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 (5 of 7)
Dr. J. Gauden to Dr. N. Bernard.
Reverend sir, and my very worthy freind. Finding, as I have some time intimated to you, an hopefull inclination becomeing Christians (and ministers especially of the gospel of peace) in many ministers, toward a fraternall harmony and union in the mayne matters of doctrine, worship, holy life, and orderly communion among themselves, however, in lesser matters they may have different persuasions; I thought it my duty to God and the publique to endeavour in all sayre wayes to promote soe great and good an interest, in which the honor of the Christian and reformed religion, as alsoe the peace and welfare of this church and nation, is very much bound up.
I find all sides are content to remitt of former rigors and distances, which they carried on too far and too high: every sober minister, of what stamp or character soever hys ordination hath beene, will easily discerne, that hys autority and the honor of hys imployment is best carried on by sociall accords, as it must needs bee weakned and diminished by breakings and divisions, which tend not to edification but confusion.
They all vote these two things, 1. Ut sit ministerium evangelicum; that there bee an holy order or function of evangelicall ministers, appointed and fitted for that great work, the care and conduct of soules to heaven. 1. Fitnes or the dona required are, 1. Scientiæ sacræ. 2. Eloquentiæ sobriæ. 3. Gratiæ sinceræ. These they require as the materiale of a minister.
2. The formale consists in that mission or autority; which is derived from Christ as the fountaine of that power: all seeme to agree in this as to the fource, but vary in the conduict or chanell and way of derivation; some being for the peoples suffrages or choise, others for the presbyters only, a third for a bishop or president join'd with the presbyters, which truly to me appeares to be the cleare and constant practise of the antient churches in point of ordination to the office; however, the faythfull people's vote and presbyters suffrage was joyned to them. I am of opinion, that it is not only easy, but the best and safest way to reconcile these three in one, soe as no part should have cause to complaine, with any modesty or charity. Next to the esse ministerii they all wish well to the bene esse of it, which seemes to consist in three things: 1. Debito honore, that they bee redeemed from vulgar contempt, first by the sanctity and exemplary strictnes of their lives, together with the grave and comly discharge of their publique offices; next by some token or sanction of civill favour, which will easyly content them. 2. Debito stipendio, by competent and ingenious support in point of mayntenance, which would be much advanced, not only by the favour of augmentation, which reach to but few poore ministers, by alsoe by some reliefe and ease to them, as to publique taxes, wherein yf they might pay only as for stock and not land-rates, it would much help and incourage them, considering most of them compound for their tithes at easy rates; they get in the money or composition very slowly, they pay tenths and first fruites beyond other estates. And all is but the hire of their labours, but for life only, and under an expected necessity of living hospitably beyond other men of moderate estates. You cannot imagine how much it would oblige them, yf any publique favour in this kind was expressed to ministers, nor would it lessen the publique subsidyes or aydes, which would still bee made up by the people in each parish, without any sense or complaint of burden, for it comes to very little among many, which is heavy to one man.
3. The third meanes of the well-being of ministers and the ministry is agreed by all to consist in debito ordine & regimine, that they may be brought from their scatterings and divisions, to such a government and orderly union, as may carry on their work with the greatest peace, comfort, and benefit to themselfes and others, by joynt counsells, frequent conventions, or synods, holy exercises, and improvements of their guists and graces, as becomes the ministers and Christ's glorious gospel.
Yet this great knot, which hath rather beene hacked or hewed by the swords of mens toungs, then calmely untied by their hands, may as easyly admitt a fayre conciliation, as it did of old, when nothing was done without the consent of the presbytery or common counsell, yet by the moderation, and under the presidency of one, whom they chose to be cheife among them, according to the paterne received from the first times.
Thus farr, I find the pulse of most men, that formerly beate high and hott, are now much remitting of their feaverish distempers. I know your candor to be such, and integrity, that apart from all passion and partiallity, you would willingly advance any designe of Christian peace and accord, which will be the surest defensative against the incursion of Popish superstitions and atheisticall insolencys, which I feare get too great advance by the sad diffensions among us. I am sure they have hopes by these methods to prevayle against all that is Christian and truly reformed.
Thus, sir, have I added to your trouble these lines, which give you some more exact scheme, than formerly by word of mouth I presented to you, touching the sense I find among my brethren in order to church setlings, which al seeme earnestly to desire, yf God vouchsafe to give successe, which cheifly depends (under God) upon that favour and approbation (at least permission and indulgence) which they may obteine from hys highnes and hys counsell.
Commissioner Pels to the States General.
High and mighty lords.
His majesty made his entrance into this town on the 15th current, and was conducted by two troops of horse. His majesty had a reasonable train, whereof the chiefest were the two lord chancellors, two field marshals, and several other lords. The citizens here stood all in arms in the city, and the Netherland soldiers in the suburbs, who are here now in good order, and care taken of them by the magistrates of this place.
The king of Poland was defrayed and treated by this city three days together, and he is to give audience to-day to the French lords ambassadors, and to those of your high and mighty lordships afterwards. It were to be wished, that a good peace might be concluded.
They write from Koningsburgh, that the general Gonzieusky hath made a cessation of arms with the duke of Brandenburgh for a month. The king of Poland hath no advice thereof, and seemeth not willing to it.
The king of Sweden is at Grandents, where he is mustering his forces together to pass the Weyssel. The Polish army lieth some two miles from hence, and send out several parties to prejudice their enemy, and hinder their designs.
Mr. Bradshaw resident at Hamburgh to secretary Thurloe.
By your's this post I am assured of your receit of myne, which gave notice of Mr. Townley's returne hither, and that by the next I may expect the councell's pleasure in that busines. I doubt not but my addresses to his highness and the councell came to your honour's hands by the following post, and that a sutable course will be taken with Mr. Townley for his contempt in soe returninge, added to his large score of former misdemeanors. By this time I suppose you will have heard of an application from the company at London in favour of Mr. Townley, and those that take his part here; this court haveinge writt very strange letters of late to that, to stir them up thereunto, plainely telling them, that they will rather be noe companie then faile of their end in subordinatinge his highness's authority in his publique minister to the power of their court; which yet they maske over with pretences (but most falsly) that I seeke to introduce an arbitrary power over them, and to have it in my power to ruin men at my pleasure: soe are they pleased to interpret the comands of his highness for obeyinge and giveinge me assistance to bring offenders to condigne punishment, as it more perticulerly appears in the paper I lately sent your honour, and wherein it doth sufficiently appear what they ayme at. The truth is, such as have formerly acted in a private capacitty haveinge now got the name and seale of the company to cloake their proceedings, are become most impudent and unconscionable in their wresteinge of all my words and answers to them, denyinge and concealeinge the truth in a shamelesse manner, which as a court I thought they would never have done, though I have long knowne, that many among them would sticke at nothing. If you please but to enjoyne Mr. Skinner their secretarie to shewe you this court's late letters to that of the 28th of October and 4th instant, you will therein see how intollerably they abuse me, which they thinke, by the creditt of the companie's seale and their friends at London, to beare themselves out in, boastinge that the governours and de putie with other friends they have, will by their interest in his highness and the councell, prevaile to carrie it for them. But sure his highness and the councell will at last resente their deceitful dealinge, and conforme them better unto their dutie; otherwise that I shall be discharged from haveinge to doe any further with them, in whome I find soe little of truth and honestie, a truble which I hartily wish I might fairely rid my hands of, and which indeed I had done longe since, as your honour very well knowes, if I might have been permitted; and when I was also very sensible, what an uncomfortable and tedious business it would be to contest with a multitude of such malignant and ill-natured men, as I found them to be, especially consideringe the state had noe leasure to mynde such matters. I heere inclose a copy of my last weeke's letter to the governor, which I pray you to read over; and now that things are come up to this height, as that he that runnes may read what the company here ayme at, I beseech you, sir, put forth yourselfe for a sutable redresse, or that I may be fairely freed from such a burthen, as noe man would beare that can eat his owne bread; wherein also you will free yourself from this weekly truble, which very unwillingly I give you, and shall be forst to doe till the busines be ended. Referringe your honour to the inclosed intelligence, I affectionatly remayne
A letter of intelligence.
Though I have formerly acquainted you with a designe, which I had heard some wicked persons had against his highness's life, yet I cannot satisfie myself, till I have againe told you, that I am still more and more inclined to beleeve it; for I was assured, that lately there was a chimney fired in Whitehall on purpose to effect it. Whether this be true or no, is no hard matter to finde out. Then I am told, that the cheife undertaker of this villany is a man unsuspected, and in great esteeme, and lives in your house; and something I have heard, as if it were to be done by pouder, and in the night, which may be easily prevented, if private search be made in those roomes, over which his highness makes his most ordinary aboade. Then their great designe is to begin, say they, with this monstrous prologue, and that they intend to cry out liberty, religion, and taking away of taxes. These are either presbyterians, or levelers, or a mixture of all sorts. And now I finde, that Kent is named as well for the landing of Charles Stewart, as the other place of the deepes by Lin; and that before the end of December, as they suppose; but a messenger is dayly looked for from him, and what he brings, you shall most certainely know from me, sir,
If the weather were not too cold for you, I should be glad to waite on you. The names of his cheife agents here I shall keep, till I have the honour to see you; and do most humbly beseech you to burne this paper, and to conceale the contents of it, or at least the author's name.
General Monck to secretary Thurloe.
I Received your leter of the 17th of November, and I have laide out for the securing of major Straughan, and likewise major Drumond, who is a black haired man, who came over with major Straughan. Wee cannot yet light on them to apprehend them. I have likewise secured the earle of Selkirke, who was in armes in the last warr, and is married to the dutches of Hamilton, and has a great interest both in the hills and in the Lowelands. I have writ you heere inclosed, what inteligence I have. The leter was sent from one Dempster (a priest, which lived in the hills) to some frends of his beyond seas, who sent it to don John of Austria, who had inteligence of it before Charles Stuart, whom don John came to see. And I send you the discourse, that passed between them, which was procured from a gentleman present with them at that time. I desire you to take a fitt time to acquaint my lord protector with it, and make what use you can of it, but for the shipps I wrote to you of, I I could wish they were sent to their stations; for then I beleeve they may give a good accompt of their men, armes, ammunition, or other provisions coming to the enimy. But for any thing they can doe, I thinke 'twill not bee much; only to make some bustle to keep upp their credit with the king of Spaine. This is all at present from him, who is
The copy of the return of the diligence of those employed by Charles Stuart to negotiate, here in Scotland and places elsewhere.
Upon the letters and other papers received in July last, all informations imaginable for encouragement was given to his majesty's friends, that they should stand constant, and be ready for his assistance, when occasion offered; which is so well received; that there needs be no fear that any thing shall be wanting here; so that if the want be not where relief is most looked for, there will be no impediment at all. It is generally desired by all, that there be no precipitancy; for that only has made all former designs ineffectual. So before any attempt all things should be in readiness, that once there may be something done to the purpose. And the giving it out several times before it be intended, will make the enemy neglect all, and those employed for discovery will be disappointed. The intended addresses to the parliament for complimenting the protector and relief of burdens, will not hold neither by the ministers nor shires, being so gross an acknowledgement and submission to his government; for although applications be made for present safety, yet there is none, who willingly will do any thing so filthy, as to submit to his government. For the ministers, the resolution party of them that are most eminent, such as Douglas, Wood, Blaire, Dickson, Bailly and others, are doing nothing but to keep themselves in credit, and to keep off both the protestors and the rest of the ministers, that so they may have all the power themselves. But they have published so much both in pulpit and print, that they shall be infamous to the world, if they be not real to his majesty for all the profession they make. And for the protesting party, for all was reported of them, and means has been used to gain them, yet they have done nothing for, but declared against his government; and so if they had the power, which formerly they had, to rule all, there needed be no doubt of them neither. And for both parties, the fear of the stipend will always command them. And the nobility and gentry are so slighted, their estates ruined by assignments, excise, fines, and forfeitures, that they would do every thing for their own delivery.
There has been nothing left undone by the enemy to get such commissioners made choice of that parliament, as best might serve their ends; and yet there is more than the half of them turned off. And although these who are kept on, should grant their desires, the number being so few, it is nothing to a consent, the whole body being so averse and ready to do every thing to the contrary; but for prosecuting the business, it cannot be expected, that any thing can be done here or in England, except some both men and money with his majesty himself come in. And seeing there were very many of the Irish banished, who went to Spain, it is earnestly desired in the first place, that these be ordered to take their best opportunity to come home, to prepare their friends both here and in Ireland; and then that his majesty come in person, with such a competent number as may be had, and land in Ireland, and from thence here, for all are turned beggars both here and there, and so all will be soldiers. And tho' the number that comes be but few, yet one will be called ten, the rumour whereof will quicken the spirits of all our friends, and dash our enemies; and if any fail at first, no dallying or quarters, but present fire and sword, especially about the Highland garrisons, which will make them soon quit them, if they be not furnished by the country in fresh provisions. And then there is no impediment, and they are all wearied of Loquhaber already, for their soldiers die every day there; and although there be but few, yet there are some real friends to the king in the island of Skey, who with the rest of the king's friends in Athol, Argyle, and Seafort, will command all the rest of the Highlands, though they were enemies, as they are not. And for sir James Macdonald, for safety of his estate he will swear and forswear, as he did to col. Bamfield, and so neither party needs respect him. But there is one lieut. col. Smith come over sea; and it is given out that he is banished, but it is no such matter; but he is come by sir James Macdonald's means to do mischief. And the like may be expected of col. Borthwick also. Therefore take heed of these, for all that ever the enemy as yet hath done, there are few they dare trust of Scotsmen and enemies; they have almost the whole country; so there be a considerable sum of money brought in, when the king comes, the country at present being so emptied of money by the burdens which lie upon it, there needs be no doubt, but his majesty shall be established, his enemies ruined; and upon their estates these monies repaid to the king of Spain; and never was there a time these many ages, that business went fairer for the king of Spain's designs, nor now, if his majesties forces were come united to the king of Spain's, and no impediment but this of Britain, which shall be easily taken out of the way, if some competent number of men and sums of money be sent in at the first beginning of the business; and thereafter there needs be no fear of want, for all are enemies to that present tyranny, and so all stands on men and money; and all encouragements and informations was ever given was to this purpose, which failing, all will fail; and for the West India business, if this go right, all will prove to the king of Spain's desire. Although the designs of Jamaica, or England, or any else have not been effectual, there needed no fear, if this last take effect, all will be well. So let nothing be moved while all be ready; for it does nothing but ruin the best friends his majesty has, when any thing is discovered: so let it not be any letter, but some trusty person that comes with any information, which may be committed to Napier and Belcarres, of whose valour and worth there has appeared more than can be written. We hear of their safe landing, and expect they shall be with his majesty before this comes. There is no more but the prayers of
The heads of a discourse between Charles Stuart and don John of Austria, relating to the letters sent by Demster out of Scotland.
Upon the 17th of October 1656, being Friday, at four of the clock in the afternoon, don John of Austria having made a visit to the king of Britain: after several complements; don John told the king, that he had seen the return of his friends from Scotland, and shewed that he was very glad to see how well they were, and how constant they were for him, notwithstanding all their sufferings. He shewed how he had perused the letter, and was so well satisfied therewith, that he resolved to communicate the same to his majesty of Spain and his council; and was confident, that both money and men, and every other thing for satisfying the desires thereof would be granted; and concluded that there was no such effectual means for carrying on their interest, as that express'd in the letter. But before he would write his letters, he desired to be resolved in some few doubts, that so he might give his majesty a perfect account, and an expected return. First he doubted, that the people of Scotland would be real to him, they failing him in all his former hopes, and it might be expected they would fail him much more now, he having called them of Spain (who was not only of a contrary, but enemies to their religion) for their assistance. And it was to be feared they would rather cleave to the English upon hopes and assurances to be eased of their burdens, nor ever to join with them. Secondly, the said Argyle and his son, who were the chief persons in the Highlands, were now in special friendship with the English; so that if they should not prove real, nothing could be done by such as should be sent over, being but strangers, and unable to abide the toil and hardships of that country. And lastly, he doubted that the ministers, who formerly had been his father's and his own enemies, would now be made his friends; especially seeing they had submitted to the English government, and had sent commissioners to give testimony thereof. Don John said these were his main doubts; and these being removed, he prosessed he had no further scruple, but was assured it should be an advantageous business both to his majesty of Spain and his affairs, and to his majesty also. As to these doubts the king told, that for his people of Scotland's reality he doubted nothing thereof; for they were ever formerly betrayed, which made them fail to him or his father, which would not be now. And for relief of burdens, he had assurance sufficient, that they would perish, before ever they would make any address to the English upon that account, as to a submission to their government, still waiting for what he was to do for them by the help of his friends, in whose number his majesty of Spain was chief. And to remove further scruple, he assured him, that he and his brothers should all go with them, and be partakers of all their condition, wherewith don John seemed satisfied. As for the second, Argyle and his son's reality; as for his son, the king said, he was as assured of him as of his brother; and for the father, he knew always how to gain him; and for their friends, they were all his friends upon his son's account. As for the report, that Argyle himself was getting great things from the English, he said how much he got, it was always the better for him; for the the business would need it all, for Argyle was a wise man, and would not stand in his way alone. And to tell truth he said, I have more of him than of any other; and except for Cromwell himself, it is certain he carries immortal hatred at Lambert and Monck, and all the rest of their officers. And of this evidence shall be given anon. So that if he had once the oppor tunity, it would be soon seen, what his part should be. Don John desired to see those evidences, which would clear all which was promised. And for the last, the ministers of Scotland, the king said, it was true, that they had ever stood in his father's way, but that which lost them to his father had gained them to him, for his father trusted always to his cause, never caring to make the leading men of the ministers for him, which he said he had done; even the same men mentioned in the letter, who, he said, had such influence on all the rest of the ministry, that they durst do nothing without their consent; for evidence whereof he said, I will lay, that the ministers shall not observe this fast or thanksgiving; which may shew that they will never be for them, except for their own safety. Don John said, I should be glad to hear that, and shall think the better of all the rest, if that be so; and gave full assurance, that he would give a full account of all to his majesty of Spaine, and in short time should get a return.
Farther don John desired the king to use all his utmost endeavours with all his friends, for hastening the agreement of Spain with France; which being done (he said) and their friends of Poland and his Imperial majesty secured, they had no more to do to carry their whole desires; and to right the king of Britain's business was no great matter to his majesty of Spain and his friends; and therefore again desired a short time, and the king should see an expected end of his business, and that there would be no defect at all, if it were not in his own friends, with whom he desired the king to use all means, that no impediment might be in them.
When don John was gone, Charles Stuart said to Ramsey, ye are witness, and I have trusted thee to take care to advertise my friends what you have heard. I have no more, but desires to see thyself with all speed.
Secretary Thurloe to H. Cromwell, major general of the forces in Ireland.
The first messenger, which your lordship sent, was returned yesterday with a full answer to your lordship's letter concerninge the ship, which was driven into the harbour of Corke, whereunto I can add nothing, nor need I trouble your lordship further in that perticuler.
The parliament is still in preparation of thinges, haveinge brought little to perfection yet. Many bills are in hand; one amongst the rest is for confirmation of all the sales made by the parliament, in which was this passage, that the sales should be good against his highnes, his heirs, and successors. Great exception was to one of those words, but the exception was not accepted in the house.
A comittee was this day attendinge his highnes about the manner of the parliament's addresse to his highnes in passeinge bills; wherein they are agreed soe, that now it is possible wee may 'ere longe have some fruit of parliament, and one act or two passed in few dayes. Our intelligence continues out of Flanders, that the pretended kinge hath about 1000 men together, and agents are ymployed for gettinge shippinge to take them on board. These 1000 men, some are very confident, are intended for Scotland, whither a very considerable agent is gone to raise his partye. I gave generall Moncke notice of hym, but he mist hym very narrowly, haveinge escaped in woman's apparell. Besides these 1000 men they hope much of all the Irish in France, and its certeyne, that Muskerry and other officers are gone to them into Flanders, which makes me thinke they have some great hopes, otherwise they would scarce have deserted soe considerable a service. I shall take the best care I can to get knowledge of their designes. Wee here very little from Poland or Swethland by the last letters, save that the kinge of Swethland hath lost his chancelor Oxensterne, who is dead of the plague, which is a great losse to hym. I remeyne
The French and Holland ambassadors are already here, the Imperial and Danish expected shortly; and we begin here to hope for peace. I hope his highness will proceed in his intention of sending his ambassadors for these parts. I hope also the condition of the English will be considered of in respect of this town, where none of our nation, which lately traded here, dare be seen or appear; and indeed I must needs say, those of this town do daily very uncivilly and unkindly with us, in denying liberty to come from a neutral place, at least, to look after our debts; but without doubt, if his highness by his letters or ambassador would take cognizance of our condition, we should find these people more friendly. And though I know they hate the lord protector, and consequently us also, because they esteem both friends to the Swedes, so that in this respect they might continue their unkindness; yet if his highness would but shew himself, the fear of an after-clap would make them more civil. The captivity of Konigsmarck, and death of Oxenstiern (the prime heads for action and council) is a mighty loss to the Swedes. I spoke with Konigsmarck's secretary, who assures me, that the Muscovites have wholly quitted the siege of Riga, and retreated out of Livonia; as also that the Cossacks (who are in alliance with the king of Sweden) have fallen upon the Tartars in their return with their booty, killed many, put the rest to flight, taken away all their plunder, and relieved the captives, amongst whom was one col. Peter, highly esteemed of by the king of Sweden, and whose freedom was welcome news to him.
Letters from France tell us, that the proposed match between the duke d'Anjou and the infanta of Spain was one of the great reasons, why the treaty between Spain and France was broken off; for that the said infanta hath already been promised to the king of Hungary; nor would the king of France accept of any other terms, but that the Netherlands should be given to the infanta for a dowry. From Amsterdam they are pleased to entertain our statesmen here with a pretty story; making them believe, as if the king of Spain hath lighted upon a mighty treasure at Toledo; for they relate, that within a certain mountain thereabouts they found a most magnificent palace founded upon huge marble pillars, which was hung with all manner of escutchions made of massy pure gold, and beset with a number of most precious jewels. Item, that they found in another room twenty great chests with ducats ready coined. And therefore it's concluded, that the king of Spain can want no money, though he should lose one plate fleet after another, with the mines of Peru. Thus populus vult decipi. We long to hear the confirmation of the earthquake in those parts; for certainly this loss would go near to ruin Spain. And although it would make the world somewhat poorer (for by the hands of Spain so much money hath been derived and dispersed hitherto throughout all nations) yet there would be no great loss by that; these riches having been the sad causes and occasions to so many sins and abominations. And in former times when there was less store of money, the people lived more happily than now a days. Madam Christina is no more in that respect at Rome as she hath been; nor doth the emperor yet know how to resolve himself in order to the Polonian offers, being hugely perplexed at the hopeful treaties of peace between the Swede and Muscovites. This great council of state is still of opinion, that he should not interest himself in those affairs, except he may have the joint concurrence and consent of the states of the empire. But if he refer this affair to their determination, I can assure you it will not be concluded in haste. The Turkish emperor hath desired a pass, designing to march through Friul by land into the Venetian territories, but he got a flat denial.
We hear there is a Scotsman answering Dr. Moulin's book, which you lent to Dr. Horne of Leyden, who writes thus of it: Liber Molinæi (Parænesis ad ædificatores Imperii, &c.) apud nos cum applausu legitur: mihi sane recta ratione controversias illas persecutus fuisse videtur. Thus far that learned man. As for mine own opinion of Erastianism, I believe with your pacifical friend, that that controversy will never be ended by way of dispute, but let both the ministry and the magistracy concur de facto in their spheres to do what is undeniably their duties for Christ and his kingdom, and not wrangling about the pretensions of right, provoke each other by love and condescensions to all ways of orderliness for edification unto a conjunction of endeavours to set up holiness and good works both in church and commonwealth. Quæstiones juris theoretically discuss'd are scarce ever brought to a full decision between coordinate officers or states; but when both do de facto, which is undeniably their duty to ad vance the same end each in his own sphere, the rights of both are asserted in the practice of that which is good. But when the one, to assert a right unto himself, will hinder the other from the performance of his duty in his way proper to his sphere, then there can arise nothing from thence but trouble and confusion, envy, and strife, and complaints, from whence at last tumults may arise. Let the ministry remain within his sphere, and serve the magistrate thro' love, and not meddle with the state under a pretence of religion, and God will fit all the rest well enough to edification by the administration of the ordinances within doors. How it now stands in Scotland with the national synod, I know no further than by hear-say, that they are all broken to pieces within themselves for controversies relating to the states, and to their own ways of proceeding each with other. Thus when the main of our duty is neglected, we fall to be divided about by matters. Concerning the great hopes the Zealanders had of late about their new-found mines, they are in a manner vanished; for a well-knowing and experimenting man delivered his judgment to a confiding friend of his in the following words, Minera illa ex novo orbe Hagæ suit probata, ope salis communis & plumbi, facilis artificio; sed nota bene, quod sumtus vix perferri potest. I am informed, the states of Holland offer notable propositions to such as will go in and inhabit in new Netherlands in America; if poor, their charge as to freight, meat, drink, and clothes shall be borne; they shall have house and land free, only the tenth of the profit of the commodities they shall produce must come to the states. This some think a blessed work for the poor, and wish it might be published, which whether it be fit to be done and will not be matter of jealousy, rather than laudable emulation to the great men, I leave to your prudence to judge off. Mr. Rous's mystical marriage is turned also into the Belgick language, and printed of late, but your Epistola Gratulatoria to the high German translation is not annexed, but quite left out. By this also you may see the malice of this people against my lord protector and the present not unhappy government.
These are to certify the good news of a stricter and nearer alliance between the king of Sweden and elector of Brandenburgh, for the great point about the sovereignty of Prussia is agreed upon, and needs only the ratification. The Polish resident in this place is vapouring, making his king above thirty thousand strong; but he doth not mention the incredible number of boys, women, and all sort of most vile and rascally people, that are armed with straw, pitch, and tar, for firing of villages and towns, and committing of all manner of unheard cruelties, wherever they prevail. It will now be seasonable for England to court the king of Denmark, who is extremely incensed against the Hollanders. The forenamed king is said to shew great respect unto my lord protector, in offering not to enter upon any treaty with the Swede without communicating aforehand with his highness. Captanda est hæc occasio abstrahendi principem illum radicitus ab aliis malesidis amicis. Also the elector of Brandenburgh should be assisted with main and might, for upon his shoulders lie for the present all the Polonian and Barbarian powers; for truly the king of Sweden alone is in no case to resist them. And here all the counsels tend mainly to no other end but to undermine and weaken him more and more, that he may be utterly disenabled to attempt any considerable matter against the house of Austria; but the foresaid elector is not altogether so great an object of their jealousy. It is a sad providence, that the king of Sweden did lose in one week two eminent ministers, qui armis & confiliis valebant. The intercepted royal Swedish secretary, who was reported to have had several letters with secret instructions about him, did only carry the articles of the agreement made lately between the king of Sweden and the Holland ambassadors in Prussia, and nothing, else. The deceased electer of Saxony left behind him no more than seventy eight children and children's children, so writes the widow electrice of Brandenburgh. The Holland fleet, that was sent into the Baltick sea, consisting of forty and odd men of war, hath cost the state both for the setting them out and maintaining them abroad no more than two millions of Holland money, or two hundred thousand pound sterling; but the naval charges are said to amount to far greater and higher sums.
The Dutch ambassadors in Denmark to Ruysch.
We had to-day a counter-visit from the lord chancellor of Poland, and we had discourse with him about the subject of peace, and we understood by him, that his majesty and council were still of opinion, first, that there could be no negotiation than by the interposition of mediators, and also those mediators, which should be first proposed by the king of Sweden, were to declare to like of them. Secondly, that by treaty, Prussia or the Conquests in the same are to be restored to Poland, and put into such a condition as the same was before the war. Both by us and the French ambassadors several endeavours have been used to moderate this preciseness, but hitherto we have not been able to make any of our projects take effect.
The chancellor of Poland to the States General.
Est quod magnopere gratuler patriæ meæ tempestate ista bellorum & mœsta rerum facie
illam amicis non penitus orbatam esse, quos inter præcipue eminet singularis celsitudinum
vestrarum erga sacram regiam majestatem & remp. Polonam propensio, & conservandi antiqui status nostri, defendendæ commerciorum libertatis, reprimendæ insolentiæ hostilis suscepta
cogitatio conatusque. Ad hunc beatum finem præter ostenta nuper valida auxilia, legationem etiam a celsissimis vestris spectare ex literis earundem ac illustrissimorum dominorum legatorum colloquio mecum habito lætus intellexi. Mihi equidem nihil magis cordi est, quam
ut afflicta patria nostra pertinaci bello & difficultatibus expediri aliquando possit, ut tandem
ab omni parte pax honesta & tuta stabiliatur. Quod divinæ providentiæ permittens meam
singularem observantiam & promptam officiorum rationem erga celsitudines vestras atque celsissimos dominos legatos approbare semper qua publice qua privatim contendam. De reliquo
prosperitatem omnem celsitudinibus vestris a Deo precatus, me ipsum quam deligenter commendo. Date Gedani die xxix mensis Nov. Anno Domini M.DC.LVI. Earundem celsitudinum vestrarum
Ad officia paratissimus,
Stephanus comes de Pilia Kariymasky, supremus cancellarius regni Poloniæ.
To Bordeaux the French ambassador in England.
On thursday last my lord president de Thou, was nominated for the extraordinary embassy of Holland; and the court presseth him to depart. It is said, that it is to receive the alliances of this crown with those states, and that afterwards he is to take upon him the quality of ordinary ambassador.
The court went yesterday to Vincennes, where they delight themselves in riding a hunting, this fine weather having invited his majesty thereunto. They write still from Rome, that the plague doth continue in that city, and his holiness is still shut up. The queen of Sweden is hastening to Rome, where she will reside, and endeavour to reconcile by her means the two crowns of France and Spain.
They write from Cazal, that the Germans do commit very barbarous cruelties at Nice, where they fortify themselves to secure their winter-quarters, they have surprized and plundered the town of Canelle in Piedmont. The Spaniards are no less barbarous than they who at present are at Incisa, Castelnovo, and other places at Montferrat.
A letter of intelligence from mons. Vernatti.
It is a pollitick act without question in many to exaggerat their acknowledgments for benefitts received, to the end they hope to attract a greater measure upon their thankfulnes: but so is it not with me; I depose my heart full to the top of sober and serious gratitude, and feeling of your goodnes towards mine; and more yet (if that can be) when she, who is the neerest witness to it, renders me an articulat account of the circumstances it is performed with, with so much joy, that she appeares transported with sorrow to envie me, who without her, seeme to be in the opportunities to deserve it. She faithfully believes I will, and to advance the meanes she doth resigne without grudging, all the interest lyes in her power to contribute. And I shall, I am sure, with my affections, if my actions by what obstacle soever have the mishap to becom abortive. Pardon this prelude; it lay above and would not be suppressed. Whatever it appeares, it comes moved with humillitie, will live in observancy, and dye in sidelitie. Now are the propositions of Flanders concluded and signed by don John on sunday last, the 23d of Nov. of exceeding moment in the opinion universaly of all men, to the re-establishing of these languishing contries into their former wealth and reputation, from a ruinous unto a flourishing condition, to the comfort of her inhabitants, the terror of her enemies, and the glory of her soveraine. But whether all men think so I cannot tell, for 'tis usuall, that by-standers loock upon play with more penetrating eyes, and can better distinguish advantadge from prejudice, wants and oversights in provissions and performances, then they that are nettled in the consusions of a desperate game. But had I as many degrees of experience in matters of state, as I have years that are capable of it, I would deliver my opinion with confidence, which now scapes well, if it may pass for not ridiculous, since it shocques the apprehensions generally of all I meet with. Can it be of advantage to a people, prejudice to an enemie, or glorious to a king, to be reduced to a necessitie to pawne his power to defend it? Can such weaknes in a prince, and such diffidence in a subject produce other then confusion? But then to comitt it in the hands of such as are not nowe to begin to make prove of theire unhandsom administration, when time was that they were trusted, witness the citadell that was built, not for defence, but to bridle the wicked and base insolencies of them of Gaunt. Witness the halters, which their magistrates to this day in all solemnities, as a badge of their incorrigible infidelities, and an especiall grace of Charle Quint, weare about their necks. They durst in theire moode, without collour or reason, snatch the cheese councellors from the sides of Marie theire soveraigne princes, hail them to execution, and put them to death even in her presence, whilst she tore her hair, bathed herself in teares, and with the most doleful tearmes begged but the life of her ministers. They are a generation, by the judgement of their very neighbours, guilty of a kind of inbread cruel inhumanitie; and they are **** of the prime trustees of that fainting king's prerogative, to punish and reward so many as are agreed to be comitted to their discretion. It is but for one year. But Semiramis had but one day to subvert the whole power of her husband.
The articles are not yet published, but the substance, as I am informed, is, that they of Flanders are to be free from quartering; for it to contribute dayly 22000 rations, whereout first, they to pay and maintain 4000 foot and 800 horse, the rest to accrue to D. John collers, they to be quartered upon their frontiers, and for the especiall defence of Flanders. All punishment of millitarie delicts to be done according to their constitutions, without the intervening of a councell of war, with some cautions of little or no weight to the contrarie. There is strength enough with a distasted and ill conditioned people in a populous countrie to swell to the biggness of a just armie, that upon any misunderstanding, incident in a desolate and needy time, will cross and affront his master to the advantage of any enemie, though the ruine of themselves; but 'tis not done till the king conceade it. And need they had to demurr upon it, for if it goes on, I see mythincks the symptoms of the last abois of his dying power. And if Lorenzo de Medicis, that pollitic Florentine, should but loock up, he would thrust his shoulder under that arme of Spain to hould it from falling, that sometimes it might but shewe her clawes to scare the Dutch as well as French. England laies aloose as a castle on a hill with walls impenetrable, and cannot suffer, but when God appoints by a speciall warrant, a totall revolution: a fair seate to becom arbitrator of the differences of the interests of Christendom. This discourse, as it is besides my employ, so it is by out my art, yet not contrary to my affections, which freely discover my imperfections, that you may certainly know what to trust to, in causes of greater necessitie. For here falls nothing to say, that I can choose to entertaine you with, except it be the imbecillities of the poor babe Charles, in the sensles pursuit of his ill-prospering levies. The 1000 men formerly mentioned amount now to 1140 by the late accesse of seven score, so officers as soldiers, all Irish of those regiments, that at the seedge of Condé sollicited by Ormond, pleaded their excuse, and are now come with the princes of Orenge, on saturday last was senit to Bruges to repent them of their choice, or I of my judgement. For seeing this obstinate continuance in the uniting of such an inconsiderable handfull to oppose such numerous and vissible forces, I have used all endeavours to penetrate their intentions, and either they have none, but to watch miracles, or do miracles in keeping them closely, where there is so many that cannot leave babling. I am, sir,
Lockhart, ambassador in France, to secretary Thurloe.
May it please your honour, Yesterday I received both your's with one inclosed from his highness; for which I returne my most humble thanks. This day I waited upon the cardinall at Bois de Vincents, and hath been stayed so long there, as I have no more time leit me then to begg your allowance, that my acount of what's past at this morning's audience may be delayed, till I have the happinesse to waite upon your honor in England.
I pressed the businesse of Brest, and the cardinall told me it was a mistake. The shipps a building are his. Sir John Cartright is the person employed about that affaire by him. Howsoever I was not satisfied, till he sent for the secretary of the admiraltie, who assured the same thing, and gave them orders to write to the officers of the admiraltie, there to arrest and secure all ships of warr, that were a building there or newly built, and did not belong to the king. The difference betwixt the courts of France and the Jesuits is not yet come to any great hight, tho' the courts complain much, that the Jesuits take upon them to confesse and administer the sacrements in the respective parishes of France without license from their respective courts, who have the charge of theise parishes, whereby not only the dependence of the people upon their courts is weakned, but also their profitts are lessned, which they used to receive from the people at their confession. The Jansenists grow dayly in reputatione, but the story concerning them must be so long, as I shall deferr it till my arrivall in London. The cardinall tells me the Spanyards are in great fears for their fleet: one of the shipps they sent with orders to them, is taken by your fleet, and their preparations at Cadiz and elsewhere for that fleet they pretend to put to sea to fight yours, are like to come to nothing. I shall not fayle (if it please God) to be at Dieppe the 28th of Nov. old style. I am
Col. Bampfylde to secretary Thurloe.
Your's of the 16/6 present and of the 23/13, are come to my hands; in neither of which I have any advertisement, whether you have yet dispatched my messenger, nor howe you approve or dislike what I have done heere, or in relation to 959 and 1037. I never relyed soe much upon my own judgment, but that I was allways desirous of the directions of those, who trusted mee, in all my proceedings of any importance; and if for want of them nowe, I showlde err, I might thinke myselfe very unhappy, but not much faulty. Your seldome writing, the little notice you take of any particulars in my letters, your never being pleased since my arrivall here to give mee any instructions howe to comporte myselfe, together with the consideration of an 30 24 150 20 70 12 16 8 36 82 being here, gives mee grounds to believe (as I did before I left England, of which I tolde you) that my residence in this place cowld not be of that importance to you, which I could wish it; since in all likelyhoode he, who is looked upon as a publique 3 31 43 42 20 37 30 36 to 889 is entyerly trusted, has money to dispose of upon all affayres, muste needs goe beyonde a person, whoe wants all theise advantages. I doe not mention this by way of complaynte, or dissatisfaction, in any other consideration, saveing that of my falling shorte of what I would doe to serve you. Mons. de Leonne is not yet gone; the reasons of his delay and his business in this employment I beleive collonell Lockarte, who he has visited of late, may from himselfe give you soe perfect an accounte, that 'twere but actum agere for mee to say any thing upon that subject. The dutchess of Longavill, the prince of Condye's sister, has been for some tyme neer this citty, at a place called Manbuisson, having liberty to correspond with her brother. And mons. le Tillier is to goe hence speedily in the quality of embassadour extraordinarie to the states of the Low-countryes, for the renewing of the league and the war with the house of Austria, if it be possible; and notwithstanding this, and mons. de Leonnes negotiation into Germany, yet the treaty continues with Spayne underhand, and will be pushed vigorously at by the pope and church. The nuncios extraordinary to France and Spayne are on theyr way. The assembly of the clergie are framing a remonstrance agayneste the Hugonotts, and particularly agayneste those of Montauban, whoe they violently accuse of great disorders. The bishop of Sens had order to drawe up the remonstrance, but the king has prohibited his doeing of it, and his comeing to courte; whereupon the assembly have desired the archbishop of Narbone to represent to the cardinall the unhappy effects, which this and some other late proceedings of his majesty's in disfavoure of the church may produce. The parliament sits not till monday next, the occasions of it's delay is a pretended indisposition of the premier president, tho' the true reason is, that the differences betwixte the court, the chamber of accounts, the masters of the requests, and the parliament not being yet accorded; murmurings and dissatisfactions both in the church and state dayly increase here; and without the spirit of prophesie one may with great assurances foresee and foretell a civile war here within eight months, if a generall peace prevents it not; which by all I can discover is not likely to take place. The Germane armye is in the Millanoise, of which came in 12000, are certaynly reduced to 4000 for want of subsistance. The cardinall is very kinde to coll. Lockharte, and has pre sented him (as one of his retinue tolde mee) with two or three barbes. Touching the tynne, your oppinion (that the proposition of sixty thousand pounds per annum will fall to nothinge) will fall out right. The whole tinne of England yet discovered, not amounting to ten hundred thousand weight, and solde at the dearest rate, yields not above five pounds the hundred; so as the whole valew of the commodity not rising to above fivety thousand pounds sterling, 'twere wonderfull at leaste, if the profit (all taxes being payd, and all charges defrayed, and solde here, where it sells dearest, at nine pound sterling the hundred) showld amounte to soe much more then the principall. If the proposition I have made to you shall appear reasonable at any time, you knowe where to send your commands. I doubt this is but some of somebody els to get it into theyr hands. There may I confess a greater profit arise then what my frends offer, but none I dare say will venture to give more, till they have had one year's experience, and then you may rayse it as you see cause. I have noe more to say for the present, but that I am
Nieuport, the Dutch ambassador; to the protector.
Joost Duvelaer, and Simon Mertsen, both merchands and citizens of Middleborough in Zealand (having laden aboard of a ship of Flushing in the same province called the Whalefish, whereof was master Jacob Quars, a citizen of the same town, at Bourdeaux in France, about an hundred thousand pounds rosine, and sent the same wholly for their own account and adventure to Peter Duvelacr, the son of the said Joost Duvelaer, and his factor at St. Malo in Brittanny, in the month of Aug. 1655) which ship having been seized by an English man of war, and brought up at Plimouth by a merchant, their correspondent in London hath reclaimed the said rosine in the court of the admiralty, where the cause hath been depending ever since, and is not yet determined, although the said merchant their correspondent, who followeth the same in behalf of the said proprietors, hath always been confident that the propriety and the right of the said merchants at Middleborough, did appear so evidently, that it was needless to trouble his most serene highness about the said cause.
Yet now by a speciall letter of the lords the States General, their subscribed extraordinary ambassador is required to deliver to his most serene highness a letter of the said lords the States General, whereby they do instantly desire, that the said rosine, appertaining wholly to the said merchants their subjects, and no subjects of France; as was pretended, or any other nations having any interest therein, may be restored to the said merchants, or the just value of them. And therefore the said ambassador findeth himself obliged to beseech most instantly, that it may please his most serene highness to order, that restitution may be made of the said goods, or the true value thereof, with a reasonable allowance of costs and damages. Given this 19/19 Nov. 1656.
H. Cromwell, major general of the army in Ireland, to secretary Thurloe.
His highnes was pleased at the importunity of some persons, to appoynt this gentleman capt. Wray, to be deputy governor to major generall Mitton at Beau Morrice. I have since had occasione several times to passe that way in my journeys to Ireland, and have always found him expressing much faithfulness to the government, and very carefull and active in his trust there. This is what I can say for him, and (unles there can be some objected against him which I know not off) I know not a fitter person (major general Mitton being removed by death) to have the command of that place, which I desire you will endeavour to procure for him, and remayne
Dublin, Nov. 19, 1656.
H. Cromwell to secretary Thurloe.
I Wrote to you by your laste post largely, and therefore shall be but briefe by this, haveing nothinge of moment to imparte to you. I desire you will minde Mr. Bury's business. I have much cause to suspect that the publique much suffers by the present uncerteyn way the business of the treasury is in. I writt to you from Athlone, touching the renewinge of Sr. Charles Coote's patent for president of Conaught. I hope you doe not forget it. He is a person that well deserves his highness's favour.
I doe a little wonder, that your laste makes noe mention of the account I sent his highness of the wrack of one of the Jamaica shipps upon the western coast of this nation, and of the returne of another of those shipps with col. Moore and 200 men; bothe which I sent above fourteen days since by expresses to his highness. Col. Moor's men are in a good condition and readie and willing to goe on their voyage soe soone as the shippinge cane be made readie. Its much doubted whether their former ships cane be fitted againe. I acquainted his highness that there is an excelent new strong shipp of sufficient burthen and strength 20 guns in Kinsale harbor, willing to undertake that voyage.
The last account you gave of the Swedish affaires in Poland was very welcome to us here. I am glad to heare you still prosper soe well in your affaires in parliament. Here is one Mr. Santhy that has bin formerly imployed as a commissioner for administration of justice, knowne well to my brother Fleetwood: he is now out of employment: if you will speak with my brother Fleetwood about him, and he approve of him, I should recommend him to the sollicitor generall's place of Ireland, if you do not think fitt to conferr it upon col. Shapcott, whoe formerly sollicited for it. I am
The Portuguese ambassador to secretary Thurloe.
In pursuance of what we yesterday concluded about the settling of a day for the publication of the peace, as well here as in Portugall, I should be very glad you would be pleased to make choice of these two by me appointed, viz. the first or third of February old stile, being in your's the 22d or 24th of January next, these being the two months we agreed upon. I expect in writing the day which you pitch upon, that I may acquaint his majesty by severall wais, that so the publication may in the same day be observed, as also our friendship known with this remonstrance to the subjects of either, lasting, as I hope God shall permitt, to the world's end: and having not else, I remaine, sir,
Commission of king Charles.
Whereas our good brother the Catholic king hath a war against our rebels, and is resolved to give us the best assistance he can for the recovery of our dominions; and to that purpose hath assigned quarters for such of our good subjects to resort to, who desire to serve us, where they shall be put into regiments under our commission; we not doubting of your affection and fidelity to us, do hereby require and command you upon your alligeance to repair in the best manner you can to us with these under your command, where we will make provision for you according to your several qualities. And that you let your friends, with whom you have any correspondency, and who prosess obedience to us, know, that we expect from them an entire submission to these our commands; and for so doing this shall be to you and them a sufficient warrant. Given at our court at Bruges the 30th day of Nov. 1656, in the eighth year of our reign.
A letter of intelligence.
Here are at present all the states of the province of Holland assembled. They use the utmost of their endeavours to separate the elector of Brandenburgh and Sweden, by that means to force the king of Sweden to quit Prussia. The General States have lately sent instructions or a memorial to their ambassadors in Prussia concerning the mediation betwixt the two crowns, wherein they command them to persuade the Swede to quit Prussia, and the Pole the Swedish title and pretension to Lisland. One of the state's ambassadors lately in Prussia, named Slingerlandt, is lately arrived here: he is this day to give his report before the General States.
Here are ten men of war made ready, in which vice-admiral de Ruyter shall with the first set sail towards the Midland sea (as they pretend) to force Algier and Tunis to the like accord with this state as the English lately forced them to. The Spanish hold earnestly in Amsterdam, that they would send some ships to meet the Spanish silver-fleet, which they expect from terra firma, to take out the silver and transport it hither: whether they will do it or no, time will give. The Danish order of the elephant is grown common in these parts, not only admiral Opdam but several of the states wearing it openly, by which they declare themselves good Danish.
A letter of intelligence from the Hague.
The dean of Hilverenbeke being dead, it was the turn of Geldre to have those prebends. The commissioners of Geldre, four present in number, had already cast lots, to whom those benesits should belong, amounting well near to 2000 guilders per annum. The lot fell upon the lord Vander Steen, who was to give some considerable sums to lords Gent, Ripperda, and Huygens; but in the mean time came an advice from the council of state, saying, there was not wherewithal to maintain the minister, schoolmasters, and clerks of churches in the city of Boisleduc, and that it would be necessary to apply those benesits to the said use, not ad luxum profanorum; upon which already Holland, Zealand (Utrecht half divided) Friesland, Overyssel, and Groningen, have concluded, that the said revenue shall be applied to the said religious uses.
The lord of Renswoude is also returned, honoured with the order of the elephant. Holland deliberateth to make a law, that none of their's shall accept any such order from any foreign princes without their consent.
The ratification of the guaranty with Denmark was this day resolved on. They are angry here, that the English do keep the harbour of Salee blocked up. Ruyter is designed with a very strong squadron for the Mediterranean sea.
The lords Kuyf, Ripperse, and de Hoge, are returned from Boisleduc; and have made report of what past there hitherto: the lords Schook and Glas do still continue there. The account of the year 1628 to 1629 is not to be found; the magistrates have also writ a letter in their justification.
Out of the deanery of Hilverenbeeke they have given three purses of an hundred and twenty five guilders each, for the three sons of the ministers Lotius, Steeremont, and Linde. The remainder is to go to the ministers of Boisleduc.
The ambassadors at Dantzick have writ a long secret letter, containing that the king of Sweden will release nothing of what was concluded at Elbing; also they demonstrate or endeavour to demonstrate, that the demands of explanation have no grounds.
The lord of Achtienhoven hath presented a petition to the high council, desiring relief in the act, which he past declaring his wife to be an honest woman, saying, that she induced him to the said act through fraud and deceit.
There was a memorandum of the ambassador of Spain read, concerning the judges of the chamber mipartie. The rear-admiral Tromp hath been in the assembly of the States General, saying, for his report only, that he was returned with the twelve ships, delivering a letter from those of Dantzick, being only a compliment or recommendation of the said Tromp.
The lord Schuylenborch hath made complaint; concerning the troops of his province in Dantzick, that Percevall used them worse than the rest; also desiring to know in what condition the soldiers are there.
The lord Slingelant is safely arrived, but he hath not as yet appeared in the States General, but hath been in assembly of the states of Holland, and his discourses also tend to justify the treaty of Elbing, after the same manner as the ambassadors writ. The lord Beverning hath made report concerning the action of major Maureignault against those of Gent, that the ambassador of Spain would interpose in it as mediator.
The lord Slingelant hath not yet made his report, but in the mean time the affairs of Prussia are debated in the assembly of Holland, as also the commissioners of Dantzick have presented a memorandum for some subsidy; but upon that there is nothing else resolved, but that the provinces shall be admonished to declare themselves, which will delay the business a while; and that is to say, that the provinces will not give any thing.
This day there was great debate amongst the provinces concerning the soldiers of this state at Dantzick, and Perceval, and their employment. Zealand and the other provinces did very much complain of that, desiring to know, who sent the said Perceval, what order he hath; item, what service those troops do; but at last Holland prevailed, that it was only resolved, that a letter shall be writ to the ambassadors at Dantzick, to the end, to inform themselves of the true constitution of these troops, how they are accommodated; and that this state doth understand, that they are and remain in the service of this state.
There is a letter come from the prince Maurice, signifying, that the prince of Condé hath order to come and quarter in the countrey of Geldrey, and that it is very much feared, that he will come into the countrey of Cleve, either to quarter or plunder.
Durham. The information of Francis Worttley gent. taken upon oath (before the commissioners for the county of Durham, for securing the peace of the commonwealth) the 21st of Nov. 1656, against Mr. Henry Howard, late prisoner in the gaol of Durham; who saith and informeth,
That Mr. Howard told him, that he came from the court of the Scottish king out of France at Easter last; and that there was then with him in the court, James duke of York, and his brother the duke of Glocester, but York and Glocester was going to leave him, when he came away, with many other noblemen of quality that was with him, whom Mr. Howard did name unto me, but I have forgot their names.
And this informer further faith, that the said Mr. Howard told him, he came down from London to speak with some gentlemen in this country, and so to take shipping at Newcastle, and go for France again with all speed that he possibly could; but what his occasions was with the gentlemen, this informer doth not know, neither their names.
And further faith, that the said Mr. Howard told him, that he came from London in the worst apparel he had, but if he had thought he should have been taken and imprisoned, he would have been better accommodated than he was, but he did expect to have dispatched his business here; and when he came in place, where he could presently get his clothes from London; but where this place was or is, this informer doth not know.
And further faith, the said Mr. Howard did shew this informer unrequired six old pieces of gold, and one eleven shilling piece, and said that for every piece he had, if he were set at liberty, he knew within a short space where to have ten. And further saith not.
Courtin to Bordeaux the French ambassador in England.
The assembly of Holland is not yet completed; it is supposed to be intended for the finding out some means, whereby to draw off the duke of Brandenburgh from the king of Sweden's party: though they say this is none of the points to be agitated in this next assembly; yet it is believed by many wise, to be one point of this meeting, and that it is kept as a secret amongst them; and that not all of the assembly are privy to it. The oath of the soldiers lest at Dantzick, which they gave to the magistrate there, is looked upon but as a piece of policy of these particular persons, and no ways advised from hence so to do; for here every body murmureth at it, and complaineth of their proceedings. Those of Dantzick are very much divided in opinions amongst themselves, and this the ambassadors of this state advise, who write, that they found there many persons disposed to accept of the treaty of Elbing, and to receive the neutrality offered unto them, and that those, who were against it, would not have opposed it so much, without the hopes and promises of this state, which doth still expect the issue of affairs between the two fighting kings. The Polish army consists of fifteen or sixteen thousand men, whereof there be but two thousand that are soldiers, the rest are lamentable creatures only sit to plunder, and destroy all that they come near.
A letter of intelligence from the Hague.
The deliberations for the ratification of the treaty of Elbing are now here in crise; the relation of the lord Slingelant, as also the letter of the ambassadors, give quite another impression of the said treaty than what Holland or Amsterdam had imagined, although that this their imagination proceeded rather from the siege of Riga and the conquest of Livonia (which Amsterdam did too formerly believe) than from any reasonable ground. Now we shall soon see, which way Holland inclineth, and by them the rest will follow. Those of Amsterdam have produced complaints, that the men of war of Cromwel do keep blocked up the harbour of Salee, hindering the commerce and navigation of those of the the states of Holland thither. I know that they debate to give order to Ruyter (who is to go with a good squadron of ships for the Mediterranean sea) to fight and destroy those of the protector, in case they continue to hinder the Hollanders from navigating towards that place. As to Dantzick they find here little likelihood of money for them. The states of Holland believe, that they have done much by sending thither a fleet, which however did nothing, and was only for show without any effect; for when those ships of war came there, the greatest danger was over; and in the mean time there have been promises enough made, that the States General would assist the Dantzickers with money. And it was upon this promise, that Dantzick made 155 with men of war of the
July, and upon which the Dantzickers gave occasion to those of Cromwell to retreat out of Dantzick and to give to those of the states of Holland more advantage, which they would not have done without the promise of money. The states of Holland do well desire, that Dantzick should follow their interests, that they should be against Sweden, that they should undergo so much harm and the privation of trade; but all this must not be but for the sole good of states of Holland. It is true, that there is now an army of Poland ready, and for Dantzick, but Poland hath want of ammunition, money, and every thing else, so that that doth not satisfy the Dantzickers, but that doth incommode them so much the more. I remain.