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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January (1 of 4)
The Dutch ambassadors in Prussia to Ruysch.
Yesterday, after we had audience of the duke of Brandenburgh, the lords Swein, Overbeeck, and Jenna, the duke's privy council, came to our lodgings, and in the name of the said duke very civilly gave thanks once more to their high and mighty lordships, for that they had been pleased, not only to take to heart this sad and miserable war, which was broke out in these parts, but also to think upon fit means and remedy, whereby the same might be removed and determined; and to that end had offered their Christian and most renowned office of mediation; and now also had thought fit to send to the said duke expresly about it. That the said duke had very well received the proposition, which we had made in the name of their high and mighty lordships; and that he had commanded them to speak and confer with us about it; and desiring that we would be please to enlarge and declare ourselves somewhat further upon the said considerations and intentions of their high and mighty lordships. After foregoing reciprocal compliments and civilities, we shewed ourselves ready to do it; and told them, that we were expresly commanded by their high and mighty lordships, to communicate the same to the duke in all faithfulness and confidence; and thereupon we reduced and proposed at large, and according to their importance, to the said lords, all the reasons, motives, and considerations, which were set down in their high and mighty lordships memorandum.
The said lords thanked us for this confident and faithful declaration; and after that many discourses had pass'd upon that subject, and amongst the rest, that the security and certainty of the countries and harbours of the duke in Prussia would consist, and might be obtained by obtaining of the sovereignty and independency of the said countries, and the keeping of the bishopric of Ermeland; they undertook to report what we had declared, and to signify unto us the further intention of the duke.
The Dutch ambassadors in Denmark to Ruysch.
Since our last to your lordship of the 7th instant, there hath been debated at our instance with the lords of the council our remonstrance concerning the salt company; and as far as we understand by the lord ryx-hoffmaster, he informed us, that we might assure their high and mighty lordships upon his word, that the same will be finished to the full content of their high and mighty lordships. The speculations, which they had here, how that by means of the said company, not only ten, as the octroy granted to them doth import, but even 16 and more good ships fit for war, for the increase of navigation, and power of this kingdom, would have been shortly built, and that the capital was already raised for the same: all which speculations have been very great obstacles unto us; but the favour of his majesty, and the great diligence of the lord ryx-hoffmaster hath at last overcome the same; and we doubt not, but we shall be able to accomplish their high and mighty lordships desires and commands.
The lords of the council will adjourn in the middle of the next week, and in the mean time provisionally they will give some order to arm; but the resolution will chiefly remain in suspense, 'till the further meeting of the said lords; and as the lord hoffmaster told us, till they had seen further the consilia of their high and mighty lordships. His majesty and his council are persuaded, that there is vigour required to cause the troubles to be determined upon the East sea, upon the grounds mentioned in our former; and in regard some make a doubt, whether their high and mighty lordships will agree with his majesty in this, the said ryx-hoffmaster said in discourse not long since, that his majesty must take to himself the persons of their high and mighty lordships. If so be their high and mighty lordships will be pleased to take some resolution about the projects made here of their arming, and to negotiate with this crown about it, it will cause their resolution of arming, and all their other designs to proceed, or retard the same. To that, in our weak judgments, it would not be amiss, if we were instructed concerning the opinion of their high and mighty lordships in that particular, to be ready therewith against the next assembly of the lords of the council. His majesty doth still continue in his good inclination to help to preserve, together with their high and mighty lordships, the country of the duke of Brandenburgh in Prussia, if so be that the duke will contribute towards the making of such a peace, as his majesty and their high and mighty lordships shall desire; and hath given order to his resident at the Hague, to signify the same; and he did the like to the ambassador of the duke here, which was well taken by him.
Mr. Longland, agent at Leghorn, to secretary Thurloe.
I Hav this week received letters from sir Thomas Bendish, his hyhnes ambassador at Constantinople, who wryts me the great dangers, that hang over our nation ther, by Ell's running away with the king's provisions, which they affirm cost in Egip seaventy thousand crownes or peeces of eiht; and what I hav here received, has bin nothing but rys and suger, which is not all worth 16,000 peeces of eight. Ell will giv no account, althoh I hav several tymes demanded it. What is kept back or concealed by him, it wil be forct from our nation at Constantinople.
The grand signior had begon his expedition towards Andrianople the 8th October; wher the great vizier was to meet him, and consult upon the great affaires of that vast empyre, espetially wher to begin theyr war upon the Venetian or Austrian familly; but tis rather thoht they wil fal upon Transilvania, for they hav imprizon'd his ambassador at Constantinople. I am advys'd sir Thomas Bendish has bin very activ in assisting the Sweadish ambassadors ther; but they wil not hav theyr dispaches thence, til the great consel is held at Andrianople.
Besyds Majork, Naples and Sardinia do now begin to set out ships of war, to tak Inglish, seeing the Majorkins hav had such good success. Al thes places intend to freit Duch
ships in Holland, if it wer for merchandizing, and when they com to them, convert them
into men of war, not without the consent and knolledge of the Duch, as 'tis belived. If his
hyhnes continues in friendship with them, 'tis very lykly a word speaking might prevent
such unneighbourlyk actions, which is humbly recommended unto you by,
Your most faithful and humble servant,
Boreel, the Dutch ambassador in France, to Ruysch.
Yesterday I received a great bundle of papers, together with their high and mighty lordships letters of the 15th of December, concerning the sentence of exemption of the right of aubiné for their high and mighty lordships subjects. In my last I informed their high and mighty lordships, that I had overcome that difficulty, after much trouble. If so be their high and mighty lordships had known so much, the said papers needed not to have been sent. I have been to thank the lord chancellor of France and other lords, who I know have been serviceable to their high and mighty lordships in this difficulty formerly. I advised your lordship, I had begun to use endeavours for the recalling of the published declaration of the king at Calais and Toulon, wherein I have continued. The lord cardinal, who is very ill informed in many things, which concern their high and mighty lordships, cannot be brought to any thing further, only that he will consider further of it; but I cannot hope any thing certain in this business, nor propose any thing to their high and mighty lordships; only I will lose no opportunity for the effecting of it.
They write me word out of Holland, that the men of war, which are under the command of vice-admiral de Ruyter, are too weak to resist a strong fleet, and the disorders, which 12 French men of war can make. If so be (but this is to yourself) the French do meet with an opportunity to fight us, and that they be the strongest, they will endeavour to put some slur upon the reputation of the arms of their high and mighty lordships, which they have always had hitherto at sea.
A letter of intelligence from the Hague.
This day the provinces being summoned concerning the election of a marshal of camp, Guelderland (though having a special and express resolution) advised, that first there ought to be an instruction drawn up. Those of Holland said, that they were not ready; and that they knew not whether their principals will have a marshal of camp. Zealand (though it be said, that three making the plurality, had promised to give their voice upon the approbation of their principals) advised likewise, that in the first place they ought to agree upon some instruction; and by that means the other three following cannot do any thing, but they will debate about the instruction, and they will labour in Zealand for the plurality; it being observable, that as well the lord of Gent as of Renswoude are altogether Hollanders, and contrary to prince William.
Groningen and Ommeland hath declared not to consent to the league guaranty with France and England, unless it be with this clause, that it shall not prejudice in any thing the treaty of peace at Munster.
The resolution concerning the instruction of the marshal of camp is agreed on; but upon a new proposition or request of Holland, they have consented to fourteen days time to Holland; so that Holland sees well, that the one day or the other they will conclude it by plurality of voices.
On the behalf of the Ommelanders are come again two commissioners, the lords Dois and Nyberck, who have again represented the great disorder and confusion in the states of the Ommelandes; desiring, that the regulation made a year since, may be reformed and corrected; which is referred to the hands of commissioners.
The lord Huygens hath made report, as well upon the memorandums of the residents of Sweden and Poland (speaking respectively of their complaints) as upon the letter of the elector of Brandenburgh, wherein he complainerh concerning the gun-powder.
The ambassadors at Marienburgh were gone after the king of Sweden, who was gone to Dirschaw. His army had in some sort caused the Polish army to retreat, at least the foot was approached near to Dantzick. That and something else had moved the king of Poland to be more willing to a peace, not insisting too much upon the mediation of the emperor.
This day was proposed the residentship vacant in the Sound; and that it was fit the same should be supplied; upon which the provinces are desired to declare themselves to-morrow. It is probable they will chuse one called le Maire, a native of Amsterdam.
This day those of Holland proposed to send back the lord Slingelandt for Prussia, with the ratification of the treaty of Elbing, ut jacet; but yet with some certain alterations or moderations upon the passages super qua & ad parem: item, concerning Dantzick.
Nieupoort, the Dutch ambassador in England, to Ruysch.
The vice-admiral of Cornwall assured me on monday last, that the goods saved out of the stranded ship, the Concord of Amsterdam, should be delivered to the authorized of the interested at Plymouth, provided they repay to his substitute the money disbursed effectively to save the goods. And although the goods of the other ship, the Gold Otter also of Amsterdam, perished since upon the same coast, sold to him for a 100 l. sterl. yet he promised to give such order, that the interested shall receive all such goods as could be saved, provided they pay as above mentioned.
Yesterday there came to me a certain schipper of Rotterdam, Cornelis Johnson, master of the Love, laden with salmon, brought in by a frigate of this state about 14 days since. And in regard the lading is perishable, I desired that she might be forthwith released. I have also recommended the same to the lord secretary, who promised favourably to further the same.
Major general Berry, &c. to secretary Thurloe.
There are some gentlemen of Shropshire in prison at London, upon suspition or proose of theyr beinge in the late plott. The examinations and depositions were sent upp with them. Wee intreat you to signify to us, what proofe you have against any of them, that soe, if they be guilty, wee may proceed to sequester their estates, or otherwise to taxe them according to instructions; whereby you will engage
Dorp, the Dutch ambassador, to Ruysch.
Yesterday in the afternoon came to visit me the lord chancellor, in the name of his majesty and senators, answering upon the proposition of ratification, which I had proposed on monday last to his majesty; saying, that he had order given him to come into conference with those of Dantzick, and that then he would let them know the resolution, which should be taken upon the same. Afterwards he told me, what the lord ambassador of France had reported at his return from the king of Sweden: First, that the said king desired not to treat but jointly with the duke of Brandenburgh. Secondly, that passes should be given to him for those, which the duke Ragotzky, as also Chimilinsky, general of the Cossacks, should send to the treaty of peace. Thirdly, that the said king of Sweden stood precisely upon the power of the commissioners on the Polish side, which were to be decreed in comitiis.
To the first he said, that his majesty and the commonwealth of Poland were well inclined to enter into a treaty with the duke of Brandenburgh, and also at the same time with the king of Sweden by commissioners. And that which I had writ to the ambassadors in commission with myself, his majesty did very well like of, and would expect what answer would be returned to him upon the same. His majesty would also have us, that we should propose to the said duke, that above and besides a re-establishment of former amity and correspondency, the old and same conditions stood open, under which Prussia had resorted time out of mind under the crown of Poland. That as well formerly as in this present war had been presented to the said duke the disannulling of the resort of appeal, that those of Prussia are subject to the king; also the remission of a yearly pension or canon, wherein the duke is obliged in recognition of Prussia ducalis; but that all the same had respect upon the conjunction of the duke's arms with those of his majesty; to which now no regard was had.
Upon the second point the said lord chancellor clearly demonstrated, that the same was unreasonable, and would never be granted by them; and naming the same evasions and delays, and said, that if the king of Sweden would not proceed sincerely, his majesty of Poland would protest and declare to us and the whole world, that on their side all facility was used to come to a treaty, and was hindered by the backwardness of Sweden. Furthermore concerning the powers to be decreed at the ryx-day, he said, that the king of Sweden might very well know, that the king of Poland was sufficiently qualified to make a peace with the king of Sweden, and to conclude the same fully, in regard his majesty of Poland was qualified with the knowledge of the kingdom at the time of his coronation to make a peace with Sweden; and that there was also ordered at the same time, that an ambassy should be sent, as there happened, to the court of Sweden at Stockholm, and that nothing was then concluded; and that by virtue thereof his majesty doth remain impowered to send such commissioners to make peace, as he shall think fit. His lordship added this withal, that his majesty of Poland would be glad to see, that we were instructed to treat with him about an alliance of mutual defence; that his majesty and the commonwealth were inclined thereunto; desiring that I would advertise their high and mighty lordships thereof; also what assistance his majesty might expect against the next summer for the defence of Dantzick, and to reduce the kingdom of Poland to its former peace and prosperity, in case the peace did not succeed, through the fault of their adverse party. Furthermore he signified unto me, that it was resolved by his majesty and the commonwealth of Poland, to suffer no merchandizes to come out of Poland for Dantzick; and therefore would have us to know, that there would be no trading for our merchants at Dantzick. Lastly, that upon occasion of bringing in the ship of Broer Janson of Amsterdam was resolved, that no molestation should be done to the ships of our nation passing thro' the sea; but withal that they could not suffer, that any ammunition should be carried to their enemies; and that therefore the resident de Bye was ordered to speak with their high and mighty lordships. I undertook (the lord chancellor desiring it) to write over all this to their high and mighty lordships.
To the Venetian agent.
We have here no news at present; only there are orders come from Spain to rig forth all the men of war in Dunkirk and Ostend. It is believed here, that the design of the English and the French to visit all the Dutch vessels, that pass through the seas, will cause a breach between them and the Hollanders; and may make the Hollanders to resolve to unite with Spain, which will cause those powers to be afraid.
A letter of intelligence from col. Bampfylde from Paris.
Upon this day was fortnight (which was the 20/30 of December) I wrote you twoe letters; the 3d of Jan. one; this day was seaven-night, the 6th of Jan. twoe; wednesday laste, the 10th, one: the laste I received from you was of the 27/17th of Decemb. paste. The duke of Modena goes hence poste, either to-morrowe or on monday. The cardinall lay four nights since at his owne pallaice (where the duke of Modena is lodged) to have a full and uninterrupted conference with him. What his business was, may partly be concluded from the success of his journey, having given soe good an accounte of the present state of affaires in Ittaly, and of their hopefullness for the next springe, that he has obtayned, that the 10 companyes of the guard, which were sent 2 months since to Angeirs, and the other troopes, that marched thither with them (amounting in all to aboute 4000 men) shall immediately advance towards Ittaly, being to pass through Lower Poyctou, for the settling of some disorders there; and thence continue theyr march whither they are designed. He has likewise the assurance of 100,000 pistolls to be paid forthwith for the paying of those troopes, which remayne in Itally, and not well quartered; and for the repayring the fortifications of Valance agaynest spring, and of 200,000 pis. more before the campagne to make recruites and pay his sold. Allsoe upon the informations he has given of the princes of Ittaly, and particularly of the duke of Mantua, they are imediately dispatching that duke's resident, monsieur de Bellinzani, to his master with new propositions, to prevent his conjunction with the Spaniard, of which they have great apprehensions; whereunto he has shewed some inclinations of late, partly from the dissatisfactions and emulations he has to the duke of Modena his commaunde and growing interest, if this war thrive, and partly from a generall aversion, that the church and princes of Ittaly have to the king of France his being so powerfull there; since he can bring what forces he will by land, whilest he is in aliance with the duke of Savoy, which the king of Spayne can only doe by sea; which is the less apprehended. The trowbles in Languedock encrease, the contry forces having beseidged some troopes in a little towne, where they had taken theyr winter quarters; which the counte d'Aubeterre is marched to releive: what the event of this will prove, a few days will discover. The courte makes a shew, as if they wowld shortly remove towards Lyons. Whither it be only to alarme those in Languedock, or that they really intend it as an affayre requiring the king's presence, for the setlement of the disorders of those parts, I cannot yet be sufficiently informed. It seemes the provinces of Languedock and Brittayne have hitherto retayned theyr ancient priviledges of being free from all taxes (except some customes that have been ever fixed) and that every year the estates of those provinces assemble, whoe together with the parliaments make arrestes in the severall provinces, for the levying of a considerable some of money (which they call a don gratuit) for the king's service; which those of Languedock assembled this year to have done, as heretofore; but the sume they offered, wowld not be accepted by the courte, whoe besides pretended a necessity of quartering troopes upon them; soe as from the decision of this difference, those of that province will either be confirmed in, or wholly lose theyr antient priviledges. Upon wednesday the cardinall was with the assembly of the clergie, gave them thankes for the part they had taken in his affliction, and for the honour they intended his dead sister's memory. From the king he desired the determination of the assembly, acquainting them with howe much passion the king had endeavoured the peace with Spaine, by sending mons. de Leonne thither to seeke it, by offering to recede from diverse things to the demenution of his particular power and interest, for the obtayning of soe great a benefit, as the generall peace wowld bring to all Cristendome; and yet his majesty was very sorry, that his pious and syncere endeavours had been rendered fruiteless by the untractable demands of the king of Spayne, not only in relation to his owne particular advantages, and the king of France his great damage, but in the behalfe of the prince of Condy, and to the ruine of the crowne of Portugall; to the first of which the king neither in prudence nor interest coulde consent, nor to the later in both those considerations, with the adition of that of honour and justice; and theirupon desended to the particular demands of the king of Spayne in the prince of Conde, and what the king had offered; which I need not mention here, having advertised you of it at large in some of my former letters. Having concluded with the representation of the king's great necessityes, and desiring them to conclude speedily upon the don gratuit, which they had soe longe promised his majesty, he tooke his leave of them. 'Tis believed, that mons. de Chenailles will be shortly condemned by the parliament, and pardoned by the king. The Portugall envoye has lately had a longe and private audience of the cardinall. Many here beleive, that the great sume of money, which he offers, will carry throwgh his proposition touching the mariage. I am informed, that he goes from hence in a short tyme. I beleive it will not be any newes to tell you, that sir John Berkley is banished his king's courte, the pretended occasion being, that the Spaniards had an aversion to him, as being a person affectionate to the French interest; but the truth is, 31 12 9 Jack Ashburnham 72 36 43 29 15 24 gave information (which he is sayd to have had from some in power in England) that he held intelligence there, and that the duke his master's not complying with his brother in diverse particulars, wherein he wowld have had his concurrence, proceeds from sir John's advice. Upon wednesday was seavenight the duke left the courte, and all his samely with him; and the lord Jermin beleeves he will returne hither. I have much to say to you upon this particular, but shall defer it till Mr. Bampfield sees you, which 'tis very likely he will doe very speedily, he conceaving it absolutely necessary to have some conference with you touching affayres of concernment, which you cannot conveniently be informed of by writing; besides that the business will require some debate, and answers, to particulars which you desire satisfaction in, that will be difficulte and tedious to be transacted by letters. Thowgh I am confident, that there is not any designe covered under a pretended discontent betwixt the duke of York and 26 31 20 his brother 8 790 66, yet I have some reasons to wish there may be convenient circumspection used, until the depth and consequence of this be seen, which a very few dayes will discover. Pray be pleased to write two or three lines to be left at the poste-house of Dover for Mr. Bampfield, superscribed to Mr. John Harris, to be kept by the poste-master there till he calles for it, which, if at all, will bee either the end of the next weeke, or the beginning of the following. The end, for which Mr. Bampfield desires it, is, that he may be directed, whither he might come to you, withoute seeing any that knowes him, but yourselfe, whilest he stayes, which he thinkes will not need to bee above two or three nights; soe as if it wowld not be too great a trouble to any of your servants to provide him some very private place neer you, to remayne in, whilest he stayes, it may be some service to yourselfe, and a great obligation to him. I am, sir,
General Mountagu to secretary Thurloe.
I Thanke you for yours of the 30th of December. I shall attend his highness's pleasure upon the report of the committee, which will doe very well to be hastened, because of the grantinge leave to the marquesse to goe into Spayne by his highnesse, upon the condition of don Juan's answere to his letter. He hath often enquired of mee of the progresse of his businesse, and desires mee now to write to know, whether the conditions don Juan offers in his letter be agreed to by us, and what wee will doe thereupon, which he faith, don Juan expects to have an account of from him. At your best conveniencye you may please to cause an answer to be given to these thinges, which I am sorrye to be forced to give you the trouble off; but since I am, I shall forbeare to augment it, by concludinge this letter with the subscription of myselfe, as I truly am, sir,
Your most humble servant,
General Monck to general Lambert.
The act for uniting Scotland with England being now under debate in the house, I have bin moved by divers of the inhabitants of Leith in their behalf, that there may be some exceptions of that towne from being under the jurisdiction of Edinburgh, without which the English, who are in Leith, will be much discouraged. I presume therfore to intreate your lordshippe in their behalf, that such care may bee taken for the inhabitants of Leith, as that they may have equal libertie with other people of the three nations, and nott be under the power of the magistrates of Edinburgh. This day major general Overton was sent on board the Basing frigott, in order to his going uppe for London, the shippe being ordered to sayle forthwith; and I have ordered capt. Farley, the commander, to send notice to his highnesse or your lordshipp upon his coming into the Hope. All thinges are now very quiett in these parts. Yesterday Middleton sent his trumpett for a passe for three gentlemen, to come and treate for the coming in of himself and partie, and according I have sent him a passe. I remaine
A relation of some passages at the meeting at Alhallowes, on monday, Jan. 5, 1656/7.
First came up one in a grey suit, who (they said) was Mr. Palmer of Mr. Simpson's congregation, who prayed and no more. After him another, who (they said) was of Mr. Kissin's society, and he prayed likewise about a quarter an hour. They were both very modest, and in the main their prayers were the same, both of them lamenting over the misunderstandings, the rents, and divisions, that were fallen out among the churches, which (as will appear by and by) was a great offence to Mr. Feake, and proved an occasion of the latter half of his three hours ranting discourse, of which anon.
Without the same wonted assistance of God's holy Spirit, which hath accompanied and directed me in time past to carry on the work of this meeting, I know not how I shall be able well to perform my part, because I see we are in a mixt congregation, wherein are people of differing passions and affections; and I know not how things may be misrepresented, as they have been in time past. Here he began to intimate, that possibly there might be some court-spies, some miserable intelligencer or intelligencers, who come to take notes. He told the people, how that when he was apprehended, and carried first before the council, but for what, he said, he knew not to this day, some such notes as those were produced in writing, and read to him; but God had so insatuated the spie, that things were charged upon him, which had been spoken by his brethren. And to other particulars, being required to make answer, he said he refused, declaring that by the law of nature and nations he ought first to have his accuser face to face; and till then he would not answer. So, that what he was laid hold on for, he could not tell. But (faith he) it is now three years complete, within a few days since I was first apprehended, and I and my brethren carried before the council, for no other crime, that I know of, but for preaching the gospel in this very place, and upon this text; which text I shall give you: it is in the 30th chapter of Isaiah, verses, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14.
For this cause I was apprehended, taken from my dearest relations, snatched from my wife and eight children, just as it was with others, that spake the truth of God, and against the corruptions that were in the king and the bishops days; so that here (you see) is the old monarchy-tricks still, the old trade by the new government.
And that it is so, is cleare; for after the old manner I was clapt into a pursivant's hands (or messengers I think they call them) a drunken swearing fellow, after the old fashion. I told the committee of the council of it. What have they no place to put God's children in, but into such hands ?
Now being come thither (said he) for the testimony of this noble cause, and of the gospel (which is the same, that was declared for so highly in the years 1648, 49, and 50.) I was much refreshed in my spirits by many sweet Scriptures, which were a great support to me both before and after throughout the time of my imprisonment, from my first being apprehended. And here give me leave to acquaint you with the said Scriptures, that you may see how graciously the Lord upheld me. The first Scripture, that I shall acquaint you with, is the 73d psalm: Truly God is loving to Israel, even to such as are of a clean heart; and so through the whole psalm. [Here he enlarged himself in many particulars, which for want of light, and because of the croud of people over my shoulders, could not be taken in writing.]
Another Scripture, that much refreshed me, was 1 John ii. 28. And now, little children, abide in him, that when he shall appear, we may have confidence, and not be ashamed before him at his coming. Then there will be no difference betwixt high and low, the greatest, and the poorest beggar; but every man's confidence will be according to his conscience, and his abiding with and for the Lord. His constancy against the corruptions and apostacy of the great ones will be his greatest ground of confidence.
Then there was another scripture also very sweet unto me, and which gave me much refreshment. Heb. xiii. 11, 12, 13, 14. It was as a dry breast to me all my life before; but then I found marrow and sweetness in it. The bodies of the beasts were burnt without the camp. So Jesus suffered without the gate. Let us go forth therefore unto him without the camp, bearing his reproach. We were put out of the camp, carried to endure suffering without the gate out of the city, as he was.
One text more there was, which gave me great ground of encouragement, and it was this of the psalmist: I shall not die, but live, and declare the works of the Lord. This I much built upon. I trusted in my God, that I should be delivered, to declare his words. I can tell you, that in all my suffering, I never had any doubting in the least measure about my sufferings, nor touching the noble cause and principles, for which I suffered: notwithstanding all the strange reports, and calumnies, and slanders, that were raised in this city, and spread up and down, together with the hard reports, that went among many of my friends (for I have been wounded in the house of my friends) yet I am the same man still, not a jot changed in my principles, but as zealous as ever against Babylon, and against all her daughters. I say, the government is as Babylonish as ever, and there is as much of Babylon in the civil state, and the lawyers, and the old popish laws, and the clergy-state, as ever. This power and the old monarchie are one and the same; and this army doth as really support popery, and all the reliques of it, as ever king Charles and the archbishop of Canterbury, and the rest of the bishops did. For what (I pray you) means else your national church government, your corrupt state-clergie, and your colledge-clergie, your universitie-clergie, and court-chaplains ? What are the court of Triers, but your court of achbishops and bishops, &c. that a man shall not preach the gospel without a passeport from them ? And what are the parish priests, and the other before-mention'd, but the same with your monks, and old Babylonish priests, and your deans and prebends? There is John Owen (you know) dean of Christ church, and the rest; and is it not the army, that upholds and maintains all these ? Now in all this there is truth, but never a word of treason. There is not a syllable in it of levying war against the government, and therefore no hurt can come of it. [This he uttered with a most elated voice, and a great deal more, that I wrote not, and cannot recollect.]
But to return to my castle. I have told you what scriptures supported me there, but cannot to this day tell why I was committed thither; and is not this then the old monarchy still ? The old trick, to committ a man, and signify no cause. Perhaps there may be some lawyers: now what say ye to this ye lawyers ? Sure this is not according to your law: what is become of your law then, and our liberty ?
Thus you see how we came to be brought to our castle; nowe you shall see how we were used there. Not long after came down an order to the governor of the castle, signifying, that whereas Christopher Feake, and his companions, used to preach words tending to sedition and disturbance in the castle, therefore they should be more close confined; which, he said, was executed, and he and his brother Rogers kept asunder, having sentinels standing at their doors, to keep them from coming together. Nor were their London friends one while permitted to come to them, nor were he and Rogers suffered to enjoy each other, to worship God together, though at Newgate it be a liberty allowed the worst malefactors upon worse occasions. Then he told, how he preached out at the windows to the guard of souldiers, and reckoned up what gratious effects his preaching wrought on them; insomuch that the poor soldiers said one to another, What doth this man suffer for? and yet we keep him here in prison, but what can we help it ? We are under command, and it is no act of ours. A great deal more of the like stuff he reckoned up.
Then he told, another order was sent to the governor, signed as the former, Henry Laurence president, for he is their journeyman still; and I know no other, except Scobel be one, because his name only came down in another paper at another time to the governor.
The order and Mr. Scobel's paper he read, and told how by them he was permitted the liberty of the castle. Whereupon on the Lord's-day in the morning, I went (said he) to the chappel of the castle, before the time that their castle minister was to begin, and there I began to instruct such as were present. But the governor hearing of it, presently came to the chappel, and there bade me come down, though I medled not with the powers in being, but only preached the gospel, as I had done several times before in the castle; for which he prohibited me, and would not suffer me; which shews, that my being made close prisoner, was to stop my mouth from preaching the gospel; for I say, I medled not with the powers, being resolved to try whether they would let me preach the gospel; but that would not be permitted. And so in this you see they follow the steps of the old government. The governnor, I say, bade me come down, and cryed out upon me, and came and haled me away (just as they did yesterday at the usual place in Newgate-market, where the marshall and his men came and hurried me away from the work of my master) they haled me away out of the castle chappell, and used me most reproachfully as a vile fellow not fitt to live, and carryed me to a chamber, where I was kept close. Then I went on preaching out at the window into the court, and so continued till the governor and the people returned from the chappell and passed; but some of the people and soldiery staying to hear me, he having notice of it came and prohibited me; nevertheless I went on. Then he caused his drum to be beaten, to drown the found of the gospell. As soon as the drum had done, then I began to found out my trumpet, and trumpeted out the gospel aloud: he beat up his drum a second and third time, and still I went on: then he strictly required me to have done: I told him, I would not. He said he had order to silence me from the lord protector. I told him, I had order from my Lord to go on; and my Lord's highness is above his lord's highness, &c.
After this, at length came another order from Whitehall, to remove me and my brother Rogers to the Isle of Wight, it requiring Whichcot the governor to deliver my body to the persons, who were to transport us. [Here he told us how punctual he was in keeping to the words of the order, and thereupon would not deliver up his body of his own accord, but disputed the matter out with the governor, till at length the governor was fain to fetch him out of his chamber by a lieutenant, and so deliver him by force into the hands of them that were appointed to carry him away.]
In my way (said he) to the Isle of Wight, I fell to preaching to the soldiers that conducted me, and convinced them, &c. They had order to carry us to a castle called Sandown-Castle, in the Isle of Wight (so he called it, but forgot himself, there being no such castle in that island.) When we came to the castle, it being in January (if I be not mistaken, he said it was January) we (said he) found it to be a most miserable cold disconsolate place, the sea on one side, and a most nasty marish on the other side of it, whence proceeded such loathsome fogs in the mornings, that the soldiers, who abode there, told us, they were oftentimes ready to be poysoned with them; besides this we found no provision at all made for us, not so much as a bed to lye on, insomuch that the soldiers, who brought us, melted over us with pity; only there was one pitifull bed so damp, that it had been enough to have spoyled us had we made use of it; and though we might have aired it, yet it was too bad to lye on, being stussed both bed and bolster with hops; yet one of our keepers told us a hop-bed was as good as down, besides that a pillow of hops was good for the head; but we chose rather to lye upon the boards, and to make use of stools without pulling off our cloaths. And in all the time I was supported with this consideration, that it was the case once of good Nehemiah, a great man and a governor. The words out of the 4th of Nehemiah the last verses are these: "So neither I, nor my bre"thren, nor my servants, nor the men of the guard which followed me, none of us put off "our cloaths, save that every one put them off for washing." This text was a great comfort to us. The truth is, our condition was such there, that the commander of the party, who brought us thither, was much troubled to see it, and many of the soldiers wept; and he said he was resolved, though he lost his life, to tell the general how the case stood with us.
Another order unexpected came within a while concerning myself, which was to transport me back again over the sea; and because many reports were thus spread up and down upon my wife's being with the general to petition for my liberty, give me leave to make a true report concerning that business. My wife was with him, yet not to petition only; she took that occasion to let him know, that her husband was in such a place and condition, that by reason of her sickliness she was not able to perform those offices to him, that became so near a relation: she never petitioned only told him how the case was with us: then he named four places, in either of which he would permit me to reside on this side of the water; but my wife would pitch upon none, but the general himself named a town about twelve miles on this side of the sea, where I should abide; and withall he wrote an order all in his own hand, to be delivered to me, injoyning me to continue in that (fn. 1) place, and not to stir from thence till further order, so that he was pleased to appoint me to be my own goaler; such an unnatural order (I think) was never heard of before. This order began Oliver P. [here Mr. Feake read the order to the congregation.]
Being brought, by what means I know not (said he) on this side of the water to that town, and there left, I began to consider of this strange order. I abhorred to be a prisoner voluntarely to any power in the world, and therefore took four witnesses to testifie what I did and upon what ground.
Here was an order of Oliver P. and I fought the scriptures how to releeve myself. At length came into my mind the case of Peter and John in the 4th of the Acts, who being called before the high priest Ananias and Caiaphas, were by them commanded not to preach in the name of Jesus. Now suppose, that either of their highnesses had sent Peter and John an order, enjoyning them to confine themselves to such a village, as Saron, or Joppa, or the like, and forbear coming to preach at Jerusalem, suppose, I say, an order had come to them upon that account, signed by either of their highnesses Ananias H. or Caiaphas H. like this with Oliver P. do you think they would have obeyed it, and been confined to a village? We find the contrary, for they preached the more boldly in the city of Jerusalem. Then having my warrant here from the scripture, I resolved for London, notwithstanding the order of Oliver P.
He spent near an hour's time upon this subject, and in justifying his wife, that she did not petition the power, and in taking off those scandals, which he said were raised upon him because of his being returned back into England, as if it had been occasioned by some base compliance of himself or his wife with the present powers.
Some persons (said he) crying out upon it as highly, as if he had committed the sin against the Holy Ghost in coming from the Isle of Wight; but this should not have been so. They that love the Lord, should love one another, and be tender how they raise or receive reports one of another, especially concerning any that are engaged in carrying on the work of the Lord. As for my own part, I have been so far from any vile compliance, or doubting of the equity of this noble cause, that (whatever I have suffered, or may suffer) God is my witness, that if all that I have said or done were to say and doe again, I would doe it as readily and willingly as eate my ordinary food; I would do it, if I thought my head should be chopt off for it to-morrow.
How the case hath been with me this last year, is known to many. After I came hither to London, I had a soldier set to attend me, and keep an eye over me, which did the less trouble me, when I remembered it was once the condition of Paul, in the same kind, to have a soldier attending upon him; and though I might oftentimes have made an escape, yet I forbore to do it, knowing no warrant in scripture so to do; but that the apostle Paul and others did the contrary, staid in the hands of their gaolers, when they might have made an escape. Before a man is apprehended for the testimony of Christ, I conceive it is lawfull for him to fly, but not afterwards. The Lord himself knows, that what I have suffered, hath been with joy and patience: how or which way I come now to be at liberty, I know not. An order declaring, that I was at liberty, I sent to London for conveyance, and on the 6th day of this last week I came to town. The time before, when I was first at liberty, I came hither to this city, and made myselfe known to those friends, who had written to me by letter, during the time of my imprisonment, whom I convinced they did not well to judge their brother. This second time being at liberty, I went and shewed myself publickly yesterday to those at Newgate-market. There I was no sooner entred upon the work of the Lord, but in comes the city marshall and his men, being sent with swords and staves as against a thief, and they never lest till they haled and hurried me away. All the circumstances of which action Mr. Feake did set out in a very pathetical way of speaking, to move his auditors to compassion, in the same manner as he represented all the other particulars and passages of his suffering in a very enlarged ample oration.
But now (said he) coming to this place of meeting (from whence I have been about three years absent) with desire to appear here in carrying on the same work of God, for which this meeting was first begun, I perceive some of our brethren here have been very earnest in complaining before God in prayer, for the differences and divisions that have been and are among the churches, and praying to the Lord to remove those differences and heal the rents that are among them. As for my part, I prosess, I cannot but wonder at this their temper, and know not what it means. I think it were and would be well, if they were more rent and seperated and divided, than they are. I am for rending and dividing yet more, and the disturbing of them more: but Lord have mercy upon us (may some now say) who have we got here among us now? here's a man will set us together by the ears, and put us all in combustion. It would be well for us, if he were in prison again, he will undo us all by making disturbances; but I say, when the churches are gathering corruption, and striking in with the anti-christian powers of the world, and complying with the interest of Babylon, 'tis high time then to rouze, and rattle them, and give them disturbance, and waken those that are faithfull among them, that they may see whither they are fallen, and falling, and return to their first love. You may call it renting in peices (if you please) but this I say, and I publish it here, as the first fruits of my liberty among you, that till the churches be more rent and torn from the corrupt interest, and have less of antichrist and Babylon among them, till they have less of affection for and compliance with the corrupt powers of the world, they ought to be rent with a witness; for my part I shall do my best for it; what have they to do with Babylon? There must be less of anti-christ and less of Babylon in the civil state, less in the military state, and the corrupt lawyers, and popish laws, and constitutions; and in the clergie state; anti-christ hath his throne still both in church (I mean national church) and state; and what have you then to do with the stoole of wickedness, which imagines mischief by a law, and upholds it by a government? I say, once again, this army doth as really support popery, as the king, and the bishops did. The noble cause, which was declared in the year 1650, I have suffered for, and am still ready to suffer for it, what can be inflicted. I say, it is forsaken by a corrupt company of lawyers, priests, and soldiers, and now the churches (or some in them) are following; there is Babylon civil and Babylon ecclesiastick in this nation, and God will be rending his churches, if they have and go on to do with either, and desert that noble cause. Here is a great deal of work to be done about new moulding of churches, if they would not thrust us from it up in holes. But while I have a head to lose, and a tongue to speak, and am not gagged nor torn away, I will speak for this noble cause, and magnify the nobility of it, though all should forsake it. I will never leave renting the churches, and crying, Come out of them, my people, and be ye seperate from their abomination, lest ye partake of their punishment. There is one scripture that much incourageth me to this, and that is in the cxixth Psalm, I have sworn (faith David) that I will keep thy righteous judgments. I have given up myself to God in this work, and will be his sworn servant, neither will I be engaged to any man (as the protector said) I will be engaged to no man; and if I be mad (as men say) know it is for your sakes, for the saints sakes that I am so. Paul himself complains, that he was cried down for a madman, and yet the cause that he was engaged in was the cause of Christ, and so is this, it is the same noble cause still.
But before I conclude, give me leave (friends) to tell you one thing, and to me it seems strange, that this very day some Independent ministers sayd, that they are fools, who busy themselves in medling with two such obscure books as the prophecie of Daniel, and the Revelation. Lord have mercy upon us! not medle with the Revelation, when we are commanded to search into it, and understand it. But will you know the reason ? There is so much of Babylon laid open in it, so much of Babylon discovered there in the civil powers of the world, and in the worldly church, the parish churches and the national churches, and so much against the Whitehall court of Triers, and the rest of order of archbishops, and bishops, and deanes, and all the great jurisdictions, and against all the parish priests and tithe-mongers, that its no wonder they do not care to have men looking into the Revelation.
[I am almost weary of repeating of this kind of stuff. This is all I could collect, being farr from candle light, and my shoulders laden with a croud of women riding over my head, upon the tops of the seats; so that this is hardly the fourtieth part of what he rambled over.]
Having done his oration, he two several times made a challenge to satisfye any that would stand forth, to justify any of those false reports, that had been spred up and down the city, during the time of his imprisonment, to the prejudice of his reputation; to which none made any reply.
But a pause and general silence ensuing thereupon; after a while in the first place stood up Mr. Jessey, upon a seat hard by the pulpit, and took occasion to declare his dissatisfaction touching that long and vehement discourse of Mr. Feake, about dividing and renting the churches; to whom Mr. Feake made a reply, justifying himself.
After Mr. Jessey stood up Mr. Kissin and Mr. Simpson, each after the other, and opposed what had been said about the renting of the churches, and his fastning the terms Antichristian and Babylon upon civil government, manisesting the dangerousness of his spirit and doctrine in both those particulars; thereupon many crying out, Mr. Kissin is a courtier and Mr. Simpson an apostate, that had preached the same things in the same place: the murmur and confusion grew so great, that they would do no more but offer a dispute upon the points at some other time. In the mean Feake did eat his words, denied them, appealed to the people in the galleries, who said he spake them not, and there was an end: only Feake concluded with a short prayer, ranting against his opposers, and exclaiming, Lord, here they stand by, who have printed and spoken the same things to thy people, which now they deny, &c.
Mr. Bradshaw, resident at Hamburgh, to the protector.
May it please your highnesse,
Haveinge understood it is your highnes's pleasure, that in order to my vindication I should bee restored to the place of deputie governor here, from which (to the great dishonour of your highness in your publick minister here) I was so indignely putt by a malignant partie, for doinge my dutie; and that the company at London writt an effectuall letter to this court, advisinge and requiringe them forthwith to re-elect me to that place, signifyinge it was your highnes pleasure it should bee soe; which yet neverthelesse that saction, who rule the court, have stoutly opposed, to the admiration of all the ministers of the state, and others heere residinge, some of them in mockage sayeinge, they could not in conscience doe it: I have thought it my duty humbly to signifie unto your highnesse, in what manner I am againe (through the stubborne opposition of that disaffected partie) brought upon the stage to my further dishonnor, in being so affronted by them, whoe seeme to glorie in thus daringe to dispute your highness pleasure; not doubtinge, but beinge they have soe sleighted and contemned the advice and requisition of the company at London, it will gratiously please your highnesse to interpose your authority for the effectual suppressing of such an arrogant and disaffected faction, whoe have soe long abused your highness favour and patience towards them, it not beinge (as it should seeme) in the power of the company at London to doe it. Theise froward gentlemen, whome nothinge will content but the haveinge of their wills in affrontinge mee, doe now for their excuse most unreasonably and unduely alleadge, that if they should choose me againe for their deputie, I would, together with those that now here dissent from them, bee revenged on them; whereas nothinge is lesse intended. But they haveinge dealt soe unworthily both with myselfe and those their bretheren, puttinge them from the government, fineinge them in great summes, and threatninge to disfranchise them, measure us by themselves, thinkeinge with a heap of words to excuse themselves still in their obstinate deportment. I humbly remaine
Mr. Bradshaw, resident at Hamburgh, to secretary Thurloe.
This post hath brought me your governor's letter, with the councell's order, from Mr. Scobel, which if it had come with the first order for returninge Mr. Townley he had eluded it as he hath done. I wonder there was noe notice of his arrivall, when the post came away.
This last weeke here hath beene an effectuall letter published at this court from the company at London, for their re-electinge of me to the place of annuall deputie, but they have suffered that faction heere to rule the court, and hold the raines in their hands soe longe, as that now they thinke it fowle scorne to be directed or over-ruled by them, though they clearly tould them it was his highness pleasure it should be soe; and they plainly say, that they cannot believe, that the company at London are in ernest, and meant really in what they writ, or that they had any direction or order for it from his highness, consideringe (as they say) that they have all along acted by their advice and approbation; and therefore admire to heare themselves termed a faction, and to be charged with haveinge affronted the resident, resolvinge to vindicate themselves from such a charge, let it come from whence it will. The well affected have particularly accompted their proceedings to the company at London, a copie whereof I heare inclose your honour, wishinge it might be made knowne to his highness, if it be not too prolix. I am sorry, that what the company at London seeme to have intended as satisfaction to his highness, in order to my farther vindication, as he was pleased to declare to them, should thus turne to my greater reproach before strangers, through the obstinacy of that faction, which it seemes nothinge but a severe hand will suppress, which course I suppose will now be taken, beinge noe other meanes will serve. The cheefe in this opposition are, the present deputie, the treasurer, and secretary, the rest dauncinge after their pipe.
Beinge thus brought upon the stage, and againe affronted in the eye of strangers, whoe stand amazed to see the commands of his highness, and the advise and requisition of the company at London soe slighted and opposed, I thought it my duty to signify it to his highness in the enclosed address, which I intreat your honor to present with the first opportunity, and that I may have notice of the deliverie of this with my former late letters, and the pleasure of his highnes and the councell thereupon, in which you will very much oblige me; not doubtinge but that your honor will now soe resent the insolent and intollerable deportment of theise men, whoe will take noe warninge or advice, as to move his highnes and the councell to apply a suitable reamedy, beinge the company at London cannot doe it. This court allsoe doe by the post returne answer to the command of his highnes and the councell, for their assistinge in the returne of Mr. Townley, in case he had not beene gone, promising all due complyance now they see they may safely doe it, yet foe as groundinge it upon this speciall command for it, and not upon my requisition; soe as if any of their company heere should hereafter doe, as Waites hath done, they clearely imply, that they will expect a speciall command from his highnes and the councell, before they assist for his securinge, which I suppose will not be allowed them, but they must give creadit to me, and give their ready assistance upon my demand in such cases; otherwise the offender will be sure to escape. And soe much I have thought it my dutie to represent unto the councell, which your honor will alsoe be pleased to deliver together with their answer. Theise froward men, whom nothinge will serve but the haveinge of their wills in affrontinge me, doe now in their answer to the letter from the company most unreasonably and untruly alledge, that if they had choase me againe to be their deputie, I would together with those that now dissent from them, be revenged upon them; whereas no thinge is lesse intended, but they havinge dealt soe unhandsomely both with myselfe and their breathern, puttinge them from the government, fineinge them in great sumes, and threatninge to disfranchise them, measure us by themselves, thinkinge with a length of words to excuse themselves in what they have done. Cravinge your pardone for this trouble, referringe for intelligence to the inclosed letter, which speakes the good successe of the king of Sweden against a considerable part of the Polish cavalrie, and affectionately remayne
Inclosed is from the duke of Holstein to his highness, I beleeve onely complement. I have sent the originall of this inclosed to his highness, under cover to the governour, alderman Packe, to present when he accompts the proceedings of this court.
The deputy, &c. of the merchants-adventurers residing at Hamburgh, to the council of the protector.
Whereas his highnes and his most honourable councell have beene pleas'd, by a letter bearinge date the 25th December past, to direct their speciall commands to us the deputy and companie of merchants-adventurers of England, residinge in Hamburgh, to require us to give our assistance to his highnes resident for the sendinge over of Francis Townley, a member of our societie, formerly summoned over to answer a complaint of severall affronts and indignities by him offer'd to his highnes said resident; wee have held it our dutie in all humilitie to give his highnes and his most honourable councell an accompt of our proceedings, in obedience to their commands and expectations. Havinge therefore with all due respect consulted the contents of the said letter, wee very readily and affectionately, accordinge to our dutie, forthwith applyed ourselves unto his highnes said resident, and presented our service and assistance unto his honor, accordinge to what was required at our hands by the foresaid command. But his honour acquaintinge us, that Mr. Townley beinge gon out of this cittie, there was noe assistance at present to be given, and therefore not to be desired by him for the promotinge of that affayre; wee finde nothinge to be requisite by way of answer to his highnes, and his most honourable councell's commands in this particuler more then our profession of our ready inclinations, effectually to have applyed ourselves to execute what hath beene required and expected from us, upon this speciall command sent unto us. And wee doe faithfully promise in the future, to continue our ready obedience in observinge all commands, which wee shall be thought worthy to receive from his highnes or his honourable councell, that may give us the happy oportunitie to testify the sense we have of those many great advantages, which we enjoy by his highnes favour and protection; and shall likewise upon all occasions be sincearely tender of his highnes honour in his publique minister. Soe beseeching almighty God to blesse his highnes and his most honourable councell, wee humbly begge the libertie to subscribe ourselves,
His highnes and his most honourable councell's
in all sidelitie and obedience,
The deputy, assistants, and fellowship
of merchants-adventurers of England,
residinge in Hamburgh.