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 (3 of 7)
An intercepted letter.
Information of the lady Hall.
The lady Hall informeth, that one Mr. Clavering of Axwell in the county of Durham, who was chosen a member of this present parliament, and not admitted, did lend to Charles Stewart 4000 l. since March last. She further affirmeth, the foresaid sum was by bills of exchange, by order from sir Alexander Ascue, returned by the lady Hall, for major generall Massey.
She further informeth, that there is a Jew, named da Costa, a great merchant in London, who hath and is presently to receive the sum of 4000 l. for the use of Charles Stewart, which said sum is, and to be paid in to Tho. Wray esq; of Bemish in this county; and part is, and the rest to be returned by Mr. Leger, of Newcastle, to the said da Costa.
She faith, that Tinmouth castle was to be betrayed to the use of Charles Stewart, and that major Towlehurst had had conference with one Marley, an agent from Charles Stewart for that purpose; and that Mr. Clavering, and Adam Shipperdson was to contrive a way from the cole-pits, about two miles from the castle under the ground, into the castle of Tinmouth, for to relieve the enemy with provisions; if need required; and for that purpose there was great store of provisions laid in, and to be laid into Hebburne-house; and that there was 80 firelocks, and a great number of stillettoes laid into Fellon-house, but now both the provisions and the arms are removed, she knows not whither.
But whether they be all Bishoprick men or no, she faith she cannot tell. She pretends there are many mere, which she cannot remember, for want of her papers in her trunk, which comes by the carrier; but the corporal faith, she hath not a paper in the trunk.
The Dutch ambassadors in Prussia to the States General.
My lords, the post being just now arrived from Koningsburgh, he bringeth confirmation of the cessation of arms made between the duke of Brandenburgh and the general Gonzieuzky; but in regard we perceive, that they differ very much about the particulars, we dare not affirm the same till the next post.
We are informed, that those troops, that were designed by the magistrates of this city to be sent to the assistance of the Polish army, do refuse to go, saying, that they were only hired for the service of the magistrates of this city and the defence thereof, and not be used by the king of Poland nor elsewhere, but under the command of this city. We caused the next day after the arrival of the king here our secretary to carry our credentials to the lord rix chancellor, who with some few other chief lords of the kingdom, are with the king; and at the same time desired audience of his majesty, upon which we are yet expecting an answer.
Commissioner Pels to the States General.
High and mighty lords.
Since my last of the 4th current, your high and mighty lordships ambassadors arrived here on the 6th, expecting an opportunity to have audience by his majesty of Poland. The same do the lords ambassadors of France. His majesty of Poland hath recovered the cities of Conitz, and Calich upon articles, and was last night with an army of 20,000 men near to Berent, being seven miles from hence, and advanceth further towards Schoneck, being five miles from hence, with an intention to take in men in Dirschauw and other towns, before he will come to this place; but we expect more certain news from him very suddenly, in regard there is one of the council of this city that is gone to him. In the mean time the Swedes under general Steinbock and Douglas are passing their army over the Weyssel, to engage the king of Poland. The duke of Brandenburgh is gone to speak with the king of Sweden.
An Intercepted letter.
I Am overjoyed at what you signify to me in your last letter, which I should sooner have given an answer to, but that I did not receive it before the post went out. You may be sure I shall with all the diligence possible do what you desire; and therefore pray do you perform all that is requisite on your part. Your uncle desireth to provide him two or three good beaver hats for the town, and one or two riding ones for the country, they being now at a very high rate in this place; and he will by no means consent to your coming hither, because he thinketh your being there upon the place, in a condition to negotiate publicly for him, will be of much more use to him than a journey of your's hither could be. I spoke likewise yesterday with a friend of Mr. Atkins's, who tells me, Mr. Atkins is resolved to make a journey in his coach to London, by the way of Putney; believing that to be the most convenient way of travelling at this time of the year. He intends to meet his coach at the same place, whither you and another gentleman were going, when I saw you last; but I suppose, you know all this better than I; and therefore shall desire you to let me know, whether my intelligence be true or no. That which I have chiefly to recommend to you, is, that Mrs. Mills lose no time in the solicitation of Mr. Shawe's business, and as soon as he comes to town, to prepare as much as she can to the conclusion of your uncle's agreement. My uncle is of opinion, you would not do amiss to meet Mr. Atkins at Putney in my cozen's company, for he thinks he would be very glad to see you both there. I have nothing to say to you concerning my own particular business, but only that I shall timely advertise you of all I intend to do in it. In the mean time I conjure you to believe, that I am cordially yours.
Dearest, dearest mistress,
You may be sure nobody living shall know of your business, but the persons that are already entrusted in it; and that I shall solicit it with all the diligence imaginable. In the mean time, pray do not you slack preparing Mrs. Shaw towards the agreement. I know much will depend upon you, and you will by it eternally oblige him, that will never be other than, dearest, dearest mistress,
Lockhart, ambassador at Paris, to secretary Thurloe.
The audience my last told you I demanded, and was promised, hath been deferred till this evening, notwithstanding my endeavours to the contrary; and though it lasted from six a clocke at night till ten, yet I cannot say, I had much satisfaction in it, for mons. de Lion was with his eminence all the tyme, and by his presence necessitated my sylence in some particulars, that if I had had the honour to entertain the cardinal by himself, I durst have ventured upon.
Howsoever, finding severall particulars formerly agreed unto, questioned, and others absolutely denyed, I was guilty of the rudeneffe to tell his eminence, that I did not understand such, procedure in businesse, and was astonished to meet with so unexpected changes. I have no tyme to relaite the particular discourses that passed, but must begg your pardon to tell you the sume of it, which is this: a levy of 3000 men is expected on your part. The maintenance of the whole land sorces, and all the charges of the land siege is to be theirs, and whether Dunkirk or Gr a ve li nge shall be begunn at, is referred to mar. Turenne The first of them that shall be taken, is to be put into your hands: if Gr a ve li nge it's to be put into your hands as a pledge for Dunkirk; if Dunkirk first, it's to be putt in your hands absolutely, and the protector is to dispose of the 3000 men as he shall judge fitt; if any of them can be spared for the French service, they levy money is to be payed before they march in that service.
There is also a new condition proposed, that in case the emperor invade any the dominions of France, that then his highnesse shall be oblydged to assist the king of France with 4000 foot at his own expense during all the tyme of that invasion. It's offered on the other hand, that in case any enemy whatsoever shall invade any of his highnesse's dominions, that then France shall assist his highnesse with 4000 men at their charge during all the tyme of such invasion, or otherwise shall furnish money for the levy of the men and theyr maintenance, if that be rather requyred then the men.
I told his eminence, that having by his owne orders told you, that he defyred but 2000 men to be levyed upon your account, and that being refused, he might judge with what confidence I could now wryt for that: he answered, the necessity of his affayres had forced him to alter his resolutions.
Sir, this unexpected alteratione hath putt me in such confussion, as I know not what to say, for I dare not say it's fitt you should undertake any levys, your last having given such reasons to the contrarie; and yet the fear of a war with the emperor doth so much puzzle them heare, that I am half afrayd they have thoughts to prevent it by making a peace with Spayne. I have told them, that since the seige of Riga is raysed, and that the Sweed is lyke to be in a very good posture, their is no great fear of the emperor's ingadging against France; but the correspondence they believe is betwixt him and the count Harcourt, their governor of Alsatia, doth so allarum them, as they apprehend the losse of that province, and perswade themselves that warr will break out very hott the next spring.
My last told you, the Irish were withdrawen from the frontiers of Flanders; and having them now in their power, they have fully answered my desyers concerning them, for they have cashiered all the officers that are to be suspected as favourers of Charles Stuart, and have reduced eight regiments to two. The few that are in Ittally are given to col. Preston; the soure heare are given to a French master de camp, who commands them as lestennant collonell for the king, and they are called regiment royall. They have something added to their pay to encouradge them to stay, and are intended for Ittaly next campagne.
Charles Stuart hath demanded a passe from his majestie for my lord Bristoll to go thorough France into Spayne, as his ambassador; which was absolutely refused him. Since his passadge by land is denyed, it's probable he will go by sea; and I believe it will not be un worthy the pains of some of your frigotts to wait for him. The differences betwixt the Spanish ministers in Flanders and Charles Stewart are so greatt, that there needs not much be apprehended from them, till the king of Spayne's pleasure concerning them be knowne.
I conceave I shall not now need to plead for letter of revocation: your compassion for one that hath mett with such odd usage, will say more for me then I can for myself; and though I should not be mynded; yet I shall hope, that your own interest will engage, you to recall one that is so little usefull to you hear.
The cardinall was willing to agree to the business concerning the shipps; only he desyred that the fleet should sett sayle from Portsmouth, and to enter into pay the first day of their weihing ancor from thence, being willing to advance the two parts of their first three months pay; and that he should be oblydged to pay them no longer then fifteen days after their dismisse, tho' they should consume more tyme in their returne by crosse winds. I shifted the conclusion of that business, conceiving the disappointments I have met with in the first business may occasion your altering your thoghts concerning the second.
Sir, if in this or any thing else I have mistaken your interests, I beseech you pardon them, and impute them to my want of discretion; for I may sincerly say, that none can pretend to more zealous desires to serve you faithfully, then,
A letter of intelligence from Mr. Blank Marshal.
I Have not much to add to my last, only Bristoll is gone to Brussels to sollicit to don John for enlargement of quarters; for king Charles hath allowance for no more than a thousand men, which is all he can make at present; for had he a being for people. I see them flocking fast to him; but these that would come both from Holland; France, and other places; are desired to continue where they are, till allowance be had for more from the king of Spain, which will take up much time. We have factors in all places to set forward our calling. I writ to you in my last of two, one by the name of major John Strachan, which indeed is his proper name. He went for the Mearnes; he is a cozen to Middleton, and employed thither to seduce the people. If narrowly looked after, he may be found. The other is major Tho. Borthwicke, who is gone for Scotland, to see if he can procure from Glencarne a letter to king Charles to clear his brother, who is here prisoner for his miscarriage of the papers, which were directed to Glencarne from king Charles. I writ likewise to you of one master Ker, father confessor to the Spanish ambassador don Alonzo de Cardenas, who is at London, to see how he may seduce the people there. I admire to see so many young men come from London daily hither; but I suppose they are all prentices.
This is all that can be said at this time; only the preparation that is making for the dispatching of Bristol to go ambassador to the king of Spain. I believe nothing will be done till his return. Newburgh nor Middleton are not yet returned from Holland. What they do there is not yet known. As for any thing that concerneth you here, be confident I shall have a care of it, not doubing but you will have the like of me; for that commodity you sent me, stayed not long with me. I intreat you, sir, pray take care I may receive more as soon as you can; for your satisfaction I must be always here, but I would desire you to send no commodities for me this way, for they give no price here; besides the great danger both going and coming this way; but be pleased to direct always yours as you did formerly, for I have now my wife come to Flushing, who will always receive your commands there, and send them to me, although she knoweth not the meaning of the business, nor shall not. Sir, this business is very dangerous: so intreat you to have a care of me I would gladly know, whether mine come safe to hand.
A letter of intelligence from Bruges.
Yours of the 24th of October came to me but the third of November. I have, according to your directions, writ to your factor, and pray let me hear, if you have a good account of my letters. I hear this day, that the person I did formerly speak of is coming over. It were well, if you could speak with him before he come. I shall have great occa sions of money. Pray get in what you can for me, and in my next you shall hear how you shall dispose of it. I am in hast, but faithfully your's.
To the Venetian agent.
Yesterday went from hence for Brussels don Alonzo de Cardenas, who at Vienna hath provided some sums of money, and more is expected from Spain to this end, to raise some troops to send against the next year, as soon as may be, into Italy, where the war will be carried on with more vigour, now that there is no more hopes of peace.
J. Hopkins to major Drummond.
The friendshippe you have alwayes had for my brother and me, has occasioned this trouble to desyre, that you would speak with me. The bearer will shew you quhere; and be confident I have nothing to say to yow of the smallest prejudice of this state or your interest in them; but since you will perceive my intent clearer at meeting, I shall forbeare to trouble yow with mor now, bot that I hope you will contribute to endeavour my brother's libertie, and you shall fynd us reale in our professions, and sensible of the affronts done us, and since my inclinatione is so weale to knowe to yourself, I rest till meeting
Col. Tho. Strangwayes to secretary Thurloe.
Before I received your honour's of the 17th of Nov. which was the 4th instant, I received a letter from the lady Hall, which I send here inclosed; whereupon I hasted to Plansworth three miles from Durham, where the messenger left her; but not heareing their of any such person, I returned to Durham, where that night I received your honour's letter by the two officers belonging to sir J. Barkestead, who related to me many passages concerning her upon the roade, which gave them great cause to suspect her to be a cheate, and that she would endeavour to escape. The next morning I resolved, if possible, to sinde hir, which I did at Chester, in the mid way to Newcastle. She seamed then to make good what your honour writes relateing to three howses to be searcht; and that the provission of beefe, wheate, butter, and meale, was now removed, she knew not whether, forth of Hebbonhowse, as also the stillettoes and sirelocks from Fellowe-howse. She said, that my major did search for the popish chaple neare Darnton, but found not the place mentioned. She desired to be left to her selfe, and that she might speake with her father, who was then come to town, by whose assistance she doubted not but to make appear what she had alreadie made known to your honour, and much more; and withall relateing the great services she had done the comonwealth, in discovering the plott for the betraying of the tower, Langersoart, the Irishman, that was to stabb his highness, with many more great services. She tould me, her father knew all passages in these secrets; and that he would give further intelligence relateing to the betraying of Tinmouth castle. After I had given her all incoragement I could to persist in her resolution, I left her to her father's resolutions. The next morning I was with her, where I found her as far from making any thing appear to the perticulers pretended ed as before, only she talked high, and that she was not to be posted, for that she might work with her father by tenderness, who had already promised her to do greate offices for the comonwealth, and that he was to come to her again that morning with horses to carry her to his howse; and by my importunitie she promised I should speake with her father, who would give me satisfaction to what she had declared. Whereupon I withdrew to my lodging, where I met capt. Goore, Mr. Jobillin, and my cornett, expecting, according to her promise, she would have sent for me; but noe sooner was I gon from hir, but she got horses, and away she went; only her father sent mee a note, that he would come to mee at Durham within two dais. Finding her soe various, and having information by a good hand, that she was a great cheate in London, we verily believed she would escape, and therefore resolved to follow her to her father's howse, where she pretended many excuses. I desired to have something in confirmation by her father, of what she had affirmed; but the old drunken casherde prieste pretended he knew nothing, desireing untill the morning, and then he would discover whatever he knew. I did forbeare to press them to discover the truth, thinking it better the next morning to speake with him, when he was sober, which I did the next morning. The old man profest, he knew nothing particularly of the contributors to Charles Steward, professing he was never interessed in any receipts or returnes of money for the use aforesaid; but that he did believe he would be able in a little time to make sumthing appeare, which would be of great concernment to the comonwealth. I then defired to have somthing from herself, thereby to enable me to returne your honour some account of our proceedings, which with much adoe she gave me what I send heere inclosed. That night I left her, and retorned to Durham, where I spoke with the two officers, which came along with her. The corporall affirmes to mee, that this woman did offer, that if he would joyne with her, she would make this journey worth 1000 l. to him, and that she intended to compound with some of the principall contributors; and the rest she would discover, and that her father kept that boke or notes of the contributors names, and was concerned in the returns of the money. The corporall being timerous, and fearing to be insnared by this cuning woman, would not condescend to joyne with her in the compositions. She then sell out with him, and said he would loose a goose to get a feather. And further he faith, that when she was in York, she had expended all the money she brought to Yorke with her, and did borrowe some money of the quarter master. And the corporall saith, he knowes she had noe money, when she went forth of Yorke, but about 3 l. which he believes she left a pawne for. After they were upon their journey ten or twelve miles from Yorke, a man came to her mounted on a finely paste horse, and did salute her, and rid on the way faster then the quarter master and corporall was able to follow. The man set her on his horse and took hers; and whether they went that night, they know not. The next day they met with her at Pearce-bridge, where the corporall see her have a bagg of money, at the least 50 l. and she had great store of gold: he doth believe she got sum composition that night. I finde her so great a lyer, and so great a cheate, as we have just caused she will endeavour to gaine some compositions to hirselfe, and then endeavour to escape; which to prevent I left my cornet at Newcastle with directions to vissitt her once a day; and this day I sent the corporall to hur again, to see if he can possibly screw himself into her favour, the better to disclose her designs, and to prevent her escape. I intend to make a strict search the next monday in the howses mentioned, as also other howses, which is as highly suspected, and then shall see her and know her father's resolutions. I am confident this woman knowes much of the Papists conspiraces and Charles Steward's transanctions, if it could be gotten forth of her. Her expressions being to long to relate, craveing pardon for my tediousness, desireing your honour's further instructions therein. I take leave, and rest, sir,
Inclosed in the preceding letter.
Sir, you shall receive information from mee as in relation to what Mr. Secretary Thurley hath alredy sent you. But things beinge soe acsedentally misfortuned, hath put it for the present to a stand; but ther is no question to be mad, but in short time they will proceed; and for the better perfection of the bisnes I will with all dilligence wayt heerabouts, till I cann send you a perfect notice, and that with the first opertunity as may bee; whearby you may have time to fall unfailably uppon the bisnes and affect itt. In meane time what comands you thinke me capable off, whearin I may serve you, oblige
The lady Hall's Information.
1. Saith, that one Mr. Clavering of Axwell, who was chosen a member of this present parliament, but not admitted, for the county of Durham, did lend to Charles Stewart since (55) 4000 l. and that the said 4000 l. by order from sir Alexander Ascue, by bills of exchange, returned by herself, for major generall Massey.
2. She saith, that there is a Jewish merchant, that hath a fine house near London, well known to his highness, whose name is da Costa, which hath and is to receive very shortly the sum of 4000 l. for the use of Charles Stewart; which said sum is contribution money out of the county of Durham, and that part thereof is already paid unto Mr. Thomas Wray of Bemish, and already returned for the use aforesaid, to da Costa by Mr. Leger or his assignes from Newcastle, and that she received the remainder before this is paid into Mr. Wray, and will be speedily returned to the said da Costa.
3. She doth affirm, that Tinmouth castle was to be betrayed to the use of Charles Stewart, and that by major Tolchurst, who had been frequently in company with one Morley, an agent for Charles Stewart, who came over disguised. And further faith, that major Tolehurst had received large encouragements already from Charles Stewart, and that Mr. Claveren, and Adam Shepperdson was instruments there; and that Shepperdson did undertake to procure way to be made under the earth from some coal-pits, about two miles from thence unto the castle of Tinmouth, in case they should be streightned for victuals at the first, thereby to relieve them; and for that purpose great stock of provisions of beef, bacon, meat, wheat, and butter was laid into Heburn-house for victualing that guarrison; and that fourscore bullocks, and three hundred stilettoes was laid into Fellon-house. And further she faith, that Charles Howard was acquainted all along with this design, but did connive at it, but with all that he is a large contributer to Charles Stewart.
4. She saith, that there is a new plot in agitation, which she doubteth not but by the assistance of her father to discover. And that there is another contribution of 2200 l. that is now collecting in the county of Durham for Charles Stewart; and that when the money is got together, she would give me notice to seize it; but all these things she would advise with her father about, who had papers of the contributors names; and that he would discover all such persons, as have been concerned about the betraying of Tinmouth castle. She faith, that capt. Top . . now governor, was offered 20,000 l. to deliver the castle to Charles Stewart or his assignes.
5. She saith, let her but have a governor in Tinmouth castle, that she may conside in, she would be hanged, if she did not bring Charles Stewart in person into the castle, with a small number of his chief attendants, which we might do what we would with, but for the king, she would not for the world one hair of his head should perish.
6. She affirmeth, that she is the woman that did discover, and prevent the betraying of the tower of London, and Langley fort; and that she did discover the Irishman, that was to stab his highness; and that the life-guard are privy to that design, which his highness is acquainted with, and continues them still in their employment to trace their further designs.
7. She faith, she hath discovered many collonels, some of which are apprehended by her directions, which had commissions from Charles Stewart. She speaks of one lord Murray, a Scotchman, who received a commission from Charles Stewart, that was to surprize Carlile castle, and that col. Hume was to act in Scotland.
8. She confirmeth, that she sent down a packet to Mr. Ralph Millit of Bishoprick, wherein was a commission from Charles Stewart, for himself to be colonel of horse, and in that packet was a commission to be an officer; and she did deliver with her own hands commissions for two of the Lamptons to be captains in Millitt's regiments. She gave me a lift of the sirnames of such as she knew to be contributors from him, as follows; and that she would give me their Christian names so soon as she got her trunk, which was coming by the carriers, wherein was put her papers.
Mr. William Metham to secretary Thurloe.
The sicknes still continueing in these parts keeps me by force here, where dead commerce makes sterill newes, and especially by reason most or all of this gentrie; curious of novilties, are retired for safety out of town to their villas; whose acquaintance and costly visitts if, as I might, I should seek after, peradventure it would neither quit my charges, nor afford any thing worth your knowin. The ever churlish state of Florence to Genua, and jealous reports, makes the infection here more then reall, which otherwise by these late colds is exceedingly lessend, and our mortalitie decreased, since better order was taken for the frequent povertie, allotting two thousand crowns, yet not as liberall almes, to everie wanting familie, but to buy a certain magazin of silke and other traide to be imploid for the states interest, and to give the poor foode, according to their manual labours in knitting, and weaveing, &c. as also som other small pittance of bread for all such, as age or weaknes indisposeth and renders incapable to take paines. And indeed of an hundred and sixty thousand souls, which is the intire sum by exact computation of all these inhabitants both within and without the walls, there be almost two thirds, that suffer extreame need, especially in this time of interrupt traid from Rome, where they die one hundred a day. If winter alter not that scene, we shall heare strange tragedies, although at present his holiness pleaseth all with his charitable care and liberalitye, particularly to the poore, and such as are shutt up, assigncing each head a julie or six-pence sterling every day. Yet he forbids all access to his own person, not permitting any cardinall to enter his pontisicall pallace, unless he leave without his traine and followers; as also delivering his will and answeares rather by his cardinall datarie and other domesticke ministers, then by word of mouth. Nevertheless he hath determined two nuncios, one for Spain, the other for France, concerning which, being I can get nothing but at third hand, I dare not enlarge myselfe; yet all that court is much troubled, especially at a suspected league 'twixt you, Sweads, and France, if not also Holland, which bites the worse since the news of seven of your frigats encountring six of the plate fleet, and (as doubtles you have it) in a strange victorie, takeing two, destroying two, and letting the others escape with great difficultie, if they be yet escaped. This state highly resents it, and all now more then ever feare you by sea, since seven little frigats could maister six galleons, but as one related the business to this senate, told he see the frigats little indeed, but all fire and faile. The same newly arrived here from Cales, though as being but a seaman, worth les credit, reports the prize to be seven millions, and that still more galleons are expected from the West Indies bound for Bischy. To counterpoise this news so advantagious for you, certain Flemmish marchants bruit from Holland, how that his highness complaints had a fawcie replie from their states touching a prize retaken from the English in the channell, to wit a ship new built by the Neitherlands for the Majorchins; and besides that generall Rutier was randevouzing his men of war at the Tessell, &c. This finds some creditt here upon certain dark words, which Castel Roderigo lett fall at his being here, in order to some union 'twixt Holland and Spain, as I told you in my last under sir Martin Noel's cover. In it also I gave you an account of the queen of Swead's returne. She is now at Casale, and by reason of her somewhat scandalous levities in Italie, and more wit then discretion, many cannot believe she comes as an efficacious agitatrix of peace generall, but rather as a curious traveller, who in a whimsie rather intends Venice then Rome; yet as we heare, the Venetians are so employed and charged to mentaine and encrease their late victories against the Turke (who through shame now threatens them more than ever) that they excuse themselves from all publique complement to that queen; yet her journey over the snowie Alpes in winter season argues some business to his holines, concerning which here I can learne little as yet. She was sumptuously receaved in Turino, by surrender of keys, te Deums, and such like solemn entertainments; her intentions, as also the resolutions of the two English in her companie as state informers of cardinal Francisco Barberino I shall get here little and too stale knowledge, unless I were in Rome. There be some from your parts, that have informed Rome of strainge disputes in England, of a seditious parliament, &c. This diverse disassected English encrease, as namely one at Ligorne, kept for such purposes by the king of Scots, called Mr. Joseph Kent, using or rather abusing some of the Florentine court with his pretended correspondence with the noblest English cavaliers, &c. so that now in this cittie diverse begin to be difficult in remitting moneys for London, least they should be sequestred there, yea security 'gainst all such sequestration was required of one Mr. Odoard Wright, merchant, before he could obtain such remissions of moneys. Our Jesuits here begin again to be jelous for the West Indies, complaining of that monarch's extortions in seeking of particular estates to mentaine and desend his own, and withall are very inquisitive of what fleets you have or send thither. Now if you send any planters, send no Irish, for as I heare som of that nation's priests do perswade their countrymen to Spain, and the Spanish plantations; as also, as I heard of an Irish frier here, even to embarke to Jamaica with the English, so to get to the Spanish service thence, which place, they say, has to dareing a coast almost round about it, and so hard to be absolutely guarded, that diverse Spanish cow-killers, and Irish, do by stealth, yet com into it now and then. Of late I heare a more then usually kind of intercourse 'twixt Rome and the French court, and from the same I had, that a truce would be quickly agreed, if not a peace. We magnisie here a strainge and sirme league 'twixt the king of Scots, and king of Spain; yet the Jesuits do so uncharitably, if not scandalously discourse him, that I scarce believe it; nay, they say, he is kept in Flanders to compleat the Spanish armies with English soldiers, and for no other design, &c. As formerly I devoted myselfe and service to you, so thus I continue my dutie, according as the present inconvenience of time and place permitts. I am totally at your disposition; yet if I once reach Rome, my phras must not be too plaine, if not also now and then I use a character, concerning which I writ, and expect your answeare; as also in order to whatever comands you please to lay upon me, the better to deserve your esteem, and testisie my sidelity. So begging your lordship's pardon, that my expressions answeare not my duty and respect, I rest,
The inconveniencie of sending my letters, which as to your honour by name, I would not send without a cover, may make my letters somtime miscarrie; wheresore I beseech you under what superscription yours without your name.
This day hath set on foot a resolution of the Spaniards to fight you; for which end we heare they prepare at Cales, yet want men, and especially for sea; and though they send into Italie for such, yet they will find few, first, because the sicknes yet bannisheth Naples from all commerce, where in that same cittie are dead two hundred thousand souls, and then again the French under Modena imploys all Millan in its owne defence. The pope's nuntios go for peace, but withall with such autoritie in order church affaires, as people may not be for it to come to Rome in this plague.
The Dutch ambassadors in Denmark to the States General.
Our last to your lordship was on the 12th current. Since the king and the lord ryckhoff master, are returned to this cittie; and on that occasion have again recommendvery seriously, as well to the said lord, as to the lord chancellor, that which their high and mighty lordships were pleased to command us in their resolution about the salt company here; and we believe, that the business is brought so far, that we may expect suddenly an issue thereof, with some good hope, that the difficulty, which hath been therein hitherto by this side, will be surmounted, and their high and mighty lordships will thereby receive content, although we have not yet any thing offered unto us, that can give us full assurance thereof. The letter, which the duke of Brandenburgh sent to this king; contained nothing else, but that the said duke was resolved to send the lord Cleeft hither again.
Commissioner Pels to the States General.
High and mighty lords,
Since my last of the 19th current, his majesty of Poland is come within a mile of this place, leaving his army encamped not far from Dirschauw, which city is already straitned. His majesty hath some considerations, why he doth not yet come in person into Dantzick. The Holland and French ambassadors have desired audience of him, but he hath deferr'd them for some few days, either that he will come to Dantzick, or let them know where they may speak with his majesty.
As much as we can hear of the Swedish forces, they are marching towards Grandents, to pass over the Weyssell there, and to fight with the Polish army, if they can possibly: his majesty of Sweden is also gone from Frawenburgh after his army. The duke of Brandenburg will also send two ambassadors to the king of Poland, namely, the lords Overbeck, and Hoskins; but first the king of Sweden and the duke are said to have a conference together.
Col. Bampfylde to secretary Thurloe.
The constant good understanding, which I am informed there is betwixt his highness and the parliament, gives mee reason to believe this a very seasonable opportunity to receive the businesse of the tynn, which may at this conjuncture be setled with ease and withoute odium, with a very considerable benefit to the publique, and noe mean one to you, of such a nature as you may lawfully receive it. The facility of settling it consists in this, that there are divers (I am confident the greatest part) of the moste considerable proprietors, whoe desire it, and the ordinary workmen can hardly subsiste withoute it; soe as if your frends will agree upon the mayn, that those here shall farme it at the rate, which, as I ever thought, col. Sydenham was satisfied with, of 15,000 l. sterl. per annum, being more then what was ever heretofore given, when the mines (which are nowe delayed) were at the beste; wee shall take a course here by sir William Godolphin's means to have either his highness or the parliament (as you shall judge best) petitioned by a considerable parte of those chiefly interessed in Cornwall, that the business of the tynn may agayne be settled as formerly; which together with the inherent right, that the supreame magistrate manifestly has to it, will undoubtedly render it passable in the parliament. All the trouble you will have herein (which was the objection you made agaynest intermedling in this affayre) is but to move my lord protector, to signifie his pleasure, whether (if his highness has a legal right to the pre-emption, and that the proprietors petition for his assuming it) theise men shall be dealt with, and upon the tearmes they propose. According to that little reason I have, 'tis hard to discover, where these great niceties lye in this businesse, which requires soe much consideration, as one Mr. Bruerton a lawyer and others, whome colonell Sydenham consults with about it, have delayed it; upon which I drew up the case concerning the right the crown had to it, out of Cooke and Doderidge derived from king John's tyme, and gave it to col. Sydenham. Soe as where there appears a right in the chief lord, and a voluntary concurrence to the restoring thereof in the proprietors, I knowe not what other objections stand in the way to be removed. There are two here will be the farmers, whoe will disburse all moneys requisite for to bring the mines to their former state, and will give marchands security in London for the payment of the rent, which shall be agreed on, and for the performance of all particulars on their parte, and my name put into the lease (or whose else you please) as a third farmer, and shall receive a third of the profits withoute being at any charge or hazard, which, as neer as can bee computed, will amount to three thousand pound yearly, out of which you shall have one thousand every six months, constantly paid, either by me or any else, whom you shall intrust. This is no chimera, but that, which shall be justly performed, and more, if the profit amounts to more. And whereas you have demanded of mee, why this addition might not as well come into the publique revenue as to you; it owght to be considered, that the publique rent must be payd according to the agreement, thowgh every ship-load of tynn should be taken or suncke; but a dividend of the profit cannot be had but as it arises. If you ap prove of this, I shall write to one Mr. Cockaine, a kinsman of Mr. Paiton's, who is, I presume, knowne to you, and a very honest man, to come over to mee, and receive instructions for the sollicitation of this business, concerning which I desire a worde or two from you in your next. I am, sir,
The Spanish ambassador to the States General.
I underwritten ambassador of Spain do find myself obliged to impart to the lords States General the advice, which I received yesterday from my lord the prince of Isenghien, governor and captain general of the king my master in the dukedom of Geldres, how that my lord the viscount de Machaut, governor for this state in the city of Rhees, had given passage there to above one hundred French horsemen to enter and plunder the country of the said dukedom, after that the commander of Weisell had denied them passage through his place; which being quite contrary to the reiterated orders of their high and mighty lordships upon the like occasions, and contrary to their good intentions, he prayeth and desireth them with all possible instances, to give speedy order for the preventing of it for the future; and that they will be pleased to enjoin the said viscount and all other commanders, to forbear doing of the like partial acts hereafter for France; and that they will remember, that they are in the service of this state, which is a friend and ally of his majesty.
Mr. Bradshaw, resident at Hamburgh, to secretary Thurloe.
It should seeme Mr. Townely and his friends kept his departure very private, that nothinge thereof in three posts after should be knowne at Whitehall. I suppose my letter will give your honour the first notice of it, to which I may in course of the post have answer by the next. In my last week's letter I inclosed to his highness and the council, of which theise are duplicates, least that post should have miscarried. Though his soe returning hath put me heere into a very dispised condition, yet I beare it with patience, in expectation that a sutable course will be taken with him for his contempt. I shall ever remaine
From the same.
Although I know you have had an account from the company of what hath passed lately heere, yet in regard I understand they have represented things in a very passionate and undue manner, charging me very untruely (which ill becomes a courte) with threateninge the company, and that I goe about to ruine or weaken the creditt of particular men, because I discharge the dutie incumbent on me in the trust committed to me, thereby to exasperate such in the company, who possibly may not have taken notice, what is required by his highness both from the company and myself for the preservation of the honour and interest of the commonwealth in these parts; I thought meet to inclose you heere a duplicate of his highness's letter to the company, dated the 10th of February 1653, which if you please to compare with the company's refuseing to give me assistance for the secureing of Mr. Towneley, untill he should constitute sureties for his apppearance, being returned without the knowledge or consent of his highness or the council, who had soe specially commanded him over to answer his misdemeanors, together with the requisition they made of declaring myself, as they have exprest in their register; I presume you will think, it was but necessary in me, for the begetting of a better understandinge betweene us, to signifie unto them according to this inclosed paper, that soe I might know what to expect from them, and in what manner they intended to answer his highness's commands in the predict letter; for is insteed of giving me assistance for the bringing of offenders to condigne punishment, they give me opposi tion therein, and thereby example this senate and citie to do the like, and be permitted therein, it cannot then be expected that I should be able to effect what is required at my hands, or longer to preserve the publicke character I beare from contempt. It's more than probable, that some leadinge men heere having by the swayinge of a partie of younge and disaffected men prevailed to out me from the place of deputie, that I should no longer inspect theire actions in that capacitie, doe now designe to try, whose authority, whether that of his highness in his publicke minister, or that of the company, shall lye uppermost heere, presuming (as some of them are not shy to give out) that they are now sufficiently befrinded for it. But I suppose his highness will give them to understand, that he will maintaine his owne honour in his publicke ministers abroad equal with that of other princes and states; and not suffer his commandes to be soe disputed and triffled with by the subjects of the commonwealth; and also that the company at London will not thinke fitt to countenance such proceedings, but rather reprove them; that soe the fellowshipp may still retain the necessary grace and favour of his highness, as it shall be my care heere (notwithstanding the unkind usage I have found) upon all occasions to manisest my uttermost endeavours for the good and advantage of the company heere resideing, as also to approve myself,
A letter of intelligence.
They write from Rome of the 21st of October, that it was agreed and concluded in the last consistory, that the pope should defer giving audiences, till such time that the plague, which hath infected a third part of the city, should cease. His holiness hath had four domestics die of it, and the palace of Medicis is also infected; and although the pope is advised to shut himself up, yet he will be acting. The extraordinary nuncios for the general peace are nominated, and his holiness more earnest to advance that business than ever.
The prince of Conde is at Rocroy, where he is expecting the marshal of la Ferté, who desireth to have a rate set upon him for his ransom, and he will pay it, being in a place which is altogether contrary to his health.
Tuesday, the 11th of November, 1656.
Ordered by his highness the lord protector and the council, that the commissioners for the Dutch treaty be authorized to treat with the lord ambassador from the States General, for agreeing a pass for three years, and offer it to the council for their consideration.
Tuesday, the 11th of November, 1656.
That it be offered to his highness, as the advice of the council, that his highnesse will be pleased to give leave to col. William Lockhart to come over into England for a fortnight, and that Mr. Secretary do write a letter unto him accordingly.
Secretary Thurloe to H. Cromwell, major general of the forces in Ireland.
Wee are still jogginge on in parlament, beinge about many thinges, but have yet brought very little to perfection. Most of the last weeke hath beene spent in consideringe wayes to raise money, being loath, exceeding loath, to raise the tax; but I beleeve wee shall be compelled to it at last, when wee are wearye of seekinge money by other meanes without fruit; and this is all the newes our home affairs afford.
The Swede hath lately obteyned a very considerable victory against the Poles and Tartars. One of his generalls in conjunction with the duke of Brandenburgh's forces fell upon 10,000 of them, and routed them, recovered prince Radzevill, whom the Poles had taken lately before, and made them forsake their cannon and baggage, with the losse of some hundred of them.
A letter of intelligence.
Here is no news at present, but we expect some action shortly, since the Littawe's army hath made four weeks still stand with the duke of Brandenburgh; and the duke, as they say, would not suffer his forces to go with those of the king of Sweden to the field, who is set over or yet coming over at Grandentz, whither a party of 5000 Poles are gone.
A letter of intelligence from col. Bampfylde.
Your laste to mee was dated three weekes agone, since which tyme this is the sixt I have written, besides the packett I sent by my servant, of whome I have not heard any thing since his departure, which gives mee both trouble and admiration. If you please to continue your letters as you did to monsieur Barry, or to Mr. L o n g e at R o a n e 55 75, either way I beleeve nowe they will come safely to my hands. There are two extraordinary nonceos dispatched from Rome, seignieur Piccolomini, secretary of state (whoe continues his charge) into France, and seignieur Bonnelli, governor of Rome, for Spayne. The principall affayre they have in comission is the mediation of the peace between the two crownes. Cardinal Bichi, who is patrone of the French at Rome, allowes Piccolomini 6000 crownes a year pension; from whome that comes originally, and to what end it is given, you need not be informed. The duke de Bournonville goes hence speedily embassador to Rome. Here is likely to be a new disgust betwixt the duke of Orleance and the cardinal about the leutenancye of Languedock, and the government of the cittadel of Montpelliere, which are worth 8000 pistolls per annum, which the cardinal would have given to the duke de Arpajoux, and the duke of Orleance (as being governour of the province) would give them to the duke d'Anville, whoe is his great confident, and well at the courte. Some of the clergye were lately with the cardinall aboute the affayre of the cardinal de Rets, to whome his eminence reproached the archbishop of Sens for having quitted the interest of his majesty to espouse that of the cardinall de Rets, after the king had given him but a few dayes before the abbaye of St. Jeane d'Angely. The bishop being advertised of this, went to monsieur le Tillier, and delivered him the king's brevet, telling him, that he did not accepte it as the purchase of his conscience or honour; and nowe he understood, that the price thereof was soe great, he thought fit to render it agayne. The prince of Conde has sent to marshal la Ferté to render himself prisoner at Rockroy, according to his parolle; but they say, that his physicians advise him not to prejudice his health by returning to soe ill an air, insoemuch, that he has desired the prince to sett his ransome and he will pay it. Some thinke, that he apprehends in his absence his government of Lorrayne might be gott out of his hands, and be conferred on prince Eugenio, whoe is to marry the cardinall's neice. The Portugall envoy is arrived his business in the generall is the strengtheninge of the league betwixt the two crownes (in which they say he is to endeavour, that the English interest may be comprised, which seems strange that an Irish fryer should labour to advance) and the king of France's marriage with the infanta of Portugall: I hope to give you a more particular accounte of his negotiation in a few dayes. The curates of Paris and Rouen, whoe are peradventure moste of them Jansenians, oppose themselves violently to the Jesuits, not openly upon any principles of Jansenius, but agaynest the Jesuites new doctrine published in their morall theologye. The quarrell is soe great betwixt them, and the subject soe plausible, that it may produce more trouble then is generally foreseen or regarded. A courier passed through this citty upon sunday laste from Madrid to Flanders, and called privately upon 937 in his way. Of this you may possitively assure yourselfe, the Spaniards are preparing all the fleet they can possibly make. The Biscayners have sent the king to that end 300,000 crownes. I should be glade to heare some tymes from you, or (if I may not have that happiness) from some other by your order, if it be but to signifie the receipt of the letters, which are written to you by,
Lockhart, resident in France, to secretary Thurloe.
I Have received yours of October the 9th, and am glad to hear that you are in any measure satisfied with my answer to his eminence in the businesse of M. de Bordeaux. His highness's further orders in it shall be obeyed at the first opportunity.
Myne of the 21/1 gave account of all that past at that morning's audience, save what did relate to the Protestants of the Valleyes, for whose sufferings I had expressed very great regraitts at the two preceeding audiences. And when at the last I begunn to renew my complaints concerning them, he told me he had sent an expresse to their ambassador in Savoy, comanding him to represent to the dutchesse, that if the late treaty with that people were not punctually observed, the alliance betwixt his highnesse and the king of France would oblydge his majesty to see to their reparatione for any prejudice they had sustained by its breach. And when I told him, that poore people were dubbly unhappy, first in regaird the ambassador of France (upon whose protection they did much rely) was a churchman, and consequently bound to have no great zeale for such as they called hereticks (I did not think it convenient to make knowen their sadd complaints against him in plainer terms, he being brother to M. d'Servient, who is the great person hear after the cardinall, and as report goes, of a most vindictive spirit) the second thing, to which I attributed their unhappyness was, that if the treaty, into which they had been cheated, were not altered in severall particulars, that people would be more miserable, then if they had been left to the rage and cruelty of their enemies without any treaty at all. His answer to the first was, that he was indeed jealus, their ambassador was too remisse in his applications in the behalf of that people; and therefore did no more trust their concernments to him alone, but had made it his earnest request to a friend in that court (who hath great influence upon the dutchesse) to take upon him the protectione of chose poor people, whose endeavours for them he expects a good account of. To the second he said, that the businesse of Valence and the duke of Modena should no sooner be so settled, as he might speake free language, but his highnesse should find his comands in that particular to have all the prevalencie with him that could be desyred.
Count de Brienne gave me the honour of a visit this afternoon, a favour he seldom bestowes upon any. He told the businesse touching the shipp taken by M. de Milleray's men of warr, was before the council yesterday, and that all satisfaction, that the interessed could in reason demand, would be granted, and the commander de la Roche should be severely punished at his return. As I was waiting upon him to his coach, the Holland's ambassador came into the court. Count Brienne made many excuses for not having seen him at his howse. The ambassador said (but with an alteratione that was visible) as he did not meritt that honor, so he did not expect it.
The hops your last gives me, that I shall by the first conveniency receive your commands concerning the businesse of Dunkirk, hath exceedingly comforted me, though I retain my fears, that the businesse shall not have its desired issue, except the proposition concerning the 2000 men be condescended too. I humbly begg, that letters of revocatione may accompany your orders in the aforesaid particular. When I gave you the trouble of mentioning this formerly, I omitted one reason, that I shall now presume to offer: my poor wys is within six weeks of her tyme, and is of that spirit, that her resentments of my absence from her at that time will go near to kill her; for she is so unhappy both to herself and me, as to beleeve, that if it were my own desyre to be recalled, it would not be denyed me.
The inclosed arrest will give you a hint of the posture of that part of affairs here, that relaits to the misunderstandings, that are lyke to be betwixt the court and the parliament. It's more than probable, that this will grow to a considerable hight. The Lord's goodnesse to you in giving so seasonably a better agreement betwixt his highness and his parliament then almost could have been hoped for, is the more to be admyred.
Before I end this rude scribble, I must crave pardon for burthening you with my intercession in the behalf of a brother-in-law of myn, who is one of the members, that the council hath not approven. Mr. Disbrow will give your honour a trew character of him; and if his approbation may be without breaking of rewls, I shall owe that favour to him, to the continuance of your goodnesse too,
H. Cromwell, major general of the army in Ireland, to secretary Thurloe.
Wee have not heard any thinge from England for three weekes paste, the winds have bin soe contrary, that the packett boate could not come from the other side. I desire the Lord to send us better newes from you then these laste weeks you have had from us. Good people here have bin much affected with those cheques and rebukes, which that designe for the West Indies hath formerly and nowe lately mett with. Yesterday wee spent the day privately, to inquire and seeke the mind of the Lord concerning the sade dispensations, which have attended that undertakeinge.
I sent ane express to his highness on satterday laste, which gave ane account of that shipp's returne, which hade col. Moore and twoe hundred of those men on boarde, bound for Jamaica, into the harbour of Cork: it was a verry great providence, that the shipp was able to live at sea, she was so leakie, and by reason of her age and craziness soe unable to indure any stress of weather. I hope you will call the contracters to ane account for their carelessness and covetousness in this business. Col. Moore's men landed here are (blessed be God) all well, and readye to goe one their voyage, if his highness thinke fitt, that they should proceed thereon this winter-season. If this shipp can be made tite to swime (which is much doubted) yet shee is soe rotten, crazie, and unable to deal with fowle weather, that I cannot advise, that the men should be again ventured in her. I gave his highness ane account, that their is a shipp at Kinsale, which is stronge and tite, and well fitted for such a voyage, and of burthen capable to receive both men and provisions; shee hath 18 or 20 guns one boarde her. Their is care taken for secureing and preserveing the provisions, which were in the other shipp, which shall be continued; and the like care used for keeping the men together, till his highnesse's pleasure be knowne therein, which I desire may be sent with all possible speed.
I have not hade time to returne any answere to your letter concerninge the settlement of the militia here, it consistinge of many perticulers, which will require time. I gave col. Cooper the best state of it I could, to the end I might informe his highness thereof. I doe somewhat wonder this business finds any hesitation, knoweinge howe acceptable it would have bin formerly; but I see good and necessarie things fare the worse comeing from my hande. I knowe noe objection against it as proposed, but that it is too large, which was designed in a time, wherein we have continueall alarms of attempts both from abroade and at home; but, if it please the Lord, they blowe over, I think it may be much lessned, and had accordingly resolved to doe it. The approbation of the officers I reserved to the consideration of myself and the cheife officers of the army, and was resolved to consider them with much caution and circumspection, before I gave them their commissions; but if his highness requires a list of their names, it shall be sent as soone as it comes to my handes. I did likewise acquaint you, that this militia would be without any charge to the publique; the men, bothe officers and soldiers, consistinge of such as have formerly served the parliament, and are now sett downe one their lands, which they have received for their service, and are willing and desirecus to be putt into this posture for their defence and securitie against the Irish common enemy and tories, who doe daily infest and trouble the English plantations; and therefore I doe not thinke, that the reason for this militia to be under that obligation of the publique pay is altogether soe weightie and necessarie here as it may be in England. I did not thinke to have bin soe large in this business, haveing so fully communicated my minde therein to col. Cooper; but the apprchensions I have of the ill consequences, which may attend any disappointment that shall be putt uppon this affaire (which has been soe farre proceeded in) at a time, when you may have moste occasion to make use of them, hath ingaged me to give you these hints. His highness hathe writt to me aboute Mr. Bury's haveing the treasurer's place for this nation. To deale truly with you, as the treasury is now managed, there can be noe exact account taken of it; and therefore it's of absolute necessitie to have it forthwith settled, and I knowe noe better hande to intrust it with, then this honest worthie gentleman. I remaine
A shipp, that came the latter end of the laste weeke into Kinsale from the Barbadoes, gives an account, that shee since the laste storme mett a fleet bounde for Jamaica, in the trade winde, safe and well, which we hope may be lieutenant general Braine, and the rest of the fleet, that went hence.
Resident Sasburgh to the States General.
My lords, that which past here since my last is of no great consideration. The nuncio of the pope here hath given a present to his highness of odoriferous waters, French gloves, and other fine Roman rarities, all which was presented to his highness by Dr. Chislet, and the same was well accepted of. His highness, after he had been lett blood, hath been purged by advice of the doctors, and is now in perfect health again. He was on tuesday at church to hear public mass. The agreement between the court and the states of Flanders for the quartering of the soldiers is not yet perfected. They will not agree as yet to what his highness demandeth.
The troops of the prince of Condé are marching into Luxemburgh. The guards of his highness, who are quartered in the adjacent villages, do play such pranks, that the country people do quake and tremble before them.
Courtin to Bordeaux, the French ambassador in England.
It is verily believed here, that the lords of Holland in their next assembly, which will begin next week, will dispatch the ratification of the treaty of Elbing. If they do it, it will be by their own motion, the ministers of Sweden having resolved not to solicite them to it. The chiefest points of the assembly of those of Holland are, as I hear, to consider of some means to reconcile with speed the crowns of Sweden and Poland; to make the first forsake his conquests in Prussia, and to consider whether they shall continue their mighty offers to the elector of Brandenburgh, to make him forsake the party of Sweden, and to induce him to embrace no other interests but those of the commerce of the Baltic sea. It is likely, they will take a resolution upon this point too late, for I saw a letter of the king of Sweden writ at Frawenburgh on the 28th of the last month, that in a few days he will have concluded his treaty with the elector, there being no obstacles that can hinder the signing; and that after it is signed, he will wholly apply himself to the affairs of Poland. I have heard, that a chief person of this state should have said, that now their fleet is come home from the Baltic, that they had nothing to fear from England or France, having strength enough to oppose them; nor that the Spanish fleet from the Indies should never be plundered any more by the English; and that these provinces will take care to conduct and preserve them from the like dangers.