State Papers, 1653: December (1 of 4)

Pages 620-629

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

December (1 of 4)

Nieuport to his father-in-law mynheer Hans Van Loon, one of the council of the East India Company at Amsterdam.

Vol. ix. p. 4.

Honoured Father,
Yesterday I received your's safe of the 25th Nov. We have upon a writing, that was delivered unto us on the behalf of this state, answered it with vigor; and since we have been every day this week some hours in conference together; but we cannot certainly conjecture what the issue will be. However we are resolved done or undone to depart from hence within few days. The Scots Highlanders make several inroads upon the Low-Lands, and and cannot be hindered by the English. The ambassador of Portugal, whose brother is in danger to be punished with death, is in a great perplexity by reason of the disaster. I do believe, that his public negotiation here is wholly obstructed. I hope that God will let them feel the smart of what they have done to others in the west. It is not unknown to me, that that business of Amboina is laid upon the shoulders of the state; but I have since judged, that the same could not be unserviceable unto them, that the world be disabused, and that the lords, who have knowledge of affaires, whilst it is time, do contribute thereunto as much as is possible. There hath not as yet been any thing spoken in any of the conferences of the business of the Indies, but they have only said in a writing, that they did deliver a paper formerly to Cats, Sehaep, and Vande Perre, wherein was set down the complaints of their damages and depredations made upon them in the East Indies as elsewhere, which they do yet keep in consideration, and how the business of the Indies ought to be governed. And as to that particular there hath been no further proceeding used. In our next conference we shall be able to judge, what can be finally expected from them. We doubt not but by our report at our return, we shall make it appear to all the world, that it did not fail on our parts.

Westminster, 2/12 Dec. 1653.

The Dutch commissioners in England to Ruysch.

Vol. ix. p. 3.

My lord,
We hope that you have received ours of the 5th instant, which we sent by sea: we only will add thereunto; that the answer of the council of state having given occasion for a conference, we have bestowed three days running on the same; and all the articles being examined and debated, this afternoon was appointed (but is now put off till to-morrow) to resume all the principal points, and finally to conclude the same, so that the conferences we are to have to-morrow will make us either conclude matters or break off. We think to set out next week from here. Herewith, &c.

December 2/12 1653.

Beverning, Nieuport, Jongestal.

The indisposition and weakness of M. Van Perre will not permit him to sign these presents.

An intercepted letter.

Vol. ix. p. 9.

I Believe Mr. Smith gave the reason, why your last has been thus long unanswered, and therefore I hope there will need no further excuse. The treaty (upon which all our eyes are sett) is so carried, that wee know not what judgment to make of it. Some are of opinion, that it is privately concluded between the generall and the ambassadours, but kept very secret, by reason that the Anabaptisticall party, who are very prevalent in the house, oppose it most furiously. Within these two daies there came a person of quality to the ambassadours, sent express from Holland, as it is generally believed, to breake it off; but some think it only a device to gett the better conditions, believing that the generall, to cross the Anabaptists, will have it upon any terms. But that which I most rely on of all that I have heard concerning it, is, that yesterday 16 told a freind of mine, that itt would certainly breake, and I heare Mr. Dolman is not very confident, as he formerly was, of the success of his negotiation. I know not whether you have formerly heard of the Munday's lecture at Blackfryers, where three or four of the Anabaptisticall ministers preach constantly with very great bitternes against the present government, but especially against his excellency, calling him the man of sin, the old dragon, and many other scripture ill names; the cheif of them is one Feake, a bold and crasty orator, and of high reputation amongst them. It has been wondred, the generall has so patiently permitted them; but yesterday I heard the true reson of it, which is, that hee canot help it, for they preach by an act of the late parliament, which the councell of state cannot over-rule; and this parliament will not abolish it; but on Tuesday last, as I take it, they were called before a private committee, where your generall was present, who told them, that the ill odour they had cast upon the government, has given confidence to our enemies abroad and at home (meaning the Scotts) and would bring the parliament into contempt; and that whatsoever ill effect followed, they must bee accountable for it. Feake replyed, that hee desired, that what the generall sayd, and what he answered, might be recorded in heaven; and that it was his tampering with the king, and his assuming an exorbitant power, which made these disorders; and so held forth the fifth monarchy. The generall answered, that when he heard him begin with a record in heaven, hee did not expect, that hee would have told such a lye upon earth; but assured him, that whensoever they should bee harder prest by the enemy than they yet had been, it would be necessarry to begin first with them, and so dismist them. I forgott to tell you, that the generall had brought Sterry, and two or three more of his ministers, to oppose spirit to spirit, and to advise Feake and the rest to obedience, as the most necessary way to bring in the kingdom of Christ. But it is beleived, wee shall have very much troble from the Anabaptists; yet it is thought, their power is nothing so great in the army as in the house, they having none above a captaine of their party besides Harrison, who it is thought will betray all the rest; but whether the genarall will ease himself of those in the house by the old way of purging, or the new one of dissolving, rests in his owne and his officers breasts. But certainly the increass of the trobles in Scotland, the doubtfullnes of the peace with Holland, and the disorders of the Anabaptists have suspended the resolution he has taken of (mXXWAKRL)n ELMgesupn, tho' it may bee wr2pn mrpHtpr rmap, to which end 16 umx qmggp2 fwh HTPRFnHT, but is now LFRP ymqi, Ko 4122. 27 hath any great designe HTFXP to your GmHP 13 may be easily am2p to 25, if a way may be found to make HTp a xgywp, for by the extreame of GGf of HtKX2113, they are in npewHmHKFR mlmKR. By the next I shall bee able to give you an account of what we are to expect concerning the treaty, which will be the last you will receive from mee till after Christmas; and therefore I nether expect from you an answer to this nor that, for I shall bee gone out of town, before they can come; so that till you heare again from me, you need not write any more.

December 2d [1653.]

A letter of intelligence from Mr. Augier's Secretary.

Paris the 13/4 Dec. 1653.

Vol. ix. p. 12.

I Had the honour to write unto you Wednesday last of the king's return to Paris.

The parliament resolved that day, that some deputies should be sent from all the chambers to compliment their majesties upon their happy success, and to thank them for the continuance of their great cares, &c. according to their usual custom on such like occasions; and that they should intreat their said majesties to recall the exiled of the said chambers, to suppress the jurisdiction of the ardent chambers, and to suffer the process of Mr. Croissy Fouquet, prisoner in Chasteau de Vincennes, to be ended by the said parliament. But no mention was made of the new edicts, which I have heretofore spoken of: one of them is against the gold and silver, and all other manner of laces, with a prohibition to wear any more.

The next day came advice from Toulouse, that that parliament having received the signification of the arrest, which the king's council had, as you have heard of, contradictorily given after the interdiction of mons. de Machault (whom the court had sent in those parts as an overfeer of justice) had assembled itself, and had in some manner resolved to cashire the said arrest; but the decision being left for another opportunity, they had in the mean while ordered, that the members, which the said council pretended to banish, should continue in their offices, until a more full justification of their dealings against the said monsieur de Machault.

The parliament of Rennes is yet in dispute with the states of Bretagne; but it's believed the parliament will have the upperhand, as for the maintaining of the people's prerogatives against tyranny. The Paulette is a yearly right voluntarily given to the king by parliaments, that the offices of the same may thereby be hereditary; and that is the reason why the said states, and not the parliament, as it has been said, would abolish it, that they may the easier weaken the said parliament.

I hear, that yesterday one of mons. de Aligre's sons, director of the finances, was to go and carry two hundred thousand livres to the French army in Catalonia, that it may the more willingly undertake the relief of Roses, which is yet blocked up by the Spaniards.

The king is to go this morning with a great train to the cathedral church of this city, where the Te Deum is to be sung for the victory of St. Menehould. The public foreign ministers have been invited to it; but those of the Italian princes refused yesterday to go, if they were to forsake the rank to the electors residents, as they would have them do against the custom. Mons. de Bezemont, the cardinal's secretary, has written hither by his last letters from Basile, that the count of Harcourt mistrusting of him, had declared to him his last intentions concerning his agreement, and had given him but twelve days time to declare to him a final resolution; whereupon this court hath made him a quick answer, and ill glossed, that they are already agreed, and that the duke de Mercœur is to leave to that count the government of Provence. Charles Stuart with his mother and brethren made Thursday last a great Gaudeamus in the royal palace, where the king was at dinner with them.

A letter of intelligence from Paris.

13 December, 1653. [N. S.]

Vol. ix. p. 14.

The post of this day is not yet arrived that I know; yet we hear from several places your agreement to be concluded with Holland, though you do not give it out, which we fear much here, endeavouring the best we can to hinder it, as all men do for their own profit. You cannot have much news of any great consequence from hence at present, only our king is here, as I writ formerly, very welcome with all, a great court, balls, ballets, and comedies every night since his arrival. He visited last Thursday in the afternoon the king and queen of England in Palais Royal. The duke of York is there very gallantly. The duke of Buckingham arrived likewise, being not well wished by king Charles or his: I know not what may be the reason of it.

Mons. marshal de Foucaut, (fn. 1) alias counte d'Oignon, arrived here last Monday by order from the king; his wife and son arrived since too; also the duke and duchesse Richelieu.

The eighth instant arrived here deputies from the Hugonots of the city of Nismes in Languedoc, complaining of the Roman Catholics there, which hinder them of their exercise of religion in the said city and thereabouts, as I writ more in my former.

Mons. marquis de Genlis, wounded at the siege of St. Menehould, died of his wounds in his way coming to Paris. The king has given his place of captain of the guard to monsieur Montat, commander that was for the prince in the castle of St. Menehould, after he took his leave of the said prince. He is a gallant man; he has left all the contributions he took about St. Menehould, in the hands of the merchants of Chalons, that his majesty might do with it what he shall think fit, being 150,000 livres. The ninth instant the most part of the churchmen of this city and other places in France assembled at the ambassador of Portugal's house; what may be subject of it, I do not yet know.

The same day were found in several places in Paris quantities of papers printed against the present ministers of state and government; it's not known, who sets them out. The 10th of this instant the parliament assembled in the palais, when they concluded to visit and falute the king at the Louvre, to declare first their affection towards him, and how glad they were of his majesty's safe arrival at his bonne ville de Paris, as also of his victories in the field since he parted. Likewise to desire his said majesty to be pleased to recall their brethren banished, that they might enjoy their places in parliament. In like manner to recall the chamber at the bastille, and give liberty to mons. Croissy Fouquet. Upon which the king granted some of their members to be recalled, but not all. Yet it is thought Croissy shall have his liberty, seeing that mons. Doujat, a counsellor in the high chamber, being one of Mazarin's creatures, works for him; of which the parliament are very glad, especially the first president. The said Doujat had undertook that matter against their expectations, but the council will not have mons. Broussel or mons. du Portail recalled by any means.

The same day the impost of wine and salt was augmented by ten sols every two barrels.

(fn. 2) The last news from Brisac of the 29th last month, written by mons. de Besmans, lieutenant of the cardinal's guard, being there from the king, brings, that mons. count de Harcourt was ready to quit the government of Brisac, upon condition the king would give him that of Burgundy; to which the duke of Epernon consented, in case his majesty would be pleased to give him his government of Guyenne; to which the king will not consent, intending to give it to the duke de Candale, and that of Auvergne to the duke de Epernon, which Epernon hearing, fell sick, and keeps his bed. Since his son went to see him, which he would not suffer, but desired him to get away out of his fight. There is another letter from Brisac of the same date, signifying, that when count de Harcourt understood, that the said mons. Besmans was to corrupt the garrison of the town, he ordered him to the best tavern in town with a guard, and commanded he should not stir out of it, till he had gotten answer of the letters he writ to the king here; and told him he did not yet agree either with the king or emperor. Some think it's not the answer of any letters he expects, but rather his son, who got away, as I writ in my former.

From Bourdeaux you have by the last letters, that their imposition of wine is much augmented: heretofore they payed but six livres a tun; now they are forced to pay twenty one. And moreover they being obliged to build two citadels in the town, in a manner they are all ruined both within the town, and about it three or four leagues, with famine and sickness: miserable news!

The last letters from Provence signify great raising of forces in those parts, and also in Dauphiné, to be sent to Naples, where they are revolted already. They writ also for six gallies to be ready with all kind of provision to depart for Naples, which, if true, is a troublesome business for this kingdom.

I hear Holland, Denmark, and Sweden have agreed amongst themselves; but I am not yet sure of it. As for any other part of alliance between France and Spain, Germany and Holland, I do not hear any assurance of, neither between France and Holland newly, more than as they were hitherto. If Chanut does any thing now, we shall hear by that time. Prince Rupert is not yet come.

O Sullivan Beara is at Nantz expecting shipping for Ireland. If he goes over, he shall have a considerable party to trouble us; be sure of it. I hear also great preparations are making for king Charles in Germany. This being all at present, I remain,

your humble servant.

An intercepted letter.

Vol. x. p. 35.

Deare Tom,
These lines are onelie to informe you, how farr wee have proceeded in our march to overtake our troopes; and to let you knowe, how your brother hath served mee. For the former, we are at present anchored at Durham and in safe harbour, but our staye must not bee long heere, because the Highlanders have sell upon some of our quarters neere Eddenburgh (bold rogues) and cutt neere a hole regiment off; so that posts are speeded to London for fresh troopes, which will bee the cause, that wee shall not rest, and refresh owr horses so longe heere as we did intend, but must make all haste wee can possible to our regiments, to which place God of his infinite mercy send us safe. Thier are dayly great outrages committed, but I hope eer some short time more is spent, wee shall bee able to quell and quiett those, that are our greatest enemies, to which all pious and zealous harted men ought to say, Amen.

Your brother and his comrade had orders to meett me at a place, which I appointed for a general rendezvouz, where all did appeare but them tow. I stayed some tow houres extraordinarie their, beleeving they would have come, but failing mee, I was forst to march forward, according to orders, so that now I doubt much of their company, beleiving they may have altered their resolutions. This change in them may proceed from the delicacy of the place, or the plenty of money they were then possessors of here at that present, being in a better condition then any with me. Before this comes to your perusall, you may knowe better, what is become of him, with his reasons for his staye, and myselfe with my gang to be safe with our forces. I shall trouble you with noe perticular affaires heere, havinge neither time nor paper to writt it, but in general to delever all our dews and services to all our freindes with you, with a vollie of well-wishes to Patch and his family. Thus you have the true relation of our progress from him, that desires God's blessing to goe along with him and his societie forward one, as it hath begun, which may prove an incouragement to others. This is the harty prayer of,

Durham, 3 Dec. 1653.

Sir, your affectionated freind and humble servant,
Thomas Younge.

My freinds are all well, and send their services to you.

I have onely time to say, that I am your's,
Tho. Bingham.

Extract of a letter of mons. de Bordeaux, the French resident in England, to mons. de Brienne, secretary of state in France.

15 Dec. 1653. [N. S.]

From the collection of M. de Bordeaux's letters in the library of the abbey of St. Germain at Paris.

J'Esperois vous ecrire par cet ordinarie la conclusion du traité d'Hollande; mais il est retardé par l'article de la Peche, les Anglois ne voulans point relacher d'une reconnoissance, qu'ils pretendent tous les ans pour en laisser la liberté aux Hollandois, dont les deputez ne veulent convenir, mais seulement d'en user comme par le passe.

An intercepted letter designed for Paris.

Vol. ix. p. 29.

Dear Sir,
After a long and troublesome sickness in the remotest part of the commonwealth, I have struggled hard for victory, and have at last recovered so much strength, as to bring me to London, where I hear of all hands of a sudden remove, intended by the king of Scotland and his company, into a place flowing with all kind of plenty. If you can by any means inform me the certainty, how long it will be before he begins his journey, pray do it, and of his motions, there being some friends of his very inquisitive after it. The uncertainty, that this will find you, makes me silent as to all passages from hence, which otherwise would afford sufficient entertainment.

London, the 5th Dec. 1653.

To Mr. Francis Edwards at Paris.

The Dutch ambassadors at London to the council of state.

To the lords of the council of state of the commonwealth of England.

Vol. ix. p. 30.

The subscribed deputies of the lords the States General of the United Provinces of the Low Countries, beseech most instantly the lords of the council, to gratify them so soon as possible may be, with an act of pass-port or safe-conduct for the ship called the St. Peter, the master Peter Davernett, for the transportation of the corps of the lord Paul Van Perre their collegue, whom it hath pleased God to take out of this world the 4/14th of this month, together for his men and baggage, for to be transported towards Zealand. Done at Westminster, the 7/17th December, 1653.

A pass made out accordingly.

An intercepted letter from Paris.

Paris, Dec. 17, 1653. [N. S.]

Vol. ix. p. 42.

I Have received your's of the 2d, and do assure you, that it is most welcome to me, not only for the assurance of your kindness towards me, but from your confirmation of what all other letters make mention of concerning the treaty between the two states. The king of Scots prepareth for the north, which I believe will be for Germany; for Holland gives him no encouragement to go thither, the party of the states, that is now prevalent, being so bitter enemies to the house of Orange, as they choose rather to perish than to take in the helps of that family, for fear it may return to its former splendor and power, and exact an account of their ungrateful demeanor towards it. We have had the last Saturday the Te Deum sung in thanksgiving for the end of the civil war, the prince of Condé having now no forces within the frontiers; but our joys are somewhat allayed by the revolt of the count d'Harcourt, that was ambassador in England, and is now governor of Alfatia and Brisac. He hath made his agreement with the emperor. News came here the last night, that the marshal d'Hocquincourt, who commanded the French troops in Catalonia, hath gained a most signal victory by passing his army over a river in the sight of the Spanish army, and charging it as soon as he was past, and broke it: he hath taken all their cannon and baggage, eighteen hundred prisoners, whereof three hundred were officers, and five hundred stain upon the place. I send you here inclosed two directions, besides them you have already. You may use sometimes one, and sometimes the other.

I forgot to tell you, that the ambassador gone from hence to Holland, is not provided with instructions so large as we desired and wished, and which would be of infinite more use to this crown, if they save their own interest, which by their favour they do not do in this particular.

For Mr. John Elliott at London.

A letter of intelligence from Paris.

From Paris the 7/17 Dec. 1653.

Vol. ix. p. 35.

My last was of the 13/4 of this present month. That day all the parliament did assist in their red gowns at the Te Deum, which their majesties caused to be sung in the cathedral church of this city, as you have heard. But the residents of Italy being at variance with those of the electors of the empire, were not there, and are resolved not to come to any ceremony, unless the honours be divided, or at least if they may not enjoy them by turns. It is also to be observed, that the cardinal Mazarin was not neither at the said solemnities; and that the most part of the day was imployed to consult about the means how to subdue the prince entirely, and to confiscate all his estate, and to rase his house, if he will not content himself, and accept of those last offers (as is said) they have resolved to make unto him, viz. that he return, and submit in all obedience and humility unto the king, and that he do agree to retreat to one of his territories he hath in France, there to live confined, and as it were in a banished condition the space of two years. If he fail herein, his majesty will declare him in full parliament unworthy ever to enter into favour. Now by reason that many take this accommodation to be far enough, and for other considerations, it is thought, that there will be none found, that will meddle to buy any of his lands.

Mons. the cardinal doth propose to himself, that by marrying the prince of Conti to one of his neices, he may by this means invest him in his brother's estate. We hear from Rocroy, that the sever hath left the prince of Condé: his legs are a little swelled.

On sunday an express sent from Venice to this court, to have permission to raise some soldiers in France, was heard by the cardinal upon that subject, and upon the great progresses, which the Turks have made and do make daily in Candia; and since this the pope's nuncio hath assisted him in it. But all that doth not hinder the design very much intended against Naples, where it is said for certain, that there is a disposition for a new revolt.

This mischance will be so much the more to be feared by the Spaniards, who have received an ominous blow at Col de Pertuis, where they set themselves to oppose the relief of Rozes with less forces than they ought to have done. The marshal of Hoquincourt forced them with a greater strength into their feeble trenches, upon which they relied.

The news was brought to the king on monday last by a captain sent express. He faith that seven or eight hundred Spaniards were killed upon the place; that sixteen hundred are taken prisoners, amongst which are three hundred officers, and that the rest were fled, and Rozes relieved; whereof we are expecting farther particulars and circumstances.

Mons. de Bordeaux, father to mons. Neufville, who is now in England, is lately gone towards Amiens to carry some money to the French army in Picardy.

This court doth make some difficulty to acknowledge and receive the vice-chancellor of Poland, who is come from England hither; but he seemeth not to be troubled at it, and is resolved to go from hence.

There is nothing certain about the earl of Harcourt.

Intelligence from Paris.

Paris 17 Dec. 1653. [N. S.]

Vol. xi. p. 40.

Your's of the 8th instant I received, and yours of this post not yet, because the post is not arrived. Of secret intelligence you have, that our ambassador mons. Chanut has given yet no particular account of his negotiation in Holland, but that he finds a delay like to be in his desires, till the deputies in England give a particular relation of their negotiation in London, which as yet they have not done. In the mean time the said ambassador is endeavouring to dispose, with his friends assistance, the principals of the several provinces to the favour of his negotiation against England, of which he doubts not to give a good account in due time. He writes also, that the Orange party are considerable, and of great stead to him, &c. This letter did bear date the 10th instant from the Hague.

It is certainly here consulted to send an ambassador extraordinary and a person of great quality to England, but not yet resolved, till it be further known what progress our ambassador shall have in Holland and the Dutch deputies in England. Interim Mazarin loves to give out this, that in case he may not prevail in Holland, he may in some measure keep fair with England. If an ambassador goes to England, your friend will be sent along with him, who can serve you very much, if he be as right to you as he pretends.

You have heard from me formerly, how O Sullivan Beara is gone towards Ireland with some relief to col. O Brian. That relief was had only from the charity of some secret congregations here of the late condemned Jansenists, and that by the privy advice of R. C. The assistance sent is not above two thousand pounds sterling, but more is promised. Interim all the Irish regiments here come from Spain, and before being ten in number are now reduced to six regiments, with the duke of York's, the lord Inchiquin's, the lord Muskerry his eldest son's, the earl of Ormond, his brothers sir James Dillon's, and col. Nappier's. The collonels reformed are much discontented, but being not so much the creatures of R. C. as those named, notoriously known to be his dearly, they might have patience. If mons. Chanut thrives in Holland, all these and more are designed for Scotland, as also the Scottish regiments there, and some English. However by the assistance of Germany, whatever Chanut does, they will venture something.

It is generally believed here, that Harcourt has already or will declare himself against the king, and keep for himself Brisac and Alsatia, and live under the protection of the emperor, and his eldest son to marry the duke of Lorain's daughter, being all of one house. This is endeavoured. The end God knows.

The English court will not believe, but that you are in this town, and that you were with card. Mazarin from the lord general Cromwell; and some in the French court will not be persuaded to the contrary, and divers come to me and others to ask. R. C. is much troubled at it, which is all yet known to,

Sir, your's.

A letter of intelligence from Paris.

Vol. ix. p. 45.

It is now generally concluded here, that the count d'Harcourt is agreed with the emperor, and put all Alsace into his hands, or protection at least against the French, for he made such unreasonable demands to this king, as he was sure could not be accepted, much less performed. You will easily believe, I have not seen the picture since I came to town, being confined to my chamber since I came hither by indisposition and ill weather. Yet I have some friends do bring me news now and then. If the two commonwealths make a peace, as some letters say they will, the English court will fail of all their expectations, and have then nothing to depend upon, but the assistance of Germany; and those I believe will come but slowly and in a less proportion than is expected.

Paris, 17 Dec. 1653. [N. S.]

An intercepted letter of general Middleton to the earl of Atholl.

Amsterdam, Dec. 17, 1653. [N. S.]

In the possession of the right honourable Philip lord Hardwicke, lord high chancellor of Great Britain.

My most noble lord,
Though I have been ever confident, that God heas a mercie for our king and cuntrie, yet that is noe small addition to my confidence to know, that your lordship is joined in the worke; and I shall crave libertie (without slatrie) to tell you, that ther is noe person in the kingdome your master valueth above you. I shall not fall upon particulars with your lordship, and trouble you with reading my ill hand, but shall remit you to your noble freend the bearer, to whom I have communicat my most intimat thoghts. I am, with God's helpe, to be with you shortly, and then upon the old score of Davie Brodie I shall continue,

My noble lord, Your lordship's most fathfull and most constant servant, Jo. Middleton.

For the right hon. the earl of Atholle.

An intercepted letter to sir Walter Vane.

Hague, 19 Dec. 1653. [N. S.]

Vol. ix. p. 47.

In my last I told you of the retreat of the Lorrainers. Our troops since are come back. We expect with great attention the success of the treaty in England. Most of Holland desire peace, the other provinces a war. Our courts are still at variance. Count William hath not yet seen the princess of Royal. He is gone again for Friesland. It is said here, that if this state continue the war against England, they will give all the English and Scots troops to the king of Scots. There will be ready against March next forty or fifty great new ships, that were never yet in any fight. The letters from Hamburgh say, that your ambassador is arrived at Gottenburgh, and that the rats have eaten his coaches. Here we play, and dance, and make ourselves merry.

Chanut, the French ambassador at the Hague, to mons. Bordeaux, the French resident at London.

Hague, Dec. 19, 1653. [N. S.]

Vol. ix. p. 48.

The letter, which you were pleased to write to M. Brasset, did give us hopes of a more ample information of what you would write to me under the cover of the lords States General, who have received their packet; but I find none for me. Now it may be, that their packet hath been opened, and that finding therein your's to me, they have taken it out to translate at leisure. I do find they are no less artificial here at opening of letters than in other parts; therefore I shall desire you, that you would send your letters to me under a merchant's cover, and I shall do the like from hence for the future. I have given my directions to a merchant, who will bring it to you.

The lords States General have sent me an extract of the letters of their commissioners at London, which doth give to understand, that their negotiation was not yet broke off, that was of the 12th, but that at the first conference they should know absolutely what would be the issue, either peace or war. What concerneth us, who do wish nothing more than the good of our allies, and peace in all parts, it is easily to be judged what we desire therein. I was told yesterday, that mons. Briun, who is come back sooner than he was expected, upon an opinion he hath taken, that the renewing of the alliance between us was here spoken of, and hath since his coming made a great deal of noise and stir here about it, telling them plainly, that if the states do enter into an alliance with France, the king his master will also seek new allies; but to-day I am told, that there is a Spanish ambassador arrived at London, which I can hardly believe. We are during the rest of this winter in great crises of affairs. I cannot judge what the opinions are of this state, before I have some further light into the English affairs, where not only the peace and the war, but the conditions of the peace and the manner of concluding will cause diversity in the consequences. I am wise enough to know that, but not knowing enough to judge, what those varieties will be, for these provinces are like instruments full of devices of several fashions. In the mean time we begin to settle at home, thanks to God; and if it please God to continue his blessings upon the reign of our lord the king, he will not want allies and friends abroad. We have news here, that there hath been a fight in Scotland. Our post is not yet come. I am, &c.

A letter of intelligence.

B. 19 Dec. 1653. [N. S.]

Vol. ix. p. 53.

Since the taking of St. Menehould the French are commanded to their winter quarters, and we have the trouble of an unruly regiment in this town. You cannot but believe, that it troubleth me to hear, that the miscreant Scots are so strong. I heartily wish the noble general would take the absolute power and disposing of the kingdoms into his own hands; for until he doth so, and that he manage the business by the sole rule of his own judgment, there is no hope, that affairs will be in a better condition; for the parliament voting one way, and the council directing another, how can distraction be avoided? I believe the high court of justice will take an order with Lilburne and his Anabaptistical levellers; and then having made all quiet and peaceable at home, it is to be hoped, that the Scots Rebels may be the more easily suppres'd. I do not hear of the lord Gerrard's going for Sweden; that court is full of Scots pensioners, who served the late king; but I hope your ambassador will remove them, or at least lessen their interest in that kingdom.

Concilium statûs autoritate parliamenti reipublicæ Angliæ, serenissimo principi Leopoldo Gulielmo, archiduci Austriæ, &c. Flandriæ præsidi, salutem.

In the possession of the right hon. Philip 1. Hardwicke, 1. high chancellor of Great Britain.

Serenissime princeps,
Concilio statûs reipublicæ Anglicanæ, per libellum supplicem Johannis Causton mercatoris Londinatis, in sequentia significatum est; ultimo circiter Septembre se filiam suam primogenitam, virginem, Elisabetham Causton, in Flandriam, quò fratri suo Petro Causton in expediendis quibusdam dicti supplicis negotiis auxilio adesset, trajectitiâ scaphâ misisse. Quibus negotiis tandem peractis, illa Dunkirkam circa decimum tertium Octobris ultimi rediit, ubi postquam in diversorium hospitandi causâ se recepisset, a duobus vexilliferis (Alferes vocitant) quibus nomina de Lorette & Bonay, & servis suis è præsidii illic agentis numero, noctu inde vi abrepta fuit, & a dictis vexilliferis tetro, propudioso, atque abominando scelere constuprata; præter alias insuper injurias illatas, cædendo, comminando, sclopeta strictosque gladios pectori intentando. Quod cum in se facinus detestabile fuerit, cœlumque clamitans, in quod tam divina, quam naturalia gentiumque jura ultrices pœnas exposcunt, necessarium atque e re duximus celsitudinem vestram rem commissam edocere, nil dubitantes, quincum primum celsitudo vestra certior de isthac facta fuerit, efficaciter mandabitis, uti justo protinus examini subjiciatur; quo scilicet ii, qui hujusmodi crimini sese illigarunt, secundum reatum tam turpis flagitii citra moram plectantur. Quod quidem vestræ celsitudinis justitiæ recommendatum volumus, utque etiam personæ læsæ plenaria compensatio detur, in quantum scilicet rei natura patiatur; & sic vestram celsitudinem valere jubemus. Dab. ex albâ aulâ Decemb. nono styl. vet. 1653. Subscripsit, & concilii sigillum imprimendum curavit

Walt. Strickland, præses concilii.

Serenissimo principi Leopoldo Gulielmo, archiduci Austriæ, &c. Flandriæ præsidi.

A letter of intelligence from the Hague.

Vol. ix. p. 54.

L'Assemblée de Hollande se separa vendredy le 12e. sans aucune resolution particuliere sur les affaires de Angleterre, seulement aucuns desja de la dite assemblée avoient commencé à haranguer de ce qu'il falloit maintenant embrasser la querelle du roy, de agir vigoureusement par terre aussy bien que par mer, selon l'advis du lieut. gen. Middleton, qui remonstre, que les parlementaires n'ont jamais eu la guerre par mer & par terre ensemble, & l'ayant maintenant par mer, & en icelle occupants tout leur force, qu'impossible leur seroit le soustenir aussy la guerre par terre: que le nombre de gens desja sussit, à sçavoir les Hoochlanders en Escosse, e pour ne parler pas des royalists, estant innombrable & incomparablement plus grand que celuy des parlementaires, qu'il ne leur manque que des armes & des ammunitions, &c. Mais tout cela n'a encore esté qu'ouy, & prins ad referendum, sans grande suite, se chastouillant plusieurs encore d'une esperance de paix. Les dicts seigneurs de Hollande se rassembleront vers le St. Janvier.

Et d'autant que les Zeelandois ont instamment representé, que leur principal navigation est en hyver, & qui naviguer ils ne sauroient sans convoy, on a ensin escrit aux admirautes d'equipper ce qu'ils ont de navires; mais comment sauroit on travailler en ce froid temps & en hyver? Si que ce sera bien vers la mois de Febvier & Mars, quand cela sera.

L'on a dessein de bastir les futurs 30 navires, les 10 de 140 pieds opde Kiel, 10 autres de 14 pieds, & les restants dix de 136 pieds; ce qui seront des excellents navires.

La machine de Rotterdam semble aussy se refroider: l'inventeur s'en est pleint au St. de Renswoude de ce qu'à Rotterdam on luy fait des despects, voire affronts: la verité est, que le monde estant impatient & desireux de voir les effects & actions de la machine, crient par les rues, quand l'inventeur passe, voila l'homme de la folle navire, car on le appelle, bet malle schip. Cela il appella affront. Cest pour quoy de la part des Estats Generaux on a envoyé les Srs. Gent, Amerongen, & Ailva vers luy, pour l'encourager & animer à ce qu'il ne quit pas pour cela son son dessein. On dit, que le Conte Guliaume aura dit à la reyne, Madame, tout ira bien, depuis que le Sr. d'Opdam est admiral, & que le Sr. Desson à Rotterdam a inventé sa machine pour ruiner cent vaisseaux Anglois en un jour

L'ambassadeur d'Espagne est revenu, mais il trouvera bis dis changement; car il y trouvera un ambassadeur de France, & qu'on commence icy (bon gre mal gre) à parler bon François. Le Sr. raet pensionaire de Hollande ayant de la part de ces maistres harangué dans les Estats Generaux long temps sur le chapitre de l'Angleterre, de leur tromperie & hypocrisie, & que la Hollande est bien aise de l'estre de trompée, & qui il faut s'allier aveq la France, Poloigne, & plus estroitement aveq la Dennemark.

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Les deputes en Angleterre continuent encore à traiter leurs principaux à plats couverts, ne leur escrivant rien de la negotiation que cecy, qui est veritablement secret; car on n'y voit goutte. Cependant je vous puis asseurer, que les parti de prince d'Orange sont en un extreme deplaisir & crainte du succes de la paix. Car leur unique esperance est, voire croyance, que tant roi d'Ecosse que prince de Orange seront redresses la guerre. Je vous puis asseurer, que la Hollande embrassera de bon cœur la paix. Mais touts Parti du prince d'Orange crient d'une voix, que sert il de faire paix aveq ceux, qui ne la garderont pas? Cette nouvelle esperance de traité ou paix fait aucunement rallentir les resolutions dê resumer les traites aveq uns & autres.

Mais l'on n'entremet pas de tousjours besoigner fur les ingredients pour une ligue aveq la France, qui caresse cest estat grandement, au regard des points de la marine, & relasche desja cette loy, que Robbe d'enemy consisque robbe d'amis. Item relasche la rigueur des visitations en mer; un point, qui entre les 2 republiques cause grande dispute.

Meme la France le concedera à cest estat exclusive à tous autres. Je m'asseure bien aussy, que la France fait & fera soubs main tout ce qui est possible pour detourner la paix Angloise.

L'ambassadeur Anglois Whitelock estoit arrivé à Gottenborgh.

Les deputes de Liege, quoy qu'ayant receu leurs lettres credentielles, neantmoins subsistent icy, disant que le duc de Newborgh se veut joindre en l'alliance aveq cest estat & le prince de Liege. Mais le deputé du dit duc le nie. Je reste

Votre tres humble serviteur.

Ce 19 Dec. 1653. [N. S.]


  • 1. Monglat. Mem. iv. 11.
  • 2. Priorato Hist. of France, p. 490.