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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June (1 of 6)
Secretary Thurloe to Henry Cromwell, lord deputy of Ireland.
May it please your Excellency,
I have little else to trouble you with by this post, save what relates to Dunkirke and the siege thereof; and to the end your excellency may have a true account of that action, I have sent you coppies of such letters as I have received from my lord ambassador Lockhart, who comaunds the English there; as also 2 letters sent to the French ambassador there: one is from mareshall Turene the generall of the French army, and the other from a chiefe person, which I send, that your excellency may see, that the French acknowledge, that God owned the English in this action. Since these letters the enemye made another sallye, to witt, upon saterday night last; and that was upon the French quarters, whom they forced out of their trench, and raised some part of it; but the French horse came in, and made good all againe, and pursued the enemye home to their gates.
As for our owne affaires, they stand much at one staye: some discourses have beene this weeke about a settlement, and how to prepare for the comeinge of a parliament; but I doe assure your excellency, that I cannot finde the mindes of men soe disposed, as may give the nation the hopes of such a settlement as is wish'd for; and truly I thinke, that nothinge but some unexpected providence can remove the present difficulties, which the Lord (it may be) will afford us, if he hath thoughts of peace towards us, as I trust he hath; and therefore it is good to wait upon hym, and to referre all matters to his wife and gratious disposition, without beinge anxious about the event, after wee have done our duty.
I am glad the ministers parted soe well satisfied: only it's sayd, that not only those inclyned to Anabaptism dislike the proceedings, but that the soberest Independants were and are diffenters to most of the thinges agreed upon. I acknowledge matters of religion are tender points, and (through our owne corruptions) the consideration thereof hath seldome beene upon the stage here, but it hath engender'd strise and contention; but I know, your lordship's prudence (through the grace of God) will be seene in the tymely application of remedyes sitt to any distempers of this kinde, if any such there be, which truly I knowe not otherwise than I heare it sayd. I shall not add to your excellency's trouble here, craveinge leave to signe me,
Captain Stoakes to secretary Thurloe.
Mr. Thomas Browne, the late consull of Tunis, and since againe confirmed by his highness under the great seale of England, hath come to mee, to require me to send a frigatt with him to Tunis for his resettlement; for the which I having noe particular order to doe, I have denyed, untill I shall know his highnes further pleasure therein, which Mr. Browne requested, I would certifie your honour. He that now acts in Tunis (Mr. Thomas Campian) was left there by Mr. Browne, and as his deputy was owned by me, which is all that offers in this affaire. I remayne,
This post brought me not any from your honour; nor is there more of novelty then the comeing to me of the Farfax and the Yarmouth, with whom (God willing) after I have gotten as much victualls as may furnish them and myselfe for one month, I shall goe with them, and lye off Cape-Mello, and Cape-Corsigo, untill such tyme as all the rest retourne to this place, being the rendevous. In the intrim doe leave directions with the agent, for sending me any commands he shall receive for me; and that he may the speedier meet with mee, have left the prize to be sent unto me, as occasion shall offer. From Tituan is notice, that a marchantman is come thither in 15 dayes from the Downes, which gives me great hopes, the victualls will not be long wanting. Not els, save that I am,
General Monck to secretary Thurloe.
I have received your lordshipp's letter of the 13th instant, and thank you for the newes you sent mee of what hath hapned at Dunkerke since the battel. I am confident the towne cannott hold out much longer; butt I heare, that hee, that is the governor, is a gallant man, and one that hath good judgment in defending of a towne. Captain Deane, one of the treasurers, came hither on wednesday last; and I hope now wee shall bring Mr. Drywood's businesse to a period, and likewise so settle the treasury heere, that there will be no danger of the state's or treasurers being losers by any intrusted heere. Mr. Short wee have discharged, being we cannot prove any thing against him butt I believe Drywood is the verriest knave of them all. I remayne
H. Cromwell, lord deputy of Ireland, to secretary Thurloe.
If you cannot live without a supply of money, and no visible way appear for it but a parliament, are not you thereby called to a resolution in all other points concerning it? I am glad to hear of Ludlow, Rich, and also Sir Harry Vane's compliance. I hope they do not intend to tickle you, as men do trouts; yet the letter about the retreat rather argues their desire to shuffle again, then better your hand. Neither do I think, that your affairs will gain much reputation by their being in your councell. I confess I think it were happy, if his highness could confine the conduct of all affairs military and civill to the hands of such, as have in the worst of times opposed the common enemy, so as to leave none out. But if God will have men laid aside, let us observe his providences, and not be too sollicitous to please man, (whatsoever his appearance is) least we justly fare the worse for their company. Is it not also a matter worth observation, who are the men, that are most industrious to call in such help? May it not be a design to obstruct and clog the business, when no other way is left to hinder your settlement, or cover their own disaffection? Charity indeed bids us judge the best, yet so as not to be secure. He, that runs along with you, may more easily trip up the heels, than he, that wrestles with you; but my jealousy is easily appeased, when you say his highness hath an opportunity in his hands to settle. I pray God direct him. Last night the councell made an end of the claims upon the proviso in the act of attainder, which were like to make a great hole in his highnes revenue. Mr. Annesley claimed upon a contract with the lord Barnwell; but we resolved such a claim would not lye, in regard Barnwell was excepted from the purvieu of the act; so that whosoever claims from him, must stand or fall, as he succeeds before you in England in the proofe of his constant good affection. He hath a great estate very near Dublin: if he enjoy it in specie, his interest will always be at least a great eye-fore to the government. I would not have him wronged; but there being much matter against him, I hope that though his interest be very great, there he will be narrowly sifted. In the mean time we were not engaged to give our judgment in a collaterall case, which might have had influence upon the main question, it may be, have been falsifyed by your judgment there, not for want of guilt, but evidence, at such a distance from the place of his offence, where he must not be tryed by his neighbours, nor, it may be, by many, who will think it much worth their case; so that unless you make it yours, I shall much doubt the issue. I am
Colonel Lockhart to secretary Thurloe.
May it please your Lordshipp,
Yesterdaye's action can be more surely and plainely related by my lord Howard, then by myselfe, he haveing done himselfe the right to informe himselfe very perticulerly of all that passed, as being an eye-witness. He left our camp in the afternoone, and went on board his vessell, and I thinke he had not weighed anchor, when one came to mee from Mr. Turenne, and told mee, there was a necessity of giveing battell to the enemy to-morrow morning. I was much surprized with the shortnes of the warneing, and more with the strange providence was in it; for I had one of the most violent fitts of the stone upon mee, that ever I allmost had in my life; but finding there was no midds, but either fighting, or abandoning the siege, I chose rather to trust God with the event of a battell, then to give over so hopefull a cause; and so about ten a clocke drew out the forces, and put myselfe on their head in my coach, and reached Mr. Turenne's quarters next morneing by breake of day. We spent some 3 howers in putting our forces in battell, and about 8 of the clocke marched up to the enemy, who kept his ground, till we should come up to him. I, having the command of the left wing, rancountred the right of the enemy, where all his old Spanyards were, and posted so advantageously, as, when I considered my worke, I looked upon forceing them as alltogether impossible; but necessity haveing no law, I ordered my owne regiment to attempt it before, and at the same time, haveing some comanded men upon the strand, which were to have seconded the horse, I made them attaque the Spanish upon the flanke; and after the hottest dispute, that I ever saw, it pleased God to give us successe, and with that advantage, as the enemy, seeing their best men forced in their most advantageous post, did not in all the rest of the battell behave themselves as I expected. The rout was universall, but not so closely pursued by the French horse as I could have wisht. There was a rumor, thatt Mr. le prince was taken, and the pretended duke of Yorke slaine; but after examination, that appeared to be false, though a great many else of quality are taken, as Mr. Bouteville, and count Bologne, and a prince whose name I cannot remember; and besides a great many, Mr. de Camps, of which I shall give your lordshipp a most perticular account by the next. We kept our aproaches, and our bridges upon the channells; but I being forced to draw out, and finding that 1000 men were not able to secure my quarter, I left it to the hazard, and found it all burnt downe at my returne. My owne losses were most considerable; but all thoughts of them were drowned in a greater; for I have not one officer in my owne regiment, who is not dangerously wounded or killed, except one captain, and a captainlieutenant, and some sower lieutenants, ensignes, and serjeants. The truth is, my lord, I have fallen asleep, I knowe not howe often, in writeing this; and so shall only pray, that we may be made sensible of the good hand of God, which hath bin wonderfully with us this day. I pray for the continuance of his highness health, and the encrease of his glory and hapines. I am,
The Spanish army appeared in two bodies before the line before Dunkirk thursday the 3d of June, which occasioned the marshal Turenne the next day to draw off the whole army, upon some considerations of the difficulties of both maintaining the siege, and sighting the enemy. The French army, with the conjoined English forces, divided themselves into two wings. The right wing, consisting of 10000 foot, and 6000 horse, commanded by marshal Turenne, undertook the dispute with the prince of Conde. The left wing, being made up with all the English foot, under the command of the lord ambassador Lockhart, (now their general) and 3000 French horse, under the command of the marquis of Castleneus, were assailed by a good body of the enemy, under the conduct of Don John of Austria, the duke of York, and the marquis of Carasene. The English, after a hot dispute, shattered all that party, that opposed them. The marquis of Carasene is supposed to be killed; but some say, he was taken and released by a soldier for 10000 crowns. The forlorn of English foot, consisting of half his excellency the lord embassador's regiment, and part of that commanded by lieutenant-colonel Haines, was led on by lieutenant colonel Fennerick, his excellency's lieutenant-colonel, in whose company was that noble young gentleman Mr. Henry Jones of Oxfordshire, a voluntier, who went lately over with my lord Falconbridge. Fennerick was shot through the body, and Jones shot through the shoulder, and wounded in two other places, and not yet heard of; and all the officers of the lord embassador's regiment killed or wounded, except himself and colonel Drummond, a voluntier, that went also over with the lord Falconbridge, accompanied his excellency the lord embassador in all this action. He had one horse shot under him, and being with difficulty remounted, was pushed off by a pike; but is not wounded. The English acted miracles in this battle. Major-general Morgan came on with the rest of the men a good trot; but it was saster than monsieurs gallop; and when they had beaten that part of the army under Don John of Austria, marched to the assistance of marshal Turenne, whom they found in some disorder; but by their assistance the day was won. The enemy within Dunkirk in this time burnt our huts, and took most of our tents. It being now late, relation cannot be certainly sent of the number or quality of the prisoners; but I suppose near 3000 may be taken, and half that number killed. Prisoners of quality here are one, Memorancy, lieutenant general to the prince of Conde, and one Coligne of the same quality, and one Bouteville, a great officer. Don John was once taken by the bridle. This relation being taken just after the battle by a weary hand, must refer you to a more particular account by the next; only this know, the French acknowledge to our nation the honour of this victory.
Secretary Thurloe to captain Stoakes at Marseilles.
I Received yours of the 25th of May, and do very much wonder, that the victualling ships are not yet arrived with you, they having been gone from hence many weeks since. They cannot be now long absent, in case it hath pleased God to preserve them from the weather.
I confess your bills have not had the speedy payment, as was to be wished; but I trust the difficulty of that is over, and that you will hear no more of complaints of that nature from the merchants, which were employed by you, effectual order being taken for the payment of those, which are yet unpaid.
It hath pleased God to give the conjoined force of England and France a great victory against the Spanish army near Dunkirk, which place being besieged by the joint forces, Don John, the prince of Condé, the forces of Charles Stuart, Caracene came with 16000 men to relieve it; and the other army rising to give them battle, did wholly vanquish them, took and killed all their infantry, and many of their horse; and it is said, that Caracene is slain; but that is yet not certain: but many persons of quality are taken and slain. The siege is renewed again, and I suppose the town will soon be reduced. This is all the news. I rest
Secretary Thurloe to Mr. John Aldworth, consul of the English nation at Marseilles.
I Have, according to your desire, endeavoured the payment of your bill of 1500 l. and am promised by the commissioners of the admiralty, that such care shall be taken in it, that your credit shall not suffer, they and I too being sensible of the good affection you have shewed to H. H. service, in furnishing the fleet with such provisions as they stand in need of.
I suppose you will hear, before this comes to your hands, of the great defeat given to the Spanish army in Flanders near Dunkirk, by the conjoined forces of the English and French; so that I need not write to you of it particularly. It was a total overthrow. I rest
General Monck to secretary Thurloe.
I Received two letters from you, the one of the first, and the other of the third instant, for which I returne you many thanks. By them I understand, his highnesse hath given orders to the companie, that belonges to the garrison of Berwick, that lies now at Hartlepoole, to come back to Berwick. The hundred men, which were to goe from Berwick for Dunkirke, mutinied before they went out of the towne for want of their arreares; but the governor at last, by knocks and force, made them to march towards Tinmouth. I thanke you for the newes you sent mee concerning the French army lying before Dunkirke. I am glad the English had soe good successe in giving the enemy a repulse. I hope, if they have not too few forces to defend the line, and that the enemy bee not of force to affront them, I doubt nott butt they will carry the towne suddenly. I cannott yett give you an account of any certainty concerning Mr. Shart and Mr. Drywood; butt I believe Mr. Drywood will prove the veriest knave of all. What we shall prove against Mr. Sherte, I know not; but if Mr. Bilton and Mr. Drywood bee found knaves, I thinke hee cannott be very honest. For newes heere, wee have none; only judge Smyth is this day come to Scotland. Which is all att present from
Secretary Thurloe to H. Cromwell, lord deputy of Ireland.
May it please your Lordship,
The victory, which it hath pleased God to give the conjoyned forces of England and France uppon Friday last, in a battle with the Spanish army near Dunkirke, is expressed in the letter here inclosed, whereby your excellency will see how good God hath beene to us at this season, when our affaires soe much wanted such a mercy as this is. Your excellency will perceive the letter was written the same day the battle was fought, and soe noe particular account could be given either of the numbers slayne or taken. As wee understand it, their whole insantrye was lost. This mercy is the greater, in respect that it was obteyned the very day, whilst his highnes and the counsell wer keepeinge a day of fastinge and prayer, to seeke God for help in that siege; and truly I never was present at any such exercise, where I saw a greater spirit of faith and prayer powred forth; and it was a meere providence of God, that ordered the fight and the seekinge of the Lord to be upon one day. It will bringe in our thoughts, that as matters stand, that the 2 armys could have beene engaged soe soone. The seege and the approaches were continued; only the English were constreined to quit one of their posts, haveinge not men enough to defend their quarter, and to fight with the enemye alsoe. And it is certeyne, and soe acknowledged by the French, that the English behaved themselves with all manner of gallantrye, and in truth, under God, were the cause of the enemyes overthrow. Wee hope Dunkirke will not now longe hold out. Wee have yet received noe farther perticulers; but expect them every houre. The takeinge care of all thinges, which related to this great action before the fight, and the rejoyceinge at the good successe it hath pleased God to gaine us, hath taken up all the tyme, that I have noe other subject to trouble your lordship with by this post, save to acquaint you, that Sir Henry Slingsbey and doctor Hewett were executed this day upon Tower-hill.
Lord Fauconberg to H. Cromwell, lord deputy of Ireland.
I am now returned from the French court, where I have had the honourablest reception imaginable. The king did not only keepe bare at my publique audiences, but, when I made him a private visit, he talked with me in the garden an hour or two uncovered. From the cardinal the honours I had were particular and unusuall: he waved the state of a publique audience, came out of his owne roome to meete me, lead me presently into his cabinet; after an houres discourse in private, he conducted me downe to the very doore, where my coach stood, a ceremony he dispenses with not only to all others, but even to the king himselfe. The charge of two very handsome tables were defrayed (for myselfe and follouers) by the king all the while I stayed. In summe, through all their actions not the least circumstance was omitted, that might witnesse the truth of these respects they beare his highnes and the English nation.
While I was at Calais, we had every day news from the leagues at Dunkirke, where al things went on hopefully. The English are generally cryed up for their unparalelled corage. At my comeing away the Spanish army was in view of ours. They had drained all their garrisons in Flanders to make their body considerable; and now, some two houres after my arrivall at Whitehall, the certain news is come of their utter defeate; so that Dunkirke will be certanly ours in few dayes; and it being early yet in the yeare, we shall probably make their best garrisons in Flanders tremble ere winter overtake us.
General Fleetwood to H. Cromwell, lord deputy of Ireland.
This great mercy in the Lord's owning of us in the totall rout of the Spanish army by the English and French forces, will, I presume, be more perticulerly imparted unto you by other hands. An exact account is not yet com; but what is, will be sent you. It is the more remarkable, that the Lord did draw forth his highnes's heart to set apart that day to seake the Lord; and indeade ther was a very good spirit appearing. Whilst we wer praying, they wer fighting; and the Lord hath given a signall answer, which if it hade not bine with that successe, this nation would soone have felt the smart. The Lord give us a due sense of what he hath intrusted us with in this choyce experience of signall mercy! And the Lord hath not only owned us in our work ther, but in our waiting upon him in a way of prayer, which is indeade our old experienced aproved way in all streights and difficultyes. We are in hopes of the sudden reducing of Dunkirke, the consequence of which will be very great to our affayres. This day is the execution of Sir Henry Slingsby and doctor Hewet. Great endeavors have bine used to save their lifes. Ther will be some sudden resolutions touching that party. Ther is no fixed time for the parliment's sitting; but I doe think it will not be befor September. Our wants will be the more increased upon us by this buysnes of Dunkirke. Your condicion is very sadde for want of money, and ours; when we can helpe ourselves, you will be equally taken care of by us, and in perticuler by
Ther is one Mr. Elies, a member of Mr. Bridge's church, who desires to com for Ireland to preach the gospel. Mr. Bridges very much commends him, and so doe others: It is desired he may have 120 l. per annum, and 50 l. for advance. Your order therein I shall observe.
Doctor Clarges to H. Cromwell, lord deputy of Ireland.
May it please your Excellency,
Perceiving the inclosed print somewhat short on the account of the late victory obtained in Flanders, I have made bold to send you the exactest relation I have yet seene, which was sent to me by one, that was a forward actor in that daye's work. Some letters since add, that the marshall de Hauthencourt was the day before killed by Pickereing, and that the prince of Ligne was either kil'd or taken. Your excellency may see by this the great goodnes of God to all your noble family, much manefested in this great successe to my lord ambassidor Lockartt, whoe I now reckon by the relation of his deare confort to have the honour to be in that number.
This day Sir Henry Slingsby and doctor Hewett were executed at Tower-hill. On thurdsday next the court meet againe, to proceed to the tryall of the others. There is a strong report from Germany, that the king of Hungary is chosen emperour. The truth will be cleer'd by the next. The Hollanders have above eighty saile of ships now in the Downes, which put the country about the coasts into a little jealousy; but I heare of none at Whitehall. Yet Dunkirk in our hands is much aprehended by them. I have for a few posts past acquainted your excelency with the occurrences of this place, as part of my duty to your excelency, from the intimation I had from Mr. Bury of your excelencies favour towards me; but because I heare not from any hande, how my poore services are received, I am in a little disorder of minde; but till I receive your excelencie's order to the contrary, these offices shall not be neglected by,
Mr. R. Beake to H. Cromwell, deputy of Ireland.
May it please your Excellency,
The Spanish defeate fills all men heere with discourse. It's remarkeable for the probable consequences of it. If the electoral chamber did put, and yet offerr'd to put more, conditions on the Hungary king, and that whilst the French were but in preparation for a campagne, how much more will they demurr now, when the visible strenghth of Flan ders is gon? This army, that's thus broken, has made the Spanish brow to sweate to make it upp; yet doe not heare, that they exceeded 5000 foote, though almost double the number in horse. The relations we hitherto have obtayned are something imperfect; yet we have a certeynety in some thinges. It's supposed the designe was onely to reinforce the towne with men, and to returne; and untill they had an opportunity to doe this, they incamped there foote on the brow of a sandey hill 3 miles from the leagues, where they intrenched themselves. Our English had orders from Turenne to leave their trenches, and to march with their bagage and lugage to Mardike, where they were to leave them, and thence to marche the next morneinge to meet that French flying army, and in conjunction to attacke the enemy. The English foote were designed to make the first onsett; a taske difficult and deadly; for they were to mount 10 in breast: the white regiment under the command of general Lockhart, ledd on by lieutenant-colonel Barington, and the blew regiment commanded by colonnel Lilleston made the assaulte; and after the loss of many men master'd the enimyes grownd. Colonel Alsop's regiment, on the slanck of theirs, tugg'd hard with Charles Stuart's owne regiment, which they utterly foyled and made prisoners, besydes what they killed; all its officers but the white and blew regiments, haveinge to deale with two sturdy veterane regiments of Spanish; were gauled and sretted much; soe that with the siercenes of these, and an inroade, that was made upon them by the Spanish horse, they lost many men; yea, the white regiment had not an officer except one, that was not killed or wounded; yet in the issue they putt the enemy to flight, and untill then there was not a Frenchman that ingaged; but after (it may be the horse wanted passage before) the count d' Schamburge ledd on a body of French horse, which gave the fatall blow. There was taken 17 ensignes of foote; how many of horse, I knowe not; also 6 guns, which was their all. It was sayd the duke of Yorke was wounded, but his coach they tooke. Marshall d' Hocquincourte was slayne by Pickeringe, the day before the fight. This the French look on as a just recompence of his treachery, in betraying of Hosden. As yet we have not the names of prisoners, that were taken. In this action the English have gott the testimony of French, Switz, and the vanquished enemye, for theire valoure and gallantry. God has honnoured the nation by this poore handfull; and I hope they will be yett more victorious.
The concernment of this affaire to this nation is apparent by the extraordinary care, that was made for supplies for them. Many intire companyes were sent thither out of this army; and thoughout they were remanded back, uppon information of this defeate, as supposeing them useles, yet were they after ordered forward, and noe doubt there will be worke enough for them still.
Neither has the Spanish affaire a better complexion elswhere; for our agent from Legorne by this post writes, that the Spanniard has not soe much as an army in appearance, but lye close in their strong-houlds; and it is not discerneable, that they will bee able to patch an army together. On the contrary, the French, under the conduct of the duke of Modena, will be in the feild 10000 foote, and 7000 horse. The militia of the kingdom of Naples was formerly Spaine's support for the defence of Millane; but that kingdome is, in a manner, now made a desolation by the late rageinge pestilence.
This day the heads of Sir Henry Slingsby and doctor Hewett were strucke off at Towrehill. The doctor spent much tyme uppon the scaffold, in a great measure justified himselfe, prayed for king Charles, and that God would restore him to his right. I humbly crave your excellency's pardon, and liberty to subscribe
Colonel Lockhart to secretary Thurloe.
May it please your Lordshipp,
Upon monday at night I went to the approaches, and carried those seamen along with me, which my lord Montague sent ashoare, after the French and wee had spent most of the night in waiting for small shott and granados. Mr. de Crequi, with the French, attacqued that part of the enemies counterscarp, which was oppositt to his approach, and at the same tyme I attempted the points of the counterscarp before ours. The dispute was hott, and lasted about half an howre. The enemie at last abandoned the points of the counterscarp, and lodg'd themselves in the chemin couvert, and the angles of the foresaid points. This chemin couvert is a lyn, that surroundeth the ditch of the towne, and the points upon it are flankers run out paralell to the bastions within the ditch. The French, at their lodging upon their point of the counterscarp were discovered to our men, that were lodged upon the fort Leon, owrs was not so; and to give your lordshipp a trew account of what pass't, I must say the French made the better lodgement, tho' that we made stood us dearer then theirs did them: howsoever, I thank God for it, both goes on reasonable well now; for what wee came short of them in the night, we made up by working in the day. The sea-men, from whom I expected much, did nothing extraordinary; and indeed our people wanted several things, that wowld have contributed to their cheerfull going thorrough with their businesse, for which I cowld not prevaile, tho' twyce or thryce I importuned Mr. Turenne abowtt them. I am this day causing prepare a battery and plattform for our mortar-pieces; and the fyer-master is making reddy all things fitt upon his part; so that I hope they shall beginn to play once to-morrow.
My lord, I received a letter yesternight from his eminence, which . . . . . with his majestie's resolutione to send the duke . . . . to complement his highness, and his own, of not sending his nephew Mr. de Manchini for the same end. It is unnecessary for me to offer any thing touching the way of their reception and entertainment; only it will be expected, that Mr. de Manchini meet with some particular kyndnesses, which may be done thus: After the publick audience is over, his highness may send a coach or two for him, and give him a privatt audience, whereatt he may, according to his own goodnesse, give his eminence those assurances of friendshipp he shall think fitt. The cardinal hath writt for two frigatts to transport them; and I have desyred my lord Montague to give them that accomodatione. If the battery I am now desyning have that success I hope it will, I shall ere long be able to send your lordshipp good news concerning Dunkerke. Our greatest difficultie is how to get carriages to mount our cannon upon the doones; but we must wrestle over that, and I ame confident the Lord, who hath brought things to the birth, will give strength also to bring forth. I have at last had tyme to draw a bill upon Mr. Frost for 300 l. one of the contingencies, and ane other for 500 l. upon Mr. Noell. In his last to me he told me he cowld answere no more of my bills, unlesse your lordshipp gave order to furnish him with a stock for that end. I must beseech your lordship to putt him in that capacitie, as my bill may be satisfied; otherwayes I shall not know to what hand to turne me, there being neither money nor creditt to be had heare. I am,
H. Cromwell, lord deputy of Ireland, to secretary Thurloe.
I am glad the English have got so good a reputation at Dunkirk. I have left wondering, that your affairs goe heavily, when you draw so many several ways. You hear it said, that most of the sober Independants were and are dissenters to most of the things agreed upon at the meeting of the ministers. Indeed 3 of their number dissented from the way of maintenance by tyths; but this is the first time I heard of any other difference; and I can tell you, that the whole number of the ministers (amongst whom were many, I hope sober, Independants) which met together, came to me on the day their meeting was dissolved, and presented me with their resolutions, which they said were unanimously agreed unto by them, and so took their leaves for their respective homes. I hope they did not fall out by the way. I wish I could as truly tell you, that the Independants are not dissatisfied. It may be some of them thought they should ride, when they had thrown the Anabaptist out of the saddle; but I must neither respect persons, nor parties, nor rumours, so as to be thereby diverted from an equall distribution of respect and justice to all, though I hope I shall always have a due care of all, (under what form soever) in whom I see the least appearance of godliness. Indeed (by secret practices) some here, whose duty obliged them rather to heal and compose, have too evidently done the contrary. I forbear to complain, and am content to bear my burthen for peace-sake. Standish is returned, brings us cold comfort; he tells me, that he sollicited his highnes for the muster-master general's place; that he was in some hopes to gett it, if he might have my consent, which truly (for many reasons too tedious for this letter) I cannot give; besides, he cannot be spared from his present employment; and those places are too much akin to be in one hand. If it be thought fitt to be disposed to any, I think it most proper for Sir John King, whose father and grandfather enjoyed it. And indeed I think he is a person of no less meritt than his father, being grown a very serious, and, I hope, religious man; but I have been so accustomed to have my requests laid by the walls, that I have no great expectation of any account concerning this. I remain, &c.
Henry Cromwell, lord deputy of Ireland, to the protector.
May it please your Highness,
The bearer Dr. Worth, having occasions, which call him to England, is desirous to take that opportunity to present himself to your highness; and being of late a stranger there, besought me to accompany him with a letter, which I granted the more willingly, because he may possibly have had the same hard measure with some others, to be misrepresented there; which I should the less wonder at, in regard those have not been wanting, who have endeavoured to asperse him here, which gave me cause to make a narrow scrutiny into his temper and demeanor. I find he is of the judgment of the associated ministers in England, and practiseth accordingly, for which he lyes under a great prejudice with the prelaticall and malignant party: he is full of moderation and tenderness towards such as differ from him; he is painfull in his calling, and strives more to bring souls to Christ, than to propagate his opinion. He is an excellent man in the pulpitt, and one of an examplary life and conversation; and in this point I could give many instances, which are not common; but I doubt your highness is not at leisure for such a discourse: yet I dare not omitt to say, he doth affectionately love your highness; and I know no man of his condition hath given more testimony of it than he hath; and tho' he hath done it vigorously, yet with extraordinary prudence; and particularly in this address of the ministers, which he presents to your highness. I doubt not but your highness will give him such countenance and encouragement as he hath deserved. I remain, &c.
Evidence given at the tryall of Bennett and Woodcocke.
Major William Smith sworne and examined, being asked what he could say concerning Mr. Woodcocke, whether he received any letter from him; sayth, I did receive a leter to meet the next day with him and another gentleman a hunting. I came. The letter came from Woodcocke's hand about 3 moneths to meet them near Brighthelmston in Furzey-field. I first met Mr. Woodcocke, before we came into the field; and hee told mee Mr. Stapeley had a commission from Charles Stuart, as he was informed by Mr. Stapeley, to raise horse and foote; Mr. Woodcocke did not tell mee soe much. Mr. Woodcocke told mee, hee found Mr. Stapeley ignorant in martiall affaires, and spake to mee to speake to him. By-and-by Mr. Stapeley came into the field, and told mee he had receaved a comission from the king to raise horse and foote; and that the king would land with an army very suddenly. I asked him, what he had done in it: hee sayd, Nothing at all. Hee told mee, hee had his owne horse and man. Then Mr. Woodcocke came in to us; and I sayd, it was necessary hee should choose his officers. Mr. Woodcocke heard it; and since that time I ne'r saw Mr. Woodcocke.
I was sent for by Mr. Woodcocke by a letter; and I happened to meete Mr. Woodcocke, before I mett Mr. Stapeley; and hee told mee Mr. Stapeley would come into the field with his hounds by-and-by, and had a desire to speake with mee.
That there was one day a meeting between Mr. Woodcocke and I, and Mr. Smith. Wee did meete a hunting; but there was very little discourse at that tyme. I ne'r saw Mr. Woodcocke in Mr. Smith's company but at that tyme. There was at that tyme some discourse of raising of forces in Sussex for the assistance of Charles Stuart. It was but very little, because wee were at that tyme in sport; and had not any tyme to speake of it.
Stapeley, being cross-interrogated by Mr. Woodcocke, said,
I doe not remember, that major Smith did heare mee offerr Mr. Woodcocke to be an officer; but hee and I together have talked of it ourselves.
Stapeley. I told it him in myne owne house in my chamber. Hee did not desire to see it; neither did he approve it, or speake against it. Hee sayd, hee would adventure himself with mee, if I did rise or raise any forces. I asked him, if hee would joyne with mee; and hee sayd, hee would do it.
Hutchinson. I mett occasionally at Mr. Woodcocke his father-in-law captain Goodlyman's in Suffex; and there hee told mee, that Mr. Stapeley was ingaged, and that hee was very active; or to that effect.
Hutchinson. I meane for Charles Stuart; I asked him, what newes from London: and he sayd, Mr. Stapeley was ingaged. There were captain Godlyman and his daughter, and others in company; soe that we could have but a snap.
In Michaelmas terme, I had occasion to ride to London; and I desyred to wait upon Sir Humfrey. I had a great desyre to give him a visit. I found him in his chamber in Milford-lane; I cannot tell the day: and after some discourses, Sir Humfrey told mee, hee was informed, that there would be 3000 horse raised in Sussex. I told him, hee was very misinformed. I told him, I was confident, there would not bee 300 horse raised in Sussex.
Smith. It had C. R. upon it. Baron told me it was a comission from the king of Scotts, but it was blanke; it had a seale to it: the seale I cannot remember. It had the king's armes formerly, as I remember. Young was there. This was before I came to Sir Humfrey Bennett.
Smith. Noe, he was at his lodging. The comission I thinke was filled to gentlemen, that never heard of it; for it was not to have been delivered till the army was landed; and they were to have the power of the country to raise horse and foote. There were sower of them, I thinke, putt in.
Smith. The next day I went to Sir Humfrey's lodging, I told him what was intended for raiseing so many horse in Sussex. He thought it an impossible thing. I shew'd the comission to Sir Humfrey; hee read it. but sayd nothing to it; layd it by.
I mett major Smith at Temple-barr, and hee desired mee to go to the Lamb-taverne to drinke a cup of wine. I did, and mett with Baron and some others. There came Baron, Bishop, and himself; and I thinke that was all the company: and upon some other discourse, he shewed me a blanck piece of parchment. I said I never was a soldier, nor never saw a commission. There was nothing in it. Hee went unto the window, and put in the gentlemens names, and bid me deliver it. I sayd I would. Then said Smith, will you go see Sir Humfrey Bennett? I sayd I had not seen him 8 or 9 years. We went to Sir Humphry; hee was sicke: there major Smith bidd mee shew him the commission. I delivered it to him, and hee went with Sir Humfrey unto the window, and had some discourse there. They had the commission in the window, and I think Sir Humfrey read it. Major Smith gave the commission to Sir Humfrey, and they went unto the window together; I think it was open between them; I was sitting by the fire-side.
Binstead. I stood at a distance; there was a discourse about raising horse; whether in Sussex, or Hampshire, or where else, I could not tell. But I sayd to major Smith, that I was consident 200 horse could not be raised. Sir Humfrey was in the room there.
I have heard doctor Hewitt oft speake concerning Sir Humfry. I have heard him say, that he and Sir Humfry Bennett were joynt commissioners in this designe, were two of a committee, were in a committee, as he told it, together; and that Sir Humfry was very much concerned in the affairs of Sussex, and that he did treate with major Smith, and some others of the country, in relation to Charles Stuart; and that Dr. Hewett did tell Mr. Mallory and myself, that there were 3000 horse in Sussex for the king's service. This was at the lady Camdens house.