A Collection of the State Papers of John Thurloe, Volume 5, May 1656 - January 1657. Originally published by Fletcher Gyles, London, 1742.
This free content was digitised by double rekeying. All rights reserved.
January (2 of 4)
Mr. Geo. Watson to sir Christopher Packe, governor, the deputy, assistants, and fellows of merchants-adventurers of England, residing in London.
Right worshipful sir and sirs,
Your worships letter of 19th passato came to my hands the 30th ditto, together with your generall letter to the companie, which was published at a very ample court the 3d present, and in complyance both with your worships generall admonitions to this court, and your particular advise to myselfe (for which I returne my humble thanks) I did forthwith very willingly, readily, and cheerfully resigne the place, and left the court at liberty to performe your advise, in the re-establishment of his highness resident, in the place of standinge deputy; in debate whereof they spent the whole forenoone, but came to noe conclusion; onely at last voted, that they would not accept of my resignation for that tyme, but desired me to convene them together again the 5th ditto, which I was prevailed with to doe, in hopes that a second meetinge might produce such effects, as might sute with your worships advise, and my owne desires. And beeinge then againe in very ample manner assembled, I freely resigned as before, and desired theyr acceptance of my resignation, by reason of your worships importunitye, and my owne insufficiencye in the place; but notwithstandinge all that I could offer, they would not be prevailed withall, but it was still carried by majority of votes, that I should hould the place for the residue of this mart, haveinge beene thereunto orderly elected the 29th ult. and taken my oath apertaininge; and for giveinge your worships satisfaction in this proceedinge, a committee was apointed to draw up the resons, in a letter to your worships, why the court here could not at this tyme proceede to that election by your worships prescribed unto them, and to be comunicated to the court for aprobation before the post went awaye, which was accordingly done, and aprooved on at a generall court this day, unto which I must crave leave to referre your worships for a more ample account of the whole transaction: onely give me leave to informe your worships one passage more, how that the sayde vote beeinge past, in aprobation of the letter to your worships, as aforesaid, there apeared in our court the honourable Rich. Bradshaw, as resident, and demaunded the hearinge of the said letter, which was accordingly readily comunicated unto him; whereupon his honour was pleased to terme it an unhandsome and scandalous paper, and did admonish and require the company in generall, and me in particular, not to let it goe forward, at least to vote it againe upon his admonition; which was accordingly done, and by erection of hands, it was again aproved on, and ordered to be sent forward, as beinge noethinge but the trueth of that, which they conceived themselves bound in conscience to communicate unto your worships. For my owne particular I could well have wished, that this court could have concurr'd in judgement with your worships for electinge his highnesse resident, and for giveinge me my liberty, beeinge conscious to myselfe of my owne weakenesse and disabilityes for the performance of a place of that honor and trust, whereunto I was by this court, at my first election, soe strongly importuned, that I was at last prevail'd withall to take it upon me, and that out of noe ambition or sinister ende to myselfe, but purely for the good of the company, to serve theyr exigence, to uphold a face of government (which ye know was sore shaken, and might otherwise have fallen to the ground) till providence might finde out a more able person, to sute the companie's occation and condition; and with this your worships seemed in your former letter to this court to be very well satisfied, desireinge them still to goe on cheerefully and comfortablely in theyr government; soe that you may easeily conceive your sodaine turne, with such earnest pressures solely for the resident, cannot but seeme strange unto them. And indeede since the arrival of your worships last letter, a new spirit of dissention and disturbance is aparently raised in those bretheren, who were before pretty well callm'd and brought into orderly conjunction with us; soe that for my part I may have cause to wish, that this mart might be as short as the passage of these letters to your worships, soe little comfort can I expect in the place, where soe much division and distractions are dayly fomented. But I shall forebeare further to trouble your worships, onely with my prayers to God in his good tyme to sement and heale all our breaches, to give us all the spirit of love and sound minds, that wee may set ourselves to act unanimously for the glory of God, and the good of the fellowship, that by his blessinge it may yet florish and continue famous. And soe with all due respects I humbly take leave, and remaine
Your worships very loveinge brother
and humble servant,
Hamb. 6 January, 1656.
The deputy, &c. of the merchants-adventurers residing at Hamburgh, to the company of merchants-adventurers at London.
Right worshipful sir and sirs,
Havinge at a gen. assembly holden here the 29th Decemb. past re-established our martley government, and prevayled with Mr. Watson to continue the place of deputie; nevertheles upon receit of your worships letter of the 19th ditto, and publication thereof at an ample court holden the 3d present, his worship very chearefully declared his willingnes and desires to resigne the place in complyance with your advise in your generall letters to us, and particular letter to himselfe, and earnestly desired of the court to admitt of his resignation, and soe withdrew himselfe. Upon consultation of the contents of your worships letter, as we found ourselves surprized with a strange and unexpected proposition, soe we could not but with abundance of greise resent, and with more perplexitie admire your unbrotherly and disrespectfull stile and expressions towards us, which we dare freely, and we hope we may modestly affirme, is beyond all president. Nevertheless our resolutions to continue our full observances towards your worships, and our dutie in reference to that great trust that is reposed in us, by that place, which we have in the fellowship for the preservation and promotinge of the publique weale thereof, easily ledde us to resolve to passe by all circumstantialls, and to apply ourselves to consult the substance of your advice, by a free and full debate of all the particulars. Findinge your perswasions, or rather requisitions, to direct us to make choyse of his highnes resident to the place of deputie governor over this residence for the remaynder of this yeare, as a reparation of his honour; and therein the honour of his highnes, for those affronts don in layinge of him aside from the place, which you are pleas'd to tell us you are assured are resented with much indignation against us; wee hold it our duty in relation to our actings as a comp. as well as our particular deportments in that affayre, seriously to examine ourselves, and fayrely and freely to discusse those grounds you had offered to lead us to the election of his highnes resident, before we could enter into consultation concerninge the election itselfe. This, though it was proposed with much modestie; and most undeniable reasons, yet it was opposed by those, who formerly dissented, with soe much bitternes and violence, that the whole forenoone was spent in mere debate and muthologie, without cominge to any vote or conclussion. Hereupon, that we might continue in a court posture for our more orderly proceedinge, we were fayne to importune Mr. Watson at present to continue the place of deputie, and resolved to resume the worke on munday followinge. Beinge agayne very amply assembled, Mr. Watson once more withdrew, and desired the court to accept of his resignation. Beinge withdrawn, the court resumed the proposition where they left it the last day, which was, whether they should proceed to the choyse of the resident, upon the account of havinge injuriously rejected him, as it was stated by your worships. But noe arguments prevaylinge with the adverse partie to suffer that vote to come to hands, nor yet any thinge else, till Mr. Watson's desired resignation had bine voted, it was, in complyance with their importunitie, first put to the question; whether the court would accept of his resignation upon the grounds offered in the letter aforesaid, and it was resolved in the negative, and that upon this accompt, because they could not in their judgements elect the resident as a reparation of an affront, which their consciences satisfyed them they had never offer'd him. Wee cannot but take notice, with what importunitie your worships presse us to the forementioned choyse, and could wish you had given us as much oportunitie, by a sutable proposition, to have complyed with you. But give us leave to desire you but to lay your hands upon your hearts, and seriously to consider with yourselves, whether it be either a reasonable or charitable proposition for you to presse us to elect the resident deputie, as a reparation for a designed affront don him, and therein a dishonour offered his highnes, in layinge him aside from the place of deputie; when we have soe often declared, soe solemnly protested, and are still ready personally to depose upon our corporall oaths, that our overactings in that affayre proceeded neither from any sinister designe, or intended dishonour to his highness, or affront to his minister, but were meerely the product of our best judgements, as faithfull members of a court to prevent encroachinge irregularities, and to uphold that free jurisdiction, which we have enjoyed for some hundreds of yeares, held out unto us by our charters and orders. Can your worships expect, that we should by a voluntarie act of our owne, condemne and record ourselves to posterity to have bine false and perfidious members, not only towards the comp. but even towards his highnes himselfe, in a matter wherein our consciences beare us witnes of our innocency and integritie; and thereby, even by our owne act, render ourselves the just objects of his highnes displeasure and indignation, to be powred downe upon us, as notorious malefactors by our owne confession? Amongst the rest of your worships unquestionable assurances, have you received any one of this nature, that his highnes or any member of his councell should expect, that we should soe desperately act against the lawes of conscience, of reason, yea even of nature itself? His highnes justice, his grace and goodnes assure us the contrary. Certaynely, whereas you'are pleased to say, that it will not be believed, that, if your court had put forth their authority, you might have prevented this declaration of his highnes's displeasure (if we may with a favourable interpretation make use of the argument) you can never perswade yourselves, much lesse us, but that if you had putt forth the utmost strength, as you promised us, yea but a part of your strength sincearely to vindicate us, and to argue our case, as you well know it, and as we had often, and do now againe offer it unto you, when his highnes's proposition was made unto your worships, undoubtedly you might easily have satisfied his highnes, or those members of state, with whom the conference was had, concerning the integritie of our proceedings, and soe really, and to our comfort and benefitt, disappointed their resentments, which your backwardnes (if we may in our distraction speake soe plane without offence) upon other polices hath cast us under.
But it may be, after all that we have said, your worships will not be soe sensible of our condition, as to suppose us lyable to such censures and dangers upon this proceedinge; and thereupon urge, as you doe in your letter, that if we would but readily and chearefully proceed to the election of the resident, we should not doubt but his honour would generously meet us halfe way in all loving offices, and the rest conjoyne with us in a brotherly amnestie and redintegration. But alas the sad experience we have had of the misapprehensions, misrepresentations, wrestinge of our speeches, threatninge of our persons, wherewith we have bine all along most violently and uncharitably prosequuted in all places, and upon all occasions; yea even at theire last courts, whilst we have bine discussinge your worships advise; the communications we have had, that after wee should have chosen the resident, we should personally be prosequuted and called to accompt to compleat the reparation, and this carryed on with such triumph and indignation; doe not only blast those hopes and imaginations, wherewith you would have us satisfyed, but manifestly convince us, and with a sad premonition foretell us, what we may expect at those men's hands, when they shall have power and authority to colour and carry on their intended designes; and therefore most necessarily direct us not to be soe unreasonable or unsensable in relation to a selfe-preservation, as to expose ourselves to the malice and revenge of those, who cannot forbeare to discover the bitternes of their spiritts, even whilst they are called, and pretend to come to consult of peace and reconcilement.
Havinge thus breifely endeavoured to make out unto your worships the reasonableness of our non-complyance with your advice, upon the grounds you were pleased to lay before us, give us leave, in a word, to touch the end you propose upon our condescention.
As to that large and generall end, to witt, the concernment of the whole fellowship in this exigency of time, when we are assaulted with soe many enemyes, and protected only by his highnes's gracious favour; should his highnes, say you, withdraw his goood opinion of our government, we might easily conceive what would become of it. We confesse with your worships, and with much thankfullnes acknowledge the many great advantages we enjoy by his highnes's favour and protection; but withall, we doe humbly conceive, that we could hardly give a greater occasion for his highnes to be displeased at our government, then by laying wast those priviledges, he hath so graciously bine pleased to vouchsafe unto us, and leavinge the safe paths prescribed us by our charters, to goe astray and governe by an arbitrary power, or rather to subject ourselves to the will and pleasure of any of his people. And as to the particular peace and wellfare of this residence, give leave to mind your worships, how that before thinges came to such a higth of difference, when upon you worship's importunity, and chiefly to testify our speciall respects unto his highnes, this court was prevayled with to re-elect the resident, to trye whether his honour would be pleased to condescend to a more moderate deportment in the execution of the place, and so regayne the affections and conjunction of the companie; the effects proved so contrary, through the instigations, oppositions, and violent dissentions of severall amongst us, that the breach grew rather wider by his honour's headdinge of that partie, and the effects proved to be, the disturbance of our peace, and of our antient and orderly jurisdiction, more then ever. And certaynely if this was the returne of our respects and confidence in the infancy of our difference, what hopes have we left, that we shall ever accomplish any good end, by headinge that partie agayne with the same authority, whose animosities and dissentions are grown up to such an unhappy maturitie, that instead of satisfaction of our hopes, and necessities to returne to a peaceable and amicable government, nothinge but revenge and punishment, and that by way of reparation, as against malefactors, is threatned by them.
And this we have briefly sett before your worships apprehensions, upon the grounds, and ends you have proposed unto us for the choosinge of the resident deputie. It is in your breast, to give them what favourable construction you shall please; for our owne parts, we have concluded that we can never be perswaded to choose the resident upon any such accompt, as will most inavoydably tend to the violation of our priviledges, the encrease of our divisions, the disturbance of our government, and the prejudice, if not mine, of our persons: we have therefore bine constreyned, being we could not be convinced to proceed to any niew election, to importune and engage Mr. Watson to continue the execution of the place of martley deputie, unto which we had chosen him, and thereby to uphold governement for the carryinge on of the affayres of the fellowship. And as a close of this subject at present, we doe most earnestly begge of your worships, if there be any love, if there be any brotherly kindnesse, if there be any fellow-feelinge, yea if there had been any Christian charity in your hearts towards us, thinke upon what we have wrott unto you, be affected with our oppressed condition, shew your affections by puttinge forth your utmost strength to free us from this heavy imposition, and to restore us in generall as a competitor, and in particular as to the members thereof, unto a favourable and good understandinge with his highnes. And we doe faithfully promise, that there shall nothinge be proposed by your worships, in any other way, but this election, that shall come within the compasse of our power, for the advancinge of his highnes's honour in his publique minister, but we will readily and cheerfully give you a full testimony of our complyance with you * * * both to his highnes, his resident, and your worship's satisfaction.
Concerninge the other particulars in your worships letter, first, to what you write upon the case we offer you on the behalfe of Mr. Starky, be pleased to rest satisfyed, that as it was our intention in what we wrott, to expect your worships answer (though we quickned you to expedite the same) soe we shall wayte to the cominge on of your next letters, wherein we desire your full sense upon what we have offered you in that case now before us for a sentence.
Your niew forme of bonds for bequest monyes was observed before the cominge on of your letters. We have registred Job Jackes, formerly Mr. Mascall's servant, an absolute free brother by redemption, accordinge to your desire, and have administered unto him the oath apperteyninge.
Upon Mr. Richard Waller's servant's clayme of his freedome here, it gave us occasion to
take into consideration his said master and Mr. Goodyeare's debt of sixty six pound thirteen
shillings and four pence, standing out in your treasure accompt, which you desired us sometime
past to enquire into; upon examination, we find nothinge more of the said debt either in
our registers, or accompts, and therefore we thought fitt to referr the further discussion
thereof unto your court, where Mr. Isaac Blackwell hath engaged unto us, the said Mr.
Waller shall cleare the same, when called upon by your worships. Your worships will here
enclosed receive a letter, which we have held our dutie to write to his highnes most honourable councell, in answer to one which we received from their honours, dated Dec. 25,
past. We send your worships herewith the copies of both, that you may peruse the contents. We intreat you with the first to take care for the respectfull delivery of our letter,
and upon this, and all other occasions that shall lead your worships to Whitehall, to have a
compassionate fellow-feelinge of our present condition, as you tender the preservation of our
persons, and the peace and welfare of this companie. We committ your worships to the
protection of the Allmighty, and rest,
Right worshipful sir, and sirs,
your worships lovinge brethren and friends,
The deputie, assistants, and fellowship of merchants-adventurers of England, residinge in Hamburgh.
George Watson, deputy.
Hamburg, 6 Jan. 1656/7.
To the merchants-adventurers of England, residing at London.
Hamburgh, 6 January, 1656/7. [N. S.]
Vol. xxxiv. p. 269.
Right worshipfull sir, and sirs,
Considering under how deep a sence your worships advised and enjoyned this courte in your last letter of the 19th past, speedily to assemble and re-elect his highnes resident to the place of annual deputy here, according to his highness's expectation, we hoped there would not have been found any of our brethren to have given opposition thereunto, and thereby necessitate us to trouble your worships with this ensuing narrative of their proceedings. Upon saturday the 3d instant, after publication of your worships letters at a general court, deputy Watson offered to resign, yet upon condition, that the court would accept thereof; and so was withdrawing to accept their vote, but was minded by some of us, with how much seeming unwillingness he was entreated at first to accept of the place, and that he was now as much at liberty to resigne it, and that no vote of this court could compell him to keep it against his will; and further desired him to take notice of your worships respect, in writing a particular letter to himself, to that end; by which it was manifest, that a positive, and not conditional resignation was expected from him in order to his highness's satisfaction: but he put himself upon the vote of the court, and withdrew.
The deputie being thus gone out of court, it was proposed, and seconded by several of the remonstrators against the resident, that a vindication ought to preceed the deputie's resignation; that they had no reason to act according to your worships advice in this last letter, being so contradictory to your former, that you shewed yourselves very wavering and inconsistent in this business; they conceived things had been misrepresented to his highness, for that he had been pleased to signify in a letter to this court, that he would not impose any thing unusual upon them; and that they had held out to his highness in their remonstrance that it was against their conscience to re-elect the resident deputy; and therefore if they should recede from their former actings, it would not only be a breach of the court's privilege, but they should thereby shew themselves weak and inconsistent, but also inconsiderable men, and appear to the strangers, among whom they reside, to have done the resident wrong, and condemn themselves as malefactors. To which it was replied by some of us, that in order to your worships desire and requisition, it was necessary, that the deputy should absolutely resign, or at least, that the court declare their acceptance of his resignment, and then proceed to re-elect the resident. And first, as to their proposal of a vindication to acquit themselves of the guilt, as having affronted his highnese in his resident, forasmuch as they had submitted themselves, by way of a remonstrance and petition unto his highness, as so many private persons, and not in a court way, and that they now understood from your worships, that his highness had determined the case, that he found no cause for their having ejected his resident from the place of annual deputy, and adjudged their papers not worth answering, declared his pleasure to be, that his resident be re-elected, as part of his vindication among those strangers; and therefore it became them to acquiesce. And we farther told them, that it was absurd, for they, who were parties, to be their own judge; and to vindicate themselves in a court way, was to involve this whole residence in their single guilt. And as to their objecting, that your worships were wavering and inconstant in your advises, we did believe, that you had acted according to the exigency and emergency of this affair, endeavouring to preserve the subsistance of the fellowship, now almost lost in his highness's good esteem, whose favour you acknowledge to be your only support, amidst your old and many enemies you were now contesting with. And though his highness had graciously signified his pleasure not to impose any things unusual upon this court, yet they were not thereby to assume the boldness to persist in ways, against which he had declared his displeasure; and that they ought not to suppose, that if they did cross his expectation, that he had by that expression bound up his hands, and they take liberty to offend; for that his highness's said letter was a signale reproof of their former actings in ejecting his resident, and therein he required this court to put out of their government those disturbers of their peace. And to their plea of conscience we answered, that we understood not that to be a right informed conscience, which scrupled the re-electing of the resident, and made no scruple to do an act so apparently indangering the very being of the fellowship by his highness's displeasure, and to justify that act, and contemn your worships so serious advice and requisition, and to insist at this time upon a single privilege, when the whole was in danger: and lastly we told them, that ready obedience, rather than dispute, was expected from them. This debate took up the whole morning; and notwithstanding all the arguments we used to put it to the question, whether they would accept of the deputie's resignation, which was the first thing in order, we could not induce them to it; but they still insisted to begin with a vindication, and would have adjourned the court until monday; but in conclusion it was voted not to accept of the deputy's tender of resignation at that time, and so he was called in, and the court ended. The court being re-assembled upon monday, the deputy again tendered his resignation conditionally as before, and was reminded, that no vote of court could constrain him to hold against his will; and being urged with the necessity of his absolute resigning, to make way for the court's complyance with his highness's expectation, and your worships requisition, he answered, that he would keep his chair as long as he could; and being again departed out of the court, it was again proposed, whether his resignation should be accepted; and carried in the negative by five hands, there being 15 pro, and 20 contra, that they would not accept of his resignation, upon the grounds held forth in your worships letter. So the deputy resuming the chair again, they proposed it might be referred to a committe to answer your letter, and accordingly they nominated and made choice of such men, most whereof had subscribed that remonstrance to his highness, ordered the said letter to be published at another court before it should be sent away, but appointed no time when, and so brake up. This day, after ten of the clock, we were warned to meet again in court at eleven o'clock, where the deputy declared, that the secretary had prepared the answer to your worships letter, and therefore would have it publish'd for the court's approbation, that it might be sent away this post; to whom some of us answered, that it had been sitting they had yesterday so appointed this court, that all members might have taken notice of it; but we well discovered their intention to surprize us in time, for giving your worships this account of their proceedings. The letter being read, we were astonished at their impudent confidence, that they were so devoid of civility and conscience, as to go about to excuse their own guilt, by imposing the whole fault on us, terming us their adversaries, and loading us with many untruths and reproaches, concerning which, as we can with their consciences appeal to God for our innocency, so we desire them to make it out in particular to any of us: but still they averred the truth of what they had charged only in general terms; and the deputy putting it to the question, whether the letter should be approved of, and sent away, we stood out of our seats, and severally protested against having any thing to do with the said letter; that we held it not safe to join with them in the vote; least we involved ourselves in their guilt, and so his highness might look upon it as the act of all the members of this court; thereupon withdrew from amongst them, until they had made it their own act by vote. At our return into court again, the resident understanding they had charged somewhat upon him in their said letter, came into court, and after he had heard what it was, he told them they ought in civility to have communicated it to him, before they had confirmed it by a vote; declared their charge to be scandalous and unjust, and very unbecoming them, considering the public character he bears amongst them; admonished them mildly and lovingly to consider of it again, and to reverse their vote, and so withdrew out of the court; the deputy putting it to the question, whether they would make any alteration in their letter, as to what concerned the resident, upon his admonition, it was carried in the negative.
We find ourselves obliged in discharge of our particular duties to the fellowship, to give your worships this true narrative of our brethren's proceedings, that your worships may acquaint his highness where the remora is, that his pleasure is not fulfilled, and who are the persons that prefer their will and humour before the well-being of the whole fellowship; not doubting, but your worships will think it high time to put forth your utmost power for the redress of these things, so much threatning the well-being, yea, the very being of the whole society; and for our parts we heartily wish that your worships would assume into your hands the power of electing deputy assistants, and secretary, annually for the residence, at least for some time, which we apprehend would effectually conduce to the setling thereof in peace and unity, by taking away those advantages, which are now made use of to express singular disgusts and animosities against some members, in passing such by (as they did in their last election) from being assistants, whose interest in the trade of the company, and antiquity of freedom, might justly plead preheminence to others chosen in their places, that have no trade at all. And before we conclude, we presume further to signify to your worships, what we have observed in the carriage of the deputy secretary, and some of the company, since the receipt of your last letter: the deputy; immediately upon perusal of your letters, declared to some of us, that he would absolutely resign, and resused to officiate as deputy; but the secretary having diligently enquired into mens particular letters, and advised with them, a consultation was held the next day at the deputy's house of ten or more members of court, to whom your worships letter was communicated, mens judgments forestal'd, and a resolution taken up against it should be publicly read in court; whereby it appears, they continue in the same designing way, so much condemned by his highness and your worships; the effect whereof we found the day following, it being then commonly spoken by them, that it was not the real mind and intent of your worships, that the deputy should resign; and also some of them so highly esteemed of your so serious advice and requisition, that they questioned in court the truth of the relation your worships so clearly and unquestionably affirmed touching his highness's displeasure, signified unto you; and if any such thing were, they believed it only to be some hint from the secretary of state. Having thus faithfully communicated these proceedings, we submit it unto your worships most serious consideration, praying God to direct you for that, which may be for the recovering of peace and good government among us. We subscribe ourselves
Your worships very affectionate
friends and brethren,
A copy of a letter wrote unto our brethren of London, subscribed by fourteen hands, whose names are here mentioned, dated the 6th of Jan. 1656/7.
Some others would have subscribed, but could not be met with.
To his highness the lord protector of England, Scotland, and Ireland.
The humble petition of the government, deputy assistants, and fellowship of merchant's adventurers of England.
That whereas the fellowship hath of late times been very sensible of, and struggled under sundry differences, in that part of the government, which is at Hamburgh, and have in all faithfulness used their utmost endeavours for the peaceable settling thereof amongst themselves, and in particular, have lately been very instant in advising and persuading (as much as in them lay) the brethren there, to the re-election of your highness's resident, Mr. Richard Bradshaw, to the place of deputy governor in that place, as he had formerly been, as by their letters of the 19th of Dec. last past, more particularly may appear; at which time the petitioners were not without hope, but that, upon the grounds therein mentioned, their brethren at Hamburgh would have readily yielded a hearty and speedy compliance and concurrence with the desires therein mentioned: but to the petitioners great grief by letters of the 6th present, returned unto them in answer, they find their expectations wholly frustrated in the thing desired; by means whereof they are necessitated (not knowing any other remedy for the settling of the said government, and preservation of the whole society and welfare of the trade of this commonwealth, thereon so much depending) in all humble duty to represent this their present sad condition wholly to your hignness:
Humbly praying, that your highness will be pleased to find out some such expedient for composing the said difference, and settling the government aforesaid (which the petitioners humbly conceive, will be for the peace and good of the whole society, and welfare of the trade of this commonwealth) as to your highness's great wisdom shall seem most meet.
And your petitioners, as in duty bound, shall pray, &c.
Boreel, the Dutch ambassador in France, to Ruysch.
Formerly I signified to their high and mighty lordships, by your lordship, that I had sent the letters directed to the commonwealth of Venice, by the way of Antwerp, to the consul Stryker, as their high and mighty lordships had commanded me to do. Since, to give the quicker dispatch to the desired redresse, I writ to your lordship, whether it were not fitt, that their high and mighty lordships should write immediately to their consull himselfe about it, but I receaved no answer to my letter. But to shew how necessary it is, that the business be remedied as soon as may be, you must know, that not only the preservation and and offices of civility between me and the ambassador of Venice do stand still, but also that the ambassador of Savoy doth forbeare to come to me, though I was last with his lordship; whereof I desire your lordship to make report. The republic of Venice doth stand in need at this time of the hired Netherland ships, whereof their chiefest power doth consist; and if their high and mighty lordships should buy the same, they could not spare them.
Paris, Jan. 16, 1657. [N. S.]
A letter of intelligence.
Paris, 16 Jan. 1657. [N. S.]
They write from Rome of the 12th of December, that the cold weather doth cause the plague to cease; and that the pope, after six weeks abode in the mount Cavallo, doth now appear again abroad, and hath been at devotion in the church of Santa Maria, and the church of the people, with his prelates, and was followed by his guard, drums and trumpets sounding.
Great endeavours are used to appease the disorders in Provence, whither the marquis of Montpezat is sent with all haste, by order of his majesty, to pacify the discontents, and to cause the troops, who were the occasion thereof, to retreat into the Modenese.
It is said here, that the protector doth press France to sign a league offensive and defensive with Sweden and Portugal, and will give but fifteen days to consider of it; otherwise he will agree with Spain; the treaty being drawn up, and wants only signing.
General Monck to secretary Thurloe.
Understanding that you are about to setle one for the attorney general in this country, I make bold to recommend a gentleman, who, I thinke, will be very fitt and able for the businesse, Mr. John Harper, a man of very good abilities for an advocate, and a very honest gentleman, one that is much esteemed of by our nation. I should not have given you this trouble at this time, but that I thinke you cannot pitch uppon an abler man for that businesse; and if you please to conferre that favour uppon him, I shall take it as an obligation uppon
Your very affectionate humble servant,
Dalkeith, 6 Jan. 1657.
Col. Lockhart to secretary Thurloe.
My not having the honor to kisse your hands this morning emboldens me to give your honor the troble of this appologie, and to beseech yow to beleeve, that I had not been guilty of so much rudenesse, if I had dared to appear this morning in publick.
The confusion I was in yesternight made me forgett to recommend my brother Swinton's businesse. His highnesse was pleased to putt the papers concerning it in Mr. Barrington's hands. I humbly begg, that your honor may give yourself the trouble to call for
them; and I hope, the reasons offered will give you freedome to own him and me in my
humble desyers expressed their. And if my intercession in this shall have any prevalency
with your honor, I shall impute it to the continuance of your goodnesse to one, who hath
inexpressible desyers to be,
Your most humble and obedient servant,
From the post-house, Jan. 7, 1656.
The governor of Nevis to secretary Thurloe.
Right honourable sir,
Haveing not any doore so faire open to me as yourselfe, I make bould with your honour, hereby to present this weake account of my actings in these parts in his highness's service.
Sir, it hath been his pleasure to cast his aspect on me, though a man of much weaknesse,
yet ready to serve him, according to what parts God shall enable me with; and for a
testimony hereof, I have transported myselfe, wise, children, and family from the island
Nevis to this island of Jamaica, with several inhabitants of that island, and the
neighbouring adjacent places, to the number of sixteen hundred people, men, women, and
children, and settled ourselves, with advice of admiral Goodson, at the harbour of Porto
Moranto. And further, I request, his highnesse may have an account in respect of the government of Nevis, how I have left itt, untill his highnesse pleasure be known there, the ablest man and of best repute, with the good liking of the people there, and with the power of
my commission for the governement of the place: the gentleman's name is James Russell,
and one that hath been thirty years an inhabitant in these parts. Sir, God hath made me
a plaine man, and you cannot expect more than God hath given me; but if integrity and
faithfulness may be added to make my light gould weight, I shall endeavour not to be
wanting (God willing) to throw itt into the ballance. I humbly crave leave, and am, sir,
Jamaica harbour, Jan. 7, 1656.
Your honour's very humble servant,
Marigny to Stouppe.
Hague, 19 Jan. 1657. [N. S.]
The last post I could not write to you, for I was not here; I was at Amsterdam, where I spent a week's time with the ambassador of Spain, who was presented, treated, and received in a most splendid manner. Whilst we were there, the brother of the king of Sweden arrived there. He was also feasted and defrayed. The burgo-masters invited me to all the feasts; and I can assure you I received civilities, which I did not pretend unto, and which others deserve better than myselfe. When the prince went away, he gave me some French pan gloves, and a ring, which he took off his finger, saying, he would make a marriage with me of esteem and amity. The party was too advantageous to refuse him. It is said here of a certain, that de Ruyter hath had some rencounter with Blake; and that in the fight two Holland ships and four English were sunk. They expect the confirmation of this news, which is held very certain. The duke of York having left his brother in a discontent, by reason he put away his governor from him, who is said to be one of Jermyn's creatures, and consequently cardinal Mazarin's, past this way incognito, and is gone towards Utrecht. Sir John Berkeley, who is here, hath declared, that he will not be a means of any division in the royal Family. If his declaration be true and sincere, he is to be commended. I know not whether you have heard, that there are revolutions in Portugal; and that the chief declare for the king of Spain, for whom the great ones make levies at their own charges, to conquer that kingdom, which was taken from him by the duke of Braganza.
Boreell the Dutch ambassador in France, to Ruysch.
I have received their high and mighty lordship's of the 4th instant, and have thereby clearly understood, to my great satisfaction, that no communication is to be had with those of this court here about the published design here. I consess, I could do no less to discharge my duty, than write over the same to their high and mighty lordships, who know best how far the business is to be negotiated. Certainly the same doth clearly appear to be intended against the commerce and navigation of their high and mighty lordships subjects, and the welfare of their state. I will do all that I can to penetrate further into the design; and advise their high and mighty lordships thereof from time to time by your lordship.
Paris, Jan. 19, 1657. [N. S.]
Col. Brayne to the protector.
May it please your highnes,
Through the mercy of God I arived safely here on the 14th of December, and since that there came in three of the marchant men with about an hundred and sixty of the partie out of Scotland, and about 500 of the party out of Ireland: two are yet wanting, one called the Saphire, wherein was col. More with two hundred men, and the other called the Two Brothers, wherein my lieutenant colonel was with two hundred men. I found the souldiery here in good health, but most of them very averse to planting, which I found proceeded from some officers discouradging of them. Therefore I have given libertie to the most discontented and uselesse officers to returne for England, of which I finde the benefitt already; for now the souldiers goe cheerefully to worke. Besides, there being a necessity of reduceing the regiments to a lesser number, I thought it better to suffer the officers to depart of themselves, then be forced to reduce them hereafter. I have placed the Scottish and Irish parties about port Morant, the windward part being judged healthfullest; as also that they might be a gard for the planters that came with colonel Stoakes; for shold they receave any bassle by the enemy, it would discouradge others from adventuring hither upon the like accompt. I have lyned out a fort at the mouth of that harbour, which when finished will wholly defend it: there may ride within thirty or forty saile. I have also designed a fortification in this place, which offers itselfe naturally fitt for defence, there being but a small neck of land that can probably be assaulted. An able engineere is very much wanting for that worke, I not being skilfull in that arte; notwitstanding I shall use my best endeavours. Money also will presently be wanting for that worke, I haveing but one thousand pounds, which will soon be spent in workes made of lyme and stone (noe mud worke being capable of standing here) besides much of that money must be layd out for necessary contingent expences: medicaments are also much wanting, the stoares of that kind being wholly exhausted: provisions also will in short time be wanting, we haveing at present noe more then what is the ordinary allowance for three moneths. It wold be much for the advantage of your highnes's service, if a garrison were placed on the north side of the island; but at present I want both provisions and money to doe it. Therefore I humbly beseech your highnes to order hither, with all possible speede, five thousand pounds in money, and sixe moneths provisions, as also a good quantity of medicaments. The stoares of the army heare are much exhausted and embesselled, for want of convenient howsing, and there is little hopes of a good accompt thereof. The muster-rolls also are dispersed, soe that I greatly feare they will be brought to no exactnes; but I shall make diligent search for them, and give your highnes an accompt thereof by the next opportunity of the shipping. Your highnes will receave a full accompt by viceadmiral Goodson, who is sent to give your highnes a full accompt of the state of affairs here, as also of what shipping will be fittest to be kept on this coast. Seaven ships are sent now home, and two more are intended along with vice-admirall Goodson. I have noe more at present, but my earnest prayers to the Almightie for your highnes health and happiness, and remayne
Your highnes most obedient servant,
Cagway in Jamaica, Jan. 9, 1656.
Vice-admiral Goodsonn to secretary Thurloe.
Jamaica harbor, January, 1656. 9, [N. S.]
Vol. xlvi. p. 109.
In my last by the way of Nevis and Barbadoes, gave your honour an account of some occurrences, and of the time of our resolution of departure thence, and of the arrivall of capt. Huett, in the Hopewell, from England. We departed thence the 22d of Oct. and arrived heer the 4th of Nov. We went into Porto Morant with all the ships, except the Marston-moore, that came for this porte presently. Upon the landing the people at Morant, there fell very much rain, which did impair the healthes of a great many, notwithstanding we gave them all assistance in the help of our men, by setting tentes for them, and such like. There is since dead of the people a fifth part, conceaved by those coldes and raines then receved. The people, they say now, doth something begin to mend: col. Stoakes goeth one chearfully with his buisness. The 8th of Dec. the Blackmoore, who gave us an account of the good success a squadron of our friggotts had before Cales, for which desire to bless God and rejoyce. The 14th arrived lieut. gen. Brayne, in the Grantham, and Keetch, who hath made knowne his highness's pleasure of transferring my command upon himself, to which I give willing and cheerfull obedience, and should have willingly waited upon his highness and councel, by these, to have given a further account of what was committed to my manadgment,; but it is the desire of the lieut. gen. that I should yett stay a little longer, till the affairs heere be in a more settled condition. I question not but he will give an account of his resolutions concerning me. The 18th of Dec. arrived the Helpewell and Two Sisters; and the 23d idem, the Recovery, their people in health, and are by the lieut. general's order, a setling now at Port-Morant. I have great hopes they will exceed all that have bin before. With these come the ships Hope, Marmaduke, Wellcome, Falmouth, Church; Mary sliboat, and Adam, and Crue, being ships useless. And indeed the ships, that remaine still, except those last sent, ere long will be soe too, either for want of store, or deficiency of their bottoms, occasioned by the wormes. I have herewith, as usually, sent the commissioners of the admiralty and the navy an account of eatable and drinkable provisions to the ships remayning here, also the remaines of navall stores, with an account of the disposall of all prizes left here by generall Penn, and of all prizes and prize goods, since the takeing. Not else, but remain
Your honour's most humble servant,