Volume 202: March 1659, 16-31

Pages 305-322

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

This free content was digitised by double rekeying. All rights reserved.

Please subscribe to access the page scans

This volume has gold page scans.
Access these scans with a gold subscription.Key icon

March 1659, 16–31

March 16.
East Greenwich.
28. Capt. Fras. Cranwell to the Admiralty Commissioners. I have served the State in several vessels, and am now dismissed for what could not be helped, when others have had the same disaster, and far better ships than mine was; but I see it is neither desert nor ability, but favour which carries the game, when old standards are left out who have borne the heat of the day, and the cold of the night, to cause your Honors to sleep in quiet, and now not respected. I read once of one that did so by his old servants, and took in younger men, but in the end he was fain to employ his old again, for the new could not endure the heat of the day, nor the cold of night; old servants are tough, they can endure cold. My ambition was never so great as to aim to be an inferior flagman, though my conscience tells me that in part I have deserved it, but I still have sought for the lowest employment. In former ages the best have been swordmen, and not penmen, among which I have been employed and did account myself; but now I am neither swordman nor daggerman, but a faithful servant to the Commonwealth—no coward, revolter, or runaway; but you make me a cast away, which I have given you an account of, and you say yourselves she was a bauble, a goodly jewel; but what shall I say more than I have said? All your commanders have not been masters before they were commanders, but leaped more in one year than I have done in 10, meaning from an inferior employment to command; but if I were but a ship's cousin, then if I had lost the Antelope, I should have had employment during life on the Princess Maria, a fourth-rate frigate; but I leave all to your consideration, and whether I deserve employment or not. [1 page.]
March 16.
29. Wm. Petty, clerk of the Council, to the Admiralty Commissioners. On Saturday, the 5th inst., a pickeroon from St. Sebastian's did much mischief upon these coasts, and escaping in the night from two of our frigates, did more mischief upon the North coasts of England; and having been seen again to-day about Dublin Bar, the Lord-Lieutenant and Council have made use of Capt. Cowes, of the Paradox, to clear this coast of her, although Capt. Cowes acquainted them of your calling him home. They have commanded me to signify so much, and to advertise how much trade suffers here by reason of these frequent piracies, and consequently how dangerous such a decay of trade will be to the Excise and Customs, which, as they are now managed, are the fairest branch of the revenue of this nation. Also to request you to send 2 vessels to ply between Scilly and the old head of Kinsale, to secure the trade of this nation into the Severn, and higher in the Channel. [1 page.]
[March 17.] Index entries of proceedings in Council. [I. 84.]
Commissioners of Appeals appointed for Guernsey and Jersey. [Cols. 19–23.]
Augmentations for Henioch and Rob. Law. [Cols. 21, 26.]
500l. to be speedily paid to Mr. Bradshaw, Resident for Hamburg. [Col. 5.]
The state of the Navy, as to the defects of money and stores, referred. [Col. 29.]
Phil. Marret discharged. [Col. 28.]
Information touching persons come over from Charles Stuart referred. [Col. 38.]
Jeremy Whichcot's petition read. [Col. 44.]
Pardon and discharge to Oliver Allen. [Col. 1.]
March 18. Augmentations to Mr. Charnock, minister of Monmouth, Newton on Ouse, Poole, Preston, Padstow, Plimstock, Broadninch, Barling, Bosham, Bodmin, Bloxham, Chilham, Thos. Cucket, Childwall, Chads in Shrewsbury, Cerne Abbas, Donnington, Eastbourne, Glastonbury, Great Missenden, Great Malvern, Hartlepool, Halechapel, Hewish and Langport, Linfield, Lostwithiel, Market Rising, Mentmore, Milton, Rawsby, Stadham, and West Dean. [Cols. 33, 5, 8, 11, 14, 19, 21, 26, 28, 29, 35, 38, 44.]
[Missing Order Book, pp. 396–400.]
March 18. 30. Instructions to Gen. Montague, if he meet with any foreign ship in the British seas, to preserve the honour of this nation by causing them to strike their flag and lower their topsail, and in case of refusal, to compel them. [⅓ page.]
March 18. 31. Like instructions to Vice-Adm. Goodson, 12 November, 1658, to observe the usual custom in saluting the castles or fleet of the King of Sweden, and to Montague, 18 March, 1658–59, to act, as to matter of salutes, agreeably to the honour of the Commonwealth, and as in his discretion he thinks fit. [½ page. Both quoted from Manley's relation of the wars betwixt Sweden and Denmark.]
March 18.
Navy Office.
32. Navy Commissioners to the Admiralty Commissioners. We have examined several officers and seamen lately belonging to the Nonsuch ketch, concerning the manner of taking her, and having nothing before us to the contrary, we give credit to what they have subscribed, apprehending that there may be truth therein, and that there was a joint endeavour to preserve her, but by too great disadvantage, they were overpressed by the enemy. [2/3 page.] Enclosing,
32. I. Examination of Zacheus Bynon, gunner of the Nonsuch. On 3 February last, 6 p.m., the ketch convoying a hoy, a merchantman, from the Downs towards St. Valery, by order of the Rear-Admiral, and being in sight of the town, perceived 2 small vessels weighing from shore, whereupon the captain got in readiness, suspecting them to be men-of-war. They stood off till they got the length of the Nonsuch, and then bore up, and as soon as they got within shot, the captain ordered Examinant to fire at them; seeing they resolved to board, loaded all the guns with cased shot, which was fired at them on their coming aboard, with a volley of small shot. They having boarded, made what resistance was possible, with small shot and pikes, for an hour and a half, by which time 14 or 15 of the Nonsuch men were wounded; being thus disabled, and having but 34 men on board, and the enemy having 40 on one ship and 50 on the other, were constrained to crave quarter.
In the encounter every one behaved valiantly, and especially the captain, who stood at push of pike with them all the time of the dispute, until he was desperately wounded, and forced to yield himself prisoner with the rest. With affirmation of the above by Thos. Gibson, master, Rich. Cornish, surgeon, and Simon Bannister, carpenter. Navy Office, 18 March 1658–59. [1 page.]
March 18. 33. Hum. Robinson to Williamson. The enclosed will tell you that Mr. Norris is arrived, and gone to his father. We are expelling all dangerous people out of our city and 20 miles about, and still we are full of jealousies. Notes of books. [½ page.]
March 19.
34. Matthew Anderton to Jonathan Ridge, M.P., the Goat, King Street, Westminster. We are full of news of more of our ships being taken; the Harp and Paradox have played the cowards most shamefully, as will appear by the ensuing relation, which I had from Mr. Fuller, who belongs to Mr. Browne, grocer of London, viz., that he was taken in the William of Chester in Dublin Bay by the rogue, who looked on him as a considerable person, and took him aboard his own frigate, and when he cut his cables, and sailed away upon the approach of our frigates, took him along with him.
The Harp stayed to convoy our redeemed ships from Lambay to Dublin, but the Paradox chased the rogue, who split his mainyard in making so much haste to get away; thereupon the enemy thought of nothing but yielding. They expected our frigate would have come, but our frigate, supposing the rogue spared him a sail to give him fight, tacked about, which the rogue perceiving recovered courage, vapoured and domineered exceedingly, and immediately took a Carrickfergus and a Whitehaven man, and carried them into Pelofother, where he stayed, and robbed the country of sheep, took the Whitehaven man's mast out to make himself a mainyard, pillaged the ship, set Fuller on shore, and then set sail. Since then he has done much more mischief.
I have seen a letter from Major Swift, governor of Holyhead, intimating that our coasts are very much infested with pirates, who have taken 12 or 13 ships belonging to Chester and Liverpool, one of which he saw taken within 2 leagues of Holyhead. I beseech you and Alderman Griffith to do your best to procure a guard for our seas, and prevent future evils, and you will thereby have the prayers of many sufferers. [1 page.]
March 19. 35. Examination of Jas. Garrett, master of the Fortune of Lisbon, before the Admiralty Commissioners. Being outward bound for London last February, was met and taken by the Leopaldus, belonging to Ostend, in the mouth of the Channel, off the Berry. The same day the Leopaldus chased and took a vessel of Newcastle with coals, entered 110 men upon her, and 4 hours after, sheered off from the Newcastle vessel, leaving the 110 men in her, and chased another, but the Greyhound coming up that instant, put the said Leopaldus by her.
Capt. Country having notice from the Plymouth vessel that the frigate which chased her was the Leopaldus, bore up to her and fired a broadside, and then fell astern to fit his ship again. Thereupon the Leopaldus sheered on board the Newcastle prize, and took out 10 or 12 more of his men, and then Capt. Country bore up again to her and gave her another broadside, which was answered from the Leopaldus and her prize with two broadsides, after which Capt. Country fell astern, and took in his fore-topsail, which gave the captain of the Leopaldus ground to believe that he had wounded the Greyhound's masts.
Eight days afterwards, being set on shore by the enemy, he came to Plymouth, where he met the master and some of the company of the Greyhound, who told him that the Leopaldus having wounded their foremast, and they having also received 3 or 4 dangerous shots in the hull, and having only 15 men on board, were compelled to leave her. [¾ page.]
March 19.
Levant Company to Sir Thomas Bendish. In answer to yours of 15 November, we observe your care concerning the exactions made by the Vayvood and Bassa of Nathalico and your hope for restitution and future freedom from the same.
We regret Consul Bretton's death, and have appointed in his place Wm. Prideaux, an ancient gentleman, who has been employed in Russia and travelled in the Levant, whom we shall despatch immediately. We desire you to procure him requisite authority, with an order to him and the Treasurer at Constantinople for a due collection of the consulage on this and other ships, and 2¼ per cloth on such cloth as comes in without having paid duty at home, whereof lists will be sent by our husband, Mr. Penning. [Levant Papers, Vol. IV., p. 320.]
March 19.
Levant Company to Jos. Edwards, Smyrna. We are sorry for Mr. Bretton's death and approve your appointment to act as consul temporarily, but as we cannot contract with anyone at so great a distance, we have, at a general court, chosen Mr. Prideaux, who has had experience in those parts, as consul, and desire you and the factory to afford him your assistance. He hopes to come by this ship, the Smyrna Factor, bringing a great quantity of cloth and other goods, on which we desire your special care in collecting consulage duties, besides the 2¼ per cloth on such as have not been fairly entered here, of which our husband Nich. Penning will give you a particular account.
Those concerned in lading the little ship Content think themselves overburdened by the leviation of 3 dollars per cloth, being more than the Aleppo Merchant paid, and more than we hope will be necessary to be paid on the Negotiant and other ships following her. So we order that the Content shall only pay the same leviation as the Negotiant, Greyhound and this ship; the overplus is to be made good by the Treasurer.
Concerning Mr. Bretton's funeral charges,—though we are in no way responsible for any part thereof, and are assured we gave no such assent to that precedent on Mr. Stringer's death,—yet out of respect to his merits, we will allow 600 dollars towards the above charges, to be settled when his accounts are adjusted, and subtracted from what we conceive he will be found to owe us; hereof you are to inform the Treasurer and factory, and shew them this letter. [Levant Papers, Vol. IV., p. 321.]
March 20/30.
Lord Muskerry to Sec. Nicholas. I have delivered your enclosure to the party intended, who says he is furnished with one to the same purpose. I will use it on occasion, which I believe will be to some purpose, against the next post. The party to whom most of my bill of exchange was directed will soon be here, and then we can judge of the reality of his performance. [1 page, Flanders correspondence.]
March 20/30. Wm. Bedborne [alias Sec. Nicholas] to _ Lipe. A gentleman sent to your parts by our friend Mrs. Eager, promises to write to me sometimes. Put under your cover any letters he delivers you for me, that they may come more speedily and safely. Also bring this gentleman to Mr. Minden and his friend. I refer you to his relation as to our commerce here. [1 page, Flanders correspondence.]
March 21.
Navy Office.
36. Navy Commissioners to the Admiralty Commissioners. By virtue of your order of 27 July last, we made sale by the candle to Jacob Blackleach and Hen. Roach of the Golden Falcon prize; since then we have received the enclosed from Dr. Walker, the State's advocate, of the proceedings in the Admiralty Court concerning that ship; that she was claimed by Daniel Thyssen, a Dutchman, who, when the ship was surprised, was banished out of Holland, and therefore went into Flanders, and thence to London. The question was much debated by the advocate and Thyssen's counsel before the Admiralty Judges, but they gave judgment for the ship's restitution to Thyssen, with her tackle, furniture, &c., and the freight due by law to him as an inhabitant of London, as appears by a copy of the decree of 22 Dec. 1656.
The buyers of the ship have applied to us either to have their bargain made good, or their purchase money and the charge of fitting her. It has been a great hindrance to them, they being involved in a troublesome suit, and the ship unable to proceed on her voyage. Thyssen demanding satisfaction, we have treated with him, and brought him to accept a bill as she was appraised, rather than be at further trouble of law; the appraisement was 555l. 4s. If you order payment, he will join in the sale, and so the men that have bought her will be freed from trouble. [1½ pages.] Enclosing,
36. I. Demands of Daniel Thyssen for the Golden Falcon, taken in Nov. 1652 by the ships of the Commonwealth, and decreed by the Admiralty Judges to be restored to him; if she cannot be restored with her tackle, furniture, guns, and ammunition, as she was taken, and some consideration for the time she has served the State, he desires 555l. 4s., and some allowance, the appraisement being less than she was worth, as she cost 1,300l.; also allowance for interest, having so long waited. [½ page.]
36. II. Appraisement, 1 Jan. 1652–3, by Wm. Swanley and 5 others of the Golden Falcon of Middleburg, together with rigging, sails, masts, guns, shot, and ammunition; total 555l. 4s. Prize Office, Broad-street, London, 17 March 1658–59. [1 page, copy.]
36. III. Dr. W. Walker to the Navy Commissioners. The first judgment for Thyssen being so long since given, and it being a decree and sentence of a court of justice, it will be a hard matter to counterplead it. You will also see by the decree that such freight as is due by law stands adjudged to him; I therefore leave it to your prudence to settle the matter as may be least prejudicial to the State, which may better be by a compromise than a suit. [1 page.]
March 21.
Ostend Prison.
37. Jno. Carkeet and 9 other masters of ships belonging to Plymouth, Yarmouth, Boston, and Barnstaple, to the Admiralty Commissioners. We are still kept prisoners, but we know not on what account, unless it is until Adrian Coots, a prisoner at Plymouth, and Gollin Ranad, a prisoner at York, are released. Carkeet was taken on 3rd Feb., 5 leagues from Plymouth, and brought with his company prisoners to Ostend, but his company have since been released; as we have lost all we had, and are poor men, we beg consideration of our sad condition. [1 page]
March 21.
38. Capt. Jonathan Waltham to the Admiralty Commissioners. I heard from the Rear-Admiral in the Downs that you had written the Lords at Ostend about my enlargement, but they say that they have not received anything, and that I cannot have my liberty until Adrian Coatch [Coots] is released. Capt. Corij, a prisoner at Plymouth, is also a considerable person, having a brother an eminent merchant in Biscay, and another in Ostend, who can do much for him; I therefore suppose he will answer your desires for any that are prisoners in Biscay. There are 4 masters of Plymouth besides myself detained at Ostend on the account of Capt. Coots, and we all desire you will grant his release for our sakes. [¾ page.]
March 22. 39. Order in Council referring the petitions of Capt. Jas. Smith and also of Isaac Bowles and William Mosse to the Admiralty Commissioners, to report. [½ page.]
[March 22.] Index entries of proceedings in Council. [I. 84.]
3,074l. to Rob. Walton for clothes sent to Dunkirk. [Cols. 11, 44.]
Mr. Newland's desires, and Martin Noel's petition referred. [Col. 30.]
45l. to Mr. Baxter for stables. [Col. 5.]
The manner of the future payment of the army regiments referred. [Col. 1.]
Letter concerning Lord Broghill and Col. Sanchy referred (and reported). [Col. 5.]
The month's pay for the guards about town to be first made. [Col. 19.]
Col. Salmon's desires for his regiment referred. [Col. 38]
Desires of the owners of the ship Endeavour, and orders. [Col. 14.]
Viscount Howard [leave to export], 2 stone horses, denied. [Col. 21.]
[March 22.] Order on the Portugal ambassador's paper touching Capt. de Billers and his prize. [Col. 33.]
Letters touching a riot in Needwood Forest read. [Col. 30.]
Privy Seal for 2,783l. 7s. 10d. to Hen. Hill and John Field. [Col. 20.]
Report of the Polonian Exiles' Committee, and orders. [Col. 33.]
Augmentation to Warwick for a lecturer. [Col. 44.]
Privy Seal for 2,000l. to Capt. John Leveret out of prohibited goods. [Col. 26.]
Also for 300l. for Mrs. Basket. [Col. 5.]
[Missing Order Book, pp. 401–410.]
March 23.
40. Col. Hen. Smith to the Admiralty Commissioners. I have filled up the proportions sent for the exchange of Mr. Skinner and his two servants with the surgeon and 2 common men of that company taken by Capt. Nixon, and have sent it to Ostend. I thought Capt. Nixon had sent you a list of the prisoners, or I would have sent the enclosed from him before. I have sent to York for another list of the prisoners' names in their own language, which I will also send up as soon as it comes to hand, and will take care that the captain and the rest at Hull are properly secured until further order. [1 page]
March 24.
Levant Company to Sir Thos. Bendish, Ambassador at Constantinople. William and Silvester Denis, John Buckworth, Thos. Davies, and Jn. Dickons, having their estates in the hand of Wm. Denis, factor of that place, whom they understand is ill, have sent Jno. Bonithon to assist him, if he live, and succeed him as their sole factor if he die. We desire you therefore to see their wishes fulfilled in this matter. [Levant Papers, Vol. IV. p. 322.]
March 25.
The Fame,
41. Capt. Thos. Wright to the Admiralty Commissioners. I send you a letter I have received from my gunner. I have always desired that we might have an approved teacher amongst us, having a warrant from yourselves; as for his teaching, although it may be in his apprehension good, yet by the most part of us it is not liked, and this rather causes a confusion than a reformation amongst us, and therefore I denied him the priviledge of public teaching amongst us. Since then he has been so arrogant in his ways that he may cause great disquietness in our ship. I therefore desire you will send us a teacher with a warrant. [½ page.]
41. I. Symon Pryor to Capt. Thos. Wright. I conceive you are offended with my practice, not of wickedness, but with my faithful endeavours in seeking to the Lord by prayer, whereunto I am constrained by the power of God, so that I shall never give over that duty, I trust. And further, as I have began, I do resolve through God's strength to continue, therefore if it be your pleasure to set me ashore, I shall give you thanks, for I will not be intercepted in that duty which is of so great concernment. This I beseech you consider of, and answer me, for I am resolved to seek my redress. Fame, March 24, 1658–9. [2/3 page.]
March 25. 42. Petition of Joan, wife of Leonard Randall, of Plymouth, to the Admiralty Commissioners, for the release of her husband by exchange. He was lately master of the Orient of Plymouth, and in his return from Barbadoes, in sight of Falmouth, he was set upon by 2 Ostend men-of-war, and after a hot dispute, was taken, with 9 of his men and a boy, and carried with his ship to Ostend, by one of the men-of-war. The next day, the other man-of-war, the St. Francis of Ostend, commanded by Capt. Michael Cary, was taken by the Sorlings and Gainsborough, and brought into Plymouth, where he remains a prisoner; his wife has so prevailed with the Commissioners in Ostend that petitioner's husband and his company will not be released but by the enlargement of Capt. Cary. Is poor, and has a family depending upon her husband; hopes if Capt. Cary will not be a sufficient exchange for him and his company, that they will propose such others as they think fit. [1 page.] Enclosing,
42. I. J. B[lackborne] to his brother Robt. Blackborne. I am desired by several friends, when C[ommissioner] H[atsell] moves the Commissioners for the enlargement of Mr. Randall of our town, that you will put your helping hand, as he is a man that has brought in much revenue to the State, having gone and come through mercy in safety for many years, but lately was surprised by the man-of-war last taken, and is now kept a prisoner in Ostend for that captain's enlargement. His men are coming home on his parole, he and all his men being Cary's exchange; if that does not prevail with the Commissioners, endeavour some other way to procure his exchange. Plymouth, March 25, 1659. [½ page.]
42. II. Geo. Hughes to Hen. Hatsell, M.P. I suppose you have heard of the taking of Leonard Randall of this town, master of the Orient, who has signified his condition in prison at Ostend as lamentable. If it be in your power to free him and succour the widow (sic), it will be a blessing to many. I hear of much sickness among you. The Lord help the sick, and preserve the strong to serve him. Plymouth, March 22, 1658–9. [¾ page.]
March 25.
43. Charles Longland to the Navy Commissioners. I have not had any news of Admiral Stoakes or his squadron since his departure hence. The Castle and Companion have arrived from England, with 2 others bound for Turkey. They saw 3 Spanish men-of-war in the Straits' mouth, who, taking these 4 ships to be men-of-war, fled into Gibraltar. The English ships anchored in Tangiers Bay, where the people told them that there were 7 ships there a few days before, who had salted four-score of oxen at Tetuan, but could not get any bread.
Two Spanish men-of-war have been lately cruising in the channel of Malta, but some Turkish men-of-war met and banged them lustily, and sent them home, where they have arrived. The King of Naples had gathered together 2,000 soldiers for the service of Milan, but since their loss at Elvas, strict order is given that the soldiers shall be sent for Spain. The Spanish resident at Rome has been very friendly to Lords Cavendish and Roscomon, and other gentlemen, and given them a pass to go for Naples to see that city. If any fleet go towards Cadiz, I desire you will let the beverage wine be taken off that lies at Lisbon. [2 pages.]
Mar. 26.
Levant Company to Sir Thos. Bendish, ambassador at Constantinople. We send by Mr. Prideaux, whom we have appointed consul at Smyrna, this addition to our last letter, viz., to acquaint you of the abuse put on us and the Grand Seignior by the introduction into Turkey from Marseilles and other parts of France of a quantity of French coin called Louis, vented at 8 a dollar when they are worth but 12 a dollar, whereby the French gain 40 or 50 per cent., and the English lose by the enhancement of Turkish commodities, which are sold in France cheaper than in Turkey. The Turks also will greatly suffer by the opportunity given to strangers to take away dollars out of the country instead of this coin. We hear also that Holland is coining false money of this kind at Amsterdam, and exchanging it in Turkey, besides zelots, lion dollars, and other false coin brought from Italy, and exchanged into dollars by our factors at great loss for buying of silk. We therefore desire you to inform the Vizier of this matter, and do your utmost to remedy it and stop our losses. We also want lists of the leviation there made for 5 years past, which have either not been sent us or else miscarried. [Levant Papers, Vol. IV., p. 322.]
Mar. 26.
Levant Company to the Treasurer and Factory at Smyrna. We beg your reception of and assistance to Mr. Prideaux, sent as consul. We have specially requested him to prevent the extreme mischief to our trade by import of French louis into Turkey. [Same as in preceding letter]. We have told him to consult you as to some effectual expedient. It cannot be hard to gain the concurrence of the Turks, who must be injured by the export of good dollars for such coin. The consul is to receive 2,000 dollars a year, as his predecessor, but we have paid him 200 in hand. Allowance for Bretton's funeral, consulage on ships, and list of leviations wanted. [Same as in last letter.] [Levant Papers, Vol. IV., pp. 324, 325.]
Mar. 27.
Sole Bay.
44. Jno. Fowler, Judge Advocate, to [Robt. Blackborne]. The reason of my thus troubling you was the coming of my son to the fleet, and my desire to know from him how his affairs stood in reference to the Hampshire, and his interest in her. I understand he has put a stop upon the lieutenant's pay from the time he left, and referred its decision to our honoured masters. If the case be not decided, promote the equity of his interest what you can. I call it equity because it is without precedent that an officer, wounded and maimed by going upon duty against the enemy, not precipitately but by his captain's command, when sent on shore for home for recovery of his hurt, has been dismissed from his place and pay by the Generals of the fleet, or by any general court of war, without other crime imputed save only his being so hurt, and transmitted on shore or home by consent of his particular captain and the Commander-in-chief and with their promise that until his recovery, return, or other disposure, he should incur no prejudice in his place or salary. That Capt. Stoakes or his Council of War have greater power in such a case than any General or general court of war ever assumed, or that he or those commanders have any such instructions, I never as yet understood nor have seen put in practice. Of what consequence such a precedent may be our masters should consider. What any one Commander-in-chief, of what party or squadron soever, with his council of captains, shall do, every other, though inferior, will think he has a right to do also, and perhaps seek to enlarge his power to pleasure by placing his relatives, even before vacancies, and then what stability is there for a warrant officer, though commissioned from our masters or the Generals, when wounded?
I have observed that when commanders have been disabled by sickness from going on a voyage, and constrained on shore, the ship has performed the service under conduct of the lieutenant and master, without immediately clapping in a new captain; and if so in case of commanders, much more in that of lieutenant, and especially in those parts where their engagements with enemies have not been frequent.
Before this comes to hand, the quarterly season for my salary's receipt will become due, and if the money uno eodemque tempore, it will be most seasonable, as well for payment of another 20l. to Mr. Bushell, as for supplying my wife, who, through natural weakness, is always in want and behindhand, though living meanly enough. If it be not already received, I intreat its dispatch.
The wind is not yet fair for us though the weather be, notwithstanding which our topsails have been loose since last night, and this morning a gun fired from the General, and all the fleet are now weighing anchor. I beg your prayers for our prosperity, and mine shall not be wanting for the welfare of yourself, wife, and child. I have received a commission to muster the fleet, and have given a day's time to the pursers to prepare books, and yesterday began with some of the ships. [2 pages.]
March 27.
45. Capt. Jeremy Country to the Admiralty Commissioners. On coming into Plymouth Sound, Capt. Heaton stated you had received information of some miscarriage in me when I engaged the Leopaldus, and that my wife's being on board was the cause I did not further engage. I came from Portsmouth with a vessel laden with powder for Scilly garrison, and another of Southampton bound for Rochelle, and there were 6 more bound for Plymouth and adjacent places, which I took with me, and I also took my wife for Plymouth. When off Dartmouth, the wind took us short at W.S.W., and we stood in to gain Torbay, but seeing 4 sail to the southward 4 leagues off, and as I thought, some smoke, which I took to be an engagement, and seeing the East India and Straits men go for Torbay, and thereby thinking the small vessels secure, I stood off; but by the time I had reached their hulls, I saw the 2 weathermost on board each other, which proved to be the man-of-war and a flyboat he took in a quarter of an hour, and then stood after the other two; the biggest ship, endeavouring to weather me, when he came near, let fly his colours, being a red cross in a white field, which I took to be an Ostend ensign, and so judged the 3 to be men-of-war.
When I came up with the biggest ship, he tacked from me, and I made his colours to be English; the man-of-war being come up with the other vessel, which I perceived to be a merchantman, I made to him with all speed, when he stood away to meet his prize; but I, not being certain whether he had put men on board the last vessel or not, first went to know the truth; but when I saw the master himself on board, his men having taken the boat and rowed away, I did not stay, but bid him go to Torbay to the fleet, and I stood after the man-of-war. Ere I could come up with him, he had met his prize, and lay by her for our coming; when we were within shot, and saw his intention, I laid the foresail to the mast, hoisted out our boat, and bore up to him. The sun being set, the wind at S.W. by S., a fresh gale, and they going 2 points from the wind, I could not open one port to leeward, and therefore was constrained to fight to leeward of them, although I received much water, our ports being so low, and the frigate tender; there was not a gun fired but one from the flyboat while we came side by side.
I received 22 guns from both ships and returned 12, and then fell a little astern, and came up again, giving orders to the master's mate, as soon as the broadside was fired, to brace the topsails in the wind, so that I might lie by him; they were then close upon the wind, and after the 2nd broadside was fired, they bracing in the topsails as ordered, the lee braces being shot to pieces, we could not fill them again; the ship coming about as could hardly be expected, I stood after them again, but our foremast being shot through, and unable to carry the topsail, they went as well as I * *, whereas you were informed that I left him. I am wronged, for I did not leave him as long as I could see him, but the darkness of the night in less than half an hour deprived me of this.
Concerning my wife, I had not a thought of her during the time, for it is known I never saw her or spoke to her or of her until we lost the ships and hauled in our guns. I was so far from thinking that a word could have been spoken against me, that I doubted you might have been offended by my leaving my convoys, to go 3 or 4 leagues to sea on the sight of smoke. It is very well known that the Leopaldus is in every way a bigger ship than the Greyhound. The reason that I did not board him was that I thought the greatest part and best of his men were on board the flyboat, and appointed to enter me, she being a lofty ship, and in such a sea as was enough to have quickly broken us down to the water; but I have been over tedious and hope for excuse, as I cannot personally vindicate myself. I have since received order to convoy some vessels to Limerick and back, but the wind has been easterly. [2 pages, damaged.]
March 28.
Ostend Prison.
46. Capt. Jonathan Waltham to the Admiralty Commissioners. Understanding from the Lords at Ostend that you have not written concerning my release, I again entreat the discharge of Capt. Cotch [Coots], when I shall be released; there are several masters of ships whose liberty also depends upon it. I believe if you were sensible of our condition you would speedily grant our request. [½ page.]
March 29. 47. Order by the Admiralty Commissioners to the Navy Commissioners, that—as they have formerly treated touching the Golden Falcon with Daniel Thyssen, who was willing to accept of a bill for 555l. 4s. 0d., the appraised value, and thereupon join in the sale of the ship to Roach and Blackleech,—they agree with Thyssen for the ship at as cheap a price as possible, and grant him a bill for the money. [1 page.]
March 30.
Bramble, Weymouth
48. Capt. Lamb. Cornelius to the Admiralty Commissioners. On the 26th inst. I chased between Portland and Lyme 2 small Ostenders, who had that morning taken a vessel of Topsham, and put one of Christchurch ashore; but I perceiving them, they had not the time to plunder or get her off. That which was forced on shore has been brought into Weymouth by her own company, but they took all the men out of the other, and left her sailing towards the shore, and a small boat came out of Lyme, and carried her into the harbour. To make their escape, one tacked to the west, and the other to the east, so that I could not surprise them both, but the one I have taken I have delivered up to Capt. Pley of Weymouth, and her commander and company are now in Dorchester Gaol.
The Lark has not yet come to Weymouth, and the merchants of Topsham having desired I might come for them, as they will not venture to Weymouth with the Lark, I intend doing so, and will call at Lyme as I come back. I blush when I think of the slender account I can give of my enterprize since I came into this frigate, but my endeavours have been and still are mingled with hopes of better success. [¾ page.]
March 30.
The Portland,
49. Eman. Davis to the Navy Commissioners. I have sent you 2 muster books. On 6 January, being the first day of our making any of the Western Islands, the Colchester being in our company, when near St. Marie's, we met 2 Flemish ships, pretending they were bound for St. Michael's to seek for a freight; but upon examination, we found a Spaniard or 2 on board each of them, and letters directed to several Spanish ships and galleons that were expected from the West Indies, and one of the skippers confessed that they were hired by the King of Spain, and had their money before-hand. In each ship there was a Spaniard of note, to take notice of all such goods as should be received on board, and they were to stay thereabouts so many days, and then go to the Canaries.
On the 12th we met Capt. Copping, commander-in-chief of the Langport, as also the Foresight, Nonsuch, and Pembroke. On the 1st February we set sail for the Canary Islands, and on the 2nd were off Santa Cruz, where there were only 4 ships at anchor in the road. They made preparations on shore, supposing we should come nearer to them, but we stood off all night. On the 18th, as we were steering towards the northward, 60 leagues from the said island, we met another Flemish ship from Santa Cruz, bound for Cadiz, who came from thence with the before-mentioned two, and we also heard of another great ship of 24 guns, but could not meet with her, as she was also detained. On March 13th we had a great storm of wind, and lost company with all 3 Flemish ships, 30 or 40 leagues off the Northward Cape. On the 27th inst., 12 leagues off Scilly, the Pembroke, with the assistance of the Langport and Portland, took a frigate of 9 guns and 75 men, which came out of St. Sebastian's; there were 4 more to windward, but we could not come near them; by these men's relations, there are about the Soundings and near the Land's End, 16 or 17 frigates which came out of the aforesaid port. We have safely arrived, being 6 sail and the prize. [1 page.]
March 30.
The Langport,
50. Capt. Jno. Coppin to the Admiralty Commissioners. After 6 months, God has been pleased to grant our fleet a safe return, although not successful in obtaining what we went about, which has been no little trouble to me, considering the great expense we have been at, and no proceeds to defray it; but I have used the utmost of my endeavours therein. The 12th inst., we lost the company of the Foresight and the 3 advizers which we took, by a very great storm, since which we have had very foul weather and contrary winds, insomuch that we were 14 days within 50 or 60 leagues of Scilly and could gain but very little in our way.
I went for the Island Palma, where I had very great hopes of meeting with some of the West Indian fleet sooner than in our station, and if any of them had come near the island, we could scarcely have missed seeing them. Having spent some time without success, and seen only one ship, a Hollander from Guinea, we looked into Santa Cruz Road, where we saw but 5 Hollanders, and those light ships. Hearing by a Spanish boat that we took that none of the fleet had arrived, we steered for our foreign station, and in our way thither, met with an advizer called the St. Mathias, who had lain 2 months in search of the Spanish fleet, insomuch that he had spent almost all his provisions; he is bound for Cadiz or the Canaries, having no hopes of meeting with them; their stay being so long, they cannot now be expected until August. Their not coming 2 months since is much wondered at.
By several letters taken, it is mentioned that no question was made by them in Spain of these advizers meeting with them, 2 of whom were to lie 30 leagues south of Marie's, in the latitude of 35 and 36 degrees, and 2 more between Flowers and Fyall, so that the station appointed by you might have been a very fit place to receive them. If they had come home in the time of our being there, it was impossible but we should have heard of them. I request liberty for coming up to London, when I shall be able to give a larger account of proceedings, and desire order for the disposal of our ships.
About 15 leagues west of Scilly, we took a small man-of-war belonging to St. Sebastian's, with 50 men and 9 guns, commanded by Capt. Barnard Garratson Vones, who has given me an account of 17 sail more belonging to the same place, which are now abroad, and are commonly in the opening of the Channel. We met with the Foresight near the Berry, who had received considerable damage by the storm, and was very near foundering; but as yet no news of our 3 advizers. I also desire order for the disposal of the man-of-war, and the prisoners, for it will be chargeable and inconvenient to have them on board when we go into harbour. [12/3 page.]
March 30.
State's Yard,
51. Capt. Chas. Thorowgood to Col. Jno. Clerke, Admiralty Commissioner. Since Mr. Tippetts has come down, he has informed me that he saw my name at the Treasury Office in the list that came from the Pipe Office, to be a debtor to the State for the value of 14,000l. in pieces of 8, which, when I was in the Worcester, were put on board to redeem captives. At the first hearing, it put me almost beside myself; but since having considered it, I am satisfied in my own spirit. I have no friend in the world, unless God shall please to make you one. In truth there was a time when I did think men would or could not have been so unchristian as to destroy men, not only in their reputation, but their family. Mr. Blackborne knows the whole business, and who had this money, better than I, and I beseech you to speak to him about it; if you judge it requsite that I should appear at London, then I crave your leave, for indeed, knowing myself to be free from ever embezzling a farthing, I am unwilling to spend money to come to London, for I can ill spare it. I doubt not but before this you have an account from Capt. Copping of that squadron's arrival at Spithead. [1 page.]
March 30.
52. Grant by the Protector to Sir John Mill, Bart., during pleasure, of the office of foster or keeper of the East bailiwick, New Forest, Hants. [Parchment, not signed.]
[March 31.] Index entries of proceedings in Council. [I. 84.]
Petition of Little Norton church, and letter upon it. [Col. 26.]
Reference to a Committee for a supply of moneys for the army. [Col. 1.]
Order on the petition of the Adventurers for the Iceland fishery, for a convoy. [Col. 23.]
The petition of Jacob Jacobson and Pet. Vanderveldt, and of the Merchant Adventurers, touching the Stillyard, referred. [Cols. 23, 28, 38.]
The Mayor of Rye's letters and papers referred. [Col. 35.]
Reference as to how Wm. Barret is to be proceeded with. [Col. 5.]
Petition of the Countess of Buccleugh referred. [Col. 5.]
Letter on behalf of Sir Paul David referred. [Col. 11.]
Letter on behalf of Rob. Parkhurst. [Col. 33.]
16l. 6s. 9d. to be paid out of contingencies for fire and candle for the Guards at the Mews. [Col. 10.]
161l. 9s. 9d. to Thos. Trapham, for medicaments for Flanders, and these and instruments to pass custom free.
374l. 6s. 6d. to the gunmakers for arms. [Col. 17.]
[Missing Order Book, pp. 411–415.]
Mar. 31.
53. Deposition of Hills Whittingham, Surveyor of the Custom House, Kinsale, before Thos. Browne, sovereign of Kinsale, and one of the justices of the peace for the county of Cork. On 13 Feb. last, Capt. Foote, of the Mermaid, came into Kinsale harbour, whereupon Deponent, with other Custom House officers, went to the house of Mary Ellis, a widow in Kinsale, where Capt. Foote was, and desired to have liberty to go on board his frigate to search for merchants' goods. Deponent, having his commission in his hand, told him he was sent by Mr. Willingham, collector of the Custom House, who had received information by letter that there were merchants' goods of several sorts on board. Capt. Foote denied to let him go on board to search, as it would be a dishonour to the State, but acknowledged that he had merchants' goods on board, and said the officers should not come on board, but if they found the goods on shore, they might seize them if they would.
Deponent went again in the evening with Mr. Willingham, who civilly demanded of Capt. Foote why he would not suffer the officers to go on board; he again refused, and would show no reason, but treated them with derision. Capt. Foote, without entering his ship in the Custom House outwards, took in, contrary to law, 142 raw hides, 38½ cwt. of molten tallow, 53 doz. candles, 18 hogsheads, and 20 barrels of beef, 6 casks of wheat, and a barrel of neats' tongues, which were entered by several merchants, and one other hogshead of beef more, that paid no duty, which were put on board the said frigate without any entry being made, or notice given to the Custom House. Suspects that there was other merchandize shipped on board outwards which was not entered nor paid any duty, as Capt. Foote would not suffer the frigate to be searched during her stay in the harbour, neither did he clear her at the Custom House before her departure.
Also deposition of John Willingham, collector of customs, to similar effect. Received advice that Mr. George, of Plymouth, who came in the said frigate for Ireland, had shipped on board a quantity of silk and ribbon, women's hoods, stockings, gloves, linens, &c., value 500l., and that Jno. Suxbury, of Kinsale, was the merchant designed to receive them. Declared this to Capt. Foote in the presence of George and Suxbury, who daily associated with Capt. Foote during his stay in harbour. Capt. Vessey of the Constant Warwick, also told Deponent that George was lately a great shopkeeper in Plymouth, and was broken, to the ruin of many men, and that he and his goods came over with Capt. Foote.
Also deposition of Richard Savell, waiter of the Custom House at Kinsale. Being at his mother's house in Kinsale, where were 2 seamen, she asked them whence they came; they replied they belonged to the Mermaid, a State's man-of-war, which had been at Waterford, and had left them on shore there; and that as the frigate was to come to Kinsale, they came from Waterford by land to meet her; that she would not come to victual as she had enough, but they were sure she would come, as she had 2 trunks and some packs of rich merchants' goods, belonging to Mr. George and another merchant, which were put on board at Plymouth in the night, and were to be delivered to some merchants at Kinsale. Also that when the frigate was at Waterford, there were some ladies on board, thinking to have bought some of those goods, but they could not have any, as they were to be delivered to merchants in Kinsale.
Also deposition of Benj. Young and Jno. Davyes, waiters of the Custom House. Were ordered by the collectors to attend at Benson's Cove, nigh to the Mermaid, then riding at anchor, for preventing the landing of any merchants' goods out of her, when they observed several boats most of the day carrying the seamen of the frigate to and from the shore, and particularly observed one boat to row nigh the cove, and afterwards to go up towards Silly, and they following by land, saw 3 seamen newly come on shore out of the said boat; when they met Deponent, they made towards the waterside again, and Deponent following observed their pockets to be fully stuffed with goods, and several blue papers' full, sticking out. One of the seamen noticing that Deponent eyed the blue papers, covered his pockets with a loose coat and then went into the boat, and rowed to Kinsale, where they landed near the ship, over against Mr. Suxbury's house. While Deponent were at Silly, they saw another boat coming along by the shore from the ship, and somewhat short of Silly, there landed 3 seamen whom Deponents made after, and the men espying them called their boat back again, went on board, and rowed to Kinsale. Deponents meeting with the boatmen of the last boat 2 or 3 days after, and discoursing with them, they confessed that the 3 seamen that were in their boat and landed at Kinsale had 2 fine wrought pillow beers full of small goods.
Also deposition of Walter Herbert, waiter, that he went with the surveyor to Mrs. Ellis's house at Kinsale, and was present when the surveyor demanded liberty of Capt. Foote to go on board his frigate to search for merchants' goods, to which he gave an absolute denial, and yet confessed that he had some parcels of linen on board, which were committed to him by a friend, to be put off for his friend's advantage. Also that afterwards, being in company of Mr. George in Kinsale, George said that what merchants' goods he had on board the frigate he had paid duty for to the collectors at Plymouth on the shipping of them, and therefore had no reason to give notice thereof to any officer in Ireland.
From these particulars, the following evils must necessarily be deduced:—
1. To the State, by mis-spending that time and provision appointed for securing those coasts from the common enemy, and employing the same for private advantage, contrary to the intention of his Highness and the State, to the dishonour of both, and the future encouragement of pickeroons frequenting those seas.
2. To the merchants, who universally complain that, although they, are constrained to pay down their customs at the import of their goods, which they conceive ought to be employed for no other end but for guarding the sea from those pests which, in this age more than any other, they every day meet with; nevertheless by this practice they become a prey to their merciless enemies, and exposed to all the hazards of a dangerous sea, infested with pirates even at their very doors; insomuch that not many weeks since, 6 or 7 vessels laden with merchants' goods were taken by a pirate of 10 guns out of Dublin Bay, and carried away, whereby they have almost lost their trade, none daring to adventure either from England to Ireland, or from Ireland to England, but give opportunity to strangers to steal their traffic from them, and so consequently, besides the ruin of them and their families, his Highness's revenue will sustain a very great loss thereby; and
3. As if this neglect were not a sufficient damage to the Commissioners and Farmers of Customs and Excise in Ireland, that have advanced considerably in that farm, those whom the State intended for their defence both from the common enemies abroad, and those secret ones at home that endeavour to save both duties out of a confident power, [he] supposing himself not subject to those laws, especially such as make against his own profit, does not only contrive assistance to those that deceive, but himself actually conveys merchants' goods to and from each nation in his own vessel, without either making entry or payment of duties, and also positively denies the officers to make search, or take cognizance how much uncustomed goods he has on board.
This is a great growing evil, and being confident that such practices wheresoever committed are done without the knowledge or countenance of your Honours, it is thought necessary to acquaint you therewith, praying some speedy course may be taken therein for satisfaction for what is past, and redress of the like unfaithful practice to the State for the time to come, and that you will lodge these complaints before the Committee of Grievances, where they doubt not but to receive plenary satisfaction. [7 pages.]
March ? 54. Petition of Adam Jennings to the Admiralty Commissioners, for money to prevent his utter ruin. Was the first merchant that in the expedition to Mardike contracted with the Ordnance officers for goods to be paid for in a month, they pretending that the King of France was to pay forthwith the charge of Mardike. Lost 1,000l. by the failure of 2 Ostend and Dunkirk merchants, before Dunkirk was taken. The Mardike money has been due 17 months [since Oct. 1657], 350l., and the freight of two voyages were paid in ready money; has beside 940l. 5s. 6d. due for tar, deals, &c. bought last year, and has a wife, 7 small children, and 4 servants to maintain. [2/3 page.]
March ? 55, 56. Like petition. Supplied money and Norway goods for Mardike in Sept. 1657, to be paid for in a month, value 332l., and goods value 486l. for the navy in July 1658, and has often been promised payment. Has lost 1,500l. since by pirates. [2 copies.]