State Papers, 1639: May

Pages 2-3

A Collection of the State Papers of John Thurloe, Volume 1, 1638-1653. Originally published by Fletcher Gyles, London, 1742.

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Sir Bevill Grenvile to William Morice esq.

In the possession of Hugh Gregor esq.

My dear and noble frend,
I do with a sad heart salute you from hence, because I have heer heard of your sicknes. I hope the heavens have not design'd such a punishment for this age, (otherwise sufficiently visited) as to add your sickness to the former evills; and though for my private cause I have enough to complain, yet the publick interest is such in you, as you must be look'd after with a general care. But of this theame I have not time to be copious. My chiefest worke is to power out my orisons for your health; my next is to assure you, that in all fortunes, and however God may dispose of me, I will live and dye your faithful frend and servant. I have made a collection of the truest newes that is heer stirring among us, and have sent you a copy of it, which tho' it be not very note–worthy, yet because it carries the badge of trueth with it, and may contradict the false rumors that run about the country, I present it to you, and for expedition (in the copie) I am forc'd to use the helpe of another hand. God keepe you, your worthy mother, wife, and family; and for my part I goe with joy and comfort to venture a life in as good a cause, and with as good company, as ever Englishman did; and I do take God to witnes, if I were to chuse a death, it should be no other but this. But I cannot be larger at this time. Expect to heare from me againe after some memorable action, if I survive it, who am
Newcastle, May 15, 1639.

Your most affectionate kinsman,
and faithful servant,
Bevill Grenvile.

To my most honor'd kinsman William Morice Esq. at Cherston present these.

My last shooke hands with you at Yorke, and gave you an accompt of such collections as I could gather there; in which course I shall proceede rather to correct the various and uncertaine reports, which you dayly meete in the countrey, then to give you any notable newes from hence, where hitherto nothing more than ordinary is to be observed. The nynth daye after my arrival at Yorke, the kinge remov'd with the regiment of his houshold in two dayes to Durham, the rest of the troope to Newcastle in Northumberland, beinge twelve myles farther, and the weeke followinge his majestie removed thither also, where we are all yet; the town full with as many as it can hold, the rest billetted in the country about. I cannot yet give you a certain list of the army, for besides the regiments already here divers others are sent for, and no doubt but there will be need of them, for our army is not yet very stronge, nor such as will become the majestie of soe great a monarch to march with into a countrey, where he is sure to meete blowes. It hath byn thought impossible that the Scottes could be so impious as to list their hands against him; but it is now taken for granted, that nothinge but force can reduce them to obedience, for they are guilty of this aggravation to their offences: the kinge sent a proclamation lately into Scotland to pardon all offences past, if they would yet submitt; but they have slighted it, and not a man comes in, but rather are confirmed in their insolence by his gratiousnes, and continually some fall off from the kinge to them, as of late some great ones near his Person. The marques of Hamilton was sent with a good fleete of the king's shippes and some five thousand land souldiers to lye about the coast of Scotland, and being lately desirous to refresh some of his sicke men on the shore, he was forbidden by them, and had the cannon threatned to him, if he did attempt to land; soe he must endure the sea till we meete. Our army is governed by two several and distinct policys, having divers generals without being subject each to other. My lord of Arundel is generalissimo, and comandes the greater part of the army. But the king's houshold with all his servants both in ordinary and extraordinary are of a body apart, and designed for the guard of the kinges person, which are all under my lord chamberlaines command, who is our absolute generall without subjection to any but his majesty himself, and we consist of divers troopes of horse, but the most glorious in the world, whether we consider the quality of the persons, or the bravery of armes, apparell, horses, and furniture. There is a regiment of foote also appointed for the guard of the king's person, in which sir Nicholas Slanning hath a company, and is sergeant major of the regiment. The marques of Huntley, who was reported at Yorke to be absolutely revolted, is said not to be so nowe; but though he gave way to some things, yet he opposed them in others, and is imprisoned by the covenanters. Thus you see we have uncertain reports here as well as you in the country. We are not certain of our abode heere in this place; but as soon as thinges can be ready, we shall march to Barwick, where we are threatned with bad entertainment in a very barren countrey; and the last newes is, that Lesley is marching with a goodly army to welcome us upon the frontiers as soon as we shall appear there, and that they have three armyes in a readiness consisting of threescore thousand Men in all. Thus you see I am forced to pick upp petty matters for want of better newes, which, when it happens, you shall have your share of.

From Newcastle the 15th of May 1639.

Bevill Grenvile.