State Papers, 1653: August (3 of 5)

Pages 417-427

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

August (3 of 5)

Beverning to Opdam at the Hague.

Vol. v. p. 100.

My lord,
Although I in regard of public businesses do always by permission refer myself to others, and now to those, which I address to my lord Nieuport, I will not notwithstanding remain indebted to my particular duty, to assure your lordship of my mean service upon a new protestation; and especially also by reason of the great esteem I have always had of your great quality. God knows my humour is a stranger and enemy to all flattery, but as a sensible acknowledgment of faithful service done to our country, doth find a part of his duty in the thankfulness and the publishing of the praise of him, who hath deserved it; so I do think also, that the modesty of a generous spirit can admit thereof without any vanity. Proceed then, my lord, and let your great industry and care conduct your great quality. The Lord God will conduct them both to the good of our dear country, and all honest men, who do mean well, will unfeignedly blaze forth your lordship's merits and deserts; among whom I shall always acknowledge myself to be one of,

My lords, &c.

22 August, 1653, [N. S.]

Beverning to Amerongen at the Hague.

Vol. v. p. 101.

My lord,
I Thank your lordship for the continuance of your favourable remembrance, and for the confidence of your communication; which I shall endeavour to merit with all manner of service. I confess, our best advice was not very favourable, and the report, that the lords Nieuport and Jongestall are to make to their high and mighty lordships, will also cause many perplexed deliberations. The Lord God knows, how I with prayers to heaven and my duty towards men have always laboured to serve my dear country in so perplexed and miserable condition, but it is not to be written with what opposition. In the mean time it is a great satisfaction to my own mind and conscience, that honest men have a just opinion of my unfeigned will, wherein I also am satisfied and ready not only to answer before God, but man also, not only our treaty, but all the circumstances and form thereof, because since the departure of our commissioners, I had a private conference with his excellency. In the mean time I may communicate in trust what they do judge and conceive of our pieces and papers, which we have bundled here, and especially what is said of my direction. Your lordship may rest satisfied of my discretion, as I do absolutely rely upon yours.

22/12 August, 1653.

Beverning to Jongestall at the Hague.

Vol. v. p. 102.

My Lord,
The news, God be thanked, is not so sad nor disadvantageous as was reported here at first; and without the loss of so great a sea-commander, the victory had remained on our sides. Yet we have forced our enemies to forsake our coasts. Last Saturday I had a discourse with his excellency Cromwell above two hours, being without any body present with us. His excellency spoke his own language so distinctly, that I could understand him. I answered again in Latin. He promised to give me a further occasion, and to explain himself further; but that I must take it only for a particular discourse, which he held out to me without any communication of the government. I urged much upon some particulars, which whilst they were not satisfied, I propounded several answers and objections, which his excellency did confess to be of very great consideration, and took them into his thoughts to consider of, with representation to confer further with me at any time; for which I have not yet met with an opportunity since. I shall not omit to advise you upon occasion.

22/12 August, 1653.

Beverning to Newport at the Hague.

Vol. v. p. 123.

My lord,
I Had last Saturday an opportunity of a long conference with 297 and 369, at least two hours together, without any one body more. I spoke with 66 63 37 156 26 16 in the Latin tongue, and he in the English, which was so distinctly pronounced, that I could easily understand him. The points we discoursed of were chiefly of 51 16 12 58 29 26 52 17 64 53 and upon the propositions of the 10th of July last past, which are comprehended in our several memorandums apart, whereof I desired in confidence the particulars; and because there was not declared to my content, I thought fit by way of questions and objections to intice and allure 297 out further. I then ask'd him first, whether the intention of 298 was to have any footing in our country ? he declared no, neither upon our fovereignties or priviledges. That then being premised, I asked him, whether the pretended alliance and union should comprehend the protection of all those from without, who should desire our amity, as well as those within ourselves. To that he gave me no distinct answer: then I went on in my questions, and asked him whether 66 63 38 17 61 did understand, we should have common priviledges and sovereignties; and many considerable questions I put to him; he told me, my questions required some time to consider of, and could not be answered extempore, and that he did discourse with me but as a particular man, without having any order thereunto. To the reciprocal union he replied not a word, although I did make several instances; but of the union, he discoursed at large and in general for a great while together, without concluding any thing. He desired he might confer with me at any time upon the like occasion, which I could never meet with since, though often attempted. I pray communicate this to their high and mighty lordships, though 297 told it me as private discourse.

It is certain that 373 hath been fain to answer in full 296 concerning his comportment with 434 of 329 here, being suspected of correspondence, and declared by some uncapable to treat with them; but he hath wholly justified himself, and we can bear him witness there is no such thing.

Westminster, 22 Aug. 1653. [N. S.]

I perceive by mynheer Boreel's letter, that Bordeaux Neusville here hath made no good report of our correspondence with him, whereof their high and mighty lordships upon all occasions ought to be informed of the contrary.

Nieuport to Beverning.

Vol. v. p. 126.

My lord,
The 18th of this month in the morning between nine and ten of the clock we arrived at Sluys in Flanders; and as we were ready to be transported over the great passage, we were saluted by captain de Vrybergen and captain Cauw, the last being ready to be transported for Walcheren. We gave him the pieces of the lord Perre with him, being certain, they were delivered that day; and the first being overjoyed at the news of his uncle's health, accompanied us to the castle. The governor accompanied us from thence into Holland in his pleasure-boat; and although wind and weather were very variable, we got to the Hague notwithstanding, the 20th of this month early in the morning, and made our report in the assembly of their high and mighty lordships, the states of Holland being present, concerning our treaty; and yesterday concerning our prisoners and other particulars. This morning the assembly (besides Dort and Purmerent) being compleat, I desired to know the opinion of the members, whether I should make any further report to their lordships; and whether it were enough, that I should advise you by this post, that the business should be further examined by commissioners. Whereupon their lordships thought fit, I should make report to-morrow morning at half an hour past seven, and in the mean time make known to you, that the business should be further examined by commissioners. I can assure you, that the province of Holland is very well pleased with my coming over. The commissioners in the Texell do all that they can to set forth the fleet to sea. They have imprisoned seventeen captains, and put in able men. There were six or seven frigates seen before the island Eems, but here is no news of their fleet. All is quiet. Pæna ad paucos, fed metus ad plures pervenit. By my next I shall advise you more at large, and of all circumstances. In the mean time I desire to be remembered to heer Vander Perre, and to whom you know.

Hague, the 22/12 Aug. 1653. [N. S.]

De Witt to Beverning.

Vol. v. p. 128.

My Lord,
The officers of the Hague apprehended yesterday one of those, who is said to be one of the boutefeus, that caused the last disturbance here, there being promised a proffer of one thousand pound for the apprehending of any one of them. We perceive, that in the last engagement there were many of our ships that were hardly touched, to the number of forty, which are ready to go to sea again; and therefore there is order given for them and other ships, that are now ready, to set sail forthwith for the Sound, to fetch home five East India ships and a good number of rich merchantmen from divers parts; and moreover to shew to the whole world, that the English are beaten home from off our coasts. Their high and mighty lordships have ordered that all merchantmen designed for the Eastland are forthwith to go along with this fleet. We do receive from time to time further information, that the English fleet is very much torne, and many of their ships lost. And the vice-admiral John Evertsen, and the commander de Ruyter have made report to their high and mighty lordships coming from the Texel, where they did examine their captains what they had seen concerning the destroying of the English ships, as well as themselves) that undoubtedly there could be burnt and sunk no less than twenty of the English in the last engagement. Since we have received no certain advice of their fleet, though we have sent several barques to inform and know what is become of them. Of all the ships of this state, as I can gather out of the lists of the several respective admiralties, there are thirteen missing in number, and not one of them in the hands of the enemy, but were either fired or sunk. In the mean time we are very busy to set out the fleet to sea again with all speed; and there are some of the new built ships at Amsterdam and in Zealand ready for that purpose; and in North-Holland are likewise some, that will be ready three or four weeks hence. Their great lordships do all that they can to give encouragement to the seamen.

John de Witt.

The 22/12 August, 1653. [N. S.]

To Vande Perre.

Vol. v. p. 130.

My Lord,
I Am sorry I cannot answer your further intention to inform you, how the business refered by Nieuport and Jongestall, will be received or taken by the government here. The lords states of Holland will in all likelihood be complete in number. They do long much to have the fleet out again; for which several commissioners of the province do labour hard, and amongst the rest the lord Veth is one. They have absolute power thereunto; as also to punish the cowards, and those, that did not their duty in the last engagement. I was yesterday to inform myself concerning your desire of the lord Hollack. His honour was very much troubled about the business; he was of opinion, it was now no time to consider of the treating with the English; but they ought to do their uttermost to set forth the fleet to sea, to bring that fierce nation to reason; and that this was now the general opinion of all the states except Holland, who do incline to a further treaty with the English. Those (you know whom I mean) do all that they can to stir up and set on the commonalty in their province, to complain of the loss of their trade, and consequently their utter undoing, if they have not a peace, purposely to bring their pernicious designs about. The Lord God give them better minds, or confound them for breeding of distractions in the government.

Aug. 12/22, 1653.

Bisdommer to Beverning and Vande Perre.

[Hague, 12/22 Aug. 1653.]

Vol. v. p. 132.

My Lords,
On Wednesday last the lords Jongestall and Nieuport arrived here, and made report in the assembly of their high and mighty lordships in the forenoon, in the presence of the lords states of Holland. The vice-admiral de Witt is by provision and till further order appointed to have the command of the fleet, which are seventy men of war, ready to set sail, to convoy the Eastland fleet to the Sound, and from thence to conduct five East India ships, that are put in there with seventy eight Streight's, Spanish and French merchantmen, which are also put in there, and are richly loaden. The day of the funeral of the lord admiral Tromp is yet uncertain; his body will be carried by sixteen messengers of the state, who are to have sixteen messengers more added to them, to ease one another. Sixteen sea-captains are to accost his corps, and four head officers of the fleet are to carry each of them a corner of the cloth, wherewith his coffin is covered; to which are nominated the heeren vice-admiral John Everts, the commander de Ruyter, the rear-admiral Peter Floriss, and the commander de Wilde. A company of foot is to march before, trailing their arms; and the chiefest persons of the guard are to carry the quarters, and colours, and other ceremonies to the public inn of the town, from whence his body is to be ship'd and transported to Delft. The said John Everts and Ruyter went yesterday for Zealand, to give order for the repairing of their respective ships.

My lords,
your lordships most humble servant

To Vande Perre.

Hague, August, 12/22 1653.

Vol. v. p. 131.

I Have expected you here fourteen days ago, instead of writing to you now, it being rumoured here up and down, that you were ready to come away from thence; but the contrary doth now appear, for which I am partly sorry and partly glad; understanding by Mr. Nieuport your good health, and some hopes, that did yet remain of doing some good during your stay there. You know how beneficial that would be to this state, having so many enemies abroad, and so many discontented in the very bowels of this state. The states of Holland, God be thanked, are all of them pretty well united in their resolution concerning this subject; but dum superi flecti nequeunt, Acheronta movebunt. Abundance of the rabble, who perish for want of subsistance, do endeavour to make their fortune in the ruin and fall of the public; and do foment all that they can to contribute for a general overturning. We doubt not notwithstanding, but the prudence of our governors will free us out of all these troubles, which these disorders may cause; and as for the death of our admiral Tromp, we do hope to have that repaired by the likelihood there is, that the lords of Beverweert or Opdam will suddenly supply his place.

An intercepted letter of Doleman to his wife.

Vol. v. p. 164.

My dear Goosy,
The return of two of our deputies into Holland for some new instructions doth for a while retard our treaty; but upon their return, which I conceive may be about ten days hence, it will come to a speedy issue. This fleet will suddenly be on your coast again. What losses you had in the last encounter, is best known to yourselves. I can assure you, here we have a thousand prisoners, and have lost but two ships; whereof one was a fireship. If it please God so to order it, that we come to an agreement, I shall be speedily with you; if not, I hope he in his mercy will provide us some hiding-place till this storm be overpast. However be not dejected; God will conduct us to such a condition, as shall be fittest for us both.

London, the 12th of August, 1653.

An intercepted letter of Doleman to col. Killegrew.

London, 12th Aug. 1653.

Vol. v. p. 166.

Dear Mr. William,
It pleaseth God still to punish us with this unhappy war, to the ruin and loss of thousands of innocent persons on both sides. We have lost but two ships, whereof one was a fireship, but have three or four hundred dead, and some seven hundred wounded, amongst which are seven captains dead, and as many wounded. A thousand prisoners, which we have taken, make us believe, the loss on your side to be much greater, which yet is differently reported here; but better known amongst yourselves; and yet I fear it will not conclude here, for this fleet will be speedily again at sea, as we hear you will be; and if the return of the deputies be not with good propositions, I am afraid we shall see another encounter. Within eight days after their return we may judge of the issue of the treaty, which if it please God so to direct, I shall be speedily with you; but if otherwise, I shall dispose of my family some other way.


An intercepted letter of Doleman to sir Robert Stone.

Vol. v. p. 165.

Dear Sir Roby,
I Have omitted to write to you this week or two; by reason of my lady's being out of town, as likewise being desirous of sending you news, that were welcome to you; I mean a good agreement, which I am confident you, as all honest men, heartily pray for. The issue of this treaty will certainly depend on your resolutions there; and if we continue enemies, it only is, because you will not close so near us as this state would with you. And truly this might be, if it were well managed, without the least loss of your sovereignty or privileges; though I fear those amongst you, that incline not to peace, will hardly conceive it so. Upon the return of mynheer Newport we shall quickly see the issue, which God grant may be as all honest men wish. Adieu.

London, 12 August, 1653. [N. S.]

A letter of intelligence.

Hague, 12/22 August, 1653.


They prepare here a good and strong squadron to go towards the Sound, to endeavour to join with the ships of the king of Denmark, if they can obtain any from him, whereof they do very much doubt; but if that, which is said, be true, that is, that seventy English ships did shew themselves upon the Dogger-Bank, a squadron will not suffice to go thither, much less to convoy home the East India ships and other ships come from the mediterranean sea and France.

They do in effect equip none but the same ships which were in the fight, and the two ships of Genoa, and the Wopen of Amsterdam, which were not yet at sea. And indeed they have no other ships. They hope to have ere long fifty or sixty good, great, and new ships; but the building of them goes on very slowly; the workmen, and those which have the materials, will do nothing without money, so that all the ships, which they can make, are an hundred at the most, and if the aforesaid squadron goes out, it will very much abate the courage of the Hollanders.

They confess they have lost nine ships of war. De Witt in his letter writ, that they mist fourteen, but that they have since recovered five.

Notwithstanding the great cry there hath been, that twenty six of the captains of the fleet had not done their duty, they yet do not intend to seize or imprison any of those captains; and the deputies do declare, that they cannot as yet have any good information; the officers, which were appointed to be observers of the behaviour of the fleet, speaking ignorantly and without any ground.

A letter of intelligence.


Dear Ant,
The inclosed Courant of the 16th of August is the substance of all our letters relating to the last fight. It is well combated, where both were gayners, or believe themselves to be so. Wee have much adoe to forbeare making bonefirrs for this victorie, though I cannot find wherein it consists, Tromp being dead, de Ruyter and Everson dragged of by their owne shipps, and Witte Wittesen into the Texell; yet wee are forced to amuse the credilous multitude with chimeras, and if a victorie here will not doe the business, wee will rather than sayle, beate them at a distance, the East India being the sceane, we have it in print at large, though you have it but in abstract in the Courant. The safetie of our East India fleete doth much support us, five of them being printed with other considerable merchants shippes to the number of thirty six, to be safe in the Sound. Wee take on men as fast as wee can; but they cost dear; thirty stivers a man per diem; but these are easier found than able men to supply the place of our valiant Tromp. Witt Witt: vice-admiral of Holland would carry it, if de Ruyter and Evertson would be commanded by him, which they will rather quitt then doe. Wee must therefore enquire on land for a person of qualitie to undertake that charge. Severall have bin named; but Beverward, a naturall son of prince Maurice, will probably carry it, if he will accept of so dangerous a charge. As yett there is nothing done; only wee are buysie in equipping our fleete anew. You wish mee to be carefull in my intelligence, and I promised you nothing but newes; though I doe not remember, that I have wrote any thing yet to you; nay I am not sure of it, that was not very true . . . . if it be but agreeable to you. Send the French gazetts with politicus weekely; the letters here cost mee eight stivers a peice. I doe not speake it for the charges, but that I would gladly know upon what termes they are sent. I find (franck) writ upon them, but blotted out before they come to my hands; whether it be the knavery of the post here, which I could easily redresse, if I knew it; or that they are only free to Antwerp, you will be best able to informe mee.

The stirrs at the Hague are quieted; a woman and two boyes, one of three and the other of five yeares old, as I read in some letters, having bin publickely whiped, as most stirring. This is all at present, saving my being

[Maestricht,] August 23/13, [1653.]

Yours ever,
R. M.

Boreel, the Dutch ambassador in France, to the Dutch deputies at London.


My Lords,
Eight days ago I begun to write to your excellencies. Since I have been here in great perplexity, by reason of the false reports spread here out of England. God be praised, I am now more lightsome at heart, being certified of the contrary by their high and mighty lordships letters to me; as also by other public and particular persons, who have knowledge of the sea-fight, which happened according to the inclosed print. The loss of the lord admiral Tromp, and, as I fear, of many other gallant and honest men, doth very much eclipse the joy, which the state might otherwise have taken by this victory against the English. I am not only sorry, that the English government hath not all this while been willing to hearken to your lordships propositions concerning the omission of the matter of the preliminary points; but I am as it were enraged to hear of a nearer union and coalition of government. That is a giving up and yielding or submitting of the state of the United Provinces to the English with the loss of their dear bought liberties.

I have in my time long and often had to do and conversed with that nation. You will find them to drill your lordships on with further arguments of unheard-of businesses.

With my treaty here it is at the same pass mentioned in my last.

The event of your lordships negotiation there will regulate this. I am told, that mons. de Bordeaux Neusville is sent for home; that general Cromwell hath writ to the cardinal since the success of the late fight, and assured him, that no relief of English ships shall be sent to the river of Garonne, nor to the assistance of the Spaniards.

My lords,
Your lordships humble servant,
W. Boreel.

Paris, 23 Aug. 1653. [N. S.]

Letters of intelligence.

Stockholm, 13 August, S. V. 1653.

Vol. v. p. 170.

We have news here of a bloody fight upon the coast of Holland between them and the English, which should have continued for the space of twenty four hours; but who had the better of it, we know not, expecting to have notice thereof by the next. Here at present most state-affairs are in former condition; only the queen's majesty doth daily meet with the lords of secret council about serious affairs; but the lord ryx chancellor being for the present in the country visiting his land-goods, it is thought, that no public business of concernment will be concluded until his return; which, if it please God, will be in fourteen days hence. The queen's majesty is to pass hence within four days to the burial of duke Adolph's princess at Wastene (fn. 1), about fifty Dutch miles from this city. One of her majesty's ships, which was ordered to transport the Spanish ambassador from Gottenburgh, passing by Copenhagen, caused great fears amongst the sea captains of the king of Denmark, who persuaded themselves, that our whole fleet of war had been following after; but finding the contrary, and our captain coming ashore at Copenhagen, he was very civilly entertained with all kind of Danish courtesies.

Regensburgh, 28 ditto. [N. S.]

FROM hence little news for the present. His imperial majesty is as yet present at Munchen, intending not to return until the 8th of September next. In the mean time in his majesty's absence nothing of important ryx-businesses is taken in hand; and being his majesty is to continue here but ten days after his return, it will be needful to defer all unto such a day of deputation, as he shall be pleased to appoint. The states of the empire have not yet sent in their resolution concerning their agreement made between the emperor and the duke of Lorain, but is daily expected by his majesty.

Colen, the 2 of September, [S. N.]

OUR archbishop is now present with the assembly at Bon upon the appointed land-day. We are very desirous to know what the issue thereof will be, which a short time will discover. The earl of Lodron continues here still, but proceeds very slowly in the raising of his three regiments for want of procuring supplies.


THE Dutch will needs persuade us, that they obtained a great victory against the English in the last fight, so that we must grant them two victories, one in words, and another in actions. It is reported, that the rest of the East India ships are safely arrived in Norway; but as yet there is no certainty. The king's majesty hath promised to grant letters of mart unto every one of his subjects, that shall desire them, against the English, for the ships, which they have taken from them. The Eastland fleet is gone for Holland.


THREE or four days ago some seven or eight English cloth ships, very richly loaden; with four convoyers arrived in this river, after they had sustained a great storm, and bad weather at sea, insomuch that some of their company came in two days after the rest; which were supposed to have been lost. At their coming up, a Dutch caper with twenty four guns lying before Gluckstadt, and some other small Dutch pirates, were weighing their anchor, making ready to run into Gluckstadt, but when they saw that the said convoyers past quietly by them without giving them the least occasion to fly, they let fall their anchors, and will now doubtless with more confidence follow their old trade again, in seizing upon the small English vessels in this river, as soon as those ships are gone, seeing that they pass by without taking any notice of them. We are certainly informed, that the French have taken seven Hamburghers, well laden ships, going for Spain, pretending the same to be Spanish goods laden at Dunkirk. An express being sent to the lord Hannibell Seastett, who is here at present, reports, as I am informed from a credible person, that the English fleet having met with the Dutch Eastland fleet coming out of the Sound; hath surprized the greatest part of the same, some few being escaped, who retreated themselves back to the Sound.

Extract out of the register of the resolutions of their high mightinesses the States General of the United Netherlands.

Lunæ, 25 Aug. 1653. [N. S.]

Vol. v. p. 177.

Having heard the report of the lords Linteloo, Van Nieuburch, and Schuylenburg, their high mightinesses deputies; that have had further conferences with the relations and kindred of the late lieutenant admiral Tromp of glorious memory, concerning his funeral, the consequences thereof, and other things thereunto belonging: after previous deliberation it was thought fit and agreed upon, that the interment of the corpse of the said lieutenant admiral shall be on Friday come se'nninght, being the 5th of September next, and that the said corpse shall be carried by eighteen messengers under the pall, and by eighteen captains on the outside, instead of the sixteen which were appointed before, and afterwards put into a barge, on the Bierquay near the crane, in order to be carried to Delft, to be buried there. Secondly, that another letter should be written to the board of the admiralty at Rotterdam, that they might give orders to their secretaries to examine and to send forthwith to their high mightinesses the acts and reports, that are there deposited concerning the manly and heroic deeds of the said lieutenant admiral, as also concerning the ships, which he has taken during the course of his life, to serve, with those that are known to their high mightinesses, for his epitaph, which to make, the professor . . . . . is hereby required, for which purpose all the said acts and writings shall be communicated unto him. Thirdly, that the several respective chambers of admiralty shall be desired to send hither their deputies against the said 5th day of September next, in order to assist and be present at the said procession. And fourthly, considering the good testimonies, which the said lieutenant admiral in his life time has given, and which his kindred and relations do still give, of the person of his trusty servant Gerrit Simonssen, as also in compliance with the promise he has made him for his promotion and advancement, it is resolved and agreed to write to the court of admiralty at Rotterdam, to favour and to reward him with the first lieutenant's commission, that is now, or may hereafter become vacant in any man of war under their command. As to the gentlemen of the guards, that are to carry the ornaments, the guards themselves, the firing of three rounds, and other things thereunto relating, his kindred and relations, must apply to the lords the commissioned counsellors of Holland, who will give the necessary orders therein. Lastly, it is thought fit and resolved, that an extract of this their high mightinesses resolution shall be communicated to the lords their high mightinesses deputies on the Helder, with request and desire to send hither those head officers mentioned in their high mightinesses resolution of the 18th instant, as also the aforesaid eighteen captains for the purpose above mentioned, and against the prefixt time.

Declaration of the queen of Sweden.

Vol. v. p. 57.

We Christina, &c. do make known, that whereas very often complaints are made to us out of our kingdoms and dominions, setting forth in what manner our said kingdoms and faithful subjects, in the present conjuncture of times, are subject to manifold insults, hindrances, and dangers in their lawful callings, but especially in their navigation; seeing that on the one hand the ships and effects of our good subjects are attach'd, plunder'd, and robb'd by pirates and privateers, acting under sundry commissions, nay often by intirely unknown ships, in the open seas; on the other, that one or other imputation are laid to their charge against all reason, under which colour and pretence they are stopt, detain'd, and injured. Therefore justice and royal protection, which our faithful subjects do demand of us and expect, requires, that we endeavour to find out such just and lawful means against the same, whereby the insufferable losses and ruin of our realms, and the good subjects thereof, for the future may be duly prevented. Even from the very beginning, when that destructive sea-war, which is still carrying on between the two commonwealths of England and the United Netherlands, did first break out, because of disorders, which thereby may easily fall upon and affect all those that frequent the seas, we have for that purpose not only taken all reasonable care, and precautions, to prevent on both sides, not only all such accidents, that might any ways tend to the prejudice of us and our subjects, but also, as far as it was possible, most heartily strove and endeavoured to compose in an amicable way, the abovesaid most bloody and terrible war. In the mean while, even to this very day, we have inviolably maintained that good understanding and friendship, which has hitherto subsisted betwixt us, our realms and dominions, and the two states above named, and also other nations; so that no other cause is in any way given unto them by us, but such whereby we may justly hope from every one of them to be treated with a like reciprocal good will and affection. But to the end that neither we nor our faithful subjects may get thereby a name, or be suspected as if under the colour of a free navigation we concealed and screened any ships or goods belonging to the enemy of one or other of the abovesaid commonwealths and thereby perhaps furnish a handle or pretence to such molestations or insults our subjects have been exposed to; under the colour of which suspicion, some have hindered till this very time, and obstructed the navigation and trade not only of their enemies, but also of others that are neutral. But more especially that the ships belonging unto us and our said loving subjects ships and effects may not be so easily exposed to the insults and affronts of all kinds of privateers and pirates, we could not find a more proper means for the better security and protection of them, than to appoint some of our men of war to be kept ready in any one of our own harbours in the west sea, and especially at Gottenburgh, that may take a particular care to prevent all fraud and clandestine dealings, and thereby to secure our free ships and goods against all insults and injuries in their lawful voyage, according to justice. For which purpose, and to the end that this our intention may the better appear and be complied with, it is our gracious will, that the following ordinance shall serve to those, whom it may concern for their information, and be inviolably obeyed and complied with by those, that owe obedience and subjection to us:

1. Our men of war, as many as we shall think fit to appoint for convoys, according to the circumstances, and as shall be thought necessary, shall lay at Gottenburgh, or thereabouts, to the end that they always, and whenever it is required, be at hard, especially whilst there are merchant-men, which desire to go under their convoy, and which coming out of Oresont into the west sea, must come up to the said place.

2. If any merchant ships desire to be convoyed, strict enquiry shall be made, that none but our subjects own goods and ships, or the ships and goods of those that are neuter, shall be taken under the protection of our convoys. For which purpose all the passes and certificates of merchandizes shall be examined, and carefully enquired into, by the admiral, or him that hath the command of the convoy, especially if it should happen, that some neutral towns should put their ships and goods under our convoy, (feeing no cause, in what manner the same could be refused them with justice:) nevertheless in this case they must be provided with sufficient proofs from the magistrates of those towns, which they came from, in order to give a sufficient security to our convoys, that no fraud nor clandestine designs are hid or concealed in the said ships and merchandizes, since the officers of our convoys must take care, that they, in case any large or small fleet should happen to meet them at sea, be able to give a careful answer on that account.

3. If any one should undertake, contrary to this our serious ordinance, to misuse our convoys, endeavouring to cover thereby any cheat or unfair dealing; and that the same either immediately or afterwards after some time should be discovered, the said goods, or the value thereof, shall be forseited to our crown, and this without any mitigation; wherever such goods, the offender himself, or any effects unto him belonging, shall or may be found or retaken in our realms, dominions, or ports. Further and likewise the master of such a ship, that has any knowledge thereof, and has any share in the ship, shall forfeit the same; or in case he should happen to have no share in the ship, he shall be kept in custody till he has redeemed himself with a sum of five hundred crowns.

4. In case our convoys should happen to meet with many, few, or one single ship, of what nation soever the same be, they shall behave themselves in a friendly manner towards every one, because we seek nothing but a good understanding with all men, and thus doing, shall give no cause to any disputes. We do likewise consent, that in case any warlike fleet should in a becoming way, desire or demand it, they may shew the authority they have from us, and let them know distinctly what ships are under their convoy and protection; but as for the rest, they shall in all possible ways decline, that they or any of those that belong to them be searched. For, seeing they are only sent to prevent all inconveniencies and clandestine dealings, it is expected that they may be believed, and suffered to pass and proceed in their course unmolested with all such ships that are under their care.

5. If our convoys should happen to meet with any privateers or pirates, and are not interrupted by them, they shall likewise not attack them, but if they should see that they intended any hostilities, it is our will that they enquire very earnestly from what place such a privateer may be; and to forwarn him, that he will be answerable for it to his superiors, and then, if it should be required, to do their best, as they have right to do, to from them and the ships of their convoy.

6. And as we do not see that any further insults or affronts may happen to any free ships after they have passed the channel between France and England, so we will not, that our men of war shall convoy or protect them further, than to such places that are situated within or in the said channel; and more especially, for certain reasons, it is our command; that our own men of war, which serve as convoys, do chiefly and in the beginning steer their course to such ports, that are neutral in the English and Dutch war, till we give any further directions on that account. However, without any hindrance to our own subjects, that intend to carry on their own and free trade to England or Holland without convoy.

7. As soon as our said men of war have convoyed and seen their merchant ships safe through the channel, they shall endeavour to sail soon back to Gottenburgh, unless there be ships in the west sea, which intend to go back with them, and which are to join with the said convoys at Roscau in Bretagne in France, in order as abovesaid to be safely convoyed and protected.

8. And that it may be depended upon for certain; when our men of war shall be ready to sail as convoys from Gottenburgh, we think fit, that the same be ready at least once in a month, or otherwise, as often as ten merchant ships are at Gottenburgh together, the convoys, without any excuse, shall be obliged to go with them, and observe in particular, that in case the number of merchant ships be under ten, they shall have no more than one convoy, but as often as there are above ten to the number of twenty, two convoy ships shall be allowed them, and in case there be still more, it shall be lest to the admirals of the convoys to judge how many there are required.

9. And whereas we only intend hereby to protect our faithful subjects and the safety of navigation, therefore it is also our pleasure, that all those that live in our realms and dominions, and will enjoy a free passage in and through the West Sea to any neutral places, shall not easily pass by Gottenburg, but sail to that place, and put themselves under convoy, to the end that we may be the better able to take their protection upon us, and in case any one acts contrary thereunto, and in contempt of this our gracious forewarning run themselves into danger, he or they shall be liable to any such punishment as we shall think fit to inflict thereon.

10. And lastly that the charges, which are required for the maintenance of our convoys or men of war, may not fall entirely and alone upon us or our crown, or too heavy upon those that enjoy the benefit thereof; we have thought fit, to make a certain tax, and to publish the same forthwith with this our gracious command, that all those, that will reap the benefit of our said men of war, shall pay the same into our custom-house at Gottenburgh, which being done nothing more whatsoever shall be demanded of them.

Therefore we friendlily desire of the abovementioned two warring republicks, as also of our friends and allies, since we endeavour thereby to prevent, as much as any ways possible, all such fraud, which may be feared from the free navigation of our subjects, seeking nothing else but what a neighbourly friendship and justice permits, to give an earnest and strict command to all their officers and subjects both by sea and land, as also to all privateers, that go under their commission and authority, or to those that any ways are under their command, that they all and every one of them behave towards our said men of war and their company, in no other manner than harmony and friendship requires, which we hope from every one offering ourselves to do the like, commanding all those that owe obedience unto us, but more especially our admirals, captains of our convoys, and other sea officers, as also all merchants and masters of ships, that intend to enjoy the benefit of this our most gracious regulation, and all others that any ways may be concerned therein, carefully to abstain from all clandestine and fraudulent transactions to avoid all hereunto, and to conform themselves to this our most gracious ordinance, so as they intend to our royal displeasure. Done in our castle at Stockholm, August, 16, 1653.

Mr. J. Benson to secretary Thurloe.

Dantzick, Aug. 17, 1653, S. V.

Vol. v. p. 197.

This weeke hath produced very little of concernement; the Hollands leys having taken up the discourse of most parts, there agent att Capenhagen affirming, that wee are wholy beaten out of the sea, with the losse of forty two of our best shipps, whereof some are suncke and some burnt, capt. Pen with his squadron being part, but not one taken, there fleet being come into the Texell to repayre some breaches, which they have receaved, after which in some few dayes there will be a convoy of forty shipps to bring there Eastland fleet hither, and to setch home the East India and Straighte shipps. This doth a little revive there drooping spiritts, but the Dane resolveth of nothing, staying to know or see the certanty heareof. From Stockholme the news of our defeat was come on there, but not received with any belieffe. The Danish agent had receved audience before: he pressed the former businesse, but more effective by reason the English weere with so great a fleet in the North seas; and 'twas much doubted would make some attempt upon the Sound, unto which he had this answer, that the English being att amity with the crowne of Sweeden would not act any thing (haveing no ground) to the prejudise thereof; which if they should, they weere able enough in the justnes of their cause to defend there owne, and that if his master by retayning the English ships had brought this trouble upon himselfe, it was not for that crowne to intangle ittselfe therein, but did advise that there might be a taking away the cause, and then there would be no cause to feare such effects. This place is debarred of all comerse for a time with Poland, by reason of the great plague, which is att present heare, so that no one is suffered to come out of Poland hither, nor to goe from hence thither, which att present depriveth me of the condition of affaires there. Sir, the merchants heare hath desired me to acquaint the counsell, that there is shipped off by one Aldus a brocker in London, of whom my former letters mention, in those shipps, which comes to Hamborge, above two hundred clothes, and four hundred stuffes; all which are assigned to Van Benninge a Hollander at this plase, a greater enemey than any these parts affordeth to the state of England, which they think very unreasonable, they having suffered so much for the state of England, and at all times having shewed themselves so foreward for the advancement thereof. Now to have the trade put into the hands of our actual enemies, and such who desire that England had no being, and to there power promoteth it, therefore they are desirous, that there might some course be taken ****. I shall leave it to your consideration, &c. Sir, I have not received any letter from you since your first of the 15th of July, and being necessitated to goe still upon my credit for such moneys, which I shall have daily occasion to make use of, and the time being expired for the payment of my bill of one hundred pound, which Mr. Scot refused, although more be due unto me, and the marchant now expecting his money, I shall be constrained to renew itt upon yourselfe by the next post, desiring you in the meane time to acquainte the counsel hearewith, that so itt may be accepted and payd. Sir, I suppose my former letters hath given youe a full account of the necessity heareof, haveing allso acquainted major generall Harrisson therewith, which maketh me thinke itt needlesse to trouble you further at present, but shall conclude and remaine your assured servant,
John Benson.

Resolution of the States General.

Jovis, August 28, 1653. [N. S.]


The lord deputy of the province of Zealand, being charged by the order of the lords his masters, to present it to their high mightinesses considerations, that whereas, by the reports that are spread in the neighbouring countries and towns, it is given out, that the English in the last battle at sea had got very great advantages upon the fleet of this republic, when by the grace of God it proves quite otherwise, whereby the English pretend to exceed us in the reputation of power and strength, and not being able to do the same in truth, call untruth to their aid, and speak themselves so boastingly thereof, in their news papers, writings, and printed pamphletts, if it would not be adviseable, that an upright and true account of the said action be ordered and decreed to be made, and afterwards to be printed in the Dutch, Latin, French, and English languages, to the end that every body being informed of the true state of the case, may correct the bad opinion thereof, and that the said lies may be consuted, and bannished out of the minds of the people. This being put into consideration, it was resolved and agreed upon, that their high mightinesses deputies in the Helder, as also the respective courts of admiralty, shall be desired, to inform themselves or cause to be informed, by those that have the best knowledge thereof concerning all that has happened in the last engagement with the English, and the consequences thereof, and to send to their high mightinesses an exact description and relation of the same, as soon as possible, upon which such a resolution shall be taken thereupon, as shall be thought most adviseable.

An intercepted letter.

London, Aug. 18th, 1653.

Vol. v. p. 205.

Had it not been for the inclosed's sake, you had had nothing from me this post: nor will you have much besides the returne of a few curses for those you so freely bestowed on us here. You crye a pox on the parliament, and a pox o'th' lawes and tythes, and trade, and whatsoever wee count sacred; and I, to be revenged on you, cry a pox of John Lilburne, for he keeps us still in suspense, and wee cannot tell, what will become of him; and a pox of Mr. Hobbes and his booke de Corpore, for I can meet with no such thing; and if I should, I believe it would prove like a body of divinitie, and then there's neither you nor I, but wee had rather have our other body (imagine a wholsome wench) to lye by us. The Dutch and wee have both of us ordered publique thankes for the last victorie. There are some stirrings in the Highlands. John Lilburne comes to morrow to stake again. Here's one Philips lately come out of France, apprehended and committed to the Tower with some others, for I know not what designes they are advancing here. This is all I know to bee new. Pray tell my bedfellow, I have received those commodities he sent by his nephew; but nothing else from him this forthnight, nor from you this weeke. I shall be for the country shortly, and if you or he have any thing for me before I goe, it must be here within this ten dayes. I am

Your most humble servant
Peter. Collison.

Your next to the forain post-office for P. Collison.

The superscription,
A mons. mons. du Moulin au Palais Royale à Paris.


  • 1. Chanut. Mem. tom. iii. p. 228.