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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July (2 of 5)
Lieutenant-general Brayne to secretary Thurloe.
It hath pleased the Lord to visitt me with a violent fever, which brought me almost to death; and as yet I am but weakely recovered, I yet keeping my chamber and bed, and this being the first time I endeavoured to attempt to write with my owne hand. Through God's mercy all the shipping you mention came safe hither, whereby through God's mercy and his highnes's care we are very well supplyed for a long time to come; and I hope before it be all spent wee shall ease his highnes and the state of much chardge, if God give a blessing to our endeavours. Wee are now generally healthfull, except those that came last, of which wee must expect to loose a considerable number; theire dyett and behaviour is soe irregular, and it is impossible to compell them to the contrary, for theire first fitt of sicknes takes away theire intellectualls; yet there is nothing neglected, that may tend to theire preservation: but if servants were sent, they that have interest in them will be more carefull of them, and worke them moderately, by which many more lives would be saved, and plantations more forwarded. Our officers here were very peaceable and well contented, 'till of late, that they heard by letters, that col. Buller, col. Humsreys, captain Fleetewood, captain Vavassor, and others, that went hence, had receaved theire whole arreares, which hath sett them all on gog to go for England, that they may be payd theire arreares, and ingadge in a new warre in Flanders, as it is given out. I wonder men cannot receave a favour of his highnes's hands, but they must blab it hither to the prejudice of his affaires. I greatly feare, that sew that were sent hence will doe his highnes any service elswere, but necessity may force them to ingadge. The batchellors here complayne much, that the married men are payd theire fourth part, but not they, who desired me to represent it to his highnes; and in truth my judgment is, that it would redound more to the benefitt of the state, if the batchellors were payd; for then it wold be returned hither, either in money, goods or servants; whereas that given to wises is spent in victualls and cloathes. I shall not trouble you with the repetition of our wants, with which I intrusted admiral Goodson, who I hope will be carefull in it: onely col. Moris, who made it his desire, that he might be vice-admiral here, doth now repent himselfe, and faith, he will not undertake it without 1000 l. advance; which I thinke he doth not deserve, except he were more temperate than I heare he is; and I doubt not but that you will finde others as fitt for that busines as he. I heare his highnes doth intend to send col. Holdip hither, which will breed great disturbance here, he is soe extreamly hated for his crueltie and oppression, which thay say he hath executed in the Indies. Mr. Martin Noell can informe you more fully in the busines, to whom I have written more particularly. I am glad to heare by yours of the 9th of March last, that there is money intended, for our fortifications are much at a stand for want of it. There is the faire beginning of a towne upon the poynt of this harbour, which with a little chardge will be made past the Spaniards gaining; there I intend all our stoare-houses and trade shall be, which will soone make it a flourishing place. Our commission for a court of admiraltie is of noe use to us, for the securities to be given, and other niceties in it, hath detained us from granting any lettres of mart, which hath bin a very great losse to the state, for the French generall graunts to all that aske; wereby he brings in a very considerable revenue. I beseech your honor to send me an order of indempnitie for acting alone in the absence and death of the commissioners, as alsoe what shall be done for the future; for I act in a perpetuall feare, least I ruine myself in endeevouring to serve his highnes and the publique faithfully. If the old way of commissioners be resolved on, I shall humbly begge, that I may have libertie to returne for England; for in the small experience that I have had, I finde there will nothing be done but bandying of factions, and spending the time in debates. We are now both out of money and creditt; for in that time we were in danger of starveing, I sent to New-England for provisions, which hath compelled me to give bills for about 500 l. more than our creditt would reach unto; therefore I humbly desire, that we may have more creditt, what his highnes shall think fitt. Some English and French being on the island Tertudas on the north-side of Hispaniola, a very convenient place for our vessels to touch at as they turne to windward, I thought fitt to establish a governour there, and the rather because I found the French intended it. This goveraour intercepted the pacquett herewith sent, and the Spaniard, that was to carry it, I have sent in the Lyon for further examination, if yow please. I have also sent all the muster-rolls I could at present come by, but those at Port Morant we could not come att, the winds and rains were so high. Colonel More, at his arrival here from Ireland, was very earnest to returne back. I could him it was too soone, he haveing receaved a good advance, and ingadged in the service, he ought not to desert it soe speedily: with that he grew into passion, saying, God had destroyed the former generalls for being cruell, and not sufferring people to goe off the island; and was this his reward for his many considerable services, and for the losse of his blood in the quarrell ? and tould me, that if I acted as they had acted, I shold looke for the same judgment. I tould him, I wold endeavour to performe my trust, and submitt to the pleasure of the Almighty; but at last he grew soe high as to chardge with blood-guiltines all those that had, or have any hand in the designe. Then I could forbeare noe longer, but told him, that he must answer it at a court-martial, which quietted him imediately. I acquaint your honor with this passage, that you may understand what kinde of officers are sent out of Ireland; therefore if it be intended to send any more men out of Ireland. I conceave it will do well to head them with officers from England or Scotland, for those in Ireland onely minde theire great estates there, and these sent hither were such as I never had to deale withall; they have put the state to great chardge, and will doe them little service. I beseech your honor to present my most humble service to my lord Lambert, and excuse my not writeing to him by reason of weaknes; and be pleased to acquaint his highnes with the particulars heere contayned at convenient opportunities. I have noe more at present, but am
Your honor's most oblidged servant,
Mr. Bradshaw, resident at Hamburgh, to secretary Thurloe.
Right Honorable Sir,
My last was of the 3d instant, since which I have received your severalls of the 12th and 19th with the copie of mr. Upton's letter of credit to mr. Goswell of Elvinge for 4000 rix-dollars, to whome I have writt about it; but how to get the money hither I yet know not, the pestilence spreading soe in all theise partes, as that no manner of exchange passeth; however, I hope shall get the money to Hamburgh, and by some meanes from thence supply myself therewith. Consideringe that your honor writes in both theise letters, that the 1200 l. was duely paid mr.Wainewright, I wounder why he hath returned my first bill of exchange for 200 l. alleaginge, that it was because he could not get payment from the state, and that he had been forced to borrowe a thousand pounds more for the discharginge of my other bills, beinge disapointed by the state. Is theare were noe cause for his soe writinge, I presume your honor will require an account thereof, and if otherwise, that yet ere this the whole money is paid to prevent further inconveniencie; however it bee, yet I find myself obliged to returne your honor my humble thankes for your care of me, and favourable promise of your best assistance in that, or any other concernment of myne, hopeinge I shall never deserve otherwise from you. I have not yet returned the great duke's answer, though the tyme be lapsed above ten dayes, in which it might well have come to me; and by what I have understood, its to be doubted he will delay it for some tyme yet, to see how the Austrian and Danish armes succeed against the kinge of Sweden, before he send some, or declare himself as to my master's mediation. The pestilence begins to increase heere alsoe, soe as I doubt shall be forst to remove againe, but whither I yet know not, all places about being infected, which is a sadd condition; but the Lord is allsufficient to protect in the greatest danger. In case the great duke should be prevailed with by the agents of the kinge of Sweden's present enemies now with him, to delay his answer unto me, to an apparent sleightinge of his highnes's interposition, or that he should send a convoy to the borders to receive me, thorough an infected countrey, to pass which I must inevitably expose myself and company, if the plague increase; I hope, and humbly desire his highnes will please to take both these particulars into his gracious consideration, and that I may by the verie first returne of the post, receive direction from your honor therein. As I have not, soe I shall not willingly decline any command of his highnes, presumeinge I shall never be putt knowingly upon extreamities; and seeinge the hand of God is soe open upon theise countreys, as that shortly there may be noe passing thorough them without apparent danger of life, I question not but in such case, his highnes will graciously please to dispence with my proceedinge, untill it shall please God to open a way thereunto with less danger than at present, which is to be hoped assoon as could weather enterrs, which will not nowe be longe in theise partes. I have soe far informed myself, as that I am fully satisfyed its the designe of the kinge of Sweden's consederate enemies to divert the great duke from makinge peace with him, except he first quitt Poland and Prussia, and soe to conclude a general peace, to which the duke inclines. Therefore I humbly conceive it requisite, that with the first I may know his highnes's pleasure, that if the great duke propound a generall peace, and a treatie in order thereunto in some neutrall place, I may be instructed what answer to make him, least my master, whoe declares to him his desire to be instrumentall of peace among Christian princes, should be thought to intend onely the kinge of Sweden's advantage therein. If a generall peace may satisfie, I perceive it will easily be condescended unto by all the kinge of Sweden's present enemies, yealdinge reasonable satisfaction each to the other. I am glad the difference twixt the kinge of France and statesgenerall is taken up. I wish the states do noe ill offices in this side of the worlde. Your honor will heere, that the kinge of Denmark is at sea with a fleet of above 20 saile of good ships: he was lately at Dantzick, and its said his designe was to intercept the kinge of Sweden by sea, whoe ere this, its beleeved, is with a gallant armie in or neare Holstein, and will find the Dane work enough for all the greate forces he hath on foot against him. I have lately received answer from the kinge of Sweden to my letter from Riga, of which I heere inclose a copie, once more requestinge your honor, that I may with the verie first know his highnes's pleasure as to my returne, in case the great duke gives noe answer, or not a sutable one, or that the plague increase, soe as that I canot safely remaine in theis partes, or pass thorough the countrey unto him. I affectionately remaine
Your honor's verie humble servant,
The 4000 rix-dollars will not make full 900 l. sterling, as the exchange now passeth at Hamb. The 400 l. is not yet paid per mr. Frost. I pray your honor's interposition, that it may be paid. I have been forst to runne the exchange at great losse, to supply that desect hitherto. If the fault should be in servants, it were unanswerable. Your honor knows its noe livinge abroad on credit. I here alsoe inclose a copie of a second letter from the governor of Cokenhousen, in answer to my second letter heare; by which it appears he then hourly expected his master's answer, which is not yet come, and from whence it may well be gathered, that the delay is purposely done; and whenever he sends for me, I must expect to be deteyned upon the border six weakes at the least, before I be admitted, because I come out of an insected countrey, and the like at Musco, before I be sufferred to goe abroad.
De Thou, the French embassador in Holland, to Bourdeaux, the French embassador in England.
I Give you a thousand thanks for the pains you take in sending me the news of your island. I have no news from monsieur de Avangour these two last posts: the Swedish resident here told me, he is gone to the elector at Koningsbergh, who is very much sollicited to separate from the interest of his Swedish majesty, by reason of the great number of enemies, that stand up against him on all sides, so that it doth concern his friends to assist him, now he is so hardly put to it. The king of Denmark is at Dantzick with his fleet. These lords here are not quite cured of all their jealousy; and I doubt whether they can any long time continue in the condition they are in with the lord protector, by reason, that their ships are visited by the English, which they cannot digest. I here enclosed send you the last memorandum, which I gave them to assure them on our parts, and to let them see, how that his majesty hath an intention to use them well. I hope all things will go well between us.
Extract out of the register of the resolutions of the H. and M. lords states-general.
Was once more produced in the assembly the letter of the lord embassador Boreel, writ at Paris the 13th instant, as also a copy of the letter of the earl of Brienne's, directed to him from La Fere, the 17th instant: the said letter containing amongst the rest, that the subjects of this state during the time of three months should en joy what was agreed to the English, Venetians, those of Genoa, and of the Hans-towns. Whereupon being debated, it is thought fit and understood, herewith to desire the lords Huygens, and other their H. and M. L. commissioners for the affaires of France, that their lordships will go and represent to the said lord de Thou the defect in the letter of the said earl of Brienne, and withal desire his lordships to procure out of hand an act of consent in due form from his majesty, according to the written answer of their H. and M. L. of the 18th instant.
A letter of intelligence from the Hague.
Le plus notable & digne d'escrire à present est, qu'icy par tout on ne soit pas bien satissait de la France: mesme l'on murmure de ce que le roy de France n'a pas envoyé un instrument de ratification, ce que l'estat autrement appelle un acte d'aveu; mais le principal est, que la mainlevée ou relaxation de l'arrest general n'est pas encore suivie. Et comme le commerce & navigation est une chose fort delicate, l'on prend cela comme une chose sensible; principalement la Hollande, qui est d'avis, que d'un costé l'on offrira à l'ambassadeur encore tout honorable satisfaction aux officiers prisoniers qui ont esté icy, desirant pareillement royale & sincere ratification & execution de ce qui a este traité & promis.
Autrement le principal & secret dessein sera vers Portugal; & icy sur les costes demeureront 14 navires sous de Wildt & Tromp, qui proprement auront l'œil pour foustenir le Dennemark, & le seconder contre la Suede.
Vous dites: Comment cet estat pourra-t'il aider le Dennemark, & neantmoins demeurer
en paix avec la Suede ? Je respons, que le roy en sa lettre mesme confesse & se vante, que
cet estat l'a secondé ou aidé desja en cette guerre; comme en effect son principal equipage
& levée de tant de officers que de matelots, item provision & argent, s'est fait à Amsterdam. Et cela se faisant auxiliairement se peut assez bien excuser. Et le Suedois se trouvant accablé de la maison d'Austriche, Poloigne, Muscovie & Danois tout ensemble, se
doit trouver incommodé. Je suis
Ce 20 Juillet [1657. N. S.]
A letter of intelligence from the Hague.
Maintenant on ne doute plus du traitté fait entre l'empereur & Poland; à sçavoir, que Poland viendra à la maison de l'empereur, non-seulement pour cette fois, mais aussy hereditairement; & l'on confirme pour cette saçon la correspondence & amitie entre estats d'Holl. & Dennemark l'empereur, &c. & Sweden aura beaucoup d'affaires sur les bras, dont seul il ne pourra pas se demester. Pour dire la verité, le France se plie trop, & cede trop à les estats d'Hollande; & cela est cause, quod les estats d'Hollande insultant & insolescunt: & voyants, que par seules menaces ils ont reduits & comme constraints le France, ils seront de mesme ailleurs: & seulement faifants mine de joindre leurs navires de guerre avec Dennemark obligeront le grave Guilaume à donner à Dennemark ce qu'ils veulent. Je ne comprends pas pourquoy France a monstré si grand peur: pourquoy le France craint tant les estats d'Holland Car l'estat d'Holland s' auroit trouvé bien plus embarrassé qu'auparavant, & la division s'auroit mis entre les estats generaux, France trouvera & rencontrera beaucoup de changement dans l'Almaigne; puisque Dennemark tient du costé de l'empereur, & Sweden a un bon adherence des princes Protestants; & les Catholiques tiennent assez au partie contraire. Je puis bien voir que les estats d'Hollande (de l'humeur qu'ils sont) ont fait prudement, de s'estre joints à Dennemark, (car l'amitie entre Sweden & les estats d'Hollande estoit fort restroidie;) mais je m'estonne pourquoy aussi-tost le France ne s'est monstré à mesme mesure du costé de Sweden. Ces occasions une sois eschappées ne reviennent pas si-tost. Les estats de Hollande ont sait imprimer une deduction, touchant la charge de mareschal de camp, qui est une sorte de manifeste contre les autres provinces qui favorisent le prince Guiliaume; mais la Hollande estant riche, puissante & unie, ne se soucie rien des autres, qui tous ensemble ne font pas tant comme la Hollande seule; si neantmoins l'occasion se presentoit de mettre une armée en campagne, il y auroit peut-estre quelque irresolution. L'on parle aussy, que l'empere fait offrir à enburg montaignes d'or, s'il quite le Swede; tant royalistes que les estats d'Hollande secondent cela animâ & corpore. Cela encore apporteroit un grand poids à l'empereur. Je suis,
Monsieur, Vostre très-humble serviteur.
Boreel, the Dutch embassador in France, to Ruysch.
With the news of the accommodation there arrived at the same time, in most harbours and ports of France, many Netherland ships and vessels, which hath very much strengthened this nation in their opinion, that ours cannot live without their kingdom, commerce, and navigation; for they do accuse us also of imprudence, because they could not stay for the confirmation of the said accommodation, which ought to have been first done: for if the arrests and seizures (as at Roan) be renewed, all those, who made such haste, will be also secured. In regard of the absence of the king, here is yet no news, that the negotiation concluded with the lord embassador de Thou, upon the 20th of June, is confirmed by the king in all its points. There are some of the Netherland arrested ships at Rochel sent to Portugal, and some likewise from Marseilles to Italy, which therefore cannot be effectually restored; but yet nevertheless I hope there will be satisfaction given to the skippers and proprietors of them.
Count Charost to Bordeaux the French embassador in England.
I Received your's of the 17th of July, and have sent forward the enclosed according to your desire. The king doth pretend to be master of Montmedy to-morrow. The prince of Condé is upon the march to relieve it; but I do not believe he will be able to effect his design. Our troops are not asleep. I hope God will assist us as he did at Calais.
A letter of intelligence.
The king of Sweden will be at Muling this night with his whole army. It is believed the Danes will not stand to it; they have no good general: great differences are said to be in their army. Some report the king of Denmark to be at Flensbergh. He hath left his ships: there will be action suddenly. The town of Riga is feared to be much depopulated, the plague still continueth very hot in it.
To the Venetian agent.
We have not much of moment here. Montmedy doth defend itself bravely; and if their provisions and ammunition do not sail them, it will be a long business; and in the mean time there are some forces joined with those of the governour of Luxemburgh, with an intention to relieve the place if it be possible.
It is said here, that many of the English army are come away to serve under the duke of York, and that the lord protector doth intend to send an army to assist the king of Sweden against Denmark. The truth of this I desire to know.
An intercepted letter to the lord Conway.
All the discourse here is about Montmedy, which is discoursed of according to the different affections of the people, which is very various; but most well-wishing to the prince say, that for certain the siege is raised before it. But the most royalists acknowledge, that it is like to hold out for some weeks longer; all confess of very great slaughter made before it, to the loss of at least 3000 of ours, and many officers of great quality. I find it is concluded, that La Ferté requires either a double reinforcement, or to be called off, as not being able to keep the trenches; upon which its said, that Turenne is march'd up to the place itself, and that don John and the prince follow after, and its probable will press close upon us: both are certainly most obstinate; we to have it, the enemy to relieve it, it being of great concernment both in honour and in advantage of the place.
A letter of intelligence from col. Bamfylde.
Haveing received a letter from sir John Hobert aboute six weekes since, which informed mee of your resolutions to employ mee in Germany, and that you had promised him out of hand to send me instructions, with all things necessary for my immediate dispatch thither, soe seasnably, as that I might have gone with marescall de Gramont thither, which wowld have been both very much for your service, as well as a great conveniencye and security to myselfe; but not haveing heard any thing since, either from you or him, touching this affayr, and haveing loste the occasion of wayting on the ambassadour, and the tyme of the assembling of the diet at Franckfort being soe nigh, as I showld have some difficulty to have gotten thither before the beginning thereof, for the greater expedition in my dispatch, to acquainte you with some things I had to say to you of private importance to yourselfe, as well as of publique relation to the state, and the better and more fully to have received your commands touching my journey, I was resolved to have gone into England, and to have throwne myselfe at his highness's feet, notwithstanding, that I had not your leave for my returne, being reduced almoste to the same dilemma, that the 4 lepers were at the gate of Samaria; and my resolution of casting myselfe upon you (albeit there was some hazard of incurring your displeasure thereby) being even as necessary as theyrs of adventuring themselves upon the Syrian army; if you saved mee, I showld live; if you killed mee, I cowld but dye; which I shall never refuse to doe from the hands of your justice, if you finde I have deserved it. And haveing likewise founde the means of intercepting another letter to Bennett, of some concerment to his highness's service, and haveing borrowed ten pistols upon some sew things I had yet lest mee, I parted from Paris about 8 dayes since; and upon yesterday morning embarqued in a small vessell for Rye. But it pleased God, that before wee had sayled above a league and an halse from this towne, wee were layd aboard by an Ostend man of warr, a very small shallope, from whom wee might, I thinke, have defended ourselves, if all the passengers had been unanimous, and of equall courage: but being entered our barke without any resistance, they pillaged us of all wee had, and resolved to have carried us prisoners to Dunkirk: but the governour of this place, monsieur de Monliguie, manned forth imediately 2 very good sayling vessells, which bearing up very neer with us, the pirate haveing removed all the pillage into his own shallope, together with 2 or 3 of the most considerable passengers; and as he was juste upon the poynte of doeing the like to mee and another English gentileman, one of the vessells of this place came up soe close with him; that he was forced to quitt us, and to shift for himselfe; the other pursued him all the night and next day, but loste him at laste. Soe as although by this meanes it hath pleased God to encrease the necessityes I was before reduced to, yet it is noe small consolation to mee, that I have been soe strangely delivered from a slavish imprisonment at Dunkirke, where in all probability I might have layne without all hopes of liberty. I am here in very great distress, in a strange place, where I have neither money, frends, nor hardly clothes to my back: and if your determinations concerning mee are changed, what course I shall steer is beyond my comprehension, haveing not nowe any manner of possibillity of getting to the army, which in all events I proposed as my laste resuge. But if you continue your resolutions of my goeing into Germany, I must ernestly beseech you to dispatch this bearer imediately with your instructions to mee concerning that employment, there being nowe but 22 dayes before the diet begins: soe as it will be very difficult for mee to reach thither by that time, unless I have my dispatches in 3 or 4 dayes: and for the present I shall earnestly request you to furnish this bearer with 20 1. for mee, whoe has directions howe to returne it to mee to this place for my present supply. For what concernes monsieur de Gramont's instructions, the letters I had intercepted, and other things of publique concernment, and relating to your owne particular, I must refer them to the next poste, when I shall give you a full accounte of all particulars, and adress it as formerly, for mr. Simon Tanner. Soe at present I have noe more to say, but that I am with great truth and sidelity,
Your moste humble, and moste obedient servant,
A letter of intelligence.
According to your commands I shall weekly give you the best accompt I am able of
the affaires and tranfactions in these parts; but for the present, having been some time
absent, and but newly come home, shall desire your pardon if I answer not your expectation as to the private intreagues and designes of our court. The most considerable part
of the French army lye still at the seidge before Montmedy; which place, notwithstanding
all our attempts and diversions, wee have not hitherto beene able to releeve; soe that wee
now begin in good earnest to seare its losse: all our hopes are, that being a very strong
place, and well provided, it may hold out 6 weekes time, and then we shall accompt it
dearly sold. Our army lyeth up and downe in severall small bodies in Hannolt and Certois, seeking their advantage, attended on by marshall Turrein; that commanded by the
prince of Condé is designed for attempts and enterprises, who lately put very faire for
Callis, and had without all doubt invested the place, had the Spaniards performed their
parts, in coming on at the time appointed. Another small body commanded by the prince
of Lignie attends the seidge at Montmedi; and a third, comanded by his highnes don
John, Carecena, the dukes of Yorke and Gloucester, lye neere Bethune; the cheife designe of our English dukes being to draw over those English, that lately were sent over to
serve the French; and wee say here, they begin to come away amaine; but I see little reason or likelyhood for it, those we have here alreadye being soe ill used. However, for
their better encouragement the king himselfe is now resolved to take the field soe soon as
they provide him with monies for his equipage, of which he hath yet onely faire words
and promises. The losse of the gallions at the Canaries is now confirmed unto us from
Spaine to be much greater then at first wee apprehended, for besides the ships and souldiers lost, there were killed 400 Cardagores marchants, that came with their effects from
the Indies; whoe being dead, their freinds and corespondents at Seville and Cadiz know
not of whom nor where to demand their goods; soe that they are in a very sad condition.
They write also from thence, that the English begin now to grow very strong in the Indies, where besides Jamaica they have taken and fortified the island St. Catherina, commonly called by us the Island of Providence, which lyes much more comodiously for interception of the gallions then Jamaica: all which, with the constant blocking up of their
ports in Spayne by gen. Blake, doth soe much perplex the Spaniard, that we feare he will
very suddenly be constrained to hearken after a peace with England, the which we rather
incline to beleeve, for that our king's agent, sir Henry Bennett at Madrid, hath had but a
cold reception, and very little successe since his residence there. Since the taking of Olivenza wee doe not heare, that the Spainard hath made any further progresse in Portugall;
and therefore wee judge, that for this season that designe will bee at a stand, and that per
the next Portugall will have received aydes and supplyes from France and England, sufficient to withstand any further attempt, if not to regaine what he hath lost by the cowardize or treachery of his owne subjects. The king of Sweden having left the Poles engaged against the Transilvanians, is with the best part of his forces returned into Prussia; and
from thence some write, he is imbarqued for Sweden, to take order with his counsell for
resisting the Dane, who is fallen before the citty of Bremen with his land-army, consisting of 30,000 men, and is gone himselfe in person with 26 ships of his fleett, to attaque
the Swedes in their returne out of Prussia. A list of his navall force I send you here inclosed. The diffentions between the duke of Bavaria and the Palsgrave are like to end in a
war, the Bavarians having already seized on sundry places belonging to the Palsgrave; but
'tis hoped the approaching diet will take up that quarrell, against, which all the electors
are preparing to meet at Frankfort to gather in their harvest, for such is an election counted by them, the Spanish and French embassadours being already gone for Germany loaded with millions for them; soe that we shall now shortly heare, who is like to be emperour. I have no more at present, but humbly to crave your leave, and subscribe myselfe,
July 22, 1657. [N. S.]
A letter of intelligence from mr. W. Metham.
As I certified in my last, I am still here in expectation of your's, to furnish me for 125, being otherwise dissinabled for my undertakeings by my great expences, which the sad conjuncture of sicknes in Italie inevitably caused me. I beseech your honor to let me heare from you; and if you deeme me not as yet worthy of further releife, although really in this condition I cannot perform what I could and would at 125, yett I will obey to my power whatever you shal advise. Greattest news here is the French embassadeur, who came accompanied with 4 men of war, and 7 smal merchant-men, al bound into the Streights to joyne, as they say, with 26 men of war, on whom are imbarked 12,000 soldiers, both horse and foote; and in these ships here, great store of armes, spades, shovells, &c. and provisions for Catalonia. And thereupon, since their arrivall here has been an imbargo on all ships, least notice should slie to Spaine before they departed hence. The embassadeur has had one audience of condoliance, and is this day, being the 9 since his arrivall, to have his other of congratulation for the death of the late and crowneing of this present king. Some great ones begin to censure his too anticke gestures, though really the man seemes solid: but the reason is, because 'tis more then suspected, that if he treat of a marriage at all, it must be after he receaves two millions dew to France for continuation of war against Spaine. None know certainely what he comes for; but seeing the Irish frier not so much reguarded as he should deserve, if he had concluded the match, gives occasion to suspect this embassie may solely prove a matter of money, and consequently less gratefull. Nevertheless the said embassadeur letts fall many pleaseing stories, as 6000 men and himselfe, a generall in the frontiers, the assistance of 30 French men of war, &c. if the queen please to accept. Al hope for a match, yet it must be deerely bought. The armies in the frontiers are both quiet, and most of the Spanish horse retreated for Catalonia. The Portughese regather their scattered troupes, and intend this autumne to retake their lost townes; for which end the two former generalls (whose indiscreet pride made them draw in a particular quarrell one against the other at the head of the armie) are recalled, with most of the gentrie, and one John à Mendez, a kind of a new Christian, but an old soldier, is now generall, whose resolute experience, if not undermined by treason, may stop the Spanish greedie hopes, although his excepting against the gentrie hath purchased him many enemies, who to blast his lawrells may breake his necke. Rom continues still opposite to Portugall; and the French not doeing any exploit of consequence all this campagna, forasmuch as is yet bruited, keeps this court halfe jealous of the reallytie and freindship of that crowne. The 6 or 7 frigats mention'd in my last, goeing out under capt. Colarte, are bound first for the islands, to bring over 2000 soldiers, then to convoy a new galleone from Porto, and lastly to secure 2 or 3 East-India galleons now expected. 'Tis rumour'd, affaires go unanimously twixt France and Holland, which founds ill here, and makes this state credite and feare an information fresh from Cales, how that the Spaniard has hired 40 Dutch men of war against Portugall and her returning fleets. The Flemings as well by their naturall inclination as by forrain mediation, love the English to deceave them, as you may learne better at home. Severall of their ships are goeing for the West-Indies, if they can agree about captaines and pilots, the king and merchants of Sevill refuseing Fleming for either dewty. Two faire ships, one of 700 tun, the other of 400, are departed hence to Cales for that purpose, hired by the Genuese merchants resideing in Sevill, who writ to their factor, whom they recall hence. In generall termes good news from the Canaries, which makes some credite a report concerning 5 Holland ships, who have been some time at Santa Cruz loadeing; to wit, that 2 arrived at Corognia, and 2 at St. Lucar; the third being run aground, and haveing conveyed much plate away by boates, was taken by out frigats, as you will more at large understand the truth by others. I heard of a Cales merchant that the Spaniards were sorrie Blake should returne home, alledgeing, that his too much keeping his frigats togeather, and litle scouting, let many vessells pass to and fro, which a more stirring comander with halfe the frigats might have hindred. God forbid I should taske the repute of so deserving a man; but this I had from a resident in Cales; as also, that 10 or 12 ships were ready with the first strong Levante to pass for the West-Indies; but for any further preparation of war-ships there is no feare, unles proud persidious Holland assist Spaine against England, which is much agitated and hoped for. The embassadeur bound hence for London, comes now at last, who is, as I cisred him in my last to you, by the ship Princes Maria. It has been disputed, yet I know not if concluded, that to obtain a league with England, he should offer Tangere to his highnes; as also to obtaine England's consent, in order to the prohibiteing the makeing or takeing away salt from Cape Verde by strangers, which had been an infinit advantage to Portugall, if France and Holland had perserved enimies. With the embassadeur goes hence a certain English priest, no great polititian for witt, yet was a great informer against the late treatie of mr. Medowe at that time, takeing all advantages against the repute and interest of England, especially with the inquisition. He is a short fatt man, by name mr. Richard Russell, whom the said embassadeur hopes to keep for his confident intelligencer, though he pretends England to be employ'd therein by the secular clergie. The agent there is to returne for Lisbon, unles a freind he has here prevaile much: from him or John Mules the interpreter came the news, that his highnes was sisting his armie, and sends all the opposers of his royall coronation into France; the which is seconded by some English here in their discourses, who according to time and place will praise and dispraise the present goverment of England, yet in nothing of consequence, which makes me omitt the nameing of any. Mr. Tho. Meinard, consul, is a very stirring man in his nation's behalfe; yet this court tooke it ill, that his highnes should not have sent an express agent to deliver a condoliance and congratulation for the two late changes in this crowne, which notwithstanding mr. Meinard performed, accompanied by most of this factorie, by his highnes's order, and in his highnes's name. The English, as everie where, so here, purchase terrour and honour, yet are hated generally by this nation, as appear'd by a late accident. A certaine Dutch mariner assaulted an English mariner with his knife, whilest he was attending his captain at the common key. The Englishman perceiving the Fleming to be full of his beloved brandewine, beat him into freindship, which they both signed with shakeing of hands: but other Dutchmen seeing this as their owne shame, fell upon the same Englishman and companions, who being the fewer, retired to their boates; whence imediately all the othere English came to vindicate themselves of the insulting Dutch, who quickly ran, and so the English were set upon by the Portughese, 100 in number against 14 English mariners with onely sticks, which they so dexterously used, that they put to slight all the said Portugheses with their swordes and daggers; but at last, partly with stones from all the Dutch houses thereabouts, and partly with nigh 20 or 30 swords on one side, and with above 100 slingers on the other, all Portugheses animated and led on by a certaine pettie officer, the English were forced to retreat: and some English beinge knockt downe with stones, were most unhumanely cutt and stabbed even by the said pettie officer of justice; for which base action the consul stirs a complaint against the Portughese in generall for takeing the Dutch part against the English as they did, and in particular against the said officer: 1. For strikeing the unarmed English with swords, when they were actually quiet. 2. For not checking the Dutch at all, though perpetually throwing stones at the English. And, 3. For wounding such as alreadie lay at his feet, beat downe by stones. Evidences have been taken on both sides, and one or two Duch in prison; yet I beleive no further satisfaction will be given, because of all the 6 English dangerously wounded, none are dead. The conde Camerario sits in a shade confined to a villa 8 miles from court. They intend here to lingre as much as they can the payment of the bolso-moneys; and the embassadeur feareing to be more then molested by the very mariners wives at his arrivall in London, endeavours to see some order taken therein before he imbarks, or at least makes a shew. I would have you take heed of one mr. Ironson, a doctor of civil-law, who I beleive corresponds with his brother liveing in Cales, don Brian Ironson, a great intelligencer of that governour and of the duke of Medina-Celi, concerning whom I may learne more when I go hence. I mistooke in my last 3 for 125; however, I beseech you let me heare from you, and write me by my owne name, which I shall get if it cum to Lisbon: and as often as you would impart any secret, let come in one to mr. John Hebden, and inclose it in a cover to me, who am,
My right honorable,
Your most humble and faithfull servant,
idem qui pridem.
Sir Charles Coote to H. Cromwell, major-general of the army in Ireland.
May it please your excellencie,
Since my coming hither, though I have not beene very well in health, I have endeavoured to informe myselfe the best I could in what relates unto your lordship's concernes in these parts; whereof I have herein sent doctor George a particular account, that he may take a fit oportunity to represent the same to your lordship, and receive your commands therein.
I have spoken with col. Sadler, who informes me, that your greate abby without the towne of Galway is demolished, according to your lordship's former orders; and that he hath the lead and iron appointed for the finishing a platforme, and other necessaries for the better secureing of the cittadels there, but wants money to carry on the work. Therefore if your lordship resolves to have the same done, he humbly desires, that yow wil be pleased to send a warrant to the treasurer, that he may have one hundred pounds on accompt, which I hope may do the best part of the work. When I wayted on your lordship at Dublin, I severall times acquainted your lordship with the want of provision in the forces of the islands of Aran and Embsbossin, which if not layd in before Michaelmas, will not be done without great difficultie. I then informed your lordship, that I humbly conceived about one hundred parcells of wheate, and ten barrells of salt, might be competent for each place. Wheat is about 12 s. the barrell, and salt at 8 or 10. The places are of that importance, as the seasonable provideing of them is of concernment. The ready way to have this done, were to send a warrant to supply the storekeeper at Galway with the money, and to send your lordship's order, requiring him imediately to cause the provisions soe made to be sent unto those two cittadells.
My lieutenant-colonel, and some of the officers of my regiment, have been with me since my returne, and acquainted me with the great want of armes that our men are in, especially of pikes, whereof we have not had any recruite at least these three years. I humbly desire your lordship's order for 200 pikes, and 100 muskets out of the store of Athlone, and I shall see the broken and unfixed armes which they have, returned into the stores.
Col. Sadler desired me humbly to represent unto your lordship, that his regiment's lot being fallen in the county of Tipperary, where some toryes much disturb that little plantation they have there, they can make noe advantage by their lands; and therefore he is
an humble suiter unto your lordship, that yow wil be pleased to admit me to give him
leave to send 30 commaunded men out of his regiment, to prosecute them rogues, and to
preserve his English tenants till they have made upp some castle, which they are repairing for their future securitie. For ought yet appearing to me, they may well be spared
from hence for such a tyme they will lye soe contiguous to us, if there should be occasion, as they may in 12 houres be at any time recalled. I shall not trouble your lordship
further at the present, but humbly kissing your lordship's hands, remaine,
your excellencie's most humble servant, Cha. Coote.
General Monck to secretary Thurloe.
I Intreate you to bee very carefull in procuring an order from my lord protector for getting of straw out of the country as formerlie for the horse quarter'd in Scotland, for otherwise the country people would raise itt att such a rate, as wee should nott bee able to buy itt; and besides it must bee brought from places farre distant, the places neere any quarters being not able to supply the troopes, and provide for their owne cattell; and therefore I desire you to gett an order from his highnesse, that the country may bringe in two threace a weeke for each horse, being allowed five pence for each threaoe accordingly as was formerlie; and for oates, the troopers shall supply themselves out of the marketts. Butt without this way of supply for straw, wee cannott keepe any horse in Scotland. I shall write to my lord protector shortly to this purpose. See wishing you a good journey, I remayne
Dalkeith, 15 July 1657.
Consul Maynard to secretary Thurloe.
My laste to your honour was the 8/18 instant, when I write in much haeste, the shipe pretendinge not to make any stay at all; notwithstandinge I am told shee is still in Caskais roade, and will goe now in company of gen. Blake, whoe came to this place the 21st with eight ships, as I am advised by his secretary. The generall is very weake; I beseech God to strengthen him. The ambasador, that goes from this kinge to his highness, tells me, he will goe in gen. Blake's company; but the experience I have had of thire tedious proceedings, that they will rather expose themselves to any hazard than loose a jot of gravitye, makes me thinke he will loose this good company, and goe alone in a merchant-shipe of 14 gunnes. The prize gen. Blake lately tooke doth not appeare to be so rich as the Portugueses reported from the Algarvez. The 20th here came in a Hollander from Cadiz, that reportes, the Spaniard will sende out 36 saile from thence with all expedition; and gen. Blake hath lest but 18 ships behinde him. The generall hath lately had very good intelligence from Cadiz, for there was lately an Inglish merchant, that lives in that place, aboard him; I am told he was with him very few dayes before he sett saile from the Bay. I shall endeavour to gett what intelligence I can from Spaine, and give notice of what I learne to capt. Stoakes, that commands the squadron in the Bay of Cadiz, and by severall conveyances it shall be remitted your honour by
your honour's faithfull servant,
A letter of intelligence to secretary Thurloe.
Right honorabel sir,
Since my last of the 17th currant, I was in hopes to heare of more newes for to impart to your honor with this poste; but there is nothing at present worthy to mention of, because all in these parts consisteth not in any actions, but as yet in consultations, whou to defend Prussia from the invasion of the Poles; and for a while, till the king of Sweden returnes into these parts againe, the Swedes will continue the war hier not offensive but defensive. In the mean time the king of Sweden will be verie active against the king of Dennemarke; and to that purpose he musters his army at Demin, a little way from Stetin, and makes all haste he can to have a bout with the Dane, which without doubt will finde more resistance from the Suedes then he thought of. The Suede hath tooke with him the best souldiers in these parts able to fight the Danes, who take great paines to take in Bremer Vohrde; but as yet they have it not, but they sent for more artillery to act foare against it. The king of S. is yet at Stetin, taking a vieuw of his army; but the next weeke he is to march further, and it is reported, he will fall into Jutland with some of his truppes, for to make a diversion to the ennemy. General Duglas and field-marshall Steinbock went into Sweden of late, for to bring out some forces from thence, and so to joyne with the king of Sweden. They will give worke enough to the Dane I feare the Dane will ere long repent of. The French ambassador was readie to follow the k. of S. to Stetin, but he came from Dantzig in all haste thorow this city, and soe went the second time to Coningsberg, to speak with the duke of Brandenburg concerning the new liga or consœderation with the king of France his master, where he is yet; for the yung borne prince was last munday to be baptised, and, as some say, the king of France is invited from the duke to be a gossip to his sonne; but as yet no answer is come from France. The Dutch ambassaders are yet at Marienburg, intending shortly to be gone home. This being all at present, I subscribe to remaine
your's at command.