Calendar of State Papers Domestic: Charles II, 1675-6. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1907.
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In the present volume are calendared the documents of the twelve months from 1 March, 1675, to 29 February, 1676.
The King went to Newmarket on 10 March and stayed there till the 27th, when he returned to London (p. 472). Though the weather was very disagreeable, March dust and December ice (p. 21), he and the Duke of York were described as having never been in better health or humour (p. 34). At one race a Fellow of Jesus College crossed the course and threw down a Scotch horse which had otherwise beaten Diamond, the favourite (p. 19). Another favourite, Lusty, was beaten by Nutmeg (pp. 24, 25, 28). Two or three thousand pounds were betted on that match (p. 24), and one gentleman, of 120l. a year rent, was engaged 900l. deep (p. 25). The King himself rode three heats and a course and won the plate by good horsemanship (p. 35).
On 26 June (p. 183) the King sailed from Gravesend for Portsmouth, accompanied by the Dukes of York and Monmouth and several lords and gentlemen, to see the launch of the Royal James, built by Mr. Deane and acknowledged to be the most complete piece in the Navy (p. 191). The weather however being bad, the voyage proved very tedious, and the King did not arrive till 2 July at one in the morning, too late for the launch, which took place on Tuesday the 29th (p. 194).
Detailed accounts of the voyage will be found in various letters calendared from p. 183 to p. 195, among them being two from Pepys, who had gone to Portsmouth. It was feared that the Katherine yacht had been lost (p. 195), but this was not the case. At Portsmouth the King was much pleased at viewing the Royal James and also at seeing one of the yachts built by Mr. Deane for the French King at Versailles drawn on a cradle at least 200 yards to the seaside, where it was lifted out with tackle and other engines, though it weighed at least 42 tons, and let down gently on the ooze, where it lay till the tide came in and set it afloat (p. 195).
The yachts in question sailed the end of the month for Havre, convoyed by the Cleveland and Merlin yachts (p. 234), the captains of which were each presented with a gold chain and medal by the French King for their services (p. 268). Their builder followed them to Havre early in August (p. 252). After dinner the King saw the garrison exercise (p. 195) and knighted Sir John Tippetts, Sir Richard Haddock and Sir Anthony Deane, Commissioners of the Navy, and Sir Roger Manley, Deputy Governor of Portsmouth (p. 197), and at night was entertained with fireworks (p. 195). He dined the next day at Titchfield with Mr. Noel and that evening embarked in the Harwich for London (p. 197), which he reached on the 5th (p. 199), and went to Windsor the next day or the day after (p. 203) and stayed there or at Hampton Court till early in September (p. 289), when he returned to Whitehall, where he seems to have remained till March, with the exception of a visit of a day or two in February to Windsor (p. 559).
A Mr. Stisted or Stysted was sent to the Gatehouse in December for false and seditious speeches (p. 451). He was charged with saying there were reports about that Tangier was to be sold to the French, that the King had again shut up the Exchequer, that he was going to France to live with the Duchess of Portsmouth and that she had sent a great sum out of England. He had been told that the Duchess had said to the Queen or to some of her servants that she was as much the King's wife as the Queen, only she had not been married by a bishop (pp. 432, 434, 437, 440, 441).
Two of the King's natural children by the Duchess of Cleveland, the Earl of Southampton and the Earl of Euston, were created Duke of Southampton (p. 241) and Duke of Grafton (p. 221), and his son by the Duchess of Portsmouth was created Duke of Richmond in England (p. 224) and Duke of Lenox in Scotland (pp. 265, 289) and granted arms, &c. (p. 326). A similar grant was made to the Earl of Plymouth, another of the King's natural sons (p. 356). In January, 1676, the Duchess of Cleveland went to France with her two sons, the Duke of Grafton and the Earl of Northumberland, for their better education (p. 532). The spelling of a letter from the Duchess of Portsmouth from Wilton, where she was visiting her sister, the Countess of Pembroke, seemed sufficiently remarkable to warrant its being given verbatim et literatim (p. 33).
From the petition of Richard Yates it appears that his father, who had conducted the King from Worcester to Whiteladies, was hanged because he would not discover where he had seen him last (p. 7).
Mr. Whitgrave, to whose house the King had gone from Boscobel, and the Pendrells were prosecuted for being Papists (p. 87).
On pp. 177, 178 will be found lists of articles to be supplied by the Great Wardrobe for the King's Closet and the Chapel Royal. Among the latter are mentioned one gross of points of silk for the copes and three gispins, which were leather pots.
In February orders were issued for regulating the public healings by the King to prevent the disorders that had happened from disagreements between the serjeant chirurgeon, the chirurgeon to the person and the chirurgeon to the Household. All public healings were appointed to take place from Ash Wednesday to the end of May and from 1 September to 30 November (p. 539).
The Duke of York accompanied the King to Newmarket (p. 19) and Portsmouth. In December there was a wild rumour in Kent that he had quarrelled with the King and had wounded him mortally and had fled to France (p. 466). A caveat was entered in September that nothing pass in favour of the patentees of Connecticut to the prejudice of the Duke's interest in New York without notice (p. 290). In November and December the Duke's claims for deficiencies due to him under the Acts of Settlement and Explanation were referred to the Lord Lieutenant and the Lord Privy Seal (pp. 378, 442).
Parliament met on 13 April after a prorogation of more than 13 months (p. 63) and sat till 9 June, when it was prorogued on account of the quarrel between the two Houses about the right of the House of Lords to hear appeals in suits to which a member of the House of Commons was a party. It sat again from 13 October till 22 November, when it was again prorogued till February, 1676–7, for the same reason. There are numerous accounts of the proceedings of both Houses, but with very few exceptions they contain nothing of interest which is not recorded in the Journals. Before the meeting in October the two Secretaries of State wrote to several members desiring their attendance (pp. 302, 304).
On pp. 69 and 95 and 98 will be found papers about disputed returns for Aldborough and Thirsk in Yorkshire, the point at issue being as to the qualifications of the voters. One of the parties concerned in the former return was the well known Sir John Reresby. On p. 122 is a case relating to the York election, and on p. 124 one relating to the Chester election between Col. Werden and Mr. Williams, in which the latter was charged with having many freemen illegally made after the poll had actually been opened, and with other illegal practices. Mr. Williams asserted that the right of election was in the freemen only, whereas in all elections within the memory of man the inhabitants paying scot and lot had voted as well as the freemen.
On the meeting of Parliament in April a paper purporting to be the King's speech was circulated satirising the King, the Lord Treasurer and Lord Lauderdale, and concluding by promising that whatever should be given him should be managed with the same conduct, thriftiness, sincerity and prudence that he had ever practised since his restoration (p. 64).
A printed paper addressed to Parliament while thanking them for their zeal to establish the Protestant religion exhorted them to stop the growing disease of theism and blasphemy, adding it was impossible this transgression should be healed while the theatres were suffered to be the schools of blasphemy, debauchery and buffoonery. On the back is a letter complaining of the band of pensioners, who were selling God, their souls and their country for private and filthy lucre, and whose names, if manifestly guilty, should be recorded, and also of those who voted that cottagers, who had no voice in elections, should pay 2s. yearly for a stone not worth 2d. when the chimney villains call it a hearth (p. 88).
A letter (p. 369) contains similar complaints of the inequality of the hearth money, for an estate of 40s. per annum was charged as much as one of 40l. or 100l., and on p. 338 will be found verses satirising the Long or Chimney Parliament.
Two papers were presented to Parliament on behalf of the prisoners for debt, setting forth their grievances from the merciless tyranny of many of their creditors and the barbarous deportment of the gaolers and the great increase in their numbers, and praying for inquiry and that a clause should be added to the Bill before the House for the discharge of such prisoners as would part with their whole estate for the benefit of their creditors (pp. 144, 380).
On pp. 88 and 369–373 are papers presented to Parliament containing arguments for and against allowing the exportation of unmanufactured leather, and on pp. 373–376 for and against allowing the exportation of English and Irish wool. These papers illustrate the notions then prevalent about commerce and also give a good deal of information about the trade in those commodities.
In particular the paper calendared on p. 374 abounds in details and technical terms relating to the woollen manufacture.
Complaints were made to Parliament by drapers, mercers, grocers and other traders of the injury to their trades from pedlars and hawkers (p. 145). The company of glass-sellers in particular complained of the injury they sustained, as from the nature of their goods they were obliged to keep large houses and pay heavy rents, and asserted that pedlars were sturdy incorrigible persons, who generally cheated people with bad wares, and often corrupted servants to steal their masters' provisions to truck with them (p. 399). On behalf of the pedlars it was answered that, though many of them were of the other nation of Scotland, it ought not to be complained of, they being also the King's subjects, and that statutes against pedlars were meant to apply only to those that misdemeaned themselves by begging, idleness, &c. (p. 145).
Complaints were made of the intolerable taxes laid by the French King on English manufactures (p. 374), and of the adverse balance of trade with France. The silks, linens and stuffs imported from France exceeded the whole of the English exports thither (p. 376). The value of the linen imported yearly amounted to 1,000,000l. (p. 574). To remedy these evils it was desired that the King and the Parliament should discountenance wearing foreign manufactures both by their own examples and by either prohibiting them altogether or by laying a heavy duty on them (p. 374).
The King declared in Council that he would not wear any foreign points or laces after he returned to Whitehall from Windsor, and forbade the wearing of such articles, and ordered the Lord Chamberlain not to permit any persons wearing them to appear in his presence (p. 211).
In October the creditors of the Goldsmiths concerned in the Exchequer petitioned the House of Commons for relief, as since the stop they had failed to receive not only their interest, but their principal, and some had been cast into debtors' prisons, while others had become distracted by misery and others had broken their hearts and died (p. 379).
On 19 May a proclamation was issued in consequence of an address of the Parliament commanding the immediate return of all who had gone into the French service since the peace with the States General and forbidding persons from going into that service (p. 127). Notwithstanding the proclamation, an attempt was made to carry over recruits for the Duke of Monmouth's regiments in France (p. 520).
Don Pedro de Ronquillo, the Spanish Ambassador, and the Dutch Ambassador who visited him wished that the House of Commons would outlaw all who disobeyed the proclamation, and make another address recalling the forces who were in the French service before the peace. This was overheard by one Pardini, who appears to have been one of the ambassador's suite, and acted as a spy for the English Government (p. 292). Pardini alleged that Ronquillo had brought over no money for purposes of corruption and that he had declined offers of introductions to various M.P.'s, alleging that he must look about him first (p. 143). Later, however, it seems that presents were made out of borrowed money, including 100l. to a Parliament man (p. 476).
On Saturday, 20 November, in consequence of the quarrel between the two Houses about appeals to the House of Lords, Lord Mohun moved and Lord Shaftesbury seconded an address for a dissolution. The House was equally divided, but the Earl of Ailesbury, coming in late and being ignorant of the debate, voted in the negative for himself and a proxy he had, so the motion was lost by two votes. On Monday the Parliament was prorogued till 15 January, 1676–7 (pp. 413, 414). Among the papers calendared are "Two Seasonable Discourses concerning this present Parliament," one of which gives the arguments in the debate on the address for a dissolution (p. 425). The only public Act passed during this session was one for the rebuilding of Northampton (p. 411).
It was particularly noticed that Lord Lauderdale carried the sword before the King at the prorogation, though the House of Commons had presented an address praying that he might not be so near the King's person (p. 414).
The prorogation was followed by reports of an intended dissolution (pp. 445, 457). In anticipation of it candidates were getting ready in Kent and the Cinque Ports (p. 457), and the opposition party in Herefordshire held a meeting to select candidates for the county and boroughs (p. 460).
Sir Thomas Overbury issued an address to the corporation of Tewkesbury (p. 498). Coming from a moderate man it shows the general discontent at the state of affairs. It appears from papers calendared in the next volume that this letter was sent up by Col. Sandys to Secretary Williamson.
The government was vigilant in suppressing writings and conversations against themselves. In November orders were given for seizing all copies of the famous Letter from a Person of Quality (p. 393). On pp. 510, 511 are examinations concerning writers of seditious libels. On 29 December a proclamation was issued for the suppression of all coffee-houses after 10 January. The time was subsequently extended to 24 June, on the keepers entering into recognizances not to allow any scandalous papers, books or libels to be brought into or read in their houses and to prevent persons there from declaring any false and scandalous reports against the government or its ministers (p. 503. Notes of a debate in the Privy Council about licences and the judges' opinions thereon are calendared on pp. 496, 500.
A real or imaginary specimen of a coffee-house conversation relates to the arrival of the Duchess of Mazarin in London "booted and spurred, wearing a great coat and covered with mud." One speaker suggested that the King of France finding Carwel too weak to support the French interest had sent the King over a new mistress who should do it to the purpose. Another thought that Ralph Montagu, who had made a great acquaintance with her at Chambéry, had in concert with Arlington persuaded her to come over, hoping that the King would fall in love with her and that she would be a means of ruining the Lord Treasurer, who was supported by the Duchess of Portsmouth. To this it was answered that a niece and heiress of Cardinal Mazarin, having claims to money at Court, could not be engaged to take part against the Minister who was in favour and held the purse. A third speaker conjectured that the Duke of York had undertaken to reconcile her to her husband on account of her near relationship to his Duchess, while others thought that he was enamoured of her himself, and, though devotion had given him a new turn, the bowls would still to their bias (p. 473).
In February Secretary Williamson was sent by the King to Lord Shaftesbury to tell him he was informed that he was very busy in town in matters that he ought not and that he thought it were much better he were at home in the country, now that term was over, and that the King knew more than perhaps he thought he did of his Lordship's being up and down in the town and therefore had thought fit to give him this warning. The Earl replied he had nothing to do in town relating to the government, nor had he in any company meddled with anything relating to the King or the public, but he declined to leave on account of his disposing of Exeter House, and his interests in the African Company and Carolina. A full account of the interview is given on pp. 559–561.
Williamson was afterwards told by Lord O'Brien that this message had been expected for some time, but from Coventry, the other secretary. The Earl talked after his usual fashion without any apparent change at all (p. 562).
Williamson was told a few days later by the same lord that John's coffee-house was the one where Lord Shaftesbury vented out all his thoughts and designs, and that there had been a great meeting the night before at the Earl's and that he made merry with the message. Mr. Chiffinch was of opinion it had been better not to have sent the message. The AttorneyGeneral was said to be much mixed up with Sir T. Player, Thompson and others of that party. Player and his friends still sometimes came and drank with the King at Will. Chiffinch's, but lately seemed not so well satisfied with their reception by him (p. 562).
In June the first election for the County of Durham was held under the Act enfranchising the county and city. Col. Tempest headed the poll with 1,034 or 1,046 votes, Thomas Vane, son of the late Sir Henry, was second with 857 or 854 and Sir James Clavering third with 756, 737 or 735 (pp. 179, 184). Mr. Vane was the candidate supported by the Dissenters. The election was finished on Wednesday, 23 June, and two days afterwards Mr. Vane died of smallpox (pp. 184, 187). It was suggested that under these circumstances Sir James Clavering might be returned as elected (p. 340), but on 25 Oct. Christopher, the brother of the deceased member, who had managed the June election on his behalf, was returned unopposed (p. 362).
The vacancy caused in Dorsetshire by the death of Col. Strangewayes was filled by the return of Lord Digby, the Earl of Bristol's eldest son, by upwards of 1,700 votes against 520 for Mr. Moore or More of Haychurch, the candidate supported by Lord Shaftesbury and the Nonconformists (pp. 232, 245, 263, 331, 353, 355).
At Lynn, Mr. Coke of Holkham was elected against Alderman Taylor by 291 votes to 205 (pp. 42, 61, 73).
In the city a party in the Common Council headed by Sir T. Player, Thompson, Nelthorpe and Jeffreys, the Common Serjeant, asserted that a meeting of the Common Council was not dissolved by the Lord Mayor's rising. The said persons on Saturday, 13 March, came to the Lord Keeper and acknowledged their error and admitted that the Lord Mayor had the sole right of calling Common Councils and dissolving them. On Tuesday, however, the Common Serjeant, when summoned before a Court of Aldermen, refused to make such a submission as he had previously made, and justified what he had done. The Court of Aldermen thereupon suspended him from his office. On the following Saturday, however, the Common Council men, and particularly the Common Serjeant, when summoned before the Lord Keeper, the Lord Treasurer and Secretary Williamson, notwithstanding what the Common Serjeant had said before the Court of Aldermen, declared that all that had been done after the sword was taken up was irregular and not to be justified, and acknowledged their error and the Lord Mayor's right to call and dissolve Common Councils. The three ministers recommended this to the Lord Mayor and the Aldermen present as a great degree of satisfaction, and having obtained from the Common Serjeant a promise that he would make the same acknowledgement to the Court of Aldermen, recommended them to accept it and restore him, which they did not seem unwilling to do, and from the subsequent history of his life it is known that he was restored. Letters and papers relating to this affair are calendared on pp. 21, 25, 26, 31 and 47.
Another question was whether the appointment of the Judge of the Sheriffs' Court was vested in the Lord Mayor and Aldermen or in them jointly with the Common Council (p. 32). It appears that it was finally decided that the choice lay with the Lord Mayor, Aldermen and Common Council, and at an election in January a Mr. Richardson was chosen by a majority of 40 over the Common Serjeant, who had been nominated by the Lord Mayor (p. 537).
On the petition of the Lord Mayor and Aldermen an arrear of 1,063l. 16s. 11½d. on the 18 months' assessment, in addition to 800l. per mensem already remitted, making together 15,463l. 16s. 11½d., was remitted in regard of the many empty houses and tofts unbuilt in the city (pp. 167, 504, 525).
On 14 May the Commissioners for rebuilding St. Paul's, as the portion of the coal duty set apart for rebuilding amounted to a considerable sum, were ordered to proceed with the work according to a "very artificial, proper and useful" design chosen by the King, and to begin with the East end or choir (p. 118). In December the Commissioners, after stating that in laying the foundations they had hitherto used only old stone, petitioned for liberty to raise stone in the Isle of Portland and to repair the piers, &c. there for bringing it away and to charge a rent for the use of the same (p. 467). A grant as prayed was with the Commissioners' assent made to the Dean and Chapter (p. 534).
In June a petition of several gentlemen and citizens who practised archery about the city and the suburbs, complaining of the enclosure of sundry fields wherein they had had always right to shoot, was referred to the Attorney-General (p. 165).
In accordance with proposals submitted by the governors of Christ's Hospital to the King for rendering the Mathematical School more useful (p. 291) letters were sent to the East India, the Muscovy, the Eastland, the Royal African and the Levant Companies requesting them to use their influence with masters of ships to take each a boy from that school as an apprentice for 7 years, each master to receive for each boy the usual pay of an ordinary seaman in the King's service, viz., 19s. each lunar month (p. 502). In February the governors of Christ's Hospital petitioned that the surplus of Henry Fryer's estate, which was to be given to the poor, should be settled on the poor children trained in the Hospital in mathematics and navigation (p. 581).
Riots, that lasted three days, began on 9 August with an attack on French weavers by weavers who burnt several engine looms called broad looms. The civil authorities and even the militia were so remiss that the riots spread from Westminster to Southwark, the Tower Hamlets and elsewhere. Quiet was restored by the measures taken by the Privy Council (pp 250, 252–256, 265, 476).
In October there was a similar riot of weavers at Colchester, who assembled by the blowing of a horn and marched into St. Mary's Churchyard and thence into St. John's Fields to the number of 400 and came shouting through the streets threatening to plunder one Furley and pull down his house. Six of the ringleaders were convicted at the sessions in January (pp. 352, 513).
The Exeter weavers, understanding that some weavers were transporting themselves to Ireland, broke into the King's warehouse at Topsham and took away or destroyed the instruments they were taking with them to Ireland (p. 329).
In the Church the vacancy at Chichester caused by the translation of Dr. Gunning to Ely was filled by the appointment of Dr. Brideoke, Dean of Salisbury (pp. 16, 24). To Llandaff Dr. William Lloyd was appointed (p. 60). Secretary Williamson had been too late in his application in favour of Dr. Barlow, Provost of Queen's, his own College, and besides the King was resolved to have a Welshman appointed (p. 472). Dr. Barlow was, however, soon afterwards consoled by obtaining the much more important and valuable bishopric of Lincoln (p. 76). Early in July Dr. Blandford, Bishop of Worcester, died. An account of his death, with particulars of his will, by which he disposed of all his property to pious uses, is given on p. 209. The vacant bishopric was filled by Dr. Fleetwood, Provost of King's (p. 211). Early in December Dr. Compton, Bishop of Oxford, was translated to London (p. 428) and was succeeded by Dr. Fell, Dean of Christ Church, who was allowed to continue to hold the deanery in commendam (pp. 501, 514).
The question about the method of appointment to the Deanery of Ripon had been settled in 1674 in the case of Dr. Neile, who died in April, 1675 (p. 71). Dr. Tullie was appointed in his place (p. 71), but died in the following January and was succeeded by Dr. Thomas Cartwright (pp. 511, 518).
The preachers in Lancashire petitioned for payment of a pension of 200l. per annum and the arrears thereof formerly allowed to preachers appointed by the Bishop of Chester to officiate in an itinerant way in the many chapels otherwise insufficiently provided for (p. 176).
Papers relating to the case of John Tilsley or Tildesley, formerly vicar of Deane, Lancashire, who was prosecuted under the Act restraining Nonconformists from inhabiting corporations, will be found on pp. 201, 209, 518, 519. He alleged that he had conformed in 1670 and received a licence from the late Bishop of Chester and a nolle prosequi was entered on the information. Attempts were made to have the nolle prosequi withdrawn on the grounds that Tilsley had not read the bishop's licence or his certificate of conformity in his church within the period limited by the Act, and also that the licence had been determined by the Bishop's death. It was also alleged that he did not wear the surplice or use the cross in baptism and omitted the rites, ceremonies, forms and orders in the Book of Common Prayer, and to avoid performing these things had procured a man of straw to be appointed to the vicarage, who read the prayers, while Tilsley himself preached every Sunday and managed all the concerns of the church and parish.
The Bishop of Bristol was very vigorous in his proceedings against the Nonconformists there, the principals of the Independents, Presbyterians and Anabaptists being convicted and sent to prison. One of them, Mr. Thompson, a very eminent Independent, fell sick of a fever and died in prison on 5 March, which made the Dissenters complain of the severity of the civil and tyranny of the ecclesiastical laws. The day after Thompson's burial a libel was found in the Lord Mayor's house threatening that, if they must be subject to these persecutions, there were many eminent and sufficient men and numbers of apprentices and people of inferior rank that would venture their lives and fortunes for their freedom (pp. 9, 10). In May a narrative by Thomas Hobson, the gaoler, was published to contradict the false reports about Thompson's imprisonment and death, namely, that he and the other persons committed had been thrown into a filthy dungeon and that he had been half poisoned, half starved to death (p. 94).
At Lynn, since the Indulgence had been recalled, there had been no public meetings, but the Nonconformists were said to meet in private, and several in the neighbourhood were being prosecuted (p. 23). On 11 April a private meeting of Presbyterians was discovered by the curate and officers of St. Margaret's. Some escaped, but those identified were to be prosecuted according to law (p. 61).
From Bridlington frequent meetings in large numbers of Nonconformists, among whom the Quakers were particularly mentioned, were reported (pp. 54, 73, 163, 185, 234, 427).
The fullest accounts of the Nonconformists come from Great Yarmouth. The bailiffs on Saturday, 27 Feb., 1675, desired their chief men to forbear meeting at their public place, and they promised not to do so, and, though some hundreds of them who had no notice of this promise came to the meeting place next day, when they saw an informer, who had posted himself at the door, they passed by (p. 1). For some time they kept their promise (pp. 18. 54), but later in the year they resumed their meetings in as great numbers as before (pp. 234, 275, 388, 490), some asserting that the King did not intend his Protestant subjects to be disturbed (p. 234). The constables, who had not executed distress warrants on Nonconformists long ago convicted, pretending they could not get into their houses, on Mr. Bower threatening to prosecute them for neglecting their duty, went to Mr. Sheldrick's, a Nonconformist minister, who had been fined 20l., and, when he denied them entrance, broke in and took a distress, after which he paid the 20l. (p. 18). In February the Bishop of Norwich ordered an inquiry of the numbers in the town qualified to receive Holy Communion, of the numbers of resident Popish Recusants and of the numbers of other Dissenters. To the first two the inquirers agreed, but as to the last they feared, if they made the Dissenters as great as they were, they might discourage his Majesty from attempting to reform them. Bower was of opinion that the number of communicants did not exceed 500, and was certain there were not a hundred Dissenters in what they termed church fellowship, so that the grand number were the profane and unstable who were ready to side with anything tending to an unsettlement in Church or State. Those faithful at Yarmouth to Church and King were pleased at the report of the intended removal of Lord Townshend from the Lord Lieutenancy of Norfolk, as they considered he had always discouraged them and encouraged the Nonconformists (pp. 568, 568).
The Quakers petitioned the King and Parliament that no penalty should be inflicted for religion and conscience, showing that the Acts of Allegiance and Supremacy were made against Popish Recusants and others who could swear, which Quakers being unable to do, many of them had been cast into prison and kept there 10 or 12 years, and some had even died there (p. 90).
At Rochester and Deal "the heathen-like Quakers" insisted on opening their shops on 31 Jan., on which the martyrdom of Charles I. was observed, the 30th being a Sunday, but they were closed by the authorities (p. 536).
Six days before the prorogation in November leave was given to the Duke of Buckingham to bring in a bill for the ease of Protestant Dissenters (p. 404).
In January Col. Danvers, who had been preaching about the country (p. 419), was committed to the Tower for treasonable practices (p. 516).
In consequence of the King's recent orders the Judges had not, Lord Aston believed, left one Roman Catholic unindicted in Staffordshire; nay, the grand jury had presented persons who were absent from England as suspected Papists and even Lord Aston himself had been indicted (p. 87). In view of the expected dissolution, efforts were made to persuade the Roman Catholics that it was not the Protestant party but the Episcopal Prelatical party in the House of Commons that was the cause of the rigorous enforcement of the laws against them, and others suggested that they should petition the House of Commons for relief (p. 87). There was an idle report of a plot by the Roman Catholics against the Parliament shortly before their meeting in April (pp. 54, 55, 61).
In November M. de Luzancy, a converted sub-deacon, told a strange story, how St. Germain, a Jesuit, a French priest who was preacher to the Duchess of York, with another man had entered his lodgings and forced him by threats of instant death to promise to leave England. He delayed complaining of this outrage in hopes of recovering a paper he had copied and signed, and given to St. Germain, as he alleged under compulsion, containing a recantation of all he had said or done, since he came to England and professing his desire to return to the Roman Catholic religion (pp. 389–393). On 5 November a warrant was issued for St. Germain's arrest, and, when he could not be found, circular letters were sent to all outports, ordering search to be made for him among the passengers going abroad and that he should be committed, if found, to safe custody (p. 393), but he appears to have escaped abroad. St. Germain in one of his conversations with de Luzancy declared (truly) that the King was a Roman Catholic at heart, that they were working to re-establish liberty of conscience, and, were that done, England would recognize the Pope in two years. Though Parliament made a noise, it was a wave that must be let go by. He added there were Jesuits in England who did not appear, but carried on important business (p. 391).
Five letters from Dr. Wallis at Oxford (pp. 57, 148, 150, 152, 205) relate to the power of the University to license taverns, which appears to have been contested by the Duke of York's commissioners. A letter from Dr. Fell (p. 149) describes the reception by the University of the Duke of Neuburg's son, on whom the degree of D.C.L was conferred. Permission to exercise the Royal Oak lottery during the Act was requested and supported by the Chancellor and Sir J. Williamson (p. 194).
Dr. Hyde, the Librarian, mentioned that after nine years' hard labour he had finished and published the catalogue of the printed books in the University Library, and in reply to Williamson's suggestion that he should make a catalogue of the MSS. appealed to him whether he could not spend the time better in doing some things in his Eastern way of learning. His projects were to translate the History of Timur or Tamerlane, to make a more exact Persian grammar and dictionary, to give a good history of the Persian kings out of their own authors, to translate from the Arabic the Geography of Abulpheda and to illustrate certain passages of Scripture. He enclosed as specimens two pages of an Arabic and of a Persian History of Timour with a Latin translation and of the first ode of Hafiz with a Latin transla- tion (p. 294).
A father wrote that at an election at All Souls' his son had 12 votes, the number of Fellows being 27, and a kinsman of the warden's wife three, which was more than anyone else had. The next day the writer's son had 15, so that the other could have had no more than 12, yet the latter had the Fellowship given him by the Warden (p. 419).
Nothing of interest about the University of Cambridge occurs in this volume, except the election in obedience to a King's letter of Sir Thomas Page to be Provost of King's in place of Dr. Fleetwood (p. 244).
Though England was at peace, the seas swarmed with French and Spanish privateers, who continually plundered English ships and maltreated their crews. Such outrages were too numerous to be noticed in detail, but a few will be mentioned as specimens. A small Ostend man-of-war boarded a vessel of Looe from Morlaix, stripped the crew and passengers stark naked and took from them all their money and articles to the value of 100l. in all (p. 4). An Ostend caper off Rye poured a volley of small shot into a fishing boat of the town, and broke the arm of one of the crew so that his recovery was in doubt (p. 77). A Biscay caper tortured the master and men of a Falmouth ship by putting burning matches between their fingers and gave the master several hundred blows to make them confess they belonged to the French and took what small things they had on board and all their clothes and some of their provisions (p. 166).
French men-of-war had the audacity to capture and carry off a Dutch ship moored in Torbay within musket shot of the shore (pp. 45, 50, 117) and she was condemned as prize in France (p. 400).
Later in the year another ship said to be of London, bound from Ostend to Bilbao, was carried out of Torbay by a French privateer; on board her was the widow of the late Governor of Ostend with all her jewels and wealth (p. 400).
Several passages relate to the English demand that foreign ships should strike their flag. Six French ships refused to strike to the Cambridge, and when shot at returned the fire. They outsailed the Cambridge, which was no match for them (pp. 133, 134). Ronquillo, the Spanish ambassador, was congratulated by many on this occurrence (p. 143). A Whitby ship was shot at by a Dutch caper for not striking, and in addition the master was compelled to pay for every shot fired, and was beaten and abused for saying he ought not to strike to any but the King's own frigates (p. 135). A French privateer refused to strike to the Garland (p. 151), but being forced to run into Dover was stayed there for his contempt (p. 154). The most serious case was that of Capt. Harris, commander of the Quaker ketch, who was convicted by a court martial of having lowered his topsail to a Spanish man- of-war in the Bay of Biscay, and was sentenced to be shot for striking to a foreigner in the King's seas (p. 546) but he was reprieved (p. 556) and ultimately pardoned (p. 578).
The Algerines were willing to keep the peace with England but were unable to prevent Sallee men-of-war coming into Algerine ports with their prizes (p. 13). An instance of this is mentioned on p. 407. The only English ships molested by them were either bound for a Dutch port (p. 291) or suspected to have Dutch goods on board (p. 450). A procla- mation was issued in December forbidding Englishmen to serve on vessels of foreigners at war with Algiers, and declaring that, if any such were taken, the King would not require their release (p. 458). There was a report that the Dutch were trying to make peace with the Algerines and to induce them to break with England, but to this they were not inclined (p. 463). Sir John Narbrough who had been empowered in October, 1674, to treat with Algiers, Tunis and Tripoli, procured the release of all the English slaves at Algiers, except renegadoes, to the number of 450, 150 of whom returned home in March (p. 12). On p. 424 will be found a narrative of the adventures of John Hart, a Dorsetshire man, who had been taken and enslaved at Algiers in 1667, who had afterwards been taken to Candia and Smyrna, where he was ransomed, and had visited among other places Constantine, Biskra and Constantinople. From Algiers Narbrough proceeded to Tunis to negotiate (p. 13). As Tripoli resisted (p. 122), reinforcements were sent to Narbrough (p. 216), who early in September burnt seven of their ships in harbour (pp. 319, 439) and the terms of peace then offered by Tripoli were accepted by England (p. 515).
Two patents were granted for raising or pumping water (pp. 16, 408, 412), and the first instrument included also a patent for a new art of tingeing stuffs by way of impression. Patents were granted both in England and Ireland for improvements in beehives which, it was alleged, would free the bees from the inconveniencies of swarming (pp. 57, 60, 322). Patents were granted for watches invented by Christian Huygens (p. 88), for crystalline glasses (p. 139), for an invention for buoying up ships and the easier landing and lading of goods (p. 203), for turning corrupted or salt water into fresh (p. 314) and for diffusing light by foiled glass polished (p. 535).
Patents were requested for a new invention of coaches, with two wheels, which, it was claimed, could not overturn. Some, it was said, could be made with one wheel, which would pass where a horse could (pp. 93, 321).
Amongst miscellaneous notices the following appear of interest.
In March the officers of the ordnance were ordered to pay a salary of 100l. per annum to John Flamsted, the King's Astronomical Observator, who was to apply himself to the rectifying of the tables of the motions of the heavens and the places of the fixed stars so as to find out the so much desired longitude of places for perfecting the art of navigation (p. 7), and in June a warrant was issued to Sir T. Chicheley, Master General of the Ordnance, for building a small observatory on the highest ground in Greenwich Park near where the Castle stood with lodging rooms for the observator and assistant according to the plan to be given him by Sir Christopher Wren, the expense to be paid out of the moneys received for old and decayed powder ordered to be sold, with a proviso that the whole expense should not exceed 500l. (p. 173).
At St. Columb in Cornwall early in March the church was blown up, only the tower being left standing. The pulpit, however, was uninjured and the King's arms fell flat on the church Bible, so both were preserved. The damage was estimated at over 2,000l. The cause of the accident was that some children got access to three barrels of powder that were kept in the church for the parish store, while the church was being repaired and the masons were at their dinner, and amused themselves with making poppers with the powder. At last three small boys set the whole on fire and blew up themselves and the church (pp. 12, 13, 19).
In the same neighbourhood at a great meeting of Quakers the floor gave way, but, though many were much bruised, no one was seriously hurt (p. 23).
In March the Exeter carrier on his return from London was robbed of 770l. near Milburne between Dorchester and Blandford (p. 20). A coachman, supposed to be one of the robbers, was tried at the summer assizes, but was acquitted (p. 219).
Daniel Elzevir, the printer and publisher, had bought the manuscript of Grotius De Veritate Religionis Christianœ and had been publishing the work for 20 years. The book was pirated by one Webb, a bookseller at Oxford, whose widow sold any right she might have to the Curators of the Press for 5l. The Curators in contemplation of a new edition caused a bale containing 2,000 copies sent over by Elzevir to a bookseller in London to be stopped at the Custom house, but on Elzevir's application to Dr. Fell and to Williamson they were released (pp. 22, 36, 37).
A letter from Northumberland complained of the distress in that county caused by the action of forestallers and regraters in buying up corn either for exportation or for keeping till there was a scarcity and then retailing it at high prices (p. 25). From parts of the country as far apart as Cornwall and Yorkshire there were complaints that in consequence of the bounty of 5s. a quarter on corn exported great quantities were bought up for exportation and that the price had risen considerably in consequence, which, though good for farmers, was very hard on the townspeople and the poor, besides the cost to the revenue (pp. 377, 379, 403, 433).
At Weymouth a boy of 15, the son of a Nonconformist, was baptized in church, and given the name of Mico, as he was baptized on the day appointed for an annual sermon by Sir Samuel Mico, a benefactor to the town (p. 40).
Dr. Grew was recommended for a professorship at Gresham College, on account of his services to the Royal Society, besides his other qualifications (p. 40). A defence of the Royal Society "against a hectoring writer" is mentioned on p. 21.
Dr. Cudworth, Master of Christ's College, the well-known philosopher, applied to Williamson for his interest in procuring him the rectory of Northchurch in Hertfordshire, stating that he held no church dignity and no living except the vicarage of Ashwell, which was of small value and which he would willingly resign (p. 42).
On Thursday, 25 March, about 2 in the morning the Mary yacht, which had left Dublin the day before, struck on a rock near the Skerries, a small island castward of Holyhead Bay. The rock was so near the shore that the mast touched the land, by means of which those who were saved escaped. The Earl of Meath was drowned and also about 34 more, among them the captain, boatswain and two sailors. The master and 23 seamen and 15 passengers escaped to the isle. Among them were Lord Ardglass and Lord Ardee, the Earl of Meath's heir. Those saved were on the island till Saturday afternoon, when they were taken off by a Wicklow vessel and brought to Beaumaris. By a flask of gunpowder they struck fire with a steel and roasted some mutton, but they had nothing else to eat and nothing to drink but seawater till a runlet of usquebaugh came ashore (pp. 43, 46).
At Hastings Titus Oates (spelt Otes) made his first appearance, characteristically as an informer (p. 68).
On p. 72 is mentioned a maker of Caudebecs, which were a sort of French hat.
Anthony Wood, the antiquary, was recommended by Dr. Fell for the place of under-keeper of the records, which was expected to become vacant (p. 121), but did not obtain it.
Payne Fisher sent Williamson a copy of a poem from the Fleet, where he had been confined for debt since July, 1673. In consequence of his poverty and frequent sickness he had paid neither his commitment fee nor his chamber rent since his commitment (pp. 142, 143).
Thomas Smith, Fellow of Magdalen, presented a small discourse to Williamson, to whom he intended to dedicate the Account of the present state of the Greek Church, on which he was engaged (p. 187).
The foundation of the north pier at Dover being undermined an old vessel filled with beach was to be placed to fill up the breach, but was sunk so unskilfully as to lie athwart the channel, preventing any ship from entering or leaving the harbour (p. 188).
An idiot boy of Falmouth escaped from his mother's house at night, got into a boat and was driven out to sea. He was miraculously picked up five days afterwards off the Ram Head (p. 209).
The loyal and indigent officers claimed the right to the Indian Game and Twirling Board as a lottery granted them by their patents against the Groom Porter and the Master of Revels, who asserted it was a game. The dispute was decided in favour of the officers (pp. 211, 314).
The Trinity House of Deptford and those of Dover, Hull and Newcastle expressed their opinion that the lighthouses proposed by Sir John Clayton on Flamborough Head, Cromer, Foulness, St. Nicholas Gatt and Fern Island would be not only useless but prejudicial to navigation (p. 251).
In August the Bishop of Durham as Lord Lieutenant of the county palatine had a general muster of all the train band forces of the county where there was a very great appearance of all the gentry of the county. He caused all the forces to march orderly into the city, riding himself at the head of them accompanied by his deputy lieutenants (p. 266).
An engine brought down from London to deepen the harbour at Yarmouth was almost finished, but some of the partners refused to stand by their contract with the town, alleging they must be losers by it and insisted on a new contract being made before beginning the work (p. 275). The reception of Lord Yarmouth on Michaelmas Day at Yarmouth, of which he had been chosen High Steward, is described on p. 323.
At Plymouth a father, mother and daughter were poisoned by a servant woman and a girl. The women died and the man was not expected to recover (p. 283). The next volume contains an account of the execution of the two criminals. The woman was hung and the girl was burnt alive.
On pp. 300, 361 are warrants for making various alterations at Windsor Castle. The sum of 20,000l. reserved out of the new farm of the Irish revenue was to be employed on the buildings there (p. 515). Stone for the new buildings was to be procured from Frimley (p. 542).
On Monday, 20 September, almost the whole of Northampton, including All Hallows Church, was burnt. Of 840 houses, it was thought not 140 were left standing. The loss was estimated to exceed 200,000l. (pp. 302, 305, 310). On Saturday a great meeting of the nobility and gentry of the county was held in the Town Hall, at which subscriptions were opened for the relief of the poor and for rebuilding the town, and certain proposals were agreed on (p. 318). The quarter sessions petitioned the King for his charity towards the restoration of the town (p. 327) and the one public Act passed in the autumn session was "for the better and more easy rebuilding of the town" (p. 411). The Mayor, Aldermen and inhabitants petitioned the King in February for a gift of 2,000 tons of timber from Salcey and Whittlewood Forests towards rebuilding, and for so much of the month's tax in that county as was not yet returned and also for the excise and hearth money arising out of the town for a short term (p. 569). The Lord Treasurer reported that not so much timber as 2,000 tons could be spared out of the forests, but recommended a gift of 300 to begin with, that the Lord Lieutenant and the gentlemen of the county be recommended to dispose of the balance of the militia money towards rebuilding, that as to the hearth money he conceived them to be in the same necessity of his Majesty's grace as the City of London, where it was remitted for 7 years, but that pardoning the excise would be of little advantage to the town, and might create a great inconvenience in respect of the contract with the farmers of the revenue (p. 582).
In September a vessel from Havre to St. Sebastian put into Falmouth laden with 32 couple of dogs, beagles and lurchers, a present for the King of Spain, with 5 men attending on them (pp. 293, 320). In December the Mary Rose brought over seven horses, one of which died on the voyage, as a present to the King from the King of Spain. They were disembarked at Deal (pp. 446, 449, 453.
On p. 324 is given an estimate of the annual expense The total amounted to 1,362,770l. The heaviest items were for the Navy 340,000l., and for forces and castles 212,000l. Ordnance attributable to both these heads was 60,000l. The Household, Privy Purse and other expenses of the King and Court came to 242,500l.
On 20 September works were begun for making the Avon navigable from Christchurch to Salisbury. The Bishop with the Mayor and divers persons of quality were present and the first spit was dug by the Bishop. The work had been undertaken by Samuel Fertre, one of the King's servants (p. 331).
It was proposed to make the Derwent navigable from Derby to the Trent. Reasons for and against the design will be found on p. 389.
The murderers of Sir Richard Sandford were to be executed in Fleet Street over against Whitefriars, where the murder was committed, and to be hung up in chains there (p. 352).
In October, in lieu of the pension of 100l. a year granted in 1672 to Capt. John Cassells and Rose, his wife, for their lives and the life of the survivor, a pension of 200l. a year was granted to Rose Cassells, her husband having been slain at sea. From an entry in the Calendar of S.P. Dom., 1694–5, p. 144, it appears that this Rose Cassells was Nell Gwynn's sister, and that she afterwards married a Mr. Forster.
On 23 October there was a great storm accompanied by a very high tide at Harwich and Deal, streets being flooded in both places (p. 362). The same storm caused most destructive inundations in Holland. Much of North Holland, it was said, was under water, and from the suddenness of the storm many people were drowned (pp. 367, 377, 379). A month later there was a still higher tide at Harwich (p. 423).
Thomas Burnett, a Fellow of Christ's, afterwards author of the Theory of the Earth, was granted a dispensation for nonresidence for two years, as he was going abroad as governor to the Earl of Wiltshire (p. 368).
Dr. Isaac Vossius requested permission to remove his library furniture to a smaller vessel that it might be conveyed to Windsor (p. 384).
In November three women of Newcastle who had gone to London with their children to be touched for the evil were shipwrecked. They were put into a boat with an old man and a boy and were four days at sea before they got to land near Harlingen in Holland. One of them had a young child that died when they came in sight of land, and they were forced to leave two children on board, of whom one was alive. The rest of the company got on board a caper. The old man and boy were left in Holland, as they were not in a condition to come away, for the boy's toes were so perished that they had to be cut off (p. 410).
On 17–27 November parhelia and haloes were seen at Bordeaux from 10 to 2. Among the papers are diagrams of this phenomenon (pp. 405, 423, 433).
A warrant was issued probably in November for the incorporation of the Walloon weavers in and about Canterbury with the powers usual in such grants on their petition which stated that there were nearly 2,500 of them, and that they used divers orders and ordinances approved by the justices of Kent and Canterbury, but that of late many refractory persons had refused to conform to the same to the utter ruin of their manufactures (p. 426).
On p. 456 is given an account of the value of all the gold and silver coined at the Mint from 20 December, 1648, to 21 December, 1675.
Warrants were issued for seizing a book which maintained the lawfulness of polygamy (pp. 502, 516).
In January a Court of Loadsmanage was held in St. James' Church, Dover, before the Governor of the Castle. The Court was held for choosing pilots and for taking cognizance of offences committed by or against them (p. 523).
A fine was returned to an inhabitant of Canterbury who had been convicted for taking part in "a riding, commonly called Skimington" there (p. 531).
Copyright was granted for 20 years to Robert Scott, bookseller, in a complete Latin edition of the works of Selden, which he was intending to publish, for which the works written in English were to be translated (p. 542).
A father who had obtained a letter in favour of his son for a scholarship at Westminster School complained it had not taken the desired effect being "to such a morose person as Dr. Busby was ever known to be" (p. 570).
On account of the scarcity of books in the British (i.e. Welsh) language Thomas Dawkes was appointed King's printer for that language (p. 575).
James Percy, claimant of the title and estates of the late Earl of Northumberland, complained to the House of Commons that the proceedings in ejectment he had brought against the trustee of Lady Clifford had been stayed by an order of the House of Lords during the privilege of Parliament (p. 587).
The present volume includes fewer notices of Irish affairs than usual. In April directions were sent to the Lord Lieutenant that on account of the unwillingness of corporations to surrender their charters, if he and the Council found any existing privileges unfit to be continued, he was to oblige such corporations by an instrument to surrender such privileges only, which surrender was to be noticed in the confirmation of their other privileges. It was left to the discretion of himself and the Council whether the benefit of fines, &c., was to be reassumed by the Crown, as by such reassumption Cork and some other towns would lose their whole income, and he and the Council were authorized to grant the corporations whose trade has considerably increased, such as Belfast, such additional privileges as they should judge most advantageous to their trade (p. 50).
On pp. 101–106 will be found papers setting forth at great length the claim of William Eyre to the estate of Shillelagh which formerly belonged to Calcot Chambre. The interest of this case lies in the allegations against the Earl of Strafford, who was charged with getting the estate into the hands of himself and his agents by various acts of chicanery and oppression.
In June a proclamation was issued withdrawing all protections from Tories and ordering proceedings to be taken against all relievers and harbourers of them (p. 160) and another in July charging all good subjects to assist in taking and killing all notorious thieves found robbing or breaking houses and ordering the sheriffs to levy money for rewards to those who should take or kill such thieves (p. 204).
In October new trustees were appointed for managing the security of the '49 officers (p. 364), who commenced their sittings in February (p. 449). The security in question consisted of all the forfeited lands undisposed of in Wicklow, Longford, Leitrim and Donegal, the forfeited houses in towns and corporations and lands belonging thereto, the benefit from the redemption of mortgages, &c., and one year's rent payable by the officers and soldiers put in the Act. The first two branches consisting of the lands and houses had already been disposed of (p. 182), and only 4s. 1d. in the pound of the officers' arrears had hitherto been received (p. 170).
The Lord Lieutenant came over early in July (p. 207) and remained in England during the rest of the period included in this volume. The object of his visit was to give advice about Irish affairs and especially about holding a parliament, which the King was then intending to do (p. 180). The Archbishop of Dublin and Sir Arthur Forbes were appointed Lords Justices (p. 180). The latter was created Viscount Granard in August (p. 280). Each of the Lords Justices received 100l. a month (p. 530).
In July a grant was issued of markets and fairs at New Stapleton alias Skibbereen (p. 227). The old name has since completely superseded the new one notwithstanding the provisions of the last clause of the Act of Explanation, which was that "His Majesty taking notice of the barbarous and uncouth names by which most of the towns and places in Ireland are called, which hath occasioned much damage to divers of his good subjects and are very troublesome in the use thereof and much retards the reformation of that kingdom . . . is pleased that it be enacted . . . that the lord lieutenant and council shall and may advise of, settle and direct in the passing of all letters patent . . . for the future, how new and proper names more suitable to the English tongue may be inserted with an alias for all towns, lands and places . . . that shall be granted by letters patents, which new names shall henceforth be the only names to be used."
To remedy the scarcity of coin complained of in previous volumes a proclamation was issued forbidding the exportation of coin or bullion without licence (p. 231).
In September rules and instructions were issued that no grants of lands or money and no abatements of rents or other sums due to the Crown were to be made without the concurrence of the Lord Lieutenant and the Lord Treasurer of England, and, if the revenue should be insufficient, no pensions were to be paid till the Civil and Military Lists were paid (p. 307).
A commission was ordered to be issued to determine the claims of all transplanted persons in Connaught and Clare touching the decrees they had or the lands set out to them in lieu of their former estates and to inquire of all lands forfeited to the Crown in the said province and county and to dispose of such forfeited lands as should be in the King's disposal towards the satisfaction and reprizal of such transplanted interests as remained unsatisfied. Provisions were added in favour of transplanted persons, who had been too late in claiming to have their innocence established, whereby they might have been restored to their ancient estates (p. 307).
The case of the 54 persons commonly called Nominees was considered before the Committee for Irish Affairs in July, and there are notes by Williamson of the proceedings there (pp. 228, 241). They complained that though they were by the Acts of Settlement and Explanation to be restored to their ancient estates, they had received no benefit, except that they had been lately preferred to the tenancy of the lands held by custodium, the greatest part of which was mountainous and barren, and yet they were charged at so great a rent, that they would receive but little relief thereby. They petitioned that they might be restored to the 2,000 acres each intended to be restored to them, and now in possession of Adventurers, Soldiers and others, who should be reprized out of the said lands in custodium and all other lands in the King's disposal under the said Acts, and that for their present relief the rent of the said custodium lands in excess of the yearly quit-rents might be remitted. The committee advised that the rents should be abated as prayed and the custodium and other undisposed of lands should be granted to the Nominees towards reprizing the persons in possession of the estates to which they were to be restored, if that could be legally done, and, if it could not, that the said undisposed of lands should be proportionably divided among the Nominees in satisfaction of the lands and principal houses to which they were to have been restored and that inquiry should first be made as to what each Nominee had been actually restored to. The King agreed with the above report and ordered the Lord Lieutenant to execute the same, in such manner as the thing would bear (p. 385).
The obstacle to restoring the Nominees to the lands that formerly belonged to each was that, though the lands were decreed to Adventurers with a reserve of the Nominees' right, yet such right was to be asserted within a certain time, which had now elapsed, whereby in the Lord Keeper's opinion the decrees had become absolute. The Lord Lieutenant recommended that a test case should be tried against an Adventurer possessed of such lands. On the whole there was a deficiency of 42,000 acres due to the Nominees, while some had more than the Act allotted to them, yet might not have the very houses and lands assigned them by the Act (p. 228).
A commission was ordered to be issued to the Lord Lieutenant and four of the Privy Council to examine the values of all lands on which the quit-rents fixed by the rules of the Act of Explanation exceeded or nearly equalled the values thereof and to cause such abatements of the said quit-rents and of the arrears thereof to be made as they should think fit, provided that their powers should not extend to the abatement of quit-rents due out of lands of the yearly value per Irish acres of 12d. in Leinster, 9d. in Munster, 8d. in Ulster or 6d. in Connaught, nor to the abatement of more than 4,000l. per annum on the whole of the quit-rents (p. 429).
Alderman Patience Ward suggested a restraint on the manufacture of wool in Ireland for exportation, as England produced double as much as would supply the whole world they traded with, and the present attempts of Ireland on manufactures belonging by prescription and possession to English counties would ruin the manufactures in both countries and breed animosities between them. As a compensation he recommended that the manufacture of hemp and flax in Ireland should be encouraged and suggested that a considerable duty should be laid on all sorts of manufactures of hemp and flax, capable of being manufactured in Ireland, with an allowance out of it to everyone that sowed hemp or flax or manufactured it in Ireland (p. 276).
A correspondent from Chester mentioned that the prohibition of the exportation of cattle to England was putting people in Ireland on inquiries to supply that defect by commerce with other countries (p. 397).
The contract with Lord Ranelagh and his partners for the management of the Irish finances expired at Christmas, 1675. On 8 December they obtained a warrant allowing them a further 12 months from 25 December, 1675, for discharging so much of the arrears on the establishment unpaid on 25 December, 1670, which they were to have discharged before Christmas 1675, and which remained unpaid. This was granted them on the ground of the great remittals and abatements out of the funds assigned them by their contract (p. 435).
In January they petitioned alleging that in consequence of the funds assigned to them being lessened, extinguished or diverted by his Majesty's acts, they were entitled to an abatement of over 100,000l., and praying that on their releasing their demands on that account to the amount of 90,000l. they should be released from payment of 80,000l. to the King, of 6,000l. to Col. Lane's daughters, and of 4,000l. for the purchase of the customs of Londonderry, which three sums they were obliged by their contract to pay (p. 501).
A new farm of the revenue was made for seven years from Christmas, 1675. to Sir James Shaen, Sir William Petty and ten others (pp. 442, 454). On p. 480 will be found notes by Williamson on the terms of the contract agreed on with the new farmers and also on the amount of various items of the revenue. The following notes by him are of probably a somewhat later date, as they refer to the Military, Civil and Pension lists to commence from 25 March, 1675–6, which are calendared in the next volume.
The Duke of Monmouth petitioned for a grant of the reversions on certain leases in Ireland which were held from the Crown, and the Lord Lieutenant and the Lord Treasurer reported in favour of granting his request (pp. 497, 498).
In Scotland many of the advocates who had been debarred were re-admitted on their submission, and the others were to be re-admitted if they submitted before 10 Jan., 1676. Letters referring to this business will be found on pp. 45, 49, 85, 188, 443.
The Acts against conventicles which had been passed in 1670 for three years, and had been continued in 1673 for three years more, were continued for a further period of three years (p. 233).
In July instructions were sent to the Archbishop of St. Andrews to be communicated to the Archbishop of Glasgow and the other bishops, who were commanded to use their utmost endeavours for suppressing Popery and Separation, and to take care that none be permitted to teach or to be chaplains in families but such as they shall find cause to be licentiate according to the Acts of Parliament and the Council. The bishops were to reside in their dioceses and those presbyters, who at the late Synod of Edinburgh dissented from the Bishop's censuring some factious ministers, were to be suspended and, if necessary, deposed from the ministry (pp. 236–238).
The case of the Bishop of Dunblane was referred to the Archbishops and certain of the Bishops (p. 239) and on their reporting his declarations about his former behaviour and his engagement that his future deportment should be with all becoming duty and faithfulness to the King, the orders given in 1674 for his translation to the Bishopric of the Isles were recalled and he was restored to his former see (p. 488). At the same time the restraints put on the ministers Turner, Robertson, Cant and Hamilton were removed on their dutiful and submissive address for their restoration (p. 488).
In June the King wrote to the Privy Council that he was informed that more effects of the seditious spirit in Scotland were breaking out afresh, that particularly a party of the forces had been deforced by a riotous assembly near the house of Cardross and a servant of Lord Cardross had been rescued, and that in other places, especially in Teviotdale and East Lothian, many numerous and disorderly communions had been kept by indulged ministers, and that in Ayr there had lately been a meeting of indulged and outed ministers, who had issued orders for keeping fasts and other illegal injunctions. He exhorted the Council to examine thoroughly those and all similar disorders and to apply fitting remedies. They were also to enquire after the spreaders of false news (p. 161).
Lord Cardross was set at liberty in February on condition of giving security for his good behaviour and paying the fine of 1,000l. imposed on him by the Privy Council (p. 576), which had been granted to the Earls of Moray and Kinghorn (p. 265). At the same time Sir Patrick Home of Polwarth, who had been committed in September to Stirling Castle for his insolent carriage in affronting the Privy Council (p. 327), was released, but was declared incapable of all public trust, and Lieutenant-General William Drummond was also released.
The King's satisfaction was expressed at the disclaimer by St. Andrews of the concurrence of their Commissioner to the Convention of Burrowes at Edinburgh in the insolent letter to his Majesty (p. 59).
In August the stop on the election of magistrates at Edinburgh was removed and an election was ordered to be held immediately, the persons elected to hold office till the next election at the ordinary time, viz., the Tuesday after Michaelmas (p. 247). As, however, this concession failed to appease a party in the town Council, a drastic purge was ordered by the removal of the Dean of Guild, the Treasurer and eight other members, and the remaining thirteen were to co-opt members in their place (p. 272).
The Michaelmas elections were held according to the rules, at which the King expressed his satisfaction (p. 364).
A defalcation of 7,000l. sterling was allowed to the tacksmen of the customs for the first two years of their tack and they were allowed to surrender the remaining three years of it (p. 224).
In December on account of the state of the revenue it was found necessary to disband the three troops of horse and Major-General Monro's regiment, which had been added to the establishment in September, 1674 (p. 459).
In May permission was given to the Duke and Duchess of Buccleugh and Monmouth on account of the destruction of their tenants' cattle in the extraordinary storm of the previous year to import from Ireland not exceeding 200 horses and 4,800 cattle to restock the lands (p. 115).
In the same month a tack was granted at the rent of 36,000 marks per annum to Capt. Andrew Dick of the rents of Orkney and Zetland, which were mostly paid in kind, consisting of victual, butter and oil, and he was appointed steward and justiciar, while he should be tacksman (pp. 130, 131).
Several orders were issued for carrying on the repairs of Holyrood House (pp. 224, 297, 459). In February the Treasury Commissioners were authorized to advance 4,374l. 3s. 4d. sterling, the sum estimated by them as required for finishing the works, levelling the gardens, gravel and grass works, and bringing in water. They were to cause the part of the west quarter built by the usurpers to be taken down in order that the inside of that quarter might be finished in pillar work agreeable with the other three quarters, and were to consider if it was not fit that the gate be passable for a coach, and that the great iron windows in the front be taken away and made handsome (p. 569).
In September a commission was issued to 49 Scots and 54 English lords and gentlemen to pursue and arrest all murderers, robbers, &c., in the Border Counties, as the offenders privately conveyed themselves from one kingdom to another, and none was appointed to follow and arrest them (p. 325).
Of the King's gift of 100l. per annum for churches and schools in the Isle of Man 18l. was allotted to six schools, giving 3l. to each and the balance was applied to raise the stipends of eleven parishes to 17l. each, the stipend enjoyed by three of the other seventeen parishes of the island, only three, namely the archdeaconry and two parishes, having a competence (pp. 233, 558).
The islands of Guernsey and Jersey were in a good condition (pp. 94, 170, 232, 432). At the latter island incredible progress was made with the pier being erected by Sir Thomas Morgan at St. Aubin's fort (p. 431).
Early in March came news of an Indian rising about the head of the Potomac (p. 5) and nine months afterwards there was another rising (p. 490). In the autumn a much more formidable Indian war, headed by King Philip, broke out in New England. Many of the chiefs who had formerly been at war among themselves united against the English. It was said they were assisted by the French with powder and other supplies. They burnt many villages and towns and killed many of the settlers. In particular almost the entire company of Capt. Lathrop was destroyed in an ambuscade (pp. 388, 405, 435, 438, 490). Such Indians as were taken were sold as slaves in the West Indies and New Spain (p. 405). There was also a great scarcity of provisions in Virginia, the crops being destroyed by drought and by squirrels that came down from the woods, and most of their cattle having died from the severity of the last winter (pp. 81, 85, 98, 134, 154, 342, 360, 490). The New Englanders took advantage of the scarcity to raise the prices of the provisions they sent thither (p. 342).
Jamaica and Barbados were reported to be in a good condition (pp. 67, 74, 256, 274), but later in the year a hurricane in the latter island destroyed many ships, killed many people, and blew down many houses, so that all sorts of provisions became very dear there (pp. 440, 493, 527).
A plot for a rising of the slaves in Barbados was discovered by a negro woman, who was fond of her master and mistress. All the ringleaders were hanged, burnt or beheaded, and the people there were very vigilant in finding out the negroes concerned and securing themselves for the future (pp. 254, 266, 285, 305, 381). Early in July in the same island a passenger and two seamen were hung for the murder of Capt. Swanley of the Advice. He was a cruel commander, much given to drink and in the habit of starving his men, who mutinied in consequence (pp. 256, 266, 274).
In May a commission was issued for the trial of Col. Philip Warner, accused of the murder of Thomas Warner, deputy governor of Dominica (p. 111), and in September a warrant for his arrest (p. 300). Full particulars of this affair will be found in the preface to S.P. Col., America, &c., 1675–6.
Vessels from Surinam reported that the place was in a very peaceable and thriving condition, that the English and Dutch there agreed very well and that there was a very large sugar crop (p. 186).
In November a proclamation was issued prohibiting the importation into any of the plantations of any European commodities not shipped from England or Wales, as notwithstanding the Act for the Encouragement of Trade great quantities thereof were imported though not shipped as aforesaid, and also putting in execution the Navigation Act, the Act for regulating the Plantation Trade and all other laws relating to the trade of the plantations (p. 416).
The Committee for Foreign Plantations in January ordered that inquiry should be made at the offices of the two Secretaries for any acts transmitted from the plantations and there awaiting his Majesty's pleasure and whether the governors had taken the oaths they should have done, viz., the oaths of Allegiance and Supremacy, an oath for the execution of their office, and the oath for executing the Navigation Act by which they were to return twice a year copies of the bonds taken by them, some having sent only a few copies of these bonds and many none at all (p. 505).
In September two vessels from Hudson's Bay arrived at Deal. They had been forced to winter there and use up the provisions that should have been left there with the new governor and the men that were to stay with him, so they were obliged to bring them home and leave only four men there to keep possession. They found there a French Jesuit, a little old man, that endeavoured to convert the Indians and to persuade them not to trade with the English, for which reason they brought him away to England. They also brought two Indians, one of whom died on the passage. The other, a very lusty man, was to be presented to Prince Rupert (pp. 313, 316, 319).
A letter from a Robert Wescomb describes the islands of Chiloe on the west coast of South America (p. 348).
In October a proclamation was issued setting a price on the head of Don Philip Hellen alias Fitzgerald. He had taken a English ship, the Humility, within musket shot of the Castle of Havana, and had tortured and murdered Timothy Stampe, the master, and most of his men, and he and his company had afterwards shared the ship and goods between them. He had since practised the like barbarous cruelty on others of the King's subjects (p. 329).
It remains to notice briefly the most important pieces of foreign news in this volume.
In March the Prince of Orange fell ill of the smallpox (pp. 44, 46, 47). It was said that he was attended only by Sir W. Temple and his wife and sister and by the Duchess of Simmern (p. 50). The illness was at first attributed to poison (pp. 40, 68) and some persons were said to have been executed on suspicion of plotting against him. The Duke of York sent over a special messenger with a letter of sympathy (p. 47). He was well enough to set out for the Dutch army earl in May (p. 115). Having joined the Lünenburg forces and the Duke of Lorraine he offered battle to the French, which was declined (pp. 172, 202). In July the Lord Treasurer wrote to the Prince assuring him that he should esteem it his greatest happiness if he could do anything worthy of his consideration and also not only how earnestly but how affectionately the King desired a perfect kindness and confidence between his Highness and himself (p. 217).
Intelligence of the death of Turenne reached England before the end of July (pp. 229, 243, 244, 272). It was reported that this event had made the French King almost out of his wits, that he had thrown himself on his bed and was in great astonishment (p. 253).
Early in August Maréchal de Créqui in endeavouring to raise the siege of Treves was defeated with great loss (p. 252) and the city itself was taken soon afterwards (pp. 282, 287).
In March the Elector of Brandenburg declared war against Sweden (p. 42), which had now been acknowledged by the French King as his open and formal ally in the war (p. 29). Brandenburg commissions were immediately issued to Zealand privateers which preyed on Swedish commerce (pp. 30, 33, 42, 59, 69, 81). The Elector himself was at the Hague in April with a small retinue (p. 85), but left early in May (p. 115). Early in July a confused account reached London of the defeat of the Swedes at Fehrbellin by the Elector (p. 196), which the Swedish Resident tried to minimize (p. 208). War was declared also by Holland (pp. 158, 159) and Denmark (p. 163) against Sweden.
Early in March Nimeguen had been accepted by France as the place of treaty (p. 29), but it was not till December that Sir Leoline Jenkins, one of the plenipotentiaries of England as the mediating power, set out from England. Interminable delays ensued about passports, the titles to be given to the Duke of Lorraine, &c., and the sittings of the plenipotentiaries did not begin till much later than the end of the period included in this volume. Most of the information on this subject is contained in Williamson's notes, which are written in a hand even more illegible than ordinary. After this volume had gone to press, fair copies of these notes were discovered in Foreign Entry Book, No. 179, from which numerous corrections have been made in the Errata.
In the summer risings took place on an extensive scale in Brittany, occasioned by the increase of taxes on tobacco and other articles (pp. 94, 107, 170, 185). The Due de Chaulnes, the Governor of the province, endeavouring to appease the malcontents was wounded slightly and his Lieut.-Governor mortally (pp. 170, 199) and was obliged to take refuge in Port Louis (pp. 226, 232, 252, 253, 270). At Morlaix one of the maltotiers or tax gatherers was demanded if he would be of the people's side. On his answering No. one knocked out his brains with the butt end of a musket, saying Then thou shalt be of no side (p. 191). All over the province the tax gatherers were killed and many of the gentry (p. 206).
The numbers of rebels were variously reported to be 10,000 (pp. 216, 220), 20,000 (p. 191), 30,000 (p. 252), and 40,000 (pp. 226, 232). Their leaders were masked (pp. 220, 226). A reinforcement of 6,000 men was sent to the assistance of the Duc de Chaulnes (p. 256) on which the mutineers began to disperse (pp. 278, 320), and several of their leaders were executed by him at Morlaix (p. 320). The Parliament of Brittany voted new taxes on tobacco and tin (p. 432), and 13,000 troops were quartered for the winter in the province, which suffered much in consequence, no places being exempted but St. Malo and Morlaix, which feared their exemption would not continue (pp. 432, 486).
Similar resistance was offered at Bordeaux to the new and heavy taxes imposed on them in violation of their privileges (pp. 80, 122). In November the town was occupied by troops that entered by surprise and suffered great hardships from the quartering of the soldiers (pp. 411, 418, 420, 422, 423, 433, 438, 447, 462, 466). The walls were demolished and the inhabitants fined 3,000,000 livres (p. 431) and the Parliament was removed from the town (p. 423).
English trade with Russia had greatly decayed because the Czar had taken away the English privileges and banished the English from Moscow, confining them to the non-habitable port of Archangel. Two London merchants petitioned, as a means of reviving English trade there, that the King should write to the Czar requesting they might have the refusal of the new farm of caviare, the old one being about to expire (p. 241).
The following peculiar words occur in this volume:— Loonedrogers or lorendrogers (the word is spelt in both ways) are defined (p. 135) to be Dutch ships consigned to Dutch merchants and Dutchmen part of the crew, the master and two or three more only English (the word is derived from the Dutch lorrendraier, a smuggler). Cheanes (chains) or warps is what is wound about the beams of the looms, which goes through the slea and the obbs (webbs) is what is wound about the quill and put into the shuttle and shut through the cheane and so beaten up in it (p. 375). The Lord Mayor complained that he was forbidden to grant passes for ships, though every little mayor in every cagmag port might (p. 313). Gispin has already been noticed.
F. H. BLACKBURNE DANIELL.