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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October (3 of 5)
Christopher Bond to the protector.
May it please your highnesse,
Since it hath been pleased to your highnes, amongst many and innumberable favers I have received at the time I had the happiness to watch upon your highnes in England, to give mee the permission to let your hignes sometimes know the constitution of the affaires in this plague of the world, I have thauht it to bee my duty, humbly to wacht upon your highnes with theese few lines, to assure your highnes of the great satisfaction his majeste my moste gracious master hath received from the relation I have truely done him, of the sincere affection your highnes hath protested against mee to beare for him; which hath been so generously shchewn by your highnes in the very deeds against my owne person, as his majestie's humble servant, that the great honor and reputation your highnes hath gayned by it in al the world is so great, as the particular duties I owe for them doe tye mee with ane indissoluble obligation, to remaine a true and faithfull servant to your highnes so long as I live. For the news in theese parts they are very considerable, and it seemes that it hath been pleased to our gracious God, after some adversities on both sides, to share his mercy to his majeste, as he hath done to your highnes, by the great and noble victoree that your highnes hath had against your enemies; verat his majeste doth very much rejoice, and meeselfe, as a very obliged servant of your highness, doe take a very great part. The cruel executions of the vrong counsels of them that hate us, as vell as your highnes and our velfaire, have had so sad effects, that it hath seemed impossible for men to deturne our ruine; amongst those the Muscovites falling into Livonia, and besiging Riga against all honor and truth, hath seemed to beg very hard; but hee hath been forced by God's mercy towards his majeste and our nation, as the noble defence don by our men, to returne back with great schame and losses. Heire in theese parts the general Stenbock hath slaine the Poles and Tartars upon the borders of Lithuania, and recovered prince Radzvill and other officers. Besides this our army hath had divers happy rencounters with the enemy, and his majeste is resolved since he hath spoken, to-morrow with the elector of Brandenburg at a place called Balg, to go over the Veixell at Grandents and seeke up the ennemies to feight him that stands upon that side of the said river, where wee wish that Almighty God will give his gracious blessing. But whosoever things seeme by theese happy occasions bee in a good way to a restoration, and that wee may not dispere but his majeste may be one time able to promote God's glorie and his case; yet it is very much to deplore, that the Low-countries on one side, and the Danube at the other, although ther is newly an alliance made with the one, and noe reasons to hostilite given to the other, doe endeavor with all possible meanes to trouble and hinder his majeste, somenting his ennemies, and hindring him both in conduct and otherways; soe that it may bee feared, if he be not assisted by any way, that the burthen will at last bee too heavy for him, and hee obliged to turne from the faire way it seemes, that God hath set him in, for the propagation of his glory. I cannot sufficiently describe the joye his majeste, as your highnes truest friend, hath received from the said newes, that came to him since my comming of the very happy and glorious victory, that your highnes hath obtained against the Spaniards, which hee hopes hath been a blessing of God given a purpose now to settle the state of your highnes government dureing this parlement, and that may make your highness able by theese many conjunctions of his majeste's open and sudden ennemies realy to assist him in some wayes, as his majeste hath commanded my lord George Fleetwood more particular to tell his mind to your highnes. I beseech your highness that you would consider, who much it is the intrest of your highnes, that his majeste and the crown of Sweden is well, and who your highness may easely bee alone exposed to the hatred of our ennemies, if his majeste should bee set in a condition, that wee were not able to looke to the interest, and helpe to defend the safte of both. Your highnes, may be assured, that his majeste schal not onely in deu time send his ratification over al that I have concluded with your highnes commissioners in Engeland, but alsoe to give your highnes embassadors, if they come to him, as your hignes intention was, all kind of honor and possible satisfaction. In the meane time I doe very humbly recommend to your hignes, assureing that it will be the greatest meanes to the promotion of the glory of God and your highnes's interest, if hee may have one happy expedition in it. I schall wisch still and pray for your highnes welfaire, and remain so long as you live,
Frawenburg, 29 Oct. 1656.
A letter of intelligence to secretary Thurloe.
My devoire towards your honour is such, that though this place is, as were, barren of any novelties this weeke, yet I must endeavor to creepe to kisse your noble hands, and to acquainte your honor, how that this country rings of nothing else then the triumphs of the English against the Spaniards, and the sad stories of some merchants therupon.
The king of Scotts is att a stand; yet hee keeps his men togeather. I thinke he is now out of hopes to attempt any thing against you. He hath sundry emissaries now in England, and more hee is to dispatch. I cannot learne what they drive at as yet: a generall sadnes is amongst them att present. Don Jean d'Austria is comming to Bruxells, haveing reduced an an army of 36,000 men to five or six hundered men. Itt is supposed hee will not bee able to have another army the next yeare, that may resist the French. The Dunkirkers and Oftenders are all out, some to the northward, some to the westward. Ther is here nothing as yet certeyne concerning the Sweade. Thus att present humbly beseeching your honor's savoure, and that you number mee in the catalogue of your faithfull servants, as verily I am and ever wil be till death,
Vice admiral Goodsonn to secretary Thurloe.
May it please your honour,
The foregoing is a duplicate of my last; since which I have little to advise. We arrived here the ninth instant: we have been endeavouring the embarking the people and their provisions. The number of all, men, women, and children, and servants, about 1400. We intend, God willing, to sail the 21st instant. I shall be very glad to know your honour's pleasure concerning those heavy failing Flemish ships, being, as I judge, very unfit for the Indies. As to our men, since the disengaging through the gulf, many have had the scurvy, of which some have died. Our provisions are exhausted, so that we fear we shall have hardly enough to embark for Jamaica. Thus hoping you will be mindful of formerly given you at large, remain
Morstenmoor, the 19th Oct, 1656. in Nevis Road.
Upon finishing the above written arrived the Hopewell capt. Huitt, the lieut. colonel and the rest of the people through mercy indifferent well in health. As to lieut. general Brayne, and the ships, which went with him from Ireland, I have not heard of. In this ship I find no letters from your honour, nor no account, or bill of loading for any eatable or drinkable goods.
Admiral Goodsonn to secretary Thurloe.
Upon the sealeing of his highnesse's letter arrived the Hopewell capt. Huitt, the lieut. collonell and the soulders through mercey in health, though have beene some time in wante of water. Wee have neither encountred nor heard of the passing by of lieut. gennerall Brayne, and the ships which went with them for Ireland. Wee shall endeavour the wattering this ship to day, that she may saile with us to-morrow. If providence had soe ordered, that the left. genneral might have arrived heare, I hope we might in our way towards Jamaca have done good service in standing out for the maine, to have delt with Margareta Commina Crachus or Comonagota; by which the new people might have acquired some fresh provisions, and binn fleshed for greater services. Truly my judgement is, if his highness should send a considerable squadron of ships and number of soulders this way, that in their way the takeing and houlding the island Margareta might be of advantage, keeping a couple of small frigotts there to intercept the trade, that the people of the forementioned towne with Domingo and Spain, and if not, yet the laying of a couple of small frigotts or one att the weather part of Hispaniola, will much prevent their trade. To such small services as those of taking in of such small places, there is a want of a couple of mortar peices, that might carry a shell of aboute a hundred weight more or less, those heare being soe heavy, not portable through woods and over rockes and hills, as alsoe thirty or fourty long hatquebusses. Its my opinion alsoe, that it would be of great use, two or three hundred breasts and headpieces for those that might be for the Forlorne-hope, in refference to lances, arrows, &c. Humbly craving excuse, remaine
Secretary Thurloe to H. Cromell, Major general of the forces in Ireland.
I have often had discourse with his highnesse about the militia intended by your lordship to be setled in Ireland, and comunicated to hym your large letter upon that subject; which he hath read all over, and is satisfied, that it would be very usefull to have one setled, but judges it to be a thinge of very tender consideration, as to the hands wherein it is to be placed. His highnes found it soe in this nation; for after he himself had weighed every officer with all possible care and exactnes, and spake with the most of them hymself, he was neverthelesse mistaken in some of them, and was necessitated afterwards, though with some difficultie, to get them removed. Besides things were soe ordered, that the standinge force was not to be lessened thereby; for if that should be the consequence of your militia in Ireland, I feare it will be a very ill choice to put down your standinge force, and to relye upon your militia. That which his highnes commaunded me for the present to write to your lordship upon this subject is this, that you will still have it in your consideration, and beare it in hand, but not to take any finall resolution, or actually to erect it, untill he shall have had a further prospect thereof. And as necessary hereunto his highnes desires to know, wheither they are to have any pay yea or not. Our rule here is, that noe militia is of any value, nay that it will be dangerous, if it have not pay. Our militia consists only of horse, and there is one thousand pound a yeare for every troope, and the decimation upon the cavaleirs paye. His highnes desires to knowe, what is thought of in this perticuler; and if they are to be payd, what treasurye it is to be charged upon. He desires alsoe to see a list of the officers, which are in your lordship's thoughts for this service. And when I have received your lordship's further intentions in these particulars, I shall doe what I can to obteyn his highnes final direction in the whole. As to the quarteringe of the army in severall bodyes, his highnes is sensible of the inconveniences, which they may be under by this; but yet desires, that they may be continued a while longer in that posture, untill wee see a little more of the enemie's intentions and designes.
I shall with the first opportunitie obteyne his highnesse pleasure as to renewinge of sir Charles Coote's patent for his presidentship of Connaught. The Irish letters comeinge but yesterday, I had no opportunitye to move it before the returne of this post.
I am very glad, that your lordship hath beene at Gallaway to settle that place. It is certeyne the enemie designes upon it, and many dangerous persons are in it. Amongst the rest there is one John Blake, alderman of Galloway, as I am informed; but my information is not soe certeyne, as would advise a present seiseing of hym, but that an eye be upon hym. The takeinge of the kinge of Spayn's money hath cooled their courage in Flaunders, and makes them hange their heads. Somethinge they are yet doeinge, but certeinly their matters are foreslowed.
Wee are dayly lookeinge for part of our fleet from Lisbon with the Spanish money. Wee only heare, that it is safely come into Lisbon-river, which is all wee have heard from them. Since the first newes of the good successe, matters goe smooth enough in parliament; but beleeving that your lordship will have a full account of those thinges from another hand, I will not give your lordship the trouble thereof; besides, I am ill at this tyme, and must therfore begge your lordship's pardon for this hastye account of thinges.
General Monck to secretary Thurloe.
I Received your letter of the 14th instant. In a former letter of mine I gave you an account when left. generall Brayne went on shippeboard. I have nothing from him butt this letter from col. Cooper, which I have sent you heare inclosed, which will give you a full accounte of them since their departure from hence. I am glad to heare the parliament goe on soe happily, and that ther is soe good an agreement amongest them for carrying on the publike affaires. I am alsoe glad to heare, that the Muscovitt is drawn off from Riga, and that the towne is releived by the Sweedes. For newes heare is none: all things are quiet, and I hope will continue soe, unless Charles Stuart's forces trouble us, which I hope, if they doe, we shall be able to give a good account of them in a short time. I desire you will put his highness in minde of another regiment for these parts, for truly wee should stand much in neede of them, if wee should have any occasion; which is all at present from
A letter of intelligence.
Mr. William Fisher,
Great divisions in these parts, especially betwixt the duke of Brandenburgh, together with the Swede, against the Pole and his adherents, who still prevail, and get the upperhand against the Poles. We have lost a good English ship belonging to Hull, which on wednesday last riding before the Pilaw-bar, was through a great storm of wind driven from her anchor, and run a-ground, and split in pieces. About fifty last of rye, some flax, and some pot-ashes, but all cast away. Four more Hollanders and several small vessels at that time cast away.
A letter of intelligence to resident Bradshaw.
Right honourabel sir,
I Received with great joy your honour's letter of the 8th of Oct. having none a great while; but I was very sorry to hear, that one week past, where your honour had not any from me. I wonder at it, it must needs be miscarried; for I have not neglected not one post all this time, and sent my letters constantly from hence with the tuesday's post for Dantzick, and directed them to an English merchant there, Mr. Edward Daniel, for to send them speedily for Hamburgh, which had been done, if the post from Elbing had not come so late to Dantzick; and therefore my letters of late came by the friday's post to Hamburgh; but since the ambassadors at Frawenburgh did complain to the chancellor of it, it is said, that the fault is mended, and therefore I hope my two last letters are come in due time to your honour's hands, and have brought the intelligence as free as may be. As for news, it is reported, that the Swedish general Steinbock hath been revenging the losses of theirs, whereof I made mention in my last letter, and hath engaged in a fight with the Polish forces under the command of general Gonzewsky (who with the Tartars killed so many of the Swedish forces before, and took prince Radtzivill prisoner) and ruined of his forces about 3000 men, and if they had not been run away, leaving his artillery and all his baggage behind him, he had lost all his troops; and the general report is, that general Steinbock in this fight relieved the princ Radtzivill prisoner from the Poles, thirty thousand dollars being paid already before for his ransom; but the other 30,000 being not paid yet, are now saved. The continuation of this news your honour may expect from me by the next post. The king of Sweden continues still with his council at Frawenburg; he is treating with the duke of Branden burg's commissioners concerning the custom in the Pillau, to have a share in it; but the duke, it seems, makes great difficulty. The queen of Sweden is yet lying in the Pillau, staying for a good wind. The last week three Hollanders and one English ship were cast away in the Pillau being at anchor, by the great tempest. As for any treaty with the Muscovite, there is no more spoken of; for a new act of hostility betwixt him and the Swedes hath been passed since, so that the Swedes cannot trust them, but the siege of Riga is took up from the Muscovite; and that is certain, the king of Poland is to come to Dantzick this week. All things are made ready for him there, which is all at present from
A letter of intelligence
Mr. Thomas Corbett,
We have had very sad news out of the Pillaw, four Hollanders with Hugh Walburn, a Hull ship, struck in pieces; several others run ashore with the Swede's admiral; how they will get off we know not yet. Walburne had sixty lasts of goods in his ship, corn, flax, pot-ashes; the Hollanders had piece goods in them; nineteen men drowned; three of the English ships. We have had great storms lately. For news, Grave Waldecke hath fallen upon the Polish forces to revenge the last loss he suffered; hath killed five hundred, taken two hundred with all their ammunition and arms; the rest fled; hath released prince Radtzivil, with the other prisoners. The queen of Sweden is in the Pillau to take shipping for Sweden.
Mr. Bradshaw resident at Hamburg to secretary Thurloe.
The inclosed gives account of the great duke's quittinge siege of Riga, with the reason of it, and his sueinge to the king of Sweden for peace. God seemes to have put his hooke into their jawes of that scourge of the world (as his ambassador to the duke of Brandenburgh called him) to remove him out of the way of his owne worke; which I trust he will carry on, though it may be by such instruments as looke not to have his hand therein. Haveinge nothinge to add to these papers, I cease your further truble at present, in hopes your honour forgets not my condition heare, but that now very shortly I shall heare of something done either for my more comfortable liveinge heere, or sutable returne. I remayne
Leg. 21 Oct. 1656.
A letter of intelligence.
Here is news, that the great duke of Muscovy hath lost 20,000 men before Riga; and upon the 11th current he raised the siege, and retreated elsewhere, to what place is not yet said. In the last sally out those of Riga did great execution upon their enemy, slew above three thousand men in the trenches; amongst the rest three commanders. They write likewise from Frawenburgh and other parts, that the general Steinbock and the earl of Waldeck upon the 22d current, being joined together near to Augustona not far from Lick, have put to flight the army of Gonziewsky, consisting of ten thousand men, Poles and Tartars; sixteen hundred whereof were killed upon the place, and all the baggage, ammunition, and cannon lost formerly is recovered by them, and the prince Radtzevile retaken. Her ma jesty of Sweden is arrived in the Pillau, from whence she is to be transported for Sweden. His Majesty of Poland is daily expected at Dantzick.
A letter of intelligence.
Much honoured sir,
The 19th past general Koningsmarck was brought prisoner into Dantzick, being taken upon the road by the means following. He had imbarked in two ships at Wismar 219 Scotch soldiers, part of the lord Cramston's regiment, to be transported to the Pillau, himself being passenger in one of the said ships belonging to Lubeck, whose master's name is Hendricksals. These said ships were by contrary winds brought into Dantzick road, where the false Scots soldiers in one of them (being about 100) seized upon their officers, and delivered them, together with the ship, to the Dantzickers, who again manning out the ship with two galliots sell upon the other, and took it, wherein the said person was, and brought him prisoner to the town. I doubt not but you will have heard of the loss, which the elector's army under Waldeck suffered by the Poles and Tartars; at which time Radzevil was taken prisoner. But since by the last post came news, that the said Waldeck having rallied his forces, fell upon the enemy, and totally routed them, taking all their cannon and baggage, and withal releasing of prince Radzevil.
The king of Poland is marched with his forces as far as Conitz, which town with Schlakaw is strongly reported here he hath taken in; but I can yet hear of no ground to believe it. Yesterday came news, that 4000 Swedish horse under Douglas were marching towards the Poles, and within ten miles of them; so that we may shortly hear of some action. Interim, the Dantzickers are very high, being too proud of their surprising of Coningsmark, and the taking of a ship bound for Lubeck, wherein there was the value of 700,000 rix dollars in plate and jewels, and other things, which were plundered in Poland.
Lockhart, ambassador at Paris, to secretary Thurloe.
I Have received yours of the 26/16, but have been since my last, and am yet so tormented with an extraordinary fitt of the stone, as I have been in no condition to mynd businesse, and am not able to say much more, save that I hope by the next to give your honor some better account of my endeavours in those affairs I had the honour of your commands in by your last. I have somwhatt to say in the behalf of capt. Whitlocke, whome upon the hops you were pleased to give me of being recalled, I have persuaded to stay beyond the tyme allowed him in his furlo. His company hath been so advantagius to me, as I cannot persuade myself to part with him so long as I have any hops left me of my owne return, and therefore muste humbly beg that his furlo may be renewed for some few months. Sir, I hope your goodnesse will pardon all those confusions and impurtunityes you receive from,
Your most humble and moste obedient servant,
Mons. de Turrein arrived yesterday, whom I intend to wait upon so soon as I can stirr abroad. The enemy's forces in Flanders are in exceeding low conditione, and Charles Stuart's affaires their in so poore a posture, as I know that some with him have regraitted their conditions to their freinds heare, and say, they wish themselves heare again, with a great deale of passion, the whyle they were heare they were in a state, that deserved rather pittie than envy. The lodging a great part of the army in the villages and bourgs near Paris, doth very much allarum both this parliament and citty.
Commissioner Pels to the states general.
High and mighty lords,
The lord ambassador Slingelant having been at sea six or seven days, came back again hither the 27th of the last month unexpectedly through contrary winds and bad weather, with an intention to depart the next day in the name of God, being resolved to go by land, as he did; and in regard it was post-day, and being very busy, to assist the said lord in his business, made me to omit my duty in not writing to your high and mighty lordships.
Upon the 28th of the last month here arrived a Lubeck ship, in which were above 160 Scots, and others, who had forced their officers to come in here; and general Coningsmark being in another vessel, which through contrary winds lay also at an anchor under the high land; towards whom this city sent two galliots, and the other Lubeck ship well manned, who after some resistance took the said general Coningsmark, and brought him prisoner hither, who is secured in the fort Wysselmunde, being safer there than in this city.
The Swedish army under major general Steinbock and Douglas is marching with all speed towards and over the Weysell, to fight once more the king of Poland, who is quartered with his army before Conitz and Slockaw some 16 miles from hence; intending after the surrender of those places to visit this place, to which end preparations are already made.
An intercepted letter.
I begin to long for R. Ramsaye's arrival, and I see God's goodness, that Mr. Rogg could not accommodate me in the Pillau, for there is a rich English ship, four Hollanders, and two lighters perished. If Mr. Gorecky come there, do him all the honour and service you can. Mons. Radzivil is come loose, but the victory not so as the Swedes write. I send you here our prints. General Douglas is going over the Weysell, we think, to hazard a fight with our king. General Coningsmark, who took Prague, and daunted Bremen, the emperor's terror, last sunday took the Weyssell sound, where he thinks to hold his winter quarters, and wait the end of the treaty with Poland. A hundred men, all Scots, save one English serjeant, hearing how the rest of the lord Cranston's regiments were treated, and finding themselves abused and cheated by their officers fair promises, bound them and forced the ships hither. We want yet Wrangell and Douglas, and then to give checkmet. I rest,
To Mr. William Blake.
Mr. Nathanael Brewster to secretary Thurloe.
Being lately returned with my lord from a long progresse, where I had occasion to take some notice of the townes in Ireland (which are of note) it seemed not inconvenient to signify thus much to your honour, that the principal sea ports and inland townes of this country are sadly decayed and unpeopled, being likely to continue so till better encouragement be offered to planters, especially merchants; the want of which renders many beautifull stronge townes to be but sad spectacles, and (if many be not mistaken) exceedingly hinders the publike treasury. I need not instance particulars, which all intelligent men (concerned) can explain, if called hereto. Another thing I saw meet to suggest to your honour, that our dissenting (but I hope) godly friends in this countrey doe seeme to carry such a jealousy and distance with the present magistracy and ministry (I meane in matters spirituall) as I am now at last somewhat weary of hopeing for an accommodation, which I have hoped and endeavoured with so much complyance as offended my best friends, for twelve months space, but doe finde by experience in six weeks travailing, that they are every where unanimous and fixt in separateing from us, even to the ordinance of hearing the word, a thing that greatly afflicts my lord and many hundreds fearing God, that wish them well. I wish the world get noe advantage thereby. I hope your honour's Christian wisedome can improve it well. Please you, sir, to tender me what you may in the communicating hereof; and vouchsafe to account me among them, that are yours in all faithfull services,
Dublyn, Oct. 22, 1656.
General Mountagu to secretary Thurloe.
I Have given his highnesse an account of the present posture of our fleete both with generall Blake and myselfe, and hopinge to see you ere longe (if the Lord soe please) I shall not be very particular in this letter, only in soe much as I conceave necessarye at this tyme.
There have been some miscariages by the ships that did take the ships of Spayne; but I shall delay to tell of them here, and I judge the best way to improve mercies of this kind, is, to look forward; however it is my busines at this time. The silver they brought is on board this ship and the vice-admiral; in the admirall we have five hundred and fifty sowes of silver, and boxes of plate, and nine peeces of silver not well refined, like sugar loaves. In the vice admirall there is a hundred and seventy four sowes of silver, all which we judge may produce near two hundred thousand pounds; I hope I speake the least, and that it will make much more. In the gallions hold also there is that space between the mayne mast and the bulke head of the bread-roome not yet rummaged.
Generall Blake and I have used the best art we could in the bay of Wyers, to prevent imbezeleing; and I have done the like in my voyage. I have putt as honest a commander in
the gallions, as I could picke. I have ordered all our ships not to send any of their boates
on board any ships they shall meet, nor on shore, nor receive any other ship's boat on board
them, without speciall order from mee. I have appointed my rendezvous to be in the
Downes, if the weather permits; if not, at Portsmouth. I think it very convenient, and
earnestly desire, that some persons may be sent to meet me before we come to anchor, and take
the care of the silver, and search the gallions, and have power to direct the way of carriage
of the silver to London. I have not further to trouble you at present, but remaine your humble
Aboard the Naseby at sea off the Lizard, October 22, 1656.
Capt. Gookin to secretary Thurloe.
The fruit of my laubour in his highnes service (through the disposeing hand of God) beeing rendred very unanswerable to his pious intentions, it is hardly worth my troubling your honour with the recitall therof, only duty obleidgeing me to faithfullnes, I shall acquaint your honour how things now stand in refference to that affayre.
In severall letters by way of Barbadoes, and one from hence, which was the only direct convayance hetherto providence presented, I signified to your honour in perticular my proceedings in that service, the sume whereof was to declare what I had done in order to promote his highnes gratious tenders, to plant the island of Jamaca with some godly people from these parts; and to that end I personally travilled to the severall colonies, Conecticut, New-Haven, and New-Plimouth, and Bay, who did all thankfuly resent his highnes great love and favour, and I conceve have written letters to that end. But the great difficulties and discouragement the English have grapled with in that place, beeing fully knowne here, have made the most considerable persons slow to appeare or ingage to transplant for present, lest they should bring themselves and families into great inconveniencies; only there was about three hundred souls that subscribed, who for the most part are young persons under familygovernment, and many of them females, and for quality of low estates, but divers personally godly. Three of this number tooke oppertunitie to passe to the island in July last (in a ship of the state's that loded masts heare) to discover the condition and sutableness of the island for themselves and freinds to remove unto; two of which thre persons returned from the said island about four daies since in a vessal of this cuntry that was there: they brought letters to me, and a packett and a single letter for your honour, which I have delivered to James Garret, comander of the shipp Hopwell, now bound for Ingland the first winde, with expresse charge to him to send it upp with all speed after his arrivall. These two persons that are returned (for the third abides their for further triall) do report something for encouradgment and something the contrary. To the first they speak fully of the fertilitie, pleasantnes, and present healthfullness of the island, and how much good may, in all probability, bee done there by an industreous and diligent people. The discouradgements they relate, are the weak, low, and hartles posture of the English upon the place in order to settlement, with the scarcety of victuall, and their whole dependance upon forraigne supplys, neglecting planting for the moste part; alsoe the death of their friend major Robert Sedgwicke and some other adds to their present discouradgements; and they apprehend, that the poore people engaged are not in a fitt posture to remove at present, seeing their numbers for quality and quantitie is two weake to setle and cary on a plantation for the honour of his highnes or their owne comfort; yet this I perceved, that severall of them stand much inclined to remove, and some will goe, if shiping present, and many more, if the Lord so please to change the face of things hereafter. I doubt not but the packett from thence will spare me a labour in recitall of what I heard from thence. Their present strait is want of bread and some other provisions, whereof some hath supply transported from hence. The ship Church fly-boate, one Evans commander, sent hither for that ende, which ship landed about 900,000 lb. of biskett and aboute 2500 bushells of pease, whose dispatch and furtherance from hence about a month past I gave my helpe unto, being thereunto desired by letters from the commissioners of Jammaca. I have noe more at present to add, but my humble service to your honour, and my poore prayers to the King of heaven to preserve, guide, strengthen, and prosper his highness in the Lord's worke, whome faithfully to serve, as the Lord enableth, shall be the studdy and desire of,
The governor of New England, &c. to the protector.
We received by capt. Gookin your highness's proposals for the removal of some of ours to the island of Jamaica, which by order were communicated to the people of this jurisdiction in compliance with your highness good and pious intentions of planting the place with such, as through the blessing of God may hopefully promote a design so religious. But if by the intelligence from thence of the English there the motion here answereth not expectation, may it please your highness not to impute it to us, as declining your service, much less as disaccepting your favours and endeavours of promoting what may conduce to our welfare, wherein we have always found your highness readiness upon all occasions to testify the same; and in particular, which we are bound to acknowledge, by your gracious expressions of acceptance of our last to capt. Leveret, by whom we found ourselves necessitated to make our addresses to your highness, that by your just favour we might be supported, and without which we have cause to fear we cannot be secured from the clamours and calumnies of some, whose endeavours may be to render us obnoxious to your displeasure. And if upon this account we are more frequently troublesom to your highness than your other weighty affairs will admit, we shall not doubt of our pardon, as not presuming upon our own merits, but upon your goodness, which hath encouraged us thereunto, and by which we are obliged to account it our duty to our utmost power to advance your highness's service: and if all other opportunities shall be wanting, yet never to cease to present our requests to him, that is able abundantly to recompense all your labours and love to his, to preserve your highness long to continue a happy instrument to carry on his work, to overthrow the enemies of his truth, and to enlarge the kingdom of his dear Son, in whom we are
Boston in New England, 23 Oct. 1656.
A letter of col. Bampfylde.
At my firste arrivall heer my sickness, and since some other hyndrances have prevented my giving you sooner this following accounte of some passages here, which you gave mee directions, when I parted from you, to informe you of, which I was unwilling to adventure by the ordnary, knowing that there were endeavours used for the interception of my letters; twoe of which I have reason to believe have miscarryed; and nowe I am constrayned to send a Frenchman, who has not a worde of English, which, I feare, may a little retard his journey betwixt Dover and London. The constitution of the parliament of Paris, which is the same with the other nine, together with the frontier guarrisons, the strength of them, and the names of the governours, you will find in the inclosed paper. Touching what you and I discourced of concerning duke of York, I proposed it with all the dexterity I was master of to sir John Berkley, whoe liked the proposition, but not soe well as he did that which I formerly acquainted you with of the duke of York his m a r y a g e with the protector his d a u g h t e r. I will not trouble you with the arguments he used, which might encline the protector to it, unless you command mee in your next letter to doe it, they being in my oppinion fuller of fancye then judgement, and to chimericall to trouble you with. I caused that to be offered to the consideration of the duke of York, which you and I agreed on concerning 882, without naming either him or any els. His answer was, that he had been expressly conjured by his brother not to hold any correspondence with me, under the forfeiture of all brotherly affection betwixt them; but that when he knew the person, and the importance of his being treated with and gayned, if I thought fitt, it should be communicated with his brother, though he thought it would not be to any great effect, as believing all things would be suspected, which came from me; so that finding this noe likely expedient to compass the end you and I aim'd at in it, and that twas attaynable by the other experiment with sir John Berkley, I let this proposition fall, as a thing not to be consulted of by those aboute his brother. And upon the whole matter, I dare engage my life, that whilest he was here, he had neither design nor correspondence in England, not soe much as for mony; and I doe less believe, that he will have any nowe, whilest he lyes under the strict observation of a suspitious brother, neither his humour nor parts rendering him capable of the management of it himselfe. And for sir John Berkley, whoe is the only person aboute him proper for such an affayre, he is so suspected and over-looked as to that particular, and is naturally soe cautious, that he will never adventure on such a negotiation without the privity of Ch. Stewart: besides, with your royall party he is loste, and to the Presbiterians, if there can be reason in this conjuncture to suspect them, he is not knowne. In fine the elder brother has so much jelousie of the younger, and soe little affection for him, that he will never consent to his having any commerce in England, if he had conveniencyes for it there, and abownded with those qualifications, which he wants, for the improving of it to theyr joynt advantage. This I believe you will find to be the truth in the conclusion, what other advertisements soever you have received the laste spring of his great designements, which I dare say were purposely given you to render mee suspected. I shall not give any juste cause for it neither by infidelity nor want of circumspection, being resolved to follow the dictates of my conscience, and leave the event of all things to God's providence. The duke of B. is lodged in the pallaice royall, and is very busy; but to what end, I cannot yet discover. The condition he is in here, the persons he converses with, together with some other circumstances, which have lately fallen under my observation, brings that fresh into my memory and apprehension, which I am not certayn, whether I have informed you of or not. You may call to minde, that about this tyme twelve month I wrote to you, that he was much discontented at a letter he had received from a frend, of a very severe caracter, that the protector had given of him, a part of which letter I tore off and sent you inclosed in one of mine. Upon this information he began to despayre of doeing any good with the protector, and swore a desperate othe, that if he could not make himselfe well with him, he would k i l l him. Since I nowe believe him off from all correspondence with you, and paste hopes of the protector, and that I knowe he has bin twice or thrice with C h a r l s S t e w a r t, whose name pray add at 1040; and that I observe diverse desperate persons nowe aboute him; as one m a j o r A s c o t, whoe has murdered three or foure; one S h e l d e n; one c o l o n e l T u k e, whoe has killed f o u r e i n d u e l, whoe is using all the arts he can to get leave to goe into England; one captain M a n, and another, whos; ram; I have forgotten, whoe was one of those which killed R a i n s b r o; whoe are as desperate in theyr soules as in their fortunes, are fit instruments for such a designe. Some project, I am certayne, is hatching, which I may in a short time discover. I believe A s c o t is gone back into England, whence he came lately, and has been since in Flanders. He passes to and froe very often: he uses to lye privately in Aldersgate-street, and is a confederate of C o w I y e s. Theire is likewise of this company one collonell R o g e r s, with a S l a s s e y e, whoe wallkes privately in London, and lyes about Doctor's-Comons. At my arrivall in this place, Jermyn discoursed with me at large and very freely about the business of L e s t o l f e, 30, where he sayd there was good landing; the towne the best affected of any in England, and the country all about the like; that it was upon the entrance into an island called L o y i n g l a n d, which is stronge, defensible, and exceeding plentifull; that from Dunkirk thither was not above eight houres sayle; that an army of ten thousand men might be lodged soe fast there, as treble theyr number could not force them, nor so block them up, but that they would have the country open to them. He told mee he had good correspondence with some in S u f f o l k e concerning this place; but of late he pretends to be fallen from all thoughts of it, and that Ch. Stewart trusts him not; and that he will not medle more in his affayres: but I believe this rather a disguise than real. P e r c y speakes of goeing very shortly into England. The permitting a person of his crafte, turbulencye, and interest with Ch. Stewart and with Q. & Jermin, at this conjuncture, to come into England, is to mee a great wonder. Certaynly the protector has not been rightly informed concerning him. If their were an order of parliament, that noe person, whoe had been an actor agaynst the comon wealth, that is nowe out of the nation, though they have had passes graunted them for their returns, and not made use of them in a reasonable tyme as was expected, shall presume to goe thither without further licence, and likewise to prohibit the returne of those, whoe have gone abroad withoute licence, it woulde be a means to prevent many inconveniencyes, which dayly arise from the passing and repassing of private emissaryes both from Gravesend to Holland, and from Dover to Callaice. I thought to have added more to this, but I have not tyme; but by the next poste I shall advertise you of other particulars. I am, sir,
Nov. 2 [1656. N. S.]
Inclosed in the preceding letter. The governours of the frontiers in France.
The parliament of Paris consists of a grande chamber, where there sits the firste president, eight presidents, which are called au Mortier, whoe in the absence of the firste president may preside accordin to theyr seniority: the firste president has two voyces, and soe has he, whoe in his absence executes his place. There is likewise in the first chamber thirty councellours, twoe advocates generall of the king, and one procureur.
All the dukes and peres of France may sit in the firste chamber, if they please; and all the marescalls of France; and the archbishop of Paris. Soe may the bishops of Reims, Laon, and Langres, whoe are by their places dukes and peres of France; and in like manner the bishops of Challons, Noyon, de Boues, as counts and peeres of France.
There are five other inferiour chambers, which are called des Enquestes, each of which consists of two presidents au Mortier, and thirty councellors. Theise have the judging of particular causes of severall natures betwixt man and man.
Likewise the chamber of edicts, which only concernes the affayres of the Protestants; and consists of one president au Mortier, who presides, four councellours of the great chamber, and two of each of the other chambers.
All theise chambers have theyr severall matters to judge of; but in any edict that is to pass, wherein the publique is concerned, they all meet in the great chamber, and the business is there debated and carryed according to the plurallity of voices.
Theise following are only consulted in the ordinary affayres of state: Mons. le chancellier, the prince Conty, mons. de Vendosme, the first president, mons. de Guenegaud secret. count de Brienne secret. mons. l'Avrilliere secret.
A letter of intelligence from col. Bampfylde.
The enclosed came to my hands open since the making up the other paquett (as you may discerne by the seale) as itis: for the newes I cannot judge howe true or false it is, only 'tis reasonable to conjecture, that after theyr loss of theyr gallions, they should hardly be in a condition to put forth so great a fleet as that mentions; yet 'tis likely they will doe all they can both by sea and land by theyr owne force and Charles Steuart's interest to make some impression this winter in England. For the other business of don Lewis de Haro his s e c r e t a r y, I believe it is a jugle, and has been offered to mons. Foucett, and he laughs at it. If you finde what he writes to be of weight and satisfactory, you shall have noe reason to be troubled (as his brother at London writes you are) at my knowing of your correspondence, for I will be torne in pieces by wilde horses before I will betray you either in that or in other thing els. I am extreamly sorry, that I, whoe have allmoste sacrefised myselfe even to particular friendships, as well as by my fidelity to what I have at any tyme been publiquely engaged in, should have either of theise three mens fidelity or secrecye preferred to mine. Indeed you have the most reason of any to doubt mee from the correspondence I entered into with you; but you may please to consider withall, that till two years (or very neer thereupon) after I was entyrely of from theise peoples service, I never held any communication with any creature of your party; and when I did begin it (which was not till long after the business of Woster) I was and am able to justifye the lawfullnes of it both in conscience and honour. And for my first intercourse with you, I woulde have advertized you of the same thing, though I had resolved to have continued your enemy. Other grounds then such as you can drawe from what I have mentioned, I knowe there can be none in nature, having carryed myselfe with all the integrity and ingenuity towards you, that I understande the excuse this fellow writes you in the end of his letter, upon my reputation is false, for he tolde mee himselfe two days before he left London, that he had been with you, and would write to you. 'Twas not very likely, that a man, whoe I had obliedged in the highest degree, getting him out of prison, procuring him mony to bring him over to England, purposely that you might use him, and that I recommended him firste to you, would make mee a stranger in a business of that nature. For his brother, that was here, I did not take the least notice to him, that I knew of his correspondence, till he shewed me two of his letters, which if they had been honest, I had never lett you know, that I was privye to what you desired should be concealed. If you have noe other exception to this intercourse, but my being privye to it, I beseech you to continue it, and I will promise you I will endeavour as much as I can to forgett that there is any such thing. When I caused this man's coming into England, I knew the use, that was to be made of him, and the rest of his brothers: for money you shall knowe all they can learne of the rest of the world, and soe shall all els besides you, that will open theyr purses. If you please, theire is noe question, but this man will communicate all he arrives at the knowledge of, and as longe as he knowes not any thing concerning your affayres (which I see noe danger of) I thinke he cannot doe much harme. His brother, that is gone into Ittaly, will have very good credit, and has great dexterity in searching into such things as are for your use; and for money you will have them. For the question you aske in one of your letters, what advantage 869 can receive by intelligence from 1037, I can only answer, that the secrett affayres of all the catholique states in Cristendome are conveyed thither, and weighed in the balance of the churche's interest; and what influence theyr determinations have in all parts generally, you need noe information of. Whilest I am writing of this, the enclosed letter came to my hands out of Ittaly. Till youe find a very good account of the affayres there, you shall not be at any expence, unless you please to pay thirty pistoles, which I borrowed to set him on his journey, which I muste pay in ten dayes. I have noe more to add at the present, but to assure you, that nothing shall ever change mee from being with unquestionable fidelity and affection, Sir,
De Witt to Nieupoort, the Dutch ambassador in England.
I Received both your letters of the 27th of the last month. I hope that something will at last be agreed upon concerning the maritime treaty; it being certainly very sad, that all things have been directed here in great and small business for the best of the commonwealth of England; and that on the contrary on their side they will not put an end to so just and necessary a business as the proposed regulation in maritime affairs, yea although their high and mighty lordships have enlarged themselves upon that subject more, than ever happened in the treaties made for that purpose with France and Spain successively. What doth concern the opinion of the king of Denmark about the treaty of Elbing, it is true, as you write, that he is not well pleased with it; but my lord Beuningen writ me word in his last, that the cloudy faces of some of them there do begin to clear up, since there hath been further explanation and elucidation made in the treaty by their high and mighty lordships.