State Papers, 1655: January (1 of 4)

Pages 64-83

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

January (1 of 4)

By the commissioners of the admiralty an estimate of the charge of the navy for this winter and next summer.

January 1. 1654.

In the possession of George Duckett, Esq;

The said commissioners having taken into their consideration the concernment and charge of the navy for the present winter, and following summer, have drawn up an estimate thereof, which is hereunto annexed, whereby it appears, it will be requisite for defraying the charge of the same, the sume of 850610 l. and for the ordinary expence in the office of the ordnance the sume of 63208 l. 13 s. 8d. which in the whole is 913818 l. 13s. 8d. to be provided by such monthly proportions as are therein likewise specify'd, and do humbly offer the same to his highness the lord protector and the councill, praying that there may be such timely and effectuall provision made for supply of money as may answer the emergencies of the said service, and enable due payment of the debts already contracted. It is likewise further humbly offered, that in this estimate there is nothing included for the charge of generall Blake's and generall Penn's squadrons for any longer time than the 25th March next following; so that if there be any intention for their provision untill the 1 October 1655. there must be a proportionable sume of money further allowed, which by estimation is 108919 l. It is further humbly offered, that in this estimate there is yet 8000 mens victualls considered for this next summer guard, for as much as there is liberty to declare for the other 1000 l. at any time between and February next; so that if there be a resolution to have 1000 mens victualls more declared for, and they also imploy'd, that charge must be provided for also, which by estimation will for 6 months and ½ from the last of March to first of October, be 26000 l. and generall Disbrowe is desired to report the same.

Ex. Ro. Blackborne, Secretary.

The originall hereof was read in councill 2 Jan. 1654. and then ordered that a copy should be delivered to the commissioners for the treasury.

W. Jessop clerk of the councill.

A paper of information.

The briefe account of the busines.

January 1. 1654.

V. xxii. p.17.

About the 25th of September they treated with my lord Fairefax, by the mediation of a person, as they tearme him, of 4000 l. per annum, who fell sick about the 20th of October last. The summe of that busines is, they pretended my lord Fairefax upon a good opportunity would give his assistance.

The 11th of November col. Garnett, who hath an estate neere Croyden in Surrey, went to Charles Stuart to Cullen, with two more in his company, one from the city, the other from the army. They returned the 28th of November. Hee being secured may bee forced to reveale his complices. He was in towne on saturday last, &c.

Sir Humprey Bennett, the lord Bellasis, are of the secrett committee; and if my lord Willowby bee comming to towne, itt may certainely be concluded hee is in. I heard him mentioned to be generall of the city forces.

Mr. Weston, sone to Sir Richard Weston, went out of the towne on friday night last, to bring a considerable person to towne, with whom I was to conferre. His journey lies thorow Colebrook. Itt is sayd, the person hee went too, concealed himselfe, butt by this circumstance may bee revealed.

On thursday last, col. Alured told a gentleman that came to see him, that Okey had undone major general Overton and the busines.

For the press I shall to night give a considerable account.

Sir William Campion, governor of Borstall–house for the late Kinge, is come to towne this morninge.

Indors'd by secretary Thurloe.

Mr. Deane his paper.

The Examination of John Skinner, of Tower–hill, gunsmith, taken Jan. 1. 1654.

V. xxii. p. 5. In the hand writing of secretary Thurloe.

Saith, that he hath in his shop about 600 arms in his house. That he hath within these two months sold about 100 pair of pistols, part whereof he sold unto one Mr. Stursman (who he believes lives in London, but knows not where) and the other part he delivered unto mr. Fryer, a chandler in Tower–street. He faith, he knows one Custis, but never dealt with him.

The examination of Thomas Skinner, of Leadenhall–street, gunsmith, taken Jan. 1. 1654.

Saith, that he sold 20 carbines to one mr. Custis, of Lime–street, who told him, they were to be ship'd; but knows not whither. He sent also about 19 pair of pistols to his brother Skinner; and faith, the said Custis was speaking of about 50 pair of pistols, and about 40 or 50 carbines more to be made; but did not make any agreement for them.

The examination of Thomas Woral, taken Jan. 1. 1654.

Saith, that he hath lately sold about 20 carbines to Custis, a merchant in Lime–street, and seven pair of new pistols to another, whose name he knows not.

The examination of — Fryer, ship–chandler in Tower–street, taken Jan. 1. 1654.

He faith, that he hath in the house about 40 pair of pistols.

The examination of Edmund Custice, taken Jan. 1. 1654.

V. xxii. p. 9.

Saith, that he hath been acquainted with major Henry Norwood, occasioned by correspondence in Amsterdam from Virginia; but hath no account of dealings with him at all in England, only exchanged 50 l. with him at Cambden–house, gold for silver. That the 5 chests and 2 trunks of arms now found in his house are partly bought by himself, and partly by mr. Stursman, to be sent for Virginia. That the said Stursman is already gone, and he is to ship the arms by the first ship after him, in a cargo of other goods, in a ship called the charity, John Bosworth master. That the arms he bought were in the Minories, at the Golden Lion, and next door to that. At which Lion he hath also bespoke this week 13 carbines, to be ready in 10 days, and 10 carbines on the same terms at next door. (fn. 1) And being farther examined, where he hath been in company with the said major Norwood, he faith, he met with him at the chamber of the said Norwood, in the Temple, and also at the Hoop and Pye in Leaden–hall street, and sometimes at Cambden–house, at mr. Crone's; and that he hath met in his company one Glover and Tomlyns. He met him likewise at the Fountain in Fen–church–street.

The examination of major Henry Norwood, taken Jan. 1. 1654.

V. xxii. p. 13.

Who faith, that he hath lain in and about London since August last was a twelve month about his own affairs, and especially to sell some goods he brought with him out of Virginia, to his best advantage, and to buy other goods to send to the same place. And he being told, that he was taken, as being suspected to have a hand in the late plot with Jerratt and others; and being now again asked, what his answer was then, he faith it was much to the same purpose as before. And being questioned, wherefore he bought horsemens arms, he replied, that he bought them to be sent into Virginia, for the use of that plantation; the number of which arms he faith is contained in two papers, which were found about him upon his apprehension, the greatest part whereof do remain with one mr. Custis, a merchant in Lime–street, and the other part of the arms he faith are sent to Virginia, inthe ship whereof captain Whitty is master, and were put on board by one mr. Ludwell, who went in the same ship, which ship went from England about a month ago. And being asked, whether those arms were entered in the custom house, he faith, they were not, and that no custom was paid for them. And being further demanded, why the arms aforesaid were sent to Mr. Custis, he faith, that mr. Custis and he had formerly dealings to Virginia together; and that they were partners in those arms and other goods, which they intended to send to Virginia; and further faith, that the arms aforesaid were bought by the said mr. Ludwell and one mr. Stearsman, who is gone to sea, as he believes, about a fortnight since. And that sithence there have been no more arms bought by him, or by his direction, nor hath he imployed any persons to buy arms, other than the said Ludwell and Stearsman. And being demanded, whether he hath any arms besides those at mr. Custis's house, he faith, he hath not. And being asked, what was meant by writing mr. Tomlyns debitor upon the top of the paper, and who that mr. Tomlyns was, he faith, that mr. Tomlins is now dwelling in Virginia, and went from hence thither about twelve months since; since which time he hath not been here; but faith, that by direction from mr. Tomlyns he received 250l. for buying the commodities mentioned in the said paper; and that the said money was brought to him by a porter, whom he knows not; nor doth he know from what place he brought it; only he signed a receipt for the money to the said mr. Tomlyns, which he gave to the porter. And being afterwards asked, whether he knew not from whom the said money was sent, he now faith, that as he remembers, the said money was sent from one mr. Philmore, who was then in London, but is since gone to Virginia, as he believes. And being asked, to what place he went, when he left his lodging at the Temple, he faith, he went to the lady Newport's, where he lay till saturday last, when he went to mr. Glover's. And being asked, why he went to mr. Glover's, he said he did it to secure himself from his creditors, and to see mr. Glover's stilling works. And faith, that he hath sold his chamber at the Temple to one mr. Frogmorton, but that no body lies in it for the present. And being asked, whether he hath any acquaintance with the lord Willoughby, he faith, he hath, and that he hath spoken with his lordship several times of late about transplanting of mulberry trees out of Virginia to Surinam, and settling of plantations for silk in Virginia, and that he had no discourse with him of any other business that he remembers. And being asked, what meetings he had had with mr. Custis and mr. Glover, he faith, he hath had several meetings with them, in particular at mr. Croane's house on saturday last, where they three and one mr. Tomlyns dined together, which Tomlyns he faith is a kinsman of the aforenamed mr. Tomlins in Virginia; and that the occasion of their meeting was about their Virginia business, wherein this mr. Tomlyns in England hath no share at all; but being there as one of his acquaintance, he procured for him 50 l. in gold for so much silver; which 50 l. in silver mr. Tomlvns bringing with him, was delivered to mr. Custis, who gave him 50 l. in gold for it. And being demanded, where the said mr. Tomlins lodgeth, he faith, he knows not.

H. Norwood.

The examination of Henry Croone taken Jan. 1. 1654.

V. xxii. p. 21. In the hand writing of secretary Thurloe.

Saith, that major Norwood hath several times been at his house in company with other gentlemen; and in particular that upon saturday last he dined there with one Mr. Tomlyns, as he remembers his name, and two others whose names he knows not. And that after dinner major Norwood called to the deponent for the bag, which he had sent to him; whereupon the deponent called to his boy, and wished him to deliver the bag to the said Norwood, which he did accordingly; who having taken out some part of that which was in the bag, which he believes was money, he left the rest in the closet, where it lay before. And the deponent faith, that he came by the bag in manner following, viz. That about tuesday last a young man brought unto his house a bag in manner of a satchel, and asked the deponent, if he knew major Norwoood; whereupon the deponent answering, that he did, he said that Norwood desired him this deponent to lay up this bag for him. Whereupon the deponent wished his boy to take it, if it were sealed, and lay it up, which his boy did, and the bag continues there still, save that the said Norwood took away something out of it, as aforesaid, upon saturday last.

January. 1 1654.

Hen. Croone.

General Monck to secretary Thurloe.

V. xxii. p. 65.

I Received yours of the 26th of December with the duplicat you sent inclosed therein. I have lately secured major Bramston and Mr. Otes with some others. I have now sent my lord copies of some dangerous papers found about them. I send you heere inclosed some papers concerning col. Overton, of which I desire you to acquaint his highness my lord protector. All things heere are soe quiet, that I hope you will heare of noe more stirrs among ourselves, or from the Scots; for Midleton with about 12 men are gon into the isle of Skey, whence they intend to goe in a dogger boate for beyond the seas, notwith standing that hee had sent a trumpeter to col. Fitche, in order to his comeing in, and makeing his peace. As I heare (though I have noe letter of it) col. Overton is secured at Dundee, who (I hope) shall bee speedily with you. I remaine

Dalkeith, 2d January1654.

Your most affectionat servant,
George Monck.

Col. Overton to the protector.

V. xxii. p. 69.

May it please your highnesse,
It is now neere fix weeks since I receaved your commaundes for my speedy repaire to this place, where I doubted not but that my dispatch woulde have bin as quick as my call from the North was unexpected; whereunto I hope the readiness of my obedience and tediousness of attendance hath in sum acceptable measure answered your highnesse's expectations, for which I still stand bounde to ad to my former endevours such fresh evidences of my sidelity, as may, I hope, satisfye the most curious inquirers into my actions.

And though, my lorde, noe innocency can be foe confidently secure, but without betraynge itselfe it may lawfully with to stand in the eye of favour, yet I trust my behaviour hitherto hath been sutch, as before disenterested judges will beare mee up against the reportes or misrepresentations of all delators. If any expressions have through the freedome, which wee fought for, fallen from mee, I shall desire noe more ingenuity in my adversaries constructions, than what my 14 yeares faithfull services will warrant me to clayme.

But sutch, my lord, is my misfortune, that I am yet kept hoodwinkt as to the cause of my attendance; and all that I can grope out in this darknesse is, that my condition resembles that of Cremutius in Tacitus, verba mea arguuntur, adeo factorum innocens.

But I am yet bold to beleeve, I am happier in my judge, than hee was; and woulde your highnes vouchsase to ad a litle expedition to your wonted condissention, I shoulde quickly putt a period to all the trouble, that you might further in this respect receive from

Your highness's humble and obedient servant.

Col. Overton and col. Allured to the protector.

May it please your highnesse,
It is a virtue not to be over forwarde, and may cum within the compasse of a crime or accusation to be too flowe in selfe–concernments. But knoweinge in part the pressures which are upon you, it mighte be an argument of ill manners in us to be over–importunate for a dispatche; yet not to be somethinge sensible of the same after soe tedious an attendance, might begett an opinion, that wee were in some respect supinely negligent of publique or private imployments, if not in some other kinde culpable. Therefore wee still, my lorde, with as mutch patience as we may, attende upon your pleasure, not doubtinge in the interim but our fidelitys will defend themselves againste all misprisions or reportes whatsoever. Wee therefore hope your highnesse will no longer exercise our patient expectations with delayes, for wee are tender of that reputation, which you may as to men bothe give and take away Whilste wee are under suspence, innocence may suffer and be shaken, thoughe in the interim it inwardly beare up against time and detraction. Whatsoever hath occasioned our cominge and continewance here, wee humbly crave an impartiall audience and a speedy dispatch, and therefore wee once more beseeche youre highnesse to give us some result, that foe our attendance may in time attaine its honest end; it being in your highnesse power to period the tediousness wee are under, and therein the uncomfortablenesse of our condition, not knoweinge the occacion thereof. Sir, if God fee it good, wee may probably in peace or warr witnesse once more to the worlde in all uprightnesse and integrity, how mutche we are and may be

Your highnesse's assured servants,
R. Overton,
Math. Allured.

Col. Overton to lord Lambert.

V. xxii. p. 75.

My Lorde,
I am still a patient expectant: hearein my integrity is accompanied with a chearefull submition to my attendance, in attaineinge my honest ends and aimes for puttinge a period thereunto. I suppose very mutch is in your lordship's power: therefore lend your assistance, I beseech you, fir, (foe spedily as your important imployments may permitt) to move his highnesse the lord protector to consider the frequencie of my attendance the * * * of my concernments, and the uncomfortablenesse of my condition in not knowinge the cause of my cominge hither or continewance heare, that foe, if God fee it good (as in former, foe in future service) I may make acceptable to your honourable ends and aimes,

Your lordshipp's assured servant.

Col. Overton to lord Disbrowe.

Right honorable,
Though I am a stranger to you, yet incouraged by your late unexpected civilities, haveinge layne heare now almoste fix weekes to receive his highnesse's commands, I make bolde to request your honor to be foe farr effectualymoveinge for mee, that I may not withoute just cause to the contrary be kept from my commaunde, my fidelity wherein, accordinge to the publique or private trust reposed in mee, if my 14 yeares faithfull services will not warrant, lett me be otherways att pleasure disposed of; but if this will not doe, there is a God, att whose feete I shall fitt downe, and submitt to his commaunde, rather than my owne choyce. He that fetts us the bounds of our habitation, culls oute allsoe for us the portion of our employments. This free agent is not tyed up to any instrument, but can carry on his worke withoute us as well as with us. Thus, sir, you fee I can a little comfortte my selfe; for whilst wee are sufferinge, our father's will is doinge: wherefore, shoulde the forum fori be shutt againste mee, yet the forum poli is open to mee, that foe I may unbosome myself to a prayer–hearinge God, that hee will heare and cause my innocencie to shine forth as the sunne att noone day; which is the assurance of, sir,

Your assured servant.

Mr. Geo. Palmer to secretary Thurloe.

V. xxii. p. 61.

Honourable sir,
On fryday the 30th of December last came to Litchfield, where one of our troopes did quarter, one Lawrence Yates, with his highnes' order for our assisting him in aprehending arms convayed into the houses of mr. Walter Vernon of Stockly parke in Staffordshire, and mr. Browne of Bentley in Derbyshire; which wee readily observed, and have seazed on three trunks, wherein was 56 case of pistolls, with seaven blunderbuffes. One of the case being extraordinary good, I made bould to send it to his highnes by the bearer; the other are ordinary. Wee have alsoe seazed the persons of mr. Walter Vernon and mr. Browne, and have with the armes brought them to my quarters in Coventry; they both denying the knowledg of any such persons, as the letters mention, which came with the trunks, one whereof to mr. Vernon was sent you by the aforesaid Yates, the other is this inclosed; but wee find by good intelligence, that the most likely person to have designed this busines to bee one mr. Edward Vernon, sonn to sir Edward Vernon of Sitbury in Derbyshire, sometimes col. for the king. Hee came from London on christmas eve. Hee gave directions for leavinge of a trunke at his uncle's, the aforesaid mr. Walter Vernon, where two trunkes was found. Hee also is brother to mr. Browne his wife, where the other trunks was found: him wee have aprehended, and keepe with the other two in Coventry, whilest wee may know his highnes further order, both concerning the persons and armes. I have sent this bearer on purpose, being one that went on the party to aprehend them, and can give further satisfaction in the premises. In the intrim I shall dilligently observe his highnes commands, and remaine,

Coventry, Jan. 2. 1654.

Your honour's humble servant,
Geo. Palmer.

A letter of intelligence from Paris.

Saturday, the 13th of January 1654. [N. S.]

V. xxii. p. 83.

The English post is not arrived since my former. You have hence, that the last sunday in the afternoon one mr. Andrew White, whose brother liveth there with mr. de Barriere, and another called don Ricardo White, that also liveth in Madrid, who arrived here that same day both together went to his eminence, being then in the Louvre, with whom they were in conference two or three hours, giving an account of their services and sidelities to this crown; but after they took their leave of his said eminence, before they were down the stairs, were both arrested and committed to the Bastile, where they are now, and I believe will be this good while to come. All their papers were seized upon, wherein they found, that they gave intelligence of all the designs visible, that this court had against the enemy for the next campaign, which they confessed plainly themselves; and their reason for it was, to get more intelligence from the enemies by that means, for the good of France; but I believe all will not excuse them. It reflects much upon the furintendant, who drew into favour this White, and paid him out of the king's monies 400 pistoles by the year; and his eminency wondered he could not be contented with that, but he must play the knave. Another younger brother, that came from Spain a while ago with Christopher O Bryan, is committed too. So they be three up together. Sunday morning Andrew sent to the cardinal, desiring to speak with him of a business of high consequence. What it is I know not, but Andrew in the afternoon on sunday was conveyed to the Cardinal; and after his discourse was sent back again. So the matter stands as yet. I hear they were to get 6000 Irish soldiers out of France, for which a fund is made to be punctually paid in Flanders and in Spain. Their papers may ruin them.

The king and cardinal are at Bois de Vincennes since monday last, and will come home this night.

I do hear, that among the papers of the above gentlemen were found some letters of exchange of 7 or 800 pistoles appertaining to the brother, that came from Spain, who is the master of all the rest.

The ordinary post of Rome is not yet arrived. On yesternight late arrived an extraordinary courier from Rome with letters to the king, and many others, that the Pope could not live but two hours after he departed Rome; so it's sure he died, he being sick only ten days. The courier parted Rome the 28 last month, and the day before that day all the physicians quitted his holiness, and gave him over as a man not able to hold longer. The same day he confessed, received, and had extreme unction, &c. The 28th Donna Olympia had a consistory of cardinals before him, which proposed and desired the advice of his holiness, who should be pope after him. He left all to their election. Then some body proposed cardinal Medicis, to which his holiness objected, and proposed cardinal Sforza; but he being not able to discourse, left all to themselves.

All that day the convents were going in procession to mount Cavallo, praying for the pope, and praying God to send them another good pope; for which sure there will be a bruit. His holiness has set at liberty all the prisoners of consequence, that were in the castle of St. Angelo, and restored the government of Rome to Pamphilio again. All the factions now in Rome will be by the ears to fee which should prevail; of which more by the time. We have by the last letters from Grenoble great complaints of the English in the Mediterranean seas. Also by the last from Bretagne, that six merchant ships French belonging to those of St. Malos were driven into a certain sea port, that belongs to Portugal, where some of the English besieged them without, and resolved to have them for themselves right or wrong, or else make Portugal pay for it, if it does in any way desend them. We long to hear any thing from your fleet preparing with the land army, to know where it goes; yet in the mean time we do not give over to fortify all our places near the sea, for fear of any sudden undertaking.

Here all is quiet. We heard nothing from prince Condé, or his forces, since my former. We hear some plot of king Charles was discovered there of late. It is true, the catholick princes of Germany are resolved not to give any more relief to king Charles, be cause he hindered his brother from being a catholick, and making his fortune in France; but now I hear he would give way to it willingly, to regain that assistance for himself. But I am not certain, whether France would accept of him now, seeing he refused it once. I have nothing more worth your hearing at this time. You may expect more by the next from,

Sir, your most faithful servant.

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

Paris the 13/2 of January 1654/5

V. xxii. p. 91.

Last saturday an Irishman named White with two of his brothers, which were lodged at the Palace, were imprisoned here, where cardinal Mazarin having sent for the first as to speak unto him, he was no sooner at the gate of the Louvre, than an exempt of the king's guard obliged him to take coach, and brought him to the Bastile, for playing, as I am informed, a double part in some closet intrigues his eminency intrusted him with; it being to be noted, that there are six brothers reputed for as many spies dispersed in England, in the court of Spain, and in Flanders, whereof the lines of communication did all meet in this city, as in the centre of their pensions. I hear that the said prisoner's pension was of 6000 livres Tournois well pay'd.

Sunday we received news from Italy, that the pope was fallen sick to such an extremity, that he had received their facrament, and exhorted the cardinals, and also recalled the cardinal of Astally, recommending unto his kindred to maintain union, and amongst others to prepare themselves with a disinterested soul for a new election, as though he was dying. This seems not well for cardinal of Retz, in the likelihood there is, that a new pope and his kindred will be a hungry people, who for money will sacrifice his interest unto their covetousness.

Monday the king went a hunting into the Bois de Vincennes.

Yesterday the rumour was through Paris, that admiral Blake was arrived in the island of Yeres with his fleet, which troubled the Provinceaux; but as yet we have no other ground thereof, than that of a letter written from Grenoble by a counsellor of that parliament, who faith he hath received the news thereof from Aix.

Mr. de Langlade will not go to Portugal, for a certain knight is to go in his stead, which I shall name hereafter.

The commissioner of marine hath been cashiered, who had caused the ships of chevalier Neuschaife to be prepared, by reason he had not made the expedition hoped for; and thereupon that office hath been given unto mr. Colbert, chancellor of cardinal Mazarin's house.

I hear they have at last sealed the provision of the government of Guienne in the behalf of the prince of Conti.

The last letters from Cologne bear, that thieves had by night stole all Charles Stuart's plate out of his house, as he slept.

Fleetwood lord deputy of Ireland to secretary Thurloe.

V. x. p. 19.

I have writt so largly to my lord protector, that I have not time to adde much. I have, accordinge to his highnes commands, order'd about 3000 to be at waterside the 8 inst. and will, I presume, be at Liverpoole about the 14 of this month, unlesse contrary orders com. Only I desire you will speede orders in writing, which I have none by me. I intend the commissary general shall command them. He hath a desire to it: the Lord prevent any occasion for to use them. It woulde be a saddee houre, especially if good men should so divide; but I trust the Lord will give a healing spirit, and prevent such sadde effects of division. I feare not the old enimy, but to see saint against saint is sadde, and hath bine for thes last 2 yeares strangly encreasing, and few sensible hearts therof. The Lord awaken us to a serious sence therof. We are through mercy in quiet, but what the sending away so many forces will produce, I know not; but trust the gratious presence of the Lord will be with us. To spare 3000 foot out of Ireland is a more hard buysines and dangerous then I perceive the parliament are made to belive. Heare hath bine some papers called mementoes, and other papers, spreade up and downe the army by that gentleman, who, I hade hoped, my frindshipe would have prevented any such attempt. Through mercy I cam to the discovery of it in time, and hope any danger is prevented. The lord grant thes sadde shakings may leade us more to himselfe. My haste must plead my excuse for the brevity of

Jan. 3. [1654/5.]

Your very affectionate
friend and servant,
Charles Fleetwood.

If my Lord must of necessity have more forces, let me know with all speede.

I must once more importune your care for this bearer, a faithfull deserving person, cornet Bradley. Let him either have addicionall pay, or a better place, I beseech you.

I must rely upon your care, that none be added to the counsell heare, before I be heard, because I latelie hearde one was intended.

The examination of James Lloyd, taken Jan. 3. 1654.

[Taken by secretary Thurloe.]

V. xxii. p. 73.

Saith, that he was about two years since steward to the lady Littleton of Worcestershire, and had been so, and unto her husband sir Thomas Littleton, for nine years before. That since he hath lived in this town, and lives at this time in Drury–lane. And being asked, what correspondence he holds with sir Henry Littleton, son of the said lady, and high sheriff of Worcestershire, and what business he hath to do for him here, or for his lady; he saith, he hath not any, save that he sometimes delivers such letters, as they send, and sends them down some goods by the carrier. And being demanded, what goods he hath of late sent down thither, he saith, that there were about a fortnight before Christmas, two chests made of deal boards, and a hamper carried down by Cooke, carrier of Bromesgrove, under a direction put upon them by this examinate in manner hereafter expressed, which chests were upwards of a yard long, and half a yard broad, and were heavy; but knows not what was in them. And as for the hamper, he saith, it was somewhat large and heavy, but knows not what was in it; but saith, that one major Henry Norwood of the Middle–temple told him, that they were bottles of wine. And being asked, upon what occasion the said Norwood told him that; he saith, that he being formerly acquainted with the said Norwood, the said Norwood sent for this examinate to his chamber, and told him of some things he had to send to Hagly, the parish where sir Henry Littleton lives, and wished him to put a direction upon a hamper, which should be sent to the White–Hart–Inn in the Parish of St. Giles. And this examinate saith, that accordingly he did direct it thus, viz. For Mr. William Bowles at Sir Henry Littleton's, high sheriff of the county of Worcester. And being asked, who did buy or provide the things contained in the chests and hamper, he saith, he knows not. And being asked, whether mr. Charles Littleton, brother to sir Henry, did not, or else the said major Norwood, he saith, he cannot tell, but saith, that the said Charles Littleton was then in town about his brother's business, and that he spake to him to put directions upon the chests, and the said major Norwood upon the hamper; but what was contained in them, or who they were that bought that which was in them, he this examinate knoweth not. He farther saith, that he did also direct in manner aforesaid, as he remembers, two other chests made of deal, which were of about the same length with the other, and heavy, and an hamper, and also a little box to the lady; which chests, hamper, and box were carried down by Rose, a carrier of Bromesgrove, the week before christmas. And that he put the direction upon them by the desire of the said mr. Charles Littleton; but doth not know what was in these chests, but says, there were saddles for sir Henry Littleton and his servants in the hamper, and two gowns in the box for the lady Littleton and her sister. And being asked, what meetings he hath had of late with the said Norwood, he saith, that he hath been with him about three times within this three weeks last past; twice whereof was at the chamber of the said Norwood in the Temple, whither the said Norwood sent for this examinate; and saith, that he sent for him to desire him to put directions upon the hamper, as aforesaid; and that he then spoke with him about nothing else; and the other time was at the lodgings of the said mr. Charles Littleton in Covent–garden, where the examinate was, when the said mr. Norwood came in, but had no discourse with him at all at that time; for as soon as the said Norwood came in, he this examinate went away, and left him and the said mr. Littleton together.

James Lloyd.

The examination of Robert Wooden, taken Jan. 3. 1654.

[Taken by secretary Thurloe.]

V. xxii. p. 77.

Saith, that he is a porter, that belongs to the White–hart–inn in the parish of St. Giles, and doth take in goods for the carriers of Warwickshire and Worcestershire, especially for Henry Cooke and Henry Rose, carriers, who live in Bromesgrove in the county of Worcester. And he being asked, what goods the said carriers, or either of them, have of late carried into the country, he saith, that Henry Cooke was in town a fortnight before christmas; and that amongst other things he carried two chests made of white deal boards, of about a yard and half long, and about a yard broad, one whereof weighed 200 weight, and the other about 100 weight, as he believes, for that they were very heavy; and saith, that those chests were directed to Sir Henry Littleton of Worcestershire, and now high sheriff of the county; which direction was put upon them by mr. Lloyd, who lives in Dury–lane, and was lately steward to the lady Littleton, after that the said chests were brought into the warehouse. And being asked, whether the said Lloyd did not bring in those chests, he saith, he did not, but that they were brought in by a waterman, one of them being carried in a cart, and the other carried by a porter. And saith, that the waterman had a coat with a badge upon it; but he remembers not what either the colour of the coat was, or what badge it was that was thereupon; but saith, that the waterman was somewhat tall in stature and lean. And being asked, what was in those chests, he saith, he doth not know, nor hath heard. And this examinate farther saith, that the said Henry Rose was in town the week before christmas, and went out of town that wednesday. And being asked what goods he carried with him, he saith, that the said Henry Rose did also carry two chests made with deal boards, about the same length with the former, but narrow, and weighed about 100 weight a piece; one of them was brought by the aforesaid waterman, and the other by another person in a cart, and were without any direction, when they were brought, but were afterwards directed by the said mr. Lloyd to the said sir Henry Littleton. And being asked, whence the said chests came, as well as those carried by Cooke, he saith, he knows not, nor did he ever enquire, the waterman telling him, that those he brought were for sir Henry Littleton. And for the other, he said, he was directed to mr. Lloyd for a direction to be set upon it. He saith, besides these there was a hamper carried by the said Rose for sir Henry Littleton, but knows not what was in it, unless it were coach–harness. And the examinate being yet farther asked, what other things were carried by the said Rose, he saith, that there were two good great hampers directed to sir John Packington, brought into the inn by a cart, and the carman said, they were bottles of wine, and came from a tavern in Cornhill; but whether they were or net, this examinate knows not; and saith, that they were a week in the store–house before the carrier came. And being asked, whether any other goods of that kind were sent to any other place by the said carrier, he saith, that there were not, save that a small hamper was sent unto Saltwich in Worcestershire; and as he remembers to one mr. Barret; but what was in it, he cannot tell.

The mark of Robert R. Wooden.

The examination and information of Richard Glover, taken Jan. 3. 1654.

V.xxii. p. 95.

Saith, that he hath been acquainted with mr. Henry Norwood about five years since, and that his first acquaintance began with him at Virginia, where they were about four or five months, the said Norwood living then with sir William Berkeley governor of Virginia. That the examinate came away from thence unto Amsterdam in Holland; and the year following the said Norwood came to Amsterdam in a ship, where the examinate had some goods. And the said Norwood and the examinate meeting there, Norwood desired the examinate to receive certain monies, which were due to the said sir William Berkeley in Amsterdam, and delivered to him divers bills of exchange, whereupon the money was due. That during their being at Amsterdam, the said Norwood and one Griffith, who was afterwards agent for the late king of Scots at Dunkirk, proferred to the examinate to be commander of a frigate, which they said they would set forth in the king's service (there having been a very intimate acquaintance between him and Norwood) but that proposition coming to nothing, and the occasions of this examinate calling him away into Virginia, and he having delivered such of the said bills of exchange as remained in his hands unsatisfied unto one Mr. Edmund Custis, now dwelling in Lime–street, by direction of the said Norwood, and finished his account with him, he went again for Virginia, and so saw not the said Norwood again, untill the last summer, when he met him in London. And being demanded in what month he met him here in London, after his return from Virginia, he saith, it was about the month of August or September last; and were afterwards together about three or four times in these months and in October and November, but had no communication of any matters relating to the state more than that the said Norwood would say, that he hoped for better times, or to that effect. But this examinate saith, that afterwards within the month of December this examinate was told by Mr. Edmund Custis (with whom this examinate often met and conversed about their own private affairs) that the said Norwood desired to meet with him the said Custis and this examinate together about some business. And accordingly they did appoint to meet together at the tavern called the Hoop and Pye in Leadenhall–street, which, as he remembers, was upon Monday was three weeks, or thereabouts, whither this examinate coming, he found, that the house was fallen on fire; but he standing still awhile, saw major Norwood in the entry, and went to him, and saluted him, and so they went together to a tavern in Cornhill, which he conceiveth was the Bear and Dolphin; mr. Custis being gone away from the said Norwood upon the first falling of the house on fire, as the said Norwood told this examinate. And this examinate farther saith, that when they were together in the tavern, the said Norwood told him, that lord Willoughby had a plantation to the south–west of Barbados called Savannah, with 600 men in it; and that they were sending now a ship thither with arms and other commodities, and invited this examinate to engage in that business, and to help about buying arms and such other commodities they should send; but after much discourse concerning the business, the said Norwood told this examinate, that this was not the business he intended to speak with him about, but now he would put his life into this examinate's hands, and tell him, that the design was to bring in king Charles, meaning Charles Stuart, into England, or words to that effect; and that he had used the other discourse but as a colour to lead him to this. And that the arms he had desired him to buy were for this purpose; and then drank the king's health, and so after some other discourse of the same nature, and it being somewhat late, the said Norwood called for a coach, and went away, and the examinate with him; and by the way as they went, the said Norwood told the examinate farther of the design of bringing in the king; and to encourage him to engage in it, told him, that many had engaged in it; and that it was a likely business, and that he should be promoted and preferred for being serviceable therein, or words to that effect. And so they being come to the Temple, the said Norwood set down the examinate there, appointing him to come to his chambers in the Temple with the first opportunity.

And the examinate farther saith, that he went to the said Norwood's chamber the next day, where they had some farther discourse of the same business, and asked this examinate whether Custis was to be trusted in this business; whereto he answered, that he thought he might. Whereupon he desired the examinate to let mr. Custis know, that he desired to meet with him, and charged him not to reveal or disclose any thing to Custis. Accordingly the examinate spake with the said Custis, and they three met together at the Fountain tavern in Fenchurch–street, where the said Norwood acquainted this Custis with the aforesaid plantation of the lord Willoughby's, and of their intentions of buying arms to send thither; and advised, which was the best way of buying them, but did not then in the hearing of the examinate disclose to mr. Custis any thing of the design of bringing in the king. And the examinate farther saith, that he after this went to major Norwood to his chambers several mornings together, where he saw some other gentlemen, whom this examinate knew not, and spake with him about this business, as the buying of arms and horses; and in particular the said Norwood desired him this examinate, that he might send a horse to his stable, and told him, that he this examinate should ride next him in this service; and that they would fare both alike. And in case the king got his rights, they should both come to great preferment. And being demanded, where the next meeting was with Custis, he saith, that it was some few days after at the Fountain tavern in Fenchurch–street, where then the said Norwood spake to him of hiring a ship to send to Holland to fetch arms; and that if Custis would procure a ship, he should have 1000 l. for to buy arms with; and that the examinate should be desired to go with the ship to buy them; and said the ship was to undertake to make her voyage within three weeks; and that she should land the arms in Kent, or some part of the West, as should be directed. And asked the said Custis, where he thought they might land them safely; where the said Custis answered, that there was a good place to land them in below Tilbury, where he did use to land some goods; and from thence the arms might be disposed by coach or otherwise, as might be thought fit. And so they parted, agreeing that Custis should hire a ship; and the ship that Norwood spoke of, which he desired might be hired, was a vessel of a brother's of the said Custis; the said Norwood saying he was well acquainted with him, and wished him by all means to make stay of him from a voyage he was then going upon. And the examinate farther saith, that the said Norwood desired him to buy some carbines, and accordingly he this examinate bespoke 20 carbines of Skinner the gunsmith in Leadenhall–street, which he afterwards fetch'd away, all of them being fix'd and fit for service; and had 25 l. from Norwood to pay for them, and others that were bought by mr. Custis. And being demanded, what he did with those arms, he said, that by the direction of the said major Norwood, he carried them in a cart to the White Hart, an inn in St. Giles's, to be sent into the country by the Birmingham carrier, the said Norwood telling him, that one mr. Lloyd should put the direction upon them at the inn, and delivered them to the porter of the said carrier in a box of new deal boards; the porter telling this examinate, that he did very well know mr. Lloyd, that was to direct them. And this examinate saith, that whilst he was in the yard of the inn, there was another white box about the same length with that brought by him, brought into the yard by a waterman, whom this examinate hath several times seen (in a green coat with an eagle or faulcon upon his arm,) with major Norwood, and delivered it unto the said porter; and that he also saw in the store–house, into which the said box was put, two or three great hampers, and one trunk, besides the two brought in as aforesaid. And being demanded, what other arms he had bought, or what he knew the said major Norwood had bought, and sent into the country, he saith, that the said major told him, that they had before his meeting with him bought great store of arms, and sent them into most parts of England in hampers and trunks, conceiving that to be the best way to convey them unsuspected, because bottles of wine and apparel are usually conveyed that way. And farther said, that they intended to rise all over England at once; and therefore all parts were to be armed at once; saying, that the examinate knew how the Indians used to do in America, when they intended a massacre. And as to his buying of more arms than is before expressed, he saith, those that were afterwards bought were bought by mr. Custis; and his house was then agreed upon to be the magazine for arms, and accordingly several trunks and hampers of arms were sent into his house at Lime–street aforesaid, and from thence were to be conveyed into several parts of the nation. And the better to colour this design, he saith it was agreed amongst them, that the arms should be bought as for Virginia, and those parts, whither mr. Custis was at that time sending a ship. And he this examinate, mr. Custis, and mr. Norwood did begin to draw up a cargo in form, as merchants use to do, to the intent, that if any discovery were made of the arms, it might be the better cleared and justified. And this examinate did frame letters to major Gibbons, a merchant in New England, concerning goods, which were to be reshipped from Virginia to him. And being asked, what quantity of arms were laid up at the house of the said Custis, he saith, that as mr. Custis told him (at the time when the cargo aforesaid was making) there were laid up in his house 44 pair of pistols, 70 carbines, and 8 blunderbusses; and that divers others were brought in after that; the certain number whereof he cannot tell, but believes the said Custis can. And being asked, who bought the said arms, and sent them in, he saith, that he believes the said Custis himself bought some of them, but that the most of them were bought by others by the direction of Norwood. And saith, that a person, whom the said Norwood called Barton, and who was pretended to be a Chirurgion in the king's army at Oxford, sent in some of them. And it being farther demanded, what became of the arms, he saith, that one called by the said Norwood by the name of Tomlyns, did again fetch away some of them upon christmas day morning, in 4 trunks; and as mr. Custis told this examinate, he carried them to the Castle–inn in Great Wood–street, to be delivered to a carrier there; but they being to be carried upon horse–back, two of the trunks were brought back again to the house of the said mr. Custis by a servant of the said Tomlyns, this examinate being with mr. Custis at the time, when they were so brought back. And for the rest saith, it was agreed by Norwood and Tomlyns, as Custis told this examinate, that a waggon was to be hired by Custis to carry them and others, which were to be sent to Loughborough in Leicestershire. And it being demanded of him, whether any such waggon was hired, he saith, it was not; for that the said Norwood found, that the protector had some notice of the design; and that thereupon he removed his lodging from the Temple to the house of the lady Newport, and from thence to the house of this examinate in Surry, by the Thames side, where he was apprehended. And it being demanded of him, what became of the ship he the said Norwood bespake to be hired, he saith, that Custis kept the ship upon demurage for about 14 days, at the desire of the said Norwood, who pretended, that the gentleman, who was to furnish money for buying the arms, was not come to town. And besides, he said, they expected some great revolutions here very shortly, upon which they should take further resolutions, as to the sending of that ship. And the examinate farther saith, that upon occasion of hiring this ship, there was some discourse between him this examinate, the said major Norwood, and mr. Custis, about them, the said Custis and this examinate, going a share with Norwood in the ship. And it was propounded, that they two should go a third part, and he two parts; and for that part they were to venture Norwood promised to give them the ticket of some persons here, who had power to engage the king's saith for the repayment of it; but if that did not satisfy, he said they should have it under the king's own hand in a few days, to be repaid with double the value, when the king came to his right. But this examinate saith, this proposition came to nothing, in respect that the said Norwood did upon saturday before he was apprehended at the house of Croone the vintner, called Campden–house, give order for discharging the ship. And he being demanded, who was with them at Croone's at the time aforesaid, he saith, that there was only the said Norwood, Custis, this examinate, and the said mr. Tomlyns, who Norwood said was to go into the several countries upon monday after, to see how their affairs were there; and for that purpose Norwood desired mr. Custis to let him have 50 l. in gold, for 50 l. in silver, which 50 l. in silver was delivered unto mr. Custis by Norwood, and Norwood had it from mr. Croone, who the said Norwood said kept their bank, or words to that effect. And it being demanded of the examinate, where they intended to have horse for their arms, he saith, that he had some discourse with the said Norwood thereupon, who told this examinate, that several gentlemen had bought horses in the country, where they might be better and cheaper had than here. And besides he said they would plough with their own heifer; meaning, that they would make use of a good part of their army. And speaking of the feasibility of carrying things, he said, that the protector's army was but weak here; and farther, that the parliament and protector would not agree, many of them speaking high against him. And said, that one half of this parliament were for the king; and that therefore when the parliament should be dissolved, that was the time, when the rising should begin, when the members will be come into their countries, and have discovered their discontents to the people. And then and at other times said, whatever becomes of us, it's certain the protector is gone, is lost; and that he would be no more his highness; and other words to that effect. And this examinate being demanded, where Tomlyns or Barton aforesaid were, or whether those were their right names, and what other names they had, he saith, he can make no other answer to these questions, but that he knows not. And this examinate being asked, whether he had not heard Norwood speak of his former imprisonment by the protector, saith, that he did, and that the said Norwood would often say, that he was taken before for buying of arms, but got off again upon pretence, that he was buying of arms for Virginia.

Richard Glover.

The protector to the Spanish embassador.


By our former letters we represented to you the case of the sons and executors of sir Peter Ricaut deceased, concerning a debt owing the said sir Peter by his majesty the now king of Spain; and moved your endeavours for obtaining to them satisfaction according to justice. But no satisfactory answer being returned, and application being made unto us by the said parties for letters of reprisal, as the only remedy that is left them in the case; we thought fit to consult our council thereabouts, who putting the same into a way of examination, it appears to us by a report, that his said majesty by his schedule royal, signed by his own hand, and dated at his court at Arancuez the 12th of April 1652, acknowledgeth himself indebted to the said sir Peter Ricaut in the sum of 23128408 maravedies of silver, [together with damages from the year 1647, which being cast up till the date of the said report doth clearly amount to 23,073 l. sterling,] being for several sums of money acknowledged by the said king to be lent by sir Peter Ricaut to his embassador here in England for his majesty's service, and for a ship laden with fish, which had been wrongfully taken from him, and sold in Cartagena by his majesty's order, and for other considerations in the said schedule particularly expressed; by which schedule royal his majesty doth give command to the officers of his royal treasury, to make effectual and speedy payment of the said money, giving for reason, that it appeared to his majesty by report of his council, that his royal treasure was condemned by a sentence of the 25th of June 1647, for payment of the debt within nine days after the said sentence passed. We find also, that for sixteen years last past all fit endeavours have been diligently used for attaining of satisfaction, which (as also two journeys made purposely in this behalf to the court of Spain, by the eldest son of the said sir Peter, at 1000 l. sterling charge) have proved ineffectual; so that upon the whole matter justice hath been duly demanded, and is yet delayed. And in consideration thereof and of the fruitlessness of our own mediation by our said letters, it hath been insisted upon, that letters of reprisal should be granted to the said sons and executors against the king of Spain and his subjects, for satisfaction of the said debt together with damages and expences sustained through the detention thereof. The satisfaction we have therein received as to the state of fact might be a sufficient foundation for our resolution forthwith to grant the petitioners letters of reprisals; yet out of our very great willingness to decline extraordinary ways, that the parties concerned may be assured in an ordinary way to receive justice, and out of our affection to his majesty of Spain, we are determined once more to represent this matter to your excellency, with our serious desires, that you will take such a speedy and effectual order therein, as may satisfy and secure the petitioners to receive their just right, wherein we shall expect your speedy and positive answer, that thereby the inconvenience that may ensue an extraordinary course, which our respect to common justice, and to the long suffering of our people will otherwise necessitate us unto, may be prevented; wherein we shall take much contentment, as most suitable to the desires we have to maintain a good correspondence betwixt the two nations,

Jan. 3, 1654/5.

Oliver. P.

For his excellency the lord embassador for the king of Spain.

A copy of verses writ with colonel Overton's own hand, and found with him upon search.

V. xxi. p. 576.
V. xxii. p. 71.

A Protector, what's that? 'Tis a stately thing,
That confesseth itself but the ape of a king:
A tragicall Cæsar acted by a clowne;
Or a brass farthing stamp'd with a kind of a crown:
A bubble, that shines; a loud cry without woole;
Not Perillus nor Phalaris, but the bull.
The eccho of monarchy till it come;
The but end of a barrell in the shape of a drum:
A counterfeit piece, that woddenly showes
A golden effigies with a copper nose.
The fantastick shadow of a sovereign head,
The arms royal revers'd, and disloyal instead.
In fine he is one, we may protector call,
From whom the king of kings protect us all.

Leith, 3 January 1654/5.

This paper we found in major general Overton's letter case among his papers, we being appointed to search his papers by the deputy governor there. Witness our hands,
William Newman,
William Collinson.

An intercepted letter of king Charles II.

Amsterdam, January 4, 1655.

V. xxi. p.376.

Mr. Roles,
I Cannot but tell you, that yours of the third of the last month brought me the most melancholique account of my condition, that I have yett receaved, and therefore I could have wished you had bene more particular. I had reason to have beleeved, that many of my creditors had bene more mollisyed towards me then by yours they seeme to be; and that some debts dew to me, and which are not yett discovered before the commissioners, might be gotten in towards the perfecting my composition. Is it posible, that all that is dew from 46 30 52 68 (which I looke upon as ready mony) will not be payde at the time you will appointe? Is none of that from 215 366 66 39 63 31 74 67 113 64 80 27 47 71 28 48 55 75 352 36 47 55 67 68 31 63 269, ready to be layde downe ? And if halfe, that could be gott in, would not more come in a shorte time ? I looke upon what may with good sollicitation be got from 239 41 67 48 32 288 31 47 80, as a good foundation and security to satisfye many of the creditors, and upon such an occasion, 356 97 339 357 150 something. And I doubt not but you are able to save somewhat upon your particular account, and therfore I am confident you have more hope of a good and speedy end, than you expresse, and that you were reserved now the more to surprise me shortly with comfort, at least that you are ready with a competent summe to lay downe, if any fitt of good nature apeares in any of the creditors, which I do expect weekely to heare of, and cannot beleeve that much time will passe without it. However I must conjure you to take some order, that I may be fully informed what I may depend upon, and the true grounde of any delayes in pressing the composition, and what reasonable grounde there is of hope from those delayes; for I will deale freely with you as my best frinde, that I am so unable with any satisfaction to myselfe to beare this condition of life much longer, that if there be not a probable hope of obtayning my composition in a reasonable time, I resolve to take conditions from these states to serve against the Portugalls in the Indyes, or to serve the Venetians against the Turkes, rather then live this idle life. Upon the whole matter let me heare from you, 114 20 28 41 66 25 63 30 32 68 31 44 167, in such a manner as may at least fully instruct me of what I may looke for, as you love,

Good mr. Roles,
your most affectionate
humble servant,
J. Westrope.

For my loving frind mr. Roles, at his house in Cornwall neere the Exchange, London.

General Monk to the protector.


May it please your highnesse,
The last night col. Overton comeing in custody to Leith, I have this morneing sent him on board the Baseing frigott, whereof captaine Harley is commander, whom I have ordered to bring colonel Overton into the Hope. I send your highnesse heere inclosed copies of papers found with him, and particularly of verses written with his owne hand; reserving the papers themselves, untill I have conveniency to send them by a safe hand to your highness. The inclosed letter to col. Overton being intercepted, I thinke fit alsoe to send it to your highness.

Concerning major Bramston, I have noething against him but the papers (written with his owne hand) of which I lately sent copies to your highness. I doubt, if hee be brought to a court martial, those papers will not bee there judged of soe much waight as to casshere him, (though I thinke hee deserves it) because he may denye it to bee his owne conceptions or first drawing.

Wherefore I humbly desire a signification of your highnesse's pleasure, if I shall send that paper of major Bramston's to your highness. I now send your highness a copie of some litle confused papers, written by mr. Oats's owne hand, and found about him, when hee was search'd at Leith. I humbly take leave, and remaine

Dalkeith, 4 January, 1654.

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

Bordeaux, the French embassador in England, to secretary Thurloe.


J'ay receu la response, qu'ill vous a plu de m'envoyer, avec la lettre, dont elle estoit accompagneé; & parce que vous me marques, que s'il reste quelque scrupules, mess. les commissaires sont prests de r'entrer en conference pour les oster, & que sans doubte vous juges bien vous mesme, que ceste response ne leve aucune des difficultes, qui restent, qu'au contraire elle en laisse que m. le protecteur sembloit avoir surmontée dans ma derniere audience, je ne refuse pas d'en conferer encore, le plus promptement qu'il se pourra. Et pour cet effect je vous prie, monsieur, de faire entendre a son Altesse, que si elle est portée du desir de s'accommoder, il est necessaire qu'elle donne pouvoir, s'il lui plaist, a mess. les commissaires de passer au dessus des difficultes, qui s'opposent au bien des deux estats. Je suis

Le Jan. 4. 1654.

Vostre tres humble serviteur,
D. Bordeaux.

Monsr. Datin to the count de Bonneau.

[London] 14 January 1655. [N. S.]


My Lord,
I am glad you have received my last letter, which will have informed you at large of all circumstances relating both to our negotiation and the affairs of this state. I do always endeavour to write the matter of fact as true as I can for my life; neither do I differ in any thing from what my lord embassador doth write himself to the court. There is not yet any thing apparent, which doth destroy the suspicion we have here, that the fleet is to make some landing in Lower Languedoc. A zealous catholick, preferring the interest of his religion before the greatness and powerfulness of his nation, having learnt something of this design, gave advice thereof to our embassador, who presently advertised the court thereof. Three famous French Huguenots, who live here, have told me the same thing; not that I think they know it certainly, but only that they wish it to be so. This advice is of consequence, and good use, I hear, hath been made of it.

There hath been no conference at my lord embassador's upon the treaty of peace, but there hath been some kind of discourse had with the commissioners at the secretary of state's lodgings, in reference to the difficulties, which do still remain. I verily believe, that we shall not break with them, but upon extremity, and that it is resolved so at court.

Here is another plot, as they call it, discovered; few believe it, and many look upon it rather as a mystery than a truth; yet some of the conspirators are said to be apprehended, who are also said to have confessed the fact.

The parliament doth still proceed to finish their resolutions to present them to the protector. The question will be, whether he will accept and approve of them.

Here are 30 frigats more appointed to guard their narrow seas. It is a wonder to behold the maritime power of this state; their trade and commerce do begin to flourish.

The embassador of Genoa made this day his entry into this city in one of the lord protector's coaches. The French embassador's coach followed the very next with six of his gentlemen in it, upon a belief, that the Spanish embassador would have sent his coach, and his men, who would have pretended the first place, and to have marched before the French. Our gentlemen were forewarned, and had put themselves in a posture not to receive the affront; but the Spaniards did absent themselves; so that the French did triumph without any trouble, not without danger.

Capt. Robert Hope to secretary Thurloe.


Right honorable,
The last day of December, there came orders to mee from his highnes, to sease the persones of sir Henery Littleton, high sherrife of Wostershire, and sir John Packington, booth which are apprehended, and sent up to London, accordinge to his highnes order. Also dillegent search hath beene for armes, which accordinge to information weare the last week brought to booth there houses by one Henery Rose a carrier; but noe such armes as was informed of could bee found out. The carrier, that did bringe the severall parcelles that are mentioned in the inclosed, beinge by that information (that was sent unto mee) a Bromingam man (but is a carrier that lives at Bromesgrove) could not then bee found out. Haveinge heard this day that the carrier Rose doth live at this place, I came forthwith to exsamyne him, what goodes hee brought downe from London, and findinge him gone away towardes London againe, I have taken, I suppose, perfect information of all the loadinge, that hee brought, and the persones to whom they dow belonge. The carrier Henery Rose will bee at the White Hart in St. Goylesse's upon wenesday or thursday next. If your honour please to exsamine him, it will appeare then whether what hee saith bee truth, by compareinge it with the inclosed, and may tend to the makeinge further discoverye. My leeftenant, who is bringinge up the two knightes, will bee able to give you an account what may bee supposed was brought in the boxses, trunkes, and hampers. This is that account that I did judge my dutye to give to your honour, to whom I crave leave to subscribe myselfe,

Bromsegrove, the 5th of January, 1654.

Your honor's humble
and faythfull servant,
Robert Hope.

A letter of intelligence from Holland.


My last unto you was the 8th, whereby I gave you notice of the receipt of yours of the 22d past. Since no letters are arrived from London, so as I have little to add at present more then what is wrote to me from Ceullen, the which I have inclosed, whereby you may observe, that their designe appeares more publickly, which makes mee thinke it will shortly be put in execution; and the rather because captaine Mews this weeck told mee, Middleton would remayne in the hills, until he receaved orders to remove southward, when he should not want friends to joyne with him. Mews and Straughan are at Amsterdam recommended by mr. William Davidtson and Richard Bridgman (both knowne and profess enemyes to the commonwealth) to assist them and direct them in their journey. One or both intends to goe by the way of Ingland, either for Yarmouth, Hull, or Newcastle, as they find shippinge; but so long as this frost lasts they cannot get a passage from these parts. I understand there shall be no armes sent to Middleton before one of these two now going to him returne with an answear. I suppose Charles Stewart will keepe what monyes he can procure for his Inglish affaires, it having bin the proposition of Wilmot to have a considerable sume of money ready against their arrivale in Scotland or Ingland, wherewith to deboyst the souldiers, by putting forth a proclamation, that all horsemen which will come in to them shall have 4 l. and a foote souldier 30 s. but accordinge to the paiement of the contribution in Germany they can have not above 20 or 25000 l. for the one half of the princes have not payed. Collonel Marmaduke Darcey is uppon his returne to Ceullen from Ingland, where he hath prepared the waye for his master, whoe hath made choyse of him for his guide, when he goes thither. The gentleman, with whome I used to confer, is not yet returned from Antwerp. This is all I have to trouble you with of concernment. I am

January 5/15 1654/5.

Your most faythful and humble servant,
John Addams.

A letter of intelligence from the Hague.


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Upon the writing of Freisland reduced or inserted in the resolution of the seventh, for the recalling of the lord Nieuport, and for the report of the lord Beverning, there hath been yet nothing done on the behalf of Holland. That however something will be done; as also the other provinces in their assemblies will resolve one thing or other; for certainly Orange party will not sleep; and it is a principal point of deliberation upon this assembly. I can assure you, there is nothing done in the negotiations concerning the treaties with France nor with Poland. The minister of Poland residing here doth go for England. That is a sign, that the treaty with Poland will sleep for some time. You will have seen the writing, which some have caused to be inserted in the resolution above–mentioned. The first project of that contained a clause; for it is very well known by experience, that such treaties for navigation are kept and observed no otherwise than according to the appetite and interest of those that are masters at sea.

But the most part of the province were against that, and caused it to be put out, fearing that the English would be offended at it, and that would have confirmed the complaints of the Spaniards, who hearing of the treaty of navigation with this state have often said, that here it was not observed; for the free booters or privateers men of war had this custom to plunder all ships at sea, although their commission, to which they were sworn, did oblige them to bring all their prizes to the college of the Admiralty, to whom they were also sworn to be judged their first prize. Instead whereof they generally plundered all that they could catch at sea, that could be hid, as money, clothes, provisions, and the like; in short all that could be carried away; and besides they often tortured the masters and mariners to tell them, where they had hid their money; and although the Admiralty did declare the goods to be no prize (which did seldom happen) yet there was never any recompence made for what was plundered, nor ever justice done upon those that used those tortures, tyrannies, and violences, wherein those of Zealand and North–holland did exceed; at Amsterdam and Rotterdam least of all. And the excuse of the judges of the admiralty was, that they were not masters, that the rabble did dispense with all order. In the mean time I can testify to have heard from the mouths of the governors themselves, that they would rather assault all the world by sea without any distinction, than suffer their commerce to be diverted; or that it should be carried or transmigrated into any other part, as in effect formerly the commerce through the assistance of the English was driven out of Flanders, and settled in Holland. And so this state did fear the return thereof; and that the commerce might be driven again from hence by the English, and settled elsewhere; which they thought to prevent by all manner of depredations; so that the said clause did contain a great truth; but it seemeth that the lord Nieuport hath forgot that, when in his letter of the 1st of January he speaks of the complaints of the cities of Holland against the reprizals of the English. However I do confess, that the protector hath now great reason to treat the st. of Holl. equally and civilly, and keep a good correspondence with Holland, for without that, the Hollanders would suffer by the Orange party; but if the protector doth now favour them, they will subsist well enough.

The lord Beverning doth seem to be altogether immersus in amoribus, for he doth not appear here. It is still very confidently reported, that he shall be of the council, for the charge of treasurer will require much time before it can be had.

The states of Holland after their fashion do meet slowly; whereunto doth help to retard the extraordinary frost we have here. They have also sent them the resolution of the 7th concerning the reports of the lord Beverning and Nieuport for the act of seclusion; upon which resolutions without doubt there hath been debated in the common council, for Holland having promised indemnity, and to bear those two embassadors harmless, will maintain it; and I do understand, that those of Holland do speak reciprocally, that in case they will prosecute the lords Beverning and Nieuport, that Holland will annul the act of amnesty of Aug. 1651, which you will find in the recomposed or restored lion; and will use retortion against those, who in the said amnesty do find their absolution. But men will say, that the said amnesty doth not regard what is past, and that this seclusion is a new thing, although that all doth spring from the same root. I do see, that the most part of the provinces by plurality will resolve something to the prejudice of the said lords Beverning and Nieuport; but if Holland doth not embroil itself, or be divided, all will signify nothing. Wind and time will wear it out; for Zeland itself dare not do any thing to any purpose; and as you know, in the other provinces there are also divisions; yea in the chiefest cities, as Deventer, Arnheim, Teil, Nimeguen, Utrecht, Bommel, Middleburgh, Zierixze, Tolen, &c. And whosoever doth not find his account with — — or the — — do join with — —and besides Holland alone in the balance of force doth surpass all the rest. In short it will only depend upon their own mutual agreement and constancy; and in the end all these resolutions and protestations will be of no effect; and amongst—likewise there is no equal resolution nor courage. All manner of factions and humours recipiunt magis & minus. The least part is so in the superlative degree. Concerning the judicature of the prisoner Haex, I do understand, that the lords of Holland may at last resolve to leave it to the judicature of the states general, or to such as they shall appoint, under a protest de non præjudicando in futurum, to the end there might be an end made of all the dispute. But however for all that they would in no wife draw it into a consequence, for fear of engaging the lords Beverning and Nieuport into the same judicature. Holland will also speak again of equipping 36 ships for the Mediterranean; and to draw Zealand likewise to it in their passage, they will torment and vex Portugal. The merchants of Amsterdam, although the lord Nieuport writes nothing of it, have advice, that the lord protector will dissolve the East–India company at London, and declare the navigation and commerce to the Indies to be free and open. That doth cause great jealousy at Amsterdam, as a thing that will very much prejudice the East–India company in Holland. I do not fundamentally understand this matter, but I can say thus much, that the Orange party/———— will only laugh at it, if the English should give a check to the commerce of Holland /————to verify the prediction, that the deceased prince Henry and the Orange party /————have so often said, that England coming to be a commonwealth would ruin the commerce of Holland, and draw it wholly to themselves; and also amongst the good Hollanders/———— there are some that do believe, that the commerce doth only belong to them alone, and do repute it for an injury, if another nation doth pretend any thing to the commerce.

The general consul of the French, mr. Jannot, doth complain, and thinks himself injured, that he is not admitted in the same quality at Rotterdam; for they do admit the consuls of this state in all parts in France; so likewise, saith he, all those of France ought to be admitted; but say those of Rotterdam, in this country here are no governors that torment and trouble the masters of ships; and here strangers are used as well as the natives.

They had formerly sent to the lord Heinsius credentials to treat with the king of Sweden about the business of Bremen; but now he doth send to have a general credential; whereupon, in regard all had not consented to the salary, those of Zealand do make a scruple; and it is thought they do it to the end that the charge of ordinary embassador in England is pretended to belong to the province of Zealand.

It is said, that Holland will depute the lord Beverning to the assembly of the states general, till such time as he hath obtained the charge of treasurer. His wooing will not yet succeed, but the lord pensionary is going to Amsterdam to conclude his marriage.

The lord Beeck hath exhibited a justification of the states of Overyssell and Deventer. The lord Woolssen hath opposed it, saying it to be an untruth, that two members do usurp the name of the states of Overysell. By the next I can send you a copy. I am

Your most humble servant.

15 January 1655. [N. S.]

A letter of intelligence.


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The inclosed were sent unto me, and recommended from Bremen. The subject and argument is a lamentation upon the great damages and arrears, into which they are fallen, by the persecution of the earl of Oldenburgh, who having begged passage under very false pretences, it did oblige the good city to oppose it, as they have done since the year 1623, with great charges, as well to guard the river by two ships, sometimes more; as also to gain favour at the court of the emperor; and what shall I say ? Bremen did put too much confidence in states general and states of Holland and (he alas) hath found they were but cold friends; which words I remember the lord you did formerly apply to the same people; which coldness doth still continue, it being very true, that they are now out of the war, but without evident danger they cannot subsist, nor keep their garrison, if they be not assisted. As for the rest I refer myself to the letters.

January 15, 1655. [N. S.]

John de Witt to Nieuport.

Amsterdam, January 15, 1655. [N. S.]

V. xxii. p. 149.

My Lord,
I have received both your letters of the 25th of the last and the first of this month. There hath been nothing done farther in the business for the renewing of the alliance with France since my last. And I shall not fail, as much as lieth in my power, so to manage that business, if it doth proceed, that in the business, which doth concern the navigation and commerce, the like conditions shall be agreed upon, as this state hath obtained of Spain. We do expect here with great impatience the issue of the negotiation of mr. de Neufville; and many do fear here a bad issue of it, by reason of so many delays. The affairs in the province of Overyssell have remained of late in one and the same condition, and nothing considerable hath been resolved by the one and the other part. I do hope, that business will have a good issue. I am very much troubled about it. The lords of Friesland do still continue their opposition and disaffection upon the subject concerning the lord Beverning and the seclusion.

The assembly of their noble great lordships of Holland is not yet full, but will be within few days. The chiefest subject of this meeting will be the securing of their commerce and navigation.

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

Hague, January 15, 1655. [N. S.]

V. xxii. p. 145.

My Lord,
We have had no letters out of England this week; and I am the more troubled, that your affairs are at last brought to extremity, and that you will have a certain resolution. I was told two days since, that a merchant at Amsterdam had advice, that you were gone from London; and that the protector had sent a gentleman after you to Gravesend, to desire you to return. Divers at Amsterdam have published, that you were returned into France. I cannot believe, that you will pass the sea before you have concluded our accommodation. We have here all our eyes upon you, and we discourse of nothing else but of England.

The assembly of the states of Holland doth only begin. Those of Friesland do still press to have the lord Beverning to give an account of his embassy; and that it may be done jointly, they propound to recall the lord Nieuport. The lords commissioners of the provinces have sent it to be debated by the lords their principals. They speak here no more of the renewing of the alliance, than if they had never known France. You will have heard of the disorders happened at Courtray between the inhabitants and the regiment of Bonnifaci, that was quartered there. It is wholly destroyed. There was a bloody slaughter on both sides. The city hath sent word to the archduke, that in case they have not satisfaction given them, they will put themselves under the protection of the king of France.

An intercepted letter of sir W. Vane to sir Henry Vane.

Hague, January 15, 1655. [N. S.]

V. xxii. p. 157.

The assembly is now met, though they have adjourned till thursday next. They are to make an end of their resolutions concerning their militia, which maketh me desire to see them to part, before I begin my journey. The last week those of Friesland made a proposition to recall Nieuport out of England, that the embassadors might jointly give an account of that private article, which was passed against the house of Orange; that there should be a leager embassador sent thither; and notice given to the protector that this article was disapproved. But it had no consequence, and no resolution was taken, though some believe there will be.

Mr. Geo. Palmer to secretary Thurloe.

Vol. xxxiv. p. 209.

Honourable sir,
I have according to his highnes commande sent mr. Edward Vernon, mr. Walter Vernon, and mr. Browne to the martiall genrall; and also have sent to aprehend the person that gave order for leaving the trunkes at mr. Walter Vernon his house, to the end he may be examined; and then shall send his deposission. But for the carrier of Ashburn, I sent a party to Weedon to meet him, and searcht both him and two other carriers, whoe was to mee rendered suspitious, but found no more then the 3 fowling pieces before–mentioned; yet in reguard of his highnes pleasure I have sent to search mr. Cotton his house, and thereof shall give your honour a further accompt. This busines of searching these armes I hope will proove of great mercy to these parts; for truly it is very observable to see how good people's mindes are now satisfyed in the evill designe intended by malignants. The Lord direct his to walke sutable to soe great mercyes, which shall bee the daily desire of your honour's

Coventry, January 5 1654.

Humble servant,
Geo Palmer.

The information of John Rose brother to Henry Rosethe carrier, who liveth at Bromsgrove, taken the 5th day of January 1654, concerning what loading his brother John Rose brought down from London the week last past, and for whom the same was brought.

V. xxii. p. 81.

For sir Henry Littleton two boxes made of inch sir boards, being about four foot long, and one foot broad; the weight of which was three hundred weight or thereabout. What was in them he knoweth not.

2. One hamper of one hundred weight fast bound up with cords.

3. One trunk of about three foot longe, the weight of which was about two hundred.

4. One little box that was not above eight or ten pound weight. These were delivered at sir Henry Littleton's house the 29th of December last; but what the goods were that were in the boxes, &c. he knoweth not.

5. Two great hampers that were delivered to sir John Packington the 2d of December, the weight of which was five hundred weight; and was, as the informant believeth, bottles of wine, or some liquid things, in respect he heard something dash in the hampers, when they were unloaded.

6. One rundlet of wine, which was delivered to mr. Davis of Wich.

7. Two firkins of soap for mr. Porter of Bromsgrove, and one small parcel of goods lap'd up in a paper for mr. Goffes of the same.

8. Twenty one fishes, fifteen whereof were for the informant, and six for the carrier John Rose his own use.

The examination of Edmond Custis taken Jan. 5, 1654.

V. xxii. p.209.

Who saith, that his first acquaintance with major Henry Norwood was at Amsterdam, at which time he had about 1000 l. in his hands of sir William Berkeley's, who then ordered this examinate to pay the said 1000 l. to him the said Norwood or his order; which accordingly he did, and then the said Norwood went for England, being anno 1651, and thence to Virginia, and saw him not since till about ten months ago, when he had only discourse with him about the Virginia trade. Since that about six weeks ago the said Norwood sent for this examinate to Cambden–house, where he came with two of his friends, namely, captain Baldwin and Joseph Custis, in whose hearing was only common discourse, except that he desired the examinate to provide 2 or 3 trumpets for him, as also 2 Dutch case bottles, which occasioned this examinate to inquire of his said two friends, how he might best procure them. And privately the said Norwood acquainted this exami nate, that the lord Willoughby was erecting a new plantation beyond or besides Barbados; and that he the said Norwood was going thither; and that if this examinate would share in an adventure with him, he would insure great gains. The commodities named this examinate hath forgotten; only doth well remember pistols was included by requiring his reason, how any quantity thereof could be vended there to profit. But farther this examinate doth not remember, being he then set the design at such distance, as no hopes of principal again, much less profit. That once after that he came to some tavern near this examinate's house, and tarried some while, and sent for him, who not coming timely to his the said Norwood's mind, saw him not that day, but met with him suddenly after, when he desired this examinate to acquaint mr. Richard Glover with his desire to meet them both at a glass of wine: the time and place appointed was on monday following at the Hoop and Pye in Leadenhall–street, where the examinate accordingly came, and with him brought his aforesaid two friends, as not thinking of any thing but a merry meeting. Where we had not been an hour, but the house taking fire casually, mr. Glover not being come, each one shifted out of the doors, and so major Norwood left this examinate in the multitude, and saw him no more that night, which was, as he supposeth, the 11th of December last; and on friday following, being the 15th, the said Glover came to this examinate, and as they were going together to buy hogs in Smithfield, told this examinate, that he had seen major Norwood that day, who had desired him to appoint time and place where they three might meet, which he did to be the next day at the Fountain in Fenchurch–street, where the substance of their discourse was, that the design for Barbados was to be furthered by mr. Glover, and this examinate, who should buy such pistols, carbines, and other arms, as he the said major Norwood should direct us, who would give us ready money; and that they should be brought to this examinate's house, there to be kept till the ship Charles was ready, and that he should provide a vessel forthwith to go for Amsterdam to fetch 1000 l. worth of arms; and that they should farther gain 15 s. for every 9 s. they did so bestow. To that end this examinate's brother Robert Custis was pitcht on by the said Norwood for that design, who accordingly was kept up by this examinate two posts from another voyage under pretence of expecting order from Amsterdam of the price of certain merchandizes, as train oil, &c. and that this examinate was to land the arms at a convenient place twenty miles off, to save custom.

Farther saith, that during their being at the said tavern, one mr. Barton (who came there with his man before major Norwood, and attended the coming of mr. Glover and this examinate) went forth, and within a quarter of an hour returned with a cart, and thereon two trunks with arms, and with this examinate went and delivered the same into this examinate's house. And tuesday after major Norwood, mr. Glover and this examinate met again at the said fountain, where at his first coming was a waterman with a green or blue coat, and some fowl on his sleeve for a badge, at which time major Norwood disclosed the true intention of the said arms, that they were to be disposed to several places in the country, to arm men at the rising of the parliament, and in all places to rise together for the establishing of king Charles; adding, they were assured of the greater part of the army for them, and the whole did not consist of above 12000. Saith, that afterwards they had sundry meetings, during which time two trunks and three chests of arms were brought to his house; as also mr. Glover and this examinate had bought with monies received of major Norwood by the said Glover 20 carbines, which he ordered mr. Glover to deliver for the Birmingham carrier somewhere in St. Giles's; as also mr. Glover and this examinate bought, by major Norwood's directions, 30 carbines more, which were brought to this examinate's house. Also a few days after a box was sent to this examinate's house; therein, as mr. Tomlyns saith, are bits for horses bridles; and that upon Christmas–day last mr. Tomlyns and his man came to this examinate's house with a coach and a porter, and by them carried away 4 trunks, whereof they brought two back again the same morning, being too heavy for the carrier's horses. And then or about that time this examinate was ordered by major Norwood and mr. Tomlyns to hire a waggon, that should take its lading with arms to Loughborough, to be delivered within two or three miles there, which was to have been performed this week. Also this examinate hath, by major Norwood's directions, bespoke 4 trumpets, and given earnest for them. And further, that this examinate did discharge the vessel, by his directions, about saturday last, on which day this examinate with mr. Glover met with mr. Tomlyns and major Norwood at a place called Croone's or Cambdenhouse, where they had order to desist proceeding, till two or three days further, because of a plot suspected at White–hall; and had some discourse to the same effect as formerly, and closed that evening with an exchange to give 50 l. in gold for 50 l. in silver, which this examinate received there of major Norwood.

Edmond Custis.


  • 1. The remainder of this examination is in the hand writing of secretary Thurloe.