State Papers, 1653: September (3 of 6)

Pages 470-481

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

September (3 of 6)

To the lords Dutch commissioners.

Amsterdam, 19 Sept. 1653. [N. S.]

Vol. vi. p. 174.

My lords,
This day eight days was my last: since here hath happened nothing material; and by reason of the constant foul weather we have had no news from sea, so that we cannot rightly tell what ships are taken by the English. There were several that came from France, Spain, Portugal, and other parts, that are safe arrived. Several are said to be missing, but we do hope and believe, that they are returned back again to Norway, or some other port. In the mean there are several English private men of war, that do lye and keep upon our coasts, wherewith they are infested and rendered unsafe; but the most part of the remainder of the men of war are now ready to set sail, together with some of the new men of war will be very suddenly ready, and the sea affairs in a very good posture: wherewith, I rest,

My lords,
Your lordships, &c.

An intercepted letter.

19 Sept. 1653. [N. S.]

Vol. vi. p. 185.

My dear heart,
I Found out don Pedro de Garsia, and have sent you his inclosed from him. I am not lazy, though sore bruised, of which I fear I never shall be well again. I have something a hatching, which I will not spoil by sending it you in scraps. The business of Scotland was a most pitiful, beggarly, sneaking thing; and for such is both esteemed, known, and despised here. It is a long story, and not worth troubling you with, being vanished. The business of Holland is hopeless as to peace. Much hath been said lately of our new ambassadors coming hither, and here is much bustling to send away one Whitelocke, one third of a lord Keeper, in my lord Lisle's place, ambassador for Sweden, to offer great sums to that maid to trouble all her neighbours. But though they talk and talk of it, he is not yet gone. Here have been barbarous libels this week thrown about in great quantities of their own noble general; as also infamous pictures, in which they have hung him on the gallows. What his altesseship is, I know not, but his servants the council of state are very angry at it. You will very shortly hear (probably) of a new and great change here. Just as I am writing this time, one comes to me, and tells me of a relapse of your mistress. Good God, if that be so, I have done, I have done for ever with all worldly thoughts. For Heaven's sake, hasten to tell me the falshood of it. The term draws on, and I shall not forget my office of solicitor in that business, when Dabb comes up. Pray say what you hear farther of my lord of Buckingham, and if Tom be gone with my lord of Bristol into Catalonia. I had now returned you the well composed phalme you sent me in your last very well Englished, but the name of a relapse forbids all fooling. If that be a lye, I hope your journey into Holland will prove true. What you heard of twenty ships taken out of seventy five, was not so; for such candles we never put under a bushel here. The last great winds did our fleet no good. Our admiral Monk hath lately declared an ugly common whore his wife, and legitimated three or four bastards he hath had by her during his growth in grace and saintship.

Joyce, that took the king out of Holdenby, and was so very insolent to him, is now sent to the gaol, and I hope will shortly be to the devil by the way of Tyburne.

God keep thee. Adieu.

[In a letter inclosed in my dear heart's]

Torrlaghog O Neile, and some others of our northern people are gone to the Highlanders of Scotland.

A letter of intelligence from Paris.

20 Sept. 1653. [N. S.]

Vol. vi. p. 202.

My dear heart.
The last post I writ not to you, not that I could not find something to say, but that I was not well; for, the truth to tell you, 89. 91. Taaf, Inchiquin, Newburgh, and one doctor Frazer supped at my correspondent Mack's Chamber, and to avoid being under stood other than a cavalier, I did as the wicked would have me, for which my head as well paid for it since; and least you should, or the commonwealth, not have some fruits of that meeting, I have sent this inclosed song, which if Englished by one Denham, I hear to be the state's poet, truly it will be much to the instruction of the youth of our country.

That night I saw their king; he is well recovered of his fever, and he is a goodly young man. God forgive me, I drank his health a dozen times that cursed night, and so they might have made me drink to the pope, or the confusion of our state, for they found I was good-natured and pot-valiant. They had a dispute, whether it were better for their king or not, England and Holland should agree: some said, if they agreed to the intents of the coalition, that all monarchs would combine their destructions; others said, that better they should continue the war, and that one bird in the hand was worth two in the bush. If you think this material, you should do well to inform the state of it. For my part I am little concerned in the present monarchies of Christendom, and believe them not able to resist the two states, if they agree in the coalition, which Holland will come to at last, if our state hold them to it.

The last post from Holland brought me a letter, that said, that there be forty sail of our fleet before the Texell, and that they took twenty sail of merchantmen, whereof two are Streights men richly laden; and that if a cursed strong gale had not suddenly come, they had taken the rest of the fleet, which consisted in seventy five ships. Can any man of reason tell me, why we should make any other peace with such cowardly rogues, but such a one as Old Rome did with Carthage? And that you may see, that all their spirit and virtue is gone with Tromp, Beverweert, and Opdam. Two gentlemen of Holland have been offered the command of their fleet, and they have refused, the first utterly, the other demurs Yet there is resolution; whether to break or go on with the treaty is not yet resolved: by the next we are told we shall have it: it concerns me and my mistress, you should send an answer to the inclosed with all possible speed.

My lord of Buckingham is sick of a fever in the army now besieging Mouson: it is not known whether he will venture hither or go to Sedan, which is a good town very near them.

Avons les plus francs desbauchez
Seuls arbitres des mes pecbes,
Je declare ma vie,
Lors que je bois le vin vermeille,
Je dors d'une tranquile sommeile,
J'aime a trouver a mon reveile
Le cot de Silvie.

Et pour vous le dire en deux mots,
J'aime les cons, j'aime les pots;
Je vous le dis tout autre:
Si quelque critique resveur
M'accuse d'êstre grand fouleur,
Et me blasmer d'êstre beuveur,
Qui s'allé faire foutre.

A letter of intelligence.

Vol. vi. p. 209.

Deare An.
I Am just now returned from the bathes att Aken weary, and more indisposed then when I went there. This might excuse mee at present, at least render this paper as short as your's; but rather then it showld be thought I rewarded evill with evil, I wil be content to enforce myselfe beyond my present abilitie, though I have had no time at all to inforce myselfe as I wowld.

Rocroy is in great danger, and weake in souldiers; four hundred men designed for the reinforcing of the place having miscarryed.

The French presse Mouson sorely, but find it more tenable than they expected.

Opdam would be admirall, as the prince was absolute; he will heardly accept of it upon other termes.

Enchusen is surprised by eight or nine Holland companies; the scout imprisoned; the heads of the last mutinie being like to suffer.

Wee heare indeed of some shipps taken by your fleete, but hope our East India fleet will come safe.

Yow grumble every weeke at mee for particulars, whilest yow deale with mee yourselfe only in generalls. The post before this yow sayd the Scots were quashed, but not how; yett wee make them here very considerable and numerous. Lenthall and others have bin sent to for moneys; and twentie other things, which I will not trouble yow nor myselfe with repeating, happen dayly, though yow never mention them.

I wowld rather yow showld send the French Gazette weekely then by three att a time. The reason I send yow no more Courants is, because I have no more time to looke after any, being come so late home, and the post so suddenly to depart.

Pray remember me to our sister. As for Jack, I shall no more expect the favour of his thoughts, till he be Jack out of office; but 'tis no matter, whilest you retayne mee in your good graces, whose

20 Sept. [1653.] N. S.

I am unsaynedly

Beuningen, the Dutch ambassador in Sweden, to the States General.

Vol. vi. p. 192.

High and mighty lords,
My lords, the queen came back to this town on Thursday last, and thereupon I had an occasion to propound to her majesty that, which your high and mighty lordships had commanded me in your orders of the 18th of August last, concerning the unlawful detaining of the one and the other of the Netherland skippers in the Sound; and to that purpose delivered a memorandum to her majesty, whereupon she very civilly promised to write to her resident, that so in the future there may be no cause of complaint given.

Concerning the common alliance with Denmark, the Danish ambassador hath not yet received any answer upon the letters of the king his master, nor also upon the propositions; and is resolved to make no farther instance concerning it, since neither her majesty nor the lords of her council do intend to be perswaded to engage in a war against the English.

The first beginnings of the plague, which is found to be in two houses of this town, that are infected, are like to cause the removal of the court to some adjacent town for a while; and in the mean time to prevent the spreading of this evil, the ships, which are laden with guns for the admiralty of Holland, lye sail ready.

(fn. 1) The Spanish ambassador, who is returned to this court, hath found an order of the king his master, to stay at this court for some longer time.

High and mighty lordships,
Stockholm, 20 Sept. 1653. [N. S.]

C. Van Beuningen.

A letter of intelligence.

Regensburg, 20 Sept. [1653.] N. S.

Vol. vi. p. 206.

The States of the empire cannot yet agree amongst themselves, especially the protestants and papists; his Imperial majesty having hitherto spent all his labour in vain, to work their unanimity. Some are of opinion, that they are resolved to continue here yet for a while for the finishing of this and all other necessary business; others, that within a short time they are to return to Vienna by reason of the indisposition of his Imperial majesty, and the advice given by his physicians in this particular. The city of Bremen have yet the heaviest stone to move, although they are fully agreed with the duke of Oldenburgh for fourscore thousand rix-dollars, as also with the Imperial fiscal for twenty thousand rixdollars, whereas they cannot be absolved from the interdiction of the realm without taking the jesuits into their city and protection, giving them room and liberty to exercise their religion, and to keep schools and churches; whereunto they will be forced to condescend, by reason of the great fear and anxiety they have of the Swedes having besieged their city, both at the lower and upper end of the Weser, as also their hopes of protection and assistance promised them from the Imperial court.

Copenhagen, 20 Sept. S. N. [1653.]

Vice-admiral de Witt, is arrived here with three hundred merchantmen and forty men of war, intending with the first occasion to return with their East India fleet, and such ships as shall be ready to receive the benefit of his convoy, it being said, that our king is resolved to send fourteen of his ships along with them, for their better security. They are very jocund here by reason of the escape of the Holland's fleet hither, mocking and scoffing at the English, and saying, that they have not been able to keep the sea any longer; else they might very easily have prevented their safe arrival here. The duke of Lunenburgh is now de parted hence. Their majesties did intend to accompany him, but have since bethought themselves, and remain at court, where is nothing but mirth and jollity. The estate of Ulefeld, who is called the base and perfidious Ulefeld, is to be sold to some other of the royal ministers of this kingdom.

Boreel, the Dutch ambassador at Paris, to the Dutch commissioners at London.

Paris, 20 Sept. 1653. [N. S.]

Vol. vi. p. 200.

My lords,
The court was the 15th of this month at Amiens to put business in order there; and from thence the court is to remove to Compeigne. In the mean time an army is raised in Picardy, therewith to invade Flanders, so to make a diversion, and draw the Spaniards out of France, several idle men wearing swords having been pressed in this town, and sent into Picardy.

Mouson is besieged by Turenne, and Rocroy by the Spaniards: neither of them yet taken. Rocroy is in a good condition to defend itself.

The pope doth seem to comply with the interest of this king, and doth sollicite hard for the enlargement of the cardinal de Retz out of prison.

This court is resolved to carry a strict hand over the disorders happened in Vivaraix, that so they may give no distaste to Rome. It is maintained here, that the kings of France have power to imprison French cardinals without incurring any danger of excommunication.

It is thought that Mouson will be suddenly taken; the prince of Condé hath sent some relief to Stenay, but it could not get into Mouson.

The governor of Rocroy hath assured the court, that he shall not want provision for the first three weeks, and this constant wet weather doth very much prejudice the besiegers.

There is a report, that the prince of Condé is carried sick out of the army to Cambray.

The Spanish fleet is not yet gone from Garonne.

An extract out of the resolutions of the lords states of Holland and West-Friesland, taken in their lordships assembly on Monday the 22d day of Sept. 1653. [N. S.]

Vol. vi. p. 223.

The raedt pensionary de Witt hath reported to the assembly, that the lords commissioners of their lordships appointed for the affairs of the sea, in pursuance and for the accomplishing of their resolution of the 20th of this month, had endeavoured by all possible perswasions, to move the lord of Opdam to accept of the charge of lieut. admiral of Holland and West-Friesland, to which he was iteratively desired by their lordships, and although the said lord at first and before, with many and earnest motives had desired and intreated that he might be excused of the said charge, and that afterwards he had at last upon the farther instances of the said lords commissioners, and the earnest expressions and serious desire of their lordships, declared to put the business wholly into their hands, and to leave it wholly to the judgment of the said lords commissioners to debate and consider of it, and to decide his said reasons of excuse amongst themselves, whether the said lord of Opdam could or ought to be urged any farther to the accepting of the said charge. And in case they did judge, that it would tend to the service of the country, if he came to accept of the charge, that in such a case, although at this time unwilling, he would be ready to shew to their high and mighty lordships, that there is none in the world, that shall exceed him in care and affection for the welfare of the country; and that the said lords commissioners thereupon, and especially having taken regard of all that the said lord of Opdam had alledged to excuse himself, did make no doubt, but that he would condescend to accept of the said charge upon the foregoing promise made in the name of their lordships, and upon a firm belief of approbation thereof, that they will contribute all that is possible, as well by their liberal consents and effective speedy furnishing of money as also salutary resolutions. Upon which report, the said lord of Opdam hath also declared himself to their lordships to submit himself according to the desire of their lordships, humbly desiring, that their lordships would give strict order for the speedy finishing and equipping of the new ships upon the stocks.

And farthermore, that the fleet at sea may be enforced by all possible means; whereupon being debated, their lordships gave the commissioners thanks for their trouble and care had therein. And the members did declare, that they were very glad to hear, that the said lord of Opdam, preferring the service of the state before all other considerations, had referred himself to the desire of their lordships: likewise they did promise in the name of the lords their principals, to contribute and add all that they are able for the speedy managing of the sea affairs and the equipping of ships and the like, likewise approving of the promise made by the said lords commissioners. And it is moreover resolved and agreed on, that the said choice and acception shall be yet this day made known to the generality, that so the said lord of Opdam may have the command of the whole fleet of this state put upon him according to the example of lieut. admiral Tromp of Holland and West-Friesland. Moreover the said lord of Opdam is desired herewith, after he hath received his commission and taken his oath, to repair to the respective colleges upon the Maeze, at Amsterdam, and in the north parts with all speed possible, there to take possession of the president chair and other preeminencies, according to the custom and instructions of the admiralties.

Letters of intelligence.

Hague, 21 September, 1653. [N. S.]

Vol. vi. p. 217.

Since my last to you I have to confirm, that the fleet of war here is gone to sea, fifty three in number, from the Texell, to convoy five hundred and fifty merchantmen, and to guard home the East-India merchants and others, from the coast of Norway and Denmark. Within three weeks fifty ships more of war are ordered precisely to be ready to meet at sea, if there be cause, the former fleet, or for any other contingent service.

They seem here less to care now for a peace with yours, than I observed them hitherto, not valuing what success their fleet at sea shall have, but altogether exposed for a war, and expecting another fight. The cause of this I cannot yet dive into, but believed by judicious men, to be by reason of some secret intelligence from England and France; for the deputies there do give very good intelligence here, and much to your disadvantage. Some here would have them recalled; and were it not for the intelligence sake, and future hope of their assistance there to some divisions, it is my opinion they had been recalled; but if it be true, as some here say, that your council of state is to advertise them to return, the states here will give them commands to return.

Some here would have the lord Opdam to be admiral in Tromp's place.

What else of importance known to me here, you may perceive by the following extract, which I send abbreviated with the full substance, and of greater consequence to your council of state.

The substance of a letter written by the lord Beuningen, deputy of the States General in Sweden, to the secretary of the said states in the Hague. From Stockholm, 31 August, 1653. [N. S.]

The 30th of August the said deputy had audience from the queen of Sweden, and made great instance, with many reasons, pressing the common alliance betwixt the two crowns of the north, and the States General of the United Provinces. The queen answered, that she had already declared her mind to that particular, and that she expected in writing the conditions, upon which the States General demanded that alliance. The deputy answered, that her majesty should first give answer to the ambassador of the king of Denmark, and declare her resolution, before he would give in writing the conditions, upon which the common alliance was desired; and that after, the Danish ambassador and himself would together give in writing the terms and conditions, upon which the common alliance was desired. Her majesty replied, that she would shortly, for several reasons to her known, send an ambassador to the king of Denmark, because that negotiation was better to be done in Denmark than in Sweden; and that the deputies giving the conditions in writing would serve much towards the conclusion of the said negotiation with the greater expedition. The deputy answered, under her majesty's correction, that he understood not how that negotiation might be better handled in Denmark than in Sweden, when that both the ambassador of Denmark and himself were there present, and fully qualified, and ready to proceed and conclude. The said deputy added, that he declared in effect to her royal majesty, the true intention of their high and mighty lordships, which was, that the alliance, which was separately betwixt both the crowns and the States General, might be made common with both, with obligation, that one confederate should assist the other, in case they should be interrupted or troubled in their estates, trade, or commerce, and invested with war, with certain succours as should be agreed upon in the treaty of the common alliance; and that with respect to the juncture of times, and the present war with England, which was to be looked upon as well for the time to come, as for the present. The queen replied, her majesty was without war or quarrel with England, and that she had no reason or inclination to enter into it without good grounds. The deputy after shewed many reasons to her majesty, wherefore she should assist the States General of the United Provinced in their just cause, and would persuade her majesty it to be her own and her subjects interest, as also all the neighbouring princes and states, to secure commerce. Further the said deputy urged, that her majesty was obliged to perform the former alliance, and also for the mutual good of both, to confirm it with a more strict one; particularly their high mightinesses giving all satisfaction to her majesty as to the treaty of redemption, which has been heretofore lapis offensionis. The queen at last answered, taking notice that the deputy spake so much of Denmark, that in case the English should attack Denmark, that her majesty would be constrained both to assist and defend Denmark; otherwise she was loth and unwilling to enter into a war, before she knew what profit or commodity she might gain thereby to herself and her subjects; and so, in summa, she expected in writing from the States General good terms and conditions, that might encourage and induce her to join in that war with the States General, &c.

So the deputy finding her majesty's inclinations, he thought fit not to give any conditions in writing, 'till his return to their high mightinesses, when he would give to the states a more large account of his said negotiation, which should the better enable them to give the ampler instructions to his successor; and winter drawing on, and this season being near passed, there was time enough further to consider of the business, &c.

This is what of news you have at this time from,
Sir, yours.

Brussells, 22 September 1653. [N. S.]

Your several last letters I received, and sent yours to Ratisbon, from whence I send the annexed letter to you. Since my last to you, here is very little of news. Some do talk very seriously of a truce to be betwixt the Spaniard and the French for some years, by cooperation from Rome. If any shall be concluded, in short time we shall know; but it is a-foot for certain.

Rocroy is narrowly besieged; the 18th of this month the counterscarp was taken by our armies and the outworks. They have only the walls, which they cannot hold long, if not relieved, of which no hopes; for marshal Turenne with his army are in the siege of Mouson, which town wanted men, when he began his march towards it, but the Spaniards seasonably sent two regiments into it; so that now there are in the town 1500 men, whereof some daily do sally and much annoy the French, as several letters bring hither.

If Rocroy be taken, all the armies will march to relieve Mouson; and some give out, the prince of Condé will go after towards Paris; but I doubt this last to be true. Here is nothing more of news stirring, but the duke d'Elbeuf attempting to intercept some convoys with provision from Namur to the siege of Rocroy to our army, was by the count of Meghen, commander of our party, well beaten and lost nothing; which is now all from,

Sir, yours.

Ratisbon, 4 Sept. 1653. [N. S.]

Yours of the 15th August I received. The news of your last battle at sea are in these parts quite contrary to your relation; for the Hollanders have a day of thanksgiving for their victory, and give out, that they lost but six ships, and that yours lost above twenty; and that your naval army was wholly ruined; and that they do again challenge you; and that a ship of Hamburgh sailing through those seas, offering to do her duty to your admiral, was not permitted, by reason the admiral was in such disorder, but was directed to the vice-admiral, who was also (tho' not so ill treated as the admiral) in very bad condition. And farther they give out, that now not a ship of yours is to be seen near their coasts; and that they are going out again with more force, to convoy their India fleet and other merchant ships from Norway. All this and much more is to be seen here printed; but there is not so much credit given to it; and less will be, by the confirmation you assure of your victory.

The emperor is to be here the seventh instant, and the elector of Mentz also from the hot-baths. All the secular princes departed from hence to their homes, excepting the prince of Siveringe the Palatine's cousin, and the marquis of Baden. It is said, the emperor will return to Vienna within four weeks, although many desire he should stay longer; but the air doth not help his majesty; and seeing the princes are gone, and leave deputies, his majesty may do the like, when he returns it shall be known. Some write from thence and Holland, that all Scotland is in arms against England, and that some dissentions are in England about Lilburne; and that the general Cromwell is in great danger by it; as also your new parliament. The solution of these relations from you here is much expected.

R. Carolus his ambassador is always here in the patient expecting the emperor's return, when we shall know what the emperor, the catholic and protestant princes of Germany shall do for him; but princes and states pretend for religion, when it is for their turn; and not ultra in materia status; which is the ancient practice, and I find it to be so here. In Hungary all is quiet, but the vice-roy of that kingdom is very sick, and so some differences may arise in the election of another.

Some letters bring hither, that the Swedes intend to besiege Bremen, and that the city doth demand succour from your parliament of England.

The letters of Poland bring, that the prince of Transylvania, joined with the prince of Moldavia, have defeated 20,000 soldiers, which came to the succour of the prince of Walachia from Chimilinski the Cossack, the said prince of Walachia his son in law; and that there are hopes of a league to be made betwixt the king of Poland, the princes of Transylvania and Moldavia against the Cossacks and prince of Walachia. The news from Poland are so uncertain and various, that a real writer is loth to send them to a friend; but I believe these news to be the truest, coming from good hands to the emperor's court: The king of Poland is in that condition, that the Cossacks dare not give him battle.

The ambassador of France sits quiet here 'till the emperor's return; then his business will be better known; so you shall have it, when it comes to the knowledge of,
Sir, yours.

A letter of intelligence from Holland.

Vol. viii. p. 82.

My last to yow was eight dayes since, wherein I advised the needefull, and to pleasure a friend of yours drew 25 l. upon yow, which I doubt not yow will accept for his sake. Since when I have your 26 ult. which requires little answer. These serve only to give yow notice, that our adventure for the north partes will be well protected; for notwithstanding the greate talke here of English upon the coast, two dayes since went forty merchantmen out of the Fly alone, and yesterday de Witt and de Ruyter went out of Texell with fifty odd men of warre, and four fire-ships, as a convoy for about three hundred merchantmen, who went then out of the Fly towards the east, and to bring home the EastIndia and Streights men, that lye in the Sound and Norway, for whose security greate care is taken, as allsoe for 541. 530 which 464 expect 233. 94; which commodities are much in request, and I doubt not will vend well with you, of which a word in your next. Here are, God be thanked, fifty or sixty ships safely arived from France and other places. Some came north about, and some through the channell, but they say dyvers are taken. If soe, yow will know as well as wee, though wee have notice of seventeen. Wee heare the English are gone from our coast, though wee feare our Eastland men will meete them about Dogger-sand. 'Twere to be wished, the merchantmen might passe free, though the men of warre fight it out. 'Tis yett unresolved, who shall be admirall in Tromp's place, who was interred last Fryday at Delft most sumptuously. The heer Van Opdam hath it yett in bethinking, and 'tis thought at last will not goe. 'Tis too dangerous. It matters not. De Witt is able enough, and true to our interest. Yesterday Enchuysen (the inhabitants whereof rose up lately in behalfe of the prince of Orange against their magistrates) was reduced to obedience, being surprized by five or six companys of horse and foote, when they little dreamt of it, though 'twas done at noone day, when the people were gathered together at the towne house to heare a pretended proclamation read of, though it may chance to prove of evill consequence, by rayseing bad bloud in the veines of the people in other townes; but that is a place of great concernment to the states of this province, who, for ought I see, intend to rule the rost; but their strength is allmost spent. A good peace would doe best, which wee have little hopes of, heareing nothing tending that way from our ambassadors in England. However the arivall of our ships in the Sound and Norway will begett new courage. Amongst the ships arived, the Leopard is one, whose gunnes being soe usefull, are allready taken out. In your next pray write what course shall bee taken with our goods for France. I suppose this winter wee may safely venture through the channell, as I know others doe. Though the arivall of these ships hath putt a little lyfe into trade, yett I have no more to say at present, but rest,

15 12/9 53.

Yours, Idem.

The Dutch ambassadors in England, to the States General.

Vol. xviii. p. 175.

My lords,
We have received your high and mighty lordships resolutions of the 11th, 12th, 18th, 24th and 25th of last month. We shall govern ourselves according to the contents therein, humbly desiring, that your lordships would be pleased to approve, that notwithstanding the strict narrow watch kept over the prisoners here, and the prohibition of this state, yet we have made a shift to transport 192 prisoners for the Flemish coast, who were most of them in the country, and were bringing up to London against the winter. The prisoners at Chelsea, the Meuse, and at Colchester, as elsewhere (fn. 2), do suffer an unspeakable deal of misery, lying upon straw, without any thing to cover them, and in the open air, which we are once more necessitated to represent to your lordships, to perform the bitter desperate complaints, that are made us daily. The last week there only died twenty four at Chelsea, and this week there were seventeen buried in one day. There are four hundred sick amongst them, of which there are two hundred in great danger. When we complain of these hardships to some lords here upon occasion, they make answer, that their men in our country are far worse used, and have but three pence a day allowed them, whereas ours have six pence. We have endeavoured to make a provisional exchange of fifty or sixty of ours against as many of theirs in Holland and Zealand, that so we may get off our best seamen; but as yet we are not agreed, by reason the general of the prisoners doth stand precisely to exchange an officer for officer, mariner against mariner, with distinction of men of war and merchantmen; but we shall endeavour to act further herein, and to do as well as we can.

The great ships of the fleet of this state are come into the river as far as Rochester, where they are to lye all this winter, and that eight of the ships of the fleet lye before Yarmouth, much damnified and without masts. We do by our next intend to give your high and mighty lordships a particular account of the condition of their fleet. In the mean time,

High and mighty lords,
Westm. 23 Sept. 1653. [N. S.]

Your lordships most humble servants,
Beverning, Vande Perre.

Vande Perre to Mr. Maximilian Teelinch, minister at Middleburgh.

Vol. vi. p. 109.

Though the lords states of Zealand have taken a vigorous resolution about the English affairs, yet it is not certain, whether it will take alike with the other provinces. And if all the provinces should call home the commissioners, that are here (wherein I shall be well pleased as to my own particular) yet I perceive so much, that Holland will not do it. Thus I do fear, that the business will come to fall into a most tedious dispute, whether we shall soon come away or stay here any longer. Patientia. Some think they begin to perceive them better disposed here to a peace. I am not of their opinion. The refutation of the deduction of Holland (fn. 3) against the appointing of a captain and admiral general and his lieutenant ought of necessity to be strongly set down, and provided with full and strong reasons and arguments; or, as you say, it had better been let alone, it being certain, that the said deduction and refutation of the same will be put in print, whereby it is made common, for every one to judge of, and if sent over hither, will undoubtedly give offence, and cause much hindrance. What those of Guelderland have done in the English business is come safe to me to day. You may be assured, that I will not communicate your letters, nor make known your name to any person living. What out of suspicion and jealousy they may write, I cannot help. I hope I shall be revoked. It would be most agreeable unto me. And to give you my answer to the question and answer propounded by you, I say, yes, yes, yes. You may see enough what I mean. I shall provide the prisoners with cloths and necessaries, according to the states of Zealand's resolutions.

The great ships of this state are come into the river. They are very busy here to raise means to maintain their forces, and great estates are sold to pay their mariners wages, who are to some purpose in arrear. Hampton-court, that was first ordered to be sold, is given now to the general, who is to part with New-hall in Essex to the state, formerly belonging to the duke of Buckingham, and since these times given to his excellency, in recompence of his good services.

Westminster, 23 Sept. 1653. [N. S.]

Col. Robert Lilburne to secretary Thurloe.

Vol. vi. p. 284.

There being a shippe ordered by the councell of state, to bee sent from the Thames to St. Johnston's, shee being loaden with divers necessaries for the fortificatiou there, it will be necessarie, that she have a convoy, which I intreate you to procure an order for, and deliver itt to captain Kelke or Mr. Cary goldsmyth in Gutter-lane. I am loath to trouble the councell of state with any letters in soe small a businesse, but rather presume uppon your favour in this particular.

Colonel Cobbett possessed himself of Lewis Island the 16th of August, and lest major Crispe with four companies, to fortify Loughsternay, there being an island therein, which is almost invironed by the sea, and naturallie fortifiable and commodious for the safety of that harbore, where hee found two peices of ordnance and four slinge peeces. Hee went thence for the Mula Island, which hee entered the third instant, meeting there with three ships, which came with a companie of foote and other provisions from Aire, and have alsoe possessed the strong castle of Dovart. Uppon this appearance of our partie, they had a generall alarum throughout the Highlands, and pretended to raise the people to rescue their neighbours in the Islands; but I suppose that will not signifie much. There is a report, that the Highlanders meete again about the first of October, to forme a party of 1500, that itt may be said abroad, they have an army for the kinge. Their intentions are to support themselves by stealing for the supply of those fugitives, that dare nott returne into the Lowlands. The lord Lorn and Glengary fell out lately, and drew each uppon other, but were prevented from fighting, yet parted great enemies. A ship being newlie come from Norway to Invernesse, faith, that many Dutch shippes from the Indies, France, and Spaine, and other foutherne parts to the number of 100, are in Norway, in great feare of our fleet. About fourteen days ago, about thirty or forty sayle of Dutch were seene by the inhabitants of Orkney, judged to bee the Dutch shippes from the Indies and other parts. One of them 200 tun was wreckt uppon those islands, the greatest parte of her loading being tobacco.

One Mr. John Waughe, a minister, is committed by the judges at Edinburgh Castle, for praying and preaching for Charles Stuart.

Your very humble servant
Dalkeith, 13 Sept, 1653.

R. Lilburne.

A letter of intelligence from Paris.

Pariss, 24 Sept. 1653. [N. S.]

Vol. vi. p. 248.

The English post is not yet arrived. We long to hear from thence, neither have we much news at this time of any consequence. I hear mons. marquis de Souvray has lest his charge of being gentleman of his majesty's chamber for mons. Conte de Lude, who is to give him 490,000 livres ready money.

The marquis de Roquelaure married lately madamoiselle de Lude, sister to mons. Conte de Lude. This marquis has lent to madame la princesse de Guimené 300,000 livres for a year's time without any interest. The king is yet at Compiegne, and is to go from thence to Soissons, and from Soissons to Chalons, as we understand by the last letters from court. The last letters from Guise dated the 20th instant bring, that the governor of that place writ to the governor of Rhetel, desiring him to make all the inhabitants of the villages thereabouts, to bring their goods into both Guise and Rhetel, by reason the prince was to come with his forces to them with such a fury, that he resolved not to give any quarter to no body; and therefore the said governor desired the other governor of Rhetel, to make the people burn all that they could not bring with them, as also their own houses, that the prince may not have a place to repose, or meat for himself or his horses.

The letters from Champagne of the 19th instant report of a great division between Turenne and marshal la Ferte-Senneterre, by reason the last called the first to a duel; but we do not hear yet of any fight between them, for people are sent from the court to make their agreement, of which I hear nothing as yet. The same letters report also, that Mouson was much pressed, and that there was no appearance of any relief. Another letter I have seen of the same date from a friend of mine, which brings, they were in great hopes of Mouson, though they lost some men since they came about it, and especially some of the duke of York's regiment, which encountred a party of the prince's, which gave them the worst in a skirmish. One captain Gavelin of York's regiment was slain with some other officers, and few of the prince's, being more numerous. Rocroy holds out yet; others, that would wish the contrary, say, it is taken, but between both I think its not yet taken.

The Normans speak highly at these times: their parliament of Rouen hath given an arrest, that no intendants upon pain of death should enter their province for to tax them more than they give already; and upon the like pains, in case the court should send orders to any men of the province, or send any express in his majesty's name, not to accept of them; but rather, if they did endeavour to prevail by force, that all men, whatsoever quality they be, should rise in arms against them, for to defend the province. Hearing Mazarin intended to bring his majesty to Rouen, Havre, Diep, to make the people pay these impositions every where, they resolved to make up themselves in proper persons 3000 horses, to hinder Mazarin or any that belongs to him. So I believe Mazarin repents to propose what he has proposed, as to endeavour that way where he can never prevail.

It's reported here for certain, that the resident of the principauté d'Orange being now in court, and about his business with mons. de la Vrilliere, secretary of state, who told him he did much admire, how those of the said principauté d'Orange should join with the rebels of the religion pretendú reformée of Languedoc, seeing they were rebels, having taken arms against his majesty; to which the resident answered, they had a just cause to do it, seeing their brothers offended; after which the council did but laugh at them, and told him, the English both within and out of the country would join with them in such a just cause as that is, being not in any way against the king's service, or in any way prejudicial to the state; and by that occasion (said he) they should be called rebels for demanding justice, and they being refused only promises without performance.

The 20th instant parted hence the most part of the merchants of this city to supplicate his majesty tres humblement not to either increase or diminish the money, but leave it as it is; they are not yet returned.

The duke of Orleans's wife, madamoiselle, mons. Louison, his son, and duke de Beaufort, are at Tours and a great court with them.

Mons. marshal de Villeroy returned from Villeroy Monday last; and I hear, he parted yesterday for Lyons, by reason he understood Mazarin was to bring the king that way. Mazarin has not prevailed, since he brought the king with him abroad this time; he thought to get possession of all the garrisons, but he has gotten not one at all, at which he is mad.

King Charles goes to Chantilli within three days, to change the air.

General Preston having received part of his money here, is to depart this day for Abbeville, where he intends to meet his wife coming from Flanders. Within fifteen days they will be here both, and from hence he goes then to Languedoc, to make up the soldiers having quarters there, and thinking to draw the rest of the Irish from the Spaniard in those parts, but in the mean time he has dealt very basely with his officers here. To lieutenant colonel Fitzpatrick he has only given thirty pistoles; to col. Browne thirty pistoles; to captain Bryan Charles so much; to another Kennedy O Bryan as much; to his capt. lieut. fifteen pistoles; to capt. Conn Mac Guish, fifteen pistoles; to captain John White, twenty pistoles; to father James Talbot, his own secretary of affairs, thirty four pistoles; to capt. Wotton, his pretended major, fifteen pistoles, who is now very sick here; but a commissary he has, who has six hundred pistoles in hand to pay the soldiers, that the said officers shall bring to their quarters, at twelve livres a piece, and those that shall bring arms with them from the enemies, shall have fifteen livres, which is all of that matter, only he has four hundred pistoles himself to make up a troop of horse of the found of Languedoc. He has not yet received any thing, only that of Picardy.

O Sullivan Bearra, I hear, is to prevail in his business for Ireland, the king to give him money, which he receives from foreign princes by the means of his messengers in Ratisbon, Denmark, Sweden, &c. with what assistance Holland will give him. Much is said of it, but I doubt, whether it will come to any effect as yet, which is all I am to give you of news at present, with, sir,

My faithfull service.

You have from Madrid of the 27th last month, that colonel Darcy, and colonel Fitzpatrick his foster brother, a priest, with all their men, are close prisoners there, and none can speak to them.

An intercepted letter from Paris.

The 14/24 Septemb. 1653.

Vol. vi. p. 253.

My dear friend,
We have sent several wayes unto you: I hope they cannot all miscarry, being under several names. The inclosed is for the knight errant. The king is perfectly revovered, and there are three persons come to him from those, who are risen in arms for him. One is an Englishman, called colonel Bamfield; the other two Scotsmen, lieut. col. Macklaud, and captain Shaw, who commanded a company in his life-guard of foot. The English col. is looked upon as a knave, and so hath no countenance, nor at all trusted. By the next week's letters you shall know more.

Mr. Dorislaus to secretary Thurloe, inclosed in the preceding.

PRAY let me have the inclosed back again, after you have read it. It may be, the next may discover, who this knight errant is. The messenger will bring it to me, if you please to inclose it in a paper to me.

Your humble servant

An intercepted letter from Paris.

Sept. 14/24, 1653.

Vol. vi. p. 254.

Noble Sir,
Your friend, by whose care this will be conveyed to you, will inform you of the reason you received not sooner my thanks for yours of August the 1st and the inclosed note you sent me. Now that you have found the way, I hope I shall hear oftner from you; if not, your friend here desireth he may, who takes it kindly from you to receive your advice and opinion in what concerneth him, of which he hath a very great esteem. As for those persons you mentioned in your note, there is nothing they have done without express direction from him; yet few on your side of the country were not advertized of their intentions. You are not to think strange, nor they to take ill, for except it were W. Broome, none here knew how either to write to any, or upon what terms they stood; and he was as timely sent unto as any, however his letters have miscarried. The others made their intentions first known, and therefore first trusted. It is not yet too late for any, who are willing to do good; and whoever at all intends it, will not be kept back for such an omission, which they themselves for want of knowledge have ocoasioned. I am, I confess, much troubled in the behalf of a friend of mine, for whom I am daily answering. I need not name him here, you may read it in another place; besides my relation to him, may make you guess him, he having no way to let my friend hear him, seeing most of those, that have relation to him, have done it some one way or other, and he likewise, though you have not heard of it, hath found means of sending returns to them. I pray be you free in advertizing, to whom the omission hath been, and by whom things of that nature will be acceptable, and you shall soon see all remedied.

Your most affectionate servant
W. Browne.

Extract out of the notes of the lords states of Zealand, Wednesday the 24th of Sept. 1653. [N. S.] A prandio.

Vol. vi. p. 257.

There being read a letter from the lord Vander Perre, dated London the 19th Sept. 1653, it is resolved, that an answer shall be returned to his letter, that in case the lord Stockaert (extraordinary commissioner of the reformed Cantons in Switzerland) should pass through this town, that he shall be received with all civil reception and compliment, as hath been used formerly to those of the like quality; and the said lord Perre be likewise authorized to provide the prisoners belonging to this province with wool and linen; and that he do write about from time to time to the admiralty here, how much and for how many he hath disbursed.

An order of parliament.

Wednesday, 14 September, 1653.

Vol. vi. p. 252.

Mr. Lawrence reported from the council of state, that the late parliament judging it fit to send an ambassador extraordinary into Sweden:

Resolved, by the parliament, that an ambassador extraordinary be sent to the queen of Sweden from this commonwealth.

Resolved, that the house doth agree with this report, that the lord commissioner Whitelocke be sent ambassador extraordinary from this commonwealth to the queen of Sweden.

Resolved, that the council of state do take care, that the attendants and retinue of all ambassadors to be sent from this state be such as shall be approved of by them, both for number and quality.

Ordered by the parliament, that the council of state do take care to prepare all things, in order for the dispatch of the said lord ambassador; and that the council do prepare a commission and instructions to be given to his lordship, and report them to the house.

Hen. Scobell, clerk of the parliament.

The king of Portugal to the States General.

Translated out of Portuguese.

Vol. vi. p. 258.

High and mighty lords,
I Don John, by the grace of God king of Portugal and of Algarvas, of the one and the other side of the sea in Africa, lord of Guinea, of the conquests, navigation, and commerce of Asia, Arabia, and the Indies, am sending to your high and mighty lordships many salutations, as those whom I do esteem to be my affected friends, and those whom I love and honour. Here came lately from your lordships to my court two gentlemen, Gisbert Rudolphus and Gualter Van Hoeve, whom I heard with that respect as I ought, according to their qualities, being commissioners from your high and mighty lordships. They desire of me commissioners to confer with concerning the affairs they were sent about; and having appointed commissioners to treat with them, I thought, that the intention of their voyage was, to propound means of peace between my subjects and those of your high and mighty lordships in the West-Indies, Africa, and Brazil; and having moreover propounded the form, after which they desired to make the peace in Brazil, they did not declare how they would make the same in Africa and in the Indies (whereof great commotions have happened) and being desired by my commissioners, that in regard your high and mighty lordships commissioners had propounded a peace to all the west parts, and after what form they would have it, that they would likewise propose and demonstrate the form, manner, and conditions, after which they should desire to make a peace with those of the Indies and Africa; and that I might know, whether it would be serviceable to make a peace in Brazil, I desired to know upon what conditions; they told me, that if I would restore all that country of Brazil, that I might name commissioners to conclude the peace at Nantes or Rochell, or in any other place in France, because they had brought no power to celebrate the same; and that they were certain, that the business would be accommodated to my satisfaction. And this was all, that ever we could get from them, nor could not prevail with them to leave these things in writing, according to the custom and usual practice; neither would they put their conference or propositions in writing, as is usual. And because that I follow that, which the lords kings my predecessors have always done, I do not use to restore without my council, affairs of this quality, as the restitution of countries. Therefore I did most affectionately recommend to the said Gisbert Rudolphus and Gualter Van Hoeve, that they would declare the form of the peace to be made in the Indies and Africa, to have a farther occasion to look into this business. They gave me for answer, that they had no order for it, and thereupon resolved to return home into their own country, leaving me discontented, that I could not effect that, which I so much desired, which is, a general peace, very sincere and firm, with your high and mighty lordships, whom I do esteem as very loving, well affected, and much honoured friends. God keep them in his protection.

The King.

At Lisbon, the 25th Sept. 1653. [N. S.]

To the high and mighty lords, the States General of the United Provinces of the Low Countries.


  • 1. Chant. Mem. tom. iii. p. 232. De Wit. Lettres vol. i. 15. 16.
  • 2. Vie de Ruyter, p. 44.
  • 3. See de Witt, vol. v. p. 6.