Volume 202: March 1659, 1-15

Pages 293-305

Calendar of State Papers Domestic: Interregnum, 1658-9. Originally published by Her Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1885.

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March 1659, 1–15

March 1.
1. Order in the Admiralty Committee to the Navy Commissioners, to consider and confer with Major Nehemiah Bourne, as well touching his letter, of which an abstract is sent, as to building a ballast wharf at Harwich, and a lighter for ballasting the State's ships that shall come into that harbour to be refitted. Likewise concerning a supply of stores for refitting and furnishing ships; and thereupon to give directions for a timely preparation and provision, as requisite for the public service. [1 page.] Enclosing,
1. I. Major Nehemiah Bourne to the Admiralty Committee. I find it very difficult, by reason of the greater affairs in your hands at present, to obtain opportunity to give you an account of the state of the port at Harwich, which is altogether unfurnished with most sorts of provisions that are daily to be expended, in case you have any thoughts of using that place. At present you have neither stock nor credit, and I believe you do not fully understand the state of that place, for it is far different from your other settled yards, and unless the provision be also different, you will find much unnecessary expense and other inconveniences and disappointments in your business, when you have most need of compliance.
I have consulted on what is absolutely necessary for carrying on your affairs with expedition and frugality, and first find need of a ballast wharf of 100 feet long, on which all the clean ballast that is taken out of frigates that are to be careened or laid ashore may be laid, and so taken off again and serve for a supply; also that there may be always a recruit upon any pinch, when the winds are such that ballast cannot be fetched from the shore, though of never so much importance. In order thereunto, it is requisite to have another lighter of 40 tons built, value 250l., and in a very few years, your money will be repaid, besides the great dispatch that will be gained thereby. As for stores of timber, there is none, neither can there be any provided without a present advance of money. Other provisions may be issued from hence, but for timber it must be procured there, and without it you cannot expect any service to be done. February 11, 1658–59. [Extract, ½ page.]
March 1/11.
2. Admiralty Judges of Ostend to the Admiralty Commissioners. To give a particular answer to yours of the 11th ult.; first, the agreement which you have made, not to imprison any more boys taken on either side, we will observe on our side, as we do in effect, and will keep none unless such as will stay for their passage by the packet boat. As to the great distinction which you make between the captains of our ships of war and the commanders and masters of your merchant ships, there is no other difference only that yours go upon merchant voyages, and ours to the wars, whereof we are not the occasion.
Secondly, if you will inform yourselves how that our Armateurs make their seamen captains, and their captains seamen, and change them almost every voyage and as often as they please, one may very well judge how much such captains are to be esteemed in regard of your masters of merchant ships, who oftentimes are great merchants.
Thirdly, if there should be no exchange of our captains against your captains, we may say that there is no exchange of your masters of merchant ships to be made but against ours, whereof we have none, so that such men, being taken, must resolve to die in prison, which we believe you will not allow of, since the number of yours and ours would be too unequal.
As to what you write us that in April 1657 you gave liberty to John de Béurco, for whom we promised to give liberty to three of yours, whereof two were masters of ships, and that we have not performed our parts, we have released two masters of ships and one merchant in lieu of Béurco, as you may see by our letter of 16 February 1657, delivered to you by Jno. Wilkinson, one of the said masters. In regard to the 19 Spaniards of St. Domingo, who obtained their liberty upon parole to procure as many of yours, that might be done in Spain, for we make no profession of exchange, except for those of ours who sail with Flanders commissions, unless it be by some favour we make a particular exchange, which would not be done so long as we have Flemish prisoners. As to Jonathan Waltham, by you reclaimed, being a captain, not of a private man-of-war but of your State, his condition is too unequal to be esteemed against one of yours, unless it be against a captain of our State, whereof there is not one that goes to sea, and if for one of our captains with private commissions, called Erasmus de Brauwer, we had to send eleven masters, one captain of State ought to send ten captains of private men-of-war.
We believe you find by experience that we would never dispute the quality of so many merchants, passengers, and men of condition, prisoners, whom we have always released in exchange against so many single seamen, and also of boys, as you may see in our list sent a month since, whereof the first named of yours was Master John Battesen; so that if you will lay any stress upon the quality of persons, we shall be also obliged to do so in your regard.
Meantime, as by ours of the 25th February last, we reclaimed by prevention 13 prisoners, whereof the first was Guislain, a prisoner at Chelsea College and the other 12 at Plymouth, without having given liberty for as many of yours; we now again reclaim 23 of ours specified in the enclosed list, making in all 36, for whom we have given liberty to 36 of yours, also specified in the enclosed list, amongst whom is a master of Dover, whom we counted for two, and expect your resolution therein. [3 pages, French.]
March 1/11. 3. Translation of the above. [4¾ pages.]
March 1.
4. Vice-Adm. Goodson to the Admiralty Commissioners. I set sail from between the Lee Road and the buoy of the Nore for the rendezvous on the 14th inst., with the ships named in the enclosed, and there I found the ships also therein named. I have again sent the Adventure and Expedition to the Yarmouth Roads, and their commanders have great hopes of getting more men in the 3 days limited, and I came to Ipswich to see whether there were any more to be had here; but I find they fly into the woods and up the hills, as from the face of an enemy, leaving some of their ships and boats under, sail adrift. I do not know the grounds of their great disaffection to the service, but I intend speaking with the bailiffs or magistrates, and will send you a further account. I have been with the victualler in reference to the complaint that the meat lately issued out here has been put up in blood pickle, and he has promised to send some salt on board the respective ships, for its resalting; I have likewise been to the storekeeper at Harwich with reference to the cables wanting, but found none. [1 page.]
March 3. 5. Order in Council to recommend to the Admiralty, Commissioners to find a fit vessel to transport to France Visct. Dungarvon, and Rich. Boyle, his brother. [½ page.]
[March 3.] Index entries of Proceedings in Council. [I. 84.]
Petition and order about John Jackson and other prisoners, co. Durham. [Cols. 10, 23.]
400 recruits to be sent to Dunkirk. [Col. 10.]
Reference about medicines to be transported to Flanders. [Col. 17.]
License to Wm. Jones to transport a gelding. [Col. 23.]
Report of examinations about Peter Parry. [Col. 33.]
The Earl of Stirling to be proceeded against. [Col. 38.]
Augmentations to Alcester, Cropredy, Cirencester, Chascombe, Church Stoke, Darrent, Eccles, Hempstead, Hinckley, Lanchester, Marsden, Martins Orgars, Narbech, Pudsey Chapel, Portsmouth, Shoreham, Stockburgh, Stoke, Thorpe Malsor, Totnes, Wilnecot, and Woburn. [Cols. 1, 8, 11, 14, 21, 26, 28, 29, 33, 38, 41, 44.]
Col. Biscoe's desire of arms referred. [Col. 5.]
The petition of Ralph Seddon, and others employed in collecting fines for new buildings, referred. [Col. 38.]
[Missing Order Book, pp. 381–387.]
March 3.
Plymouth Sound
6. Capt. Robt. Vessey to the Admiralty Commissioners. I have been plying with the Sorlings in the Channel, and have not put into any harbour save Scilly to get some water, where we stayed one night, and set sail next morning, being the 24th ult. The same day, being southward of the island, I espied a sail, and giving chase, lost my consort. Upon coming up with the chase, she proved to be the St. Thomas from St. Sebastian's, commanded by Capt. Peter Meylar, and carrying 5 guns and 32 men, which I took and have brought in, and landed the prisoners, most of whom are Irish. They had a commission from James Stuart, whom they style Duke of York. They had thrown one of their guns overboard in the chase. I am going to St. Benedict in France, by order of Capt. Heaton, to convoy over a vessel bound for England as far as the Severn. [½ page.] Enclosing,
6. I. Commission from James, Duke of York, Lord High Admiral, appointing Peter Meylar captain of the St. Thomas man-of-war, with power to enter any port or river of His Majesty's dominions, and seize as prize or destroy all such ships and vessels, with their men, lading, goods, and merchandize, as belong to any place or person of his Majesty's subjects in actual rebellion against, or not in present obedience to him. Dunkirk, 8 Oct. 1657. [Parchment, signed.]
March 4. 7. Power of Attorney by Barth. Fossan, skinner, to William Tibbs, stationer, both of London, to draw lots for him for 200l. worth of lands of the rebels in Ireland, subscribed for by Sir John Cordell, and assigned to Fossan, and to Robert, son and heir of Sir John Cordell. [1 page, 3 signatures.]
March 5.
Excise Office,
7a. Note of the balance in hand in the office, being 3,893l. 19s. 8d. [½ page.]
March 5.
Hoseley Bay.
8. Vice-Admiral Wm. Goodson to the Admiralty Commissioners. I have endeavoured to obtain more men for the ships, and been to the bailiffs of Ipswich, who promised, if I kept my boats out of the river until Thursday, to press as many as possible. I have since sent a ketch with boats for their reception, but have not heard what they have done, nor of the two ships sent to Yarmouth for the same purpose. The men in many of the ships are sickly; I have 18 sick on board the Swiftsure, and 12 so bad that I shall be forced to put them on shore. I understand 40 rounds of powder and shot have been ordered to each ship, but some have 28 at most. [1 page.] Enclosing,
8. I. Account of the victuals, ammunition, guns, and men on board 10 ships named, with particulars how some of them are piloted for the Sound. [1 page.]
March 5
9. Capt. Geo. Pley to Col. Clarke, M.P. Since the dispatch of the last 70 ballots of sailcloth for Portsmouth and Plymouth, there is a considerable parcel more ready to be sent for Portsmouth, but this winter season I have not the opportunity to send it about as often as I desire by the State's ships.
I lately drew a bill of exchange on the Navy Commissioners for 150l., which my correspondent advises me is not yet accepted; I presume they scruple because they formerly desired me, for the more regular carrying on of that business, to procure bills of the storekeeper, to be drawn on them for what should be received in by him, but I cannot follow their directions therein; it is so long before it can be sent for Portsmouth, and before I can get a bill from the storekeeper, that if I should take that course, I should want money to carry on that affair, as indeed I do now. I am at a constant disburse for that commodity, and pay ready money for it on delivery, but I run so long a course to get a bill, and when one is obtained, it is so long before payment can be procured, that I am weary of the employment. When you next speak with the Navy Commissioners, I beg you will desire them either to accept my bill drawn on them, or else to order me to desist; for if I am not better supplied with money, I shall greatly prejudice my own affairs. It is no better in reference to provisions, for the victuallers owe me 800l.
I desired that you would see a convoy granted me for Jersey and St. Malo, and as the Bramble and Lark have returned from St. Malo with their convoys, I desire they may be ordered to transport me to Jersey and St. Malo, and back to Weymouth; there are 6 sail now waiting there for a convoy. [1 page.]
March 6.
Hoseley Bay.
10. Capt. Nich. Parker to the Admiralty Commissioners. When I first arrived at Elsinore, I gave you an account by a ship of London, which I hope came to hand. On 24 December I had Sir Philip Meadows's dispatch, and the pilots put on board for the fleet, but in our way to the Scaw, we came aground on a reef, where we had like to have lost the ship; after this we plied on and off the Scaw until 21 January, but could not hear any news of the fleet, except by a fisherman, who said he saw the English fleet off the Scaw, but did not know whither they went I then endeavoured to make for Elsinore, but could not gain it through contrary winds and ice. While we cruised about, our sufferings are too tedious to relate, but after driving in the ice 10 days amongst the rocks, we forced the ship by degrees through the ice into the mouth of Gottenburg Harbour, where I found the Swallow ketch, with a packet from Sir Philip for me to bring to England. By the help of the governor, who sent us 200 men, we cut the ship about a mile through the ice, and sailed from Gottenburg the 1st instant, arriving last night in Hoseley Bay, and went on board the Vice-Admiral with the packets.
Our ship has been much shattered in the ice, and as most of her anchors and cables are lost, I desire to know where I shall refit. Although we have suffered much, we have only lost 2 men, but half the company had either their fingers or toes frozen, and all men that know anything of the sea judged it a mercy that our fleet bore up, else without doubt some of them had suffered. Two of the Swedes' ships which came from the Belt were lost, and all their men drowned near the harbour I got into. [1⅓ pages.]
March 6.
Hoseley Bay.
11. Vice-Admiral Wm. Goodson to the Admiralty Commissioners. I shall act according to your instructions, but I am fearful I shall find but few pursers here. The bailiffs of Ipswich promised to bestir themselves to press men, and whether they have or not I leave you to judge, they having sent me ten men, viz., a porter, ploughman, 3 boys, an old man broken in body, and 4 others. The ships are come from Yarmouth, but have only impressed 16 men, as the seamen fly up the country. Capts. King and Bowry having arrived with their ketches, as also the Hunter frigate, I have taken 10 men from each, and sent Capt. Bowry with a letter to the governor of Hull, to see what may be done there in reference to seamen, as also to get 4 or 5 able pilots for the Sound, of which there is great want. There are 21 of the fleet in sight.
The Fagons and Greenly's ketch have arrived from Gottenburg, with some packets for Mr. Secretary, which came overland to Capt. Parker, the 23rd ult. He says there were only 3 Swedes' ships then in that port, who had been plying so long in the Belt that, what with the cold and want of provisions, they were almost starved; but they were then trimming their ships, and might be ready to come away by May. Mr. Greenly, who was at Elsinore on the 11th ult., and is now dangerously sick, informed Capt. Parker that the King of Sweden stormed Copenhagen, but was beaten off with the loss of one general, a major-general, 4 colonels, 8 lieutenant-colonels, and 400 men killed and wounded.
The Fagons ran aground on her voyage to the Sound, and was forced to heave some of her provisions overboard, and lost her anchor and cable, as also another anchor and cable in the ice near Gottenburg, so I shall send her into Harwich to clean and refit. [2 pages.]
March 7.
The Swiftsure,
Hoseley Bay.
12. Vice-Adm. Wm. Goodson to the Admiralty Commissioners. Four ships more have arrived. I have given order to their respective pursers to repair to the victualler at Ipswich for their petty warrant, and have consigned to the ship they were intended for the 8 guns and barrel of ammunition which came from the Tower. [2/3 page.] Enclosing,
12. I. Account of the state of 25 ships named in Hoseley Bay as regards pilots, mariners, provisions, ammunition, &c., as also what they require extra, [1 sheet.]
March 7.
13. Capt. Jonathan Waltham to the Admiralty Commissioners. Since my last of the 22nd ult., order has been received from the lords here for the releasement of all my men, which was done, but the master of the packet would not stay for their being shipped on board, although it would have been no prejudice to him, so I was desired by my men to procure leave from the Lords for their pass by land to Dunkirk, which was granted, and last Thursday they went from here, except 2 that are not able to travel; since then one of them is so sick that the doctors say he will not live. As the Lords have engaged to Capt. Adrian Cotch's [Coot's] wife that her husband shall be released before I am set at liberty, I request you will take my case into consideration, in granting his and my releasement, which will for ever oblige me to you. [2/3 page.]
March 7.
Little Dean.
14. Maj. Jno. Wade to the Admiralty Commissioners. You have received an account from Mr. Shewell that he has only 157 tons of shot remaining in his custody, and that the Ordnance officers acknowledge but the receipt of 325 tons, and that I have charged Mr. Shewell with 631 tons. I have receipts of himself and his servant for 631 tons of shot, and because I would make things certain, those receipts that were brought me as from his servant I delivered to the clerk of the furnace when he went to Bristol, and desired him to deliver them to Mr. Shewell, and take his receipt for them. On his return, he stated that Mr. Shewell desired all his servant's receipts, to compare them with his book, and that he would give him satisfaction at his next coming. I called upon the clerk several times for them, as he had been many times to Bristol, and brought back no receipts; but upon his last going there, he brought back the same receipts as sufficient, and said that Shewell would own anything therein; they were delivered to Capt. Kingdon, who cast them up, and has them yet. What I have here related concerning the clerk of the furnace, and between him and Mr. Shewell, the clerk will depose to, as also the boatman who carried all this shot down to Bristol, of its delivery to Mr. Shewell and his servant. Before I would pay the boatman, I sent to Mr. Shewell to know whether he would own those receipts of his man. This is no small matter, for in the first place I paid for the founding of so much shot, which was exactly weighed from him; for the carriage of so much to the water side, and in like manner weighed to them, and the same was also received into the stores at the water side, and delivered out of the same stores to the boatman, who will depose to its delivery to Mr. Shewell and his servant.
The building of the new frigate is going on very well, as there are a great company employed about her; the care I can take is little enough to provide money for her. I believe her builder does the business as becometh a careful honest man. The best time for auditing my account will be at the blowing out of the furnaces next October. [1 page.]
March 7.
Ostend Prison.
15. Edw. Skinner to his brother Wm. Skinner, merchant, Hull. On 26 Feb., the ketch came down from Hull, and her captain told us he would go to sea, and promised to secure me as long as his vessel would swim, whereupon we put to sea with him; but 3 leagues past the Humber, we met an Ostend man-of-war of 12 guns and 130 men, and our convoy seeing him, made sail to get away from us. The Ostender seeing this, made what sail he could after us, so we defended ourselves as long as we were able, but the ketch would not come near to help us; if he had stood by me as he ought to have done, we had not been taken, for a quarter of an hour afterwards, we espied a fleet of ships, and when the ketch saw them he came and fired some 8 guns, but far out of the reach of the man-of-war, and then went away. If her captain had been one that dared to adventure his life, they had never taken us; but since it is my fortune I must be content, and am very sorry for your loss and that of the rest of my friends.
Afterwards I offered to give or else to stand engaged for 3,000 guilders, but Capt. Tison, the commander of the Ostender, going on board, and being informed by one of our company of the quantity of lead there was on board, would not let me have her upon any condition, otherwise I should have had both ship and goods for 3,000 guilders. As however you said that if ever such a thing should happen, I was to buy her again, I have bound myself in a bond of 50l. to perform my word, and agreed with them to have her for 2,100 guilders, according as she was brought in, with all her materials except her lading, and I have given them an inventory of such materials, whereunto they have set their hands to perform. I have employed Mr. Hambilton to look after her here, and beg you to remit the money, as also some for myself, as I lie at an extraordinary charge here, being 24 stivers a day for victuals, and in a close prison, among sick men; if you fail I may lie here until I rot.
I also entreat you to get a couple of men, whose names I will send this post, cleared for me, as also one for Jno. Motherby, and another for my servant, and also get a paper under Capt. Galine's hand, stating for whom they are cleared. I have written Mr. Brabant and Mr. Vander Sluis for help, but have not yet heard from them. With note by Jno. Worts to Skinner, desiring he will go to the Custom House and take out his discharge for his last voyage with a lading of herrings and turnips, and send it to his owner, as he is afraid the bonds will be forfeited before his return home, and there are also 2 cockets for the said lading. [2 pages.]
March 7.
16. Capt. Geo. Pley to the Navy Commissioners. By the last post, I received advice that my bill of 150l. was not yet accepted, in regard you had not received my advice that such a quantity of sailcloth was delivered into the stores. In my former letter I gave you an account that I had a quantity ready here in store, but for want of an opportunity of one of the State's ships, I could not send it to Portsmouth, for to send it by any other vessels would be dangerous. Also that in regard I was weekly in disburse for that commodity, which requires ready money, I drew this bill, not waiting until I had a bill from the storekeeper, as you formerly directed; but it seems this does not satisfy you, so as to give acceptance to my bill.
I find that I stand charged by way of imprest for all such moneys as I have drawn on you, and have no credit given me for any of the sailcloth sent to your respective stores, which seems very strange, seeing I sent up invoices, and the captain's receipts; if your agents corresponded with you as they ought, they must needs have given you an account of it all this time. I have again sent a particular abstract of what has been sent, for which I desire to have credit given me; but if this may not be believed, I desire that you will send to the respective storekeepers to give you an account of what has been received by them, so that I may no longer stand charged in this manner. It is terrible enough to be in disburse for the commodity, and not to stand in danger of the Exchequer too, for no man has assurance of his life; therefore I desire the account may be cleared, so that I may not prejudice my relations.
I purpose shortly (D.V.) to be at London, immediately on my return from Jersey, whither I am commanded upon his Highness's occasions, where I shall make little stay, and then I hope to see the accounts cleared. Meantime I desire that this bill may be accepted, and for the future I shall follow your directions as to the drawing of the bills by the storekeeper. [1 page.]
March 7. 16a, b. Account of receipts and issues at the Custom House, 21 to 28 Feb., and 28 Feb.–7 March. [2 sheets.]
March 8.
17. Petition of Fras. Sanders, of Chatham, Kent, to the Protector. On 15 Sept. 1657, some sick soldiers from Jamaica, arriving at Chatham, were destitute of clothes and everything, and ready to starve; I furnished those whose names are appended with apparel and necessaries, and hoped repayment, but have received nothing, and have had divers losses and been sick. I beg an order for the sum due. With reference thereon to the Committee for the Affairs of America, sitting in the Treasury Chamber, Westminster, to report to the Committee of Council for the same affair. [1½ pages.]
March 9.
The Richard,
18. Rear-Adm. Jno. Bourne to the Admiralty Commissioners. Arrival and departure of ships. I sent for the 2 Dutchmen on board the Bristol, and in order to the further prosecution of your directions about them, I have also sent for Mr. White at Dover. As the Lizard has brought in the Hope prize, which has a prize officer on board and her hatches sealed up, I desire order about her, and also Capts. Papachine and Boniface, the 2 Spanish captains brought home prisoners by Capt. Fenn. I have appointed Capt. Ford with the Swallow to transport his Excellency Lord Lockhart from Dover to Dunkirk, and then to ply with Capts. Poyntz and Bowry in Capt. Higgison's station, in the Narrows, for the annoyance of the enemies' men-of-war. Some of the men belonging to the ketch attending the Nonsuch having come over from the other side, I made them up 20, and sent them on board the Naseby in the Hope. [2 pages.]
March 9.
The Bristol,
19. Capt. Hen. Fenn to the Admiralty Commissioners. In Leghorn Road, 18 January last, I parted with Admiral Stoakes, from whom I received orders to sail for England, but by the way, to look in at Cascales Road, to see 3 ships into Lisbon, in one of which came the Portuguese Ambassador from Rome, who had been there 3 years and never had an audience from his abominableness, which has very much exasperated their spirits against him.
I arrived before Lisbon 11 February following, and finding the wind blowing hard, a very great sea, and it being dangerous to ride without at that season of the year with convoys, and having advice of the Portuguese overthrowing the Spaniard in the field, I put into the Bay of Wiers for water, and wrote Consul Maynard to know if there were any ships bound for England, and if so, and they could be ready by Sunday the 13th, I would take them with me. He answered it was impossible for them to be ready by that time, but they would be by the following Wednesday. I informed them I could not stay so long; but he and many English came on board, and having very much importuned me to take them along with me, lamenting the late loss of 2 ships bound to the Levant, and one bound for England with sugar, which foundered, I answered their desires, and sailed on Wednesday the 16th, and have safely arrived in the Downs.
I have brought 2 Flemings, whom the Admiral sent to make affidavits for condemning of a Fleming that the Fairfax seized. I have put them on board the Richard, the Rear-Admiral desiring to have them, and the Admiral has also sent home two prisoners, Captains Papachine and Boniface, and I desire to know your pleasure concerning them. [1 page.]
March 10. 20. Order in Council on report from the Admiralty Commissioners on the petition of Col. Thos. Eyre, governor of Hurst Castle, that 30 barrels of powder, 230 rounds of shot, match, tar, and colours be provided for the castle, and that the Admiralty Commissioners give order to the Ordnance officers accordingly. [¾ page; also I. 84, col. 21.]
21. Like order that the Admiralty Commissioners order the Navy Commissioners to sign a bill on their treasurer for impresting 1,000l. to Edward Lord Montague, towards his salary in his present expedition. [2/3 page.]
March 10. Index entries of Proceedings in Council. [I. 84.]
Nich. Osborne's petition, and order for 737l. 5s. 2d. [Col. 31.]
Payment of Dr. Seth Ward's augmentation referred. [Col. 44.]
Lord Desborow to receive information touching the proceedings of Charles Stuart. [Col. 11.]
Chris. Pett's pardon and release. [Col. 33.]
Thos. Stephenson's case recommended to the Dutch ambassador. [Col. 38.]
The Swedish public minister's memorial touching the ship Angel, and transportation of Sir George Ayscue. [Col. 38.]
Sir Thos. Harris and Sir Thos. Peyton released on security. [Cols. 21, 33.]
Quarles Browne discharged from attendance, on a report. [Col. 5.]
Medicaments sent to Dunkirk. [Col. 11.]
Mr. Gookin to be commissioned to receive the duties there. [Cols. 11, 19.]
The quarters for Col. Guibon's regiment enlarged. [Col. 19.]
[Missing Order Book, pp. 388–396.]
March 10.
22. Thos. Bendish to Major Nehemiah Bourne. There were 6 pieces of fir timber delivered to your order 5 years since, which have lain ever since on a piece of ground now mine. One of them was carried away with a high tide, 2 others are almost rotten, and the rest much damnified. Having laid out 7l. between myself and partner to hire a vessel to save several goods and men's lives when the Laurel was lost, Major Burton refused to pay it, but paid all the rest. Being arrested this week for the money, we agreed with our adversary, and in part satisfaction, he building a small house, we made bold with 2 of the said pieces of fir, which is better than to let them rot. I know no reason why I should suffer for my good will to save 80 or 90 men's lives, who else would have perished, as many others did. [1 page.]
March 10.
The Roe ketch,
23. Capt. Thos. Bowry to the [Admiralty Commissioners.] Particulars of chasing and engaging with an Ostend man-of-war, which, being a much longer frigate, had more advantage. As it was dangerous to board him, we exchanged shots for upwards of 3 hours, when night coming on, he got away. I had my own mast shot away. I believe if Mr. Skinner had stood into shore, instead of tacking about close to the man-of-war, he would have saved his ketch. I have been to Harwich, and set another mast; the same day, Vice-Adm. Goodson took 10 of my men, and ordered me to go to Hull, with a packet to the governor, and then to the General at Hoseley Bay, with such pilots and seamen as I can get. I have obtained 25 men, and when I have as many as I can stow, I will sail for the fleet. [1 page.]
March 14.
24. Robt. Grassingham to the Navy Commissioners. I have treated with Rob. Akels for building a ballast wharf, and if he may have half the money down to buy timber at the best rate, and the other half when the work is finished, he will do it at the rate of 10l. 5s. per rood; but if he must tarry for his money till his bill comes in course, he will abate nothing of 10l. 10s., for which he will undertake to finish it within 4 months after making the contract. Last year he delivered in timber and treenails value 34l. odd, and when the bills come before you, pray order speedy payment, as the money will stand him in great stead. Noted to agree for 10l. 10s. per rood.
I have also treated with a man for building a hoy of 40 tons for 105l., if he may have half his money at the laying of her keel, and the other half at her launching; otherwise he will not undertake it. I have spoken with some others about one, but they will not meddle with it, suspecting the money will be hard to come by when the work is done.
Noted, he is to find all ironwork belonging to her hull. To go forward with the building of the lighter in the yard.
When the 100l. you speak of comes to hand, I can go on with buying of timber. Noted, will endeavour to procure the 100l. next week.
I also desire that money may be ordered for paying off the workmen at the end of the quarter, when I shall have a whole year's accounts in hand, which are no small matter to me, nor can I pay them without money; 200l. will discharge all. I perceive a change of the state of things has come, or is coming, in this port, and therefore desire that all things may be fairly cleared, and then let come what change will come. [1 page.]
March 14.
25. Warrant by Edw. Moulton, mayor, to the churchwardens of Plympton Morris, co. Devon, to levy upon the goods of several persons named in a schedule or rate, for the amount assessed upon them towards the necessary repairs of the parish church, according to the Act. [2/3 page, with seal and signature.]
March 14.
Levant Company to Hen. Riley, consul at Aleppo. With yours of 25 October, we received a protest made by some persons of the factory against your election of the last treasurer, with letters of 26 August and 1 September from the 26 opposers, justifying their proceedings, which reasons do not satisfy us. We have therefore written reproving them and vindicating you, but desire you to endeavour to quiet their animosity.
Concerning their several other complaints, if they are denied access to the treasurer's accounts, they must be allowed free access to them in future; you must enquire into and redress their complaint of your disbursement of considerable sums without assent of most of the factory, your refusal to call general meetings on just occasions, and your acting contrary to resolutions passed there; your want of assistance to the factors in the point of battulation, &c.; send us an account thereof in your next, and redress any complaints justly grounded.
For the future election of a treasurer, we desire it shall be settled by lot, amongst persons otherwise qualified who have resided 5 years, and are sons or servants of freemen; also that the accounts be presented at the end of the year, at a general meeting, and 3 persons appointed to audit them. No former treasurer is eligible for re-election within 3 years from his holding office. [Levant Papers, Vol. IV., p. 317.]
March 14.
Levant Company to the Treasurer and Factory of Aleppo. We note the complaints in your letter of 26 August and 1 September, and your counsel to us. We are grateful for any advices to the advantage of our trade, but these seem to proceed from distemper and dissension, and a means to avoid payment of our duties, which some of you denied before this election of a treasurer happened, to give a colour thereto. The order limiting your choice to those who have been 5 years on the place was made at a public Act of Court, not, as you insinuate, on private suggestions. If we have formerly given the factory, as well as the consul, notice of such orders as concern them, we are under no obligation to do it, nor should you prescribe to us how to direct our letters. The consul is obliged on security to perform our orders, in doing which we must maintain him, though you protest against him for it. The choice is in the whole factory, not in a part thereof, and that irregularity we ascribe to your efforts to evade our orders, and cannot blame the consul for doing in an unusual way what cannot be done otherwise. Therefore we approve Gamaliel Nightingale, the person chosen.
To prevent future breaches, we declare our positive order that every one of the factory within the qualifications be annually put to election by lot to be chosen as treasurer, and at the end of the year, his accounts presented to a general assembly of the factory, and 3 auditors chosen by the majority. The accounts should always be free to the view of any of the factory.
We have written to the consul for an explanation of your other laments. Meanwhile you must comply with our orders, and rather unite against the enemies of our trade and religion than give them advantage by your private divisions, tending to the ruin of the one and scandal of the other.
P.S.—This is directed to the whole factory, because all should know it, but it is in reply to letters sent by some only. [Levant Papers, Vol. IV., pp. 318–19.]
March 15. 26. Admiralty Commissioners to the Protector and Council. We have before represented to you the state of your naval affairs, and the great want of money. Our assignments fall so exceeding short of our charges that vast debts are contracted, the wages of poor seamen and workmen unreasonably detained, the stores emptied, and your credit impaired.
We are "exceeding unhappy" that from this week's customs 4,140l. is taken from the Navy to repay a loan from the Customs' Commissioners, and while we are struggling with imminent extremities, even to the brink of ruin, we are deprived of our assignments.
There is 20,000l. due to 4 or 5 frigates come in, being some 30 months' wages, and all this week's money will be 8,296l. 1s.
We have, as ordered, strained ourselves to set out Lord Montague's fleet, and the drain on the stores will prove fatal to naval affairs, if another is wanted to be set forth. We beg—
1. That you will consider our report of 10 February last.
2. That the assignments for the Navy may be competent, and proceed pari passu with other branches of the service, which has never yet been done.
3. That you will consider the state of the stores, as the security of the nation might depend on the setting forth of another fleet.
4. That you would provide money for Lord Montague's fleet, in case they return home before the end of the summer. The too long keeping out of ships, and deferring payment of seamen's wages, exposes your affairs to great hazard.
5. That the 4,140l. ordered for the Customs' Commissioners may be applied to the Navy, as appropriated under the Great Seal, and that the Navy credit may be secured from such violations. With note of its being read in Council, 17 March. [2 pages.]
March 15.
27. Col. Hen. Smith, governor, to the Admiralty Commissioners. I should have sent the enclosed examination of Thos. Weeton before, but he has been at sea, and returned only lately. I will take care of the money you have appointed for the prisoners, and see that it is duly disbursed, but one of them has lately died of his wounds. The captain and surgeon will maintain themselves, if permitted to continue here in the garrison, under the marshal's custody. I send you a letter from Mr. Skinner, a merchant, and am desired to entreat your favour on behalf of his brother, a prisoner at Ostend, by exchanging some of the prisoners lately taken by Capt. Nixon for him and some of his servants. Capt. Bowry, of the Roe ketch, has brought a letter from Vice-Adm. Goodson, desiring me to send him some seamen, but having no warrant for pressing them, I could not answer his expectations; nevertheless I pressed 40 by virtue of a warrant granted by you to him, which were as many as Capt. Bowry could well stow in his vessel. Capt. Nixon has come into the Humber, to take in his provisions, and will sail in a few days with the ships bound for Hamburg; the merchants are very thankful for having so good a convoy. [1 page.]