they will have no reason to oppose them; but if they will consider the fear, that for the time to come the Swede will not keep his word, I confess that the States General are to interpose and proceed further in it, and assist effectually (not in words) the Pole and Dantzickers, for the men of war alone will not do it; but it must be that the Dane and the States General do and send an army in Prussia royal.
I am assured, that the ambassadors of the States General hath already very far advanced the peace between the Swede and the Pole. All the question will be for Prussia royal. There are a great many, that believe, that the Pole (being ancient and forsaken) will quit Prussia royal; but the fortune of war will regulate that. I see, that the Swede are still very high, not making any accompt of the Muscovites; at least at the worst that they will be able to content them without the damage or detriment of the Swede with some pieces of Poland. And the emperor hath so great a fear of France, that he will not dare to meddle with it. And the Spaniard running a hazard to lose much this year, the States General are already in trouble and fear, that France may get to be their neighbour.
P. S. In my last I writ, that I would make a voyage to the place, where is the son of the Spaniard to treat with some one, and in the name of the Hans towns, although it will only concern me; and likewise the Hans towns are not to know any thing; and by this means I will satisfy the council of you, who gave me his advise in his letter for a correspondence. For as to affairs I know, that the protector doth not much care. Et omnia probate. If he doth not satisfy in half a year, we may leave him.
Boreel the Dutch ambassador at Paris to the States General.
High and mighty lords,
My lords, on Saturday last, the 21st May, the king, queen, and cardinal went from hence with all the court towards Compiegne. The king's counsel remaineth here in the city, which will not be able to dispatch any great business with the ministers of foreign princes and estates. With the court went likewise colonel Lockhart without speaking with me. He excused it in a letter by reason of his indisposition, referring our verbal communication till he returns to this city. The earl of Brienne, who hold the correspondence with all the foreign minister, is also departed hence, and before he went I recommended to his lordship several affairs, which your high and mighty lordships had commanded me to represent here, to which I have not been able hitherto to obtain any disposition or contentment; and in the absence of the king, I believe will be dormant.
The ships of the subjects of your high and mighty lordships, which were taken and brought into Calais, are now all set at liberty, but they were fain to pay those rogues something, before they would let them go, notwithstanding the king's order. It were to be wished, that your high and mighty lordships would take care, that the like might be prevented for the future.
Courtin to Bordeaux, the French ambassador in England.
This day the admiral Opdam and vice-admiral de Witt went hence for Gorée to embark themselves in the squadron in the Meuse, consisting of six men of war, to which two others will be joined, which Zealand hath equipt. And on Monday last 25 sail went from the Vlie in three squadrons commanded by vice-admiral de Ruyter, Pieter Florissen, and Tromp. All these ships are to meet in the Sound, there to receive orders from the ambassadors of this state in Denmark: from thence they are to pass in squadrons into the Baltic sea, these provinces not being able to send an entire fleet thither, as is agreed by the treaty concluded with Denmark in the year 1649. They are to sail to and fro in that sea as high as Dantzick, the Pillaw, and the Memell, to clear the sea, and preserve the liberty of free commerce to their merchants. But it is not said, that they have any order to attack the Swedish vessels, if they met with any in their navigation; and how this state will avoid giving jealousy to Sweden in a season, when that king can dispose of the Baltic trade, is a riddle.
At last we have letters from the ambassadors in Prussia, wherein they write to the states, that they were very honourably received, entertained, and lodged at Marienburg, and that they had two audiences of the king, whereof the first was public in the presence of the marquis of Baden, the landgrave of Darmstat, of the duke of Croy, prince Radzivill, the vice-chancellor, and others; the second was private, none but the king. The said ambassadors make the loss of the last rencounter with Charnetsky but of 600 men; but general Wrangel makes it far greater; and adds, that the Swede had but one hundred men killed and wounded. They add likewise, that the king of Poland was gone towards Warsaw with a powerful army, amongst which are 3000 Hungarians. Others say he is marched towards Cracow. Yea there are some that affirm, that Warsaw is already taken by him.
Yesterday morning went from hence the lord of Opdam, to embark at Gorée, and to join with those ships, that are already gone out of the Vlie. Almost at the same time the Spanish ambassador went from hence towards Brussels; in all likelihood to salute the new governor, and to receive new instructions. They expect in Brabant twelve regiments out of Germany, namely six of foot, two of cuirassiers, two of harquebufiers, and two of dragoons.
Lockhart to secretary Thurloe.
I have receaved yours of May 15th, and the instructions. This morning I waited upon the cardinall, and after some generall discourse I gave him ane account of the fleet near Cadiz: lett him know the designe of the ye, are was alreadie made; and yet the protector's kindnes, was so great that to oblige France he would assist him with a part of it in his attempt upon Naples. Hartie thanks was returned, and he seemed to be much satisfyed with the kyndnesse of the offer. He said he was not yett readie, and was resolved not to meddle with that business, till he had made it verie secure. I spoak at a distance concerning what was expected upon the account of the assist, ance; but the businesse not beinge presentlie to be, he was desyros to delay the discourse of that to another tyme.
I told him this day, that though he had privailed with me to make the proposition of Mardyk by one expresse, I thoght it would not take; the conditions requyred were great; it was but as a pendik l of Dunkirk. I was affrayd to suffer for my offering that, which would be judged unreasonable; and then pressed, Dunkirk or rather both. He told me, he was to be blamed (if anie) but withall that they were distin kt. He had once the one withowt the other. Mardyke is much more considerable to yow then, Dunkirk. It may be verie well keeped whether Dunkirke did belong to the French or Spanyard. The laying owt of lesse then fortie thowsand £ will make it impr egnable. If France take Dunkirke yow shall have the libertie of it's har be or; and if the tyme fall owt opportune for it, yow may expect more. If Spayne keepe Dunkirk it may be yowr businesse next spring. The cardinall sayes his difficulties are verie great: the pope and his partie turn all stones, and doe everie thing, that may contribute to his ruin and therefore he can not doe what otherwyse he would. This is profess'd with great pretentions to sincerity. It's lykewyse urg'd, that if yow agree unto Mardyke the proposition concerning, libertye conscience to the popish neede no more to be insisted on; and that will save both great scandall.
If the proposition concerning Mardyke like he will not be read i for it be fore the twentieth of June or the first of August new style, by which ty me your fleet and three thowsand foot is expected to be readye.
And he is verie sollicitus to know, what the pryce of horns, powther, lead, match, will be, and what proporty on can be spared. He is lykewyse desyrous to have Granados. He hath Mony readye for all. Sir, I doe not fynd the cardinall anie wayes inclyned to make Flanders a republicke at present. Their is more hops of a Gali can Church; and yett that not to be expected, except France be forced in to it by verie extraordinarie providences.
I enqwyred how the king of Portugall behaved himselfe towards France. The cardinal
towld me, they had great cawse to complain of him; he was bound by treaty to make
warr in Andolusia and Gallitia. He performs nothing; he is bound to in that; sitts with
his arms a-crosse, and contemplats his treasure, of which he hath gathered great store; is
confident he will not break with France nor England, whatever mine he maks. I said my
master did not esteem himself well used by him: his answer was, that the king was of a
slow and timorous nature; assurs me yowr publike minister their will obtaine his desyer at
last: the king will give money, libertie of religion in his ports. The great difficultie will
be in the businesse of Brasill, and yett he believes he will com up to all at last. I am,
June 2d new styl, 1656.
Nieuport, the Dutch ambassador in England, to the States General.
High and mighty lords,
My lords, on Wednesday last the lord protector with the council and the major generals, which were sent for hither, kept a private day of fastinge and prayer at Whitehall, and as I am informed, they have since been assembled, with the other high officers of the army, to deliberate upon matters of moment. Some think, that the maintaining of the fleets which are fitted out already, and the fitting out of a good number of ships a new, doth require so much money, that the ordinary revenue of the state, and the monthly tax of sixty thousand pounds sterling, falls greatly short, so that it is necessary to find out some new means, for which purpose, as it is believed by many, a parliament will be called. Others are of opinion that the lord protector, with the advice and consent of the council, as also after previous communication with the said major generals and high officers of the army will give judgment, that the necessity of the state in the present junctures requires, that the said tax must be doubled, and that those of the king's party instead of the tenth penny of their estates shall pay one fifth. The day before yesterday, I was told, that letters were arrived from the generals Blake and Montagu, but they tell me, that their latest letters were of the 26th of April, as I mentioned last, and that since they had heard nothing of them. The news which was spread here, touching the seizure of the ship of captain Gideon de Wilde, is now come to nothing. Mr. Coyet is still here, and yesterday I was told, that he intended to set out from here to-morrow, others think, he will stay till some days longer. Werewith, &c.
Westminster, June 2, 1656. [N. S.]
R. W. to secretary Thurloe.
Right honorable sir,
I have received from my brother twenty pounds, and doe understand by him, what difficultie you made to advance them. I assure your honour I must employ more to carrie on things securely and in the manner I intend. I beseech your honour to believe wee intend to serve his highness really and faithfully. And if either of us have any other thoughts, I wish I may never com to my jurney's end. I make no question, but that wee are able to serve you by the access and acquaintances we have in farraigne courts. And if it should fall out otherwise, upon my honor I will let you know so much, and will scorne to delude you. Let not my being a papist make you harbor a thought to the prejudice of my reall intentions; for if I gett my bredd by the Turck, I will faithfully serve him. My brother in Bristoll hath no hand in any of our businesses, for he will not, nor is he capable to medle with affaires of that nature. He is contented with what he hath, so he may quietly traffick. Therfor I beseech your honour to be pleased to dispatch his protection, and doe me the favour to believe, that ere long my services will manifest how much I am,
Gravesend, this 23d of May 56.
To the Venetian agent.
They are here preparing all that they can for the field. The prince of Condé goes away for the army very suddenly. King Charles hath been a short while at Antwerp. He is now retreated back again to Bruges with his younger brother. In the mean time men expect the approbation of the treaty, which he hath made with the ministers of this court, from whom he hath received all manner of civility and favourable reception. Don John is very well beloved here by the people in general, being a prince, that is wise, couragious, and civil to all. He doth seem very well pleased with the prince of Condé, so that some good success may be expected from this campaign.
A copy of the letter of the company of merchant-adventurers at Hamburgh to Mr. Fr. Townley.
Mr. Francis Townley,
Whereas upon you going from hence for England you made an humble motion to the assembly, that they would require all persons, that were present at Blankenneas, to bring in unto the company in writing what they heard then pass in discourse between the resident and yourself, that the truth might be fully known: as we then resolved you, so we had thought fit to proceed in our resolutions in the examination of that business, being assembled to that purpose the 24th present to receive the testimonies as should be exhibited, according to the summons given. But his highness's resident appearing in our assembly, and advising and admonishing of the company not to proceed in that affair, for reasons then given us, which will appear at large unto you in the copies of the registers of this day granted Mr. Cambridge in your behalf, we could not think fit to proceed in the said business, but rather to submit to the said advice and admonition of his highness's public minister, being so effectually applied unto us. Thus much we thought convenient to give you notice, that you might know how to regulate yourself in that affair. So committing you to the protection of the Almighty, we rest
Hamburgh, 24 May 1656.
Mr. Wm. Mettam to secretary Thurloe.
This ship's hazard makes me committ less to paper, then I intended: onely I thanke you for yours, but I cannot stir hence, by reason of embargoes, effects of a jelous court and irresolute counsells, who feare more the interest of their Brasill fleet, then they love your peace, especially at this time, when they hope that the success of this yeare's affaires may advantage their particular. Besides, as I tould you, here is a devided counsell; some covetous, all proude, strive to cross one another, if not also king John, who is facile to beleive some that hate England. Your agent was treacherously set upon by night of the same day the articles were signed here, to simpathize with what happened formerly in London, when Pantaleon Sa was beheaded. He receaved a wound in his left hand, and is recovering, to whom the king shews great resentment of the fact, and large expressions of civility; as also in compliance to him all the rest of the nobility. A letter, which G. Lambert will receave from a great person, will let you know, who obstructs peace; if not also, who is guilty of this last shed blood, by his appologies to these both particulars. Since yours I have been confident with your agent, and have imparted several things, in order to persons and businesses, that may give him light, and prove my fidelity, although he knows nothing of your letter's contents or of my intentions. The results of all counsells since Mr. Menard arrived here with second orders are these first; they believe certainly English needs their peace; and that in policy the war of Spaine cannot end, unless Spaine give England as much moneys, as Portugall now deposits, and England condiscend to Spaine in the points of religion, which they exact from Portugall. Secondly, they thinke the peace made before Mr. Menard arrived will stand good enough; at least till another answeare com from England, in which time they hope Portugall will have secured Brasill treasures. They gather the difficulty of a war with Portugall to England out of a letter from their agent there, who braggs much of extraordinary efficacie and esteeme he has there with you; which thing he makes use of politickely to be continued and better supported there. He said that, his highnes took him by the hand, and told him, that though war were to cut himselfe, yet justice was to be done. Whence these shallow and unexperienced counsellers judge, that war with Portugall cannot be easily. Fourthly, some alledge the change of affaires in Europ actually from a letter of John Mules, the Portugall's interpreter, formerly and now with you, who informes them, that the kinge of Scotts and duke of Yorke are Roman Catholicques; and that the king of France is shut up in Paris by his parlament, and his cardinall fled, till there be a peace between the two crownes. Also that your peace with France is of no validity. Fifthly, they instance much a no fidelity in the English, especially since formerly in prince Robert's time here your fleets promised to give leave, that a fleet of sugars should pass, whereas notwithstanding no promise was observed, but nine ships taken prizes by the English. Sixthly, inquisition is much made use of to apologize the king's backwardnes in peace. Som difficulty, especially in protecting converted seamen, is reall, but more scruple is made than is reall. Seventhly, some exaggerate freights of his highnes, jelousies, want of men and money, ill successes in S. Domingo, the breaking of many merchants for want of Spanish traid, the unprofitable enterprize of this your present fleet against Spain in all probability, especially seeing Spaine is resolved to wearie out the English boldnes. Eighthly, they believe much many false informing letters from England, especially from the two I mentioned in my first to you hence, who reside with the Portugall agent. More particulars concerning the said partyes I shall be able to give you hereafter better, though indeed all those said informers are more of the Spanish faction then otherwise. Ninthly, if this be a war, say they, the English are fooles; first, because they refuse the offered 200000 crownes, the Bolsos money. &c. then also the estate of their marchants in Portugall, and all this for a punctilio in religion, which no English marchant values a straw. All these grounds (whose authours and alledgers I have in part told your agent) makes them resolve, not to signe to the articles wholely as their ambassador did subscribe them in England, but that the peace conditionally seigned by your agent with blancks in the points of religion to be remitted to his highnes curtesie in complement to be cancelled, should be sent for England, as it was sent to your fleet, before Mr. Menard arrived here. Upon these reasons they delay, to gaine time, till Brasill fleet come, &c. All this you will better understand by your agent. I am of opinion, that king John by his counsell is resolved to delay you, as they pretend you did delay them formerly, when their extraordinarie ambassador was in England; especially for that I do not believe their reallity too much in this very money deposited in one Mr. Berd's house for you; seeing in like manner money for France was deposited in a church, and yet that agent went without it, and after him was sent to the French court an Irish frier of S. Dominico to complement that counsel, accuse their agent's discretion, and to gain time till Spaine and Portugall agreed, if possibly; which as yet is not so probable as is imagined, unless things be altered since I was in Italie. If this peace be good, as it is now subscribed, and convenient for you (your agent knows best, if their reality be as it ought to be) I am halfe of opinion it may be concluded; yet assure your selfe, feare not, love will make and keep these people your friends. Some judge, that at present peace should be signed as the English pleased to satisfie the protector's (as they call it) pride to prevaile with all nations for reformed religion's priviledges; and that if after any Englishman, for too much pretending liberty, should be abused, it would easily be excused to the English councel, and the said Englishmen stopped from being too bold in their new articled liberties, &c. Thus goes the discourses here among all and the gravest politicians. When I go hence, I hope I may find, with the friend you know of, some order to writ a character, so that an intercepted letter may do no harme, which is the reason indeed I write thus abruptly at present. Your agent desiring and councelling me for England to serve my owne countrey, I acknowledged a promptnes in my selfe thereunto, at home or abroad, publickly or privately, in any consulship or residencie; wherein I hope by reason of my severall languages and skill in civill law to perform to the full my duty. If now or hereafter you believe and find me as faithfull and as reall, as I profess my selfe, I beseech you employ me; wherein if I faile, let heavens curse me. In the mean time I am your most obedient and faithfull servant by name as in my last. This 3d of June 1656. A jesuit, one called P. Luiz, preached against the peace, as it now signed, upon the text, when Christ said to his disciples, Peace among you, shewing his wounds in his hands; whereupon the said Jesuit is banished to Elvas. I have neither time nor place to write but by mere stealth. I crave pardon.
Instructions from the generals Blake and Montagu for captain Clay.
You are with the Saphire frigot under your command forthwith to make all the sail you can, and ply up to Cascais road. In your way thitherward you are carefully to look out for the Phœnix, on board of whom if you find Mr. Philip Meadowe, envoy from his highness to the king of Portugall, you are to deliver the letter herewith given you unto him. If you meet her not as you go, and when you come to Cascais understand he is not in her, but still residing at Lisbon (which you are to enquire after) then you are to send up thither a letter of your own to him, to let him know, that you have something of importance to communicate to him from ourselves; desiring he would repair on board you to receive the same, when you are to deliver our letter aforesaid; and if he please to come with you, are to convoy him accordingly with all due respect; else to return with his answer unto us. You will find us plying (please God) between the two capes, or nearer as the wind may serve. Given on board the Naseby the 24th of May 1656.
Generals Blake and Montagu to Mr. Philip Meadowe, the English envoy at Lisbon.
On the 20th instant we dispatched the Phœnix frigot to you with our desires, that wee might speake with you on board the Naseby, touching the present state of the treaty with his majesty of Portugall, which wee still judge wil be very requisite; and therefore have sent this second frigott to signify the same, and also give you information where to find
Naseby off at sea, 24th of May 1656.
Captain Peter Salomons to the commissioners of the admiralty at Amsterdam.
According to your lordships commission I went under sail with the first good wind in May last past with the ten English ships under my convoy; and the next day being the 1st of June, we met with six frigats for Dunkirk; their commander's name was Seraetkercke, who had a frigat mounted with twenty-two pieces, and one hundred and fifty men aboard of her. When we approached nearer to each other, I sent my lieutenant aboard of him, for to demand what he intended; as also to give them warning, that he should not meddle with any ships, which I had under my convoy, being resolved to desend them. But my lieutenant coming aboard of him, told me, that he spoke very rudely; and that he was resolved to seize on our ships, which he did. And I according to my order seeking to defend them, gave them many many canon-shots to hinder them from their design; but the weather being dead still, three Dunkirkers frigats did row towards the English ships, and overmastered them; but if there had been but a little wind, I should have cleared and delivered the said ships again. Towards the evening there rose a little more wind; but captain Erasmus Brouwer from Ostend with six in company with him made up to us. The commander's ship was mounted with twenty-eight peeces, and had two hundred men aboard. If he had not come with his squadron, it should not have gone so. He was the whole day in the sight of ten prizes, which he had taken the day before; but hearing and seeing us shoot, came to us. The Dunkirkers told him what was passed; and that they had many dead . . . . . . compassed me about with twelve of their ships; and captain Erasmus, who was commander of Ostend, would make me come aboard of of him, or else would sink me. I sent my lieutenant aboard of him, for to let him know, that I was wounded; and as touching his threatning to sink me, could do what he thought fitting. And if he shot one shot, he should see what I would do. And so for a while nothing was attempted, but on a sudden being aside of us, but laying near to each other without shooting one shot on both sides, but put over one hundred men in our ship, and fetch'd me in his ship, though I was shot through the right foot, and four or five of my people wounded and one killed. The same evening we departed with the twelve frigats and twenty English prizes, setting our course towards Ostend; and the third ditto we came in the morning to anchor before Ostend. And the fourth ditto I was brought a shore from the ship of captain Erasmus, where I lay in great misery, because of my wound, which is a great pain to me; besides that my officers have no command in my ship; and how the Flemings go to work with my victuals is well known to my people. It is reported, that our ship shall come in here to-morrow before the town; and that then the strangers shall go out of her. I hope that what I have done will not be displeasing to your lordships, being I have fought according to your lordships orders. My most humble supplication is, that your lordships will be pleased to write to me with the first, what I shall do; and how I shall behave myself in this business; or if your lordships be pleased, to send somebody here to manage the business, for (God help me) I cannot not go nor stand. I have made a short narrative to inform your lordships of that, which is passed; hoping that your lordships will be pleased to take all in their good consideration. Not more, but that the Flemish frigats hold themselves strong at sea with about thirteen, twelve, and ten together, and six at least; so that it is no small business to convoy English ships. My lords, so concluding with my most humble service to your lordships, praying for their long life and health, I recommend your lordships in the protection of the Almighty,
Ostend, the 4th of
June 1656. [N. S.]
P. S. With the first opportunity I shall write again to your lordships all the circumstances of the same. My lords, in the encounter we got divers shot through our ship, the sail and mast almost through, all the rigging very much torn, and all my sails in pieces, and the yards and masts most all made useless.
The certificate or affidavit of captain Peter Salomons and his officers aboard his ship called the Pheasant;
1. The 31st of May 1656. the wind being E. S. E. we went to sea out of the Texell with our ship called the Pheasant, whereof was commander captain Peter Salomons; and the 1st of June, which was the next day, the wind continuing E. S. E. and afterward growing very calm, and being by guess about twelve leagues from the coast, we saw a fleet of ships containing fifteen sail southward from us, being then about nine a clock before noon.
II. We saw also at the same time seven ships westward before us, and were informed by a Holland ship, in which our lieutenant had been aboard, that the fifteen sail, which were southward from us, were five Ostendish private men of war, with ten English prizes, which they had taken the day before, being the last of May, and that the seven sail, which we saw westward from us, were seven Dunkirkers frigats, having sent one of them to the Ostenders to give them notice.
III. And we driving by reason of the calm, they came rowing towards us, and being come together about two a clock in the afternoon captain Peter Salomons sent his lieutenant with the chaloup on purpose to the commander of the Dunkirker, whose name was Seraetskercke, that he should keep himself off from our fleet, which he would not do; but answered, that he would seize upon us and our ships, if we would defend the English, which happened in effect; for so soon as our lieutenant came on board to give his report to our captain, the said frigats began from behind to seize upon the English ships. Then we began to shoot upon the Dunkirkers frigats, and the said Seraetskerke with his vicecommander did lay on the side us towards the stern; but we shot not at them before they did seize on the English ships. Most of the company of the said English ship had abandoned their ships, and did let them drive.
IV. After a hot fight, and the English ships being taken, the said Seraetskerke with his frigats and prizes forsook us, and stayed for the Ostenders; if they had not come, we should have rescued again the most part of their said English prizes from them.
V. The Ostenders and Dunkirkers frigats being joined together about evening did altogether compass us; whereupon the commander of the Ostender named Erasmus Brouwer came and ran on our side and we did.
VI. Then did the commander Erasmus Brouwer call to the captain Peter de Salomons; and would that the said captain should personally come over into his ship, to shew him his order. But the said Peter Salomons being sorely wounded and shot through the foot, and unable to come out of his ship, neither being willing also to go out of her, if he had not been wounded, did send his lieutenant with the chaloup towards the commander Erasmus Brouwer with his said order; wherewith the said Erasmus Brouwer was not satisfied, but would that finally captain Peter Salomons should come and appear himself.
VII. And when the lieutenant would turn back to make his report to said captain Peter Salomons, not one of the rowers of the said chaloup would come in the said chaloup to row him aboard, some of them having hid themselves in the said frigat of Erasmus Brouwer; so that the said Erasmus Brouwer came with his frigat aboard of us, and did put in our ship about 120 or 130 of their men, making themselves masters of us. And the said Peter Salomons standing behind upon the said ship was constrained to go out of the same with his chaloup in the ship of Erasmus Brouwer.
IX. The reason, wherefore no resistance was done, was by desault of some wicked and unfaithful mariners, who would not fight, and came personally themselves to captain Peter Salomons to tell him so much. The 3d of June in the morning about six a clock we came and anchored upon the road of Ostend.
And the fifth ditto we were brought up hither, where we do lay yet. Was signed, Pieter Salomons, lieutenant Autory Janssen Dronckhest master, Jan Hanmanssen, Stierman Cornelis Janssen Abeels, pilot Arent Jacobsen, highboatswain Pieter Paulussen, gunner Hants Hartwyck; the mark of Sherman [..] Theunis Janssen de boer, Hendrick Harmensez quartermaster Y. R. Pieter Ranse; the marke of the quartermaster [..] Dirick Claessen.
Mr. Ph. Meadowe, the English resident at Lisbon, to the Generals Blake and Mountagu.
The third of this instant May I dispatched severall letters to your lordships by severall hands, besides private letters by a particular expresse, one Mr. Smith, a Spanish merchant. Since which I have had no returne from your lordships, neither have I heard any thing from the expresse I sent. The 18th instant Mr. Maynard arrived here upon the Saphire, who imediately after sett sayle for the fleet, not so much as sending up to me to know what newes; which seemed strange to me, considering that within four or five howers I could have had letters downe with her, and in the mean tyme the captain might have filled his empty caske with water; but more strange, after I had perused his highness and Mr. secretarye's letters to me, which tell me, that the frigatt, which brings Mr. Maynard, is to observe my orders, which was done, that I might take the benefitt of embarqueing, as need should be. These miscarriages do not a little prejudice business. His highnesse sent me new instructions to insist upon the ratification of the treaty without any other alteration then what I brought over with me; and gives me but five dayes to expect the king's answer, which if not satisfactory, I am peremptorily comanded to take my leave, and embarque. The five days are now lapsed: I have not nor am like to receive any satisfaction from his majesty to the demands, which I have made in his highnesse name, unless it be the very hower that I am goeing aboard; for what extremityes may enforce them to I know not. I must now therefore entreate your lordships to dispatch a frigatt to me with all speede, that soe I might be putt in a capacity to comply with the orders of my superiors: lett the frigott stop at Cascais, and not come within comand. I suppose you have been long e're this informed of the hurt I heere received, of which I still keepe my bed, and in that posture write this present with my lame hand upon a pillow. I confesse, I am but in a bad condition to remove; yet I had better hazard my life by soe doeing, then by staying here after hostilityes are begun, to loose my life by the hand of a murtherer. I humbly therefore beseech your lordships to have that respect for me, as to provide the frigats, that you shall send hither, with an honest and able chirurgeon. I intend not to make directly for England; but first after my comeing from Lisbone to go aboard your lordships, the better to acquaint you with the true state of things; for so I am comanded by Mr. secretarie's letters. The Brazile fleet is expected heere every hower; so that what is done of this nature must be done speedily: the transactions which I mentioned in my last dispatch signify noething now, because his highnes new orders to me (and possibly to your lordships likewise) have altered the then state of things. Give me a hint of your intention, and let me heare from you with all possible speed, who am, my lords,
Lipsiæ, May 25th, old stile, 1656.
The Cullyn merchant laden with provisions for the fleet was lately taken by an Ostender. five leagues off the rock of Lisbone. Five of these men are aboard the vessell, that bringes these letters, by whom your lordships may be informed of all particulers.
After I had sealed up this dispatch, Mr. Smith arrived here from your lordships late in the evening. He tells me, he had a letter to me from your lordships; but it was taken from him by the governor of Faro, and sent by the Portuguese, which went along with him unto some of the king's ministers heere. Your lordships see, what an ignoble people I am cast upon, who observe neyther rules of honor nor honesty. Mr. Smith tells me, that a frigat wil be heere as this day or to-morrow; but it wil be necessary, that your lordships speed another to me, to acquaint me with your resolutions upon the arrivall of captain Loyd, who was sent from England upon the Saphire as expresse to the fleet.