State Papers, 1654: December (4 of 4)

Pages 46-63

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 (4 of 4)

General Monck to the protector.

V. xxi. p. 566.

May it please your highness,
This is humbly to acquaint your highness, how farr I have proceeded since the recept of your highnesses last leter. I have sent orders to secure coll. Overton. I have given orders to major Bramston of coll. Morgan's regiment, major Holmes of my owne regiment, and lieutenant Christopher Keamer of captain Simnell's troope in coll. Thomlinson's regiment, to repaire to your highness, being they are men, who are not so well affected to the government, as I could wish them.

And if there were any such designe, as your intelligence is of, I am sure coll. Overton could doe nothing in it without the assistance of the two majors before named: one of them, namely major Holmes, (when he was goeing) received the originall leter, of which the inclosed is a copy, and hee was soe honest as to send it to me, which I thought fit to make knowen to your highness. I keepe the originall leter to bee made use of against those, who subscribed it. I desire to knowe what to doe with those subscribers after being secured.

I humbly desire your highness to lett the three officers, who are ordered to come to your highness, knowe they were sent for by your Highnesse's order, for they knowe nothing to the contrary, but they were soe sent for. They being out of the way, your business is secure enough. For commissary generall Whalley's regiment, they are quartered soe farr in Caithness, and the waies are soe ill, that it is impossible for them all to come this winter; and if the commissary generall please to write to his major, hee will, I beleeve, let him know as much.

Major generall Lambert's two troopes, that were in the Highlands, are now passed towards Kelsoe, for England; and (as I writ in my last by the express) Sir William Constable's companys are not to bee expected at Hull these 14 daies, though they are uppon their marche, for the wether and wayes are very bad. When I have secured coll. Overton, I intend to putt something to the officers to signe, declaratory of their firmeness to the government. I desire to know what to doe with those, who refuse to signe it. There shal bee no care or diligence wanting heere, whereby I may express myself,

Dalkeith, 26 Decemb.1654.

Your highnesse's
most faithfull and
most humble servant,
George Monck.

Inclosed in the preceding. Col. Overton to general Monck.

V. xxi. p. 560.

Right honorable,
I Received this day a leter from Mr. Clarke, dated the 19th current; in the later end of which hee signifies, that hee cannot give me any accompt of the grounds of your sending for me hether; but receiving noe letter from your honour, I conceived, that either there was some mistake of Mr. Clarke's, or that your letter miscarryed. I thought good therefore to send away this with all expedition; that soe I might understand your honour's pleasure and commands, which (as soon as I receive them) shall speedily be put in execution by,

Aberdeen, 25 Decem. 1654.

Right honourable,
your honour's most assured
faithfull servant,
Robert Overton.

For the right honourable general Monk, at the head–quarters in Scotland.

An intercepted letter of col. Overton to a friend of his.

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

Dear Sir,
I Bless the Lord I do remember you and yours (by whom I am much remembred) so far as I am able in every thing. I know right well, you and others do it much more for me, and pray, dear Sir, do it still. Heave me up upon the wings of your prayers to him, who is a God hearing prayers and granting requests. Intreat him to enable me to stand to his truth, which I shall not do, if he deject or forsake me; which I know would not a little trouble you, and my many other christian friends. Yet when I remember the many past experiences I have had of the Almighty's mercys and constant kindnesses towards me, I have hopes he will not now leave and forsake me in my most needfull time of trouble: the devil, like a swallow, may shew himself a summer freind; but God is for winter storms of tryal; and then he most assuredly makes our utmost extremities his happiest and most helpfull opportunities. I have in the late warrs resisted the common enemy of my country (through the Almightie's mercy) to blood and frequent hazards of life; and since (blessed be his name) he hath carried me through reproaches, good and bad reports, loss of places, preferments, and rewards: but now perhaps the Lord will a little more shew his strength in my weakness, and try me with the temptation of skin for skin. If he do, I shall declare before hand, I shall fall, if he support me not by the right hand of his power; yet if he enable me truly to say, master save me, I am sure I shall not perish. He will, I trust, give patience and perseverance. I do endeavour to eye his glory, hoping that he will both quicken and quiet my spirit; and when men have spoiled me of all my martial places and profits, God can a thousand times repair the loss or those losses with the peace, which passeth all understanding. Or if I be called to seal the cause of God and my country with my blood, by suffering death, or by bearing any testimony to the interest of my nation and the despised truths of these times, he is able to support and save me, as the sun to shine upon me; yet all is to apply and believe, to have recourse to experiences; but above all to a reconciled God in Christ will do it. Oh that I could wrestle with him in prayer, as some Jacobs do at this day. And yet a father hears his infant's voice as tenderly as those of stronger attainments. The Lord inable us, that though we be led into temptations, we may be delivered from all evill. I suppose by this you hear Sir William Constable's regiment is marching for Hull; as also that I am sent for to London, col. Morgan coming down to command the northern forces. I wait for orders to march hence, and hear they are coming to me. God willing, they shall be readily obeyed. If I can but keep faith and a good conscience, I shall assuredly finish my course with joy. In the interim I trust I shall not need to fear what man can justly do unto me, for any thing I have done since my coming into Scotland. Therefore, my friend, in that respect let not your heart be troubled, but by your prayers commend me to his care and custody, who like a tender father leads his by the hand (as he did Israel) through all dark places, strengthening us in all our weaknesses. In the interim expect no more from me than I receive from my father, to whose care and eternal conservation I commend you, and remain

Aberdeen, December 26. 1654.

Your's, whilst I am,
Robert Overton.

A letter of intelligence.

Paris, January 6. 1655. [N. S.]

V. xxi. p. 478.

They still fear here a war with England, and do very much suspect the design of your fleets, which have caused them to guard their coasts, to the end they may be in a readiness to defend themselves, but especially those of Xaintonge and Guienne, whither they have sent some new troops; the governors thereof giving fresh alarms to draw more men and money to their assistance. This giveth a new pretence to the financiers to raise money, and to oppress the people. Every day doth produce some farther particular of the romance of the duke of Guise. The merchants, who sold him all the ribbans for the ladies of Naples, which being brought back again, they have been fain to take them again with some loss to the duke, who was no sooner arrived at Toulon, but he caused a ball to be danc'd, and he himself was masked, giving thereby to understand, that he is one of the men of the world the most insensible of misfortune; which he doth attribute particularly to the ill conduct of Mr. de Foleville, one of his officers, who drew the envy of the people upon him by his plundering of them at his first landing in Naples.

A letter of intelligence.

Paris, January 6. 1655. [N. S.]

V. xxi. p. 480.

Since my former no letters arrived from England, by which we much longed, if they came, to hear of your fleet, of what your parliament doth, and of our embassador's farther proceedings in his treaty; whereof I can say nothing since my former; but to confirm he is undone, if he cannot compass that peace, and Mazarin will give any thing to have it. I was lately where the pope's nuncio and the embassador of Venice met, and had conference a long time together; first of the great desires Mazarin had for peace with the protector; and next, what small hopes were at present of the general peace. One of the company said, he was credibly informed, that the general peace would suddenly be driven on by the means of the queen of Swedeland; but both the nuncio and Venice embassador answered, that if there were any thing towards a general peace, they should know of it, having often laboured much for it; and that by strict orders from their respective masters; but could not prevail, and that they were assured, when any thing more should be of it, they as mediators should know before others. And as I writ to you formerly, the answer the queen of Swedeland's cousin had from this court, after he had imparted the queen's desires, and shewed the king of Spain his commission for it, was, that her majesty should be with a great obligation admitted to mediate the peace with the other mediators, provided Condé should not be included, &c. of this I gave you so large account formerly, that I'll say no more of it.

Some troops are sent into Bretagne, to prevent the English landing, who are much feared, I assure you, and more will follow. What farther shall happen, I know not, but I do, that I am,

Sir, your's, &c.

A letter of intelligence from Paris.

6 January 1655. [N. S.]

V. xxi. p. 484.

The English post is not yet arrived here since my former, which we expect to hear what is become of your fleet or the land army a preparing there. Hence we have not much of consequence since my last to you; only of the 8000 men Guise brought with him out of France and other places to sea, he has not now 3000, all being lost and left sick in divers places; and those that arrived at Toulon are infected for the most part by a hot fever in a manner, that they must be transported to the isles of Hieres, for fear they should spoil the country.

The said duke did excuse himself for his misfortunes, and so did the commander Paul, that he could not assist the duke in time of need, being tossed up and down by the storms, and more that he was not payed. Likewise the grand master of Malta sent his excuse to the king, because he could not receive the army of Guise into his island, having made his treaty before with both the crowns, that he would not receive nor admit either of them. He writ lately to the Pope, desiring he should cause all christian princes to join together, and make a general peace, that afterwards they might be able to resist the Turks, which are now making great forces to come into the Mediterranean seas.

We are informed, that the English do continue their ordinary courses upon the coasts of Bretagne, and landed some at Breau in Bas Bretagne, which brought with them what they met withal.

The king 15 days ago commanded the treasurer of the parliament of Bretagne to pay the taxes and impositions, as well as in other places in the kingdom, but the said parliament gave an arrest against that, which caused now the king to interdict that parliament of the functions; but notwithstanding they do not obey, which caused orders to be given to the said troops to march into the country of Anjou, to force them to obey the orders of their king; that is the pretext; but the troops might have some other designs against the English, in case they would attempt to land in some place in France, either in Guienne or Bretagne.

The pope's nuncio here complained to the king of an article that was printed in the last Gazettee, that the pope continued always against France, being ill affected, having now received card. de Retz, being declared here criminal de leze majestie. However the lord nuncio was not satisfied to his desire; and it is thought his holiness will excommunicate the grand vicar of the cathedral church of Nostre–dame, for exercising the archbishop's functions by orders from the king, and not from the archbishop; which, if it comes, will cause a great deal of trouble; for the French sure will say, they will not obey the pope.

It is thought the duke of Orleans will in the end come to court, if his daughter will not hinder it. The duke of Amville parted for Blois to that purpose; which is all known at present to,

Sir, your most real servant.

Duke Guise will be here within 4 days. You have your's from Rome now by chance arrived yesterday night late.

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

Hague, the 8th of January 1655. [N. S.]

V. xxi. p. 516.

My lord,
We did blame the winds the last week, but they have not been so violent, nor always so contrary, to keep your post from coming. Every one doth make his conjecture at it; the most common opinion is, that the ports are shut during the departure of the fleet. In general I perceive, that all the merchants do fear, that there hath happened something, which doth obstruct your negotiation, and which may hinder their commerce. There are some persons that write to me out of France, that the duke of Guise was very happy in that he did not prosper in the kingdom of Naples, by reason that Blake joined with the Spaniards, and had orders to go and find out the fleet to fight them. Amongst the rest of the points, upon which the assembly of Holland is summoned against the 12th of this month, there is an article for the setting forth 36 ships of war, besides those that are ready in the states service; and another, which doth concern the interest of the lord Beverning, to whom the lords of Holland do believe, that the other provinces have done injury in not admitting of him to his charge of treasurer, which hath been given him, till such time that he and his collegues have satisfied the generality upon their negotiation at London.

Holland will have one pull more at it in his behalf; and certainly he is much afflicted; for this stop doth much obstruct the marriage, which was promised him, upon what was presupposed, that he should be treasurer general.

M. de Bye resident for the king of Poland hath orders to go for England; before he goeth, I will write to you what I shall learn of the subject of his voyage.

Just now the post arrived, and hath brought me two of your letters. I do not think my lord, that Cicero, as eloquent as he was, could change any expression so many ways as you have been forced to invent, to tell the court and your friends, that your negotiation is still in the same condition. I should be in the same trouble, if I should write of our renewing of alliance every week; but I do imitate these lords; they speak nothing to me of it, nor I to others.

They write from Brussels, that the queen of Sweden doth intend to pass this winter in that city. She hath sent for her goods from Antwerp (fn. 1). I am very much troubled, that princess doth declare herself so much affected to the Spaniard. She hath done it particularly in a letter, which she writes me in answer to a supplication I had made her, to give me leave to refute the false reports, which had been spread, that I had been at Antwerp to desire her, that she would mediate a peace for us with Spain. Her answer was very high and sharp. I did not think fit to reply, but to conceal it, and to dissemble, till such time that she shewed her letter at Brussells (as I was informed) then indeed I was obliged to return an answer . . . . . respect.

A Letter of intelligence from the Hague.

V. xxi. p. 524.

These festival days render us very barren of news. They have thought fit at last to write to the archduke concerning the plunder at Buydell by the men of the prince of Condé. Some were of opinion to use retortion; but Holland being desirous and interested to observe the peace, will not make such haste, declining (with Spain) all that may engage into a war; and those of Orange party on the contrary do advise and drive to no other end than to demonstrate, how requisite it is to have a captain general; and although that is done properly for the advancing of the prince of Orange, yet these things do greatly hinder him; first his age; secondly his debts, for the princesses his mother and grandmother, and the interests do so devour his revenue, that his debts do daily encrease; so that at present they have proposed to put down his table, and to board him with the princess royal. Item, they have resolved to take an account and inventory of all his debts and revenue, which is ordinarily of those inheritances that are insolvable. Item, they begin to speak of disputing the princess royal's dowry, giving thereby to understand, that the prince is to have his legitimate. In the mean time they have sold some of his estate, and more is yet to be sold. The mischief is, that the king of Spain doth not pay him; those of Amsterdam will likewise have their two millions back again. In short, say good Hollanders, what aid can we expect from one, that is so much in debt? It was seen, that the duke of Guise could raise money upon his estate, to do service to France: but if this state were in a war, it would require a head, who though he wanted wit, yet at least he should have money. But this young prince hath neither the one nor the other, which doth cause good Hollanders to laugh, in that at the Orange party. Sed acrior illos cura tenet; it is seen, that Orange party do busy themselves very much about the question of the judicature of the generality; namely, upon the occasion of this process, which doth concern Schop, to whom it doth belong to judge the two politicks, Schonenberg and Haex: the Orange party do all of them pretend, that the generality is to judge those, that are in the service, and under oath of the generality; either military or civil: but Holland doth perceive, that that would be a means to involve and engage the Lord Beverning and Nieuport in the judicature of the generality; which would prove their ruin. And these Orange party will not rest, till they have redressed or annulled the seclusion, either one way or other. The lord Beverning, seeing the fragility of his commission for the charge of treasurer general, doth all that he can to be of the council.

That business contained in the resolution of the 19th December, is the chiefest point, upon which the assembly of the states of Holland is to meet the 12th of this month; as also in regard of the Socinians, who do very much encrease; for the magistrates, to take away from the ministers (who are the most part Orange party) all manner of cause of being found fault withal by them about religion, do all what they can to make continual search after those of the Roman and Socinian religion.

The lord of Bye, resident for the king of Poland here, is to go for England on the behalf of the said king, to compliment and congratulate the lord protector; but in effect to instigate the lord protector against the Muscovites, to the end that by a fleet he cause him to visit Archangel, and revenge the English nation, whom the great duke of Muscovy hath banished, upon the request and desire of the lord Culpepper, agent on the behalf of the king of Scotland. The said king of Poland gives to the protector the title of serenissimo principi. If the lord protector do suffer himself to be induced to molest the Muscovites, that will banish the English for ever, and do good to the Dutch nation and other traders; yea to the French, for these nations will be thereby the better established, and the English will not have forgot, that the king of Poland hath caused a collection to be made for the king of Scotland. However it is said, that the taking of Archangel would not be difficult. They do proceed now so slowly against Schop, that the said Schop hath petitioned to be released under a proviso not to escape sub pæna confessi & convicti; or else he doth pray, that they would do him speedy justice. The judges delegates have seconded him, declaring they can proceed no farther, unless they will advance as far the trial against Schonenberg and Haex, as they have done against Schop. Holland (who are to meet suddenly) have held that in suspence; but in these things they have their reflection upon the lords Beverning and Nieuport.

Prince Maurice is still here. He doth seem to wish, that this state would apply themselves to the business of the levies in Westphalia; which notwithstanding the peace of Bremen do not cease; and for that end hath given this secret advice No. I. But Holland doth not hearken to any thing, that tendeth to imbroiling. At Rotterdam they are jealous of the French consul, in regard they conceive that it may make a diversion in the commerce. In effect it is a novelty; and Holland had rather have the trade, both in France and here, than to leave the said commerce to the French; and since they do treat foreigners here as those that are in want, the office of consul is superfluous. Here are come commissioners from East–Friezland, as well as from the states; but those of Embden, instead of coming, have writ a letter of excuse. In effect, those of Embden will do all that they can not to lose the entertainment of the garrison of 600 men, which those of the states of East–Friezland paying, those of the city have no direct disposition or collection of charges over them.

8 January 1655. [N. S.]

I am your humble servant.

A letter of intelligence.

Hague, 8 Jan. 1655. [N. S.]

V. xxi. p. 542.

This is the third time from England we have notice in our councils to have a care our transactions be secret, for that we did nothing, but was presently known in England, be it never so secret. For this cause three or four clerks here are removed within this month; for it seems some still in London are more friends to this state than they are to England; and though you now be at peace with the provinces, 'tis no matter you should know of their councils, for the peace is purely for their interest here, and not of any affection to England. Of news we have not much at present. The embassador Nieuport continues his letters out of London, with much modesty, representing the proceedings daily of parliament, as also of the protector; and his own addresses and conferences with secretary Thurloe about maritime affairs and other particular business. Mr. Beverning is here in the same state, displeased that he cannot get his patent for the treasury.

The differences concerning the judicature of the politic officers for the business of the Recif in Brasil grow daily higher among the provinces, that of Holland insisting constantly that they shall be judged by the generality, and the others by the province, whereof they are natives. And the other provinces do still oppose, but will have all try'd by the generality, thereby always intending to have a precedent for the questioning of embassadors Beverning and Nieuport, for their negotiation apart with the protector in England.

The faction of the prince of Orange sticks close to the rest of the provinces in this occasion; and the predicators or preachers thereof work very much upon the people in the behalf of the said faction; and the said preachers are very much discontented, and resent deeply the new fect of Socinianism, which is like to be introduced, and bears great sway in the province of Holland, and assented to by most there: yet some of them do what they can to give satisfaction to the ministers, as well of Holland, as of the other provinces.

The differences of the province of Overyssell are in the same state, and no fresh resuscitation in the faction of Orange. Here are no other news, that concern England, but merchants news, which I refer to merchants, being always,

Sir, your's, &c.

A letter of intelligence from the Hague.

V. xxi. p. 508.

The true intention of the lord de Bye, who is to go for England on the behalf of the king of Poland, is to incite the lord protector against the Muscovite; but to make a treaty with Cromwell he hath no order. He hath two letters of credit; underneath one of them is, serenitatis vestræ bonus amicus, Johannes Rex; under the other is simply Johannes Rex; whereof he is to make use pro re nata. The superscription is serenissimo principi Olivario Cromwello protectori Angliæ, with an omission, Scotiæ & Hiberniæ.

Those of Friseland have again proposed the inclosed writing. It is to be believed, that the other provinces will also add something, every one according to their humours and inclinations; Holland without doubt contrary; the others according to their fancy; but Zealand to please their people and prince's party, and Overyssell, as having already chosen prince William, will seriously insert with and for Friseland. Guelderland and Utrecht will be moderate; Groningen is absent.

8 January 1655. [N. S.]

John de Witt to Nieuport.

Amsterdam, January 8, 1655. [N. S.]

V. xxi. p. 512.

My Lord,
Since my last of the first of this month I have received no letters from your lordship in regard the two last posts are not yet arrived; and being still here at Amsterdam have much matter to write to you.

We do long here very much after the negotiation between France and England, and the tedious delay of that business doth give great–suspicion to a great many.

To–morrow I go for the Hague.

Boreel, the Dutch embassador in France, to the states general.

Paris, 8 January 1655. [N. S.]

V.xxi. p. 504.

My Lord,
There is this week an express to be sent to the lord embassador Bordeaux, with the last and final resolution and intention of this king, either to conclude, or otherwise to break off the treaty, without any farther delay. The first of the two will be the more acceptable here.

The miscarriage of the design of the duke of Guise is attributed to the contrary winds and soul weather, that happened for a long time together; so that he was forced to land at Castelamare, he having no order to land there.

Mr. de Lionne is still at Marseilles; he expects farther orders from this court before he departs.

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

V.xxi. p. 500.

My Lord,
According to the order of your Em. I have concluded the treaty for the raising of 2000 Scots with coll. Lyon. He would have gone into France to look after the payment of his money; but I have prevailed with him to go for Scotland, that so he might lose no time, and that his majesty would take care for the payment thereof. It is very requisite, that soldiers should be transported in the months of Feb. and March, &c.

8 Jan. 1655. [N. S.]

Bordeaux to Minard his secretary.

Jan. 8. 1655. [N. S.]

V. xxi. p. 496.

I make account to send over with the very first an express; and if so be, that before his arrivall my father be in a condition to understand affairs, you may tell him, that I expect a last answer from my commissioners upon the accomodation, which doth now only depend upon a word. All the rest is agreed; but that is of such consequence, that I cannot agree to it. You may go to the earl of Brienne, and signify unto him, that I did expect till this to have heard from the protector; and that I make an account to send an express to morrow or the next day, and give him an account at large. The sickness of my father hindered me from writing to day.

Mr. John Brooke to the protector.

V. xxi. p. 554.

Most Excellent Highnes,
I Hold it my duty to informe your highnes of any matter, which happens to my knowledge, that may have but the least pretence of evil concernment to the publique peace. I doe therefore hereby humbly signify to your highnes, that there is a certayne captayne, who was of the late King of Scots army, and his brother, that have under false names insinuated themselves into the garrison of Carlile, the one calling himselfe Greene, the other Purse, whereas both their names are Marbury. There they have continued as private souldiers since May last. This cam to my notice by the discovery of two letters from them subscribed with the aforementioned names, which letters I have to produce. And if I bee not mistaken, I doe verily beleeve, that there is an agent, one alsoe of the bedchamber to the pretended king, in or about London, who bore the office of a coll. by name Rodger Whitley, allyed to that Gerrard, that had conspired evil against your highness person. I doe but conjecture this, in that the collonell's wife, who is sister to sir Charles Gerrard, called alsoe lord Brandon, and a sister of the sayd coll. pretended to goe for Fraunce, to see there husband and brother, a quarter of a yeare agoe and more; but as I am informed, were seen both in London lately, and 'tis supposed, hee is not farr away. That the Lord, who hath hitherto wrought marveylously by you, may continue to preserve and direct you in all things to his glory, is the dayly prayer of

Norton, neere Warrington,
Decem. 29. 1654.

Your highnes most obedient
subject and souldier,
John Brooke.

A letter of intelligence.

V. xxi. p. 546.

We have had no post from England these two weeks, which causes no small wonder amongst us here: what the reason hereof is, we may possibly know, when it comes; in the mean time, letters from all parts say, that a war with France is proclaimed; which, if true, will have no small reflexion upon the united low countries, whose states begin their session the beginning of this next week. Their main business is to settle the payment of their militia, the companies which are upon the generality being many months behind, and to conclude upon a positive state of war, in case no new troubles arise.

The French fleet need not now fear general Blake, who, they say, hath quartered the arms of Burgundy in his banners, being, though in a shattered condition, got into Toulon. The duke of Guise hath sent his manifesto to the court, accusing heaven and earth, and excusing himself, for the unhappy issue of his ill laid design.

You have heard of the queen of Swedeland's royal entertainment at Brussels, which was indeed kingly. They are building a stage in the great hall there for a royal play, which is expressly made for her, and to be represented at shrovetide. She hath altered for the present her resolution of returning to Antwerp, and hath taken Egmond's house for her seat and quarters. The prince of Condé hath not visited her yet, because she will not receive him at the stair foot, as she did the archduke; yet they have spoke occasionally to each other at the comedy.

The earl of Fuensaldagna's principal secretary is clapped up, being accused of intelligence with France. The greatest proof they have against him is, that being poor, when he came to that employment, he hath, in a short time, been able to put out 200000 guilders at use.

The duke of Gloucester is come as far as Antwerp in his way to his brother, (who is still at Cologne) but sell sick there, in so much that Dr. Fraser, the king's physician, is upon his way to attend him there.

The king had lately most of his plate stolen from him. This is robbing the spittal. The Swedes do not as yet advance; some of their troops are gone to oppose the progress of the Muscovites, and some into Pomerania.

Jan. 9. 1655. [N. S.]

Viole, president cf Brussels, to Barriere.

Brussels, the 9th of January, 1655. [N. S.]

V. xxi. p. 548.

The marquis de Lede is preparing for his embassy into England. The queen of Sweden intends to stay here all this winter. She hath hired the house of Egmond to live in. We never go to visit her. I believe you know the reason.

Here is a report of a league offensive and defensive concluded between England and Spain, and between Sweden and Spain; but I do not believe it. The French have lost some men before Lens; which they thought to have surprised, but were beaten off, with the loss of 3 or 400 men.

A letter of intelligence.

Brussels, the 9th of January, 1655. [N. S.]

V.xxi. p. 552.

The duke of Gloucester is still at mr. Huet's at Antwerp very sick. Count Egmond is turned out of his house, to lodge the queen of Sweden in it, and could not prevail for one quarter of it for himself.

Here is much talk of the archduke's going for Spain to marry the infanta.

A letter of intelligence.

Brussels, 9 January 1655. [N. S.]


Yours of the 22d of last month, and first instant, I received together, in regard the wind served not. Yours I will send to Cologne and Vienna, from both which cities you have this week's letters. Here now we begin to believe all will be quiet in England, and we do apprehend much of your great naval armado, as to the prejudice of this king in the West Indies, notwithstanding marquis de Lede, who is now here to receive his commission, is preparing suddenly to go into England, and I presume will be there about a fortnight hence. He had been dispatched sooner, but that our secretary of state Navarr is now in orders, a priest, and so these five days retired; but he is still to continue his place of secretary, with the addition of some church livings.

The queen of Swedeland is still courted with comedies and shews, and says she will go to Paris to mediate the general peace, when the weather is more seasonable.

Farther some say she undertakes, that her successor the king of Swedeland shall join with that king, who shall be yielding to a just and honourable peace against the other, till he be compelled to it.

The prince of Condé entertained that queen very civilly; but it happened, that they two dining together with others, the arch–duke Leopold being not upon the place, that the prince found himself offended, being not treated or placed with the same respect as the arch–duke; but her Majesty excused herself, that though he was a royal prince, yet he was not the immediate son of a crown or monarchy; so the business passed lightly, but the prince is not satisfied in mind, who, as I hear, is upon his march towards the frontiers of France, because he could not obtain what he expected here from the peasants. Many troops go with him, and 'tis feared some will turn their coats before they return hither. The said prince sent part of his train to Malines, where is wife is, and is, as I hear, to send monsr. de Bouteville to England, and general Marsin to Spain.

The French army I mentioned in my letters, two posts since, about 6000 horse and foot (though said to be 12000 in some letters, but not true) did attempt to surprize and take Lens, a garrison of ours, wherein were two Irish regiments and two Lorrainers. And the French having attacked the said place in four places, and the assault having endured for 6 hours, the French were beaten off with a considerable loss of men, some say 800. Their commander in chief in that enterprize, count of Broglio, governor of la Bassé, is dangerously wounded, and so the French are returned to their quarters. It is here confirmed by letters from Madrid, that don Lewis de Haro's whole house is burnt, and he now lives in the king's palace in the quarters of the prince of Spain, which is the greatest honour and favour he ever yet received. In the same letters I have seen, that were it not for that burning, and the confusion that followed in the affairs before don Lewis de Haro, that the agreement made betwixt his majesty and the plenipotentiaries of Genoa had been published. The duke of Gloucester and Ormond past this way incognito; the first, I hear, is gone to his sister in Holland, and the other to Cologne to give account of his negotiation to R. C. I send to you the portraiture of a monster sent hither from Gyrona, found in the mountains of Zardana in Catalonia. I have had it these three weeks, and valued it not to be presented; but it may be some are more curious than I am; so I send it, having no more at present but what is herewith from,

Sir, your's.

General Monk to the protector.

V. xxi. p. 558.

May it please your highnes,
I have received your highnesse's letter of the 25th of December this afternoon by this messenger. Concerning what your highness writes, it shall bee punctually observed. I have apprehended some before the receipt of it. I hope (by the blessing of God) there wil bee noe danger by disaffected persons in Scotland, for I find the commanders foe generally well affected, that I doubt not we shall be able to command any person great or small heere. I wish your highness would send some field officers to take charge of the regiments, late major general Harrison's and coll. Riche's, and that major Knight may be hastened to his command. It is principally in the regiment late coll. Riche's, that any officers appear factious; and I have given orders for securing them and others, who doe or shall appeere soe, or speak against the goverment. I formerly represented it to your highness, that I had written severall letters to coll. Overton, desireing him to come hether, before I received your highnesse's commands; and that he taking noe notice of them, I sent away (on munday morning last) orders to lieutenant coll. Lagoe, to secure coll. Overton. I have not yet received an accompt of the receipt of these orders; which therefore I have renewed and sent againe; but am much assured of lieutenant col. Lagoe's sirmenes to us: wherefore I believe he has by this time secured col. Overton. If hee be not yet secured, I shall assure your highness, that (by the lord's assistance) hee shall bee secured within these tenn dayes. I haveing this day received a letter from colonell Overton by the northerne post, I have thought fit to send your highness heere inclosed a copie thereof. By it your highness may perceive, hee had received my letters (sent him before the orders for his committall) though he is pleased thus to protract the time of his comeing.

Dalkeith, 30 December 1654.

I remaine your highnesse's
most faithfull and most
humble servant,
George Monk.

An intercepted letter to col. Overton.

December 30. [1654.]

V. xxi. p. 570.

Your freinds in England ar well, but by resin, as is soposed, of the ill wether, do not hear so frequently from you as formerly. I wish that be the only caus, for sum fear of intersepting letters ar upon them; comparing things with things, 'tis not unlikely. Ther ar strang reports at London, or however at court, that you should shortly be . . . . being sent for; but ther being no such news from your self to your owne family, I do give the less heed therunto; for your wife faith, she had not herd the lest notice therof from you. Sir, I hope, if it be so, it will not trouble you, for you know whom you serve; and truly I know not any man alive, which hath more caus to trust God in al conditions then your self; he hath don so great things for and bie you, that we cannot but hope you will still be faithfull to the good old intrist of Jesus Christ and his saints, so as never to apostatise from it, with this backsliding generation. Sir, I do beleeve, ther is a great stock of praiers going on for you, and I am sure ther is a faithful and merciful high–preest, who is at the right hand of the father; who is able to save to the uttermost. Surly suferings for him ar very easie: sin makes suferings heavie, but wher the senc of sin is taken off, Christ's yoak is very easy, and his burden light. Sir, I have not bin well this last week, but at present somewhat better. I must therfore with the tender of my humble service to your honour take leave to rest,

Your humble servant.

I Hear coll. Salmon is upon mariag with Ge. Daine's widow, if it be not alredy don. Capt. Norshend is come from London: 'tis thought he will give you an acount; he is a close and safe man, as the most of the wisest of this age ar. Well, a little honisty would doe well amidst so much policie as is now adaies xxx.

The superscription,
Thess for the honorable col. Ro. Overton att his quarters in Aberdeen in Scotland.

Copy of a letter found with mr. John Ramsey, secretary to col. Overton.

V. xxi. p. 574.

After my long silence I must now vissit you with two or three lines, to make inquiry after the proceedings of parliament and protector with this poore languishinge commonwealth, and shall desire to know what progresse is made in order to that government, the which so many men's lives lost for, and we from time to time have been put to engage for, to bring about, and to maintain, but cannot see any such visible satisfaction in that particular, as I have long expected. Yet my hopes shall still be in that glorious God, who first perswaded so many upon the account of conscience to draw their swords on the behalf of the country; and I hope it will not be sheathed, but upon such glorious termes, as will make all men sit down in peace, without being tyranized over at the wills of any persons whatsoever, and all men being one equall subject to one law. These things we have long expected, and shall still hope for them. I having soe honourable and faithfull a messenger, being major general Overton, could not but be very plain in speaking my mind to you. I desire, if there be any thing, wherein you may serve him, the which would be in order to the service of our poore country; and I know it is your delight to doe service on that particular. He is sent for, and the ground of it I know not, but for his honesty, inocency, and faithfullness to his countrey I believe the army cannot paralell him. Sir, I desire you to keep this letter to yourself, as also to present my faithfull service to lieutenant colonel Sankie, with the same to yourself, and all the rest of the committee.

Aberdeen, 30 December 1654.

I remain
your faithfull friendly
servant, whilst I am
Richard Mosse.

An intercepted letter.

10 January 1655. [N. S.]

V. xxi. p. 580.

I Received yours of the 6/16 instant, but it coming to my hands this day, there was no time to speak with your merchants. You mention about 100; nor is it needful, seeing you intend to come hither; and the matter may be done much better. The commodity you mention will bear a good price here. You need not fear; and therefore you may venture to engage for it without any danger of loss. The transportation goes on; but for ought I see without any hope of exemption of any; and therefore we had need of looking out for a better livelihood some other way.

Your servant and friend.

The direction was,
To Monsr. la Broise at Brussels.

V. xxi. p. 436.

Oliver P.
These are to authorize and require you forthwith to recruit the four companies under your command in our Tower of London, to the number of nine hundred soldiers besides officers; and for so doing this shall be your warrant. Given at Whitehall the 20th of December 1654.

To our trusty and well–beloved col. Barkstead, lieutenant of our Tower of London.

V. xxi. p. 437.

Oliver P.
Whereas you lately received orders from us to recruit the four companies under your command in our Tower of London to nine hundred private soldiers, besides officers; these are further to authorize and require you to recruit your said company with three hundred more, to make them up in all twelve hundred private soldiers besides officers; and for so doing this shall be your warrant. Given at Whitehall the 25th of December 1654.

To col. Barkstead, lieutenant of our Tower of London.

A paper of col. Barkstead, lieutenant of the Tower.

V. xxi. p. 432.

In obedience to his highness's order of the 20th instant, as also of another order of the 25th instant, I have proceeded to the performance of my duty therein required, which was for the immediate raising 800 private soldiers, besides officers, to be added to the 400 already under my command in the 4 companies in the town, as also for the compleating of two companies more to the former four companies, consisting of two captains, two lieutenants, two ensigns, four serjeants, two gentlemen of the arms, six corporals, and two drums; and for the better discipline and ordering the whole 1200 soldiers in the 6 companies, his highness ordered nine serjeants, 8 corporals, 8 drums, so that besides the establishment for the four companies, I humbly desire his highness and the council's order to the committee of the army, for issuing out pay to the 800 recruits from the 20th of December according to their respective days of muster; as also for the paying of the officers of the two companies, together with the 9 serjeants, eight corporals, and eight drums, from the 8th day of January being the first day of their muster, and so to continue the pay of the said recruits, together with the officers of the new companies, as before, and the addition of nine serjeants, eight corporals, and eight drums, till farther order.

Jo. Barkstead.

V.xxi. p. 438.

Oliver P.
Whereas we have thought fit to add to the six companies under the command of colonel Barkstead in our Tower of London, nine serjeants, eight corporals, and eight drums, you are hereby required from time to time to muster them with the rest of the said forces, that they may receive pay accordingly. Given at Whitehall the 30th of December 1654.

To the commissary general of the musters or his deputy.

Bordeaux, the French ambassador in England, to his father.


My Lord,
I Had no time to write to you by the last post, but you will have understood the state of affairs of this country out of my letters to the court. I do not think it necessary to write to the earl of Brienne, when my negotiation doth not furnish me with any new subject. I am still at a stand, and put off with pretences from time to time. I am resolved to ask audience to morrow of my lord protector, if I do not see that he doth determine to conclude.

Monsr. Servien hath writ a long memorandum to me according to the order of his eminence. I have returned him an answer by this post; but it is most to the same purpose of that, which I had writ formerly, only I have added the passages of the parliament since my last.

All this while they have been busy to examine the articles of the government, and have made some provision in that, which doth give power to the protector to raise money during the intervals of parliaments, to whom alone the power is reserved for time to come. The sitting of the parliament is ordered for six months; and now this day they are upon the article of the council, which many will have to be named, and belong by and to the parliament, that so there may be some colour left of a commonwealth.

Here hath been propounded by one of the keepers of the great seal, to give a greater authority to the protector; some others did second this advice, but the colonels contradicted it, who had also some of the council, and a chief favourite to side with them, which did hinder for that time the debate of the question any longer; and since those, who did reject that advice, have had thanks given them by the council. A fine example of modesty! On friday last the protector sent to the parliament, to know their advice, upon a design which he hath to employ the fleet upon some advantageous enterprize tending to the propagation of the gospel. The parliament did judge, that such affairs ought to be kept secret, referring the whole disposal thereof unto him; assuring themselves, that he will employ it to the best advantage and honour of the nation. Since which the protector hath been busy about his admiralty affairs, to dispatch away the fleet, which it is thought now will not be going before the end of this month. Some will have Spain to have the alarm, and that they are his territories they aim at. Others say that I must be sent home very suddenly. I do not know which of these two reports hath the surest ground; but if I may be credited. I will conclude or return home very suddenly; and my design is to press the lord protector very speedily, with as much earnestness and evidence as it is possible, without threatning to declare myself of his intentions.

It is said, that in Ireland two or three anabaptist colonels there, who had been lately cashired by his highness, have declared against the protector; but without a good correspondence with England they are not able to do any thing.

[December 1654.]

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

V. xv. p. 148.

My Son,
I did not write to you by the last post, thinking they would have dispatched the express, which you sent over; but it seemeth the court hath not yet taken their last resolution as to peace or war; for which your express doth still wait, and by whom I intend to write touching your negotiation. This is therefore in order to your particular affairs, &c.

But know withall, that the resolution of the council is taken to send for you home; and that there is a manisesto drawing up with all speed against England to send to you, to be represented to the protector or the parliament, to justify the conduct of France and its subjects; which doth oblige the king to send for you home, after he had done all that he could to treat with sincerity, and to continue the alliances of the nations. And men do believe here, whether it be by the advice of the royalists, or the inclination your side may have to be revenged on this nation, or whether it be upon some other principles or secrets unknown to us, that it is the opinion of your chief minister of state, that it will be better for England to come to an open war. And if by your advice and conduct, where you are, you do not put an end to your negotiation before the precise orders of a rupture, which are to be sent unto you by your express, I make no doubt of your return.

Some do imagine that this rupture may produce an accommodation; or that it will embroil the protector and his parliament; or that the protector himself and his parliament, seeing the affairs at this extremity, will be the first that will demand, by the interposition of the ambassadors of Holland, some moderation or accommodation. This is the opinion of some particular men that are privy to the counsels above.

[December 1654.]

Cardinal Mazarin to Bordeaux.


I have received yours of the 29th of November and the 7th of this instant. There was a purpose to have sent unto you an express messenger, to inform you of his majesty's last resolutions concerning your negotiation. But forasmuch as you are upon the point of making your addresses to the lord protector, it was thought convenient to expect the result of that audience; and in the mean time you shall receive particular information of his majesty's intentions from monsr. de Brienne, to whom I refer myself for the same purpose.

I have seen in the hands of your father your last discourse, which you had with the protector; which I found to be managed with great judgment, and to be of that force and weight that it ought to be. For in short it is no way equal, that the king should any longer be a mere spectator of those depredations, which are daily made upon his subjects. And the truth is you ought not to be any longer silent, or forbear to speak in a dialect, which may be suitable to the majesty of so great a prince, who is able to make good to the utmost whatsoever shall by you be propounded.

As to the other matter, whatsoever face things may have, I cannot easily believe, that they would break with us, or make any assault upon France. Nevertheless we desist not from taking special care every where, and in all places, where the English are; and they themselves cannot complain, but that theirs are civilly treated by us. Neither is it very probable on the other hand, that this fleet is designed for America, and that for the space of these six months they should be at so great expence in the delaying of the execution of that design. But that which seems most probable, as to that design, is the assistance of the Hollanders; and I am daily more and more confirmed in this opinion.

As to that, that it is for general Blake to get money in the Mediterranean sea; assure yourself it is a bruit only, but has no solid foundation, and such a chimera as the Spaniards never dreamt of; besides it is that, which would not any way answer such preparations.

[December 1654.]

Some briefe and true observations concerning the West–Indies, humbly presented to his highnesse, Oliver, lord protector of the commonwealth of England, Scotland, and Ireland, [by mr. Thomas Gage.]

V. xxiv.p. 11.

1. That your highnesse his most faithfull servant may not be thought any waies to act (with a pretence of good to his native country) by a Jesuiticall spirit leading to any subtil motion, which may tend to the drawing away any force or naval strength from his country, whereby your highnesse may be weakned, and your enemies in the narrow seas, in Ireland and Scotland, or any at home (if they shall hereafter appeare, which the Lord avert) may bee advantaged; it is the humble sence, and true and faithfull judgement of your highnesse ever praying servant for your prosperity, that to suppresse all enemies, and that this nation, with Scotland and Ireland, may enjoy comfort and protection by your highnesse his long government, safety and happynesse, it is not at present safe or expedient, to take away quite from the seas (which compasse your dominions) all the strength of the shipps; but that such fleets may bee left, which may over–power all enemies abroad, and bee a safety to the trade of this nation; but in case this being done, and sufficiently provided for, and yett strength left to take in hand any glorious enterprize; that then these few observations of my owne experience may by your highnesse be accepted, as from one, who for these many yeares hath observed, yea admired the activity of your highnesse his faith (for faith in the saints, in the behalfe of GOD's glory, is an active faith) who waits for the conversion of the poore Indians, who longeth to see the light of the gospell runne yett more and more forwards, till it come to settle in the west among those poore, simple, and truely purblind Americans.

2. Your highnesse his humble servant having seen abroad, and knowne in part, the flourishing condition and strength of the house of Austria (Rome's chiefe strength and pillar,) hath observed the Austrian pillar's strength to bee in the American mines; which being taken away with Austria, Rome's triple crowne would soone fall and decay.

3. Though God be long–sufferring, yett hee is not ever sufferring and ever bearing with a proud sinfull people; but no people more sinfull then the Spaniards in America, both greate and small, viceroyes, judges, and poore pesants, who in general sinne, and hide not their sinne, as the prophet faieth, but sinne publikely, sinne like beasts uncontrowledly: therefore thier sinnes will betray them and fight against them, if ever any nation shall oppose them.

4. It hath been for these many yeares their owne common talke, from some predictions, or (as they call them) prophecies, vented out amongst them, that a strange people shall conquer them, and take all their riches from them.

5. None in conscience may better attempt such an expulsion of the Spaniards from those parts, then the English, who have been often expulsed by them from our plantations; as from St. Christopher's, St. Martin's, from Providence, alias St. Catharine's, and from Tortugas, where the English were unhumanly and most barbarously treated by the Spaniards, who to this day watch for their best advantage to cast us out of all our plantations, and say, that all the ilands, as well as the maine, belong to them. And in conscience it is lawfull to cast out that enemy or troublesome neighbour out of his dominions, that would and hath attempted to cast us out of ours.

6. This is not a worke so hard and difficult as is by some apprehended; for that, first, though the continent bee vast, and of many thousand miles, yett it is very thinnely peopled by Spaniards.

Secondly, Within the maine land, in my time, in the greatest citties there was not one gun or field–piece, or wall, castle, or any bulwarke.

Thirdly, The Indians (who in some places are many) cannot oppose, not being suffered to enjoy any armes, for fear of rising against the Spaniards.

Fourthly, The Spaniards cannot oppose much, being a lazy, sinfull people, feeding like beasts upon their lusts, and upon the fat of the land, and never trained up to warres; over whom there can be no fitt commanders suddainely (there being few or none in the land experienced in martial discipline) nor armes or ammunition (in some parts) in two hundred leagues to arme or strengthen six hundred fighting men.

Fifthly, For the Mulattos and Negros opposing, there is no feare, for if any armes were committed to them, soone might the masters feare to bee overpowered by their slaves and servants.

Sixthly, Because there are many strivings and factions among them, as Criolians, or thereborne Spaniards, against such as come from Spaine, Mestizos, Mulattos, and Negros against both, and all against the poore Indians; so that the factions, which were amongst the Indians of Tlaxcala and Mexico, were Cortez (the first Spanish conquerour) his best advantage to conquer that land with 500 or 600 men; so no doubt but their present factions may bee any other nation's advantage to conquer them againe. And if at the first arrivall any nation shall proclaime liberty to Mullatos, Negros and Indians, for such a liberty they would joyne with them against the Spaniards, as I have often heard them say, when there I lived.

7. Of all islands neere unto the continent, none like unto Hispaniola and Cuba. Hispaniola was the Spaniards first plantation, and therefore would bee to them a bad omen to beginne to loose that, which they first enjoyed. This island is not one quarter of it inhabited, and so more easie to take, there being few in it. The riches not being comparable with those of the maine are the cause, that so few inhabite it; and there being no Jesuites in it (who commonly are found in the richest citties and countries) is a signe of no great treasure; yett ginger, hides and sugar are there, and some doe talke of mines of silver formerly discovered. The taking of this iland would bee a terrour to the Spaniards, and a meanes to keepe them much in awe upon the maine; yett if not seconded with a speedy landing upon some part of the maine, it might alarme them there to strengthen themselves more than ever yett they had done. Cuba is not so big, yett as rich or richer. At the chiefe towne of Havana it is very strong with castles, yett upon the river of Matanzos, a people may sett ashore a considerable party to march by land to Havana. Into this river of Matanzos did the Hollanders drive the Spanish galeons, and followed them up the river a little way when they tooke their plate from them, and might have landed as easily as the Spaniards landed to save their lives, and might have marched to Havana, which is not much above a daies march from thence. Thus with a fleet at sea before the castle, or in sight to terrifie, and a party by land on the backe of Havana, that strong place might bee gained, and the castles starved, and with Havana all the iland conquered, which is the key of all the Indias.

8. In all the continent there is no place easier to land in then Honduras in Golpho Dulce, wherein may ride above 500 ships, and at the coming in may bee strengthened for the present upon two rockes, which the Spaniards yett never did. From this Golpho, alias called Puerto de Cavallos, there are not full threescore leagues to Guatemala, the chiefe court and citty of that country. The chiefe trouble is the first two daies up the mountaines, yet open and passable, where mules laden with jarres of wines from Spaine doe every yeare goe up without losse or danger. Up the hills there is cattle enough, and about the country plenty to victual 1000 ships. In the way to Guatemala there are Indian townes, especially Acazabastlan, where provision of fish and flesh may bee had, and Indians to lead, and guide, and carry on provisions. Further, before wee come to Guatemala is the valley of Mixco and Pinola and Petapa, where is wheat enough growing, farmes of sugar, cattle, and store of fish from the lake of Petapa, of which country the language in part hath been printed by mee, and is not yet forgotten. The citty of Guatemala did in my time lie open without any defence of walls, guns, or bulwarkes, consisting of about five hundred inhabitants never practized to fighting. Cloisters are in it extraordinary. The taking of this citty would bee the subduing and bringing in of at the least three hundred leagues on both sides; for towards Nicaragua and Costa–Rica, and so by land to Panama, the Spaniard cannot raise 1000 fighting men, and scarce armes that way to arme 500 or 600. Northward towards Mexico to the Chiapa (fourscore leagues from Guatemala) the Spaniards are very thinne, and not able to raise 200 men; so that this country being taken, and immediately a supply coming from Virginia, New England, and Barbadoes, the country would soone be peopled and strong to defend themselves from any strength coming against them from Mexico, which is 300 leagues off. Guatemala taken, the South Sea may bee commanded; which in some places is but one daie's journey from Guatemala. But a weeke's journey from thence there is a haven called Realexo upon the South Sea, and another nearer called La Trinidad, where some small ships come from Peru, which may easily bee taken, there being no castles in them; and all about that country there is store of timber for the building of ships, which our nation may soone sett out to master the South Sea and Panama, and so downwards to Peru; but much more, if from the East Indias a small squadron of ships should come to joyne with them. Chiapa being taken in, then a province called Zoques (where is the chiefest cochinill) must needs yeeld, they being most Indian townes, and but here and there some few stragling Spaniards.

9. For the better conserving and keeping of Chiapa and Zoques, notice may bee taken of a great river called Tabasco, which comes up to the country from the North Sea, and entreth into the country a little above the haven of Mexico, called Vera Cruz, and runneth up to the province of Guaxaca, fourescore leagues from Chiapa, and to Zoques; downe which river the Spaniards in boates send their cochinill, hydes, and sugars, to Vera Cruz. A squadron of ships riding about Vera Cruz and the mouth of Tabasco may terrifie much, yea, may send up in boates a party of musquetiers, (if they can endure there a little heat (as myselfe did and the Spaniards doe) who may much harme that way the countrey, while above a stronger party hath mastered Zoques: but in this case, care must bee taken, and watch had over some parts, where by the river side are trees thicke and fit for an ambuscado.

10. All this country is much corrupted with sin, and occasions to sinne and loosenesse are great, which the lewd Spaniards have brought in amongst the Indians; and therefore such as goe thither must bee well principled in points of honesty; otherwise they may soone bee ensnared, and fall from God, and loosing him loose againe, what by his blessing, helpe, and favour, may bee easily gotten, and so gotten may much redound to the glory of God, to the enriching of this commonwealth, to the pulling downe the stout hearts of the stout house of Austria, to the ruining and utter fall of Romish Babylon, and to the conversion of those poore and simple Indians.

11. This country being taken, Jucatan may bee considered and Campeche, which hath formerly been easily taken by us and the Hollanders, and soone left. A small party may master that; and it is considerable, because it joynes neere to Zoques, and is continent with Honduras and Guatemala. Though in some places towards Guatemala there are barbarous Indians, which the Spanyards never yett conquered, yett may by this time have conquered them; for at my being there, it was their thoughts to doe it (but a sufficient number of fighting men could not bee found) for the better and neerer commerce between that part of Guatemala, which is more remote, by Golpho Dulce. Five hundered men will doe much upon this place. And all this will bee easie, when once footing is sett upon the country of Guatemala, and doubtlesse at such a report, Barbadoes (which may afford to such a worke ten thousand fighting men, as I have been informed by letters from thence five yeares agoe) and Virginia, and New England, and other plantations, which are even worne out, and have but drosse for that treasure, but copper for that gold, but dirt for those riches now ready to our hands, will slocke thither with speed, to further such a glorious worke, which may bee a worke of one halfe yeare, if vigorously acted, and the places named taken in immediately one after another, before the Spaniards can joyne any forces, or any supplies come from Spaine, which can hardly bee done by that king, having at present so many yrons in the fire here in Europe. The next yeare thoughts may rise higher (when neighbours and friends are come to joyne with us,) and carry to Mexico northward, or to Peru southward, where are the cheifest mines.

12. Nothing can be acted upon the maine land untill October; at the begining of which moneth begineth there the summer, and lasteth till May, after which till October againe the raines and the showers are soe great and daily, that they will make the mountaines at least almost unpassable. The heates so feared by our English are not soe great within the land as in Barbados, where wee live well, except some places and marrishes neere the South Sea and the river of Tabasco, and one place called Chiapa de Indios, where yett I lived with much health, as also doe the Spaniards there, and many places there are as cold as it is here in England.

These few observations (having espied, as Joseph Egipt, that fat and rich country) I thought it my duty to present unto your highnesse, as did formerly Columbus present unto king Henry the seventh his discovery of the rich part of the world, which then was not regarded. God would not make that prince such an instrument for the advancing his glory, as hee hath made your highnesse. The Lord grant, that your faith may yett bee active abroad, as well as at home. The Lord grant, that yett you may ride on prosperously, conquering and to conquer. The Lord make your highnesse, as our protector, so also a protector of those poore Indians, which want protection from the cruelties of the Spaniards. The Lord make your highnesse yett his instrument, for the enriching of this poore island; and the Lord, who is rich in mercy, inrich your soule with the spiritual riches of his grace, which is, and ever shall bee, the constant prayer of,

Your highnesse most faithfull servant and
daily oratour before the throne of grace,
Thomas Gage.

A paper of col. Muddiford concerning the West Indies.

December 1654.

V.xxiv. p. 8.

Upon any design out of England upon the Spaniards in the West Indies, it seemeth to be most adviseable, that the general should land in Barbados with 2000 men in November, if he can, where he shall be fure to double his number. With these let him fail to Trinidado, and take the town of St. Joseph's, which is garrisoned with 100 Spaniards; which being done, give the town to the natives to oblige them; and the rather, because it will be dangerous to leave any English there, by reason of the unhealthfulness of the soil; for it is feated in the mouth of Oronoque, which (as great rivers do in England) makes it sickly. After this advance up the river of Oronoque, and take St. Thomas, which is garrisoned with about 200 Spaniards, and leave some English, and build some sconces in convenient and commanding places of the river, and put colonies in them. It were convenient to leave 1000 men in several places on the river, under a well tempered governor, who may practise on the Indians, and as he finds them advance, to arm them. By sea from Spain can this place only be attempted; for it is to windward of all his colonies in the Indies, and by land he dares not come, by reason the Indians are his enemies. Therefore you are in this only to consider, how able the Spaniard is at home, and make provision against him accordingly. From hence you may attempt Margarita with 3000 men, where you may undoubtedly receive 2000 more from the Leeward islands, in case order be taken for their transporting. At this island you may probably meet with 500 fighting men, besides slaves, who are the divers or fishers for pearl. This place you are to garrison, it being very healthful, though barren. From hence you may advance to Comana, Carracas, Venezuela upon the river of Marecay, and so to the river of Rio Grand, and if occasion serves, to Carthagena. These things are very easily compassed; for one Jackson in a roving voyage about 8 years since landed in Margarita, alarmed all that coast, went by Marecay, and lived 7 weeks in the country, having but 800 men, and in all that time faw no confiderable enemy. Besides the Dutch have lived many years in a little island called Corozao with a small colony, which is as it were in their bosoms; arguments enough of the Spaniards weakness; so that make yourselves masters of that sea, and there is no fear or cause of doubt to succeed. All this coast is full of horses and cattle, the climate healthful, the land fruitful; the inland full of Indians, some as yet unconquered by the Spaniards, whither in a short time all the families of the Leeward islands will come, and many thousands from other places without your care or charge.

Reasons why it is better to settle Terra Firma, that is the main above–mentioned, rather than the islands, are these:

1. Because the islands are inhabited only with Spaniards, and by them very inconsiderably; so that if you go there, you will find little more than land and trees, and your business will be only to clear ground, build houses, plant, and make inclosures; a work of great toil, long time, and excessive charge, of which the old planters are very sensible: whereas on the main you will meet with good towns, well peopled, with a few Spaniards and many Indians, whom they keep in slavery, and who very probably will be faithful to milder masters.

2. The islands must be inhabited wholly by English, (for the Spaniards will not serve under them;) which may too much exhaust our native country of men, and render us weak at home; but on the main you have Indians to practise on, who, without dispute, will by politic and rational means be as so many hands gained to the commonwealth.

3. The returns from the islands will be so small and so slow, in regard they are to be produced by the labour of the planter, that it will beget impatience in the adventurers, and perhaps a total desertion of the design; whereas from the main you will presently be masters of gold, silver, and pearl, besides hides and tallow, and the present commodities arising from the many settled plantations there.

4. By settling the islands you provoke the Spaniard, but do not at all disable him of his revenge; but by settling on the main, you do not only take from him the benefit of his pearl, and the mines of gold and silver already open, but also hinder the passage of his treasure from Peru, and lay Peru fairly open to an invasion.

5. By settling the islands you do not at all impede his correspondence with his other colonies, so that he is still free and at large to advise and execute all things, as if you were not there; but by settling on the main you cut off his correspondence from Peru and all South America, so that he cannot supply them from Spain; by which means they must of necessity have all their commodeties from you; and how that may work, and what intelligences that may produce among them, may easily be imagined.

I propose the river of Oronoque to be first settled for these reasons.

1. Because it is one of the greatest rivers in the Indies, into which falleth for 1000 leagues running a great number of navigable rivers, on the banks whereof are an infinite number of naked Indians of several nations and languages, differing both in manners and interest, on whom great advantages may in a short time be made; and by their assistance more may be done than ever Cortez did in Mexico by the aid of the Tlaxcallans.

2. Because it lyeth but three days sail from Barbados, and you may probably in 4 or 5 days return thence to Barbados; so that if the worst happen, the retreat is from thence apparent, which will engage the more considerate men the sooner to undertake it.

3. We have already a colony at Surinam on the same continent, of about 600 men, besides women and children, who will readily quit that place to come where the beavers are.

4. You will presently command a great part of the Barbados sugar, by the sales of the cattle, horses and mules, which you may with ease transport thither.

5. The nearness of this colony to Barbados will be a good strengthening and countenance to each other; and if by chance of war you may sail in the more leeward atchievements, yet this river may be kept, which in short time will yield sufficient answer for the hazard and charge laid out upon it.

6. The advantage of the rivers, the easy transport, in boats, of men, arms, and ammunition, provisions, and other luggage, and the great advantage you have on the Spaniards in that element, are principal motives to advise settling on the river windward, and the others of Marecay and Rio Grand leeward.

7. The great use that may be made of the naked Indians, in planting, trading, and other necessaries, in time of peace, and the helping the English in time of war, are no mean considerations.

8. Barbados lieth very convenient to be the magazine of all necessaries, untill Oronoque be securely settled; and there the sick men may be recovered, and the sound refreshed after the voyage from England.

9. Having the Indian to friend you, you may safely correspond with the other garrisons at Caraccas, or elsewhere on the Terra Firma.

This I hold to be the best design. Of the islands I hold Cuba to be the best, only by reason of the Havannah there seated, which may be called the back door of the Indies, the Spaniard being inforced to disimbogue that way; with whom you may speak, when he goes home with his treasure.

As to the arms, &c.

1. I would have a fleet strong enough to beat the Spanish armado; and let the frigats be good sailors, such as will stand nearest the wind; for which purpose the keels should be sharp and deep; let them be well victualled, the bees well salted, and the beer well boil'd; for we have found it by experience, that it is the corrupt victuals, not the climate, that causeth sickness.

2. Let not too many soldiers be put upon a vessel, to prevent pestering; and if possible, let the men be taken aboard at Plymouth or Falmouth.

3. Let your ships have double rigging, tackle, and sails, &c. for the voyage is long, and we have no supplies in these parts.

4. Let there be 100 good wherries, which you at London call light horsemen, and some 6 oar barges, which will be of very great use in the river, to setch up the Indians canoes and pereagoas, which proved very advantageous to the colony at Surinam.

5. Let the land soldiers be provided with musket and pike and other defensive arms, as if you were to attempt France, Spain, or Italy, for the country is not hotter than either; but that a man may endure the carriage of arms here, as well as there. Let there be a good train of artillery, granadoes, petars, and other fireworks, and also engineers, and all other necessary officers of that kind.

6. Let there be arms for 1000 horse, and for two companies of curassiers complete.

7. Their clothing may be shirts, shoes, and drawers; and it would do well, if you did buy hammocks for them, which come from you; which I understand may be had about Bristol. For these in the Indies take no care, for they are already provided with them.

8. Be sure to have enough of mattocks, shovels, spades, pick–axes, wheelbarrows, axes, carpenters, coopers, and masons tools; saws of all sorts, and the like.

Lastly, it will be necessary, if the person who shall command in chief of these forces, have a power to command all the governors of the English in any part of America; and that his highness's orders be directed to them to that purpose: and though I verily believe, that every man will be forward to embark on this design, yet it is wisdom to have a power of pressing, which on some extraordinary occasions may be made use of.

Thus I have laid open a design of as much ease to obtain, and of as much honour and wealth in the enjoyment, as can be probably imagined.


  • 1. Chanut Mem. III. 484. &c.