State Papers, 1653: December (2 of 4)

Pages 630-639

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 (2 of 4)

An intercepted letter from London.

London, the 11th [Dec. 1653.]

Vol. ix. p. 58.

I Am told that Bampfylde hath been the parliament's good friend in counterfeiting the king's hand and seal, and getting the secrets of the lords designs in the Highlands, and discovered more than he knew, or they had courage or honesty to act. Our new parliament flies so high, as the general does not think worthy of his company, unless it be to make himself more beloved, by pretending to shew himself more moderate in his government in respect of what they intend to be. They have voted themselves the supreme authority of the commonwealth of England.

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

22 December, 1653. [N.S.]

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

Je n'ai rien à ecrire par cette ordinaire, si non la rupture du parlement. Il en etoit menacé depuis quelque tems, & ce matin elle s'est faite voulontairement. Quelques uns des principaux du corps ayant proposé de remettre leurs commissions entre les mains de celui, qui les leurs avoit données, ... cet avis n'a pas eté generalement suivi, mais l'orateur sans attendre la fin de la deliberation s'est levé, & en fin est sorti avec cinquante autres; & environ trente, tous Anabaptistes & Levelleurs, etans demeurez, un col. de l'armée est entré avec quelques soldats, & les a renvoiez chacun chez soi.

A letter of intelligence from Paris.

Paris, 24 Dec. 1653. [N. S.]

Vol. ix. p. 60.

The post of this day is not yet arrived, by which I expected your's; but since my former, I received your's of the 15th instant, which I should have received last Friday.

From hence we have not much news at present of any importance. It's written from Bruxells hither by the last post, that Waterford in Ireland is taken by some Scottish forces, and that Murtagh O Brian has killed lately one thousand of the English in Ireland; but we do not believe either.

His majesty last week sent a second order to the duke of Longueville to visit all the sea ports in his province, and advertise the governors to be upon their guard, till they see the end of the treaty between you and Holland.

The last time that the lord nuncio visited his majesty about the propositions his master the pope sent to him for the liberty of card de Retz, his said majesty received him then more than ordinary, and promised he would consider of the cardinal's interest before it be long. His majesty hath likewise promised the like to the churchmen of our lady's church, the day of thanksgiving for the taking of St. Menehould, the said churchmen having made a long speech before the king, rejoicing at his safe arrival in Paris, after so many dangers and troubles in the field, which was all the comfort they could wish themselves by his majesty's presence; after which they desired his majesty to be pleased, seeing they were but members without a head, to send them their head, their conductor, cardinal de Retz, which his majesty promised as aforesaid, &c. but, which is remarkable, after that discourse, the queen desired the king's chaplain to say mass before the king, which the dean of the church would not permit, signifying it was against the orders and privileges of the church, when their king would be pleased to come to them for any solemnity, as that was for the victory of St. Menehould, the prelate of the place ought to say mass before the king, and sing Te Deum at the high altar; and when the prelate was not present, the dean, who keeps or supplies his place, ought to do the ceremonies. So after some dispute the dean prevailed, and with the king's consent. Our last letters from Piccardy bring, that mons. marquis de Normoutier, governor of Charleville and Monte Olympe, as also Mezieres, has quitted his majesty's service, and declared for the prince of Condé. Yet we expect the confirmation thereof.

It is reported in like manner, that mons. count de la Suze was declared by the emperor count de Beffort and of the empire, having always served the prince of Condé, this count having some differences with count de Harcourt hitherto, but since Harcourt made his agree ment with the emperor, they be made good friends. Tho' our king be worse dealt withal, yet we do endeavour the best we can to draw them from our enemies to ourselves.

Last Saturday arrived here mons. marquis de Faure, one of the commanders that were in St. Menehould against us; he came from Rocroy, where he left the prince of Condé still sick, and very lean, with his son the duke of Enguien: for the princess his wife, she is still in Valenciennes, but desirous to come to Rocroy, and live with her husband, which he will not suffer, by reason the air of that place is contrary to her disposition. Mons. marquis de Faure will be shortly presented to the king by his brother in law count de Vaubecourt; and it is thought, the king may send him to his own government of St. Menehould again, because he defended it so gallantly against him the last time.

Some say there is appearance of agreement between the court and the duke of Orleans's daughter and Condé: to that effect Condé is to send his son into France, that prince Conti might resign to him all the benefices he has in France, by reason of his own marriage with one of the cardinal's nieces, and all by the king's permission; but if true, it's as yet very secret; and to divert people from thinking of it, the king daily presses the parliament to declare Condé criminal læsæ majestatis, and declare his brother Conti first prince of the blood, and consequently to be called prince de Condé. It was my lord chancellor of France, that brought such propositions from the king and council to the parliament to be verified; but the parliament deferred their assemblies to another time, concerning that business. If all be true, the Spaniard shall be worsted by it.

We hear count de Servient is to be removed from his charge of being surintendent, and to be made guarde de seaux of France. Also that the king gives to him, that is now guarde de seaux, the archbishoprick of Rheims, notwithstanding that abbot de la Riviere endeavours for it the best he can.

Next Friday our king will go to St. Germains, where he is to stay till after the holidays. His mother the queen is gone into Vall de Grace till after these holidays too. So is the queen that was of England gone to Challiot. Her son the king is here still with his brother, expecting the end of the treaty between England and Holland, which they fear will be concluded; though it's written to them they broke off, of which they are glad; and France hearing of it, hath determined lately not to send the ambassador extraordinary to England, as they were resolved to do before. They will leave mons. de Bordeaux, where he is yet a while, by whom they expect nothing to be done, only to be as resident there, for fear of the sudden insolence of the English, in case they had concluded with Holland.

We hear mons. Chanut drank his majesty of France's health publickly in Holland, which was well accepted by all those, that were present; which is a sign of amity between both the states.

Prince Rupert is not yet arrived, but still expected. I hear O Sullivan Bearra has sent his provision before, and does not go himself as yet, till he sends more. I hear of no league or alliances between any princes newly as yet. The rest I expect from thence, which is all known at this time to, sir,
Your humble servant.

An ambassador goes soon from hence to Rome, called mons. de la Vieuville.

The commissioners of Ireland to the council of state.

Vol. x. p. 12.

Right honourable,
The inclosed petition of Mr. Edward Davis being presented to us, and finding it of concernment to one, who is very diligent and faithful in your service here, but not in a capacity to attend your lordships for a resolution therein, we could do no less than recommend it to your consideration, humbly presenting him to your lordships just favour and countenance, either by recommending him to the Spanish ambassador in England, or some other public ministers of Spain, by whose means he may obtain relief in this particular, or otherwise to extend your favours for his relief, as to your grave wisdoms shall seem most meet.

Dublin, 14 Dec. 1653.

We are, Your lordships most humble servants,
Charles Fleetwood,
Edm. Ludlowe,
Jo. Jones,
Miles Corbett.

To the right honourable the commissioners of parliament of the commonwealth of England for the affairs of Ireland.

Vol. x. p. 13.

The humble petion of Edward Davis, sheweth,
That in or about July last, your petitioner had a vessel impress'd with others in the port of Waterford, by major George Walters, (fn. 1) by order from your honours, for the transportation of the Irish soldiers for Spain; in pursuance whereof your petitioner did let to freight the said vessel unto the said major Walters, and did transport above four hundred persons to the port of St Sebastian; and after the landing of them there, the governor of the place would force the master of the ship to transport them into France: the master refusing to go the voyage, unless he could have assurance for the payment of his freight (there being no agreement for his freight thither made with him from your petitioner) the said governor imprisoned him the said master, and seized upon your petitioner's vessel, and put in seamen of his own into her to go the voyage.

Your petitioner's humble request is, that your honours will please to consider of the allegations hereof, and grant your honours letter of recommendation to the council of state in England on the petitioner's behalf, that so some course may be taken for your petitioner's relief herein, or otherwise, as your honours shall think fit; without which he shall unavoidably and utterly be ruined.

And your petitioner shall pray,
Edw. Davis.

An intercepted letter designed for Paris.

Vol. ix. p. 66.

I Did not thinke to trouble you with any more lynes; but new busines offering, I am loath to lett you be ignorant of what is resolved here. Thursday last, being the next day after our late parliament was broken up, to the great trouble of the Anabaptists party, Lambert with many officers of the army came into the councill chamber at Whytehall, where many where expecting the event. All, except those who belonged to the army, were ordered to withdraw; which don, Lambert produced a paper signed by the most parte of the late parliament, wherein they acknowledged their disability to manage the weighty affaires of the land, and therefore did desire the generall to assume the power by him given to them. This being read, then he told them, it was fitt for them to thinke of some way to putt things in a way, in order to the government of the land. It was by them resolved, that a lord governor of the three nations should be chosen; that to him should be added a councill of twenty one; that this lord governor should be custos libertatis of three nations; that those of the councill should so contynue during life, or ad culpam; and that the lord governor should have power once in two yeares of himselfe to depose any two of the councill, if he thinke fitt. That the lord governor should yssue out warrants to call a new parliament, which is to sett in February next. That the parliament is to consiste of four hundred men, freely to be elected, sixty for Ireland, sixty for Scotland, and 280 for England. Notwithstanding noe person formerly a malignant, or any way guilty of malignancy, may not presume to sett in parliament, on perill to forfeit the third parte of his estate reall and personall. That this parliament is not to sitt longer than five months. That afterwards there shal be a trienniall parliament, wherein no malignant to sitt, under the penalty aforesaid, for nyne yeares. The lord governor is to issue warrants for these parliaments; he failing, the lord keepers of the greate seale; they failing, the justices of the peace in the severall counties. This day being Weddensday something was expected in order to the choyse of a new councell, but not knowne yett, though the officers with the generall fate close at it at the cockpitt att Whytehall, so that no coucell new or old sate. I suppose the choosing of this new councell will take up more tyme then is beleeved, because they will be sure of such as they will intrust, and to satisfie all parties, who have an hand in the choice. Yett it cannot be very long, because necessity requires it; for if those chosen will not sitt, they must be content with those, that will. What shall be done herein, you shall know when don. This which Lambert aymed att he hath effected. The generall will be the governor, and must stay here. He will gayne the command of the army, and it cannot be avoided. Harrison is now out of doores, having all along joyned with the Anabaptists. The Anabaptists, tho' no good could be expected from them or from Harryson, yett they wil be able to doe harme, and disturbe us in our councills and intentions, in casting aspersions on us in all parts and on all occasions. They are restles, althoe not so considerable, yett they will receive what incouradgment there can be in a privat way to make them in their owne judgments more considerable than they are really; and truely it were ill for most men, if they had power. As for the Dutch our treaty with them is at a stand, although wee blase it abroade wee have concluded with them. It concernes not only your master, but the French king to prevent it. If wee agree with them, it wil be the worst day that ever France saw; for we begin to put the people in mynde of former injuries done to us by France. It is also vented abroade to deceave the vulgar, that Cromwell intends to call home the Scots king; and that there is no hurt intended the honest party of the Anabaptists, but to suppress the ill-disposed of them, and who were guided by a Jesuitique party, who had the power of them. These thinges wil satisfie some, but not all. I have formerly acquainted you, how the Royalists, the Presbyterians, the Papists, and the Independants have been abused; and now the Anabaptists with all other sectarys are more abused than those, and wil be daylie worse, because they are naturally a more furious simple people, and wil be more desperat in words; but otherways noething can bee expected yett, that will doe harme as to disturbance in resolutions with our councell. And althoe you know this, that I have written, and much more, yet it will signifie little to your master's advantage, if he be not stirring, and indeavour very speedy supplys to Scotland of all kynds, not only to incourage those poore people that act, who behave themselves gallantly beyond expectation, considering what they have to do it withall; but if not supplyed, and that we settle our councell before these be supplyed, and send downe forces against them, theire condition wil be sad. If they receave a repulse, they wil be dealt with as those of Ireland have bin, utterly destroyed with fire and sword, and not any of them left to live in the land. This was the intention of some formerly, if God had not prevented it. Our fleet, which wil be about sixty, most of them are in the Downes; the rendezvouse wil be at Portmouth. They are not two parts mann'd; many of those taken from our merchants, by which meanes they are disenabled to goe to sea. If the Dutch play theire parte, and that you can keep them from agreeing, wee shal not be able to set any considerable fleet to sea this spring for want of men and money, give them what conditions they desire or reasonable. As for Ireland, Murtagh O Brien doth what's possible to be done with those men he hath. It is fitt, he should not only be supplyd with armes and amunition, but with some men. Lett not that be your worke: that will conteyn a chardge on that and this land, which will discontent the people, but will not bring the king's business to his desire. Wee are at a losse for money already, and will be every day at more. In London we are forced to take up our taxe by soldiers, which is not pleasing, and soe it must be throughout all this land, if Scotland's actings be not appeased, this land is not able to bear it, trade being lost. I assure you, since the first breach with the late king there hath bin spent by the parliament upwards of sixty millions in money, and yett this is not so much, as the loss of trade. I speak this knowingly: I believe some of your pretended friends, to please themselves, to prolong tyme for theire owne ends, say the army here is strong, to make the business the more terrible; but I assure you, there is very few concerned in it but themselves, and such as have bought king's, deanes and chapters, bishops, and delinquents lands; for the first three, the tennants of those lands doe perfectly hate those who bought them, as possibly men can doe; for these men are the greatest tyrants every where as men can be; for they wrest the poore tennants of all former imunitys and freedoms they formerly enjoyed. The west part of England hath very few soldiers in it; Cornewall, Somersett, Wilts, Gloster, Dorsett, and Oxford shyres have not in them three hundred horse, and one thousand foote; neither was ever people more discontented. Yett all this is nothing, if you take not your fitt tyme. If once wee settle and put things in an orderly way, your gaine wil be the harder.

14 Dec. 1653.

The superscription,
A mons. mons. Rider, merchant Anglois aupres la croix de Tirois à Paris.

Farewell, sir,
Your very humble servant,
T. M.

A letter of intelligence.

De Paris le 14/24 Dec. 1653.

Vol. ix. p. 103.

Les conferences de l'ambassadeur d'Hollande avec le comte de Servient ont continué fort frequentes, a mesure que les nouvelles de Pais Bas & diverses lettres de Londres ont affirmé la rupture du traicté de paix de deux republiques. Depuis ma derniere depesche 20/10e. De ce moy, & dans les meffiances, que le dit ambassadeur a donné & donne, que le dessein des Anglois est d'entreprendre sur cet estat, on a envoyé ordre au duc de Longueville de veiller, en sorte que les costes de Normandie soient tousjours bien pourveues. C'est aussy cette mes fiance, qui a obligé le duc de Vendosme de faire venir, comme il fait, ce peu des navires, que le roy avoit dans mer Mediterranée vers les costes de Guyenne & de la Rochelle, d'où ils se pourront joindre au pirates de Brest, si leur pretendu besoin le requiert. Cependant on travaille tant qu'on peut au mariage du prince de Conty, à celuy du duc de Candale, et à obliger le duc d'Orleans & madamoiselle de revenir en cour, se soubsmettre a leur infortune, d'ou l'on s'imagine, que quelque accommodement l'ensuivra avec mons. le prince mesme, qui affermira le bonheur des ses ennemis; mais cette consequence semble estre pleine de legereté, & il y a plus d'apparence, que ses biens seront confisquez de la façon que j'ay marqué en mes precedentes, puisque desja le roy a envoyé une commission en ce parlement pour luy faire son procez.

(fn. 2) Ce fut Lundy dernier que le chancelier de France accompagné du garde des sceaux y en fit lecture; portant que luy chancelier, le dit garde des sceaux, le Sr. Chevalier, & un autre membre du dit parlement appellé Doujat, estoient commis pour instruire & parsaire le dit procez; apres que les chambres auroient declaré le dit prince decheu pour jamais des bonnes graces de sa majesté, & incapable de porter le nom de prince du sang, dont les qualites seroient desormais transfereés en la personne de M. son frere, selon l'intention de sa dite majesté. Le premier president prenant la parole respondit, que le parlement ne pouvoit proceder a cette declaration la, & que les exemples du temps passé vouloient, qu'en tel cas le roy fut present; & que sa majesté seant en son lit de justice prononçast elle mesme; surquoy le dit garde de sceaux voulut interrompre ce sien successeur; mais celuy cy luy remonstra, qu'il n'avoit rien a dire là, ou estoit le chancelier; & ils en demeurerent la apres quelque resentiment tesmoigné au dit chancelier du peu de compte, qu'on tenoit des supplications faites pour le retour des exilez.

Cette cour croit son authorité tellement restablie, qu'elle recommence d'attaquer les aisez. Un conseillier de la monnoye entr'autres a esté chargé depuis quelques jours d'une taxe considerable, & sur le refus qu'il a faict de la payer, un sergent avec des recors ont esté chez luy a dessein d'y faire violence, & comme ils n'ont voulu monstrer aucune commission ni ordre pour ce faire, le dit conseillier en ayant donné l'alarme, comme si e'estoient de voleurs, le commissaire du quartier est survenu, et a fait mettre prisonnier le dit sergent; mais il a esté aussytost mis en liberté par authorité royale, & depuis il poursuit le dit conseillier, contre le quel on craint, que le conseil donnera un arrest fort pernicieux, dont M. de Servient l'a desja menacé, à ce qu'on m'assure, disant, qu'il se devoit plaindre audit conseil du fait dudit sergent, & non le faire maltraiter, desorte qu'à ce compte il saudroit le laisser voler sans rien dire. Le marquis de Faure revenu icy de Rocroy dit, qu'il y a laissé M. de Cugnac en bonne santé aupres de M. le prince, qui estoit fort maigre & tousjours incommodé de fievre; adjoustant que madame la princesse estoit allé se tenir a Valenciennes, & que les Espagnols avoient puis deux chasteaux aux environs du dit Rocroy.

On m'asseure de bonne part, que quoy qu'en puisse dire, il n'y a pas eu 50 hommes tues au secours de Roze, & seulement quelques mille de pris; mais on fait courir un bruit, que l'on dit venir de Lyon, que les habitans de Barcelone s'estants derechef soulevez, auroient taillé en pieces une partie de leur garnison, & appellé le mareschal de Hocquincourt à leur secours pour chasser le reste; a quoy l'on n'adjoute point de foy.

Les estats de Bretagne se sont separés, & ont donne 1,500,000 francs au roy, qui avec les estrennes destinées pour la reyne, &c. selon la coustume, se monteront a environ deux millions de livres.

Le conseil du roy ne fait point encore de justice au protestants de la Rochouart.

Le mareschal de Turenne sut visité y a quelques jours par l'ambassadeur de Hollande.

Beverning and Vande Perre to the states of Zealand.

Vol. vi p. 263.

High and mighty lords.
My lords, the post is not yet arrived, by reason of the foul weather, which we do very much long for, hoping that your high and mighty lordships will have thought fit to order us something concerning the imprisoned officers and mariners and soldiers, who do daily importune with many instant and desperate solicitations. It is not to be doubted, notwithstanding all our care, but that many of them will perish this winter, and they do begin already to drop away, there lying eight or nine hundred in one house upon straw without any coverings, and many in the open air, only a few deal boards over their heads. Captain Stellingwert died this week also in the Meuse. We did advise your high and mighty lordships in our last, that it had been such exceeding stormy weather here, which did continue for several days since. The fleet of this state is come a few days since upon the coast of Yarmouth, very little damnified, as they give out here to deceive the people; but we cannot well advise of a truth, whether the whole fleet be there, or whether some of the frigats do not still remain upon the Dutch coast, as some do affirm. We thought to have sent somebody to Yarmouth to have informed us, but hearing that the fleet remaineth under fail and not yet come to an anchor, were of opinion, that it would be labour lost and to no purpose. As soon as we hear they are come to port, we will send a confiding person to inform us of the condition of their fleet. It is very certain, that four English frigats are cast away upon the Irish coast, and and one upon the English. They send here to several finances for money. The lands and houses mentioned in our former are sold amain, and they are resolved here, to have a bout with the Papists estates, and to take two thirds of their means from them. My lord viscount Lisle hath likewise excused himself of the embassy for Sweden, and my lord Whitelock accepted of the commission to depart from hence within three weeks. He is a lord, that hath many good capacities, and judged to be the fittest man they have to be employed abroad.

15/25 Dec. 1653.

My lords,
Your most humble servants,
Beverning, Vande Perre.

A letter of intelligence from Scotland.

Vol. ix. p. 37.

The enimies dispersing themselves in severall partes is confirmed; and are indeavoureing to reduce there leavies into forme, by laying the same equally upon all the nearest parishes to the hills; but there demand's soe high, that it's impossible that the countrey (tho' willing) should be able to bear them. We have information, that Shenmore will use all his indeavours to raise and force men, and horses, and moneys in the South, and will have somethinge for the borders of England, where he intends to make some inroads (unless prevented) which is the more probable by that information from Durham, that 20 horse well mounted went thorough that towne on Tuesday last by breake of day, and the like number (amongst which col. Waggon is reported to be) lay at Peblicon Satturday night last, and the last Sonday morneing some of theise royall plunderers mett with the post-boy, going with the London letters, neare Haddington, tooke away his horse and letters, and the poor boy's coat and belt, and twenty pence in money. A partie of horse being sent from a garrison of ours (Dumblaine) the other night, tooke one major Marrihead a prisoner of warr, and for whom security was given, goeing to the hills. They doe much incouradge here leavies by a report, that their king is come into Holland, and that col. Drumond is shipt with 1500 volunteers, armes, and ammunition; and that the Duch have left treatinge with the English, with all which they faigne a post to be come from their king.

Dalkeith, 13 Dec. 1653.

Captain Manley,
SIR, the post is come from Scotland, and what newes I have from thence is above. Yesterday there sayled from Sheales forty ships laden with coals for London. This is all at present, and rests

New: Dec. 15, 1653.

your humble servant,
Tho. Errington.

The superscription,
For his honored freind capt. John Manley, postmaster generall in London.

General Monck to secretary Thurloe.

Vol. vi. p. 69.

By the councell's letter herewith sent, you will perceive the reason of our coming into this road, to which I referr you, and doe desire you will favour mee so farr, as to communicate what intelligence comes to your hands relating to navall affaires, that improvement may be made thereof for the good of the service, which hath bin very scarce with us, since our coming out. I am glad to hear, that the Lord hath delivered you from the pit's brinke, to which you were brought by his hand of sickness, whereby you may bee yet further instrumentall for his glory. No more att present, but that I am
Swistsure, at an anchor off of the Culvert Clifts, the 16th Dec. 1653.

your very loving freind,
Geo. Monck.

The queen of Sweden to the prince of Sweden.

Vol. ix. p. 79.

Mon cousin,
La part, que vous prenez au malheur du grande thresorier, augmente ma compassion & la douleur de me voir reduite en l'estat de le plaindre seulement. Je vous envoye la relation de ce, qui s'est passé dans la conference, qu'il eut avec Slippenback, laquelle vous fera voir, que ce qui est arrivé estoit inevitable, & qu'il n'est pas en mon pouvoir d'y remedier. J'ay portée toute la consideration, que j'ay deu sur l'interest, que nous avons en sa personne; mais la justice m'ordonnant l'oublier, je luy ay obei aveuglement, & suis satisfaite de ma conduite. Jugez de mes sentiments par la lettre, que je luy ay escrite en responce de la sienne, & vous les trouverez equitables. Vous trouverez mesme, qu'il y va de vostre interest, que l'affaire se passe ainsy.

Au reste, mon cousin, je vous suis obligée des sentiments respectueux, que vous me tesmoignez dans vostre lettre. Conservez les, je vous prie; & soyez certain, que vous n'aures jamais suject de regretter de les avoir eu si conformes a vostre devoir.

Upsal, le 16 Dec. 1653.

Mon cousin, vostre tres affectionnée cousine,

General Monck to the council of state.

Vol. ix. p. 75.

Right honourable,
Since my departure from the Hope, in obedience to your commands, with such ships as were then ready for service, on the 12th instant it was resolved at a councell of warr, that the fleet should ply between the Isle of Wight and Beachy, and over upon the coast of France, so neer as with safety wee might, in hopes to have met with those Dutch merchants shipps with their convoy of thirty men of warr, whom wee have expected till now, supposing they would have come through the channel this last eastwardly wind; but hearing nothing of their motion, and the wind being now westwardly, it was yesterday thought fit, with advize of the respective commanders in the fleet, that we should saile for Ellen Road, and there to ride in a ready posture upon any intelligence wee shall receive of the enemy's motion; and in order thereunto have appointed severall scouts for discovery of any fleet, as interception of any vessells they may meet withall in enmity with this commonwealth. The enclosed is a list of what shipps are now in a body, which I humbly present you with, and remaine
Swiftsure, at an anchor off the Culvert Clifts, 16 Dec. 1653.

Your lordships most humble servant,
Geo. Monck.

A letter of intelligence from Barwick,

Vol. ix. p. 74.

They write from Scotland this post, that yesterday there came intelligence to the commander in chiefe, that the 10th instant capt. Lisle of coll. Riche's regiment heareing of a partie of the enimy about ten miles from his quarters, mounted in the night from Monris 100 horse and dragoones, and fell upon them by breake of day neare Glans, tooke forty horse, nineteen private souldiers, twoo captains of horse, one collonel, and one quarter master, and killed three of them, all of the earle of Kinowle's regiment, which he was raiseing in Angus. The next day coll. Morgan haveing notice of a partie of them in Eghills, a strange house in Angus nere the hills, marched towards it; but the enimye haveing notice of it, fled away upon his approach. He persued and tooke fifteen horse, but the lord Kinowle and his lieut. coll. Ramley, which were with them, were escaped. They still goe on with their leavies and stealinge of horses, though they spoyle many good horse, and lately fifteen dyed out of one laird's ground.

Barwick, Dec. 16, 1653.

An intercepted letter of Bussy Mansell esq; to his brother Edward Prichurd esq;

Vol. x. p. 221.

According to my promise to you in my last, I shall be much larger, occasion having offered a very ample subject of newes, and I conceive unexpected to you at this time, which is the dissolving of the parliament; but this dissolution somewhat differing from the former, the former being dissolved by compulsion, this by a seeming willingnes: some little hintes I shall give you of it. Since I write my last to you, and some dayes before, wee were about a report from the committee of tieths, about sending commissioners to the severall circuits to cast out all that they judged unfit to be ministers, and to put in all they judged to be fit upon the last day of the last weeke. This power and its appurtenances came to the question, and it was carried in the negative. Hereupon those gentlemen, that were for the report, came sooner than theire usuall hower upon Munday to the house, and there spoake of the unliklyhood of doing good, and instanced in severall things, that they judged evill, that was don; and therefore desired that they would goe, and returne that power they had from whence they received it; and thereupon about forty and the speaker went to the generall, and did accordingly. Twenty seven stayed in the house a little time speaking to one another, and going to speake to the Lord in prayer, coll. Goffe and liet. coll. White came into the house, and desired them that were there to come out. Some answered, they were there by a call from the generall, and would not come out by their desire, unlesse they had a command from him. They returned noe answer, but went out, and feched two files of musquetiers, and did as good as force them out; amongst whom I was an unworthy one. This is as much as I shall give you of this by letter, but not as much as I have in my hart; but I doe neither thinke it safe or convenient to impart by writing, but shall reserve it to our happy meeting, if the Lord grant it, which I would endeavour to be very sudden, but for my wife and small regiment, who are hardly fitt for a journey in this very depth of winter. I conceive in January wee shall returne. As for Duch, I know not whether wee shall have peace or war. There were some Duch prises brought into Plimouth last week. As to all businesses that you did write to me of, they are dormant att present. By the next I shall give you some account. My neece Jane hath bine ill of a colde this last weeke, but is now pretty well. I rest

Your brother,
Bussy Mansell.

A letter of intelligence from Paris.

Paris, 27 Dec. 1653. [N. S.]

Vol. ix. p. 83.

This day's post is not yet arrived, but yours of the 18th instant I received this morning, which I should have received last Tuesday, if the post had not failed, as he does now ordinarily, by reason, as I hear, of foul weather.

I have not much at present of news more than what I writ in my former; only great pressing of the king and council to make prince Condé his process, which the parliament intends not to do, till at least their brethren shall be recalled.

To that purpose my lord chancellor of France in his last propositions spoke highly of prince Condé, and so did count de Servient surintendent; but the first president, that is now, answered both, that it was not an easy thing to make the process of a child of the house and royal blood, till the king himself had come to the Palais, and in his place of justice declare his cousin criminal, or do with him what he should think best; which the chancellor took very ill, and said the question was proposed to the company, and not to him. He said he was obliged to tell truth, both in his own and the company's behalf; and moreover that he was resolved not to do any thing in that business, till the banished members of parliament be recalled to their places, which was all of that business at that time.

The 24th of this present month parted hence mons. duke d'Amville to Bloys in the king's behalf to the duke of Orleans; and before he parted, the queen gave him orders to leave a master with the king to learn to ride: he knowing the queen's desire, has chosen mons. de Memon, a master of academy in the suburbs of St. Germains, as the queen desired before, against the cardinal's will, who endeavoured for an Italian, as you had in my former letter.

The said duke had no other business to Bloys, only to thank Orleans for the advice he gave to the king of his going to Languedoc, with which the king was pleased, yet advised him rather to stay where he was, by reason Languedoc was ruined; and more, that his majesty would have him nearer to his own person, if he had pleased to do him that honour.

The same day the first president mons. Belliévere went to take possession of his house Mont-rouge, which mons. de Chasteauneuf left to him in his last testament when he died.

The bruit in court now is thus, that the duke of Orleans is to come to Limours, where the pope's nuncio and the ambassador of Venice ought to treat with him in the king's behalf, to come, and take his place in court, his majesty having given the disposition of all in the hands of both them ambassadors for to treat both for Orleans, Condé, and all the banished princes and nobility of France, and afterwards, if they can compass that, to endeavour for a general peace; hoping all Christian princes will help them to that purpose: we shall expect the end, &c.

We have by the last letters from Soissons, that the garrison of Rocroy comes every day to their very gates, and takes many prisoners, and makes them pay daily contribution, besides what they take away by force.

The duke of Lorain has given to Harcourt's son the place of coronet of the sacred empire, by reason of his marriage. Moreover we hear the emperor obliges the said Harcourt to his service, and upon that condition, that he will make him great vicar of the said empire, which we call in France constable. This week the king sent his letters of provision to mons. count de Harcourt concerning the government of high and low Alsace, as also Brisac; notwithstanding he was desirous to make his process here as well as Condé's, as my lord chancellor pronounced last day in the Palais by the virtue of the king's letter, which he brought with him to the palace to be read there.

Mons. count de Rieux, the duke d'Elbeuf's son, having been with the parliament of Languedoc, desired them to pay all the monies he disbursed for the king's service, after he had been in arms against the Hugonots of that province; but was refused absolutely; and the king sent him express orders not to hinder or trouble any man in that province or elsewhere in his dominions for their religion, being that all men are free in the kingdom of France concerning their religion.

Ondedei a favourite of his eminence is in disgrace these four days, and his eminence's secretary is in his place now for a while. The reason I do not know.

Last Wednesday mess. Chancellor, guard de seaux of France, and mons. Servient, surintendant des finances, were in council about the answer the parliament gave them, that they would not touch prince Condé's process till the king had been present, and do all himself, as also recall back their banished members of parliament; at which they were much troubled, that the parliament resolved so against their expectation, in which nothing is yet resolved.

The king and cardinal parted yesterday for St. Germain, where they are to remain till Monday next. The queen is still at Vall de Grace, as also the queen of England at Challiot. King Charles thinks for Holland, and from thence to Scotland, but monies for his journey he wants. Col. Wogan was in London, and brought men with him out of England into Scotland, as they say plainly in the English court.

Marquis de Coignac is not killed in Flanders, as it was reported in my former, for he is now with prince Condé at Rocroy in perfect health.

Next week prince Rupert is expected here.

We have great hopes, you will not agree with Holland. It's reported here the people do cry for general Cromwell, and against the parliament. You know best. I have nothing more worth your hearing, but that I am,
Sir, your faithful servant.

A letter of intelligence from Paris.

Paris, the 17/27 Dec. 1653.

Vol. ix. p. 90.

I Come from seeing the C. d'A. who recommends himself to your care. He is ready to return. A third minister sent from Guienne with a great heap of complaints (of which that of Rochehouart is the best) came yesterday night to see me, which reiterated unto me their earnestness for the peace between the two commonwealths, who he saith to be desired by all the reformed churches of France. There was with him a gentleman of Nismes deputed also, who is full of vigour, being joined with three other Papist deputies, who advance nothing no more than himself. He is a friend to the said C. d'A.

The intrigue of this last with the cardinal of Retz is considerable; and it is credible, that mons. de St. Privas, Belle-isle, Mezieres, and the Mount Olympe will act, if need be. Our merchants do obtain no manner of justice here.

A letter of intelligence from Paris.

From Paris, the 27/17 Dec 1653.

Vol. ix p. 93.

I Have very little to write at present: my former will have told you of the order of this parliament for a trial of mons. the prince; and to the end it might be done with the more state, the dukes of Guise, d'Elbœuf, d'Espernon, and de Candale, with the marshals of de la Motte and de Villeroy, were then present in the parliament, and I am certainly told since, that the commissioners appointed to try him, have already proceeded against him.

In the mean time the prince of Conti is coming to accomplish his marriage. The same day, being Wednesday, the president de Thou and some other exiled members of the said parliament returned to this city, to be reinstalled in their charges by virtue of a letter of the king's. But this grace of his majesty's is not general, for some of their confraters do yet remain in exile.

On Thursday we had advice from St. Menehould, that the governor of Clermont had put a garrison into Vienne Chasteau, a place not far from St. Menehould, whereby the country receive very great prejudice, and that five carts full of provisions and ammunition of war were gone from St. Menehould for the siege of Beffort, which the marquis Duxel was gone about with two thousand Irish, and in expectation of some other troops of the marshal de la Fertefenneterre to come to join with him. It is observed, that several forces are upon their march that way, which will make the earl of Harcourt to look about him. Also we do see by the last letters that came that day, that he was still mistrustful, and had given six days time longer to mons. Bezemont to procure him a categorical answer, as I have formerly advised you, he had demanded. The next day, which was yesterday, the king went from hence in the morning, accompanied by the cardinal, to return to St. Germain, there to stay two or three days, and afterwards to make a journey to Roan, there to establish the officers of justice, whom the Normans, and especially the parliament, will not suffer but by force.

The vice chancellor of Poland hath sent a present of the value of four or five hundred pistols to the princess Palatine, sent unto her by the queen of Poland her sister.

The marshal of Turenne hath given a visit to the Holland ambassador.

Here is not so much talk now of the enterprize against Naples, and there is little likelihood for it, since the king's ships are sent to come to guard the Normand coasts for fear of the English, lest they might make some attempt against this country.

It is very certain, that the French ambassador is coming home very ill satisfied with the pope.

There is a new report, that they intend to transfer the cardinal of Retz to the cittadel of Amiens, which will not be a means to hasten the return of the duke of Orleans, who doth still sollicite for his liberty and for the execution of the amnesty of his majesty.

Prince Rupert is expected here from Nantz in very few days. I am told, that he is to persuade Charles Stuart to go for Germany.

Intercepted letters of Mr. Hugh Courtney.

To col. Thomas Mason at Dublin in Ireland.

Vol. x. p. 14.

Dear Sir,
In the last you had my fears, now the certainty. The parliament was dissolved the twelfth instant. The general with great solemnity took his oath of lord protector in Westminster Hall the sixteenth, and yesterday, the nineteenth, was proclaimed throughout the city with great solemnity; the particulars whereof I shall not here insert. The inclosed I met with this day, and finding it true for the substance, send it to you; by which you may guess how things are. My heart is full, and often akes to consider what is come to pass, and what is at the door.

To Mr. Morgan Lloyd.

I HAD not any from Wrexam for you this week: our letters are opened and kept. Yesterday the general was proclaimed protector throughout this city in more pomp than I will relate. The people of God are highly dissatisfied, neither is your nor our dear friend satisfied with the business; and though they be sworn for term of life, yet they cannot be of long continuance. But I may not write, until I know how to do it with safety, and therefore beg your pardon.

To Mr. Daniel Lloyd.

Dear friend,
I Told you formerly how the general was made lord protector: yesterday he was proclaimed with some pomp, not pleasing to many beholders, and much to my particular trouble in this whole business. Mr. Powell is very hearty, high, and heavenly. How it is with my own particular, I cannot acquaint you. Wait a little, and be patient unto the end. Salute all dear friends.

20 Dec. 1653.

A great many of inclosed books were sent to the friends.

To his brother.

Some rejoice now, but they will weep shortly.

To col. Jones in Ireland.

Honourable sir,
Yesterday the general was proclaimed protector. I will not insert the solemnities, which were too much after the old fashion, and so grievous to many. It is hard now to tell you where the greatest joy is; but I am sure some rejoice with trembling, their sorrow being oppressed by reason of the present shame and reproach they judge to be upon the gospel and the profession thereof; but I may not enlarge having little freedom; and therefore craving your excuse, I rest, &c.

20 Dec. 1653.


  • 1. Ludlow Mem. vol. ii. p. 495.
  • 2. Monglat Mem. iv. p. 43.