State Papers, 1653: July (1 of 5)

Pages 324-334

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

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In this section

July (1 of 5)

The Dutch ambassadors in London to the states of Zealand.

Vol. iv. p. 45.

High and mighty lords,
My lords, We have the 4th of this month by the post, and the 8th by captain Cruyck, commander of the ship the Black Eagle, writ to your high and mighty lordships. Since we have, as also some days before, received many civilities from the ambassadors of Spain and Portugal; the lords de Neusville, Lagerfelt, and Stockar sent in the behalf of the crown of Sweden, and France, and the evangelical cantons of Swisserland; as also from Dr. Peterson, the agent of Hamburgh, to whom we have returned the like civilities from time to time; and we have been with the Portugal ambassador, to condole the death of the prince, the king's eldest son. He was pleased to send to our lodgings, without our knowledge, a pipe of wine, and a cellar of strong waters for a present; but according to your high and mighty lordships order, we sent them immediately back again, and upon occasion of our visit did very civilly excuse it. One lieut. col. Lilburne, who is a prisoner in Newgate, hath by intercession of many thousands of citizens presented a petition signed by them to his excellency and the council of state, and obtained an order for the stopping of all proceedings in order to his tryal, till the new representative be met, which is expected on Tuesday next, the greatest part of them being already come to town. What alteration their meeting will cause, and whether any change will happen, time will manifest. We shall not be wanting to take care of all what passeth, and give your high and mighty lordships a particular account thereof from time to time. In the mean time we shall pray for your prosperity.

1/11 July, 1653.

To the lords States of Zealand.

High and mighty lords,
Your lordships humble servants.

Letters of intelligence.

Hague, 11 July, 1653. [N. S.]

Vol. iv. p. 25.

Since my last to you the extracts of three letters you have herewith, by which you may gather in what condition we are here, and with the two northern crowns. It is resolved ours shall again fight with yours, but not so soon, though we expose much by it; for if our fleet shall be worsted again, we shall be undone, or forced to such a peace as you please. We are in great fears still, yours should meet our East-India fleet coming home. You have lately taken of ours seventeen ships merchant men, whereof four came out of Italy loaden with much riches, and thirteen loaden with corn and cannon come from Swedeland.

Your fleet is now before Texell, some eight leagues of the shoar, as they please. All these provinces desire a peace, but more especially Holland, but not all Holland; yet none of them will agree, that a peace shall ever be upon the propositions of minheer Paw. Notwithstanding our divisions increase; for in the very province of Holland the prince of Orange's ensigns are spread upon the walls of Enchuysen; and in the town of Alcmaer the 7th of this month great troubles have been for the prince of Orange; and in Amsterdam itself now half the people declare for Orange, although the magistrates banished the town four ministers, for praying publicly for the prince of Orange.

The faction of Orange increaseth daily. The princess of Orange the younger is gone to the Spa. What else you may collect out of the ensuing letters.

A letter of intelligence from the Hague.

Hague, July 11 1653. [N. S.]

Vol. iv. p. 53.

I Have been forced to be from the Hague this day, about that unhappy business of casting away that vessel and the men. Truly Mrs. — is to be pitied; her husband was a gallant person, and deserved much of you. I shall do what I can here for her; and you will be sure to provide something also, she being in a sad condition. Mr. — man is come home, having escaped.

Our councils here are violent to join all interests into one against you, and I really believe will carry it. They have carefully now provided for their security within, by guarding all their sea coasts strongly. They have drawn most part of their forces out of Guelderland and Overyssel down into Friseland, all along the coasts from Delfzeile to the Vlye wards. They have likewise sent two troops of horse, and between two or three hundred foot more into the Texell island, and some hundred more into the Vlye; and now they are confident these places are secure, being, with the countrymen that are armed, near a thousand in the Texell, and four hundred in the Vlye island. These were sent into the islands last Saturday. There are two or three companies of horse more sent to Huusdowne, with some more foot. Brederode lieth in Alckmaer, where there hath been lately a rising, but it is quashed. There is about six hundred commanded foot there to secure those coasts, and so there are placed men all along to the Maese mouth soldiers to assist the country; and now that we are secure on the coasts, our greatest care is to suppress tumults within, which every day arise in one place or other.

The fleet is with all speed hastening out; all encouragement is given, great wages, at least eighteen and twenty guilders a month's wages. The brass guns are arrived at the fleet in Zealand from their inland garrisons; there is good store of all provisions made ready; there are some thirty four sail of small vessels, with all sorts of provisions and ammunition. The whole care of the fleet is left to the admirals, and whatsoever they think necessary is done, placing what captains and officers they please in their fleet, attributing their late miscarriages to their former officers. They go from town to town to encourage men to take on; yet do what they can, they will want men. This will be the best provided fleet, that ever they had. I am assured, that the fleet will out sooner than is expected. Private notice is come, that some fleets are near repairing homewards, whom Tromp by his going out hopes to secure from you as formerly; but the great thing is, they have boats, that narrowly watch the carriage of your fleet; and they do expect, that divers of them will repair off these coasts to victual, whereby they may get an opportunity. I pray you be careful, and let not these get any advantage against you; for if they should, they would pursue it to the purpose.

The ships in the Zuyder sea are fallen down as low as Medenblick, and so for the Texell, and will watch their first opportunity. Be confident, another engagement must be. Although they have not heard from their ambassadors, what your demands are, yet they hear, that commissioners are appointed to treat; yet so they are assured from their own creatures, that there can nothing be expected but proud demands, the lord general and the army being made violent against them, and the council; so it is expressed in the letter; and one letter expresseth, which I believe I shall send you by the private post, that the lord general finds, that he cannot be well seated in his new government, or be in a capacity to follow his desires elsewhere, till we are brought under as low as Scotland and Ireland; for little better was to be expected, that the whole power lay in the hands of the swordmen, who would violently pursue it; and that the safest way for them was their own strength; and though many things are represented to them of hopes, as foreign friends and your divisions, yet at present they seem to trust neither so much as their own strength. Indeed their consultations this week have been solid, and it hath been expressed, that Holland must not expect now at its need any help from foreign princes; and though some have moved for a necessitated present compliance with England, yet it hath been manifestly declared and made to appear, that their present condition is as good, and more secure from the bad event of a battle, than it was when Tromp went out before the last fight; and they having so considerable fleet ready of a hundred and seven fail, they should think it an unworthy thing to yield upon any base terms, when that the worst that could come, which would be by being beaten, would not render themselves in a worse condition to treat.

Once more you must be confident, a tryal will be. The event of it, though it be on your side, will not probably put you into such a capacity to hurt these as the last fight, because of those happy advantages you had, which now are secured against you. Have an eye to the channel. There are ships looked for thorough there; if they miss their advice boats, you have time now to arm yourselves. I pray God guide you for the best in all things.

I am told, that there are some of the lords of Holland have sent to Nieuport privately, in case you should stand upon very high terms in the general, to sound whether or no they could not make peace privately for themselves on better terms, for the Lovestein party do absolutely fear, that they shall be swallowed up by the Orange and Spanish faction, who are resolved to hold out the war. The hopes of the moderate party here are, that with their fleet they shall make better conditions. Pray make good payment of the monies charged on you, or else we are undone.

Received July 6, 1653.

A letter of intelligence from J. Peterson in Holland.

Vol. iv. p. 44.

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I Was glad to understand by yours 24th ult. that myne were come to hands, though to litle purpose, for what with the prohibition here, and your rotten act in England for increase of shipping and navigation, the poore merchant is like to have but meane tradeing, especially if the English fleete lye still upon our coast, by which meanes wee can have noe goods to trade withall, though some Streights men and East countrymen came in lately, which is imputed to the foulenes of the English ships haveing beene long at sea, or else they had beene taken too. I feare Tromp will not bee ready very soone to protect our goods for France, though a small fleete would serve the tourne, for five of our capers have lately taken three English Canary men in the channell; but hee is suddenly to goe to sea with such ships as hee hath ready in Zeeland to beate away a squadron of the English, that lie at the Wielings, by which meanes I hope that coast will bee cleare, soe that wee may trade in safety, but his chiefe 553 design 502 is to make way to 318 join with De Wit's fleet 549 109. at the Texell, who is at Amsterdam, and 326 will to sea with 368 forty ships, but that he wants men. His ship hath sixty guns but 352 319. the Levant ships came by Scotland, as also the last East India fleet, which they hope will gett into 561 some safe harbour 147 532 in Norway; in the mean time 533 ships 484 are sent to all the coast 482. At Texwell are 140 and as many at Vly, soe that 'tis not so feazable for us to trade that way, but rather at sea, where wee shall doe more good by taking their ships besides 120 ships which are now to go out 573 there are 40 461 50 more making, but Zeland and Texell are the chief port s. Wee were in greate feare our ambassadors had beene come away re infecta, till the post brought newes to the contrary: however wee expect little better from your new (what do you call't) than from your quondam parliament, till wee give you a sound bang, which wee hope to doe shortly, when Tromp and De Witt are at sea, who have now gallant new ships, and will bee well man'd in time, especially with those soldiers, that are at Texell and Fly. Our states of Holland are now content to have a captaine generall over the provinces; but who it shall bee, there's the question, which tis thought will take up a long debate. Some think the marquesse of Brandenburg, who hath long since written to all the United Provinces in perticular in the name of the princes in Germany, for reneweing the ancient allyance, which hath hitherto beene unanswered by those of Holland, which occasioned lately a sharpe letter from him, soe that now they have given instructions for an answer. 'Tis impossible to gett any of that commoditie you write for, and being of the growth of this country, cannot be brought into England but by stealth: however I have written to 1004 at Duynkerk to procure some, in case any be to be had there. I know not what you meane by those summes 600 and 608, for I doe not find that I have given you creddit for them in my bookes: my friend shall bee noe more soe, if he cannot fare well, but must cry roste meat. Here are come to this towne from Leghorn, over land, those unfortunate captains, Apleton, Seaman, and Marsh, who desire nothing more then to bee in England to cleare themselves of those aspersions by some cast upon them. Truely according to what I have seen and heard, I believe they may. Just now I am tolde the young babe shall bee captaine general, when all's done, and mynheer Van Brederode to bee president during his minority. I am this day goeing into the country, to see if I can gett any commodities, that may turne to accompt. I was two dayes since at Saerdam, where's nothing to bee solde but ships, whereof eighteen are building for men of warre. At my retourne shall write you further; meane time take leave, and remaine
1/11 July, 1653.

Receiv'd 6/16. July, 1653.

Yours, J. P.

A letter of intelligence from Holland.

The 11/1 July, 1653.

Vol. vi. p. 41.

Since the quieting of the tumults in divers towns of Holland, this week 'tis broke out at Alckmaer a town or city in north Holland, where the rabble meeting together pulled down and wholly spoiled a . . . . . (or long building, where ropers used to spin, and lay their hemp, yarn, and ropes, when made) upon this pretence and rumour spread amongst them, that this roper had divers times sent cordage for England with pitch, tar, &c. under pretence of sending to Calais to furnish some of the Dutch ships that lay there; also one of the schapins (or almost like sheriffs with you) of the city, called Somevelt, had his house spoiled by this rout; broke out his glass windows and broke open his doors and had wholly spoiled the house, had not some soldiers come, who shot amongst them tho' not with bullets, and with the fear routed the rout, but doubt what justice will be done upon the ringleaders, which time will show; but all is quiet at present, only divers merchants have absented themselves at Amsterdam, &c. out of fear of the general report or act of citizens, that they have let unto the states divers ships for war, which were old and unfit for service; the women that have lost their husbands making the greatest cry against these kind of men; but the general remedy, which most think may cure all these distempers, is the choosing of a stateholder, which now it seems is as good as concluded on in the Hague, about which more by the next: but it seems Brederode shall be lieutenant for the young prince of Orange till he be of age, and Beverweert shall be marshal; so that in a week or two the drums will beat for the prince of Orange. Thus you see this party that governs here endeavours to make themselves irreconcileable to England, tho' to the ruin of the whole country, hoping that themselves shall be shrouded under the prince's protection, against the many crimes, that Holland have to lay to their charge, if they had power to try them for the same.

Here is also news, that the East India ships eleven or twelve in number are got into France, but I doubt of the truth thereof, as also of the report that the Dutch have taken five English ships in East Indies.

But the Burgomasters of Amsterdam have news brought them by a commissioner, that Tromp with a fleet of ninety ships is out from Zealand, and hath a design upon England or some place under that commonwealth, which you had need to look to; but I rather believe 'tis misreported, and that he is not yet, but may be shortly, and like enough hath some design upon you to draw your ships from our coast.

There are arrived at Amsterdam three lusty captains from the Streights, viz. captain Appelton and two others; very proper men and full of courage they seem to be. The people wonder at them, how they got home, your fleet being upon our coast.

From Venice there is writing, that a Holland ship called the St. Peter of Amsterdam, going from Venice to Holland, is taken by an English man of war, tho' there were two of them in company, and the St. Peter had twenty four gunns, the master of which was killed and the other fled, which seems here very strange, because all thought the English had wholly quitted the Streights.

The whole fleet in Zealand, Texell, Goree, &c. with the new frigats will be together 125 lusty men of war, all which intend to be shortly at sea, before you know of it; and for the guns that yours have taken a supply shall be made out of the store-houses, every city proportionable, and other supplies are at hand, &c.

For seventeen lighters with soldiers are sent down to the Texell, in which are ten companies of Scotch, where is also lately arrived from sea a private man of war with two English prizes laded with coals, and another private man of war, that went out but the day before, hath brought in an English ship laden with victuals of some 160 tuns, as butter, cheese, &c. being found in her 200 firkins of butter, some hundreds of cheeses, 700 sacks of bread, some barrels of beer and other provisions; he had been aboard admiral Blake, and unladed something, but the weather grew so strong, that he drive off to leeward from the fleet, and so was taken by this man of war, after whom an English man of war came, but came too late.

Grave William of Friesland is also gone to the Texell, to see in what forwardness the fortification is there, and to take orders to make all defendable, &c.

And to the rest of the men of war of Texell is lately gone from Enchuysen a new frigat called the Eendracht (or Unitie) and another ship called the Gemea, and lately is another private man of war gone to sea. And the vice-admiral Witt Wittesen is come from the Hague and gone down to the Texell, and is also to go to the fleet to hasten all the men of war to sea, and take orders in all things, and to bring the men of war that are in the Vlie to the Texell to go out the stronger together.

At Horn are also two English prizes brought up laden with pitch and tar, with Iron, &c.

At Amsterdam are set up by the lords of the Admiralty to be sold the 17/27 July divers Eng lish Goods taken by the Vlie, by captain Jan admiral, being as follows, 210 white cloths, seventy pieces mixt.

At Middleburgh was also a prize brought up sixty half pieces ditto, 100 bays divers colours, fifty pieces white sarcenet, one piece cloth of silver.

To the Hague were come two horse companies, being 250 strong, and fifty for better defence of this place, and to be near the sea coast.

The countrymen and fishers all along the sea coast are trained, having arms given them, and put under fewer captains and officers, that if the English should land they may find resistance. The earle of Brederode hath also been at Texell, and is returned again to the Hague, and made his report of all to the States General, &c.

To the Texell are also gone divers companies of foot and horse, with some pieces of ordnance for defence of the island.

Into the river of the Elve are got one Streightsman, one ship from France, and another small ship which meant to get into the Vlie, but being followed by the English have here saved themselves.

There are also three ships from France got into the river of Ems, of which one run upon a sand; but eighteen Eastland ships and a man of war got safe into the Vlie from the English.

There is also a long Flota got into the haven of Amelande.

Here is the Holland Catechism for 1653 come forth in print.

As also a conceit how to maintain eighty men of war more by way of assurance upon merchandize without any charge to the state.

Also a proclamation from the province of Utrecht, forbidding all manner of cursing and swearing upon forfeit of twelve shillings for every first time, by any offender, and doubled every time after, and bodily punishment if they cannot pay, wherein the parents are to pay for their children, and all officers, boatmen, waggonmen, &c. to be put out of their places. in case they offend this law, which so provokes the Lord, and ten several oaths and curses most usual are named in the act, and all such forbidden.

Also a book of thirty six pages in quarto, called the Examination Impartial, first put out in Latin, and now printed in Dutch, and made by a schapin, as 'tis thought, that all may see their striving about a stateholder may loose them all and therefore better each give some place for unity.

A letter there is also from Strasburgh and also from Cologne, of the great plenty of corn and wine that is this year like to be in Germany: about Strasburgh four bushels (English measure) of wheat is sold for half a rix doller ( or 2 s. 16/2) and such plenty of wine like to be this year, that they give as much for a vessel, as 'tis like they shall give for the wine that will fill it.

A letter of intelligence from the Hague.

Vol. vi. p. 94.

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By this printed resolution of the 3d of July you may easily judge of the sad condition of States of Holland

105; for when a king, prince, or magistrate is reduced to such terms, that he must defend himself against his subjects by apologies or manifestos, then is he miserable. The people are made to believe, that States of Holland do correspond with council of state and that they procure to the English all the booty they make; yea that at present States of Holland would be glad, that the English met with the ten East India ships now expected home.

It is spoken here that Tromp doth threaten to lay down his commission, if he be not provided with better ships. I believe he desires to have four to one, as in the year 1639 against the Spaniards.

The same design hath been used at Amsterdam, that was put in practise at Enchuysen; for a drummer beating to raise men, a drunken fellow came to him, and asked him, why he did not also cry, under the prince of Orange? But this drunkard was not seconded; but some women came, and threatened the drunkard, telling him, will you raise here a tumult, and cause our houses to be plundered as at Enchuysen?

The fleet designed for the Baltick sea hath been made to pay here the redemption money; account being made, that the fleet had passed the Sound before St. John (the term and end of the redemption;) but the English fleet having hindered their going out hitherto, they will not pass the Sound till after St. John. If the king then will cause them to pay for their passage, that will occasion a complaint, that the fleet should pay here and there too the same thing. And in the mean time the king likewise doth not receive that, which is due of the redemption at St. John, nor likewise the first term of the subsidy; notwithstanding that one or two provinces are ready with their shares.

There hath been some commotion at Alcmaer: the rabble had a fancy and persuasion, that a certain citizen and merchant had transported into England contraband goods, and thereupon would plunder the house of this citizen; but as good luck was, there happened to be a troop of horse, that is quartered in the town, which immediately broke the design of the rabble. There was likewise fixed at Horne mutinous libels and pasquils to stir up the people, telling them that they should have soldiers quartered in their town to suppress the townsmen; but that did not take any effect.

At the end of this month we shall see how it will go at Middleburgh. The good Hollanders and republicans do persuade themselves, that they shall be able to master the machinations of the prince's party, if they had peace with England; but without that very hardly. I believe that good Hollanders will not be sorry to make alliance with England; but I do not see it practicable; for the people is very furious, and will not be curbed; yea the militia it self will be against it; for the soldiery or officers (the most part being creatures of the princes of Orange deceased) do cry up and desire a captain general as well as the rest, but receiving their pay of the states they do obey them; but in a general alteration it will be seen, that they will close with the people. All the boors are armed in the villages: this makes ill for the states, for all these boors desire the prince of Orange's colours; yea all of them desire to wear Orange ribbons; in a word all is for Orange. But the prince being young, there remains a difficulty, that there must be a lieutenant. Now about that there will be a dispute, for monsieur de Brederode is already in possession to be head; and Grave William being formerly disliked hath rendered himself of late yet more hateful and odious by these commotions in North Holland, which are imputed to him, or his men, or correspondents.

Admiral Tromp hath formerly given to understand, that he should be ready to go out to sea against the tenth of this month; but the ordinary manner is, that the day is named before the time, or that men hope better; and notwithstanding it is impossible to know the prefixed and certain time.

The East India company is wilful and refractory; they will not unload their fine East India ships, saying, three of them are unfit to fight, and the other two cannot be discharged but with very great loss.

Men speak here of the bigness and mighty strength of the Danish ships, but they cannot tell how to join them to Tromp's fleet. Likewise the king will be promised to be paid for them, in case any of them be lost. Item there must be money had to maintain them. Item there must be other ships sent first in their place. Item it is said, they are very great and strong, but old and very bad for sailing.

Monsieur Pimentel, the Spanish ambassador in Sweden, is to go from thence into Spain: the queen hath provided him a ship of fifty four guns to transport him from Gottenburgh into Spain; it is assured, that he goes to communicate a projected alliance between the two crowns for the free commerce between the subjects of each other, that they shall transport their commodities themselves, and not trouble the Hollanders to carry them for them any longer, who have hitherto had all the Baltick trade to themselves in their own bottoms. Men are very jealous of this here. For this Pimentel is to return into Sweden; and it is very probable, that these crowns will endeavour to invite the English to enter into this same treaty.

It hath been strongly noised here, and great stir there hath been about it, that the English had given and yielded to the Dunkirkers the herring fishing.

The ambassadors of States General have given to understand to the States General, that those of the Council had some knowledge of o r d e s, which they had of States General, and do highly recommend the s e c r e t e s s e of their l e t t r e s. I wonder why the council have not been more reserved therein, for that doth make difficult the intelligence, yea impossible, if not with much money. The council ought to be contented to 37 78 know it 86 66. The princess royal is not yet come back from her voyage into Flanders and Brabant. And now it is said, that the king of Scots is to come to Spa. If that be true, without doubt the princess royal will go see him there, and will leave the people here in the mean time to agitate for the young prince her son. At Dort likewise there is as great a disposition to a rising and commotion, as in any other place, and Dort is a city the most republican.

The commissioners of this state write how the Portugal ambassador by his bonfires and otherwise hath insulted over them. Furthermore they write of what past at their audience, and what discourse hath been told them by any or either, the most part being furnished them by those of this nation, relating a different thing from what Mr. Beverning had formerly given to understand; in a word relating the pacification more difficult, and believing they shall effect nothing. The council must believe no more to those ambassadors, than to me. That which I have told to you is true of an alliance with France and I n c l u s i o of Denmark.

The equipage of Tromp goes on so very slowly and drowsily, that the people doth gather matter from thence to speak ill, and to say, that the states will not or cannot make war; and that they correspond and juggle with the English; and that they must have here another government. But the the truth is, this state is defective in power, and hath not wherewithal; for neither the merchants nor the tradesmen or handy-craftsmen will deliver or work but by the measure of money, which is given. And to draw much from the people is impossible, if they do not give them content about a captain general and another government; for, say they, every commissioner that is sent now to the states is now a sovereign, a prince, and we want but one. Messrs. Vander Steen, Amerongen, and Scheel are come back from the Texell, Vlielandt, and Amsterdam. The East India company will not unload their fine East India ships but upon some advance money.

The ship of Witte Wittensen lay before Amsterdam, expecting a spring tide to pass over Pampus; and there are thirty or forty ships to come from Amsterdam and other places to the Texell, but the question is how to join them.

In Zealand the equiping goes on slowly, and many ships are cast off as unserviceable, and the mariners thereof are distributed and dispersed on board of other ships; and yet (for so Tromp writes) there will be want of seamen, and there will be no more than seventy good men of war. And he writes, that if the conjunction cannot be made, they are to expect no other than a ruin of the fleet.

Holland hath obliged the troop of horse of the earl of Dona, which used to be the prince's guard, strong 250 horse, to make oath to the States General and to the states of Holland under the command of the field marshal. This hath offended the other provinces, saying, This is a novelty.

The money, which you desire to transmit hither, be pleased to make it, and address it to Nicholas Janson, secretary of resident of sweden. Sweden is angry with the States General, especially because the states do the office of m e d i b t sending their own instead of that.

In Sweden are yet 600 pieces of ordnance, which are contracted for to be transported into Holland. 320 are already fallen into the hands of the English.

There hath been likewise a report here, that the India ships were fallen into the hands of the English; but that is yet false. I remain

Your humble servant.

The 11th of July, 1653. [N. S.]

An intercepted letter designed for Holland.

Translated out of Dutch.

Vol. iv. p. 22.

Since our arrival here we are informed of the state of affairs here, as to their shipping, and are told for a certain, that they have at present an actual service 204 ships great and small, manned with 35000 men, which are set down in the muster-lists, and are in actual pay. They have likewise eleven good frigates upon the stocks, some half built, others three quarters. The sovereign is said likewise to be made ready to go out to sea.

The ships they took from us are also ordered to be rigged out; which is a shame to our nation. Here are several Hamburgers and others, that lie in the river loaden with pitch and tar. The devil take them for rogues. It is said here by the English, that they have taken an Island or two in our country, which is an abominable lie: they say likewise, that there is very great want of corn and other provisions in our country; that the Hollanders are fain to eat bread made of beans and pease. I could wish there was as great an abundance of pickled tayls, as there is, God be thanked, superfluity of provisions.

Mr. Peters prays and preacheth for peace, and exhorteth them to peace. On the last thanksgiving day he told them, that God Almighty had punished them long enough for their sins, and especially for their pride, covetousness, ambition, discord, ingratitude, and un mercifulness, and hardheartedness to the poor, which are sins, that do reign to some purpose in this nation.

It is deplorable to behold, how that the poor prisoners perish with hunger, and lye gaping at a morsel of bread.

Here are three captains, that are discharg'd and dismiss'd out of prison; amongst the rest captain Cruyck, who fought courageously in the ship Austriche, and captain Hoven, whom I spoke withall. He told me himself, that he drinks himself drunk thrice a day; in the morning to digest the bad constellations of the air, at noon his hard digestion, and at night to drive away the lice.

Tromp, they say here, is a fine soldier; but he and all his men and five captains are always drunk, when they fight; and as long as the brandy and wine is in their noddles, so long the business goes well on their side; but when that is evaporated, then their courage fails them.

1/11 July, 8653.

P. S. I am told here privately by discreet, wise, and understanding men, and persons of honour, that in case the king of Scotland had been in the fight the last time, many of the parliament's ships would have turned to him; and they told it me so earnestly and positively, that I do verily believe it to be true.

There will not be much done with our lords about the principal business.

They invent here the strangest stories about our country; how that you are all in a confusion, and the towns in open rebellion; four of our East India men taken; and such like abominable lies, invented purposely to amuse the people here.

[This letter was inclosed in the packet: the outward cover was to a merchant at Middleburgh; the inclosed had no superscription.]

The state of Genoa to the States General.

Vol. iv. p. 29.

Ill. e potent. sig.
La lettera delle S. S. nostre ill. e potent. de 30 di Maggio prossimamente passato, contiene la presente congiontura, hanno havuto necessita di far entrare nella loro armata contro gli Inglesi le due nostre navi fabricate in Amsterdamo di ordine nostro. Già dalle altre nostre lettere in questa materia le S. S. V. V. ill. e potent. han veduto ci preme questo negozio, onde per far comprender di quanto incomodo e dito sentimento ci riesca questo sucesso; ma che noi ancora ci acquestiamo aila necessita, e che ci affaghiamo della attestazione di V. V. S. S. ill. e potent. ci fanno della buona dispositione in altre nostre occasione, alla quale noi corresponderemo sempre v. . . per parte nostre.

E perche hora noi non habbiamo occasione ne tempo di far fabricare altri vascelli, poi che il besogno nostro e presente, preg. V. V. S. S. ill. e potent. che all ill. Gio Steffano Spinola nostro gentil huomo da noi mandato come hauran veduto per i ditti nostri vascelli si compiacciano pagar quello che per parte nostra li è speso nella fabrica di essi vascelli, e nell artiglieria & gli altri loro corredi, e da tale effeto hmo inviato al detto nostro gentil huomo amplissimo mandato procura, siamo certi che V. V. S. S. ill. e potent. daranno ordini efficaci, acciò che il su detto nostro gentil huomo sia sodisfacto del nostro credito con pronteza cosi prometten doci la giustizia, e la bontà loro, e siamo ugualmente desiderosi d'incontrar molte occasioni di serviggio di V. V. S. S. ill. e potent. alle quali per fine preggiamo d'dio ogni felicita. Di Genoua li 11 Luglio 1653. [N. S.]

Delle S. S. V. ill. e potent.
Vista Steffano de Mari,
V. affett. duce e gover. exc. di Genoua.

Gio Carlo Mercante secretario.

A paper of the council of state to the Spanish ambassador.

Vol. iv. p. 59. In the handwriting of Thurloe.

The council haveinge received from the lord ambassador of the king of Spayne a letter concerninge some English ships to be joyned with ships of the kinge of Spayne for the designe therein exprest, and noe occasion haveinge beene administred by them for what his excellency expresses therein, have thought fit to deliver the said letter back to the bearer, conceiving it did arise from some mistake.

[July 2, 1653.]

A letter of intelligence from Paris.

Paris, 12/2 July, 1653. [N. S.]

Vol. iv. p. 61.

Bourg (fn. 1) is taken, and George Fitzgerald's brother Richard kill'd ten days since at the taking of it; and he behaved himself most gallantly. Colonel Fitzpatrick goes with as many officers as will have liberty to return into Spain. Bourdeaux, if not succoured from thence, is lost, though the Spanish relief and fleet be dayly expected. Rhetel is taken (fn. 2), and St. Menehoult besieged, and the Spanish or prince's army appears not, but soon will be very considerable. The revolt of the Irish is very ill taken, and worse used here; so that those, who endeavour to draw them hither, do no great service to the nation.

Extract of the private register of the resolutions of the high and mighty lords the States General of the United Provinces.

Sunday, 12/2 July, 1653.

Vol. iv. p. 62.

It being taken into deliberation, it was thought fit and understood, that an extraordinary deputation shall be sent to the king of Denmark, to facilitate by all possible means, with communication of the resident De Vries, who is residing with his majesty, the present conjunction of some of his majesty's capital ships with the fleet of this state, in exchange of some smaller ships on the behalf of this state to be sent for preservation of his majesty's streams in the Sound. And the provinces are desired to nominate a fit person for the management hereof against Monday next.

Letter of intelligence.

Brussels, 12/2 July, 1653.

Vol. iv. p. 27.

Yours by the last came safe to me, and I directed yours to Ratisbon, from whence you have now some letters.

Your quietness there is a wonder to the wisest here. I will say nothing to you of Holland, but it may be you have not heard from thence how Middelton is gone from Holland into Scotland with a ship of twenty two guns, laden with arms and ammunition for the service of the king of Scots. I have it from a creditable hand in Amsterdam.

The younger princess dowager of Orange is here incognito, in the house of R. C.'s resident. She goeth to the Spa, as I hear, and expects to meet her brother Charles there, and P. Rupert. Her followers are confident of the victory to be of their side in the divisions of Holland.

The archduke is much indisposed. All the rest are gone into the field with the armies of Condé and Fuensaldagna.

It is here said, but not yet sure, that St. Quintin is besieged by the prince of Condé. He marched by Charleville that way; which is all I hear of his army or any news true here worthy your knowledge.

Cusack is gone to you, as I have before written, to deliver a message from Lorrain to the lord general Cromwell to join against the Dutch. You may find more of it there.

The president of Brabant, lately come hither from Spain, for being a Jansenist is deprived of all offices.

You have herewith printed the lord general's letter sent to the members to form a new representative, with the best affections of,

Sir, yours.

An intercepted letter from Paris.

Ce 14 Juillet [1653. [N. S.]

Vol. iv. p. 84.

[Paragraph contains cyphered content — see page image]

J'ay receu la vostre. Je vous assure que 97 vous est tres obligée. J'espere qu'elle reconnoistra vos soins, & qu'elle ne sera pas toujours cruelle pour vous. Je suis bien aise de ce que vous avez donné m a lettre. Je souhaite de tout mon cæur, que cela vous soit u t i l e. J'avois sceu, que Cromwell avoit e s c r i t au cardinal, mais je ne crois pas, que ce soit pour nulle galanterie, mais pour quelque affaire particuliere, dont elle ait esté priée. Vous me fairez un singulier plaisir de me mander ce que vous en pourez scavoir, car on est bien aise de n'estre pas trompé par les damoiselles. Quant à ce que vous me mandez que l'on e n v o y e d u secours a Bourdeaux. je ne vous en mandera rien à present: quant à ce que vous me mandez du regiment Irlandois. je crois que si vous pouvez faire ceste affaire la, ce seroit un grand coup; mais prenez guarde de ne vous pas descouvrir, & legerement fier: il vous pourra tromper.

To secretary Thurloe, from one of the persons, who translated his letters of intelligence.

Vol. iv. p. 74.

Here you have what this French post brogt to mee, and one of the letters is worth your readeinge and credence, being from one, that is conversant with the cardinal and the greatest ministers of state in France. I have in close cyfer from another firme hande, that Bourdeaux wil be lost, if not relieved by some meanes from England; and that after the surrender of it, the French minister here shal be recalled, and the league with Denmark and Holland pursued with R. C. his interest at least implicitlie.

Reade alwayes the letters, and you may observe somethinge. I shall wayte upon you to morrowe morninge, as agreed. I pray then let me have answer to D * * * * * *. The rest I omitt till meeteinge, beinge alwayes.

Mr. John Benson to secretary Thurloe.

Dantz. July 5, 1653.

Vol. iv. p. 91.

Since my last, wee have out of the Sound, that the Dane is yett so possesed with feare, that our shipps will surprize them, as that the inhabitants of Elsinore make away all the best of their goods for Lubecke, not daring to trust them in any plase under that king's power; and he himselfe as yett hath resolved of nothing concerninge the Hollanders desire about his shipps, neither is he like to come unto any resolution therein. There are severall Holland's merchants shipps, who lieth there, most of whose ladinge is corne, but dareth not venture to sea, having heard of the misfortune of those, which went lately from Gottenberge. Allsoe those three shipps, which are heare ladinge with wood and masts, are in the same predicament. There was like this weeke to have been a small warre att this plase, but through the wisdome of some few all things weere composed, there being a small village without one of the gates of the towne, which is absolutely under the power of the bisshop of Dantzick, att which plase the Jesuitts hath had there abidinge, ever since they weere banished the towne, and through which plase runneth the water, which serveth the whole towne, uppon which water the Jesuitts had built a house to dey all kind of clothes, &c. which stayning the waters, the magistrats made there application unto the bisshop, that itt might be removed; but not prevaylinge, the inhabitans uppon Saterday evening went in a tumultary way to have pulled itt downe, but the Jesuitts having raysed the streinght of the village, beate them off; whereuppon they came in a greater multitude uppon Sunday, and by their number drove the others away, and in an instant had ruinated the house, and would in like nature have destroyed both the Jesuits house and colledge, but the magistrate interposinge his authority, suppressed them, and promised satisfaction unto the Jesuitts; whereuppon att present all things are composed. The last night came a post from the Leagure, which telleth, that the Cossacks are advanced, and hath beaten a parte of the king's forces, which weere abroad forraging; which caused the king in a fright imediatly to retire six Dutch mile, fearinge, if he had stayed, that they would have surrounded him with there forces. How neere they are to him, is not knowne, but most certaine they are uppon the march; and by the next post itt is probable youe will heare of action betwixt them. Att present I am yours,

John Benson.

A letter of intelligence from J. Peterson in Holland.

Vol. iv. p. 92.

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My last was from Middleburg, wherein I gave yow an account (as large as I could) concerning matter of trade, which I could hartyly wishe were better then it is both there and elsewhere. I wonder myne from Dunkirk came not to hands, seeing I have answer of others by the same conveyance. I feare your man was negligent in calling for it. Since my arivall in these partes, I finde the lyon, which was formerly rampant, now alltogether couchant (fn. 3) and for his arrowes, if hee lett them not fall to the ground, they may chance to breake one another; for here are such dissentions and distractions, as were allmost incredible, but that greater are like to ensue. Most of the commons love Oranges, which will not digest in the stommachs of Dort and Amslerdam, but the burgers of Tergoes rose, and turned out theire magistrates. They of Enchuysen, Medenblick, and Harlem have done little lesse, only upon that score, and would not appeare in armes without that couller above all the rest; but at Rotterdam I observed a great signe of humillity, where they beat the drums in the name of the states only, without hog. mog. Indeede every Wednesday, when their bellies are full, they goe to fast and pray here; but those, that are the assertors of liberty in Holland, seeke not only to crush the prince, but other provinces alsoe. Of that stampe are Amsterdam now at London, which makes those of Amsterdam the more confident of the better successe with your general. Tromp is still at Flushing with eighty ships; but mons. de Albus is at Amsterdam, where are seven ships, and at Texell, 23; but greate care is taken for conjunction, iune 548, which cannot be in twenty days yes. There are greate grudgings betweene Tromp and the white boy, who is hug'd by those of Amsterdam, though the sounding of his drums be to little purpose. The E. India fleet may come directly to Zeland, though they say rather to Denmark or Germany, for whose security many ships are sent to give notice. But to bee serious, wee shall doe little good by trade here, except peace be made in England, which wee all much long to heare were concluded. Here are greate alterations in a short time; never soe many houses to be lett as now in Amsterdam; soe that wee must have a peace and free trade againe, or we shall sett out such an armado, that, were it not blasphemy, might be called invincible. Ha, ha, ha. In the meane time they, say wee shall have some of the English goods brought from Copenhagen hither; if so, Ple buy some of them, if I can, for ther's nothing gotten by sitting still. They say, that king must rattifie his former agreement with this state, or hee may bee left in the lurch. Truely I feare hee'le bee bad enough on't at best. 'Tis feared by some, though wee make peace with England, yett wee shall fall out amongst our selves, the Orange peele sticks soe in our stommacks. I am sorry you were soe free, for that very word on your letter to 1003 had caused a jealousy, but that I was acquainted with Paracelsus; however, lett it bee soe noe more. Here is Dutch newes in print, that your Cromwell hath dissolved the admiralty court, which I can hardly beleeve. Here is newes of two Straitesmen and one West Indiaman taken by the English; the rest, they say, are gott into the Emes, as allsoe twelve East countrymen taken, and sixteen gotten in; but still they want a shipp with gunns comeing out of Sweeden. If that miscarry, adieu. Upon the comeing upp of these East country men, I hope wee shall gett liberty to carry out such goods, as may turne to good account; otherwise 'twill not bee worth the while to stay here any longer. Soe not elce at present, I take leave, and remaine
15 July, 1653. [N. S.]

Yours, J. P.


  • 1. It was taken 5 July. Monglat. Mem. iv. 13.
  • 2. On 9 July, p. 21.
  • 3. An allusion to the states arms.