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 (7 of 7)
An intercepted letter from one Cullen, a popish priest in Ireland.
In all the wayes I went, since our parting, I have found more than could be looked for in referrence to the carying on of our desine, and for crowning of the same. The death of the person so long expected er long cannot faile, it being in the hands of such, whoe are above all exceptions. I thought good to shewe you how all business goes heare; intreating you to let me know, whye those rolls and listes are so long of comeing; for ei ther now or never they are expected; as also that you would not faile to shewe me the certaintie of my lord Atholl, Mak Gregorie, and Mak Clean's cariage, and if that be reall, which I shewed you concerning them; which, for many reasons, is one of my greatest feares; for I know the captain and Makoldonie will doe as sir James does, which will never be ane partie, but the partie that prevails for his saftie and advantage. Since I parted with you, I am informed, that all meanes is used to gayne Seaphort. Let me know what you can learn herein; but above all there is own Kullon, a minorat frier, lately come from Madrid, with special commission from the councell there to ther frends heare. But doe what we can, wee can learn nothing of his business, which makes us all apprehensive of the worst. Wee consulted together, and in our master's name, whoe wold gladly have given a hundred pound to have knowen the certaintie of affaires in these partes from whence he came; but he is now gone, and come for the north of Scotland. He has some friends and acquaintance in Gurioghe, of whome the bearer will shew you, and whome he will see before his return: therfore spare not to offer any money for getting information from himself, or any of his friends; and whatever you agree for, send me word, and it shall be sent to you upon your advertisement; and if you have any money beside, you spare not to give it, which shall be repayde, with what more you agreed for. There is nothing will be so acceptable, nor promote our master his affaires, as to know how maters goes there. This is all from,
Your most humble servant at command,
N. & D.
General Brayne to secretary Thurloe.
I Wrote at lardge to his highnes by the Marston-More, 17. instant, since which there hath nothing happened here worthy his knowledge, onely our wants increase, and those seamen in manifest danger of starving, whose officers are not active in hunting or fishing; and how long this may continue good, God knoweth. I greately feare, their hunting wil be at an end shortly, by the decay of theire doggs; however we shall all, God willing, undergoe the straites as chierfully as we may. I have sent home the Beare friggott, as being a very unuseful ship here; and the men shiffles for provisions in all cases, except goeing for England. I have permitted some officers to put some wood and other commodities on board her, but have left the price of the fraughtage to the honorable the commissioners of the admiraltie, to whom I have written to that purpose. Two moneths provisions at this time wold probably have put us out of all danger of starveing hereafter; but now, I feare, we shall spoyle all our former labours, besides the losse of the best season of the yeare. I am at present but in weake condition, haveing had much blood taken from me to prevent the malignitie of a fever, which I was, by all symptomes, in great danger of; therefore hope your honour will excuse this rude scribling of
Your honor's most oblidged servant,
General Brayne to secretary Thurloe.
Haveing given his highnes a true accompt of our present condition here, which I know will come to your view, I neede not trouble you with a further relation; but in case you shold desire any fuller satisfaction, I have appointed capt. Minge, commander of the Marston-More (who is a rational man) to waite upon you with two Spanish prisoners, and he will give you a more full relation of our present state. This time of straites hath put me into a necessity of removing some active officers out of one regiment into another, especially one lieutenant-colonel Archbold, to his great prejudice, from one of the best plantations in the island, which will be little less loss to him than 100 l. therefore I have allowed him, in recompence, the fraughting of 30 tuns of sustick; and accord ingly have sent it now in the Successe. I also bought of capt. Garretysen (a private man of warre) a vessell of 60 tunnes, which is now out at sea, for which I was to pay him 40 l. for which, and for that he hath bin very serviceable here, I have suffered him to transport 20 tuns of Cuba tobacco; and the debt I owed him for the vessel being paid for, I have desired the commissioners of the admiraltie and navie to receave the remaynder that shall become due for fraighting; and hereafter I know there may be something considerable made, to ease the chardge of the state, but I know the commanders will be unwilling, expecting to make an advantage to themselves: therefore I humbly desire a positive order what I shall do in it. I hope in a short time (if God be pleased to withhould the enemy from us, whilst we are in these straites) that the fleete will be all the chardge here, except about 500 souldiers to secure the country. I humbly beg, that if it shall please God to spare me a year's life in this place, that then there may be one sent to command in my stead; for I finde soe great a decay by this clymate both in my body and intellectualls, that I feare I shall scarce be so long capable to serve in this place. This is the most earnest request of
Your honor's most obliged servant, W. Brayne.
A letter of intelligence to resident Bradshaw.
Right honorable sir,
Since my last, of the 1st instant, there is a currier arrived here from the king of S. who hath brought letters from his majesty to the prince Adolf his brother, that no such action, as formerly all this time hath been reported, is past in Poland betwixt the two armyes; nay more, that no action at all, smal or great, is past, because the Poles will not stand, when they come near the Swedish army. It seemes the intention of the Poles is not for to hazard a battel with the Swedes, but rather to consume the Swedish army with divers heavie and long marches from one place to another, and to wearie them with making diversions; for the Poles are gone with their army from Chenstochowa into Lithuania, whom the king of S. with his army hath followed, to try if he can bring the Poles to stand, for he drives them from one place to another; and if he can compasse them, no doubt but we shall heare of a great action; but certainly as yet we are sure, by the last king's currier, that no battle is past betwixt the Swedes and the Poles; and therefore all this time our hopes are frustrated, and the former report of the great fight, that was thought to have been past, is absolutely false. The king of S. hath in the above-mentioned letter commanded the lord Bendict Oxenstern, and the chief secretaire Biorenklau for to hasten to comme into Poland to him. It is said there is a treatie to be in Poland betwixt the Swedes and the Poles: the place was not expressed in the letter, but it is thought at the place where the both armyes will be. His majesty hath also commanded the earle of Slippenbach to come into Poland, together with the above-mentioned great ministers of state, who is designed embassador from the king of S. for Germany, to condole the Roman emperor's death, and after this to confer with the electors about the present affaires of Germany. Some are of opinion, that the emperor's death will helpe much to make peace in Poland, and transport, by the strong perswasion of the king of France, the warr into Germany; and no doubt but we shall heare more of it shortly. General Steinbock goes from hence with a strong party of dragons into Poland, for to convoy safe the above-mentioned Swedish lords to meet with the king their master. The Swedes have allreadie made up againe the whole at the Weissel-dam in the Werder, which the Danzigers in haste had stopt now of late; and the Swedes have yet made open another whole besides the former; it is just over against the Heust, and can be better defended from the Swedish fort against the Danzigers, if they dare meddel with it. This is all at present. I am in haste, and remaine
From Elbing, the 8 of May 1657. [N. S.]
Mr. Aldworth, consul at Marseilles, to secretary Thurloe.
The first current I gave you notice, that the 2 English ships, that had fought with the 4 Spanish, had escaped; but this day I have received advise from Legorne, of the 2d currant, intimating, that one of the two, being bound for Smirna, on her being above 350 thousand dollers in mony, besides goods, was burnt in the fight, and only the captaine with 18 of his men saved; the other, after a small fight, was taken; but the Spaniards being over eager after the plunder, gave occasion to the English to render themselves masters of the ship againe; by which meanes escaped. However, the four Spanish ships are very much tattered, and many men slaine.
The English ships is newly arrived att Legorne from Lisbone, who brings advice, that as they made towards the Streight-mouth, they heard a great number of guns shot off about the bay of Cadiz. Three dayes past a ship arrived heare from Allicant, by whom the Spaniards write, that the plate-fleet is arrived att the Canare-ilands, and that forty Dutch ships of warr are to fetch from thence the greatest part of the plate, and carry it to some port of Flanders. It's most certaine, that the Spaniards doth much depend on the succors they shall have from the Dutch, as by advice that comes from all parts of Spayne, and the open declarations of the Dutch heare, and in many other places of France.
The commander Ruyter being at Allicant with his squadron, and the two ships he hath
taken of the king of France's, after he had taken out all their guns, being brass, endeavoured to make sales of them, but could find merchants only for one, which was the
Regina, of 50 gunns; the other he intends to sell to the first merchant he can meete, that
will buy her. That nation is lately groune very peremptory in all parts; so I most humbly take leave, and remayne
Your honor's most faithfull servant,
The admiralty of Amsterdam to the states-general.
H. and M. lords,
Upon your H. and M. lordships letter and enclosed resolution of the 1st of this month, by which, for reasons mentioned therein, you do understand, and order, that the extraordinary fleet of ships of war at present equipping is to be encreased with 12 ships more, and to be made up just 48 ships in number, whereof we must contribute one half, in pursuance of your high and mighty lordships resolution of the 27th of March last, we could not omit writing back to your H. and M. L. that we having regard to your H. and M. L. letters written to us at several times upon that subject; and apprehending the present necessity of the state, which was requiring all manner of acceleration and endeavours for the promoting of the said equipage; and not doubting, that there would be effected by your H. and M. lordships with no less diligence and readiness, that the means necessary for the same should be also found in readiness; and also the orders and instructions agreed upon for the officers and commanders, how they shall behave themselves. Whereupon we so bestirred our selves, that 18 ships, being the half of the first number of 36 ships, ordered by your H. and M. lordships, are already in the service; namely, 16 under the command of vice-admiral de Ruyter, till further order of your H. and H. lordships, in the Mediterranean-sea, and two under the commander Cornelius Evertson of Zealand, in the Narrow of France; and 6 more being in the Texell, under the command of rear-admiral Tromp, ready to go out to sea, which will make up our just number of 48 ships, being half of them as were ordered to set forth. But as yet, to our great grief and inconveniency, we find our selves altogether unprovided and to seek of what is above-mentioned, which we were expecting from your H. and M. L. namely, money and orders, further than that your H. and M. L. are pleased to communicate unto us what endeavours they have used to dispose the defective provinces to give their consent to the petition of six hundred thousand guilders, and that their shares might be brought into the receipt of the receiver-general Doublett in the Hague. Wherefore we would not omit to acquaint your H. and M. L. that we, by our said diligence in the said equipage, are brought into such necessity of money, that it is impossible for us, without speedy assistance and supply of money, at least with the sum of three hundred thousand guilders by provision (being the half in the made petition according to the proportion of our equipage) to maintain the direction of our affairs here, and to keep them from falling into confusion; and to prevent all further inconveniency, we shall be necessitated to call in the said 6 men of war, which be ready before the Texel, and to pay them off, not being able to bear the sad complaints of the merchants and others, whose merchandizes and commodities we bought at a reasonable price, promising speedy payment of them, and for which we are now owing, the time of payment being long since expired; besides the discontent and complaints of the poor handicraftsmen, and many other necessitous persons, who have their salaries and wages still owing them. Wherefore we are humbly desiring your H. and M. L. that you will be pleased to find out some quick expedient for the satisfying of the said and other debts owing by us for the said equipage; and in case your H. and M. L. shall be pleased to furnish us with money, that you will be pleased to give speedy order for the employing the said 6 ships lying in the Texel under the command of rear-admiral Tromp, that so they may not lie there without doing any service to the state, at so great a charge; which will in the end cause the commonalty to grumble, and the commerce suffering prejudice in the mean time abroad, or that they may be discharged and paid off; whereby if any thing happeneth to the commerce otherwise than well, we desire to hold our selves excused of any disaster that may happen unto it; having made so often instance to your H. and M. L. by our selves and our commissioners for redress of one and the other.
Mr. James Sharp, afterwards archbishop of St. Andrew's, to the earl of Lauderdale.
May it please your lordship,
That you were pleasid to take such notice of my sending that little peece to your lordship, it was your own goodnes. Though I had not the happines to be much known to your lordship, yet I had been much wanting in duty, had I not caused one of them come to your hands. I must begg pardon, that through my omission your lordship's letter should have prevented mine, which ought to have accompanied the sending of that book. The incumbrances of my toylsom imployment putts me upon neglects, whereof I have cause to be ashamed. As it was verie refreshing to me, so I knew it would give no small satisfaction to those honest men (whom your lordship are pleasit to call your fellow-prisoners) with their brethren, to hear of your approbation of that peece, and of your testimonie to ther so much opposed and oppressed cause, with which I did acquaint them; and by this poast have ther returne of ther humble acknowledgement of the Lord's mercy to them, evidenced by that fair and free testimonie given by that nobilissimum par prosessorum to the justice and equity of ther cause, which as it challenges an high commendation from them, so it will be a witness against those of our countrymen, who have turned ther cloack to the other shoulder, complying with, &c. to the prejudice of the libertie and credit of ther mother-church. These were ther words to me, which I hope e're long they will confirm by ther own letter to your lordship; the expectation of which hath made me delay so long the payment of my acknowledgment of your lordship's respects to us, and thereby incurre further guiltines, which I must leave to your pardon. I shall not take up your lordship's time, by giving you an account of the necessity of publishing that peece, nor of the intendment of it, nor of the reason of my coming and so long abode in this place, nor of the way, which hath been taken by the agitators of the remonstrator party heir for compassing ther ends with the powers. Your lordship, by what you have known and heard of ther men, ther temper and way, and what you have read of that sad narrative of the state of our church, have such an view of the languishing church, so much traduced at home and abroad, and of the violent wayes of these men, as will render it unnecessary for me to anticipat by wreating, what I long, by communication coram to offer to you, when the opportunity wished for will allow me to wait on your lordship. I shall only say this at present, that though I apprehend small advantage will be brought to either of us by what the present powers will order in reference to our matters, yet since ther was a necessity for us to speake of our grievances under our oppressions, and to answer to the accusations made by that party, we shall with the more peace acquiesce to the Lord's pleasure towards our poor church, that we have exonered our selves, and that all unbyassed men heir see, that we are opposed only by slanderous and unjust aspersions by men, who are carried with the lust of domination, and can be satisfyed with nothing, unless they may have the ruling of the roast in every thing. My lord, whyle your dayes of action were continued, what you acted in subserviency to publick ends, as the conscience of your sincerity therein must be matter of rejoycing to you now in these your dayes of suffering, so whatever misunderstandings ther have been on either hand through the judiciall darkning of that time, yet I am hopefull that ther is no sober man, who is truly affectit with the condition of that broken and despised church (now sitting in the dust as a widow, whom none looketh after, and of all the sones, whom she hath brought forth, hath few to take her by the hand) but hath in precious remembrance your cariage in your publick station. And now when your scene is changed, and your honour in acting turned into a glorious suffering for your conscience, countrey, and Christ's church in it, doath look upon you as a noble sufferer with her, and for her, and are much refreshed by the testimonie you give to that established doctrin and disciplin purchased at no small cost, through your unwearied resolution, patience, and constancie in the house of your affliction; and from this take encouragement also to wait on God, till he hath perfected his work in you, and upon you, and enabled you to keep fast your integrity against all assaults, in claving to duty before what the world calleth prudence. This rendreth your condition, how disadvantagious soever at present in those respects, which seem great to low-spirited men, yet much more eligible befor the sleeping in a sound skin with unworthiness and dishonour befor God and man, to such who take honestie and piety to be the only prudence, and that which, as to worldly blissedness in the true notion of it, hath the peculiar only promise from him, who hath the sole disposing of it. 1 Tim. iv. c. 8. and vi. c. 6. I shall not need to suggest to your lordship, what are the duties, and ought to be the improvements of your sore and lengthened sufferings. What I have heard of the Lord's dealing with you, and by the strain of your letter to me, I am made to trust, that you have shared of the blissednes of the man, whom God chastiseth and teacheth out of his law. And I am hopefull, that as your chastisements have been for your profit, so if you follow on to know the Lord, and patiently to keep his way, the peaceable fruits of righteousness will abound. By your being thus exercised, what a present advantage doath the tryall of fayth, 1 Pet. i. 8. bring with it; that if ther were no more to be reaped by a sanctified it were enough to cause us subscribe to the truth of my yoke is easie, my burden is light. Fayth being activ naturally, hath acquiescence and joy in it, even in this life; take it but in its meanest office, as it is a trusting God with our temporall well, a full submission not only to the will, but the wisedom of God; a resolution that God can chuse for us better then we for our selves; that whatever he sends, his bitterest potions is fittest for our turnes, and so absolutely better and even to us (when we see it is his will) more desirable then any thing we could have prayed for. When we can commit our selves to God's keeping, knowing that he is able, and refer our selves to his will, knowing that he is good; when we can make a chearfull resignation of all into his hands, with old Eli, It is the Lord, &c. what rest and ease doth this afford to the soul ? Though the earth be removed, and the mountains, &c. yet his heart is fixed, his feet standeth fast, beleeving in the Lord. He hath gottin a superiority of mind, that all the regions of meteors cannot disquiet; that [adiaphora] indifference, untroblednes, [mi Ooiein] not making tragicall complaints, how tragicall soever his sufferings be. That [galini] serenity and calmnes of mind, which your lordship doth remember was the great pryse proposed by moralists to wel-doing and comely suffering; these boasts, dreams and wishes of philosophers are now the reality and acquisition of a Christian, which faith only undertaketh to furnish with; a thing so deeply conciderable, that one resolveth all the differences of mens estats and fortunes, as well as souls, the worldly felicity and infelicity, as well as piety and impiety, to proceed from this one fountain. No prince more happy then the peasent, as to the present advantages of this life, but as he hath more sayth then he. The spring of our daily misery and sorrowes is the [oli[..]opisia]]. Faith kept up with a lively hope barricadoes the soul, that afflictons coming as an armed man get no entry into the spirit; the beleever is the only conqueror of the world, of himself, yea of the tyrant persecutor (whose adoration he hath, when he can get none of his mercy) whilst another is frighted out of his conscience and integrity, is slighted and scorned by him. But the pen runeth extravagantly, forgetting who it is to whom it wreats, and therfor I shall stop with the cordiall wish, that your lordship may have a large stock of the experiences, that such a faith, hope, patience, heavenly-mindednes doeth yeeld, and a full and abiding impression from those passages, wherwith the word of God (without which the best hearted of men sayd he perished in his affliction) aboundeth, especially that of the xxxvith of Job, 8, 9, 20, 21 verses, the xxxviith Psalm thorowout, the 1 Thessal. i. 5, 6. the xth Heb. fyve last verses, and many such like, when made lively to the soul, they cause that truth; Great peace have they which love thy law, and nothing shall offend them. Now that it may be thus with your lordship, and that you may be strengthned more and more into all long-suffering with joyfulnes, is the prayer of,
Your lordship's most humble servant,
Lockhart, embassador in France, to secretary Thurloe.
May it please your honor,
The court remooved from hence upon monday, the saturday before the assembly of the clergy dissolved. Before their dissolution, they gave his majesty 3 millions of livres. The last Lord's-day the dukes of Vandosme and Espernon did quarrel in the passage to the king's bed-chamber. Their passed very high language, and, as is alledged, some blowes with their elbows. The whole noblesse of France was ready to interest themselves in it; but they being immediately after their quarrell sent to the Bastile, before their friends could conveene, the businesse was appeased. Next morning they were sent for to the king's closett, and by his command embraced each other; after which the king took coach, and parted for Compiegn. The cardinall lay that night at Bois de Vincent, and followed the next day.
The Irish Jacobin imployed for Portugall tooke leave of me yesterday. Upon monday he beginns his journey for Portugall, accompanyed with one ambassador from this. He pretends much respect to his highnesse, whose subject he acknowledgeth himself to be. He offers me, if his highnesse sends any publick person into Portugall, he shall serve him faithfully; and in the mean tyme will be ready (if applyed unto) to own the interests of all the English merchants therin. He appears to be a very honest man; and your honor's taking notice of his kind offers either by a lyne from your self, or mr. Medopp, may not prove unworthy of the trouble your honor shall give yourself.
He was very free with me in his businesse; told me how much the king was in love
with the infanta of Portugall's picture, which he presented to him; and in down-right
terms told me, he believed the match would be. The French ambassador, that goeth
with him, he believes hath power and order to conclude it. I did much applaud it, but
a discourse I had not long agoe with the cardinall, makes me jealos it is not yet resolved
upon; and the ambassador of Savoy hath no less hopes given him then his, and in some
respects more, for ane interview with the princesse at the end of this campagne; and it
hath been insinuated to me, that the hopes of an alliance with his majesty is a baitt dressed for some of the German princes; and also, that no certain conjecture can be made
of that businesse, save that there is nothing more uncertain then their resolutions touching it. I am,
May it please your honor,
your most humble and obedient servant,
An intercepted letter. To Mr. John White, to be left at mr. Lusher's house in Fetter-lane.
I Give you many thanks for your news, which in earnest was very much to the purpose: I beseech you oblige me with what more you can, especially of that kind. You have a good pen, and I believe time and interest: a sheet of paper well made up costs no more than a quarter of one. For news, I can only tell you, that on sunday last there happened a great disorder in the king's court at the Louvre: The duke Vendosme coming out of the presence into a little entry, met with the duke of Espernon (who were old enemies). The place being too straight for both to pass by at once, Espernon being somewhat the younger and the stronger, thrust the other back into the room, which was full of nobles, and, as I take it, the king in person, which caused a great disorder, many bitter words passing between the old dukes. In short, they were both sent by a captain of the guard to the Bastile, where that day and night they lay, and were brought out the next morning, and made friends; but divided: The same day the whole court went towards Compiegn. My letters from Holland give me an assurance, that I shall be called home, and another factor sent in my place, which I long for, knowing I can employ my time better, and to greater profit in Holland than here. I have made use of the old address to you, which I hope will come safe; and if so, pray advertise me of it as soon as possible, for I shall have very suddenly some great and necessary occasions to write to you. I should be most happy of a meeting with you, but ten times more, if you can order it so, as to let it be as you say for altogether, which if you can, you shall not repent it, but have as good a subsistance as you can desire, you writing so good a hand, and casting accompts so well, as I know you do. As for want of the Dutch tongue, that will be no hindrance to you, being I can serve you in it. I confess the last wares were very good, and came to a good account; and I wish I had but a third part more of them, but know not how to desire it, having no more intercourse of correspondence at London but with you; but if the same could be had, it would return to a great gain; but it must be suddenly, or not at all.
Major-general Morgan to general Monck.
Concerning the Quakers, there is but few of them in major-general Berrie's regiment, and they are now very silent. Major-general Berrie's owne cornett is a perfect Quaker, and had latelie my letter to your lordship, to give him libertie to goe for England. There went two of the souldiers with him, which belong to that troope, whoe hancker after that judgment; but the captain-lieutenant says, they are not of them. I beleeve they obtayned passes from your lordship for their goeing for England. Captain Hutton's lieutenant is a Quaker, and his cornett I examined, whoe told mee, that hee was not one, but yett he must and will owne those good people, as hee calls them. I have written to capt. Hutton, that if there bee any private souldiers in his troope of that judgement, that hee either dismiss them, or give them their discharges, or else send them to your lordship. Captain Crook's troope of that regiment is very free, and soe is major Grove's of that judgment, as I am informed. I have written to lieutenant-colonel Mann to discharge any of the private souldiers of that judgment, either in the troope in Invernes, or in colonel Fitch his regiment. Colonel Hacker's regiment is very free of any such persons. They onelie had one cornett of that judgement, and hee was discharged, before the regiment came for Scotland. The Quaker Hall is now for certayne gone southward. Hee went once before, and returned, but hee is now gone for altogether. I shall not bee wanting to observe your lordship's directions; and as any of them is found, I shall discharge them the armie; and if I find any officers of that judgment, or inclined thereto, I shall give your lordship noteice of them. As for my owne regiment, I shall take care to keep it free. I remaine,
Your very humble servant,
The duke of Brandenburg's agent to the protector.
Nomine illustrissimi ac celsissimi ducis Curlandiæ observanter ac perossiciose, à delegato autem serenissimi electoris Brandenburgici, cujus curæ sequentia per literas commendata sunt, submisse repræsentatur, serenissimos ac potentissimos reges Sueciæ ab aliquammultis annis cum illustrissimo hoc principe de perpetua neutralitate tempore ingruentium in confinio bellorum inviolaté servanda scriptis convenisse. Regiæ autem majestatis suæ, quæ regno jam potitur, ministros, dum nimium quantum commodis ejus student, eo videri rem deducere velle, ut neutralitate sublata investituæ ac regalibus illustrissimi ducis damnum immensum ac irreparabile inserretur, terræque ac ditiones suæ, quas hactenus feliciter ac ex voto subditorum omniumque qui eo refugium suum constituerunt, magno tamen cum labore ac sumptu, ac consiliis potius quam armis contra quosvis hostes tutavit, quorumcunque irruptionibus ac rapinis imposterum paterent. Eam ob causam illustrissimum ducem à serenissimo ac celsissimo domino protectore summo studio ac observantia obnixe petere, mandare velit, ut literæ ad serenissimum ac potentissimum regem Sueciæ, quasi proprio motu ac instinctu datæ, exarentur, quæ negotium hoc majestatis suæ humanissimè exponant, benevolentiam illam, qua serenissima celsitudo sua illustrissimum hunc principem familiamque ejus hactenus complexa est, testatam faciant, ac regiam suam majestatem etiam atque etiam obtestentur, ut habitâ ratione, & eximiarum virtutum laudatissimi principis hujus, & illustrissimi stemmatis ejus, & serenissimorum assinium ac cognatorum prædicta jura ejus, & regalia, ipsamque illam in dubium jam vocatam neutralitatem perpetuum minime imminuta, sed potius aucta in majus ac firmata & stabilita velit, id quod serenissima celsitudo sua grato animo quibusvis in occasionibus agnitura sit. Curæ enim ac cordi sibi cum primis esse, illustrissimi hujus principis familiæque ejus incrementum, salutem, ac prosperitatem, cum multas alias ob causas, tum vel præcipue eam ob rem, quod reformatos, qui in Curlandiam se conferrent, benigne non solum reciperet, sed tanquam ejusmodi homines, qui imperii Romani decreto pro Augustanæ confessioni addictis haberentur, ad honores ac dignitates, remotis obstaculis, admitteret, sartosque ac tectos conservaret, paratos hoc modo cursum S. S. evangelii sancitâ unione ac concordiâ inter subditos suos promovere. Eadem observantia impense petitur, ut literas illas ad serenissimum regem, exempla autem earum aliis ad illustrissimam ducem datis dirigere velit, ita enim si serenissimæ celsitudini suæ illud collibuerit, sacto opus esse existimatur, magnoque benesicio illustrissimi principis se affectum esse putabit.
The duke of Brandenburg's agent to the protector.
Serenissime ac celsissime princeps ac domine, vereor ne alieniore tempore apud celsitudinem vestram ea proserre videar, quæ jamdudum in mandatis habui: quandoquidem autem nihil ferè illa continent, quam manifestationem propensissimi animi, quo serenissimus elector Brandenburgicus, dominus meus clementissimus, erga celsitudinem vestram affectus est, neque mora ulla vel in serenitate sua electorali, vel in meipso fuit, quin celsitudinæ vestræ maturè illa proponerentur, gratiose abipsa acceptam iri spero, quantumvis seram officii præstationem.
Non expectabit autem serenissima celsitudo vestra, ut digna auribus ipsius oratione gaudium illud exprimam, quo Deus ter optimus maximus non solum serenissimum dominum electorem Brandenburgicum, sed ipsum etiam inclytum ac potentissimum Sueciæ regem, tum utriusque principis cognatos, amicos, ministros, ac subditos, omnesque adeo protestantium causæ sincere faventes pro immensâ suâ bonitate affecit, dum post ancipitis belli tantum non jactam aleam, pacem ac amicitiam inter eos reduxit, mutuoque amore & fiducia firmavit ac stabilivit.
Indicare illud citius celsitudini vestræ muneris mei erat, consonumque voluntati serenissimi principis mei, sed cum non obscuris signis deprehenderem, serenitatem suam electoralem totum illud negotium apertius quam ulli alio amicorum celsitudini vestræ expositurum, præstolanda mihi mandata peculiaria ex aula esse duxi, quæ postquam ad manus meas rectè perlata sunt, impedimenta alia obstiterunt, quo minus officio meo fungi possem.
Celare aliàs serenissimus dominus elector celsitudinem vestram noluit, compositis honorificè per magnum Sueciæ cancellarium inter regiam majestatem ac serenitatem suam quæ extabant controversiis, confirmatam denuò serenissimo domino electori reciproco fœdere, ac longe melioribus quam pristinæ illæ fuerunt conditionibus, ducatus Borussiæ possessionem; prolatos, adjecto episcopatu Warmiensi, ejusdem limites, remota nonnulla onera, rerum justitiam, œconomiam, commercia spectantium rectius ordinandarum occasionem natam, salvis ubique pactis illis, correspondentiis, ac fœderibus, quæ cum aliis gentibus serenitati suæ electorali tunc temporis intercesserunt, nisi quatenus ea forte adversarentur conventioni huic, ac saluti & commodo regiæ majestatis regnique Sueciæ, quibus nemo bonorum religionis ac libertatis amore non optima quæque velit.
Quæ cum ita sint, ac divinæ benignitati merito tribuantur, consiliaque celsitudinis vestræ ad pacem & concordiam evangelicorum tendentia magnum in illis locum habuerint, (ea enim serenissimus dominus elector ingentibus aliorum promissis prætulit) non dubitat serenitas sua electoralis, quin gratus quoque ac acceptus serenissimæ celsitudini vestræ suturus sit motuum istorum dubiorum fœlix fortunatusque eventus.
Superest, ut nomine serenitatis suæ electoralis celsitudini vestræ gratias quam maximas agam, pro benevoli affectus in difficili hoc negotio clarissimâ testatione, eamque persuasam omnino ac certam reddam, nihil serenitatem suam electoralem reliquum facturam, quo omni officio studioque illam vicissim demereatur. Nec luculentius celsitudini vestræ pronæ voluntatis suæ documentum exhibere potuit, quam offerendo ipsi, si belium continuare animus sit, & arma exercitumque suum, & quicquid præterea in potestate ac viribus suis positum erit, inito cum celsitudinæ vestræ fœdere qualicunque ipsi libuerit, quod ut serenitatis suæ verbis facerem, speciali mandato mihi injunctum est.
Quanquam vero serenissimus elector ista omnia ex animo, ac ut magnanimum & generosum principem decet, Lullius privati, sed solius publici emolumenti respectu celsitudini vestræ deferat, spem tamen illam fovet, si quando occasio sese det, commendata fore celsitudini vestræ jura successionis suæ in ducatus Juliæ, Cliviæ, Montium, ditionumque eo pertinentium, hoc præsertim tempore, quo machinationibus comitis Palatini Neoburgici, aliorumque principum Catholicorum, ac nescio quibus ob initam cum rege Sueciæ pacem, plebis Batavæ, fremitibus ac susurris abalienari aliquomodo a se posse animos veterum amicorum ac fœderatorum suorum dom. ordinum Uniti Belgii, non injuria veretur. Eorum autem amicitiam, uti precio suo debito serenissimus elector æstimat, ita si divisio aliqua inter se atque illos, aut inter ipsos ac regiam majestatem Sueciæ contingat, initium illud fore credit istius separationis, quo proprio commodo ducti à tuendâ communi salute contra veritatis evangelicæ hostes à reliquis protestantibus sejungi se patiantur. Quam noxium autem illud meliori causæ futurum sit, nemo rectius quam celsitudo vestra judicaverit.
Finem orationi imponam, ubi serenissimæ celsitudini vestræ literas hasce serenissimi dom.
electoris submisse obtulero, quæ sidem verbis meis uberiorem facient. Addam deinceps
bonâ cum celsitudinis vestræ gratiâ libellum quendam, qui defensionem jurium serenissimi
electoris in ducatus supradictos continet; responsumque, quo celsitudo vestræ me jam dignabitur, pari qua ante hac sidelitate referam, ac in omnibus ita me geram, ut qui tam vestræ celsitudini, quam serenissimo electori solidam ac omnimodam selicitatam ex animo
comprecatur, ac qui utriusque principis perennantem honorem ac gloriam cum populorum
salute conjunctam sanguine vitâque suâ redimere paratus est,
Serenissimæ celsitudinis vestræ humillimus servus,
Joannes Fridericus Schlezer, sereniss. dom. electoris
Brandenburgici consiliarius & ablegatus.
Secretary Thurloe to H. Cromwell, major-general of the army in Ireland.
Our buissines in parlament remeynes in suspence. His highnes is pleased to keepe us soe. He was pleased to deliver in some exceptions to the governement offered to hym by the parlament besides that of the title; one whereof was to confirme all the lawes and ordinances made since the longe parlament, as well those which the little assembly made, as those ordinances, which H. H. and counsell made. Another exception was, the temporary supplyes were not made certeyne. As to the first, although it were a very hard task, yet such is the desire of the parlament to comply with H. H. that they have confirmed all the ordinances, which are materiall, without refuseinge any one; and to morrow they will doe the like to the acts of the little parlament, the comittee, to whom this was referred, haveinge agreed them all. For the money they have voted 600000 l per ann. for 3 yeares, over and above the 1300000 l. and a grosse summe of 400000 l. for this yeare. Wheither his highnes, when all this is done, will accept of kingship, I am not able to say. He keepes himselfe reserved from every body, that I knowe of. For my part, I prosesse, I can take noe measure of his minde therein: if I did, your lordship should have an account of it. Every wise man without doores wonders at the delay. If this parlament settle us not, there is noe hopes to have any settlement by a parlament: none will be ever brought to spend soe much tyme about it, or to doe halfe that this hath done; but on the contrary, if this miscarry, will be obliged to steere quite another course. The issue is in the hands of the Lord, to whose pleasure we must submit, yea therein we ought to rejoice. I knowe his highnes is under great difficulties from freinds, which makes his way the more darkesome. I trust the Lord will be a light to him. The distance formerly mentioned begins to be made up againe; great prosessions of sidelity have beene made very latelye, which is all I can say to that. The kinge of France hath leavyed 6000 here for his service this campaigne; and this being soe considerable a body, sir John Reynolds hath the command of them: they march from hence to the waterside upon friday morninge.
The differences between the Dutch and French are like to be continued, if wee may beleeve it from the height of spirit, which both sides expresse. France doth peremptorily demand restitution of the 2 ships, which they have taken, and that their admiral be punished; and the Dutch stiffly denye to doe either, but on the contrary have justifyed their admirall.
There is nothinge yet come concerninge the effects, which the emperor's death hath had.
France bestirrs itselfe to have an election out of the Austrian house. The issue will be of
great consequence. Wee expect likewise great newes by the next post from Poland, the
armies of Poland and Sweden beinge ready to joyne battell by the last letters. I remeyne
Your lordship's most humble,
and faithfull servant,
To general Fleetwood, lord-deputy of Ireland.
The profession yow make of hollinesse, and of love to the honour of God and his people, invites me to pleade with yow in theire behaulfe, hopeing the glory of White-hall hath not blinded or perverted your judgement. But (my lord) the howre of temptation is upon yow, and yow are now to be tryed, whether yow can contemne the splendor of Pharoh's courte; and whether yow will choose rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, then to enjoy the pleasures of sinne for a season. Yow are now to declare, what or whome yow sincerely worship as your God. Your present joyneing unto your father's courte, or separation from it, will tell the world, either that yow beleeve yourselfe subject to the righteous lawes of the creator of all thinges, or that yow thinke lawlesse bruiteish force to be the onely lawe-giver, and that onely to be good, which is most prevalent. I beseech your lordship let not this stateing of your case seeme harsh, untill yow have read what followes.
My lord, 'tis beyond dispute, that effectively and commissively your hands are embrued in the blood of thousands; and that the pretended cause of the large effusion of blood in peace and warre was the defence of the people's native rightes to preserve theire right and property in theire persons and estates, to be ruled and disposed of onely accordinge to the lawes made and to be made by theire owne consent in theire parlyaments. And yow cannot forget, that yow passed your faith to God and man to mainteyne that cause, and made God the patron of it, calleing yourselfe and assistants in it his people, cryeing to him for helpe, and appealinge to him, that yow intended his glory in the establishment of justice and righteousnesse, and thereby the advancement of Christ's kingdome; and in all this yow were in conjunction with your father.
Now, my lord, 'tis not to be denyed, that your father (with his courtiers) hath by force invaded the whole right and property of the people in theire persons and estates. He assumed to himselfe (as hee declared in his speech to the parlyament) an absolute, arbitrary, unlimited power over theire persons and estates; though he should have remembred, that supreame empire is bounded by the lawes of God, of nature, and nations. He hath spoyled the people of all rights in theire persons, takeinge to himselfe an absolute power of life and death, imposeing upon them his ordinances under capitall punishment, and also takeing what parte of their estates he pleaseth, and filling goales with theire persons at his will, against his last oath, without crime or charge. Thus considering the blood he hath shedd, the cause he hath pretended, and the oathes wherewith he hath obleiged himselfe, hath he not declared by his workes (which are much clearer then printed declarations) that he esteemes the sacred lawes of God and nature (which forbids the invasion of other men's rightes) to be noe more then spiders webbs, that can onely bind the seeble flyes; and that whosoever can by force may (without dread of divine lawes) drinke the blood of thousands and tenne thousands to compasse his ends of greatnesse and dominion; and that fayth and oathes bindes onely those, whoe cannot breake them with impunity from men? In fine, hath not his workes declared, that he beleeves there is noe obleigeing right, lawe, nor justice, but that the weaker ought to be at the will of the stronger? And hath not his workes induced the world to say more then in theire hearts, that your preaching, prayeing, præcise sectaryes, your godly men, pretend to principles of justice onely for base and by-ends; and that there is noe godlinesse but hypocrisy, or indeed that there is noe such just holly God as is pretended?
My lord, your father's workes would not soe plainely preach to the world these doctrins of divells, nor cause the name of God to be soe much blasphemed, if he did not avowe the power he useth and all he does to be lawfull, still prosessing godlinesse; whereas the whole world, Christian and Pagan, (that beleeve there is right and justice) have allwayes agreed, that the lawes of nature have forbidden, that any man should forcibly assume the disposall of the lives, members, or libertyes of others, in regard those were and would have remayned propper to e'ery man, if civill dominion and propriety of possions had not beene introduced: and likewise Greekes and Barbarians have allwayes agreed the performance of promises and oathes (where the matter of them is lawfull) to be of naturall and divine right, and the obligation of them most sacred, the greatest assureance amongst men, and the very bands and ligaments, which hold together and preserve all humane society.
But if all be excused with the pretence, that the providences of God hath led him by stepps to all that he hath don, that plan will be sound, upon true enquiry, to pollute the name of God more; for the holly God directs and leads his people onely into the pathes of righteousnesse, that is, into such actions, as agree with his naturall and voluntry divine lawes. He that doth not righteousnesse is not of God; his providences and his lawes alwayes speake the same thinges; and circumstances (in a cause comeing by God's providences) can never render thinges simply evill in theire natures to become good.
And if it be further pleaded, that necessity hath constreined him to what he hath don, 'tis yet too shorte a cloake to cover the sinne; for there can be no necessity to transgresse the divine naturall lawes. 'Tis true, some divine voluntary lawes have tacit exceptions in them of extreame inevitable necessity; and when such reall necessityes happen, these lawes are not broken, but dureing such necessityes they doe not bind the persons under them; yet even in these necessityes the immutable lawes of nature are the guides and comanders of what is to be don; and he that can make the matters in question consist with these, must find a new light, or rather new lawes of nature.
And if it be yet said, that it is intended by all to advance Christ's kingdom; let it be remembred, that his scepter is the scepter of righteousnesse, and in righteousnesse doth he judge and make warre, and the saynts that attend him must be cloathed in fine linnen, cleane and white, which is righteousnesse. He neither needs nor useth the injustice of man in his kingdome. To advance his kingdome is to shew supreame reverence and subjection to his father's lawes, in the denyall of ourselves, and all countermaunds or temptacions, and by the sword of the spirit to increase the number of those that are subject to them. But if the people's consent to your father's practice should be pretended, the refuseall of the last representative to give theire assent, after the expulsion of soe many of them by his force, will evince the contrary beyond dispute; and let me inform yow, that when the instrument was first proposed to the officers of the army, and some began to speake against it, they were told, that it was not proposed to them to be debated.
Now, my lord, if both divine and humane lawes have forbidden your father's invasion of naturall right and liberty, and if the temptations to honnour, profitte, and complyeance with your near relations be upon yow, to induce yow to assist him in his present practise; I suppose it's evident, that yow are now like Josua, to declare whome yow will serve. Therefore I beseech your lordship, be tender of the precious name of God; let not the glory of his justice and hollinesse be darkened by your meanes. Let noe man deceave yow; in this the children of God are manisest, and the children of the devill, that he that doth not righteousnesse is not of God. Oh let me beg of your lordshipp, that with a rectifyed judgement, neither corrupted with feare, nor the fruition or hopes of honour, pleasure, and profitt, yow will seriously examin:
2. By what divine lawe yow can warrant the shedding of men's blood, either in warre or in civill courtes, to supporte such power in him. Surely yow cannot shedd, nor consent to the sheddinge of the blood of man, made in God's image, and bee guiltlesse: unlesse the divine lawes comaund or allowe it to be don in the case, wherein yow doe it, yow will become murtherers in judgeinge these worthy of death by warre or civill courtes, that shall oppose his power, unlesse some divine lawe doe judge all such worthy of death, as will not quietly submitte to every powerful man, that under such a pretence attempts to lord it over theire lives and estates.
3. I pray examine what doth secrettly acquitt your conseyence from all the blood yow have shedd of those, that attempted to impose the kinge's will upon us against our lawes and native rightes: if now the divine lawes allowe your father to impose his will upon us, as more expressly against our lawes and rightes, then these whome yow killed and judged to death attempted to have don? The scripture saith, Whoe art thou, O man, that judgest them which doe such thinges, and dost the same thyselfe, that thow shalt escape the judgement of God?
4. What an ensample is given to the world, to induce every generall (trusted with an army to preserve his countrey's lawes and libertyes) to employ his force against the lawes, divine and humane, to make himselfe theire absolute lord and lawe-giver, and avowe it, that the power was cast upon him by God's providence.
5. I pray examine how opposite his daily proceedinges are to the likenesse of God, (his former practises and protestations) in imprisoninge and afflictinge the people contrary to the lawes and rules imposed upon them by himselfe. God's justice consists in the exact execution of the divine lawes; and his least diviation from them is impossible. Admitt he did share in God's prerogative, and that thinges were just (that is, due in lawe) because he had declared them to be his will; yet he were the more highly unjust to afflict any of his subjects contrary to his declared will.
6. Let me begge your lordshipp to examine, what cause yow now mainteyne with daily expence of blood and treasure. Our natural and civill rightes in our persons and estates are all to be at the pleasure of your father, and of him that shall succeed him by his president; and either he or his successor may, upon the like power and right, that he hath exercis'd, impose new instruments and lawes of life and death upon us every yeare; and the liberty of our fayth in Christ and his worship is noe lesse at his and theire pleasure. For he lately declared, in answeare to a peticion, that what he conceaves fundamentall verityes shall be soe imposed, as all must suffer goales or death, that shall declare their fayth and sence of the scriptures to be otherwayes; and noe man knowes how often his owne or his successor's thoughtes may alter aboute fundamentall verityes.
Now, my lord, yow being called one of God's people, and bound to beare up his
name in the practise of justice, trueth, mercy, love, humillity, selfe-denyall, &c. how
can yow joyne interest to supporte such practices under the name of God, as renders
him to the world noe such God as he hath declared himself in scripture? I beseech yow
remember how pretious the Lord esteemes his name and his glory, as he hath revealed
himselfe; and let your heart say, let me rather perish from the land of the liveing, then
the greate name of God should be blasphemed for my sake, by my unrighteousnesse,
or the profession of gospell-communion with him should be rendred odious, as dissembling and hypocrisy, by reason of my injustice. And, my lord, thinke not, like Pilate,
to wash your hands from guilt, because yow advised not your father to assume his power,
if yow now adhere to him, and assist in supportinge him; neither can yow acquitte yourselfe by a silent with-draweinge; your power, your interest, your neare relation to him
require more from your hands. I beseech yow, my lord, pleade with him in the behaulfe of the name of God and his people; endeavour to reduce him to measure his
acquired power, and his exercise of it, by the rule of the sanctuary; aske him from whence
and how he derives his right he claimeth over our lives, libertyes and estates? strive to
convince him of all unrighteousnesse, and to persuade him to give glory to God in sincerity, by confessing the temptations, that have beene upon him too mighty for him,
and by breakeing of his sinnes by righteousnesse and mercy, and useing his power to
restore to the people the price of theire blood, in setling the governement upon the basis of
justice, and securing to them and theire posterity theire rightes and libertyes against all
oppressors, that may make attempts against them. Soe will the name of God be exalted
amongst his people, and the wicked shall even tremble and be ashamed, in beholdeing
his glory shineing forth in his people; and if your lordshipp hath an eye to the recompence of reward, it may be strongly evidenced, when yow please to debate the case, that
the safety of your father and his whole family depends upon his soe doeinge. My
lord, if he be not blinded by his sicophants, he must knowe, that he is the odium and
scorne of the bulke of the people; and that the body of his present adherents are such, as
will adore any risenge sun, by whose beames they may warme themselves; and that the
tenth of those, that seare the Lord, cannot in conscyence either pray or wish for his settlement in his present power; and that naturally the nation loves its freedome; and that
'tis generally beleeved, that the burthens of taxes are onely to supporte his greatnesse,
there beinge a sufficient revennue besides to mainteine an army. How then can he or his
expect safety or setlement, unlesse there be a new foundation of justice layd, upon which
all God's people at least may consent to build, and wherein they may safely trust in the
Almighty Power to protect them, while they supporte his name and glory in righteousnesse, and exalt his holly lawes above all others in the eyes of the woreld? And if your
faythfull endeavours shall produce these effects, the generations to come will blesse your
name and posterity; and that yow may be valiant in your attempts, and successfull, is
the constant prayer of him, that is,
My lord, your lordshipp's most humble servant,
and your well-wisher in cheif.