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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September (2 of 4)
Mr. Downing, the English resident in Holland, to secretary Thurloe.
By the post yesterday, I gave you an account of my having received yours, with the most sadning news of his late hyghnesse's death; as also, that it hath pleased God so wonderfully to guid things, as that my lord Richard is with that unanimity proclaymed; a most surprizing astonishing mercy, such as I assure you doth most wonderfully amaze all that heare of it, who expected nothing but confusion in England, after his late hyghnesse's death, and thereby a wide doore opened for Ch. Stuart. The Lord carry you on with the same unity, in pursuance of the good old cause, and the lesse in any thing of change, it will be the more wonderfull. I also gave you an account of my having printed the proclamation, with such other passages as I knew, and given copyes thereof to all the publique ministers, and to the president of the states general, and to de Witt; so that itt's gone every-where, with the news of his late hyghnesse's death. I have also sent a copy to Sir Phillip Meadowes, and to Hamborow; and for what farther, I must referr you to my yesterdaye's letter by the post; for that the bearer being an expresse sent by the states, will hardly stay the writing heerof. This day 'tis reported, that 9 English friggotts were mett at sea going for the Sound, supposed to assist the king of Sweden. I heare this day also, that the fleet of this state, bound for the Sound with Opdam, can hardly be got ready these 8 days. Severall of their ships are not come in; but, which is more, such as are come in, are not yett fitted and repayred as to the losse of their masts, &c. in the late most terible storme. I am fitting myselfe with mourning, that so I may be in a condition to obey and execute his hyghnesse's comands, when they shall come; and with my most hearty prayers for his long and happy government, I am,
Your most faithfull humble servant,
A letter is expected from his hyghnesse, giving notice of his father's death, and God's establishing him in the government. By the post yesterday I gave you an account, that the states had resolved to order Monsieur Newport to condole the death of his late hyghnesse, and congratulate the happy succession of my lord Richard; and that de Witt had been with me, expressing even admiration at the quiete unanimous declaring of my lord Richard; and just now Beverning is comeing to give me a visitt, thow I take their visitts as incognito, only in the night, my mourning being not yet done.
The letters from Wismar and Hamburg say, that Croningbergh is taken; but heer is no letters of it from Zeland. Obdam is ordered to sett sayle, as soon as he shall have 16 sayle of men of war, besides the ships, which carry the souldiers.
Intelligence sent from Holland by resident Downing.
The last letters of Poland confirm the rupture of the treaties of Muscovy, and that the Muscovite hath declared the war against the Polanders, and sent an army of 10,000 men into Samogitia, who burn and ruin all on the frontiers of the ducal Prussia; also that marshal Douglas was with 8000 Swedes joined with the Muscovite, and that from Poland order was given to the marshals of Lithuania to go with 30,000 men to meet them, and the king of Poland marcheth suddenly with another army to make an invasion into Muscovy; yet it is hoped, that all may be agreed peaceably, because the Muscovite had been persuaded hereunto by false reports against Poland. The emperor's forces are to-day to pass the Oder. Yesterday came hither Montecuculi, who commands them. After he had advised with his highness, he went away again. The envoy of Muscovy, that had been here some time, went hence yesterday with great content, and hath promised to persuade his master, that Poland is inclined to keep their word with him, and to accomplish his promises.
There was a report, that Cronenburg was taken; but since came letters from Copenhagen, that they are resolved to hold out to the last, hoping for relief. The cannon, which the Swedes had planted on the river Elbe, are now taken away, so that the traf fick is again free. The Swedes retire to Kiel, there to wait for the forces of the emperor and Brandenburgh. Two days ago arrived here an envoy from the elector of Brandenburgh, but his business is not yet known.
The Muscovites being far advanced into this duchy, last sunday the nobility of the province of Kowna did swear sidelity unto them, and received safe-guards every-where, and then, by made bridges, passed over Niewiaza, spoiling and killing all that would not submit. General Gasiewski hearing hereof, marched against them, cut some in pieces, and consumed others, and the villages with fire, where they resisted; and the rest put to flight, were many slain by the country people, and so in this Samogitia the Muscovites reign hath ended just as the Swedes did. The Muscovite palatine of Kocchenhausen hath sent to our general to excuse the fact, affirming, that their general called Dolkoruka ventures his head, and that he had no order from the czar to make war upon us, but to conclude peace, and both together to fall on the Swede, who have destroyed all the Muscovite safe-guards in Livonia. Accordingly they have dispatch'd hence a post after our commissioners to call them back to treat the peace, which we hope to have speedily to our great advantage.
The proclamation of the 14th instant, whereby was publish'd the succession of the lord protector, as I sent the 15th, hath been printed; after which the protector caused this inclosed placart to be publish'd, whereby his highness makes known, that by the advice of his council he gives notice to all persons, that have lawfully possessed at the time of the decease of his late highness any offices or places of authority or government civil or military in this country, to wit, of judges, justices, bayliffs, &c. and all other officers and ministers, shall be and remain in their charges and offices, as before, until his highness shall otherwise appoint; and that in the mean time every one in his place shall execute the orders, which he hath already received during the life of his late highness; and that every one, of what condition soever, shall assist the said officers and ministers in their offices; and that his will is, that the orders of the privy council shall be exactly observed.
Tuesday last, the 17th, Sir Oliver Fleming, master of ceremonies, came with a coach and six horses, with some lackeys of my lord protector, to see me; and being entered into the hall of the house of the high mightinesses with a gentleman and page of his highness, he told me, that he had order from the council to tell me, that it pleased God to take out of this world Oliver the late lord protector, and that the lord Richard, his eldest son, succeeded him in the office of protector, according to the petition and advice of the last parliament. I prayed him to thank the lords of the council for the communication made me out of respect to the high mightinesses, assuring them, that I would speedily give advice thereof to your high mightinesses. Since that, I understand, that by advice of the council the lord protector hath resolved, that the body of the late protector shall be imbalmed, and carried to Somerset-house; and that at the burial, which will not be these six weeks, the same order shall be followed, as shall be found in the records to have been observed at the suneral of king James. In the church of Westminster a large place is preparing, where the body shall be interred. No news from any parts, but that their mourning is much abated by the succession of the lord Richard; and although all things go very quietly, yet good order is given every-where against all disorder, that may arise. To-day is kept a fast at Whitehall. Messieurs Nye, Cary, Cooper, Hook, Griffith, Goodwin, and Sterry, all famous learned men, preach'd and prayed in their turn.
18. Sept. 1658. [N. S.] Memorial for three English ships brought into Zeland, &c.
The underwritten resident of England being informed, that a certain English vessel, called the Rebecca of Ipswich, whereof the master was George Berkenham, was taken the 4th instant by one Peter Darwelly of Ostend, and carried to Tervere in Zeland, and her best cable sail, and other goods, to the value of about 500 guelders, taken out of her, and offered to sale; also that another English vessel, called the Mary of Ipswich, whereof one Edward Jolly was master, was taken the 18th of August last by one Jacob Zacharias of Ostend, and was brought into Flushing, and a cable, anchor, and other goods taken out of her, to the value of 600 guelders; also that another English vessel, called the Robert of Colchester, whereof one Stephen Smyth was master, was taken the said 18th of August by the forementioned Zacharias, and was brought into Flushing, and grindstones, coals, with other goods, to the value of 150 guelders, taken out of her; the said resident demands, that the said vessels, with their tackling and lading, may be forthwith restored to the proprietors, and the said Ostenders punish'd according to the placart of this state, set forth the 9th of August last. Given at the Hague, 18. Sept. 1658.
A relation of the cruelties, sacrileges, and horrible impieties, committed by the English at Pitchan near Winoxberg in Flanders. Printed at Brussels.
About 800 English came to the parish of Pitchan, where immediately, without any cause given of discontent, these madd men began to massacre all they met, of what age or sexe soever; and having sackt and plundered all the houses, and committed other outrages and excesses, they sett all on fire. Afterwards, to accomplish punctually what they had sworne in their treaty with the French touching holy places, they went to the churches, where the prophanation and breaking in pieces of altars and holy images was the least effect of their sury; they proceeded to the scorning of the most holy and adoreable sacrement, and to tread under foot the sacred hostes with blasphemyes, the thought whereof would make hell itselfe tremble with horrour, using these execrable words: God, if thou art in these hostes, speake, and make us see it. After which, having carryed away all that could be of any use to them, they sett the church on fire; and at the same time some of these impious people, finding up in the tower the pastor and his chaplaine, pillaged them, beate them, and with pistoll and sword would have forced them to deny God and the sayth, and had massacred them, had not the fire of the church forced them to fly thence. At length these barbarians returned to their garrison with 2000 head of cattell, horses, oxen, cowes, and sheep, &c. the French not daring to complaine thereof, though it be against their own interest, their honour, and their conscience, though those infidelds threaten to serve all the holy and catholike places in like manner, so far as they can goe by the assistance of the French.
Proclamation of the protector Richard in Ireland.
Whereas it hath pleased the most wise God in his providence to take out of this world the most serene and renowned Oliver, late lord protector of this commonwealth; and his said highness having in his life-time, according to the humble petition and advice, declared and appointed the most noble and illustrious the lord Richard, eldest son of his said late highness, to succeed him in the government of these nations: and whereas, pursuant thereunto, the lords of the privy council in England, together with the lord mayor, aldermen, and citizens of London, the officers of the army, and a number of other principal gentlemen, upon the fourth of this instant September, with one full voice and consent of tongue and heart, have published and proclaimed the said noble and illustrious lord Richard to be rightfully protector of this commonwealth of England, Scotland and Ireland, and the dominions and territories thereto belonging: and whereas we the lord deputy and council of this nation have been directed and required by the lords of the privy council of England to do the like within this dominion of Ireland: wherefore the said lord deputy and council, in pursuance thereof, together with several of the nobility of this nation, with the mayor, aldermen and citizens of this city of Dublin, the officers of the army, and a number of other principal gentlemen, do hereby also, with one full voice and consent of tongue and heart, publish and proclaim the said noble and illustrious lord Richard to be rightfully protector of England, Scotland and Ireland, with the dominions and territories thereunto belonging, to whom we do acknowledge all sidelity, and constant obedience, according to law, and the said humble petition and advice, with all hearty and humble affections, beseeching the Lord, by whom princes rule, to bless him with long life, and these nations with peace and happiness under his government.
W. Steele, canc.
H. Cromwell, lord deputy of Ireland, to secretary Thurloe.
Yesterday in the forenoon the messinger arrived with the sad tidings of his highness death. In the afternoon my brother was proclaimed his successor. I send you herewith the proclamation, subscribed by myselfe, and the councell, and such of the nobility, judges, officers of the army, and gentlemen of quality, as were in the town, and present when it was produced for signing. You may guess at my condition, and how hard a thing it was within an hower to put off my greife for my dear father, to give directions for a matter of solemnity; but the peace of the nation, my love and tenderness to my deare brother, I should now say my duty to the cheife magistrate, made me cast myselfe before the Lord, and begg earnestly for a support, and God heard my prayer. I went in person to make the proclamation, and therefore am able to assure you, that it was performed, not only with the greatest solemnity this place could afford, but with very great shouts and acclamations of joy, which I am perswaded came from the hearts of the people. This morning I caused the officers of the army to attend me; and having at large acquainted them with the state of our affaires, and their duty, left them together to consider of what I had said, and to offer me their thoughts. They returned an unanimous desire to me, that I wou'd assure his highness of their cheerfull obedience and faithfullness to his highness to the uttermost; and that they would suddainly give more testimony of it by their acting in their severall places. Indeed their temper seems to me at this time better then what I could have expected. I have commanded them all to their respective charges, to preserve things the surer, and to see the proclamation (which are also printed, and this evening sent through the nation) published with the more solemnity, and the acclamations of the soldiers. I intend this evening a dispatch to generall Monke, to acquaint him with our unanimity to strenthen his hands, if he be in any streight. Pray present my humble duty to his highness, and acquaint him with this. I hope God will enable him to beare his greise. If he sinke under it, wee perish; for how can the sheep be safe, unless the sheapheard watch?
Let her highness, my deare mother, know, that my affliction is dubled, when I thinke
of her condition. Pray God comfort her. I doe pray for her, and I shall not cease,
but shall continue her obedient and affectionate son, whilst I live. I shall not tell you
how unexpressible my greife is. God knows what is in the womb of this severe stroke.
I am loath to give way to my own fears. It is from his hand, and wee must submit.
The Lord help us! I rest
Your affectionat friend, and humble servant,
Dr. Tho. Harrison to secretary Thurloe.
May it please your Honour,
What chequer-worke we had here yesterday, in greise for the loss of our late, and joy for the proclaiming of our present protector, it is the businesse of this bearer to informe you. The streame of my lord deputie's sorrows (which are very great) runs forth cheifely in the channell of prayer, and therefore shall certainly be turned into joy. This water shall be turned into wine. The soule cannot but gaine by that losse, which it labours to think of only for spirituall ends.
My duty to the publique, and to his highnesse's family, (the wellfare of both lying much in a most strict and firme union and affection between his highnesse and his only brother) makes me bold to say, that a commission for lord lieuetenant would be a most open manifestation of that affection in the one, and a further engagement to a perpetuall reciprocation in the other, and of generall influence and advantage both at home and abroad.
I doubt not but God's guidance of his highnesse's spirit hath already prevented me in this motion; which yet being upon my heart, I durst neither smother it in silence, nor give it vent in any other way then this; carefully concealing it from all others. I meane well, whether I hitt or misse as to the medium, and hope therefore to be pardoned.
The good Lord make our present settlement like Jabez, more excellent then its brethren,
though (like him) it hath bene brought forth with sorrow! The Lord enrich his highnesse
with a double portion of his father's spiritt, and make him and his brother, as Jachin
and Boaz, strength and establishment to these nations, pillars in and to the house of our
God therein, and bear up these pillars now, that our earth is so weake, and all the inhabitants thereof! That the Lord from heaven would direct and blesse all their and your
pious endeavours in order thereunto, is the dayly and hearty prayer of
Your Honour's poor servant in all humility and faithfullnes,
Sir John Copleston to secretary Thurloe.
Though I beleeve you have not forgotten how strictly his late highnesse and yourselfe commanded me to eye Carew, Vernon, and Allen, yet I take the boldnesse to say, that I apprehend there never was more necessity to watch them than at this ticklish posture of affaires. They continue my neighbours; and although I thinke it yet early enough to feare their attempts, yet the contrariety they possesse against his highnesse interest ingageth me to mind his late highnesse and your commands. I have, I hope, already indifferent good spies among them: they intend speedily a great meeting of their partie. I shall not faile to use my greatest subtlety, and endeavour to know what they doe and resolve on. Certainly they are persons of as much venome and revenge as any whatsoever, and will not spare to adventure on any thing, that may give them the least hope of successe. As for the old enemie, I continue such of them, as I judge most likely to doe mischeife, and th'other are confined to their houses. If this be not strict enough, I begge your commands, which shall be most punctually observed. Tuesday his highness was proclaimed by the mayor and magistrates of this cittie. As soon as I had the warrant for it, I sent to the maior to assemble the magistrates, which was accordingly done. I did this out of a suspicion I had they might sleight it, as formerly they have; but the mayor Pearse (who is my lieutenant-colonell) came to me with his bretheren, and assur'd me they would doe it with as much solemnity as they could; and truly soe they did. I was glad of it, because of the example it gives to all these parts.
On thursday last the proclamation was publiquely read at Honiton, where my troope,
200 militia, . . . . . . . . . . . . theare did it as solemnly and with as
much ceremony as they could. There were many justices and gent. of the best quality
present; and all souldiers and others did engage most faithfully to serve his highnesse,
whose affaires yet (blessed be God!) goe smoothly on, and look with a very promising
countenance to continue soe. The great and continuall circumspection you have for his
highnesse and the Lord's people makes me wary in giving you unnecessary words. I
begge a pardon for the tediousnesse of this paper, and that you continue to owne me, what
I am in the greatest quallity,
Sir, Your most faithfull and humble servant,
Secretary Thurloe to H. Cromwell, lord deputy of Ireland.
May it please your Excellencye,
The last lyne I saw from you was in doctor Petye's hand, which mentioned your beinge ill; and that beinge writt neare a month since, and wee haveinge had noe letters from Ireland these 3 posts, wee are for the present under very great trouble and anxiety, especially consideringe, that reports flye up and downe, that your excellencye is dangerously ill, which I hope is but like those other reports, which are now spread in this place, to amuse the people, and to stirre them up, and to adapt them for insurrection. But, blessed be God! wee are all in a very good condition as to peace, and mens mindes enclyne much more to peace and settlement then to trouble; and I hope the army will continue unanimous in their obedience to his highnesse, as they were to his father. As to our other affaires, viz. the procureinge of money, the callinge a parliament, and the like, our trouble and sorrow is not yet enough over to sett close to those considerations; yet thursday next is appointed for the debate of them in the counsell. What the result is, shall be communicated to your excellencye. The army here is upon draweinge of a declaration to his highnesse of their fidelity to hym, which is all that is yet on foot in this place.
The last newes wee had from Denmarke was, that the kinge of Sweden was before
Copenhagen and Coningsberge, and like to be possest of the latter in a few dayes. The
Dutch are upon their way to assist the kinge of Denmarke with 2000 foot and 24 ships,
and are to send 4000 foot more. The elector of Brandenburgh is alsoe marchinge with
a good army into Holsteine by way of diversion against the Swede, who, if he be not
possest of Copenhagen, before these enemies come upon hym, he will be much put to it.
Your Excellencye's most humble and faithfull servant,
Lord Fauconberg to H. Cromwell, lord deputy of Ireland.
My deare Lord,
Synce my last by Mr. Underwood, nothing remarkable heere, but preparations for doeing right to the memory of that great person, so beloved of all, in the solemnity of his funerall, which will assuredly be greater then ever was done heertofore to any prince, tho' never come neere answering either the affections or obligations of this people. All seemingly weares the face of But certainly somwhat 39 3 19 27 23 47 34 26 22 43 14 3 39 is brewing under hand. 19 27 15 38 27 6 11 35 14 3 27 6. A caball there is of persons, and 11 35 11 19 34 26 10 31 11 35 34 26 27 34, 3 27 6 great ones, held very closely, 27 11 34, 14 11 23 6 38 11 35 47 7 23 26 34 11 23 47, resolved, it's feared, to rule themselves, 39 34 10 11 3 35 11 6, 30 26 35 38 23 11 39 14 11 23 34 11 23 38 11 34, or set all on fire. 39 3 23 23 26 27 10 19 35 11. Whatever God sees good for us, hee I trust will fit us to it, but in mercy rather avert us from confusions. Come what will, I am
Your Lordshipp's most faithfull and obedient brother and servant,
General Monck to secretary Thurloe.
My brother, doctor Clarges, being returning to London, I make bold by these to desire your lordshippe to make my humble acknowledgement to his highnesse for the dispatch of him hither with soe large a testimonie of his respect and affection to him. Hee came hither in five dayes, and had returned sooner, but that hee was staid by the councill, who being upon an adjournment disperst from Edenburgh, tooke some time to meete and prepare a letter of their duty and respect to his highnesse, to send by him. Hee can acquaint you with the condition of affaires in these partes by word of mouth. I shall therefore cease to trouble your lordshippe further, butt take leave, and remayne
Your Lordshippe's most humble servant,
A paper sent by general Monck from Scotland to the protector Richard Cromwell, in the hand-writing of Dr. Tho. Clarges.
Since by the providence of God his highnes is settled in the supreme magistracy of these nations, it will be necessary for his firmer establishment, that he endeavours to engage to him those of power and interest amongst the people; for which he has a better opportunity then his father, haveing not the same obligations to many disquieted spirits.
The greatest part of the people are not the best part. But of those, that are the best, the most considerable are such as have a great regard to discipline in the church of God; for want wereof wee have allmost lost religion amongst us, which is crumbled into dust by seperations and devisions, and wee are become the scorne of our enemies, and the greif of our freinds.
I desire therefore you will acquaint his highnes, that it is my humble advice to him, that the first beginneing of his administration of government be at the service of God; and in order thereunto, that before or at the same instant he summons a parliament; he allso calls together an assembly of godly divines, to agree upon some way of union and accommodation, that wee may have unity in things necessary, liberty in things unnecessary, and charity in all; which will put a stop to that progresse of blasphemy and profanes, that I feare is too frequent in many places by the great extent of toleration.
His highnes, by this proceeding, may be confident of the prayers and affections of the most orthodox of the ministry: and what influence they have upon the people, is not hard to deduce. And for a preparation to this great work, it will be good for his highnes to countenance and favour some of the gravest sort of moderate presbiterian divines, such as doctor Reignolds, Mr. Calamy, Mr. Cooper, and Mr. Manton, and to hear them preach to him at Whitehall as often as those of other judgments.
The calling a parliament will require much consideration, and the house of lords, as a great part thereof, will not take up the least care of his highnes; concerning which, in my opinion, it may be fitt to summon the most prudent of the old lords, that have bin faithfull, and some of the leading gentry in the severall counties, as Mr. Perpont of Nottinghamshire, Sir George Booth of Cheshire, Sir John Hubbart of Northsolk, Mr. Hampden of Buckinghamshire, Mr. Bainton of Wiltshire, Mr. Popham of Sommersetshire, Mr. Rolls of Devonshire, and some such others, whoe will be the more incouraged to sitt, when they perceive the good inclinations in his highnes to a settlement in religion.
The great debts upon the nation will obleige his highnes to retrench, as much as may be with safety, the charge of the armyes and navy; to which I shall humbly offer, that, as to Ireland, all the single companies there may be disbanded; which (if I am not misinform'd) are officer'd by persons not of the best affections to his highnes interests; and likewise some of the regiments may be reduced, and in the stead of them a good militia of trained bands set up in the severall counties, whoe consisting most of them of persons formerly soldiers, or such old English inhabitants that have bin for the parliament, and suffer'd by the cruelties of the Irish, will well defend that country.
And as to the armyes in England, Scotland, and Ireland, in generall a great expence may be saved, if they be put two regiments into one; whereby his highnes may be freed from some insolent spiritts, that may not be very safe to be continued; and this action would be much pleaseing to the best men in the nation, whoe were not so free to a hearty conjunction with his highnes father, because they conceived the army in hands they could not trust. I beleive his highnes may think this last bold advice, and not safe to be put in execution; but you may assure him, there is not an officer in the army, upon any discontent, that has interest enough to draw two men after him, if he be out of place, as his highnes may remember by a late example. The affections of the army to his highnes may be best preserved, if his highnes will be pleas'd to let every colonel, that is honest, have the nomination of his own officers upon vacancyes, whoe will be sure to preferre persons of his own principle. But such colonels, as are suspected, may be denied that favour. And when places fall in their own regiments, his highnes may despose them into honest hands; but the managing of this practice is to be done with warines, that offence may not be taken at it. I am not able at this distance to say so much as I could of the navy, as when I was more conversant in their affaires; but I finde by inquiry many of those brave men, that ingaged their lives in the Duch warr, out of imployment, which may be of ill consequence to his highnes service, if ever occasion be to make a navall warr. Wherefore, in regard so much of the honour and safety of the nations is concern'd in the well-manning the fleet, I would have you from me to recommende to his highnes esteeme and affection captaine Goodson, captaine Eustace Smyth, captaine John Clark, captaine Peter Mootham, captaine Bernard Gilpin, captaine Plumly, captaine Robert Blake, captaine Penrose, to command the best ships, whoe are such as have given eminent proofs of their courage and fidelity in our late ingagements, and have good estates and interests.
There is one Whitehorne in the fleet, that is in a very great ship, by I know not whose favour, whoe is a coward, and unfitt for imployment. And there be many others of no estates, and as litle interest, that are captaines of ships, whoe, I feare, if his highnes should have warr with the Duch, or any potent enemy, if their men doe not prevent and hinder it, they may be apt to betray or sell them.
If his highnes is not displeased with these results of my thoughts, I desire you to move him to take into his councill, for the execution of them, my lord Whitlock, my lord St. John's, my lord Brohill, my lord Ansloe, Mr. Perpoint, and Mr. secretary Thurloe; whoe I humbly propose in subordination, and with respect to the right honorable the lords of his privy councell.
What I have appointed you to say to his highnes concerning the disposition of Edenbrough-park, and the makeing Mr. Fleetwood commissary, in commissary Phips his place, as allso concerning some perticular persons, I leave to your memory.
The information of Thomas Bowes of Beedall, innkeeper, taken upon oath the 15th of Septemb. before Matthew Beckwith, Esq; one of the justices of peace for the north riding of Yorkshire.
He deposeth, that upon saturday last he coming from York, Mr. Will. Smalwood of Beedall (servant to the two commissioners of the excise) came to his house, and demanded, what news at York, and if Richard were proclaimed. This deponent answered, he was; and said there was expectation of a parliament calling: to which he replied, that if the parliament should sit, Richard's head would or should be taken off; for, saith he, I spoke with two or three troopers going northwards, and he said there would be work shortly.
Steele, lord chancellor of Ireland, to secretary Thurloe.
Yours of the 7th instant I received, which, with the sorrowfull relation of his late highnes his departure, brought to hand also something carrying in them great matter of thankfulnes to the Lord, as that continued presence of the Lord with his highnes spiritt to him in those ejaculatory breathings of his soule for the blessing of love and union amongst the servants of God, amidst their various administrations, particularly praying for them, that were angry with him, and which, as you well observe, is very signally remarkable, when he left the world, to leave these nations in peace, which had been so much imbroyled in trouble and misery. All which, together with the quiet inchoation and hopefull progresse of our new mercies in the person and spiritt of his now highnes, hath, I trust, already given a double check, th'one to those sorrows, that surpriz'd us by the departure of his late highnes as to the measure thereof, and th'other to the pride and insultings of that enemy, that hoped to see such a day, and then assured themselves of such opportunities and advantages, as they despayred of in the lyfe-time of his highnes, by reason they knew so well his wisedom and vigilancy. The Lord, I hope, will teach his people by such a dispensation both to eye their sinns, and the provocations of these nations in the losse we have received, and withall to magnifye the tenderness and riches of that grace, whereby wee are yet a people and beloved, that deserve to be neither. And if the Lord would now in these renewings of mercy cloth all his servants in their severall capacities with such zeale for his glory, and true love to his interest and image, that they would first and above all seekings study the concernments of our Lord Jesus, and the advancement of his name and truths amongst men, and both esteeme and bee conversant with simplicity of heart and sincerity, which are the life and comfort of all conversation, I knowe not but wee may see a glorious accomplishment at home and abroad of many of those things, as to the ruine of Babylon, and prosperity of Syon, which his highnes long'd to see, and to bee an instrument for in the hands of the Lord. Sir, if it were needfull, as I beleeve it is not, to give you any accompt of affayres heere, it would bee in breife, that his highnes hath been very solemnly and unanimously proclaymed; that there is here a generall visible quietnes, but withall, as is requisite, a vigilant eye by the lord deputie here upon the old common enemy. Sic notus Ulisses. His highnes last proclamation to prevent any interruption in the administration of justice or peace of the nation, wee have caused to bee proclaymed also, and both of them to bee inrolled, though there wanted some requisites as to the manner of their transmitting; but the substance in such cases is not to bee prejudiced by any want of circumstance. Nevertheles it is held advisable heere, as I suppose in England, that such principall parts of power, whether by patent or otherwise, as are determined, should with all possible expedition bee supplyed. I beleeve something tending thereunto will bee otherwise signifyed to you. I feare I have already transgresst my limitts, and a suitablenes to your great affayres. I would only adde my earnest and hearty prayers to the Lord, whose sceptre is a sceptre of righteousness, and who is the king of saints and nations, that his highnes person and spiritt may bee so blessed and guided in councells and actions in the government of these nations, that by the spiritt of wisdome, piety and justice, powred upon him, and running to the skirts of his garment, these nations may reape the lasting fruit of those mercies, that have been and are overshadowing them. I remayne, Sir,
Your very affectionate and faythfull servant,
Mr. Downing, the resident in Holland, to secretary Thurloe.
I received by the last post Mr. Morland's letter to me, wherin was a postscript, that you doubted not, but that I had received my credentialls and instructions, which you had sent me by the last with the proclamation. The proclamation I did receive, which came in yours by the expresse, which the lord Newport sent to the states; but there came with it no credentialls nor instructions, but your letter said, that by the next I should receive them. Where the mistake is, I am not able to guesse; and understanding that the states heer did expect something from me, and that it would be 14 dayes, ere a returne to this letter can be had, and possibly that also your very returne comeing by the post might be intercepted, and that if I should continue heere so long without applying to the state, reports and constructions might and would be made and raysed thereupon, I did on wednesday night send my secretary to de Witt to let him know, how it was; who thereupon said, that thow it was true, that till I had new credentialls, in strictnesse I was no minister, yet that on the other hand the inconvenience might be worse, if this state should continue so long unapplyed to; and therefore that he did by all means desire, I would send my secretary to the president of the states generall, and put a memoriall into his hands, letting him know, how it was happened, and that that was the reason, why I could not demand an audience, according to the usuall manner in such cases; which accordingly yesterday I did, a copy of which memoriall is heerin inclosed. I am able to give you very little account of the inside of businesse, for that since the news of his late hyghnesse's death, I have not been in a condition either to stirre abroad, or let any body come to me, this countrey being very observing as to the ceremonies of mourning; and I have informed myselfe from the residents heer, and particularly the residents of Poland and Denmarke; and being by them and the master of the ceremonyes here informed, that at the death of any king or soverayne prince, their residents heer have, by order from their successors, put themselves and whole family and coaches into mourning, and also an appartment of their houses, I have done the like, and have neither exceeded nor done lesse than the constant custome of all heer in the like cases; and there is no court in the world (I think) wher are so many publique ministers as heer, and where a fault in this kind would have been more censured. I have therefore done it without wayting your order, it being a thing here always done; and till it had been done, I must have still remayned close prisoner. To morrow I shall be, I hope, in a condition to give and receive visitts, but shall not farther adventure to make any further applycation to the state, till I have a commission and instructions. I have endeavour'd to buy the mourning as cheape as possibly I could.
Ch. Stuart and the duke of York, and all the guests are, I believe, now at councell at Ghent, whether they have flocked from all parts since the news of his late hyghnesse's death. He was incognito with his sister the last week. A burgomaster of Maesland Sluise said the other day, that a person of quality lodged a day and night at his house, and had hyred a vessell there, and was sayled for Scotland.
This week every day hath filled this place with news, as that the lord Lambert was up in the head of four regiments; that the lord Fairfax had possessed himself of the isle of Man; that the duke of Buckingham had escaped out of the Tower; and, to complete all, that his now hyghness was poysoned, and the lord Henry and gen. Moncke stood upon their own termes.
We do not yet heere, that Obdam is gone to sea. The last storme had extreamely shattered many of their men of warre. An expresse, that came from him this day, said,
that he was not yet gone, but that he intended that day to sett sayle, but I hardly believe it. Heer is no news from Zeland further than what is in the inclosed, by which
you will also have an account of the Muscovites being entred Samogitia belonging to
Poland. I am,
Your most faithfull humble servant,
The states here sent this day to me to congratulate his hyghnesse in his happy entrance into the government; but I desired to be excused till to-morrow, not having been able sooner to gett things in order as to my mourning.
The inclosed to collonel Clerk is about capt. Muns, the commander of the Vulture friggott, who was driven into the Texell in the last storme, with the losse of his masts, anchors, cables, boats, &c. and escaped casting away very narrowly; and whom I furnished with creditt at Amsterdam to fitt out his friggott, and she is already gone to sea, whereas otherwise she had layne till next week, before she could have had an order.
Intelligence sent from Holland by resident Downing.
There hath been again read in the assembly the letter of the embassador Nieuport, dated Westminster the 15th instant, and received yesterday, containing, among other things, that the lord protector of the republic of England, Scotland, and Ireland, was there deceased the 13th instant, and that the morrow the serjeants and heralds at arms had proclaimed, in the presence of the lords of the council, of the lord mayor and aldermen of London, and of the chief officers of the army, in the places where such proclamations were wont to be made, that the deceased lord protector, according to the act made upon the humble petition and advice of the parliament, had named for his successor his eldest son the lord Richard Cromwell; and that the privy council of his highness, the lord mayor, the aldermen and common council of the city of London, as also the chief officers of the army, had all unanimously resolved to cause the said lord Richard to be proclaimed as protector of the republic of England, Scotland and Ireland, with the territories thereunto belonging. The president Schulenberch hath also reported, that the resident Downing had by his secretary given notice of the said death. Whereupon, after deliberation, it hath been resolved, that it shall be written to the said embassador Nieuport, that he shall make a compliment of condoling in the name of their high mightinesses to the said lord Richard Cromwell, touching the decease of the lord protector his father of immortal memory, and then another congratulating with him his protectoral dignity, assuring him, that their high mightinesses not only resolved to maintain and continue the antient amity and the last alliance, but also to increase the same for the good of each other by a more strict engagement: moreover, that he shall in the present constitution of affairs pursue the execution of the determinations of their high mightinesses, principally touching those of Sweden and Denmark, and of the marine, with all their dependences, for this purpose, informing the said lord protector, how their high mightinesses find themselves now obliged, by virtue of their leagues, to assist the king of Denmark in this necessity and oppression, praying him, that he will consider, that the present war of the king of Sweden against the king of Denmark hath been made contrary to the treaty, which the envoy of England had also signed; and that he would take care, that the violation thereof may be repaired, and the affairs of Denmark redressed in such manner, that the sorces of both kings being equal, peace may be there settled, and the said kingdoms preserved from new troubles, which cannot but be prejudicial to the neighbours.
And new letters of credence shall be sent to the said embassador Nieuport, as the copy of this resolution shall also be sent to the said embassador Boreel at Paris, to serve him for information partly, and partly to use the same endeavours with the court of France in the name of their high mightinesses in relation to this war between the kings of Sweden and Denmark, and of the succours of this state. And the letters of this resolution shall be dispatch'd without delay.
Being received a letter from the college of the admiralty of Rotterdam, written to the same place the 8th instant, with a writing in answer of the letter of their high mightinesses of the 7th of the same month, and afterwards information was given of what was in execution of the resolution of their high mightinesses ordained upon the memorial of the resident Downing touching the private man of war, Cornelius Bomler of Ostend, they had dispatch'd towards sea their provost, charged with an order, such as is express'd in the said writing. Whereupon, after deliberation, it hath been found good, that a copy of the same letter and writing shall be sent to the said resident Downing, to inform himself thereby; and in the mean time a letter shall be written to the said college, that they would advertise their high mightinesses from time to time of what they shall do more in the said business.
The counsellors deputies to the admiralty residing at Rotterdam, having seen by the letter of their high mightinesses, and the resolution with it, both dated yesterday, that a certain English ship, named the Richard and Susanna of Dover, whereof the master was Christopher Dawson, coming from London to this city of Rotterdam, was taken the 4th instant by Cornelius Bomler of Ostend, and carried to Gorée, where he was still with the said Bomler, as also that the same Bomler had taken out of the said Dover ship in money and goods to the value of about 100 l. sterling; and therefore that their high mightinesses would, that they proceeded against the said Ostender, and in behalf of the interested in the said English prize, with all expedient vigor and speed, according to the placarts of the state, authorize and charge hereby their provost Snak to go presently with two of his halberdiers to Helvoet-sluice, and there repair to the commissioner Tong, to the end that, so soon as the said Ostender shall be brought before him by means of the said commissioner, he shall examine his commission; during which examination or detaining of the said Ostender on land, the provost shall go aboard the Ostender and the English prize, and shall inform himself particularly, if the placart of their high mightinesses of the 9th of August last have not been violated or broken by the said Ostender or his men; and having found it to be so, the said provost shall put the said ships in safety and under guard, and shall cause them to be carried to Helvoetsluice, there to be detained till farther order from this magistrate and the said commissioner; and the watches and keepers of the ships at Helvoet-sluice shall assist the said provost for the execution of these orders. It is so commanded to all and every one not to sail herein.
High and mighty Lords,
At the same instant that we received the letter and resolution of your high mightinesses, with a copy of the resident Downing's memorial concerning Cornel. Bomler and the English prize, in execution of the resolution of your high mightinesses, we have sent toward sea our provost, charged with an order in writing, as your high mightinesses may be pleased to see more amply by the copy herewith, whereunto, that we may not be tedious, we refer ourselves, promising ourselves, that thereby we shall have satisfied the good intention of your high mightinesses touching the information, which you demand by the said resolution. We pray God, &c.
The underwritten resident of England finds himself obliged not longer to defer the giving part in writing to the lords the states general of the united provinces of so happy and welcome a news as the succession of the most noble and illustrious Richard, eldest son to the late lord protector of glorious memory, to the protectoral dignity and government of England, Scotland and Ireland, with the territories and dominions thereto belonging; and that he hath been proclaimed and received with an incredible unanimity of hearts and voices, such as was due to such a prince, who was son and heir to such a father.
And as the United Provinces are much interested in the good understanding with England, so the said resident doth assure them, that his most serene highness, that now is, will firmly maintain and conserve the ancient amity and late alliance, and be ready to give new and particular proofs of the zeal, which he hath for their welfare; for which end the said resident will not be wanting from time to time to employ his utmost care and endeavours.
The underwritten envoy of the king's majesty of Poland and Sweden, by letters received from Samogitia, is assured of the great defeat of the Muscovites, &c. and how they are quite beaten out of that duchy by the Polanders, and have desired a treaty for peace, &c. All which, out of the respect to the H. and M. lords states general, he thought sit to signify unto them.
There has been read a letter of the deputies of their high mightinesses, written aboard their frigat in the chanel, dated the 22d instant at nine at night, and another from admiral Wassenaer or Opdam from the Vlie of the same date: whereupon, after deliberation, it hath been resolved, that a letter shall be writ to the said deputies and to the said lieutenant admiral, that their high mightinesses have understood with astonishment, that the fleet is not yet out, as the said lord admiral and col. Puckler have order; and that so much the more, seeing that they had received the order and resolution of the 20th instant, according whereunto the fleet ought to have set sail: wherefore their high mightinesses will again, that the fleet set sail without any delay, and that such a division of soldiers shall be made as is convenient, seeing that the voyage is not for months, but only some days, if please God. That their high mightinesses also believe, that the rest of all necessaries are by this time come: however, that they will give order, that the captains content themselves with what they have, and that they will write the colleges of the admiralty to send after by the ships, that follow, all the said necessaries.