Charles I - volume 536: December 1636

Pages 539-548

Calendar of State Papers Domestic: Charles I, 1625-49 Addenda. Originally published by Her Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1897.

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December 1636

Dec. 20/30.
The Hague.
74. Elizabeth, queen of Bohemia, to Archbishop Laud. If my Lord Marshal returned without my letters to you, I should commit no small fault. I think no man could have done better than he has done, for though he could not obtain what we desired, he has discovered our enemies' false dealing, which is more than others have been able to do, therefore I doubt not but that the King, my dear brother, will let him see, by his gracious usage to him, that he approves his actions. For myself, I cannot enough express how much I esteem him, and the obligations I have to him, and entreat you to help me in letting him know it. I entreat you to continue your good offices that the King may do something for his own honour and nephew's good. I protest I do not desire him to do more than he is able, God forbid I should be so unreasonable, but I only desire that some way might be found out that my son may be put into action personally, else he will never be considerable, but be despised, and left out in all treaties or mentioned to his prejudice. I write this freely to you because I find you so much my friend, and I most earnestly entreat you to do all you can in it, and speedily, for summer will be here instantly, and for him to be longer out of action would be very prejudicial and dishonourable to him. Endorsed by Laud as received on 7th January 1637: "From the Queen of Bohemia: 1, Hir opinion of the L. Marsh: 2, To put hir sonne in action this summer." [Seals with arms. 1 p.]
Dec. 30. 75. Examination of John Landell and Roger Heward, Constables of Bugden and Sturtlow, co. Huntingdon, before the Bishop of Lincoln, one of His Majesty's Justices of the Peace and Quorum for the said county. On the 23rd of December they made complaint against William Shelley for deceitfully getting from them, in an ale-house, the assessment made on the inhabitants of the constablerick for ship-money, and the next day he was brought before the Bishop, who, on his refusal to give up the assessment, made out a warrant for his committal to gaol; but petitioners, at his entreaty, carried him to Godmanchester, before Sir Robert Osborne, who bailed him. The Bishop then got the High Constables to come to Bugden to meet the neighbours, to make a fresh assessment, and at that meeting Shelley was sent for, but refused either to give up the old assessment or to help to make the fresh one. It is said that he has now gone to London. Signed by the two constables, by mark; and by the Bishop of Lincoln, John Peniall, messenger of the Chamber, and six others. [2½ pp. See Vol. CCCXXXVIII., No. 4.]
[Dec.] 76. Petition of Edmond Phippes, Henry Harris, Richard West, Thomas Greenor, and William Bushee, paper-makers of cos. Middlesex and Bucks, to the Council. By order of 17th August last, petitioners were forbidden to work their mills on account of the plague, and on petition for relief of their losses, their Lordships on 6th November last ordered that money should be raised for them in the hundreds in which the paper mills stand, requiring Baron Denham, the Attorney-General and the Justices of the Peace to put the order in execution. The Justices having made order accordingly on the 8th of this December, petitioners pray that it may be put in execution for the time past, and that, the sickness being now abated, they may work in their mills again. [½ p.]
77. MS copy of the pamphlet entitled "An humble remonstrance to His Majesty against the taxe of shipp-money imposed, laying open the illegallity, abuse, and inconveniencie thereof, &c." To which is appended "A list of the ships to be raised in England and Wales to be ready the 1st of March 1635—6." [132 pp. Dated 1639. This pamphlet was written by William Prynne, 1636, during his imprisonment in the Tower; printed without his privity in 1641; "set out by a true copy agreeing with the original," 1st Sept. 1643. See copy in the British Museum (E. 251). Partially printed in Rushworth's Collections. Pt. II., p. 359.]
78. Another MS. copy of the same. [88 pp.]
79. Petition of Victor Johnson, mariner, a poor distressed stranger, prisoner at Plymouth, to the King. Was steersman in the "Love" of Horne in Holland, bound for Farnambaco (Pernambuco) in Brazil, and being in Plymouth harbour did deny some Englishmen to go ashore, who by way of revenge, falsely accused him of uttering words in dishonour of his Majesty, for which he has suffered long and grievous imprisonment. Begs for pardon and release. Endorsed by Windebank, "Victor Johnson, Hollander, stayed at Plymouth." [½ p. See Vol. CCCXXVI., No. 75.]
80. Petition of Sarah Whetston, widow, Gilbert Keate, Thomas Jenings, Richard Leigh, Richard Middleton, James Mann, Henry Erberry and others, owners of the ship "Pearl," to the Council. About Michaelmas last they petitioned [see Vol. CCXCVIII., No. 76] concerning their ship taken on Whitsunday, 1635, in the roads of Saphia in Barbary, by three of the French king's own ships, of which Mons. Du Chelart, one of the French king's immediate servants, was the chief commander. Petitioners had performed all requisite sea rights, as is proved by the depositions of three Dutchmen who were present at the fight, and by the confession of William Fenner, Englishman, captain of one of the French ships. The master of the "Pearl" (Luke Whetston) and thirteen of his mariners were slain in the fight, the rest of them being wounded and some of them having lost their limbs. His Majesty long since directed his letters to the French king, which petitioners sent by special messenger, who, after thirty days' waiting, obtained for answer that on the return of Mons. Du. Chelart and the ships justice should be done. It was likewise promised to his Majesty's ambassador in France that, upon the arrival of the men, the cause should be examined before him and one of the Secretaries of State; but when the men went there, they were carried like thieves and pirates from Rochelle to Paris, where they were laid in prison for almost a month, and were threatened to be put to the rack by the allies of Mons. du Chelart, the principal officers of the French admiralty, because they would not subscribe their extorted confession made at sea, the which if they would not there have done, the said Mons. du Chelart (as the custom of the French is) would have tied them back to back and thrown them overboard. Mons. du Chelart also took a small Dutch ship in the roads of Saphia, and carried it to France, but upon suit of the States ambassador, it was restored. The French have offered to restore the hull of the "Pearl," but in its present state, spoiled and pillaged of all its furniture and tackle, it would not be worth bringing home. Petitioners have lost over 10,000l., besides the charges of their men in France for nearly 10 months, and beg redress. [1½ pp.] Annexed,
80. i. Copy of the affidavit of John Rycken, Dirick Jacobs, and Claus Jans, of the ship "Noah's Ark," made before John Waernaerts, public notary at Amsterdam, reciting the circumstances of the taking of the "Pearl" by the French ships, of which they were witnesses. [1 p. Another copy already calendared, Vol. CCXCVIII., No. 76 i.]
80 ii. A true copy of the letter sent by his Majesty to the King of France concerning the ship "Pearl." We have lately received a petition by Sarah Whetston and others which represents to us the outrageous and barbarous cruelty committed upon the company of the said ship, being but 44 persons in all, by three of your ships, over which Mons. Chelard was commander, wherein were 300 or 400 men, who violently assailed the said ship, killed the master, and slew or wounded all the rest except six, whom they yet detain, together with the ship and goods. We request that you will cause our aforesaid subjects yet living to be released and sent us, restore the ship with its goods, and exemplary punish the offenders, which we doubt not but you will be pleased readily to accomplish at these our requests, being an action of justice and honesty tending to the maintenance of peace and amity between our crowns, and the prevention of letters of marque and reprisal, which, without such satisfaction as is desired, we cannot, out of our princely duty to our subjects, deny. [1 p.]
80. iii. Copy of the reasons given by the French to justify the fight of Mons. du Chaslard [sic], the King's ambassador to the King of Morocco. The fight in June last happened not through ill will, there being no war between England and France, but only for considerations of the rules observed upon the sea, the first of which is that if the ships of sovereign princes meet, the stronger makes the weaker obey and pull down his flag as a salute, and, when merchant ships meet a man-of-war, they should in honour salute willingly, as the English captains cause to be done. And if they meet in a road, he that arrives first can demand of him who cometh after who he is and whence he comes. But the master of the "Pearl" refused to put down his flag or to give satisfaction that he was a merchant ship and not a pirate, and, when summoned to do so, answered insolently to provoke Mons. de Chaslard to fight, who would have been dishonoured if he had failed of his duty in the presence of the King of Morocco, who was come to Saphia, and would have had an ill opinion of the King and of his Council, to have sent unto him to treat of the affairs of peace a cowardly ambassador. Also the ship of the said Whetstone was laden with Jews and their merchandise, and particularly prohibited commodities, which all Christian princes do defend to be carried to the Turks, mortal enemies of the Christian faith. Wherefore the King of Great Britain has no reason to complain, and the ship is well gotten for the King and Mons. de Chaslard by the blood of his brother, of Captain Bragault, of Captain de la Roque, and a number of good soldiers slain, and a greater number wounded in this fight. Translated from the French. [1½ pp.]
[1636 ?] 81. Breviate of depositions taken before the Judge of the Admiralty Court, touching a fishing buss named the "Experience" of Yarmouth, set forth to sea by Lord Maltravers, Sir Nicholas Fortescue, Sir Basil Brooke, Sir Richard Weston, Sir James Bagg, and George Gage, and in hostile manner taken by the Hollanders. [1 p. See Vol. CCCXLI., No. 7.]
82. [Lord Conway] to [Secretary Coke ?]. According to your commands we are here at sea. We stayed no longer at Yarmouth than to take in pilots, and were assured there that at this time of year there is no sailing farther northward than Cromer. The small fisher boats of Yarmouth fish nearer the sands than the Dutch, taking their mark for shooting their nets in the evening by the lights in the Dutch busses. Although my Lord of Northumberland could not hear of any busses, and a ship that came for Camphere in the Low Countries said that the States had commanded them not to go to fish this year, yet, lest it might be thought that his eyes would see better than any others we put to sea, where we have had foul weather and were forced to anchor, which the "James" durst not venture to do, and the "Nonsuch" was driven from her anchor and forced to set sail. We know not what has become of them. [1 p.]
83. Statement of abuses in the office of the Clerk of the Pipe. That the Clerk of the Pipe has removed divers sheriffs' debts from them to farmers and tenants. That he has not caused summons to be issued for the answering of divers debts conveyed into the great Roll. That he has conveyed charges upon divers counties into other counties. That he has allowed tall es of reward, which ought not to be allowed. That he has given false allowances upon sheriffs' accounts [margin: Dallison and Wentworth's accounts]. That quietus ests have been given to accountants, and the money which ought to have been paid into the Exchequer, put into a private clerk's purse of that office [margin: Jarvis]. That he has not charged divers rents and revenues in his office. That he charges uncertain revenues, as greenwax, with certain revenues; as fee-farm rents. Underwritten,
83. i. Request that the Commissioners of the Treasury will refer the matter to Sir Edmund Sayer, Mr. Auditor Phillips, and the Surveyor-General, to whom the Barons of the Court (of Exchequer) have referred some of the particulars already. [1¾ pp.]
84. Undertaking by George Smith, by outward and reverent gesture in divine service, to testify his inward acknowledgment that the Lord Jesus Christ is the only Saviour of the world. [6 lines.]
85. Memorandum that the King in Council has this day ordered that a Commission be granted to the Governor and Company of Soapmakers in Westminster to compound with certain persons called Bobbers, who have made soap contrary to his Majesty's proclamation. [½ p., partly in handwriting of Nicholas, partly in that of Robert Reade.]
86. Paper on the breeding of seamen. It is usually said that the shipping and navigation of England are the walls of the kingdom, which shipping has its sap and nourishment from the seaman trading to Newcastle, and the fisherman to foreign parts, therefore they are both to be cherished. Yet it is not well for the fisherman to make great gains, while the King and navigation suffer great loss, the reason whereof is the trade between the fishermen in Newfoundland and foreigners, who give extraordinary prices for herrings and pilchards, and carry them much more cheaply than the English. The King of Spain has proclaimed that no Dutch ship is to come into any port in his dominions, but he gives liberty to all to bring them victuals and ammunition, so that if the Dutch did not lade their ships with our fish they would want the trade of Spain, and the English might hereafter supply them with Spanish commodities, whereby our Customs would be advanced and our navigation increased. The Dutch at Yarmouth yearly are a hindrance to our fishermen, bringing in great quantity of herrings, victualling themselves and going out to sea again, whereby the town gains, but the Dutch eat the bread out of the fisherman's mouth; yet the Dutch provide better for themselves, for if an Englishman take herrings into their ports he loses his herrings and must pay 25 or 30 guilders for every barrel. If the Dutch were prohibited to bring fish to any port of England, it would encourage the fishermen to follow their trade more diligently. [2½ pp.]
87. Opinion on a reference by Archbishop Laud and Bishop Juxon of London, Lord High Treasurer, of the petition of David Waterhouse, touching a controversy between himself and Sir Arthur Ingram concerning certain moors, part of the manor of Halifax and Heptonstall, co. York. [Imperfect. 2 pp.]
88. Certificate of the Mayor of Reading and seven others to the Privy Council, that there are four houses in the town infected with the plague, and two others suspected and shut up. For ten days past no one has died of the plague, nor above 13 persons in all from the beginning of the visitation. [½ p.]
89. List by Nicholas of ship moneys, on the writs of 1635, from cos. Essex, Gloucester, Hants, Herts, Kent, Lancaster, Lincoln, Northampton, Northumberland, Norfolk, Oxon, Notts, Somerset, Surrey, Sussex, Suffolk, Stafford, Salop, Warwick, Worcester, Wilts, and York, with the sums contributed in the principal towns in each county, the amounts ranging from 12,000l. in Yorkshire, which furnishes two ships, to 2,100l. in Northumberland. [5½ pp.]
90. Brief of the Judges' certificate, in the case of Dr. Bancroft, Bishop of Oxford. They certify that the Bishop had a judgment in the Exchequer for 2,000 marks, besides costs, upon which Sir Edward Heron was committed to the fleet; that the Lord Chief Justice [Richardson] set him at liberty, without calling the Bishop at the bail taking; that bail was procured for money by one Harbin, a prisoner in the Fleet, and was insufficient; that Sir Edward was not bailable by law; and that Sir Edward Coke, when Lord Chief Justice, was fined 2,400l. by King James for delivering one Hawkeridge upon insufficient bail. With reasons why Lord Richardson's abuse of his office is far greater than that of Sir Edward Coke. Endorsed: "1, The brief of the Judge's certificate; and, 2, The difference between the Lord Cooke and the Lord Richardson's proceedings. In the case of D. Bancroft, Lord Bishop of Oxford. [2 pp. See Vol. CCCXL., No. 13.]
91. Breviate of the petitions of certain counties and towns desiring to be eased in their assessments (for ship-money) with the reasons why they should be rated lower; viz., Ipswich, rated at 240l., but amount increased by the sheriff to 450l. (see petition of 30th October 1635, Vol. CCC., No. 59.) Co. Chester, rated too highly as compared with co. Lancaster (noted by Nicholas that Sir Thomas Aston, by his letters of 1st June last, said it was 1,500l. too high). Northumberland, rated too highly considering that the town of Newcastle and part of co. Durham, which do not contribute, lie in the county and are the fruitfullest part thereof, and also that there have lately been great charges for the repair and rebuilding of Coo bridge. Shrewsbury, the town greatly impoverished by the plague and the rate too high in proportion to the whole county (see petition of November 1635. Vol. CCCII., No. 130). Bristol, rate twice as high in proportion as in Exeter, Gloucester, or London. Bedford, rated too highly in proportion to the county. Canterbury, rated too highly in proportion to the county (see petition of April ? 1636, Vol. CCCXIX., No. 95). Warwick, rated too highly, seeing that their town consists of poor artificers and there is no common road whereby to reap benefit of travellers (see Vol. CCCXV., No. 68). [2¾ pp.]
92. Complaint of Hugh May, Clerk of the Market, to [Lord Treasurer Juxon ?]. Has served in this office for 20 years and ever endeavoured to bring all weights and measures to the unity of his Majesty's standard, agreeably to the laws of Magna Charta and other statutes, but though he has brought many things to the better, yet nothing has succeeded happily by reason that those to whom his Majesty's trust is committed use it only to advance their private estates. His comfort is that reformations as well as ruins are the fruits of time, which his Lordship's happy entrance into office may promote. Endorsed by Windebank, "Mr. May, Clerkship of the Market." [¾ p. See Vol. CCCXI., No. 44, but the date of this paper is very doubtful.]
93. Petition of Edmond Bradshaw, on behalf of himself and the poor English captives in Barbary, to the Council. A collection was made through England for the release of his Majesty's subjects made captive by the King of Morocco, whose grievance is the traffic of four or five English merchants with his rebels, on account whereof about 150 mariners were captives in May last, besides those who have been taken since, eight of them having been circumcised perforce, and tortured to turn Moors, and the rest threatened. The moneys collected were delivered to those who are the chief traders with the rebels, and have been in their hands two years without their doing anything for the release of the captives, who will never be freed, nor any debts paid (as to petitioner in particular is due from the King of Morocco, upon good security, 5,965l.), till the trade of the aforesaid merchants with the rebels be prohibited. Prays that the captives' moneys may not be wasted, and that the ancient league with the King of Morocco may be renewed. [¾ p.]
94. Petition of Henry Elsing, son of Henry Elsing, deceased, late Clerk of the Parliaments, to the King. The office of Clerk of the Parliaments was granted by letters patent of the late King to Henry Elsing, senior, in reversion after his uncle, Robert Bowyer, and then in reversion to Thomas Knivett, half-brother of the said Henry. Since which time petitioner's father has been at great charge to breed petitioner in the University of Oxford, and to train him for the said office, and almost ever since the last Parliament he has travelled in foreign parts, to gain languages, whereby he might be the more fit. On his return he found his father dead, and that one Daniel Bedingfield had procured the reversion of the office after Thomas Knivett, who then enjoyed it, and is lately dead. Begs the reversion after Daniel Bedingfield. [¾ p.]
95. Petition of Arthur Evelyn, son of George Evelyn, deceased, late one of the six clerks of Chancery, to the King. Two years and a half ago petitioner's father, for the sum of 2,500l., obtained for petitioner the reversion of his office, after his own and Mr. Cæsar's death, declaring that petitioner was to discharge 2,000l. of his debts, for the payment whereof petitioner entered into bond about twelve months ago last August, and now offers 3,000l. more by Sir Dudley Digges, Master of the Rolls. Prays order to the Lord Keeper and the Master of the Rolls to procure his admittance to the office. [1 p. See a very similar petition in Vol. CCCXL., No. 5.]
96. Petition of William Hanson, Henry Austen, James Symonds, Thomas Holt, and other creditors of Sir Sampson Darrell, deceased, late surveyor of his Majesty's marine victuals, to the Council. Their Lordships referred a previous petition [June 1635] to Sir William Becher, Sir Edward Wardour, and Mr. Edward Nicholas, who have called petitioners before them, and in presence of Lady Darrell, widow and executrix to Sir Sampson, assisted by Sir John Parsons, and Mr. Alcock and Mr. Dannet, agents for her husband in his lifetime, have heard and received petitioners' accounts, and certified that Sir Sampson had received payment from his Majesty for provisions delivered by petitioners into his Majesty's ships in 1635, but died suddenly, leaving them unsatisfied for the same. Pray order to Lady Darrell to pay them their just debts. [¾ p. Probably anterior to a similar petition, Vol. CCCXL., No. 55.]
97. Petition of merchants and owners of ships in the ports of Exeter, Dartmouth, Plymouth, Barnstable, Southampton, Poole, Weymouth and Melcomb Regis, and Lyme Regis, in cos. Devon, Dorset, and Southampton, to the same. Their coasts are much infested by Turkish pirates from Algiers, and especially from Sally in Barbary, who in these few years have taken 87 of their ships, worth, with their loading, 96,700l. and retain in miserable captivity 1,160 seamen besides about 2,000 taken in other ships. Petitioners dare not trade to foreign parts as they otherwise would, and are burdened with the wives and children of the captives. Beg to propose that a number of nimble ships be sent to ride before Algiers and Sally, to hinder the coming forth of the pirates; that commissions be granted for the taking of Turkish and other pirates, and those Christian ships that furnish them with provisions of war; that some nimble ships may keep the English and Irish coasts, and that seamen only may be appointed to command them; that a commission dormant may be granted to Exeter and the other ports to fit out a ship and press men for the service, and that all ships going southward may be searched in port for provisions of war. [1 p. Another petition of similar import is calendared under date 2nd September 1636, Vol. CCCXXXI., No. 7.]
98. Petition of Peter Richaut, Charles Lloyd, John Parker, William Cutler, and other merchants, to the King, touching the taking of a bark belonging to Robert Adams, with goods belonging to petitioners, which the Admiralty of Zealand refuses to release unless the "Sampson," under arrest at Hull with three of her men, be freed. They beg for release of the said ship, or else for letters of reprisal against those of Zealand and Holland. [1 p. Duplicate of Vol. CCCXLI., No. 5.]
99. A similar petition, but asking for letters of reprisal only. [1 p.]
100. Petition of Robert Richardson and James Maw to the Council. Richard Massey, clerk, has petitioned their Lordships against divers of his parishioners, who are now present to answer, but Massey does not appear, intending to procure warrants against them after their going down into the country, and fetch them by a messenger from their abode, 120 miles distant from London. Beg order for Massey's appearance. [¾ p. See Vol. CCCXXIV., fol. 7.]
101. Petition of Robert Rives to the King. Understanding that the accusation made against him by [Henry] Hastings, of having murdered his son, William Hastings, minister, has been given in charge to Lord Chief Justice Finch, he begs that the annexed paper may be sent for his Lordship's perusal, wherein the truth of the proceeding is set forth, and that Hastings died long after, by the visitation of God, and not of any hurt given him by petitioner. [¾ p.] Annexed,
101. i. Statement by Rives, that, being steward to Mr. Freke, he was sent, on St. Mark's day, to Burton, for the dividing of tithe lambs between Mr. Freke and Mr. William Hastings, the parson. Gives details of his quarrel and struggle with Mr. Hastings, and declares that, shortly after, the latter took a journey of 300 miles; that he was at sheep-shearings, and rode about the country, and that when he was taken ill he confessed to the physicians that his going late in the evening to swim in the sea brought him to a shaking, which grew to a fever, of which he died, eleven weeks after the struggle. The persecution of Rives has been plotted by Mr. Tregonwell, who is not of kin to Hastings, out of a former malice to Rives. [1¾ p.]
101. ii. Note [by Mr. Tregonwell ?] that he cannot but interest himself in the wrong done against the life of the son of Henry Hastings of Dorsetshire, his ally, by Robert Rives, servant to John Freke, the High Sheriff. As no stone will be left unturned to hide the truth, he begs that the cause may be taken into serious consideration, and no delay of the trial allowed. [⅓ p.]
102. Petition of the parishioners of St. Gregory's, near St. Paul's church, to the King. Petitioners have received a command from the Bishop of London, Lord Treasurer, and from Lord Cottington, for the taking down of their church and erecting of it elsewhere. The church and rectory has been long appropriated to the twelve canons of St. Paul's, and by them leased to petitioners, who have lately laid out large sums in beautifying and repairing it, and have neither means nor ability to take it down and erect a new one, a good part of the houses in the parish being taken down already. Pray that the church may be permitted to stand, fitted, if it may be, to the work intended for St. Paul's. [½ p.]
103. Petition of Richard Seawell, gunner, to the Lords of the Admiralty, to be appointed gunner of the "St. Dennis," in place of one Jones, now a prisoner in Maidstone Gaol. [½ p. Probably a little later than the petition calendared Vol. CCCXLII., No. 103.]