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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March (4 of 4)
Colonel Barkstead, lieutenant of the Tower, to secretary Thurloe.
The inclosed is the true coppie of a letter I intercepted the last night, going from a prisoner here. The out-part of the letter was directed to one Adam Lockett, an apothecarye's apprentice in the Old-bayley; and it was to be convey'd by one neare the Tower, in whose letter this inclosed was, with directions to Lockett imediately to deliver it as derected. The apothecarye's man I have (his master's name is Mr. James Martyne). In the man's pockett there was a short letter directed from Mayow to him; as alsoe one from the prisoner in the Tower, which is Charles Gifford. I have taken informations and examinations, which, soe soon as perfected, shall give you further account. Gifford confeseth the letter to be his owne. Lockett assures me, he will give me the best intelligence he can to meet with Mayow this night, before he goeth to sea. I am confident this apothecarye's man is one of the most active apprentices in towne. His Mrs. consesseth, he is almost continually a wryting, and enquiring much after newes; and that she hath warned and told him, he never would give over till he had brought himself to the gallowes. The originall letter, as alsoe some others, I have kept by me, till I can perfict the whole; and then you receive further account. I give you at present noe further trouble, intending to wayte upon you in the afternoone, which is all from
An intercepted letter, inclosed in the preceding.
I received your last; and I find by your words, that the party you were with either is scrupulous in declaring what he knows, or that he knows but little of the business. The last I rather believe, by his saying things cannot be so forward, in relation to which we all know the business must be done, whilst the nights are indifferent long and dark, unless he were able to fight the English fleet, which I suppose he is not; so that I conclude it must be speedily, or not this year. And this we know, it concerns the Spaniards, as much as all their whole country is worth, to bring the wars hither this summer; and they have had time enough to consider all this. Wherefore pray take notice of these reasons, and go once more to him, and undermind what correspondence he hath, and when he heard from colonel Price, which I desired in my last, but you forgot. I know you'll have time to do this before your going. Put these questions, and let me know his answer to every particular as soon as you can. Now, for your going, I am not at all against, if you can over quickly; for I know it concerns us much to give an account of our business, and the wind now stands for you, and against them; so that I would have you go with all the speed you can, and pray you be very careful; for our credits doth wholly depend upon your carrying of the business. In the first place, pray you be very careful in not satisfying every person, that shall ask you questions; and if they should ask you concerning commissions being taken, never acknowledge we had any such things. Their carriage will make the business appear much better to the person you are to give an account to, assuring him how careful we were; and that there was not any person in England knew we had any such things; and the person who delivered them did not know what they were, till we were taken, and then he was only told they were papers of concernment; and that he would be careful of them; yet, after two days consideration, he gave them up. And, dear Will. pray thee be my friend now in my absence; and pray assure his majesty in these very words, which you may say you received from my own mouth, that is, from my pen, at your coming away, that all the consideration of danger of life or imprisonment were nothing to that of being disappointed of serving him personally; though you may assure him, if I could have notice, that I should be able to engage a considerable party both in the city and country, which telling also for the confirmation of this, that I am very well beloved of several young gentlemen, who would be very forward to serve his majesty; and that you knew so much of me, that I will not think any thing a hazard, wherein I may be serviceable to his majesty, neither in life nor fortune. This, and what more you may think fit to assure his majesty, of my real desire to serve him; and in doing me this favour, you'll rather advantage yourself than otherwise; for it will much confirm the friendship betwixt us two, which will shew, that there was no disagreeing in the management, which is a main business; and if we do reach in our own behalf, it is the same that hath been practised by all our forefathers, to bring themselves into favour with their masters, or to keep that they had; so that never be scrupulous in speaking at large in our own behalfs. This is all for that, which pray keep with you with the former I sent you; for these are things of consequence to be remembered.
But now suppose we have been abused by false stories to his majesty; if so, pray you stand very highly upon our defence with these reasons, that we went upon our own purses, and by the miscarriage only our own lives concerned; for there was no discovery made of any thing but what concerned ourselves. You may argue it highly, and with a great deal of reason, that upon what account we should betray ourselves, or be negligent in a thing that so much concerned our lives? And for Harry Price, if he argues with you to this purpose, be very round with him, and tell him, that we have reason particularly to take it ill from him, who should have defended us in such a case, and not to be our enemy. But in fine, you may say plainly, that if we had received such sums as many others have, there might have been some ground for such a story; but, going upon our own purses, as we did, there cannot be any ground for it; and if Price and Sparks were known to be our correspondents, I protest it was not through me, nor I suppose you, which you may assure them. You may say this indeed, that the last letter we received was answered from his house, who betrayed us; and coming into the chamber, he might see the directions to Sparks; but for Price, he knew nothing of: but not a word of this, unless there is such occasion as I speak of; and be sure never argue it with any person but his majesty and Price; and with the last, because he knows all the business, I mean Price; and that which makes me a little jealous of this is, because I cannot hear from Price; and I am very well assured, that my letter came safe to his hands. However, be sure not to be daunted. This is all concerning those businesses. For Hosyer, dear Will. I should not deny you a greater curtesy, if it were not to him, who, I assure you, hath used me very ill: but take you no notice of this to him; but you may tell him, you cannot stay the making of a suit: but this I shall do for you, when you come over. Let me now hear speedily from you, and how I may return you a greater sum. I shall not fail to do that; for I expect moneys very shortly. And for Drue Giffard, I can assure you, cannot do you any good in this; for he never traded into these parts: but, I think, Cartwright of the Old Exchange may be a likely man; for, I think, he trades thither; and Hosyer is very well acquainted with him. All you have to do is, to find out an honest skipper, that will take you aboard here at London, and secure you from the searchers. Without doubt that is the best way. I would have you make all the haste in it, that you possibly can; and that person I speak of, is very like to assist in it. Let me hear from you before you go, in answer to my first, and how you go. So I conclude my long epistle from
Mr. Bradshaw to the protector.
May it please your Serene Highness,
Being lately returned hither, and haveinge duely accompted unto Mr. secretarie Thurloe the strange manner of the great duke of Muscovie his corresponding with your highness, he but trifelinge (as I humbly conceive) with the freindly mediation your highness propounded by me your servant, I now become an humble petitioner unto your highness, for your gracious permission to returne for England with the first opportunity, there to spend a few monethes for the setlinge of my owne concernments, haveinge suffered much in my estate allready, by reason of my long absence.
Not doubtinge of your highnesse grace herein, prayinge the Almightie to preserve your highnesse person, and to prosper your great affaires, I crave leave to subscribe, as I shall ever approve myselfe,
Mr. Bradshaw to secretary Thurloe.
Beinge at last returned hither from an uncomfortable and tedious waitinge on the pleasure of the great duke to little purpose, I haste by the first post to give your honour notice thereof. My last of the 9th present from Dantzick occasioned my then resolution to have come thence by sea; but findinge the place unsafe for my longer aboade there, I was forced to depart by land, with good convoy all the way, which hath beene verie chargeable to me; but theire was a necessity in it, as I shall hereafter accompt unto you. At Stetin in Pomerania, I received a letter from Nassokin, the governour of Cokenhousen, the great duke's frontier garrison, sent after me to Memmel by an expresse, as soone as he knew that I was departed thence, and that he had certayne notice of the king of Sweden's successe in Denmarke. The act beinge written in the Russe language, I could not possibly get them interpreted before I came hither; and heere I have with much adoe found out the substance to be, viz. that the said Nassokin had now received orders from his master, the emperor of Russia, to receive and send me up to Musco, with the usuall respect and accomodation given to ambassadors; and that therefore he expected my comeinge, haveinge for that purpose sent an expresse unto me with his owne passe, to accompany me from Memmel. I wonder why the governour writ to me in Russe, beinge wee have hitherto corresponded in Latin; but I more admire att his confidence, that he should thinke his owne bare word, though clothed with the authority of the emperor, as he saith, without either letter or passe from the great duke, or his chancelor of the legations, should be sufficient security for my proceedinge for Musco, after soe longe and unreasonable waitinge upon their pleasure; or that it is consistent with the honour of his highness my master, to send me now thither upon such invitation, before any answer be given by the great duke, or his chancelor, to my second address in September last. Noe doubt, but as things now stand, they repent, or may doe, their strange trifleing with his highness mediation, and would be glad to have it in thire power agayne, if but to steed them in their transactions with the Pole, and the house of Austria; but I presume, that his highness, now the kinge of Swed. hath lesse need of peace with the Muscovite, will first have satisfaction for the affront given; at least, that they shall sutably answer to my said last addresse, before they be sent unto agayne. But if, notwithstanding their not answeringe, it shall be thought fitt by his highness and the councill, that I proceed for Musco upon this invitation of the governour Nashokin, in reference to the present affaires of the kinge of Sw. who, I believe, by what I understood from his brother prince Adolphus, in my passing at Marienbugh in Prussia, that the K. notwithstanding his successe in Denmark, desired peace with the great duke, and that the first oportunity for effecting it should be embraced; your honour will then be pleased to take into your consideration the present condition I am in for such a longe and dangerous journey, and to move his highness and the councel, that the needfull may be supplied unto me, who shall ever be ready to obey command, if I be but enabled for it, how little soever the employment promise of comfort or security to myselfe. But if there be an end of this negotiation, occasioned by the sleightinge of his highness friendly mediation, I then hope it will please his highness to permitt my returne for England for a few monethes, to looke after and settle my owne concernements, which, I professe, have suffered much by reason of my longe absence. To that end I have inclosed a petition in a letter to his highness, which I pray your honour to present, and to obtayne an answer, directed to the captayne of the convoy, which is shortly expected here with the companye's cloth-shipps, to transport me over, with what belonges to me; and that it may be sent me by the first post, least it come too late; at least, that you will please to halt me his highness permission for my returne with the first post. Beinge but lately arrived heere, I have not tyme to informe myselfe of the state of affaires in theese parts, which yet, I presume, you have an account of from major general Jephson here residinge. I shall not further detayne you, but to subscribe myselfe
If the bill of 500 l. from Memmel be not yet paid, I pray your honour's favour for the speedy obtayninge of the money; else I shall suffer heere. I inclose copies of a letter received from P. Adophus, with my answer to it, and my answer to Nashokin; which answers I thought good to dispatch this day unto them, as well to hold up Nashokin with an expectation of my returne, as to serve the interest of the K. of Sw. who, as pr. Adolphus assured me, desires peace with the great duke and the Pole, but with full resolution to exclude the house of Austria; and which, it's thought, both the Pole and Muscovite will doe to have peace with the K. of Sweden.
Mr. Bradshaw to Offanassie Ardin Nashokin.
The several letters of your excellency, dated the 13th and 17th of February last, I received at Stettin in Pomerania the 20th of the last month, being sorry, that they came not sooner to my hands; which letters being written in the Russ language, and not in Latin, as we have formerly corresponded, I could not have them interpreted, before I came to this city. I cannot but admire, that his imperial majesty of Russia should now give order for my reception and passing to his court at Musco, and not therewith give answer to my address in September last; nor yet that his majesty's chancellor of the legation should vouchsafe to signify the pleasure of his said imperial majesty unto me, who so long expected it in Courland, and at Memmel in Prussia. I being now revoked, and arrived at Hamburgh, I shall from hence remit your excellency's said letters unto his serene highness, my gracious master, whose further commands I shall observe as to my proceeding for Musco, and thereof give your excellency notice as soon as I receive them. In the interim, if his imperial majesty of Russia do now judge it his interest to make peace with his majesty of Sweden, (of whose successes in Denmark, and his league made thereupon with that king, as also that a treaty is shortly to be held in Prussia betwixt the kings of Sweden and Poland, your excellency cannot but have understood) it were convenient, as I conceive, that in order thereunto, and that no more time be lost to the detriment of his imperial majesty of Russia in this juncture of affairs, that a treaty were forthwith appointed in Courland, or some neutral place, betwixt their majesties of Russia and Sweden, for the happy composing of the differences betwixt their said majesties. At which treaty, if his serene highness, my gracious master, shall command me to be present, I shall willingly contribute my best endeavours to render it effectual. Commending your excellency to the protection of Almighty God, I subscribe myself, &c.
P. S. Whereas your excellency mentioned several letters lately sent to me by the conveyance of his excellency the governor of Riga; I do assure you, that no such letters ever came to my hands; and I wonder, why you would send your letters that way, having a more near and ready conveyance by his highness the duke of Courland.
Mr. Bradshaw to prince Adolphus.
The letters of your serene highness dated at Marienburgh the 24/14. Martii, 1658, I received just upon my departure from Stetin the 20th ditto, accompanied with a letter from woidvodo Nashokin in the Russ language, sent by an express to Memmel. It should seem, that the said Nashokin having then understood of my departure from thence, and having some hints forth of Courland of the great success and advance of his majesty of Sweden in Denmark, which, he knew, would influence notably upon the affairs of his master the great duke; as also, that he himself might be called to an account for his unsuitable corresponding with me, whilst I was held up in Courland; thought good to send his servant after me as far as Memmel, to colour his former unwarrantable proceedings; in which letter he invites me to return, and proceed for Mosco, as if it were sufficient security for me to have his bare word for it, without either letter or pass from the great duke, or his chancellor of the legations; or that it were honourable for his serene highness, my gracious master, after my so long and unreasonable waiting on the pleasure of the great duke, to send me to his court, before he answer suitably unto the mediation so amicably propounded. I cannot sufficiently admire at the confidence of the governor. However, I am glad that an express followed me with an invitation to return. The knowledge of it may advantage the affairs of his majesty of Sweden, especially in the treaty with the king of Poland. In the interim I shall fairly hold up Nashokin with expectation of my speedy return, and observe the further commands of his serene highness, my gracious master. Presuming that my letter from Dantzick upon my arrival there, of the 9th Martii, came to your highness's hands, I cease to be further troublesome, prosessing myself, &c.
Major general Jephson to secretary Thurloe.
You will perceyve by this letter, of how little use my beeing here at present is; for truely had I not now this day receyv'd your letter of the 29th instant, I had not knowne in the world what to have sayd to you worth your trouble; for the newes from the Hamburgh exchang, Mr. Needham hath it as perfectly every weeke, as I can give it you; and since the invitation I receyv'd to goe into Denmarke. I have never receyv'd any one word of awnswer to any of mine, eyther from the king or his secretarye: onely I have this day receyv'd a letter from the prince of Soulsbacke, that the king is gone to Gottenburgh, where his queene, and some of his senatours, are to meete him, and that from thence hee intends to returne with his queene into Holstein towards the latter end of Aprill. You are pleas'd in your letter to take notice of the receypt of two of mine from Gottorp; in both which I did signifye my intentions of retiring to the sea-syde, to receyve your farther commaunds, because it was impossable for mee to overtake the king, who was then passing into Swede. You doe therein derect mee two thinges, first, to congratulate to his majesty his happy success in the late treatye; next, to informe you, what I conceyve concerning the proceeding of the treat y of peace betwixt and Poland, and to t r y. K. Swed. d e s i r e s, that the protect or should of for his m e d i a t i o n; and that if should r e f u s e i t 504 k.Swed. r e f u s e to treat; in both which I shall indeavour to obey your commaunds, as farre as I can here, by adressing myselfe to the k. of Swede's resident. To him I shall congratulate in his highnesse name his master's successe in the late peace, and from him endeavour to be informed of the other, and give you the best account I can of it by the next. In the meane time I shall tell you what I heare concerning it: it's reported, that the greate r p a r t of the Polish n o b i l i t y doe incline to peace with k. Swed. excluding h.Austria; and to that end a treat y is appointed at the 295 t t fer 185 of M a y, when 'tis k.Swed. will march that w a y with his army, which, I suppose, hee lookes upon as his best m e d i a t o r. I am very glad to heare affayres are againe in soe good a posture in England. I hope these frequent disturbances will at length invite all partyes to a settlement, that our owne dissentions may not deliver us up as a prey to the common enemye. I have sayd soe much concerning my desyre of returning home, as I am ashamed to write aney more; only begg your pardon, that you will give mee leave to minde you, that I have now almost beene 20 monthes absent from my familye, which I should not soe much consider for a while longer, had I not probabilitye of advancing his highnesse's service; for truely the not apointing any body to treate with mee, nor giving any answer to my letters concerning the concept of the treatye soe long since delivered, seemes to mee plainly to imply, that the king is resolved, the buisnesse shall eyther bee done by his ministers in England, or not at all. From Mr. Meadowe you have a packett by this post, and doubt not but Mr. Bradshawe will give you a full account of the occasions of his returne hither. Of divers letters, which Mr. Downing writes, I have receyv'd but two; and of two I have sent him, hee had received none the 26th of this month. I suspect some foull play. I have now sent my letters under a merchant's covert, which, I hope, will come safe. Sir, I humbly kisse your hands, and heartily rejoyce at your perfect recovery, and desyre I may bee esteemed, as really I am,
Secretary Thurloe to H. Cromwell, lord deputy of Ireland.
I writt at large to your excellencye by the last, which I shall be scarce able to doe by this, in respect I have but little strength, beinge often ill since my last sicknesse. The state of our present buissines, after it hath beene tossed up and downe amongst comittees of severall sorts, is at last come to the councell, where severall debates have beene upon it. The matter in question was, what advice should be given his highnesse at this tyme, consideringe the present difficulties and daungers the nation was in from the popish and cavalerish party, who were ready to goe into armes; and consideringe alsoe the disposition and temper of that enemye, who reteyneinge still his old principles and affections, would alwayes be giveinge us new troubles and disquietments; and wheither wee were alwayes to be at this passe with them. The councell is yet come to noe resolution upon the whole, save that the major part (though sensible enough of the daunger, and that some effectual course ought to be taken) are wholly averse to use any illegal course of themselves, as to lay any tax upon their estates, or the like; but have advised his highnes to secure such of them for the present as are dangerous, to prevent present riseinge; and as for what is future, to hinder the growth and encrease of that interest. They inclyne to a parlament, if they can agree what to aske the parlament, and what to submitt unto, that shall be done by them and his highnes. But what my hopes and expectations are either from the one or the other, I will not say, because I see what some persons enclyne to, and what they thinke of a parlament, and of such a way of settlement, as a parlament (if well-minded) may bringe forth. My trust is, that the Lord will doe us good, and save us against our wills and endeavours, and in a way that we dreame not of; and of his workings in this kinde wee have had often experience, and therefore have cause to depend upon him. Major Butler is put in the head of that regiment of his highnes, soe that the two gentlemen you mention cannot be employed there; but I shall be mindfull of Mr. Byard upon any other occasion. Mr. Standish is come, and I have had some discourse with hym, and received some papers from hym, which do clearely demonstrate the condition of your money. The counsell hath referred him unto the committee for Ireland, and noe diligence shall be wantinge to give him the best dispatch our present difficulties will afford.
Charles Stewart's design cooles: our fleet before Ostend wholly disappointed him, and hath reduced the place to soe great streights, that both their seamen and landmen run away from them, and the people have scarce bread.
Resolution of the states general.
There being debated by resumption upon the request by the respective ministers of France and England made to their H. and M. L. to agree by provision to the crown of Portugal a cessation of arms for a certain short time, mentioned more at large in former resolution; after deliberation had, it is resolved, that the said request, as yet conformable to the foregoing resolution of their H. and M. L. of the 1st of February last, shall be civilly excused to the said lord ambassador de Thou and the lord resident Downing, as the same is hereby excused; and that likewise shall be written to the respective college of the admiralty, that it is the good intention and desire of the state, that all foregoing resolutions and placarts, agreed upon by reason of the war with Portugal, shall be put in execution; and especially the placarts of the 31st December last year, and the 14th of February last, disposing against the carrying of contraband goods to the said kingdom of Portugal, as also against the importing of any wares of the growth of Portugal into these countries, shall be strictly observed, according to the tenor thereof.
H. Cromwell, lord deputy of Ireland, to secretary Thurloe.
I cannot say much to your last, or of any newes from hence, but that our address, whereof I sent you a copy the last week, is like to be subscribed very largely and unanimously. I hope God may make it, and those other manifestations, which honest men have made of their affections, to be instruments of our peace. Parliaments are so casuall, that one would not prophane the use of them by over-frequency; and yet, on the other side, to raise mony without them is a condition, from which I pray God to keep us. I hope the worst of the cavalier design is over, since the southerly wind, which blew the 15th instant, brought us no harme. Really it is a wonder, you can pick so many locks leading into the hearts of wicked men, as you do; and it is a mercy we ought to own, that God has made your labours therein so successfull. I cheerly concurr with your judgment concerning those two men; for their wayes seem so naturally different, as they can never be one but by accident. If any should apply to his highness and the counsell about a grant of Dundalke, be very wary what you do, Galway being already gone for a song. Let us be more carefull hereafter. This Dundalk is the very key of Ulster, naturally very fortifiable, and lyes very convenient for severall sorts of trade. I wish those had it almost for nothing, that would make the very best use of it for the publick; but indeed otherwise it is not to be parted with on any terms. Although I wish Mr. Malyn well, yet I doubt he is sutor ultra crepidam in the grants he sends us from his highness; for being scarce sufficiently drawn, and sealed but with his highness private seal, I fear those, who have them, may be disappointed in them: wherefore I desire for the future, that better care may be taken for the drawing, sealing and directing them, according, as near as may be, to the practise and form of former times. I remain
Lord Fauconberg to H. Cromwell, lord deputy of Ireland.
My stay a whole weeke together in the country has render'd me not only a truant in my services to your lordship, but allmost necessitated my continuing so, by makeing me an absolute stranger to all kind of affaires heere; so that haveing very little to say, I was indeed not sorry the last post had slipt mee. But this gentleman of my lord Fleetwood's acquainting me now with his intended repaire to your lordship, I durst not let him part without bringing along some testimony of what I ambition should be evidenced to the whole world, which is, of being, with the greatest affection and zeale imaginable,
Mr. El. Palmer to secretary Thurloe.
The 3 morters were for alderman Tems of London, cast by his order, and are at the George inn in the borough of Southwarke, are said to be for the East India. I could not meet him at home yesterday. If this be the real case, no doubt he will sue for license to transport them; which if he obtein, may demand them again; but, without such license, shal be bold to keep them in safety, according to your honour's comands.
Kent ss. The information of Richard Davey,of the parish of Shorchäm in the said county, taken upon oath, by captain John Browne,one of the justices of the peace for the said county, at Orpington, 23d Feb. 1657.
Who saith, That about a week after that captain Browne's soldiers searched the houses in the said parish of Shoreham for arms, (which was about the beginning of the month of January last) he, this informant, having been up in the woods (that Thomas Bigg alias Beech hireth the coneys thereof) in the said parish, and by the said Bigg's desire and appointment, he came by the house of Henry Spillsted, alehouse-keeper in the said parish, and went in and drank a pot of beer, where there were come together, and did come, whilst he was there, Mr. Thomas Pettly, John Round senior, William Hartnupp, Robert Hills, and Simon Crittenden, all of the said parish, who were very busy in their discourse concerning the aforesaid Thomas Bigg alias Beech, how they had ordered him; and that captain Browne had left him, being ashamed of what he had done for him. Whereupon the said Spillsted went up to them, and presently they were very whist; and so this informant came away. But about two hours after, which was about 9 or 10 of the clock at night, he, this informant, went down thither again (and took with him one Thomas Mills) to see if they were gone; but they were all there, and talked so loud, that they might have been heard plainly half-way the street over; and amongst other discourse they had, they said Mr. Pettly said, that his cousin Seylyard could raise more men for all this, than Browne could do. Another of them presently speaking, (which he doth verily believe was Robert Hill) said, that although their arms were taken away, they would fetch them away again; and that they for a need could yet find arms to arm one hundred men presently. After, they concluded to meet the next day at the house of the said Robert Hill, to confer further of their business; and for the space of a week together, and more, they did, with other company, meet at one house or other in the said parish, and this informant doth verily believe, for no good.
Kent ss. The information of the said Richard Davey taken upon oath the primo March 1657.
Who faith, That that night, that Mr. Pettly and his company were together at Spillsted's, mentioned in his former information, he saw the said Mr. Pettly have a sheet of paper, wherein was somewhat written, to which he did see all the said company set to their marks; and the said Mr. Pettley set to their names; and it was agreed by them, that the said Mr. Pettly and John Round should carry it out for other hands. And this informant hath since been informed by others, that they had some design in hand, that was not good; and saith, that he doth also believe no less, because at that time he heard the said John Round say, that they had powder enough among themselves, and that he the said Round had bullets sufficient to let every man 300 each, and some spare; but he had a greater quantity, and laid them aside, not thinking that they ever should have had any occasion again for them; but he would now look them up. Further this informant saith, that he hath been informed by others, that they the said company were seldom asunder, and have their meeting very often at the said Spillsted's, and other places; and that they do not now meet so much upon Thomas Biggs alias Beech's business, as upon some other design, that is not good.
Kent ss. The information of Thomas Mills, of the said parish of Shorcham in the said county, cooper, taken upon oath by the beforesaid captain Browne, at Orpington, 13th March, 1657.
Who saith, That in the month of January last (presently after that captain Browne had disarmed the inhabitants of the above-said parish of Shoreham) one Richard Davey, of the said parish of Shoreham, cooper, came one evening about 9 or 10 of the clock to this informant, and told him, that there was some company at Spillsted's the alehouse-keeper, and he did suppose, their meeting was for no good; and desired this informant to go down with him thither, to harken what they were about, who did go down to the said alehouse with him, but went not in, only they stood near the window, where he saw Mr. Thomas Pettly, William Hartnupp, John Round, Robert Hill, and Symon Crittenden, all of the said parish of Shoreham, who were very high in their discourse, and amongst other passages they said, that although their arms were taken away by Browne, yet they would fetch them suddenly again, and for a need yet they had arms left for to arm about 100 men. Then the said John Round said, that he had bullets for every one of them present, for three hundred each, and more, if need were; and tha the had lead enough to make more, if he had not sufficient, and that he would look them up. Mr. Pettly presently said, that he was sure his cousin Seylyard could raise three times as many men as Browne and Palmer could; whereupon a large sheet of paper was drawn out by Mr. Pettly, who wrote something in it, and then the rest set to their mark; and they concluded, that Mr. Pettly and John Round should carry it out the next morning, and that they would all meet the next day at the above-said Robert Hill's. Further this informant saith, that he staid there a little longer than the said Richard Davey, and heard them conclude about horses; and that Mr. Pettley said, he would furnish out four, and the said Round, Hartnupp, and Hill, would furnish out two apiece. The said Hartnupp also told them, that because he was old, he would not go himself, yet he would help to carry on the design, although it cost him half his estate.
Kent. ss. The information of Edward Duke, minister of the parishes of Ottford and Shoreham, in the said county, taken upon oath by the aforesaid captain Browne at Orpington, the 26 th April, 1658.
Who saith, that on Easter-eve last, the 10th present, being at Mr. Thomas Pettley's house, a woman called Elizabeth Herrott, the wife of Edmond Herrot, of the said parish of Shoreham (who had been a servant in the house formerly) came into the room where this informant was (being as he supposed then come from Sevenoak market) and said aloud, oh master! you are to be captain; and espying this informant, she was very whist, and said no more. Further this informant saith, that he hath heard the said Mr. Petty say, that the other party, that opposed the king of Scots, must expect no quarter; and therefore, wish'd captain Browne would be more favourable to his neighbours.
Suff. ss. Certain informations taken before colonel Humphry Brewster, esquire, one of the justices of the peace for the said county, and one of the militia officers, relating to a certain plot or insurrection, now in hand, or suddenly to be acted against his highnes the lord protector, and the peace of these nations.
Nicholas Murton of Beccles, in the county aforesaid, saith, that on sabbath-day last past, being to go to certain sick persons in Shading-field in the said county, he went to the Cross-bow in the said town (one Soane being the keeper of the said house) where there was one Brock, that was sick, that had a desire to speak with the informant; and he going to him, and after they had discoursed about his sickness, they fell occasionally to discourse about the times; and the said Brock told this informant, that he suspected, that there would be a rising in these parts suddenly; and that divers gentlemen hereabouts were to repair to the rendezvous suddenly; and he supposed it would be within a few days. And the said Brock said, that he had a brother, that should go into that design and service; and said his brother's wife had wrote a letter to him about it, which letter the said Brock shewed this informant, which was to this effect, to desire her said brother Brock to stop her said husband's cloaths and boots; and, if he would go, let him go naked without clothes. The said brother told the informant, that his brother was a servant to Mr. Cooke of Thorneton, and was to go with one of Mr. Cooke's sons; and assured this informant, that there would be a rising of above thirty thousand beyond London. The said Brock said, he would see this informant again suddenly; and that that night he was to go towards Beccles. Further he saith.
Joseph Brock of Beccles in the county aforesaid, carpenter, being examined before me upon oath, informeth and saith, that on saturday last, being at his brother's John Brock of Wenhaston in this county lathryver, his said brother told him, that he expected there would be a rising or insurrection beyond London; and saith, he was invited to go by Mr. Robert Cooke, son to Mr. Cooke of Thornton; and, that his master, the said Mr. Robert Cooke, told him, he would find him a horse; and said, that more gentlemen would go, but told him not their names. This informant being sick of the ague, he could not listen to this story so much as he would else have done; and this informant's brother told this informant, that they they were to go on sunday at night; and the letter that this informant had was from his sister, to secure the said John Brock's things till the monday, to prevent his going; and, that another of Mr. Cooke's brother's sons, one that is called mad Cooke, went to go with them; and further (being sick of an ague) he saith nothing.
John Brock of Weneston in the county aforesaid lathryver, being apprehended and brought before, but would not confess any thing; he was therefore sent to Yarmouth to be secured, where he hath since made his confession.