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 (4 of 5)
Mons. Schlezer to Petkum.
As for news you must know that the peace and an eternal amity is made between my lord the elector and the Muscovite, for the confirmation whereof he sends one of his bojars with the ambassador of the said duke to Koningsburg; and this amity doth extend likewise to receive his said highness for a mediator between him and the said king of Sweden. The loss sustained by the earl of Waldeck's forces doth amount (as the duke himself writes) to no more than three hundred men. Our troops are joined with those of Sweden, being resolved to find out the enemy, who intended to pass the river Bouck. There hath been some discontent between the ministers of my lord the elector and those of the king of Sweden, which occasioned ours to withdraw without taking leave; but his majesty hath sent presently the earl Schippenbach to the duke. It is believed, that business will be somewhat accommodated. The king of Poland writes to those of Dantzick, that he hath taken a little town called Landsche from my lord the elector in Great Poland, where at the same was the councellor of state mons. Bonin.
The king of Spain to the governor of Porto-Rico.
Mi govor y capitan general de la ciudad e isla de San Juan de Puerto Rico, ô a la persona a cuyo cargo fuere su govierno por cedula mia de veinte y cinco de Octubre proximo pasado que recivireis con esta ocasion misma os imbio a mandar que para el socorro y defensa de la Isla de Jamayca, embieis al govor. de Cuba Treynta, ô quarenta infantes armados, con provisiones de bastimentos de los generos que huviere en essa tierra, y por lo menor con la paga de dos meses en dinero paraque el dicho govor de Cuba lo embie a Jamayca en la forma que se lo mando, por otra cedula de la fecha de la referida, como mas particularmente lo vereis por la misma cedula a que me refiero. Y por que sea considerado que necessariante a de tener costa considerable, sacar la dicha infanteria de esse presidioy conducirla a Cuba con los bastimentos para quatro meses, y paga referida, os mando que para executarlo con effecto, os valgais de todos los medios posibles para que luego le tenga, y la cantidad que en esto gastaredes a de ser con intervencion de los officiales de mi hazienda, y dareis quenta de todo a mi virrey de la Nueva España a quien se encarga que os probea con la dicha cantidad, y que Cuyde mucho de la paga y sustento de esta gente en Jamayca, gastando en esto la cantidad de dinero, que prudencialmente le pareciere ser necessario, y vos executareis lo referido con la puntualidad que espero de vuestras obligaciones, disponiendo que este socorro sea effectivo y pronto, y del recibo de este despacho, y su execucion me avisareis en la primera ocasion que se ofreciere. Fecha en Madrid, a tres de Nov. de mil y seisientos y cinquenta y seis anos.
A letter of intelligence from the Hague.
The lord of Beverning hath a letter from the lord of Mehan of Liege, that the prince of Condé as general of the king of Poland, is gone and lodged in the country of Cleve. Holland hath declared itself little more moderate for the business of East-Friesland; whereupon the business is referred to the council of state, which was met this afternoon about it.
Upon the memorandum of the ambassador of Spain, saying, that the two children, who were at Lisle, are in the country of Leige, is resolved, that their father shall be heard; and they also spake of imprisoning three priests more.
From Koningsburg of the 17th of October, they write, that between the Muscovite and Riga is made a suspension of arms for two months; and that the Muscovite had chosen the elector for a mediator between the Muscovite and Sweden.
The lords Schoock and other commissioners of the States General to Boileduc, to oblige the magistrates to shew their books, and give an account of the expences, did first cause the gates to be secured, and the town-house set upon by soldiers, in regard the magistrates refused to do it, saying to have a privilege from the dukes of Brabant, by virtue whereof the said magistrates are not bound to give an account. That will cause some disturbance, that they infringe here the privileges.
The chiefest thing to day is, that the States General apprehend the coming of the prince of Condé into the country of Outre-Meuse; so that they have resolved to send some patents to the commanders, where are in garrison the companies of the prince of Tarante, of the lord Sommersdycke, of Eller, of Marquet, and Marlot; and the lord Huygens and Merode, are to go and speak to the lord ambassador of Spain about it.
The Brazil officers have delivered a petition full of despair and threatenings, if they be not paid; saying they had rather die upon the scaffold than of hunger. The king of Poland in one of his letters to the city of Dantzick calleth the elector of Brandenburgh his rebellious vassal.
The States General have by their agent de Heyde sent a compliment to the resident of Sweden, for his signifying of the arrival of the prince of Sweden at Vianne; but he added, that they desired the said prince not to come into any of the provinces, before advertisement be first given; and this by vertue of a resolution of Holland, by which they desire, that no foreign prince is to come into this state without first giving notice. At Boileduc the disturbance was on monday last somewhat pacified, but we hear since, that the same is broken out again to a new disturbance. There are some in the assembly, alledging that the commissioners do a little exceed their commission.
The lord Glas, one of the commissioners sent to Boileduc, is come hither to make report of what happened there; and in regard they cry out very much, that those commissioners do violate the privilege of the city, and do exceed their commission, they have appointed new commissioners, some as well of the States General as of the council of state, to examine the report, and to give new orders.
A letter of intelligence from the Hague.
By those resolutions of the 18th of October is to be seen more and more, that the states general proceed with great craftiness and cunning, taking always to their advantage all that, which they can draw from Sweden; and in the mean time order it so, that Sweden can have no benefit by the alliance; for the states general do all the contrary of that, which the alliance doth import. In effect, the the states of Holland do shew that they are able men. Speaking lately with one of the states general, a great friend of the prince of Orange, he said, I must certainly confess, that alone the states of Holland (of all the states general) are wise; for all the rest do only regard their particular interest, but states of Holland have regard to the publick, labouring for the public, and have all the direction for the public. And they have a special care to the finances and revenue to get out of debt; and if they be once out of debt, as there is a likelihood, they will be better able to make war than any one monarch.
The Swede doth well take notice of these cunning and crasty carriages, but he doth make as if he did not take notice of them; and yet seeing the great double-dealing of states of Holland, he doth also withold his ratification, which he had already dispatched at the instance of the ambassadors themselves of the states general. And the Hollander having proposed for mediators the emperor, the Dane, the French, and the states general, the Swede hath refused the states general, in regard they have put a garrison into Dantzick. And since it doth seem, that the Muscovite doth return in confidence with the Swede and Brandenburgh that may a little change the face of affairs; but if Cromwell do again connive at Dane and st. general the Swede will have against the next year new difficulties. It is true, that presently after the death of the prince of Orange, or rather before, the states of Holland took a resolution, that no great prince or sovereign should come into this state before he had first given notice; but as well the king of Scots as the elector of Brandenburgh, dukes of Lunenburgh, and others, are come as far as the Hague without having resented it; also there was only the stadtholder, which had taken this resolution. Now there was signified in the behalf of states general to the resident of Sweden, to require prince Adolphus, who is come to Vianne to be cured, not to come into any provinces without pre-advertising the states; so that the new alliance doth very difficultly take good root.
Mr. Longland, agent at Leghorn, to secretary Thurloe.
In several letters I hav acquainted you, that the gentleman Mr. Metham was retorned on his way for Rom as far as Genoa, where he remaynes in a manner under sequestration; for by reson of the sicknes in that citty, non of their neihbours will negotiat with them, or give them admittance or passage throh their countrey. This unhappy restraint does much perplex the gentleman, who by this meanes is becom unserviceable, or not in that manner and way your honor desyres. This day arryved here an Inglish ship in twenty two days from the west countrey with fish. About fifteen days since she met and spak with som eight of our frigats off Lagus nere Cales, who confirmed the good newes of the rich pryz taken and sent hom by the generalls, whereof these parts are already grown very sensible, the doller being ris alredy 6 per cent. and wil every day be dearer, so long as our fleet lyes before Cales. If his highnes the protector should hav occasion of monyes here in Itally to further any greater occasion, part of thos pices of eiht now taken to be sent to this place, myht produce 20 per cent. more then they will yeld in England; for heare they may yeld 61 d. and it may be 62 d. whereas they cannot yeld at hom 52 d. The queen of Sweden is returned as far as Pavia; some say she goes for Venis, others for Rom; but I believ that place is two hot for her, the sicknes increasing. Truly, sir, the face of the world looks, as if Spayn and his complices were in some irrecoverable disease lyk to an hectic fever. The pope is dispatching a couple of gallyes for France and two others for Spayn, with extraordinary nontios, pretending and shewing to the world his desyre of peace; but the truth is, he feares his own ruin, which must inevitably follow, if Spayn fals. The Spanish army in Millan is augmented by the additionall German forces, that hav latly marched towards Casale, to make that place declare newtral; but the French army in a few days will be in a capacity to meet them. The sicknes increases at Genoa, but this state, God be thanked, is clear. In the midst of your great affaires now in management I humbly augure al happy succes,
A letter of intelligence to resident Bradshaw.
Right honorabel sir,
Since my last of the 31st of October, the last news continues of that fight betwixt that general Steinbock of one side and the general Gonzewsky of the other side, upon the borders of Prussia, and that the duke of Radtzivill being prisoner to the Poles, is relieved and took again from general Steinbock, and is come already to Frauenburgh again. His treasure and all his goods being brought hither at Elbing for safety, was watched by two Swedish musqueteers, because it was feared, that the duke Radtzivill being prisoner by the Poles, could easily forsake the Swedish party, and take the Polish party again; but since he is come to Frauenburgh to the king of Sweden, the Swedish watch is took away. As for other news, the Swedish chancellor, the great minister of state, died at Frauenburgh yesterday, having been sick not above four days. This loss of so great and wise a politician, and the sad news of the imprisoning of the old Coningsmarck from the Dantzigers, will make the king of Sweden very melancholy, especially at this time, when the Swedish affairs for want of money are now more decreasing than increasing. The business concerning the custom in the Pillau betwixt the king of Sweden and the duke of Brandenburgh is not done, yet the king of Sweden is returned from the Pillau. The French ambassador mons. d'Avaugour is gone last wednesday from Frauenburgh to Dantzick, for to speak to the king of Poland concerning a treaty of peace: and in case not finding the king of Poland at Dantzick, he is to go to his army, which is at present at Conitz in Pomerllia, having taken that city and frontier place from the Swedes, drawing nearer to Meve and Graudentz, for to take these places if he can. The particulars of taking prisoner by Dantzick the old Conigsmarck, I know your honour will hear from Dantzick; therefore I did forbear to be too large with it.
Instructions to the generals of the fleet.
Our last to you bore date the 28th of August, giving notice of our receipt of yours of the 19th of June, and (upon the grounds therein mentioned, and the further relation given us by capt. Lloyd) signifying to you our opinion, that a good squadron of frigots might in that season be sufficient to answer any opportunity of service, which might present itself; and our resolution thereupon, that about twenty ships (such as you judged most proper) should be kept in these seas, and the rest sent home. We did thereby also signify, that because it would be necessary for us to advise with one of you, at least upon the whole affair, and inconvenient for both of you to be from the head of the fleets, that general Blake should therefore stay with the fleet, and general Montagu return with the squadron, which comes home. We also took notice of the intelligence given us, that the enemy was at that time fitting out some ships of war, and others, to send from Cadiz into the West Indies, for carrying on his trade there; which being of so much concernment to him, we commended it to you to use your endeavours for spoiling that trade, by intercepting the fleet going to or coming from thence, and as much as may be to destroy his correspondence thither; as also to prevent the coming of materials for ships or other counterband goods into Cadiz or any his ports, which you can have an eye to, and as much as might be, to prevent his trade and correspondence with Flanders. Besides which, and the other damage you may have opportunity to do him, we acquainted you, that in keeping the said fleet in those seas we had an eye to the preservation of our trade to the Straits and to Portugal; the driving on of which would require a good countenance and strength; which being our general scope, we left the management and improvement of the fleet (to the ends after mentioned, and such others wherein it might be useful) to the prudence and direction of him, who did abide upon the place. Yet if any thing occurred to you different from what was therein expressed, as to the number of ships to remain in those seas, or the way and manner of weakening the enemy and managing the war, we desired your sense and advice thereupon with all speed; and in the mean time, gave you a latitude to keep a less or greater number of the said twenty ships for answering the ends aforesaid, as you should find the occasion to require.
Since our receipt of the said letters, we have received yours of the 19th of September, communicating to us the good success it hath pleased God to give the fleet under your command against the Spanish West India fleet, being a dispensation much obliging us and this whole commonwealth to acknowledge and adore his special goodness and wisdom in vouchsasing so suitable and seasonable a mercy, which may also encourage us and you to wait on him for the future manifestation of his presence and blessing, and that he will still appear a present help in our time of need.
We also understand by one of the letters from general Montagu, that the Spaniard is preparing eighteen galleons and twelve other men of war to be ready in January next, and that (it being likely an opportunity may be then had of fighting with him) a council of war upon this and other considerations had resolved not to send home the great ships.
Upon the whole case, we judging that there is little question to be made but the king of Spain will endeavour to send a fleet away to the West Indies (without which his trade thither will be lost) and understanding, that he expects in December next another plate fleet from thence, it being so signified to us by your letters, as also by letters from vice admiral Goodsonn, who waited for them with fourteen ships near the Havanna until August, but not coming by that time, and his provisions being spent, he sent some part of the fleet home, and the rest is returned to Jamaica; we also conceiving, that there can be nothing of more consequence, than to intercept the Spanish fleet going to and coming from the West Indies, for which end our purpose is to keep a fleet in those seas, which may be able to fight with any fleet the Spaniard can set forth, as the most effectual means to prosecute that war, whereunto we are also encouraged by the unanimous resolution of the parliament, who, before the communication of your letters to them of the taking the Spanish ships, passed this vote; viz. * * —
And for that (having dispatched our orders aforesaid for the sending home of all but twenty ships) we know not but those orders may alter your resolution of keeping with you the great ships, and that a good part of the fleet may be now on their way homewards with the prize; we have therefore determined, and hereby let you know, that two second rate ships; viz. the Unicorn and the George, and four fourth rate frigots; to wit, the Bristol, the Taunton, the Phœnix, and the Jersey, are fitting forth to be sent to you with all speed; and in case the whole fleet shall be in these parts at your receipt hereof, we leave it to you, to keep or send so many of them as you shall judge fit, and as may consist with the aforesaid services. And however, upon notice to us of your condition, and what will be necessary to the ends aforesaid, we shall comply with your opinion therein.
In the mean time, we commend it to your care and prudence, that the fleet be disposed of with most advantage for intercepting the enemies ships outwards or homewards bound, and for the hindering the carrying of any materials of shipping into Spain; and (if the prize shall not be upon the way when this comes to your hands) we leave it to you to send it home in such manner as you shall think fit, with respect to its safety and convenient dispatch. And for what concerns victuals and other necessary provisions for the fleet with you, we refer you to the commissioners of the admiralty, who have directions fully to write to you therein.
Commissioner Pels to the States General.
High and mighty lords,
Since my last of the first current I am to inform you at present, that general Coningsmarck is secured in the castle of Wisselmunde, although he had rather be in the city. Besides this just now cometh certain news, that chancellor Oxienstern died on the 2d current, after he had lain eight days very ill of a violent fever. His majesty of Poland hath taken Conintz, partly upon articles, but two of the burgomasters were put to death. We expect his majesty of Poland here within few days.
Lockhart, ambassador in France, to secretary Thurloe.
I did not then knowe, that the cowrt was to goe next morning to St. Germain, to celebratt the feast of St. Hubartt, commonly called the hunters feast. His majestie hath a particolar devotion for this saint, which hath been unhappy this yeare in not having the interest to procure his adorers one faire day of foure that hath been dedicatted to his service.
The cowrt returns to-morrow, and upon monday I shall apply for awdience; but having played bankerupt of my engadgments by my last, I dare not promise myself credit in any new ones; save this (it having pleased God to restore me to my health) I shall ommitt no opportunity of doing my dewty. Sir, I have been much sollicited for passes to gentlemen, that desyer to retorne to England. I have given to very few, and to none without exact enqwyry of their behaviour heare. I have not the least scruple concerning any of them, except my lord Faulkland; and yet all I have learnd of him is, that he is a greater enemy to himself (by reason of his extravagant debawches) then to any else; howsoever, least my informations may have been mistaken, I have sent your honor a list of them.
My lord Connoway is upon his retorn, to whom I am bownd to bear this testimony, that he begott himselfe a great deale of ill will from the Stewarts partizans heare, because of his respects to me as his highness's servant. He is a person so well knowne to my lord Broghill, as I shall not troble you with a further caracter of him.
I shall so seriosly presse a possitive resolution in both the particolars mentioned in your last, as I am confident, before I can have your retorne to this (having your commands for it) I shall be in a readinesse by myselfe to give you an accownt in my service in them; which, be what it will, shall not tottally discowradge me, so long as I dare hope for the continuance of your protection to a person, who pretends to no happinesse equall to that of being,
A letter of intelligence.
I Do not wonder, that you writ you have not received my letter, for the wind and weather hath been so very bad, and still continue, that I have hardly seen the like. They will hardly believe here, that it is the fleet of his majesty of Spain that was beaten, but of particular persons, who had not the patience to stay for the fleet that is coming home.
The king of Scots and his brothers are still at Bruges. Don John sent two days ago the earl of Renebor, first gentleman of his chamber, to compliment the duke of York, which he had done before, since he came out of France.
A letter of intelligence.
Extract out of the register of the resolutions of the States General.
The lords Ripperda and others, their high and mighty lordships commissioners, have reported, that their lordships had been in conference with some commissioners of the council of state, in pursuance of their order of yesterday, to find out such means, whereby their high and mighty lordships resolution of the 10th of October last, concerning the view of the accounts of the city Hertogenbusch, might be effected with the most respect and service of this state; there being also read once more the short narrative exhibited yesterday by the lord Glas, and amongst the rest the city's resolution of the 3d of October, inserted in the same, containing in effect, that the one part of the government of the said city hath sufficiently declared itself conformable to the intention of their high and mighty lordships of the 10th of October last, and by the other part of the government it was supposed by a plurality of voices, as also the written advice concerning the same, drawn up by their high and mighty lordships commissioners. Whereupon having heard the further advice by word of mouth of the said council of state, after serious deliberation had upon it, it is thought fit and understood, that the lords commissioners of their high and mighty lordships and the commissioners of the council of state at present at Hertogenbusch aforesaid, shall be desired and intreated herewith, that their lordships will in the first place use all possible endeavours to dispose the opposing members of the said second part of the government of the said city to conform themselves with their high and mighty lordships intentions; namely, to give unto them an open and unlimited view of all their city's accounts, to the end all the same, none excepted, be originally brought unto them, that so the resolution of their high and mighty lordships of the 10th of October last may be fully observed and effected; and in case they refuse to do the same, that they do cause all of them to meet, and to cause them one by one apart to swear solemnly, that they have no original accounts in their custody, nor that they have not concealed, torn, or made away the same in any wise, and that they know not who hath any of them, and if they shall know of any hereafter that do, shall promise to discover the same, and bring them to the said commissioners of their high and mighty lordships, as soon as they shall get to the knowledge thereof; and if so be, beyond expectation, the said members should refuse to meet, or being present, make any scruple to take the said oath, the said lords shall cause all such absenting members, or such as scruple to take the said oath, to be brought to the Hague in setters, whereunto they are also authorized herewith; and they are to advise their high and mighty lordships of all what shall happen unto them there, as soon as may be, that so some further resolution may be taken here upon the further ingredients of the said advice, as the respect and service of the state shall best require; for it is their high and mighty lordships final and unchangeable intention, that their said resolution of the 10th of October last shall be fully effected.
A letter of intelligence.
Upon thursday last went Sir Edward Walker to Bergen within six leagues of Calais, to muster the forces belonging to king Charles. Take it upon my word, there is not in all 700, for they mutiny every day: their pay is so small, they cannot live upon it. The soldier hath but four stivers a day, and a gentleman six. Don John hath sent a marquis hither to king Charles. The business I know not, but king Charles hath sent to all places for his friends to come hither, which daily they do. Most of the Irish officers that were in France are coming hither already. The Scots follow them.
The ships belonging to Dunkirk and Ostend are all out: they have brought in a prize worth 3000 l. Newburgh is gone after Middleton, to see what can be done in Amsterdam and those places. Newburgh will be here the next week, and I shall then be better able to satisfy your demands. We do expect some men from Germany here. I admire much to see so many come over. There came by the last shipping above 50. They all go under strange names. They landed in Flushing. They come by every occasion to all ports; but I suppose most of these last were apprentices. There were only two officers. When you write to me, do it according to the former way, for there is no writing this way. They are in danger of opening both ways; so I must intreat you direct your commodities as you did at the first, the other way, and to the same man.
Admiral Opdam to the States General.
My lords, this evening between three and four of the clock, through God's assistance,
we arrived safe before Helvoetsluys with your high and mighty lordships fleet.
As soon as I have taken some order about it I will make for the Hague, where I shall
make report to your high and mighty lordships of all what hath past. High and mighty
J. Van. Wassenaar.
Extract out of the register of the resolutions of their high and mighty lordships States General of the United Netherlands.
Was produced in the assembly a certain memorandum of the lord of Opdam, lieutenant admiral, also therein inclosed a list of the names of the land soldiers lest at Dantzick, with the names of the captains; whereupon being debated, it is thought fit, and understood, that the council of state be hereby once more desired, that their lordships will be pleased to give provisional order for the payment of the said militia forces; likewise, that a letter be writ to the lords ambassadors of this state in Prussia, that they would inform their high and mighty lordships what manner of oath the said militia hath given to the magistrates of Dantzick, as also to what employment they are properly put, as also under what officers: likewise, that the said lords ambassadors do assure the said militia in the name of their high and mighty lordships, that they shall not disperse amongst any company of any potentates or governments, but remain soldiers, and members of the companies of this state, from whence they were taken; and that therefore at their return hither shall be put into their own company again; and that also, in the mean time, they shall bear respect to all the commands of their officers that are over them, according to the laws of war practised in this state.
The lords commissioners of Zealand declared, that their lordships were not instructed concerning the actual employing of the said militia in Dantzick, and therefore cannot consent to the said conclusion.
Dr. Ralph Cudworth to secretary Thurloe.
The occasion of my disturbing your more serious employments at this time is this: understanding by my cosen Mr. Edward Bushell, that there is a preacher to the Portugall merchants to be sent over to Lisbon, to reside there, and that there is none as yet resolved upon by his highnes and the councill, the thing having been mentioned to one Mr. Zachary Cradock of Queen's colledge in Cambridge, and he being desirous of that emploiment; I haveing assured and particular knowledge of his great worth, both for piety and learning, could not be so farre wanting to him, as not to certify the same, and upon that account, to re commend him to yourselfe, knowing how great your influence will be upon the disposing of this place to any one, that shall be settled in it. This I can assure you therefore, sir, that Mr. Cradock is a person of extraordinary great worth, both for godlines and ability, as any I know of his years and standing. For this he hath a testimoniall subscribed by other hands, which I beleeve, you will confide in. Therefore, sir, if you please to further and promote him in order to this busines, I conceve you will do that, which is worthy of yourselfe, and much oblige others thereby, and deserve of them. His friends in the university are very loth to part with him, but onely that he may have a larger spheare of doing good. If yourselfe be first satisfied in this busines, and not pre-engaged, I humbly desire you would favour Mr. Cradock so farre, as to helpe him to timely accesse unto his highnes the lord protector, and otherwise to encourage and further him herin, as you shall see necessary. I have nothing else to trouble you with at this time, onely, because I have not heard any thing from you concerning Mr. Leigh, whome I recommended to you upon another account, that you would please to lett me know, whether your thoughts are still upon him or no; for I thought it convenient heretofore to give him some intimation of your pleasure signified to me concerning him, that he might be the more direct himselfe that way. I shall now take my leave, and subscribe myselfe
Resident Sasburgh to the States General.
High and mighty lords,
His highness hath not been at Uulem, hindered (as is believed) through the badness and foulness of the weather, which hath been here in these parts for some days of late: he is now at Mivelle. The lord treasurer general came from thence hither on friday last, being indisposed; he was fain to leave his advice there under hand and seal before he came away, for the quartering of the army. The lords don Alonso de Cardenas and Roberti are still there, it being not yet known what they have resolved on for the winter quarters; but men are very much afraid of the Spanish ministers, and their advice for the quartering of them upon the country; which if they do, it will cause some troubles amongst them.
The prince of Condé is gone to Rocroy, and it is said, that he hath an intention to quarter his men in the country of Cleve. A general assembly is to be held here suddenly of all the States General of these provinces, and the officers of the army, who are summoned to appear before the lord chancellor of Brabant. It is not known for what end; but it is probable, to let them know what the country is yet able to bear.
A letter of intelligence from Spain.
I Am dayly waiteing the good newes of your safe arriviell, which I should bee glad to heare. This is my sadnes, that I have writ twice since my comeing to this place, in the former whereof I gaive you an account of the dificulties that I passed, before I could ingratiate myselfe, but now have waded through all these difficulties, and find myselfe received with esteeme and respect; by which meanes I shall bee in a better capassatey to comply with your desire; and for the present, all that I have been able to attaine unto, is the sudden expectation of the commanders of their fleete from the Indies. What they doe heare, is but to give direction from a fleete from hence with all speed, which in regard of the emergent occasion will be dispatched with more then ordinary hast, and will consist of twelve gallions, which they intend to dispatch away for the Indies to reineforce the fleet that they are now in expectation of, and soe there design is. I can understand, that they shall with a Levant goe out in the night, thinkeing therby they shall escape the English ships with standing off to the costes of Barbary they think they shall effect, especially considering that the aforesaid English shipps are now at a distance from this place and farr of, as the cape. They allsoe are providing of fifteen other shipps of the navey royall to be ready upon all occasions, which is conceived, shall not goe out of the bay, but wait what may happen, for their whole dependance both of king and people depend upon the success and safety of their new Spaine shipps, which are thought may be heare much more suddently then was computed, for that they have sent them out certaine orders to come home in the winter time, judgeing it impossible, that the English shipps can lay this winter on that coste; but now since they finde it contrarie to their expectation in this particular, send out advice upon advice to stay in the Indies or come to . . . to make some other port. Those advice they send by all ways both by small boates dispatched daly from themselves, as also by Hollanders and Hamburgers, which they send for the Cannary Islands, who think to escape under that notion. Wherefore it will doe very well to give them order to search narrowly all such shipps, and to insist chiefly in finding their pappers. The Spanish ships will bee verry considerable, both for the strength of the vessalls themselves, and of men; their greatest part will be land soulders, of which tho' yet they will not want marriners; so having ordered seamen to come from Biscay and Gallicia by land, from whence alsoe they expect a supply of foure or five very able shipps, and for this shall find a way likewise to give notice to the fleet, though it will be a thing of more difficulty and greater charge; and therefore please to advise me, if you will have . . . Some time must be convenient for such a business, which to effect with the greater security, muste be to keepe a small vessall upon the coste of Portinguall, a merchant man, aboard of which I can send a boate at any time, who can give advice requisite to the fleet: of such a ship I am alsoe provided, and shall, if your approbation be thereof, take such course as may bee But there muste be a supply of money to act such things as these, not but that I desire to advance myselfe, for I have alwayes binn a person that have . . . of such expences: now my affection to be to the state makes me engage to serve you herein. Also they have an expectation of some shipps to joyne with their fleet from Dunkirk, for which purpose they have sent their governour by land thither, to get what shipps possibly they can. And this they intend to get done in all this month, I meane the ships they sent forth from hence. Of the late ships that came from the Indies, which fought with your ships, ther came only two, of which one was the admiral of the fleet, and one small shipp, which coast a Portinguze price. In the admirall's shipp there came a hundred and sixty barrs of plate in register, of the two that came ashore with a thousand pieces of eight; the other ships they forced ashore at the bridge of the island of Cadiz, which were of noe importance, onely laden with hides, and came from St. Domingo: one of them was an advice from the fleet of New Spaine. It is not knowne certainely whether these gallowns they intend for the reinforcing of the New Spaine fleet, whether tarrying for many land soulders they may not go to Jamaca; but how sure to prevent their intention in passing by the English shipps, it were necessary that some of the English ships lay nearer upon that coast.
The duke hath admitted two English shipps to come into this country with Bacchila, which hee hath given permission for in requital to one that give him intelligence of all thinges that pass in England. I pray you be very cautious how you write me newes. Certainly the way is best that I proposed to you, not writeing mee of any thing but in a way as a merchant. The reason why I write you in those characters, is, because I finde your other carracters to bee too large, and besides those are soe well knowne in this cuntrey, that I find it not convenient, and therefore in regard of the black act. —
Secretary Thurloe to H. Cromwell, major general of the army in Ireland.
Generall Mountagu arrived upon friday last at Portsmouth, with a great ship and the Spanish prizes in safetie, which is a great mercy of God to us, and stops the mouth of many an angrye man. Wee doe not knowe the just value of the prizes, the gallion haveinge not been as yet emptied; only 200,000 l. was taken and put into two other ships. Commissioners are sent downe to take an account of thinges, and by them wee shall understand the truth and certeinetie of what is the value of these prizes.
Generall Mountagu in his comeinge hence met with lieut. generall Brayne and his ships about fifty leagues off from Scilly upon the 20th instant. Since that there are alsoe returned the two men of warre, which were convoy to the Jamaica ships, who say the 22d instant they lest them a hundred and twenty leagues to sea onward of their voyage, so that wee hope they have by this tyme got into the trade wynde, and have gayned their voyage.
Affaires here proceed without any trouble, there appeareinge noe contradictinge spirit to any thinge, which is good and honest in the parlament. Some debates have beene about rayseing money for carryeinge on the Spanish warre, whereto the house expresses a good readines; only they are willinge to trye, if any thinge can be done this way without taxinge the people too high: little fruite hath beene hitherto of attempts of this nature. A day is appointed the next weeke to consider the charge, and alsoe the revenew, which is already to support it with; and then they will come to a finall resolution in this buisiness, and that wil be, as farre as I can forsee, to add somewhat to the monthly tax.
There was a motion made this day by an Irish gentleman, to take into consideration the 31st article of the government; but it went of without the puttinge of any question. This agreement of the parliament and successe against Spayne hath somewhat discouradged our enemies, but yet hath not made them wholly quitt their designes. The pretended kinge is still labouringe to get forces together; and he hymselfe is drawinge neare to Dunkirke with his court, as the place of his residence, in order (as is sayd) to his comeing over; and the cavaliers are stirringe here alsoe in private, and carry themselves, as if there were some irruption neare. The Swedish affaires were by the last in an ill condition: the Tartares were marched into Prusia and Pomeren, and had spoiled some of the Brandenburgh forces.
Mr. Bradshaw, resident at Hamburgh, to secretary Thurloe.
The returninge of Mr. Townely hither on thursday last without any marke of his highness displeasure for his misdemenours soe amply proved (at least that I or any heere doe heare of, though the post be come with letters dated since he lest England) hath in truth, to my very great trouble, rendered me the scorne and derission of the whole citie and countrey, to the great dishonour of his highnes, and the utter ruine of my reputation; the generality of men judginge me to have complayned of him without cause, otherwise that he would not have beene permitted soe to returne.
I dare not be soe injurious to the knowne justice of his highness and his councill, as onst to thinke, that they knewe of or suffered his departure, whom they had soe strictly commanded over, especially haveinge noe notice therof by this post from your honour; but doe beleeve (as its indeed apparent) that hee fearinge his just censure, hath over-runne it to brave it heere a while before strangers, and to encourage his disaffected partie, whatever he might afterwards intend. And therfore to prevent his total escape, findinge him heere without his discharge, and he refuseinge to give mee security for his appearance, when he should be therunto required, I have (accordinge to the duty of my place and trust) secured his person within my owne house, till his highness pleasure shall be made knowne to me concerninge his farther dispose. The company (whoe are over-borne by him and his party) have refused to give their assistance, though I required it of them accordinge to his highness commaund unto them in cases of like nature. The post comeing on but this morninge, and the company havinge spent moste part of the day in trifflinge with me before I could have his answer, I am necessitated to referre myselfe to the next post for a more full accompt of this bussines, humbly intreatinge your honour, upon receit hereof, to acquaint his highness and his right honourable councell with the contents of theise, and to move, that a messanger may be sent to returne Mr. Townely back to answer his contempt in soe departinge without leave; which will yet be some kind of vindication in the eyes of strangers.
The company's ships are heere safely arrived with their convoy, soe as he may conveniently be returned in them, if an order for it come, as I presume it will, if dispatched by the
returne of this post; otherwise he may goe over land with the messenger. I shall not doubt of
his highness doeing himselfe right (as I humbly conceive) in sendinge for him by a messenger, that the pride of some of this people may be abated. To this enclosed letter from my
correspondent I have nothing to ad, save onely that grave Konningsmarke, governour of the . .
of Breme, goeing hither lately with some soulders towards the king of Sweden, they mutinied in the way, and have betrayed him to a party of solders from Dantzick, where now
he remaynes prisoner, the king of Poland being expected there daily. Prayinge your honour, that I may have your answer to theise by the first returne of the post, with an order
from his highness or his councell how to dispose of Mr. Towneley, I cease your further truble
at present, restinge
Hamburgh, 28 Oct. 1656.
I heare that for certayne the states of Prussia press hard upon the duke to make peace with the Pole, soe it is feared hee will be drawne off from the king of Sweden. It's reported, that some five or six hundred English soldiers are landed at Stoade, goeinge to serve the king of Sweden. Letters out of Spaine say, their losse is much more then what our letters speake. They write of some rich merchants ships of Sevilia, taken since by your frigats. It's the Dragon frigot, capt. Haddock, that's come hither a convoy to the company's ships.
This night the company here writ to the court at London in favour of Mr. Townley, pretendinge very unduly (as I am told) to excuse themselves, and to gayne the company there to stand by them against me in this act; but I am soe confident of his highness and the councell's justice, as that I am not doubtfull of their prevailinge. His contempt is too notorious to be owned or favoured. I presume your honour will not admit their interposition for him, if they shall attempt it, before you have any farther accompt of this companie's strange doeings heere, which (God willing) you shall have by the next with Mr. Townley's perverse carriage, when he saw that hee could not with the assistance of his party wrest himselfe out of my hands.
Inclosed in the preceding.
Having notice upon the 23d of October 1656, that Francis Townley merchant was that day come over from England to this city by land, I expected in a day or two he would satisfy me, that he was discharged by his highness and the council; but not hearing from him, I waited for the coming of the post from England from thursday to tuesday following, presuming that if he had a discharge, I should hear of it from Mr. secretary Thurloe; but having no letter from him, and my letters from others expressing, that the business still depended, and that the committee of the council were ordered to bring in the report; I concluded, that he was come away without leave or knowledge of the state, he and his party having often boasted, that he would come without leave if he could not obtain it.
Whereupon I sent for him, and in the presence of the deputy and several of the chief of the company here, who I desired should be present, I demanded of him, if he had his discharge from his highness or the council, who had so specially commanded him over, requiring him to produce his discharge, if he had any; to which he replyed, that though he might demand of me, whether I had any special warrant for such a requisition, yet knowing me to be his highness public minister, he would wave that, and apply himself to give me satisfaction in writing, that he might not (as he said) be misunderstood, only that he must go home to do it. I told him, that the demand was quickly and easily answered, if he pleased, either in the negative or affirmative; but if he desired to put it in writing, he should have pen, ink, and paper furnished him, so as he needed not to go home for that matter; but he refusing to give me any other answer, except he might go home first, I then told him, that having sufficient cause to believe, that he came away without the knowledge or consent of his highness or the council, I found myself in duty bound, finding him without his discharge, to secure his person, till his highness pleasure should be signified concerning him; but being tender of the credit of a merchant, I would venture to take security for his forth-coming; and accordingly I demanded of him in the presence of the deputy and those merchants, that he would constitute two sufficient securities to enter into bond to the state for his forth-coming, when I in the name of his highness, or when his highness or his council should by their own command require his appearance. To this demand also he desired in like manner to give his answer in writing, and that he must first go home to do it; to which I replied, that I could not answer it to his highness to let him depart, except he first exhibited his discharge, or constituted sureties; and thereupon I demanded of Mr. deputy and those other merchants present, that according to their obligation as a company, they would give me assistance to secure the person of Mr. Townley, till he should put in sufficient securities for his forth-coming, or that his highness should be informed of his being here, and give his order concerning him. Then the deputy of his own accord offered to be one of his sureties, if Mr. Townley desired it; and I answered, that I would accept of him for one; but Mr. Townley telling him, that he did not desire, that he or any man should engage for him, it was waved. Thereupon I told the deputy, that being Mr. Townley so obstinately refused to give security, when he might so easily do it, I must insist upon my demand of assistance from the company to secure his person; to which he made answer, that he would call the company together, and consult with them as a court what answer to give me; offering to take his leave, and Mr. Townley with him. I then again demanded of the deputy, if he would answer for Mr. Townley's forth-coming, at least till I should receive the court's answer whether they would secure him or no, till he should put in security; to which he replying, that he could not engage for him without the court's order, I thereupon told Mr. Townley, that he must then remain with me till I had the company's answer, which after an hour's time was returned me thus; that they desired to speak with Mr. Townley in the court, before they would resolve to give a positive answer to my demand of securing him; which I told them I should assent unto, provided the company did first engage or promise to return him to me again, in case they would not secure him, as I had demanded; which they refused to do, to the evident demonstrating of their design in so moving to speak with him in the court, that he might have an opportunity to escape, if he pleased, when he was out of my house. Seeing the company so trifle with me in favour of Mr. Townley, I desired them to give me their positive answer without further delay, it being the post-day, which at last produced this answer:
That the company finding, that Mr. Townley had appeared to the summons of the council, and during all the time of his being in England was never imprisoned, nor security desired of the state for his appearance (as far as they knew or had heard) and no matter brought before them by the resident or any other, whereupon to ground and warrant their imprisonment of Mr. Townley, they did not find, that they could, according to their constitution, warrantably proceed to the imprisonment of him for the reason, which the resident was pleased to declare, viz. his refusing to exhibit a discharge from the council; adding, that the company desired to know of the resident, whether he doth and will expect from the company, that whenever he shall in the name of his highness and council desire or require to have any member of the company imprisoned without declaring of his crime, that they should proceed to fulfil his desire or requisition therein. To which I gave for answer, that although his highness and council, who were Mr. Townley's judges, might proceed as they thought good in the securing or discharging him, being then in England and attending their pleasure; yet I as a servant to the state, finding him so come over without their knowledge or consent, must perform the duty of my place and trust, or expect to be questioned for it. Now was it equal in them to say, that I had shewed no cause for their securing of Mr. Townley, when as my proposition so plainly held it forth? And to their question I replied, that it was not to be supposed, that I should desire them to secure any man without just cause, for then I must expect to give satisfaction to the state for so abusing their authority; but that they should think themselves such competent judges of what concerned the state's honour and interest abroad, so as the resident must only expect their concurrence, when they think it meet or stand affected to it, was more than I believed would be granted them by his highness, who in his gracious letter of the 10th of February 1653, to the company, declares thus; viz. And we do hereby strictly require, that for the future you do not only give all due respect and obedience to our resident in executing the trust we have reposed in him, for the preservation, as well of the due honour and interest of this commonwealth in those parts, as an orderly government among yourselves; but likewise to be assisting in discovering and bringing to condign punishment all such among you, as shall be found obstinate and disobedient. Which command plainly shews, that the company ought to have answered the resident's demand by giving him assistance, who was to answer for the fact, if he strained his authority beyond its bounds. And in the close I told them, I was sorry to see the company so apparently neglect their duty to his highness both at this time, and formerly, when I secured Waites, a traytor to the state, and that they should shew so much countenance to persons meriting the state's severe displeasure, which I made no doubt but his highness would so resent, as to apply a speedy remedy; otherwise it would be impossible for his public minister to serve him effectually in this place, finding so much opposition both from this city and company, as he had found upon all occasions, notwithstanding their smooth pretendings to the contrary; and indeed that the city were encouraged to neglect the resident in his just demands, seeing the company so apparently oppose him, instead of giving him assistance for the bringing of offenders to condign punishment.
From Mr. Bradshaw, resident at Hamburgh,
I Have understood lately, that my letters to Mr. Scobel clerke of the parliament are sent to Whitehall, where many tymes they lye many dayes forgot ere they came to his hands. My request is, that you will please to give order, that they may heereafter be directly left at his house. I have noe more, but to thanke you for the care of my letters, and to acquainte you, that the king of Sweden with the duke of Brandenburgh's forces have lately defeated the Poles and Tartars neare the vere place, where they lately defeated them, when they tooke prince Radzavel prisoner, whom they have retaken. In hast, I shall remayne
Hamburgh, 28 Oct. 1656.
General Mountagu to secretary Thurloe.
The gentlemen his highnesse sent hither, came on board this shipp yesterday in the afternoone, and wee are taking the best care wee can to persue his highnesse commands. Your letter concerninge Ferdinando and Caseres I received yesterday, and if they come here, and wee find they may be serviceable, wee shall make use of them. Your intimation in that letter I shall observe. Mr. Meddowes was with mee this morning aboard, and is goinge towards you with speed, as he says. I have nothinge more (that I can thinke off) to trouble you with; only now I perceive by the commissioners, that you have an expectation of more prisoners. I wrote unto you all the prisoners that came along with mee (aboute 4 or 5) for further particulars I reserved myselfe, until I can see you; but in short all the rest were put on shore in Lagos-bay in the Algarves by capt. Stainer, before he came into the bay of Wyers.
Illustrissime & celsissime princeps,
Domine Amice Colendissime,
Quæcunque nomine S. R. M. domini nostri clementissimi, & inclytæ reip. nostræ cum magnis magni ducis Moschoviæ legatis acta sunt, ea omnia jam masticata ipsamque conclusionem perpetuæ pacis ad comitia proxime incidentia (facto interim armistitio, & conjunctione contra Suecum & ejus adhærentes armorum) distulimus, prout consiliarius illustrissimæ celsitudinis vestræ M. D. Mokrychi fusius coràm enarrabit. Non dubitet itaque celsitudo vestra remp. suo tempore omnia, quæ concernent integritatem suam, benè perpensuram, ne quod ditiones celsitudinis vestræ detrimenti patiantur. Interim officia nostra celsitudinis vestræ quam diligentissime commendamus. Data in Niemicta die 7 Nov. A. 1656. [N. S.]
Tandem aliquando die 3 Novembris, finita est commissio post multas utriusque partis rixas, & plane post nullam spem pacis cum pace tamen. In aliquot enim sessionibus, præsertim 24, 26, 30, 31 Octobris, 2 Novembris, novæ semper à Moschis inducebantur materiæ, & quod una sessio conclusit, altera expugnavit. Jam consenserant regii in electionem Czari; jam limites ad Ivatam fluvium ponebantur, & Moschi acceptaverunt; sed denuo mutaverunt sententiam, ponendo limites ad Berezynam; & sic in tali consusione felicem non sperabamus finem, movente & turbante adhuc mediatore augustissimi imperatoris; sed ut commemoravi, finita est divina gratia tribus punctis cum pace, vel, ut verius dicam, cum solo armistitio, his quinque conditionibus.
1. Debet cito assignari tempus comitiorum regni, & serenissimus rex Poloniæ nuntiabit czari de tempore & loco ad quæ czar suos legatos missurus est, qui de summa rei tractabunt & concludent; modo quæ sunt occupata à Moschis, omnia tenebit czar usque ad comitia.
2. Sociare & unire arma contra Suecum, & si non redierit ad primam obedientiam serenissimus elector Brandenburgicus, expresse etiam contra ipsum: legatos ad Suecum neque rex Poloniæ mittet absque notitia czari, neque czar absque notitia regis; neque de pace cum Sueco tractabunt absque notitia utriusque gentis.
His itaque conditionibus finita est commissio: tempus comitiorum futura probabit: meum non est discurrere. Fuit triumphus 4to. præsentis; tormenta explodebantur, & fuit convivium apud commissarios regios: tractabant Moschos. 5to. ejusdem denuo triumphus, & convivium apud Moschos: tractabant regios. 6to. ejusdem abiverunt Moschi cum toto exercitu. Solum præsidium in arce remansit.
A letter of intelligence.
A Secretary of the duke of Anhalt being come this morning into my inn, and being my good acquaintance, did relate to me very particularly and pertinently, that his lord is besieged in Conitz by the king of Poland, whose army was not then above 6000 horse, 3000 foot, and 300 dragoons, with 17 pieces of ordnance, and 3 mortars. His said majesty knowing, that the said duke was quartered in the said city, sent him a very civil letter, when he came before the place, whereof I read the copy, which is in substance, that his majesty did very much admire, that the said duke, without receiving the least offence from the crown of Poland, had taken up arms against him; but that he believed it had happened more to shew his couragious mind, than out of any particular hatred against him, and that therefore he should have given him all favourable conditions in the capitulation. Hereupon the duke according to his duty returned a very civil answer, saying, amongst other compliments, that he, as many others of his condition, could not refuse such favourable offers and charges presented to them from the king of Sweden, as he was clothed with at present, and many more such reasons too large to relate here. It is now eight days ago since the said duke delivered up the said place to the king of Poland upon articles, having much endured, during the siege. In regard the place is in no wise well fortified, they had no other place ordered them to march unto but only Pomerania. His majesty of Poland sent the said duke a fine horse. To-morrow or next day he will be here.
The said secretary also added, that the Waywood-Weyer was to come and join with the Polish army within few days after he came away, being 6000 strong, and the duke of Zamoscie was also to join with him in two or three days with 8000 men; so that according to his saying, his majesty of Poland hath now at least an army of 30,000 men together only in Prussia or Pomerania. The king of Poland he thought would not go so soon to Dantzick, but first endeavour to take in some places, that are in the possession of the Swedes. His majesty of Poland was not in person before Conitz, but two or three miles from thence. It is also said, that his said majesty of Poland, notwithstanding the articles for the surrender of Conitz, in which all the inhabitants were comprehended, hath caused the two burgomasters Schooman and Bucholts to be beheaded: if it be so, they either yielded too soon formerly, or else they are too much affected to the Swedes. Riga is now rid of the Muscovites, who have quite left the place. The whole city here is full of perplexity, by reason of the news, which arrived here of the death of chancellor Oxenstierne on the 2d current. I have heard, that the said lord chancellor was a great cause and promoter of the alliance between the Swedes and Brandenburgers, and the greatest stickler to uphold it; but your lordship knoweth this best.
P. S. Here are just now farther advices to me, that the Muscovite hath not only left Riga but also all Lyfland. The earl Magnus is come back from the Pillaw now with his majesty of Sweden, and the earl Steinbock is upon the march with his troops to fight the king of Poland.