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 (5 of 5)
A letter of intelligence to resident Bradshaw.
Right Honourable sir,
I Sent your honour by the tuesday's post one of the 31st of October, and another by friday's post of the 3d of November; the one under a cover to a friend at Dantzick, the other without it, directly from hence to Hamburgh; and now I send this letter also in the same manner directly for Hamburgh, expecting to hear from your honour, that this will be the best course to send the intelligence to your honour, and no doubt it will come as fresh as others. As for news, we have here the continuation, that the king of Poland hath taken from the Swedes Conitz; from thence he is gone with his army for to take in a very strong castle called Slochau in Pomerellia, but he will find there work enough before he shall take it in. The king of Sweden's army is marching thither to meet the Polish army; and if they do stand, there will be a hard fight betwixt them. The Swedish forces are not yet so strong as the Poles are; yet they are resolved to have a bout with them: the issue of it your honour shall have with the next tuesday's post. The king of Sweden himself remains at Frawenburgh yet, because he is somewhat sick, and is very sensible of the death of his chancellor, and of divers other sad accidents more. The general Coningsmark continues a prisoner at Dantzick. They will not let him free for no ransom, but they will keep him there till the king of Poland comes thither, who was without fail expected there yesterday. The Swedes are very ill content with the Hollanders, that they lying with their ships upon the road of Dantzick, and seeing the fight in the sea, did take no notice of it, being friends to the king of Sweden. They could have saved him, if they had enquired what fight it had been; but the young Tromp hath said, he knew nothing of it, or else he would have saved him, which I believe not for many reasons.
The French ambassador monsicur le comte de Avaugour coming from Frawenburgh to the Dantzikeer Stuthof, intending to go to Dantzick, was overfallen from the Dantzikeer Reuters, taking him to be a Swedish officer, at which he is very much offended; but I hope now he is at Dantzick, staying there for the king of Poland for to speak to him concerning peace. The great difficulty before any treaty shall be appointed will be, that both parties cannot agree yet about a mediator betwixt them; the king desires the king of France, and the king of Poland desires the emperor to be mediator. The king of Poland suspects a little the French, as that they incline to make for the Swedish party, because he knows well enough, that the king of France had intention to send an extraordinary ambassador le chevallier de Terlon with rich jewels and rare presents to the king of Sweden; which the king of Poland took very ill, and made the French ambassador, when he was the first time with him at Lublin, understand his displeasure. Therefore the French ambassador writ this to his master, and for to avoid suspicion, the sending of these rich presents did not go forthwith; and besides this, the annual pension, which the king of France doth usually pay to the king of Sweden, was not paid this year; only to the same end to avoid suspicion, that they favour not so much the Swedish party: on the other side, the king of Sweden suspects much the emperor, that inclines too much for the Polish party, who hath his envoy near the king of Poland, and persuades him to make no peace with the king of Sweden fearing that the Swedish forces having made peace with the king of Poland, will visit the emperor in Germany; and to this purpose, the envoy of the emperor hath said to the French ambassador, that if his master the king of France would give caution unto his master, that the Swedish army will forbear to act any war or hostility against the emperor, he hath orders to help to make peace betwixt the king of Poland and the king of Sweden; whereof if I shall hear more, I will not fail to impart all to your honour. I did expect from my friend in the Swedish army this day with the post from Thorn a letter, but she is not arrived; yet it is feared, that the Poles on the way have took her. This is all at present from
Mr. Roger Manley to Mr. Anthony Rogers.
Though I wrote to you at large by the last, and for reasons therein expressed, thought not to have troubled you so soone agayne; yet being their is somewhat, the knowledge whereof may please you, occurred since, I thought it a peice of service to acquaynt you with that I knowe. My last assured you of the taking of Coningsmarck, and the manner of it; and this may confirme the newes. You may have already heard of the death of Oxenstiern, the Swedish chancellor, which happened upon wednesday last at Frawenberg; his friends say of the stone, but others of the plague. The loss of these two great personages in this nick of time is much regretted by the king, though he outwardly puts a good face upon it. Another young Coningsmarck hath bin drowned at Wittembirge in the Wissel, being pursued by the enemy, upon a little defeate of two or three troopes. The Swedish army are at this instant passing the Wissel, and their king resolved in the head of them to give the enemie battel who have taken Conitz and Kalish alreadie, and made sad havock in that part of Pomerania, nerest them, having pillaged and burnt two townes and eighteen villages. What the one leaves, the other destroys, so that quicquid delirant reges, plectuntur Achivi, is true here. This blow may decide the fate of Prussia and Pomerania: if the Sweade be beaten (which I cannot believe, if providence be neutral) they may happily loose not only Pomerania, but what else they hould in the empire, for they cannot possibly recruit in these countreys. The queene of Sweden is returned into Sweden convoyed with five lustie men of war. The king of Poland is expected in Dantzik every day, being within seven Dutch miles of the place; but I cannot beleeve, that he will leave his army, the enemie beeing so nere him. The Dutch ambassadors are three of them come to Dantzick, the fourth being returned home to give an accompt of their negotiation. The French ambassadors are likewise there. Others are expected out of Germany, and the Dane hath his resident there alreadie, but the English none. They all are there in order to wayte upon the Polish king; but whether that will bee the place of treatie, I cannot well tell, beeing too suspect to the Swedes. Riga is delivered from the Muskovites, who are returned into their countrey. Some say the great duke's indisposition was the cause of their quitting the fiege, and others, that ther is great discontent amongst the Boyarians, cheif sort of nobles amongst them. However if the Swedes are very much heightened with this successe, and if they conclude with the Pole to their advantage, will undoubtedly recover the places they lost in Lifeland by this invasion of the Muskovites.
Dantzick, 8 Nov. 1656. [N. S.]
Loving friend, Mr. Will. Blake,
Our king is at Sreneg: single horsemen pass and repass thither every hour. He retards till the weather harden more, and upon some private designs. The Muscovite hath agreed with the duke of Brandenburg, and accepts him for mediator in the treaty with the Swedes upon his giving juramentum sidelitatis. The duke begins to push at the Swede. He hath sent Oberbeck and another ambassador to our king. Three Holland ambassadors and two French are here, and many others waiting our king's arrival. You have heard what prizes our galliots fetch in; two companies of lord Cranston's Scots, with lieut. col. Drumond, general Koningsmarke with all his court, houshold stuff, and letters, and since a secretary taken with letters to Cromwell and Mazarin. In short the Swede gets daily Job's news to try him; amongst which chancellor Oxensterne's death is not the least, being dead of the plague.
The Dutch ambassadors in Prussia to the States General.
High and mighty lords.
My lords, on the 4th current we departed from Frawenburgh, and on the 6th current we arrived here. The next day we were saluted in the name of the honourable council of the city by two of their lords commissioners, and honoured in their behalf with the usual presents, which we did civilly refuse. We understood by the said lords, that the king of Poland was come near to Berent, a place situated but five miles from hence, after that his majesty had made himself master of the city Conitz upon articles. Yesterday we visited the lords French ambassadors, who are here likewise in expectation of the arrival of the said king here, of whom we shall have certain news to-morrow, when he will be here. There be va rious reports here of the king of Poland, but generally they are said to be 30,000, now the army of Charnitzky is joined with them.
To Bordeaux, the French ambassador in England.
There is little news here at present. The king is come back from St. Germains, and now they begin to speak of balls and marriages to entertain his majesty during the winter. The articles of the prince Eugine and madamoiselle de Mancini are to be sent unto Turin, to be signed by their highnesses of Savoy. The said lady will be worth to the said prince two hundred thousand escus, besides the charge of a colonel of Switzers, which is at her disposal. The ladies grumble here very much at the edict for the regulating of their habits: they say it is too severe to last long. The tailors in the mean time have found out an invention of making clothes more rich than before, which doth somewhat pacify their anger.
Lockhart, ambassador at Paris, to secretary Thurloe.
May it please your honour,
At my audience upon monday last I had opportunity to communicatt to his eminence his highnesse pleasure touching the particulars mentioned in your last. He did except against the rates putt upon your ships, as so excessively high, that he had never heard the lyke before; and when I told him what was demanded per head by the month for every ma ri ner, did comprehend all the other charges and expenses of the ships, and even the hyer also (for so I understand your instructions) and that your offers in that was so reasonable, as were his highnesse to make such a bargin for himself with his own subjects, he could not have it upon easier termes; he said, he did not understand affairs of that nature very well himself, would advyse with others who did, and give me his answer to the whole of that affaire at next audience.
When I begunn to speak the businesse of Dunkirk, he intercepted me, and said his highnesse (being now master of vast summs of mony) would not only aggree to the levys demanded (meaning the two thousand, which was desyred should be raised at his highnesse own charge) but would also beare a considerable share of the expense of the land siege; and theirwith told me a story of what had passed between his highnesse and mons. de Bourdeaux at his congratulatory audience concerning the borrowing of mony, which I need not repeat, since, if trew, it must be known to yow. After I had wittnessed my joy to see his eminence in so good humor, I told him, that his highnesse was moste willing, that businesse should come to a close, and was ready to doe all that was reasonable on his part, and was confident his eminence would not disapprove his highnesse refusall of levying any men at his own charge, when he should be pleased to consider, how expensive all sea actions were, and that when Dunkirk was taken, his highness would be but at halfe the charge he was to undergoe, being oblydged to besiege any other sea port in Flanders that the king of should France attempt; and that whereas they had only the Spanyard in head at land, his highnesse had the enmity of Spain, the jealousies of the States Generall, and the hazard of storms and tempestuous weather upon a most dangerous coast 364 to rencounter with at sea; and by the losse of any considerable shipp, might sustain dammage to a greater value, then the levy mony of 10,000 men (even at the rate they were offered to be levyed for in England) would amount to. I added, that I would not abuse his patience by repeatting any thing had been formerly urged in that businesse, but upon the whole wowld appeall to his own reason, which I knew would argue much more advantagiously for me then I could doe for myself.
His eminence replyed, that it seemed I had studdyed the expense of sea actions more than those at land; and therupon did enumerat many particulars of the charge of armys; concluded, that his demand concerning the levys was most just; he was perswadded I had orders to agree to it, and that all I had said was only to make the best bargain I cowld for my master. I protested the contrair, and after some contest that way, he said, if it was so indeed, he must take some tyme to think upon it; and in a very few dayes, I shall know his last resolutions in that businesse, either by himselfe, or by mons. de Lion, who was much in his confidence, and with whom I might use the same freedom as with himself. I begg'd his dispatch in it, be the issue what it would, which he hath promised me. Before I took leave, I obeyed your commands concerning the ambassador France; and had a satisfactory answer. All persons here, that pretend to be good catholiks, expresse a passionate zeal for an accommodation betwixt France and Spayn upon any tearms. The clergy presse the necessity of it upon their auditorys at all occasions.
The account I gave of marshall Turein's retorn was a mistake. Mr. Petit having been at court that morning, was told, that his secretarie was with the cardinall, and he informed me it was himself. He is expected here every day.
The best wines are not yet come this lenth, the river was so low; but these late rains, that have fallen, will raise the rivers, and bring them down from Burgundy. So soone as they arrive heare, the proportion commanded shall be dispatched for England by,
A letter of intelligence.
Good Mr. Priestman,
I Crave your pardon for being so long silent without giveing you any intimation. I must confesse myselfe in a faulte, but I beseech you to passe by itt as a thing not wilfully committed or don by mee. I would intreat you to convay this inclosed to Mr. secretary's owne hands. (I have sent him many letters before, but knowe not how he resenteth them.) I would willingly understand his thoughts of mee, which you will immediatly perceave, whereof I shall desire advice, as you tender my advantage. I have written to major David Thomas, but hee hath bin so discourteous, as not to vouchsase mee an answere; however, I pray doe my respects unto him.
As for newes, here is very little stirring nowe, save that of Spanish silver taken by the English, and the moornfull storys of the merchants throughout all the countrys thereupon. Don Jeon d'Austria hath played the foole with his victorious army, and clearly nulled itt. The French army is now master of the field, and verry stronge; and in case the English joyne with them to make some attempt uppon Dunkerk, Ostend, and Graveling, while they attempt Bruxells and those parts, the most part of Flanders and Braband will be swept away from the Spaniard the next summer. The king of Scotts is at a stand, for all he hath listed a few men; hee keeps them as yett together: they are about five hundred, of Irish the most of them are, some Scots, and some English, who rely upon him, and cannot live otherwise. They were once verry high, and nothing would satisfie them but kingdoms. The Jesuits are the supporters thereof, what plotts soever they have in consideration. Many priests and Jesuits are lately come, and yet for to come into England, but to what purpose I cannot apprehend: more another time. In the interim if you please to write to mee, you may direct your superscription to one Mr William Owen, the visitor of the sicke in Flushing, but keepe it to yourselfe, and lett noe body knowe of it, save major Thomas, whome you may intreat to write to mee with the next poste for the foresaid Mr. Owen, making noe mention of mee in the outward direction by all means. Thus with my service unto you and yours, I rest
I have a verry great desire, that either you yourselfe, or you would send some other so farr as the post-house, to enquire of one Andrew Can or Car, of which I am uncerteyne: he is one of the clearks there; and aske him, whether he doth not intend mee any supply according to his promise; which if he doth, lett him do quickly, or I suffer much detriment thereby. One letter I received from him and his name blotted through haste. I thinke I never neglected to send him every weeke, I mean the said Andrew Car alias Can, one. He is whome Mr. secretary entrusteth. Adieu.
A letter of intelligence from the same person to secretary Thurloe.
My devoire towards your honor is such, that though this place is (as 'twere) barren of any novelties this weeke, yet I must endeavour 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 thereupon. The king of Scots is att a stand, yet he keeps his men togeather. I thinke hee is now out of hops to attempt any thing against you. Hee hath sundry emissarys now in England, and more hee is to dispatch. I cannot learne what they drive at as yett. A generall sadnes ther is amongst them at present. Don Jean d'Austria is coming to Bruxells, having rendred an army of thirty six thousand men to five or six thousand. Itt is supposed, he will not bee able to have another army the next yeare, that may resist the French. The Dunkerkers and Oestenders are all out, some to the northward, and some to the westward. Ther is here nothing as yet certayne concerning the Sweads.
Resident Sasburgh to the States General.
High and mighty lords,
My lords, although in my last I informed your high and mighty lordships how the States General of these provinces had begun to meet, I find since, that there was only a meeting of the states of Brabant in particular. The post from Spain arrived here on the 7th current, hath brought some bills of exchange, but of no great value; and hath brought his majesty's consent to the election of the officers made here for the time to come. It is said of a certain here, that don Alonzo de Cardenas is to go for Spain, and some say the marquis of Caracena is also to go for Spain.
Nieuport the Dutch ambassador to secretary Thurloe.
When I was last with your honor on the 17th of this instant month, I understood that his most serene highness desired to be informed of the king of Denmark's mind concerning the late treaty at Elbing, before an answer could be given to my papers; and having since received several letters both from Copenhagen and out of Holland, I did send last week to your honour to that purpose, and some other matters in my apprehension of public concernment to both states and nations; assuring your honour truly, that I have no other scope or end in my present employment, than to do uprightly the best offices to both, and that I am always very scrupulous to interrupt your weighty affairs; but yet if half a quarter of an hour could be spared either by his most serene highness or yourself, I wish to my discharge, that I might be so much obliged, that your honour would be pleased to advertise me thereof, remaining
General Mountagu to secretary Thurloe.
I Received your letter of the 28th instant, and give you many thankes for it, and that newes you are pleased to communicate to mee. I have nothinge to returne you from hence, but what I have written to the commissioners of the admiraltye, from whom I pray you (this once) to receive it; for I have beene soe over-wrought, that I am very desireous of ease. Mr. Caseres and Ferdinando have beene here, but they (I perceive) cannot effect any thinge considerable, though I have given them as much oppertunitye for it, as they could desire. I intend (if I can possibly) to come towards London to-morrow, when I can better be able to tell particulars (as I have alreadye signified) then to write them now. Excuse this scriblinge from, sir,
A letter of intelligence
The great debate at present is, how to resolve what course should be taken against the English visiting of ships. The admiralty of Amsterdam have already made an act or instruction for their commanders or ship captains in that case (only expecting the ratification of the States General) namely, that when they meet any English men of war upon the seas, they shall shew them all honour in striking sails and saluting them with ordnance, as likewise offering them all courtesy; and when they pretend to visit any ships, they should use their best endeavours to put it off in all civility; and each master of a ship being bound before he set sail to insure the convoyer, that he hath no forbidden goods in, by virtue of which they shall insure the Englishmen, that the said merchant ships have no contraband goods in them, shall likewise suffer them to speak with the masters of ships themselves, and see their cockets and passes. But in case the English are not satisfied with this, but yet should press to visit, take, or bring up those ships, they should then oppose it; and manfully fighting against them, have a care of the country's honour and reputation, out of which it is easily to be observed, what their meaning is with England.
Courtin to Bordeaux, the French ambassador in England.
This state doth look upon the affairs of Sweden and Poland as their most serious affairs at present; and they do hardly take any resolution, but with regard to the success of their armies. The confirmation of the raising of the siege by the Muscovite, and the news yesterday of the defeat of the general of Lithunia, Gonziewsky, by the earl of Waldeck, do highten the party of Sweden, and do render it now somewhat considerable in this country, where it was looked upon as dead. The minds here of the great ones are now more tractable for the dispatching of the ratification of the treaty at Elbing: the king of Sweden hath already sent his, and for the ratification of the states he hath put prapotentes in the place of potentes, a title which hitherto he never made use of in their behalf.
The admiral Opdam is arrived here with thirty ships: the twelve ships left before Dantzick under Tromp are likewise coming home. The chevalier de Terlon past through these provinces to forward his journey into Prussia. Many rejoice at the present, which he carried to the king of Sweden, for it is a sign of a good union between both crowns; but the ambassador of Spain, envying the liberality of the king, doth not approve of it: he presently visited one of the States General, to complain, how that they neglect the preadvertisements, which he gave as a good ally to this country, that France hath furnished great sums of money to continue the war against Poland; and to desire them now to make no more doubt of it, since that there passeth through their provinces a present rich enough to carry on the war for one year. In the mean time this subtilty is no great service to him, the states receiving this advice only as a notification.
Nieupoort, the Dutch ambassador in England, to greffier Ruysch.
The judges of the admiralty here could not be disposed in the last week to release and restore the three ships, the St. Dennis, the Salmon, and the Hope, upon the order of the protector and council sent over in my last, without putting into the act, and that their just cause of seizure; and that therefore skippers and owners are to pay cost. I am also informed, that some of the advocates and proctors of the court set on the said judges, telling them, that it was against the practice and course of the court to set at liberty three ships with one single order upon the notice of a foreign minister only; so that the said judges said, they would give the lord protector and council a further account of the said ships. Whereupon I took an opportunity to speak with the said judges, and on monday last colonel Cock, at present also a member of parliament, after the house was up, came to me, and after dinner I declared to him, that I had only set down in my memorandum the naked truth concerning the said ships, and had annexed to it the examinations and depositions taken by the English officers themselves at Dover and Portsmouth. He said, that they were bound by orders given formerly, and the practice being now grounded upon the same, not to discourage the captains at sea to free them of costs and charges; and that therefore that clause was always put in the acts of restitution, that there was just cause of censure; and as long as they received no orders to the contrary, that they must follow the former. I said, that the said practice had occasioned formerly a great heart-burning in the minds of all merchants and other inhabitants; that afterwards the bloody war was ended by a treaty; and that all offences and injuries should cease, and that there should be a nearer and sincerer amity than formerly. And lastly after many reasons the said judge promised, that they would do all that could well be desired of them concerning the same; and that they would cause the said order of the council to be registered, and declare that they have knowledge of it, and that they would not oppose it; upon which declaration the commissioners of prize goods will without doubt release the said ships; and the next day they did so, and now the skippers are returned to their respective ships to pursue their voyages. The interested in a ship of Amsterdam called the St. Jacob, which being leaky endeavoured to save themselves upon the coast of Sussex, was barbarously plundered and pulled to pieces by the inhabitants, have told me, that the judges of the admiralty upon the order of the lord protector had declared, that they were ready to administer justice with all possible expedition against those, who were found guilty of the said crime, but underhand being informed, that the said inhabitants do intend to avoid the said order, and the court of admiralty pretending that the said admiralty cannot take cognizance of any causes but what happen at sea, and that they would appeal to the judges at Westminster; whereupon I delivered a petition to the speaker in the name of the interested, to be presented to the parliament, and gave him a full account of the whole business. His lordship read in my presence not only the petition, but also the annexed depositions, and afterwards told me, that the said inhabitants would be injured, if so be they should be tried any where else than before the judges at Westminster. That the court of admiralty was only erected to take notice of affairs, that happen at sea and on shipboard, and that the parliament would be hardly disposed to make any alteration therein. I answered, the fact was committed upon the furthermost part of the shore, which was overflowed by the sea, and therefore ought to be looked upon as done upon the sea itself; and besides that the said inhabitants had done such violences against the express article of the treaty of peace, that I had remonstrated the same to the lord protector by express or der of their high and mighty lordships, and desired just reparation and restitution of what had been plundered and stolen goods, that thereupon the judges of the admiralty were ordered to administer speedy and good justice upon the same. That they had heard and read the examinations of witnesses in law and elsewhere, and had taken further information, and now that it would be very unjust and unreasonable, that the said excesses should go unpunished through a dispute of jurisdiction. The speaker having heard my reasons, promised, notwithstanding the resolution taken, that no private petition is to be read for a month, yet he would endeavour to answer my request very speedily I am informed by some members of the house, that he did it the next day, and that the parliament named some commissioners to examine the said business particularly, and to observe in what manner the said interested can be best satisfied and advise the parliament what is best to be done therein. The lord Strickland, who is one of the said commissioners, hath promised me to give the business a dispatch, and also that such order shall be taken, that the like inhuman doings shall be prevented for the future. Having writ thus far, I found an opportunity to speak with the lord secretary of state, first concerning the communication of the treaty of guaranty with the king of Denmark, and the last treaty concluded at Elbing, being both communicated to the lord protector by order of their high and mighty lordships, and secondly concerning the maritime treaty. His honour said, that the lord protector did judge that, which was concluded at Elbing aforesaid, in regard of inclusion and comprehension in that wise as the same is expressed in the treaty, to be friendly done on both sides; and without making any mention of that in Denmark, he said that they were ready to enter into conference with me about the maritime treaty, and that the fast yesterday had hindered them, and that the day was too far spent now, but that I might expect the commissioners the next week without sail.
A letter of intelligence to resident Bradshaw.
Right honourable sir,
Concerning news from these parts, there is no other at present but this, that yesterday and to day some Swedish troops marched through this city, for to pass the river and for to meet with the other Swedish troops at Grandentz, where the general rendevous is to be the 13th of this month of the Swedish forces. They make themselves ready for to fight with the Poles, and so soon as both the armies will be nearer together, we shall hear of some action passed betwixt them, but as yet there is nothing passed.
The king of Poland hath took besides Conitz, a little town called Stargard, where the Swedish garrison was not stronger than fifty Muscovites. The Swedes have took their garrisons out of all the little towns along the river side, as Fordan, Bromberg, Sweitz, &c. and before they left these places without any garrison, they did blow up the castles therein with gunpowder, and destroyed them, that the enemy cannot make habitation in them. The king of Sweden is yet at Frauenburgh, but to-morrow he goes to Brandenburgh, three miles on this side from Koningsburg, for to meet with the duke of Brandenburgh, and to consult with him there how to encounter the enemy; the duke of Radtzivil goes along with the duke of Brandenburgh to that meeting. I believe their consultations therefore will be of great moment, for the Swedish affairs are now not in such a flourishing state as before; they are very weak in comparison with the enemy. Dirschau, a fair town at the river Weissel, is not besieged, as I mentioned in my last. Again the Dantzickers have took two more of Lubeck's ships coming from the Pillau for to go to Lubeck, wherein they took prisoner a secretary of state to the king of Sweden called mons. Courtin a Frenchman, a gallant statesman, whom the king of Sweden sent as an envoy into France with letters to the king, cardinal, and other grandees more: it is much feared that the Dantzickers have took these letters from this envoy, which will vex the king much. The Dantzickers grow very bold at sea, having no resistance at all: they have got rich prizes from the Swedish officers, especially from Radtziewsky, in former time vice chancellor to the king of Poland. They can pay their soldiers well enough now. It is reported, that the Dantzickers had a design to beleaguer the Heupt, a strong fort of the Swedes, but the duke of Brandenburgh hath reinforced the Swedish garrison with some of his forces. Not having more to import at present, I remain at all times
Avaugour to Bordeaux, the French ambassador in England.
I did not arrive here time enough to write to your lordship by the last post, which made me to fail of giving you advice of my journey to the court of the king of Poland, to make a new attempt, and to press the accommodation. The general dispositions are pretty good on both sides, to have some hope to enter upon the business, but I cannot promise any thing till I have had audience of the king of Poland. It is to that end I came hither upon the public opinion, that the king was arrived here; and true it is, that he is hourly expected, and that he is but two leagues off. I sent a gentleman to him yesterday, to know where and when I might come to him, and I shall have his answer very suddenly, so that I must defer your lordship till next week before I can say any thing more upon this subject; and in regard the armies are near one another, there may some action chance to happen between them before any treaty be concluded; but yet both parties may easily avoid fighting, being in a country where there be so many places of safety and retreats.
The raising of the siege by the Muscovite before Riga is confirmed, not so much for the loss he sustained before it, but through the discontent of his people at home, who called him home, there being great fear of divisions amongst themselves. Their treaty is not yet concluded with the Poles, which may be a means to hasten the Poles to conclude with the Swedes, unless the hopes, which the emperor giveth the Poles of assisting them, do divert them.
A letter of intelligence from the Hague.
This day was almost spent in deliberation upon the affairs of Boisleduc, for which the lord Glas is come hither. It is said, that the privilege alledged by those of Boisleduc is ridiculous; that they must in any wise deliver up their accounts, but all the dispute is about the manner. The magistrates here would be present by commissioners, but it is denied them; likewise there be books that are wanting.
They have resolved, that the lord Glas shall return thither, and that the magistrates shall be obliged by oath, to say where their books are, or the true books; and if they deny it, they are to be confined and brought to the Hague, and likewise to suspend them from their places, if need be.
Item, the complaining commissioners of the Omlands had audience yesterday, charging very high the lord of Luxburgh, that he misused a countryman very much, and likewise that he suffered himself to be bribed with twenty thousand guilders, for which he changed his side: this is to be examined.
Item, two commissioners of the admiralty of Rotterdam had audience, saying, to have provisionally given order to their captains, that if they meet any English captains, they shall shew them all manner of respect and civility, having in readiness the certificates and seapasses to show unto them, but not to suffer in any wise their ships to be visited at sea; and if the English notwithstanding will visit the merchantmen by force, who are in company and under convoy of Holland captains, that then they shall oppose the English therein, and charge upon them, unless the English be apparently stronger than they.
The ministers of Brandenburgh have advice, that the earls of Steinbock and Waldeck have assaulted general Gonziewsky and defeated him, at least put him to flight, and relieved prince Radtzivil, who is come to Koningsburgh in the coach of Gonziewsky.
There have been endeavours used to make some orders concerning the companies that are at Dantzick, but they are yet unresolved about it; and there be some provinces, that do not approve of the hostility of those troops upon the Swedes.
There is a letter come from the states of the Omlanders, or from the prevailing party, which doth desire, that the states here would be pleased to send home those complaining commissioners. The one and the other will be examined.
Concerning the excursions of the soldiers of this state at Dantzick there have been made some complaints, and there hath been a conference with commissioners, and report hath been made thereof, but the report is to be put into writing.
The resident Appleboom hath signified in a memorandum, that he hath received the act of ratification of the king his master upon the treaty of Elbing; and presupposing that the said ratification of this state will be also ready, he desireth to know the time and the conveniency to make an exchange; but they only demanded a copy of the said memorandum for the provinces.
There hath been a memorandum read of the ministers of Brandenburgh, desiring that this state will provide for the defence of the country of Cleve against the incursions and invasions, wherewith it is threatened by the prince of Condé: this referred to the hands of commissioners.
This day they took a resolution in the case of Outman Ellers, captain of a ship of Ostend, upon a prize vel quasi made by him over an Englishman; which the English had retaken vel quasi, and about which prize they have had a law-suit at Harhngen in Friesland. Upon which it is resolved, that to the said captain shall be given that which he took in open sea, but that shall be restored, which was taken within the Vlie; and in the mean time word shall be carried to the ambassador of Spain, that this state doth not desire such fights or prizes should be made within the Vlie. The same thing shall be signified in England by the lord ambassador.
At Boisleduc is no account to be found of the year 1629: they say then many things were sold, which the Spaniards had left there in the magazine, which are mortified; it is feared that many will be ruined by that search at Boisleduc.
They had upon the complaint in the letter from Frawenburgh of the 27th of October, drawn up some orders to keep the troops of this state in Dantzick in the defensive without making of excursions; but it seemeth, that they have resolved nothing definitively upon it, but only that they thought fit to send thither all the resolutions, which were formerly taken upon all those matters, whereof the said ambassadors are to make some excuse and justification.
A letter of intelligence from the Hague.
For the present I cannot write much to you in particular; only that Amsterdam and the like do find themselves sufficiently deceived in the affairs of Sweden, and by reason, that he yet preserveth himself, having imagined themselves quite another thing; and therefore they introduced the new impediments in the last alliance; as also there is found a great contradiction in this insantry, which they have put in Dantzick, who had rather have some alliance which they want.
And upon the difficulty which it hath occasioned, nothing is resolved, but it is suspended, only sending to the ambassadors at Frawenburgh the divers resolutions, which were made upon it, to make and devise some excuses and justifications the best they can. That is a sign, that the states of Holland are very much perplexed and unresolved, endeavouring to gain time till the assembly of the states of Holland, which is to be next week.
De Witt to Nieuport the Dutch ambassador in England.
Since my last here hath not happened any thing worthy of communication to your lordship. Their high and mighty lordships did send over the treaty made with Denmark without the insertion of powers, which was, that there being first a copy of the said treaty sent over by the lords ambassadors presently after reception of the same, they sent a copy thereof as the same was in its whole; besides that I do think that likewise in the original, which was received afterwards, no powers were inserted; as also in the treaty at Elbing no insertion of powers is found to be, by reason that in the extension of that of this side, some defect was found by the side of Sweden, which their high and mighty lordships have undertaken to redress, and to deliver the redressed power at the time of the ratification.
Letters of intelligence.
The news is here, that Riga is certainly delivered from the siege. The Muscovite offers the Swede peace by the mediation of Brandenburgh. His treaty with the Poles is broken. The Tartars fallen into his land. Tumults in the city of Moscow. All this make him willing to meddle no more with Swedeland. The Swedish and electoral army hath fought and defeated the Poles. Letters from the elector to the princes of Orange inform this. Prince Radtzivill, who was taken prisoner, relieved by the victory. The elector of Saxony's death hath begotten a division between his children. The eldest will give passage to the imperial forces to go against Sweden, but his brethren and the states of the land refuse to suffer it. Thus it is likely you shall have the Swede brought in again into the empire. There is news also, that the emperor lies a dying, and there is no king of the Romans, which will be a bone of strife between many competitors.
Here we begin to talk openly, in case the lord protector should be too strong for Spain, that then it would be necessary to aid and assist their old enemy. But the governors will not speak out their mind after this manner. Thus much is certain, that the fundamental maxim of the interest of this state tends mainly to advantages of commerce and trade in all places, without any other respect whatsoever.
They brag not a little, that with the fleet, which is come back out of the Sound, and those men of war, which are preparing, they will be able to cope with any adversary in the world. But a great person, which must not be named, is of opinion, that their presumption is greater than their power, and that the honest party in these countries have at this nick of time an extraordinary great advantage. The count of Waldeck hath sufficiently revenged himself upon the Polonian general Gosiofsky, for he hath routed all his army, and made him to fly, recovering the lost six pieces of cannon with prince Radtzivill, slaying six hundred of the Poles upon the place, and taking several colours from him. The king of Poland hath besieged the town of Conitz, and it's apprehended, that he will be forced to quit the siege, nor be able to march to the city of Dantzick as he intended. There are some differences risen about the sovereignty of the dukedom of Prussia, which the Swedes will not allow to the elector of Brandenburgh. His highness's ministers are gone away without taking their leaves of the king of Sweden, but his majesty hath dispatched again the earl of Schlippenbach to the elector, and its hoped that all will be accommodated; for truly it were but a poor business, if the elector, for all the faithful assistance, which he hath done by venturing his own life and lands, should have gained no more but a dependency from the crown of Sweden, there having passed other kind of agreements between him and the king of Sweden. Nor is his electoral highness so inconsiderable as to become only an appendix to other sovereigns absque invidia aliorum ac detrimento existimationis. But the truth is, the Swedes have begun to deal very scurvily with him of late, which will not be indured.
The public ministers here long extremely to hear the progress of the Muscovian and Brandenburg affairs, the said great duke having made an everlasting peace with his electoral highness, who is also to interpose and to mediate a peace between the Muscovite and the king of Sweden. The Polonian extraordinary ambassadors offer the succession in that kingdom to the house of Austria, to engage the emperor in that war against Sweden; but it seems he is not yet resolved to meddle with those ticklish affairs. The last letters out of Prussia mention the death of Chmielinsky, and that the Cossacks have chosen his chancellor to be their general. The Cossacks are very much offended at the Muscovites, for having required of them to abandon the Constantinopolitan and to accept of the Muscovian patriarch. The death of the elector of Saxony is like to occasion new changes and quarrels in the empire, for the younger brethren are at variance amongst themselves, yet agree in this, that the elder brother, which is the new elector, shall divide all the lands with them, which he will never condescend unto, for if they will force him to it, he will rather embrace the popish religion (unto which he is said to have inclined a great while) than yield unto them; and thus a very dangerous war may be commenced within the bowels of the empire.
|Frvstra Affectando poloniam.||1656.|
|recte perdes Livoniam.||1657.|
|ac siccine Conculcaris brema.||1658.|
|neque tibi plvs parebit Crede pomerania.||1659.|
|In fine Deplorabis Ipse sveciam.||1660.|
|qvo Vadis Miser Carle.||1662.|
This is thus spread up and down in this city: but wiser men look upon it as a Jesuitical device and fiction. The elector of Heidelberg is highly offended at his brother prince Rupert, who parted from him in a rage, taking all his moveables with him, and is gone to live with the elector of Mentz: whether he will declare himself for the Roman catholic religion, time will shortly discover. Your lord Herbert's book, de veritate & causis errcrum, is reprinted in 8vo. in Holland, whereunto is added a small treatise, or, Qu. quid bisee temporibus laico sentiendum sit circa religionem? which the said lord did sparingly communicate in his life-time in MS. to the forenamed elector and some others of his confidents, being a very dangerous and atheistical piece.
You have acquainted me with the welcome news of the good agreement betwixt his highness the lord protector and the parliament, together with the taking of part of the silverfleet, which as it was a seasonable mercy, so doubt I not it will be employed to better uses than was intended by the proud enemy from whom it was taken. I cannot answer your's with the like good news from hence; yet such as it is, I am obliged to impart to you. The 29th passato general Konigsmarck was brought prisoner into Dantzick, being taken upon the road by the means following. He had imbarked in two ships at Wismar, two hundred and nineteen Scots soldiers, part of the lord Cranston'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 Henry Sasse; these said ships were by contrary winds brought into Dantzick road, where the false Scots soldiers in one of them (being about a hundred) seized upon the officers, and delivered them, together with the ship, to the Dantzickers; who again manned out the same, adding thereunto two galliots, and falling upon that wherein the said great person was embarked, took it, and brought him, as was said, prisoner to the town.
By the last post here came news, that the count Waldeck, having recollected his forces, fell upon the enemy and totally routed them, taking all their cannon and baggage, and withal releasing of prince Radzivil, who was come to Koningsberg. The king of Poland is with his forces marched as far as Conitz, which town with Schlakow, as it is strongly reported here, he hath taken in, but I can yet hear of no ground to believe it.
Yesterday came news, that above four thousand Swedish horse, under command of general Douglas, were marching towards the Poles, and within ten miles of them. So that it is likely we may shortly hear of some action. Interim, the Dantzickers are very high, being too proud of their surprising of Koningsmarck, and the taking of a ship bound for Lubeck, wherein they say, was the value of 700,000 guilders in plate, jewels, and other things which were plundered in Poland, and now belonged to Radziejowsky, late vice chancellor there.
Myself and another of our nation have taken a house of Heigebrunn, about an English mile and a half without the town, thereby to avoid their demands of us; but they refuse to let us come into the town to demand our debts, notwithstanding we do not desire to lodge in it; which I think you will say, is a very uncivil act, and a liberty which is denied to none others coming from a neutral place; I doubt not but if his highness were acquainted therewith, he would well resent the same; and indeed the chief cause of this their hatred to us is because they understand there is a near alliance made betwixt his highness and the king of Sweden.
Col. White to secretary Thurloe.
I Thought sitt to give you notice, that I am this night late come to Petersfield, with twenty two carts and waggons load of the Spanish prize plate; and I shall indeavor by God's assistance, to be in London by saterday night, but I am a litle doubtfull whether wee shall be able to reach it, our teems being weake. I shall march directly to the towne, unles you send any other orders by this bearer. I desire you will acquaynt his highnes heerewith, that direction may be given for the receaving the plate; it as all in piggs put up in deale boxes, which wee caused to be made for that purpose, and nayled and corded. The boxes wee all wayed, and there are aboute two hundred and two quarters weight one with another; four or five piggs in each box: the number I have brought is a hundred and sixty five boxes, and there are about fifty more; besides some chests of wrought plate, &c. The generall intends to come from Portsmouth to morrowe morning, and to bee at London one saterday night. Majors gennerall Kelsey, Heynes, Hatsell, and Borne, stay at Portsmouth, to goe over in romiging the galione. There is much goods in her of indigo, sugar, &c. They hope to find some hoard of plate; but I doubt they will miss of theire desires. It is thought, that Portinguall have gott as much as you will have come to London; but I dare say, that since the ships came to Portsmouth, all care and diligence hath binn used for the profit of the commonwealth. I have noe more, but to request you to dispatch the bearer.
An intercepted letter to sir Walter Vane.
Opdam is returned with his order of the Eliphant, and hath brought safe home with him his navy. Lieutenant Manley continueth at Dantzick in command of some men left there, and will certainly find his advantage this winter in that place. The earl of Waldeck hath recovered his loss by the conjunction of the earl of Steinboch, and hath regained all his colours, and cannon, and prisoners, and amongst the rest prince Radzevil; and they have given flight to ten thousand Tartars, and Poles. The Muscovite and Brandenburgh are agreed; the which may draw on also the like between them and the Swedes, now that Riga is in a manner quite abandoned by the Muscovite. All is quiet here, and the assembly will shortly let us know, what we are to expect in favour of the militia.