State Papers, 1655: January (3 of 4)

Pages 99-116

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 (3 of 4)

Henry Cooke of Bromsgrove in the county of Worcester carrier, aged forty four years, or thereabouts, being examined January 10, 1654, saith as followeth.

V. xxii. p. 285.

He saith that he is carrier betwixt Bromsgrove aforesaid and London, and so hath been for above twenty years, lodging at his coming to London at the White–hart at St. Giles's in the Fields. And that about a month ago, being the last time he was in London before this, he received at the said inn two deal chests fastned with cross bars of the same stuff, a trunk, a small box, and some fruit trees, to be carried to the house of sir Henry Littleton at Hagley in the said county of Worcester, and for the use of the said sir Henry, the said two chests being about four foot long, and three broad, weighing about 3/4 of a hundred, and the said little box weighing about ½ of a hundred, which particulars were brought in a cart to the said inn by one mr. Lloyd, who formerly belonged to the old lady Littleton, and now lives, as he the examinate thinks, about London, and lately about Covent Garden; but where his dwelling is, he knows not, nor doth he know the carman who carried the same. And he farther saith, that all the particulars he the examinate delivered at Hagley house aforesaid some four days before Christmas last to the said sir Henry's steward, whose name is mr. Bowles, sir Henry himself being then at home; and received from the said stteward 25 s. for the carriage thereof. But what was contained in the said parcels he the examinate knows not, nor hath heard. And other goods than the particulars above–mentioned he hath not, for the space of about 1/2 a year, carried to the said sir Henry his house, or for the use of him, or any relation to him, to his knowledge. And he farther saith, that the same carriage he laded for sir John Packington, to be delivered at his house at Westwood in Worcestershire, a rundlet of wine, a pair of tables, and a small box of sugar (as he takes it) all weighing about a hundred and a half. And besides those goods he hath not carried any goods for sir John Packington and his family this half year now past, to his remembrance, nor hath he of late carried any goods of bulk to any gentleman thereabouts for this half year and more, as he remembers.

This examination taken by me,
W. Jessop.

The mark of Henry [ ] Cooke.

General Monck to secretary Thurloe.

V. xxii. p. 307.

I Received your letter dated the 6th of January, and I am glad to heare the newes of the timely discovery of the designes in England, and that there is noe further of them. I am confident heere will bee noe danger.

Concerning the examining of the prisoners, the trueth is, wee find out more daily of the matter, whereon to examin them; soe that we shall now uppon their examinations, which shal be speedily taken, have more to examen them in, then at their commitall wee had. I shall desire you to move his highness, that advocat Whalley may bee speeded downe, for wee shall have much busines for one, and there is none heere. The earle of Seafort hath this day articled with me for the comeing in of himselfe and his partie; soe that none is now left to joyne with Middleton but Glengary and Mac Clowde. Middleton hath sent to capitulat. I doubt wee shall not agree. I would not nor shall not agree to a cessation of armes in the mean tyme, nor shall I make any conclusion with him, without receiving his highnesse's commands. I thinke fit to send you this (fn. 1) inclosed letter (sent to one who is come in uppon articles) that you may see Middleton's resolution even in this tyme, when hee desires a treaty. I remaine,

Dalkeith, January 11, 1654.

Sir, your most affectionat servant,
George Monck.

Mr. Augier to secretary Thurloe.

V. xxii. p. 303.

Right honorable,
I have not yett received my nephew's occurrences of the 16/6 instant, which he is wont to send me by the post, which parts from Paris saturday nights. I heare from other hands, that the pope is dead, and that the contestations are very great att Rome about a new election, cardinall of Retz endeavouring for the Spaniards, which have granted him one hundred thousand crownes yearely.

Mr. de Neusville, ambassador of France, will have by this post the newes of the death of Mr. de Bourdeaux his father. I remaine alwaies,

The 11th of Jan. 1654. [N. S.]

Right honourable,
your honour's most humble
and obedient servant.

Mr. Daniel Watson to capt. Geo. Palmer.

Vol. xxxiv. p. 493.

Thomas Browne acquainteinge mee with his order for apprehension of Bird, mr. Walter Vernon's man, whome not beinge (as hee informes mee) to be founde, his earnest desire to mee is to give you a short relation of what I heard from him in reference to captain Vernon, which is briefely thus: comeinge to mr. Walter Vernon at the Starre at Burton, after some interlocutory discourse, hee acquainted me with the suspition he had of captain Vernon's sendinge the armes (then seised) to his house. I demanded what grounds he had for it; hee answered, that his man Birde was at Sudbury on fridaye last, where captain Vernon commanded him to remember his service to his master, and tell him, that he had trunkes comeinge downe from London by this carrier, and that they would come to his house, and desire him to keepe them safe, untill hee called or sent for them; which the said Bird, beeinge then present, and beeinge called, affirmed to be true. Some other questions and answers then past, which my present hast will not give leave to particularize: this is the substance. I care not further to trouble you, but to assure you, that I am,

Seeney, Jan. 11, 1654.

Your frind to serve you,
Daniell Watson.

A letter of intelligence.

V. xxii. p. 315.

Last poste I was soe surprized in time, that I could nott then salute you, and I believe some such obstruction mett with you last weeke, that I had nothinge from you. I am in earnest expectation of hearinge from England, and much wonder nothinge comes. Pray God your friend bee in London, and well. I desire you to informe your selfe and me as soone as you can. We have been all here for two or three posts in the like wonder, untill sunday last brought us letters, though opened. You will find mr. Mews and major Straughan att Amsterdam ere this in their severall wayes for Scottland, butt this must be a secret. We expect returnes of one or both att the begininge of March, and then measures will be taken what to doe. You may be sure you knowe as much as I, and have me a true friend to serve you. The duke of Newburgh's lady is brought a bed of a daughter, and last saterday a gentleman from the duke was sent to his majestie to greete him with that knowledge; and yesterday sir Gilbert Talbott was sent to congratulate, though mr. Belinge 3 days before was sent about other busines you may guesse at. The duke of Gloster beinge something indisposed att Antwerpe, dr. Friezar is sent to him by the kinge. Tom Howard is here from the princesse royal. Sir Henry Ducie hath beene here som time, which I forgot to tell you of, where lies a story concerninge mrs. Barlo, sed tace. You may knowe more hereafter. Shee is here with her yonge heire. The kinge of Denmarke we heare will have Hamburgh as much at his devotion as the Sweede Breme. I believe Lubeck and other places must expect a little tutoringe too, those 2 kings, Holdstein, Lunenburgh, and other princes beinge joyned in the designe, and some say the emperor consentinge, and that this was hatched att the dyett, to bringe downe the pride and riches of these places, that would neither contribute to our master nor Cæsar: soe who laments them ? not I. We expect stirrs in England. Verbum sat.&c. Sir, I am

Collen, Jan. 12, 1655. [N. S.]

Your most faithfull servant,
J. M.

Nieuport, the Dutch embassador in England, to the states general.


High and mighty lords,
My lords, since my last of the 5/15 instant, the parliament has been still busy in the fore and afternoons with the resumption of the articles and incidents concerning the government, as also touching the manner of delivering to his highness, the lord protector, those resolutions that are ingrossed. Some were of opinion, that the same ought to be carried to Whitehall by a deputation; others, that his highness ought to be desired, for that purpose, to come to the house, or in a chamber thereabouts, but this point is reserved to be the last. There have been also divers debates concerning the title of the said act, when it was at last resolved, that the same should be called, an act declaring and establishing the government of the commonwealth of England, Scotland, and Ireland, with the dominions belonging thereunto, and that the same should be published in the name of his highness the lord protector and the parliament of the said commonwealth, without any preamble or introduction. Further there have been prepared sundry separate acts, and among the rest, one, whereby it is ordered, that out of the finances and publick income, besides the two hundred thousand pounds per annum, for the maintenance of justice, and the court of the lord protector payable to the order of his highness and the council, there shall further be paid for the keeping of the fleet, armies, and other charges of the state, ten hundred thousand pounds; and that the tax of sixty thousand pounds per month shall be employed for the payment of the debts and former arrears, and of the troops which now are to be disbanded. The day before yesterday on a motion, whether the said act, before the same should pass, ought not to be previously communicated to his highness the lord protector, in a conference, as a projected resolution, it was agreed by a majority of votes, that this should not be done, but that the same, being passed, should only be delivered. There is arrived here a letter from general Pen, dated the 8th instant, new style, being at that time 35 Dutch miles south of the Lizard Point. Yesterday I was credibly informed, that great preparations and diligence are made to fit out, with all expedition, to sea a new squadron of 60 ships under Disbrowe and vice–admiral Lawson, among which the great Naseby and other new built ships are reckoned. It is said, that some dissatisfied officers of the army in Scotland intended to separate themselves from the other troops, and march into England; but that general Monck has given such orders in time, that the chief of them are taken into custody. And major general Overton, who was to have had the chief command, is coming hither in the frigate called Basinge. They are still here upon the search, and daily more persons are discovered, which are said to be guilty of the last plot. The embassador extraordinary of Genoa had last saturday his solemn and publick audience in the great hall of Whitehall, and was entertained till sunday night; he has rendered me thanks by a gentleman, for sending him the coach at the time of his reception, and offered me his sincere friendship and good correspondence; whereupon I made yesterday my compliments at his house at Chelsea. The embassador of France had been there the day before; he received me with all the civilities, which your high mightinesses embassadors receive of any other publick ministers. He finds his dwelling–house so inconvenient, as he told me, that he is resolved next week to come to another house in town; he is an able man, that has travelled much, and is skilled in several languages.

Westminster, Jan. 22, 1655. [N. S.]

Wherewith, &c.

High and mighty lords,
William Nieupoort.

Nieupoort to the greffier Ruysch.


My Lord,
Last night I was informed, that after the breaking up of the parliament, so many lords of the council met, by order of his highness the lord protector, that the memorials I have presented, together with the proofs (touching some ships belonging to the inhabitants of the united Netherlands, which were taken by some privateers, and carried into a small harbour of Cornwall about 200 hundred miles from hence) were read, and the same being taken into consideration, it was resolved, that the said ships and goods should be discharged, as their high mightinesses will be pleased to observe, out of the order of the council hereunto annexed, which I took out this morning. The said privateers commit their exorbitances with the more boldness in those far distant places, because there are no officers or magistrates, that have any great authority, which hinders those poor people, that they cannot acquaint their high mightinesses ministers here at London, with their complaints. Wherefore, I think, that it would be proper, in order to be the better informed, from time to time, of what happens in the West of England and in the Channel, that at Falmouth, Plymouth, Portsmouth, and Dover respectively, some able persons that understand both languages should be appointed, who in the name of their high mightinesses should be desired and authorised, to assist the inhabitants of the united Netherlands, that should happen to be carryed to, or arrive at the said harbours, or at any other places adjacent to the same, and to hinder, as much as possible, that no prejudice and injury might be done to them; and further, that the said persons should send timely notice of all such occurrences to the ministers of their high mightinesses here, of what ships arrive at or sail from the said places, and of all that may happen there. I am told, that there is at Falmouth a merchant called Methuys, and at Plymouth one mr. William Jones, whose father had many years ago that office, as also that at Portsmouth lives one mr. Wheeler, and at Dover a merchant called de Hase, which persons, I believe, might be persuaded to it, enjoying for their troubles a yearly salary of 25 or 30 pounds sterling.

On monday last a further answer was sent to the lord de Neufville, wherewith these gentlemen here thought his excellency would be satisfied; but I am since informed, that there are some few words in the same, which he declares he could not admit, and I have heard from himself in general terms, that the said answer gave him no satisfaction; yet it is believed, that an expedient will be found out, in case France is sincerely inclined to it. Mr. Thurloe has sent to me this evening the chief act, whereby the privateers, of whom I have complained, are ordered to appear here before the council: he ordered me to be ask'd, if I would leave the execution thereof to his direction, or if I would appoint another person for that purpose. I thanked him for the trouble he had taken, and told him, that I would communicate the said act to the agents of the interressed, and send him word. This I thought proper to do, since I am informed, that the masters of the ships have made under hand, as to the proprietors of the ladings, another declaration in favour of the privateers, and quite otherwise than what I first heard, and represented in my memorial.

Westminster, Jan. 22, 1655. [N. S.]

Wherewith, &c.

My lord, &c.
William Nieupoort.

Boreel, the Dutch embassador at Paris, to the states general.

V.xxii. p.351.

High and mighty lords,
My lords, the affair of Herentals and Courtray causes a great deal of discourse here, and they wish that the season of the year might be a little further advanced, in order to procure powerful materials for the spiriting up of disorders. They talk secretly, that a great many other places intend to follow the same example.

A strong convoy is preparing here to be sent under the command of monsr. de Chastellau Mauvesiere to Quesnoy, to provide and stock anew the said town and the garrison, that lays there, with all necessaries, since they think it a convenient and advantageous place, to keep always a door open for an irruption into the heart of the Spanish provinces. Provisions are made likewise, to maintain the fort called Barleau on the river Lys, lately taken from the Spaniards by count Broglio, governor of la Basse, since from thence and from the French garrisons and the incursions of the same, great harm may be done in Flanders. The said count is arrived here at court with intent to propose and to concert the most suitable means and expedients, which may be serviceable and undertaken for that purpose.

According to the newest accounts from Brabant, the prince of Condé was still at Brussels, and the baron de Bouteville is expected at London, to communicate and to concert the joint designs against France. They have here no great opinion, that the depending differences between France and England will be accommodated by an agreement. Monsr. Bordeaux, intendant of the finances of France, and father of monsr. de Neufville the embassador of the king at London, died here lately, and the said embassador, it is said, has for this reason, obtained leave to come here from thence, with an intent of this court, as some will have, to break intirely off the negotiations there; others say, that a person of greater distinction will be sent thither from here. They are quite uneasy here to bear with any more prejudices and affronts.

The mediators of a peace between France and Spain, viz. the pope's nuncio and the embassador of Venice, that are here at Paris and at Madrid, have been busy again to bring about their offers of mediation; but something or other is always wanting, so that a good effect thereof is as much doubted as ever; in the mean while both parties declare, that they are intirely inclined for peace. Here is news from Spain, that the English fleet under admiral Blake being arrived in the bay of Cadiz, and afterwards at Gibraltar, an agreement was there made with them by the commissaries from the court of Spain, that the said English fleet should go into Spanish service, receiving for the same . . . . . per month. The said fleet arrived in the bay of Naples, eight days after the departure of the duke of Guise, whom (having stayed a little while to refresh themselves) they have followed immediately till about Leghorn and the island of Elva, where, according to the freshest advice from Genoa, the English fleet did still continue, without giving any great jealousy to the grand duke of Tuscany, against whom the English shew some discontent.

Since the English fleet under admiral Pen was seen at Rosco, steering their course to the west, there is no nearer advice, but only that they said in England, that the design was to land in Conquet, not far from Brest. I have with great pains and troubles obtained an order of the council of the king, whereby the captains d'Ayne and Hautfuille, who took the ship called the Hope van Floor, commanded by Peter Crynssen alias the Grand Turk, are condemned to make restitution (being wrongfully seized) of the said ship with all her appurtenances, merchandises, and goods laden therein, as also to pay costs, damages, and interest. Which last clause I have as yet not been able to obtain: I will do my best to bring the same into execution, and will now go on further to give orders to prosecute the reparation criminal and civil against the said captains, for the villainous and cruel murther, committed on the person of the said Peter Crynssen, and will spare no trouble for that purpose, since justice demands an example to be made for such a barbarous crime.

Paris, Jan. 22, 1655. [N. S.]

Wherewith, &c.
high and mighty lords, &c.

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

January 22/12, 1654/5.


My Lord,
The news of this day will advise you, that the end of my negotiation doth approach. Yesterday I asked audience to take my leave of the protector; and as soon as it is given me, I will take the way of France. It shall not be without giving you advice by the next ordinary, and without adding most humble thanks for the honour of your correspondence. It doth seem, to judge by appearances, that my lord protector ought not to let me go for want of expressing that in the article, which his commissioners do agree to be inserted; but without doubt he is driven by some particular consideration, which is unknown to me, to maintain a division with France. God grant, that he may prove a bad merchant, and that he may repent hereafter of not accepting of the good affections of the king, and that he may be forced to make as many advances, as he hath received on my part. I must of necessity comfort myself with this imagination, that I have used all my endeavours, care, and little industry, to execute the orders of the court. However I shall stand in need of such favourable witnesses and judges, as yourself and mr. Picot. He hath great reason to begin by you to render me those good offices, and to believe, that if you be once persuaded, you will easily persuade many others. I have cause to hope, that he will prosper in his design, after so many testimonies, which I have received of your love. The parliament have not yet finished their deliberations upon the government. Their time is almost expired, and unless they make haste in their act, they will not have twenty days left for the protector to consider of it.

Here hath been a plot discovered, which was to have been, as is said, a general rising in the counties. Many are imprisoned about it, and many arms are said to be sound in gentlemen's house in the counties. Some commotion there hath been in the army of Scotland, and major general Overton and some officers of the anabaptist party are imprisoned. Yet notwithstanding their imprisonment there hath not happened any rising in their behalf. Here is no news of general Pen. It is still said, he is gone for America. Some speak of the island St. Laurence. As for Blake, I see by the letters from our court, that he is gone as far as Naples, and hath shewn very much discontent to have mist of the duke of Guise.

Examination of Walter Vernon, esq.

Walter Vernon of Stokely Park in the county of Stafford, esq; aged sixty five years or thereabouts, being examined January 12, 1654. faith as followeth.

V.xxii. p.317.

He faith, that going from his house at Stokely Park on sunday morning the 30th of December last to his brother sir Edward Vernon's house at Sudbury in the county of Derby, where he was to meet mr. Edward Browne of Bentley in the same county, in order to a farther journey to sir Thomas Milward about a difference betwixt the said mr. Browne and his brother William, which was referred to the examinate and mr. Robert Milward as arbitrators, and to sir Thomas Milward as umpire; and staying there that day till dinner time, in expectation of one mr. Gilbert an attorney, with whom the examinate had business; and dining with the said sir Edward Vernon, together with the said mr. Edward Browne, he heard at Sudbury aforesaid by a messenger from Stokely in the afternoon of that day, that some trunks had been that day brought to his house at Stokely Park, which had been opened there by some soldiers, who came with the carrier that brought them; but what was found in them, he heard not. And thereupon the examinate relinquishing his purpose of going on to sir Thomas Milward's, repaired that night to his house, and received notice by his children, that some trunks and boxes had been brought into the court of his the examinate's house the same day, and there broke open by some soldiers; and that there were in them guns, pairs of pistols, some carbines, and one very fine pair of pistols; and that those, who brought the said trunks and boxes, presently carried them away; but he saith he saw none of the said trunks or boxes, nor was he before hand advised of any intention in any person whatsoever, to send such trunks or boxes to his the examinate's house, or to any other place; nor doth he know from whom they were sent, nor upon what occasion. And that the next morning being required by an officer (by virtue of his highness's warrant) to accompany him to Burton upon Trent, he went accordingly, and at Burton he heard from Cornet Thomlinson of a letter directed to him the examinate, signed by one Green, that accompanied these trunks; but who that Green or other person that sent the said letter is, he knows not, nor can he suppose or imagine. And he farther faith, that he knows not, nor hath been informed of any design whatsoever in any person to make any publick disturbance, nor for what purpose the said arms were intended.

This examination taken by me,
W. Jesson.

Walter Vernon.

The letter to mr. Vernon.

December 24, 1654.


Though a stranger to you, at the request of a friend of yours, I have made bold to send by Lowe, the carrier of Burton, some things, which he desires you would receive, until he come and demand them. I believe before this come to your hands, you have been advised thereof by the party himself, who I am, and withal shall be,
Sir, your most humble servant, P. Greene.

Edmund Browne of Hungry Bentley in the county of Derby gent. aged forty five years or thereabouts, being examined this 12th day of Jannary 1654. saith as followeth, viz.


He faith, that he went from his house at Bentley on friday the 29th of December last in the afternoon to the house of sir Edward Vernon at Sudbury in the county of Derby three miles from the examinate's house, where he met with mr. Walter Vernon the same day, about a matter in difference betwixt this examinate and his brother William Browne, which was referred to mr. Walter Vernon and mr. Robert Milward as arbitrators, and sir Thomas Milward as umpire; and not finding mr. Walter Vernon there that friday (according to his appointment) the examinate staid that night at sir Edward Vernon's house, and the next morning, being saturday the 30th of December last, the said mr. Walter Vernon came also to sir Edward Vernon's house, they both intending that day to have gone to the said sir Thomas Milward's house, being about three miles distance from Sudbury; but mr. Vernon being staid there in expectation of one mr. Gilbert an attorney till past noon; the examinate and the said mr. Walter Vernon dined that day with sir Edward Vernon, there dining with them also the two sons of sir Edward, viz. mr. Edward and mr. John Vernon, and his daughters, and no other strangers, as he remembers; and being in the afternoon informed by the said mr. Vernon, that he could not proceed to sir Thomas Milward's that day, the examinate repaired the same evening to his house at Hungry Bently, hearing mr. Walter Vernon resolved to stay at Sudbury till monday morning then following; and on that day to meet the examinate at sir Thomas Milward's. And when the examinate came to his own house, as aforesaid, he found soldiers in his house, and in his hall a trunk standing, which, as he was informed by the soldiers, was directed to this examinate, being brought from London by one Allen of Ashburn, which trunk, he was also informed, had been opened by the soldiers at his this examinate's house; and that several pistols and holsters were found therein; but he saw not the pistols or holsters (other than one of them, as he was informed, in a soldier's hand) the trunk being made up again ere this examinate's coming home. And this examinate enquiring of his wife, if any letter were brought with the said trunk, his wife delivered him one, which she said she received of the carrier; which letter this examinate finding open, as he remembers, he looked therein, and found it directed to the examinate, and signed T. Taylor, and forthwith read it to the soldiers, and then delivered it them. And the examinate farther faith, that he knows not who the said T. Taylor, or other person that signed the said letter, is; nor had he any advice beforehand from any person whatsoever of any such trunk, or of any arms that were to be sent, nor on what occasion; nor doth he know the hand, that writ the said letters; nor doth he know, or hath been informed, of any design in any person to make any publick distractions, other than some flying reports, which he hath heard talked of, since this business fell out, to the occasion whereof he is altogether a stranger; nor can he imagine, who the subscriber of the said letter should be. And he farther faith, that he knoweth not any such person as Rowland Thomas, nor that he ever spoke with any person of that name to his knowledge; nor hath heard of him, otherwise than as one Allen a carrier sent word to the examinate by his the examinate's servant at St. Alban's, on his the examinate's coming up, that he had challenged a man for sending down the said trunk, whose name is Thomas.

This examination taken by me,
W. Jessop.

Edmund Browne.

A paper of the Spanish embassador's secretary to the states general.

Lectum die 23 Januarii 1655. [N. S].


Le soubsigné secretaire de l'ambassade d'Espagne ayant appris la plainte, qui a esté fait a messieurs les estats generaux de quelques desordres commis sur la frontiere la Mairie de Boisleduc par quelques troupes du seigneur le prince de Condé logées a Weert, & en ayant donné part a son altesse le serenme archiduc, quoy qu'il luy plut faire depescher les ordres necessaires pour empescher semblables exces a l'advenir, & procurer la reparation du dommage, que pourroient avoir souffert en ce rencontre les sujects de cest estat, en suite de la cognoissance, qu'il a des intentions du roy son maistre entierement portées a entretenir non seulement toute bonne correspondance avec L L. SS. mais aussi a leur donner tout contentement possible, il a receu commandement de sa dit Alt. serme d'asseurer luy avoit causé ceste action estant si contraire aux bonnes volontes de sa majeste & aux siennes de leur declarer, que S. A. en ayant sait faire plainte au dit seigneur prince de Condé, de qui les trouppes dependoient, il en auroit de mesme tesmoigné un particulier ressentiment, & que S. A. le faira entendre a LL. SS. (ains qu'elle se fait par le moyen du dit secretaire) le parsait desir, qu'il avoit de maintenir avec elles toute bonne amitie & intelligence, & que pour leur en fournir une entiere asseurance estoit pres a donner aux interesses toute la satisfaction, qui seroit juste, du dammage receu par des dites trouppes, aux quelles il avoit ordonné fort exactement de s'abstenir de touts exces & violences contre les subjects de LL. SS. Il se trouve de plus obligé sur les nouveaux ordres, qu'il a receu de sa dite Altesse serenissime de prier & requerir tres instamment messieurs les estats generaux, de vouloir prendre une finale resolution sur la reiterée priere, qu'il a fait a LL. SS. de designer quelque autre ville plus commode que celle de Dort, pour la residence de la chambre mipartie: en quoy il espere, que LL. SS. auront le deu esgard a l'intercession de sa dite Altesse. Fait a la Haye ce 23 de Janvier, 1655, signé

J. Richard.

A paper of the French embassador to the states general.

Lectum die Jan. 23.


Monsieur de Wyckel deputé de la province de Frise a l'assemblée de messieurs les estats generaux des provinces unies, & president en semaine, se souviendra, s'il luy plaist, pour en faire rapport a la dite assemblée, que l'ambassadeur de France luy a dit, qu'ayant receu commendement du roy son maistre de presenter a mes dits sieurs les estats generaux une lettre de sa majesté en recommendation des interests de l'ordre des chevaliers de saint Jean de Jerusalem, il l'avoit mise entre les mains de monsieur le president lors en semaine il y a plus d'un mois, & luy avoit representé:

Que le roy estoit porté a favoriser la justice des demandes du dit ordre, par la merite de son institut; par la virtu & la bonne conduite des chevaliers, qui le composent; par l'obligation, qu'il y a suivant l'exemple de ses predecesseurs, comme premier roy tres chrestien, & comme l'ancien & veritable amy de messieurs les estats generaux.

Qu'il y avoit de quoy s'estonner, qu'un ordre saintement estably, & subsistant genereusement pour la deffense du nom chrestien contre les infidelles, qui en cette consideration a receu des biens, des graces, & des privileges de touts les princes & republiques, qui professent le christianisme, & particulierement dans ces provinces, soit depouillé sans cause dans ce seul estat, & depuis peu d'années, des biens, qu'il y a possedez par la pieté & liberalité du siecle passé; & en la possession des quels il avoit esté maintenu par les mesmes loix & confœderations, qui ont formé cette republicque.

Que cest ordre ayant establi son siege dans un advantage au milieu de la mer Mediterranée, pour arrester la licence & les courses des Mahometans, s'est porté avec telle charité envers les subjects des princes chrestiens, que tous se sont louez de la protection & de l'assistance, qu'ils ont trouvée dans Malte; & comme ceux de ces provinces par l'occasions de leurs navigations y ont abordé plus souvent, & quelquesois chasses par les corsaires Turcs, il n'y a point de nation, qui ait plus d'interest a la conservation de l'ordre, & plus d'obligation a recognoistre l'hospitalité qu'il prosesse.

Il est vray, que tous les princes chrestiens doivent la protection a cette ordre, mais aucun n'a tant de subject de maintenir leurs droits, que le roy, non seulement a cause de son titre, qui le rend le premier deffenseur de la cause chrestienne, mais encore pourceque la France a plus consacré de ses biens & de sa noblesse a cette sainte institution; & sa majesté croit aussy, que son entremise par recommendation sera fort considerée par messieurs les estats generaux, comme venant d'un amy certain, & qui regarde autant, en la priere qui leur fait, leur honneur & la gloire de leur estat, que l'interest de la religion de Malte.

Pour ce qu'il n'est pas de legere consequence pour la reputation de ces provinces, que cet ordre offensé par un long deni de justice publié par toute la chrestienté, ou il est respandu, que les interests de quelque peu de particuliers, qui se sont appropriez les biens de cette religion, ayant engagé tout l'estat a faire une justice publique, & n'ayant pu estre assubjettis a l'authorité de leurs propres loix.

Il est aussy du devoir d'un prince sage & d'un bon amy, de prevenir par ses avis & par ses requisitions les inconvenients, qui pourroient naistre de tels differents, & qui s'elevent souvent de causes fort legeres; & pour ces raisons le dit ambassadeur avoit estimé, que la recommendation du roy produiroit quelque effect conforme a l'importance du subject, & aux bonnes intentions, avec les quelles il s'y est porté; & bien qu'il n'ont point esté donné de response a la lettre de sa majesté, la prudence des mess. les estats generaux l'ayant du differer pour de bonnes cause, il espere que mon dit sieur le president remettant cette affaire a la memoire de la compagnie, elle y ferera consideration. Signé

A la Haye, Jan. 23, 1655. [N. S.]


An intercepted letter of Conway to the earl of Northumberland.

Paris, January 23, 1655. [N. S.]


My lord,
This is the worst time of the year to write any news in. Here is not any thing worth your knowledge. The king of France is blond or lightish hair'd; the duke of Anjou is black. The king is silent and of few words; the duke is merry, and still talking. The king loveth hunting extremely; the duke cares not to ride, but loves very much dancing and the company of women, whom he doth touse and kiss.

The duke of Guise hath sold all that he has in this world, but Guise, which is worth five thousand pounds per ann. and most for this unfortunate voyage to Naples. I believe the death of the pope will trouble no body but madam Olympia, unless they would make cardinal de Retz pope, which they will not do.

Charles Littleton, of Arley, in the county of Stafford, gent. aged 24 years, or thereabouts, examined Jan. 15, 1654. saith as followeth.


He faith, that he hath for this year now past lived at his mother the lady Littleton her house, in St. Martin's lane, and that in or about October last he went to Arley aforesaid; after about a month's stay there, he from thence accompanied his brother sir Henry Littleton to Hagley in the county of Worcester, to his wedding at Winchester, and returned to London about three weeks or a month before Christmas; and after his coming to town, as aforesaid, he being inquired of by major Henry Norwood, whether his brother, sir Henry Littleton, being sheriff of Worcestershire, would not need pistols for accommodating his horsemen in his sheriffdom; and major Norwood also telling him, that the same was necessary, and that it would be a conveniency to him the said major to provide them, he having provided many other arms for Virginia, he the examinate did thereon write down (by his man, as he takes it) to his said brother, to know his mind in that behalf, who sent him word to provide 40 pair of pistols for the use aforesaid, and to take them of major Norwood, as was desired; but the letter sent by his brother for the same is now lost, he conceiving it not of any consequence to keep it. And the examinate faith, that thereupon he did accordingly bespeak 40 pair of pistols of major Norwood for the said use, which were by the said major provided and put into 2 chests, and sent away after his the examinate's going from London the week before Christmas, he going to his brother's at Hagley, and to Arley, where he staid till his last coming up to London, being on saturday last, having left it to major Norwood to send them away, and to one mr. Lloyd, sometimes a servant to his family, to direct them to his said brother's house at Hagley. And he faith, that he bespoke no other arms whatsoever, nor doth he know of any arms sent to his brother's at any other time than as is before set down. Nor doth he believe any others were sent, only some saddles were sent to his brother in a chest, as he takes it, the carriage before, which were also provided on this examinate's desire, being about 28 or 30 in number, by the said major Norwood. And he farther faith, that he is well acquainted with the said major Norwood, and hath been for divers years; and hath several times met with the said major Norwood since his coming up as aforesaid after his brother's marriage, and particularly four or five times at the lady Newport's in Lincoln's–inn–fields, where there have been in their company, as he remembers, besides those of the family, one mr. Beverley and one mr. Browne, a kinsman of the lord Herbert's, and some others, whom he remembers not. And one time at the examinate's lodgings, being at one Lisson's, a barber near by the Rose tavern in Covent Garden, where the said mr. Lloyd was in company with them, and no other, and once at the lodging of the said major in the Temple, no other person but themselves being there. And that the discourse he had with major Norwood at any of the said times was about ordinary matters, but nothing relating to any design, the correspondence betwixt them being merely on the score of ancient friendship; but he saith, he thinks when he bespoke the said pistols of major Norwood, they were provided sooner than he could expect them; and therefore he believes he the said major had a greater quantity of arms ready; and the rather because he told the examinate, he had provided many for Virginia. He faith farther, that he thinks major Norwood sent the said chest of arms to the inn; but by what conveyance, or who was the carman, waterman, or other person, that carried them, he knows not. As also he saith, that together with the said chest there was sent to his brother's house a hamper, containing one great saddle, and one ordinary saddle, for the use of his said brother, and on his desire, he signifying by his letter to this examinate, that the said great saddle was for his own riding, which letter is also lost; and also a small trunk, containing the examinate's clothes. And he farther saith, that he knows not, nor hath heard of any intention in his said brother or any other, to make use of the said arms or other things beforementioned, or of any other arms, for any design or purpose otherwise than as is before expressed.

Charles Lyttelton.

This examination taken by me,
William Jessop.

The said Charles Littleton being farther examined Jan. 16, 1654.

He faith, that the reason why he and others of the family denied to the soldiers in the country to have any arms at Hagley, and that the things brought down thither in the chests were pewter, (when search was made at his brother's sir Henry Littleton's house for arms at two several times) was because soldiers came thither armed, and for fear of plundering. He faith farther, that for the 40 pair of pistols with the holsters he bought of mr. Norwood, he was to pay 20 s. a pair, of which he paid about 35 l. (the rest being still owing) which he paid at his, the examinate's, chamber (no other being present) with money, which he received of his brother, sir Henry Littleton, and brought up with him to London. He denies, that he bought any carbines to be sent to his said brother. He faith he knows not mr. Custis the merchant, nor mr. Glover, nor mr. Rowland Thomas. He knows col. Vernon, but never saw him in major Norwood's company, nor hath heard major Norwood speak of him, to his remembrance. He faith, he knows not how the arms came to be emptied out of the chests into his said brother's closet; but saith, that the lady Littleton, the examinate's sister–in–law, said to this purpose, that those base boxes had made the soldiers believe there were arms in the house, and that therefore she would burn them; which was accordingly done presently after. He faith, he knows not of any other arms sent to any person other than as is mentioned in his examination yesterday; and denies that major Norwood communicated to him, this examinate, any design for the late king of Scotts. He faith, that mr. Lloyd, to his knowledge, was not acquainted with the things contained in the chests; and farther, that at his last coming to his said brother's he heard, that his said brother had bespoke 50 pair of pistols at Worcester, but asking his brother thereabout, his brother denied that he had bespoke any. And the examinate is confident, none was so bespoke, and the rather, because he thinks there is no gunsmith there or elsewhere in the country able to make a pair of pistols.

Charles Lyttelton.

A letter of intelligence.

Hamburgh, January 16, 1655. [S. V.]


By the last letters from Riga it's said, that the Muscovites having taken the considerable fort of Dunenbrough, 25 miles from Riga, was now grown so insolent, as to demand a pass for 50000 men from the Swede through Lieffland, or as some say from the duke of Courland through his country, which annoyance of the Muscovites, as it causeth great perplexity at Riga, and those parts, so it animates the Poles exceedingly, being the only and final hopes they have, that their proud enemies, by this his insolent demeanor, will provoke the crown of Sweden or some other considerable state to come upon his back, whereby he may be diverted from bringing them to utter ruin and destruction. Touching the business of the king of Denmark's inauguration here, nothing as yet is concluded upon; but it is very doubtful. Secretary Coyet is now arrived here, and will be gone with all speed for England.

A letter of intelligence from the Hague.

Samedy, Jan. 20. 1655. [N. S.]


Je n'y a rien eu aujourd'huy digne de remarque. L'Hollande minute au advis trenchant & rigide contre les provinces, qui veulent elire mareschal de camp. Il estoit desja prest pour éstre produit dans la generalité; mais il y a en des villes, qui l'ont encore voulu communiquer dans leur Vroetschappen.

Ausy la Hollande a prest l'avis touchant les debtes d'Ostfrise.

Lundy, Jan. 22.

Ceux de Zeelande ont maintenant aussy produit leur advis provincial touchant le traité d'Elbing, qui parle aussy des elucidations, ne differant guere de celuy de Hollande; se remarquaint, que ces 2 provinces ont conferres ensemble sur ce point.

Mais sur le point de conferer la charge de mareschal de camp, ces 2 provinces n'accordent pas si bien, car les 5 villes de Zeelande ont desja avisé sur ce point, desirants que la charge soit conferrée, sans avoir esgard a la harmonie.

De la part de Dantsick est donné memoire, requirant payment du subsidie & remboursement de ce que la ville a depensé aux troupes de c'est estat, sur quoy n'est resolu, si non overgenoomen.

Mardy, Jan. 23.

Aujourd'huy sera resolu a l'instance des princesses royale & douagere, de faire office tant icy pres son ex. l'ambassadeur de Spaigne, qu'a Brussels, a ce que satisfaction soit fait au prince d'Orange touchant & en suite du traité de Munster.

L'Hollande a tasché de faire resoudre & conclurre pour arrester la ratification du traité d'Elbingen sur les elucidations proposées par la Hollande; mais la plus part des provinces ont declarées de n'estre pas prestes.

Le sieur de Gent aussy a fait rapport dans la grand affaire d'Ostfrise. La Utrecht a promis se declarer demain.

Mécredy, Jan. 24.

Mess. de Holland ont maintainant de chief importé de considerations sur le concept traité de mariné, qui est venu de Anglois, dont entre autres ils effacent l'article (je croy le 12me) qui ne continue ce traité, que pour 2 ou 3 ans, car mess. de Hollande entendent, que ce traité doit estre perpetuel, comme dependant du traité de paix, qui de meme est perpetuel.

Item, ils ont proposé d'escrire, comme il sera escrit au sieur de Nieuport ambassadeur, a sin de procurer la revocation du placard Anglois de l'an 1651 nommé, increase of shipping and trade.

Les provinces se sont conformes avec la Hollande touchant les points du ratification ou elucidation attaches a la ratification du traité d'Elbing. La Frise seule a fait annoter n'estre pas chargée.

Jeudy, Jan. 25.

Les 2 correspondents, l'un a Statyn, l'autre a Dantsick (auparavant a Koningsberge) sont tous deux rapelles, n'escrivant que discours de Taverne. Aujourd'huy ceux de Hollande ont esté en corps dans les estats generaux, ou le raet pensionaire a harangué, que les sieurs ses principaux avec estonnement avoient aprins, que les autres provinces avoyent taché d'elire un mareschal de camp ou chef general de la militie, au lieu qu'estant en pais, ou n'avoient pas besoin de mareschal du camp, car on ne va pas en campaigne; & quand bien il seroit besoin d'aller en campaigne (comme estant raisonable de songer a la guerre, estant en paix) que chaque province estant libre, ne pouvoit estre astraint par pluralité de voix de prendre un chef, qui ne luy seroit pas agreeable. Que sur ce suject messieurs de Hollande avoient escrits a toutes les provinces, & qu'ils requerroient, qu'on ne veuille rien precipiter en cela. Les autres provinces ont demandé le susdit avis de Hollande par escrit, comme aussy copie de la lettre escrite aux provinces, ce qu'on leur a promis.

La ratification du traité d'Elbing a derechef esté sur ce tapis. La plus part des autres provinces ont encore dit n'estre pas charge sur cela; neantmoins il y a de l'apparance, que cela ce fera.

La Hollande s'est aussy accomodée avec ces autres provinces touchant les debtes de Ostfrise, sur quoy sera conference.

Vendredy, Jan. 26.

Aujourd'huy c'à este le tour de ceux de Zeelande. Le sieur Veth a representé en beaucoup de façon par des passages divers, specialement par des resolutions de la grande assemblee de l'an 1651, que ceux de Hollande meme ont jugé necessaire, qu'ily eust un mareschal de camp, & par plusieurs arguments & raisons a deduit, que la milice ne peut point estre sans teste; consequement que la Hollande a tort de s'opposer si fort contre l'election d'un mareschal de camp. L'assaire en est encore demeurée la, & demain en sera derechef parlé; & toute fois la Hollande en sa resolution parle clair de n'en vouloir point.

L'on aura conclu dans l'affaire de la ratification du traité d'Elbing.

The lieutenant governor of Calais to Bordeaux, the French embassador in England.

Calais, January 26, 1655. [N. S.]


My Lord,
They write me word from Paris, that we are like to have a war with England. You know the truth thereof best yourself. All our frontiers are very quiet. It is true, that some days since there arrived some foot at St. Omer, and we are informed, that it is a regiment of the prince of Condé's forces. We have sent to know the truth. The mareshal d'Aumont hath failed in his design, which he had to have surprised the chiefest officers of Artois, who were come to St. Omer, and were to march to some other place from thence; but his design was discovered; so that the said mareshal was forced to return back with the cavalry, which he had taken with him to execute his design.

Captain George Palmer to secretary Thurloe.

Vol. xxxiv. p. 491.

According to your order, I sent to aprehend Bird, mr. Walter Vernon his man; alsoe to search mr. Cotton his house for armes. As to the former, hee is fledd, and hath beene soe almost ever since the aprehending of colonell Vernon; but this enclosed is the substance of what hee did say before justice Watson, whose letter this is (fn. 2). And for mr. Cotton, wee finde noe just cause of aprehending him, or seizing those guns, hee never denying them, nor any thing else, that might reasonably bee demanded from him; and by certainest information we can gaine from honest people, his neighbours, hee is not justly rendred suspitious; which at presant is all from

Coventry, Jan. 16, 1654.

Your honour's humble servant,
George Palmer.

Major general Overton to a friend of his.

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

Dear Sir,
By the lord protector's order I was yesterday confined a prisoner in the tower of London; where (as also before I came thither) having received information of those false reports and misprisions I am under, I thought good for your own and my christian friends satisfaction with you, to give my answers to those objections divulged against me, which you may take as followeth.

Objection I. That before my going into Scotland, I engaged to my lord protector, that I would be true unto my trust; and told him, that I would let him know, when I could serve him no longer. But now it is reported, that I have forfeited my trust, by going about to divide the army, and resolving to march in the head of a party for England, and there, as in Scotland, to abett the caveleers design. To which I answer,

Reply I. That I am still true unto my trust, and have kept my resolutions, to let his lordship know, when I could serve him no longer; adding, that when I perceived his lordship did only design the setting up of himself, and not the good of those nations, I could not set one foot before another to serve him; to which he replied, thou wert a knave, if thou wouldst. Nor did I ever go about to divide the army, promise to head any party or intend to joyn with the cavileers (Scotch or English) but on the contrary, having heard, that upon the address made by the officers at Jameses's, some honest officers at Aberdeen had debates of that nature, I sent to them first, to forbear their debates; and after understanding, that they were under some pressure of spirit in that particular, and purposed to meet at Edenbrough about the discharge of their dutys and consciences in that kind, I sent for them, and told them, that if they intended any thing in an unwarrantable way, I could not conceal it. Whereupon they promised me to do all things in God's way; and that they would acquaint the general therewith, and do nothing therein without his consent.

Objection II. The newsmongers and others, I perceive, report me to be a leveller, and a discontented person, for that other officers were preferred before me, who were my juniors; and that I was absent from my charge in Scotland two years together. To all which I thus answer.

Reply II. 1. That if a leveller be one, who bears affection to anarchy, destroying propriety or government, then I am none. But if upon the account of New–market and other engagements, for the setling of a well grounded government, redress of grievances; civil, ecclesiastical, or military, or inflicting condign punishment upon capital offenders, &c. if this be levelling, I was and am a leveller. 2. I acknowledge it was some dissatisfaction to me, to have some of my junior colonels preferred over my head; yet neither that nor any other neglect did ever discourage or hinder me from doing my duty diligently, faithfully, and for the most part (I bless God for it) effectually, for these thirteen years. 3. As concerning my absence from my command in Scotland, I confess, after I had discontinued from England near upon the matter of two years, my father dying in the interim, and my estate lest in a disordered and unsettled condition (diverse debts, as I believe, yet undischarged, and to my detriment, I doubt, become desperate through default of timely looking to) I did desire general Dean's pass for England, which I had without limitation of time to return in. And finding my occasions in my own country to be very commanding (knowing in how peaceable a posture all things were at my coming from Scotland, and so continued for three quarters of a year after) I presumed to stay in my government at Hull, untill I understood, that there were some stirrs in Scotland; whereupon I immediately writt to his excellency the lord general, to know whether or no he expected any further service from me in that nation. But receiving no answer of my letter, and immediately after the parliament being dissolved, in order to my own satisfaction, as to the one and the other, I came up to London, and gave his lordship an account both of the reasons and warrant for my stay in England, wherewith his lordship seemed then satisfied. And as to the continuance of my two commands, it was neither by me desired nor endeavoured, I having formerly by my friend colonel Salmon made a tender to resign my regiment in Scotland; and (all things being in a peaceable posture there) I was willing to have retired myself to my government at Hull, that thereby I might have enjoyed the comforts of my relations and country; but this not being accepted, I now see there was a providence in order to my present reproach, which I trust in his own good time the Lord our God will rowl away. For if truth itself be not over–born or out–faced, I shall in the upshott neither appear hypocritical or perfidious, as hath been reported. And if this cannot stop the mouth of the malevolent, I trust it may in some measure satisfy the godly wife, who, if they be my friends, I shall be the better enabled to bear the browbeatings of others report or reproaches causelessly cast upon me.

Objection III. But, say some, you made a company of scandalous verses upon the lord protector, whereby his highness and divers others were offended and displeased for your so doing.

Reply III. I must acknowledge I copied a paper of verses, called the Character of a Protector; but I did neither compose, nor (to the best of my remembrance) shew them to any, after I had writ them forth. They were taken out of my letter case at Leith, where they had lain a long time by me neglected and forgotten. I had them from a friend, who wished my lord well, and who told me, that his lordship had seen them, and I believe laughed at them, as (to my knowledge) heretofore he hath done at papers and pamphlets of more personal and particular import or abuse.

Objection IV. Another thing objected against me, as I am informed, is, letters of dangerous consequence intercepted, as they were coming to me.

Reply IV. In regard I received them not, I cannot judge of their danger or significance. Indeed I did hear, that letters of dissatisfactory import were directed to diverse in Scotland, with printed papers and petitions in them, sent to Leith and other places; but those, to whom they were directed, know not whence they came, having neither subscription nor dates. And it is possible, some dissatisfied persons in England might direct letters to me as to other men upon the same account and score. Nay, is it not probable, that some informers (not my friends) to render their service more suitable to their salarys, might report or suggest, from their own or others opinions, some high expectation had of me in the matters forementioned, viz. the dividing and marching a part of the army into England, which no man living shall be justly able to make good against me, it being (as I well know) a thing dangerous and unseasible, and most unlikely to end in any thing but division and destruction (two inseperable adjuncts, faith Cæsar Borgia) therefore as far from my purpose, as in itself impracticable, as the constitution of the army stood.

Objection V. But, say some, you and other officers refused to come to the head quarters, when general Monck commanded you; which was a convincing argument of your guilt and disobedience, and the occasion given him to send a guard for you.

Reply V. To this I answer, we should herein have been much to blame, had the reports of the week writers been true, the contrary whereof will be witnessed as followeth: For first some of the officers were imprisoned at Dundee, as they were voluntarily marching towards the head quarters; and I know none of the rest, who did delay to come, after they were commanded. For myself, the very day before mr. Oates's going towards Edenburgh, I remember I received from mr. Clark (general Monck's secretary) a letter, in the latter end whereof he thus hints: I cannot give you any account of the grounds of the general's sending for you to the head quarters; but herewith receiving no letter from the general, I concluded a miscarriage of his letter, or a mistake in mr. Clark's relation. However (as will be witnessed) I was so far from refusing to obey the general's command, that I was resolved to set forwards from Dalkeith the next morning, had I not been dissuaded by some of my fellow officers; whereupon I immediately dispatcht a letter to general Monck (to be conveyed from garrison to garrison day and night, untill it came to his hands) intimating my real readiness to observe his commands by letter or messenger. Two days after I had written to him, two of his letters came together to my hands, intimating his desire to have me come to the head quarters with what convenience I could. And at the very same time I received letters from general Middleton and the earl of Seaforth, desiring a capitulation, in order to their own with their parties coming in, and laying down their arms; upon which account I was perswaded to stay a day longer, to draw up and debate proposals; but that evening a letter coming from the general upon the forementioned account, I declined all further debate with Pluscardin, the earl's uncle, advising him and general Middleton's trumpet to proceed in pursuance of their business at the head quarters, whither I was going with all possible speed. How therefore I should be accused of neglect or disobedience to the general's commands, I cannot imagine; but shall leave it to the judicious to determine, not doubting but wherein men have mistaken, the searcher of the heart and the tryer of the reins will in due time rectify their aberrations. In the interim I shall conclude with what a prisoner (and my predecessor in this place) from the apostle saint Peter observes of promises, and from the apostle Paul of afflictions; but he chastened us for our profit, that we might be partakers of his boliness. So for promises 2 Peter i. 4. There are given to us exceeding great and pretious promises, that by them we should be partakers of the divine nature. Why therefore (faith he) may we not say, there are given unto us exceeding great and precious afflictions, that by them we might be partakers of the divine nature; that is, of his holiness; for to you it is given not only to believe, but to suffer, Phil. i. 29. Thus God sweetens the very nature of afflictions, and molds us thereby into his own image; for as Christ became a perfect mediator by his passion; so by suffering our Lord can consecrate us to himself. I fill up, saith saint Paul, that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ in my fiesh; so that we see Christ is not full, till his members (more or less) have had their measure of sufferings. If in patience we possess our spirits, we shall inherit the promises. Our chastening touching patience and perseverance unto the end will turn our crowns of thorns into crowns of glory, and bring us forth of the furnace of affliction, as his monuments of free grace, who faith, I will deliver thee, and thou shalt glorify me, &c. Thus, sir, having given you a true account of the nature of those accusations, which I understand are suggested against me, for which I trust I shall not be condemned, before I be convicted; commending you to the protection of the father of spirits, and God of all grace, desiring your prayers, that I may improve this prison dispensation in the exercise of patience, to his glory and the increase of my own comforts, I bid you farewel,

Your's in him, by whom we are what we are,
Robert Overton.

From my imprisonment in the
Tower of London, Jan. 17, 1654.

Fleetwood, lord deputy of Ireland, to secretary Thurloe.

V. lxiv. p. 235.

I should rejoyce, if the Lord please so, to heare, that there was a probabilitic of a good understanding betwixt my lord protector and parliament; which if not, I know my lord wil be forced to put forthe something to a publicque view, uppon which will depend great part of our future quiett and peace; and therefore as comprehensive as possible you can uppon those two essentials, which hath bine hitherunto the great incouragements to those, who have continued faithfull to the publicque interest, will certainely be of very necessary and great concernment; I meane that, which concernes our civill and religious liberties, that of tender consciences, and successive parliaments, without perpetuitie. I know this busines is to great for me to venture on, and it is the Lord alone, that must direct you to a right ordering of this affaire. I know you understand what late commands his highnes sent mee concerning lieutenant general Ludlow. I shall intreate, that you will acquaint his highnes, that uppon the councell's former letter I did desire to have had his commission delivered to mee. His answere uppon the whole is to this purpose, that he conceaves it to be to much against his principles, by which he hath acted, to deliver it up without a legal conviction; but faith, if I command it from him he will give it under hand (but not deliver it up) that he will not act by it without my order. I intend to put him out of the muster roles; and if his highnes please, I could wish (by reason of our antient acquaintance) he would give me libertie to dispense with his last commands; but if it be thought adviseable, I shall on the next notice from you observe them. 'Tis late, and I must desire your excuse for this brevitie of,

Jan. 17, 1654.

Your affectionate humble servant,
Charles Fleetwood.

The Spanish embassador to the protector.

V. xxii.p.405.

Serene lord,
Having considered what your highness hath been pleased to write unto me the 23d of this month, upon the instances, which the sons of Peter Richaut make, that letters of reprisal should be granted unto them against the king my master and his subjects, for satisfaction of a sum of money, which they do pretend to be due unto them from his majesty by a schedule of his, which they do exhibit, and a copy whereof was given me: that which in answer thereunto doth occur unto me to represent unto your highness is, that the contents of the said schedule doth shew evidently the injustice of their pretending to receive satisfaction by way of reprisal, which neither may nor ought to be granted or given to a subject against his natural lord; and the said Peter Richaut being such (as it doth clearly appear by the schedule, at the beginning whereof it is expressed and declared, that Peter Richaut was a merchant of Flanders, and native of Antwerp, and consequently subject to his majesty) it would be against all right to grant them letters of reprisal. And although the heirs and executors of the said Peter Richaut be English–born, nevertheless regard always must be had to the quality of the person, who made the contract, from whom the said debt did originally proceed. Neither may the sons have more right than that of their father, from whom that, which they do pretend to have to the aforesaid debt, doth derive. Besides that is a thing not used in any nation to grant letters of reprisal (which is a mean violent, irregular, and publick) for a debt occasioned by a private and civil contract; and particularly justice being not denied in this case (as the party himself doth confess) but rather a sentence obtained in their behalfs against the real revenue of his majesty; and by reason of the delay of the payment, an interest of 10 per cent, was agreed upon, whereby the debt did so increase, that the principal importing only eight millions and some thousands of maravedis (the said Peter Richaut reckoning his goods at a higher price by half than they were worth) the interest thereof alone doth amount unto between fourteen and fifteen millions of maravedis, being near twice the principal sum; to which the said sum had never risen, had it not been for the delay, whereof they complain; and in the said sum are comprehended five hundred crowns, which were graciously given the said Peter Richaut for a present, over and above the price of the goods sold by him, and the interest at ten in the hundred. And it would be a thing very strange, that for a debt caused by a civil and particular contract, as aforesaid, and made between a subject and his sovereign lord, who hath not denied justice, and the interest still running until the time of payment, letters of reprisal should be granted against all civil right, laws of nations, and universal practice of all people, and particularly at the same time, when this commonwealth doth detain 252000 pieces of eight, which came into England from the island of saint Domingo, in the ship santa Clara, whereof Benedict Stafford was captain, belonging and appertaining to subjects of the king my master, which the parliament hath acknowledged to owe unto them; yet detained the same for these thirteen years without paying any interest; and the interessed of the said monies, subjects of his majesty, seeing themselves ruined and undone, made application to the king my master for letters of reprisal against this commonwealth and the people thereof; which his majesty hath not granted hitherto, deferring the same, with hope that the commonwealth in convenient time would not deny satisfaction of what is so justly due unto them; and likewise when the sum of one million and a half of pieces of eight, belonging to subjects of his said majesty, are here detained out of three Hamburgh ships upon the single pretence, that the same doth belong to Hollanders, there being no other proof for it than a bare apprehension and suspicion of the parties interessed in the said monies, not having been able, notwithstanding all their legal endeavours to obtain the restitution of their said monies and goods, justice being not only denied unto them, but the recourse of the law stopt, their cases not being admitted to hearing, that they might be either freed or condemned; and notwithstanding these proceedings, and that the said parties do insist upon the like remedy of reprisal, his majesty hath not hitherto granted them, promising himself that your highness will give order, that justice be ad ministred, and due satisfaction given them. All which I do represent unto your highness, desiring you will be pleased to command, that the same may be taken into serious consideration, and how against all reason and right it would be to grant unto the said Richauts the said letters of reprisal, when by ordinary ways they may receive satisfaction; which I do not doubt will be given them the sooner in contemplation of your highness's recommendation in their behalfs. And perhaps they had obtained it, if they had applied themselves, and solicited the same in Madrid, after that your highness were pleased to recommend their cause unto me. Yet I shall out of hand give notice unto his majesty of your highness's earnest desires, that they receive satisfaction, to the end that his majesty may be pleased to command with speed the same to be given them. God preserve your highness for many years. London, the 18/28 of Jan. 1654/5. I kiss, serene lord, your highness's hands, being your highness's most affected servant,

Don Alonso de Cardenas.

A letter of intelligence from Holland.

V. xxii. p. 393.

Since my last here hath occurr'd nothinge of importance, nor have I receeved any letters from Ceullen, or any other correspondence this weeck. The duke of Gloster is come to Teyling to his sister's court. The marquis of Ormond tooke his leave of him at Antwerp, whence he went to Ceullen, where I understand by a friend there are divisions amongst the counsel of the kinge: the lord Weyntworth and chancelor Hyde have had some difference, and marquis Ormond with lord Wilmot, as 'tis said, concerninge the duke of Gloster's turninge his religion, the which I belive doth not so much perplex the K. and his partye, as the discovere of a greater desingne in Ingland, the which I understand by other letters from thence is knipt in the bud by the incomparable vigilancye of those in the present government. I finde many are already apprehended, as the phamlet tells, and more dayly bringing in, which I take not for authentick. Therefore I beseech you to informe mee the certainety of affayres, which I much longe to understand. By my next I shall indeavour to give you a larger account of our former busines, hoping by that tyme to speake with the gentleman. In the meane tyme I remayne,

Jan. 28, 1655. [N. S.]

Your faithfull and humble servant.

John Addams.

A letter of intelligence from the Hague.

V. xxii. p. 397.

Cette semaine passée la Frise president a renouvellé la mention de sa proposition du 7 Jan. a ce que les sieurs Beverning & Nieupoort fissent rapport, & rendissent conte, sur quoy n'est suivé que cette maigre resolution marquée No 1, que ne signifie rien; & a peine continent ou exprime la chose, dont s'agit.

Messieurs de Hollande ayant ouy la relation summaire de ce que le sieur Beverning a sait touchant l'acte de seclusion, l'en a remercié, & il a fait un serment, non tant requis, qui ultronée, non seulement que luy & le sieur Nieupoort estoient hors de faute, & point cause mouvante de la seclusion, mais aussy que nul autre de c'est estat en soit cause; ains que tout soit venu de seul & unique propre mouvement de lord protecteur. Et la resolution, qui contient cette narrée, ils l'ont portée dans la generalité. Et l'assemblée se separara la dessus le 26 de ce mois, & seize membres de Hollande ont desja nommé le sieur Beverning pour deputé extraordinaire dans les estates generaux: les 3 membres restants (car telle chose se doit faire votis omnibus, nullo contradicente) l'ont overgenoomen, ou prins ad referendum, icy No 2.

L'ambassadeur de France par ordre de son roy a presenté memoire & office en faveur des chevaliers des Malta. Mais c'est une vielle question, & tant ceux de Harlem que ceux d'Utrecht, qui possident ces biens, n'en demordront jamais; & le dit ambassadeur ne fera que se hair par ces offices. De l'alliance entre son roy & c'est estat il ne se parle pas seulement.

Icy court une lettre responsive de l'ambassadeur de France a celle de la reyne de Suede, qui apparement conviera quelque replique. Et si Arras a fourny matiere de braver d'un coste, de l'autre coste le non–succes du due de Guise sur Naples servira a l'autre.

La court de Hollande passe outre a proceder contre Haex. Quant a Schonenburgh, ceux de Hollande en laissent le soin a la generalité.

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Je voy de plus en plus, que ceux de la dite province s'affirmissent, & parlent plus clair qu'auparavant; & au lieu que cy devant ils trembloyent, quand on leur objectoit l'acte de seclusion, a present aucuns parlent de faire un acte entre eux de ne vouloir jamais plus de ouir stadtholder, ains se governeur sans stadtholder en persaits republicans; & l'on remarque palpablement, que ceux de Twent & Deventer s'asseurent de l'assistance de la dite provinces de Hollande, car autrement le grave Guillaume avec l'aide de Friseland Groningen, & le plus par de Overyssell les contraindroit.

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Et quand a Zeelande, il y a des amis du maison d'Orange & des republicains. Les amis d'Orange ont trop de peur de Cromwel. Bref si les estats d'Hollande continuent estre unis, comme ils sont, tant le prince d'Orange que grave Guillaume peuvent bien se reposer pour long temps; ne soit qu'en vienne changement, ce que les disent estre comme impossible: certes les bons Hollandois se sondent fort sur Cromwell.

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Mais tout depend de la propre concorde de estats de Hollande.

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L'assemblée des estats de Hollande se separa a le 26, & ne reveindra que vers le mois de Mars. Des points, qu'ils ont eu en deliberation, ils n'on effectivement rien fait. Comme touchant quelque ulterieure reduction de la milice, cassation de 12 cornettes de cavaillierie, reduction des interests, &c. comme aussy le sieur Beverning n'est pas encore vosté unaniment deputé aux estats generaux, comme c'est le dessein de bons Hollandois. Et c'est une imperfection en Hollande, qu'il y a tant de membres, & chaque membre est une teste; & il faut, que toutes ces testes soient en un chaperon, devant que telles choses (comme est la deputation d'un extraordinaire dans les estats generaux) se sacent; & pour tant messieurs de Hollande ont fait un tentamen & essay pour induire les estats generaux a vouloir conferer en fin l'effect de la commission de la charge du tresorier general au sieur Beverning. Pour tel effect ils comparurent dans les estats generaux en corps le 26 au matin, produisants leur resolution du 20, pour representer l'innocence du sieur Beverning, ayant juré que l'acte de seclusion ne provenoit de lui, ne d'aucun de la provinces d'Hollande; consequement, qu'il plust aux estats generaux de retirer, & oster leur resolution du 7 Jan. & admettre le sieur Beverning a la charge de tresorier. La Geldre & Utrecht declararent de n'avoir point ordre contre cela; mais la Zeelande, Freize, Overysell, Groning, Omlande ont persisté en la dite resolution du 19 Decembre, disant, que Beverning doive faire rapport au contentement des provinces devant toutes choses, ou devant qu'estre admis a la dite charge; & par ainsy l'affaire a encore hesité.

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Du parti du Twente & Deventer ont esté icy les sieurs Bentinck & Scheel, deux gentilhommes fort bons Hollandois, mais ils n'ont que parlé sous mains a un & autre de estats de Hollande, sans que toutefois dans les estats de Hollande en soit proposé aucune chose. L'intention de ces 2 quartiers est non seulement de ne vouloir point de stadtholder pour eux, mais voulant aussy, que les autres membres soyent sans stadtholder; presupposé ce principe, que devant tout soit preallablement unaniment resolu an, postea quis debeat eligi.

Touchant les hostilities de Sallé, l'advis tant de l'admirauté a Amsterdam que de Hollande est, qu'on doive traiter & tascher a faire un accord avec ce governeur de Sallé. Il se trouve, que le jeune Tromp a principalement bouté ce feu, les ayant irrité par la prinse d'un navire, qui est pary; & sur cela sont suivies un & autre prinse de coste & d'autre. Neantmoins cela n'aydant pas, que l'on tentera la voye de Guerre, & toutefois pour encore n'est rien resolu de l'equipage des 36 navires vers le mer Mediterranée.

Le sieur conseilier Veth pour avoir battu sa femme interdit de sa session, a la mine de ne rentrer jamais dans sa charge. Quantité de ces Zeelandois ou Zeuwen sont un peu furieux; sunt sævi; & quantité d'eux autrefois croyoient & crioient, qu'il estoit aussy aisé de chasser les parlimentaires (qu'ils appelloiet rebelles) de l'Angleterre, comme de chasser la femme de chez soy. Vous auries dit, que chaque sævus ou Zeelandois avoit un staert dans le bee, & regardoit ou estoit le restant. Mais par la guerre de ces 2 ans ils en ont esté desabuses, & ne crient plus si haut, & sont moins sævi, si ce n'est contre une femme.

Et quant au sieur d'Achtienhoven, son affaire a desja esté devant commissaires de la court de Hollande, Dorp, & Nyrop. Il fait tout ce qu'il peut pour ce faire declarer cocu, produissant aussy une petite fille, dont sa femme accouchea lendemain de ses nopces. Il l'a icy devant tenu secret, & toutefois avoué pour sienne. Maintenant il doubte, si l'infant est de luy seul, comme la production de ces cornes est indubitablement de sa femme seule, selon sa propre confession. Les messieurs ont pour devise cum Dec pavus sit leo. Maintenant disent leurs envieux faut mettre, si vult diabolus, pavo sit cuculus.

Ce Jan. 29. [1655. N. S.]

Vostre tres humble &c.

A Letter of intelligence from the Hague.

V. xxii. p. 409.

Encore aujourd'huy (comme toute cette semaine) on à alterqué touchant la resolution Hollandoise du 20, parlant do la justification du sieur Beverning. Hier estant conceu quelque conclusion, elle fust a ce matin a la resumption trouvée un peu changee: de quoy le sieur Veth accuse le sieur Mareignault, & en eurent grosses parolles jusques des reproches de sot, ignorant, ne manquant rien que l'application de coups de poing; & je apprens, que la conclusion en fin sera simple waarop gedeliberant synde sebben de provincien gepersistent by vorige advysen & dien on vermendert versoest copie van de gemelde resolutie vand 20 Jan. Par la ce voit bien qu'entre ceux de Zeelande il y a grande discrepance: il y a aussy en nouvelle instance de la part de Schop & du conseil de guerre pour expedition de justice, ou pour & sur la judicature de Haex & Schoneburgh. Du protecteur & du parlement le sieur Nicupoort escrit modestement; mais les royalistes icy ont advis, que la plus part de la milice soyent contre le lord protecteur, comme aussy la plus part du parlement, specialement que la lieutenant general du general Monck, assavoir Overton, seroit arresté, & que tous ceux la soyent de la conspiration. Je suis

Ce Jan. 29, [1655. N. S.]

Vostre, &c.

Mr. William Sheffield and mr. Thomas Cockram to the protector.

V. xxii. p. 411.

May it please your highnes,
We receaved your highnes letter of the 13th of this instant January, which hath much refreshed our spiritts, and in pursuance of our duty wee further give your highnes to understand, that imediately uppon the newes of armes being seized at Burton uppon Trent, the quakers, who were at Swannington, sent to those at Ashby de la Zouch, at eight of the clock in the night, to breake up presently, and be gone. And they went away from Ashby (which borders more uppon Burton) that very night (though it was darke and rayny) at eleven of the clock, and those at Swannington dispersed themselves very early the next morning. They say they had summons to rendevouz from one Foxe, who gave them intimation, that there should be betweene one and two thousand. And though under pretence of peacablenes, they had not soe much as a cane or a staffe in their hands, yet some of them were accidentally seene to have pistolls at theire sides under theire cloakes and in their pocketts. The printer who was with them was Giles Calvert of London, who stay'd with them eight or nine dayes, and is now gone up to London with two or three queere of paper written to be putt into print. One Muggleston of Swannington, whose howse was the onlie place of theire entertainment, did say, that Cockram should smart for his hard speeches concerning them; and for Sheffield, they sayd, they should have him in the lowse–howse ere it were long. Wee take the boldnes further to acquaint your highness, that there are many honest men (formerly souldiers) that are very cordiall to publique interest, and to your highnes, who are very willing (if your highnes judge meet) to be put into a posture, that they might be the better capable of serving your highnes and theire countrey. Wee hope, the lord will worke out much good out of these shakings and consusions, and that this last engine of Sathan shall prove a lye. In order to which wee humbly begg of the Lord, to keepe your highnes person and heart, that you may be further instrumentall for the good of these poore nations, which is the duty of,

Ibstock, January 21, 1654.

Your highnes
most humble servants,

William Sheffield,
Thomas Cockram.


  • 1. See middleton's letter of December 23, 1654.
  • 2. See his letter of Jan. 11, 1654.