Volume 203: May 1659, 1-15

Pages 339-347

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

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May 1659, 1–15

May 1/11.
Sir Jas. Hamilton to the King. My nephew wishes me to tell you that the army forced Cromwell to dissolve the Parliament, and that he has no more power, for Fleetwood has absolute power over the army. They intend to settle the government in a Commonwealth. If you think fit to make use of your friends in time, before they can settle the form of government, he will do what lies in his power; but he wants to know in time, that he may engage all his friends to be ready. You have to consider whether you can trust; you know him of old, and what he can do. Send to him by me, and I will send it safely, or carry it myself to him. [1 page, Flanders correspondence.]
May 1/11.
Earl of Inchiquin to the Countess of Dysart. Your news of the Parliament being dissolved, and his Highness on uncertain terms with the army, will interrupt a projected peace between Spain and England till some steady government be settled at home.
The Cavaliers fancy that the army may call in the King of Scots, as finding no other way to settle themselves in a steady way of being kept up but by restoring them, and obliging him to it; but this I fear not, though I shall be in trouble till I see union amongst us at home. [Scrap, copy, French correspondence.]
May 2/12.
Vreint Prison.
Sir Rob. Walsh to [Sec. Nicholas]. I beg a copy of the petitions presented to the King last summer by the keeper of this prison; they will be in your hands or Sir Edw. Walker's. I am troubled that the King still censures my carriage, loyalty, and zeal, but having so often petitioned, I know not how to help it. If all my blood could contribute to his service, I would freely give it; I would I had served God as faithfully. My misfortune is that my accusers would not show their faces before justice, but I will not repine, seeing my Saviour was condemned because his judges would not hear the truth. My gracious King ordered me 20 stivers a day to keep me from starving; I have often been near it, and am naked, not having changed my clothes this 27 months that I have been here, and I have only received the pay for 9 months, but have not importuned because I would not give dissatisfaction. Whenever I die, my end shall prove me a loyal subject.
Endorsed [by Nicholas] "Reason that since himself is forth, he is released, and is not obliged to pay him." [3 pages, Flanders correspondence.]
May 5. 1. Certificate by Dr. Thos. Owen that Moore Fortune, of Magdalen College, Oxford, is of pregnant parts and learned, and has performed all the exercises for a B.A. degree, and request that 2 terms may be given him, as he was kept from the University a year after he was fit for it. [½ page.]
May 5/15.
Sec. Thurloe to Amb. Lockhart. The officers here have at last resolved to call the Long Parliament, as it was when his late Highness sent them home, whereby his Highness is excluded from any share in the government, and must retire as a private gentleman, only it is said they will allow him 20,000l. a year and Somerset House. All who have been in relation to his father and him are much afflicted. I am in such confusion that I can scarce write about it. Parliament is to meet on Monday, and then the present power will cease. [Extract, French correspondence.]
May 5/15
_ to _. The Army officers, who are now masters, have resolved to call the Long Parliament, which was in the time of the late Protector and broken up by him, to exclude the new Protector from the Government entirely, and to give him 20,000l. a year, and Somerset House to live in as a private gentleman. This great and sudden change so astonishes the creatures of his late father, that they seem as though struck by a thunderbolt. Let our friends know, that they may take advantage of this. It is hard to judge what part Monk will take in Scotland, and Montague at sea. This latter is much attached to the Protector's interests, but it is to be feared that if he is continued in his charge, he will accommodate himself to the times if he is master of the fleet. Couriers have been sent to him from both parts, and it will soon be seen which has the upper hand.
It cannot be supposed that Lord Henry will separate himself from the interests of his brother, which are his own. The ambassador who is in France will be much surprised at this change, which may oblige him to go to his government at Dunkirk sooner than he intended, and the treaty begun will be broken off. Fleetwood is commander-in-chief of the forces, Desborow lieutenant-general, and Lambert major-general. Parliament is to open next Monday, and then the power of the Protector will cease. [1½ pages, French, draft much corrected, French correspondence.]
May 7. Order in Parliament, constituting Fleetwood, Sir A. Hesilrigge, Sir Hen. Vane, Lieut.-Gen. Ludlow, Col. Sydenham, Maj. Salway, and Col. Jones, a Committee of Safety, with full powers to take care of the public peace, to exact and receive obedience from all officers, soldiers, and ministers of justice, to sit when and where they think fit, and to continue for 8 days and no longer. [I. 91. p. 1.]
May 8/18. Sir Rob. Walsh—to [Sec. Nicholas.] It is a great misfortune that I can neither have the original nor the copy of the keeper's petition [see p. 340 supra]. My son says the King ordered the 20 stivers a day when money came in. Pray intercede for me, as it is not a business for Council. Let Fox or Thomson come here and satisfy the King as to the amount. As to what I said to Fox, starving and ill usage privilege a sufferer to speak. I am in perfect charity with any that relate to the King, and pardon such as have wronged me. Those who acted against me have asked my pardon and made me public satisfaction. The little emissaries now in England are not the King's true friends, but seek their own interests.
I beg justice without favour, and hope the King may open his eyes and ears to the truth. Were he re-established, I would demand justice as to my imprisonment before any Parliament or court of justice.
P.S.—I would have got the Pope, Emperor, and King of Spain, to move the King to give me the place in his favour that I have tried for by hazard of life and fortune, but he does not countenance this. I know the Marquis of Ormond will not meddle in my sufferings, yet I am his true servant. A prisoner must be wary in what he says and writes. Endorsed by Nicholas: "Sir Rob. Walsh, Answer, that I cannot find any such petition hath been delivered to the King. That the King thinks not fit to send Mr. Fox or Mr. Thomson to him, he having not deserved any such favour of his Majesty." [3 pages, Flanders correspondence.]
May 8/18 Earl of Inchiquin to the Countess of Dysart. The French ambassador writes that he knows not to whom to address himself in England, so I perceive the Council of State acts no more, all being done, as we hear, by the council of the officers, who join with them whom they think fit. This may be of evil consequence, but I hope the Lord will dispose it otherwise. This news has prevented Lockhart's treating here. The Cavaliers say the Cardinal will now join with Spain to re-establish the Scotch King, "but you know they make stories good cheap, when there is anything to colour them." [2/3 page, copy, French correspondence.]
May 8/18.
Earl of Inchiquin to Lady Anne Murray. I fear your last has miscarried. It is not likely it should be intercepted, as all other letters are come safe. If the King knows how to use it, he may now have a favourable opportunity to engage this Court to him, they being persuaded that he may be useful to them. If Col. Tuke's business does not require his presence, he should retire to Suffolk [England ?] (fn. 1) as he is obnoxious to prejudice. The Cardinal's indifference to the Duke of York still continues, but is not so melancholy in its effect now as lately, he being hopeful of Mr. Webb's [the King's?] assistance to remove what disquiet it has given him. Use the word respect instead of indifference henceforth. Direct your letters to M. le Fontaine, chez M. de Mercés, Palais Royal, Paris. [2/3 page, copy, French correspondence. Italics cyphers. Partial key in Cypher Collection, Vol. VI., No. 49.]
May 9. Declaration in Parliament, that all such as are in any place of trust in this Commonwealth are to be persons fearing God, and that have given testimony of their love to all the people of God, and of their faithfulness to the cause of this Commonwealth, according to the declaration of Parliament of 7 May, 1659. [½ page, printed. Vol. II., No. 145 A. Collection of Acts, Record Office Library, 498, F.]
May 9. Orders in Parliament.
That Col. Desborow, Col. Bury, and Mr. Scot be added to the Council of State.
That such members of the Council of State as are members of Parliament consider of fit persons to fill civil and military appointments, and report their names to Parliament.
Also that they learn the powers of the late Council of State, and consider and report fit persons to become a Council of State.
That the Committee of Safety have power to direct warrants to any holding State revenue moneys for such payments as they judge needful.
That a bill be brought in for settling the Militia of London, and the Committee of Safety to report names of fit persons. [I. 91, pp. 1–2.]
May 9/19.
_ to the Earl of Inchiquin, Palais Royal, Paris. I wish I could find my health and you in one place. Mrs. Fitton* says that she and Lady Dysart think of going to you at Michaelmas. I advised this in discourse with Sir Lionel Tollemache, though I shall be a loser thereby; but I have great confidence in and affection for you. With variety of company, I am as disordered as the times we live in, but not so uncertain. The Protector is quite cast in his suit by the Independent party, who have got the goods. The Presbyterians would claim them if they could, but nothing can be done in law, unless they petition the Parliament now sitting. Mr. Fitton's service to you. [1 page, copy, French correspondence. The italics in cypher undecyphered.]
May 9/19.
John Thurloe to [Amb. Lockhart.] I write to you now as a private person. I have no relation to public affairs, but I shall never forget my obligations to you. I am troubled that the State is so much in your debt. I will solicit the Committee of Safety for your satisfaction. I know not into what order they will put their foreign affairs, but at present you had better write to Lord Fleetwood. He will promote whatever may concern you. [2/3 page, copy, French correspondence.]
May 9. 2. Geo. Williamson to his brother Joseph. Pardon my past neglect. I find my sister is married, and hope it will be to her comfort. Sir Patricius [Curwen] and my lady send respects. My wife and I hope to see you at Bridekirk this summer. [2/3 page.]
May 10. Order in Parliament, that such of the Committee of Safety as are members of Parliament report on Saturday names of persons fit to be Great Seal Commissioners, Judges of the Benches of Westminster Hall, Barons of the Exchequer, Admiralty Judges, and Judges for Probate of Wills, [I. 91, p. 2.]
May 10/20. 3. Petition of Eliz. Grenville to the King. I am constrained by my father's debility to carry on a suit against Wilhan Rutlis, before the Privy Council of his Catholic Majesty here, but Sir Hen. de Vic, your agent, without your knowledge, takes my adversary's part, and thus retards my affairs. I beg you to forbid him to meddle with it, and to recommend it yourself to the Council here. [2/3 page, French.] With note [by Nicholas] of the King's reply, that De Vic has not these many months done or said anything in his master's name, in the business depending between her father and the Earl of Suffolk on this side the sea, and that his Majesty would not interpose concerning the validity of that course, but leaves them to proceed therein according to law; but if both parties could, by consent, remit the determination thereof to him, he would do therein according to justice and equity. [½ page, shorthand, draft.]
May 10. Orders in the Committee for Safety.
The Excise Commissioners to bring into the Exchequer to-morrow all the money that was in their hands on 7 May, and pay in the same weekly every Tuesday forenoon.
The Customs' Commissioners to pay in their moneys weekly every Monday forenoon. [I. 107, pp. 345–346.]
May 11. Orders in Parliament.
The Committee of Safety to raise auxiliary forces sufficient to secure the peace of the nation, and continue them as long as necessary, not exceeding a month, and to issue money to raise and pay them, not exceeding 5,000l.
Order—on report from the Committee of Safety of renewed information of attempted disturbances in the nation by disaffected persons—that they be empowered to search for, seize, and secure such persons, with their horses and arms, and report.
The Committee of Safety to consider speedily how to constitute a militia in the several counties, of persons of approved fidelity, and arm them, and to consider how they may be raised and paid with the least charge to the people. [I. 91, p. 3.]
[May 11.] 4. Notes of proceedings in the Committee of Safety.
A Committee of Safety of 11 members named, being voted by Parliament on Saturday [9 May], and Lord Fleetwood voted General, on Monday [11 May] 4 votes passed,—
1. The war with Spain illegal.
2. The peace with Holland unlawful.
3. None that have been for the King to have interest in church or State.
4. The Army officers to bring in an account of all officers that have been faithful till the Long Parliament broke up.
Twelve propositions to Parliament, being mainly abstracts of those presented by the Army officers; [see No. 5.] but the Council of State to be chosen for the executive part "in the intervals of Parliament." Also his Highness to have Somerset House to dwell in. Endorsed [by Nicholas] received 17/21 May 1659. [1 page.]
May 11/21.
[Lord Inehiquin] to the Duke of York. I heard nothing from you last week. What Mrs. Norman (fn. 2) writes of my mistakes may be her forgetfulness; she bade me address rather to Mrs. Haynes* than Mrs. Norman.*
My meaning in naming Mr. Wharton's injustice touching Mr. Webb [the King's?] title is that it gives occasion to discourse of the clearness of it to many that knew not whether it were good or not. If this occasion do not invite Mr. Lawrence* [the King?] to dwell in Suffolk [England] he will never come himself, nor permit you to come thither at all.
Don John* has neglected nothing by reason of his acquaintance with Mr. Potle, but there is no room for any proposition to the French Court.
Your commands shall be punctually observed in avoiding such discourses. I address this to you, but will direct the next to Mrs. Jones.
I have been several times from the Queen with the Cardinal to dispose him in the King's favour, to which the Cardinal seems to listen. [1⅓ pages, copy, French correspondence.]
May 12. Order in Parliament—on Lieut.-Gen. Ludlow's report from the Committee of Safety concerning the better constituting of the land forces—that it be re-committed and brought in again to-morrow. [I. 91, p. 3.]
May 12. Order in the Committee of Safety that the Auditor of Exchequer draw orders for payment to John Blackwell and Rich. Deane, Treasurers-at-war, of the moiety of the farm of excise on beer and ale, in part of the 167,734l. 10s. 2d. payable yearly to them therefrom. [I. 107, p. 344.]
May 12.
5. Petition of the Army officers to Parliament. We remember your former declaration inciting us to take up arms, and the signal providences by which God has owned your forces; but public spirit has been discouraged, and there has been a drawing back towards the things contended against. We therefore thought of once more appearing against these backsliding ways, and asserted among ourselves some of the fundamentals of our cause, resolving to hazard our lives for their recovery and security; but Providence opening your way to discharge your trust, on 6 May we desired you to return to its exercise as before 20 April 1653. You on 7 May consented to settle the State without a single person, Kingship, or House of Peers, carry on the work of reformation, and uphold a godly ministry and magistracy. Therefore we present what was in our hearts when we made a way for your return.
1. Inviolable liberty of person and estate.
2. Due regulation of courts of justice and equity.
3. An Act of Oblivion for all who have acted in the changes of government since 19 April 1653.
4. Confirmation of all ordinances, decrees, &c., made since then, until repealed.
5. Payment of public debts contracted since 20 April 1653.
6. Liberty of conscience and equality to all who hold the doctrine of the Trinity and inspiration of the Bible, but not to extend to Popery or Prelacy, nor to licentiousness or profaneness under profession of religion.
7. Encouragement of a gospel-preaching ministry.
8. Countenancing of universities and schools of learning.
9. Removal from all places of trust of those who have adhered to the late King or his son since 20 May 1642, or have acted against Christian liberty, or have scoffed at godliness and its professors, or have been of loose or scandalous conversation.
10. Confinement of authority to those eminent for godliness, faithfulness, and constancy to the good cause.
11. Provision for succession of Parliaments, that their long sitting be not burdensome.
12. Appointment of Lord Chas. Fleetwood as Lieut.-General of the army, and Commander-in-chief of the land forces.
13. The power to be in a house of representatives chosen by the people, and a select senate co-ordinate in power, of persons adhering to the cause who are eminent for godliness.
14. The executive power to be in a Council of State.
15. All debts contracted by the late Protector or his father since 15 Dec. 1653 to be paid; 10,000l. a year to be settled on him for life; and 10,000l. more, with a convenient house, on him and his heirs for ever; and 8,000l. a year on his mother for life, as a mark of high esteem of the services of his father.
As divers honest and faithful people, and you yourselves are led towards the same things, we present them to you, and beg God's blessing on the prosecution of a settlement.
Signed Thos. Sandford, secretary. Presented to Parliament by Lord Lambert and 17 other officers named. [13 pages, printed, 24mo.; also in Parliament History, Vol. XXI. pp. 400–405.
May 12/22.
[M. de Vaux] to Marquis du Chastel. The Parliament, such as it was 5 or 6 years ago, governs all. There is a proclamation that the late Protector shall be called only Lord Richard, son of Oliver Cromwell, late Protector. He is out of everything, and nothing secured to him. It is said that they wished to give him Hampton Court, Somerset House, and 20,000l. a year, but he has refused it. They speak of making him pay for the funeral of his father; in that case, he will be ruined without resource. He is preparing to leave Whitehall, and has to give it up to some gentlemen of the Parliament forthwith. All is changed, and other faces are seen. Thurloe is not expected to be sent away. Morland is nothing. Fleetwood is always great. It is said that the Protector had sent "chanter pouille" to him, but that he laughs at it. There is no news of what Richard's brother is doing in Ireland. Some say he holds good; others that he sells himself to the Army. The commander in Scotland has not quite given satisfaction; thus if Ireland and Scotland join against England, it would be a bad affair.
The Lower House have voted that they will not be governed by a King, nor a House of Lords, nor by a single person—that is to say, the Protector—but by a Parliament; that certainly means that we are to have a republic. If you have anything of consequence to send to me, do so, for there are 3 or 4 of the principal persons of the Lower House who are great friends of mine. I am afraid they will bring the Earl of Arundel back on the tapis. He is now in the country. (Passage in cypher, no key.) [¾ page, French, copy. French correspondence. The italics in cypher, decyphered.]
May 13. Order in Parliament to give 50l. to Jn. Phelps, for his services as Clerk of Parliament, and the Committee of Safety to order payment accordingly. [I. 91, p. 3.]
May 15.
[Countess of Dysart] to the Earl of Inchiquin, alias Wm. Jones, Palais Royal, Paris. I fear my unimportant letters have been opened, as so many are now, and detained. Take care that my child is well settled with her nurse, and the terms agreed on.
I have little news, for as poor Lord Percy used to say, I have little curiosity. The great change is not unexpected to me. I always thought things would end where they began. The constitution and situation of England best suit a democracy. There are in this assembly divers that I know to be very considerable, and some to whom I am obliged, but had the old one lived, there was none that could say so much. I can only say, I did know him, and I hope I shall never know his fellow.
I want to settle in Suffolk [England ?] for life, and in retirement from a world where ingratitude and false appearances reign. My work and book delight me. I am going to my sister's for a month, and return here for my delivery. Private affairs. [2 pages, copy. French correspondence.]


  • 1. Probably a cypher, but it is not in the key.—ED.
  • 2. Cypher, many of the names in this letter are not in the key to Lord Inchiquin's cypher. [Vol. 6, No. 49.]