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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December (2 of 4)
Brienne to Bordeaux, the French embassador in England.
V. xxi. p. 206.
As the matter was debating touching what should have been written to you concerning the resolution, which was made, which also you might have conjectured from my two last letters, yours of the 7th and 13th of this instant were received; the first whereof instead of retarding the post, hastened his departure; the other hindred the same.
The discourse, which you had with the lord protector, is here taken very well; there being not the least of those things omitted, which had been hinted to you in several letters to mention. If you judge it needful, you shall have letters of credence sent you for the lord protector; but on the other side they shall be spared, if you think it needless to have credentials, for those things, which you shall propose to them, which his majesty will be always inclinable to hearken to (in the same propositions, that he had proposed) when the same shall be desired.
Concerning the design of the fleet, as that it was intended against us, we believe it too weak to give a jealousy to France.
You will please to give me leave to congratulate your great applause in reference to that your discourse.
May it please you to put an inscription and subscription to that letter, which the king wrote unto the protector, as you shall see good.
You will receive light concerning his majesty's intentions, the beginning of the last week.
19 December 1654. [N. S.]
Upon the resumption.
V. xxi. p. 198.
That the dispatches of the commission of the lord Beverning for the office of threasurer general, and for swearing him into the said commission, shall be suspended, till to the time, that he and the other ambassadors in England, have made a report of their negociations, and by their transactions there have given satisfaction to the provinces.
Extract of the secret register of the states general.
Sabbathi, 19 December, 1654. [N. S.]
V. xxi. p. 200.
The deputies in ordinary of the provinces of Holland and Westfriesland, after the reading of the here above–mentioned pretended conclusum, and before the resumption thereof was deliberated upon, have earnestly desired, and endeavoured by all imaginable reasons and motives, to induce and persuade the deputies of the other provinces, to put off, or at least to delay the same, till this affair was taken by them into further consideration, and made proposals for an accommadation in order to reconcile the dissenting provinces, and to give them all reasonable satisfaction; and finding that four provinces persist on their former advice, and that the said pretended conclusum should not be altered, denying to the said deputies of Holland, against reason and justice, the required time and delay, and would not agree to their proposal, they, by a special command of their masters, assembled in a state–convocation, have declared, and by these presents do declare, that they deem the said pretended resolution, the consequences thereof, and the persisting therein, as taken against the usual, due, and legal order and form of the government, and consequently labouring under a notorious illegality and injustice, to be lawless, void, and of no force. Whereupon the provinces have demanded a copy of the said record, which is granted them hereby.
From Heinsius, the Dutch resident in Sweden.
V. xxi. p. 242.
The day before yesterday I received from their high mightinesses the writings, which are necessary for the exercising the provisional character of resident of the united Netherlands at this court, for which favour I have endeavoured to show myself gratefull to their high mightinesses by the inclosed letter, which, I humbly beg of you, may be presented by your lordship to their high mightinesses by the first opportunity, thanking your lordship in particular, for the pains you have been pleased to take, in dispatching the said papers and commission, wishing only that I had received the same a little sooner, in order to have been enabled to give their high mightinesses a specimen of my devotion to their services, touching the Bremen affairs; though I do not question, but there have been weighty reasons, which have induced their high mightinesses to delay the sending of the said papers. In the mean while, I have not been deficient to serve my lord Van–Beuningen during his stay at Staden with weekly advices, since I had not the honour to know the two other gentlemen, and did not think adviseable to act as a publick minister, without being qualified for it. These treaties being now ended, my commission ceases likewise, and consequently I shall not be able but with great difficulty to obtain an audience of his majesty, which is denyed me till next week, because his majesty doth find himself at present out of order; wherefore I shall keep my commission back as much as possible, and make use only of my credentials here at court, wherein the time of my commission is not expressly mentioned. I am in want of the like credentials, to the two queens, the foreign ministers that reside here, the ambassadors of France and Denmark, as also to the five first senators, together with an instruction, to regulate myself accordingly all which I leave to the wise directions and to the helping hand of your lordship, obliging myself, when opportunity serves, to shew myself grateful for the same, and to serve you as far as I am able; to shew the same, I make from this time a beginning to wait on you by my letters, which I will do, as often as any thing shall happen here, which may not be trusted to the publick pen.
For the present, I cannot observe my duty, in that respect, since I am hindred from going out to take an information of state affairs, till the time, when I shall have had my audience of his majesty.
The approaching of the Russians towards the Swedish frontiers of Livonia and Ingria doth give no small suspicion to the court, and there are a great many commissions delivered to raise troops in Germany and other parts, although the Russians protest in the highest degree to have the greatest friendship for this crown.
Stockholm, December 19/9, 1654.
My lord, &c.
The protector's commission to general Venables.
Oliver lord protector of the commonwealth of England, Scotland, and Ireland, and the dominions thereto belonging, to our trusty and well–beloved Robert Venables, general and commander in chief of our army and forces to be sent into, or raised in America.
Whereas we are resolved, through the blessing of God, to send an army into America, for securing and increasing the interest of this commonwealth in those parts, and for opposing, weakening, and destroying that of the Spaniards, who under a pretence of the pope's donation claims all that part of the world, as belonging unto him, and thereupon hath not only exercised inhuman cruelties upon the natives, and prohibited all other nations to have any trade, commerce, or correspondence with those parts; but hath, contrary to the laws of all nations, by force of arms, expelled the people of these islands from several places in America, whereof they were the rightful possessors, destroying, and murdering many of their men, and leading others into captivity; and doth still continue all manner of acts of hostility upon us, and the people aforesaid in those parts, as against open and professed enemies; thereby threatening the ruin and destruction of all the English plantations in those parts, when he shall have opportunity for the same. And we having by advice of our council raised and levied forces here in England, to be sent into the parts aforesaid, and intending also, that other forces shall be raised in the Barbadoes and other Caribbee islands and places there, to be joined unto them; and reposing trust and confidence in your faithfulness, ability, courage, conduct and circumspection, we have constituted and appointed, and do by these presents constitute and appoint you the said general Venables, commander in chief under us of the army and forces, raised or to be raised by authority from us, for the end and service aforesaid; giving and granting unto you full power and authority to rule, govern, command, dispose, and imploy the said army and forces, and every part thereof, and all officers and others whatsoever, of and belonging to the same, in, for, or about all defences, offences, executions, and other military and hostile arts and services; and to lead and conduct the said army and forces, or any part thereof, against the king of Spain, his people, and subjects, in any part of America, and all others whomsoever, who shall aid or assist him or them there, or shall be enemies or rebels to us and this commonwealth in those parts; and them to pursue, invade, resist, kill, and destroy by all means whatsoever; and also to command all garrisons, forts, castles, and towns, within the said parts of America, which are already garrisoned and fortified to our use, or shall be hereafter garrisoned and fortified; and also full power and authority to affign and grant commissions to all such commanders, officers, and governors of the said army, forces, and garrisons, as shall be thought necessary and requisite for the command and government of the same; and also full power and authority to command the several and respective governors of the islands of Barbadoes, Bermudas, Antegoa, and other the Caribbee islands, and of all other English plantations in America; and all other officers and ministers whatsoever in the said islands and places; and also full power and authority to execute, or cause to be executed martial law, according to the cause and customs of war, and according to the laws and ordinances of war upon or against any person or persons offending against any of the said laws, or ordinances of war; and also full power and authority from time to time by yourself, or others, deputed and authorised by you, to take up and use such carriages, draughts, boats, and other vessels, as in your discretion shall be thought needful for the conveying and conducting of the said army and forces, or any part thereof or for bringing or carrying ordnance, artillery, ammunition, victuals, or any provisions, or utensils of war, necessary or requisite for the same army, or forces, or any part thereof, to or from any place or places, in order to the said service; and also full power and authority to do and execute all other things incident and belonging to the place of a commander in chief of an army, and which shall be necessary and requisite for the carrying on and accomplishment of the premisses; and all commanders, officers, and soldiers of the army, forces, and garrisons, are hereby required to obey you as their commander in chief, according to the discipline of war; and likewise the governors, officers, and ministers of the said several islands and plantations, and all other officers and persons whatsoever in the parts aforesaid, are hereby required to obey you, and to be aiding and assisting to you in their respective places, for the ends and purposes aforesaid: and you are in the prosecution and execution of all and singular the premisses, to observe and follow all such instructions, orders, and directions, as you shall herewith or from time to time hereafter receive from us. And for the premisses these presents shall be your warrant. In witness whereof we have caused these our letters to be made patents. Witness ourself at Westminster, the 9th day of December in the year of our Lord one thousand six hundred and fifty four.
Indors'd by secretary Thurloe,
4 Decemb. 1654.
This commission was read in the counsell, and past.
Sir Ch. Wolsly,
Ordered, that his highness be advised to give this commission to general Venables.
Bordeaux, the French embassador in England, to count Brienne, secretary of state in France.
In the possession of the right honourable Philip lord Hardwicke, lord high chancellor of Great–Britain.
Je n'ay rien a escire de ma negotiation, si ce n'est, que monsieur le protecteur ne me rend aucune response; que ses ministres la remettent a des termes indefinis, sans donner aucune esperance de rien changer aux conditions, qu'il nous propose; & que meme par le discours, qu'a tenu aujourdhuy un des officiers du Conseil en quelque facon interessè a l'accomodement, par la part, qu'il prend aux debtes de Constantinople, il paroit, que les difficultes, qui semblent nous arrester, ne sont pas les seules causes de tant de remises; beaucoup des considerations particulieres & domestiques y peuvent contribuer; mais le plus vraysemblable est l'interest, qu'a le protecteur de donner un amusement a ses troupes, & a soy un pretexte d'entretenir une armée. Le vaisseaux, qu'a lassé aller. Mr. de Guise chargè de fort riches marchandises est arrivè; & les interesses ont publiè cette grace; mais elle ne touche guere ce gouvernement. Et je crois, que si sa majestè jugeoit a propos de surseoir une declaration de guerre, qu'il n'aura grand inconvenient d'accorder de lettres des represailles. J'attendray les ordres, qui vostre derniere lettre me fait esperer, & feray tout ce qu'il me sera possible devant que venir a l'extremitè.
21 December, 1654. [N. S.]
Bordeaux to count Charost.
In the possession of the right honourable Philip lord Hardwicke, lord high chancellor of Great–Britain.
J'ay receu les deux lettres, qu'il vous a plu de m'escrire le 16me & 19me de ce mois. Elles me font paroistre quelque impatience de la fin de vostre accommodement. J'avoüe, qu'elle est bien fondée, puisqu'en cas de rupture vous aurez a supporter le principal chocque de la guerre; & que meme dans l'estat ou nous sommes, vous n'estez pas moins incertain de vostre condition, que je le suis de la mienne.
Il ne se peut encore rien dire du traité, si non que monsieur le protecteur se lasse moins de me remettre, que moy de l'attendre. Il faudra en fin prendre congé de luy. Tout Londre est persuadé, que je suivray ce dernier party; & cette opinion publique n'est pas fans fondement: quoy que je me puisse estre sans beaucoup de regret d'avoir si mal employé mon temps, mon argent, & mes soings, neantmoins j'aime encore mieux venir a cette extremité, que de trainer plus long temps. Nonobstant ce procedé du protecteur, on ne laisse pas de parler de l'America, & de presser le depart de la flotte. Les soldats se doivent embarquer cette semaine, & a juger par leur nombre, les preparatifs, & les advis publiques & particuliers, il semble que la France n'a rien a craindre de cet armée, si ce n'est qu'elle allat chercher Mr. de Guise. Les bruits courent, & meme l'ambassadeur d'Espagne asseure, que Blake est arrivé a Majorque, & qu'il s'est joint avec la flotte de son maistre, sans neantmoins dire que ce soit pour combattre ensemble. Il public aussy que Mr. de Guise a receu quelque eschec.
21 Decemb. 1654. [N. S.]
The lord deputy and council of Ireland to the protector.
May it please your grace,
Wee have received a petition for Sir Brice Cockeran, with your highnes recomendation thereupon, that wee should give order to the commissioner for accompts to state the petitioner's accompts for service in Ireland. In obedience whereunto wee have referred the said petition and recomendation to those commissioners, forthwith to proceed to state the petitioner's arreares according to the rules and instructions given them, or in case of obstruction, to certify the same to us; who have returned, that by the proviso in the act of parliament of 25 Aug. 1652, all such as have revolted from the parliament, and returned to the enemyes thereof (which Sir Brice Cockeran confesseth to have done at Muscleborough) are judged uncapable of arreares. Upon consideracion whereof, and that your highnesse's order in this case is not positive, wee have thought it our duety humbly to represent to your highnes, that the stating this arrear by us may be a president to others, which wee are not willing to doe without your highnes command; and therefore humbly desire to know what marke of favour your highnesse intends him, that wee may accordingly proceed to his satisfaction, being ready to observe your highnesse's orders, as becometh
Dublin 11 December 1654.
Your highnes most faithfull humble servants,
Secretary Thurloe to lord Rivers.
In the possession on of the right honourable Philip lord Hardwicke, lord high chancellor of Great–Britain.
Sir John Litcott about 16 or 17 yeares since did lend unto your father 500 1. upon his owne and the bond of two other persons therein named. Sir John soone after died, and left his lady his executrix, who haveinge often desired payment of the money, but receiveinge neither principal or interest, shee put the bond in suite, and had judgment of 1000 1. against my lord your father; but in respect of the constant promises he made of speedy payment, my lady never tooke execution upon that judgment; soe that it remeynes a debt yet. And although shee did exhibit her petition to the judges of Salters–hall before the death of your lordship's father, and hath since beene encouraged to make her addresse to the parliament for to be releived in a busines, wherein shee is soe great a sufferer, and whereof the supreame power hath beene pleased already to take notice, and to interpose therein; yet before she would do any thinge of that nature, or ought else that might have trouble in it to your lordship, not being willinge to engage herself in the inquirye into the settlement of her estate, nor make use of any other meanes, which she may have good opportunity for at this tyme; we thought ourselves obliged to give unto you this account of this busines, haveinge confidence, that your lordship will, as this case is, give speedy order for the payment of the money, which is due upon that bond and judgment aforesayd; the want whereof hitherto hath put my lady to many inconveniencys. And this I doe earnestly desire from your lordship, whereby you will doe what is just and honourable in itself, and lay a very great obligation upon me, which I shall be ready upon all occasions to acknowledge, as becometh
21 December 1654.
Your lordship's most humble servant.
A letter of intelligence.
Cologne, 22 December 1654. [N. S.]
Your's by this post I received, by which it is clear to me, that all is quiet in England, and no considerable party with R. C. in Scotland; but here are many, that will not believe it, but swear the contrary, and produce (I suppose) letters of their own making for it. But I presume, R. C. and some near him know all you write to be true, though they will not make shew of it. But by another instrument I spread amongst the natives of this country the truth and credit given to it, to the great discontentment of the cavaliers. For my part, now I come not near them; neither dare I, for the reasons I writ to you formerly; but I have a friend, who is near them, and one of them, who tells me what he knows. After this post you may receive one letter more from me, or two at most; by which time I hope you will remind me, and send a little money to bring me to Flanders, from whence I came.
Of news here is nothing almost at present. R. C. goes a hunting every day, the weather being favourable. He was yesterday with a few in company from morning till three of the clock in the afternoon a hunting, and went about twelve English miles; but killed one hare all the time.
Since my last Wilmot received 2000 guilders more from the Elector of Saxony, so that they spend as fast as they can get, but reserve what France allows them.
The duke of Gloucester and Ormond are daily expected here, and an account of Ormond's other negotiations in Paris, besides that of Gloucester, as I writ before.
Taase and Hyde do visit the Nuncio here very often. Yesterday the said Hyde desired earnestly the Nuncio his title, which was brought to him by Mr. Reynolds; by the next I shall endeavour to learn what their design is, and give you an exact account of it. When R. C. last week received letters from Paris of the defeat given to the duke of Guise in Naples; it were better (said he) for Mazarine to give me that army, when of him I desire them, and undertook to do more service with them in England than Guise should in Italy for the crown of France. But (said he) God grant Mazarin shall be as good as his word in what else he promised. Hæc ille. You may perceive by this truth in my former letters, and that succours are promised against the next season, as Ormond will bring account of. I assure you, movent omnem lapidem ad habendam tantam pecuniarum summam, quant am sperant sufficere ad emendas naves pro transportatione considerabilis exercitus into England or Scotland this next season; of which there will be at least 5000 Irish besides Germans, Lorainers, and French; and R. C. will be at the head of them. I can confirm to you, that this is their design, principally since that the divisions and risings they expected in England fail. Of the great design of Ormond nothing is lately said, for the reasons you had in my former letters. The emperor is making up an army de novo; so are all the princes of Germany: all the world is made up of an opinion, that next summer will be a hot one in Germany; for all these armies must not be idle; but what their work shall be, I believe they know not yet firmly themselves, but all in fear one of another, and some fear of the Swedes. Others think, but not with grounds that I can see, that the queen Christina of Sweden has some projects, whose execution will appear in this sphere. I know no more of it at present, nor else, but that I am always,
A letter of intelligence from the Hague.
[Contains ciphered text - see page images] Par ma derniere aures eu et veu une proposition, comment fust sursise & suspendue la commission du fieur Beverning, pour la charge de tresorier general. Lendemain par pluralité des voix cest affaire fust conclue en la façon cy jointe, No. I.
Et ces royalists n'en demeureront, point la; s'ils peuvent; ains meme passeront outre a faire revoquer aussy le sieur Nieuport, & obliger les 3 ambassadeurs ensemble a rendre raison de I'acte de seclusion. Mais la Hollande a prins fort serieusement a procedure: comme si les royalists vouloient jetter une secunde fois l'estat en guerre contre l'Angleterre; chose de quoy Zeelande meme aussy est fort abhorrent & timide.
Et cette semaine presidera un autre province. Et j'entens que la Hollande a resolu, encore avant sa seperation de declarer que le sieur Beverning ne soit pas tenu de rendre raison de seclusion: ains que la province de Hollande entrevient pour luy & defendra l'affaire pour luy: & si royalists veulent opiniastrer, je voy que la Hollande se cabrera aussy, & se verra une disordre aussy aspre que jamais. Mais je croy que royalists lascheront le pied; & que Grave William mesme ne voudra pas qu'on mette l'estat en combustion.
Ayant escrit cecy, la resumption s'est fait; la susdite conclusion a esté plus confirmée par l'adveu de ceux de Geldre & de Zelande. Utrecht seule (le sieur Vander Hoolck estant seul present) a declarée simplement, de n'estre pas instruite sur cette conclusion.
Si les sieurs de Renswoude & d'Amerongen eussent esté presents, tout l'Utrecht auroit esté avec les autres. Bref la Hollande unique a maintenu le sieur Beverning; ou bien a dite, que leurs principaux deliberoient; & aujourd'huy feroient annoter une protestation a l'encontre.
Le sieur Beverning, quoy qu'estant a la Haye, n'a'pas este present a l'assemblée. Si qu'il se trouve fort reculé en ses desseings: croyant avoir la charge de grand tresorier une riche femme ensemble; & l'on asseure que la maitresse ne le veut pas avoir sans la dite charge. Cependant le sieur Beverning, quant a la chose meme (la seclusion) est asses asseuré; car la Hollande a promis l'indemner, & entrevenir pour luy.
Et il declare ne se soucier pas de la dite charge, & un grand homme (un the well affected of Holland) dit, il fera plus de mal a prince of Orange, demeurant a Goude, que s'il estoit tresorier.
Cependant si les provinces tiennent ce pied, elles feront aussy rappeller le sieur Nieupoort, en permettant toutesois, qu'un autre ambassadeur ordinaire aille.
Veritablement le sieur Beverning a un peu precipité son affaire, car s'il eust prins l'occasion de venir dans le presidentiat de Hollande, ou de Zelande, res fuisset in salvo, mais, kinderen die minnen hebben geen sinnen. Et ceux de Zealand auroicnt voluntiers favorisé le sieur Beverning, mais metu Judæorum (populi Zelandici) n'ont ofé.
Le prince Maurice est venu: il sera aujourd'huy oui par des commissaires.
22 Decembre, 1654. [N. S.]
Vostre tres humble serviteur.
Mr. John Aldworth to secretary Thurloe.
V. xxi. p. 218.
My last unto you was of the 15th currant, and now I have received yours of the 20th of November, observing thereby the commands you are pleased to honnor mee with; which shal be punctually observed on all occasions, as oportunity shall present. In my last I gave you notice, that the duke of Guize with his army was arrived at Thollon on the islands of Iris, which since proves contrary, it being only two men of warr of the fleete, that was not able to follow, so is returned with about 1200 soldiers in them, being in greate want of provisions. Thear is noe certainty wheare the fleete and army is at present; its certaine they was att Castle de mar, but forced aboard againe with the loss of the liftenant generall and 15 or 20 other commanders. A barque that arrived here 3 dayes past brings advice, that hee mett severall of generall Blake's ships about the islands of Mayorke: heard advise also, that Monsieur de Nacha'le is gott into Lisbone, with his squadron consisting of seven men of warr, and 3 ships of bagadge; and will not adventure into the Streights, by reason of generall Blake: hear is a report, that the king of Portugall will send him 8 off his best ships to assist him, butt of that thear is noe certainty. I am joyfull to understand our 3 nations is in quietnes. The Lord of his mercy continew it. So crave leave, and remayne,
Your honnor's most humble servant,
Hear is an ambassadour from the king off France, that is imbarking on a Genoa gally, who is goeing for Rome, Hee may part in a day or two.
In Marsellia, 22/42th December 1654.
A letter of intelligence
Vienna, 23 December 1654. [N. S.]
Your's I received by this post, which represents you constantly receive mine, as I do yours; also that R. C. his affairs are come to nothing in Scotland, and are all quiet in England, all which I shall present in this court, be assured of it, tho' I am sure I shall find contrary letters from cavaliers, and such like. I can assure you here is nothing at present of R. C. or his affairs, only some deputies from him to receive the 100,000 dollars, which the emperor promised; and that is not payed nor likely to be in haste, which is all of that.
This court is very curious to know, how the French treaty with the protector proceeds; and whither your great sea and land armies are bound. I answered to some they were secrets; yet could not long be so; and therefore patientia.
The archduke Ignatius Leopold hath been very sick of a fever these days past, but at present he is past the worst, and without any fever or ague.
The embassador of Venice (of whom in my last but this) is near to return into Italy, having his leave of the emperor, and none can yet penetrate his business, if it be not the emperor, his secretary, and a few of the council.
His imperial majesty named an embassador to be sent to the grand duke of Muscovy, touching the wars betwixt him and the king of Poland.
Here is another embassador from the grand master of Malta, to condole in his master's name with the emperor for the death of the king of the Romans.
There are great preparations making in Hungary for the coronation of the archduke Leopold Ignatius, as you had before; which is all at this time from,
Sir, your's, &c.
A paper of Nieuport, the Dutch embassador in England.
The lords the states general of the united provinces having perused the treaties of his highness the lord protector of the commonwealth of England, Scotland, and Ireland, &c. with the queen of Sweden, the kings of Portugal and Denmark respectively, the first being dated the 11th of April, the second the 10th of July, and the third the 15th of September last past, have observed, that his most serene highness hath not stipulated therein, that the united provinces, if they pleased, should be comprehended in the same treaties; nor that any general clause is therein inserted, for as much as they can perceive, whereby his highness hath reserved the same, which according to the express words and true meaning of the 15th article of the last treaty of peace, union, and consederacy, is agreed, and was fit to be performed accordingly. And therefore the subscribed embassador extraordinary of the said united provinces is by special order of his superiors commanded to represent the same to his most serene highness, to the end the said lords the states general may know the true and real intention of his most serene highness concerning the contents of the said article; and may so much the better regulate themselves accordingly. And more especially to beseech and urge, that it may please his most renowned highness to give such order, that in the treaties, which his highness hereafter shall conclude, as well with the crown of France as other kings, commonwealths, princes, or potentates, better care and confideration may be taken to perform and accomplish effectually the beforementioned 15th article.
The subscribed embassador hath received also a special resolution and order of his superiors, that although by the award of the commissioners of both sides authorised to the determination of the pretences and demands expressed in the 30th article; the East India company in the said united provinces is to pay a very considerable sum of money to the East India company and others of the people inhabitants of England, and that none of their subjects are to receive any satisfaction by the said award; yet to shew their readiness to avoid all complaints for the future, he is authorised to assure his most serene highness, that the said lords states general make no difficulty to pass and exhibit the like declaratory act, as is desired from his most serene highness, a draught whereof he most instantly beseecheth, that may be agreed in conference with such commissioners, as his highness shall be pleased to nominate; considering that the first payment being forty two thousand five hundred pounds, is to be made before the last of January next; and before the said month another sum of three thousand six hundred and fifteen pounds is also to be paid in London. This 14/24th of December 1654.
A letter of intelligence.
Hague, 25 December 1654, [N. S.]
News of any publick concernment I have not this week. Our embassador at London continues writing the parliament's proceedings and of some other particular business by every post, but nothing worth the returning to you.
The great divisions concerning the prince of Orange are far more silent than they have been. All that this week produceth considerable is, that those of the province of Holland press hard to have the grant of Mr. Beverning for treasurer signed; which was not only mainly opposed by the rest, but totally denied; whereupon those of Holland may protest. Your friend is now almost well, and within two posts he may better please you, and ease,
Sir, your's, &c.
Vienna, 25th November, 1654. [N. S.]
I had nothing from you this post, and I have little to give. The emperor is to raise an army of 15000 and all the princes armed. I cannot yet informe myself to satisfaction what the matter is, but by the next I shall give you more of it. All the ambassadors, Polish, Muscovite, and Turkish, are gone. The business of the Venetian ambassador is not yet known hither. The emperor will give 5000 horse to the assistance of Poland, in case a peace may not be. P. Rupert is now I believe at Heidelberg, and went from hence well satisfied. Of R. C. or his business here is not a word considerable since my former. Nor have I more to add at present, but that I am constantly,
A letter of intelligence from the Hague.
Les sieurs Beuningen & Bootsma sont revenu de Staden, & ont fait rapport hier, livrant le traité ou accord fait entre la Sweeden & Breemen, dont la substance est, que Breemen prestera le meme hommage a la Sweede, qu'autrefois elle a presté a l'evesque; qu'elle donne au roy l'Ampt Bederkes aveq 8 villages & la villette Lee : de Bourgh, qui est la Clef (comme l'on dit) de Bremen, ne se parle point: cepedant les Swedois sont en possession; & gaudeant possidentes. L'immedieté demeure disputable. Mais quelle immedieté, quand l'on preste hommage ? Bref, la bonne ville a 'eu un bonheur Flammand, comme I'on dit (een Vlaems geluck) elle c'est rompue une jambe heureuse, de n'avoir pas rompu le col.
La ville ne c'est pas tant souciee de Lee ny de Bederkes (quoy que pieces d'importance) comme du Bourch, pour abandonner lequel, ny le magistrat ny les bourgois ne vouloient point entendre: mais le sieur Beuningen, leur dit, si vous ne voules pas glisser cela, nous nous en allons, & tascher de le maintenir ou recouvrer, comme pauvres. Alors, que feroit la bonne ville? Ainsy Bourgh demeure es mains de Swedois; car quand un puissant possede, cela luy sert de droit. Au retour ils ont visité le conte d'Oldenborch, pour tant mieux autoriser ou flatter celuy, qui a commencé de ruiner la pauvre ville, comme maintenant ou l'acheve. Neantmoins le sieur Beuningen a rapporté, que tant la ville que les Swedois se sont bien contenté de l'accord.
La bonne ville s'est fort ensoncée en debtes, ne sachant pas comment contenter sa propre militie; & oultre cela encore a promise de donner douze mille ryx dollers aux Swedois. La Ville a escrit, & le sieur Beuningen l'a recommendé pour avoir ces 12,000 ryx dollers d'emprunt & a interest sur le credit des estats generaux, ou de la Hollande; ou d'Amsterdam; mais chacun rejicit in socium; miser eris semper, si miser es, Æmiliane. Mais il faut esperer, que non, & qu'en fin le renard se trouvera chez le pelletier. Le traité est en haut Allemand, & grand; & je ne say si cette fois je pouvray l'envoyer. Le hommage s'est fait mecredy 16 Decembris, apres lequel un festin reciproque d'entre les legat plenipotentiaires Rosenhaen & Koningsmarck d'un, & le magistrat & aldermans de l'autre coste, est passé; & cela fait, les Swedois sont retournes a Stade. Je ne voy nul meilleur remede a l'avenir pour la bonne ville, si non de accommoder le mieux qu'ils peuvent avecq les Swedois, & ne se plus fier ny aux decrets de l'empereur, ny aux confederations d'autres.
Le prince Maurice est encore icy; & quoique par le sieur president il aye fait dire, que les affaires estoient un peu changées, & le peril, qu'il vouloit advertir, diminué; que neantmoins il viendroit en conference.
Mess. de Hollande ne pouvant pas changer la resolution du 19me prinse contre le sieur Beverning, ont fait annoter ce qui va cy joint. Et l'on dit, que les autres provinces feront contrenotuler quelque chose contre la dite annotation.
En Frise est maintenant commendé de prier dans toute les eglises pour le prince d'Orange, ce qui ne s'est jamais faict. On y bien tousjours prie pour le stadtholder, mais jamais pour le prince d'Orange. L'on croit que le prince Guiliaume a procuré cela pour aneantir le bruit, que ses malveuillants font courrir; qu'il ne travaille que pour soy, & qu'il ne se sert du prince d'Orange que de pretexte; & qu'en effect, il le supprime. En laquelle opinion on dit, que sont la princesse royale, le sieur de Beverweert, & semblables.
Le prince Maurice a esté en conference avec des commissaires dans une chambre de retraite des estats generaux; le sieur Verbolt, comme premier en commission, estoit assis au bout de la table du coste droit, le dit prince au coste gauche : le dit prince dit, que S. A. electorale faisoit des levees; s'estoit liguée aveq des princes ses voisins, Brunswigh, Hessen, par jalousie des Swedois, mais qu'a present cela cessoit. Le reste n'estoit que compliment.
15/25 Decembris, 1654.
General Fleetwood to secretary Thurloe.
I Doe very much wonder to receive the good newes from Scotland, which you sent, and yet a positive command from his highnes to send presently a regiment of horse to Scotland, which at this time of yeare is very difficult; but it shall be obeyed. Shipps must be pressed from Chester side to Knockfergus. Indeade I think it somewhat strange, I showld no more understand in any thing more then what is communicable to every one. I suppose ther may in thes dayes be more privat resolves, which out of curiosity I should not much care for, but so long as providence continues me in this condicion, I thinke it might be for his highnes service, I should know more then I doe. I thankfully acknowledg your correspondencyes. I have in a short confused maner sent you a carecter, till either mine or your leasure will afford better. The army heare is still through mercy in a very good condicion, and firme to my lord protector. Ther are some, who relate to Ireland (not of the souldiers) who doe ill offices in England, and heare, for us; which, if not timly observed and prevented, will prove unhappy. Their persons, conditions and practices, when I understand of your receiving the inclosed, may be more freely imparted to you then now I am free unto. It is not every one, who pretends faithfullnes, will prove so, but the Lord, I trust, will ever keep his highnes heart to the interest of good men; and if hee keepes stanch to his principles in the last speech to the parliament about religion, I feare not. I know his tryalls, difficultyes, and temptations are many; but the Lord, who is able, will save and deliver. Comiss. gen. Reynolds will acquaint you with our affayres, and therfor excuse the trouble of no more at present from your
December 15, 1654.
Most affectionate servant.
The carector will be by the next sent you. I intreat you will see mine to his highnes. I hope notwithstanding the endeavours of one or more, the Lord will keep this army in union and faithfullnes to his highnes; but I may write agayn and agayn, and can never get any answer to my discourse. I hope within ten dayes 3 or 400 horse will be shipped for Scotland; you must send shipps for 200, from the English shore.
Mr.P. Roch to colonel Mackworth.
Ipswich in Suffolk, December 15th 1654.
Maye it please your honour to remember, that I did inform you of 23 popish preests that are in these parts: Mr. Gilbert informed mee, that it was your plesure to have mee write to you, if I could finde any, that could prove them preests; which causeth this bouldnes in mee to truble your honor with these lines. I have spoken with the man, that did informe mee of most of them; and hee will take his oath, that he hath seen 5 or 6 of them execute theire preestly office, and wil finde others, that shall proove the same against those and others of them; and hee wil bring mee to the placees wheare they and theire church–stuff are kept, and also shew mee the person that they imploye as a post to carry letters amongst the papists : this man hath a relation to a greate papist in this cuntry, whereby hee hath gotten this knoledg; and if your honor may think it may be for the glory of God and this good of the commonwealth, I shall use my best skill to gett them apprehended. If you plese to let mee have a warrant, and pouer to call to my assistance officers millitary and siveill to search for them, at Christmas will bee the best time to looke for them; for then they will be imployed at gentlemen's houses; or if your honor shall think fit to imploye any man else in this business that maye bee more fit for it, I shall give him all the lite I can; for I conseave that man, which undertakes it, shall never be out of danger of his life; yet I shall willingly put that in my hand, if I am called to it. I know where they have som long peeces and pistalls, and muskettes, and soards, and rapiors; and when any papists in this cuntry ride, they be very well armed : and here be very many in Norfolk, Suffolk, Essex, Lincolnshire, and Cambridgshire hath sum. I cold give your honor a farther account of som of them; but I feare I am to tediose; wherefore I beg pardon for this bouldnes, and shall waite for your honor's commands, at Mr. Robert Hall his house in Ipswich, where I shall indevor to shew my thankfullnes for the many favours I have receved from your honour, by my faithfullnes in whot you plese to command mee.
Your honor's faithfull sarvant,
To the right honorable collonell Mackforth, at his lodging in the Green Mewse neare Chairing–Crosse London, humbly these present.
From the resident Heinsius in Sweden.
Your Lordship will have observed by my last, as I hope, that the commission of their high mightinesses, to take upon me provisionally the character of resident of the united Netherland, is well come to hand. Yesterday I had for the first time an audience of the king, and have been very well received; they made some objections to the superscription of the credentials, because after the words Cassubiæ & Wandaliæ, there was left out, Rugiæ, Ingriæ & Wismaniæ domino, as it is in all the letters generally directed by their high mightinesses to the crown of Sweden; and although I made the excuse, that it happened only because there was not space enough on the letter to contain all his majesty's titles, yet they answerd civilly, that it would be acceptable to his majesty, if the omission of those three lordships were avoided for the future, the rather, since in the reign of queen Christina, the due titles were not exactly observed at this court here, whereby cause was given, that some foreign princes, disaffected to this crown, have endeavoured to make their advantage of it. I think it necessary to mention this to your lordship, in order to prevent for the future all disputes.
After the death of the lord chancellour of this kingdom, the lord admiral Ruymmigh happened to die not long ago, so that his majesty, within a few months of his reign has lost two of his eldest senators, which had served both of them king Gustavus in that character: they were lords of great merit and experience. To morrow or the day after I will pay my respects to the queen, and afterwards make my compliment to the chief senators,
Stockholm, December 26/16, 1654.
My lord, &c.
Mr. W. Prideaux to secretary Thurloe.
From Archangel the 16th September under cover to the Russia company I writt your honor by two of our shipps, that sett fail from thence the 19th (tho' the shipp of their company before set sail with them) and I hope e'r this time will be well arrived to their intended port of London, and my said letters (with my former written by other companies) come safe to your honor's hand. On the boat provided me by the Vyvode of Archangell I departed thense the 20th September on the river Duina, accompanyed with a prestave (so is termed a scrivanor officer of the imperiall office, given me by the governor to have charge of my conduction) six souldiers of my guard, and thirty men to draw my boáte, so that the 6th we arrived at a village called Osinskyiam distant from Archangell 220 verze, where we were forced to stay 4 days, through the occasion that ten of the emperour's boats laden with his goods and treasure were gone a little before us, and had taken up all the men of that place to draw them, so that there was none for us, till we could procure them from other villages adjacent.
We departed Osinskyiam the 10th of October, and arrived to the city Ostega the 18th ditto (380 verze distant from the former plain) which is of good bigness, full of inhabitants, and commanded by a nobleman. Twenty verze before we come to that city is the confluence of the two rivers Duina and Zeukna, that coming down from the kingdom of Seberia, lying towards the North East, and this having his course from towards the South. From Ostega upwards there is no more sailing for boats, but are altogether drawn by men to the city of Volegda. Both those rivers are noble, very commodious for traffick, and have plenty of very good fish.
At Ostega we only stayed to change our men, and then departed thense. The 23d of October we arrived at the city Totma, distant from Ostega 250 verze; from thence to Volegda the river is called the upper Zeukna, whose stream is not so rapid as lower down, but a fine river it is, abounding with several species of very good fish, and very commodious to navigate.
The 26th of October we came to a pretty big village called Sheusca (150 verze from Totma) where we understood that the pestilent sickness was very hott in the city Volegda, (the like report we had from severall boats coming down the river that we encountered) which caused me to stay at Sheusca, and send my prestave to the Vyvode of Volegda, accompanyed with my letters to some English merchants in that city, to be truly informed of the state of the sickness there. My prestave returned the 29th ditto, and brought me advertisement, that the plague was not so much there as the bruit went, and therefore was wished to come forward, which I did forthwithall; but not having gone passing 25 verze to a village called Narima, the weather was so cold, and the river so hard frozen, that it was impossible to proceed farther by boat, so that we stayed there till the 6th currant, that we had provided ourselves with horses and sleds, and then departed from that village, and came hither the morning following 65 verze from thence.
On the return of my prestave from thence to Sheusca, he brought me word from this Vyvode, that according to the emperour's order he would provide me a house to be ready at my here arrival; but I have thanked him for it, and have accepted of rooms in an English merchant's house, deeming it better to be with our nation in this time of sickness, than in a Russe habitation. The governor presently after my here arrivall sent a scribe of the imperiall office (as is the custom) to welcome me, and to tell me, that the Vyvoude had order from the emperor to use me with all the respect and civility, and to give me the like allowance as I had from the governour of Archangell, and withall sent me a small present of victuals, and Russe wine.
The day after my coming to this city this Vyvode sent unto me the prime scribe of the office, to shew me a letter he had then receved from the prince, wherein his imperial highness ordereth him, that if I were not arrived here on receipt of the letter, that then he should dispeed an agent unto me to stay me, where he should find me, to lodge me conveniently in some village fre of the sickness, and not want any thing, and not to come forward till further order; but if I were arrived, then I should stay here till his majesty's further pleasure; in the interim to be used with all respect. The governour in answer to that letter and by others written after that, hath given notice to the emperour and prince of my being here; so that now I am here to stay his majesty's answer.
The last letters the Vyvode received from the emperour were written from the city of Vatma, which is 700 verze from hence, and 180 from Moscow, in the way to Smolensko, where his majesty intendeth to abide some time, and where the imperatrisse and prince are gone.
What is above was written the 20th of November, which I had made ready to have sent to the new Slebey (so is called a suburb of the city Moscow, where all strangers live) to have been sent from thence to Riga by the first conveyance, that should have presented, but the party, to whom I intended to send it unto at the Slebey, came hither some days past; so have kept it till present, that he returned thither, and now I delivered it him to send it forward by first occasion, that shall be presented him after his there arrivall.
As for the progress the emperour has made in his warrs against the king of Poland, there is nothing of truth to be had from the Russes. What I have learnt that is of the most certitude, is by some military officers strangers, that have past by this city, and gone down the river about 300 verze from thence, where they are to winter and make recruits for the future campania, who have certified me, that in September last the emperour commanded the scaling of the walls of Smolensco, which was accordingly attempted, but by the defendants repulsed with the loss of about 8000 of his majesty's men. After which of two governors that commanded in the citty, the one a German, and the other a Pole, this (whether out of cowardice or infidelity, 'tis not certainly known but contrary to the other's will,) demanded to capitulate, and upon conditions agreed on the end of that month yeilded up the city to the emperour, in which defence there was 5000 soldiers, whereof only 800 marched away, and that these have taken his majesty's pay to serve him, and to which is given (as is to the rest of the common soldiers of that garrison) the name of Cossacks, as esteemed of more credit then that of Strelsy, the name of the emperour's ordinary militia.
There was lost in that city, when yeilded up, ammunition and provision of victuals for a 12 month, had there been 10000 men for its defence. The emperour hath now in that city 4 governors (with a strong and numerous garrison) whereof the 3d in order is a Scotchman, one Lesly, that served king Charles in the warrs of England. His imperial majesty hath also taken and brought under his subjection about 30 other citys and places of some consequence, and in some of them the Poles made good resistance before their yeilding upon composition; but the Russes, contrary to what was capitulated, did execute on men, women, and children, the most barbarous and inhuman crueltys as can be imagined, not only against those, that were living, but also on such as had been newly buryed, in taking the bodys out of their graves, and cutt them to peices.
The country, cittyes, and places the emperour hath taken, are all in White Russia, and belonged to the duke Reginel, the cheifest Palatin and nobleman in Poland, who was with a body of an army of 8000 within 30 verze of Smolensko, and going to its succour; who having past over a narrow passage, where only four men could stand afront, and set his men in battle in a plain before the strait, very unadvisedly lett one of the emperour's generals, named Kneaz Jocene Coodonetinich Chercasey, with an army of 40000 men to pass over that strait passage, without any opposition (as Reginel might easily have done) and being passed, set on his enemy's small number, and defeated him altogether, that only Reginel and some few of his escaped by flight.
At the time, that the emperor hath been in his martial progress against Reginell, the king of Poland with his army hath been towards the Black Sea, in opposing the designs of the Cossack generall, that's revolted from him; but we learn not of any thing acted betwixt them. 'Tis reported there is no good intelligence betwixt that king and Reginel, and said that to be the cause, that that majesty hath neglected to give him succour against the Russe.
The emperour may have lost in the past campania incirca 50000 men, the greatest part of them by sickness, and for the most of those that were wounded in fight died for want of dressing, for that there was only 4 chirurgions in all the emperor's armys.
Before the onset at Smolensko his majesty called those officers strangers, that were in his camp, before him, to whom he made large promises of great rewards, if they did carry themselves with courage and valour; telling them, that he hath farr greater treasure then ever had any of his predecessors, and that they should not doubt of effecting his promises. But hitherto the effects of these large assurances hath been no other than excuses his majesty hath made them, that he had not treasure in the camp, neither could he have any from Muscow without great danger and damage, by reason of the pestilence so much in that city; and therefore had such dollers as his treasurers had with them to be cut in four quarters, and on each of them stamped his mark, and each quarter to pass for half a doller. This dealing with the strangers, and little appearance to be restored of the loss they sustain by the money received, added to their small pay, makes them to be discontented, and would depart the country, if they could tell how; but of that also they have little or no hope at all, for the difficultyes that are to get out of it.
The plague entered the city of Moscow assoon as the emperour was gone forth of it to the warrs, of which there hath dyed and been buryed by register taken upward of 200000, besides some thousands of bodies, that have had no other sepulchres than the bowells of dogs and hogs, that have eaten them, as well in the houses, as in the streets. This sickness hath passed (and is yet) in most places of this tract of the country for about 2000 miles in diameter, and now 'tis reported, that the kingdoms of Cazan and Astracan are also infected, and the mortality to be very great. Of those that dye the major part are men and children. This city hath had less affliction by the sickness than any other in a great circuit thereabouts, here not having dyed past a thousand persons, and the most part of them poor people.
The emperour, emperatrisse, and prince are still at Vasma, where of late dyed Nokeeta Jeanouich Romansue, his majestie's uncle, a prince that was very much beloved of the nobility and people, and by them exceedingly regretted, but is not by Boiris Jeanouich Moreouse, nor by Elia Daneleuich Mileslauscey, the emperour's brother–in–law and father in–law, who Nekea could never away with for their mean birth and corrupt lives, seeking nothing but their own interest to the publick damage. The plague is in Vasma, notwithstanding we learnt nothing of the emperour's removal from thence.
I am informed, that there is arrived at Vasma two posts, the one from the king of Sweden, the other from the elector Brandenburg, both of them with letters to the emperour, to make way for two embassadors from those two princes. It should seem, that the truce made three years past betwixt this emperour and the then queen of Sweden is near, if not altogether, at an end, which then to obtain this majesty gave her 300000 (fn. 1) rebles in money; and 'tis thought the present king will not have less to renew it. It is also reported, that his majesty's ambassador comes to treat about the differences that are betwixt this emperour and the king of Poland. Brandenbourgh sends for same purpose, and said it is, that he hath in his letter intimated to his imperial majesty, that if he come not to adjustment with Poland upon equitable conditions, he can do no less than declare warr against the emperour; for that Brandenbourgh is a vassall to the Pole, as having many places and lands in that kingdom and dominions. It is also reported, that Sweden sends an ambassador to the king of Poland.
For many years past there hath been a mutuall good intelligence betwixt this emperour and the Persian king, that upon occasions embassadors past betwixt them, and a great commerce there was exercised by their subjects reciprocally to each of their princes dominions. But about 4 years past the Persian merchants were much abused and damnisyed in their traffick by the emperour's ministers and merchants at Moscow, without any redress they could have there. So that in their just complaints to their king at their return into Persia, that majesty imprisoned all the Russe merchants that were in his countrey, and sequestred their estates, of which this emperour having notice, and not knowing how to right himself (for he hath great interest in the goods his merchants carry into Persia) and his subjects, but by sending an ambassador to the sophy, which was done upwards of 2 years past, and where the ambassador hath adjusted all matters to the Persians satisfaction. And now the emperour's subjects are returned with commodities to a great value, and within a month or two his ambassadour may also arrive, the Russe merchants, that are returned reporting, that the next year will be at Moscow an ambassadour from the king of Persia.
Upon the emperour's going forth of Muscovy to the warrs, a strait order was given to all governours and commanders of places on the confines of these dominions, to let no persons come in, nor none to go forth of this country, to prevent all intelligence, that might be given of the proceedings and state of affairs in those parts, and thro' which occasion no letters have come to these Dutch merchants these 5 or 6 months; whereas usually they have letters from Amsterdam and Hambourgh twice a month.
At this instant is news come from Moscow, that no more dye there of the sickness of those, that have been in the city from the beginning thereof; but most of those persons, that come there from other places, dye very suddenly. There is no good order used for the cleansing of that city; notwithstanding 'tis now reported, that the emperour will be there at Christmas, and intends for devotion to go thither from Vasma a great part of the way asoote.
I cannot write any thing of my owne particular, when I shall be sent for by the emperour.
This is what I know to occurr, that meritts your honour's knowledge: so doe humbly take leave, and remain,
In Vologda, this 16th December, 1654.
Your honour's most humble
and devoted servant,
A letter of intelligence.
Brussells, 26 December, 1654.
Your's of the 18th instant I received, and conveyed your's to Vienna and Cologne, as accustomed. So I send herein your friends letters there to you. It seems you have not much of news in England, only of your great fleet and land army to be sent you know not whither. They fear much at this court they are to invade the Spanish dominions in the West–Indies. Time will let us see.
The news here are full of the routing of duke de Guise in Naples, which I presume you have out of France sooner than from hence you may. The letters come to this court bring, that there is not one of the Guiseans left in Castlemare; and that of 25 ships of war, which that Duke had with him, there escaped drowning and taking but 14; and that of 6000 and odd men he had with him land soldiers, the one half is not living, or at least with him, the rest being drowned, slain, run away, or made prisoners, which is in short the substance of that unsuccessful expedition of duke de Guise.
But of the other side we have notice, that marshal Turenne is near Lance with an army of 12000; some fear to besiege that small garrison; others say, it is to relieve the garrison of Quesnoy, which is much streightned by the Spanish garrisons for want of provision. The next will bring something more to you of it. But we have yet another loss; for two regiments of the Lorainers are gone from us to the French, to serve that king.
We have good news again from Madrid by letters of the 29 Novemb, that all the differences betwixt his majesty and the republick of Genoa are agreed upon for certain with the Genoese ambassador plenipotentiary; and that the same week publication thereof was to be made.
The 23 instant the queen of Sweden made her solemn entry into Brussels; and the 24 the archduke dined with her, with other princes, in the quarter of the palace, of which I gave you notice in former letters. It is thought that queen has some great design in hand, as time will let us see. Some stick not to say, she will go to Paris, in order to a general peace.
The natives of this country are very desirous to pay the militia themselves; which the king's ministers will not consent to. It is much feared a revolt or troubles may ensue, as something in Antwerp already towards it, and may be worse in other places; which is all at present from,
General Monck to the protector.
May it please your highness,
Understanding that there is a letter sent lately to Middleton to doe his best to keep upp his forces, by reason that they had some designe to bee by some people in England uppon your highnesse's person, I conceive it my dutie humbly to acquaint your highness therewith. I shall shortly give your highness some further accompt of it, having already notice, that the leter was conveyed by one of the lord Kinowle's sisters to Middleton. And she being at London, your highness may doe well to take orders for causeing any leters that come directed to her, to be opened, and I shall do my best heere to discover that wicked design, and advertise your highness of what I finde.
The lord Napier, and Mac Naughton, with about 20 horse, are all the enemy stirring in the hethermost part of the highe–lands. Middleton is farr north, with only twentie foote, haveing noe horse. The lord Lorne is to meete his father the marques of Argyle, and probably will come in, if hee shall be admitted, wherein (hee being an excepted person) I humbly desire your highnesse's pleasure, as alsoe concerning what conditions shall bee granted him. I humbly take leave, and remaine
Dalkeith, 16 Decemb.1654.
Most humble servant,
The count de Bonneau to monsr. Datin.
Paris, 26 December, 1654. [N. S.]
I Have received none from you since the 17th of this month; but I have had a relation from Mr. de Gomon, commander general of Normandy, wherein were very considerable things. It doth seem that the protector is established to his mind, and that now he is hastening out his fleet for the expedition so long spoken of. I have received letters from Brest from Mr. de la Riviere, who writes me word, that six English frigates were come near their posts, and had set upon two French frigates that lay at the mouth of the port, who saved themselves by getting into it; which the said English frigates perceiving, they shot many great shots of 24lb. into the city; afterwards they went away, and came to an anchor some four leagues off the town, where they lye to surprize our ships.