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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April (2 of 7)
D'Avaugour to Bordeaux, the French embassador in England.
I Was forced to defer 'till this post the communication of the little fruit of my last voyage to Dantzick. All our endeavours and trouble hitherto had no other end, but the advising and agreeing of the preliminaries, and to cause the parties to meet, judging that by the interest, which they both have for an accommodation, that the treaty would take effect; but the Polanders would not be persuaded by any considerations to enter upon the treaty, unless they had first a formal assurance given them of the restitution of Prussia, without which they will make no peace, in regard they would give no jealousy to those with whom they treat, and from whom they expect assistance, or at least not run the hazard, unless they were assured of the success of the treaty with Sweden, and they remain firm in this resolution. I believe, my lord, if they are advised by those of Austria in this business, they will be sure to continue in the war; but by what hand soever the advice is given, it could not be more to the hearts-content and ends of the said family, in regard it hath hindred a meeting, which in all likelihood would have produced an accommodation. In the mean time, those of Austria have had time to make their leagues, and given occasion to the Swede to make others, which cannot but produce an effect quite contrary to that which we pursue: notwithstanding, my lord, the Poles do declare to their parties and in publick their true desire for peace; and their difference for admitting of his majesty, who suffered himself not to be tired out in solliciting them. They yielded to one thing, which they never did before in any treaty or assembly, in declaring clearly their difanulling of their pretence to the title of Sweden and Lisland, with this protestation, that it was their last intention, upon condition the Swedes do also declare themselves upon the restitution of Prussia, they would then presently meet and conclude in so little time, that they would not give jealousy to any body. They went from Dantzick with this resolution to advance into Upper Poland, there to keep a dyet at Cobz, to ratify the treaties concluded at Vilna. Ifola, who was resident of the emperor in the Swedish court, went away in such a manner, that there is no doubt to be made of this last, nor of the good will of his master, being gone away without taking leave.
The substance of what Jacob Boreel reported to your H. and M. L. upon the 15th of April 1657, doth consist in the following points.
1. That the earl of Brienne, upon the 7th instant, came and declared to your H. and M. L. embassador, in the name of the king, that he had caused the ships and goods to be seized on, in regard the vice-admiral de Ruyter had taken two of his majesty's ships.
3. That your H. and M. L. embassador, on the 3d instant, had audience of the cardinal, complaining about the hard and rigorous proceedings committed against the subjects of your H. and M. L. in seizing of their ships and goods, and desired that the same might be taken off, in regard the reasons, which had moved their H. and M. L. to give such orders to the vice-admiral de Ruyter, would give his majesty satisfaction, if once they were understood; but the same was denied. And his eminence assured him to proceed in formal terms, and that no books or effects should be touched; but the contrary happened at Roan. Whereupon the 8th instant the commissioners of the king were fallen into the houses of the Netherland merchants, and had seized upon all the wares, good, effects, estates, bills of exchange and books.
4. That the Duke of Saint-Symon, governor of Blay, is ordered not to suffer any Netherland ships to pass, but to hinder the same by force; and the like rigour is ordered to be exercised throughout the kingdom.
5. That the ships that are taken do properly belong to the king, but have been used and employed for these several years to take Holland ships, which they did now and then bring in to Toulon and elsewhere: and that several arrests are taken against the ship Regina alone, and more than twenty against the person of the chevalier de la Lande, who hath play'd the pirate upon the several ships.
8. That your H. and M. L. embassador doth in all humility propose to the government, whether it be not convenient, to prevent the farther seizure of ships, to send a considerable number of ships of war upon the coasts of France, as before Calais, the Somme, the Seine, before the mouth of the river Loyse, before the mouth of Charante, and some before the mouth of the river of Bourdeaux, and before Rochelle and Bayonne, which may give advice to the Netherland ships, and protect them.
10. Whether your H. and M. L. desire to have the business of the vice-admiral de Ruyter to be excused ? if it be so, what reasons he shall alledge ? and if not, whether he shall declare, that it was done according to the said vice-admiral's instructions?
11. That the lord embassador de Thou is ordered to return, if so be he receive some satisfaction from your H. and M. L. within 7 days, without making overture of any other affairs this satisfaction should consist in sending back the two said ships, and disowning the action of the said de Ruyter.
Upon all which your H. and M. L. embassador desireth to be instructed as soon as is possible, that so he may know how to regulate himself in these troublesome times, in conformity of your H. and M. L. resolutions and intentions.
The speech of Boreel, the Dutch embassador at Paris, to the king of France, received and exhibited on the 25th of April 1657. [N. S.]
I have learnt of those, who have been employed in great affairs of state, and also by my own experience, that without doubt embassadors of princes are sent to reside in the court of your majesty, and of other princes, with whom they are in amity, to the end that the embassadors should further maintain the good correspondence and intelligence; and so when any thing should happen, which should occasion any misunderstanding, alteration, or trouble, that then the said embassador should presently use all good offices of information and endeavours for the removing of the said misunderstandings, and for the preventing of all dangerous consequences. To this end am I, sir, also sent by my sovereigns to your majesty, and after most humble respect am I forced to say, that I have lately found my self overcome with admiration, when the earl of Brienne came to see me at my house on saturday last, to declare unto me a resolution taken by your council, upon a subject not fully known unto me, and never heard of, namely, that upon a discontent, which your majesty has been pleased to take about something which had happened in the Mediterranean sea and the Netherlands, vice-admiral Ruyter, presently there was ordered in your majesty's council, that through the whole kingdom all ships and goods belonging to the subjects of the Netherlands should be seized and arrested, without having ever spoken with me about it, or giving me any knowledge thereof by any of your majesty's council. And that which is the more to be admired is, that that time that the said earl of Brienne came to acquaint me with the said resolution of your majesty's council, which had been taken four days before, that the said orders and expeditions of the court were sent away to all the provinces of France; and upon the 6th instant they begun at Roan to put the said resolution in execution, by seizing of the Netherland ships and goods, which were lying there at that time before the city of Roan.
If so be his majesty in his great wisdom and justice had thought sit, that I might have been informed and acquainted before hand of the fact, and how it was taken, and of the discontent occasioned upon it, and that I might have known how your majesty was resolved to have satisfaction thereof, I should have presented my self in all humility before your majesty to have made a true relation of what had happened according to the knowledge and information which I had at that time in my hand; and if so be I had not then had sufficient information and knowledge thereof to have satisfied your majesty, I should have desired with respect permission and time, to have faithfully informed my superiors, that so I might have been further instructed of all things. And it may be, that upon that day when the resolution was taken in your majesty's council, I might have been able to have given such light of the business, as might at least have deserred so speedy a conclusion, by a true relation that I might have made concerning the true grounds and occasions of what had happened in the Mediterranean-sea between the said two French ships and the vice-admiral de Ruyter, as I insisted upon the same with the earl of Brienne, upon the 7th instant, namely, that he would bring my request before your majesty, to the end, that the resolution of the council, and the execution thereof might be deferred a while, and not put into execution, till such time that I could give advice thereof to the lords my masters, and thereupon receive their orders and instructions, and also the true state and account of what had happened, and the true occasion thereof; likewise that I might receive orders from them, how and in what manner I had to behave my self herein, whether by justification or excuse, that so I might give your majesty content and satisfaction in reason.
But, sire, in the place of all this I am informed, that there is still further and further proceeded every where; and that they are not only not contented with the seizing and arresting of the Netherland ships and goods laden aboard the ships, but besides by an extreme rigour of the execution, they have seized upon all the cantores and warehouses of the merchants at Roan, not only those of the subjects of their H. and M. L. but also of all those, whom they suspected to have any effects in their hands belonging to Netherlanders subjects of my masters; yea, this business proceeded so far, that they seized their papers, their books of accounts, their bills of exchange, and also their cash, a business that was never heard of before, and of an extraordinary example. And your majesty may be pleased to give me leave to tell you with all submission, that my masters the states, during their 80 years war with Spain, the king of Spain never did the like, although one might probably say, that he had greater reason and title for the doing thereof, than with all humble respect your majesty can be said to take upon a singular accident, whereof you are not yet truly informed, and which is not to be compared to what hath been done. And that your majesty may be pleased to be informed of the true occasion and consequence of what happened in the Mediterreanean sea, forasmuch as I know of it from a good publick hand, so it happened, that a Holland ship called the Black Eagle being come within the fight of Leghorn, and intending to come to an anchor before that city, she was presently boarded by a French pirate, who, without so much as asking who the Black Eagle was, and from whence she came, and without setting out and sending his boat, as the ordinance of your majesty doth oblige him to do, presently (I say) fell on board of the said ship, and took the Holland ship, and was absolutely master of her: and it so happening, that the viceadmiral Ruyter with his squadron was not far from them, who perceiving the notable stir about the said two ships, steered his course directly upon them; the pirate perceiving that at a distance, caused his men presently to be taken out of the Holland ship, which he had taken, and to be put on board of his own ship again, and failed away as fast he could.
It is observable that the king had heard me thus far, without speaking; but then, when I said, that the French ship retreated, said his majesty with mild gracious words, J'ay bien sceu tout cela. Thereupon I, after bowing and respectful, desired permission, made answer, I told (fire) monsr. de Brienne so much; but since that time I have received further advices, which your majesty may be pleased to give me leave to propose them unto you. The king stood still, and I continued thus:
This vice-admiral being come near to the Black Eagle, sent on board of her to be informed concerning the fact as is above mentioned; which knowing, the vice-admiral set sail with four of his ships, and went in pursuit of the said pirate, steering his course as the pirate steered his.
The vice-admiral de Ruyter departed from before Leghorn with his four ships upon the 27th of February, being a tuesday, and the day following, namely on the wednesday, with sun-rising, near the island of Gorgona de Novo, he discovered the two pirates ships, the same being afterwards known to be the French ships, called the Regina and the Chasseur, who the night before-hand had pursued, and were yet pursuing, in the fight of the said vice-admiral himself, a Holland ship, called the St. Salvador, master N. Clopenburgh, who did all what he could to avoid them; and the pirates outsailing of her, the said ship was ready to have yielded up herself unto them, just as to their great fortune the vice-admiral de Ruyter came to appear by day-break; who having seen what had happened, made all the sail he could to oveatake them; which being perceived by them, the pirates run away as fast as they could, and ours after them. The publick relations say, that this continued at least an hour and a half, in which time the vice-admiral failing better than the French ships, came up to them; and on the 28th of February, about noon, the vice-admiral and the two French ships set sail together, with a strong easterly wind, so that the said skipper Cloppenburgh presently lost fight of them.
Then said the king, All that you have said is not enough; but your men exceeded, because they took in my seas, which belong to me, my ships, and carried them away: if so be they had done ill and exceeded, I should have done justice and correction upon them, upon your complaint. And in regard the king desisted speaking thereupon, after my humble submission, and desired permission to speak farther, I said as followeth:
But, sire, there French ships had taken already in a hostile way a Holland ship, call'd the Black Eagle, in the sight of vice-admiral de Ruyter before Leghorn, as the relations do import. The ships, whereof now question is, the said vice-admiral did also see and take in the fact, namely, that they the whole night between the 27th and the last of February having chased and pursued another Holland ship, called the St. Salvador, skipper N. Cloppenburgh, to take the same; and according to the depositions of the said skipper, his officers, and ship's company, the Salvador being in the utmost extremity to yield up herself, unless the vice-admiral with four good ships of war more had not appeared at that instant, whereby they came to be rescued. Wherefore I humbly intreat your majesty, that I may ask with respect one question, upon which I beg your majesty's answer. The question was as followeth:
Whether in a sea, which is an element common to all nations, the Netherland merchant-men, being assaulted by the pirates, who would take them, whether then they ought to suffer themselves to be taken, although they be stronger than the assaulters, and convoyed by the men of war of the states ? and whether it be enough for the Hollanders to complain thereof, and to seek reparation and justice here at Paris.
That the same would be a very troublesome business; and I said, that I doubted whether my lords the states would apprehend it so; that it may be his majesty might yet very well remember, that it was now six years and more that I have had the honour to be embassador in this court; that at that time I remonstrated at Bourdeaux (together with some other affairs) the great excesses and depredations made by some of the king's subjects upon the ships and goods of the subjects of the United Provinces, whereof I then demanded justice and reparation, and judgment of his majesty's council, and the council de la marine, and others, whereby it was judged and ordered, as being unlawful prize, that restitution must be made; that the number of the Holland ships, then at that time of my arrival, which were in trouble, did amount to 168 ships; and that the said number since my residence in France was yet increased to almost as many more, which doth amount to above 300 Netherland ships, which have been troubled, and which the pirates have taken from the subjects of the United Netherlands, without that any restitution or satisfaction hath been obtained of any one of them by the interested thereof, though earnestly and diligently endeavoured and pursued by them, yea although sentence and judgment hath been given for restoring of some of the said ships by the council of his majesty and of the marine, of whose acts or sentences I have at least 60 by me. Yet, notwithstanding my many endeavours and diligence, I cannot get any thing, the pirates finding themselves so greatly supported, that it is impossible to get any act executed as it ought.
And although your majesty upon my manifold great instances had thought sit in justice to send an express commissioner to Toulon with his royal orders, to give weight and authority for the executing of some of the said arrests and judgments, it was found, that the pirates were so bold, that they durst force the said commissioner out of the city, and would not admit him to come any more into it. The Netherland consul, because he only followed my order in the executing of the said sentences and judgments, the pirates at noon-day, and in the publick streets, assaulted him with arms, and wounded him so, that he was lest dead in the streets, and with much ado escaped with his life. So that, fire, according to the examples of what happened above mentioned, my lords the states will hardly be able to assure themselves of better justice for the future, unless your majesty will be pleased to give better order about it, as I hope shall be done hereafter, when any sentence or judgment is given for the restoring of any ships or goods taken from the subjects of their H. and M. L. or for the repairing and satisfying of damages sustained by the subjects of his majesty.
But, fire, under the sums, whereof satisfaction is demanded, there is also one of about 100000 crowns, which the finances of your majesty (under respect) are owing. I have often desired the payment thereof, where I ought, both by word of mouth and in writing, but I could never get any satisfaction: and as long as your majesty's treasury doth not think sit to satisfy so clear a debt, there cannot be much expected from particular persons, although they be condemned by decrees and sentences above mentioned, they having such a powerful example before them to follow. And in regard likewise all the above mentioned that hath past is the only fource and occasion of the difficulties, which now subsist, I do once more pray, that the execution and satisfaction now so often de manded by me during the space of seven years residence here, may be decreed and perfected, that so I may humbly thank your majesty, in the name of my lords and masters, for it.
Lastly, fire, in this business, which is now in hand your majesty's discontent, I intreat, that you will be pleased to give permission and time, that I may inform my lords the states, my masters, about the fact, upon which your majesty hath grounded this discontent; that so I may be instructed and ordered by my said lords, how that I shall have to comport myself herein. And I pray (fire) that in the mean time the seizures and arrests, which are already made, may be taken off by your majesty's order, and the resolutions taken about the same, may be suspended at least for a time; and I cannot doubt but my masters will send your majesty all the content that can be desired.
The king answered in substance: I have sent monsieur de Thou for Holland, to desire reparation of what hath happened as you know; and when that is done, I shall then know what I have to do upon your request. But now at this time (shaking out his left hand two or three times) I will not do any thing.
A letter of intelligence from col. Bamfylde.
This is the first letter I have written to you since my arrivall here. On thursday laste the duke of Orleance came hither: he was met by all the nobillity some leagues from this towne, by the cardinall at about 3 English miles distance, whoe, as soone as he came within 40 paces of the duke's coach, quitted his owne, and went on foote to the syde of that, wherein his highness was, whoe descended likewise, and embraced the cardinall with great expressions of kindeness, and went with him into his coache. As soone as he arrived at his pallace here, he only shifted himselfe, and went with the cardinall, and a very great trayne following them to the Louvre, where he firste visited the queen; his majesty being at tennis, whoe came to his lodgings, as soone as he heard of the duke's being at the courte, and receaved him with great respect and shewes of kindeness. Whilest he was with the King, the Dutch embassadour had audience, whoe complained in very high language of the seizure of the Dutch vessells and estates, in soe much that the cardinall interupted him, and tolde him, that he spake to boldely to the king, beyonde any commission, that he had for it from his masters. The king replyed, that he had ordered the president de Thoue, what he was to lett the states understand of his resolution; and that he doubted not, if they proceeded as they had begunn, to deal with them as well by sea, as with others by land. The cardinall haveing advertised the queen of the ambassadour's insolent behaviour towards his majesty, she refused to give him audience. Yesterday there came newes of the takeing 2 ships more of very rich lading by the Dutch in the Streights. The embassadour has sent his sonne away poste to Holland. The duke of Orleans speakes of returning agayne to Bloys the next weeke; but the king and queen are very importunate with him to remayne here, and I have some reasons to beleeve him sufficiently enclined thereunto, what resemblances soever he puts on to the contrary. If he stayes, he will undoubtedly introduce the duke of Beauforte likewise. Here are 2 of that duke's greatest confidents and followers come with his highness, and are constantly with him. I am tolde the king and queen intend to visit him here to day. I can assure you, they are not without some apprehensions of new troubles here, in which consideration they will close with his highness and his party, if they can sayrlye doe it. Of this, and all that depends upon it, you will be informed, I beleive, very sufficiently, from tyme to tyme, by 883. Monsieur de Cominge, the capt. of the Queen's guards, whoe was designed for Portugall, and to have parted hence on monday next, is stayd for the present, but upon what grounds I cannot yet learne. The French are not likely to make any great diversion in Cattalogni of the Spaniards from prosecuting theyr designe against Portugall, haveing drawne away 16 of the best regiments, that were employed heretofore in the war, for the reinforcing of the army in Ittaly; for as I doe not believe they will have 3000 men this campagne in those parts, nor doe I understande, that the marquis de Mortare, whoe commands there for the Spaniard, is likely to be much stronger; soe as there is likely to be a cessation betwixt the duke of Candale and him this summer. Here is still a rumour of the prince of Condye's haveing a designe of being embarqued in some new enterprise; some say for Spayne; others, that he intends to land in Brittagnie, where there is a party prepared for him. Allthough I have noe great faith in this, yet I hold it not unnecessary to advertise you of it, because 'tis certayne that 937 has received advertisement lately from some of his correspondents neer about 940, that there is a perfect good intelligence at present settled betwixt him and 938, whose frends are powerfull, and theyr interest very great in 792, 614, 66, 37, 82, 55, 90. They are certaynly preparing of ships in all the ports of Flanders; but to mee 'tis more reasnable to beleive, that the preparation is reade for the transportation of Ch. St. his troopes, and that this rumour of the prince of Condye's embarquing may be but a disguise of that designe. I am certaynly advertised, that the emperour has promised our Ropert, whoe was lately sent to his courte by Ch. St. to furnish him with 30 thousand pounds towards the carrying on of his designes, which his envoy at Madrid (of whome we hear much at this place) endeavoures to make appear to be layd with great prudence, to be of noe less importance and probabillity of success. I have lately had some conference with a person of condition here (whoe it is you may easily conjecture) whoe tolde me, there was a suspition here, that the English and Spaniard were treating. I replyed, that I neither heard nor beleived any thing thereof; that I was certayne, that a few weekes paste there was not any such thing, but a great aversion in the English to have it mentioned; that if the leagues they were entred into with France and Portugall were what I imagined, an accorde with Spayne was something inconsistent therewith. He answer'd agayne, my lord protector was growing into years; that being perswaded to take the crowne upon him, he might nowe desyre to keep his dominions in tranquility, and to preserve what he had acquired in a flourishing condition, at leaste to looke on a while, till he might see howe the present confusion of the affayres of Christendome might setle, and that (as to the point of honour, which I urged) the king and parliament of England would not much scruple, for the publique utility, to retyre from what the protector had engaged himselfe in. I tolde him, I beleived this was purely imagination, for which there was noe other grounde, then that sancye of the conjecturer. I have thought fit, more for my owne consideration then from the importance of the thing, to incert this discource, least another, whoe writes to you from hence, should doe it for mee, I haveing some beleife, that he caused this person to be put upon this discource with mee, peradventure to finde an occasion to write to my disadvantage into England. I was 2 dayes since to wayte upon the ambassadour; but haveing sent him up my name, I had a returne, that he was indisposed, and coulde not be spoaken with. Haveing done what I thought became me in poynte of respect to him, and duty to his highness, I shall not be much troubled at the affronte, nor run the hazard of a second. Some of my frends in England seem to blame mee very much for not writing to you to vindicate myselfe, since I coulde not knowe what I was accused of, nor be heard, when I was in England. I cannot imagine what vindication can be soe proper or effectuall as to continue to serve you in the same way you sent me hither at firste for, and by my actions (as far as I have opportunity) to consute the malice of my enemyes; but I shall not have the possibility of that much longer, if I heare not shortly from you, which I once more request you that I may, otherwise I must retyre from this place. The king has prevayled with some partisans in this place to advance the 270000 pistoles, which the clergye have accorded to give him, provided, that they will give theyr severall tickets to pay it in 18 months space, and interest for it till then; but in this poynte they holde usurie unlawfull, and are not yet accorded to doe it. If you please to write, and direct your letters as formerly, A monsieur monsieur Barry marchand chappillier a l'ensigne de grand chamaux ou petis cerfe volante sur le pont nostre dame a Paris, they will come safely to the hands of,
Sir, your most humble and most faithfull servant,
The admiralty in Zealand to the states-general.
H. and M. lords,
We have received your H. and M. L. letter of the 12th instant, wherein your H. and M. L. advise us of the seizure, which is made by the council of the king of France upon all Netherland ships and goods in all the ports and harbours of the said kingdom; desiring, that now we would not be behind hand in the equipage of our share of the extraordinary equipage, which is ordered to be made with all the speed that may be. Wherefore we, in conformity of your H. and M. L. resolution taken upon the 31st of the last month, caused three ships to set sail, and to ply to and again in the channel and the Narrow of France, with order to give notice to all ships going and coming of the said seizure in France, and to protect them against all violence as much as is possible; to which end we have also sent to the lord emb. Nieuport a copy of the said letter, whereby his lordship may give notice thereof to all the Netherland ships in any ports of England: And withal we do resolve to furnish our share of the said equipage with as much speed and diligence as may be; and we desire your H. and M. L. would be pleased to let us know, for how long time the said ships are to be victualled, to the end the captains may regulate themselves accordingly.
Instructions of the H. and M. L. states-general of the United Provinces for the lord William Boreel, knight, lord of Dunweecke, Westhove, &c. embassador ordinary, in the behalf of this state, to the king and court of France.
The said embassador shall, in the name and behalf aforesaid, speedily desire audience of his majesty, and represent to him, that their H. and M. L. did admire very much to hear, that his majesty had resolv'd to seize upon all the Netherland ships and goods in France, and that the same was effectually executed; and that not only the said ships and goods were seized upon, but at Roan and elsewhere the commissioners of his majesty were got into the houses of the Netherlanders, and had seized upon all their goods, wares, effects, monies, bills of exchange, and books. That their H. and M. L. did so much the more admire at the said proceedings, in regard to their best remembrance they never gave the least occasion, or reason, to the king or crown of France to do the same, as their H. and M. L. must believe, that his majesty is convinced of the same, in regard there was never given the least overture of any thing in his behalf, never before the date of the said proceedings, neither to their H. and M. L. immediately, nor to him the said lord Boreel, embassador in the behalf of this state, residing in the court of his majesty, upon which so rigorous and hostile proceedings should be grounded; much less, that such a thing being proposed to their H. and M. L. had been heard what they had to say in reason against it. And the said lord embassador is to extend himself upon the practice upon such occasions observed by all politic nations; and he is especially to endeavour to make his majesty to comprehend, that according to the laws of nations there ought to precede before such like proceedings not only such a declaration and a hearing of reason as above-mentioned, but that also about some injury done (which herein cannot with a truth be laid to the charge of your H. and M. L.) after reiterative demands and admonitions, reparation or satisfaction should be denied, against all reason. And sorasmuch as the said proceedings may be grounded upon the detaining of the two French ships of war taken lately by the vice-admiral de Ruyter in the Mediterranean sea, he the said lord embassador shall take an occasion earnestly to represent to his majesty, in the name and behalf as above mentioned, the unsufferable piracies, plunderings, violences, yea murders committed for some late years, yea also by the said two taken ships, upon the goods and inhabitants of this state, to the loss and damage of some millions, well known to the said lord embassador; therefore thought unnecessary by their H. and M. L. to specify the same here.
And he the said lord embassador shall also propose to his said majesty, how that their H. and M. L. about the said piracies and other excesses have grieved and complained with incredible patience, and how orderly they desired reparation also, upon hope and under promise of redress, especially in the year 1652, they forbore the employing of such remedies, as were already designed by this state against the same, and otherwise would have been effectually exhibited.
But that their H. and M. L. after so long patience, and perceiving that upon the said grievances and requests, yea, notwithstanding the said promise, there was nothing done effectually; yea, that the insolence of the said French pirates was proceeded now so far, that the same were not to be reduced to any order, neither by legal sentences, nor likewise by the commands of his majesty, but that such sentences and commands, to the highest contempt of his majesty, did remain unexecuted:
At last, as faithful magistrates over their subjects, and good allies of his majesty, they forbear no longer as much as lieth in them, and without diminishing of the amity of his majesty, to give such order, that the said piracies and other excesses, as much as is possi ble, might be prevented; and likewise, that the said commands and sentences might be effectually executed and observed.
That their H. and M. L. therefore, and for the repairing of damages, which the subjects of this state have suffered of late years by the said pirates and French ships of war, were for to send a good number of men of war towards the said Mediterranean sea and elswhere, with charge and order to take all such ships as they should meet withal (if it were possible) which did molest or plunder the subjects of this state, and to bring such ships so taken for this country, according to order.
That their H. and M. L. cannot comprehend any otherwise, but that they were bound to do so much, and not only permitted, according to the law of nature, and the laws of nations, but the same also tending very much for the maintaining of the authority and awe belonging to his majesty over his subjects, which authority and awe was very much blasted by the said contempt put by them upon the said sentences and commands of his majesty.
That their H. and M. L. about all this same, and about some further remedies, which may serve for the avoiding of the said excesses, and preventing them for the future, would gladly confer with his majesty, or his commissioners authorised to that end; provided that also under benefit thereof the said general seizure may be provisionally taken off, and the ships, goods, wares, merchandizes, effects, monies, papers and books of the inhabitants of this state discharged, and set at full liberty.
Upon which as he the said lord embassador hath already insisted, he is also to continue and pursue the same with all care and earnestness, using such further reasons and arguments for the effecting thereof as he shall think fit. And if so be it should so happen, beyond expectation, that his majesty should command him the said lord embassador to depart out of the kingdom, that he shall answer with all humility, that their H. and M. L. have always well known, and can yet well comprehend, what respect and obedience a sovereign ought to have in his own territories, and that therefore, not being able to stay in his majesty's kingdom against his will, he shall punctually obey the said command; and thereupon he shall return home, having regard in all things to the honour and respect of the state. This done and agreed in the assembly of their H. and M. L. in the Hague, upon the 17th of April 1657. [N. S.]
Mr. Bradshaw, resident at Hamburgh, to secretary Thurloe.
By this post I expected to receive my instructions, beinge your last mentioned the the business required hast; but findinge my this daye's pacquet without any letter from your honor, I conclude, that the greater affaires in hand retar'd the less. When I am commanded on that service, I presume shall at the same tyme have notice of my vindecation and sutable enablinge to the journey, specially in the particulars hinted to your honor in my last and former weekes letters.
Your honor formerly writ me, that you beleeved the commissioners of the admirallty had withdrawne their commission given mr. Townley, when they then knew not, that he was commanded to answer his misdemeanors; but I lately saw a warrant from the admiralltie in the hands of the captain of the Dragon frigot heere arrived, requiringe him to convoy back several ships loaded with hemp, farre, &c. for the use of the state, by Francis Townley and Nathaniel Cambridge his servant, both their names being expressed in their warrant for their greater creadit heere, though they could not but knowe, that Townley was in England. I have often desired the commissioners to send out a commission to examine witnesses for the clearinge of myself from that base aspersion cast on me by Townley to gaine that business into his hands; and I have now againe desired it, as per the inclosed copy of my this day's letter to the admiralty; which if I cannot obtayne, but that I must still lye under such a reproach amongst strangers, I shall acquaint his highnes with the business, and beg his leave to vindicate myselfe, to the shame of such as would abuse mee in a point of trust.
The report of the death of the emperor holds currant, and is beleeved by all; if prove
soe, we shall have notable scufflinge in the empire, and in probability an end of the Austrian rule, to the great weakninge of the Spanish interests. It's most certaine, that the
Polish parliament have ratifyed the treaty with the great duke, and confirmed that crowne
to him, which doth absolutely oblige him to warre with the king of Sweden, if he quit
not his pretence there, of whose proceedings wee have noe other news at present, then
what the inclosed letter and paper presents, to which haveinge nothing to ad, I cease your
further trouble, and remayne your honor's
verie humble servant,
The last 400 l. I drew per exchange on the councell I was forst to take up heere for my pressinge necessities, which my servant Hudson writes me, was ordered, but not yet paid; which is to my great prejudice, beinge forst to repay the money heere. I beseech you, sir, command the payment of it, and more, that such ones may be more punctually paid for the future.
Mr. Bradshaw to the commissioners of the admiralty.
I am desired per capt. Haddock to permit the inclosed, which accounts the reason of his stay heere for a few dayes, to convoy home a fleete of 15 saile of merchant-ships richly loaden, which beinge a service to the state, as he apprehends it, he hopes his soe much longer stay will be excused. I formerly requested your honors (for the clearinge of me from that soule aspersion cast on me by mr. Francis Townley, merchant, for the gayninge of that commission to himselfe, as now it appeares, that I had been false to my trust) that you would be pleased to send out a commission to examine upon othe such as I employed in the buyinge of powder and masts for the navie, to which as yet I have not receeved your answer. Its noe small disparagement to me heere, that strangers observe, that amonge all the merchants of the place mr. Townley and his servant Cambridge are onely honored with your commands, whoe have soe notoriously misbehaved themselves towards his highnes in his publick minister heere, which I presume cannot be unknowne to your honors, the said mr. Townley haveinge been sent for over by commission from his highnes and the councell to answer his misdemeanours, which I suppose, when greater affaires are over, he will be called unto, though at present there be noe leasure for such a petit businesse. I inclose a paper of the present state of affaires in theise parts, and subscribe myselfe, &c.
Here is a great rumour of the Roman emperor's death, there being letters come from Vienna by the last post, which do affirm it with these particulars, viz. that his majesty died on the 2d present, S. N. and that on the same day of his decease there broke out such a terrible fire in the imperial castle there, that young Leopoldus very narrowly escaped burning; which, as also this unlooked-for accident of the emperor's death (if it be as true, as it is generally believed) seems very ominous to the house of Austria, especially in this conjuncture of affairs, when the whole world being in a manner up in arms, the emperor wanting at present a Roman king, and consequently a certain successor, cannot but have many competitors. It's not to be hoped, that the princes electors will condescend to choose the young king of Hungary after his father's death; and except they choose him, the best politicians here do not know whom they can choose, without offending one another, and falling out about it; and therefore it's extreamly to be feared, that this unhappy change will produce the saddest calamities, divisions, and disaffections, which ever befel the Roman empire; but especially it's like to make a general diversion in the counsels of the most princes of Europe, and amongst the rest it's thought the Danes will not be least concerned in it; for that for certain he trusted and bore himself chiefly upon the great forces of the Roman emperor for the facilitating of his design against the Swedes, being absolutely persuaded, that the said emperor was fully resolved to have endeavoured the expulsion of the prince of Transilvania out of Poland, as soon as he had been assured of his being there, upon the Swede's account, which as yet they deny and count a mere sigment, though it be believed and affirmed by the whole world besides. By letters from Elbing of the 27th past it's said, that his majesty of Sweden (according to the relation of an express arrived there from him) was advancing his march with extraordinary speed, having received notice after his departure hence by an envoy from the prince of Transilvania, who met his majesty at Sanota, that the said prince was past the Weisell below Opatewiec, and stood at the river Nida, longing extremely for his majesty's coming, inasmuch as according to the calculation of the said Elbingers the conference of these two princes hath been about Pieterkaw on the same day, or the day before the date of their letters. King Casimir continues yet at Czonstockow, and Czarnizky (who for his great services is created weywood of Rusky) is gone with his troops over the Weisell to join with Sapiha. The duke of Courland, who hitherto hath stood neutral, is now resolved to take his majesty of Sweden's party. The prince elector's forces will also move very shortly from Koningsberg. It's written, that the Danish agent Rosenwinge (of whose arrival I gave notice in my last) had his first audience of his electoral highness: his speech consisted only in compliments, and especially a thanksgiving for the said elector's interposition towards the compounding of his majesty's differences with the crown of Sweden, &c. The business he hath in commission was set out till the next conference, which some of his highness's prime counsellors are appointed to have with him. A troop of the paltzgrave of Sultbach's regiment of horse hath lately had a re-encounter with a strong Dantzick party about a mile off the Mewe, in which the Swedes lost 4, and the Dantzickers about 20 men, besides 30 prisoners, which were brought to Marienburg. The regiment of col. Aleseld (lodging in Newburg) hath also some days ago totally routed a troop of Poles near Tauchell.
A letter of intelligence to resident Bradshaw.
Right honorable sir,
Since my last of the 10 instant I was in hopes to heare of great passages betwixt the armyes of the Swedes and Poles, or somewhat more, if the conjunction of Ragotzy with Sweden is come to his effect or not; but neither the post from Thorn brought any newes at all of it, being so neare to Poland, neither is any post come from the king of Sweden his army, since he departed from Thorn; nay not within 14 dayes the least thing is comme from thence. So that there is yet no certainty, if there be any action past or no; and if, on whos side the victory remained. The gouverner of this place, called the marquis of Baden, and generall Linde, have had no letters from the Swedish army since the king marched from Thorn. The reasons of it are, that the king's post cannot yet passe save thorow the dangers in Poland, the king being so farr gone into Poland; or it may be the letters are intercepted from the Poles, which is much feared, for the Poles have sent out severall parties to watch the Swedish post comming. There are notwithstanding divers reports of Ragotzy his losse, and that generall Lubomirsky hath beaten his army, and forced him to retire back; so that Ragotzy shall not be able to join with the Swedes. This newes is come with the last post from Coningsberg. If it will proove partial or no, time will open it. Besides this report there are many more such like, but they are taken to be falsch; yet there is here everie day expected an express from the king with letters to the king's brother prince Adolf now residing at Marienburg; and then we shall have all the newes together, which I shall impart without faile to your honour. I am sure that no correspondent whatsoever could have sent any newes within this last fortnight past, either to Hamburg or any other place, from these parts, because of the reasons mentioned above; and therefore I hope your honour will pardon me. I know your honour will may be wonder to heare of no extraordinary newes, reading my letters; but he himselfe may judge by other mens letters comming from these parts, and without doubt the same want will be found within them; but with the next post I am confident to heare of all the particulars, what all this time is past in Poland betwixt the two armyes; for I have a particular new correspondent gott in the Swedish army, and with the secretary of the French embassader, who continues everie where with the king, with whom I was desired to goe that journey along; but the letters from Thorn came to late to my hands, or else I should have accepted that faire offer. This is all at present. I remaine
yours at command.
Col. D'oyley to secretary Thurloe.
The sending home some of the unserviceable ships hath given me an oppertunity to present my service and respects to your honor, though I have nothing of newes to acquaint you withall since my last; onely the taking of a small barke of Cuba confirmes the former intelligence of the arrivall of five hundred souldiers there from New Spaine, and an expectation of more to be landed heere. I am providing all I can to entertaine them, and hope our ships are soe disposed of, that wee shall meet with some of them. Wee are (blessed be the Lord) in very good health and plenty at present, but humbly offer to your honor, that the common mortality incident to human nature, the many that by infinite importunities with letters from persons of honour and authority at home prevaile for dismissions, and the stealing away of others, must much lessen our numbers; and indeed upon an exact muster, which I am about, I fear we are much abated; and the supplies from the islands (as I have often said) without a coercive power is not to be relyed on, the governors being generally averse to the settling this place; their interest (which swaies all men) perswading them to the contrary. Your honour is sufficiently informed of all things tending to the settlement of this place, and the disadvantages and hindrances of it, and therefore I shall not trouble you with tedious prolix overtures, but leave you and your affaires and councells to him, that will guide you for the best, of whose goodness as we have had a large testimony, so I hope I shall have a steadie relyance on him, and onely subscribe myself,
Jamaica the 7th Aprill 1657.
I humbly mind your honour, that if lieutenant-generall Brayne's relations should make applications for his pay, that it may bee remembred, that I commanded in chiefe till his arrivall, and I hope shal be thought to deserve the pay.
General Monck to secretary Thurloe.
I Have received two letters from you, the one of the 31st of March, and the other
of the second instant; for which I returne you many thankes. I had given his highnesse an account of adjutant-generall Smyth's coming, butt that hee was in Yorkshire, and
wrote mee word, that hee would make haste uppe, and I beleive hee will bee with you
before this can come to your hands, of which I gave you an account in a former letter.
I am glad to heare, that your businesse goes on soe smoothly. God give a blessing unto
itt. For newes here, we have none. All things are quiett and well, and I hope will
continue soe; which is all at present from,
Edinb. 7 Apr. 1657.
Lockhart, embassador in France, to secretary Thurloe.
May it please your honor,
My last will will witnesse to your honor my sensiblenesse, that delay in the main businesse will be of greatt prejudice to you, and also my urging the vast expense it will bring upon you. It gave lykwyse an account of the answer I received in that particular, which indeed I pressed further home then I durst inform you, fearing your honor might be unsatisfyed with my indiscretion, tho' I am confident the assurances I had from 465 concerning their endeavor, in that affaire, with his hopes of its good successes and the message I had by 467, 85, 246, (of both which I gave you hopes a more particular account by my last) proceeded from the rudeness of my complaints against their slow procedure. So soon as the court returns to this place (which will not be before fryday next) I shall demand audience, to the end I may renew them upon that subject, and shall use my utmost endeavours to oblydge them either to allow a consideratione for the expense they necessitate you to, or at least so to hasten their motione, as it may not be increased by any long continuance.
I shall studdy with all the exactness I can to obey your comands concerning my caryadge, in what relates to their differences heare with the Dutch. I am in very fair terms with their ambassador, who gave me this inclosed account of what passed in de Ruiter's laste actione. It differs much from what the French speak it to be.
The ill news of the dutchesse of Savoy's being dangerously sick is sadly resented by all, who wish well to the French affaires in Italy. The last letters give little or no hopes of her recovery. It's whispered, that Savoy will demand neutrality: if it prove true, the French interest in Italy will be wholly ruined by it, and the duke of Modena destroyed by it.
I have sent for mr. Wildegoes, and acquainted him with what your honor signifyed
to me concerning mr. Ashurst; he assures me, there is some mistake in it, and by this
post hath writt to his brother, who upon sending for him will wait upon your honor, and
give you a full account of the 36000 crowns remitted, the last parcell of it consisting
of 330 odd pounds, which I was forced to make use of heare. I drew upon my bro
ther 10 days agoe, payable to mr. Ashurst at two days sight, and am sure he hath obeyed
my orders, soe that the whole sum will be payd upon demand, giving consideration at
the rate of 7 or 8 per cent. by the yeare, for the dayes yett to runn in such bills as are not
yett payable, which will amount to nothing considerable, most of them being done before these can come to your hands. I have entertained one mr. 89, 119, who waits upon
526, and hath a good interest their, by reason of 122, 45, 357, 384, who is near 50,
202, 10, 425, for giving me intelligence of what is known 44, concerning Ch. Stewart's
resolution. The news from Bruges is, that my l. Balcarras is banish'd from that court,
Ch. Stuart is gone to Bruxells to treat for the subsistance of his men this summer, who
demand high conditions, but more serve upon *** they think fit to give. He gives the
inclosed account a true copy as he sayes of that was given to the queen by one imployed
to visit the next court of England som 4 or six months agoe; tho' it can signify little, yett
I have made bold to trouble you with it. All heare long much to be certifyed of his
highnes resolutions concerning the petition offered to him by his parliament. That the
Lord may direct him in that important result, is the earnest prayer of,
May it please your honor,
your most humble and obedient servant,
Inclosed in the preceding. Intelligence from Flanders.
Sexby is now in England, parted from Flanders upon the 4 or 5 instant new style, received the 14000 crowns promised him. The rest of the two hundred 1000 crowns appoyntted for carrying on Ch. Stuart's design is ready to be payed in. Ships and flatt-bottom'd boats are preparing. One Mercy, a Liegois, who was formerly in the French service and betray'd them, commands the forces sent to the Spanyards: he hath the report of a very active commander. Mr. de Thou parts from this next week for Holland. Its hoped he will be able to put some stop to the proceedings of the Spanish ambassador their; and it's wish'd, that his highnes may complement that state, either by their ambassador with you, or by sending some on a purpose to them. This doth contradict what one of my former mentioned, but in both I followed the opinion of my intelligencer. My own humble opinion is, that it will certainly prove a great mercy for England, if the Hollander can be kept off from a conjunctione with Spayne this summer, and no stone should be left unturned to obtain it.
H. Cromwell, major-general of the army in Ireland, to secretary Thurloe.
I Have received the remonstrance (nowe the petition) of the parliament, with your desires of my thoughts thereupon. You knowe I have in some of my former letters done something allready of this kind, and have indeed an awe upon my spirit against adding any more, as well out of the sense of my owne unfittness, as of my former concernedness in this matter; for it would be hard for any man (except yourself) and a verry few others to looke upon my discourses upon this subject as not tainted with somewhat, from which I shall alwayes desire the Lord to preserve mee. Besides I know, that soe much has bin said allready (interest having sufficiently whetted the inventions of all parties) that what I should further offer, can have but little taste in it. Moreover I conceiv, that whatever I can say will come too late to be usefull, nor doth the nature of the 18th paragraffe admitt of any stirring the least branch without shakeing the whole body. Nevertheless, having little else at present, wherewith to keep life in our correspondence, I will adventure a few words unto you, betweene whome and myself the aforementioned considerations will be no impediment; for although you (knowinge me soe well) can have noe great opinion of my fittness to meddle with this matter, yet you will in charitie not thinke mee soe vainely affected with these proposealls, as to be grossly partiall; and although I were, yet would I hope to be rectified by you; and although it it be too late to alter any thing that is done, yet it is not too late to take a prospect of the consequence, that we may consider howe to comport with them, which is the best use we can make of things (such as these) which are paste and beyond our helpe. Wherefore (what I have to say upon this occasion not being worth the putting into a method) I'le begin with the same 18th head, which propounds, that in case H. H. shall not be satisfyed in all the matters of that petition, that then nothing is to be deem'd of force, &c. I know not what expedients are in readiness, or whether there be any or noe to preserve the whole most excellent structure, in case some one pin of it should happen to be removed; but meethinks it were pitty, that the ascerteyning a successor, the addition of a new house, those just remedies for quallifyed members, that securitie against reviving the abolished interest of Ch. St. limiteing the jurisdiction of that other house, setling a reveneu without a landtaxe, provideing against laying any charge upon the people but by consent in parliament, holdeing forth a publique confession of faith (the expectation of these nations) injoyning the acknowledgment of the sacraments, prayer, magistracy, and ministry, to be ordinances of God, and all this with due respect to tender consciences; and the wary admission of men to offices of trust; I say, methinkes it were pitty, that all these faire advantages should be loste out of fondness for a matter of lesse moment. As I beleeve (according to what I have formerly hinted) that it is but peevishness in some to oppose the title desired by the remonstrance; soe I cannot well satisfie my self, that those are alltogether blameless, whoe for not being humored in a title and a verry word, should suddenly withhold what would make themselves and others happie. I would not have the sober and judicious partie soe much justifie the weakness of the other, as to contend over earnestly for a name; for allthough it be but the same, which those others would of themselves have formerly given (whilst it might be taken for their owne gift) yet it being abroad in the world a gaudy feather in the hatt of authoritie, I feare least our friends should lye under the like temptation of desireing to sticke it in, and affect purchaseing to themselves that reputation at the rate of those choice concernments, which indeed are too precious and noble to be made use of upon such ane account. Furthermore, if the whole business should nowe be laied aside, the oposite party (besides the opinion of victory) have had, by the frequent debates and other proceedings, hereupon such oportunities to know persons and things, that they (remaineing still in their full power) will be much more exalted then before to any one any design they have a minde to. And H. H. with his freinds and relations, as allso these nations, will be left more naked and destitute, then if the proposeall had never bin made.
I know it is saide, that the title of k. is more suitable to the lawes, &c. but I bless God to understand, that H. H. hath taken the onely right way to decide this doubt, which is to consult God and his owne heart; and ame glade that offers of soe great exaltation hath begotten but a consternation of spirit in him, for this gives him title to that promise, The humble he will teach his wayes, and the meeke will he guide in judgment; and I trust, that God, whoe hath soe often owned his H. (in whome not onely the name of God, but allsoe the interest of all the good people of Christendom is soe eminently concerned) will not leave him without his speciall presence in this time of tryall, nor suffer his name and glory to fall under reproach by any mistake of his H. upon this occasion, since it pleaseth God to move the hearts of those (in whome I confess I have most hopes) to change the present way, and to restore it in outward appearance to the same, which has bin for a while discontinued. I ame glade that they endeavour to sett this upon the same grounde, upon which the other might have stoode with satisfaction to the parliament, and such as were counted the most honest party at the beginning of the late warre; and I am allsoe glade, that if there shall be a change, that it is likely to be for the better, for it is to me most manifest, that it is not only what the people of these nations will better understande then the present way, but that it doth allsoe more directly aime at the preservation of religion, true liberty, the priviledges of parliament, the peace and honour of these nations, then the other did; neither doe I see what any of those, who are dissatisfyed with this remonstrance, cane except against it, which they may not as well urge against the instrument of the present gouvernment, except the title of k. of which you have my thoughts allreadie.
I am afraid you are allready cloied and glutted with discourses pro & contra of this
nature; wherefore I will trouble you noe further with my flatt conceptions hereupon,
but shall still endeavour to prepare for the worst, relying onely upon him, to whome allsoe
I committ you, and remaine
your most affectionate freind,
and faithfull humble servant,