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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June (1 of 7)
The Spanish embassador in Holland to the states general.
Lectum June 11, 1655. [N. S.]
Vol. xxvii. p. 21.
The underwritten embassador of Spain being informed, that the colonels Spanekfis and Bruninck have endeavoured of late to frame in this country a private party for France, and design to surprize some frontier place belonging to the king his master, having already gained to be of their party to assist them in their design, colonel Balsell, Caron, and Van Dyck, with some 600 and 120 soldiers, all reformed officers, who are to find all things necessary for the carrying on of this design, whereof he the embassador could not defer any longer to give notice to their high and mighty lordships, whom he doth verily believe to be ignorant thereof. But in regard the same is so much tending against the publick peace, and the safety thereof; and in regard the same is managed by officers and colonels of this country newly disbanded; he doth desire their high and mighty lordships, in the name of the king his master, that the consequence of such a design may be prevented, and that no assistance whatsoever may be given to the enemies of my master under any pretence whatsoever.
Chanut, the French embassador in Holland, to Bordeaux, the French embassador in England.
Hague, June 11, 1655. [N. S.]
Vol. xxvii. p. 13.
I was not extraordinarily much surprized at what you were pleased to write to me in your letter of the 4th of this month. The lord protector doth not make any accommodation with us, but because he feareth to engage too far against France; and as long as he can delay it without giving us cause wholly to abandon the negotiation, he will do it. The pretence, which he hath taken, is in some manner very specious in his regard; but in ours it is of so bad a consequence, that there can be no other cause of delay which can be of greater prejudice unto us. Wherefore as far as I can judge of a business, whereof I know not the bottom, you take a very wise resolution to retire yourself. You have to do with men very prudent in truth, but very irresolute. It must be, they see themselves at the point of declaring without delay, if they will or will not. If they take to the last against so many reasons, which ought to make them to fear it, we shall know that there was little assurance in the other; thanks be to God we do not fear them.
My lord Nieuport hath writ a letter, that he had an extraordinary audience of the lord protector upon the business of Savoy; wherein he did handle the same to the best advantage, that he made the protector so sensible by reciting the barbarisms committed upon their brethren, and through the interest of the religion, that he was wonderfully moved, and presently promised great matters, and concluded upon his amity with the Hollanders, that he would sink or swim with them. You cannot believe, my lord, how maliciously those that hate us have laid hold of this occasion to do us all the mischief they can; and who will annex the fortune of their state to that of the protector, by reason of the common hatred against the houses of Stuart and Orange. All the ministers have made very strange exclamations thereof in their pulpits; and many do publish it, that they were advised and set on to do it by the French, who made this trial in the neighbourhood, to see whether the world would suffer that the like massacre should be undertaken upon the Hugonots of France.
I make no oppositions at all to these ridiculous suppositions, which do run amongst the people with the violence of the stream, being assured, that truth, that will not lie hid very long, will dispute all these foolish opinions. In short, my lord, we are here in a state half popular, where every one doth pretend to be a great politician, and few are so in effect.
They treat here for an alliance with the elector of Brandenburgh. The preparations of the Swedes do very much trouble this state.
Caillet, the prince of Condé's secretary, to Barriere.
From the camp at Sardinet, June 11, 1655. [N. S.]
Vol. xxvii. p. 5.
Now the two armies of the enemies, that of the mareschal of Turenne, and that of la Ferte, are joined together, and are quartered in such a place, from whence they may go to Rocroy or Landrecy; from the first of these they are not above a day's march. His highness doth intend to march with his army to morrow to Beaumont, four miles from hence, where he may more easily learn the march and design of the enemy; namely, the place which they may aim at to assault. There are some that say, that their design is against Cambray, which they will find to be a piece of hard digestion. His highness is resolved to do his utmost for the relief of them. His highness is very much satisfied with his troops. They are all old soldiers, and have served in the armies of Sweden and Bavaria; the number of horse doth amount to 5000 compleat, both men and horse as good as ever were seen in the field.
Extract out of the register of the resolutions of the high and mighty lords, states general of the United Provinces.
Veneris the 11th of June, 1655. [N. S.]
Vol. xxvii. p. 9.
There being heard the report of the lords Huygens and others their high and mighty lordships commissioners for the affairs of the sea, according to their foregoing resolution concerning the equipping of five men of war, to be commanded by vice admiral Ruyter, it is herewith resolved and agreed unto, that the said resolution of the 2d of April last shall be sent to the college of Amsterdam, with an earnest request and desire, that they will draw up such instructions for the said vice admiral de Ruyter, as they, according to time and occasion, think most fit for the advantage of the service of the states; and that being done, that they would therewith send the said de Ruyter hither to be concluded by their high and mighty lordships.
Daniel Searle, governor of Barbadoes, to the protector.
Vol. xxvi. p. 284.
May it plaease your highness,
By severall former missives to your highnese from the right honourable the generall and commissioners for the management of your highnes expedition into America, I doubt not butt your hignes have received a perticuler accompt of the proceedings of the saide commissioners in this island, and of theire departuer with the fleete and army from hence the end of March last, towardes Hispaniola, the place by them heare pitched on first to be attempted to be gained, as most advantagious in order to your highnes and your councell's further designe on the Spaniard in this part of the world. Ere this come to hand, I hope your highnes will have receved some accompt from thence, what God hath done by them in the saide service. As the motives enducing your highnes to soe high and eminent an undertakeing were drawne from righteous and just principles, soe the successe, it's hoped, will through mercie and the providence of God attending the endeavours of the instruements, be answerable to your highness and the commonwealth's expectations.
Since the fleete's departuer hence heare hath arrived severall of the stoare-ships appointed for the saide fleete and army, viz. the Recovery, the William, the Edward, the Augustine, and the Morning Starre. The fower former I have dispatched hence, and are gonn after the fleete, to Hispaniola; the latter, viz. the Morning Starre, being somewhat defective, by extremity of weather in their passage to their place, and loaden partly with marchants goods for this island, and partly with stoares for the fleete and army, which was on board her for the said fleete and army, I caused to be loaden on the Augustine and Edward, unto the filling up of them, and the remainder on board a vessell, which was lately seized on, and secured by the commissioners for prize goods from the Dutchy, and is now redie to saile. Wee heare nott any thing of the shipps, the Little and Greate Charity, in whome the remainder of the stoares are. When it shall please God they arrive with us, I shall hasten them after. Dureing the time of general Venables being heare, came to my hands a pattent from your highnes; dated at Westminster the 31st of July last, for my continuing in the government of this place for the terme of three years from the date thereof, according to the tennor of saide pattent; which haveing communicated to the councell and assembly of free-houlders of this island, much allackraty and demonstrations of chearfull obedience to your highnes and to the power and authority therein given appeared in them, as allsoe for that your highnes was therein pleased to confirme unto them theire former and ancient priviledge for the election of free-houlders, as the representative of this island, to give theire consents heare, in the makeing such constitutions, ordinances, and by-lawes (not repugnant to the lawes of the commonwealth) as may be thought fitt for the good and well-being of this collony. The trust your highnes hath bin pleased to committ unto me therein, I shall labour, through the assistance of grace, soe to discharge, as therein not to be found negligent nor unfaithfull.
By former commissions and powers to mee given, as well from your highnes as from the parliament, the former supreame authority, I have exercised the government of this place from the time of its surrender, as well in the millitary as civill authority; as being the charge and duty of the trust devolved on mee and the councell heare to performe; and doe humbly judge and conceive your highnes commands on mee by vertue of saide pattent is of noe lesse extent, your highnes therein requiering mee to doe and execute, for the orderly and peaceable government of this place and people, all things to the office of government in dew manner appertaineing. Butt may it please your highnes; the right honourable generall Venables haveing heare receved from us some additionall forces off foote and horse of the inhabitants of this island, to the noumber of some three thousand five hundred, and some 2000 armes, my selfe and councell on some debates concerning the condition of the place, and the waye of ordering and settling our militia for the preservation of the peace and saftye of the island, when the saide forces should be withdrawne from us, determined to take the same into consideration, and foe to settell the militia thereof by your highnes power and authority given to my sellse and councell for the government of the island, as to give an accompt off, and to be responsable unto your highnes for the same.
General Venables was pleased to declare the authority of the militia, the trained bands,
and forces of this island, to be in himsellfe by those collatterall powers your highnes
was pleased to give unto him; and accordingly hath granted forth his commissions heare
to persons boeth for the command of our foote and horse for the safety of this place,
and my selfe heare to act as his leftennant generall; which hath occasioned sundrie debates and disputes in the general assembly of this island, and given dissatisfaction, that
two powers, the one for the millitary, the other for the civill, should be heare extant, as
two distinct authorities over them, the one from your highnes to my selfe as governor,
by vertue of your highnes pattent, which is by saide generall Venables construed to
invest mee only with the civill authority of this place; the other from generall Venables
for the military authoritye. Att a meetinge of the saide assembly of free-houlders with
my selfe and councell, the cuntrie made theire requests unto mee, that it maight be
humbly represented to your highnes, that the militia of this island maight be managed,
and from time to time, as occasion shall require, for the defence and safetye of this
place, settled and regulated, by that authority your highnes hath or shall be pleased to
settell heare (as from the first settelment of this collony hath bin donne) and it is
humbly conceived, your highnes pattent to my sellfe and councell chosen is full and
ample authority and power for us to continue to act by, as well in the military as to the
civill authority. But general Venables haveing constituted and regulated our militia
by authority and power from himsellfe derived from your highnes, hath thereby
made voyde all power and commissions by me granted as governor. Empowered also
thereto by your highnes authoritye to my sellse and councell, I have in all humility judged
it necessarye for satisfaction to this people, as allsoe that I maight understand your
highnes will and pleasure therein, to give your highnes the accompt thereof. This being
what at present offers, I humbly subscribe mysellfe
Barbadoes, June 1, 1655.
Your highnes most humble
and faithfull servant,
The protector to the Duanna of Algier.
Vol. xxvi. p. 289.
Whereas Edmond Casson was in the year 1646 sent over to Algier, as agent for the parliament of England, and was resident until the fifth day of December last, at which time he died in Algier aforesaid; after whose death, as hath been informed, the Duanna of Algier did cause the goods of the said Edmond Casson, and what else was in his house at the time of his death, to be inventoried, and committed to the custody of John Roach and Abraham Smedmore, his servants, who yet remain there, who were ordered by the said Duanna not to deliver the same to any, but to such as should be impowered from this commonwealth to receive the same. And when Elizabeth Bagnall widow, the only sister of the said Edmond Casson, hath taken letters of administration of the goods and chattles of the said Edmond her brother deceased, and thereby is according to the laws of England entituled to all the estate of the said Edmond Casson, and hath humbly besought us, that wee would vouchsafe unto her our gracious letters of recommendation unto the said Duanna, to the end she may receive the goods and debts belonging unto her said brother at the time of his death; we therefore out of our desire, that all the people of the commonwealth may enjoy their rights, have thought fit to signify unto the said Duanna our resentment of their great care and endeavour, that justice might be done in the premises; and do hereby desire, that the said Duanna would be pleased to give order, that all the goods, and what else did belong to the said Edmond Casson at the time of his death, as also such debts as were justly owing there unto him, may be delivered over and paid unto Richard Casson, whom she hath herewith sent over, and authorised for that purpose. So shall the said Duanna perfect their former good intentions, and do a respect, which will be acceptable unto us, who shall be ready to return the like upon all occasions. Given at our court at Westminster the first of June, 1655.
A letter of intelligence.
Paris, June 12, 1655. [N. S.]
Vol. xxv. p. 27.
Since my former the letters from Basil in Switzerland bring, that the 11th of the last month 1000 Switzers newly raised parted from Lucerne to come thorough Burgundy to join with Turenne's army; and now they are in Burgundy, and in their march towards the said mareschal. Also that the protestant Switzers are much against the troops of Savoy, by reason of the massacres in the Vallies of Lucerne and St. Martin, within three leagues of Pignerol. The same letters bring also, that two deputies from the duke of Modena treated in Basil with prince Rupert Palatine to raise three regiments for the service of their master.
It is written from Warsaw, that prince Charles Ferdinand, only brother to the king of Poland, was dead, of which we expect the confirmation.
Since the accommodation of the duke of Orleans with his daughter, (as you have heard of before) mr. Nau intendant of Orleans's house pretends to shew a great error in his master's accounts; not comprehending notable sums of monies, which amounts to 800 or 900,000 livres, of which there was not a word spoken as yet. Mr. Goulas first secretary of his highness is here these two days, and thought about that business, of which more in time.
The report we had of the death of mr. de Bouteville in our former letters is false, as we have now the contrary.
The now dutchess of Modena departed home thursday last with her mother for Modena, accompanied with the count de Noailles and his wife, as I writ before.
Mr. de Tellier secretary of State, who was here for the levies of some infantry, as also to procure money for the next occasion, parted hence to return to the court yesterday.
Besides the 3000 sacks of corn and meal mr. de Turenne sent to Quesnoy, he sent also more wine than the city or garrison are able to buy, which is much.
Their troops were yet the 7th instant in their quarters about Chauny and Moile, where the king arrived from la Fere expressly to see the said army thursday last in the morning, with a body of an army of above 5 or 6000 horse. In the mean time the rest of the court remained at la Fere, from whence they write, that the business of Arras betwixt the governor and court is accommodated, the court having received all the assurance and fidelity, that could be had from mr. de Montdijeu governor of the place, both by the letter he writ to the cardinal, as also for the refusal he gave to the enemies messenger, with his great and high offers; yet the court desires him only to alter some of his officers, who tormented the court with such false informations, that the governor was suspected to have had intelligence with the enemies; and the court gives the said governor all the assurance to make him mareschal de France after this campaign.
We expect only la Fere with his forces to join with mareschal de Turenne, to form a considerable siege; and after that conjunction we hope our army will be of the number of 26 or 28,000 men.
The marquis de St. Andrée Montbrun, an hugonot, parted hence monday last to serve in quality of a lieutenant general under prince Thomas.
The Franchecomtois have renewed their neutralities with France of late, and the parliament of Dol have nobly opposed the levies of 400, that the Spaniards pretended in their dominions, though great part of the nobility consented unto it already. The first president of their parliament refuseth to depute towards the king, and excuses himself not to come with their remonstrances, knowing well they will not be agreeable to the court. Their deputies are not yet named.
It is written from Provence, that duke de Vandosme arrived at Toulon.
Yesterday a commissary went by orders to certain places, where they sell images, where
he seized upon an original from England, which represented the protector Cromwell on
horseback, over which were written ten verses extraordinarily insolent and injurious both
to the church and all monarchies. The copies of which, which were selling publickly,
were seized upon in all places where they could find them; so the protector Cromwell receives the affront every where. Therefore let him clear himself the best he can, which is
the wishes of,
Sir, your most faithful servant.
By the last post but this it was written to the court of France and many others in this city, that our peace with you was concluded, signed, and sealed; but by this post I see nor hear any confirmation of it. You have now the history of Savoy from your other friends here.
Sir, yours as above.
A letter of intelligence.
Brussels, June 12, 1655. [N. S.]
Vol. xxvii. p. 27.
Yours by the last of the 4th instant I received; and therein the high resentments of my lord protector, and generally of all the protestants, for the massacres done in all the Vallies of St. Martin and Lucerne. It is no less in the United Provinces. We are glad here, that the French had a hand in it, in hopes the marquis de Lede's negotiation shall have the better success. The said marquis in his last letter to count Fuenseldagna intimates some slowness in his negotiation with the protector, which troubles a little the chief ministers here. The news from hence are not many. The city of Arras, as we hear, is to be surrendered to the archduke by the governor; but I have no assurance of it, yet am satisfied, that the governor is discontented, and some employed to him by the archduke, who parted from this city sunday last in the afternoon with a great train. The same day departed count Fuenseldagna, the first for Tournay, the second to Valenciennes; but now I hear they are both in Tournay. The queen of Swedeland bestowed on the archduke a stately horse, as black as jet, with all furniture, a case of pistols, &c. The furniture was embroidered with gold, precious stones, and very rich. She also presented to the archduke's officers and gentlemen very good things. The said queen is still here; so is as yet duke Francis of Lorain, who will soon follow to the field. You hear, I presume, what accident happened to Marienburgh by powder, which took fire; but a worse fire was like to be lately, for Cambray was like to be lost by treachery, a burning match being left in the magazine; and when it gave fire to the powder within such a time, 3000 French were lodged to enter and take what should be left undestroyed. But all is happily prevented; by what means I know not. Spaniards were in the treason. You may hear more of it, if they silence it not, and make the punishment, absque strepitu, as they do in such cases.
Some here talk of a cessation for six weeks with the French; but I give no credit to it,
nor have I more to add this week; always persevering,
Sir, yours, &c.
A letter of intelligence.
Paris, June 12, 1655. [N. S.]
Vol. xxvii. p. 33.
Yours of the 7th instant I received with this post, with little of news, but the general resentment of all in England for the massacres committed in the Vallies of Lucerne and St. Martin. The hugonots here and most catholicks do the same. You have now a relation of it, as the lord chancellor here had it; but it is old, and so it may be you will not look upon it. The Irish regiment said to be there was the earl of Bristol's regiment, a small and weak one, most of them being English. I hear not such complaints of them as you set forth.
The court of France is much troubled for these massacres, not because they are done, but that it hurts them, for now they are satisfied it retards their peace with the protector; and a greater trouble they have, that by those means the marquis de Leda has leisure to proceed in his negotiation. Of this I gave you account in former letters.
Certainly the king of France will easily answer the protector, that the duke of Savoy is an absolute prince of himself, &c. Time will discover more of it.
I understand in secret, that the armies of this king yet on the borders of Flanders are so balanced with them of the archduke's, that there is no likelihood of any considerable action of either side, if they come not to battle, the event of which is so uncertain, and the loss so great, as neither party will willingly hazard it.
Here is nothing more, but what petty news you have in the annexed occurrences,
Sir, yours, &c.
H. Cromwell to secretary Thurloe.
Vol. xxvii. p. 489.
At my comeinge out of London I desired your favour to this bearer alderman Walley, whoe hathe attended a longe time (very much to the prejudice of his owne affaires) to have his accounts audited. The speedy appointinge hime auditors, which it seemes must be named by his highness, is all that he desires, or that I request one his behalfe; his former good services to the publique, and the great advantages it hath hade by his endeayours, is sufficiently known, which I hope may be one argument for your respect towards hime. I might add his willingness still uppon all occasions to help forward any publique business; and if it might adde any thinge for hime, I could tell you of very great respects done by hime to,
Chester, June 2, 1655.
Sir, your most humble servant,
I ame nowe goeinge hence to the place wheer the shipps ride.
Mr. Brewster came here laste night.
An intercepted letter.
To mr. Samuel Bimnell, merchant.
Vol. xxvii. p. 35.
I Kindly salute you. I received yours of the 27th, and am very sorry to hear that trade is so dead with you. It is as bad as bad can be here. I do not look it should mend, whilst things are in this nature; whatsoever you draw or consign to me shall be disposed according to your order. Without doubt Spain will break with us. Blake and his fleet are now before Cadiz. For what money or goods you consign hither may be in good safety. I would not have you to adventure your own person, for your creditors will be very inquisitive after you, and therefore by all means avoid it.
Viole, president of Brussels, to Barriere.
Brussels, June 12, 1655. [N. S.]
Vol. xxvii. p. 39.
His highness is with his troops observing the marches of the enemy. The archduke went from thence on sunday last in the afternoon. The earl of Fuensaldagna went away the same morning. They are to muster their troops together to be in readiness to oppose the enemy. If they undertake to assault us, it is resolved only to defend ourselves this summer. The queen of Sweden will not depart from hence for her journey into Italy till September next. By the next I will send you a cypher. In the mean time believe to be absolutely
Mr. Francis Jones to secretary Thurloe.
Vol. xxvii. p. 43.
Be pleased to excuse these rude lines of mine, since they are intended only to expresse (in some measure) my gratitude for those favours, which by your mediation I have received. I must confesse the crime considdered with the aggravation of my relation to his highness, might justly have stopt your eares to those petitions made in my behalfe. Yet your candid receiveing them, and his highness's gracious favour thereby obtained, make not only his mercy and your pitty more illustrious, but it hath oblig'd me to spend what further time shall be given me, in all dutifull obedience to his highness, and with all respectfull service to yourselfe. Those, who rightly understand me, can assure you, that I am not of soe obstinate and unrelenting a nature, as to neede the sorrowes of a long restraint, or the continued threats of death to worke out of me any thing that may conduce to his highnesse's service, or might give him farther satisfaction; but such is my unhappinesse, that what I have allready said as to the fact itselfe, as likewise in my promises of future fidellity, cannot obtaine that credit with his highness, as to make me reputed an ingenuous and gratefull person. To you therefore I address myselfe, in hopes you will be still instrumentall in procureing from his highness, if not a farther favour towards me, yet at least an oblivion of this unhappy action, for which I now justly suffer, and of those aspersions, which have beene since cast uppon me. To that end, I assure you, that in my confession made to his highness and your honourable selfe, I was soe free in all things that came to my knowledge, that to save my life I can say no more; and I do now protest, and uppon the honour of a gentleman declare, there is nothing in my breast worthy your knowledge, which I have not already revealed; so that if the faith and honour of a gentleman hath not lost that reputation, which it ever had amongst men, I presume, I shall, in your opinion, stand upright, and will not doubt of your endeavours to vindicate me to my lord protector, who by reason of strange furmises and false suggestions of such as wish me ill, cannot yet be persuaded to have a right understanding of me; neither should I wonder at his distrust of me, weare those calumnies true, with which I am aspersed. For I understand by some of my freinds, that the scandall of a highwayman or notorious robbar hath beene cast uppon me, on purpose to deprive me of his highness's mercy, by rendring me a person most unfitt to live, as indeed I weare, could my guiltiness of foe unworthy and dishonourable actions be evident to him. But I would desy the whole world, and with much innocence (as to any such base and unworthy action) scorn their reproaches, if I could but expiate this grand offence against his highness, for which I stand condemned. I shall therefore humbly desire you to have a favourable opinion of me, and to continue your mediation to his highness for a pardon, by which you will most highly oblige me and my poore family to pray for his highness and your honour's prosperity, and ever remaine
From Exon goale, June the 2d, 1655.
most faithfull and obedient servant,
My brother through his long restraint being very ill, and this time unable to write, hath desired me to present his humble service to you, with his hearty thanks for your favourable opinion of him; and bids me assure you, when any opportunity shall be offered, he will be ready to give you a reall testimony of his gratitude.
A letter from Jamaica.
Jamico, June 3, 1655.
Vol. xxvii. p. 47.
By captain Collins, who carried the state letters in the Malligo merchant, the 17th March
last, I writt you from Barbados of all passages to that day, &c. att which time our
general and commissioner being displeased with the delayes of account so often promised,
and then lamely brought in, seeing the necessity of an auditor general, as well for civill as
martial affaires, imediately with one consent voted that needfull place, and unanimously
established myself, they commanding my speedy execution thereof; which in one weeke's
time I performed to the advantage of the state above 1700 l. sterling, discovered from dark
puzling accounts, to the great content of the commissioners, relief of the army's quarter
charged on the treasurers, and honour to myself, which (as yet) I hope to continue with
love and faithfulness to every relations. Saturday 31 March, dispairinge of our reliese
from England, haveinge borrowed a few unserviceable armes from the island, wee shipped
about 60 saile, and 5000 soldiers, and that night waighed, the next day, weathringe St.
Vincente, E. S. E. onely inhabited by infidell and caniballs; and one monday 2d April
about noone, came to anchor about the middle of St. Lucia for councell, and giveinge
orders; where many off our men landinge, and others with smale galliots espying, cold
discover noe plantation or inhabitants, saveinge wild and venomous creatures, in that
craggy desart. Tuesday, 3 Aprill, neare noone, wayhed, and that eveninge weathered Martinico, inhabited by French, against which island dyed our generall eldest captaine Disney
in the Beare. Wensday, 4 Aprill, wee lay becalmed, south off Dominica, an infidell caniball nation, great enymes to our nation; where captain Leigh's wife was kept prisonner
3 yeares, her husband and many English barborously slaine by those bold people; who
now perceiveing some of our vessels to drive nere there shore, a few off them in a cannoo
comeinge (friendley counterfeits) nere the ship's side, darted some arrowes amongst our
men, gazeinge and admireing their hardy insolency, and quick as thought retreated.
Thursday 5 wee passed south by Guardelupa, a small French island, about which N. lyes
Casath, and 4 or 5 little islands, with around Cox island uninhabited N. E. Friday
6th wee passed Montserat, planted by English and Irish, off which E. lyeth a smale
island uninhabited, and about noone cleared Mevis; and at 2 afternoone made St. Kitts,
where the French gave us bien venu from all theire forts and gunnes, above 30 great shott
for salutes; and att eveninge comeing to our English plantations, besides theire generall
salute, our councill sent formerly thither coll. Fortescue, coll. Holding, and capt. Butler
(haveing made sure peace with the French) with 6 or 7 saile, and 1000 soldiers, came
welcome to our fleete, in which intervall I stepped ashore for two howres, viewing the
adjacent plantations, which indeed I saw soe industrious neatly manured, that I thought
I was in the French gardens, every acre affording a famelly subsistance, noe corne wasted,
yet the ground decaying and over-stocked; noe townes nor fit entertainment for our nombers. About 8 ith' eveninge wee filled sails, and saturday 7th of April ith morneinge we
passed Saby, a smale Dutch island, from which 7 leagues N. lyes St. Martin's, where
Spanyards make salte; and afternoone we were becalmed south west of Saby; a high
and unihnhabited island. The 8th off Aprill wee were comanded by the lee towards
some ships asterne, hoping from England, and in 6 howres came up with us the Adam
and Eve, which told us off another ship, scarse visible in her sterne, to which wee loosed
with all sailes; and at 6 in the eveneinge came up with us the Marygold, another
dumb beast lag'd behind from St. Lucia (which wee towed to the fleet). The 9th of
Aprill wee passed St. Cruz, an English islande, some 6 yeares past all slaine (with capt.
Philips the commander) most barbourously by the Spanyard, who now have itt. The
10th of Aprill wee passed St. John's, a rich plentifull island, Porto Rico beeinge theire
harbour, a very safe rydinge and stronge garrison, one off the Spanyards best strength.
Wensday and thursday wee hovered of Spaniola in counselle, and concluded the certaine
possession thereoff without blowes; shareinge the lyon's liveing skin with such assurance,
as I verily beleeve much displeased our gratious God, that hitherto hath brought us safe,
and by commissioner Winsloe's (alwaies unresistable) affirmitive, ordereth death for any
soldier to plunder or deminish the least vallue; which beeing proclaymed at the landinge,
proved fatall to the army. One regiment of seamen joyned with us our best counsells to
run into the harbour and towne off St. Domingo suddenly before knowledge of our approach, had sertainly carried our busines, but mr. Winsloe (who would not be contradicted) feringe any to have spoile save himselfe, pretendinge all for publick treasure, would
not suffer itt; whereby wantinge certaine guides for a neerer landinge place, itt was concluded to land att Cassado bay with 6 regiments and a halve; the other halfe regiments off coll. Holdip's and coll. Buller's . . . . . hover about the harbour, to amuse
the enemy, while the maine army landed, which on saturday was done safe and without
blowes. The seamen noe sooner hereinge proclaimed, noe plunder, laid downe armes, and
soe most of the army by the example; and though much sweetness used by the generall
and officers, noe cordialls could mittigate that poisonn; yet seeminge cheerfull, they marched that day, sunday and monday, through rough woods, some savannaes, and rich valleys;
a plentiful island, but very scarse watered; which with the heat and hard marching parched
all with drought. Monday, 17th of April, coll. Buller's regiment, with 500 of coll Holdip's, landed in a bay safe, neere a stronge fort, where sir Francis Drake formerly landed,
about 10 miles from the towne Domingo, and approaching that forte, the enemy
quitted, leaveing two great gunnes dismounted, and walles (what soe suddenly they
could dismantled) which made coll. Buller pursue his march towards the towne, through
the narrow passes off the wood, by a guide misled to some plantations vacant and waterlesse, nere a stronge forte 3 miles off the towne. No sooner was coll. Buller marched from
Drake's landing, past call or view, but the general with the maine army (after 30 miles
tedious weary march) came hungry, thirsty, tired, and beeinge informed by a message
from reare admirale, who rode there, to secure that forte, landinge place, and watering;
that coll. Buller was marched to the towne, and they beeing come into the passe off the
river, forded by coll. Buller, which the army cold nott then find fordable, the generall
immediatly marched along the river to a sugar worke, lodeging that night upona savanna,
without water, 7 miles from coll. Buller; and next day, tuesday 18th, marched and mett
with coll. Buller, neere the stronge fort in the towne road, where the enemy had ambuscadoed and lyned the wood, fell on our forlorn, killed adjutant generall Walters,
capt. Jenninges, commander off the reformade, capt. Watts off the sea regiment, capt.
Cox of the syerlockes, the generall's secretary mr. Temple, the commissioners subsecretary mr. Mursurd, who all with the generall fearelessely expected no such salutes; yett by
God's mercy and providence his excellency was miraculously preserved. The army then
enraged beat the enemy, tooke his ground, and recovered all the bodyes; and had not
extremity of thirst, hunger, weariness and night resisted, wold that night have entred the
towne; but necessity hath noe lawe, all impatiently cryed water, and many fainted, which
regretfully caused a retreat att tenn at night, and noe knowne water nerer then Drake's
landing place (with a strong rare guard to preserve the fainty sicke men) came wensday
to the said river and forte, to the shipinge, and there refreshed our wearied limbes and
fainting spirrits in consultatione, untill tuesday the 25th of Aprill. The sea generall all
this while hoveringe before the towne 4 or 5 leagues off the sorte, where mr. Winsloe
beeing, no consultations cold come to account without his and generall Penn's stamp,
which made our noble and unwearied generall to have so many dangerous passages in little
brigateenes to loose windward for theire consenting advise, which every tyme differing,
caused soe much delay, embased the soldiers, encouradged our enemy, and gave them tyme
for all possible resistance, to encrease theire number, effect theire counsel, and espy our
weaknes, wee havinge noe intelligence, knowledge of the country, our cheife guide,
capt. Cox, slaine, feeding on the worst saltest beefe unwatered, withall the moldy brown
dirty biskett, allowing us noe brandy or comfortable licquor, caused such imoderate desire off water, which (that river coming from a copper mine) afforded rather to encrease
then quench thirst, and the raines nightly powring, with fogges and dewes along
river, soe soaked our bodyes with flux, and none escaping that violence, that our
refreshment proved a weakeninge, instead of support. However another march was resolved, a smale morter peace (borrowed at Barbados) with ten shells, two smale drakes, and
some blunderbusses, got ashore; a very little proportion off brandy to chere our men
(which a good spoone might have held one share) then highly fluxing, noe harnesse nor
horses to draw, but all drawne by soldiers; mattockes and spades carried by other soldiers, which with there callabashes off water, snapsackes, bad armes, &c. spent our strongest
men, and rendered the weake unserviceable. Tuesday, 25th of Aprill, wee marched, lay
that night in the woods. Wensday, the 26th, adjutant generall Jacksonn, commandinge
400, its forlorne advanced neere the forte to the towne, where disobeyinge his orders,
to have two winges in each side the wood, for discovering the ambuscadoes, and cowardly
neglectinge the duty off his place (I doubt treacherously) to lead the party (put captain
Butler (a stout, but unexperienced soldier for such a designe) to lead the forlorne, who innocently fell into theire ambuscado; but most bravely behaveing himselfe with his divition, fought itt to death, and very orderly brought up his men till slaine. Soe did capt.
Powlet of the syerlockes fight to death; which Jackson seeinge fall, instead off reliefe,
faced about, and most bassely run away. Thereupon imediatly all the forlorne, like a
torrent in a narrow passage straitned, or a sudden or a furious wave in a rough sea,
nay indeed lightninge, the whole forlorne tumbled into the reformade; they all as
suddenly into the horse, they all mixt like a masse in soe narrow a passe, nott able to containe above six abrest (the close thicke woodes encompassinge the sides where the enemy
was lodged to flanke us) and the great fort gunnes loaded with smale shot, bitts off
iron, broken pistoll barrels, and all such mischiefe, had full power and sure ayme all alonge
that narrow passe; which soe routed all them, they in the same moment the generall's
owne regiment. Never was any thinge so wedged as wee, which made the enemy weary
with killinge; and had not the reare parte off major generall Haynes's regiment drawne
into the wood, and soe counterflanked (beating backe the enemy to the fort, regaineinge
all the ground, bodies and ambuseadoes, even under and beside the very forte, which
was mantained all night) our whole army had beene in that sudden motion disordered and
confused. Jackson sneakt into the bushes, like an old fox, and saved himselfe. Our most
gallant, noble, and valliant major generall Haynes, with whome, and nere his person (by
his own great desire) I was myselfe all this while, was slaine, launced through the body,
yet regained and brought of by his owne regiment. This was a great losse, as the
major generall his lieutenant coll. Clarke dyeing of those wounds, the most expert soldier
and best major Ferginson to the generall's regiment, captain Butler, captain Powlet,
captain Hinde, captain Hancocke, and many lieutenants, ensignes, and all the reformade,
onely 17 excepted, that got into the woods, and many hundred soldiers, with losse off
9 coleurs, that is the reformade's, captain Powlet's firelocks, the generall's regiment 5,
and major generall's 2, to the great dishonour of ourselves and nation; yett what God
will must be done, and this our affliction, I hope, will turne to mercyes, if wee bee
humbled as wee ought. Thursday, 27th of Aprill, early ith morneinge, our generall demaunded from captain Hughes, whether he could play the morter peece? who answered
noe, for the fort had such comand over all those places, that wold beate them from
it: this I heard him say and confesse; whereupon consideringe the soldiers weaknesse,
want of victuals, and most of water, as also the former discouragement, a retreat was privately concluded, a stronge reare guard appointed, the 10 morter shells neatly buryed,
our morter-peece, drakes, spades, shovels, and all drawne off, and wee safely that day all
gott our old landing place and forte. Here wee stayed our generalls, many goeing to
general Penn and mr. Winsloe, and every returne created new counselle; the raines
encreasinge, our men weakninge, all even to death fluxinge, the seamen aboard neglecting,
that forced us to eate all our troope horses (the enemy denying all releise, triumphinge)
and these miseries encreasing, our counselle resolved by seekinge God to purge the army.
First Jackson, found guilty of cowardise, had his sword broke over his head for a coward,
his commission taken away, and expulst the army, and to bee swabber to hospitall ships
off sicke people, which was accordinge done. Some women found in mens apparel
were punisht, and all suspected whores (Barbados and those plantations yeilding fewe
else) narrowly sought after; all officers and soldiers stricktly commanded to observe duty,
upon greatest paines; one of major generall (now Fortescue) soldiers, proved to run away,
hanged; and indeed like a wise prudent generall all thinges by him ordered; yett our
sicknes encreasing, itt was resolved againe to ship, and soe directely for Jamico, where
God hath owned us. I cannott omitt to expresse somethinge concerneing this great
busines, which Iame sure the world will mistake in reportinge; but myselfe beeinge a
present eye wittnes there on the place, and amongst the crowd, in the midst off danger,
near major generall's personn, I have not, neither shall I, relate any thinge but what I
know for certaine truth. I know a threefold cord cannot bee easily broken; but where
they twist not equally together, they many tymes cut one another; and this Iame sure,
that in martiall affaires, where commands execute like lightninges, and those variable as
the windes, accordinge as the present emergency requires, and not for consent off others,
to the losse off all, I well know his highnes wold never submitt, in all his past actions,
to such curbs, nor can brave designes ever succeed with such bridles, which I hope to
bee amended. The uncharitablenes of our reare admirall will not suffer my sylence, for
att that tyme weere by order shipped from Espaniola, hee did furiously and most unchristian like say, before good wittnes, where are there cowardly Spanyards now? Will
they nott come and cut off theis army rouges, that wee may noe more bee troubled with
them? And his owne leuetenant, my former acquaintance, beeing by accident aboard the
ship where I came into weake and soe ill nott able to stand, after salutes and some discourse, told mee to my face (like to his prosession) wee were all over-board, that they
might be rid of us againe; speakeing the very same words to captain Fincher in his
extremety off weakness, and alsoe to others. And many such vile unworthy expressions
have many off that religion, I mean anabaptists, exprest against us and the power wee
act under, domineering because off their present commands at sea, takeing liberty to
talke what they please, as indeed wee find by their actions, accordinge to their powers
against, &c. And I must needs acknowledge it a very great mercy, that God did us in
Espaniola, in comparison of this island wee are now in; for that beeinge much bigger
then England, most or all off itt woode and mountaines, and many enemies dispersedley
scattered, that our small nombers cold not seperate to beate them quite of, nor bee
able to plantt the one thousand parte ourselves, and itt lyinge soe much windward from
Cuba, this place, and especially the maine, wee should never bee able to loose it up
againe for any provision, or with prizes; whereas this island abounds more in all fertillity,
and not one quarter soe bigge, but lyes in the very heart off the Spaniard to gall him. The
3d off May wee parted from Espaniola, and thursday, 10th of May, anchor'd in theis
harbour off Jamico, a safe, secure ridinge for 500 saile of the greatest ships, landlockt
sufficient. That night wee landed all our army in the teeth of the enemy at his very forte,
where he had 9 peece ordnance severally placed, with 500 desendents, who seeinge
our resolution, most cowardly forsooke, and gave us all without any bloodshed, with
two smale vessells near the forte. The 11th May we entred this towne Jamico, they
haveinge conveyed all theire portable riches, with wives, children and servants, into the
mountaines, from whence thinking wee came (as coll. Jacksonn formerly did) to victuall,
plunder, and soe be gone, they, I say, sent divers persons, pittifully complayning, desiring
to know our wants, and humbly begging a treaty; which, considering the weaknes off our
army, unfixt and unserviceable armes, never a horse to pursue, our men saint and tired
much worse by pittifull usage on ship-board, the enemy horse all in full strenght, and
knowing the country, itt was resolved to treat; and they by pre-contract brought us in as
need required cattle enough. This held a full weeke, and being concluded, signed and sealed
by all the treators and the Spanish governor to boote, he with three cheises more are
hostages for performance; but when the articles were sente to theire campe to come in,
lay downe armes, bee transported to Spaine, with nothinge but clothes on theire backes,
leaveinge all manner of their goods, wealth, and riches, to us, denyed obedience, are
fled scattring to the mountaines, saying, they were all borne here, have noe acquaintance
or friends in Spain to relieve them, and soe resolved rather to dye here then begg there,
which will put us to some troble to expell them; like your tories in Ireland, or mosse
troopers in Scotland, whoe may mischiefe our stragglers, but dare not face the smallest
party, and will keepe us wakeinge to mind our duty as soldiers, and humble ourselves
before God, that hee give us not into theire hands. This island farre exceeds all others
in America for fertillity in all manner of thingse, fruits and cattle, horses soe good as any
in England, and I thinke farre more plentyfull, and beene by millions not to bee
numbred, the Spanish fleete victualling here allwayes; some good sugar workes, Indian
corne, rice, and all sortes of rare fruite in abundance; but the casado for bread onely
planted for their owne nombers, which untill wee encrease to our nombers is most wee
shall want; falte all alonge the shore, most white and fine that ever I saw, makes itself;
infinite and most plentifull of fowle and fish, many brave rivers, rich pastures, woods,
and indeed in all thinges farre exceeding any place I saw or read of, onely a little heat,
which is finely tempered with coole breezes, most troubles us yet at first; tobacco,
none better in the world, grows here; but the lazy Spanyard cares onely for himself,
and improves no further, which I hope now will bee better manured, to the greater benefite of ourselves and nation. Wee are informed, cloves, nutts, and mace, and cinnamon
grows here. I'ame sure I see and have cassia, tamerine, and cocoa-nutts, with all fruits
imagined, and some say gold and silver mines; all which I thinke probable, nature denying in gross nothinge here, which shee hath scattered in all other places by parcells;
and the richest wines in the world may grow here, iff wee had plantes; onely iron, lead,
and flint, we wante, with manufactures for cloathing. Certainly silke wormes wold
prosper bravely. I shall hereafter, when I better know the nature off the country,
give further advice. Wee have houses, lands, meate, water sufficient, and want servants
to plant and manure it. This my friend, mr. Hardwick, the ship just reddy to goe, I
can enlarge noe more, but must of necessity put this trouble upon you, that you cause
to be write several copyes, and sente as followeth: one to my wife, if she bee at London,
you will find or heare of her att my cosen mr. Nathaniel Stirrop's howse in Aldersgatestreet, otherwise at her howse in Ipswich; another copy to my brother, coll. William Daniel, governor of St. Johnson's in Scotland; another copy to my mother, mrs. Christian
Daniel, at her howse Tably, neare Knottsforde in Cheshyer; and to write every one of
them particularly the reason of my not writing to them, having noe tyme, the ship
beeing just goeing; but I shall to all of them by other ships that goe for England next,
making choise of you now, as I ever have done, for owne of my best and chiefest friends.
You must also either give my cosen Stirrop a copye hereof, or lett him have tyme to
write one himselfe; and satisfye him, that the oportunitys are more speedy for my lord
protector's view, then his can bee, and this may chance give his highness some satisfaction of the affaires here, thoe from so unworthy a penn as myne. I have not else but
my dearest respects to yourself and your sweet bedfellow, and all other friends that wish
Your most obliged and very humble servant,
You pardon errors, and picke out the sence, haveing not tyme to examen itt.
A letter of intelligence.
Rome, June 14, 1655. [N.S.]
Vol. xxvii. p. 685.
Yours are come safe by this post, by which I see all is quiet in England, which is now confessed here; and the protector's gallant proceedings in all his affairs, for which he is recommended here by most. But that transplantation in Ireland carries more clamour than is fit to be spoken, so I leave it. Of a general peace nothing since my former. The pope is become man; for by some private friends, that house of pleasure of cardinal of Montalto in Frescati is lately bought. Also the palace of the said cardinal Montalto in this city is upon buying by another secret friend of his holiness, which gives subjects of several discourses in this city, that all is done for his holiness; for few are able to buy such places, or to make use of them, when they have them; and therefore concluded all is bought by the pope for his nephews.
Four marquisses are come hither from Vienna, named embassadors, to congratulate the pope's election, which the duke of Florence takes not well, being his subjects. Yet not to displease the pope, he is content it may pass so now without precedent, conditionally that his own resident in the court of Rome introduce them to his holiness, as it was accordingly done.
Cardinal de Harrach is returned to his residence at Prague.
The governor of Milan moves not against Modena, seeng that duke stirs not yet.
The duke of Parma got 12,000 pistols from the Spaniards upon his guard, in case Modena should attempt a passage through his estates. The said duke of Parma's palace here
has up both the king of Spain's and the emperor's arms, which is all the news at this
Sir, yours, &c.
The Swedish resident to the states general.
Lectum Junii 14, 1655. [N. S.]
Vol. xxvii. p. 71.
Postquam felici numinis auspicio sacra regia majestas, dominus clementissimus, rerum potitus, imperium regni Sueciæ suscepisset, summâ semper curâ sibi propositum habuit, sinceram stabilemque cum regni Sueciæ vicinis amicis et confœderatis amicitiam et necessitudinem servare inviolatam, idque quibusvis occasionibus certis adfirmare documentis, sacra regia majestas, dominus meus clementissimus, antehac quidem celsitudinem dominorum ordinum generalium sœderati Belgii, de prospero suo ad gubernacula imperii accessu per literas certiorem reddidit. Veruntamen, quo sacra regia majestas, dominus meus clementissimus, singularis sui et candidi in celsitudinem dominorum ordinum generalium fœderati Belgii animi affectus majorem fidem faceret, et quantum illos existimaret ulterius significaret, non potuit non me hue amandare, ut nomine sacræ regiæ majestatis, domini mei clementissimi, idem celsitudini dominorum ordinum generalium fœderati Belgii coram insinuarem cum voto prosperi omnium rerum successus, quo in firmo et pacifico rerum statu cum proprio juxta amicorum confœderatumque bono atque emolumento diu feliciterque floreant: itaque sicut sacræ regiæ majestatis majores et antecessores fœderati Belgii amicitiam maximi semper habuerint momenti, ambæque nationes maximo cum fructu prosectum inde commodum cum securitate atque libertate commerciorum navigationisque expertæ, consilium sacræ regiæ majestatis domini mei clementissimi est, cum laudandis illorum exemplis, tum proprio motu, confidentem illam amicitiam, tam longo temporis tractu stabilitam, non tantum confirmare, sed et occasionem quærere, qua tam salutaris unio ad utriusque partis satisfactionem atque utilitatem imposterum magis excoletur atque accrescat; deinde quod celsitudo dominorum ordinum generalium sœderati Belgii liberâ voluntate et proprio instinctu prompta officia per suos deputatos ad componendos exortos inter sacram regiam majestatem et civitatem ejus Bremensem motus obtulerint (quod alias incendium per malevolorum fomentationes majori inflammatione totum fortassis imperium Romanum atque circumjacentes nationes involvisset) haud parum sacræ regiæ majestatis, domini mei clementissimi, animum sibi novo hoc amicitiæ officio duplici nomine devinxerunt, cum propter magnos in eo factos sumptus, tum quod sacra regia majestas, dominus meus clementissimus, ab omni illius belli cura vacuus secundum præsentem apud exteras in vicinitate nationes rerum faciem, suis jam domi tantum rebus prospicere necessum habeat. Quam ob causam ante omnia mihi in mandatis datum est, singulares celsitudini dominorum ordinum generalium fœderati Belgii gratias referre, et sicut certissimum illud fuerit illorum amicitiæ et secundæ in sacram regiam majestatem voluntatis argumentum, grata id sacra regia majestas, dominus meus clementissimus, tenere se memoria, suaque reciproca celsitudini dominorum generalium fœderati Belgii officia, quocunque id modo ipsorum interesse possit, numquamd efutura pollicetur; sic sacræ regiæ majestati, domino meo clementissimo, maximé cordi esse, sinceram cum celsitudine dominorum ordinum generalium fœderati Belgii et considentem semper amicitiam colere atque stabilire.
Signat Gustavus Spaar.
General Venables and capt. Gregory Butler to the protector.
Vol. xxvii. p. 67.
May it please your highnesse,
Hoping you have received long before this the exact account wee sent you by captain Collins from the Barbados, as well of all our transactions there, as of our extraordinary wants of several things most necessary to be had, (which we cannot but be confident, you will supply very speedily, since they daily encrease more and more upon us) wee thinke it convenient to begin there, where wee then ended; and so continue the narrative of our proceedings. According to our resolution intimated to your highness in our letter, we departed from Barbados within few days after the date thereof, and in our way passing by Christophers, we took up a regiment there, and the 14th day from our weighing anchor arrived at Hispaniola, where we landed without delay; but by reason of the absence of our guide, so far off of the town, that it made our attempt thereon unsuccessful; for it being thirty long miles march, both officers and soldiers, what through want of water, what through the excessive heat of the climate, (which was the more intolerable, by reason that our march lay all the way through close tall woods, that kept all manner of breeze from us) and what through eating of oranges or other fruits by the way, were most of them so far spent and tired, that they could hardly stand upon their legs, being for the most part troubled with violent fluxes, hundreds of our men having dropt down by the way, some sick, others dead, so that we lost no inconsiderable number in that march, besides our giving time to the enemy to fortify themselves in the town, and our driving no small part of them before us. Nor could this possibly be prevented, our only guide Cox being dispatched away before to scout for intelligence, and returning too late, by reason of contrary winds, that kept him from us; nor could we possibly get any intelligence, either of the ways, or of the state of the town, none of the negroes coming in to us, and the enemy keeping so close, that none of them could possibly be surprized, at least of such as could give us any good account. Thus in want of guides, intelligence, water, we made a shift, though heartless and spiritless, to creep (for so it may be justly stiled) within a mile of the fort, where we met with our guide Cox, who was killed the very first bout by an ambuscade; so that missing of water there, where Cox promised to find us out some, we were forced to retreat back (both men and beasts perishing through want thereof) to the river Hyne, some six miles from thence, where we endeavoured for two or three days to give our men some refreshment, as well of victuals from the fleet, as water from the river; but they were too much spent to be put in heart so soon again. Yet left we should give the enemy too much time, we put ourselves upon a second march, adjutant general Jackson having the command of the forlorn, consisting of about 400, who behaved himself so unworthily both in disobeying of his orders, and discouraging of his men, by keeping in the rear, when he should have been in the van (for which he was cashiered by a council of war) that the greatest part of them were cut off by another ambuscade; they flying, and disordering by their tumultuous and confused flight, two of the regiments, that followed them, it being in a narrow lane, where three or four only could march abreast, At this second bout we lost major general Heane, major Fergison, and several other prime officers; whereby the soldiers were so much disheartned, that there was no possibility of drawing them on any further; so that it was unanimously agreed upon by the officers, and assented unto by the commissioners, that some other place should be thought upon; and accordingly we pitched upon Jamaica, where, through God's blessing, we now are, but in none of the happiest conditions, the enemy lurking in the woods, and keeping the cattle and other provisions from us, but only what we gain from day to day at the point of our swords. And though we could get flesh at an easier rate, yet the continual apprehension we are in of the want of bread, which daily diminisheth considerably, cannot but trouble us extremely; for though two of our store-ships (through a very seasonable mercy and providence) arrived hither lately, yet the bread they brought us is so inconsiderable, that it will but serve the army for 22 days at half allowance; and to say the truth, the remainder of all the provisions of the fleet, by nearest computation, is but three months victuals for them alone. As for New England, though we are a dispatching thither with all speed for a supply, we are assuredly informed, that what we are like to receive from thence will be altogether inconsiderable to the number of mouths we are to feed. The want we have been in hitherto of bread (we not being able to be suddenly supplied therewith out of the fleet, or our stores, through want of waggons and other conveniencies for transportation thereof) joined with the drinking of water, hath already cast both officers and soldiers into such violent fluxes, that they look more like dead men crept out of their graves, than persons living; and this so generally, that we have not above two colonels in health, three majors, some seven field officers in all; besides many have been already swept away with this disease; so that we extremely fear, lest we shall suddenly want officers fit to command our soldiers. As for this island of Jamaica (that we may acquaint your highness with every thing that is material;) by its situation it lyeth more advantageously for annoying the Spaniard on every side, than Hispaniola; neither is it inferiour in itself, for we find it to abound with store of fish, fowls, cattle, fruits of all sorts usual in these parts; and are informed further by one of the chiefest and oldest inhabitants of the country, that there is a silver mine here, as also one of copper, lately discovered, besides, some grains of gold have been found likewise. The climate is more temperate than that of Hispaniola, by reason of its lying more open to the eastern breeze; nor is it less fruitful in any respect. The posture we stand in for the present in relation to the enemy, is this; upon our approach, they fled with their wives, children and goods into the mountains, leaving the bare town to our possession; but not long after we were entered, they sent some of their chief men to treat with us. Yet they having broken their promises and engagements made to us, we sent out a party to fetch in their governor; whereupon we made them to subscribe to the like articles with those they gave us at Providence. But though we have their governor and other chief men of the island in our custody, as hostages, they have nevertheless treacherously broken with us, and have driven away their cattle, putting us by that means to a hard shift, and cutting us out a great deal of work, by forcing us at once to provide for our selves, and pursue them; notwithstanding we hope to reduce them perfectly e're it be long (having already sent out strong parties for that purpose) for they are not in any condition to stand out, but feed themselves with hopes of escaping to Cuba, which we will endeavour to prevent by sending away of brigantines. The reason of our dismissing part of the fleet home is, that we feared, that we should never be able to victual them all; so that we judged it best to retain only some of the swistest sailors here with us, sending the rest away. We had almost forgot to acquaint your highness, that we lost mr. Winslow, very suddenly in our sailing towards this island, of a fever. Now having represented unto your highness the whole story of our proceedings, we shall expect your further commands and directions for what we are to do, as being
Jamaica, June 4, 1655.
Your highness's most humble
and faithful servants,
Bordeaux, the French embassador in England, to his father.
London, June 14, 1655. [N. S.]
Vol. xxvii. p. 75.
The letter, which you were pleased to write to me the ninth, caused me to read over my last letters to the court, to see whether they gave full hope and assurance of a speedy conclusion; and I find, that all those, that do speak favourably of it, do end with some mistrust, that this government would use all manner of ways to prolong the same; and if you have a copy of the last, which contained the news, that the articles of the treaty were resolved on, and that my commissioners had sent me word, that they would sign as soon as the articles were writ out fair, you will find, that I gave great suspicion, that under the pretence of the disorders happened in Savoy, the lord protector might chance to delay a while longer my negotiation, and that I demanded precise orders in that case. But it seems, that the lords of the court do take what they please out of my letters, and forget the rest, to have a little to reproach me, that I do advise them, that their business is done, which did never yet happen to be so; neither could I write it, unless I would speak against my own judgment. But I could not forbear giving an account every week, to make a relation of the result of the conferences, which I had had with my commissioners; whereof the last have given place to the whole world, to believe the peace to be concluded. And unless a man could penetrate into the secrets of the ministers of this state, or narrowly examine their proceedings towards me, it would be very hard not to be deceived. So likewise I do not wonder, that his eminence hath advice from several parts; yet however I do not believe, that he hath better advice than mine; at least it hath not appeared to me hitherto. You know by the rules of policy one must affect sometimes to be well informed; and likewise to have different opinions from those of the under-ministers, to the end that in all events they may say, that they were better informed. But without doubt, if they will do me the favour as to read over my letters, they will find, that I did foresee all that would happen in my treaty, and then I make no doubt, but right shall be done me. And if my last letters did give more hope than they should have done, it was after they had given me so many positive answers, and many reasons, which did concur to make me believe them to be sincere. Besides, I had word sent me to retreat, if there were no hope. And I am still persuaded, that it is the interest of this government to accommodate. If they will still use delays after the answer, which the protector expects from the king, and the court do not approve of my treaty, I should be glad I might have precise orders sent me for my retreat; and as soon as I have them, I will presently be gone. And I do also intend to write to his eminence and the earl of Brienne about my own business in the same terms, as you desire of me, both for my money and my future subsistence.
I do not write by this post to the court. It is said for certain here, that the army is putting the legislative power upon the lord protector, which the kings never had but with joint interest with the parliament; and, it seems, to uphold their design, they have sent for extraordinary troops to defend their cause, in case any should hinder him.
The governor of Elizabeth Castle to the protector.
Vol. xxvii. p. 83.
May it please your highnes,
Upon fryday last beeing June the 29th, I received your highnes two letters by mr. Dewell, mrs. Lilborne's father; and upon satterday he and I went to Mount Neyville Castle, where lieutenant collonel Lilborne and his father-in-lawe and myselfe had a long discourse with him, but to litle purpose; soe wee rode out againe the monday following. These are to give your highnes an accompt, but not such a one as I wish I could; for I cannot but report, that he is the very same man as formerly; I see no alteration, though endeavored by the honest ould gent'lman his father-in-lawe, and afterward tryed by myselfe, to see what complyance there would be in him to his freinds desires. He protested against all wayes, and saith, he will owne none for his liberty, but by the waie of the lawe; and that was the summe of all that his father or myselfe could have of him. His father was saying to him, as though your highnes was speaking of removing him to the isle of Wight; to that, he said, he would assent unto, and that was all that he complyed with his father-in-law, as I remember. And truly I have this to say for that, that I conceive it the liklyest way to bring his spirit to be meek and quiet, is, that he beeing in some garrison there, or elsewhere, neare home, that some of his soberest and wisest freinds might come to him and deale with him by arguments and perswasions one after another; for to his temper I see none but such a waie will do any good, nor prevaill with him, for ought I can see. Possible your highnes may thinke, that I speake this to be quitt of him out of this place. No trewly, my lord, I do not; but I speake it from my soule, I thinke it the best way, and that nothing else in my apprehension will prevaile with him (if that do) though indeed I have cause enough to desire him remooved from this place, for he is more trouble then tenn such as Ashburnham. Besids, I have such a people to deale withall here, that you would commiserate me, did you see there conditions, and my souldiers many disorders, notwithstanding I have punished divers of them; so that I dare say, there is never a three garrisons in England have the trouble I have here; but I question not in keeping them closs to the English interest, and with God's assistance to go through the worke, and in some tyme to have things in a more quiet posture. I had forgot one thing, that he had said upon his father-in-lawe pressing him to forbeare determyneing to have all things his owne way, and to refrayne his reproachful words, he replied, the lawe was his way, but yet he would referr the difference (as he called it) between your highnes and himselfe to my lord Rowles and my lord St. Johns, or to fowre understanding Christians. I ask'd him, what then, would he sett down by it? He sayed, aye. But I do much question it. This he had said formerly to me. But I thought it not a seemely thing for him to offer an arbitration, and unlikely that he would sett downe by it, except it liked his humour, which made me forbeare writing of it. Wherein I have done or wrott amiss I beseech you to pardon. I am,
your most humble
and faithfull servant,
Elizabeth Castle, June 4, 1655.
Yesterday mr. Ashburnham's man came with your highnes order to remoove him to Deal Castle. He is this day preparing to go by the first opportunity after this vessell.
Mr. R. Aldworth to secretary Thurloe.
V. xxvii. p. 87.
My last unto you was of the 8th currant, giving you notice, that monsieur de Merkure with his ships and gallyes had taken the castle of Cope de Quies, which is near Roza, with the loss of 400 soldiers, although a place of small consideration; that he had succored Roza, and was returned to Thollon with his ships; only the gallies still abroad, and the rest of the fleete is fitting as speedily as possible they can; butt may not be ready this 5 weeks. It's most probable their designe is against Barcelona in Cattalonia, in regard my advice from Levorne of the 7th currant gives mee notice, that att Naples the Spaniard is fitting 8 ships with all dilligence, to carry foot soldiers to Barcelona; the French hath already 10000 horse and foot in Cattalonia, and more will sudainly follow, which are raysing in the provinces of Langadock. The advise of general Blake's being about Mayorke and Ivique is since confirmed by a barke of this place, that arrived thence 4 dayes past. Att this instant I come from speaking with the admirall Vandoisme for the releasment of the English ships; his answer was, the peace was not yett finisht 'twixt our states and the king of France. I then produced him the king's order for theire releasement, which I lately received from Paris. So hee demanded three dayes to give his answer, in which tyme hee will be heare. I hope hee will use noe farther delayes, of which I shall give you notice in my next. In the meane tyme humbly take leave, and remayne
Your honnor's servant,
Att this instant is arrived a barke from the Levant, who reports, that he mett beyond Malta 24 ships, which were conceived to bee English. They was making towards Tripoly.
My advise from Smirna, of the 31st Aprill, gives me notice, that the English merchants theare and in other parts of Turkey are very doubtfull the grand seignor will troble them, by reason of general Blake's proceedings at Tunis.
In Marseillia, June 15, 1655. [N. S.]
A letter of intelligence.
Hamb. June 5, S. V. [1655.]
Vol. xx. p. 207.
The Swedish forces in these parts have now received orders to march (as it's said) for Pomerania, whence their generall rendevouz is still appointed. We long to see them a little further off, and to know their reall design, which is so variously interpreted here, as that we know not which to give credit unto. Some are still of opinion, their intentions are only against Prusia; others are persuaded to believe they will make use of this fair opportunity to press their action upon the lands of Culick, Cleve, and Berghe, and that their head design is against Silesia and the rest of the Emperor's hereditary dominions. And there want not those also, who dare boldly affirm their real intention to be to joine with Denmark in opposition to the states of Holland, to exclude them wholly out of the Sound. But this of any seems to be farthest from reason, nor can we shew any great warrant for either of these opinions, which are not to be grounded upon, untill the action itself confirms the truth of one another.
Bordeaux, the French embassador in England, to de Thou.
June 15. 1655. [N. S.]
Vol. xxvii. p. 115.
I Do not wonder at what you write me in your letter of the 8th, concerning the inclinations of the lord embassador Nieuport. I have had time enough to learn them; and in some rencounters he was not able to conceal his opinion. But that is no great harm for France; for though they should happen to break with us, yet we shall not be thereby much incommoded. It is more to be wondered, that the states general should stand so much upon their punctilios; and that they should make a halt, who shall execute it. I can assure you, that the lord protector doth not approve of this conduct. He spoke to me this afternoon very openly, and well, in other terms than monsieur Nieuport doth use in his letters to his superiors. He disowneth, that he ever found fault at the leisure made in France, nor at our conduct, which we held in their regard, and doth formalize himself no less than we of their inclination to favour the affairs and commerce of Spain. This declaration, confirmed by the orders, which he gave very exactly, to stop all ships, which come or go for the Canaries, and by the proceedings of the admiralty court here, the merchant ship called the morning star, which came lately from St. Cruz in Tenerif, was taken, and brought into Milford harbour; for the clearing whereof the states general have very much insisted; yet the same will run a hazard of being condemned.