A Collection of the State Papers of John Thurloe, Volume 4, Sept 1655 - May 1656. Originally published by Fletcher Gyles, London, 1742.
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October (5 of 5)
Minard to Bordeaux, the French embassador in England.
Paris, November 10, 1655. [N. S.]
Vol. xxxi. p. 368.
Monsieur de la Bastide is gone with his letters to find out the court. Your father having writ to you at large about that business, I will say nothing to it; only he is so pleased with the good news of it, that he hath ordered me to take up money to pay your bills of exchange, and he will be security, which I shall do with as much speed as may be. I wish your lordship much happiness with the good success of your treaty, for which we are all glad here.
A letter of intelligence from col. Bamfylde.
Vol. xxxi. p. 373.
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My arivall in this place was soe late on saturday night, that I wanted tyme to have written to you by that poste; which was noe great omission, since I coulde not have advertised you by that occasion of any thing, that coulde have recommended the trouble of a letter. The principall business you intrusted mee with cannot yet be affected; the chiefe persons, with whome it is to be transacted, Langlad and Rousline being at the courte, which is not likely to returne till the end of the next weeke, allthough the king intends to be here this evening, only to visit his mother and his mistress, but returnes to Compiene the next day, where the cardinall and the body of the court remaynes, in order to the concluding of a bussiness, of which, if they had been seasonably advertised, the inconveniencyes, which muste have arisen from it, might have changed the whole condition of affayres in this kingdome, and would more than have counterbalanced the prosperity of theise tow laste sommers. The designe was contrived and carryed on by madame du Chattillion, to engage mareschall d'Hauquincourte, whoe is governour of Peronn, and Han, tow principall fronteire garrisons, together with Dourlance, Corbei, and Aras, to have declared for the prince of Condy, and for the generall peace; allbeit that the critticall discovery of this has suspended the imediate putting the designe in execution, and brought the cardinall and theise governours to a treaty; and that it is believed a worke of noe great difficulty to satisfye the rest, except d'Hoquincourte; yet if he alone proceeds in his designe, it may occasion a greater change here, then is easily imaginable. Madam Chattillion, whoe has much more kindeness to the prince of Condy, then what theyr affinity produces, and with whome mareschall d'Hauqincourte is desperately in love, is imprisoned in the Basteile as the conductress of this affaire. Concerning the peace betwixt Spayne and this crowne, you may full as well, if not better, judge of the likelyhood or improbality thereof, by your knowledge of the artickles of agreement betwixt you and France, which not any in this place is yet privye to. As an advance to the peace, a treaty is concluded on, and the nomination of the persons, tyme, and place left to the pope. This I knowe cannot be newes to you, but what is further privately resolved on concerning it by the cardinall, and what the consequencys of this treaty are like to bee, I may ere longe be able to advertise you, as soone as you and I can speake with 859. Touching the correspondence betwixt the kinge of Swede and cardinal, I shall then likewise informe you. Concerning the Swedish affayres, wee are informed here, that they are still prosperous, but Crackovia not taken. The emperor armes apace, being alarmed at the success of the Swede; he has sent Pickolominy to mediate an accorde, with orders (if he findes the king of Swede resolved not to be otherwise satisfyed, but by the conquest of Poland) to let him knowe, that the emperor will declare himself in the behalfe of the king of Poland, and assiste him. The pope is raysing an armye likewise to the same purpose, which will march spedily; the report is 20000 stronge, but the truth will be 14000; and towards the maintenance of that warr, he has suspended the disposing of divers cardinalls places, which are vacant, and severall other church endowments, which yielde a large revenue. Buck is jelous, that what I say of coming hither about leavyes only, is but pretended, to cover some designe of greater importance. I have allmoste convinced him of the contrary. Concerning tow 47. 39. 90. 55, I cannot yet gaine what 'tis possible in a little tyme and some industry I may. Pray be pleased to let mee know by the first occasion, whether the agreement with the French has not changed your thowghts concerning 859, whoe I find much fitter for our occasion then 858, and really the fittest person in this kingdome, if you still believe the 498. of 5 the warre of card as materiall to you nowe, as before the peace, trade being nowe secured. This will be requisite for my speedy knowledge, and your letters directed thus, A monsieur mon. le collonell Beauple a l'Hostell du Maine rue de Jean fleury, a Paris. They will come safely to the hands of, sir, your
Paris, Nov. 10. 1655. [N. S.]
most humble and moste faithfull servant,
Letters of intelligence.
Paris, the 10 November, 1655.
31 October, 1655.
Vol. xxxi. p. 369.
The king having made the St. Hubert at Chantilli parted from thence on thursday for Compiegne, where his majesty has sojourned until now. He intended to go to la Fere, but the enemies having undertaken nothing, contenting themselves to roam about Condé and Quesnoy, his majesty has not stirred. The mareschall of Turenne having cast 1500 men into Quesnoy hath withdrawn himself with the army to St. Quintin. His chiefest quarter is at Riblemont. It's thought he will shortly betake himself to winter quarters, there being no likelihood of the enemy's undertaking any siege, fair weather being past, and the season so far advanced.
In the interim the said mareschal is come to Compiegne, to labour after the agreement of some governors of the frontier of Picardy, who were not satisfied with the court, to which they have given great jealousies, chiefly the mareschal of Hocquincourt, governour of Peronne, the marquis of Mondejeu, governour of Arras, mr. de Chaulnes, governour of Dourlans, who had already made a strict union amongst themselves to favour and uphold one another. This is the true cause of the king's staying at Compiegne; but it's hoped the business will have no consequence, and that money will end it.
It was certified unto me last night, that madam de Chastillon had been arrested in her castle of Marlou, it being discovered, that she had some secret intelligences with mr. le Prince.
All honest people do much rejoice at the happy signing of the treaty between the two states, which will restore unto us the liberty of trading; and chiefly those of the religion, who wish much prosperity to his highness my lord protector, and pray God without ceasing for his preservation. You know what instances the pope makes towards the two crowns, to induce them to peace. His nuncio received the king's answer (by the diligence of the count of Brienne) the 5th instant/24th past; and the next day the said nuncio sent two posts, one to Rome, and the other to Madrid. It's thought, it's to make the Spaniards condescend on a place to the treaty, where the plenipotentiaries of the two states shall meet to negotiate.
Marseilles, the 2 Novemb. 1655.
21 Octob. 1655.
This is to tell you, that since the releasing of our England ships in this province, the duke of Vendosme has caused the liberty of trading to be published at Toulon, which is also to be published here to-morrow, until the signing of the treaty between my lord protector and France, whereof the news is shortly expected.
Major-general Whalley to secretary Thurloe.
Vol. xxxi. p. 375.
Through God's mercy I came hither on saturday night last, but with a great deale of difficultie, the rivers in the vale being more out, and the floods greater, then the oldest man here can remember. On munday morning I sent for capt. Clud, but he being from home came not to me, till tuesday morning, and after some conference with him I sent letters to the severall gentlemen apoynted commissioners to meete me on fryday morning at Nottingham, where I doubt not they wil bee, yf the floods prevent not. How wee then speed, and of our further proceedes, and how the Lord shall blesse us therein, you shall, God willing, be advertised, by, sir,
Screaveton, Octob. 31, 1655.
Your most affectionate freind to serve you,
Capt. Cludd tels me, that he hath heard nothing from you concerning your resolution as to the putting in mr. Withers to bee post-master of Scroobye, whome he affirmes to bee a very fit man.
A letter of intelligence from the Hague.
The 6th of November 1655. [N. S.]
Vol. xxxi. p. 325.
THEY have resolved to give a present to the embassador of France of a chain of gold of six thousand guilders, and six hundred guilders to his secretary; and in regard he will go home by sea, they have ordered him a man of war to transport him.
They have examined the act of submission of the archduke Leopold about the business of Gemert; but they have very much disputed upon the title of the archduke of great master, &c. fearing lest that should give some prejudice to the business itself. And therefore they will consider of it again on monday.
The Hans towns have writ and made complaint, by reason that Holland will charge the public minister of the said towns with the thousandth penny. Item, by reason, that in Zealand in the year 1652 they did plunder him, without that the admiralty would ever obey the resolution of the states general, requiring that they ought to restore what was taken from him.
The 8th of Nov.
From the country of Outremeuse or from Maestricht are come express letters this morning, that the French are come into the said country, and have carried away six of the chiefest of Roledu, declaring that they will have contributed for them, before they will release them, since that the king of Spain doth draw contribution from them, as well ordinary as extraordinary, so that there was proposed, that a retortion might be used in the country of Limburgh, to the end that Spain might cease from drawing contribution; and that ceasing, that the French will also give over using in a hostile manner the inhabitants of the country of Outremeuse.
There is great likelihood, that the officers of this state, who are there, do invite the French to do such a thing, to the end that those officers may quietly fleece the sheep all alone.
Here are letters come from Stetin of the 30th of October, which do assure, that Cracow is not taken, and that the Swedish army is in a bad condition; but I believe the correspondent is a little misinformed, for certainly on the 10th of October the Swedes were then in Cracow, having forced the king of Poland to retreat into Silesia, so that at that time the Swedes were masters in the field; but the Rhinegrave did lately shew letters of the total defeat of the Swedes; likewise that Warsaw was delivered of the Swedes.
The states of Guelderland assembled at present at Arnheim having heard, that the embassador of France was going away, and that he had made some complaint, or at least spoke something as if this state had refused to renew the alliance, have writ to the states general, desiring that they will yet undertake and finish the treaty of renovation of alliance with France, if the said embassador be still here; and if he be gone, that orders may be sent to the embassador Boreel to do it in France. But upon this nothing is yet resolved on; only that they will advise their principals about it.
The complaint concerning the hostility of the French in the country of Outremeuse, and the respective instance to cause them to resolve upon a new retortion against the inhabitants of the country of Limburg, is referred to the council of state.
The lords of Rosenwinge and Charisius have, by a memorandum, represented and required, to the end that the states of Holland, who are to meet this or the next week, may be admonished to declare themselves at last in conformity to the demand of the king their master to be indemnified concerning the damages, which his subjects have received during the war of England.
Item, that the king may have paid him the 24000 rix dollars remaining due upon the subsidy, which was promised to the king of Denmark by the treaty of the 18/8 of February 1653; upon which is resolved that they will admonish the lords of Holland and the other provinces.
Those of Embden have again this day presented a memorandum full of complaint, concerning the diminution of their garrison. They would not enter any thing about it, but it was delivered them back again without any resolution, wherewith they are departing.
The resident of Poland hath represented by a memorandum the levies, which the Swedes make here in several places, requiring that the same may be forbidden them and prevented; whereupon the states of Holland are required to inform themselves about it, and to give order what they will have done. Concerning the government of Gemert is also resolved according to the desire of the earl of Gleen.
They are here very much surprised at the news of the taking of Cracow; as also that royal Prussia doth yet declare themselves, that they will be for him, who is master of Poland and of the Weyxel, and that the said elector hath enough to do.
The magistrate of the Lisle hath sent a duplicate of his letter and information concerning the two daughters of Amsterdam, who have put themselves into a cloister at Lisle; but in regard that they made here some priests prisoners by way of retortion, they say, let the priests speak.
The embassador of France having (as it seemeth) understood, that Guelderland hath writ and admonished, that they ought to stay him here, to continue the business for the renewing of the ancient amities and alliances, hath made visits to several of the states, as if on his part he were inclined to re-assume this business to perfect the said alliance.
Lord Broghill to secretary Thurloe.
V. xxxiv. p. 13.
Much of our time since I gave you last the trouble of my letters has bin spent in settlinge thinges concerninge all the branches of the revenue, which for the time past have bin soe confused, that your auditor generall, tho' a very able man in his profession, will not be able in three monthes to state and audit all the past accounts, which yet we shall endeavor the best we can to cleere, tho' we cannot promiss to doe it perfectly. But for the time to com I trust it shal be in such good order and method, that hardly any wronge shal be done his highnes; and that shal be made appeere at a dayse warninge to any, who shall desyer to be satisfyed therin.
We have likewise considered of the charge of the hospitall heere, which we found of little use, and of great charge, and therefore have put it in as good a way for the ende it was erected for as ever, and abated neere six hundred pound a yeere of the charge.
The retrenchment of the ministeriall officers of the civill list we have spent noe small time about, which is neere brought to a conclusion; of which I should now give you an accounte, but that som of the judges desyer to offer an amendment; which we have appoynted thursday morninge to heare; and therfore till then shal be silent in it.
We have found the fees of the collectors of the monthly assesments comes to neere 5000 l. a yeere, which is heavy to the people; and therfore we have proposed a way to ease them of it; which is an expedient I got the gentlemen of my cuntry in Irland to accept of (when laboringe under the like burthen) and which did the publike worke, and freed the people from the charge. It is, that the shire doe give the tresurer sufficient security by the time limitted to pay in the assesment; and then that the gentry of the cuntry, quarterly by turnes, take the paynes and care of levyinge it gratis. This alsoe prevents inequallityes and favoringe of friends; for he, that is guilty of this one quarter, will have it retalliated upon him the next. This most I have spoken with take as a favor, and I thinke wil be practised thankfully by all.
Our mayne worke is with the ministers, who truly I thinke give themselves as much trouble as they give us; for what proposalls som of them make, others of them dislike; and what others are willinge to obey, som are reddy to protest therat. This chiefly too amongst thos we esteeme the honnestest, even the remonstrators; for truly the others are pretty well of a peece. Last thursday ther came unto me sir Andrew Carr, sir George Maxwell, mr. Gilaspy and mr. Jhon Levingston, two noted ministers, thes all deputed from the westerne Presbyteryes of Scotland. The errant (as well as I could gess) was to learne how an address from them to the councill would be received, professinge at last most of them would willingely owne the power now over them. I gave them what in couragement I could therin, and then they did desyer a privat meetinge with me in my owne house, which I assented unto, desyringe that the generall and mr. Collins (a faithfull minister of the gospell) might be present. There came seaven of them in number; two knights, and five ministers. Much discourse ther was about the cause of their breach with their brethern, and a desyre to close with such of them as were honnest, if it might be. Then great bemonings of the sad condition the kirke was in by reason of the ill principles most of the kirke men were of; with earnest desyres, that soe evident and dangerous an evell might be redressed. I told them at large, that I thought the providence of God had offered a way for both; the puttinge his highness's ordinance in force of the 8th August 54, for admittinge only of deservinge men into the ministry; which was a good and speedy way to seperate their good brethern from the rod, who then would be more apt to close with them, then whilst they were intangled in partyse, wher interrest and the sense of past ingagements might make them stik to one another; and when by such separation none but the good would be left, the agreement would be easy, and the hinderinge of unworthy men's admission in the future would be the consequence of such an accord. This I fortyfyed with the best arguments I could; which prevayled soe far with som, that they declared themselves satisfyed therein; but som others, havinge longer held out, did in the end confess that was the best expedient; only there remayned with them this feare, that such a proceeding might not only intrench at present upon the power of the kirk, but be also presidentiall for the like in the future.
I desyred them seriously to consider, if the worst they feared by this remedy should happen, whither it were as bad, as that which must happen without this remedy; and whether it was a good spirrit in them, to stand soe resolutely for the power of a kirke, which even now was their greatest greif. I desyred them further to consider, whither the wit of man could finde an expedient to satisfy all ther apprehensions; for any declarations, which might assure the kirke, that this remedy was only taken up, when the major part therof wer unsound, and the minor sound, (which might be the only rise) would implicitly at left acte, what it ames to prevent in ascertinge of the power in the civill magistrate, or can judg when the kirke is devided, who are in the right; nay a power of declaringe the minor number are in the right, which would, I am confident, disatisfy more then it would satisfy. The like would any prommiss of restoringe the kirke to their former power, when they should be fit for it, that it selfe leavinge the judgment of that fitnes in the magistrate. But on the contrary, the ordinance, sayse neither one nor the other, but holds forth a remedy, without intanglinge thos, who embrace it, in greater inconveniencies then it proposes to cure; it does all the good, without any of the apprehended ill. I further told them, they might well beleeve, when the kirke was well purged, his highnes would be as reddy to heare what then they had to say, and doe them right, as now he was to redress the ill they suffered; and therfore conjured them vigorously to apply themselves to prossecute the said ordinance, as the councill were resolved forthwith to set it on foot. Then we broke up, som beinge cleere in the thinge, and others havinge jellosyes and scruples, which I feare they will have, whilst they live. The next morninge I had a couple of ministers sent me from a meetinge they had held that night, to desyer we would not put forth our declaration concerninge the ordinance of the 8th of August 54, till the 18th of November next, which would be three dayse after their appoynted generall meetinge; wherein they might better consider of the business and more powerfully firme their resolutions. I told them, the councill had alreddy at their request delay'd publishinge ther declaration 14 dayse, and had found soe little fruit therby, that it would dishearten them from grantinge a longer time; but above all som, that had given certificats in obedience to that ordinance, wer now com for admission accordinge unto it, which we could not delay or refuse, left therby we should discountenance thos, who obeyed the authority, to please thos, who were in doubt, whither they should obey it. Som other ministers too that morninge came to me, and desyred to publish our said declaration as soone as we could. This I mooved the councill in, who accordingly agreed therunto; and the declaration is now in the press with the ordinance also, which we thought fit to printe; it never yet havinge bin printed, wherby many were misinformed concerninge it.
The reasons, which made us resolve noe longer to delay this worke, were, that the ministers were still more tractable out of ther publicke meetinge and assemblyes then in them.
That many were persuaded not to acte upon the ordinance, because if they did soe, it must fall of it selfe, which we would by evidence convince them all was not a truth.
That if ther assembly did approove of it, noe hurt would be done by the declaration; and if they did not, it would be better to doe it, before such dislike were manifested then after, &c. The last Lord day I persuaded mr. Gilaspy to preach before the councill, which he did and very well; and in his after prayer had this expression, that it was God, who did pull downe one, and set up another; and then prayed for the government under thes expressions, such as were in trust, and in power; at which many of the ministers were offended. The general assembly-men did also imploy a couple of their chief ministers to me to persuade the not puttinge that ordinance in force; and havinge used all their reasons, they left me som papers, which I am transcribinge for you. We have sent into the several provences thos ministers, who will acte, to propose others, which they assure me they will doe effectually, as the event shall manifest.
I feare I may have bin too particular in thes relations concerninge the ministry; if I have, give me but a touch thereof, and I shall free you in the future from that trouble, which till then I shall esteeme the duty of, sir,
Your most affectionat, and most
faithfull humble servant,
We are now hasteninge the erection of our exchequer, tho' we feare wee may committ som error therin; for tho' we have expressly endeavor'd by severall wayse to leave the powers of the judiciall part of it in England, yet we finde such darke returnes and such stronge assurances, that the customs of that court (as in the common law) is the chiefest rules they have to walke by, that we should be at a stand, if we did not beleeve hardly the doeinge of any thinge wil be worse, then the doinge of noethinge.
Sir, col. Scroop does informe me, he waited from before last month at London for his highnes commands for Scotland, and therefore desyres his sallary may commence from thence, in which I beg your favor if you see it.
Instructions to the council of Scotland.
By his highnes Oliver lord protector of the commonwealth of England, Scotland and Ireland, and the dominions thereto belonging.
V. xxxiv. p. 53.
1. First for the West India expedition, you are to require and command the sherriffs of the severall countys the commissioners of the severall parishes and the inheritors of the severall lands, to take all the knowne idle masterlesse vagabonds and robers, menn and weomen, the only instruments of troble, plots, and projects in the commonwealth; and to that effect, that they may not faile, you are to command the governors of the severall garrisons to be assisting thereunto; and to see the persons soe taken to be quartered and maintained by the severall parishes, where they shal bee taken, who are to be answerable for the same untill such tyme as they shall be transported: and who ever faile herein are to be esteemed as enemyes to the commonwealth, and proceeded against accordingly; the governors of the severall garrisons allwaies takeing care of secureing there persons, and proceeding against there resetters, if they be fugative.
2. Secondly, you are to appoint the governor of Innerlocha and Invernesse above the river of Forth, and the comander in chiefe on south side of Forth, to imploy such persons, as they may best trust, and those who knowe all such idle masterlesse vagabonds and robers, menn and weomen, and to give in a list of them from tyme to tyme, to the effect none may be omitted; for whose incouragement for listing and discovering of such persons from tyme to tyme, you are to appoint six pence out of every hundred pounds Scotch vallewed rent to be collected per ann. by the collectors of the countyes over and above the ordinary assesments; which money soe collected is to be paid to such persons, as the governor of Inverlocha and Invernesse above the river of Forth shall thinke fitt, and to such persons be south the river of Forth, as the commander in chiefe in Scotland shall thinke fitt, for the effects abovesaid. And to this effect you are to take care, that none travell without passes conformable to the proclamation.
But herein you are to proceede noe further while further order from us, excepting only the listing and discovering the persons as is above said.
3. Thirdly, you are to cause a true and perfect accompt to be taken of all hospitallrents, and see the same imployed for that use of the poore, for which they were first appointed, and especially for the use of poor children of such as shall be listed for the WestIndia expedition; as alsoe to take care, that every parish maintain the poor people within there own parish, that none goe a begging, the governors of the garrisons, the sherifs and collectors of the countys taking care to see the same effectuall.
4. Fourthly, you are to erect Lohabber, Glencoo, Rennorgh, Glenorquhay, and Glens adjasent, Ardnamorach, Ardnagowra and Glengarrie in one county by it selfe, and appoint one sheriff with all the members of court necessary, with all the libbertyes of a county, as well in matters civill as criminall; as alsoe you are to see justice administred in all other places in Scotland, where justice formerly was administred.
5. Fifthly, the garrison of Finlaricke omitted in the establishment is to be added there unto, being a place most usefull and necessary.
6. Sixthly, you are to take speciall care, that the proclamation for the sequestration of the stipends of ministers, who continue prayer for the king, be put in execution against the most eminent, who may be presidents to others; and you are to give all incouragement to those, who will live peaceably, acknowledging, and sattisfyed with present government.
7. Seventhly, you are to require the commissioners for visitation of universities and colledges to goe about the placing or displacing of ministers only by themselves, uppon the call of the major parte of the people (if the minor parte) or uppon the call of the minor parte, if the melior, taking special notice allwaies of such, as would live peaceably under the governement according to the laws of the church. All former orders to the contray are declared voide.
Lastly, wherein you shall finde the advice of coll. William Bryon, Governor of Inverlocha, and mr. David Drommond, usefull for you in the particulers above named, or any other thing else, for the good of the nation of Scotland, you are to make use of them as occasion offers.
For the councell of Scotland.
The protector to major-general Fortescue at Jamaica.
Vol. lv. p. 194.
These are first to let you know, that myself and this government reckon ourselves beholding to you, for the ready expressions of your love in giving assistance to our late design; which indeed though it hath miscarried in what we hoped for, through the disposing hand of God for reasons best known to himself, and as we may justly conceive for our sins, yet is not this cause the less his, but will be owned by him, as I verily believe, and therefore we dare not relinquish it; but shall, the Lord assisting, prosecute it with what strength we can, hoping for blessing for his name sake. You will receive some instructions with encouragements to remove your people thither, whereto I refer you; only let me tell you, that if you shall think to desire some other things, which are not mentioned in those instructions, rest upon my word, that we shall be most ready to supply what then may be defective in, and you may reasonably demand, when once you are upon the place, where certainly you will be better able to judge what may tend more to your accommodation than at a distance. Surely the sooner you remove thither, you will have the more time to strengthen yourself, in such place and upon such part as you shall like of. And for your own part, I have named you one of the commissioners there for managing of the whole affair, whereby you will have your vote and interest in that government. Having said this, I think fit to let you know, that we have twenty men of war already there, and are sending eight more, many whereof have 40 guns and upwards, and the rest above 30. We hope the plantation is not wanting in any thing, haying at the least 7000 fighting men upon the place, and we are providing to supply them constantly with fresh men, and we trust they are furnished with a twelve month's victuals; and I think if we have it in England, they shall not want. We have also sent to the colonies of New England like offers with yours to remove thither, our resolution being to people and plant that island. And indeed we have very good reason to expect considerable numbers from thence, forasmuch as the last winter was very destructive, and the summer hath proved so very sickly. I pray God direct you, and rest
Your loving friend.
The protector to vice-admiral Goodson at Jamaica.
V. lv. p. 27.
I Have written to major-general Fortescue divers advertisements of our purpose and resolution, the Lord assisting, to prosecute this business; and you shall neither want bodies of men, nor yet any thing in our power for the carrying on of your work. I have also given divers hints unto him of things, which may probably be attempted, and would be very diligently look'd after by you both, but are left to your better judgments upon the place; wherein I desire you would consult together, how to prosecute your affairs with that brotherly kindness, that upon no colour whatsoever any divisions and distractions should be amongst you, but that you may have one shoulder for the work, which will be very pleasing to the Lord, and not unnecessary, considering what an enemy you are like to have to deal withal. We hope, that you have with some of those ships, which came last, near twenty men of war, which I desire you to keep equip'd, and make yourselves as strong as you can to beat the Spaniard, who will doubtless send a good force into the Indies. I hope by this time the Lord may have bless'd you to have light upon some of their vessels, whether by burning them in their harbours, or otherwise. And it will be worthy of you to improve your strength what you can, both to weaken them by parcels, and to engage them as you have opportunity, which at such a distance I may probably guess would be best, by not suffering, if you can help it, the new fleet, which comes from Spain, to go unfought, before they join with the ships, that are to the leeward of you. We are sending to you with all possible speed seven more stout men of war, some of them forty guns, and the rest none under thirty, for your assistance. This ship goes before with instructions to encourage you to go on with the work, as also with instructions to Mevis and the other windward islands, to bring so many of the plantations, as are free to come. And I desire you with your lesser merchant ships, or such others as you can spare, to give all possible assistance for their removal and transplantation from time to time, as also all due encouragement to remove them. You will see by the enclosed what I have writ to M. G. Fortescue. And I hope your counsels will enter into that, which may be for the glory of God and good of this nation. It is not to be denied, but the Lord hath greatly humbled us in that sad loss sustained at Hispaniola, and we doubt we have provoked the Lord; and it is good for us to know so, and to be abased for the same. But yet certainly his name is concerned in the work; and therefore though we should, and we hope we do lay our mouths in dust, yet he would not have us despond, but I trust give us leave to make mention of his name and of his righteousness, when we cannot make mention of our own. You are left there, and I pray you set up your banners in the name of Christ, for undoubtedly it is his cause; and let the reproach and shame, that hath been for our sins, and through, also may we say, the misguidance of some, work up your hearts to confidence in the Lord, and for the redemption of his honor from the hands of men, who attribute their success to their idols, the work of their own hands. And though he hath torn us, yet he will heal us; though he hath smitten us, yet he will bind us up; after two days he will ruin us, in the third day he will raise us up, and we shall live in his fight. The Lord himself hath a controversy with your enemies, even with that Roman Babylon, of which the Spaniard is the great underproper. In that respect you fight the Lord's battles, and in this the scriptures are most plain. The Lord therefore strengthen you with faith, and cleanse you from all evil, and doubt not but he is able, and I trust as willing to give you as signal successes, as he gave your enemies against you. Only the covenantfear of the Lord be upon you. If we send you not by this, I trust we shall by the next, our declaration setting forth the justness of this war. I remain,
Your loving friend.
The Venetian resident to secretary Thurloe.
Vol. xxxi. p. 205.
The publick ministers that are here, though they do respect other justices, yet do they acknowledge no other but his highness's supreme justice. Therefore I am necessitated to addresse my self thereunto, through your favourable mediation, for a business not worth the speaking, but which unjustly disturbing me, and putting me to some charges, I cannot, nor ought not any longer suffer it, without applying myself for redresse to such as I ought to apply myself unto. Above foure months since I turned away one of my servants, a Frenchman, because of his bad service, he having been at first my footman, but since by me prefered to waite in my chambers. I have always well payd him his wages, as I have justifyed; yet for all that being fomented by some other vagrants, he resolved to call me before the justice. Out of respect I appeared to the late quarter sessions at Westminster, and there was then fully discharged by the justice, as being found there to owe him nothing; yett being still inticed by evill instruments, and now being upon my departure, and having therefore not only turned him out, but also the rest of my servants, by virtue of a writ of the high court he hath caused me to be arrested. I did put in bayle on purpose to mortifye the sawcynesse of a servant, who hath wrongfully informed the justice; but he being backed by other French vagrants, not ceasing impertinently to trouble me, that they might unjustly extort of me some monney, being upon my departure, I am therefore oblidged by these lines to have recourse to the superior justice of his highnesse, to which only the publick ministers ought to submitt themselves, that out of his souvraine authority he might be pleased to discharge me from being forced to appeare before any other justice, and to order the judges not to suffer me nor my baile, which I have been forced to putt in, to be molested any longer by such a raskall who doth wrongfully informe the justice, and who with such like rable, as he is in other countries, should be dealt with bastanadoes. I am forced for that end to be importunate, and trouble your bounty, imploring your favour by these lines, intreating his highness's supream authority, that I might not be further molested unjustly, specialy since the judges of the last sessions have aquitted me, which I hope to obteine from his highness's soveraine hand for the publick reputation of a minister of state, who being upon his departure cannot but be very sensible to be so molested. And I shall ever be at all times, and in any place, both to his highnesse, and to your honour,
A most humble obedient servant,
Secretary Thurloe's memorandums of the plot in March 1654-5, and reasons for erecting a new standing militia in all the counties of England.
Vol. xxx. p. 367.
Their designe was a generall insurrection through the whole land at once for destroyeinge the present power, and to restore againe the late kinge's sonne.
To effect this,
1. They excuse to their Kinge, that they came not in to hym at his march to Worcester.
2. They settle a counsell here, and appoint agents, who might sollicit all their partye, and acquaint them with their motions; and soe ordered it, that all might knowe, and yet never above 2 of them speake together.
3. They raise and collect severall great summes of money, as well for the maintenance of C. S. as carryeinge on the warre, and letters of privy seale were sent, &c.
4. They buy and provide great stoare of armes; some were layd up in a magazine here, and others sent up and downe in the countrye.
5. They labour to divide the armye, and to blowe up the discontent of all parties; wherein they imploy notable instruments, which doe their worke soe well, that a great parte of the army should have mutinyed in Scotland, and beene headed by col. Overton. This was managed by correspondence with the malignant partye, and I could name the persons, that wente betweene them, and this well knowne to some present. This was to have a little preceded their generall insurrection.
6. They had agreed their general posts in the nation, especially these; the north, where Wilmott was to command in chiefe; in the west Wagstaffe; and in Kent he, that was firste to appeare, was the lord Tuston; his armes and furniture for his owne person was taken, and he was to be very well assisted both with counsell and souldiers; and London, Surrey, and Sussex were to associate with Kent. There was besides sir Thomas Peyton, one col. Gardner and Weston much imployed in this particular association; and their way of masteringe the cittye and the forces therabouts was all agreed upon, and a very great summe of money undertaken for. Another post was at Shrewesbury, which was to be the rendevous of Wales. Other posts there were of lesser consequence; as in Nottinghamshire about Morpeth, Staffordshire, Cheshire, and elsewhere.
The computation of their forces made by themselves was very great; many thousands in every place, they haveinge sollicited, and some way or other acquainted most of their partye with their intentions.
7. They contrive an assassination of the lord protector to precede all this, which they thought themselves sure of doinge, but directed it should not be executed, until all their other matters were ready.
8. Great store of comissions are sent from the pretended kinge, and delivered to several partys, to raise horse and foot.
9. The pretended kinge promises to come to them in person at such tyme as they were ready, and to be in a convenient place for that purpose.
10. The whole party here carry themselves with confidence and boldnes, have frequent meetings by themselves; speake, and drinke, and swagger, as if all had beene their owne, even to the terror of the countryes; and their confidence was such, that one of their agents said about a weeke before it broke out, that if he should discover all, it were not possible to hinder it.
11. All thinges beinge ready, the pretended kinge removes himself from Cullen, where his court then was, and comes into Zeeland waytinge for the good houre, haveinge sent before Wilmott, Wagstasfe, Oneale, and severall others to begin.
12. They had in their eye several garrisons, as Portsmouth, Plymouth, York, Hull, Newcastle, Tinmouth, Chester, Shrewsbury, Yarmouth, Lyn, and Boston, and to possesse themselves of the isle of Ely.
This was their designe, and they made their attempt upon the 12th of March.
It's true, it fell not out accordinge to their intentions.
The great reason of all was, the Lord disappointed them, and gave us occasion to say of them, They conceived mischiefe, they travelled in iniquity, &c.
Other subordinate causes were;
It pleased God to discover a great part of their plott; that they were traced in it. The instructions given to them were brought to hand; many of their forces were seized upon; some of their money; many, very many of their partye secured and imprisoned, who were to have beene chiefe actors; the army put into a posture, and moveinge up and downe on purpose to prevent their rendevouz, and very considerable forces brought out of Ireland.
Yet they rise in the west, &c.
That this designe thus framed, brought to a ripenes, could not be but with a correspondency betwixt the bulke and body of this party.
The pretended kinge would not have put himself in the face, &c. nor those he sent hither.
They kept their meetings aparte.
The tyme when this attempt was made well with forein states.
The designes of the army broken, and those at the helme awake and aware. These things must be the fruit of a generall consent.
These thinges, which were in fact, wee had as good proofe as thinges of this nature will permitt; and after all this and this rebellion supprest, wee had new evidence that they were at worke againe.
This was the matter of fact; these were some of those grounds, which made his highness believe, that the whole partye were infected.
He saw by this, what measure to take of their affections, and what was to be expected from them.
Some in the last Parliament did thinke them a very inconsiderable number or company of people, without armes, that there were scarce need of any army. It appeared otherwise. His highness saw a necessity of raising more force, and in every county, who might be ready upon all occasions, unlesse he would give up his cause to the enemy, and leave us all and the whole kingdom exposed to their rage and malice.
This additional strength must draw with it an additionall charge. Who must beare this ? must the well affected ? what soe just as to put the charge upon them, who are the occasion of it ?
This is the ground of the decimation.
The question is not, whether they shall be confiscate, or their lands taken; but whether they shall not be made to pay for the support of that force, which is raised to keepe them quiet. And I think the act of oblivion is nothing to the question.
Just jealousie and suspition is enough to a state to doe more than this; or otherwise they were without the means of their own safetie.
That there hath beene a just ground of jealousie it's more than evident.
Why to be continued to the future ?
Upon the same grounds it was set.
They discovered by their last insurrection, and what hath been sayd about it, what their intentions are; that they are implacable in their malice; that noe act of grace or moderation will winne them; that they are men of another interest, which they can noe more cease to promote then to live.
Besides, they are now joyned in with a foreine prince, and thereby the dangers from them is encreased.
The pretended kinge hath undertaken with the Spaniard, that his whole partye shall rise upon the first appearance; and they are now prepareinge themselves with horse and foot for that attempt.—This is certeyne.
I thinke it is necessary for you not only to continue what you have, but to raise more; and I hope wee are not come hither to take of the charge from the king's partie, and lay it upon our friends.
An intercepted letter.
Vol. xxxl. p. 53.
The Swede being master of all Poland, and marching against Prussia, putts the marques of Brandenburg and the townes of Prussia in a great doubt what to do; but most wise men think, they will take the law from the conquerer, till some other rub bee put in the way of his victorious progresse. And these states of Holland will bee forced to speake him fayre, and the emperor with all the great army hee is raysing will bee glad to keep his own territoryes, and leave Pole to bee divided among the Swedes, Moscovites, Tartars, and Cossaks. And thus much for that nothern end of the world. In the southern all the expectations are what will become of the generall peace; and many wise men think it will bee concluded, and then the emperor will adventure to intermeddle with the affaires of Pole. For the Spanyard, they will proceed no further in the war with England, but onely to prey upon the trade by free booters, and to defend theyr own coast. Wise men think, that the affayres of England are much concerned in the generall peace; if it fayle to bee concluded, France and Portugall will be good alliances in order to a war against Spayn. The king of England will have his agents upon the place, where the generall peace shall be treated, (which some think will bee at Avignon, but that a small time will show) and wise men beleeve, that the protector will have some there at least to take his measures of for that businesse, and the effects of it. Some think, the king of England will receive great assistance in case of a peace between the two crownes: others, and men of great understanding, believe, that the protector, especially if hee settle the government in any good way of succession, may strengthen himselfe by the jealousyes there will bee between the two crownes, and may bee received into the generall peace in what ranke or title hee please. And those men think the protector will bee as higly courted to give liberty of conscience, as the Swede will bee to make some fayre composition with the Pole; and that this pope hath no inclination to incite the catholiques to make a war of religion. There will bee great matters started in the treaty, but those that are in possession have great advantages in all revolutions, and can trust themselves to new designes, according as they see occasion; and wise men are afrayd, that the protector of England will alwayes have it in his power to turne aside any undertakings, that forrayne princes will bee induced in the behalfe of the king of England; so that England, as it hath alwayes don, is like to receive its establishment or alterations from the prevalent humors at home; and in probability after so long a civill war, in which all sides have been ridd of theyr mettall, there will no violent commotions, but things will jogg into some forme of settlement by slow and almost undiscernable motions.
Mr. Bradshaw, resident at Hamburg, to secretary Thurloe.
Vol. xxxi. p. 379.
I Never received letter from you more to my satisfaction, than by this last post, it haveinge beene considently writ from the Hague, Amsterdam, and Antwerpe, but three dayes before the post came, that an expresse was come on at the Hague, to give notice of the death of his highness, and your selfe, which very much trubled me, beinge I had heard his highness was not well, and that your selfe writt me but the very post before, that you were very ill. Blessed be God, whoe hath recovered you both. I trust he hath yet more worke for you, and that he will preserve and enable you unto it, and therein disapoint the desires of your enemyes.
I humbly thanke you for the large accompt of passages touchinge the fleetes, &c. I trust the Lord hath opened a doore of hope in the West-Indies, and given you a footinge in that island, from whence to rise to higher action for the spreadinge of the gospell, and the advantage of the commonwealth, though your enemyes speake contemptably of your beginnings. I wonder not that the Hamburgher skipper soe willingly offered himself into the Spanish service. You cannot imagine, how joyfully the common men here entertayned the newse of his highness's death; but they are a selfish, ill-natured, and ingratefull people. One of their seamen cominge lately in reported, that he met with one of your fregats in the channell, whoe told him that generall Blake was beaten home by the Spanish fleete; and when he was questioned for it, denyed it. If you thinke fit. I should let the senate knowe, that notice is or will be taken of the disaffected actings of their burghers, I shall doe it; but they will only smooth all over with excuses. I perceive by this your last letter, that the comittee of the counsel had considered the business of the company, and were ready to report it; only thought fit first to speake with some of the company there; soe as e'er longe, I presume, I shall heare from you, how his highness and the councel have beene pleased to resolve. Truly, sir, the hint I gave touchinge the doctor's sollicitations proceeded not from any great regard I had of what he could doe for his party, that imployed him; onely it beinge writ thence, that he made it his whole busines, and it being knowne heere, that he left his church (as he calls it) to goe over for that end, though he pretended others, made me take that slight notice I did of it. Were it not for trubleing you, I could give you such an account of that man's unworthyness and ingratitude towards my selfe and the honnest partye heere, cheefely because they have sent for mr. Gunter to them, as would leave him but little credit with yourselfe or others, to hurt with. This act of his, in leaving his people to solicite such a busines, and for such a party, betells him sufficiently, though nothing should be said more of him. I have not yet heard from mr. Rolt, since he left Stettin, which I now begin to wonder at. I have sent your letters towards him, and shall observe your order for his supply. I admire the bill should not be presented you for the 500 rix dollars, but suppose mr. Daget might be absent, to whom it was sent. I desire you will please to give order at the post-house, if my pacquets shall passe free from Antwerpe, as for some time past they have, for they now require postage; or otherwise to let me know of it, if I must pay, that I may order my friend there to doe it.
Declaration of the king of France, signifying that he had made peace with England.
Vol. xxvi. p. 394.
Depar le roy,
On faict a scavoir, qu'il y a paix, amitie, & alliance entre la France & la republique d'Angleterre, d'Escosse, & d'Irlande, pays, terres & seigneuries dependentes des dicts estats, avec liberté entiere de commerce entre les subjects de l'une & de l'autre nation selon les anciennes traictez faicts entre elles; que toutes lettres de marque ou de represailles cy devant accordées ont este revoquées.
Que des ce jour tous actes d'hoftilité cesseront, ce que s'il est faict quelque prise de part ou d'autre, elle sera incontinent rendue sans aucune procedure; & qu'il sera faict droict aux partyes interessees aux prises par les commissaires, qui seront au deputes dans le temps porté par le traicte, qui cy a esté arresté. Faict sa majesté deffenses a ses subjects de courir ses aux Anglois soubs quelque pretexte que ce puisse estre, des qu'ils seront receus es ports de ce royaume, & traictes comme allies de cette couronne. Faict a Paris le jour de 1655. Signe Louis & plus bas de Lomenie, & selle.
To his highness the lord protector of England, Scotland and Ireland, the humble remonstrance of the merchants trading for Spain and its territories.
In the possession of Edward Burton, Esq;.
The English trade with Spaine is driven and upheld in a circular motion as well by creditors as by the real stock of the nation; and it is so considerable, as that there are transported and spent in Spain and its territories well nigh as great quantities of our native manufactures as in all foreign parts besides, and more than ¾ parts of all the fish of English taking, and also more of our shipping are employed therein, and in making and carrying of fish, which encreaseth our mariners, and causeth to be built daily more and more, augmenting the strength and stock of the nation, being so much got out of the sea as the fish amounteth to, as also the great benefit that ariseth from the manufactures by our industry, whereby so many thousands of the people of this nation have their subsistence and perpetual motion of imployment, by which our shipping and mariners are maintained and increased, our means augmented, and our dominion of trade kept on foot, if not extended.
And it's to be observed, that our traffic with Spain redounds more to the essential benefit of this commonwealth than all others whatsoever; for the product of our manufactures and fish, and what else we carry to them, although we have from thence iron, oil, cochineal, tobacco, wines, raisons, silk, &c. We also bring great quantities of woolls so great a material for other trades, which if the Hollanders should altogether have and convert into cloth the damage to this nation would be unspeakable, for already they go driving us out of our cloth trade both in the north parts of France and Turky, making above 6000 cloths a year, having no wooll of their own.
We also bring great store of monies from Spain, and great quantities are sent from thence to Italy and Turky, for the better advancement of those merchants affairs. In the like kind proceedeth from hence the monies that are carried to the East Indies, and for many other places all proceeding from the produce of our fish and manufactures, by all which it appeareth that by our trade with Spain we inrich and strengthen ourselves, and diminish and impoverish them.
The contrary of which befals us in our traffic with France and other places, in regard they make store of manufactures in their own countries, they need not ours, or inconsiderable quantities in respect of what we bring from thence do amount to, whereby their nation becometh inrich'd and ours impoverish'd, driving us out of our treasures by degrees, for what answers not our export must be put into those commodities by exchange or in monies.
We shall give an example how beneficial the trade of Spain is for England. The commodities sent from England to Spain and its territories are numerous, as bays, fustians, stuffs, stockings, serges, perpetuanies, &c. Twenty three pounds to 24 of wooll makes a serge or perpetuany; for which the gentleman or countryman hath one shilling per pound profit, the wooll being carded, spun, wove, drest, passing through many hands before it comes to the merchant, who buys it for four pounds, and then puts it to dying and other workmen before he transports it, which with custom the said perpetuany or serge comes to stand him in when ship'd for Spain 5 l. so there remains to the nation for labour and industry, 3 l. 16 s. and the materials paid for.
An example how the Spanish trade advances the revenue of your highness. The merchants send to Seville in Spain as many English manufactures as cost him 100 l. he pays custom thereof, at their exportation at least 5 l. the insuring them for Spain and other charges will cost 10, and allow the merchant to gain on his goods 10 l. so that he should have in Spain 125 l. which employed in tobacco at 3 s. per pound hath 833 l. weight of tobacco; when he cometh to England, he must pay for the custom of each pound 6 d. which amounts unto 20 l. 16 s. 6 d. and when he sells it there must be paid for excise 12 d. for each pound weight, which amounts to 41 l. 13 s. and so the 100 l. the merchant sent out brings to your highness 67 l. 9 s. 6 d.
The merchant sends to Malaga or Canaries as many manufactures as stand him in 100 l. he pays custom thereof at their exportation, at least 5 l. he pays for insurance thereof to Spain and other charges 10 l. allow the merchant for his benefit 10 l. so he should have in Malaga 125 l. for which he hath 10 pipes or buts of wine; when they arrive in England the merchant must pay 2 l. for custom of each pipe or but, which is 20 l. and when they are sold there must be paid for excise on each pipe or but 3 l. which is 30 l. so that out of the merchant's 100 l. that was exported in English manufactures your highness hath 55 l. and this many times in 5 or 6 months time from the first exportation of the goods, and the like by a second adventure, the merchant may make of the same monies, and the benefit he made by the former, his stock being increased, and in this manner successively on all our stocks, monies and interest, credits, profits, &c.
There are none of the manufactures, that we trade for Spain, but may be made either there or in other countries, for that they altogether do depend on the matter and materials of handy labour, and of late years they have made in Spain many manufactures of wooll, for which purpose they transported out of Flanders to Burgos in Castile 3000 men at once, where they have great privileges and immunities, being free of excise and custom, and proceeded in the making of such manufactures, as are carried from England and in teaching of others, the most of them being already married with Spanish women; wherefore it may be feared that if our trade be discontinued for those parts, necessity will put them in all places upon making of such as we are accustomed to carry them, or of such as will be used instead thereof; and this being once introduced it will be impossible in after times to vent ours, having more and better woolls in their country and to be had better cheap in England; besides what they spend in their own country, there are transported great quantities for France, Italy, Holland and other parts, and also to England where it is made up into cloth.
And it is probable, that the sale of our manufactures may thus be obstructed, if not wholly lost; because that when the Spaniards are at enmity with any nation, they do ever make strict laws against the bringing into their territories any of the manufactures of those countries, and without doubt they will do the like by ours; and if they themselves shall not make sufficient of their own, the Hollanders, Hamburgers, and other nations will make them, and traffick with them, and bring from them the fruit of their country, and have their shipping employed with freights by other nations as ours are, which we cannot remedy, they being in friendship with us and the Spaniards.
The Spanish woolls that are imported into England are of important concernment to the nation at home, and trade abroad. For if that manufacture deserves most encouragment from the state, which improves the value of the materials most in the hire of labourers, the Spanish woolls are highly to be esteemed; forwhereas 6 l. worth of English wooll, made into cloth, doth not render above 12 l. ten pounds worth of Spanish wooll renders 30 l. to the clothier by the extraordinary charge in the fabrick, which is double the benefit to the nation.— And whereas most of our other English manufactures of wooll are so well imitated in France, that little or none of ours vents in that kingdom, our cloth made of Spanish wooll still remains in good demand, and at least seven parts of eight of all that is here made is consumed in France; and should we lose that trade also, we should purchase all the goods we have from thence with our ready monies, or by exchange to the notorious consumption of the stock of our nation.
In the time of queen Elizabeth, when we had wars with Spain, we then made little or no manufactures for transportation for Spain; but we getting workmen from other countries learned their art, and finding benefit and great vent for manufactures, have by the long peace got in a manner the whole traffick, and before we had little or none with them, or with other nations, in respect of what we have now, and the Spaniards having Portugal had a great trade for the East-Indies and Brazil, which as they went and came at certain seasons of the year disjointedly, we took many of them; but now they have no trade but for the West-Indies, which at uncertain times come in strong fleets.
And to expect them will be of great charge, and as the sea is wide, and their ports many, it is three to one if we meet them, and being met withal, and should overcome them, we may reap little profit, they being bound, by taking the sacrament, to fire or sink their ships rather than yield them to an enemy. Whereas we cannot expect, but that our losses will be daily, certainly, the many private men of war they will have for this purpose, so that our navigation for all parts will be altogether uncertain.
As for Turky and Italy, because of the men of war and gallies they may have within the Streight's mouth, all the ports being theirs on the one side, together with Majorca, Minorca, Sicilia, Sardinia, Corsica, &c. on the other side four ports in Africa, Port Sanggoun, Naples, Final, &c. for Portugal, for the men of war they will have in Cadiz, St. Lucar, and from divers ports of Galicia, confining with Portugal from the Barbadoes for the men of war they may have from the Canary islands. For France, for the men of war of Passage and St. Sebastian's having at this present 20 frigats that are private men of war.
For the northern parts, East-Indies, and all ships out and home for those of Dunkirk.
We presume to put your highness in mind, that by trade come these benefits to our nation.
It carryeth away our nation's manufactures, fish, lead, tin, &c. and such as our country produceth, and bringeth such as we want, whereby our wealth is increased, and the power and strength of our nation both by land and sea; it imployeth the poor throughout the whole commonwealth, and infinite of the middle rank of people in making and managing manufactures, by which riches are distributed to all; and all men are enabled to pay taxes; it multiplies our shipping and mariners, which are the walls and bulwarks of this island; it bringeth great revenues to your highness by custom and excise.
And hereby you will have monies, men, amity, arms, provisions, ships, and mariners for all occasions.
Also by the want of trade these inconveniencies, our nation's correspondency, which will be lost, and our credits both at home and abroad; we shall lose our stocks, trades and subsistences, infinite poor women and children, and many men also will be brought to extreme want, our shipping will be by the walls neglected, the vent of our native commodities obstructed, if not lost, the custom and excise will decrease, it will make us to be dependent upon other nations, and to disoblige our own people and seamen, and in all kinds by degrees weaken us.
Trade goeth from one to another insensibly, and it being once on foot, our mariners and workmen may go to other nations for employment; and so in a small time we may have neither ships, mariners, or manufactures, and thereof resulting so great damage as the very thought of it doth affright us; for that none of these can be upheld without commerce, which going to Holland, will quickly make themselves for wealth and shipping masters of us, and if not foreseen in time, it will be impossible for us to prevent it afterwards.
And that you may the better consider of the benefits that come by trade, we instance.
That it is not many years since the Hollanders had either navigation, nor yet scarce victuals in their country for their subsistence; and having found the vast benefits and advantages thereof, they have with much studied industry given all encouragement thereunto, making their care and protection of trade to be their interest of state, whereby they have raised themselves from nothing, as that they are become able both in wealth and shipping to poize most of the princes in Christendom.
We conclude, humbly conceiving there is nothing of more importance to be looked after, or to be more carefully taken into consideration than matters of trade, nor any other way possible than this to preserve and maintain this country, no other means to quiet or keep up the spirits of the people, no other to keep them in employment, or to find a vent and encouragement for their labours, and no other to provide against the wants and distempers of them.
By all which we endeavour to manifest to your highness as merchants, that by practice and observation in our profession have experienced the benefits of trade, and for want thereof, encouraged thereunto by the commands of the lords of the committee of your honourable council of state, still humbly submitting all our conceptions to your highness's better information and knowledge thereof.
To his highness Oliver lord protector of the commonwealth of England, Scotland and Ireland.
An humble remonstrance on the behalf of the Spanish merchants, of the wrong done them, by imprisoning their persons, and seizing their estates by the special command of the king of Spain, contrary to his engagement by the articles of peace, without regard to his own honour and justice, nor to the law of nations in like cases; and this is manifested by the first article of peace, which declares, there shall be a good, sincere, true, firm and perfect amity, league, and peace, to endure for ever, and inviolably to be observed by land and sea, and the countries and dominions of each other, so as the subjects from henceforth are each of them to favour other, and to use one another with all kind and friendly offices.
By this article they ought not to seize the ships nor kill the English subjects, that go to the West Indies, nor to any other of his dominions (without breach of peace on their part.) They may deny them trade, and all manner of relief in case of distress, but ought not to do them any hurt, but use them with all kind and friendly offices; but the contrary is manifest to all the world by their killing of many English subjects at the isle of Providence, and by their massacring of so many English subjects at Santa Crux: and though these his proceedings have been the original cause of the breach of peace on his part, whereby the honour of this nation is engaged to seek reparation for the lives of these subjects, and satisfaction for the many ships and goods which he hath seized, and made confiscate in the West Indies, and all contrary to the aforesaid article.
And now notwithstanding all this hurt and spoil done to the English subjects, the king of Spain would father the breach of peace to be made by the English subjects at Santo Domingo, and so he sets it forth, without making mention of any hurt done him at all; but thereupon hath taken occasion to seize the persons and estates of the English subjects in his dominions without any regard to his engagement by the XXIIId article, which saith.
If it shall happen hereafter (which God forbid !) that any displeasure do arise betwixt the said most renowned kings, the king of Great Britain, and the king of Spain, whereby danger might grow of the interruption of entercourse and commerce, then the subjects of either king are thereof so to be admonished, as that they may have six months from the time of the monition to transport their merchandises without any arrest, disturbance, or hurt in the mean season, to be done or given unto them either in their persons or merchandizes.—Now if any one doubt of the validity of these articles of peace being made so long ago, let them take notice, that in the year 1645 the merchants of Seville finding themselves much grieved and oppressed by the said king's needy ministers and officers, did for 4000 ducats in plate purchase of the king of Spain certain privileges for their more peaceable living there, and carrying on their trade; and therein the said articles of peace are so confirmed, that the merchants did not doubt of the full benefit of them, both in respect to his honour, and also for their 4000 ducats which they paid him, and for his engagement by his oath and promise, and for that his own laws set forth, that pacts and treaties with princes ought to be kept punctually, as cap. 1. de pact. pax servetur, pacta custodiantur.
Bald. Cons. 327. n 4. vol. 1. Ubi inquit, maxime convenire regibus & imperatoribus illud verbum (semel locutus est) & iterum, quod scripsi, scripsi, unde princeps debet habere unum calamum & unam linguam, & non plures, quia scriptum est, Quæ processerunt de labiis mei non faciam irrita, & ideo debet esse immobile, sicut lapis angularis, & sicut polus in cælo.— And this being the present case, wherein all the world may see how much the merchants are wronged and oppressed, and wherein the honour and interest of this nation is so much concerned,
The merchants humbly implore your highness's power and favour in the full consideration of their sufferings, that such course may be taken for their indemnity as your highness with your most honourable council shall find most convenient.