A Collection of the State Papers of John Thurloe, Volume 7, March 1658 - May 1660. Originally published by Fletcher Gyles, London, 1742.
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May (3 of 4)
H. Cromwell, lord deputy of Ireland, to secretary Thurloe.
I'am not at all pleased, that Dr. H. should be so officious as to trouble you with such a piece of incoherence, as one single subordinate action must needs appear to you to be. I doubt not, but he might mean well in it; but for him to get a paper from me under colour of his own perusal, in order to the management of the matter to which it related, and to dispose of it in another way, I must say was not very fair. But the thing is the more qualified, when I consider into whose hands it sell; for I am confident, you will use it so, as not to give occasion to any to think, that I am put to that streight, that I must numerare pecus. I confess the general drift I aimed at, and the several means to that end taken altogether, might have been worth your knowledge, so far as to have induced you to give your opinion thereupon, which, I must needs say, I value in any concernment of mine.
I suppose the subscriptions of the army here, ere this time, are with you. I do every
day receive others from the English inhabitants of the several parts of this nation. When
they are all come together, I shall transmit them over, to the end you may make such
use of them, as you shall think sit. I have also subscriptions from most of the ministers
of this nation. I am also told, that the Scotch ministers are thinking upon something of
the same nature. I am,
H. Cromwell, lord deputy of Ireland, to secretary Thurloe.
Here is a messenger on purpose from col. Roger Mosson, of Mosson, in Denbighshire, by whom I am informed, that col. Mosson is secured, together with such other persons in those parts, as have been officers in the late war against the parliament.
This gentleman is a person, from whom I have received many civilities in my voyages
for and from Ireland, and one who hath often declared to me, that he thought it was
his duty to submit chearfully to the present government, and that he was resolved never
to act against it, but to follow his private affairs, and mind the improvement of his
estate, and discharge himself, as became a good subject, to his highness. I will not
undertake to say, he hath kept his word; or that any other obligation lies on him to keep
it, more than that of gentleman and honour: yet, nevertheless, if you have no particular
matter against his person, but that he is taken only within the compass of a general
rule, I would mediate so far in his behalf, as to desire you to take the best opportunity
you can to get him enlarged, he being willing to give what security shall he desired for
his good deportment. I remain,
H. Cromwell, lord deputy of Ireland, to general Fleetwood.
I Perceive by your last (wherein you express, that we have design'd to alter the ways of the minister's maintainance, &c.) that you have been fully and particularly informed of that affair. I hope (that to bring things into their proper and legal channel, and thereby to gratify the greater number both of good ministers and other persons) to make way for the encouragment of more ministers to come over into this land, which doth so much want them, little more than a third part thereof being as yet supplied; and altho' it be so, the maintenance set apart for them as it is now managed falling short 2 or 3000 l. even to pay this quarterly salary to those upon the place; and it being impossible to improve the maintenance any other way than by putting them that are free to receive tythes in kind upon their tythes, and making other provision for those, who conscientiously scruple that way of maintenance, altho' they are contented, that the state be their stewards to set, let, and gather the profits, and themselves receive the very specifical money, which ariseth out tythes, instead of tythes in specie, which all of them have done ever since that revenue hath been put into a distinct treasury; for so it hath been now above these 12 months: I say, I hope upon these and many other considerations, it will not be lookt upon as an evil design, thus to settle the ministers, having regard as aforesaid to those that do soberly, and not wantonly, scruple that way. I wish as fair a way lay open for answering the necessities of the state, as this will those of the church.
Mr. Downing, resident in Holland, to secretary Thurloe.
I Receiv'd none from you this last weeke; and by mine from my wife, I understand that she had received none from me that post, I should be troubled, if the letters of that post to you should have miscarryed, in which were some things of consequence, and, among others, a resolution of the States of Holland, commanding the two Dukes of Yorke and Glocester out of this country.
Wee have noe newes yet of the arrival of the Portugall ambassador, but are in dayly expectation of him, as you will perceive by an inclosed memoriall of the French ambassador. However, the States of Holland have offered it to the States Generall, as their advice, that about six men of war be employ'd in the narrow, and to looke after Biscayners, about eight for the Streights, and ten for Portugall, the rest to remaine here for the present, to be made use of as occasion. And ord **** for fiting out those, who are not ready of Holland, are separated not to meet again upon accompt of the Portugall ambassador's arrivall. Yesternight my lord Nieupoort came to me from the States General, to know whether I had any answer concerning the Portugall prises, and acquainted me with a letter to them from the admiralty of Amsterdam, and the resolution of the States of Holland thereupon. You have already an accompt. I told him that I had no letters this last post; but that by what I had by the post before, I did suppose I should have received something this post concerning them. I wish with all my heart, something were done in that business. And haveing so often told them, that some answer would come, and none coming, I know not what more to say to them; but I hope by the next post, to have something from you about them. My lord Nieupoort is hastning to make ready to go for England, w hi c h ha d i t no t been for this Portugal bu s i ne s, I ha d hi n d er ed. His ma in bu s in es is to the ma ri ne t r e a ty; the y t hi n k that the y ob te in mo r e upon the p la ce from you the n by a ny instructions you will give to me. Mynheer Mornoe, and three other deputies of the town of Trevere in Zeeland, came th'other day to me, in the name of that town, to desire my intercession for the continuation of the Scotch staple at that town, and to let me know, that there were two Scotch men, the one named Robert Anderson, and th'other Andrew Sheene, which are endeavouring the removall of the said staple to Rotterdam; from whence the English merchant-adventurers had lately removed themselves for the evill treatement they found there, and the place which doth so stoutly interest themselves for Vandiest. I have promised the deputyes my assistance, and that I doubted not, but that his highness would be very ready in this particular to testify his good will towards them. I cannot think, that these Scotchmen have any authority from his highness.
Yesterday also the deputy of Dantzick was with me to let me know, that that citty had ordered him to transport himselfe to London, earnestly to beg his highness's favour and mediation in behalf thereof, that they may be served in their privileges, and remain in the same condition as formerly, and that the lord Nieupoort should have instructions to the like effect; and therefore that his **** is to cross the Sea with him.
There are two English prizes brought into the Texell by a small Ostender; there is a ship ca l l ed the Ha m bo ro u g h, or the Ha m b o o u g h Ar m es, of about 300 tuns s q u ar e s te r ne; which is lo a di n g with pi t c h and ta r r, and such like things from Amster. for Me s s in a in S i ci li a, to s u p p ly the Span i s h f r e e bo o te r s. This is certaine; and I shall hereafter give you a more particular accompt concerning it. It is said, that the la dy S ta n h op hath a p as s e to go to England, h er mo the r be in g la te ly de a d; which I doe little wonder at, for I am sure that s he is pr e v y to all the la te p lo t t. O Ne al e was at h er house all the last winter, and w e n t directly from thence for England: and though I did use some meanes to that end, yet I would discover nothing concerning him; and the princess royal is now gone to her 286 75 l l e n, which will be a good preparation for j o u r n y. The r e is o ne L e e of 2 Ess ex that is now going for England. He was with me for a pass, but I refused him. He said he would take his that although its true, that he was once secured suspition, yet that nothing could be proved against him by the meanes of your lady he obteyned his liberty: hereupon I gave him a word or two to yourself a manner as I believe he would make noe he pressed earnestly to have had it in form that I would by noe meanes consent unto s in ce I under s ta n d that for ce r ta in he s ho u d ha ve go ne for England d u ri n g the la te p lo t t, and o ne co lo ne l J er v as Ho l l is s ho l d have gone as his s er v an t.
The lo r d Di g by was also in England, and is returned. Ar mi g er is now in this to w ne, and it is said, that he hath gott very well by his voyage by presents given him. Ma r s in is r et u r n ed to Bruxels from F rank for t with as s u r an ce of C. St. w e l come the r e. So that it is supposed, that he will speedily be going thither. I heare noe newes yet of the returne of O Ne al e or La n g da le.
The r e is o ne co lo ne l B la c k w e l of To um o u ne in I r e la n d that came to me, that one was P ri v y to all that Ormond did in England, lo d g ed with him at Amsterdam and that he P ri va te ly go t co pi es of his p a pe r s and desires a p as s and mo ny to carry him to you, and that he will di s co v er all he know es; the main is altogether a stranger to me, and therefore I know not what to say of him, or what weight to put upon what he sayth; but desire your directions.
I p ra y lo o k for letter s from Bruxels, di r ec t ed A Monsieur T ho m as P la m p in a l a Ro s e b la n c h a B r ed s t r e a t Londre: and by the first ship s you shall receive cy p h er s. If I had any knowledge of the French intentions against Ostend, I should in all probability have hindered that disaster; for that I had a very particular and timely accompt of the march of those extraordinary Spanish that place. It seems Don John had notice of the first. The diference continues very greate and the cittyzens of Antwerp, by reason of the greate somes of money he would have from them. The 18th instant Don John gave orders to all the Spanish horse to march towards Cambrey, Dowey, Tournay, and those parts, to be in readyness; and their whole army is beginning to leave their quarters: and having furnished such places as are necessary, they will have not many foote to spare to make them capable to be even upon the defensive.
Having spoke much of surpriseing St. Venant. I am at a greate straight truly, and goe upon tickett for want of mony; but shall try no more, being confident to receive authority for returning mony by the next, or bills of exchange; and I pray, that you will be pleased to take care that I may have an order to charge my allowance on Mr. Noell, as it grows due for the future, monthly; that I may not be so troublesome to you in my letters hereafter.
I have spoken with the French ambassador about Hesden, he saith that he is possitively of opinion, that the not to s i t t down before. He e n, and that he beleeves that he will no t: and that he would againe write at large to that purpose; and he saith, which is also most true, that the great ho p es of all the f ri end s of the K.of Sp. is that K.of Fr. will be s i e ge that p la ce.
Discourseing at large with the deputy of Dantzick about the affaires of Poland, he said that the king of Poland had reason to be carefull of offending the king of Hungary, who had done so much for him; but especially, because he is not sure (as he said) of the intentions of the king of Sweden to peace with him; and that he should be in a desperate condition if he should have the Muscovites and Swede upon his back, and lose the assistance of Hungary: but that if the king of Sweden were come to this side the water, and that the king of Poland did know upon what terms the king of Sweden would be content to quitt Prussia, that then he verily beleeved the king of would give little eare further to the difficulties the king makes against the acceptation of the mediation of France, of that kind. Monsieur Aplebom is not yet in a condition.
A letter of intelligence from the Hague.
Ceux Zutphen avont escrit pour plus de garrison, et reparation de leurs remparts. Le vice-admirall Pieter Floris pleint, que à Amsterdam on ne luy veut pas donner part du butin du sucre confisqué. Le Sieur Beuningen escrit derechef pour sa permission de revenir, qu'on veuille pour cest effect y faire venir un vaisseau de guerre. Il y a ou aura du bruit pour la question (meüe à l'occasion du proces de Tins) si des sentences du Conseil d'Estat il y a appel. Ceux de Hollande veulent encore, que Beuningen demeure quelque temps a Coppenhage. Les Estats de Hollande se separeroient ce soir.
Il y a eu un grand avis du conseil d'Estat touchant l'appel, que demande Tins. La question n'est pas propenment touchant Tins; mais s'il y a appel des sentences du conseil. Pour la negative sont le conseil meme, et sour tout le Sieur Beverning; et en Hollande le raet pensionaire avec les siens; qui estudient a augmenter l'autorité de la Hollande dans ledit conseil, ou le sieur Beverning a la direction, avec trois de Hollande: attirants a eux aussy le sieur Vander Hooge; et par ainsy la plus part du...ayants, pluralité. Pour l'affirmative sont tous, qui ne desirent pas, que le conseil soit aggrandy, desapprouvant, que dans la deputation vers Munster, il y a eu un: Item, qu'a faire des traites on prend l'advis du conseil; item, que dans des conferences avec ceux du conseil, il commencent avoter par capita; et cy devant ils ne souloient que donner avis en corps.
Le prince Maurice a escrit; que dans la capitulation de l'empereur futur on veut faire inserer, que cest estat ne doive pas se mesler des sujets de l'empire contre leur prince. Touchant le consul d'Espagne l'admirauté de Rotterdam a avisé qu'on le peut admettre, en ne tirant plus icy, que les consuls d'icy ne tirent en Espagne. Le conte Harman demande commissaires.
De l'ambassadeur de France il y a eu derechef un memoire, disant que l'ambassadeur de Portugal soit en chemin, & desja sous les costes de France, desiroit qu'on mit ordre à la reception du dit ambassadeur, & que tout se fit avec honneur convenable, sur quoy on a resolu, qu' oui. Touchant l'affaire de Tins on est tombé d'accord de requerir aussy un advis du haut conseil, & apres cela on y avisera de plus pres. L'ambassadeur Boreel demande augmentation de traitement, autrement qu'il cassera la moitié de son trein.
Aujourd'huy messieurs d' Hollande ont proposé leur advis provincial d'avoir enfin consenty au subside à l'equipage extraordinaire des 48 navires, non pas d'un million, mais de 600,000 Francs, comme l'année passée, & que 6 navires & deux yachtes seront employes dans le Bocht contre les depredateurs ou capers, & le reste vers les costes de Portugal. Quant à l'affaire Baltique, ont trouvé à propos de n' y toucher pas, ou pas encore; ains de permettre au sieur Beuningen de retourner, s'il trouve qu'il n'y a plus rien à faire, & pour celle sin est resolue d' y envoyer un navire de guerre pour son transport. Et pourtant mieux parfaire l'equipage, est consenty aux admirautés Nort Hollande & Rotterdam de negotier pour chaque navire dix mille Francs, au lieu de six mille.
Aujourd'huy ceux de Hollande ont proposé de l'instruction à donner au sieur Neuport; ou des points instuants en icelle, à savoir qu'il aura à remercier le protecteur touchant les offices de mediation d'entre cest estat & Portugal. Qu' aura à resumer & avancer le traité de marine; mais evitera d'accorder le formulier du passeport proposé par les Anglois; ains persister en la resolution du 18. Janvier, 1657. & ne point decliner d'icelle. Item, il taschera d'engager le protecteur à se liger plus estroitement avec cest estat, specialement pour la conservation du commerce dans la mer Baltique, & pour la ville de Dansick. Item, à empescher l'alliance & dessein de la Suede & Dennemarc pour exclurre tous estrangers de la mer Baltique. On a aussy parlé d'asseurer la pescherie des harengs. On parlera aussy au Downing touchant les prinses du sucre. On aura aussy resolu quelque chose touchant la compagnie d'Ostende.
Il n'y a rien eu aujourd'huy qu' une pleinte de l'admirauté en Zeelande, de ce que les depredateurs Turcs ont prins six navires de cest estat; sur quoy est resolu d' escrire. Des 24 navires sont desja six dans le Bocht; 8 iront en la mer Mediterraneé, & dix iront sur les costes de Portugal. Les 24 restants s'en vont estre equippés, & iceux serviront pour donner jalousie aux voisins, comme aux Anglois & Suedois.
The protector's instructions to the fleet.
Whereas by treaty between us and the king of France, Dunkirk is to be besieged both at land and sea; to witt, at land by the French power, and at sea by our fleet; and we are given to understand, that the French army is come near to that place for the purpose aforesaid, you are forthwith, upon the receipt hereof, (leaving behind you 2 or 3 of the ships, for preventing the enemies from coming into and going out of Ostend) to repair with the rest of the fleet with you before Dunkirk, and with them, such ships as you shall find there and thereabouts, and such as shall be sent unto you from other places, you shall your best endeavour to block up the said town of Dunkirk, and to hinder any relief to be carried thereinto, and prevent the enemy from coming out from thence; and the commissioners of the admiralty have direction to send you victuals, and send other provisions, as will be requisite.
You shall in this correspond with our embassador in France, and likewise with the general of the French army, and shall comply with all designs, as far as you are able, for the taking of the said place.
You shall afford to the French army such quantities of powder and bullet out of your ships, as you can spare for the said service, they paying ready money for the same; as also to lend them some battering guns, if they shall have occasion to use them.
Extract out of the register of the secret resolutions of the lords states general of the United Netherlands.
Was heard the report of the lords Huygens and others, their H. and M. L. commissioners for the affairs of the sea, according to their resolution of the 23d instant, having visited and examined the letter of the college of the admiralty writ at Amsterdam the 10th of the same month, concerning their considerations and advice upon the letter written by the consul David de Vries to their H. and M. L. from Salee, the 2d of February last, 1658. Whereupon being debated, it is thought fit and understood herewith to ratify the said treaty by the said consul, upon procuration and order of their H. and M. L. with the lord Sid Abdalla Bensod Mahumed Benbuquar, concluded the 2d of March of the last year, and by letter of the 25th of the same month, sent to their H. and M. L. by the said consul, and consequently an act of ratification shall be dispatched in due form, and sent to the said college, to be sent to the said consul. But considering the hard and exorbitant proceedings which are now-and-then used against the subjects of this state at Salee, from whence we may presume to gather, that the said lord doth not seem to be so much concerned as he ought in observing the treaty of peace and amity with this state, and in regard the said treaty by such practice might be easily broken, or interpreted that the same is unuseful to this state, it is resolv'd, that therefore shall be written to the said college of admiralty, that their lordships will send away the act of ratification upon the said treaty to Salee, by a squadron of ships of war, according to a former resolution, designed for the subduing of other Turkish pirates, and recommend the exchanging of the said act to the commander in chief of the said squadron, together with the consul; with some civil excuses for the relapse of time, and protestation of this side's inclination to observe the same precisely, and to continue it; and this having taken effect, they be then to insist upon the complement of justice in the business of Mr. William Wilhelmi Jaques Vysell, and other subjects of this state, mentioned in the said letter. And in case they cannot come to a good agreement, the commander of the said squadron shall use the best means he can to preserve the subjects of this state dwelling at Salee, together with all their effects, and keep the said road and harbour blocked up, as if the said treaty had not been made, till such time that the said lord come to alter and change his resolution. It is also left to the choice of the said consul, according to the success of affairs one way or other, either to quit his charge, or continue in it, as he shall conceive to be best for him.
Relation of a voyage to Amsterdam and North Holland, with an account of all the ships of war, sent by Mr. Downing, resident in Holland.
April 30. departing from the Hague, next day I arrived at Amsterdam, where, from the secretary of vice-admiral Ruyter, and the commissioner-general of the admiralty, I was certainly informed, that the said admiralty was charged with seventy-two ships of war, twenty already employed for convoys, and of the rest 52 there are 36 equipped, whereof most are already descending towards the Texel. To know exactly the true constitution of the said equipage, the 2d of May I hired a shallop to visit all the ships at or near Amsterdam, and found, that only 8 ships of the 36 were about Amsterdam, which are preparing with all diligence; the other 28 are descended toward the Texel. The same day I sent to the resident at the Hague this following list.
|Already going out, and at the Texel||28|
|Almost ready at Amsterdam||8|
|Out in convoys||20|
|Within the streights of the Mediterranean sea||3|
|Those that will not be sitted out this year||13|
The 3d of May from Amsterdam I went to Bruycksloot, and advanced as far as Monickendam, where I found not one man of war; but understood, that at Horn they made ready a man of war of Moninckdam, called also Moninckendam, commanded by captain Samblen, of 36 pieces of cannon, and 130 men. The same day I arrived at Edam, and there sound none; but learnt, that Edam had lately separated its equipage from North Holland, and order it to be done at Amsterdam; and that the Greyhound in the list above was a frigate of Edam. The 4th I arrived at Hoorn, and there found true the ship Moninckendam to be commanded by captain Samblon.
|Vice-admiral Peter Floris||The Joshua||50|
|A great ship without mast or name||50|
|The North Holland||58|
|Pomp||The Endracht of Enchuysen||36|
|The Arms of Holland||30|
|The New Endracht||50|
|The Two Lions||50|
|The Young Prince William||24|
|The Three Willands of David||44|
|The Arms of Medenblick||40|
|The Castle of Medenblick||28|
That evening I went towards the Helder, and there arrived at 3 of clock next morning; then took a boat, and visited the fleet, and found as above-said; also, that the Greenland fleet for whales went away the 30th of April, and some merchant-ships toward the Mediterranean sea, yet without convoy, which is ordered to stay till the 20th of May. The commissary-general of the admiralty of Friesland told me, that at Harlingen, where the college of that admiralty resides, were 10 ships, whereof these two were making ready.
Examination of Richard Culpeper.
That yesterday there came unto him Edmund Stacy, John Edwards, and Edward Hagar, dwelling in Dunning's-alley in Bishopsgate-street, and propounded to him, that he would take a commission from the king of Scots, and that this night he would be assisting for him at Fisher's-folly for the surprisal of his highness and his guards, and that their grandeur or council had a list of all such persons as were enemies to the said king. They also said, that their colonel lived at Hoxton, a gentleman of 300 l. a year, but his name they would not impart. John Edwards said, that he had lodged a barrel of powder, and a barrel of shot, in Bishopsgate-street, but did not discover whereabouts.
The information of John Halleman, a Staffordshire man, born in Ridgeley, and lived lately at Ashby in Leicestershire, and now lying at the Lock and Sheers in Church-lane, near Dunstan's church, butcher, taken the 15th of May, 1658. before John lord Barkstead, lieutenant of the Tower.
Saith, that one Mr. or major Cane came to this informant's lodging this day, and called upon this informant to drink with him; and then said to him, We are this night to fall upon and rout the party at Paul's, and colonel Pride's regiment in Southwark, and alarum Whitehall and all the out-guards. And said, When we have routed that party in the city at Paul's, we are promised strength enough, with guns and halberts, and the train'd-band arms, to carry on our work; and appointed this informant to come to the Bell in Carter-lane, at nine of the clock this night, where he should have two or three to come to him, and to certify him more fully. And this informant also saith, that one Mr. Dr. Banke, that was formerly a gunner for the king at Sashby, lying at a glazier's house next door to the Lock and Sheers, knows Mr. Cane, and hath been several times in his company; but the informant knoweth not, whether he knows of this design or no; for he never heard them speak together any thing of this business. When Mr. Cane went from this informant, he said he was to go to some friends in Southwark, before he was to come to the Bell as aforesaid; and said, he had been up and down all this day to acquaint his friends with the design of this night's rising. And this informant saith, the said Cane was with him four or five days ago, and told him, he should see such a sight in London, that he had not seen a good while before; and when it was to be executed, would come and acquaint him with it. And in discourse this day, he bid this informant fear nothing; for this night they should be able to do their work, and bring them now under, that kept them under so all this while; and said they should have gold and silver enough to-morrow eleven of the clock, for they would plunder all the goldsmiths shops in London. And also promised this informant four months pay, which he said he should have in hand; and also said, though he could not prefer him at present as he desired, yet he should have a halbert, and better preserment after. And further said, when they had routed that party in the city, there would be sew apprentices, journeymen, and others, that he doubted not, but that they should have forty thousand in 24 hours; and bid him not fail, but to be at the Bell aforesaid, before nine rather than after, and to inquire for Mr. Roberts instead of his name; because, he said, upon such a design, they must take any name.
Letter from Marcus Mom.
Much beloved father, greeting. I have received your acceptable of the 17th current, which in this cannot be answered, because the present condition wherein I am will not permit it, which (to inform you of it) is, that I do not follow here a suit in law upon account of captain Govert Tyssen, who was owner of the tobacco that you sent, against one Thomas Couwell, who had made seizure on the said goods by letters of marque, all which I have defended, and gotten the goods free; and having since disposed of the said goods, I arrested the said Thomas Couwell, and intended an action of damage and expences against him; which suit having won, and being ordained, that he should give me 150 l. sterling for the damage and charges, I got an execution against him for the said moneys; and because I have pursued the said suit something hard, he often threatened to be the death of me, yea to make me come to the gallows, which I do not fear. In fine, seeing he could revenge himself with no other action against me, hath made a declaration, that I should have offended the protector and his counsel with injurious words, and held correspondence with the enemies of this state; which the said Thomas Couwell hath sworn absolutely against me. Whereupon, last saturday morning very early, I have been (though unguilty) taken by soldiers out of my bed, and led prisoner into the Tower; wherein it is very easy to come into, but very hard to get out. Therefore I beseech you, that you would be pleased to go with the first occasion to the Hague, and to make it known to the embassador Nieuport, and to intreat him to send a letter of recommendation to his secretary Crooke being here, or else to Mr. Strickland, who is here one of the council of state, and hath great favour, that I only may be heard with my witnesses; for I am unguilty, and that which is declared, is but of pure malice against me. I intreat you to use all diligence to get recommendation; for the long being here, is of great charges; in the mean time, many friends use all diligence to help me out. So I recommend me to your good fatherly care; and commit you to the protection of the Almighty.
John Cooke, &c. to Sir John Copleston.
In pursuance of your instructions wee speeded to Dorchester, where wee came on monday night aboute eight att night, delayinge the time untill then, because wee would avoid observation in our cominge; and in order to the concealment of ourselves, left our swords att Burport. Suddenly after our cominge to Dorchester, wee delivered your honor's letter to Mr. Bushrode, who thereupon readily engaged his best assistance; then acquainteinge us, that some of the Annabaptists had beene with the major, (himselfe and major Strange being present) and desired to have one of the churches to meete in; which, after some consideration and debate, hee refused to grante them. One tuesday morninge, a trusty and fitt agent attendinge them, thereby to gett knowledge of the number and quality of the persons assembled, as also what they did, who acquainted us, that the wholl sorenoone was spent in receiveinge and readinge certaine letters, (by them styled epistles) which were sent by the respective churches, whose messengers there mett; whereof there were many. The inscription of all which epistles was this, viz. An epistle from the church of Church in — to the messengers of the severall churches of Christ, who are now assembled att a generall meetinge in Dorchester. The subject matter of most of them (besides salutations) was to inquire the estate of the other churches, and to give an accounte of there owne; the motive to both beinge the consideration of the season, which they assert to be a time of apostasy and persecution, wherein the sufferings of Syon were. There subscription was under such terms; Subscribed by your fellow-members and sufferers in the body of Christ. The regulater of this affaire was one Collier, a clarke, all the while attendinge and recordinge the said epistles. The afternoone was spent in prayer, and such kinde of preachinge as they customary use; wherein there were eight employed that little time. In there prayer all of them much complained of the bonds and sufferings of the saints; some callinge itt the time of Syon's affliction, wherein those that have beene glorious lights on the right and left hand, are shutt up in bonds; vehemently prayinge, that in order to there deliverance, God would put a hooke into the nostrills of, and destroy him, who is the enemy of God and his people. In both these meetinges there were about three hundred persons. The same afternoone came captain Kiffin, captain Deane, one of the treasurers at warr, Mr. Warren, Mr. Harrison, and six more from London, to attend this meetinge.
Wensday in the forenoone the like or a greater number mett in the same place againe; and after prayer, performed by captaine Kiffin, many epistles (so called) were presented and read under the same inscription, and of like substance with those of the day before. The remainder of the time then, as also the afternoone, was spent in answering certain questions, viz.
The debate about these questions was very greate, and the answers at last resolved soe empty, as not worth reciteinge. All that was donne besides, was the proposall of a little manuscript they had got printed, intituled, Sertaine questions and answers proposed and answered att sower generall meetings; two whereof were to bee sent to each church, who sent there messengers thither: the contents whereof I could not understand. That afternoone one John Cary, captaine Vernon, and adjutant Allen came to town. Att night there was a private meetinge in the George, where many of the principple ones were; and amongst other thinges there debated, a greate contest arise aboute there joyneinge with the fifth-monarchy-men; but for that time not concluded, by reason of captaine Kiffin's opposeing itt.
Thursday morneinge, a little after eight of the clocke, there mett att the George-inn all the grandees, with the pastors and teachers only; where (the doore beinge close shutt, and all resort of others denied untill two in the afternoone) they sate close in debate; but whither about the fifth-monarchy-busines, (broke off the night before) or what else, could not learne. All the day their publique meetinge in the accustomed place was carried on and managed in prayinge and speakinge as before; but att eveninge, another close meetinge was held; to what purpose also, unknowne.
In the close of these meetinge it was published, that the messengers of the churches
were desired to meete att the same chamber they mett in the night before, to receive an
accounte of the result of the generall meetinge, to communicate to the severall churches
from whom they came, and to receive information of the day and place appointed for the
next generall meetinges; but what their conclusions were, or the day and place assigned
for the next meetinge, wee could not learne. This donne, the company dispersed to there
respective homes. We are
Your Honour's and the commonwealth's faithfull and most humble servants,
The principall persons at this meetinge
were these under;
Mr. John Cary.
Londrs. Captaine Deane, one of the treasurers at warr.
Mr. Collier of Wells.
Mr. Strange of Barnestaple.
Mr. Sheires of Plimouth.
Mr. Mercer of Bridgewater.
Mr. Glasse of Bovey-Tracy.
Mr. Hitch of Lime.
Colonel Barkstead, lieutenant of the Tower, to secretary Thurloe.
Sumner and Fryer are here; Harrison is certaynely noe house-keeper in or neare Aldersgate, and soe cannot be heard off; only the party, that I sent for him, apprehended four genteele fellowes, in a desperate malignant ale-house, which can give noe good account of their being together at that tyme, or how they live otherwise. Somerton hath not layne at his house these five or six dayes, but they expect him to-morrow, whom I shall look after. There are soe many of the Carletons, and having not his christian name or place of abode, I know not which to apprehend. Major Cane, against whom the information of John Halleman was, (which I sent the last night inclosed to his highnes) I apprehended at the tyme and place as in the information. Soe soon as I saw him, I knew him: he was a major in the late king's army; and after they were beaten out of the field, served in Wallingford; and was accounted, both by myselfe and others, one of the stoutest officers of that garrison. He had planted himselfe in the midst of the butchers at Algate, at a cooke's shop, where he had layne for three monethes by-past. There were two other taken with him: had it not byn for the beating up of the drummes, and allarum in the city, they had byn a greater number. There are severall others taken up in the streets, by my petrolls, which I have not yet had tyme to examine. As for horse, in all that part of the towne, there were very few innes; and all places being strictly examined, they found not above forty, which were most of them carr-horse. Soe farre as I am able to judge, their resolution was to horse themselves where they could take them by force, as to their greater number. I shall not faile to wayte upon you tomorrow; only I thought it my duty to give this to you at present, from