A Collection of the State Papers of John Thurloe, Volume 7, March 1658 - May 1660. Originally published by Fletcher Gyles, London, 1742.
This free content was digitised by double rekeying. All rights reserved.
December (4 of 4)
Dr. Th. Clarges to H. Cromwell, lord lieutenant of Ireland.
In the possession of the right hon. the earl of Shelburn.
May it please your Excellency,
The writts are now gone forth to all parts of the three nations, and I hope more care will be taken than usually, that honest, peaceable, and godly-minded men may be elected in all places. His highnes thinks it not advizeable to make any alterations in the house of lords; and I pray God the consequences of that counsell may answere his expectations.
The king of Poland is so much displeased at the late invasiun of his country by the Muscovites, that he is resolved to declare war against them; and to doe it the better, he harkens very much to an accommodation with the king of Sweden. The Poles got together some forces, and so freshly pressed the Muscovites, as they retired from Wilna, that they recovered the generall Gonziewsky, whome they had taken, and all the rest of their prisoners; and they are resolved soe to pursue this warr, that the generall Sophia shall presently be sent with a good army one way, whilst the Cossaks make an inroade another way. And of this the king of Poland hath sent advice to the emperor, that he may be informed, that the Muscovites were the first breakers of the late treaty begunne betwixt them.
From Amsterdam the last letters import, that since the staying the intended releif of four thousand men for the Danish service, and haveing a true understanding of the state of affaires at Copenhagen, they are thinkeing how to peice up the busines betwine the Swedes and Danes; and are nominating ambassadors to goe to the king of Sweden, to revive the treaty of Elbing. The duke of Brandenburgh is at Flensburg, expecting barques to transport 4000 foot and 3000 horse to Zealand: but the Swedes are well provided with horse to receive them, and expect a reinforcement of seven thousand foot from Schonen.
There is nothing come by this post from Flanders or France, worth your excelencie's knowledge; and from Portugall the Spanish newes of the takeing of Yelvas is contradicted. I am,
May it please your Excelency,
Your Excelencie's most humble
and most obliged servant,
London, this 22 Dec. 1658.
H. Cromwell, lord lieutenant of Ireland, to the protector Richard.
23. Dec. 1658.
In the possession of Will. Cromwellesq;
May it please your Highness,
The person your highness sent over, arrived on the 16th of this month; and tho' I have been consined to my chamber ever since his coming, through that indisposition, which hath hung upon me for severall months past, yet I have, as my condition would bear it, given him opportunity. I perceive by your highness's letter, that you commited what you would should be communicated to me, to this person; and I have accordingly credited all he delivered; and beleiving him to deserve the character your highness gives him, have entrusted him with whatsoever I desire he should say to your highness touching my coming over. As for other matters, wherein I have occasionally discoursed my opinion with him, I desire your highness to look upon them as coming from a stranger to things and persons there. The best service, that I shall be able to do your highness, will be to pray, that God would give success to your highness's councells in the management of those great affairs in your hand, and subscribe myself, &c.
H. Cromwell, lord lieutenant of Ireland, to secetary Thurloe.
Dec. 23. 1658.
In the possession of Will. Comwell esq;
I have discoursed with this bearer concerning the matter committed to him by his highness, who, I suppose, will give you an account of what I have said to him upon that subject. I must endeavour in all things to submitt to the will of God, and be passive in such things, as shall be put upon me by my superiours, though never so much to my own prejudice. My indisposition hath been and is so great, that I have not written of late to my friends; and I hope both you and they will excuse me, if I am able to do no more than fitt still and look on. I am told by my friends, that the elections are like to be good here, though I could with the writts had been here so timely, that the members might have been there, before they be excluded the house by a vote, which 'tis said will be the first thing brought upon the stage. Truly, Sir, I am not able to inlarge, and therefore rest, &c.
H. Cromwell, lord lieutenant of Ireland, to general Fleetwood.
In the possession of Will. Cromwell esq;
Dec. 23. 1658.
I must thank you, that you are pleased to keep your constant correspondence with me, notwithstanding my late silence, which truly hath been upon no other account than that, which hath indisposed me to all manner of busines. And truly I thought a little recess and my country air might have given me some relief; but I see now I have no other remedy, but to trust myself upon the good providence of God. And though I make this complaint to you, yet I am far from thinking you in the least accessary to it; and I hope, when you see it seasonable, you will (notwihstanding all the obstructions it hath met with hitherto) do the part of a friend. I pray God to direct you in all your weighty affairs; and that these nations may reap some advantage from that great meeting, which is now approaching.
General Monck to secretary Thurloe.
Vol. lxil. p. 672.
I have received a summons to attend the other house, and I shall desire that favour from you, to know his highnesse resolution, whether I shall come for England or noe. I make bold to offer you my opinion, that I think it will be needfull for mee to stay here, to keepe all thinges in quiet, both in the army and nation; but I shall bee very ready to attend his highnesse commands in what he shall think fitt. I shall entreate your lordship to doe me the favour to lett mee know his highness resolution as speedily as you may: which is all I have to trouble you withall at this time, and remayne
Your Lordship's very affectionate
Dalkeith, 23. Dec. 1658.
Instructions for Will. lord Lockhart, governour of our garrison Dunkirke.
Vol. lxii. p. 648.
Whereas we have upon advice with our counsell lately resolved of the several matters following, in relation to our service in Flaunders, you are therefore to put in execution the instructions after-mentioned.
I. We send you herewith an establishment for the several forces belonging to our garrisons of Dunkirk, and Mardyke, and fort Oliver; which you are to take notice of, and proceed accordingly in all marters relating to our said forces.
II. Towards the compleating of the number of our said established forces, you are to call into your garrison of Dunkirke the said supernumerary companies of English, which are now in the service of the king of France, in his field army.
III. For the further compleating thereof we have designed five hundred soldiers, either of those, which we have determined to spare out of our English regiment, whereof 400 to be sent from hence, and the other hundred to be made up out of col. Salmon's and col. Guibon's companies, now in Flaunders; and accordingly fifty relating to each of their regiments are to be continued in Flaunders for that end.
IV. Upon the landing of the said 400 men in Flaunders, you are to send back in the same ships, that transport them, so many of the said companies of col. Salmon's and col. Guibon's regiments (excepting the fifty of each, which are to stay behind, as aforesaid) as may with convenience be therein embarked; and the residue of the said companies in such other vessells as shall be appointed for that purpose by commands of our admiralty and navy.
V. You are from time to time, by such persons as you shall think fit, to transact for such proportions of hay, as shall from time to time be necessary for supply of our regiment of horse at Dunkirke; the charge whereof is to be desray'd out of the moneys allowed on our establishment for pay of the said regiment.
VI. You are to cause duplicates under the hand of the commissary of the musters, of all the muster-rolls of our horse and foot forces in Flaunders, to be from time to time sent over to our privy councell.
VII. For supply of the horses, that shall from time to time die in our service, in case you shall see cause to continue the person, whose horse shall so die in our service, you are to give your certificates from time to time in that behalf, that liberty may be given such person to transport such other horse as he shall provide, which we intend to be custome-free.
VIII. You are hereby empower'd to cause the magistrates of our town of Dunkirke to be elected in the usual manner, taking care therein, that our own and the English interest be provided for, as far as may be consistent with the articles of the surrender.
IX. You are also hereby left at liberty to make such agreement with the inhabitants of Nieuport and Ostend for liberty of fishing on that coast, as you shall judge reasonable, and agreeable to the constitution of affairs.
Given at Whitehall, this 24th day of December, 1658.
Secretary Thurloe to Mr. Downing, the English resident in Holland.
24. Decemb. 1658.
Vol. lxii. p. 682.
The last week's post came not until monday, and the post of this week is already come; so that I have two of your letters to answer together. By yours of the 10/20th I perceive, that the express sent to you by the frigate is arrived with you, and that you have not thought fit to put in any new paper into the states upon the directions you then received, in respect of the resolution, which the states had taken before those directions came to your hands concerning those three ships. You will perceive by my last letters, that that resolution gives no more satisfaction here, then their former did. And in truth, there is no more said in this, then there was in the former; and I do really belive, that if some more effectual course be not taken, the merchants will either have no restitution, or such one as is as bad as nothing. And therefore as you are instructed by my last letters, his highness desires you to continue your diligence for the obtaining the restitution of the two ships you mention taken by the Ostenders. I will do my best endeavours as concerning the ship called the Reade, or Peace. The frigate is not yet returned; so that we hear nothing of what you writt by her.
You will receive herewith a copie of my lord Nieuport's paper concerning Sir George
Ascue, as also Dr. Zaz his commission. My last gave you a full answer concerning Sidney,
which is to his satisfaction. As to the putting in a new memorial, further to invite the states
to the mediation, I think it is a little to be considered of before we put the intended treaty
upon that bottom, left the king of Sweden's refusing to admit their mediation, and our too
far insisting upon it, should hinder the peace between the two crowns. And it is to be feared
the Dutch have only agreed to this way of treaty, upon consideration, that the king of
Sweden will not accept of it; and therefore, as it is a thing very desirable to have the help
of the states general in the intended treaty, yet it must not be made the causa sine quâ non.
We having already done our parts to invite them, I do not see what the advantage will be
of further insisting on it, if the states mean plainly in what they say; if otherwise, 'tis not
good to give them any advantage. We have no news from the Sound, but what I find in
yours. Every body is attending the election for the parliament; of which you shall have a
more ample account by the next. I rest your very affectionate friend and servant,
Captain John Stoakes to the great duke of Tuscany.
Vol. lvi. p. 317.
Most serene Great Duke,
His late highness of happy memory having by several letters writ your most serene highness desired restituion of two ships taken by your ships of war, that had your highness's commission, the one belonging to our agent Charles Longland, and the other to captain Richard Payne; to which the interested have received no satisfaction, and is the reason his now highness my master hath commanded me to demand it, as supposing your highness will think it just and reasonable, that satisfaction be immediately made, and the parties not put to recover that by law, when there was not any used in dispossessing them: which action will much proclaim your highnes's justice, and engage the parties to pray for your prosperity, and me to remain
most humble servant.
On board the Lyme, in Leghorn, received the
26. Decemb. 1658.
Secretary Thurloe to H. Cromwell, lord lieutenant of Ireland.
In the possession of the right honourable the earl of Shelburn.
May it please your Excellencye,
Wee minde here nothinge but the elections to the next parlament, which by what already appears of them, they are like to consist of men of various principles, and various apprehensions. Wee and they are all in the hands of God, who (I hope) will be yet merciful to us, and lengthen out the dayes of our tranquillity and peace. There are noe motions in the left manner in the army; yet certeinely there are dissatisfactions in some. Thinges seeme sometymes to be skinned over, but breake out againe. For the present, all is husht, in expectation of what the parlement will doe. Some very considerable persons, who have a great interest, and are of much esteeme in the nation, professe themselves ready to use all their endeavours to settle thinges, and to oppose all spirits and persons, that out of discontent will bringe us into confusion; and I beleeve they will be hearty in it.
Our fleet is returned from the North, not beinge able, by reason of the ice, to get into the Sound: but the Dutch haveinge stopt their new supplies, and declared themselves willinge to endeavour a peace betweene the two kinges, the greatest effect of sendinge the fleet is obteyned; and the kinge of Sweden beinge also in a good condition, and will hold out this winter. I have nothinge else to trouble your excellency with, but to subscribe myselfe
Your Excellency's most humble servant,
28. Decemb. 1658.
Dr. Clarges to H. Cromwell, lord lieutenant of Ireland.
In the possession of the right honourable the earl of Shelburn.
May it please your Excellency,
I suppose by that time this comes to your excellency's hands, Dr. Petty will be arrived at Dublin, whoe can more at large informe your excelency of the state of our affaires heere then is fit to put in writing. I believe there was never more care taken in the elections for members to sitt in parliament, then at this time, to have such chosen as are of peaceable and healing spirits; but yet I am informed, some of the eminentest of contrary inclinations will get in. The house of lords is that, which many aprehende with much trouble. They are to be the same persons, that were summoned before; and I feare will produce the same consequences, except the Lord dispose mens minds to much compliance.
Our fleet, that went towards the Sound, is returned, being hindred by the ice to prosecute their intended voyage; and I feare the king of Sweden's condition is made much worse by it; from whence I (haveing heard nothing by the last) am able to give your excellency no other account then what is in the publique print.
The merchants in this city discourse much of a peace with Spaine, and expect it from the parliament, which does not a little alarme the French; for they publish in their common newes, that wee are already in treaty with the Spainards. The truth is, that though many times little regard is had of towne-talke, yet sometimes from thence the nicest states take their measures. It is very much suspected, that the king of France and cardinal Mazarine are leaning towards a treaty with Spain, in which the emperour and the Catholique electors strongly interesse themselves, there being at Lyons a currier from the emperour, whoe passed that way to Spaine; and the weeke before Piemontelli came from Spaine, and vissitted the king and cardinale privately in his passage to Milan. I beleive the court of France may be as well induced to peace with the house of Austria, from the condition of their affaires at home as abroad; for the French provinces are of late much disquieted by reason of the extraordinary impositions continued and increased upon them; and the prince of Condé's freinds (who are of the most considerable persons in France) are not idle to foment all occasions, that may necessitate the king to the generall peace. I am,
May it please your Excellency,
Your Excellencye's most faithfull
and most obleiged servant,
London, this 28th of Dec. 1658.
General Fleetwood to H. Cromwell, lord lieutenant of Ireland.
In the possession of the right honourable the earl of Shelburn.
I have not heard from you thes two or three posts. I will not adventure the trouble of many lines to you, saving to expresse a desire of a true through understanding, love, and affection 'twixt us, which I know is by some looked upon as a complement between us, and not reall; which if it find the same heartynes in yourselfe, or endeavor, as I hope it shall in me, we shall then both, I hope, have the mercy ourselves in the injoyment thereof, deserve others, and be better able to serve the publicke. I hope you in this think I have no unworthy designe: I presume I am better beleived and thought on. I mention the more often this, because I have reason to suspect some are not friends to our cordyall freindshippe, in which I desire it may be founded more upon princeples then other politicke considerations: the one will maintain it, when the other fayles. We are lik to have a day of much tryall; the Lord fit us with hearts sutable to what he may see good to bring upon us: an intire close communion with the Lord will be our best preservative. The severall shakings we have seen in the world, may well teach us, how an uncerteine abiding-place we have heare; and indead nothing will helpe us through what we are like to meet with, but a gracious presance of the Lord; and therefor to doe nothing to provoake his withdrawing, should be the great desire of our soules. I am very much importuned by my lord Moore's sollicitor to beseech the continuance of your favor, in the forbearance of what is the demands from him of the second moyty. We have yet very few chosen in the countreys or boroughs. The Lord dispose that great affayre to the aunswering of thos great designes, which we have bine carrying on in this day; which that we may find, is the desire of
Your most affectionate brother,
and humble servant,
Dec. 28. [1658.]
Lord chief justice St. John to secretary Thurloe.
In the possession of the right honourable Philip ld. Hardwicke, lord high chancellor of Great Britain.
By the inclosed you will see how the election is like to be at Cambridge. The election at Huntington is like to be on thursday next; and I beleive yourselfe and my sonn Bernard will be chosen there. They tell me heare att Petersburgh, they intend my sonn and major Blague. Sir, in my laist I forgot one thing materiall to be well advised on for the parliament, that is, the navie and shipping of England. I had discourse with Mr. Foxcrofte about it, and made him promise me to acquaynte you with it, and by advise with some of his brethren to draw up the matter into four or five heads, of the abuses and remedies. He tells me, that allmost all the merchants begin to trade in Dutch bottoms. The consequence, you know, will be noe lesse, then that in a shorte time we shall have noe ships of our owne; and of the transportation of woolls. Consider likewise the minte, and how bullion may be brought hether, and the exchange. Sir, I intende, God willing, the next weeke after this that's coming, to set fourth for London. I rest
Your most affectionate servant,
Ol. St. John.
28. Decemb. 1658.
Remember the bill of sales.
The information of Andrew Crane of Horsehead-down in the parish of St. Olave Southwark,
in the county of Surry, butcher, and a freeman and salter of London; taken upon oath before John lord Barkstead, lieutenant of his highness's Tower of London, and one of the justices of the peace for the county of Middlesex, &c, the twenty-eighth of December, 1658.
Vol. lxii. p. 688.
This informant saith, that he coming to the town of Burish, or Burwash, in the county of Sussex, to the Star there, upon the seventh or eighth day of this instant December; at which time there was one Mr. Walter Hyam, that liveth at Itchingham in the said county, then at the Bear in Burish aforesaid; and hearing this informant was at the Star, came from the other house to him: and as they were here sitting at the Star by the fire-side, drinking, the said Mr. Hyam asked him, what news at London ? And he answered, there was a flying news, as if there would be a difference between us and the Dutch this summer following: to which Mr. Hyam replied, and told this informant, we should have a war in England this next summer. And this informant asking him the reason why he said so, he answered, he the said Hyam had two or three commissions at home concerning it, and had weekly intelligence besides from the same parties, from whom he had the commissions: and when he had spoken so, he desired this informant not to publish or reveal it again; which if this informant did, he swore he was utterly undone. And further saith not
General Monck to secretary Thurloe.
Vol. lxii. p. 692.
I received your letter of the twenty-fourth instant, by which I understand, it is his highnesse pleasure, that I should continue heere in Scotland; which I doe willingly obey, and thinke it will bee most for the publique service at present soe to doe. Wee have little newes heere, but that there are some Scotchmen, which endeavour to write to their freinds in Scotland, to chuse Scotchmen, and not Englishmen. When my lord keeper comes to London, hee will acquaint your lordship who they are. I remayne
Edinburgh, 28. Dec. 1658.
Captain John Stoakes to the grand duke of Tuscany.
Vol. lxii. p. 700.
Most Serene Great Duke,
It appears to me, that my letter to your serene highness was misunderstood. I never questioned your highness's justice, nor your court's, which are very eminent for distributive right. That which by order of my master I now demand, is of another nature, and judged by him not equitable, his subjects should be put upon tedious courses of law, for what was taken from them without either colour or ground of the same, in remote parts of the world, by your highness commission. The imployment I have from my master carries, I hope, sufficient, to cause me to be believed, when I speak in his name; nor should I undertake a business of this nature, but by his express command, which is the cause I trouble your serene highness again; beseeching, you will be pleased to say, whether without putting the interested to recover their right by law, your highness will forthwith command the setter forth of those ships, who did the wrong, to give satisfaction. And this is what my master expects, and myself an answer: for which I send this gentleman, that he may wait on your highness, and assure your serene highness, that I am
Your Serene Highness
most humble servant.
On board the Lyme, in Leghorn
road, the 29th Dec. 1658.
Sir Tho. Bendyshe, embassador at Constantinople, to secretary Thurloe.
Vol. lxii. p. 702.
I have received yours of the first September, in favour of Mr. Erisey and his interest in these parts; concerning which, as to what and how acted therein, having given him an ample, and I doubt not but satisfactory account, allso (wherewith, if occasion, I presume he will acquaint you) I thinke it impertinent to interrupt your weightier occasions therewith. In a business, where on the one side the title is so cleare and undoubted, as is Mr. Erisey's; and on the other, the obligation so greate, to see him righted as on myne, I would not be thought to need the suggestion of any for the due discharge of myselfe therin, or to have done that at your request, which reason and justice exacts from mee, to colour that a courtesy, which is so plaine a debt. Wherefore, Sir, could wish you would please to try my obedience and respects in some such thing, as may have no other force upon me, but what the virtue of your commands giveth it; or I any other obligations to serve you therein, then such as you have been pleased allready to lay upon,
Your humble servant,
Pera, Constantinople, 29. Dec. 1658.
General Monck to secretary Thurloe.
Vol. lxii. p. 714.
My lord keeper and myself have done our best to get those men chosen you have wrote for; but my lord of Argyll, and some others, whome my lord keeper will acquaint you with, have endeavoured all they can, to gett all Scotchmen chosen. But I doubt not but there will bee three chosen of those five you sent the names of; and I have taken care, that as many as come out of this country, shall bee there with the first: and if the writs come in time, which I hope they will, they shall bee all sent to Dr. Clarges. The marquesse of Argyle himself indeavours to bee chosen, notwithstanding hee is sheriff of Argyleshire; neither doe I guess hee will doe his highness's interest any good; but when my lord keeper comes up, hee shall acquaint you with the businesse. Which is all at present from
very humble servant,
Dalkeith, 30. Dec. 1658.
Mr. Sa. Disbrowe to secretary Thurloe.
Vol. lxii. p. 718.
I received yours; but before it came to hand, my lord generall and myselfe had joyned in letters to several gentlemen for severall shires and boroughs, that wee thought wee might most easily prevayl with for those gentlemen your lordship had nominated to him, viz. Mr. Deury, Mr. Oxborough, Mr. Eyre, and Mr. Stuart; as allso for som other gentlemen som other honourable persons in England had commended to the generall; the most of which I hope shall be elected. And truly I beleeve hardly any would have sayled, had not some persons here (that have cause enough to be fast friends) laboured to counteract us. But had I received your last very litle sooner, I should have gott in coll. Mills: for without complement, I am very ambitious to serve you, though in these cases it is more a service to the commonwealth; upon which ground my lord generall and myselfe have done what we can, though others be angry at it. If God please to send a good issue, it will not repent any, who have been industrious upon so speciall occasion, where the nation's peace and well-being lyes at stake. Myselfe was chosen yesterday for Edinburghshire: and though I am unfit for a winter jornye, but much more for service in a parliament, yet I intend, God willing, to set forward about ten dayes hence; and wee have taken what care wee can, that those, that shall be chosen to come from hence, may be speeded away. I shall not add, but that I ever am
Your Lordship's most really faythfull
and humble servant,
Edinburgh, 30. Dec. (58.)
Secretary Thurloe to the borough of Tewksbury.
Vol. lxii. p. 722.
I received yours of the seventeenth instant, and thereby a very great demonstration of your affection to me, haveinge expressed your willingnes not only to betrust your concernment in the parliament with me, but to have reguard to my recommendation of him, whom you are to choose for your other burgesse. I heartily wish, that my ability to serve your corporation in the parliament, and elsewhere, were answerable to the good oppinion you have of me. All that I can say is, that I shall endeavour, as I am obliged, to serve you faithfully, hopeinge you will doe yourselves more right in your choice of my partner, then you have in pitching upon me; knoweinge you have many able gentlemen, both in the country, and amongst yourselves, very fit for that trust. My lord Disbrowe tells me, he hath propounded a worthy person, whose recommendation will make it necessary for me to make use of the liberty you have pleased to give.
31. Decemb. 1658.
Mr. Nic. Blake to secretary Thurloe.
Vol. lxii. p. 728.
Understanding lately of an Englishman come to Holland, that not long since came from Spayne and from the court, I accosted him first with a letter of civillity, and prossers of kindnes; and the next weeke I desired him to certify mee a few queries, to which I by this weeke's post receaved answere. The coppie of the queries, and the answere, I have heerwith sent your lordship; and if you think fitt to order mee to make any demands, have as candid an answere as he can give mee.
In the time of your lordship's sicknes, I had somewhat to present unto your view; but not thinking it a fitt season to trouble you with matters then, and finding an oportunity to present some papers to his highness by the meanes of a gentleman wayting on his person, I put them in, and doe imagin, they are scarce seen yet on the inside; and his highness expressed a desire, that I should communicate them to you: but the papers remain in his highnes hands still; which if you please to mention, and that you will spare a quarter of an hower's time to peruse and digest the thing, I imagin that you may find a harmlesse, yet a full contrivance, how to sadome the intentions of Spayne, and seele how their pulse beats, without spyes, or any such way, all to be done above-bord, with an open face; and the losse of reputation (if any bee) shall fall on the Spaniards side, in relation of being the first motioner towards a treaty. If my fancy doe not hitt right with your better judgment, I am verry ready not to thinke any more of it, and shall beg you . . . . bee put on the score of desire I have, that all may bee well. If it shall merit your concurrence, I shall esteeme the invention so much the happyer. In all kinds I shall desire to bee always found and esteemed
Your Lordship's most humble servant,
London, 31. Dec. 1658. at night.
Inclosed in the preceding.
Vol. lxii. p. 730.
London, 3. Dec. 1658.
Your cominge lately from the course of Spaine, can (I presume) in a good measure give an account and relation how matters fadge there, in what is the national affair, in relation to the war with us; as, whether the king of Spain and his counsell be weary of the war, and consequently would willingly make up a peace; and to that end, whether you have heard, that any motion is like to come from thence, of peace; or what you have heard of their inclinations this way. Also I pray you hint me, when you think they expect the galleons home; and likewise how the king of Scotts's embassador is received there and maintained; whether or no he have the same privileges now, as the embassadors of the kings of England used to have. In like manner, I pray, write me, how Spain affects the friendship with Holland, who, we presume, suck much juice and marrow, and now make their harvest on the Spaniard; and advise me, who is the chief secretary at court. I desire you would favour me with your answer; in which you will much oblige me.
Vol. lxii. p. 732.
Affairs in Spain stand in so desperate a condition, as they are now come to nil ultra; all the hopes of recuperation left them depending upon a supposed good success of their galleons sate arrival, which is the only anchor they now trust to, to imagin themselves in a means of salvation, and upon which score the Assedtistas have racked their purses and credits, to make new supplies reach for the subsistence in Flanders, and the domestic quarrel entertained 'twixt them and Portugal. Their engagement with England, and the unsavory consequence, which it hath produced them, hath brought to such a feeling sense of their own weakness, as 'tis generally supposed, no conditions, if treated, would seem too bitter or fastigious to their acceptance; the efficacious certainty of their adage (con todo el mundo guerra, y paz con Ynglatierra) having never been so apparent unto them, as now, and would make any notion of treaty most welcome to them; which is the opinion of most of their (communicable) ministers, whom in several occasions I had free access unto; though of their first proposition for it I never yet understood any thing in Spain, it being somewhat opposite to their gravity to crave first, especially having great confidence from their gallcons, as the only prop left them to keep them from a violent general inundation.
The plate-fleet, according to the most reasonable calculation, was expected home in all the month of January, wherein they purpose to have eighteen millions for the king's score, and twelve millions upon particular mens; which will be a great help to their state compliance: though there went a very hard report, that the consejo de Hazienda had resolved to seize upon the particular interest, and give them satisfaction, half in old juros and consignations, and half in the new money. Time will certainly tell us the event. The English agent in Madrid lives rather as a private gentleman, than a public minister, and hath so small authority among them, as he never had yet the confidence to assist nor help any pretender of our nation, in order to the recovery of their lost estates, or new liberties, tho' many of them have been back'd with passports and other instruments of favour from these parts for their furtherance. He is allowed 400 ducats Vellon for his house, a coach with two mules, and a dispense for the freeness of all excise in his domestic necessaries, which yields him two hundred ducats more per month, rented to a third person, which is his chief subsistance. The chief secretary of state and dispatch universal is Don Fernando Fonseca Ruis de Contreras, marquez de la Pilla, who hath supplied Don Luis de Haro's absence in this Portugal engagement, and is now the second man at court. The friendship with Holland is very certainly more out of necessity, than any affection the Spaniards bear them, professing an inveterate antipathy to that nation, and now make their harvest upon Spain, in this interval, that we are denied free footing among them.