State Papers, 1654: December (1 of 4)

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A Collection of the State Papers of John Thurloe, Volume 3, December 1654 - August 1655. Originally published by Fletcher Gyles, London, 1742.

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In this section

December 1654

Mr. Longland, agent at Leghorn, to secretary Thurloe.


Honourable sir,
It seemes the French fleet staid before Naples at lest six dayes after they imbarkt theyr men, by reason of contrary winds, and by the last letters thence they were stil in syht of that place. Whether they ar bownd into the gulf of Venis to land theyr men on that syde, or wil do it on this in the pope's state is not yet known. The French horse about 4000, are departed out of Piemont, and cardinal Grimaldi is gon up to the confynes of Millan to tak order for the passage throh the duke of Parma and Modena's countryes. Thes princes hav commanded al theyr own piple six myles from the hyh way that leads to Rom, to retyre themselves into wal'd townes, to avoid injuryes from the soldiors: You may se in what a condition the kingdom of Naples is, or rather the Spanyard, that commands it; a powerfull army of French backt by the pope redy to assault it, and an opprest and discontented pople within, that certainly wil be glad to change theyr present condition, althoh for a worse.

It is sayd, the treaty twixt the Spanyard and Genowes goes well on, and that several things ar ajusted betwixt 'um. But in case the Spanyard should so far prevail, as make the Genowes declare for him, they would fynd the French a sharpe thorn in theyr syds.

Cardinal Rez is arryv'd at Rom. The duke of Savoy is to marry the cardinal Mazzarin's niece, by which meanes he shal clear his country both of the French and Spanyard. 'Tis here reported, that the king of France shall marry the duk of Savoye's sister.

Here is arryved in this port an Inglish ship with herrings in sixteen dayes from Yarmouth: twelve dayes since she spake with sum of generall Blak's fleet in the streits–mouth; another small Inglish ship is arryved in eleven dayes from Lisbon, wher wer seven Brest men of war bownd for thes seas, to joyn with the Tollon fleet, but hearing general Blake lyes in the streits–mouth, they dare not stur. I shall use what dilligence I can, to hear wher the French are, that I may advys general Blake thereof. Herin and in what els concerns the public good, or my particuler obligations to yourself, I shall in al things endevour to shew myself,

Leg. 11 Decem. 1654. [N. S.]

Honourable sir,
your most humble and
faithful servant,
Charles Longland.

A Letter of intelligence from Mr. Augiers secretary.

Paris, the 11 December, 1654. [N. S.]

Vol. xxi. p. 1.

They speak of nothing here at this present, but of cardinal Mazarin's father's death at Rome happened the night of the 13/3 and 14/4, and of the new landing made by the duke of Guise in Castelamare, about some twelve or fifteen leagues from Naples. The notice we have thereof is of the 17/7 of the same month of November, there being so much credit given unto the aforesaid landing, that madame du Plessis Belliere, whose husband is with the duke, writ yesterday, that she verily believed it, although there was not yet any express post sent thereof; so that all the other landings, whereof I had the honour to inform you saturday last upon the notice come from Genoa and Marseilles, have no likelihood. The said letters bear, that the vice–king of Naples had written thereof unto the ministers of Spain at Rome, and informed them, that the said duke had seized upon the place by stratagem, having only shot at it, whilst 1500 Italians he had landed in another place having made a circuit to make believe, that they came from Naples, having presented themselves before it, and been received therein as a relief, which the vice–king sent to that garrison, had mastered the place, and slain all that opposed themselves thereunto; in consequence whereof the said duke was entred therein: but this news requires one should expect its confirmation, before one giveth credit thereunto.

It's thought, that it is upon those affairs that prince Thomas takes a journey to Turin; and I hear, that this court lureth the king's marriage with the daughter of Savoy, that they may amongst other things the easier obtain leave for the French army to winter in Italy.

We have no other remarkable news, save one, that they have discovered the author of the rumour happened some months since at Rennes upon the subject of religion, who being a papist is run away to Rome. Whereupon his majesty's council have sent that process to the parliament of Paris, prohibiting of Rennes to inform thereof upon penalty of interdiction.

They had also some weeks since informed here against one of duke of Orleans's trumpeters, a protestant, by reason that in going to Charenton he had caused the coach, wherein he was, to be driven faster than ordinary in meeting the God of the mass in the suburb St. Germain, instead of stopping, according to the priest's desire; as though we were obliged to worship their idols. But at the marshal of Turenne's instance, that proceeding hath been cashiered by this parliament, and put the parties out of court and process.

A Letter from the Hague.

Mr. Chanut, the French embassador in Holland, to Mr. Bordeaux, the French embassador in England.

Hague, the 11 December, 1654. [N. S.]

Vol. xxi. p. 5.

My lord,
Returning from Teling eight days since, I received the Letters, which you were pleased to write to me of the 20th and 27th of the last month, and now at this instant that of the 4th of this month: it is true, that the not receiving of that of the 20th did very much trouble me; for I never go abroad to hear any news upon the subject of your affairs; not that I do think, that it is so great a mischief to us, that the English do love to have rather war with us than peace; but because it is a business of great consequence. Et mori nolo, sed me mortuum esse nihil existimo: I am as to that in your negotiation. And as to yourself, my lord, the honour of your conduct will be no less; for there is no failure to be found with you; for you have demonstrated to the world the good inclination the king has to make peace; so that you have done for your part all that could be contributed by a prudent minister. I am much troubled about your last letter, my secretary being absent, who hath the cypher, being of an opinion, there would be none for me by this post; so that I cannot decypher that which is in character.

The fleet of Blake hath not yet fought us in the Mediterranean.

The lords of Holland, as I wrote you word eight days ago, have revived the negotiation of renewing the allyance with us, and have sent their advice to the generality, who have appointed commissioners to draw the articles; and their report being heard, they will send commissioners to confer with me. What you shall do at London will have a very great reflection upon our work with these provinces. We shall have suddenly the lord Bevering here, with whom I shall so manage my business, according to those steps you have prescribed to me. If he hath any good inclination to your affairs, I will cultivate it the best I can. And when I shall clearly see, that he hath not any, yet however I will not differ nor break with him. There are none more obliged to the laws of christian charity than those of our trade.

They write me from Lower Saxony, that the business of Bremen will be acommodated; and I understand, that the Swedes do not hold themselves much obliged to the offers of the lords commissioners of this state, and do believe, that without them they should have brought those of the city to have yielded more unto them. The two points, about which they dispute at present, are the fortifications of Bourg, which the Swedes will have demolished; and the publick exercise of Lutheranism in a church of the city, which the magistrate, a very zealous calvinist, will not suffer.

General Monk to secretary Thurloe.

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

I have received your leter of the 23 of November, by which I understand, the intelligence of the Scotch king his purpose to come for Scotland is still confirmed.

In case hee comes, I doubt not wee shall (through the blessing of God) keepe him back in such a cuntry, where hee cannot ride or travell, but in trouses and a plad, if you continue the forces now a foote heere. How you will carry on your business, the sess being but 60,000 l. a month, passes my understanding. I am sorry for the rumour you mention. Our eyes must bee towards the Lord for averting them.

I send you heere inclosed copies of two papers, which have been sent to some of our guarrisons heere, that you may see how endeavors are used to sowe sedition; but (I trust in God) it will bee in vaine.

And if it please God to ciment you all there, I doubt not but wee shall make a cleere end of the warr heere the next sumer. Midleton for the present is very weake as to horse or foote. What hee intends, I knowe not. Hee lives in a remote place (where wee cannot come to winter) on his friends, where his living must bee very uncomfortable for himselfe and them. I remaine

Dalkeith, 2 December, 1654.

Your most affectionat friend
and servant,
George Monck.

General Disbrowe to the protector.


May it please your highnesse,
The ships in the enclosed lyst were this day compleated with their provisions; save only some part of their water; and I did hope on tuesday to have putt 1800 foot on board, if the winde and weather should be faire; but as yet I heare nothing of any of the foot–officers, nor of any body to pay them off at their shipping. I heare this night, that there be some companys of colonel Heane's regiment at Pharum, but no captains with them; and also that they say, they doe not expect their captains this five or six dayes. I humbly conceive, that there may be some need of commissions, if any of the officers should fayle. Therefore if your highnesse please to order Mr. Malyn to send downe six or ten blanke commissions to me the next post, if there should be use of them, I could cause them to be filled up: if not use of them, I should returne them to him. I hope if the next weeke be fayre weather, the rest of the fleet will be ready to take the first winde. I have not further trouble to give your highnesse now, onely to subscribe myself,

Portsmouth, the 2 of
December, 1654.

Your highnesse humble servant,
John Disbrowe.

Count Brienne to Bordeaux, the French embassador in London.

Paris 12 Decemb. 1654. [N. S.]


I was beginning to write to you at the same time your letter of the 29 past was delivered to me, to tell you, that the important affairs, wherewith we have been busy all this while, have hindered us from consulting about those of England, till thursday last at the council, which was met that day, where it was said, that the monday following they would resolve upon the English affairs; and having thought fit to give you advice of the receipt of your letter at this time, I will refer what I had projected to tell you till the next post. It was last night late, and this morning being with his majesty, who was going to Vincennes, and having read to him your letter, he did command me to advertise you, that you should punctually observe the contents in my foregoing letter, and that on the next monday without fail a resolution be taken in your business, and the next day it shall be sent unto you by an express. In the mean time contrive as often as you can to write of the design of their fleet, because now and then we conjecture at their design; and to the end we will not be surprized, good order will be given in all places.

The count de Charost, governor of Calais, to Bordeaux, the French embassador in England.


My lord,
I am sorry to hear, that after two years negotiation, your business now at last is like to end in a breach with the lord protector: it is a very sad story, that having decided the chiefest of your articles, a punctilio in point of signing should cause a rupture in your treaty. Methinks there may be a means found to accommodate that business. It is said the duke of Guise is landed within seven miles of Naples, and that he hath defeated 1700 men.

You will be obliged to make a compliment, as well as myself, to his eminence, who hath lost his father. I hope to go shortly to court, but it will not be before I take my leave of you in another letter.

Calais, 13 Decemb. 1654. [N. S.]

General Disbrowe to secretary Thurloe.


I Received yours of the second instant, and have by mine of the day before (which I sent by expresse to you) given my thoughts in the things that did then occurre.

The Torrington (commanded by captain Dakins, rere admiral of the whole squadron) being one of the chiefest ships that are gott ready, and generall Penne staying with the remainder, we judged it convenient the said rere admiral should command the division that goes first; and accordingly mentioned him to his highnesse to be one of the commissioners for managing what should be necessary at Barbadoes, and with him colonel Heane and Fortescue, as intending to put their regiments on board the said first division, if their officers came in any time. What more I can offer from hence, you will finde in my last, which since your sending of Mr. Titon, I hope you have received, and therefore shall now adde but the subscription of

Portsmouth, 3 Decemb. 1654.

Your affectionate friend and servant
John Disbrowe.

I have as yet heard nothing from any of the foot officers.

Rome, 14 December, 1654. [N. S.]


The post of France is not arrived this week, but by the last that came the 7th of this month, I received yours of the 5th last month, by which we are assured here of the quiet and gallant government to be settled in England and its dominions, by the prudence and conduct of the great and invincible commander, the lord protector, worthily memorable to all future ages, maugre his declining enemies.

Of news from hence since my last not much that concerns you near; for of the general peace, or R. C. here is not a word; and I shall be as careful of that, as is in my power; as also to learn what general Blake and his fleet's conditions is. I cannot learn any thing certain of him since his coming to the straights of Gibraltar; when I do farther, you shall know.

The scene is altered here since the Spanish victory against the duke of Guise. The pope lately said, he would have Spain to understand, that he disliked the cardinal Francis Antonio Barbarini, and therefore again renewed most severe orders, that no soldiers in Rome or his territories should be levyed or quartered against Naples. But till the duke of Guise was beaten, the pope seemed of another mind; and now it is thought by many, that prince Nicolao Ludovisio and cardinal Astalli shall be recalled to court, and their offices; the first married to the pope's niece, and his general of armies; the latter his principal secretary of state; but both suspected justly to be of the Spanish faction. The old wise pope begins now to fear, that after his own death all his friends and relations will be derelicted both by Spain and France: so it may well be.

The Spanish ambassador is vigilant and still silent. Some disgust lately intervened betwixt the governor of this city, being of the city of Cremona, and the Barbarinis; the cause is put in writing, which in time you shall have more.

The prince of Palestrino's leg was broken last week in hunting, much lamented by his friends.

Card. de Retz, after receiving the red hat, is now visiting the sacred college of cardinals, and in good esteem, as formerly I writ, notwithstanding Mazarin's cabals.

From Naples the last letters bring, that all being quiet there, the viceroy went with solemnity to the church called Madona de Constantinopoli, to perform a vow made in these last occasions of Naples; and endowed that church with 350 crowns yearly, and the citizens visited also the church, and bestowed five crowns a week for candles and light lamps, &c.

The duke of Guise would not accept of marquis Gonzaga, in exchange for the prince Castellaneta, and so sent back again to Naples Gonzaga, where he is now prisoner; but resolved to go to Paris with letters, and to relate the whole history of Guise's voyage to the king of France, and I hear the viceroy would not return the prince Castellaneta till then to the duke of Guise.

The land soldiers, that card. Antonio levied and sent towards La Brussa, are all come back with the rest of the Neapolitan banditti, and are in Florence, going to France by land, being afraid of the seas, as they have reason.

Of the men in the French ship sunk at Mondragon, 100 were saved and brought prisoners to Naples, 300 more were drowned, and all that was in the ship beside lost.

The last letters I have seen from Venice bring, that there arrived there lately a vessel with the body of noble Mocenigo, who dyed in Candia the 25 of October; and in the same ship came the duke of Parma's brother with some other officers.

The said commonwealth agreed with ten Flemish ships of war to have them about the 10th of Jan. at Malomocco, because the Venetian army is intended to be sooner in the campagne this year than in other years, according to the minds of general Borri, to prevent the Faccioli, who hasten likewise their army to the field in Dalmatia.

The magistrates of that common–wealth made a decent present to the prince Gustavus, brother to the new king of Sweden.

The naval and land army in Candia are at their winter quarters, &c.

The pope is pretty well; which is all the news now from,

Yours, &c.

Bordeaux, the French embassador in England, to the count de Brienne.


My lord,
I did defer it till to day to give an account of the audience, which the lord protector gave me the third of this month, upon the belief which I had to be able at the same time to signify his last resolution. But his ordinary proceeding full of delays doth oblige me to give an account of the discourse, which I had with him, and what I replied to what he objected, and also what I replied to that, which his ministers acquainted me with to day. I did complain of the little correspondence, which all the advances and the good will of the king had met with; of the tedious delay, with which he had used, in my negotiations under false pretences; of the different overtures of an accommodation, which had been made unto me; and of the little disposition to be willing to conclude, as my commissioners do declare, by the insisting upon expressions, which produce no advantage to this state, and which with honour I could not admit of; and by their denying to pass equal causes and of common right; which proceeding could not arise but from a mind altogether alienated and opposite to a peace, or of a considence, that his majesty after so many endeavours to establish peace would buy it at last upon unjust conditions. And after I had declared, that although I had set my hand to many clauses more advantageous to England than France; yet notwithstanding I could not pass over those difficulties, which had been made unto me, without wounding the honour and dignity of the king. And that the one and the other did receive too much prejudice by my so long stay here in England, to be only spectator of the acts of hostility, which were committed from time to time against the French; as also the present state of affairs of the one and the other nation did not permit, that we should remain any longer time in an uncertainty of the designs of this state. I did declare to the said lord protector, that the last resolution of his majesty was to see at present the end of my negotiation; and that to this effect, although it were more advantageous for the welfare of the people, to establish a firm unity by a treaty, which should leave no subject to renew any acts of hostily hereafter; however that his majesty would approve of the six articles, which have been proposed unto me, in those terms as were agreed upon with my commissioners: only that his majesty did desire, that the arbitrators might not judge to the prejudice of our laws and ordinances, what was of common right in regard of the complaints, which those of Hamburgh make at present against our ordinances of the sea; but that however his majesty would not refuse to be obliged to express in the article of arbitration. I also did agree about the secret article, upon condition, that the commissioners of the rebels of Franceshould not be admitted into England, according to the tenor and method itself, that is observed between allies. And as for the title, after I had confirmed the esteem and the consideration, which the king had of the lord protector, I insisted upon the pre–eminence, which is due to the royal title, and to the dignity of the crown of France; adding withal, that I would refer my self to all the provisos, which should preserve the English nation in all their prerogatives, which that nation hath enjoyed in all the last treaties with France. In the end, after I had protested, that the orders of the king did not permit me to release any of those points, I desired the lord protector to give me presently his last answer, declaring that if it were not conformable to my offers, his majesty would be very much displeased to see himself deprived of the fruit of all his advances; but that he had this satisfaction to remain with him, that he had not forgot any thing, whereby to establish a good correspondence between the two nations. And that he did hope, that the justice of his cause being known to God and men, it would be accompanied with the same blessing from heaven, whereof France feels the effects from time to time in it's enterprizes.

The lord protector begun his answer by some general protestations of his inclination to accommodation; they were seconded by some bad reasons, which had caused so many delays and coming to the particular of the difficulties, which remain. He did declare upon the title, that his particular consideration should be no obstacle, provided the nation might preserve their dignity. And as to the limitation of the power of the arbitrators; he did refer it to a more ample examination by my commissioners. But he did very much enlarge himself upon the reciprocal clause of the secret article, to prove, that it was not just in general terms, in regard his majesty did only agree to the banishing of some particular persons already named. He afterwards entered into considerations, that the protestants of France would be excluded, from imploring the assistance of England, if they were prosecuted; protesting however, that he was very far from having any thought to draw them from the obedience they are now under, as had been imputed unto him: that he would arm against them, if they should offer frivolously and without a cause to disturb the peace of France.

The end of his discourse was, that I had ended mine very fiercely; and that England would always be in a condition to defend itself against it's enemies. This answer obliged me to reply to him, that I had provided for the interest of the nation, consenting that the treaty should be in the name of France and England; and that the commissioners should sign, as was practised in the times of the king. That so I did not see it to be necessary to find out any other expedient to accommodate this difference, nor also that the restitution of the arbitrators did require any longer examination, since I had already explained myself sufficiently to my commissioners those reasons, which did oblige us not to leave them so general a power, till the complaints of those of Hamburgh were made known; and that there was no consideration, which could oblige his majesty to part from it, and to submit to the judgment of the said commonwealth his laws and ordinances. I did afterwards destroy the chiefest reason, upon which he did ground the denial on the reciprocal clause of the secret article, agreeing to make it mutual. And I did also complain, how that at the same time, that we spoke of an accommodation, he did seem, as if he would reserve to himself a pretence of war by his discourse concerning the protestants of France, which did blemish the publick faith against the ordinary proceeding of states, who do not meddle with the domestic affairs of one another; alledging the example of his majesty in regard of the catholics of England. And I took from him all manner of hope, that the said protestants do not expect any thing else from him, but the free exercise of their religion; nor that they can otherwise be persuaded, but that the great zeal of strangers in their behalf is only affected to cover other designs. That if it was sincere, this state could not better it than by uniting with France against those that do persecute them; and ought not under their pretence to reserve the liberty of opening a door to all the commissioners of the rebels of France.

He did seem to be satisfied with my reasons; and without entering into any further discourse, told me, that these differences might be better accommodated by commissioners, whom he would send unto me to that effect the next day. I did still insist to avoid this delay, in pressing terms, in regard this matter had been so often handled, and that the orders of the king did not permit me to release any one of these three points, nor to suffer myself to be delayed any longer with words and dilatory pretences.

This instance produced only an assurance, that the said commissioners should give me the next day a precise answer. I must confess, I was persuaded in myself, I should have received it; but after I had waited till the ninth at night, they sent to excuse themselves upon the extraordinary affairs, which were fallen out, without appointing another day.

I have since prest them to satisfy the promise, which the lord protector made me; but as well the secretary as the commissioners do excuse themselves, in regard his highness hath not yet declared unto them his intentions; and yet they do not forbear to declare, that they will not depart from their first answers, which have been given me. So that I do not find myself advanced any further than before my audience; and all that time it lasted, which was about two hours, I did not forget any thing, which might serve to take away all hope from him, that the king would leave me here any longer time, nor agree to any other conditions: but in regard the departure of the fleet is deferred for three weeks longer, and their design changed from going to the Indies, and it is said to be intended for the assistance of the province of Holland; and the lord Beverning's sudden going over doth fill us with surmises, and the protector not being willing to give me any answer; that if his majesty being weary of his proceeding so full of contempt, will pass over these considerations, which are propounded unto me, I shall submit my judgment to his orders; and if they order me, I will make some addresses to the parliament before I depart home; in regard they are to sit yet three months, there will be time enough to be heard. I will not press it till I have an answer to this letter, there being more inconvenience to precipitate the breach then defer it for some time, especially if it were resolved upon the advice of this country differing from mine.

14th December 1654. [N. S.]

Bordeaux, the French ambassador in England, to cardinal Mazarin.

14th December 1654. [N. S.]


My Lord,
The condition of the negotiation, and the last orders, which the count de Brienne hath sent me, do not leave me any thing to add to the letter, which I have writ to him. But that, which your eminence did me the honour to write to me of the 19th, doth oblige me to confirm you in the opinion, which you have, that the fleet of England can have no design against France: the season, the few troops that are to be imbarked, and the little likelihood, that I can of any agreement or league with Spain, are reasons sufficient to destroy the distrust, which his majesty may have of the conduct of the lord protector towards him, and upon the different advices, which are given me, that this fleet is to touch near some port of Guienne or of Languedoc, to encourage the protestants of those parts, and to promote their risings. It is true, that the ministers of this state, and many other persons do speak of assisting them; not that they have the least thought to do any such thing, or that they take the religion to heart; but the rather to render themselves the more agreeable to the presbyterians of this country, and to give themselves a pretence of rupture, if their particular interest do oblige them to war, to render it the more plausible to the eyes of the world. But the protector would be obliged not to make appear any treaty with Spain; and it is that, which will prevent to take any ground upon the refusal, which he hath made of the offers of that crown, which have not been unknown to me. And the anbassador did not conceal them, nor also to declare, that his master doth desire to have peace with France. He hath often explained himself to a person, whom he knoweth to be of my acquaintance; and hath proceeded so far as to come to particulars, that the king his master would consent to the conditions, which were agreed upon at Munster; and gave him a charge to speak to me about it. And some days after he was sent to get out of me, whether I had not writ it to the court: he hath also held the same discourse to me since the news is come of the disgrace of the duke of Guise. And all the likelihood will have it to be, that the power of England doth give to his king more jealousy, than France. I have not made much reflection upon these words, which may have in them more of affectation than sincerity; and likewise I do report them now no otherwise than as a circumstance, which doth cause me to believe, that Spain and England have not yet taken their measures together, as to the design of assisting the province of Holland. It did pass for current for some days; and the departure of my lord Beverning did give some likelihood of it; but now that opinion is dissipated; and it is not to be imagined, that that province, to avoid the domination of the prince of Orange, will expose themselves to that of the protector, whose conduct in regard of England and the proportions of coalition cannot but render it very suspected, and his interposing of dangerous consequence. The lord Nieuport, who is left here, and whom I see often, doth very much oppose these reports, and doth pretend, that his superiors would rather expose themselves to all extremities than to admit of the English. Besides the affairs of the united provinces are not yet in such a condition, that it is requisite they should take up arms. What doth concern the departure of the lord Beverning, it did seem to be very sudden; yet he did communicaté the same to me a month before he went away, and I did give notice thereof to monsr. Chanut; the pretence, which did appear then, was a marriage, but I was not so ready to believe it, but that I did presently conceive some jealousy of what he told me. His arrival at the Hague will soon dissipate all that hath been conceived of his return. In case the lord protector doth not intend to employ his fleet, neither against France, nor Holland, there remains nothing more to be said of it, but that it is designed for some enterprize upon the coast of Barbary or to America: the first would be easy enough, but 3000 soldiers are not considerable enough for a greater expedition: for the last, there is more probability of it, in regard the islands and plantations, which the English have in those parts, may supply them with men already accustomed to the air. The great advantages that may be made from thence, and other particulars, which you will have seen in my former letters, do cause most men to incline to this belief, which cannot be just, without that his majesty be made to feel the effects thereof by a speedy accommodation, it not being probable, that this state at the same time will imbroil with two crowns so powerful.

I have received the letter of your eminence to day, too late to speak to colonel Lyon; but I make no difficulty, but that the transport of the levy may be made in the month of February, it being offered to me.

Monsr. de Bordeaux to the count de Charost, governor of Calais.

London, 14 December, 1654. [N. S.]


My lord,
I have received your letter, which you did me the honour to write me; but I had none from the court, so that I must expect something extraordinary from thence. I can add nothing to the foregoing concerning my negotiation, only that here is spoken more than ever of my return into France, whereof I see a great deal of likelihood. It is said likewise that the fleet, for which the new levies have been made, hath changed their design, and is intended for Holland; but the affairs of that country do not seem to be embroiled enough to stand in need of any foreign assistance. There remaineth no other expedition to make then against France, but at present the season of the year is far spent. However it is good not to be negligent. Barriere is returned from Flanders.

Mr. John Aldworth to secretary Thurloe.


Right honorable,
The continewance of the troble, I give yow to read my rude lines, I hope yow wil be pleased to pardon. My last unto you was of the 8th currant; and now I take the boldnes on mee to give you notice, that yesterday I received advise from Tholloone, that the duke of Guize was arrived att the islands of Iris, about 5 leaugs from thence with his army, having made his decent at Castledemar, 8 miles from Naples; but the party, that was to joyne with him, having received a generall pardon from the king of Spagne with strong places delivered them for their assurance, are joyned with the forces of Naples, which consisting off 25000 hath forced the duke of Guize to retire aboard, and in the retreate his lieftenant generall was slayne. Thear is one gally and a man of warr perisht by fowle weather; the other 5 galleyes is not knowne whatt's become of them, having lost them in a storme 40 dayes past: generall Blake's being in Giblatore road and about the streightsmouth is confirmed by a Hollander, that is hear arrived since my last. With the tender of my most humble servise, I take leave and remayne,

Marseillia, 15/5. December, 1654.

Your honnor's most humble servant,
John Aldworth.

A letter of intelligence from Paris.

December 16. 1654. [N. S.]


The post of this day is not yet arrived, neither the letters of last friday are yet come; so that we hear nothing from thence, only yesterday arrived somebody from our ambassador there, who brings no comfortable news to us, but rather the contrary, that you be resolved to make war against France, and that your great army is a preparing for that purpose to land in Bretagne, for which (if true) we must prepare ourselves, and make peace with the Spaniard upon any terms, sooner than suffer you to come into our lands. We have nothing from general Blake's fleet, only that he has past the kingdom of Naples; where we know not. You may see by your letters from Rome, how the duke of Guise was entertained by the Spaniards there, but we do not believe he has lost so many as your friend writes; but thus, that I have seen in a letter from Naples dated the 18th of last month, that they fought two days and two nights at the fort of Annunciata, and in the end, that ours gained the said fort, though with loss; and that 150 men of ours were taken prisoners, among which he that commanded our forces then, called Marquis de Guizaias, an Italian, and were conveyed into Naples, where the people were like to stone them in the streets, were it not the governor hindered them. Many, that were of the French faction in the city of Naples, and kept hitherto intelligence in ours, are now discovered and committed; and those that discovered them I believe will have no quarter neither here nor there. The particularities of that business we expect from Rome by the next post. The duke of Guise was not in that fight himself at Castlemare, for there were but 22 of his ships. He has always with him ten Portugal men of war well furnished upon the charges of Portugal.

It is much admired here, why the protector's mother should be buried in Westminster, a place for the kings and those of the royal blood in time past.

The court sent orders to Genoa, that the million of livres, of which in my former, should be sent to the duke of Guise to Castlemare, with all other necessaries for his army. A galley from Genoa or two is to be sent with it.

We hear you look much after our commander Paul at sea, and that you sent orders to take him, if your forces can meet him. He has taken of late a great Spanish ship full of corn in the mediterranean seas.

Madam Chastillon is now much affected in court, being a great creature of Prince Condé; and it is thought by her intelligence with the said prince, she may bring him to a reconciliation with the court, at least many speak of it. So we expect here this day or tomorrow the marquis de Spinola, the ambassador from the common–wealth of Genoa, for which we prepare l'hostel de Nemours for his lodgings; and the king is to pay his expences for some days, as the custom of the kingdom: he has some gentlemen with him of high quality and family besides himself; and each of them shall have two lacquies and a page of other livery than that of the ambassador's. The ambassador himself will have ten staffiers and six pages, a coach worth 12000 livres; and the horses 6000 livres; so he is to swagger in Paris.

The count of Harcourt is still at Philipsbourg, and the king sent him orders to come to court, and promises him some troops next campaign. I do not know, whether he will come or not. We are now reforming of many companies in our army, because they are weak; for now lately it was ordered, that every company must be of forty effective men, comprehending officers. We are sending them payment accordingly; but the strangers do complain, because they are put upon the French pay, being less than theirs hitherto; and for that I believe many will run away.

Here are many talking of the duke of Orleans's accommodation with the court, to which the higher ministers have contributed the best they can; but many think it will not prevail, by reason madamoiselle the duke's daughter is against it.

The second daughter of the said duke was sick last week, but now recovered; and I complain more of myself, that I am indisposed: however

I am,
Sir, your faithful

A letter of intelligence from Paris.

16 December, 1654. [N. S.]


The post of this day friday last is not yet arrived, by which we expected much; the post that arrived before informed this court, that your protector's second fleet with the land army is intended towards the isle of Retz, which France never feared more than at present. But many say our ambassador Bordeaux makes more of the matter than is re vera in it; because he cannot compass the peace there, which he often undertook; and if he cannot obtain it, he and his friends are undone, whose moneys he profusely spent in expectation of it. So if he cannot prevail, he will be your enemy. Since my former, your great friend has not seen cardinal Mazarin; his father's death occasioned his retirement, and now he and all his are in mourning: God send no worse news. An extraordinary was to come to him yesterday from London, with a transaction of the ambassador Bordeaux, of some part of his treaty in England with the protector, which displeaseth much the council of France, and by all that your great friend can find, that which England insists upon, will never be granted; and assure yourself it is so. These news, and the news of the duke of Guise trouble us much, with the fear we have also of general Blake's fleet. Which, besides my letter of occurrents, are the present news from,


A letter of intelligence from mr. Petit to mr. Augier.

Paris, the 16 December, 1654.


We want the two last orders from England by an unsupportable disorder of the postmasters, each one being so much the more impatient thereof, that the common enemies believe that mr. de Neufville will return hither, and that there will be war between the two states.

A council sat four days ago upon those affairs. In their great hopes of a continuation of success, namely, towards Naples, many were of opinion to grant at least some reprisals unto the French merchants, and to give ear unto the proposals, Saint Malo, New Haven, and divers other ports made to arm ships at their own charges, in case they were suffered to take the English, confessing that the English will always be strongest in battle, but presuming themselves strong enough to incommode the trading of that common–wealth and the state itself, in obliging it to have always great forces at sea, which are exceeding chargable, &c. Almost none but the chancellor, who acting the good servant (although he be the first provoker, who causeth the springs to play on this occasion against cardinal Mazarin, whom he and most part of the other ministers would willingly get rid of, by reason he swalloweth up all, and that scarce any are paid) none, I say, shewed more moderation than he; most part of the others saying it would be more honorable for them to declare war against England, than to have England declare it unto them.

The said mr. de Neufville's father is much troubled with all those alarms, as though his son was to bear all the blame thereof: Mr. de Servien, who is of a hot blood and fretful mind, having already told him, that it's pity the said mr. de Neufville his son was not sent to treat with people, that loved sweetmeats, by reason he would have thrived very well therein.

A letter of intelligence from mr. Petit to mr. Augier.

Paris, the 16 December, 1654.


Since my packet is gone, I hear from very good hands, that the Spaniards having fought with the duke of Guise between Naples and Castlemare, the French have been wholly defeated; the marquis of Plessis Belliere slain upon the place, and the duke of Guise narrowly escap'd in a vessel. Mr. Fouquet, attorney general of this parliament, comes from telling it to one of my friends, and that this deadly blow is come by a bark arrived at Toulon; in consequence whereof the particulars above said have been sent to this court by an express from the count of Carles.

You will be pleased to send this unto mr. secretary Thurloe, unto whom I have not the time to write it in particular.

A letter of intelligence from mr. Augier's secretary.

Paris, the 16 December, 1654.


This court doth still rejoice at the facilities the duke of Guise hath found at Naples, cardinal Mazarin taking it to be of such good presage, that he makes himself strong of that enterprize, so that it is thought the said duke will be well seconded; and that if he can but get some troops of horse, he will give much trouble and exercise unto the Spaniards. His design was to land towards la Puglia, that he might take up all the horse, that he should find there, by force or by money, but the time has hindered it: and as the pope will in no manner suffer the Barbarinis to send him any by the ecclesiastical territories, it is likely, that this season, in which it is very uneasy to send him any by sea, will limit his victory to some little progress, unless he be favoured by the insurrection of discontented, which (as are pretended) are to join him in great number. We hear nevertheless by the last letters from Rome, that to shew his vigour and resolution, he had caused his troops to march against the Tower called Annunciata, which they had taken without much loss; but that thinking afterwards to attempt upon that of del Greco, they had been repulsed with the loss of above 150 men, and one of their commanders taken, namely the marquis Gonzage, who being a Neopolitan, would have been beheaded, if the French had not taken another Spanish officer, whom they would have used alike. The same letters bear, that there was a talk; but uncertain, that some division having been found in the city of Salerno near Castello di Mare, the disorder was come so far, as to call the said duke thereunto; whereupon its gloss'd, that he hath had the victory.

Cardinal de Retz parted from Florence the 26/16 past, still incommoded with the fall upon the shoulder; there being no certain news of his arrival at Rome, where he went directly.

Mr. deLionne sent by the king, hath also hastened to Rome, and visited the other princes of Italy; which these gentlemen do jangle, while to please the pope and make him see how they are still his partners, they publish, that they are going to have war with England.

The duke of Longueville is arrived in this city to make his court; and the duke of Grammont is expected here within seven or eight days coming from Bayonne. Nothing is now spoken of the conspiracy discovered at Bourdeaux, where the parliament doth peaceably discharge its functions.

I come from seeing other letters from Rome, which bring, that the Spanish fleet having approached that of France near Castello di Mare, they had shot above one thousand canon shots at one another, without coming to any fight, whereof we expect the event.

Monsr. de Bordeaux, the French ambassador in England; to his father.

17 December 1654. [N. S.]

V. xxi. p. 165.

My Lord,
The post not being yet arrived, and my negotiation being at the same pass mentioned in my foregoing letter, I have nothing to write to the court; only you may assure them, that I do not discontinue to press an answer to my last discourse; but without any effect, the secretary putting me off from day to day, yea without any pretence. And on the other hand it is said, as if my negotiation were not yet at an end; so that I fear we shall be brought to extremities. You will have seen what I have writ to the court, to dispose them to release, and to yield to some of the points that remain undecided.

It is not, that, if this state had a desire of an accommodation, it would not make half of the way, whereas only it doth remain firm upon all the difficulties, yea without any reason, according to the opinion of my commissioners themselves; but also it will not give me their last resolution; which doth cause me to believe, that if I should acquiesce, they would find some other obstacle to delay me.

They begin now to speak again of the voyage for America, and to hasten their embarking, all the officers and soldiers being commanded to go on board the fleet the 20th of this month.

You may signify to his eminence, that the colonel, with whom I treated for the transport of 2000 Scotchmen, doth pretend to have received within these two days permission to execute his treaty; so that they want nothing but to send me the orders to finish that business, which they do seem to take to heart. It is not but in the pursuit thereof this permission may be recalled; but the king having caution in Paris for the money that is advanced, will run no hazard.

General Disbrowe to secretary Thurloe.

Portsmouth, 7 December, 1654.

V. xxi. p. 174.

I have perused the instructions, and considered them as fully as my litle time would permitt, and have litle to alter or adde, but what is inserted in them, with this enclosed paper, which I leave to your judgement to adde, the same seeming convenient to me.

Enclosed is a lyst of the whole fleet, as you desire, to be inserted in the first article of general Penne's instructions. I also offer, that major generall Heane and vice–admirall Goodson may be added as commissioners to the whole affaire: else in case of the death of both or either of the generalls, they will not be in a capacity fully to act as commander in chiefe. I have thought fitt for the advantage of the service to adde captaine Edward Blagge as a commissioner on the first squadron.

You may see what my thoughts are as to the instructions, by casting your eye over them, where you will finde some few scribbles of mine. That, which concernes money, I cannot for present ascertaine any thing more than 8000 l. intended as contingencies for the fleer: the mony for the land–forces must be what is left of that, which is ordered for them. To what value the letters of creddit runne, I know not, and therefore can say litle to it; only suppose 8000 l. creditt may be enough; and they limitted to charge by exchange, not exceding 10000 l.

Sir, we are still labouring here to effect what lyes under our charge, and were yesterday at Chichester to passe a muster on colonell Buller's regiment, which is there; and the like shall be done to other regiments, when I understand where they are.

The first squadron of ships are quite ready, and doe not onely attend the receaving of the souldiers aboard, whose readinesse through want of officers doth no way answer my defire; there being but two regiments, viz. Major generall Heane's, and colonell Buller's yet that I heare of come, and very few officers with them; which is no small trouble to me, considering the winde is now faire.

The remainder of the fleet are neer ready, the greatest want being water–caske, which cometh from London; and I shall againe minde the commissioners of the admiralty, that it may withall possible speed hast hither. Pray tender my very humble service unto his highnesse, unto whom I have not time to write, neither have more to offer than what I trouble you withall. I remaine

Your very affectionate
friend and servant,
John Disbrowe.

Ther is no thoughts of Capt. Hatsell's beinge ingaged for the present.

Mr. Longland, agent at Leghorn, to secretary Thurloe.

V. xxi. p. 192.

Honourable Sir,
Yesterday cam into this road 8 sail of French men of warr, part of the fleet that was before Naples; and this morning cam in another. 'Tis probable in 24 howers more the rest may be here. Som say they com hether for provisions, having spent al theyr store at Naples; but others say (and I am of the sam opinion) that they fear they shal meet general Blak's fleet before they get Tollon. The duke of Guis commands here in chief, but his ship is not yet com in. I cannot believ this prince will receiv them into port, knowing that our fleet looks out for them. This week we hav heard nothing of generall Blake: if he had not stayd at the Streits–mouth, but com directly for Itally, he had found all the French fleet in a pownd in Naples–bay, wher he might hav don what he woud with 'um, but al wil be for the best.

I writ you in my last that the duke of Savoy was to marry the cardinal Mazzarin's neece; upon which marriage the duke of Savoy should hav al thos townes and castels restored him, which ar ether held by the French or Spanyard in his country; and besyds that the said cardinall wil undertak to restore Geneva to the subjection of the sayd duke; which altho' I do not believ, yet it is my duty to acquaint you herwith, being of great import to the protestant party. I am,

Leghorn, 18 Decem. 1654. [N. S.]

Honourable sir,
your most faithful servant,
Charles Longland.

The king of France to the protector.

Paris, 18 December, 1654. [N. S.]

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

L'Esperance nous estant presque passé de pouvoir establir entre cette monarchie & vostre republique & royaumes d'Angleterre, Escosse, & Irlande la parfaite intelligence, que nous avions desirée, dont la suite eust donné lieu a un commerce florissant a l'advantage des deux estats, & n'ayant obmis aucune diligence, qui ait pu dependre de nous, pour avancer un si grand bien, que nous avons recherché avec plus de presse, qu'il ne pouvoit estre crèu, que nous ferons, veu les choses, qui avoient estè faites au dammage de nos subjects, sans y pouvoir reussir, & qui vraysemblablement procede de quelques considerations particulieres, qui sont jugeès par vous utiles a vos peuples; nous, pour ne demeurer pas plus long tems exposè a des incertitudes, ni meme laisser en l'opinion du monde, que ce que nous faisons, du zele du bien public, put proceder du quelque autre motif, qui feroit receu au prejudice de nostre reputation, avons ordonné au sieur de Bordeaux, de prendre vostre audience pour vous donner une information exacte de la conduite qu'il a tenue, de la quelle vous reconnoistrez quelles estoient nos intentions a vostre endroit; & ensuite de se retirer, si ce n'est que par vos prudences vous prennez des resolutions & de temperaments, qui nous puissent donner de la satisfaction raisonable, que nous nous en sommes deu promettre, vous laissant persuade d'une veritè, qui fait, que toutes les foïs que vous recherchez ce qui vous sera utile & glorieux, par l'amitie, qui demeurera establie entre les estats, a la richesse qu'en acquereront les subjects au moyen d'un commerce tel qu'il peut estre reglé, vous nous trouverez tres disposés d'y entendre, & aux asseurances, qu'il vous donnera, que nous souhaittons, que vos affaires prosperent, & que Dieu vous ait en sa sainte & digne garde.

Vostre bon ami & confederè,

A letter to Bordeaux, the French embassador in England.

Paris, 18 December, 1654. [N. S.]

V. xxi. p. 184

We had yesterday certain intelligence, that the d. of Guise was forced to quit Italy, and that mr. d'Plessis Belliere (who advanced with 25 officers) was slain. This loss is very considerable, for as much as he was a very serviceable man, and one who would not easily yield the buckler to any man for to be marshal of France. I may not unsitly compare this expedition to that of the Crusades of old; for although these had for their design, the re–establishment of the faith in sacred places, and those, a conquest and vain–glory; yet notwithstanding their success was much alike: and indeed it is impossible it should be otherwise, they being at so great a distance from those places, which should afford them recruits of men and monies. And so much for this subject.

Mr. Edward Missenden to the protector.

V. xxi. p. 176.

May it please your highnes,
I thought it my duty and service, at your entrance into that great bonos et onus of protection and governement, after my humble congratulation, to present your highnes with some observation of the transactions in Holland and Brabant, under the king of Spaigne and the Hollanders also; and therewith I sent your highnes also charts or maps of the maritime parts of those provinces, for your highnes service; presented, as I remember, by mr. Scobell, clerk of the council of state, upon the conclusion of the treaty with Holland.

That the Hollanders have blocked up the river of Antwerp called the Scheld, to hinder the English cloth trade, and the famous commerce of the merchants adventurers of England in the cloth trade thereof; which is the fairest flower in the garden of England. Whereby they have ruined Antwerp, which was honoured with the name and honour of totius Europœ emporium, and listed up Amsterdam to the pride and heigth that now it hath.

I presented also the meanes, whereby the said river might be opened; either in a faire way by your treaty with Holland, or in a more rough way, by force, by the king of Spaigne, assisted by your power, as is usual with confederate princes.

That having spent a decennium here in Holland in the governement of the merchants adventurers, I observed a great taxe or imposition laid upon our cloth trade there, of 24s. upon a long cloth; which, after a long dispute, we could not get off. I thought it a fit work for our treaty at home, to recent the same, with the meanes they have found out to set up draperies of their owne, by getting of wolles and fullers earth out of England, and Spanish wolles first brought out of Spaigne into England, and thence into Holland; so that now their draperies check ours: which they ease also with the freedome of imposition, whilst they press and oppose our English cloth, so that our famous English cloth–trade is there almost lost.

That whereas the cry of the Amboina bloudshed of our nation is gone up to heaven, and no meanes of vindication thereof on earth by any power in the Eaft India company; I thought it also my duety to your highnes to present you with a service I did therein in the Haghe, when the busines was committed to me, to require justice therein of the states general. But finding them and their merchants to speake with one voice in defence of that bloudy fact, I prepared a true narative and series of the whole busines, to present to the most learned lawyers of Holland, for their advice in point of law, as a species facti et juris, in use here, but shadowed it in other names: as for the English and Duch companies trading to the East Indies, I put, mutatis mutandis, the Venetians and Marcellians, and the controversy to be in Cicely: but in terminis I kept close all that was said, and done, and suffered in that bloudy scene from the first to the last; whereby their owne professors and counsellors condemned their owne nation unawares.

This peece was put in the hands of Mr. secretary Thurloe, when he served clerk of the council of state; which I sent by the then deputy of the East Indie company Mr. Mechold since deceased.

I hope there was good use made thereof, tho' I never received an answere, nor encouragement, nor soe much as my charges for lawyers fees, and length of time, study, and labour, preferring the service of my country to all other respects in the world, according to that of the orator, chari sunt parentes, chari liberi, amici chari, sed omnes omnium charitates una patria complexa est. So I humbly take leave, and rest here ready to serve your highnes and my country.

From the Haghe in Holland,
Decemb. 18. 1654. stylo

Your highnes humble and
faithfull servant,
Edw. Missenden.

A letter of intelligence from the Hague.

V. xxi. p. 188.

Le sieur Beverning en fin s'est rendu visible le 15, estant alors la premiere fois comparu dans l'assemblée des estats generaux. II a decliné de faire rapport, disant n'estre pas venu faire rapport; ains pour ses affairs particuliers; & ne pouvoir pas aussy le faire, d'autant qu'il le faut faire conjointement, ayant en cela l'example du fieur Jongstal, qui meme requis, ne l'a pas fait. Aussy il ne pas de la charge de tresorier general a luy conferée; ny pour remercier l'estat, ny pour offrir a faire le serment, ny pour fair seeller la commission: tout cela de peur qu'on ne l'oblige a rendre raison de l'acte de seclusion. Aussy le præsident est si discret de ne le presser ny sommer pas a faire rapport.

Toutefois par forme de discours a conté beaucoup; voire la meme chose, qu'il auroit dit dans son rapport, dit que pour achever le traité Anglo–Francois ne manquoit que 1. la præseance a signer dans les deux instruments, que la France pretendoit. 2. touchant la tolerance des rebelles futurs. Le point des rebelles presents estant deja adjuste, que le traité de marine entre l'Angleterre et cest estat n'attendoit, qu' apres la conclusion du sus dit traité Anglo–Gallois. Il dit, qu'il y a bonne harmonie & concorde entre le protecteur & le parliament; que le protecteur est summus dissimulandi artifex (de ce met se servoit il) parlant de tout chose sans alteration & egalement. Il a parle haut de la force & grandeur des flottes sorties & a sortir sous Blake & Pen; & combien on cache leurs dessein: qu'une troupe de femmes des matelots allant fur cette flotte avoient couru apres le protecteur, desirants savoir, ou leurs maris alloient: que le protecteur avoit dir, les ambassadeurs de Spaigne & de France me donneroient facilement chacun une million pour me dire cela. Le sieur Beverning neantmoins estoit d'opinion, que ces flottes n'estoient nullement destinees contre la France. Mais de tout cela n'a este rien signé dans les notules, si qu'en effect ce n'est pas un rapport. Et ny le president ny pas un de l'assemblée ne luy a rien dit de la seclusion. Cependant il ira une fois (comme l'on presume) vers Amsterdam voir sa maitresse; item vers Goude: puis pendra son temps pour faire seller sa commission; & pour faire le serment, & puis se lairra introduire: il dit estre passé par la Zeland, sans que personne luy aye rien dit.

L'assemblée de Hollande se va separer aveq cette semaine, & malaisement reviendra devant Februier; & outre quelques resolutions, qu'aures desja veu, je ne voy pas grand resultat d'leur assemblée: ils relevent bien souvent des choses; mais ce sont plustost de inclinations que des effects: la redresse des finances & la paix sont leurs principaux objects.

Par la lettre du roy de Pologne, et par la proposition de son resident, on voit, que le concept d'alliance, qu'il emportoit d'icy, il y aura bientost un an, est provenû d'icy, pour tant plus faire bruit contre l'Angleterre: mais ceste paix estant finie, je pense que l'alliance s'endormira, comme de mesme s'endort derechef l'alliance aveq l'France.

Le Traité a Staden est achevé les deputes de cest estat estoient desja le 12 de ce mois a Delmenhorst, retourant vers icy: les sommaires du traité verres dans la gazette d'Amsterdam du 15 dece mois.

Icy est decrechef le sieur Kemping pour les affaires de Malta: l'ambassadeur de France a ordre de son roy pour le seconder; mais il n'a garde de le pousser chaudement, voire il n'a pas une fois demandé audience publique la dessus.

Les deputes de Campen & Zwol (en absence de Twent & Deventer) ont fait notuler une sorte de protestation; declarants nulles les lettres, qui sont venues de Deventer, sur le nom des estats d'Overyssel assemblées a Deventer.

On me dit, que Mess. de Hollande feront nouvelle proposition pour la combination des compaignes, et pour la cassation d'aucunes de cavaillerie.

18 December 1654. [N. S.]