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 (3 of 7)
General Monck to secretary Thurloe.
I Receaved your letter of the 1st instant, and humbly thanke you for the account you have given mee of your proceedinges above. I am glad to heare, that people are better satisfied every day then other with your proceedings. As concerning the discovery of the of the 5th monarchy-men, I had a particular account before your letter came to my hand. I am glad to heare, that vice-admirall Goodson is safelye arrriv'd, and that lieutenant Brayne is in soe good health, and the island likely to become a good settlement, and that our shippes have taken Spanish prizes. God send us more of them, that they helpe to beare the your affaires. For news here, we have none. All things are quiett are likely to continue. With my prayers to the Almightie to you in all your proceedinges, I remayne
8 Aprill 1657.
Consul Maynard to secretary Thurloe.
I Have write your honour of all things, that came to my knowledge by the packett-boates; the laste of them went from this place ten dayes since. I wish one of them may arryve here, that I may be able to dispach her away for Ingland at the appointed tyme; for when we have a constant course of sending every fortnight, there will be a greate increase of letters.
My last intelligence from Spaine saies, the Spanish fleete will not come out: all the shew of the late preparation was but a florish, for they intended nothinge less then to fight gen. Blake. The arrivall of the 12 shipes in the Canaries from the West-India is confirmed; which I doubt not but gen. Blake hath signifyed to your honour, whoe hath lately sent home the Phenix and Wakefield friggotts, and the Fairfax is speedily to goe.
The Spaniards are come to the frontiers of this kingdome with an army of twenty thousand horse and foote, and are satt down before Olivensa, a garrison of the Portuguez. There are fower thousand men within the place, and well provided with all sortes of provision and ammunition, as the reporte is here. The Portuguez doe resolve to make a diversion by sendinge some forces against Aymonte, a frontier-towne of Spaine lyinge nere the sea syde, and to that purpose they have sent an express to gen. Blake to desire him to appear before that place with some of his shipes. This place lyes within 7 leagues of St. Lucar, and is easie to be taken, especially at this tyme, that they have drawne away all thire forces for the siege of Olivensa. I know not by what conveyance this letter will goe. It goes from hence by a Hollander, whoe happily may tuch Ingland; if not, I am promised it shall be sente afterward from Amsterdam, which is the reason I send not the coppies of my last by the Roebuck packet-boate.
A relation of the raising of the fifth-monarchy-men, by secretary Thurloe (fn. 1).
I am commanded by his highness to acquaint you with the particulars of a designe, which hath beene very lately discovered of a new insurrection and rebellion in this nation. It was a designe of a very strange nature, and built upon very extraordinary pretences.
This insurrection was to have been upon thursday night last; the place of their first meeting was to have been at a place called Mile-End-Green. The party engaged to begin this insurrection (for this was to have beene but as forlorne) were those, who falsly and prophanely stile themselves the 5th monarchy, and pretend to have no king but Jesus; for they do most impiously and wickedly father all their councils and Satan's delusion upon him, callinge that which is earthly, sensual, and develish, to be the working of the Holy Spirit, and the power of Christ's love in them.
We cannot finde by any intelligence yet, that they were sure of having above 80 at their first rendevouz; and they encouraged one another with this, that though they were but a worme, that yet they should be made instrumental to thresh mountains. But for all the braggs of their faith and dependance upon God, that which [they] relyed upon was, that many thousand would soon stock to them out of the city; and that others in the country would be alsoeup. And though they speake great words of the reign of the saints, and the beautifull kingdom of holies, which they would erect, and seeme in words to invite noe body but the holy seed, and those who received the adoption; yet the baits they lay to catch men with are taking away taxes, excise, customs, and tithes. This is that they relye upon, whatever vaine pretences they make to faith, a God, and the like, which is one of the greatest prophanations that ever, I think, hath been knowne in the world.
The quality of these persons is very meane: the chief and leader of them is one Venner, that was a wyne-cooper, and had about 2 yeares since a place in the Tower, from whence he was removed, being observed to be a fellow of desperate and bloudy spirit, and was suspected to have had designes to blow up the Tower with powder; and would say, that the tyme would come, that the hand-mayds of the Lord would make no more of killing men then they did of. He had alsoe spake at the same time very desperate words concerning the murdring of his highness.
But it hath much more in the bottom of it, and other hands and heards are in it. And therfore before I acquaint you with this particular discovery, I shall by your leave let you knowe something more of it.
For this is not the worke of a day or two, nor hath it begun since you begun to thinke of some settlement of these distracted nations, which I perceive some will needs thinke, that these things are the fruits of the alterations made in the government, which they say honest men cannot beare, and are grieved at it.
There is no such matter: these things have beene hatchinge a long time; settle what you will in this nation, there are more than one sort of men, who will never rest, especially whilst they see troubled waters and things unsetled, till they can set up their principles; and what those are you will see anon.
I shall, in this story that I am to tell, goe backe noe further then winter was twelvemonth. About that time there were frequent meetinges of divers persons of the 5th monarchy and others, who under pretence of religious exercises did consult the putting themselves into arms, to fight downe the present authority, and did then provide horses and armes to that purpose.
For the carrying on this business the better, they did set up 5 meetings in and about London; every meetinge to consist of 25 men. And for keeping this secret, there were but 5 men, that is one to every meeting, that knew, that there was any more meetings but one; that is, noe one meeting did knowe, that there were any other meeting but their own. The 5 were to communicate all that one meeting did to the rest. From those meetings in London, men were sent into several parts of the nation, to engage as many as they could, and whole counties have been attempted, &c.
Thinges beinge thus setled amongst the men of these principles, those, who were all this while behind the curtain, and thought themselves as well of their own judgment as some of others, began to thinke, that these men might be made good use of; and in order thereto, the first step must be to reconcile the 5 monarchy and the common wealth partye. And to this end a meetinge was betweene them, which they agreed should consist of 12. The persones who met, were vice-ad. Lawson, col. Okey, capt. Lyons, capt. Crispin, capt. Dekins, one Portman, Venner, mr. Squib, and some others.
These 12 being met together, engaged solemnly to each other to secresy, and not to disclose to any creature, that there was any such meetinge, save that a liberty was given to communicate all to ma. g. Harrison and col. Rich, both whom had beene sounded, and col. Rich with the men of the way of the repub. and m. g. Harrison, &c.
Upon their 1st meetinge there was a booke, which was not then published, but 2 or 3 days after it was read amongst them, called a Healing Question; for that was propounded as the matter of the meetinge, to reconcile each others principles, that they might act jointly.
One party was for actinge under a visible authority; and for that purpose propounded, that 40 of the longe parliament should be convened in some fitting place, for they would not have all them neither, under whom they would act.
The other were neither carefull for any authority to act under, nor that any way of government should be propounded beforehand; but were for action with such members as they could get, and wait for such issue as the providence of God should bring thinges to.
Thus the difference stood betweene them, and many meetings there were upon it. At last it was propounded and agreed amongst them, that m. g. Harrison and Rich should be desired to give them a meetinge, to reconcile the present differences, and were spoke with to that purpose; but they saw not soe great hopes of the business, as to appeare amongst them, but betook themselves to in a private way.
However Venner being mist upon a search for him, he with his party proceed on to get horse and armes, and resolved to goe into armes upon the 1st opportunity; and they hoped to have done it at mr. Pendarvis death.
They being prevented in that, they were not yet discouraged; but then they bethought themselves, that it was a great prejudice to them, that they were against every thing, but propounded nothinge. Thereupon the forme of a government is thought upon and agreed of, not done by Venner, but those who set all these things on foot, and will shew themselves, if the business had tooke, as will appear. A declaration was penned, shewing the grounds of their proceedings. All things being now ready, horse, foot, armes, ammunition, and spirits fitted for the worke, all that was to be done now was, to get themselves and their partie together undiscovered, till they get into a body.
In order to their meetinge at their first rendevouz, the heads of them appoint to meet in Shorditch, where their partie was to come, and be acquainted with the place of their rendevouz, and where they should be armed. And there were 3 or 4 places for that purpose;
In which places were their armes, ammunition, and declarations. These declarations were to be dispersed in this town, and also to be sent into the country. And a committee of women were appointed to do this.
It pleased God to give some some light into their actions all along; and having a perfect account of their meeting at Shoreditch, and afterwards at their old rendevouz at Mile-End-Green, his highness sent a party of horse, and seized upon 20 of them, who had with them 25 pair of pistolls and holsters, powder, shott, and match proportionable, their standard; and were booted and and spurred, ready to take horse to be gone, and some money.
Afterwards Alley was searcht, where found 6 trunks and 4 chests of armes and ammunition; the armes were horse arms, and the foot armes were mist in the search; they directed the carrying of them to one Wilson; given before they were carried, we mist them. What course they would have taken after, &c.
The persons, that are apprehended, are the 20 abovesaid, who were altogether. Since that there is m. g. Harrison, col. Rich, col. Danvers, Lawson, and col. Okey is sent for. There be many lists of others, which were found about them; but they are not yet to be found.
Paper relating to the plot of the fifth-monarchy-men.
That the long armes, with the head-pieces, and, that shall remain undisposed, be packt up togeather in some safe way, and removed to some place for that end of the town we shall goe out at, where a cart may take them up, if they be so sent.
That the belts and bags of powder and bulletts, that shall remain, and the pistolls, and the store of powder, and 200 of bulletts yet to buy, and 500 of declarations, which we may carry to the rendesvouz, be packt together in the paniers, and carried on the sumpter-horses.
That the declarations be left with the sisters, that meet together, to be sent into the countries, all opportunityes after wee are gon; and to be delivered to the churches and meetings in this citty, and published to all upon the 6th day of the weeke.
Upon the same paper.
Pannells and their appurtenances.
The bags at Crisps.
The pistolls at sister Kerwit, and at Will's.
The powder at mr. Billiers.
The bags and other things at Gibbses.
Papers relating to the fifth-monarchy-men.
These are to will and require you to receive into your custody the bodyes of the five persons herewith sent you, and them detayne under safe imprisonment in our Tower of London untill further order from us. And for so doing this shall be your warrant. Given at Whitehall the 9th of April 1657.
These are to will and require you to receive into your custody the body of Thomas Venner, herewith sent you, and him detayne under strict and severe imprisonment in our Tower of London untill further order from us. And for soe doing, this shall be your warrant. Given at Whitehall the 9th of April 1657.
The Dutch embassadors at Marienburgh to the states-general.
H. and M. lords,
We understand, that of late some Swedish ships of war are come into the East-sea, whereof four are arrived in the Pillauw, to fetch away and transport for Sweden the corps of the late deceased lord chancellor. The said ships are said to have brought 1300 land-soldiers, but none of them are yet landed. The rest which were in their company are said to have steered their course towards Lifland. Here is a report of a great fight, which is said to have happened near to Petrikauw between his majesty of Sweden and the Polish army; but the same is so dubiously and sundry ways related, that we dare not undertake to write any particulars thereof to your H. and M. L. with any certainty, although it be said here, that the Swedes have had the better of it.
The bishop of Cologne to the states-general.
In regard the H. and M.L. states-general have desired, that in the projected alliance, which was exhibited on the 9th instant, some articles might be added to it, ratio e commerciorum & navigationis, in conformity of a certain memorandum delivered by the envoyes of the bishop of Cologne and others, on the 2d of May last. Wherefore the underwritten envoys do offer themselves with a sincere intention, to whom the Rhynestream and the commerce thereof do belong, that they after the reception of the said project will gladly contribute all that lieth in their power, as well for the maintenance of the said Rhyne-stream, as the furthering of the commerce belonging to the same, provided they may be assured, that their H. and M. L. will declare their alliance on their side, which is now offered unto them, and not confound the one with the other.
A letter of intelligence from the Hague.
Il y a eu grande dispute pour envoyer un chef sur la milice a Dansigk; & non-obstant la vehemente opposition de Zeelande & de Frise, le sieur Ripperda a conclu, qu'es mains du conseil d'estat sera mis de pourvoir ladite milice d'un chef, qui sans doute sera le sieur de Starenberg.
Ayant escrit à l'admirauté d'Amsterdam, pour sçavoir quelle instruction ils ont donné à Ruyter, ils ont respondu de luy avoir donné la mesme instruction, qui fust resolu le Juin 1651, qui asses aveuglement a esté reconfirmé au mois de Juin passé. Ce qui a surpris plusieurs, voyants, que depuis ce temps les affaires se sont changées. Le president mesme, qui fust alors, n'en a null souvenir.
Le fils du sieur ambassadeur Boreel eust aujourd'huy audience, envoyé avec lettre de son pere; debout & teste nuë il exposa diverses particularités touchant l'accident de l'arrest des biens & navires en France. Il sust demandé, quel en estoit l'advis & jugement de son pere; s'il jugeoit l'affaire de grand & dommageable effect pour cet estat? Il dit que non; les marchands & peuple en France en suffriroient beaucoup, comme ne sachant pas à qui vendre leur vin. Il dit, qu'il y avoit bien vingt arrests de restitution sur ce de Landes, sans avoir jamais paru; consequement qu'il estoit vray pirate; que les navires estoient du roy, mais armés par des particuliers, ayant promis un tiers au roy du butin, lequel tiers le roy auroit donné au cardinal.
Le conte de Brienne avoit veu l'ambassadeur, & l'ambassadeur le cardinal: tous deux avoient dit, que le roy desiroit restitution de ses navires devant tout, & satisfaction. Que de Thou n'estoit pas contremandé; ains qu'il auroit ordre de demander les 2 choses precedents, ou bien s'en aller dans sept jours. Boreel demande ordre: le fils est commandé de mettre par escrit les particularités qu'il a dit, & demain à matin il y aura conference sur les affaires maritimes.
Les François loüent fort la civilité des Espaignols, qui ont donné libre passage aux François, & à chacun une piece de huit; & au contraire detestent que Ruyter les a livré aux Spaignols, & dans l'assemblée il y en a qui improuvent aussy cela. Au reste, icy on monstre une grande animosité, & ceux d'Amsterdam specialement.
Aujourd'huy, le principal a esté l'examen des points, que le fils de l'ambassadeur Boreel a apporté & proposé de bouche; sur quoy sera escrit aux provinces & villes marchands, touchant le point qui parle des eschanges.
Quant à la satisfaction, que le cardinal auroit demandé, à sçavoir la restitution des navires, & le desadveu du vice-admiral, c'est-à-dire revocation & changement de l'ordre, la Hollande icy monstre si grande animosité, qu'il semble, qu'ils creveront plustost que de plier.
Estant proposé de renvoyer le sieur Slingelandt vers Prussie, la pluspart a dit & declaré, que les roys, tant l'un que l'autre, estoient fort esloignés des traités; que pourtant la mediation de cet estat estoit hors d'apparence: & quant au traité d'Elbingen, que peu restoit à sa confommation; que les restants le pouvoient faire. Et la Hollande mesme n'a pas relevé ce point-là fort haut.
De tout le temps de l'ambassade du sieur Boreel l'on n'oüyt pas tant de bien de luy, comme depuis qu'est arrivée cette brouillerie. On l'a tenu tousjours suspect d'estre François; mais a present, voyant le contraire, on en parle comme du plus capable & fidele ministre qui fust onques. Et pour l'encourager, on a fait present à son fils de deux cent ryx-dalers, qui sera converty en une chaine ou medaille d'or; & l'on a redepesché avec une instruction pour son pere.
Estant expressement reconfirmé tout ce que cy-devant a esté resolu contre les depredations des François. Les deputés des admirautes ont eu audience, requerants des conferences, qui leur sont accordés devant les commissaries cy-devant nommés.
Aujourd'huy a esté sur le tapis la grande affaire contre la France, à sçavoir, qu'on a resolu d'envoyer le nombre de trente six navires, estant resolu qu' à l'admiral le baron de Wassenaer sera notifié de soy tenir prest pour sortir plustost que faire se pourra, pour secunder ce que Ruyter a commencé, & tenir serré çà & là les rivieres de France. La plus part des navires sont desja prestes pour descendre vers Tessel. Quant aux douze navires restants, pour completer le nombre de 48, on les pourra envoyer en après; mais on croit que ces 36 suffiront.
A letter of intelligence from the Hague.
Je remarque encore que la mesme sable se joüisse soubs diverses & autres personnes: comme les Zelandois; voire, Vlissingue seule se ventoit & vouloit faire fort de domter les Anglois: ainsy la Hollande, voire Amsterdam seule fait la mine de vouloir seule domter la France. Alors Tromp pretendoit avoir attaqué les Anglois par mégard & abus, & on venoit l'excuser; mais à present on avoüe d'avoir donné charge & ordre à Ruyter, & on ne l'excuse point; ains on espere que Ruyter prendra, battra, & dissipera encore tout le reste: & l'ambassadeur Borcel pas son fils justifie entierement le fait de Ruyter; & icy de mesme; & ceux de Hollande parlent avec autant d'aigreur comme jamais ils ont fait contre les Espaignols. Ledit ambassadeur, outre ces points, encore de bouche a fait dire par son fils, qu'il ne trouve nulle difficulté dans cette brouillerie pour cet estat. Que la Fance n'est nullement en posture pour faire à cet estat du mal qui soit considerable; ains que les sujets & habitants de France en patiront le plus. Le sieur Boreel, cy-devant peu agreable à Amsterdam, s'est rendu à present agreable par ce sien zele, & par la croyance & opinion, qu'il a de l'impuissance des François: & tant ceux d'Amsterdam, qu'autres de Hollande, approuvent cette opinion, & monstrent une grande resolution & animosité en cette conjuncture. Cependant ceux, qui connoissent les affaires de la France, disent, que le roy, chassant tous marchands & Zelandois de la France, causera une grandissime bresche dans le commerce d'icy. Quant à la ratification du traitté d'Elbing, c'est comme auparavant; ces elucidations sont des elusions. Ce sera cependant un grand point, vouloir se brouiller vers l'Ost & vers le West tout ensemble; & qui pis est, ils s'imaginent n'estre pas bien aussy avec le protecteur, croyants que Cromwell s'entend avec la France: au moins l'on pretend icy, que Cromwell a grand tort en ce qu'il n'achevé pas le traité de marine, ne voulant ny pouvant endurer aucune visitation en mer; chose qui est pour rire, veu qu'eux-mesmes ont plus visité & pillé les neutraux (durant la guerre des Anglois) que ni les Anglois ni les François n'ont sait. De Dennemark, ny de Prussie n'est venu rien de particulier cette fois. Je suis
Ce 20e Avril 1657. [N.S.]
Ayant desja escrit cecy dessus, je reçois l'agreable vostre du 3/15 Avril. Il est bien certain, que tant Dennemark, que les estates d'Hollande sont equippage par mer, & Dennemark specialement par terre; & selon diverses particularités, que j'en sçay & en ay veu, il cherche beauccup contre le Swede, le croyant embarassé de tous costés. Je sçay aussy, que ceux de les estats d'honneur, (hoc est, les principaux qu'ont la direction) ont tenu secrete conference avec l'ambassadeur de l'Espaigne, & que là-dessus ce ambassadeur ira trouver le con Jean. Je voy aussy un aigreur très grande en les estats d'Hol ande, & Amsterdam, contre France, voire plus que je n'eusse jamais creu. Et la commune opinion est, que Cromwel soit d'accord avec France. Et certes, je m'estonne d'un costé de la grande moderation & discretion, dont le Cromwel use, & de la grande ingratitude des estats d'Hollande, tant envers Cromwel qu'envers France, laquelle toutesfois ne procede que d'insatiable desir d'avoir tout commerce pour eux. Or; quant à la force des navires de guerre, je ne manqueray pas à vous en advertir; je pense que le nombre sera 48 pour la flotte extraordinaire, outre ceux que le revenu ordinaire des convoys & licentes fournist. La mort de l'empereur, qu'on confirme à present pour la seconde fois, donnera aussy bien quelque changement en Allemagne. Mais l'esprit de le-estats semble estre endurcy contre France, (& aussy en effect contre Cromwel, quoyque fans suject; car Cromwel leur demonstre la plus grande æquanimité du monde), que rien ne les peut diversir, ayants resolu de ne pas fleschir ny changer des ordres donnés a Ruyter, ny rendre les navires devant que la France aye satisfait, ou satisfasse en mesme temps.
A letter of intelligence from the Hague.
J'ay parlé au sieur Raet pensionaire, touchant vostre derniere lettre, qui me donne à entendre, qu'on devroit traiter Weesel aussy bien qu'Embrich & Rees; mais qu'il ne fçavoit pas la vraye constitution de l'affaire, & qu'il falloit parler à quelqu'un du conseil d'estat.
Quant au temps, j'ay avisé, que l'estat estant en paix, & les assemblées des estats generaux & du conseil d'estats estant tousjours present, tout temps doit estre utile; mais à present sont absent 2 ou 3 miens bons amis. Je seray d'avis d'attendre un peu.
Aussy je supplie, que je sois avisé, si je dois parler au sieur Cops, qui de mesme à present est à Utrecht. Les Francois disent, que l'ambassadeur Boreel auroit parlé si haut au roy, qu'on luy auroit imposé silence. L'ambassadeur mesme escrit seulement au roy, que le cardinal, present à l'audience, l'a interrompu plusieurs fois, principalement quand il dit que depuis peu d'années le nombre des navires de cet estat, prins par les Francois montoit ou excedoit le 300; que les capers ne voulent pas obeir aux ordres du roy, specialement ce de Lande, ergo pirates.
Le roy avoit respondu, que le sieur de Thou (qui n'assumera autre qualité que d'envoyé tant que cecy dure) alloit demander restitution, reparation, & punition du fait de Ruyter. Et cela fait, que sa majesté aviseroit aux contre-pleints. Je suis
Courtin to Bordeaux, the French embassador in England.
Contrary winds have kept my lord embassador de Thou from arriving in the provinces, which is the more troublesome, in regard at this present juncture of affairs France seemeth to stand in need of an embassador here, to maintain its interest and reputation. The merchants make great complaints of the seizure of their goods in France, which obligeth those that govern here, to speak high against us, and to publish, that they will have satisfaction for the affront, which they pretend to have received. They speak of nothing but of war; and some of them being too violent, they could not forbear shewing of their inclination, and to say they will rather suffer any extremity; that is to say, they will join with Spain, rather than suffer any contempt to be put upon them by France, and that France should ruin their commerce. But these furious ones are not the most in credit in the government, in regard, that the resolution of the states-general about this business doth rather incline to moderation than war. True it is, if so be they had followed the motions of the city of Amsterdam, there must have been war presently declared against France. Amsterdam hath caused an embargo to be laid upon all French ships in their ports, and prohibition not to lade any thing for French men upon pain of confiscation. But it is to be hoped, this heat will cool, and that mons. de Thou will be able to accommodate this business.
My lord Boreel sent hither his son to inform particularly his superiors of the business of de Ruyter. He is gone back for Paris: he carrieth orders to my lord his father, which is a sign they will not break with France. It is said, they will restore the two ships of war.
A letter of Boreel, the Dutch embassador in France.
There being a general embargo or seizure made of all the Holland ships and effects, as I have formerly advised, I cannot doubt, but when the king's council hath further considered, how that these proceedings are very extraordinary, contrary to all right and equity against allies and their subjects, their ships and goods, without any just cause given on their parts, will soon change these troubles into equity, and cause them to cease, and restore all to the right owners; and I believe, that then the commerce and navigation will be exercised for the future with more security and freedom.
There is a great person, who would assure me hereof; adding thereunto the proverb, that hasty people are no traytors. That also differences arising between near friends are at first bitter and vehement, but that the common interests do speedily overcome the same, and the ancient amity is made thereby stronger, and increased, if so be their H. and M. L. do not suffer themselves to be drawn off by the complaints of particular persons, who are prejudiced by this accident. I dare not write more of this, in regard my letters are to go some certain way, which is not altogether safe.
Borcel, the Dutch embassador in France, to Ruysch.
The seizures are made in all places, and the number of the Holland ships is very great, many being in their ports at present for want of convoy to conduct them safe home; and I am not able to do any thing against it, till such time that mons. de Thou shall have received satisfaction of the fact done in the Mediterranean sea, either in effect, or in reason. And in the mean time the good inhabitants and subjects of the United Provinces do remain in very great distress, and are like to suffer very much damage, by reason some of them have their goods seized upon, which are perishable. I am also just now advised, that the ship the Red-fox, with her rich lading, is declared good prize, and all confiscated in the heat of these discontents against the United Netherlands and their H. and M. L. Wherefore I desire your lordship to let me know, as soon as is possible, how I shall behave myself in this business, either by justifying or excusing the same; and upon what reasons the one and the other is to be grounded. I desire what letters of service are sent to me, that they may be writ in cypher, for the air here is not very clear.
A letter of intelligence.
Yours dated the 3 of Aprill I receved the 12, and doe assure you, I shall not neglect any thinge in writinge, nor nothinge else that may be serviceabel to you; but beinge upon my jorney homewards had not conveniency to send, for I had bin but one daye at home, and went the next day to Flushing, and sent you one with the list of shipps on the 4 Aprill, and another upon the 11th; and this weeke doth not produce much newes, but that some shipps are escaped from France, and come into Zealand and Holland, and bringes newes, that all the masters of shipps, that are arested there, are all put in prison; which makes the state discontent heare. It is to to be doubted, they will take a resolution to make war with France, for it is certayne the best townes of Zealand and Holland are for it; for all the merchants, that owes money in France for wines or other comodities, which is found to be of far greater value then all these shipps, is all arrested by order from the states, and what French goods can there be found. The man of Bridges is not come from Brussels yet; but there is many come for the compleating of those number of horse at his returne. I shall be about to certisye you more. Our states are but newly come together, and nothinge can be known yet of these resolutions, onely there is one come from the king of Denmark to entertaine some officers and engeeneres, and there is too of our lords gon in hast thither; they say here he hath a far better armi then I writ of in my last. I have been at Oestend, and am this last night come to Dun kirk, but cannot, as yet, take a view of it. As for Ostend, it is very strong and well fortifyed place, and lies allmost 2 parts of it open to the sea, and has but one land port, and I am sure it is not to be attempted by any assault at sea, unles you doe meane to hassard a greate many men and small ships, for you may come with small thinges to the very counter-course of the towne in some places. I could not take soe exact a review as I would have done, because the major of the towne had sent a sarjent of the towne with mee, hee being a Spanyard; and I durst not do any thinge out, nor staye long in any place to looke, for they are so jelous; but at my returne I shall see to take a better view of it in two or three places; but I am consident a resolution to hazard 8 or 10000 men, when the garrison is gon out, would carry it. There is but 6 small shipps, that carry ordinance there, nay the greatest has but 14 peeces, and too small frigates, one has 10, the other 8, there 3 lyes ready to venture out with the first occasion, but your shipps keep them much in aw. There lyes a good many of . . . . at Bellinger's heare. The garrison is at present but weake of souldiers, for I am sewer there is not a 600 effectuall souldiers. The gouvernor's name is don Barsarba de Bergas, a Spaniard, neere 60 years ould: he is but poor, for all his gouvernment there. I founde meanes to drinke with his secretarie: he is a Fleming borne. By reson of a bill of det of a berger's of our towne, which an officer of Oestend did ow him, I carried to him, for to recovir it for him; by which meanes I had some discourse with them: he tould me, that they did expect don Jon to come this next weeke to Bridges, and there, and Newport, and Dunkirk, and Gravilling, to see in what state those townes were in their fortifications and strength of these garisons, which he did intend to see all in armes; and this being don, he would draw presently to the field; for hee said hee was suer the French could make but a defensive war this somer; and they did hope to fight him, if hee did advance. Hee tould mee likewise for certayne, that the towne of Amsterdam had undertaken to transport all the king of Spayne's silver out of the Indes to Amster, and it should be coyned there, and his part sent to him; which I have heard nothing of this in Holland before; assuring you I shall not neglect any thinge that lyes in the compass of my power, wherein I can serve you. The quarter is now out; and you please to send me a bil, I would intreat you, if you can, to send it upon Zealand, for that at Dott I lost nere foure pound, for I had not Dutch money for English, and the bil was made soe to the reckning is thus:
There be divers wayes that costs mee almost every daye money, which I cannot avoyd, by divers coming and going through our towne, which I must keep company with them, and oftentimes to cleere some of them for some other ends, which I do out of the quarter mony, which at the end thereof little remaynes to myself: but I assure you what I do or can do is not for luker of money, but as my real integriti and dutie binds mee. Soe resting that, shall remayne
Newes from hence I can relate none, but only this, which is, that of a certaine 14 sayle are arrived in the Canaries, and that the Hollanders have proffered to give bills for the money to be pay'd in Flanders, but know not whither it will be accepted; but I heard say, that de Rutter is goeing for Salley, and by that is suspected to goe for the mony. Likewise a Frenchman, which hath been but 5 or 6 weekes from St. Mallows, relates, that there is like to be warre between France and Holland, for they will have the Hollanders to chuse a protector; and that the republick hath taken two of the king of France his ships, and sold them in Cadiz for 19000 pieces of 8/8; and we heare an inkling of some ships making ready in Cadiz; but no certainty. And this is all I know off.
The examination of William Ashton of Whitechapple, in the county of Middlesex, silk-weaver, taken this 10th day of April 1657.
Who faith, that being not firmly of any congregation, he did on sabbath-day last apply himself to a society-meeting, at one mr. Venner's house in Catherinelane, near Catherine-stairs by the Tower, with a desire to be received into church-fellowship with them; and, upon some questions demanded of him, was admitted accordingly, and his name entered; at which time the said mr. Venner and divers others spoke to the congregation. And he further saith, that on wednesday last, about one of the clock in the afternoon, the said mr. Venner and one Craig came to this deponent's house, and brought with them (by porters, whose names he knows not) six hampers corded with leather, two barrels of the size of gun-powder barrels or trunkes, 3 pair of pistols in holsters, a sword of mr. Venner's, (he alledging it to be his) a hat, and a sack, wherein was a coat of mail (which sack either Venner or Craig disposed to one of his children's bed and sheets, but without the examinate's privity or knowledge, for he knew not of it 'till it was found upon search this morning). And he further saith, that upon the bringing in of the premises to this deponent's house, the said Venner and Craig desired of the examinate, that they might stand there 'till the night following; at which time they said they would fetch them away towards evening, and carry them into the country by horse or other carriage. But the examinate saith, he did not know what was contained in the said hampers, trunk, or barrels, only having occasion to go abroad while Venner and Craig were there, to drink with a friend, he would at his return have the said two barrels emptied into the said hampers (as he believed) and that they were gun-powder barrels; and that he heared the said Venner say (at their being at his house) that the pistols were for their own defence, they not knowing what difficulties they might receive on their journey. And he further saith, that at their being at his house, as aforesaid, the said Venner and Craig moved the examinate to go with them into the country, after telling the occasion of such their going to be, that they might have liberty to declare their mind and will of the Lord, and that the time of such their going was to be on the night last, being the 9th of April instant; and the examinate consenting to go, there was promised to the examinate . . . . . . by the said Venner the sum of xxx s. on this account, that he might leave part of it with his wife, and take the rest with him into the country towards bearing his charges. And being examined, what persons were at the said meeting on sabbath-day last, he says, there were very many there, but he knows nothing of their names, other than the said Venner and Craig, he observing the persons relating to that society to be very shy of making their names known.
Commodore Pels to the states-general.
H. and M. lords,
There is nothing further to mention from hence, only that there be letters come from the Polish court of the 11th and 12th instant, whereof the contents are to be read in the inclosed prints.
We have yet here no certain news of the conjunction between the prince Ragotzky and his majesty of Sweden. There are four Swedish ships of war arrived in the Pillauw, to fetch away the corpse of the deceased chancellor Oxenstern. It is supposed, they may be sent upon same other design, and that some of them may be designed for this road; but as yet none of them appear. The magistrates of this city do seem to be very willing to ratify the treaty concluded between your H. and M. L. and the sub-syndicus Schroder; but they are somewhat tedious, before they can all unite about it.
To the Venetian agent.
We are very sorry here to understand of the death of the emperor; yet it is hoped it will cause no alteration in the deliberations already taken. They write from Vienna, that the arch-duke is to govern, 'till the king of Bohemia is chosen emperor. All the expectation here at present is to know, what will be done between the French and the Hollanders. Most are of opinion, that through the death of the emperor the French will grow cool again, and rather seek their advantage in Germany, according to their designs.
Barriere to Stouppe.
The death of the emperor hath somewhat surprized the people here; yet it is hoped, it will cause no alteration in the affaire. The orders, which were given by the deceased emperor, do still subsist, and the troops, which went for Italy and Poland, do continue their course. The duke of Mantua hath declared, that he will execute the treaty, which he had made with the emperor, 'till there be a new one. There is great likelihood of a breach between France and Holland; there are great preparations a making on both sides, and what the issue will be is uncertain.
An intercepted letter of R. Sibbs to David Frizell.
I Was not in place, when your last came to this towne, either to receive it, or make answer to it; and, indeed, after such a pause as you made in your return to my last, it came to me beyond expectation. You do know enough of the present passages here, not to think strange, if I give you not a positive answer as to the time, but I shall do it as soon as is possible, and that, I believe, will be the next weeke. And therewith close up the business.
Boreel, the Dutch embassador in France, to the states-general.
H. and M. lords,
My lords, the jurates and magistrates of Bourdeaux have sent hither an express commissioner, with letters to the king and cardinal, representing the total ruin of all navigation, trade, and commerce in their city, and in the province of Guienne, and in the countries situated upon the river Garonne; and that this is occasioned by the seizure of the ships and goods belonging to the subjects of the United Netherlands; desiring the king and his lordship, that those impediments may be removed, for that they cannot subsist in this present condition; and if so be the said seizures continued, that they should be unfit to bear any taxes, or to pay any imposts. It is to be observed, that the king's table and family is said to be assigned upon the revenu of the province of Guienne. I understand by the bye, that the lord cardinal made answer to the said commissioner, that the king will have his honour repaired; and therefore causeth the said seizure to continue, although Bourdeaux should not advance one penny.
An intercepted letter, to the lord viscount Conway.
I Dare not compare with your lordship for news, nor do I think France or any other part of the world can afford so great variety of great subjects for it, as where you are. That of Mantua is certain, but inconsiderable to what every day's post bringeth. That of Holland is but strong supposition, which daily increaseth higher: but that news thursday's pacquet from Vienna brought, is of a very great consequence to all Christendom, the death of the emperor, and his son not crowned king of the Romans; the consequence whereof your lordship is better able to judge than I can decypher. In Flanders all things go slowly, yet those of the old party flatter themselves with much hopes, which certainly will be much abated by the death of him they hoped most from. Here happened on wednesday a sad mischance, hard by the palace of the duke of Guise, to the chevalier de Morville, son to the count de Morville, of a most noble family, who having received many injuries and injustices, as he conceiveth, by the duke of Candale in his government, there grew many processes and suits between them, and a high inflamed quarrel between the noble families of each other: upon which the chevalier, meeting with Candale, called to him, and bid him alight, and take his sword in his hand, as himself speedily did. But how it happened is so differently told, that I dare give no certain relation of it; only that he was killed, and that the duke was and is very ill spoken of as to the manner of it. Here is this day come news, that the dutchess of Savoy is ill, and past all hopes of recovery.
A letter of intelligence from col. Bamfylde.
The troopes, which were sent laste winter, first to Angiers, and after to Poictou, and were lately comanded towards Ittaly, are agayne contermanded to joyne with the army of Flanders; and those of the guards, which were sent from hence, are likewise called back, and to be at the generall randevouze, which is appoynted neer Corbie, the beginning of May; soe as mareschall Turenn's army will be much stronger then was believed, by reason they are here advertised, that theyr affayres in Ittaly are likely to be in much a better condition then was apprehended upon the first alarme of the duke of Mantou's change, whoe they have great hopes of regayning upon this change of the emperor's death, to whom only they say that duke was engaged: and to that end they have thoughts here of prevayling with the princess Palatine, his cozine, to take a journey to Casall, as soone as she is a little better recovered from her late sickness. The emperor's death is confirmed by letters from Vienna of the 10th instant, which came the last night to courte; and that he has left the regence of the empire for the present in the hands of the arch-duke Leopoldus. They have resolved here to dispatch monsr. de Lyonne and another person (but whome I cannot yet learne) into Germany, to the princes and freestates of the empire, to prevent, if possible, the election of any of the house of Austria. The duke of Saxonie, they say, is turn'd Catholique, and will stand for it. If it be true, that he has changed his religion, he will certaynly have the electors of Triers and Mentz for him, and his owne voice will be three. What the electors of Brandenburgh and the Palatine will doe, is not easily conjectured. For the house of Austria will certaynly bee the electors of Collogne and Bavaria, together with an army of 50000 men. Soe as lett the electors bee disposed howe they will, the event of a new war is likeliest to determine whoe shall bee emperour; to which issue the French and Swede will bring, if they can, and probably the duke of Brandenburgh. God's providence has soe disposed of this affayre, as that 'tis likely to produce one of the greatest changes, that has happened for some ages in Christendome. Wee are likewise advertised, that the king of Swede and the Muscoviter has made a truce for 6 months; which is thowght of importance here, if it be true. There has within this fortnight passed through this place at least 80 officers out of Flanders into Spayne, to command against Portugall, whoe have had passes; which is complayned of by that agent. The duke of Orleans went hence yesterday about noone, after that he received notice, that his procez with the duke of Richelieu was determin'd of his fyde and his daughter's, which is at least six score thowsand pistols advantage to them. The king had 2 or 3 tymes since his arrivall here endeavoured to get him to be present at councell, but he still evaded it by excuses; but upon monday night, he being with his majesty when the councell was assembled, the king desired him to goe with him, and assured him, that he woulde hear some things debated there, which woulde give him much satisfaction. Whereupon he attended the king thither, where they debated the restoring of duke Francis (whoe is his ladye's brother) to the dutchy of Lorraigne, and to give mareschall la Ferte in recompence of that government the command of Mets, Verdune, and Thoul. And they say here, that this same prince is to marry one of the cardinall's neices into the bargaine. They likewise debated at the councel the business with the Hollanders, and that of Portugall; and they spoke of making some diversion yet in Catalognie, and that the counte de Harcourte shall goe to command the Portugall army, as a thing desired by that queen. The Holland ambassadour (as I am tolde) though the duke of Orleance civilely refused him audience, only because the queen in his presence denyed him, has sent privately to his highness, to desire him to mediate in the present difference betwixt this crowne and that state; which he has promised to doe, if the Hollanders alowe roome for it, and that there be occasion. The assemblie is not yet dissolved; and though 'tis generally thought they will be in 2 or 3 days, yet the more knowing believe they will sit for some tyme. They have made the queen a present of 12000 crownes, which they have ordered to be delivered to her owne hands; the one moitie by the arch-bishop of Sens, the other by the arch-bishop of Narbonne, from an information they have to the prejudice of my lord Jermine. The Lorrainge officers, whoe were taken a little before Christmas in Spayne, upon theyr attempt of the duke's escape from Toledo, were lately released, and are come hither. 'Tis sayd, the Spanyard will releave the duke Charles upon some security he is to give them; and nowe (his lawful wife being dead) that he shall marry madam de Sante Croix, whoe he had before in Flanders, and legitimate the children he had by her; which the Spanyard does in opposition to what the French doe for his brother duke Francis. The duke of Orleans gave audience to all the embassadors here but the English, whoe desired it not, and the Dutch, upon the reasons already mentioned. The prince of Condé sent the laste week a trumpet to the citty of Reimes, to demande free passage for what troopes he should have occasion to send that way; and that they should lodge from tyme to tyme in theyr suburbs, and that they pay contribution constantly to him, or els that he will syre their suburbs and all their country about them. Whereupon they called an assembly of the towne, and have sent advertissement to the king and councell of it hither. The prince has done the same to Challoones. Last weeke here came 2 letters from the king and queen of Poland to the assemblie of the clergie, which they presented unopened to the cardinall, whoe by the king's command opened them. The substance was, to desire them, in consideration of the Catholique interest, to assist them with some money. It has been debated in the assemblie, but not any thing has been resolved on. I am informed, they will persuade him to an accorde with the Swede; which seems the interest of this crowne, especially upon this conjuncture in Germany. This is I thinke the tenth letter I have wrote to you since the last of March, and have not received any answer. I have changed the adress from a possibility, that some of my former have not come to your hand. I am,
Your most humble and most faithfull servant.
Some persons of quality here have been enquired of concerning mee, whoe I have named heretofore occasionally to you. What ever suspicions you have received concerning mee, which might give you dissatisfaction, I am confident you are too just to be willingly the occasion of what may doe mee hurte of this kinde, wronging others, and disserving yourselfe.