A Collection of the State Papers of John Thurloe, Volume 6, January 1657 - March 1658. Originally published by Fletcher Gyles, London, 1742.
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March (4 of 5)
Mr. Vernatti to secretary Thurloe.
Most honorable and my ever honored lord,
From Brussel I came by Cassel and Belle, places about twenty English miles distant from hence, to be truly informed of what number of Irish cam from St. Guelain, and found them above the comon reporte I had to be about 300 strong, the rest, to 400 the regiment contained, returned with the lieutenant, who would not be induced to comply with the foule action. The coronel was at Paris, 'twas the major that contracted with Digby, and was the onely visible cause that St. Guelain was lossed to the French. Now this new accrue to the leavies of Charles Stewart would be appoynted as a reward to Digby, to be in cheef commanded by him, but that the Irish disdaine itt, and refuse to serve under an Englishman. Taff come in competition with him, so high as Charles must interpose his authoritie to determine the difference betweene them. Thus they agree nation with nation, and in multiplyed divisions, so as for one that sees itt, 'tis noe hard matter to judge, how incompatible good successes are in desseines with the hopes of such a concert. With these and them lately com from Piedmont the whole number may ammount to neere 2000 men. You may judge, my lord, what these are to the preparations for an invasion. Surely with any thing els that is visible not the leaste moment.
Eight capers are returned to this harbor with empty hands, and as empty witts to: for what is to be don for the future, your shipping, that lay within sight of this place, affraight them from new resolutions, and will make this place and Ostend deserts, so long as they continue that station. The new fregats in hand will loose theire harvest, except they can find a way by the north: one will be launced upon thursday next heere of twentyfive guns; the other two yett far from that possibilitie; one at Ostend almost cleare, the other two not to be these six weekes yett. There is all, with an embargo upon them and all others till the king's ships be manned. They want but little of cleare, and have order to parte soe soone as they can be ready. This day 'twas cried in this towne, that such as ware hired for that of Ostend, should repaire thether to receive theire monies of advance. For to encouradge them, they are promised six mouneths pay beforehand. There is one of thirty-six guns, with a little fregatt appoynted for a fireship, and intends with the first to undertake her voyadge by the north; the other, that is heere, is of the lyck burden, but cannot be ready these three weeckes, yett not haveing any vittails or men provided for itt. Charles Stewart was appoynted by all reports to parte this day for Brussels, and is gon, 'tis lycke, if he had but mony more then hetherto hee had for itt. His lodgins ware preparing att his agent's house; and the dessein now is, itt seemes, to forme a body, and serve this contrie, as Conde doth, to be in readines with advantadge to steale upon you, if occasion is. But if strength be kepped at sea, theire desseines will be neepped in the very bud, or be made desperate in better preparations then they are ever lyck to make. A Danzicker ship was brought on saturday night into Ostend; the vessell is judged free, but some English officers comming from Swead are said to be stayed. The affaires of Flanders goe as they ware wont, full of disorders. Herental was last weecke plundered of Conde's men to greater injurie then los, but for som men, that were killed on both sides: commissionars ware immediatly sent from Antwerpte to Brussels to demand justice, or suspend all agreements, that tended to contribution. They had noe answere when I parted. Will you see in what tearmes Charles Stewart carries his title? Heere, my lord, you have the forme of a passe graunted to a Spanish marchand of England, that had his goods seased on in the Canaries in the beginning of these warres, and has cost him a hundred pound, in hopes that this certificat may advance his recovery upon the cossers of Spaine.
My heart akes att the entring upon what must follow next. The almost infallible
perswasion of your extreame indignation with me, is a dead wound to all my confidence in
this world from you, my lord, whose goodnes was my onely anchor, and the cheef butte
of my toylsom endeavours to flye to, through all difficulties, to rest in. I defie the worst
tongue justly to charge me with the least omission of the smalest punctilio, that made for
your advantage; nor can I thincke of ought, that can but be lyck a shadow of any
offence given you by me, since you have reposed any trust in me: but my experience
tells me, that my lettres and protestations are neglected, as much as my realy honest
endeavours are misconstrued. Therefore will I cease expostulating, and onely humbly
desire, as from a person raised by God's hand, to an honor and power of that eminency,
that for his sake you will not denie me the last parte of the sharpest justice; and acquaint
me with my sentence, to prevent some accidents, that happily (though you hate me)
would troble you to see. And if you please to doe mee the grace, to help mee from
amongst my freinds with the least shame, I will in perfect charitie continue those prayers,
which twice a day I never failed to offer up for you. I have borrowed of some freinds,
besides the 12 l. of my wife, 25 pound, without any knowne reserve of my owne to make
the returne good; nor will that serve, whilest I waight for your answere as to bring me
to Engeland againe. I can write noe more. I leave all to God and to you. My lord,
Dunkerck March 30 1657. [N. S.]
From Boreel the Dutch embassador in France.
Concerning the matter comprehended in their H. and M. L. letters of the 17th instant, speaking of the boldness of the French pirates in the Mediterranean sea, having boarded and taken in the sight of Leghorn a Netherland merchant-man, called the black eagle, and what followed thereupon, shall be fully made known by me where it ought.
I cannot omit to let you know in secret, how that in this city, and in most of all the provinces of this kingdom, and especially in the sea-towns, there is a general report, that their H. and M. L. are falling into an open war with France (and some add boldly to it) in favour of Spain. And though I contradict it as much as I am able, yet that report is spread more and more, and thereupon many of the Netherland nation living and trading in this kingdom, do write to me with much perplexity about it, and do earnestly desire, that I would admonish, if so be there be any thing of truth in it, that so they may quietly draw in their means, and make them over for the better preventing of their ruin. Now how I shall comport myself herein, I desire I may be speedily informed and instructed, that so I may know how to regulate myself in this great business.
A letter of intelligence.
My last was of the 14/24 March. I understand general Lamboy is coming from the emperor with 3000 men, who were levied with Spanish money (as I mentioned formerly) to serve under don John of Austria. Though St. Guillin be blockt up by the Spaniard, yet it is supposed to be in no great danger. It is well provided, and the succour is preparing. The fleet of the United Provinces will soon be ready to go to sea. The most of Charles Stuart's soldiers are disbanded, they are not now many above 2000, and it is not likely they will stay long, seeing they have no more than two stivers a day. I remain
Thas von Gens 21/31 March 1657.
Lockhart to Thurloe.
May it please your highnesse,
Since my last I have had the opportunity of seing my lord Falconbridge, who in my humble opinion is a person of extraordinary parts, and hath (appearingly) all those qualities in a high measure, that can fitt one for his highnesse and countrie's service, for both which he owns a particular zeale. He seemed to be much trubled for a report he heard, that the enemys gave him out to be a catholick, and did purge himself from having any inclinations that way. He desyres his highnesse may cause make exact enquiry after his carriadge in England, and hopes by that means his innocency will be vindicated, and the malice of his accusers discovered.
He is of opinion, that the intended settlement will be very acceptable to all the nobility and gentry of his country, save a few, who may be biassed by the interests of their relations. Sir, this holy week, as it is called, hath been spent with so much pretence to devotion, as by it all men here have excused themselves from businesse. After several addresses for it, I obtained audience from his eminence betwixt eight and nine a clock this evening, at which I try'd, that the day of I and inge might be condescended on, and was answered they had not as yett taken all those measures, as must necessarily preceed their finall resolutione in that, but that once before the parting of the weddensday's post, it should be ascertained. The rest of the tyme spent in the audience was consumed in discourse concerning your business in England. I find that the accounts given of the state of your affairs their are seldome very favorable.
I am informed that this court removeth from hence to Compiegn very speedily. Monday fortnight is the furthest day given to all the officers, that are to attend it. St. Gillain is rendred. Ch. Stuart's forces serve the Spanyard this campagne. The Hollanders are prepairing 60 men of war, which are to be ready by the 20th of Apryl. Their is still a jealousy heare that their instructions are not so faire as their prosessions.
It hath been impossible for me to turn over any more mony this week. I send hearwith an account of the 10000 crowns mentioned in my last, and a note to mr. Ashurst
to pay it to your honor or your order. It being now very late, I will imporune your
honor no further. I am,
Paris 21/31 March 1657.
A letter of intelligence from Col. Bamfylde.
Not having any answer to my laste written at Callaice, I thought it necessary for mee, what shift soever I make, to repayr hither as soone as I was able to stir out of my chamber; haveing been forced to pawne a little cloth I browght out of England with mee, to monsieur de la Force, at whose howse I lay. At my arrival here, I sownde three letters from you, all dated in January; I wish I had received them before I parted hence, whereby I might have prevented what has since befallen mee, and have been less unhappy, though not more innocent, then I am, and shall ever approve my selfe to bee, what discouragements soever I meet with. The enclosed letter I met with at my lodging, where it has layne theise ten days. There is one mr. Robert Britton a marchand dispatched privatily from 973 to Londlon. The Spaniard designes an army of 16000 men for the invasion of Portugall. That queen has remitted hither fourscore thousand pistolls for the reinsorcinge the army of Catelonia to divert that designe, and makes levyes likewise in Portugall for the defence of hir sonn's dominions. The vice-roy of Naples has remitted lately to Millaine 200000 crownes, and the king of Spayne 500000 crownes for the maintaynance of this campaignia in Itally, where their army begins to draw together allready. They have taken and fortifyed two passes upon the Poe, in order to the blocking up of Valence, and to the hindering of provisions to pass in by the river. The duke of Modena has notwithstanding put in a very great convoy of provisions about 14 days since, of which he has given advertisement hither by an express, and desires the immediate supply of the recruites promised him. Mons. de Besanzone, whoe was employed as envoye from this court to the duke of Mantoue has offered him the command of an army apparte from the duke of Modena, but he yet refuses, and declares for a newtrality, and has sent an agent to Millaine to treat with the governour; but to what end, and what it may produce, is more feared here then knowne. By all I can yet understande, the Spaniard there will be much before hand this spring, some of their German recruites being allready come to them, and more dayly expected; to hasten whome the count de Cazatti is dispatched by the laste poste. I presume you were advertised of the rendition of the Ghillian, the Spaniards having drawne together a body of 800 men to attacque it; and are since drawne towards Quesnoy, but not yet attempted it, into which there are put 12 fresh companyes of horse and foot, with a quantity of provisions. Ten companyes of the guard are to march hence on thursday to the frontiers, whither the rest of the army are drawing; and I believe monsieur de Turene parts hence by the end of the next weeke, and the king about 16 days hence.
'Tis sayd the Spaniard will be very strong this sommer in Flanders; the English, Scotish, and Irish, will amounte to 5000, as is reported, and they expect by the end of Aprill 7000 men out of Germany, besides the army they have at present, and the recruits
they are making in Flanders, Brabant, and Guilders. Some say the firste 5000 I have
mentioned shall be commanded by gen. Marsine, and joyned by the Spanish army; others
that they will have as many more added to them, and that they shall make theyr descent
in Scotland, and that Marsine shall be lent to Ch. St. but I thinke the firste likeliest; but
of this I may say more ere longe. The duke of Orleance will be here upon thursday
next, partly to visit the king before his departure from Paris, and partly to countenance
a proces he has before the parlament agaynest the duke of Richeleu. The king has much
urged his coming, and seemes to desire his continuance at the courte; but he refuses,
unless the duke de Beaufort, and his other frends, may likewise be admitted, to which
I beleive the cardinall will have noe great inclination. The Noncio prest the peace vigorously, whoe has good words given him agaynest the next winter: he is cardinall Bichi his nepewe, and that cardinall the French pentioner and patron at the court of Rome.
'Tis sayd their is a league offensive and defensive betwixt the English and French, but it
is acknowledged here only for a year. The king presses harde to have 250000 pistolls
payd him this yeare by the clergye, as part of theyr donne gratuit; but 'tis not
yet resolved in that particular. I have seen letters from Ligorne, which say, that admiral de Ruiter has convoyed divers marchant ships into that porte, and is put out to sea
with nine men of war, to cruse to and froe in the Medeteranean-sea, but to what end I
cannot learne. Their is come newes hither of two or three English frigots loste upon the
Spanish coast. 'Tis I presume no newes to tell you, that the two brothers in Flanders
have been longe since reconciled, and Jack Barkley sequestred for six months from his attendance on his master; in which tyme Ch. St. is confident of being in England, where there
are greater designes hatching and allmoste brought to maturity then ever. I am not withoute
all hope of hearing from you, notwithstanding all your misinformations you have received
and beleived concerning mee. For matter of employment I shall not press it, but leave
it to your owne pleasure; only I beseech you (and shall bee forced to continue my requests in that particular) to returne mee a bill of exchange for the payment of 70 pistolls, which I have contracted here in your service, upon the great confidence I had in
what you promised me a twelve-month paste, and have assured mee of by divers of your
letters since, that you would pay what expences soever I showld be at, and alowe me a
very considerable supporte for my selfe, towards which there has been never yet returned
mee more than 200 l. sterl. whereof I have payd 30 pistolls to the person I sent to Rome,
which you have approved of, 60 pistolls more for three months to the person you knowe
of here, and at leaste ten pistolls more in letters, and other small expences, soe as for my
owne supporte I have not had much more then an hundred pounds sterl. which I am
sure is not a quarter of what both by worde of mouth, and your letters, you assured mee
of. But notwithstanding all the misery that my folly, and to great confidence has exposed
mee to, I shall not urge you to more then what all the obligations of honour and justice in
the worlde will, I am confident, lead you to. If you doubt I have not theyse debts upon
mee which I mention, be but only pleased to appoynte any of your correspondents here
to pay what I owe my taylor, and here at my lodging, and to one mr. Mason, whoe has
lent mee money before Christmas laste, and I shall not desire to touch a penny; only I desire it may be done with as little disgrace to mee as may bee, and I will promise you
faithfully, though you have throwne mee off very undeservedly, yet I will dye a common
soldier, with a pike in my hand, before I will ever serve any of your enemyes of what
kinde soever. To conclude, I beseech you as you are a man of honour, to let me knowe
your resolutions in a line or two directed as you have done formerly, à monsieur Barrie
marchand chapillier, a l'enseigne du grand chameaux, sur le pont nostre dame, à Paris,
and under, à monsieur la Marine; and doe not let mee linger here till I am throwne into a
jayle, for soe desperate a calamity can bring neither advantage nor satisfaction to you.
White has written to mee to receive and returne him some money, which he sayes you
have promised him, if you thinke him usefull: if you truste mee not theirwith, you may
finde some other means to returne it as you please; I have noe more to say at the present, but that I am,
Your moste humble and moste faithfull servant,
General Monck to the protector.
May it please your highnesse,
I have latelie received divers letters from many officers heere in Scotland, concerning the quakers, which they are afraid will encrease much among these forces in Scotland, unless your highnesse please to take some course in it. I thought it my duty to acquaint your highnesse therewith, and to send inclosed a letter I received from col. Daniell, who doth nott know of the officer commanding his company at Invernesse his being turned quaker, as lieut. col. Man writes in his letters, which I have alsoe sent to your highnesse. And truly I know noe colonel nor officer of the field in Scotland favours them but col. Ashfield; and in major generall Berrie's regiment, that came lately into Scotland, there being three officers quakers, and where they are (as I am informed) the greatest part of their troops are quakers. Truly I thinke they will prove a very dangerous people, should they increase in your army, and be neither fitt to command nor obey, but ready to make a distraction in the army, and a mutiny uppon every slight occasion. I desire (if your highnesse please) I may receive your order, how I shall carry my self to prevent this growing evill, which truly I doubt will bee very dangerous, if itt be nott timely prevented. For newes heere wee have none: all things are quiett, and I hope will continue soe, and the officers I find in a good temper. I must once more putt your highnesse in minde of the speedy sending downe one of the councill for Scotland to make uppe a quorum, for our businesse heere is already in a great deale of confusion for want of one, and like to be much worse, if there be nott one heere speedily. Besides the soldiers want monie, and the country have a great deale in their hands, and if any distraction should come, itt would be a meanes to discourage them to breake out the sooner, and make discontented spirits in the army more apt to persuade others to mutinie for want of pay. Having nothing else at present, I humbly take leave, and remayne
A letter of intelligence from Blank Marshal.
I have by every occasion acquainted you of your affairs here. By this I have little more to say, than what was in my last, only three days since came mr. George Lane from Bruxelles; what good news he brought is not yet known, but he was presently knighted. Within three days after came Ormond. Yesternight came Bristol. The business is most closely carried. The number is nothing increased since my last, only 250 that came from St. Ghillain under the command of Bristol, for his good service there. Ch. Stuart goes on thursday next to Bruxels, and so do all that are free from debt.
Charles Stuart has sent to Holland to provide shipping. I intreat you have a care of the business at home, for I see no great matter of fear here; only your friend the king of France gives liberty to many Irish officers and soldiers to come hither; he well knowing where they come. Ch. Stuart does most of his business himself, for he trusts very few. Sir, at least let me know, whether mine comes safe to your hands by the next.
For I am at great expences attending your commands both here and there, where you always send your goods. I am in great haste, lest the post should slip me, for I drive it off always till the last hour, expecting to give you a perfect account, and am consident none can give you better, unless they be of the council. No more, but that I am
Copy of a letter of a captain of a Spanish man of war from Spain, to the captain of the Boco in Leghorn.
I Will not omit to signify unto you by these few lines, how I by chance finding myself with the Mayorkins frigate, the pattach and frigate of Malaga, we resolved to make confortship towards the coast of Barbary; so going all four from Trapana towards Malta, near Sinosa, we spied two English ships, whom we chased till we laid them aboard. They fought very valiantly, but disgrace or fortune would have it, that one of them fired, called captain Thomas Haire; the other, for want of day-light, and fear of fire, we lost, otherwise she had been taken. She was called captain Richard Paine. We are returned to Trapana to mend the ships, whereof I do not omit to acquaint you, according to my obligation, giving you likewise to understand, that we have saved the captain of the burnt ship, with 19 English and 4 Turks, who went for Smyrna. I desire you to send forward the inclosed for Villa Franca, and if they return an answer, let it be sent to signior Ant. Valto in Trapana, whereby you will oblige me. Nothing else occurs.
The Dutch embassadors at Marienburgh to the states-general.
H. and M. lords,
My lords, yesterday arrived here from Thorn the lord prince Adolph, the king's brother. We have been to bid him welcome; his highness desired to be excused, that he was surprized by our coming. During the visit he spoke very nobly of the honour and courtesy done him at the Hague by your H. and M. L. and declared to have received great satisfaction in the receptions, which he had in all the Netherlands cities. Afterwards we fell into discourse about the affairs of these parts, as other matters of state; and his highness declared a very great affection for the preserving of the ancient amity between his majesty and your H. and M. L. saying, that he was well assured, that his majesty did really intend to observe the correspondency and the treaties with your H. and M. L.
The earl of Slippenback told us on saturday last, that he had received letters from his majesty, writ at Cowale, situate 12 miles beyond Thorne, being of the 27th March, wherein he understood, that his majesty having advice, how that Sapia had left the frontiers of Prussia Ducalis, and marched towards Lublin, and that Charnitzki over the Weyssel marched towards Sandommiers, in all likelihood with an intention to pass the river, and to join with the said Sapia, so to fall upon Ragotzky together. That therefore his majesty was resolved to meet Charnitzky before he should get to the river, and to march directly towards Ragotzky, and to join with him, who was come within 16 miles of Cracow, and that he would march to him without intermission.
A letter of intelligence to resident Bradshaw.
Right honourable sir,
Since my last of the 27th of March, there is no post come from the king of Sweden, where he is; but we expect every day an express courier from his majesty to our governor the marquis of Baden. The letters from Thorn came yesterday heither; but made no mention where the king of Sweden was, neither how neare he was come to meet with Ragotzy. Without doubt we shall heare shortly of some great action, because the Polish forces being strong, and divided in several armies, waite onely for opportunity to fight with Ragotzy; but the king of Sweden meetes him with an extraordinary choice of horse and dragons, and brings officers with him, for to bring Ragotzy's forces in order, and divide them in regiments, because he wantes in his army officers. This conjunction of armes will bring forth great changes. It is thought, that the king of Sweden will divide Poland betwixt him and the duke of Brandenburg, Ragotzy, and the Cossakes; everie one of them is to have his share in it; and then Dantzig will be forsaken, and may take care to beware of itself. I pray, sir, pardon me for sending now so little newes. I hope the reasons above will satisfye your honour, and be sufficient excuse for me. I am confident all other letters comming from these parts to Hamburg will bring no great matter at this time. In this citty of Elbing, we had troublesome holidayes of Easter, because the grosse Lutherians obtained from the king liberty to change our church gouvernment. They have put in a superintendent, and will establish heir a consistory for to make a separation betwixt the Calvinists (as the common people calls them) and Lutherians, just as at Dantzig, which is against the ancient custome and privileges of this citty. The magistrate opposes himselfe, and desires to be maintained by the ancient government of the church; but I feare their authority in church affaires is lost. Before this change came, there was here no difference made betwixt Lutherians and protestants: they lived here in great peace and unity, in spight of all other townes in Prussia; but alas ! this happinesse is downe now, and great pitty it is to see such great dissensions in this citty amongst them. I thought good to acquainte your honour of these particulars concerning religion. I must hasten to finish, that I may not loose the post; and therefore I conclude, and remain
From Elbing the 3d of April 1657. [N. S.]
Mr. Bradshaw, resident at Hamburg, to secretary Thurloe.
The inclosed paper presents your honor with the intelligence I have now received from the expresse sent to the Danish courte. That part of it, which relates to his highnesse, though I beleeve it onely to be the braggs of some haughty spirit in that courte, rather than any resolution in that kinge or the states-generall, yet beinge soe confidently uttered, I thought meete to acquaint your honor with it, not doubtinge, but if there be any ground for such sleightinge expressions, its not knowne to your honor and the councell. The letters from Elbinge give the best accompt wee have here at present of those passages.
By a letter from sir George Fleetwod, resident ambassador with his highnesse for the
kinge of Sweden, it is by this daye's post made publique heere, that his highness and the
councill have resolved to send me to the duke of Muscoe; if it were soe, I suppose I
should have heard thereof from your honor, or that I shall ere longe have such a
journey, requiring tyme to provide for it, and that withall a vindication is first intended
me, otherwise I can expect little comfort in my remove hence. I am here but ill provided of faithful and able servants, and less of any person, with whom to advise touchinge what may be committed to my care and trust in so remote a place. Therefore it is
my humble request, that if his highnesse and the councell have determined to send mee
on that service to tender a mediation 'twixt the great duke and the kinge of Sweden
(which is by that letter to be the businesse) that then your honor will please to move
the councell, that at the least a cuple of trusty servants may be sent over to me in the
convoy with the company's shipp, in which I heare mr. Meddows comes, together with
some person of experience for advise, that commands at least the Latin tongue, if not
allsoe the French. The councel of state were pleased to send mr. Durie with mr. Lisle
to Sweden: I should be glad of such a friend and companion, if he would undertake it,
beinge now in London, as I heare he is. He is one whom I love and honour for his
eminent parts and good affection; but if he cannot be prevailed with, then to have some
other gentleman suitably qualifyed. If mons. de la Marsh, whoe was here with my lord
Whitlock and mr. Rolt, be in London, I should be glad of his company. I pray, sir,
thinke of this, if I must goe on that service, and pardon the trouble, which I should not
give your honour, if I were in England to provide for myselfe. If the business be too
tender a mediation, your honour knowes that such a work must be suitably done with soe
great a prince. With tender of my due respects, I affectionately remayne
Hamb. 24 March [1656.]
The Spanish embassador to the states-general.
Le soubsigné ambassadeur d'Espagne ayant appris, que messieurs les estats generaux auroient donné ordre d'executer la sentence cy-devant prononcée par la pretendue justice du pais de Bois-le-duc, sans aucun droit ny fondament juridique, contre l'abbé de Cloosterraet, de se saissir de tous les registres, comptes, livres, & biens de son abbaye, d'en inventariser les meubles, & deffendre à tous leurs fermiers & autres, qui doivent quelque chose audit abbé ou abbaye, de lui rien payer, ny aux prieur & conventuels d'icelle, sans ordre speciale de LL. SS. sous peine de le payer encore une fois; & de plus de saisir tous les biens, que le sieur de l'Abbaye, receveur general du roy son maistre, au duché de Limborch, possede aux pais d'Outremeuse: Il se trouve obligé d'en faire pleintes à LL. SS. s'estonnant d'autrement, qu'elles ayent pris une semblable resolution si contraire aux protestations, qu'elles ont faites dans l'escrit du 27 du passé (que messieurs leur deputés luy ont mis en mains depuis peu de jours) de vouloir cultiver toute bonne intelligence & amitie avec sa majesté, qui ne pourra à plus souffrir tant de nouveaux attentats, sans s'en ressentir par tous les moyens qu'elle pourra, pour le maintien de sa souveraineté & deffense de ses bons subjects. C'est pour quoy il prie & requiert très-instamment LL. SS. de vouloir revoquer cette dangereuse resolution, si incompatible avec le traité de paix, qui ne pourra qu'alterer beaucoup de bon voysinage & correspondence avec sadite majesté, & produire de grands dommages & fascheries de part & d'autre, à la totale ruine des habitants desdits pais. Fait à la Haye le 3e d'Avril 1657. Signé
A letter of intelligence from the Hague.
Le sieur Hoolck, president, n'a pas osé conclure pour le Maire, ne voulant pas deplaire à la Hollande. On verra ce que fera la Frise, & si on l'admettra sur son serment purgatif non-obstant l'opposition de Hollande.
Des 36 navires en effect on n'a consenty ou resolu aujourd'huy, que six bons navires pour croiser & nettoyer le Bocht & le Canal. Qu'au reste, la pluspart de provinces ne sont pas prest avecque la petition des 600 mille francs; & du last & veylgelt on ne scauroit pas supporter ces frais.
Les deputés de l'admirauté en effect n'ont rien avisé pour l'employ de la flotte; aussy rien n'est resolu que touchant ces 6 navires, principalement contre les depredations des Calais & les Biscains, item ceux du roy d'Escosse. L'on n'est pas satisfait du roy de Dennemarck, pour sa procedure en Norweege, touchant l'ykinge ou mesure des navires, qu'il veut remesurer. Et c'est pourquoy l'on retient encore la fortie des navires.
Lettre est venu du prince Guiliaume de Groningue, comment la populace a pillée la maison du bourgemaistre Tiassens, & d'un senateur Buning. Et là-dessus l'on auroit obligé le magistrat & la ville à se joindre au party prevalent des Omlandois, pour former le corps des estats de la province, & en suite former & creer le regime provincial. Si que l'envoy des deputés des estats generaux ne sera plus besoign, comme des le commencement la bourgeoisie aura mal prins la resolution & dessein, que d'icy iroient ces deputés des estats generaux pour estre là le 3/13e Avril. De Prussie n'est autre, si non que le roy de Swede seroit allé à Thorn. Au reste, les uns escrivent, que Ragotsky n'avance rien; les autres, qu'il a prins Limborch. La diversion du Weyxel n'a guere de suite.
A Groningue, incontinent après la commotion, on a ordonné le regime provincial selon le desir des bourgeois ou gildens; en suite de quoy le sieur Ripperda to Farmsum est deputé icy aux estats generaux, au lieu du sieur Clant; & au lieu de Tamminga, le sieur Ham est fait lieutenant ou president de la cour de justice provinciale; si que tacitement est contremandée la commission des deputés H. Breake. Les ambassadeurs à Elbing escrivent d'avoir obtenu les elucidations à souhait, hormis la cassation du compagnie de Poix & Gondron. De Dennemarck on escrit, que l'on estoit en conference & negotiation avecque le ministre Swedois; dont icy l'on concoit quelque jalousie, si qu'on a resolu d'escrire, que le roy aye a communiquer avecque les ambassadeurs de cet estat, comme ceux de cet estat pareillement ont fait aux ministres Danois, de ce que cet estat a traité avecque la Swede.
Quelque temps passe le resident de Dennemarck a demandé libre exportation de quantité d'ammunition, sans payer le droit de licentes & convoy. Sur cela le sieur de Gent, alors president, conclut, qu'il falloit voir le main du roy; sur cela est venu la main du roy, ou une lettre de sa majesté; sur quoy la Hollande a dit, que l'on accordera bien l'exportation, mais de l'accorder franque de licente & peage, que cela ne se peut, ou seroit de mauvaise consequence. On l'a mis ès mains de deputés sur les affaires de la marine. Il y a asses de faveur; mais il faudroit par-apres aussy accorder à l'Espaigne, France, & autres.
Hier ont eu audience le sieur Tamminga & autres ses con-deputés, requerant l'envoy des deputés, cy devant deja resolue pour le 1¾ Avril: item, de n'admettre icy nul de ceux, qui sont nommés par le present lantdagh de Stadt & Lande. Sur le premier est resolu d'escrire au prince Guiliaume, qu'il luy plaise aviser, s'il juge utile l'envoy des deputés. L'on croit, que selon la maximedes politiques il tiendra aveque les plus forts, & qu'il dissuadera l'envoy. Sur le second point, l'on a nommé le sieur Gent & autres pour entrer en conferences & examiner les pieces.
Il y aura landt-tagh en Geldre le 17/7 Avril à Zutphen entre les noblesse & les villes de ce quartier. Il y a aussy grand debat comme entre les Omlandes; & à Leuwarden en Frise il y a de mesme grande disposition à un emotion.
A letter of intelligence from colonel Bamfylde.
I Hope you have mine of the laste of March. 'Tis not to be doubted, but you knowe of sir Henry Bennet's haveing passed about a month since through this place for Madrid, in the quality of envoyé from Ch. Stew. Some of his instructions are to offer the mediation of his master towards a firmer league then at present there is betwixt the Spaniard and Hollander, towards which he says he can contribute much, by the influence he and the Spaniard has upon all the Orange-party, not doubting but they shall easily come to an agreement with, and engage in the same designe the princess dowager and the prince William of Freez. Another is, to desire the addition of six thousand men to thosehe has levyed allready of his owne subjects, and your assistance of fivety thousand pounds towards the providing of shipping for transportation, and of armes and ammunition. He assures them positively of a party in the army of 2 of the most important garrisons in the kingdom, of the present conjunction of 10000 men with him at his firste landing, and of an universall-rising in Scotland. Though for my owne particular it may be I do not fully believe all this, yet I am strongly convinced of the truth of the moste materiall parts thereof; and that what I have soe often advertised you of, that has been hitherto loste in unbeliese, will at length prove true. The councell of Spayne have allready taken his assistance into consideration, but not any thing in particular is yet resolved on; when there is, I believe I shall goe neeir to know it. Theyr preparations agaynest Portugall employs moste of theyr consultations and endeavouers. The duke of Medina Sidonia, whoe is governor of Andolousia, has a plenipotentiary-power given him for the disposing of all affayres, as he sees convenient, without sending to Madrid for orders; he has obtayned this power by undertakeing, if it were graunted him, to rayse and mayntayne 3000 men for the Portugall war, and to furnish out four gallioons and 12 other men of warr, upon the charge of that country, in three months space; which will be (if they are not allready) fitted to put to sea in a short tyme. I have received upon Monday last four severall letters from Ligorne, and one from Rome; those from the firste advertise mee of the certaynty of de Ruiter's being gone to sea, after haveing delivered his convoy at that port, and refreshed his men for a few dayes, and that he expects eight frigots more to come from Holland speedily to him. The duke of Florence his secretary tolde a friend of mine, that for certayne the Dutch would joyne with the Spaniard, and that de Ruiter would continue in the Streights. The Dutch here say, that younge Trompe will have leave to serve the Dane upon his owne account, not employed by the states commission; and that he shall have a squadron of ships from Holland, which they pretend the king of Denmarke hyres with his owne money: and they likewise say, the states have some thoughts of sending admirall Opdam with a considerable fleet into the Streights. This is the newes of the younge Dutch gentilemen that are in this place, which I thought not amisse to advertise you of, though I have it from noe other hand, some of them being persons of condition, whoe understand the interests and inclinations of their fathers, whoe are of the states-generall. I did not thinke it fit altogether to be flighted. The cittadell of Thurine (in which there has been longe a French guarrison) is by the king of France his order delivered by the duke of Modena into the duke of Savoy his hands, whoe, 'tis said, will marry the princess of Modena. The towne and castle of Aste is in the French hands. The duke of Mantoue has at the present with him monsieur de Bezansoone, the king of France his embassadour to the duke of Florence, and likewise a Germane counte (whose name I have forgotten) in the quality of envoye from the emperor, both soliciting him with large profers, by the private mediation of the pope. The Spaniards giveing of him 50000 pistols, a considerable towne called Trinne, in the dutchy of Millaine, with a large teritory belonging unto it, together with another Dutchy in Naples, will certaynely bring him over to the Spanish party, for whome, as a frend of mine in the French courte assures mee, he has allready declared. Here arrived a courrier upon Saturday in the evening, which brings this advertisement, as I am tolde, from the duke of Modena, but 'tis kept as a great secret; and that Valence is formally besiedged. The recruits for the French army are slowe, and answer not the reports which were made concerning them. The prince of Conty parts hence upon monday or tuesday towards Itally. The newes was at Rome a month since of Sr. William Lockard's arrivall here in the quality of extraordinary ambassadour, with new instructions, and that there is a streighter league betwixt the English and French then was; which has given great satisfaction to the pope, whoe, allbeit he does not declare himself openly for Spayne, yet does all he can privately to engage the duke of Florence, Parma, and Mantoue in an assotiation together, agaynest the French. The Spanish army in Itally does certaynly consiste of 22000 men. The remaynder of the Germane army that was the laste year there, together with the new recruits, make a body of 8500 men of that nation: theyr pay is augmented, and provision of money made to pay them monthly, to prevent theyr disbanding. 'Tis sayd here with great assurance, that there is a considerable sum of mony very lately pay'd here to the English, for levyes towards the assistance of this Crowne. One colonel Nappier, whoe is a catholique, and has been in armes in Ireland, they say, is to have an English regiment, which (although I have been tolde it from very good hands) I can give noe credit to, that Irish catholiques should command English protestants. Heere is newes come, that de Ruiter has taken two French frigatts upon the Neopolitan coaste: he has declared, that he wil not suffer any of the Dutch merchantsships, that shall be under his convoy, to be any more visited by any whatever, either English or French. The Turke and Persian have certaynly concluded a cessation for 15 years; which will give the Turke liberty of pursuing the war in christendom agaynest Hungary and the Venetian; for which he prepares a hundred thousand foote, and twenty thousand horse. The pope has made one of his nephews, don Flavio, generall of the church gallyes, which are sitting to assiste the Venetian; for whose service he likewise enterteyns 3000, and is raysing a tax upon the Ittalian clergye for 300000 crownes for theyr reliese. I am juste nowe certaynly informed, that the duke of Mantoue has declared for the Spaniard: in lieu of his estate in France, he has Trinne with its teritory, and a great dutchy in Naples for his interest in Montserat, he has Cremona given him, and 50000 pistoles, which are great conditions, but such as the Spaniards were constrayned to give him, it being the generall opinion, that if he had continued sirme to the French, the Millanois had been relieved; but his profit, the solicitation of the pope, his emulation to the duke of Modena, and his jelousie of the late union betwixt that duke and Savoy has prevayled to cancell all the obligations, and brake all the ingagements he had to the French, whoe have thereupon ordered 5000 men more for Itally then was intended, and doe hasten away the prince of Conty. The duke of Orleans has deser'd his journey for ten days longer, pretending the goute; but whether he really has it, I knowe not, or that his true disease be not the changeableness of his humour. The Spaniard has besiedged the castle of St. Enceries in Flanders. Marshal Turenne is parted hence to the army; and the king intends the like 12 dayes hence. I have noe more to say for the present, but to assure you of my being,
Sir, Paris April the 4th 1657. March the 24th 1657.
H. Cromwell, major-general of the army in Ireland, to the protector.
May it please your highnes,
That, wherewith I shall nowe cheifly trouble your highnes, is a perticular business concerning the present suspention of major Jones from his major's capacitie; and would be a verry unfitt and too triviall an occasion, whereupon to interrupt your highnes, were it not that this business may bee interpreted to concern a whole party, as well as his single person; soe that I, whoe have bin taxed of severitie towards that party whereof he is, muste thinke it a great business (as to my self) to give your highnes a punctuall account, even concerninge the smallest matter of this nature.
Haveing lately had occasion, with reserence to the present seares and rumors, to send for a liste of the officers, to see in what condition the army stood, I found this major Jones continued as major, not onely from the time of the commission he procured to that purpose, but alsoe aboute ten monthes before, upon noe commission at all: and after he had bin publiquely declared to be reduced from major to captaine, and had received in consideration thereof equall allowance with those whoe were absolutely disbanded; that is to say, full satisfaction for his arreares in speciall landes, whereas the standing army receives but little more then one halse out of what the other leave. Whereupon, considering not only that I had formerly soe far intimated my dislike of that way of procuring commissions, (haveinge understood by sir John Reynolds, that your highnes was drawne to graunt that commission by importunitie onely) as I thought he would voluntarily have declined the benefit of it thereupon; but alsoe finding that he had been mustered upon it, before he acquainted me with it, and even before he had obteyned it likewise, I conceived my self bound to take notice of such abuses, that is, of the state, by receiving their pay without commission (which amounts to little better then a false muster); and alsoe of the army by receiving whose satisfaction as a disbanded person, which otherwise had not belonged unto him. Upon all which considerations, I have thought fitt to suspend him frome the benesitt of his major's pay, untill your highnes pleasure shall be knowne thereupon: for, besides the manisest injury (I may say cheat) to the state, I see noe reason why soe many worthy persons should be either disbanded wholly, or reduced from colonells to privat captaines, whilst this man (whoe never saw any service, nor was ever taken notice of, either for his usefullness in any kind, or for his affection to your highnes or government) should not be contented to be reduced one step onely, upon soe ample conditions, but muste presum to muster himself, and receive pay ten monthes, without any commission at all.
I hope your highnes will consider well the nature of this matter, and of the person, be fore he be restored. He hath bin made soe sensible of his miscarriage, and seems to be soe much condemned by his owne relations and party for it, that I beleiv he will scarce have the considence to importune your highnes by his friends in England to that purpose. For my owne parte, as I thinke that he ought not to be continued, allthough he had committed noe fault at all, (haveinge received his full satisfaction of landes) soe I ame likewise of opinion, that his takeing pay for ten monthes without commission is fault enough whereupon to reduce him, allthough he had otherwaies sufficient right to his command.
I tooke some paines this laste yeare to prepare the modell of a militia, to be maintayned without charge, and to consist of persons that have bin allwayes well-affected; which I laied aside ever since, as receiving no encouragement from your highnes to that purpose. For my owne parte I cannot thinke that design soe useless, as to be wholly slighted; wherefor I doe now againe, upon occasion of these new rumors, humbly mind your highnes thereof. For, allthough there should be noe need to goe on with it in reference to Ch. Stewart's attempts, yet there appeares to me divers other weighty reasons for the thing, which, if your highnes command me, I shall deliver at large hereaster.
I have lately received intelligence from severall hands, that the Scotts in Ulster, and
even their ministers alsoe in our pay, did decline keeping the day of thankesgiveing, enjoyned by parliament for your highnes deliverance, but did on the other side keep a day
of humiliation among themselves, by what authoritie I know not; which I take to be
noe symptome of their good meaninge. I have communicated this business to the councill
in relation to that carriage of the ministers; and among other things, respecting the forces and garrisons of those partes, have sent done major Wallis amongst them, whoe, I
beleiv, will be usefull enough as to any such designe, and is one of whome I have somewhat better hopes then formerly, as to other trust likewise. I desire your highnes to send
backe colonell Cooper to his charge, if he may be spared in England. All good people
here continue praying for the good success of your highnes affaires, and soe doeth, as in
Dublin March 25 1657.
Extract out of the resolutions of the lords states of Holland and West-Friseland, taken in their noble lordships assembly, upon the Friday the 5th of April 1657. [N.S.]
The Raet pensionary hath reported to the assembly the considerations and the advice of the lords, their noble great mighty lordships commissioners, having in pursuance of their resolution of the 22 of December of the last year considered of such orders and regulations as ought to be agreed upon and observed for the future, for the re-establishing of the militia of this state in renown and discipline; as also for the preventing of all inconveniencies and delays in the marching of companies, and otherwise. Having also perused the advice of the common-wealth of the state of these United Netherlands, delivered to their H. and M. L. upon the 21st of December . . . mentioned about the same subject; whereupon being debated, and in the first place observation being had in the last March of a part of the said militia under the conduct of the lord Rhinegrave, commissary general of horse, which happened the last year, there was a great deal of backwardness and delay discovered in the drawing out of some companies out of some of the provinces, by reason that the provincial patents for the same required, according to the order of the state, were not so timely dispatched; and so to the respective officers, as the pressing occasion was requiring. Wherefore, for the preventing of the like for the future, it is requisite, that the said inconveniency be, on the behalf of their noble great lordships, represented to the generality, consequently there to be demonstrated how that the march or passage through the consenting provinces, by form of the patent, is so provided, that the officers, who conduct any companies must stay in the first strange place of the province, to inform themselves, whether there be a commissioner of the state of that province to conduct them in the said passage, or to shew them the way which they are to take through that province; so that if so be they find no commissioner there, that yet nothwithstanding they may march on, and may not be hindred or retarded in their passage by the said precaution.
Secondly, that in all the patents, to which the companies are sent to certain appointed rendezvous, there may be for the future expressed a certain day, upon which the respective officers are to meet at the rendezvous without sail; and that consequently the time may be so regulated, that the companies which lie in remote garrisons may meet conveniently there upon the appointed day, and that to the end the patents may be sent somewhat sooner to the most remote places.
Thirdly, that the said patents may be addressed and directed to the governors and commanders of places from whence the companies are to be drawn out; and besides, that there be sent to them by the said council of state a short instruction, containing the way, whether by water or land, which the said companies are to take, that so a copy of the said instruction remaining here, we may always certainly see where the officers of the said companies are to be sent unto, in case it be requisite to send to them such further orders; so that though the way by water being prescribed to some companies, the officers of them by soul weather or contrary winds, may pursue their way by land; for otherwise they would be at an uncertainty, and not able to be at the rendezvous at the day appointed: and that the said governors or commanders be also ordered by their instructions, to cause all the companies which are drawn out of their garrisons to march in a body, and not by piecemeal under the command of such an officer, to whom the same doth belong, according to the military order.
Fourthly, in regard of permission or leave, which their H. and M. L. and the states, or the respective provinces, do give now and then to the several officers, no knowledge, or advice thereof is given to the said council of state, whereby then the said council in the said last expedition could not advise with certainty about the employment of any of the same, not being able to know whether they were in their garrisons, or within this state; that therefore the same may be prevented for the future either by a ticket, which those that have obtained leave are to have of the council of state, or by some expression to be made in the form of the said permissions, whereby the said officers be ordered to register their permissions in the clerks offices of the said council. And there being observed in the said last expedition, by reason of the absence of so many officers, many defects to happen thereby, it is very requisite, that there be provided against it for the future; and for the effecting thereof, that the governors and commanders of the respective garrisons be obliged by the said council, that they every three months precisely do send up a list of all the officers of their garrisons, with advice where and how long, and by what order the absenters had been gone from their garrisons.
Fifthly, since that great complaints of horsemen employed in this last expedition were made to the government, that namely the inhabitants in the villages and countries where they quartered, did exact upon them as they thought fit, for the forage of hay, and oats, and straw, so that it is impossible for them to maintain their horse in that wise; that therefore, as formerly, the forages for a horseman be regulated at 14 stivers a day.
Sixthly, out of the reasons and complaints of the said officers, there being notice taken, that the respect, which the under-officers are bound to give to their upper-officers is very much abated, which their noble great lordships also conceive ought to be redressed, for the reputation of the said head-officers, as for the service of the state, and to preserve the military discipline in due rigour: it is thought fit and resolved, that the lords commissioners of the council in the respective quarters shall be ordered, as they be hereby ordered, before they begin to appoint lieutenants and ensigns of the companies, to take the of the colonel under regiment that vacant doth resort to be well informed of the fitness, time of service and behaviour of the sollicitors, and consequently to charge such new-made officers, as also to oblige them thereunto, that they within a very short time do go and shew their commission to the colonel, or the first head-officer of the regiment, that so he may be known by him; also to give no permissions or leave for the future to any under officers to go beyond the seas or out of the country they first produce an of permission from the colonels, that so not only the respect may be preserved, which is due from under-officers to their upper-officers, but the service of the state will be thereby also very much promoted; for then it may be always easily known how many officers are absent of each regiment, and whether there be a sufficient number lest to serve the regiment if need be.
Seventhly, in regard amongst the regiments themselves, as well horse and foot, such disorder and disproportion is found, that of necessity there ought to be provided against it, the same being made so unequal by the cessation and reduction itself, that there be some regiments consisting only in two companies, and captains that do not know under whose regiment, or what regiment they belong, which they, with the ensigns, drummers, and otherwise, might occasion disorder in times of action; the list of the Holland regiment ought to be reviewed, and such redress ought to be procured, and to be proposed to their noble great lordships, for them to agree upon it.
Eighthly, experience hath also taught, that in the said late expedition the regiments are filled with many young and unexperienced majors and captains, and the companies with many young and unexperienced under-officers, so that for the preventing of all manner of inconveniencies, there ought of necessity to be provided against it; and thereupon being resumed, the made by the lords princes grave William and prince HenryFrederick of Nassau with the council of state, upon the 8th of December 1618, it is resolved and understood, that henceforward, in the appointing and constituting of the ritmasters or captains, there shall be chiefly and especially regard had to those, who by their services and couragious acts have made themselves recommendable; and that for the time to come, in pursuance of their noble great lordships resolution of the 19th of December of the last year, no body shall be made ritmaster 'till he hath attained to the years of 18, nor a captain under 17 years; that also now hence forward no lieutenants of horse or foot, nor no cornets or ensigns shall be made, than what are at least 18 years of age.
According to which the lords commissioners of the council are ordered to regulate themselves accordingly; and the natives of this country are to be preserred before strangers: and likewise in the appointing of lieutenants, cornets, and ensigns, the advice of the chief officers of the regiments is to be taken.
In the ninth place, since that there is a great defect observed under the companies, by reason that the same are so weak in number of horse and foot, also so poorly mounted and arrayed, and so ill disciplined, that the same ought to be redressed, and that hencesorward it be resolved and ordered, that the ancient decrepit soldiers, who can do no service to this state, but * * * only desorm the companies, be disbanded and maintained upon the state of war, and that the companies be kept in compleat number, the care whereof is recommended to the said lords commissioners of the council. Then what concerneth the mounting and arming; and first, for as much as it concerneth the horse, that their H. and M. L. will be pleased to order and resolve, that no officers or horsemen shall dare to sell or change away their horses, which are good and sit for the service of the state, nor use, nor suffer them to be used about the tillages of ground, about drawing of coaches, waggons or the like; and that for the better observation of this order, it be resolved and ordered, that no horsemen shall sell or change away their horses but with the consent of the governor or commander of the place where they lie in garrison, as also of their * * upon pain of cassation; and that therefore the said majors may for that purpose not only be ordered not to agree to any such alienation of horses, without just unfitness of the same, but likewise that the respective governors be ordered by instructions, that they do take near notice of it, and that to that end they have an eye from time to time to all the horses of their garrisons, and if so be they find any defect, presently to repair the same; and to the end the horse may be kept in good exercise, and under due discipline, that therefore besides the duty of the officers of each company, all the governors may be also ordered to take care to see the same performed, and that they be kept to their exercises and discipline; that likewise the ritmasters, captains, and other officers conducting companies, either horse or foot, upon condition to serve for nothing for some months, more or less, to pay less much less to their soldiers than the pay ordered by the state, and also in no wise to take any gratuity of them for leave given them to work, upon pain of cassation, but the soldiers are to return to their garrisons towards night. The colonels and majors of the respective regiments are also to be ordered, that they do in person once a year go and take a view of their regiments in their garrisons, and use such exercise amongst them as is requisite for horse or foot. And to redress the said defect of arms and exercise in the companies of * * that to that end besides * * whereunto the officers of the companies are bound according to their duties, the governors, as is abovesaid, be also desired to take such further care to supply all defects in regard of arms, and to give advice thereof, if any be wanting, as they will answer for their interest and reputation. And concerning the exercise, which is to be used amongst them, that each man may be made fit for service, and held to the ordinary and most necessary exercise, the respective exercises of the companies of horse and foot are for that purpose to begin every year at the first of April, and to continue from time to time till the last of September; and none are to be preserred to the office of a serjeant, but such as have served four years in the war, and are well exercised and skilled in their arms; for though the place is but mean, and the lowest of all, yet it is of no mean consideration, in regard of the exercise, order, and otherwise; and those that are appointed for serjeants, before they enter into their offices, are first to do their exercise, and to give a trial of their experience before, or in the presence of, the governor or commander of the garrison, to his content and satisfaction.
Major Richardson to general Monck.
You will understand by this inclosed from mr. John Row, principall of the ould towne collidge, mr Seaton minister, and mr. Gourdon, of some disturbance they have had by one John Hall a quaker, and ownd by the cornett, whoe I acquainted your honor formerlie was of that judgment: before I had notice hereof, the said Hall was gone as the cornett tould me, to Invernes. I have given lieut. coll. Mann notice thereof, that he maye not be allowed to breed anie disturbance there, which may be of bad consequence att this tyme. Itt is said, he intends to come this waye back againe, and therefore desyres to knowe your honor's pleasure and commands therein, and remaines,
Right honorable, your lordshipp's most humble servant,
Copy of a letter from John Row, &c. to major Richardson, governor of Aberdeen.
Not doubting, but you have already had some information of some miscarriages here in the old town of Aberdeen, since this troop, over which for the present is set cornet Ward, did quarter here, of which we deliver to you a more full account under our hands subscribing. Know therefore, sir, that upon this instant March the 15th day, being the Lord's-day, one who says in his chartels, which he hath disseminat here, that by Ishmael's brood he is called a quaker, but his name in the flesh is John Hall, did publickly, in audience of all the people, contradict the minister, and called him a deceiver of the people, because he taught that the saints in this life are not altogether freed from committing of some sin, though the quaker taught, that all the people of God are, even here, absolutely perfect; and to make this out, did wrest and pervert the scriptures, making them to contradict other scriptures. He did call the college before many (to whom he was venting his corrupt jesuitical doctrine) a cage of unclean birds. On that same day one William Proctor, Englishman, being but reasoning with the abovesaid quaker, cornet Ward came upon them, and threatned mr. Proctor with the guard house; and owning the quaker, took him along with him to his quarters. On the morrow instant the 16th day, the minister mr. John Seaton, and Alexander Gordon student, repairing to the cornet's quarters, desired him, being the immediate officer in the place, to take notice of and redress the wrong done. He the said cornet answered, that for the man as a soldier he owned him not, as being none of that troop, but he owned him in the thing, which he had done; and averred, that he knew not how soon he would do the like himself; which if he did, he purposed not to make use of any carnal sword, (pointing at the guard of his sword) but was resolved for that thing to lay down his tabernacle of clay. He the said cornet keeped John Hall with him in his quarter, while he was here, who now is gone abroad to make proselytes, but he hath desseminat many papers, containing many gross abominable things, requiring an answer to them in writ; which he is ordered to be delivered to the cornet Ward. The cornet also himself (which John Hall had publickly averred) said, that all the ministers of the gospel (not one excepted) were upholders of the kingdom of Satan and of darkness; and that upon this account, because they taught not absolute perfection here even in this world. Intreats your honor to take notice of those miscarriages very unusual here in these fields, and redress the wrong, which shall be made out, (as shall be required) by several witnesses, or at the least obviate the like miscarriages in time coming; for we are informed, that the quaker is to return hither again; whereof your honor shall be advertised (notice being given of your desire to us in that) by,
This is a true copy of the principal.
Mr. Longland, agent at Leghorn, to secretary Thurloe.
This week is arryved here 3 Duch men of war from Mesina, whither they convoy'd som merchants ships hence, and now they ar bound for Cales after Ruyter. They report, that about 50 legues short of this place they saw two French men of war, and chac't 'um so long, til they cut off theyr skifs, which these Duch ships took up. 'Tis publik talk here amongst the Itallians, that the Duch ar in legue with Spayn, and that the king of Spayn gives them 15 per cent. to assure the West India fleet sas hom this year. A Duch marchant of good quallity tould me t'other day with som confidence, that theyr state would send thirty sail of ships of war very sudenly for the south cape, to wait for Portuges ships from Brazil. I am very sorry to se such sad tymes at hand, that annother war is lyk to succeed with that nation, for al theyr intents and discourse tends that way; but God is the sam, by whos blessing upon our arms the Duch hav so lately been chastyzed, and 'twer very strange they should now fare better by undertaking the Spanysh cause, which has bin so long in the wane; but it may be the pryd and insolency of that nation is growne sit for further chastyzment, which I hope they shal not long want from the sam hand. Discoursing this day with an Itallian, a knowing man, he was very free, and tould me the late falling away of the duke of Mantua to the emperor had spoil'd the progres of the French in Itally, as indeed it has given a great blow; for now they can no longer succour Valenta by water on the river Po, but they must do it by land, with a vast charge to march throh an enemyes country. The French war can never thryv in Itally so long as they mak use of Itallian princes to command theyr armyes, who never serv them faithfully. (The French hav a proverb, that there is no Itallian, but has a Spanyard in his belly.) These Itallian princes are al Spaniards, only now and then som of them (when the French is upon som great desyn) go over in a politik way to joyn with them, but, in conclusion 'tis but to serv the Spanish interest. The duk of Savoy and Modena are hyhly suspected shortly to stear the duke of Mantua's course, and turn Spaniards. If the French will thriv in theyr war in Itally, they must send Turen, or som other protestant commander, and not trust the Itallians, who act al the Spanyard. I am,
Leghorn 6 April 1657. [N. S.]