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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November (2 of 7)
Secretary Thurloe to H. Cromwell.
I Have received by the last post your lordship's, with one enclosed therein to his highnesse, which I have delivered to hym; and have now soe little to returne to your lordship, that I had omitted to trouble you by this post, but that I would not lett any weeke passe without assureing your lordship of my service. Since my last there hath not much occurred save the bringinge hither some part of the prize money, which was brought by cart from Portsmouth. It falls out much lesse then was expected; not but that the prize itself fell out to be richer then wee first heard of, there beinge in the two ships taken neare a million of money sterlinge, which was all plundered to about 250 or 300,000 sterling. A private captaine, they say, hath got to his owne share 60,000 and many private marriners 10,000 a man; and this is soe universall amongst the sea-men, and taken in the heate of sight, that it is not possible to get it againe, or any part of it.
The parliament is goeinge on upon severall bills for resormeinge the lawe, and other thinges for the good of the nation. Thursday next the buissines of rayseinge money for defreyeinge the charge of the Spanish warre; and I doe not see, but that they will doe therein what is necessary and fitt.
As for forreine news we have now for certeyne, that the Muscovite is risen from before Riga, and in much disorder, in soe much that he hath sent to the Swede for a peace, which is a very great alteration in affaires in those parts; yet a greater is expected by the next post.
A letter of intelligence.
Mr. Randolph Knipe.
Sir, the news here is, that Dorpt is taken by the Muscovites; and they are now upon their march to Wolmar. They are yet at Dockenhuysen, so that we are in a manner still beleaguer'd.
A letter of intelligence.
This day his majesty comes into town. The Swedes must be in a low condition, that they suffer so small an army of 8000 Poles horse, and 3000 foot to lye so long so near their great army, and dare not come out to fight them. Their armies are melted away with the plague.
Intelligence sent to mynheer Ruysch from Prussia.
The king of Poland having been encamped for some days a mile and a half distance from this place, resolved at last to come into this city, being accompanied with sew of his followers, the magistrates not being willing to admit many of them. Yesterday I was in his army, and was informed, that a party thereof was commanded to Dirschauw six miles from Dantzick, and another party towards Mene, to take possession of those small places. Yesterday came to the village Praust about 1000 of the Dantzick soldiers with twenty pieces of ordnance, to serve, as I am informed, for a reserve, in case the Swedes should fall upon the Polish army, which they threaten very much, endeavouring to get over the Weysell under the command of general Steinbock, with whom is joined some troops of the duke of Brandenburgh. Your lordship will be pleased to excuse me, that I name no place from whence I write this.
H. Cromwell to secretary Thurloe.
I Gave his highness ane account uppon monday laste by express, of the losse of the shipp called the Twoe brothers, with lieut. coll. Brumston, with two hundred souldiers, which were bound for Jamaica. Thus it pleased God to mixe his dispensations to us for our humbelinge. The Lord sanctifie this losse to us, and teach us his minde by this sade providence. There are aboute fortie of the poore souldyers nowe at Kinsale, whoe were preserved. We have given order for their present provision and maintenance. I would willingly knowe his highness's pleasure, whether it be not convenient, that these men should not be taken into the army here, wherein I desire to knowe his highness's minde, the rather, because they were drawne out of the army in Scotlande. We shall in the mean time take care for the supply of their wants. It's alleadged, as the letters I sent his highness doe importe, that the ship was old and crazie, which if true, the persons entrusted with the hyringe these shipps are very faultie. If you finde any more supplyes, Gallway or Kinsale will be the moste convenient ports for the shipping them.
Col. Cooper is gone this morninge for England, whoe will be suddenly with you at London, and will give you ane account of the militia and other affaires here. I bless God, all is quiett. Your last packett not beinge yet come in, I have noething to trouble you with from hence. I am
H. Cromwell to secretary Thurloe.
I Have founde you my faithfull friende, and not apt to receive impressions against me, as others have bin to my very great trouble and discouragement. This worthy person is in haste, and I have bin large in a letter by hime to his highness, which hathe taken soe much of my tyme up, that I muste referre you to col. Cooper for ane accounte of affaires here, whoe, I believe, will deliver itt impartially; and has, for that little time he hathe bin heere, seen much in this countrey. I must not detayne him longer, and therefore rest
Steele, lord chancellor of Ireland, to secretary Thurloe.
Beeing yet but as a stranger here, I was not nor am very willing to give you the trouble of many lines, nor of imparting any thing as yet to his highnes, your owne imployments, and the important affaires of state incumbent on his highnes being prohibitions to mee for writing without necessity; though I must confes, I thinke I should have adventured to have made good the rule by one exception, in writing of my accesse to this place, in the safety whereof I beleeve his highnes was with much tendernes ingaged, had I not been well assured the news therof would bee conveyed by another hand. I hope it will not bee expected from mee, at least not as yet, to give either accompt or judgment of publique concernements heere, our busines at present being to know where lyes the best improvement of our power and trust, and accordingly to put it in execution; and where our hands are too short to reach publique ends, there to thinke of what may bee proposed for the lengthening of them by an higher power. This day was the commemoration of the late and ancient mercy vouchsafed against the pope and Spaniard; but see the wisedome of our God, who on this day sent us such an allay, that our rejoycing was with feare and trembling, the sad busines of Kinsale having been brought to us before, wherin so many lives were lost, as our expresse makes mention of, and which outvalue very much gold and silver. God certainely sawe it good for us to keepe us humble, and in a depending frame, thus to chequer out his dispensations to us; for who knows how soon our hearts might otherwise have been lifted up in rejoycings that were not good? We are glad to heare of so many good things in agitation before the parliament; and our joy would bee increased to see them brought to perfection; and as opportunity serves, wee hope Ireland will not bee forgotten. Fearing I may have already adventured too farre upon your greater affaires, I committ you and them to the guidance of the Lord, and in him rest
A letter of intelligence
In my last I mentioned some expectation, which I then had of coming to towne; but not knowing certainely when that may happen, I am now the bolder to tell you againe, that I doe more than suspect, that there are some new irons in the sire, for very lately there was one sent over to =, and very suddainely his answere is expected, which you shall knowe as soone as it comes. I wish I were but a moment with you, but that cannot be, unless I had a passe from you, and I am so apprehensive of my letters, that I am ashamed to thinke how unsatisfactory they must be to you, because I dare not trust such secreacy to so much hassard. Please to remember what I often told you concerning the villainous attempts against the person of his highness; and if that and suddaine rising in the citty be not now in the thoughts of some wicked people, the rest of their plotts are prevented at . . . I am willing to hint the worst, because I wish them best, yet are their apprehentions not so groundless, but that, if I were now to waite on you, I should make it vissible, that they came from a person, who is most faithfully, sir,
I Long very much to hear from you; and if you do not think fitt to have me come up for a day to waite on you, please to let me know, whether my letters came safe to you. I am now again in a way of serving you.
If you are pleased to send a passe for my coming to waite on you, please to inclose it with a blanke space for the name; and if the outside be directed for Mr. Edwards, and lest at Mr. Brumbrick's house in Castle-yard, near Cursitors'-alley, it will come to me. Whatever the designe is, I doe beleeve it to be in London, and not framed by the old party, though some of them may know it.
The States General to the lords states, or in their absence to the commissioned states of the province of Groningen and Ommelanden.
Noble mighty lords,
We understoood with sorrow and grief by the letter of the lords commissioned states of your noble mighty lordships province, writ on the 18th of the last month, as also by the enclosed papers, the differences and discords lately broken out again in the body of the Ommelanden, and that the said differences were proceeded so far, that already, first, the high justice chamber, and afterwards the said lords commissioned states had been troubled with it, without being able to remove and reconcile the said breaches and divisions; but that presently some came to us with complaints, and we thereupon would not omit to desire and recommend herewith your noble lordships most friendly, and no less earnestly, that they, according to their usual wisdom and prudence, will use and take in hand all necessary means and endeavours, to the end, not only all further breaches and differences, but also all such divisions as are at present, may be removed and decided, being fully assured, that your noble lordships, after their notorious and considerable interest in the peace and unity of your noble mighty lordships province in general, and the respective members thereof in particular, will not intermit any thing, which may serve for the effecting of so salutary a design. Also we do not doubt, but that the endeavours, which are to be used by your lordships, will be of such efficacy and success, that thereby the dissenting minds will be suddenly reconciled; and in the mean time, in regard the said correspondency of the said lords commissioned states was agreeable to us, so it will be very much acceptable to us to be still informed, in what manner the said affairs shall be managed, and what success they shall have upon your endeavours; and on our side we shall not sail if need be, to contribute what lieth in our power, to the end the peace and quietness may be preserved amongst you.
A letter of col. Bampfylde.
You will receive by Mr. L i m o n on the other side of this pa p e r another letter, which I hope will come safe to your hands. The plague encreases and spreads much in Ittaly, and especially in Rome. 'Tis got into the pope's family, which has caused him to retyre himself to mount Cavallo, and to sequester himself from all publique affayres. Vallance is certainly relieved, and the Spanish army retyred. They have assaulted the duke of Modena, to draw him to theyr party, by profering to make him general to all their forces, and a large sum of money besides; but he has refused. The duke of Modena has sent to the duke of Savoy to assist him with 2000 foot and 500 horse, to prevent the Germans falling into his country. Here is a rumour of the count d'Harcourt's treating with the emperour, but I believe 'tis but conjecturall, grounded on the smart returne, which the king gave to his last express. They are sending hence with all speed both men and money for the defence of Allsatia, and designe to draw the Rhine about Brisac, which if they can compass, will render the place almost impregnable. The marquiss of St. Geuiez, who is governour under the cardinall, has turned oute all of the inhabitants and solderie, who he thought disaffected to the cardinall. The baron de Vigniancour, who was sent to the emperour, returned hither on sunday laste, and at his parting desired the emperour to consider, before it was to late, what miseries his breach with France might pull upon all Christendome. The emperour has published a manifesto to all the princes and states of the empire, touching his proceedings with France, with which the most of them are so little satisfyed, that they doe in a manner declare, that if there be a rupture, they will joyne with the French, and oppose the emperour's son being chosen king of the Romanes, and marrying of the infanta of Spayne, which must destroy the German liberty, their country being too much governed already by the ministers of Spayne. Yesterday one monsieur de Gourville was comitted to the bastille, whoe formerly related to the duke of Rochsaucaut, and after to the prince of Condé, and being a man of parts much trusted by him; but upon the coming away of the duke de Rochfancaut out of Flanders, he left the prince, came hither, got himself into good creditt with the cardinal, and has served him about two years, and upon the interception of some letters, which are not yet knowne, he was made close prisoner. The duke de Souvtray died here upon monday last, of whome 883 has loste a good friend. The parliament was opened heere on monday last, which was very full more than ordnary, but not any of the masters of the request there, upon advertisement that they should not be well received. A few days will showe how things are likely to stand betwixt the court and them. The assembly of the clergy (fn. 1) have debated and resolved on the king's letter concerning the cardinall de Rets. There are fifteen archbishopricks in France, or soe many ecclesiasticall provinces; the archbishoprick of Paris had noe vote herein, being as it were a party; three of the other fourteen would not delare; of the eleven that did, five of the provinces were for the king's being supplicated incessantly (to give you their phrase) that he might receive the temporall revenues of the archbishoprick, and appoint what grand vicaire he pleased to execute the functions of his diocese, whoe might have free liberty to doe it accordinge to the cannons of the church. The other six provinces, whoe carried the question, voted, that his majesty showlde be requested to exhibitt his process in six months tyme, accordinge to the rules of the church, which in this case are, that all qualityes of churchmen are to be tryed per pares, a bishop to be examined by three bishops, but not to be tryed or judged but by seven, which the pope is to chuse; a cardinall is in like manner to be examined, tryed, and judged by the like number of cardinalls, named by the pope; for as 'tis certayne this muste be at Rome, that which he will bee accused of, is bringing armes against the king; and albeit he was included in the generall amnestie, that the king graunted, yet since 'twill be proved, that he held intelligence with Spayne, the prince of Condé, and other the king's declared enemyes. The assembly will very shortly give the king money, and seperate. There has been a great disorder at Angiers; the people refusing to pay a new tax have beaten the magistrates, and killed some of the inferiour officers, and for feare of exemplary punishment have taken armes; to suppress whome, some horse and ten companyes of the gaurde are dispatched away yesterday; and I really believe hereupon the prince de Tarante, who was banished France, and is gone to take his leave of his father, is called to court, and his act of banishment repealed, fearing leaste he showld head this discontented party, having a great estate, and not less influence in those parts. Some servants of the cardinall de Rets were taken here privately, and put into the bastile.
There is some intelligence discovered lately betwixt madamoiselle d'Orleance and the duke of Savoy, with which the court is unsatisfyed. I have no more to add for the present, but to let you know, that 883 is really in 834 43 37 and 16 22 45 74, and desires you will send him a bill upon mons. Vangauganle. It may be payd to Mr. Lucy. Be pleased to direct your letter, as you did to the pont nostre Dame. I am, sir,
I Have received yours of the 13th of the laste month, which I shewed don Lewis, who had much discourse with me concerning you, your qualitys, parts, inclinations, and whether you were much trusted; and after much talk of the treaty with France, and of the affayres of England, he sayd, the protector had most reasone to demand it first, because he broke it firste, without just provocation given; but on the contrary the king of Spayne was the first, that acknowledged the protector used his party with great civility, whenever they came into his ports, and sought his friendship and aliance by all honourable means, and in return he has sought to take away his Indyes; and when the first fleet was preparing in England, don Alonzo had audience of the protector, and told him, that he understood that fleete was designed against his master, which the protector forswore with a great othe. Many other particulars he spake of in relation to this business, to longe to speake of here. He seemes much more inclineable to a peace with England than with France, but wowld have it demanded by the English. If any able man came very privately hither to receive what they would offer, there is no question, but at this time a very advantagious peace might be had; and by a secret negotiation it might be concluded on, before the French could know of it to prevent it. There are three things for the present, that make them less earnest in it, then els they would be; the first is, to see what change this new parliament will produce, which they are made believe will be great; the second is, the hopes of the peace with France, the correspondency and private treaty yet continuing; and thirdly, the great assureance that Charles Stewart gives them of a party he hath in the army, without some difference in which, D. Lewis says, he is consident the protector will carry his power with him to the grave. The king of Spayne resolves to doe all he can for Charles Stewart, and is really taking order for a fleet in Flanders for his assistance. One major Waters has done much prejudice here, by writing to one don Christovall, one of D. Lewis's secretarys, to desire a pass to come hither about a treaty, for which he is noe ways fitt, nor more able, then I am to flye from hence into England; besides don Christoval's knowing it is very hurtfull, he being a great friend to Charles Stewart. If any shall come hither, it ought to be very privately, and I shall send a blank passe when and whether you please.
The coppy of my answer follows, which I would not delay, knowing it may doe good, and can doe noe hurt; for noe one thing will bring the Spaniard sooner to an agreement with France, then to be out of all hopes of peace with England.
Your three letters of the 4th, 7th, and 14th of Oct. came together to my hands on sunday morning laste. Touching the assayre they all mention, I can say no more then I did in my former, that I believe my lord protector will neither seeke nor shun it; and if those concerned, where you are, attend for his requesting, there may be much blood spilt, and treasure exhausted, before the business arrives to soe amicable a decision, as they seem enclined to. For the justice or injustice of this war it becomes not me to dispute; only in the generall I may truly say, that very frequently they may more properly be considered as the beginers of a warr, who give the first occasion, then those who strike the first stroke; and according to that rule the king of Spayne has moste reason to seeke, what I understand by your letter he desyred. To the three particulars, which you say he depends very much on in his proceedings against England; of the interest of Charles Stewart, of the alterations this parliament will produce, and of the divisions like to be in the army; when I have told you with perfect truth, abstracted from all designe, the certain state and condition of all the three (and as it proves true or false, let my credit stand or fall with all men) you or they may safely judge, how vain and airy all hopes of that nature are, for wise men to build upon. First, for Charles Stewart's interest in Scotland, they are all presbyterians, and will never fall into a conjunction with the Spaniards and Irish, whose principalls and interests are opposite to theirs; and the English nation for these five hundred years together have constantly manifested so naturall an aversion to all forreine force, that upon the least apprehension of any such designe, of any invasion from abroade, they have reconciled the most intestine divisions at home. And if when Charles Stewart but a few years since marched into England neer three hundred miles, with an army of fifteen or sixteen thousand men of the Scotish nation, his own subjects protestants, betwixt whom and the presbyterians there was a strict tye of amitye and religion, and that 'twas reasonable to have believed, that the royall party would have risen and joyned upon their king's account; yet so great a dislike had the universality of the English to any conjunction with those, that were not perfectly of their own nation, that not only Charles Stewart had not 2000, that joyned with him in three hundred miles march throwgh the hart of England, and in three weeks settlement at Woster, before he was beaten (which was time enough for the whole nation to have risen with him, had they not been averse to it) but at leaste fivety of their men rose with my lord protector against him. And if they did that against the Scotch, theyr fellow subjects of the same relidgeon, and in a manner of the same nation; what are the Spaniards likely to expect, who are not in a capacity to assist him with half that force (without the apparent ruine of theyr affayres in Flanders) have a sea to cross, and peradventure a fleet to sight with, and an army of forty thousand men to encounter them at land; for since the parliament sate, they have made new levyes, and a whole nation certainly to rise agaynest them. In fine, the king has entirely loste his interest with those, who have formerly been his friends, partly upon his owne accounte, and partly that those aboute him are neither believed wise nor honest; so as to hope to mend the inconveniencys of a war with England, by having espoused, and by pursuing that broaken interest, is but endeavouring to mend one errour with a greater. Betwixt the protector and the parliament there is a most perfect compliance, in soe much, that five weekes since they voted nemine contradicente, that the war with Spayne was undertook upon juste and prudent grounds, and for the honour and advantage of the comonwealth; and that the parliament would make provision for the maintenance thereof; next they have passed a bill in the name of the comonwealth and people of England, Scotland, and Ireland, for the perpetuall disclayming the king and his family; and another for the erecting of a high court of justice, for the tryall of all, that shall act or contrive for him, or correspond with him. And lastly, for the army, they are so entirely at the protector's devotion, that no humane meanes can rayse a division amongst them. Touching what you say concerning Waters, 'tis possible he may have written something to put a vallue upon himself; but I am consident they will never (at least as theyr affayres stand) seeke a treaty, nor graunte a peace, but upon very good and honourable tearmes; and whenever it comes to that poynt, they are not so destitute of persons much more proper for such a negotiation, as to employ a man, whose parts and experience may possibly render him much more capable of other affayres, then of one of that weight and nicety; soe that 'tis most likely he, as I doe, might have written his opinion, and neither his nor mine be of any great concernment. I will nowe give some of my friends an accounte of what you have written to mee, and ere longe, if have leave to write upon this subject, I shall be more possitive and particular with you. In the mean time I shall say nothing certainly, but that I am, &c.
A letter of intelligence from col. Bamfylde written in juice of limon.
I am tolde, that here is arived another messenger from Spayne with great privacye, but I cannot yet learne the certaynty thereof; but in a short tyme I may. That was one reason of my writing what I have sent you the copy of before I had your advice.
If you send one, that has wit and language to Madrid, though you should not desire any peace, yet a treaty about it may probably breake of this here, and may procure you a very good accounte of affayres their, and perhaps settle a very good intelligence for the future. If theise people would enter into a league offensive and defensive with you, and that you might joyntly pursue the * *, or if you were sure, that at laste their woulde not be a peace upon this treaty, but that their's would remayne in the same station that they doe, neither an agreement nor peradventure the pretence of desiring one might be needfull; but as things stand, those, who can pierce no deeper than I, may wish more than I will write upon this subject. There seldom has been made that peace in Christendom between enemies, but that either of them has had just cause given them to break once in a twelve month after the conclusion of it, if they found it prudent. If by a peace with them Jamaica can be kept, and other great advantages gained, which, I beleive, they are apt to yeild to, and that the war were settled againe with theise people, which is become doubtfull, whether it will continue, and that the warr with Germany be begun, as it is likely to be, if the peace with Spain prevents it not, the totall conquest of the Indies would be much more seasible four or five years hence, when your at Jamaica are well settled in theyr health, their power, and that the plantation is very strong. And such a peace may be made, as to leave a gap open for a war, whenever it can be wisely undertaken. I doe a little blame myself for soe much as mentioning to you any thing of this nature; but the temptations I have to it by my letters from Spayne, the fear, I have that 937 will at laste jugle with you, and the unseined zeale I have to your service, will secure mee, I hope, from falling under any severe censure for this well-natured indiscretion. They have resolved in councell to make noe new levyes of regiments here this year, but to recruit the old; which in my oppinion is but to prevent the suspicion, that may be raysed, that they intend a peace by theyr making noe new leavyes. Notwithstanding this order, I am consident, I cowld have great conditions for a regiment, if I cowld procure leave to rayse them in England and Scotland. I showld thinke your having an agent amongst the protestant princes in Germany at this conjuncture might be very advantagious.
Though they will be a day longer in coming that way, they will always come safe. Your ordinary you may direct as you did your last, to the pont nostre Dame, under a cover to the master of the shop thus, A mons. La Marine.
On sunday morning laste I received three letters from Madrid, twoe of which had layne some days at the poste-house through a mistake. They were all either in answer to, or reflecting on that one letter, which I wrote two months since thither, the coppy whereof (as I remember) or at least the substance, I sent you in the packet, with which I dispatched my man about a fortnight since. I have held it neither safe nor requisite to send you all the originalls, some parte of which verbatim, and the importance of all you will receive by Mr. 1122 L i m o n be t w 31 28 37 790 47 42 43 30 20 8 21 796. If you would have mee continue the correspondence or retyre from it (this, whereof I have sent you the coppy by the hand I have mentioned, being the second I have written thither since my arrivall in this place) or mannage it any other way than I doe, be pleased to lett me have your instructions, and I shall observe them exactly; which if I coulde some tymes receive, touching divers things, which I frequently advertise you of, I woulde serve you much more effectually in the way of your comerce than the ignorance I am in of your sence of things, 477 790 956, renders mee capable of. By the twoe laste postes of the 8th and 11th present, I wrote to you at large, touching severall particulars of importance; which I hope are come safe to your hands. They were allsoe sent by the way of 54 27 50 56. What you will find in the other letters ordinary, concerning collonell 73 12 17 30 36 20 has, I believe, done some disservice here, as well as at 962; for though I mett not with his name before, yet I heard at 656, that one had desired a pass to goe from 869 to 959, and that whilst mons. 1250 16 32 41 27 35 56 was at 962, there were two merchants, that made overtures to 973 concerning 622 854 896, and did it foolishly, and might have done more harme, if your instructions of 937 had been reall for 622: as negotiations of that kinde may procure great advantages in some concurrences, if they are managed by men of wit and experience, that knowe howe to fight with them at theyr owne weapons; and soe on the contrary an unskillfull ingeneer may do as much hurte to his friends as to his enemyes, by the ill conduct of such a mine. The reason, that I never did advertize you of this before, was, because I gave no creditt to the thing, supposing to have proceeded from the jealousie of theise people, rather than from any reall grounds they had for it. Since the writeing of this I have received your's of the 23d of October, which has been opened. I shall entreat you hereafter to enclose hereafter all letters, that you write to mee of any consequence, under a cover, to Mr. 47 40 46 44 27 as desired by my laste. I will assure you, that I am much more troubled at your want of health, then my owne want of your letters, for I am with great truth, sir,
George Smithson to secretary Thurloe.
I Have received yours by sir John Barkstead, quarter master and corporall, upon saturday last, but about one hour before I had sent two partys of horse to search two houses, which I was informed had diverse meetings of priests and papists. They found at eyther house a priest, who I have comitted to Yorke goale. If my coll. in his letter had given me the least hint, what these instructions weere, which I was to expect from yow, I should not have imployed any in such a disigne, till I had knowen your pleasure; but that day being a day they call All Saints, I knew it would be a generall day amongst them, and soe sent those partyes, which I seare hath given an allarum to the other parts of the country; for by the advise of the lady, who came along with the officers, I made upon monday last a search at Walworth, but could find noe such chappell under ground, as yow mention in your letter; only in an upper room we found the picture of the virgin Mary, the priest's surpluss, and some vestments of very small value, which the corporall took away: if they had been at all valuable, I should have taken care of them. The lady and officers are gone on to Durham, to captain Strangwayes and capt. Gower, who will give your honor a full accompt of all other businesses. All the other places lying about or beyond Durham, I feare the lady will fall much short of her intelligence, for I perswade myself there is never, except it be accidentally, above two priests in one place, one to read mass, and the other to preach: and those provisions of beef, and butter, and the like could not have been kept these two yeares without spoyleing. I wish the rest may be made out. Sir, I feare I have bene to troublesome in soe long a story to soe little purpose; but I thought it my part not to be short in what is past, and my thoughts of what is to come; and be alwayes redy to the utmost of my power faithfully to discharge what trust is reposed in me, and to subscribe myselfe, sir,
The governor of Barbados to secretary Thurloe.
The enclosed being for his highnes, I presumed to give you the trouble of the presentation thereof to his highnes hands, being in answer to his highnes comands laid on me by his missive bareing date the 15th of July, in which I have given his highnes an account of the receipt of his highnes packett for Jamaica, which by an expresse was sent away the day following that it came to my hands. Wheather lestenant generall Brayne be passed downe with his recruites for Jamaica, we as yet know not, none of the ships having hitherto touched here. I shall be verie observant of what comands he shall at any time please to laye on me in order to his highnes service.
Haveing received his highnes's pleasure relating to our militia, my selfe and councell have proceeded to settle the same, and have appointed it to consist of sower regiments of foote, which in all make up some sower thousand five hundred men, and eight hundred horse in eight troopes, one hundred each troope, armed with carbines and pistolls, for the security and defence of this place against inbred insurrections, and forraigne invasions; which establishment, as it's conceived verie considerable for this place, so is it done with a unanimous and chearfull acceptation of this people. We are at present about repairing our plattformes for the security of our bayes and harbours, which being done, this place will not be easily endangered, I hope, by any forraigne attempt. This being what the presant offers, I take leave, and remayne
Resident Sasburgh to the States General.
My lords, the lords commissioners of the lords of Brabant to his highness are returned from Nivelle without effecting any thing: it is said, that his highness demanded of them fifty thousand guilders per mensem, upon which, some of the said commissioners alledged the impossibility of raising such a sum, but that they would endeavour to furnish the sum of 30,000 guilders per mensem, for the service of the country. His highness arrived here on the 14th instant, as also all the chief officers. His highness intendeth to go to Bruges, and his journey is resolved on, to confer with his majesty of England about some points. It is said, that his highness demanded of the province of Flanders for his particular, the sum of 250,000 guilders to be paid speedily. I have seen advices here, that in Seville great preparations are made there for sea.
Southampton. The information of Ralph Wilkes, of the parish of Souberton, in the county aforesaid. husbandman, taken before me the 6th of Nov. 1656, at Hursby.
Who faith, he is aged thirty three years, and that he knows Mr. William Curle of Souberton; and faith Mr. Curle came to him this informant, as he was watering some of the said Mr. Curle's meadows, at which time Mr. Curle asked him, whether he, this informant, would serve under him to setch the king; and he replied, he would. In the mean time this Mr. Curle told him, that if he intended to serve under him, he should knock his wise and children of the head. This being much about the time of the Scots coming into England, the foresaid Mr. Curle wished him not to prove a rebel.
This informant further saith, that about a year and a quarter after, this Curle asked one John Knight, who was at that present in company with this informant . . . of a lake for the said Curle, whether the said John Knight, and this Henry Wilkes, would stand by him, and be true to him, in fetching home the king. The said Knight answered, that he would go thro the world with him. He further faith, that just as the last insurrection was at Sarum, Mrs. Curle came into the kitchen to this informant, and asked him, what the round-heads would do now, for they must no longer hear the goat-keeper preach, and that he would be hang'd for his preaching, unless he did creep into some hollow tree; and that the same night his servants drank the king's health at supper, and on the refusal of this informant, one Trollis, Mr. Curle's man, did set his knife to this informant's breast, vowing he would thrust it into him, except he drank the health. The next day this Trollis rode for Winchester on one of his master's coach horses; and before he came there, this Trollis enquired, and heard, that the king's party was beaten, and that the soldiers had seized some gentlemen at Winchester, that had been for the king. On this news Trollis returned to his master, who did immediately send away his coach horses for four days, and, as it was talked of in the said Curle's house, to Calshiot castle; and the said Trollis, by order from his master, was to return towards Winchester again for two days time: that he went a foot; his business this informant supposes to be intelligence; and that on this news Mrs. Curle hid his guns in her chamber behind the hangings at her bed's head. That Mrs. Curle told this informant, she was afraid her husband would be fetched away by the soldiers. He farther faith, that one parson Abbot, lately ejected for high scandal; and one Harry Webb, and Colrunt, notorious malignants, do frequent his house, where drunkenness is their daily practice, with all other disorders incident to such an evil. To all which this informant is ready to depose when required; and further faith not.
A letter of intelligence to resident Bradshaw.
Right honorable sir,
I Had a minde to passe this post for want of news, because since my last of the 14th currant all is yet in the same termes as it was the post before. The Swedish forces must march thorow a deep way, therefore they cannott make great haste, and the artillerie did follow but yesterday: but before I should be argued of any neglect, I write with this post, that your honour may know, that nothing hath been acted yet betwixt the two armies. I hope with the next post there will be more matter to impart to your honour from the French embassador his being with the king of Poland. I shall heare to-morrow with the post, concerning the Muscoviter. It is most certain that hee hath lest the siege of Riga, and went with his forces to Kakenhausen, for to maintaine that strong place against any assault of the Swedes. The Polish army is now about three miles from Dantzig, strong about 20,000 men; the king of Poland demandes 6000 pieces of cloth for his army, and great store of provision for the same; as also some centners of gunne powder, &c. which demand the Danzigers doe not like very well. I beleeve they would willingly continue their soverainety, and wish the king of Poland farr enough from Danzig. If your honour desires to have the resutation of the Swedish manifesto in Latin, I will send it over: it is well done. I dourst not to insert it now for feare to be blamed for it. I hope my letters of late twice a week are comme to your honor's hands in due time, as of the 31st Oct. the 3d of Nov. the 7th, the 10th, and the 14th currant. Thus I finish, remayning
Avaugour to Bordeaux, the French ambassador in England.
This week hath not produced any thing, whereby to promise to myself any certainty of any thing of my negotiation and of my voyage to this court, in regard I have not yet been able to get audience of the king of Poland, nor to learn the dispositions upon this subject, which obliged me to come hither. I will only tell you, that I am deferr'd from beingheard till such time, that his majesty can hear from Vienna what hopes are given him from thence, which are still many and great; but as yet they produce no effects, and I believe in the end his majesty will be able to perceive he hath been merely deceived by them, and that the emperor doth rather desire, that the war betwen Poland and Sweden should continue to all eternity, that so he may be rid of those fears of the Swedish forces, which would seize upon him, if so be the Swedes were at peace with the Poles. I shall have to-morrow my first audience, which will be private, so that afterwards I shall be able to see more clear into my negotiation, which is only traversed by that of Vienna and of Vilna, which is not yet finished, and who is jealous of what is done with Sweden. The emperor is so desirous to have that treaty concluded, that he consents to the future election of the son of the duke of Muscovy in the place of the king of Poland; which is the most difficult point, which doth hinder this accommodation.
A letter of intelligence from the Hague.
The taking of the earl of Coningsmark by those of Dantzick, is a sign, first, of his own negligence and carelesness. 2dly, That the king of Sweden hath not one man of war at sea. 3dly, That the Scots love alteration as well as others, although that some say, that all this misfortune came by the contrary and bad wind. The ship in which Coningsmark was, desended itself a little; but when it was assaulted with granadoes, it yielded. The king of Sweden having embarked the queen, made himself ready to go against the Poles, who have besieged Conitz, which some say is taken.
The admiralty of North Holland hath writ and asked leave to take up 10,000 guilders more, besides the 50,000 guilders lately taken up; and this, in regard the safe conduct and last money doth not suffice to pay the ships of their share, which have served in the Baltic sea.
The council of the prince of Orange (who is statholder, or governor and captain general of the country of Outre-Meuse, and doth draw a pension of 3000 guilders per annum from thence) hath desired payment of some years in arrear, upon which nothing is yet done. And they are not yet agreed out of what revenue they are to pay it.
This day in the end they resolved and concluded the payment of the arrears of 3000 guilders per annum, due to the prince of Orange from the country of Outre-Meuse, upon condition that the same be paid out of their revenue.
As yet there is nothing done concerning the business of the Omlanders, nor no conference hath been held upon the affairs of Prussia; and for the report upon the affairs of Cleve, the same is only taken for a notification.
The council of state hath been a long time busied upon the report of the proceedings of the fiscal Sille, who hath very much tormented the priests. At Boisleduc the commissioners have caused some chests to be broken open, to find some books and papers, which they look'd for. The account from the year 1628 to 1629 is yet wanting.
The Swedes have made a new complaint, how that Dantzick doth make use of the soldiers of this state. Chancellor Oxensterne is dead. The ambassadors prepared themselves to go to Dantzick as soon as the king shall be arrived there.
At last, this day they have concluded in the business of the Omlanders, namely that a letter shall be writ to the states of Omlande, that with grief they have understood the differences that are amongst them; and to desire them, that they will give all reasonable satisfaction to the complaining Omlanders; and that if need be, the States General do offer their good offices to prince William. They only write a notification, and a copy of what they write to the states of Omlande.
There hath been also a conference upon the affairs of Prussia, to give some instruction to the ambassadors to endeavour the way of peace between the two crowns; but as yet they have only discoursed about it: they are first to overlook the retroact; item, they expect the return of the lord Slingelandt.
There be divers complaints made against the fiscall Sille, that he hath proceeded too roughly against the priests in the countries of Cuyck, Meyerie, Breda, and Bergen; whereupon his instruction is ordered to be examined.
This day the lord admiral Opdam had audience, and made his report; he referred himself to the letters he writ from time to time; did praise the civilities he received in Denmark, and at Dantzick; and there having been much spoken of a great present, which he had received of Dantzick, he exhibited that which was given him, being a bason and ewer of silver, of about 500 rix dollars value.
The ambassador of Spain hath complained, that in the letters, which are writ to the prince of Condé, the states here do subscribe, Your most affectionate servants, and those which are sent to don John, Your good friends; which will be perused to-morrow and mended.
A letter of intelligence from the Hague.
The joy, which the Swedes had conceived by the raising the siege of Riga, is very much abated by the captivity and taking of the earl of Coningsmarck, and by the death of the great chancellor Oxensterne; at least, that will very much prejudice the Swede; and if to this the free passage of Poland should happen to be made by him towards or as far as Dantzick, that will be again a new sign of weakness of the Swede, who hath made a great complaint, how that the Dantzickers do trouble the East sea he is in the wrong in that, for Dantzick being a member of Poland must make an union against Sweden; and Sweden must not expect any friendship of Dantzick; but in effect, the states of Holland are the cause of all this, for at the same time that they tye up the Swede by a treaty, and hinder the Swede from prejudicing and blocking up of Dantzick, an enemies place, they have the quarter master general Percevall in Dantzick, who having a pension from Denmark, is an open enemy, and incensed against Sweden, and doth press those of Dantzick to all extremity. And I know it from a very good hand, that many in Dantzick are no great abhorrers of the neutrality; but Denmark and the chief of the states of Holland do act by Percevall, and Percevall needs not to be spurr'd on. It is also observable, that Percevall went towards Dantzick without any knowledge of the States General by the sole direction of the states of Holland; so that the Swede is not to expect any cordial moderation, neither from states of Hol. nor Denmark, if they see a good opportunity. And as to the ratification of the treaty, they do not so much as think of it here, no more than if it had never been made. Likewise I do not see, to what purpose it would be; for the states of Holland and Denmark will do nothing but bind the Swede; and they themselves do and will do all the harm they can, and a treaty or wind is the same thing. I know that in a good place one of the states of Holland discoursed, that the states of Holland having now these new ships, did not care now at all for Cromwell; and if Cromwell gave the least cause to the states of Holland, that the states of Holland would be the first, that would strike without staying till Cromwell gave them the first blow, as the last time. Item, I have heard it from a very good hand, that formerly the Spaniard or his ambassador did agree with the states of Holland to conduct the money from the Indies; and that Cromwell shall not meet with it no more; the ambassador having said, that the Spaniards are beasts for not having done it no sooner. One mons. Balladin, who is come from Sweden (to whom he had offered to deliver 4000 soldiers and some officers) hath spoken here very ill of Sweden, how that Sweden would not entertain him, because that he was a royalist. And the queen of Bohemia hath discoursed here very much upon some small mischances, which Sweden hath had, and will yet have; saying, that Sweden can have no blessing, by reason that he adhereth so much to Cromwell.
An intercepted letter. For Mr. Randolph Crewe, at the Fleece-tavern in Covent-garden.
I Hope by this time you are got to the Fleece, therefore I pray be reciprocal, and drink our healths, since your's is never forgotten, though we have little money to do it withal; yet the devil findeth ways to bring it about, and we refuse no kindness. I believe Tom. Austin doth as much. Pray send me the result of my letters. I live still upon hope, and that is oftener a flatterer then a friend; but pray think on me.
Don John of Austria to the States General.
Having seen in your letter of the 1st of this month, the motives, which you represent to me for to free from quartering of soldiers the three quarters of Outre-Meuse, I can assure you, that if the extreme desire, which I bear to live with you as your perfect friend and neighbour, should not move me to have a regard to your greatest interest and satisfaction, the good intentions of the king my lord, and the precise orders, which I have from his majesty for the executing of the same, would have but too much weight to oblige me to it. And therefore in this business I will endeavour all that I can to give you the most satisfaction, which his service will permit me: whereof these lines will assure you from me, and that I will seek some opportunity to give you a proof, how much I am,
your most affectionate friend, neighbour, and servant,
P. D. John.
Nieuport, the Dutch ambassador, to the States General.
High and mighty lords.
My lords, the next post after I sent my last, the lord general Mountagu arrived here from Portsmouth, having caused the day before he came away great quantities of silver to be loaded in ammunition waggons, which they used to employ in the army; in which waggons the silver was brought through Southwark to the tower of London. Several persons told me, that they met the waggons in Surrey, and that they were only guarded by ten footsoldiers. The remaining silver is to be brought to the tower from time to time in the same manner. Yesterday the said general sat in the parliament, being a member thereof, where it was resolved, he should have thanks given him for his great and good services; which was done by the speaker. At the same time some members desired, that they might have a just account given them of the true value of the silver and other goods in the two Spanish prizes. The marquis of Badiz, whose father was vice-roy of Peru, and was burnt in that galleon that was fired, was brought on sunday last after sermon, with his brother, to the protector. A lord, that was present at that time, told me, that he could well express himself in the Latin tongue. The said Spanish lords are well used, and the other prisoners are kept at Chelsea.
Concerning the many means for the carrying on of the war against Spain, I do not hear, that they are yet agreed about them. Some think that business will be deferr'd to the last. Wednesday last being gunpowder treason day, the 15th of Nov. the same was observed; and Mr. Greenhill and Mr. Sterry preached before the parliament at Westminster, in the parish church, the first taking his text in the second verse of the xliii. chapter of Ezekiel, and the other the fifth verse of the ix. chapter of Isaiah.
This afternoon two letters were communicated to me writ from the west of England to a merchant here concerning a ship of Mumminckedam, called the Countryman, coming from St. Andero in Biscay, laden with iron and wooll, bound for Amsterdam, which was stranded in Cornwall through foggy weather; the men of her were not only saved, but some bags of wooll, which were first saved by the country people, and afterwards seized on by the soldiers, saying, that they were Spanish goods, although the skipper declared, that they belonged to merchants of Amsterdam; and the other letter contained, that another ship called the Concord, coming from St. Andero with wooll and iron, bound also for Amsterdam, was also cast away upon the same day. The men were saved, but the ship beat all to pieces. I shall do my endeavours, God willing, to-morrow to assist the skippers in their misfortunes as much as lieth in my power.
H. Cromwell, major general of the army in Ireland, to the protector.
May it please your highness,
Since my last accounte to your highness of the sadd losse of lieut. col. Brampstone and twoe hundred and three of his men, one boarde the shipp called the Twoe Brothers, by wracke they had suffered in the bay of Tymelegue (in which place capt. Farmer, commander of this vessell, was wract twice before) I received the inclosed from col. Moore, which gives a relation of his beinge forced backe by the violence of the late storme, and of his safe arriveall in the harbour of Corke. The shippe did springe a leake at sea in the late storme, and is soe old and crazie, that shee was not able to abide the seas; insomuch that it was a verry great mercy, that shee gott safe into that harbour. The hazard the men were in, and the prejudice the provision one board the ship has received, is more at large expressed in the inclosed. The souldiers one boarde this shippe were twoe hundred and sixtie, and are all landed and quartered in the great islande nere Corke, where it's thought convenient that they should remaine, because they may there with ease be kept together, and prevented of running frome their colours, which I am apt to beleive they would attempt, havinge received that discouragement allreadie at sea. I have given direction to preserve the provision, which was one board the shippe; it being much doubted, whether the shipp cane be made tite againe; and if shee should, it is much to be questioned, whether it were adviseable to truste hir (beinge but olde and crazie) with soe great a charge soe longe a voyage. I earnestly desire to receive your highness's pleasure concerninge these men. I dare not advise, that they should againe be putt one board this shipp, shee beinge soe defective, and was not able to indure the stress of weather, it pleased God, they mett with; yet if the master of the shipp should refitt her, and desire to have the men one board to proceed on his voyage, I knowe not well howe to deny hime, because of his contract; but (I presume) your highness's pleasure may be returned before shee cane be made readie. I heare of twoe able shipps, the one at Kinsale, the other at Waterford; either of which is capable to receive these men and the provisions, and are, as I am informed, in a very good condition presently to undertake this voyage. One of them hath twenty gunns in her. But if your highness shall direct to have these men stay till springe, or till they have more company, wee shall bee carefull to keep them together. I doe not well knowe what to offer, but such directions, as I shall receive from your highness, shall be carefully observed. I heare, that the magistrates and governor of Kinsale with the ablest seamen thereabouts, have taken a perticuler account of the ship loste in Tymelegue bay, with the prejudice shee suffered at sea, the occation of her comeing to that bay, the manner of her wracke, her craziness, and unfittness for such a voyage. The maine timber, which (after the wracke) came one shoare, was, as I heare, verry unsound and rotten; all which, with many other circumstances (as I am informed) they have transmitted thence for your highness. Those, whoe were imployed to contract for those shipps, are deeply guilty of the losse of these poore men; and therefore, I hope, your highness will cause strict enquiry to be made into this matter, that others may be deterred frome puttinge the like abuses one your highness and publique for the future; for besides the losse of the lives of soe many poore men, I ame sensible howe much this your highness's affaire is obstructed by the abominable carelesnesse and couvetuousness of these men. I desire the Lord to discover his minde in these his sade rebukes, and remaine
Inclosed in the preceding. Col. Moore to H. Cromwell.
May it please your excellency,
Since our setting forth from Kinsale the 15th of Octob, we had much fowle weather; but especially upon thursday, being the 23d of October, a storme that night seperated our fleete, which storme grew most violent upon the 24th (being fryday) whereby we were greatly distressed; soe that we were not able to beare faile. Our shipp did spring a leake, and our pumps were choaked with the sand of the balast, soe that wee were forced to bayle al the water shee leaked, with what seas she shipped, with buckets, until wee came into the harbour of Corke upon the first instant, and are stil necessitated to continue bayling to keepe our ship alive in the harbour.
From the day of the strome until wee came into this harbour, wee every moment expected, that wee should bee swallowed in the deepe, our leake was soe great, and our ship soe weakened with the storme. Wee were hostened deepe of water above the Kelsy fore and afte, the maine beames did give way four inches, the channel whales and sides of the ship did give way every straine, so that the sea did make way through fore and aste, soe that it was a most wonderful providence, that our ships lived in the sea, until wee made any harbour. In an houre's tyme the wind veered through al the poynts of the compasse. Our seamen have not knowne the like tempest in these northern coasts. It is supposed, that much of our provision is dampnified. I bumbly beg your lordship's commands, how the men shall bee disposed of, and what course shal be taken with the ship.
Our men laid out all theire money at Carrickfergus, in paying their debts, and fitting themselves for this expedition. I humbly beg your excelencie's favour towards them for theire subsistance and incouragement, after this distresse; wherein, I can assure your lordshipp, that al of us have had the provision wee made for that country, staved and spoyled with the salt water.
Wee know not any thing of the rest of the fleete, but feare they have mett with the like difficulty, our shipp being reputed as strong and tite as any in the fleete. I pray God send us good newes from them. I beseech the Lord wee may bee heartly thankfull for the great mercy of our preservation, and that he would make us to know his mind in this and his former reproofes. I shal ever be a petitioner unto the throne of grace for your lordship's happines, and remaine, my lord,
Nieuport, the Dutch ambassador in England, to Ruysch.
Upon the 11th current I obtained the inclosed extract out of the resolutions of the parliament, concerning the ship St. Jacob of Amsterdam, with her lading, belonging to Albert Lemmerman cum sociis, stranded upon the coast of Sussex, mentioned more at large in my last. I have also desired the lords commissioners for the maritime treaty earnestly, that I may have their final answer, and further information of their considerations upon what I proposed to their lordships in a conference held with them on the 15th of Sept. last; their lordships having then undertaken to make report thereof, and to continue the conferences with me, till we had agreed upon the same. They excuse the delay, and say, that it is long of the lord secretary of state, who is daily hindered by many weighty affairs, who hath now very lately assured me, that I should have the conference renewed, and that he himselfe would assist in it till that business be dispatched.