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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July (7 of 7)
Mr. Downing to secretary Thurloc.
Heerein is inclosed another memoriall, which I gave in on monday last concerning some ships brought into these countreyes by Franders men of warre, with so much answer as is yet made, to witt, a resolution of the states of Holland, which is not yet come to the states general, nor given to me.
In the said memoriall is also another touch concerning the East Indy English ships taken
coming out of Bantam; and heerein is also the answer of the states generall, wherein is the
order and restitution of the ships and goods. Truely never in my life did I putt farther,
nor yet was more putt to it in a business. De Witt and I were once going to fight in his
house about them, so high wee were both, and so hard it was to do any thing in this kind, especially in the East-Indyes. The directors of the East-Indy company declared playnly, that
it were much better to have a warre with England, then to restore these ships, and are returned to Amsterdam in great rage. Truly De Witt I was extremely at last obliged to in
this businesse. I pray that such men of warre as come to the states, may have order to give
me notice of their coming, that so I may by them have opportunity of writeing to you, it
will be very good to examine the complaints of the states general in this inclosed answer
against him of Bantam, and that I may have a word from you to assure them, that his highnesse will take care therein, and that his subjects shall comport themselves with all fairenesse
towards the Dutch in the East-Indies. The post will only lett me add, that I am,
Your most faithfull humble servant,
Mr. Downing to secretary Thurloe.
** them doe waite. I am very heartily glad, that you have bin pleased to take so
much to heart that business concerning the maintenance of the ministers here, as that his
highness and councill have bin pleased by your moving of them to allott 150 l. per ann.
towards the maintenance of them; and I thinke the best way will be, that it should be
quarterly paid at the Hague, either equally the one moiety to the one, and the other moiety
to the other; or otherwise such a proportion to the one of them, and such a proportion to
the other of them, as either his highness and councill shall thinke fitt; or as he that shal be
the publick minister of England here shall thinke fitt, and that the money paid imediately to the ministers themselves and their acquaintance to be a sufficient discharge. I have
lett Monsieur DeWitt know, that without fayle he shall have Hemflets pass by the next post,
which hee and the French ambassador doe both take very kindley; and as for the pictures
of his highness, truely you can hardly imagine how impatient the French ambassador and
Prevering are for them; and truely I wish with all my heard that I had them; if his highness have not time to fitt for them both, I think it might doe well enough, if Cooper or
some other very good hand did draw a copy of it, which is taken by his highness.
Your most faithfull humble servant,
Extract of the register of the resolutions of the high and mighty lords, the states general of the United-Provinces.
Was once more produced in the assembly, the project of the placarte, against the selling of ships and goods, which are taken by private men of warr, from neuters or friends, and brought into these countries; whereupon being debated, the said project or draught is resolved and agreed upon, and consequently the same shall be printed, also sent away to such places where it may belong, to be published in all places according, and in conformity of the order of this state; likewise the said placart shall be sent to the lord ambassador Nieuport, with order to use endeavours with the lord protector of England, to the end the like placart may be also put forth there; and the lord Downing shall be desired by the lord Huygens to second the endeavours, which are to be used by the said lord Nieuport with his; as also the lord ambassador of France shall be desired by the lord Van Gent, to use all good offices, to the end that the like placart formerly published in France, may receive its due effect, and executed according to its form and contents, to which end, and also to further the same, a letter shall be writ to the lord ambassador Boreell.
To Nieuport the Dutch embassador in England.
Upon the notification of the lord Maurits from Franckfort, that the emperor was resolved to send an envoy to their high and mighty lordships, and that he therefore desired to know, whether their high and mighty lordships should not think fit to give him leave to pass a compliment in their name upon the emperor; there is writ unto the said prince to let him know; that their high and mighty lordships were very well pleased with his advice and advertisement, and did thank him for it; and that he should by provision congratulate the emperor in the name of their high and mighty lordships; also upon that occasion declare unto him, that the resolution taken by the emperor of sending a minister hither was highly acceptable to their high and mighty lordships.
At the instance of the lord Appelboom, that their high and mighty lordships will first declare themselves, that they will not give any assistance to the enemies of the Swedes, namely to the house of Austria, duke of Brandenburg, and the city of Dantzick, in which case the king of Sweden will be very ready to ratify the Elbing treaty, upon which is desired the declaration of the provinces.
Resolution of the states general.
The letter of the lord Maesdam, extraordinary ambassador from this state to the king of Sweden and Poland, written in Oldensloo the 24th of July last past, being propounded containing amongst other matters, that he the said lord ambassador, having seriously with all vigilancy laboured according to the commands of the said lords the states general, as well with the king of Sweden as with his ministers, to the end that the treaties concluded at Elbing on the 1/11 of September 1656, might be brought to effect; or at least that he might understand the intrinsic and final intention of the king concerning the premises; and having thereupon had particulary many and long discourses with the count of Slipenbach, the conclusion on his the said count's side hath been, that his majesty would first expect, and look for, that it would please the said lords the states general to secure and to set him absolutely at rest, that they shall by no indirect ways countenance his enemies, namely the house of Austria, the elector of Brandenburgh, as also those of Dantzick, in their hostilities; and that his high renowned majesty would then be ready to treat afterwards with the said lords the states general, or with their ministers in all conveniency, for the best benefit of the commerce, and for the profit of the inhabitants and subjects of the United Provinces. On deliberation it is thought good, and ordered, that it shall be written to the lords extraordinary ambassadors of this state to the high renowned king, that the said lords the states general do hold it wholly to be without reason, that the said desired promise or assurance shall be made or given on the side, or on the behalf of the state beforehand, and without receiving at the said time from the side, or on the behalf of Sweden, the desired assurance concerning the commerce and other matters, according to the said Elbing treaty; as also the nearer illucidations and interpretations drawn upon the same heretofore, but that there should be a negociation or transaction with uncertainty upon all the same in the aforesaid manner, with an order and charge to demonstrate clearly to the high renowned king, the notorious injustice of the said desire; and to represent, and make him comprehend, that by the perfectionating of the fore-mentioned Elbing treaty, his said majesty will con secute, and have effectually the said desired security, with assurance, that after the conclusion of the known act of illucidation, and nearer interpretation upon the same treaty, the said lords the states general, will not directly nor indirectly countenance or strengthen his majesty's enemies in their hostilities against the same his majesty; but will in that particular, as also in all points, regulate and behave themselves, according to the contents and disposition of the said treaty, in such sort that thereby be not altered, nor in any part labefacted the clause in the said treaty comprehended, concerning the inclusion of the kings, republics, princes, and states there mentioned; and especially of the elector of Brandenburgh, and the city of Dantzick, to whom shall be left the faculty, that they may accept of the said inclusion, provided they do declare themselves thereupon within the time of one month after that notification, of the signing the said act of illucidation, shall be made by the same, included by authorised ministers on both sides: the speedy procuring hereof is herewith specially commended and enjoined to the said lord ambassadors; and that under the benefit of the said assurance, the said lord ambassadors shall with all zeal and diligence insist, and urge it to the end, that his renowned majesty may give order, that the said illucidation and nearer interpretation may at last be finally agreed on; and that so the said Elbing treaty may be brought to effect, and a final perfection; or else that the said lords of the states may understand his said majesty's final intention in that particular, without any further neglect of time. And Monsieur Huygens and the other commissioners of affairs of Sweden, are desired to give that which is abovesaid, in answer to Monsieur Appelboom, resident of Sweden, upon his memorials exhibited to the said lords, the states general, on the 5th and 7th of this instant; and to communicate, and give likewise notice thereof to the here abiding ministers of the high renowned lord elector of Brandenburgh, and of the before-mentioned city of Dantzick.
Nieuport, the Dutch embassador in England, to the states general.
High and Mighty Lords,
My lords, upon the 2d instant in the night, being come into the river Thames, and perceiving that I, by reason of the calm, could not get to Gravesend with the ship of war till the next day at noon, I thought good to send away my son with the chalop to signify to the lord secretary of state, and the master of the ceremonies, my arrival here, and to deliver to the first a letter written to his lordship, to the end that it would not be judged unseemly, that I should return without publick reception to your high and mighty lordship's house, which I left furnished the last time I went from hence. My son being come to London, and understanding that the lord protector was residing at Hampton-court, and that the said lord secretary of state was not returned from his country-house two miles out of the city, rid presently thither, and meeting the said lord by the way, delivered my letter to him: his lordship told him, that the lord protector had notice sent him of my arrival the day before, and that he had given order for my reception, desiring that my said son would come into his coach and ride with him to Whitehall; where the said lord caused presendy a barge of his highness to be made ready to be sent to me, with a gentleman called Marvell, who is employed in the dispatches for the Latin tongue. In the night, my son came and brought me to Gravesend a letter from the said lord secretary, dated in Whitehall the 24th of July, old stile; wherein he writ me word, that the said gentleman was expressly sent unto me, to salute me, and to speak with me concerning my reception, and that he would say nothing more concerning the same, that it would be most acceptable to his highness, as it could best express and declare the great esteem which he hath of your high and mighty lordships, and that he would not willingly omit any opportunity, to declare his good intention to the same, although it were but in point of ceremony; and desired therefore, that I would take such resolution concerning my coming to London, as I should judge would give the most content to your high and mighty lordships. The next day came the said gentleman before the sermon in the morning, to bid me welcome in the name of his highness the lord protector, and to present me a publick reception with barges and coaches, and also an entertainment, such as is usually given to the chiefest ambassadors. But understanding, that the lord protector and the whole court was in great sadness for the mortal distemper of the lady Claypole his highnesse's daughter; and considering that I must have stay'd some days out of this city, and afterwards have also lost time much time with the further ceremonies, I believed that it would be most acceptable to your lordships, that I hasten to dispatch their orders and commands given me by your high and mighty lordships resolution, and therefore I came to London with the said gentleman in the barge in the nightseason, where I was told that the lord protector would come from Hampton-court to sit in council the next day at Whitehall; but the said lord secretary told me upon the 6th inst. that his highness was so very much afflicted with the sickness of his said daughter, that he would not part from thence. Afterwards he undertook, with great expressions of good affection to the state of the United Netherlands, to further my business, that I should suddenly have audience of his highness, promising me to give me notice of the time and place, which his highness should appoint for it; and thereupon the said lord last night, by the master of the ceremonies, that notwithstanding the domestick inconvenience at Hampton-court, in regard of the said sickness of his highness's said daughter, he had thought fit to give me audience there at half after three of the clock this afternoon. Thereupon the master of the ceremonies came to conduct me about eleven of the clock: we went from hence with three coaches of six horses each to Hampton-court, where I was received at the second gate of the first court by the secretary of state, and brought into the lodging of the lord protector, who told me, that his own indisposition, and other domestick inconveniencies, had hindered him from coming to London, and to speak with me there. Having answered to this with due compliments, after that, he had caused the company to withdraw, and only with the lord president, Laurence, and the secretary of state, and the lord Strickland being stay'd by him, I did distinctly declare to him all that your high and mighty lordships had commanded me concerning his interposed mediation about the differences with Portugal; as also the marine treaty; as also the affairs in Eastland, for as much as concerneth the freedom of navigation and commerce upon and about the East sea, by reason of his highness's indisposition, I did not think fit to trouble him with a large discourse. To the first, he said, that he had offered his mediation with a sincere inclination, and that there is nothing, which he would more willingly see, than that your high and mighty lordships should receive reasonable and just satisfaction and reparation, but that he did not seek to be judge of it, but an admonisher and adviser to a good accommodation. To the second, he said, that he would order the former commissioners, or others, to resume the business further with me; and that the business should be so managed, that the differences being removed, the work shall be brought to a good conclusion.
And upon the last, having discoursed somewhat in general terms, said, he did not find himself well to speak further about it, but that he intended the next week to return to Whitehall, and that then he would be glad to hear what I should think fit to propose to him, in the name of your high and mighty lordships, concerning that or any other affair; wherewith, taking my leave of him, he would conduct me to the door of the ante-chamber, from whence I was conducted by the said three lords through several galleries and chambers to the coaches.
Intelligence sent from Holland by resident Downing.
This morning I arrived here with an intent to communicate to the elector what past at the Swede's court, touching a treaty with Poland, and that I have sent to their highnesses plenipotentiary by mine of the 5th instant, wrote to the clerk of the assembly; and to entreat the elector to endeavour, by his authority in the Polish court, that consent be had for commissioners to meet at Braunsberg, to begin there the treaty with all good speed, chiefly on the hopes that I have from the Swede's court, that the sum of money demanded for the restitution of Prussia might be yet diminish'd and that so at length a good peace might be obtained between the two crowns; but his electoral highness being not at home, I shall not have opportunity to speak thereof till to-morrow.
The 9 ships of war of Sweden at Kiel are increased to 20; and it is believed, that they are those that were before Dantzick. The fleet expected at Stockholm, when ready, will amount to 40 vessels of war joined with the said 20, besides the 5000 men that shall there be ship'd, there will be 4000 horse ship'd upon merchant-ships, which are all along on the coast press'd by a galiot, whereof there are already a 1000 at Kiel. The king went hence a thursday last very late, the wind coming about unexpectedly; and it is thought he was next day at Kiel.
The Swedish ships being retired from the Pillaw and this road, have founded in several parts upon these coasts, probably to land some men, whereof there is several news. The Swedes in Prussia, to the number of 900 or 1000, have made a bridge of boats 2 leagues above the Dirsaw, where they suddenly passed the Wissell, just over-against the point of Mantalm, there lodged in a sort, and thence making of excursions, which cannot yet be hindered (the Dantzick forces being not strong enough) general Czarnesky goes towards the frontiers of Pomerania, and general Grudsinsky towards Thorn, and the Brandenburgh dragoons towards the dutchy of Prussia. No other news yet of the dyet of Poland.
What is negotiated at the dyet of Poland is carried very close; no man there fitting or entering, but those who have commission and took the oath. The archbishop of Guese went yesterday from Koningsberg thither; the prince Bogislau Radzevil is to follow; the deputies of this city arrived there the 6th of this instant; Lombres and Isbrants, ambassadors of France and Holland, being on their way from the Swedish court thither, their report is desired to be known, as well as the report of the deputies of Poland, who are at Vilna, with those of Muscovy, to treat there absolutely. The agreement between the Cossacks and Poland is reported to be made, which hinders the treaty of Muscovy, offering sixty thousand men because they enjoyed many privileges in the Ukraine. The army of Muscovy, which marched on the frontiers of Lithuania, is not of any importance, since that all their forces must be employed against the Tartars of Astracan, who make progress in Muscovy, and have there gained a great victory. The Turks are marching towards the frontiers of Poland, to enter into Hungary and Transylvania, there to revenge the victory that Rogotsky hath got upon them. The envoys of the electors of the Empire have had audience of the king at Warsaw; their propositions are principally to dissuade the attacking of Pomerania, to insist upon a suspension of arms between Poland and Sweden, and offer their mediation in the mean time for a peace. On the other side, there are complaints, that most of the Swedish troops are composed, or commanded, by the princes, officers, and subjects of the Empire, who have heretofore done so much mischief to the crown of Poland, which they may do again, if not recalled by a strict command. Overbec, the Brandenburgh envoy, hath often private conferences at Warsaw. The Swedish troops are still above Dirsaw, fortifying themselves, and finishing their bridge over the Wissell.
According as I writ in my last, I was last sunday after sermon at an audience with the elector, making known to him all which had passed at Wismar concerning the treaty of peace with Poland, and endeavouring to induce him to use his interest for the advancement of the assembly of Braunsberg, seeing there is no hopes to induce the king of Sweden to declare himself farther as to the treaties; and on the other side, his declaration lately made, though it did exceed the expectation of Poland, was, notwithstanding such as it could not be seen, after what manner and under what pretence the said assembly should be longer treated of, without incurring the supposition of not being inclined to peace; whereupon I find the elector inclined to advance the assembly of Braunsberg, at the court of Poland, as much as he can, but that he fears that the treaty of Muscovy is so far advanced, that it will be too late to speak of that assembly. In regard his letters say, that the king and the states of the kingdom, have given such instructions to the commissioners of Poland now at Vilna, that nothing is expected from thence but the conclusion of the said treaty; also, that it's resolved to end the dyet in a few days, in regard the court will retire from Warsaw, because of the plague. I thought sit, in regard of the importance of the affair, to send by an express, which the elector hath at my desire dispatch'd to the king and queen, and to the palatine of Posen, chief plenipotentiary in the treaties of Sweden, to advertize them of all particulars, and to press the said assembly, intending, when I know in what part the court will reside, to go thither with all speed to use my endeavours; and, I hope, in the mean time the elector will have employed his good offices. Saturday last arrived here an envoy from Muscovia, which had his publick audience of the elector yesterday. I shall endeavour with all speed, to give your lordships notice of what shall pass there.
Since my last, of the 6th instant, the ambassadors of Sweden have desisted from their instance to this crown, for equipping certain ships; so that the great difference, that retards the conclusion of the treaty, is again, as I understand, concerning the reparation of the damages which the Swedes have suffered in Guinea. It seems they attend here the success of the good offices which Mr. Terlon promised to imploy with his majesty of Sweden, in favour of this crown; but they are not yet effected. He is here obliged to consent to 400000 rixdollars, which are demanded; and the principal difficulty will consist in the security of the merchants of Hamburg, and the furnishing of a quarter of the said sum in ready money, and the other three are to be paid at 6 and 6 months. I am informed as from one of the Swedish ambassadors own mouth, that their masters hath obtained for his subjects from the protector of England, that they might traffick yearly with five ships, within the English colonies in the isles of Carribee. I know not whether the English, in exchange thereof, will gain any advantage in the navigation of Sweden; however, in the Sound, it is observed this year, that more English ships have been fraught in the ports of Sweden than ever. The count of Oldenburg hath demanded to be included in the treaty of peace with the two kings of the North; but the Swedes refuse him. An envoy from the said count is arrived in this court, and will have a private audience this evening: his proposals or orders are not known. No other news of the Swedish fleet.
The senators of the realm being assembled since my last, of the 10th, deliberate every day to make an end of the treaty with Sweden, without waiting for the French ambassador's endeavours with the king of Sweden; for the business of Guinea, they have agreed to pay 400,000 rixdollars, for which the senators offer to be obliged; but that contents not the ambassadors of Sweden, who also demand an act of amnesty. The man of war, which the admiralty sent by one of your highness's plenipotentiaries to transport me home, arrived here yesterday, upon which I hope to go on board before the end of this week.
Upon receipt of your highness's plenipotentiary's letter of 31 past, I demanded audience of the emperor, and in your high mightinesses name did compliment him, and assured him, that your high mightinesses should be glad to receive his extraordinary envoy appointed to be sent speedily, which I perceived was very acceptable to his imperial majesty, who commanded me to salute your high mightinesses in his name, to assure you of his affection, and that he desires to live in good amity and correspondence with your high mightinesses. Since I understand that it will be taken notice how the envoy is received by your high mightinesses, and accordingly, if it be liked, there will be sent after an ambassador from his imperial majesty.
The information of Edward Cockhill, servant to Sir George Savil of Nottinghamshire, one of the grooms of the stable, taken by Samuel Morland, the 30th of July, 1658.
The informant saith, that he hath been a servant to Sir George Savil and his father about 21 years, and the occasion of his leaving him now, is no other than upon the account of his discovering what he knows of that family's being ingaged in the insurrection in the year 1654, which is as follows:
Upon that thursday night, which was the time intended for the insurrection in Nottinghamshire and those parts, one captain cooper of Thurgerton, who was formerly a captain in the king's army, and who had frequented Sir George Savil's house, at least half a year before that time, brought a cart-load of arms to a certain place between Sir George Savil's house and the inn which is called New-inn, about half a quarter of a mile distant from the said Sir George Savil's house; the which arms the said captain Cooper conveyed away the next morning, when he found the business did not take effect.
Moreover the said informant saith, that as near as he can remember, there were that very night in Sir George Savil's stables at least 27 or 28 horses, (some whereof were brought in a month, some a fortnight, some a week, and about that very night) besides 7 or 8 of Sir George Savil's or his lady's horses; all which, being about 36 in number, were by the orders of Sir George Savil's steward and his other gentlemen, ready shod and fitted with saddles, bridles, and other accoutrements for service; among which there were six new troopers saddles and bridles, bought about a month before, of one Mr. Hawkins of Notingham, by Sir George Savil's steward; and about the same time, several cases of pistols and holsters were brought by some of Sir George Savil's servants at London, with swords and other pieces of armour.
About 10 of the clock at night, the said informant with another of the grooms, viz. Robert Merrington (who lives now with Sir Henry Sydley of Licestershire) and the huntsman, viz. Thomas Elvis, and a fourth which was a footman, received a very strict charge from Sir George Savil's steward, and other of his gentlemen, by no means to go to bed that night, but to sit up in the stable, and to be ready at a quarter of an hour's warning to clap on all the saddles upon all the 37 hores; for which end they were commanded to hang every saddle and bridle behind the horse it belonged to, for the better expedition.
Of these horses the said informant saith, one Mr. Benisman of Bilstrop, about two miles off Sir George Savil's house, sent in 4 horses; on the thursday night Mrs. Holder of Wheately in Nottinghamshire sent in two by her nephew the wednesday before; Mr. Key of Doncaster about 3 or 4 days before, brought in one horse himself; Mr. Wilkins of Pomsret sent in two about a month before.
The design, for which these horses were made ready, was, (saith the said informant) to join with the other horses, that were at the abovesaid New-inn, that came out of Yorkshire, Lincolnshire, and other places, (to the number of about 200) that very night, and so to have marched away to York with all expedition, which was (as the informant saith he heard from divers) to have been surrendred to them.
Moreover the said informant saith, that the steward, viz. Mr. Sherbourn called the said informant to him, and told him that he must be ready to go with them that night; the said informant asking him, whether he must go? the said steward told him, about 40 miles. The said informant making him answer, that he was not well, and could not conveniently go, the said steward bid him be sure, that he should not speak a word to any living body, what he, the said steward, had then either asked or told him; because (said the steward) I am warned by all the gentlemen of Sir George Savil's house, to be sure not to tell Edward Cockhill (the said informant) any thing of their said design; for as much as they think him disaffected to their cause.
Besides, the said informant saith, that at the same time, when the said steward called him up into his chamber, there was there in the said steward's chamber one Mr. Key of Doncaster (who had brought in a horse into Sir George Savil's stable a little before) charging his pistols.
Further the said informant saith, that the same thursday night between 10 and 11, Mr. Sherbourn the steward sent him the said informant, into the house to enquire for Mr. Davison, one of Sir George Savil's gentlemen, and to know of him when they must go; but Mr. Davison was then gone to the inn to the rest of the company, who received intelligence about eleven of the clock out of Yorkshire, that the design was broken for that time; whereupon, a while after the said Mr. Davison came back to Sir George Savil's house; and about one in the morning, orders were given to the said informant and the other groom, with the huntsman and the footman abovesaid, that they should go all to bed, and lock up the doors, and put some of the horses out into the grounds about the house, and to set all the saddles and bridles by, some here, some there, and not to let them hang in the order they were before hung up.
Further the said informant saith, that he asking Thomas Elvis the huntsman next morning, what was the reason that there were so great preparations over night, and all upon a sudden dashed, and come to nothing; the said Thomas Elvis made him answer, that he knew the reason of it; and upon condition, he the said informant would keep his counsel, he would tell him something, which he accordingly did; namely, that those in Yorkshire, who should have risen on thursday night, could not be ready before sunday night; and that upon sunday night there would be as great preparations at Sir George Savil's house, and the New-inn as before, to rise and go to meet them.
Further the said informant saith, that Mr. Sherbourn charged them the morrow after that thursday night, that if any soldiers or others should haply ask of him, what all those horses in the stables and grounds were appointed for, he should make them answer, that they were bought for cart horses.
Further the said informant saith, that about half a year after, he being at the said new inn, the landlady of the house and her daughters told him, that about a fortnight before that thursday abovesaid, there came to their house 3 gentlemen, which they did verily believe were, Charles Stuart, the duke of York, and the duke of Gloucester, or the duke of Buckingham; and that Charles Stuart went in the habit of a groom to the other, the which said gentlemen had sack and claret brought from Sir George Savil's house to the inn, by John Child, one of the grooms of the chamber.
Further he saith, that the said landlady told him about a month since, that Sir George Savil had dealt so hardly with them about the assesments, that she could find in her heart to discover all the rogueries, that were done that thursday night (and half a year before) at which time should she, the gentlemen that were at their house, seeing their design frustrated, gave her and her daughters several cases of pistols to hide in the ground, which pistols said she are yet as good as ever they were, tho' their holsters be rotten.
Lastly the said informant saith, that in case it be so ordered, he will be a guide to any officers, that shall be sent by his highness to discover and examine all the abovesaid particulars. In witness to the truth whereof he hath set his hand the day and year abovesaid.
Further the said informant saith, that William Wilson a sawyer, John Blayton a carperiter, and Robert Moore a carpenter, told him, that as they were removing some work about the house, they saw under a false floor a great heap of pistols and other arms, and some others behind the back of a chimney in Sir George Savil's house.
Lockhart to secretary Thurloe.
May it please your Lordshipp,
I have closed accounts with Mr. De la Valle the last month, and find that the profitts of the harbour, including that they call droit de governeur, amounteth to no more then 8000 livers. Their is some odd money, but that goeth to the defraying of the charges of the collection of it. I must say he hath been very diligent, and is very desyrous to give your lordshipp, or whom you shall think fitt to appoint, a full and exact informatione of all things relateinge to the customes heare. I have spoake to him concerning the form of them, and the advancing of money upon that account. After he hath spoake with some of his friends at London, he hath promised me his answere, onely he and I doe differ exceedingly touching the tyme; for he would (if he and his partners farme at all) to have a lease for 3 years, and I think one yeare sufficient; my reasons for one yeare are, trade will not begine to fall in its course for some considerable tyme; and in the present confusion of things, their will need so many officers, who must all be maintained upon salleries, as they will eat up a great part of the profitt, besydes their being strangers to the people, and customes heare, a great many things will escape them; whereas if farmers undertooke them, they are usually more diligent and active for their own interests, then those employ'd upon salary are, they will cleare all the chanells, that are now under many obstructions, and will stretch all the prices to the greater hight, and the odium of all will not ly upon his highness and the government, but upon the particular undertakers; and the people once brought into custome to pay, they may be continued at those rates, without noyse or grudging. My reason against the farming of them above one year is, that if it please God to bless us, the vallew of them will much exceed what they are now worth; and then the collectione of them will not be attended with the difficulties forementioned. I have given your lordshipp all this trouble, to the end, that if you be moved in any such thing, you may know all that I can informe in that businesse, touching which I shall say no more; but if they will come up to fifteen thousand pistolls, and advance five of them, I think your lordshipp may venture upon it, as an advantagious bargaine; and am likewise of opinion, it will not be fit to bate them much of that. I send your lordshipp hearwith an account of the weights and ballance in English, and the tariff I must send in Dutch, their being no English and Dutch dictionary heare, without which it is impossible to translate these hard words. De la Valle hath promised to gett the tariff Englished at London, and will be able to cleare the state of that whole businesse more distinctly, then it can be done by,
May it please your Lordshipp,
Your most humble and obedient servant,
A letter of intelligence.
Since me last letter, of the 3d, we have here notice, that the French have had an attempt or dessein for to passe with force the river between Ostend and Plassendale, but beaten back after some skirmish; whereout all the generalls did judge they had some intention to besiege Ostend and much more, because the grandees here have bin informed the French hath made a conjunction of all their forces, indubitabel to undertake some important busines; wherefore they are in feare, that one or another place of consideration and consequence should be assaulted or besieged: wherefore here hath been a councell of warre, or a meeting of all the grandees hereabout (viz. don John, the prince of Conde, the marquese of Caracena, don Estenan de Gamarra, and others) with communication of the states here meeted now also, where hath bin done a proposition (after a prolix relation of the doeings and motives of their enemies, of their conjunctions with all their forces, and several points dependinge thereof) how to gouverne the present affairs of warre: and because (after due examination of their forces) they did find themselves unable to appeare into the field, they have taken the following conclusion; first, that all places, the wich are in danger to be besieged, should be diligently (and in all possible heast) provided of all necessities of provisions of warre, and all kind of victuals; and that before all buisenis Ostend must be provided, for wich they have the greates feare; wherefore is send thither (except and besides the former provisions lately send thither) great store of all kind of victualls, and there above to place or institute within the said towne of Ostend the great magizin, consisting in a great quantity of all kind of necessary provisions, for the preparation or equipage of ships at sea, the wich hath bin heretofore at Dunkirk; also are parted from hence yesterday all the officers of the king of Spain (viz. proviadors, viadors, et condedors) depanding of the said magizin, under the conduict and command of don Joseph de Castillo, great marshall and proviador-generall, being the prince of Conde, againe within the said towne of Ostend, and also all the other grandees in the places mentioned heretofore. Secondly, they have found goods and concluded (after great deliberation) to make open all the sasses or fluses (being things or instruments wherewith they have the command of the water) for to make an inundation, and to put all the country round about Nieupoort, Ostend, Damme, and this city under (or into the) water; which resolution and conclusion they have put also into execution drowning also about 240000 akers of the best meadow ground as that are in Europe (makinge therewith the catel very cheape, and the butter very deare) thinking by that way to preserve Neiupoort, Ostend, Damme, and there city from a siege. Thirdly, to ordaine and order all soldiers, horse and foote, stragling up and down the countrey, to come againe into their old companies or regiments within 8 days, or else to be hanged for it.
And unto this I say, that as soone as the third point was put into execution, the fourth did follow of it selfe; because all the new risen forces consisted out of straglers, and as soone the straglers came into their old companies, the new risen forces are come to nothing. The solution and conclusion aforesaid was communicated unto me not above 3 houres after my last letter of the 3d was parted; and you should have hath it, with the same letter, if we hath not met that inconveniens, that we could finde no place (for that time) where to communicate it.
Here hath runned some noice 3 or 4 days, that the French (after the inundation about Nieupoort, Ostend, Damme, and this city) are marched toward Graveling, and made first a blocade before the said towne, the wich was not accepted to be true, because we gott dayly great informations the French did appeare with great bodies of horses beyond the inundated grounds (like heretofore) about Dixmuyde, Ypres, and every where into that parte: but since (viz. the night betweene the 3d and the 4th) is come here certain newes unto the court, that the French and English (after the aforesaid inundations) are marched, with the greatest part of their army, towards Graveling, and surrounded, and surely besieged that towne; neverthelesse keeping still a body of cavaillerie of about 6000 horses, betweene Dixmuyde and Ypres, and thereabout beyond the drowned meadowes, for to observe the motions and doings of the Spanish and Condeeer. Upon which changeing of affairs, here is called againe a meetting of all the generalls for to keep a counsel of warre, and to consider the present changeing of affaires, hoping to give unto you with the next a relation of their deliberations and conclusions.
Having written this farre, I receave informations, that the prime counsel of warre have
hath two meetings; and there was made the first proposition (because the enemy hath surely
besieged Graveling, and drawed the most part of their forces thither) consisting therein, that
the countrey ought to be made dry againe about these parts, for to give a little consolation
unto the pouer countreymen, and their cattel; whereof most part dyes for want of feed:
and then to draw out all the garrisons, and to make againe a body of an army. But this
proposition was quickley contradicted, because the newes came, that La Ferté hath besieged
Graveling; but nevertheless the marshall de Turenne did keepe still and constantly a great
and considerable army about Dixmuyde, being sufficient for to undertake a siege: wherefore
they have taken untill nowe noe conclusion at all, but found good first (and in the mean
time) to enquire exactley, precysely, and narrowley, of the forces of the said Turenne,
and then to take all considerations into deliberation. Yesterday came here some letters to
the court (dated within the army of La Ferté before Graveling the 3d of this month) saying,
that the same day the aproaches before Graveling were not yet opened; and that within the
same towne (without any doubt) was great want of all necessary provisions, being counted
(here at the court) Graveling sure to be lost. As soone they doe take any other counsel or
conclusions, I will not fail to make it knowne unto you, remaining,
Bridges, 10 August, 1658. [N. S.]
I perceive they have not so good intelligence within the army of Turenne, like they have within the army of La Ferté: the heretofore said letter of the 3d out of the said army tells that he hath informations out of the towne, from some soldiers the wich came out of the said towne, that there is a great want of all necessary provisions, giving therefore advertance unto them of the apparent loss of that towne. Vale.
Lockhart to secretary Thurloe.
May it please your Lordshipp,
My last promised, that captaine De la Valle should come away next morning with an account of the customes. He made up his accounts with me that evening, and in the night mett with a sadd providence; his wyse half gone with chyld fell into labour, and continued so for above 36 houres before she was broght to bedd, since which tyme she is in the extremitie of danger; and the poore man is so concerned, as I cannot have the cruelty to command him away, till he seeth how it shall please God to dispose of her. All the profitts of the harbor this last month did amount to no more than 8000 guilders. When trade encreaseth, it will in all probabilitie much exceed what it now is. The tariff and particular rates, by which it is listed, is in Mr. De Vall's hands for your lordshipp's perufall; as also some overtures for hightning the customes upon all commodities that shall be brought here by Hollanders, or any other strangers.
The cardinall hath sent twyce to me this weeke, desyring to speak with me at Calais; and
offering, if I so desyre it, to meet me at any convenient place, midd way betwixt this place
and Calais. I shall not give him that trouble, but so soone as I have settled some things
heare, and sent away the five hundred recruitts to the army, I shall waite upon his eminence
at Calais. He beleevs, that my delay of seing him proceeds from some pett I have taken,
because of the harth receptione my last addresses to him mett with. I doe not intend to
undeceive him, knowing that such apprehensions will rather advantage then prejudice businesse.
I had yesterday a meeting with the jesuits, capuchins, and recollects of this place, when
the oath I administered to the soldiers and inhabitants was debated. Their maine exceptione
was against that part of it, that obligeth them to the defence of this place, and towne of
Dunkerke. Upon a serious consideration of what they offered, I think it is just to except
their being oblidg'd to carry arms, they not being of a prosession, that renders them capable
of actions of that nature. They did in the next place scruple at their being oblidg'd to reveale
and discover all plotts, conspiracies, and treacheries, that should come to their knowledge;
they urged their oath of secresie as to all they shall come to the knowledge of by consession.
I held forth to them, that their ingadgements that way could have no consideration with us;
for if they stayed heare, they must subject themselves to that, from which no subject by owr
law could be exempted; and urged, that the concealing of treason, and acting in it, was one
and the same thing. They have taken tyme to consult their superiors in this point, and so
hath given tyme to know his highnesse's pleasure concerning the exemption from bearing
armes. This day there is a vessell come with armes, both for the fott and horse. It comes
seasonably, for I should not else have been able to have armed the 500 recruitts I send to the
army. I am necessitated to build several stone redoubts in the counterscarp to preserve it
from being surprysed. There is such extraordinary need of them, as I dare not delay the undertaking that work any longer, though I know not where to gett money for carying of it on.
I begg the knowledge of his highnesse's pleasure concerning the filling of the vacancies in the
army. Sicknesse and mortality doth increase heare; the Lord, if it be his holy will, putt a
stopp to it. Graveling is not lyke to hold owt so long, but that there will be tyme left for
the army's undertaking some new actione. It's lyke I shall know what their instructions are
when I see his eminence, and then your lordshipp may expect an account of,
May it please your Lordshipp,
Your Lordshipp's most humble,
faithfull and obedient servant,
General Mountagu to secretary Thurloc.
I am extraordinarily oblidged to you for your friendly letters, particularly that of the 9th instant by the messenger, and for all I returne you my most heartye and humble thankes. The Dutch shipps I sett free immediately upon the recipt of your letter. Monsieur Sanguien I have sent in the Bridgewater to Calais yesterday morning. Mr. Haines the engineer I sent for Dunkerke to-day about noone; and at this instant have sent your messenger thither in another vessel. Yesterday Sir Richard Stayner came hither to mee from my lord Lockhart, and told mee, my lord Lockhart wished him to informe mee, that the land soldiers intended for Flanders out of Biscay, are landed at Naples; and intended to be marched into Flanders by land. By the commissioners of the Admiralty's letters I finde they are in great perplexity for want of monye, as I doubt other matters also are; yet that must be had, and your necessary affaires carried on; and I make bold to mind you of one, that is in your squadron of shipps in the streights, which if you keepe out, it is necessarye to supplye them with stores, and to change some of them, and send fresh in theire roomes. I earnestly beg you would seriously provide for it in tyme; the distance is soe greate to them, and the prejudice so intollerable, if reliefe come not from England, that I hope you will doe as I request you; and truely I give you an account of a necessitye to change some of them, in respect to the service, which I feare hath been sorely prejudiced by them; and the fleete by that means hindered from beinge before Cales, when the Spanish fleete went out; but it concernes persons, that I had rather should be concealed from my mouth or person; and soe the thinge be done, it will be well enough. It were a good thinge in my opinion, if some paines were taken in consideringe a designe for the meetting with the Spanish fleete upon theire returne home. It is generally said, that the Spaniard is ruined, if they miscarrie, both for want of money and ships, they beinge the most they have in Spaine. Not further to give you needless trouble, I subscribe most hartily and affectionatelye,
Your most faithfull and oblidged humble servant,
My lord, I understand Sir John Boyes is prisoner upon the account of Cavalliers in Dover-castle; his dwellinge is not far hence, and he was very civille to mee last yeare in divers visites; and his friends also sollicite mee, to see if his libertye may be obtained; wherefore I take the boldness to represent it to you; and if it be granted, I should be glad, but without any great concernment if it should be determined otherwise, or seeme difficult to his highnesse to grant.
Lord Deputy Cromwell to the protector.
May it please your Highnesse,
The bearer collonel Axtel, makes the more haste from hence, to the end hee may receive your highnesses pleasure in order to some forraigne service, which he tells me your highnesse was pleased to have some discourse with him about, before he came hither. I must send this testimony along with him, that during his abode heere, his carriage hath bin very faire, and hath often expressed himself with much freenes to bee, not only well satisfyed with the government, but ready (if need require) to mayntaine with whatsoever is deare to him. If your highnesse have any thoughts of foreigne employments for him, indeed I think he may be very useful.
A letter of intelligence from Blank Marshall.
I have in my last given you a full acount of your affayres heer; so that its now as then, only I p e r c e i ve t h a t al l t h e S p a n i s h f o r c e s a r d r a w i n g t o g e t h e r: but not any f o r c e s a d d ed unto them. They w i l b e e a t l e a s t e i g t thousand o f t h e m, and t h e y cannot march three o f f o o t. They speake much of fo r c e s c o m i n g from Germany, but non yet c o m. D. John w i l l l e a v t h i s place, t h e y s a y, with in a day or two. Ch. Stew. is to r e m a i n e for t y m e a t H o g e n s t r a t b e t w e e n e A n t w e r p e a n d B r e d a. D.of Y. a n d the D. of Glouc. is in Newport, P. of Condei n O s t e n d, one Mr. P r e s t o n l y e t h with a t h o u s a n d b o o r s at P l a s s a n d a l l: it h a l f e w a y b e t w i x t this and o s t e n d: if the Fre nees pleased they might gained that, and then this h a l f e b l o c k e d u p; as likewise O s t e n d and N e w p o rt: if you think fit I shall goe with D.York. Sir, I intreat you to put mee in that condition, that I may be able to m o o v e a s h e e m o o v e s; for I cannot goe on foot. Pray, Sir, when you think fitt to honor mee with your comands, direct it here; so craving pardon for this trouble, I rest,
Your most obedient and humble servant,