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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December (6 of 6)
A letter of intelligence.
The ambassador of Muscovia arrived here on tuesday evening, being about twenty two hours and a half to twenty three, when were met with by prince Leopold out at the gate, with a good company of coaches with two horses only a piece, both rising out of their coaches at one instant; when after the usual ceremonies past between them, with the shooting of the guns of the lower bastion called Forttella di Basso, they were imbarked in the prince's coaches, in company together with the prince, and put in the choicest place in the coach, and being conducted to the palace, at their disbarking, were saluted again by the cannon of the fortezza di Belvidere, and received by the great duke at the entrance of the gate where the guard is kept, and he had stayed a purpose in a lower room, expecting their coming, and thence accompanied by him up stairs to their appointed lodgings, where after taking leave of them, was prepared a sumptuous banquet for them with a royal board of most rich plate, which stands till there departure. On friday night the young prince went and gave them a visit, who was met by them at the uttermost of their chambers, and after the visit ended, by them accompanied so far back. A little after which, the Venetian agent had audience by the great duke, upon whose departure the aforesaid ambassador went to give the great duke a visit, who met them at the outermost hall, where the guard are, and accompanied them back again so far. Afterwards they made a visit to the grand dutchess, and it was observed at each visit they changed their vests and caps. I hear since, that all the other princes have visited them, and it is said, they have presented the grand duke with rich surs, and he in return is preparing to present them with some Galentena. It's reported they will be gone on tuesday next. In the mean time the grand duke seeketh out to entertain them with some sports and commodities, such as may be most pleasing to the sense of the eye; for that of the ear, in regard they understand not the language, will be of little use to them. To-morrow is appointed the play of the calcio; afterward a festina di dame at the court, and on monday will be a comedy, nella casa del accademia del serenissimo principe Gio Carolo. It was said, that after the visit ended with the grand dutchess, they put their vests into their chambers, and went privately into the chamber of the grand duke, where they were entertained with musick and singing. It marthese Giudose was appointed maestro di camera, and il Marthese Corsini trattenetere, and six bagei of the grand duke's own to wait upon them, which is what I could gather notable.
A letter of intelligence.
The last letters out of Prussia bring certain news, that col Aschenberg being commanded with 800 horse (or according to the relation of some) a far greater number to persue the flying timerous Poles, overtook a party of about 3000 or 4000 near Conitz, burning, &c. staying above two thousand of them in that, and four other villages, which are all burned to the ground; whence loaded with their spoil and above 2000 horses, he returned to Schlochaw, from whence he sent an express to impart this fortunate rencounter to his majesty of Sweden. The said Poles had already joined the general Czarnetsky, who with thirty companies of horse and four hundred dragoons, conveyed the queen of Poland, intending (according to the declaration of the Polish prisoners to return conjunctis viribus, for Dantzick) which city is said to abound and be filled with doleful cries and lamentations, as well because of the shameful flight and rout of the Poles, as also in regard of the pestilential infection, which begins to shew itself and prevail again among them. Whereunto may be added the scarcity and dearth of all sorts of victuals and provisions, which is such, that great numbers of the poorer sort are ready to perish with famine and poverty. The duke of Newburgh is arming very strongly in his territories, to what intent is uncertain. The Swedish cavalry in the Stift of Bremen hath received a warrant to appear and render themselves within three days at the rendezvous. It would seem, the Swedes are some ways jealous of the Dane, who is in a considerable posture by land, and said to have a design to break with the Swedes, and endeavour some mischief towards them; yet there are several, who don't believe the king of Denmark wants courage to undertake any affair of that nature and consideration. In the mean time the Swedes have raised the tenth man through their whole kingdom. And it's writ thence, that the said Landfolk shews indeed little inclination to be transported beyond sea, but great zeal and servency to oppose and wage war with the Danes. Letters from Stockholm impart, that at the head church three divers sorts of spirits appear, and are seen, and heard to make frightful howlings, and lamenta tions, whereof a finister interpretation is made by some of them, though they strive to keep it very privately, especially from the knowledge of the commonalty. Two of these most eminent ministers of state, viz. the rix-admiral, Oxenstierne, and field marshal in Livonia, and count Lewenhaupt are lately deceased. The emperor keeps himself yet very silent, being so private in his counsels, as that it is as yet impossible truly to penetrate how far his final resolution to the proffers of the Polish ambassadors lately imparted unto them, hath inclined either towards his acceptance or refusal of that crown.
General Monck to secretary Thurloe.
I Received your letter concerning the two ships, that came from Rotterdam. I have acquainted two sea captains, that are going out hence to see about them; and shall likewise acquaint the commissioners at Leith, that if any such Dutch ships come in, they seize upon them. I heard lately, that there was a Dutch man of war of twenty seven guns, that was cast away between Newcastle and Scarborough; and I do not hear of any man that was saved. I have enquired and can hear no certainty of it, only that there was such a report. Since my last, I hear nothing else, that is worth the troubling you, but remain
Dalkeith, Dec. 27, 1656.
A letter of intelligence from Madrid.
My last was of the 27th ultimo, of which, and of this, I sent to col. Bampsylde to be sent you, because you never advised the receipt of any. Since mine of the 27th there have been great differences in the council of state, whether they should advance the king of the Scots, or proceed in the war against Portugal; the manner is not as yet determined. Also it is agreed upon to employ the brother-in-law of the king of Denmark, who is at present sickly (he is named Annibal) but where or how, is not resolved as yet: a few days will let us know all. The nuntio about the peace with the Portugal king is not as yet arrived in Madrid. I can assure you, that don Louis de Haro has intelligence of all what you do. As soon as I have advice, that you have performed the pension as desired in mine in the 8th Nov. you shall see what I will do. Few days will let us know much.
A letter of intelligence from Blank Marshall.
I Have not fayled any oportunitie, but am not certaine, whether mine cometh to your hands or not. The d. of York h a s l e f t D u n k i r k and c a m e h i t h e r o n w e n s d a y l a s t. C. Stew. and h e e w e n t n e x t d a y t o G a n t to m e e t d. John Wee are p e r s w a d e d of g r e a t m a t t e r s c o n c l u d e d t h e n f o r o u r s p e e d y g o i n g f o r E n g l a n d b u t I s e e n e i t h e r m e n s h i p p i n g n o r m o n y. All the a r m y i s g o n t o q u a r t e r s. D u n k i r k and N e w p o r t i s w e a k l y m a n e d. B u s s i n e s i s c a r r i e d s o c l o s e h e e r e, that I know not w h a t t o s a y. I am consident the h o p e is f r o m E n g l a n d. Ch. St. s p e a k s i t p u b l i c k l y that h e e w i l s e e i n E n g l a n d s u d d a y n l y d. John h i s r e g i m e nt i s r e d u c e d, and j o y n e d to the S c o t s c o m a n d e d b y Newburgh. Will not trouble you farther at, but by the next you shall heer more of your business; but for M a r d y k wee are of more f e a r o f i t n o w then i t was of u s b e e f o r e. I humbly beg pardon for this tedious digression. I rest and am, sir,
Your most devoted and humble servant, B. M.
A letter of intelligence.
Next monday or tuesday there goes one squadron of our ambassadors from Denmark; it seems that king's pulse will be felt first, before the other begin their march to the Swedish resident. Applebome presented a memorandum, wherein he desireth to be informed, what the preparing of so great a fleet doth mean here: the resolution is not given yet. Interim whiles we advise and debate, all Prussia is lost. The disadvantage, which the protestant cause sustaineth by these self-seeking courses, is sadly to be lamented. Never was there so fair an opportunity offered by private endeavours, to be even once with the shavelings, and to send the inquisition into the pit of perdition. I send you here a printed copy of what the jesuits made their late slavish proselyte landgrave, Ernst, to publish last month to discredit the late persecution in Piedmont, and make the world believe, that the protestants, especially those in England, now are the only persecutors, and none suffer so much persecution as the papists for their religion. Methinketh the very devil should blush at such palpable falshoods; but their madness transports them, they know not, care not whither, and their main fling is still at your parts, whence they have reason to stand in most fear: therefore they will leave nothing unattempted, that Hell can broach or furnish, to prejudice, reproach, cross, and ruin him, and them they see so really ready and likely to deal with them according to their desert.
Hannibal Sestede, the quondam vice-roy of Norway, is now at Cologne, and did feast king Charles there the 5th of this month very sumptuously. Count Wolmar is in Swedish service. Corfitz Ulefield is at Stockholm still. Some conceive these will do all they can to involve Denmark likewise into new troubles again, to be avenged; but they may be disappointed. The princess royal our young widow hath a mind, it seems to play Christina, intending a vagary next week for Paris, she faith to visit her mother; others conceive it may be to advance a match with Savoy, which I know not how to believe.
The Swedish resident at Vienna entered a protest lately, that unless a real inhibitory course were taken with the Polish remaining forces, to keep them from retreating and rallying in Silcsia, after their ravaging and spoiling their own country; the Swedes would be held guiltless of what might ensue; which wrought so much, that presently order was given for the marching of four regiments towards those frontiers, to prevent the like courses.
A chief of the Lorain army informs me, that since the baron de Chastellet returned to Brussels out of Spain., and brought some orders with him from duke Charles, his brother duke Francis within two days after drew up his army, and without any noise or more ado, most unexpectedly deserted the Spanish party, and revolted to the French. The said baron de Chastellet was not permitted in Spain to speak alone with the duke, but as often as he had audience with him, two Spanish officers still attended him, to hear and observe all what passed between them. Now since the duke was debarred of the means fairly to convey his orders for his brother duke Francis to the said baron, he found a way at length to do it by one of his slippers, in this manner. The baron being once at audience with the duke, on a sudden he complained of an excessive pain in one of his legs, where indeed he had some known pain before; so that seeming to be in a great extremity, the said officers wished him to get his boot pulled off, and to make use of one of the slippers there in the room, which was done accordingly, and therein he found the orders afterwards, and presently sought and had his dispatch, and returned as aforesaid.
Mons. Heimbach to secretary Thurloe.
Scribo quòd haud levibus nec vulgaribus rumoribus acceperim, serenitatem suam ad Suecos Belgasque jam jam legationem meditari, cui si quâ in re tenuitate meâ adesse possim, hisce me favori tuo & gratiæ supplex commendo, ut pulchrior & merita faveat Deus ille juventâ, quam serenitatis suæ incolumitati non sine vitæ, &, ut multis visum, fortunæ dispendio proprio motu hactenus devovi. En candidi affectus tesseram in serenitatis suæ necnon filii principis Henrici effigies brevi ut ferunt edendas, epigramma, quod velim meo titulo serenissimis & potentissimis manibus præmiffis officiis submisse offeras. Ita cresce, qui magnus es, & flore qui ornatus; meque ut magis ac magis ames, magis magisque vale.
The Dutch ambassadors at Koningsberg to the States General.
High and mighty lords.
My lords, upon the 2d we humbly advised your high and mighty lordships of all that had happened to us of importance: the next day we went from Elbing, came that night to Hollant, being received there very civilly by two or three gentlemen sent thither expresly by the duke of Brandenburgh, and we were lodged and treated with all manner of respect in honour of your high and mighty lordships: with the like civilities and honour they conducted us to Milhausen, Bransburgh, and Heiligpill, and Brandenburgh to this city, from whence some of the court with coaches came to meet us, and complimented us very civilly in the name of the said duke. This morning we pursue our said journey for Labiaw, where the duke is at present.
General Mountagu to sir Gilbert Pickering.
I Most kindly thanke you for your large letter of newes, and havinge soe said, I have noe more to returne you, unlesse you will give mee to begg your trouble, that you will please to mind Mr. secretarye to send mee his highnesse's pleasure for the tyme of the marquess returninge into Spayne, which I conceive his highnesse is oblidged to, upon his letter into Flanders, and the answere thereof; and iff it bee too longe diferred, they are apt to be jealous, and thinke they are not fairelye dealt withall. I suppose also they will consider, what termes to propound to them for theire absolute libertye, and signifie them to us, that soe they may apply themselves in Spayne to the compassinge of them, unlesse they meane to give them libertye freely, which indeed I should rather incline to, unlesse any publike use of good advantage could be made of them. It may be they will easily send home captain Blake from St. Sebastian's, which will be kindly taken of the old generall. This is all at present from,
Your most faithfull and
affectionate brother and servant,
To Nieuport, the Dutch ambassador in England.
It seems the Swedes have gotten their army over the Weyssell, and have quartered the same near to Dantzick, and that the Polish horse is retreated, leaving their foot in Dantzick; so that now there is little hopes left of peace between them. The Swedes and the Branden burgher have made a near alliance to maintain the country of Prussia to the utmost against the Poles. The Swedes seem to be troubled, that in Denmark their treaties have no better progress, which causeth them in Sweden to reinforce their militia in most places, and to cause them to be put in good order.
Extract out of the register of the resolutions of the lords the States General.
Was heard the report of the lords Huygens and others their high and mighty lordships commissioners of the affairs of the sea, who having visited and examined the respective memorandums presented to their high and mighty lordships by the resident of the crown of Poland, mons. de Bye, as also by the lord Weyman, resident of the duke of Brandenburgh, as also the letter of the said duke, writ at Labiawe on the 18th December last, concerning a Holland merchant-man, whereof is master Broer Janson, which coming lately from Amsterdam, laden with gunpowder and other commodities designed (as its said) for Koningsbergh, was taken by those of Dantzick. Whereupon being debated, it is understood, that copies of the said memorandums and letters shall be sent to their high and mighty lordships ambassadors in Prussia, to inform themselves, and to advise their high and mighty lordships, whether the said ship was taken in open sea, or under the high land of Dantzick; and withal that a letter be writ to the college of Amsterdam, that their lordships will be pleased to inform their high and mighty lordships with all speed, what quantity of powder was laden in the said ship, and whither designed.
A letter of intelligence to resident Bradshaw.
Right honorabel sir,
I Was verie much shortned of time, when I dispatcht my letter with the last post of the 5th instant. I could not in such haste as I was then, sett all the ante-præliminar articles downe so as I had begun; therefore I come now to mentionate them all in order, as followeth:
The king of S. requires, that his consederates, viz. the ambassadors of the duke of Transylvania, Ragotzy, and also the embassador of the Cossacks, may have from the king of Poland passeports for to come to the treaty, and to propound also their desires, &c.
These are the articels propounded from the Swedes to the Poles; but the king of Poland demands before the treaty, that Prussia must bee restored and delivered up unto him from the king of Sweden before he treates.
Since my last of the 5th instant certain newes is come hither, that the Swedish coronell Ashberg, with 3000 horses and dragones, hath surprized the Polish cavalrie about Conitz, and hath sett fire in the villages where they lay, and the most of the horses and men perisht in the same fire, and them which came out to fight, was killed from the Swedes, in all about 3000 Poles. This newes, with the particulars, is to bee printed heere today, whereof I shall send your honour a copie with the next. Upon this newes the king of Sweden remooved with his army from Stublau in all haste towards Conitz, for to meete with the Polish troopes comming into Prussia with the queene of Poland, under command of a Polish general Charnetzky, and to fight with them. The king of Sweden will lett the queen of Poland passe with no more than 2000 horses: the rest of the Polish truppes he will fight with; the account whereof, as soon as the newes shall bee brought to us, I will not fail to impart all to your honour. Therefore I conclude, and remaine
Mr. Bradshaw, resident at Hamburgh, to secretary Thurloe.
Not findinge any from your honor in this week's pacquet, nor haveinge any thinge of moment to ad to the inclosed intelligence, I shall not hold yow up with repetition of my former desires in the busines of Mr. Townley, whoe noe doubt but ere this hath appeared before the councell, of whose entertaynment I presume shall heare from your honor per next. Desiringe your pardon for the great trouble I have formerly given you in that busines, I waite the pleasure of his highness and the councell therein, affectionately remayninge
Inclos'd in the preceding.
From tuesday the 25th of November 1656, to thursday the 27th, I being divers times commanded by the resident my master, to give Mr. Francis Townley merchant notice to make ready himself, that he might be sent aboard a frigate in the river, in order to his going for England, according to the order of his highness and the council; and receiving many dubious answers from him in all that time, as that he took notice of my messages, and that it was well, and such like unsatisfying answers; being likewise, upon his delay, commanded to require his sureties, who were bound for his appearance, to bring him, the said Mr. Townley forthwith before the resident, in order to his so sending of him for England; who also making many excuses and delays in the bringing of him, at last, about eight of the clock on thursday night following, they brought him in, at which time the resident delivered the sureties their bond, telling Mr. Townley, that he must stay with him that night, and the next morning go down to the frigate with the lieutenant. Whereupon both Mr. Townley and his sureties, Mr. Tindall and Mr. Holford, earnestly desired the resident to give Mr. Townley leave to return that night to his house, to settle some business, which much imported him. And they all three engaged themselves, upon the words of merchants and honest men, in the hearing of myself and one of my fellow servants, that the said Mr. Townley should render himself at the resident's house by eight of the clock next morning, without fail or further delay; upon which engagement the resident told them, that to accommodate Mr. Townley for the settling of his business, he was content he should return to his house that night, desiring them to remember their engagements, which he looked upon to be as good as their bonds; though he should take no bonds of them for so short a time. The next morning, Mr. Townley not coming at the time promised, the resident sent me to him, to know of him, why he failed his word in not coming. But I could not be permitted by his wife to speak with him. The next day the resident sent me again to Mr. Townley, requiring him to come unto him, to go down with the lieutenant, who stayed for him; but then his wife gave me for answer, that she wondered that the resident would be so uncivil, as so to command her husband upon such a short warning, and that her husband was not well, and therefore could not come. Being again sent by the resident to tell Mr. Townley, that he having given him all that time to order his business, did much wonder, that he would, upon any pretence whatsoever, falsify his word and promise; again requiring him to come away without any delay: but then also not seeing him, his wise answered, that her husband lay sick in bed, and if the resident would not believe her, he might come himself and see him, or else send one of his minions, either Mr. Hechstetter, or some other of them; and charging me to tell my master, the resident, that if any thing but well happened to her husband, she would require his life at his hands. Again (it being the fourth time that day) I, together with the lieutenant, were sent to tell Mr. Townley, that the resident looking on those former answers as pretences and excuses, did again request him by us, to obey his highness and the council's orders, and according to his word and promise come away with us, ready to depart aboard together with the lieutenant of the frigate, who had so long staid for him; otherwise, that the resident would take notice of his contempt, and return it to his highness and the council. But then likewise being not admitted to speak with him, his wife in a most passionate manner said, that the resident so much thirsted after her husband's blood, that seeing he could not by one means have it, he would seek it by another. Whereupon both the lieutenant and myself desiring her to forbear those passionate expressions, began to reckon to her the civilities of the resident towards her husband from time to time, especially since his honour received the order from his highness and the council concerning him, in affording him so much time to dispose of his affairs and business: but she being so over passionate, as that she would hear no reason from us, still run on in her rude and unseemly expressions, saying, she well perceived the resident's civility to her husband in his actions towards him, in so requiring him, being sick, to come to him, and depart upon the short warning; and at last plainly told us, that the resident should not any way command her husband to endanger his health, with many other unseemly expressions of like nature, in the hearing of the lieutenant and myself.
A letter of intelligence from Madrid the 10th Jan. 1657.
I Have yours of the 27 November, wherein you advised to have received mine of the 2 Octob. and 8 Nov. together, at which I admire; for from the 2d Oct. to the 8 Nov. I writ you one of the 4, 11, 18, 19, 24, and 25 of October; so that I admire if they came not to your hands. Since I writ the 11, 25, and 29 of November; the 1, 6, 9, 13, 20, and 27 ult. and 6 and 7 current, which I hope you will receive. I will assure you, the only comfort I can have, is the advice of mine to come to your hand, it being the comfort a man has after the danger he runs.
As for what you desire to know of the galleons, and how many, and when they will be
ready, cannot be known as yet: within fifteen days you shall have an exact advice of all,
for yesterday I sent one to Cadiz. Sir, their absolute resolution is, to send a fleet to the
Indies, and not to engage at all with any of yours, unless forced to it: and when they are
ready, if the fleet expected comes, and the occasion offers to assist them, that they intend
to make no resistance against you in these parts, only to send to the Indies, and to keep the
best they can. The duke in Andalusia, that commands all, is not now very willing to accept of his new commission, as he seems. I have advised you before, how that the Spanish
king is absolutely resolved for the war against Portugal. He has indeed 16,000 foot and
5000 horse by one way, which is Badajox; and by way of Gallicia 5000 foot and 1500
horse; and the duke that is governor against Portugal, which is duke de San Garman, engages his life to the Spanish king, for to reduce Portugal with this army. The Spanish
king will have within six months, five millions of pieces of eight, which he takes from the
nation of the Rentk, he sold him himself, which they call Jurors, and the army is raising.
You may rest assured, that what I wrote to col. Bampfylde concerning the peace is true, and
that don Lewis de Haro intends really, as you shall see by the effect. Advise, as you did
in this I received from you, what you have a mind to, and then rest assured of my fidelity.
I give you thanks for the pension you assure to give the brother. I rest
As for news, don Anbal Skelter, brother in law to the king of Denmark, is made general of the artillery in Flanders, and is to have a regiment of foot, and another of horse, and is to have the managing of the levies there, and what shipping they will have need of. There is a ship arrived in Jabrantal from the Indies; the last port she was in was the Havana, and then the fleet was not arrived there, but soon expected, so that she brings no more of the fleet we expect; they say also, that there is of the English ships in Jamaica but. Sir Benjamin Ruit is very busy about some new advice he has from his brother.
Mr. Manley to Mr Anth. Rogers.
I Suppose br. M. to be gon agayne, or hugely employed, that he does not performe his promise, which was to give mee an accompt of himselfe and our freinds. Pray put him in mind of it, and let me at least every moone here from you too, else shall feare mee neglected. The king of Pol. is still here, and he of Swede master of the field hereabout, since the shamefull retreat of the Poles. The queene was in her way hither, but meeting her disordered troopes at Conits 30 English miles from hence, returned with them agayne into Poland. Some recounters betwixt parties have past, but not worth the writeing. Remember me dearely to thy wise and our friends all in particular, with cos. W. God preserve us all, and send us a joyfull meeting. Adew tell then and ever.
Intelligence from Mr. J. Pell.
By the last ordinary post that went home to Geneva, our senate sent the French ambassador an answer to the letters, which our deputies brought hither from him, in which they prayed him to give more credit to what their deputies had said, than to the private suggestions of some male-contents.
Five days ago, the elder consul complained to the senate, that two of the common council had spoken very dishonourably of him: they were therefore condemned to prison; but one of them, a captain, left his cloak in the serjeant's hand, and ran home in cuerpo.
Three days ago, the senate received a letter from the French court, wherein the king prays them not to trouble themselves or him with sending any more deputies to him, forasmuch as his ambassador en Soloturn, was sufficiently instructed concerning the resolutions taken in council for the affairs of Suisse.
Mons. Werdmuller is still at Versoy: he had written hither to some of his friends, that if the senate will send him a sealed promise to give him a fair trial in some town out of their jurisdiction, and that they will not require their allies to deliver him into their hands; then he will come to such a place, and answer to all that can be laid to his charge.
Count Alphonso Casati passed from Milan through this country. He is going to the Spanish ambassador Pigneranda, at whose intercession, it is hoped, that the house of Austria will send new supplies to Milan this next spring, if they can find mad men, that will be persuaded to serve in a country, knowing how much the Spaniards have abused all those Germans that were sent thither these two years last past.
The three feasts for joy of the Spanish prince's birth are now ended, and all the officers of the court make them ready for the German journey. Next Jan. 5/15, the king of Bohemia will begin his progress towards Frankford, where the Spanish ambassador with his rich liveries will outshine all that was ever seen in Germany.
Four regiments of French horse are already come into Alsatia. Colmar and Strasburg fear some design against them, and therefore have strengthened their garrison, and are labouring at their fortifications; we have no less cause to suspect the intentions of France against Mulhausen, which the protestant cantons are obliged to maintain against all enemies.
Cardinal Mazarin to Bourdeaux, the French ambassador in England.
I Saw your letter of the 28th of Dec. After that, which the Scots, which mons. Douglas had raised, have done lately, it would not be prudence to continue that levy: you must therefore write into Scotland, to cause the same to cease, and to cause the money to be restored, which was advanced.
Those that advised you of what you writ me of mons. de Cardenas, are not well informed.
I know the contrary; and most assuredly there is nothing at all of all that, which was told
you, but an intrigue of a brother of the Irish, who were in the Bastille, who is at London.
I answered in my last that, which concerneth the English ships detained in the ports of
France, under the pretence to arm the ships of the king. It was a mere abuse of the officers of the admiralty; and such necessary orders are sent, as will remedy it. I remain
Paris, Jan. 10. 1657. [N. S.]
Examinations taken at Liverpoole in the county of Lancaster,
on behalf of his highness the lord protector, and commonwealth, the 31st day of Dec. 1656, before John Foxe and John Case, two of the commissioners for securing the peace of the commonwealth, within the said county.
Henry Bold of Widnes in the county of Lancaster, gent, being examined, whether he had seen one Mr. William Penketh of Cuerdley lately, or had had any discourse with him of late time; affirmatively saith, that he hath not seen the said Penketh of two months space last, but at the church, save the saturday before the said Penketh was apprehended and had no discourse with him of any moment at that time, only enquired of him how his uncle did in Leicestershire. And being further demanded, whether he ever heard Penketh declare he would venture his heart's blood, that there would be a rising before Candlemas next upon Charles Stuart's account; he utterly denieth the same, or that he ever heard the said Penketh say, he was under an oath of secrecy. And being also further demanded, whether he either knew, nor heard of Penketh's return back into this county, or going again; he saith, he neither knew or heard of his coming home into Lancashire, or going back again out of the county, neither of any thing, which did concern any rising or insurrection in the nation.
William Bold, son of the abovementioned Henry Bold, being examined, whether he of late time had heard of any rising in these parts, or any part of England, upon the account of Charles Stuart; he utterly denieth the same. And being further demanded, whether he ever heard, or declared to any, that there was great buying up of arms by Charles Stuart's party, or that there would be no quarter given, if that side should prevail; or whether he had had any discourse at Warrington lately, or any other place, with any one upon such an account; he also utterly denieth all.
William Bold aforesaid, being again examined, acknowledgeth further, and saith, that he heard Mr. William Penketh declare, that he thought there would be an insurrection in England, and that there was great buying up of arms for the king's party; and that he hoped he should have some imployment in the army, if the king's forces came over; and that Charles Stuart would be over before Candlemas, or with all expedition might be. And he heard the said Penketh say, he was to go to his friends again towards Christmas; and that he further said, he could not without breach of fidelity declare any more.
The examination of William Penketh of Cuerdley in the county of Lancaster, gent. taken before us at Liverpool, December 31, 1656.
Who being examined, whether he had declared to any one of any insurrection like to be in the nation, did deny the same. As also, whether he had any conference with William Bold of Widnes, of any kind, denied the same; but afterward he did acknowledge, that not long since he told William Bold, that Charles Stuart was in Flanders; but denied that ever he spake to him of any insurrection, or that there was buying up arms by the cavalier party, or that he hoped for any office under the king. But being further demanded, whether he had declared any thing more to the said William Bold, he answered, that he had told him, he heard that Charles Stuart was in Flanders, and had maintainance from the king of Spain; and that armies were raised in his behalf, and drawing down, and would be in England by the next year, as he thought, namely, in January next. And being further demanded, whether he heard of any insurrection in England, or any going out of the west or north to Charles Stuart in Flanders; he replied, that he knew not of any that went, save one Baker, a Leicestershire man, who told him he intended to go into Flanders.
William Bold aforesaid, being afterwards examined, further declareth and saith, that at the instance of the ostler at John Pennington's in Warrington, he went along with the said ostler to one Mr. Ashfield, clerk, then at Warrington, and desired him to marry the said ostler, which the said Ashfield refused. And after the said Bold and Mr. Ashfield going together, he the said Mr. Bold told Mr. Ashfield, amongst other discourse, that the king (meaning Charles Stuart) had a great army in Flanders; and this account, the said Bold said, he received from one Molineux, who had lived in Ireland. And being further demanded, whether he had any further or other discourse upon that or the like subject, altogether denieth the same.
Henry Bold before named, being also further examined, confesseth and faith, that about a month since, his son William Bold declared to him, that Mr. Penketh told him, he durst venture his heart's blood, there would be a rising in England before Candlemas day next, upon the king's account; and that every day there was great repairing to him out of the north and west, and that Penketh himself hoped to be adjutant general to the king's forces; and that the said Penketh must go back again out of the country speedily. And further, that the said Penketh said, he had almost forswore himself, in telling his said son William so much, in that he was under an oath of secrecy, and loth to see him, because he was importunate with him for news. All which he, the said Henry Bold, acknowledgeth he declared to John Ashfield, clerk, at Farneworth in the said county.
The information of John Ashfield clerk, taken upon oath before John Foxe and John Case, all present the 16th of Nov. 1656.
Who informeth upon oath, and saith, that being in company with Henry Bold of Farneworth in the county of Lancaster, gent. upon the 5th of Dec. past at Farneworth, he, the said Henry, told him, that he, the said Penketh, durst venture his heart's blood that there would be a rising in England before Candlemas day next, upon the score of the king of Scots, and that every day great numbers out of the west and other parts repaired to the king of Scots, And that he, the said Penketh, said, in what he had told him, he had almost forswore himself; for that he was sworn to be secret, and that he was very loth to see the said Henry Bold, because he was so importunate with him for news; and that the said Penketh further told the said Henry Bold, he was in expectation to be adjutant general for the king's army, at their arrival; and that he must be gone again back in all speed; and if the king of Scots should lose the opportunity this bout, then farewell all.
And the informant informeth further, and faith, that William Bold, son to Henry Bold, told the informant at Warrington, Dec. 10 last, that the king's party, meaning the Scots king, did buy up all the arms he could light of; and that if there be a fight, not a man's life on the other party shall be given him.
William Penketh being examined, confesseth and faith, that he was born in Pinketh; his place of abode for seven years last past hath been in Cuerdley and Widnes, though he acknowledgeth, that about fourteen years ago he was a soldier in Holland, under command of one captain Steward, and served there nine years together; but coming over for England, he was taken by the soldiery of col. John Book, governor of Warrington, and secured there: after being cleared, he went to his father at Rishton-hall, and lived there for a year's space, and after went into Leicestershire, and there married with the daughter of one Mr. Bunnie of Waltham, in the Would in Leicestershire. He further acknowledgeth, that he went to Leicestershire a week and odd days after Michaelmas last, and stayed there six weeks and odd, and in that space was twice in Northamptonshire with Richard Claypole esq, in the same county, and that he went upon the account of and along with Rowland Patrick of Lestrop, his uncle. And being examined, whether he had any discourse or negotiation with any in those parts for the advancing of the interest of Charles Stuart; he utterly denieth the same. And being further examined, whether he had any discourse with any since he came into the country, upon the interest of Charles Stuart; he denieth the same, save that one day at Warrington, he confesseth he saw Mr. Harrington, Mr. Massie of Rixon, and Mr. Ashton of Penketh, at the eagle and child in Warrington, ready to go to dinner; but in regard he wanted money, he left them, and had no discourse with, or drink of them.
The heads of the charge given in upon oath by one single witness, whose name he desireth may be at the present suppressed, till the business be made public, against John Brotherton the younger, of Newton, in the county of Lancaster, gent.
2. That after that time, he did assist the late king with men, money, arms, and intelligence, and did after several fights conceal and keep secret several commanders of the king's party, and did furnish them.
4. That the said John Brotherton declared, that if the earl of Derby, 1651, had put off the fight with col. Lilburn one day longer, he had been five hundred stronger; for the said John had provided for him men, horse, and arms, and so had many others.
6. That the said John Brotherton hath in the hearing of this informant several times declared, in the year 1656, that he hoped before the end of the year 1656, to see Oliver Cromwell, the lord protector, to be pulled down and made shorter by the head; and that if he could but conveniently ever see that rogue, that treacherous cur, the lord protector, he the said John would shoot him, if he were hanged for the same.
8. That the said John Brotherton, in hearing of this informant, about a year last past plainly declared, that he was truly informed by a letter, or otherwise from a special friend, that Charles Stuart, king of England, was in Spain, and had made a peace with the said king of Spain, and sold him the title to Ireland, for the aiding and assisting of him the said Charles with men, money, and armes, for recovering of England and Scotland from that rogue the protector.
And the said John further said, he heard Charles Stuart was four thousand strong, and that he hoped before the next year, to see the said Charles Stuart king in England, and that rogue the protector to be pulled as small as flesh to the pot. And that the said John would go with Charles Stuart, the true king of England, himself, and find twenty horse, and as many men as he could procure for money. And further, that he heard the said John, about October last, declare, that he hoped to see the parliament and protector fall out, and that there would be a new war between them. And then he hoped to see Charles Stuart come in and beat them both.
And further, in Nov. last, this informant heard the said John Brotherton declare, that the present parliament were all treacherous rogues; for that they intended to take away the right and title from Charles Stuart, who was true king of England, and make that tyrant, called the protector, king.
And the said John, being lately come from London, in the said month, in the hearing of this informant declared, that he heard that Charles Stuart, king of England, had a great army, and that he would be in England before it were long; and that he hoped then to see all the rogues of the parliament and the villains the commissioners hanged, and not left worth a groat. And the said John further said, that he heard the tyrant, the protector, was a great deal in debt, and that the said king's lands were to be sold to pay the tyrant the protector's debts; but he had rather see that tyrant die in debt, than that the said Charles Stuart, the true king of England, should lose his right.
A letter of intelligence.
The queen of Poland is arrived at Dantzick. The arms between the Swedes and the Pole do continue, as it were, suspended, whilst that the ambassadors of France and Holland do endeavour to compose a peace between both kings.