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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On the relief of distressed Piemontese Protestants
A clear and exact account of the sixteen thousand five hundred pounds sterling, remitted from England by the order of his highness and the council, to be distributed among the poor distressed Protestants of the valleys of Piemont. Specifying distinctly, not only the manner of its remission, with all its circumstances thereunto belonging, but also its actual distribution among those poor people. Together with all the original acquittances, and other authentic papers, which are in any manner for the justification of the truth of whatsoever is therein contained; collected and perfected by Samuel Morland, during the time of his abode in Geneva in quality of his highness commissioner extraordinary for the affairs of the valleys, namely from the 20/30 Nov. 1655, to the 21 Nov/1 Dec. 1656.
The 20/30 of Nov. 1656, Mr. Pell and I received a letter written to us jointly by the by the right honourable Mr. secretary Thurloe, bearing date the 8/18 Novemb. 1655; wherein we were ordered to distribute the collected monies, that had been remitted into the hands of Mr. Lodowick Calandrine, a copy of which letter I have here inserted as followeth.
Copy of the right honourable Mr. secretary Thurloe's letter of the 8/18 Nov. 1655.
His highness and the council having taken into consideration what you have represented, concerning the condition of the poor persecuted Waldenses inhabiting in the valleys of Piemont, have resolved, that seven thousand five hundred pounds sterling shall be distributed amongst them for their present relief. And there being five thousand pounds already in the hands of Mr. Lodowick Calandrine, merchant of Geneva, and two thousand five hundred pounds more, charged by bill of exchange a month since, to be paid unto him, I have writ unto him to pay as well the 5000 l. as the said 2500 l. as you two shall appoint. And his highness's pleasure is, that upon the receipt of his letter, you cause a distribution of the said money to be made amongst the said poor Protestants, in such manner, as shall upon advice with some of the most honest and prudent persons of Geneva and those parts, as well ministers as others, be thought best, having respect therein to those of them, who are the most necessitous, and have received the greatest prejudice by the late massacre and persecution, wherein it is not possible for us here to give particular rules; but the doing thereof must be left to your prudent management, and you are to use your best endeavour rightly to inform yourselves of the matter of fact, whether it be by going yourselves upon the place, or otherwise, as shall be most convenient in your judgments. For the residue of the money collected upon this occasion, further consideration will be had thereof, to the end it may be employed for the most advantage. I desire you will inform yourselves, what sums of money are collected and sent by other states and princes; and you are to take such course in the distribution of the money, that an exact account may be given, how it hath been disposed of.
Now Mr. Pell and I having received this abovesaid letter of the right honourable Mr. secretary Thurloe, immediately consulted, how we might in the best manner execute these our orders; and after we had spoken with some of the most able and honest persons of Geneva, we wrote a joint answer the same day to the right honourable Mr. secretary Thurloe, upon the said subject, as here follows.
Copy of a letter written by Mr. Pell and Mr. Morland, jointly to the right honourable Mr. secretary Thurloe, in answer to his of the 8/18 Nov. 1655, written to us jointly.
Having this day received yours of the 8th of Nov. old stile, directed to us both jointly, concerning the distribution of 7000 l. sterling, sent to Mr. Calandrine for the poor people of the Valleys, we spake with him concerning it, delivering unto him your letter to him, and receiving from him another copy of yours to us. He acknowledges, that of the 5000 l. which he had already received, he had it all there, saving about 1000 pistoles at Lyons, which he could command when he list; and that he would pay it either to us, or any others that we should name, as soon as we pleased; and should be no less ready to do the like for the other 2500 l. when it should come to his hands, which could not be till the mart of Lyons in December. We thought not sit to speak further to him of it, till we had asked the advice of such in Geneva as we thought best able to give it; the which also we did, and they agreed in this, that there could be no way so fit to send money to the Valleys from hence or Lyons, as through the hands of some of Grenoble, and that it would be better to make use of Mr. Calandrine's correspondencies there, than for us to receive monies from his hands, and seek other merchants for the conveyance of it. They added, that all the money, that had been hitherto sent the poor people out of any country, had passed that way, not only for the conveniency of merchants to conveigh it, but also of prudent and faithful persons to distribute it; forasmuch as Grenoble is the chief city of Dauphiné, where the parliament perpetually resides, and the chamber mipartie of the edict by means whereof there are always in the town a number of choice persons of our religion, as senators in the said courts, and a standing committee for the reformed churches of Dauphiné; so that both by them, and by the pastors and elders of that city, and by the synod of the whole province, ever since the beginning of the last persecution, there hath been extraordinary care taken as well to make a diligent enquiry into, as to supply their wants from time to time; and to this end have appointed and sent certain gentlemen of known fidelity, as deputies to visit them, and to take strict account of their number, and as near as could be, to make a right estimate of their present necessities and sufferings; and accordingly to distribute such sums of money as have been put into their hands, whereof they give a very punctual and exact account, insomuch that the senators of Geneva intend to take no other course with the Hollanders money, which is to be wholly at their disposing. We told them, that if they thought it necessary, we were ready both or one of us to go at least, as far as Grenoble, there to speak with those persons, who have the management of that business, and to see some considerable part of the money bestowed in cloth and other things, which they now most need; and from thence to go further, if those of Grenoble should advise so to do. These of Geneva seemed not to count it necessary, because we were not so far off, but that we might by letters give and receive advice concerning the same; yet if one of us for greater satisfaction desired to see or hear more particulars, and receive a more full information of the way and manner of it, it would be a great encouragement to the people, and they hoped no inconvenience. But whether we might go further towards the valleys from thence, without giving umbrage to the court of Savoy, to the disadvantage of the poor people, we might learn better at Grenoble than here. Further consideration than this we were forced to deser till we had dispatched these letters, which being done, we shall speak with Mr. Calandrine concerning the speedy transmitting the money to Grenoble; and whatsoever course we shall resolve upon, we shall give account by the next letters, and in the mean time remain,
Now immediately after we had dispatched away the abovesaid letter, and seriously considered of this affair, we resolved (as we thought ourselves obliged) to make as narrow a search as possible into the way and method, how the former sum of 2000 l. had been remitted into the Valleys; that so, if we found it advantageous, we might follow the same; if not, we might endeavour to find a better. Now upon enquiry, and after several discourses had with Mr. Calandrine and others upon this subject, we sound, that their way of conveyance of the collected monies from hence to Grenoble, was to send the same in panniers, packs, &c. one week two hundred pistoles, another one hundred, it may be another fifty, yea many times less, as appears by the following bill, which gives a particular account of the several sums that were thus sent, and at what time:
A particular and exact account, how Mr. Calandrine and Mr. Stephen Turetine conveyed the several parcels or parts of the first 2000 l. sterling, which were sent by his highness the lord protector of England, &c. to the poor people of the Valleys.
|Signed by||Mess. d'Ize,||pastours|
Memorandum, of this 27447 1. 3 d. there was but 25510 1. for the value of the 2000 1. sterling, the remainder, viz. 1937 1. 3 s. was money sent from other places, which they then had in their hands; and so they put it altogether, and sent it in the order abovesaid.
And if any Geneva merchant had any occasion to go to Grenoble (as some time it fell out once or twice in a month) they usually sent some little parcel by him. Now forasmuch as there was danger of losing part of the money by the way, both by robbers, as also by the duke of Savoy's officers, in case they had met with any as it passed through the said duke's country; they had engaged the poor people of the Valleys, if any such parcel should be lost or miscarry, to send them blanks signed, wherein might be inserted formal acquittances for the said parcel, as for money received. And by this means the remitters should save their credit, and also the greatest part of such vast sums of monies remain in their hands, it may be three months or more, and they in the mean time put it up to profit for their private gain and advantage, which upon many very probable conjectures (comparing as near as we could all circumstances) we did believe to be true.
Hereupon Mr. Pell and I concluded absolutely, that to follow this method would be neither to discharge a good conscience towards God or men; as also, that it would be exceedingly disadvantageous to the poor people, who at that time made most lamentable moan for speedy relief, besides several other considerations.
And therefore after several discourses had with the most able and honest men of Geneva, by their direction and advice we pitched upon Mr. James Tronchin, who profered us to convey the whole sum in about ten or eleven days at his own peril to Grenoble, for 2/3 of one in the hundred; and that without any other provision.
Now to avoid all suspicion and jealousy, I spake with Mr. Calandrine and Mr. Turetine his kinsman (and who was joined with him in this affair) and I told them, that according as Mr. Pell and I interpreted our instructions, we must be upon a certainty, and durst not hazard the money, as they had done formerly; neither knew we how to answer his highness or the council of state, if any parcel of money should be lost in that manner; but if they would undertake the conveyance of the whole sum to Grenoble, or some part of it upon the same conditions as Mr. Tronchin had profered; we should rather employ them than Mr. Tronchin, forasmuch as they had the management of the monies before. To this they told me, that for their parts they had no opportunities of commerce to Grenoble, and if they had, yet they could not send any monies upon their own hazard; but if I would consent, they would send the money as they had done formerly.
All this I communicated to Mr. Pell; and thereupon soon after, we agreed with Mr. Tronchin, as abovesaid; and accordingly, first, Mr. Pell and I received of Mr. Calandrine all the money, which he had then in his hands, which was the sum of 52000 livres Tournois, and I delivered it into the hands of Mr. James Tronchin, with our order to him to convey the same with all speed to the commissioners of Grenoble, according to our abovesaid agreement; and for the rest, namely; 11648 livres Tournois (which two sums were all that Mr. Calandrine confessed to be accountable to us at that time, and that in lieu of the five thousand pound sterling which was sent from England) we were forced to receive by bill of exchange, to be paid at Lyons to Mr. Tronchin's correspondents at three days fight. Now as well our receipts of the abovesaid sums of Mr. Calandrine, viz. the 52000 livers Tournois in ready money, and the 11648 livres Tournois, by our acceptance of his bill of exchange, as also the copy of our order to Mr. Tronchin, for the conveyance of the whole to the commissioners of Grenoble, together with the formal and authentic acquittance of the said commissioners for the receipt of the said sums, after the deduction of the abovesaid 2/3 of one in the 100, are all annexed in their order; as they follow, marked with the letters A, B, C.
A. A translation of the acquittances delivered to Mr. Calandrine of Geneva by Mess. Pell and Morland, his highness's extraordinary commissioners, for the sum of 63648 livres Tournois, by them received 27 Nov. 1655.
We whose names are underwritten, commissioners extraordinary for his highness the lord protector of England, &c. acknowledge to have received of Mr. John Louis Calandrine the sum of five thousand gold pistols, at ten livres eight sols the pistol, amounting in all to the sum of fifty two thousand French livers. Moreover, we acknowledge to have received of him a bill of exchange payable at Lyons, according to our order, at three days fight, the sum of eleven thousand six hundred and forty eight French livres, making the sum of eleven hundred and twenty gold pistols, which we accept as ready money. The which two sums he has paid us as money remitted into his hands by Mr. Thomas Chamberlain of London, being a part of the monies collected for the poor people of Piemont, by the order of his most serene highness my lord Protector; for the which we have given him two acquittances, the two notwithstanding serving but as for one payment.
B. A translation of the order given to Mr. James Tronchin of Geneva by Mess. Pell and Morland, for the speedy conveyance of the sum of 6120 gold pistols, or 63648 French livres, into the hands of the commissioners of Grenoble. Given Nov. 27, 1655.
By virtue of the present order, you shall pay in the city of Grenoble, into the hands of mons. d'Ize and mons. Burlamachi, ministers and commissioners for the receipt of the moneys collected for the poor people of Piemont, the sum of six thousand one hundred and twenty gold pistols, for the which (you bringing us the acquittance of the said ministers d'Ize and Burlamachi) we shall hold you discharged, conformable to the tenor of the receipt, which you have this day made us; you only deducting what shall be agreed upon for the hazard you run in the conveyance thereof to the said Grenoble.
C. A translation of the acquittance of the commissioners of Grenoble, for the receipt of 6080 gold pistols.
We pastors and elders of the reformed church of Grenoble, acknowledge to have received of Mess. James and Anthony Tronchin, merchants at Lyons, the sum of six thousand and eighty gold pistoles, the which have been remitted into our hands to be by us conveyed to the poor churches of the Valleys of Piemont, by Mess. Pell and Morland, commissioners for his highness the lord protector of England, &c. and does now remain in the hands of mons. d'Ize and Burlamachi, pastors of this our church.
Mr. Tronchin paid this sum twelve days after our order given him to the ministers and elders of Lyons, according to the directions of the commissioners of Grenoble; and afterwards demanding an acquittance of the said commissioners of Grenoble, they were scrupulous to give an acquittance signed under their own hands, because they had not personally received the money; whereupon Mr. Tronchin, to give Mr. Pell and me satisfaction concerning his promise made us, which was to bring us the acquittance of the commissioners at Grenoble within 18 days, so soon as ever he had notice of what had passed, gave punctual order to his correspondent at Lyons, whatever hazard came of it, to take up so much of his own money, and send it immediately to Grenoble, and receive their acquittance. The which his correspondent also did, and by this means Mr. Tronchin did not only pay the whole sum twice, but also this accident spent much time, before Mr. Pell and I could receive acquittance from Grenoble, according to our expectation.
Not many days after, we received further information from the right honourable Mr. secretary Thurloe, that there was yet 2500 l. sterling more remitted into the hands of Mr. Calandrine; as likewise we received orders to distribute the same as abovesaid. Whereupon we immediately demanded the same, but could not receive it till the first of January, and that by a bill of exchange to be paid to whom we should order at Lyons, the sum of 31950 livres Tournois, without giving us any other account thereof, only in the general, that Mr. Chamberlain would give the council an account in England, and that he knew not what agreement they had made with him. Whereupon we gave order to Mr. Tronchin in the same manner as before, to conveigh the same to Grenoble for 2/3 of one per 100, into the hands of the commissioners there. Now the duplicate of this our acquittance given to Mr. Calandrine for the receipt of the abovesaid bill of exchange, as also the formal and authentic acquittance of the commissioners of Grenoble, for their receipt of the abovesaid sum, are annexed as followeth, being marked with the letters D and E.
To which I have likewise annexed the account, which one of the said commissioners, in the name of the rest, sent me of the disbursement of the whole sum, marked with the letter F, and the explication of it marked with the letter G.
D. A translation of the acquittance given by Mess. Pell and Morland to Mr. Calandrine, for the sum of 32142 livres and 17 sols, being in lieu of the 2500 l. sterling, sent from England to the poor people of the Valley of Piemont.
We whose names are here underwritten, commissioners extraordinary for his highness the lord protector, &c. acknowledge to have received of Mr. John Louis Calandrine the sum of thirty two thousand one hundred and forty two livres, and seventeen sols of France; that is to say, thirty one thousand nine hundred and fifty, in a bill of exchange, payable at Lyons, the which we repute as ready money delivered unto us; and the surplus for provision, and port of letter; the which sum he has paid us as money remitted into his hands by Mr. Chamberlain of London, being part of the monies collected for the poor people of Piemont, by the order of his highness the lord protector, &c. for the which we have given him two acquittances, the two notwithstanding serving but for one payment.
E. A translation of the accquittance of the commissioners of Grenoble, for the receipt of 31440 French livers, which they sent to Mess. Pell and Morland, Feb. 9, 1656.
We the pastors of the re ormed church of Grenoble, acknowledge to have received of Mr. James and Anthony Tronchin, merchants of Lyons, the sum of thirty one thousand four hundred and forty French livres, whereof we have had twenty five thousand seven hundred and eleven livres, by two letters of exchange, which we had drawn upon them; and the rest were here paid according to their order, by Mess. Rainand and Julien, the said sum being remitted into our hands by Mess. Pell and Morland, his highness commissioners.
F. A translation of the attestation of mons. d'lze, one of the commissioners of Grenoble, concerning the disbursement and laying out the 9500 l. sterling, sent from England the 27th of March, 1656.
1, Whose name is underwritten, do declare and attest, that the 9500 1. sterling, which has been remitted into our hands from England, has been thus disbursed for the necessities of the poor people of Piemont; namely, the two thousand pounds, which were sent in the beginning of their troubles, were laid out for the present necessities of the poor people at that time, and likewise for the maintaining of soldiers to preserve them from the violence of their enemies. The other seven thousand five hundred pounds sterling, remaining, were disbursed as follows; one thousand four hundred and twenty seven French livres, one fol, and nine deniers, for coverts, and bedding. Item, thirty one thousand and two hundred French livres for a magazine of corn; six thousand and ten French livres sent to Ambrun, the 11/12 Jan. 1656, for two thousand seven hundred ells of cloth, and five hundred and forty pair of shoes. Item, fifty three thousand three hundred and thirty four French livres, nineteen fols and six deniers laid out partly in seed-corn, and partly in a distribution made according to the then urgent necessities of the poor people. Item, paid to Mr. Grosse the physician for several medicaments, which he had furnished, the sum of five hundred and twenty French livres; all which sums being added, it will appear how we have employed as well the two thousand livres sterling, that is to say, ninety three thousand four hundred and sixty four French livres and seven sols, as also part of the seven thousand and five hundred livres sterl. remaining; that is to say, ninety four thousand six hundred seventy two French livres, and some odd sols; so that there remains of the said 9500 1. coming from England, in our hands, twelve hundred and eight French livres, and some odd sols, which are to be laid out in paying the surgeons, and other necessities of the poor people.
G. An explication of the foregoing account of the disbursement of the 9500 l. sterling, remitted from London to Grenoble, by order of his highness and the council, for the relief of the poor people of the Valleys, made by the commissioners of Grenoble, the 27/17th of March, 1656.
In the mean time, having received order from the right honourable Mr. secretary Thurloe, to send with all speed an exact account of the remission of the whole sum of 9500 1. I endeavoured to give him the utmost satisfaction in this particular, that I was capable to give, not knowing exactly the time when the first 2000 1. was remitted, nor upon what conditions any of the accords were made at London. The whole account is as follows, marked with the letter H.
H. A bries and exact account of the conveyance of the 9500 l. sterling, which was sent by the order of his highness and the council, to the Valleys of Piemont, specifying (as near as I was then in capacity to judge) how much was diminished in the said conveyance thereof between London and Grenoble; and by whom.
Of the 9500 1. sterling, which was ordered by his highness and the council to be sent into Piemont, there was delivered into the hands of the commissioners of Grenoble but 9013 1. 13 s. so that in the conveyance of the said 9500 1. from London to Grenoble, there was 486 1. 7s. diminished, the which will be more clear by the following particulars.
1. Of the first 2000 1. sterling, which (according to the price as money was then) was worth at London, at the least 26666 2/4;French livres or franks, that is to say, accounting fifty four English pence to a French crown (the which French crown makes three French livres) there was delivered into the hands of the commissioners of Grenoble, as appears by the original acquittance of the poor people C. C. but 25510 French livres or franks, which, according to the former reduction, amount to 1913 1. 5 s. so that in the conveyance of the said 2000 1. sterling from London to Grenoble, there was 861. 15 s. sterling diminished.
2. Of the second sum, viz. 5000 1. sterling, which according to the former proportion, makes the sum of 666662/3 French livres, there was delivered into the hands of the commissioners, as appears by the acquittance C. but 6080 gold louis, which (accounting as Mr. Calandrine then did, that is to say, ten livres and eight sols for one gold louis, amount just to 63232 livres, which is 4742 1. 18 s. sterling; so that in the conveyance of the said 5000 l. sterl. from London to Grenoble, there was 34342/3 livres, which make 257 1. 12 s. sterling diminished.
But now, forasmuch as the second sum of 5000 1. sterling was first conveyed from London to Geneva by Mr. Calandrine's correspondent, and afterwards from Geneva to Grenoble by Mr. Tronchin, it will be more clear to distinguish the diminutions abovesaid; so as that it may appear, 1st, how much was diminished between London and Geneva: 2dly, how much was diminished between Geneva and Grenoble; and this is done as followeth:
1. Of the abovesaid 5000 1. sterling or 666662/3 French livres Mr. Calandrine delivered into the hands of Mr. Pell and me, and we again into the hands of Mr. Tronchin, as appears by the acquittance A. and the other B. but 6120 gold louis or pistols, which, according to the former reduction, make 63648 livres, which are equal to 4773 1. 12 s sterling; so that in the conveyance of the said 5000 1. sterling from London to Geneva, there was 30182/3 French livres or franks, which is 226 1. 8. s. sterl. diminished by Mr. Calandrine and his correspondents.
2. Of the 6120 gold louis, or 63648 livres, which amount to 4773 1. 12 s. sterl. which Mr. Tronchin received of us here in Geneva, as abovesaid, the commissioners of Grenoble confess to have received 6080 gold louis, or 63232 livres, which make 4742 l. 12 s. sterl. so that in the conveyance of the said 6120 pistols, or 63648 livres, either of which make 4773 l. 12 s. sterling, from Geneva to Grenoble, there was forty gold louis, or 416 livres, either of which make 31 l. 4 s. sterling, diminished by Mr. Tronchin.
An account of the last 2500 l. sterling, where is to be observed the same order as in the second sum; that is to say, first from London to Geneva; and secondly, from Geneva to Grenoble.
1. Of the last sum, viz. 2500 l. sterl. or 33333⅓ French livres or franks, Mr. Calandrine delivered into our hands, by way of a bill of exchange, and we again into the hands of Mr. Tronchin, but 31950 livres, as appears by the acquittance D. which make 23961. 5 s. sterling; so that in the conveyance of the said 2500 l. sterling, or 33333⅓ French livres, from London to Geneva, Mr. Calandrine and his correspondents diminished 1383⅓ French livres or franks, which make 103 l. 15 s. sterling.
2. Of the said 31950 livres, or 2396 l. 5 s. sterling, which were remitted into our hands, and we again remitted to Mr. Tronchin's, the commissioners of Grenoble received 31440 livers, as appears by the acquittance E. which make 2358 l. sterling; so that in the conveyance of the said 31950 livres, or 2396 1. 5 s. sterling, from Geneva to Grenoble, Mr. Tronchin diminished 510 livres, which make 38 l. 5 s. sterling.
|So that Mr. Calandrine and his correspondents diminished, as near as can be imagined, in all||416||18|
|Mr. Tronchin and his correspondents diminished||69||9|
|The sum whereof is||486||7|
|To which adding||9013||13|
|The total sum is||9500|
Now forasmuch, as after I well considered the great inconveniencies of the remission of these sums of money from England to Geneva, both for the vast distance of time they had been upon the way from London to Geneva (whereas the poor people had present and urgent occasion for monies) and also for the future, that it might happen that they might be set upon on a sudden, and perish for want of speedy relief, as likewise the great diminution of the said sums, with several other considerable inconveniencies, I began to inform myself (as I thought it my duty in that employment) and to endeavour to find a more convenient and prositable way for the conveyance of money for the future; and at length meeting with Mr. James Tronchin, he made me a proposition, the substance whereof was as followeth:
That for two in the hundred he would undertake to advance any sums of money, and deliver it to whom I should order, either in Geneva, Lyons, or Grenoble, in case only that I would assure him, that he should be repayed within fourteen or sixteen days at London; and all this according to the ordinary rate of the exchange between London and Paris.
An extract of the right hon. Mr. secretary Thurloe's letter of the 7th of Feb. 1655.
I Have communicated your expedient for returning money, which is not held so perfect, as that any certain resolution can be taken upon it, in respect it is not said at what price the money shall be returned. To make it clear, I have sent you the inclosed papers, which you are to consider, and if you can contract to take up money, so as these papers state it, make sure of seven thousand pound sterling; and you may charge the bills for it upon sir Thomas Vyner and sir Christopher Packe, alderman of London, and they will be duly paid; but be sure you make your bargain safe, and with good advice of honest knowing men. And how to dis pose of the money (which must be ready at Geneva) you shall have order afterwards for the disposing of it.
I. A transcript of the first paper or project, sent me in the right honourable Mr. secretary Thurloe's letter of the 7th of Feb. 1655, prescribing certain rules or cautions, as touching the remitting or conveyance of monies from London to Geneva.
For every 4 s. 5 d. sterl. received here, the merchant will pay at two months time three livres Tournois at Paris; but if he may have a penny more, he will pay for every four 4 s. 6 d. sterling, received here at Lyons or Monpellier, three livres Tournois upon sight.
If the merchants that make the proposition, intend the like, that is, that for every three livres Tournois, that they shall deliver at Geneva, they do expect upon sight but 4 s. 6 d. sterl. here, they may deserve the 40th sh. in the hundred demanded, or less; the difference being only the charge of return of money from Lyons to Geneva, and the usance of their money from the time of delivery at Geneva, till their bill can be presented at London; for the money will be paid the same day the bill is presented. But if they expect for every three livres Tournois, delivered at Geneva, 6 s. sterl. here, their gain is too unreasonable, for 6 s. sterl. is worth four livres Tournois, and one livre per crown is gotten for the return of money from Lyons to Geneva, and for the forbearance of the money from the time delivered till the post can bring the bill to London.
It is therefore desired, that Mr. Pell and Mr. Morland will speak with the propounders, and make it certain, what money sterl. they expect to receive here for three or four livres Tournois, paid there over and above the 40 s. in the hundred demanded.
K. A transcript of the second paper or project, sent me by the right honourable Mr. secretary Thurloe, inclosed in his letter of the 7th of Feb. 1655/6, whereby I was to make my contract with Mr. James Tronchin, for the remitting of monies from London to Geneva.
It is not safe at present either to remit or have any monies in any parts of the king of France's dominions, in regard it is expected daily, that by proclamation the monies of France will be set at lower rates, which will produce loss upon all the monies there. It is therefore thought best, if any money be ordered for the Switzers or those of Piemont, that it be contracted for by some agent or person there, who may deliver the monies safe where it shall be desired by the protestants, at such a rate of exchange as may be there agreed upon. The exchange is here now at 53 pence per crown, and may come from France about 52¾ or 53 to be paid here at fight; but if the monies be cried down in France, as is expected, the crown may not be worth above fifty pence: wherefore it is conceived better, that the monies be contracted for there, than elsewhere, by reason of the incertainties of monies there.
Having received this letter of the 7th of Feb. from the right honourable Mr. secretary Thurloe, I immediately informed myself of all particulars necessary for the executing of my orders contained in the said letters; and then gave the right honourable Mr. secretary Thurloe an account of what I had done in the following letter, which I wrote his honour the 20th of Feb. 1656. As also I sent him a copy of the accord, which I had made with Mr. Tronchin, and the attestations of two of the chief lords of the council, and two of the ablest merchants of the city of Geneva, in whose presence the said accord was made. The which said letter of mine of the 20th of Feb. I have inserted and marked with the letter L, and after that the original of the said accord, which I made with Mr. Tronchin, which is marked M, and the attestations of the lords and merchants, which are marked with the letter N.
L. Geneva, 20 Feb. 1655/6.
On the Lord's-day last in the evening I received yours of the 7 Feb. 55/6 and therein a command to make sure of 7000 l. sterl. to be ready here in Geneva, in case I could make a contract with those merchants, whose proposition I formerly sent your honour, according as it is stated in the two papers inclosed in your honour's letter abovesaid: The substance of which papers consists of these following particulars. 1. That
1. That it is not safe at present either to remit or have any money in France; in regard it is expected, that the monies in France will be set at lower rates; and therefore thought more convenient, that there be such a contract or agreement made here in Geneva, for the said monies, which may not be at all liable to the uncertainty of monies in France.
3. That monies might then be remitted as followeth, that is to say, for every 4 s. 5 d. sterl. received at London, the merchant would pay at two months time three livres Tournois at Paris; but if he may have a penny more, he will pay for every four shillings six pence received here at Lyons or Monpellier, three livres Tournois upon fight. And that if the merchants of Geneva, that make the proposition, intend the like, that for every three livres Tournois, that they shall deliver at Geneva, they do expect upon sight but 4 s. 6 d. sterl. at London; they may deserve two per cent. or less, the difference being only the charge of return of the monies from Lyons to Geneva, and the usance of their monies from the time of delivery, till their bills can be presented at London.
4. But in the last place, if they expect for every three livres Tournois delivered at Geneva, 6 s. sterl. at London, their gain is unreasonable. Now on monday morning last, according to your honour's command, I had the assistance of two of the most honest and able persons in the council at Geneva, in the consideration and scanning the abovesaid particulars; their counsel was, that before I concluded any thing with any particular merchant it would be every way the wisest and safest course, to have a meeting in their presence with all the merchants of Geneva, as well the propounder as others, that would be willing to treat about such a question as the remitting monies from London to Geneva, and to make my proposition to them all indifferently in the following form, viz.
"I having lately received orders from his highness and council, for the making of a contract for the remitting of monies from London, I thought it expedient to signify unto you, that I desire at present to make a contract for 7000 l. sterl. upon these conditions; that is to say, in case you advance the monies in Geneva, and deliver it into my hands beforehand (I in the mean time giving you bills of exchange to be charged upon sir Thomas Vyner and sir Christopher Packe, alderman of London, and promising you that they shall pay the said bills the same day they are presented) how many English pence will you expect at London for each crown, or three livres Tournois, that you deliver me here at Geneva beforehand, or by way of advance?"
And in order hereunto, the said two lords of the council promised me, that they would immediately make strict inquiry amongst all the merchants of Geneva, and engage all those, who should be willing to treat, to give me a meeting, at which meeting they would be present.
On monday in the evening these two lords came accordingly, and brought four merchants with them, which were all, as they told me, that could be found in Geneva, to treat about this matter. The names of the four merchants are Mr. Mestrazat and Mr. Lullin, who are partners, Mr. Rocca, and Mr. James Tronchin, which said Mr. James Tronchin is he, who was the author of the proposition that I sent into England. When I had propounded unto them my proposition in the form abovesaid, communicating also unto him the two papers, which were inclosed in your honour's letters abovesaid, they answered me, that before they gave me their answer in punctual and positive terms, it was necessary to speak to the several heads of those two papers aforesaid, viz.
2. To the second particular, where it is said, that the exchange was then at London for fifty three English pence for three livres of France, and might come from France for 52¾ or 53, they said it was a mistake; for while there is certainty in the value of the coins, the change from Paris to London is commonly one penny higher than from London to Paris; wherefore if at London it were then at fifty three pence, at Paris it would not be at 52¾, but rather at 54.
3. To the third article they answered this: he that offereth to have in London fifty three pence for three livres Tournois, at two months time before he paid any thing in Paris, hath more benefit, than he that payeth three livres Tournois beforehand at Geneva, to have fifty four pence ¾ in London; for these following reasons:
3d. The first of these is in hopes to pay at Paris in new coin (about which an edict hath been proclaimed) whereby he should get five or six per cent. for by so much the new coin will be less in goodness than louis of silver of three livres, as it is well observed in one of the abovesaid papers, where it is said, that the change would fall to fifty pence instead of fifty three; and in this hope it is probable the aforesaid offer hath been made.
4thly. There is a great disproportion between paying at Paris and paying at Geneva; for the hazard of getting monies out of France is commonly one and a half per cent. and at this present it cometh for two per cent. from Lyons to Geneva.
5thly. Therefore in the fifth place the merchants of Geneva deserve consideration for the advance of their monies, the returns from hence to London, and to get at their peril the said monies from Lyons to Geneva, the transporting thereof being forbidden upon pain of death.
6thly. In the sixth place this is to be added, that in September, October, and November last, the change from Paris to London hath been at 55½ at 56 and 56½ because there was then no resolutions about any new coins; but since it was fallen to 54, and would have fallen lower, if the edict had taken place, and been of force; but there being probability, that that edict will be null, it is raised at this present to 54¾.
4. To the fourth particular they answered, that the supposition has no manner of grounds; that is to say, if the merchants of Geneva, should desire to have six shillings or seventy two pence at London for three livres here, they deserved to be esteemed rather heathens than Christians.
After they had made these observations upon the said papers, which were approved by the two lords abovesaid (and the plain truth is, they seem to have a good foundation) they gave each of them in his order a categorical and punctual answer.
1. Mr. Mestrezat and Mr. Lullin, the two partners, offered to pay me the value of 2000 l. sterl. beforehand, to be paid to them in London, as aforesaid, in case they might have repaid in London fifty six English pence for three livres, and two per cent. besides.
2. Mr. Rocca offered to pay me the value of 500 l. sterl. upon the same conditions that Mr. Mestrezat and Lullin had offered, that is, to have repaid fifty six English pence in London for every French crown or three livres, that he delivered me beforehand in Geneva, and besides this two per cent.
3. Mr. Tronchin offered to pay me the value of the whole sum of 7000 l. or a greater, in case that I would repay him in London so many English pence for every French crown or three livres, which he would give me beforehand, as the rate the exchange was at Paris) that is to say, the rate of exchange being (as he had received from his correspondents at Paris) at that time at fifty four English pence from Paris to London, he would desire but fifty four English pence at London for three livres here, besides two per cent. for the advance, hazard, and charges of transporting. And if there should come news by the next post, that the price was risen to 54¼, he expected so much in London for every three livres, and if it should rise to 54½ he expected so much, and if it should rise to 54¾, he expected 54¾ for every three livres he delivered me here beforehand, as abovesaid; and on the contrary, if it should fall from Paris to London to be but 53, he would expect but 53 in London for three livres here. And to these conditions he would bind himself, and make a contract with me, this being the true interpretation of his former proposition; and besides, in case, between the time of contract and the payment at London, the price should fall, he would make it good to me, and if it should rise, he expected I should make it good to him.
When they had all thus given their answer, I told them, as for the proposition of Mr. Mestrezat, Mr. Lullin, and Mr. Rocca, I could not at all hearken unto, but Mr. Tronchin's I could consider. After the merchants were departed, the lords abovesaid, viz. Mr. Pictet, and Mr. Colladon told me, that Mr. Tronchin's proposition was extreme fair and reasonable, and wished me by all means to make a contract with him, they not thinking before, that ever I should have so reasonable conditions profered me: wherefore on tuesday, after I had considered and scanned all things to the best understanding, I made a contract with Mr. Tronchin, the original whereof I keep by me, and have sent your honour a copy of it. I have also sent your honour a copy of the attestations, as well of the two lords Mr. Pictet, and Mr. Colladon, as of the other merchants, that there could be no contract made in Geneva, with more advantage than the abovesaid. When Mr. Mestrezat, Mr. Lullin, and Mr. Rocca saw, that Mr. Tronchin had profered fairer conditions than they by far, they came to me, and told me, they would be content (because it was for the poor) to take each of them a small parcel upon the same conditions with Mr. Tronchin. They said moreover, that it was not necessary to change the contract, but let it run in Mr. Tronchin's name, and Mr. Tronchin might give them two bills of exchange, viz. to Mr. Mestrezat and Lullin, in a bill of 500 l. and to Mr. Rocca another of 500 l. To this Mr. Tronchin and I consented. It is here expedient to add, that Mr. Mestrezat and Lullin are very honest men, but not able to afford so good conditions as Mr. Tronchin, being not so rich, nor having such ways of trading: Mr. Rocca, I think, is in the same predicament. To conclude, I have in my hands, according to the contents of the accord, at present 92054 French livres and sixteen sols, in lieu of 7000 l. sterl. for the which I have signed fourteen bills of exchange, each of them containing 500 l. and charged them upon sir Thomas Vyner and sir Chrittopher Packe, to be paid to Mess. James and Anthony Tronchin, or by their order sans procuration at sight. I have also charged upon them another bill of 140 l. sterl. upon the account of two for the hundred, according to the accord. I have received part of the abovesaid livres in gold pistols according to ten livres ten sols to every pistol, as the rate goes at Geneva. The next thing that I shall do, shall be, as far as I may venture with certainty, and incurring no danger in the world, to endeavour to make profit of at least some per cent. of the money, till I have orders to dispose of it. I shall not put it out but by good advice, and to call it in at a day's warning.
M. A translation of my accord with Mr. James Tronchin, the 27th of Feb. 1656, for the remitting of 7000 l. sterling from London to Geneva.
I whose name is underwritten, out of consideration had for the poor people of Piemont, have contracted with Mr. Morland, his highness's extraordinary commissioner, for the sum of 7000 l. sterling, for the which shall be furnish'd with bills of exchange payable to Mr. James and Anthony Tronchin of Lyons, or according to their order, at first sight, at the rate of fifty four pence and three farthings, for every crown of three livres Tournois; for the which I hereby promise to pay the value to the said Mr. Morland, by advance in Spanish pistols or French gold pistols, at ten livres ten sols the pistol, and louis d'argent or crowns at three livres the crown; the said Mr. Morland promising me on his part, that the said bills of exchange, which he shall deliver me, shall be daly paid me, as also making good to me two in the hundred, which shall be upon consideration both of advancing of the money here, and also for the charge which it will occasion me, and the hazard I run to bring monies from Lyons to this place, as likewise for all forts of provisions. And besides this I promise, that in case the exchange from Paris to London come to be abated within the space of fifteen days, lower than the price of fifty four pence and three farthings the crown, to make the same good to the said Mr. Morland for the benesit of the poor people; and so on the contrary in case it come to be higher, he shall make the same good to me: forasmuch as I pretend nothing more or less than the said two in the hundred for the advance of the monies, the provision, and the hazard which is run. In witness whereof we have signed this present accord in two copies of the same tenor; and in the same form as abovesaid I offer to treat for other sums for the time to come, if occasion shall be.
N. A translation of the attestations of the lords and merchants of Geneva, concerning the abovesaid accord.
We whose names are here underwritten, do declare and attest, that being desired to give a meeting to Mr. Morland, his highness commissioner, to treat concerning the advance of one part of 7000 l. sterl. to be paid the value thereof at London at sight, at the rate of fifty four pence for a crown of three livres; we have made divers offers, and at last none would undertake the business for less than fifty four pence and three farthings the crown, besides two per cent. for the advance, hazard, and provisions, payable here in Spanish pistols or louis d'or, at ten livres ten sols the pistol, or in crowns at three livres the crown; moreover that none of us would undertake the whole sum of 7000 l. sterl. to advance the same without some days given us to prepare it, save only Mr. James Tronchin, who has offered to undertake the whole upon the conditions abovesaid; to the truth whereof we have signed this 27th Feb. 1656.
We whose names are here underwritten, syndick, and ancient syndick of the commonwealth of Geneva, attest and certify the tenor of the abovesaid attestation to be truth, and that there is no other merchant in this city, who has offered conditions more advantageous to Mr. Morland, than those abovesaid.
The first of April I received a letter from the right honourable Mr. secretary Thurloe, dated the 20th of March 1656, wherein I was ordered to distribute immediately 2000 l. of the 7000 l. which I had taken up, among the poor people of the Valleys; an extract of which letter of the right honourable Mr. secretary Thurloe I have inserted as followeth.
An extract of the right honourable Mr. secretary Thurloe's letter to me of the 20th of March, 1656.
Of the 7000 l. paid unto you, 5000 l. was to have been lent unto the Switzers, to have assisted them in their war; but that being at an end, the 5000 l. is to be kept, until you receive further orders for the disposal thereof: for the other 2000 l. you are forthwith to cause it to be distributed amongst the poor protestants of the Valleys, for the relief of their necessities, taking care, that it be done justly and with equality, and with best advantage for their good, giving an account thereof hither with what speed may be.
Now forasmuch as when I had received the value of the 7000 l. sterl. of Mr. Tronchin, as abovesaid, I soresaw, that there was like to be some distance of time between that and the receipt of my orders for the distribution of the same, I was desirous to improve the said money to the best advantage, by putting it out to profit, yet with this caution, that I put it into safe hands. And 2dly, that I made my bargain so, that I could recall the same, if need were, at a day's warning or two at farthest; the which I did, and having received my orders as abovesaid, by the right honourable Mr. secretary's letter beforementioned of the 20th of March, to distribute 2000 l. of the said 7000 l. immediately, I accordingly recalled the whole.
Again in what manner, with what advantage of profit, and when I remitted the sum of 2000 l. which I was ordered to send into the Valleys, will appear by the account, which I then sent the right honourable Mr. secretary, which I have here inserted and marked with the letter P.
In the third and last place, in what manner the said 2000 l. was distributed among the poor people will plainly appear by the formal and original acquittances, the one of the commissioners of Grenoble, and the other of the poor people themselves, signed by the pastors, elders, and chief among them; which two papers follow, and are marked with the letters Q and R.
O. A brief and clear account of the 7000 l. sterl. which I lately received at Geneva of Mr. James Tronchin.
|Upon the 2000 pistols delivered to Mr. Grenus,||1000|
|Upon the 614 pistols delivered to Mr. Mestrezat,||307|
|The sum of the profit arising upon the gold pistols.||1307|
The which sum of 65894 livres 6 sols, or 5010 pounds sterling 14 shillings and 9 pence, I have all lock'd up in a chest and in my own custody, ready at an hour's warning to dispose according as I shall receive orders.
P. Copy of an account of the remission of the last 2000 l. sterling to Grenoble, which I sent to the right honourable Mr. secretary Thurloe.
I Received of Mr. James Tronchin of Geneva for the value of two thousand pound sterl. (according to our accord of the 27th of Feb. 1655) the sum of twenty six thousand three hundred and one livres Tournois; but I have delivered into the hands of the commissioners of Grenoble (as appears by the acquittance (R) the sum of twenty seven thousand five hundred and six livres Tournois and ten sols, which accounting 54 pence ¾ to every crown or three livres (as we accorded the 27th Feb. abovesaid) amounts to the sum or value of two thousand ninety and one pounds sterling and twelve shillings; that is to say, for the two thousand pound which I was commanded to send to the Valleys, I have sent two thousand ninety one pound twelve shillings sterl. which, I trust, will in part clear me of those accusations, which major Chamberlain was pleased to make against me. This profit ariseth chiesly from the gold, and the rest from the interest of ½ of a pistol per month. Now for the other 5000 l. there cannot be expected proportionable gain, I having received it in silver, according to our accord also; however, something there is above the capital, of which I shall give a full and distinct account by the next. In the mean time it is all safe and in the coffer, and ready at an hour's warning.
It is here convenient to add, that this sum of 2000 l. had many days since been delivered in at Grenoble, had there not been great difficulties arisen touching what fort of species would be most advantageous for those poor people, viz. whether louis d'ors at ten livres ten sols, or else blanc at three livres. Therefore for my discharge and clear satisfaction I sent an express to Grenoble to mons. d'Ize, the chief of the commissioners (as soon as I had received my orders in your honour's letter) to be satisfied clearly as to this point, who sent me the following answer.
Extract of mons. d'Ize's letter of the 7/17 May, 1656, in answer to my first express.
Concerning the 2000 1. sterling, which Mr. Tronchin ought to remit into our hands, say, that in case he pays us in pistols at ten livres ten sols, there will be above a thousand livres gained for the poor people; wherefore it will be very convenient to oblige Mr. Tronchin to do it, and thereby you will manifestly stop the mouths of those who would willingly have something to gainsay.
Now in the mean time I had some information that the louis blanc would be more advantageous than the pistols at ten livres ten sols, and that the pistols in the Valleys would yield but ten livres ten sols, wherefore I was something troubled, and could not satisfy myself without sending another express to Mr. d'Ize, to conjure him to be well advised, and give me a most distinct answer; whereupon he wrote as followeth.
Extract of mons. d'Ize's letter to me, in answer to my second express.
I Have received your's of the 30th of April, old stile, and thereby see that you desire an absolute and perfect information, concerning what species will be most advantageous for the poor people. I confess I had thought that my last would have fully satisfied you, but since you seem to be in some doubt, I say (to remove all scruples) that the profit is manifest, to take the pistols at ten livres ten sols; the reason is, because we can change the gold here at the rate of 11 livres the pistol into louis blanc, and so gain ten sols upon every pistol, which we shall do for the poor, and thereby there will a considerable sum be gained for them above the capital.
Upon the receipt of this letter, I immediately gave order to Mr. Tronchin, who sent three men with the said sum all in gold pistols at his own hazard, and it was safely delivered into the hands of the commissioners at Grenoble, as will appear by the following acquittance marked with the letter Q.
Q. A translation of the acquittance signed and sent me by the commissioners of Grenoble, for the 2000 l. sterl. which I lately remitted into their hands to be distributed amongst the poor people
We the pastors and elders of the reformed church of Grenoble do confess to have received of Mr. Morland, his highness commissioner, the sum of two thousand five hundred louis d'ors at ten livres ten sols the louis or pistol, together with six livres and six sols in silver; and this for the value as well of two thousand pounds sterl. being a part of the monies collected in England for the poor people of Piemont, as of twelve pistols and a half for the interest of the sum abovesaid, two thousand pound sterling, out of which there being deducted two thirds of a pistol in the hundred for the charge of conveyance thereof from Geneva to Grenoble, together with the hazard, there remains clear the abovesaid sum of two thousand five hundred louis d'ors; the which after the rate of their value at present (viz. accounting eleven livres to every pistol) amount to twenty seven thousand five hundred and six livres ten sols Tournois, of which sum we do hereby promise to be accountable for the advantage of the poor people of Piemont. Made at Grenoble the 20/10 May 1656.
D'Ize, and Burlamachi, pastors.
Bremond, ancien and commiss.
Goudrand, ancien and syndick of the church of Grenoble.
Du Beuf, ancien, commissioner and syndick, des Eglises de la province de Dauphiné.
Matthieu, ancien and commissioner.
R. A translation of the acquittance of the poor people of the Valleys for the 2000 l. sterl.
We the pastors, syndicks, and elders deputies of the reformed churches of the Valleys of Piemont, acknowledge to have this day received of our honoured brethren the pastors and elders of the reformed church of Grenoble, the sum of twenty seven thousand five hundred and six livres and ten sols, for the value of two thousand pound sterl. remitted from England by Mr. Morland and delivered by Anthony Conte messenger of Pragela. The which sum was immediatly distributed to each particular church, according to the proportions heretofore established, with respect had to their sufferings more or less by the late unhappy war and persecutions raised against them for the cause and sake of their religion in the year 1655; to the end that every one might receive his just portion, and by that means might in some measure be relieved according to their present extreme necessities; for the which we join in returning hearty thanks to our brethren the pastors of Grenoble, as also to the authors of this charitable benevolence; beseeching the Lord to pour upon them abundantly as a reward, both the blessing of this life and that which is to come. Made at Villar of Val Perouse at a general assembly, May 29, 1656.
J. Leger, pastor,
B. Gilles, pastor,
Claude Biarull, deputato,
Jacobo Bastia, deputato,
Pietro Vouetto deputato,
Joano Fantino, deputato,
Mr. Felix, pastor,
Mr. Pastor, pastor,
J. Michelin, pastor,
Bened. Roberto deputato,
About the 22d of April 1656, I received a letter from the right honourable Mr. secretary Thurloe, dated the 10th of April, 1656, whereby I understood, that Mr. Chamberlain had endeavoured to refute the abovesaid account, which I had formerly sent into England; and indeed all the proceedings of Mr. Pell and myself jointly; and also what I had done in particular, by name, my accord which I had made with Mr. Tronchin for the conveyance of monies from England into these parts, &c. He likewise sent me a copy of the said Mr. Chamberlain's papers, which he had (as I suppose) given into the committee; an extract of which said letter of the right honourable Mr. secretary Thurloe I have here inserted and marked with the letter S, as likewise adjoined the said Mr. Chamberlain's papers, and marked them with the letter T, and after that, my answer to the said papers marked with the letter V; whereunto I have annexed all the original papers and attestations for justification of the said answer.
S. An extract of the right honourable Mr. secretary Thurloe's letter of the 10th of April, 1656.
I Have here sent unto you major Chamberlain's answer to the account you send for the distribution of the 9500 1. if he be right, you are in a great error. We here are much afraid, that you have endangered the money by letting it out to a private hand; but I trust you have not been deceived therein. However, be sure you revive the matter again, and dispose it into a safe place. 2000 l. of it I hope is already sent into the Valleys, and the 5000 l. must be kept until further order.
T. A copy of Mr. Chamberlain's papers.
Having considered the papers from Geneva, you were pleased to communicate unto me and M. Corselis and Vandeput, they seem at the first view to deserve some consideration; but being well examined, they need no other conviction or proofs than the papers themselves, (they contradicting one another) to answer their suppositions; but it seems some men, either through ignorance or malice, conceive they cannot get reputation, but by blasting others; and therefore for the vindication of the honourable committee, and my satisfaction, I shall humbly represent in the first place, that this pretended clear and exact account hath no good foundation, being built upon suppositions and conjectures contrary to truth. And next I will answer the several articles. And lastly, will manifest, that the former remittance was more vantageous than the last contract.
First, this account is founded upon a supposition, that the exchange was at 54 d. when I am informed that the first 2000 1. was remitted by Mr. Luce and others, and the exchange agreed with them to pay it at Lyons after the rate of 56 d. 1/2 per crown of three livres Tournois a piece; and I dare affirm, that Mr. Calandrine knew nothing thereof, neither had a farthing of the money for his pains. Therefore I humbly conceive it an aspersion laid upon the deceased, who cannot answer for himself, and therefore cannot be diminished by the said Calandrine and his correspondents as by the account will appear.
For answer to the second article, it was upon the same false principle and suggestion, that the exchange was at 54 d. and so pretend, that the 5000 1. sterl. should have produced at Lyons 66666 livres 2 sols; when it was agreed with the honourable committee at 56 d. per crown, as will appear by the bills of exchange remaining in their hands, which do amount unto 64285 livres 14 sols; so the difference and mistake is 2381 livres. The bills of exchange were dated the 6th of Aug. last, and were payable at Lyons the 20th day of Sept. following, unto the right worshipful sir Thomas Vyner and sir Christopher Packe, knts. or their order; but by directions of the right honourable council of state and Mr. secretary Thurloe, I received order, that the money should be paid unto mons. John Lodowick Calandrine, and to take his acquittance for the same; which accordingly I did effect, as will appear by the said acquittance taken by my factor, who paid the money.
Now it is to be observed by the letter they write, that the exchange in the months of Oct. and Nov. at Paris was at 55 d. 1/2 and 56 d. 1/2 per crown, yet the framer of this account doth cast it up at 54 d. although I can prove, that in the month of Aug. I delivered to several merchants at 55 d. 1/4 55 d. 3/8 and 55 d. 1/2 at two months time per crown, both for Paris and Roan; and I paid the brokeridge in London, and the provision at Paris and at Lyons, and runned the hazard of the bills of exchange, and for the factors I intrusted, and there was the same fair of Sept. one of the chiefest merchants of Lyons failed for a great sum of money, and one of my factors lost by him 8000 livres; so that any merchant may easily calculate what I got by the business; and I dare justify upon my reputation, had I known the danger I run, I would not have done it for two per cent. more; but I had not the forecast to make so wise a bargain as the Geneva merchant, to be sure of two per cent. profit, let the exchange rise or fall; neither shall I need to remember your worships, that I offered to remit the said money without any provision, so that I did run no hazard; but you would be at a certainty, and I undertook the business when other merchants refused it, and none would do it at so low a price, I regarding then more the advancement of the good work than my private profit.
For answer to the third article it is answered in the first, being the moiety of the former sum,
and I having received several times letters from Mr. Calandrine, that he had received no order how to dispose of the said money, I made my application to the honourable Mr. secretary
Thurloe, to obtain order for the disposal thereof, the danger being great to keep money in
chests, and part thereof now in my factor's hands, to whom I writ weekly to pay unto the
said Calandrine and send me his discharge for the same; but could not obtain the said order
till the 5th day of November last, which I sent immediately away, and the 27th of the said
month the money was paid as per acquittance under Mr. Morland's hands may appear; and
upon advice of the payment of the first money there was presently order given for the payment of the second, which was signified unto Mr. Morland, that it lay ready in chests at
Lyons, and he took bills of exchange at sight upon my factor at Lyons, and allowed to the
said Calandrine for his provisions, and employed another factor, to which he likewise alloweth
provision, so bringeth a double charge upon the money, when the first could have done it as well
with the first charge; and the said Calandrine sent me acquittance for the said money, dated
the first day of Jan. last. Now as concerning the miscarriage or the well-ordering of the said
money, it no ways concerns me; I find that Mr. Calandrine in his account charges one per
cent. for the loss of part of the money, and the hazard between Lyons and Geneva; and
Mr. Morland in his letter writes, that it is worth 1 and 1/2 per cent. I find likewise by
the letter received, that Mr. Morland received ready money at Geneva, and delivered to Mr.
Tronchin, and alloweth him 2/4 per cent. to carry it back to Grenoble, when Mr. Calandrine
would have done it for the provision he had already past to account. Now it will appear by
the letter delivered to the honourable secretary Thurloe, that I wondered that this business
was so ill managed, to give them one per cent. to carry the money to Geneva, and 2/3 per cent.
to carry it back again to Grenoble, besides the provision; and had I known that the money
was to be paid at Grenoble, I would have ordered the payment thereof without any of those
charges; and having received order to write into Holland how money might be conveyed to Geneva, or any other place in Switzerland by way of Strasburgh and Germany, there was offer made to do it for 1/2 per crown more, or one per cent. free of all provisions and charges,
and upon their own adventure, as will appear by the copy of the letters of Mr. Will. Barlotti, Mr. Balthazar, and John Coymans, chief merchants of the city of Amsterdam, which
I delivered unto the honourable secretary Thurloe. Thus far, having answered the articles.
Now the framer of the pretended clear and exact account having made a seeming discovery
of the great diminution of the money remitted (for indeed there is none but by the ill managing of the same in carrying the money forward and back again, and in paying double
provision) yet notwithstanding he extolleth his good service, and gives the reason why he alloweth two per cent. over and above the price of the exchange: it is, saith he, in regard of
the danger to transport money out of France, and for provision; whilst it was proffered to do
the same at one per cent. Then by the same letter he saith, that in the months of September and Octob. the exchange was at Paris, at 55 d. 1/2 56 d. and 56 d. 1/2 per crown; but now
it was fallen to 52 d. 3/4 and 53 d. nay, he might have said at 52 d. 1/2, as I had remitted myself lately, which was six per cent. cheaper than when I agreed; yet he will persuade, that he
hath done a good service to agree the price of the exchange at 54 d. 2/4 per crown, and allow
two per cent. over and above, and taketh the pistol at ten livres ten sols, when before they
were paid them at ten livres eight sols, which is one per cent. more, which will make every
crown he received to amount to 56 d. 1/2; by which your worships may easily judge who hath
done the better service, they that remitted the money at 56 d. when the exchange was at six
per cent. worse, or they that draw at 56 d. 1/4. And further your worships may take it into
consideration, that at the time they remitted, there were great fears of troubles with the
French, and that the duke of Savoy was mighty angry, that any supply should come to his
rebels, as he called them, and the French king forbid his subjects to give them any assistance,
and the ways were very dangerous, and some of my friends (Protestants) by reason thereof,
would not act in that business, which put me to a further charge. The honourable the committee would not suffer the bills of exchange to be sent over for fear the money should have
been arrested, but left it to my care, that the money should be paid to Mr. Calandrine, and
upon his acquittance my bills of exchange should be delivered me back again; which hath
not been yet done, though I performed my part, and have nothing to do with this difference.
Now I have represented unto your worships, how it was at the time that they transacted, I
shall lay before you this last contract, which was when the Switzers were in trouble, many
having secured their money in Geneva; the inhabitants of the said place fearing the success
of the war, and the danger of being surprized, there being several forces close by them, they
would have been glad to have secured their monies at Paris or Lyons, and give money for
the exchange of it thither; but instead of receiving, there is two per cent. given; besides
the French king, by an edict, doth strictly command and charge, that the pistol or livres of
gold should not be exposed or paid for above ten livres, and yet they contracted for them
at ten livres ten sols, which is just five per cent. more than the course, although for present
it is happened otherwise contrary to expectation. And the French king hath ordered, that the
pistol or louis of gold should pass freely in payment at 11 livres a piece; so if the gold be
in chests, as is pretended, which I much doubt, there will be five per cent. gained instead of
so much less, if this change had not happened. But (fn. 1) Mr. Anthony Tronchin being a subtle
merchant (whose first rise was to be tutor to English gentlemen) can tell how to frame an
account, and make people, that understand it not, believe, that all men juggle but himself,
when by the account enclosed the contrary will appear; neither had I ever before any trading with the said Calandrine. All which I humbly submit to your consideration, desiring to
Your worships most humble servant.
The account of the money remitted by the honourable committee appointed by his highness for the money collected for the poor protestants of Piemont.
V. An answer to those objections, which Mr. Chamberlain propoundeth against me in the paper which he delivered up to the committe.
"That we allowed in our acquittance to Mr. Calandrine, for his provision, and so brought a double charge upon the money; as also, that we allowed 2/3 to Mr. Tronchin, for conveyance of the money to Grenoble, whereas Mr. Calandrine would have done it for nothing (that is to say, at his own peril, or else it is an equivocation) and lastly, that we allowed the said Mr. Tronchin 2/4, besides provision:"
1. First, Mr. Calandrine refused (though I often entreated) him to undertake the business upon the same conditions that Mr. Tronchin had proffered; therefore he would not have done it for nothing.
2dly, What Mr. Pell and I allowed to Mr. Calandrine in our acquittance, was what he allowed himself, neither did we ever stipulate with him; on the contrary, I asked him several times about it, and his answer still was, that Mr. Chamberlain would give an account of all these things to his highness and the council, with whom he had made his accord. Now having no particular orders touching this matter, I could not proceed to press him further; yea, for my part, I must confess, that I had thought really, that the provision specified in their acquittance had been meant some ways between London and Lyons; for the price of exchange between Lyons and Geneva at that time was au pair (as the merchants term it) or in an equality; that is to say, money might be sent for nothing from Geneva to Lyons; and the 2/3, which Mr. Pell and I allowed to Mr. Tronchin, was to convey the money throughout to Grenoble. And whereas Mr. Chamberlain justifies Mr. Calandrine for taking one per 100 the 1st of Jan. 1655, for hazard, &c. between Geneva and Lyons, and for to make it good, quotes a passage in my letter, where I say, that at the time of my accord, viz. 27 Feb. it was worth 1 1/2 per 100; I humbly propound to his highness and the honourable committe, what a gross (if not wilful mistake) this is to confound the 1st of Jan. with the 27th of Feb. when all those, that are any thing versed in merchants affairs, know, that such things vary and alter almost every day, and that considerably. Here it is be observed, that the same mistake is in very many places of major Chamberlain's papers, in a more gross manner than this is, and can be construed no other by any indifferent men than mere equivocations, or things framed on purpose to conceal the truth, and consequently in plain terms to deceive the reader.
3dly, Whereas he says, that we allow Mr. Tronchin 2/3 besides provision, and by consequence insinuates, that we allowed Mr. Tronchin provisions besides the 2/3 per 100. I humbly answer it is most untrue.
4th, And lastly, I entreated Mr. Calandrine many times, to let the money, of which Mr. Chamberlain speaks, remain at Lyons, to the end, merely to avoid the transport backward and forward; but Mr. Calandrine told me he could not do it, possibly the bills of exchange being already passed, &c. although I can now prove such bills, in all probability, were never passed, there being in Lyons a considerable person, who will justify upon oath, that Mr. Calandrine sent the bills of exchange, which came from Mr. Chamberlain, payable to the said Calandrine, to Lyons, to negociate with them between Lyons and Paris for his own private gain.
As to the objections of Mr. Chamberlain to the account, which I sent into England:
That having received from the right honourable Mr. secretary Thurloe, to send with all speed, and an exact account of the remission of the whole sum of 9500 (and therefore I did but according to my orders, and not out of design to blast Mr. Chamberlain) I endeavoured to give him the utmost satisfaction in this particular that I was capable to give, not knowing exactly the time when the first two thousand pound was remitted, nor upon what conditions any of the accords were made at London.
According to the formal and authentic attestation of the chief bankers of Lyons, a copy whereof I have here inserted as follows, and marked with the letter W. the 6th of Aug. 1655, the rate of exchange from London to Paris, was at 54 d. 3/4 or very near, not 1/8 more or less.
W. The account of the bankers of Lyons, touching the rates of exchange from London to Paris, from the 26 July/5 Aug. 1655, to the 10th/20 March, 1656.
We whose names are here underwritten, bankers of Lyons, do attest to have compared our letters of advice, which have been written us by our correspondents residing at London, that the price of exchange in the said city of London for Paris from the month of Aug. 1655, to the month of March this present year 1656 (according as the letters of each merchant have been compared together and been found uniform) has been as here follows, and that so exactly, that there has not been the difference of above 1/8 of a penny, which may have happened some weeks more or less.
The price or rate of exchange.
The continuation of the price or rate of exchange.
|1656||3/13 Jan.||53¼||25 Feb./6 Mar.||53¼|
|14/24 Jan.||53¼||28 Feb./8 Mar.||54|
|17/27 Jan.||53||3/13 Mar.||53|
|31 Jan./10 Feb.||53||6/16 Mar.||52½|
|4/14 Feb.||52¼||10/20 Mar.||52 7/8|
X. A translation of the attestation of several merchants of Lyons, expressing how much the exchange of money was worth from Paris to Lyons, from the 3 d of Aug. last to the 29th of Feb. new stile
|3 August. it was worth||1½ per 100|
Now my account was founded upon this bottom, that is to say, whatsoever major Chamberlain took of the state for the 7500 1. which they put into his hands, above the ordinary price of the exchange from London to Paris, so much did he in a true sense diminish of the said 7500 l.
Again, because this was a work of charity in so high a degree, I presumed, that whatsoever the remitter had got by the money between Paris and Lyons, he should have returned it to the benefit of the poor people; and therefore I accounted that 1½ between Paris and Lyons as money diminished.
According to this hypothesis, I say (but still with this reserve, that I could but guess, neither can I now but guess at the first 2000 l.) that Mr. Calandrine and his correspondents, that is, I mean some, that had a hand in the remitting the said money from Lyons and Geneva, diminished 4161. 18 s. of the 9500 l. which is just as my former account calculates it.
Now here appears the equity of my account and the equivocation of major Chamberlain's account; for major Chamberlain takes three halfpence in every crown of the state above the ordinary price or exchange, and yet accounts not this as any diminution of the sum; which, I confess, is a mere riddle to me. If I am intrusted to give a shilling to a poor body, and I give the poor body but forty farthings, although the shilling be worth indeed forty eight farthings, do not I diminish the shilling by eight farthings ? By the same reason, if Mr. Chamberlain be intrusted to remit 7500 1. to the poor people of the Valleys, and he sends three halspence less in every French crown than the money is worth, does not major Chamberlain then diminish the said 7500 1. I say, the 7500 1. which the state delivered into major Chamberlain's hands, would give more French livres than major Chamberlain sets down, as would then amount to 3161. 5 s. sterl. therefore so much was diminished. By the same reason major Chamberlain might have taken 60 pence for every crown, and yet have said, he had not diminished the state's money; or I might as well say, because I have charged upon the state a single bill of 140 for the 2 per 100 for the remission of the last 7000 1. sterl. that I have not diminished the said sum of 7000 1. Upon this account therefore, if the foregoing attestations of the bankers of Lyons be true (which I much believe) Mr. Chamberlain's account is rather a mere fallacy, and industrious concealing the truth, and a plain endeavouring to cast a mist before the eyes of his highness and the honourable committee, than a true account.
As touching the last accord, which I have made,
I answer, that the said agreement was much more advantageous than the former was, which will evidently appear by the ample and authentic attestations of the whole consistory of Grenoble; a copy whereof I have here inserted and marked with Y.
Y. The attestation of the synod of Grenoble, touching the collected monies remitted thither by Mr. Pell and Mr. Morland, being an extract of the act and conclusions of the consistory of the reformed church of Grenoble.
Mr. d'Ize, and Mr. Burlamachi, ministers; Mr. Bremond, Mr. Perachon, Mr. Hugues, Mr. Gaspard, mons. Dubeus, and Mr. Gondrand, advocates; Mr. Robin, and Mr. Allemand, sollicitors; Mr. Besson, merchant; and Mr. Deroden, secretary.
Our company having learned by letters from Geneva, that somebody has written into England to the prejudice of Mr. Samuel Morland, concerning the administration of the money, designed by his most serene highness the lord protector of England and his council for our brethren of the Valleys of Piemont, and that because the said Mr. Morland had bargained with Mr. James Tronchin, merchant at Geneva, for the paying of the value of 7500 1. sterl. for 2/3 of a pistol for the hundred, the said Mr. Tronchin running all hazards, and bearing all charges of sending, or other charge whatsoever; think them themselves obliged to declare ingenuously by this present act, that thereby they may be serviceable, as far as reason will permit, thinking it will sooner be credited, considering the particular knowledge we have of the whole of this administration, considering also, that we speak as people not at all interested; we think then, that the said bargain hath been made more judiciously and more profitable for our said brethren, than to have followed the way of making treaties at Lyons or Geneva. 1st. Because the necessities of the Valleys then being very urgent, it was necessary, that we had the money ready and in hand for to make use of the favourable opportunities of sending it to them; for there was a great deal of difficulty in that thing, by reason that there were soldiers and spies upon the way for to hinder those poor persecuted people from receiving relief; but we could not have had the money ready by that way of treaties, which is long, by reason that there are not many in this town, whom one can make use of for this affair. 2dly, If the said way of treating had failed, expresses must needs have been sent, as it has happened; in which two things are to be considered: first, the money had been hazarded; 2dly, that when we had received it by that way, the expence of two or three horsemen, which must have been upon the way for that purpose, would have necessarily diminished the principal; and if the money had been sent from Geneva, besides the said expence, the danger was more to be seared, because it must have been brought thro' Savoy, which is the enemies country. 3dly, The said 7500 1. sterl. whereof we spake, come to 94672 livres of France, upon the which the said Mr. Tronchin hath taken about 650 liv. of France for the said benefit, according to the agreement; which is a very moderate diminution, and for which sum those, that have made the complaint, would not have run the danger. This is the opinion that we give from our conscience, protesting moreover, that we remain well satisfied of the zeal and conduct of the said Mr. Morland for the interest of our said brethren, according to what we have been able to gather from the continual care, that he has shewn in all his actions. In witness whereof we have hereunto set our hands this first of May, 1656.
Z. A translation of the attestation of the lieutenant and auditors of Geneva, touching that passage of major Chamberlain's papers, viz.
(fn. 2) "I Shall lay before you this last contract, which was, when the Switzers were in trouble, many having secured their money in Geneva, the inhabitants of the said place, fearing the success of the war, and the danger of being surprised, &c. would have been glad to have secured their monies at Paris or Lyons, and give money for the exchange of it thither."
We, the lieutenant and auditor of supreme justice of the city of Geneva, having, according to the usual form of justice, demanded of Vincent and Nicholas Bourlamachi, Gabriel Sarazin, and Samuel Chouet, all merchants of consideration, touching the points abovesaid; they have declared in our presence and hearing, that neither the troubles of Switzerland, nor the troops of Savoy, did at that time cause the least alteration in the negotiation of this city, nor of the exchange from hence to Lyons or Paris, or any other place, but the exchange remained the same as before; as for example, in the month of Feb. 10 slorins and 5 sols, and 10 slorins and 6 sols for a crown of 60 sols, and the pistol at 10 livres 10 sols, besides the provision for its remission from Lyons to Paris. Morever they have declared, that they have had no knowledge, neither have they ever perceived, that during the said troubles, any person abroad (as Switzerland or elsewhere) did ever lodge any money in the city, much less that any inhabitant of this city, during the said troubles, was so much possessed with sear, as to search an opportunity to conveigh his money into other places; on the contrary, many of the inhabitants of this city, having monies abroad in other places, have searched and sought out all means possible to draw it into Geneva.
1. He says, that it was made in a time, when the Switzers were in trouble, many having secured their monies in Geneva, the inhabitants of the said places searing the success of the war, and the danger of being surprised, there being several forces close by, they would have been glad to have secured their monies at Paris or Lyons, and give money for the exchange of it thither.
I answer, this is absolutely untrue, and has not the least soundation of truth in it; and for proof of what I say, I have here inserted the copy of a most formal attestation, which is marked with Z, signed and sealed by the lieut. and auditors of Geneva, which certainly ought to know this better than major Chamberlain.
2dly. He says, for ½ per 100 or 1 per 100, more than he received, which was 56, it might have been remitted by the way of Strasburg, &c. I cannot blame the merchant, that would undertake it, being four pence per 100 or 4½ per 100 gain above the ordinary price: again, there is no time specisied, it may be, he means in five or six months.
In the last place I say my accord is better than the other was,
1. Because it was made in the time of the troubles of the Switz, and in all probability there might have happened such a strait, that for want of a considerable sum of money conveyed speedily, they might have been undone, and their cause lost; so likewise was it in a time, when it was more than probable, that the duke had set upon the poor people, and they might have been lost for want of a speedy supply of money. Now by my accord I was able to have furnished either in a few days, major Chamberlain not in several months.
2. The advance of monies is worth about one in the 100 in all places of merchandize; then comparing that with major Chamberlain's gain, there will appear a vast difference; besides the state enjoyed greatest part of the sum a month after I had received it here.
3. My accord proves better in the event, for I having received a very considerable part thereof in gold, there arises a very considerable gain, besides ½ per hundred, which I have made of the most part of the seven thousand pound sterl. and I have now sent the poor people the value of 2000 1. according to my order, all in gold pistols at ten livres ten sols a piece, whereas they are worth to them above five per 100 more; besides, the gain upon the exchange of the said monies is considerable; all which I have sent the poor people, and, God willing, the next week, shall give an exact account of the receipt of it at Grenoble. For the rest of the money, it is part in the coffer, and the rest in the safest hands that Geneva affords, the which also I can have when I please; but out of hopes to procure the most advantageous species, I rather choose to let them lie for some few days, it may be five or six.
These things I most humbly present to his most serene highness and the right honourable
members of the council of state, humbly affirming, that besides all that I have here said,
there are a great multitude of passages in the said major Chamberlain's papers, which are
not consonant to truth, and that thereby he has done me a great deal of wrong; humbly referring and submitting all to their most wise judgment and consideration; neither shall I add
any thing more, than that, when I have offended, there is none more willing, I trust, to acknowledge his error, or submit to a censure; where I am ignorant, I hope, there is none
more willing to be instructed. And for these few talents, which God has given me in much
mercy, I desire not to enjoy them longer, than (next to the donor's glory) to improve them
wholly for the service of his highness, the right honourable members of the council, and in
them the commonwealth; and though I have sufficient reason to think myself as unworthy as
any other of so honourable a title, yet I shall never exempt myself from the real duty of
Their most humble and faithful servant,
On the 26th of Aug. 1656, I received a letter from the right honourable Mr. secretary Thurloe, of the 14th Aug. wherein I was ordered to distribute the last 5000 1. which then remained in my hands; an extract of which letter, as also the order of his highness and the council, I have here inserted as follows:
An extract of the right honourable Mr. secretary Thurloe's letter to me, as abovesaid, of the 14th of Aug. 1656.
You will receive herewith the order of his highness and the council, for distributing the 5000 1. amongst the poor protestants of Piemont, wherein as I desire you to use your wonted care and circumspection, so to dispatch this with what speed you may, in respect, I find a necessity for your return home, soon as you have finished the distribution of this 5000 1.
A copy of the order of his highness and the council, thursday, 14 Aug. 1656.
Ordered by his highness the lord protector and the council, that the five thousand pounds, part of the collection money for the distressed protestants in the Valleys of Piemont, which was formerly returned over and put into the hands of Mr. Morland, and now remaining with him, be distributed among the said protestants by Mr. Morland, in the same sort, as the former sums of money have been distributed amongst them.
Now forasmuch as this said sum of 5000 1. sterl. or the 65894 French livres 6 sols (as appears by a foresaid account of the 7000 1. sterl. marked with the letter O) was all in white money, and by consequence the portage thereof many times more chargeable and hazardous than the portage of gold; I could find no merchant in Geneva to send so much as the 10th part thereof at his own hazard to Grenoble, for 2/3 of one in the 100, as I had done the former sums. Whereupon I had no better way than to get Mr. Tronchin, and that by very much entreaty (whom alone I could get to undertake this affair) to help me to change as much of the said sum, as this place would afford, into gold pistols, and to carry it himself to Lyons, at his own hazard, and to take up the value of the remainder, viz. 21507 French livres, to a ½ of a livre, more or less, upon his own credit at Lyons, in gold, and so carry the whole sum from thence to Grenoble at his own hazard; only I promised to allow him 2/3 of one per 100 for the conveyance of the whole from Geneva to Grenoble (as before) which amounted to 439 French livres and four sols; and besides this, 107 livres and ten sols for his pains in changing the gold and advancing the sum of 21507 livres at Lyons. And this was the only safe course I could take, without prejudice to the poor people; for they had sent me word before, that it was a matter wholly indifferent to them, whether I sent it to them in gold or in silver.
Now the two sums abovesaid, viz. 439 livres 4 sols, for Mr. Tronchin 2/3 of one per 100, and the 107 livres ten sols, which I allowed him for advance, &c. amount to 554 livres six sols, which is all that Mr. Tronchin diminished of the said 65894 livres 6 sols: for out of 65894 livres 6 sols; deducting 554 livres 6 sols, there remains 65340 livres, which is the just sum, which Mr. Tronchin delivered into the hands of the commissioners of Grenoble, as appears by their acquittance marked with the letters A A.
A A.A translation of the acquittance for the last 5000 l. sterling, sent me by the commissioners of Grenoble.
We the ministers and elders of the reformed church of Grenoble, commissioners for the affairs of the reformed churches of Piemont, acknowledge to have received of Mr. James and Anthony Tronchin, merchants of Lyons, the sum of sixty five thousand three hundred and forty French livres in five thousand nine hundred and forty gold pistols, at eleven livres the pistol; the which they have paid us by the order of Mr. Morland, his highness commissioner extraordinary, as being part of the monies collected in England for the relief of the poor people of Piemont. Made at Grenoble, the 4th of Oct. 1656. The two acquittances serving but for one payment.
|M. Du Beuf,||elders.|
Now some few days before this last sum of 5000 1. arrived at Grenoble, the commissioners of Grenoble wrote me word, that those deputies, whom they had formerly sent into the Valleys for the management and overseeing the distribution there (the time of their commission being now expired) were returned to the synod of Grenoble, to give an account of their negotiation. Whereupon I desired them earnestly to choose new deputies with all speed for that purpose, as also pressed them to have still regard to the greatest sufferers, and most necessitous among the poor people. The which they also did within a few days, choosing the most godly and able persons that they could possibly find within their province, and charging them with the following instructions, marked B B.
B B. An extract of the instructions for the commissioners, how they are to behave themselves in order to the distribution of the collected monies, among the poor protestants of the Valleys of Piemont, composed by M. d'Ize, and afterwards authorized and signed by the synod at la Mure, in the month of Sept. 1656.
The synod have joined mons. de la Colombiers, minister of the church of St. John d'Ertans, to mons. du Serre and mons. de Remoulon, to proceed to the distribution, and to the execution of all other orders contained in their commission.
2. They shall consine themselves in all, as near as it is possible, to the intention of his highness the lord protector, signified in Mr. Morland's letter to the said mons. du Serre, and mons. Remoulon, in order to the said distribution.
1. Those, who have any estate, be it in moveables or otherwise, ought not to expect a gratuity proportionable to their losses; for by this means those, who yet remained in some tolerable posture of subsistence after the invasion, would devour the whole, or at least the greatest part of that, which ought to relieve those who are in most distress.
2. Those, who had almost all their patrimony in lands, ought to consider, that the exemption from taxes, which was granted them, could do no less than ease them of a considerable part of their losses; and they ought by no means to pretend the same proportion with those, who had little or no moveables, and have besides been totally ruined.
And that thus there ought to be established three classes or orders, namely, a lower, a middle, and a higher or more advantageous, placing the first sort in the lowest rank, the second fort in the middle rank, and the last fort in the highest rank or classis; provided still, that there be no departing from the general rules above specisied, and that all possible proportion be observed amongst the several families thus ranged.
As for those, who had their goods beyond Pelis, you shall distinguish between those who have at last sold their goods, and those who have not: those who have sold their goods to their adversaries, and by that means done much wrong to the public, and likewise given occasion of offence to those persons who laid out themselves wholly for their re-establishment, ought not, in rigour and extremity, to be comprehended in the distribution: but yet nevertheless, having regard to their sufferings with others, as also to give a testimony of charity towards them, forasmuch as they held out a long time the said sale of their goods, they shall be comprehended in the lowest degree or classis; and those who have not sold any of their goods, nor promised so to do, shall be reasonably relieved for the present for the non-enjoyment of their goods, and for the time to come.
Now the reasons, why they ought not to sell their said goods and possessions there, are,
1. Because they ought to do what in them lies, not to . . . . . . . those who profess the purity of the gospel.
The ministers shall not pretend any thing of ordinary salary or subsistence from these collected monies, because they have been paid otherwise by their parishes; nevertheless they shall be comprised in the distribution for the reparation of losses in the same proportion with others.
The sick, who have been heretofore relieved in their sickness with the public monies, shall pretend nothing from the former distributions made, forasmuch as they have already received more than their proportion in the time of their necessity.
Those, who have been heretofore forgotten by neglect, or otherwise, in the time of the said distributions, shall receive at present that which was then their portion, provided that there be no other reason of this their privation, than a bare and simple forgetfulness and neglect of them.
The wounded persons shall be distinguished into those who have been maimed and rendered useless by their wounds, and those who have not. To the first there shall be an especial regard had; and the last shall also be ranked in the first and last classis; provided, that there be good evidence of the damage, which they have suffered
Those, who owe any thing to the physician in particular, shall pay the physician out of their own, because there has almost always been a public physician provided; and this would be a door opened to a very great confusion.
That which has been formerly given to the poor, out of the time of distribution, shall not be accounted to them in the present distribution; but if there be found any, who had any competent estate, who thus received any monies, it shall be accounted to them; and the commissioners are to take all possible care therein, that this article be observed with all equity.
Their physician shall be paid out of the public, according to the former agreement made with him; and for the time to come, the people of the Valleys shall compound with him for a certain stipend, provided that he engage to reside always among them. And for the surplus of his maintenance, he shall be paid for his pains by those particulars, who shall employ him.
There shall be strict examination had into what the apothecaries and surgeons have provided formerly for those poor people, who are not able to repay them, and they shall be satisfied out of the public. But as for those, who have wherewithal, they shall repay the said apothecaries and surgeons out of their own, and not demand it from the public.
Although there has happened some inequality in the distribution of cloth, linnen, shoes, &c. yet it is thought fit, that that business rather pass, than be again called to account, by reason of the great confusion that will necessarily arise thereby; only if there be any lest, which is not disposed of, it is ordered, that it be given to those who had none before, if there be any such.
Those, who pretend gratifications for their particular service, that they have done for their country, in exposing their persons to great dangers, and by enduring extraordinary hardships, ought to content themselves with this recompence; namely, the good testimony that they have in their own consciences to have done worthily, together with the praises of all honest people; as likewise, that they have their portion equal with the rest in the distribution.
The commissioners are to have a special regard to mons. le Preux's great sickness, and pains he has taken for the Valleys; as also forasmuch as he has been recommended by the deputies of England, and Holland, provided, that beforehand he give up his accounts clearly and distinctly, that so a clear judgment may be given concerning his gratification.
Those of Villar shall have their part and portion, as well in the distribution at present, as in those which are to come, notwithstanding the revolt of many of them, and great backwardness to desend their country, which their weakness is charitably supported in them; and as to the distributions passed, they shall pretend nothing, forasmuch likewise as they have received the one half of their losses, whereof they complained.
There shall be particular regard had, amongst other losses, to those, which have been caused by the war, as pillaging, and the like; provided it plainly appear, that it has proceeded from the war, and not from the hail or other accident.
Those, who have furnished the poor with bread, or wine, in the time of desolation, shall not demand a reward or recompence for the same, by reason of the great confusion that would arise from thence. As likewise it would be a shame to bring their charitable actions upon a public account.
These are the chief points of the instructions given to the new commissioners, which have taken them up so much time in scanning and rectifying all things, that by this means they were hindered from distributing the compleat sum of this last 5000 l. which I last sent them (at least for several weeks) so as to send me the acquittance, authentikly signed for the whole. However, I had word by my last letter, that it was upon the way, and I expect it the next week; as also I had word long since, that it was safely delivered in the Valleys, and that in due time. In the meane time, I thought it not beside the purpose, besides all the acquittances which I have yet mentioned, to insert a most authentick acquittance signed by the people of the Valleys, for eleven thousand five hundred pounds, which is all but the last 5000 l. and it is marked with the red letters C C, at the end of the booke.
All these accounts, together with their originale acquittances, are in all humility presented
to his highnesse and the councel, or to whomesoever they shall appoint for the examination
of them, as a true narrative of the remission, and actuale distribution of the 16500 l.
sterl. being part of the monyes collected for the poor people of the Valleyes, by
Their most humble and faithfule servant,