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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January (1 of 9)
Lev. Warnerus to the states general.
Vol. xxxiv. p. 93.
Illustrissimi ac potentissimi domini mei clementissimi,
Postquam tumultus illi, quorum nuper mentionem feci, conquieverunt, hactenus omnia hic sunt tranquilla: contra in Anatolia, quæ jam aliquandiu cœperunt seditiones, procedenti tempore latius propagantur, & nunc quidem post multas alias vastationes Aleppum quoque pervenerunt, quæ civitas circumjacentibus locis direptis, variisque nefandis perpetratis, obsessa multa gravia patitur, passura graviora, nisi inimicus inde repellatur, qui numeroso instructus exercitu omnia, quæ libido suggerit, hactenus impune perficit, ob regimen nimis lene & dissolutum, quod hic loci nunc exercetur, cum tamen perpetuis illis, quæ inde deferentur, querimoniis tandem aliquando dandus fuerit locus, ad diversos provinciarum præsides nunc suit perscriptum, ut omni amputatâ morâ copias illas rebelles adoriantur, capiant, trucident, prout fors armorum tulerit; de quarum rerum eventu jam avida hic est expectatio. Alia factio timebatur nuper, cum intelligeretur Moschos, (inter quos & hoc imperium minus bene convenit) Suecos, & Cosacos Poloniam pervagari, unaque nunciaretur Bugdanos & Valachos hoc unum cogitare, ut excussi dominio Turcico illorum sefe imperio subjicerent. Verum major nunc inde est securitas, postquam cognitum suit Moschos recessisse, & Cosacos, qui imprimis huc bellicosi æstimantur & metuuntur, cum Tartaro convenisse, nec hostile aliquid contra hos meditari; quo sit, ut cum nullus ab Euxino metus, majoribus viribus hoc anno ituri hinc sint contra Venetos: quare etiam Algeirenses, Tunenses, & Tripolenses auxiliares adesse jubentur, qui quod anno præterito nullas suppetias tulerint, Anglis, qui tum illa loca adierunt, imputatur, & altæ memoriæ semper manet infixum. De pace cum Venetiis quæcunque ineuntur consilia, hactenus sunt irrita, neque ad rem facit vel spem aliquam præbet, quod residenti illorum nuper huc redeundi, quod diu ante impetrari non potuit, sit facta venia, quippe qui ab uno solo, qui plurimum in hoc imperio nunc potest (sed notæ sunt perpetuæ & subitaneæ hic officiorum mutationes) invitis plerisque ac reclamantibus soveatur & sustentetur. Tantum autem abest, ut Turcæ occupata in Creta loca intercedentibus nummis vel aliis conditionibus reddere velint, (quod & religione facere prohibentur) ut ipsi non solum universam eam insulam sibi dedi, sed & capta illa in Dalmatia à Venetis castella ante restitui petant, quam arma deponere sit decretum. Inter captivos illos, quorum redimendorum illustrissima potentia vestra curam mihi injunxit, nulli adhuc est facta copia, præter Floris Leenorts Roterodamensem jam ante mea opera liberatum; pro reliquis, in quos diligenti sciscitatione hactenus inquiro, idem præstare satago. Quod reliquum est, Deum rogo, ut illustrissimam potentiam vestram reip. & ecclesiæ bono semper florentem conservet.
Peræ Constantinopolis, Januarii
11, 1656. [N. S.]
Illustrissimæ potentiæ vestræ humillimus cliens,
A letter of several English merchants at Dantzick, to mr. E. Rolt the English envoy to the king of Sweden.
Vol. xxxiv. p. 387.
The towne of Dantzigh imposing on us an unusuall taxe of head-money, which though in it selfe of small concernement, yett assented unto might ingage us to the payment of greater, (if by them demanded) we have uppon the following reasons refused the payment of the aforesaid taxe:
1. Our generall priviledges in all or most places, where any English company resides.
2. That wee must not make to ourselves an enemy of that king, who is in good amity with our commonwealth, especially the king of Sweden; since by the refusall of the town of Dantzick to receive our goods, which came in Plowemaster lately from England, in respect of their owne priviledges, we were inforced to continue the aforesaid goods at Elbing, of which place that king is nowe master; soe that by paying any contribution whatsoever, we might run the hazard of loosing the said goods.
3. An ancient agreement in point of priviledges betweene the Hans-townes and our then kingdome, and now commonwealth.
To the reasons above wee have added theise requests.
1. That wee might have three months time to write to the secretary of state in England, to receive order from him in the aforesaid particulars.
2. That they would give to some of us soe deputed a passe to goe and speake with your lordship about the premisses.
But having not in four dayes now heard more from the resident, and being informed your lordshipp is now at Elbing, wee make our humble addresse to your lordship, begging your commands or advise, how we shall carry ourselves, when we shal bee againe called uppon as abovesaid; and that your lordship will recommend the care and case of our nation resideing here to the secretary of state, that att least a letter of favour may bee procured from his highnes to the magistrates of this towne, that soe the honour of our nation may be maintayned, and wee freed from all unusuall burthens whatsoever. And wee shall remaine
Dantzigh, Jan. 10, 1656. novo.
Your lordship's most humble servants,
Samuel Travell, senior.
Mr. Wm. Swyst to secretary Thurloe.
Vol. xxii. p. 529.
I Received commands in your letter of the 21st of the last month to send an inclosed to mr. Rolt, which I shall obey with the greatest speed and care I may. But I have not as yet resolved, whether I shall carry it my selfe, or convey it by the common messenger, or by an expresse (your letters comming to my hands not much above an houre before this answer) but I shall give your honour an accompt what shall bee done therein by the next post. I beleeve (although the greatest hast bee made that may bee) mr. Rolt with his companie cannot bee att Hamburgh under five or six weekes time, before which I hope you will be pleased to resolve whether hee shall returne from hence by sea (an uncertaine voyage or passage at this time of the yeare for a sodaine return, by reason the Elve is now as in other winters frozen up, which is seldome open till mid March) or by Amsterdam, which is 5 daies journey by land. From thence (as I am informed) he may take shipping at all times of the yeare when hee hath a wind. Sir, if you will be pleased to give direction herein, mr. Rolt shall bee made acquainted with it by,
Hamburgh, January 1, 1655.
your honor's most faithfull and obedient servant, Wm. Swyft.
Mr. Bradshaw, resident at Hamburg, to secretary Thurloe.
Vol. xxii. p. 537.
This eveninge the post comes in with yours of the 21st of December, beinge glad of your good recoverie. I have sent mr. Swyft your letter, wishinge he may speede better than I have done in conveyinge mr. Rolt his letters. I am sure he cannot remit them with more care. I shall observe your commands in furnishinge him what money he desires. If you order a sregat to meete him at Rotterdam, I conceive it will come best soe to pass, this river beinge frozen up; it may be the end of March next ere it be open. Sir John Henderson hoped of your answer by this post; soe did I receive his highnesse's commands in the busines of the company; but I find noe mention of it in your letter. To the inclosed paper I have nothinge to ad, but that I am,
Hamb. January 1, 1655.
your very humble servant,
At this instant comes this inclosed from mr. Rolt, whoe now speakes the - - - of all or most of the letters I have sent him.
A letter of intelligence.
Vol. xxxiv. p. 33.
Since my last I have gayned soe much from some, that are here, that I doe asewer you, that this next spring there is a greate rising intended in England, if it bee not prevented. I cannot now name the places wheare at present, but am in hope to get some certayne knoledg shortly; but uppon the 24 December, ould stile, there is a ship gon for the west from Ramekins by Flushing, wherein is many thousands of armes, for two brothers, which are gunsmeths of Youtrick of my acquaintance tould mee, that they and some others of theyre trade had delivered into that ship 3 dayes before its departure 4500 snaphances and above 1500 case of pistoles. They weare payd heare at Midleburg for theyre armes. As for the muskets, that was in the ship, hee could not tell mee, what nomber ther weare, but hee did thinke they weare all baught in Midelboro. The shipes name is called the See port. There be divers of them, that weare heare at Midelboro gon in the ship. Too of theyre names is knowne to mee, one Pendarvis and the other's name is Basset, both Cornish men. As for Pendarvis, it is not long since hee was sent out of Cornweell to Collen, as I have hard. There is another ship gon from Trevere 3 dayes after this for the north, with divers of theyre partie; but whether they have any armes with them I know not, but the derectors for the above named armes are gon in that ship, who have lived at Arnem veri privatly above this seven weekes; but I cannot learne hoo they weare. Heare be divers at Midelboro and Flushing to come for London or thereabouts; but it seemes theyre byesnes is not redi yet. The lord of (fn. 1) Norrige is come from Collen and from Brussels, and is now at Bridges, and there stayes for don John to come thether, with home hee semes to have some greate byesnes. Hee tould a frind of mine but too dayes since, that hee was the oneli man, (fn. 2) that descovered Maning. They of Briges doe dayly expect the king's coming to live there, for hee shall have all the havens in Flanders at his command; for there be divers shipes providing for that byesnes in Seeland and other places. There bee divers other things I could write to you of, but not knowing the sertaynetie of them makes mee leav it till I bee better informed. Soe hoping you will be pleased to accept of my willing indevor to serve his highnes, hoo is the raysor of our nationes same; soe desiring God to proteckt both him and your selfe from all your enemies, hee rests, that is
Flushing, the first of Jan. Ould Stile, 1656.
Your most humbell sarvant
in any thing to command,
If I could but once atayne to come for England, I could informe your lordship of mani things better then I can write them.
To the honored major generall Skippon at his house in Black Fryers, or else at Whitehall, London.
Extract out of the secret resolutions of the states general of the united Netherlands.
Martis, January 11, 1656. [N. S.]
Vol. xxxiv. p. 107.
It being once again proposed to the assembly to give an answer in writing to the lord Appelboom, resident of the king of Sweden, upon his memorandums presented unto their high and mighty lordships the 4th of this month; after deliberation had it is resolved and understood herewith to desire the lords pensionaries de Witt and Renswoude, that their lordships in the name and behalf of their high and mighty lordships would be pleased to signify to the said lord resident, that their high and mighty lordships are inclined to keep all good amity and neighbourly correspondence, and likewise strengthen and encrease the same more and more with their good ally, and that their high and mighty lordships having observed the last clause comprehended in the said memorandum, wherein is advertised, that by an express treaty there would have been already confirmed a good amity between the said king and the duke of Brandenburg, were it not for some such neighbours who do endeavour to countermine the peace as well of this state as that of the said duke, by their direct opposition therein, which they have taken for a true admonition proceeding from an ally of this state, and that return special thanks to the said resident for the same in the name of their high and mighty lordships, with this addition, that their high and mighty lordships would gladly be informed by the said lord resident, as being a mi nister of an allied king and friend of this state in all sincerity and reality as is usual between good friends and allies; first, who those designed neighbours may be, who do endeavour to countermine the peace as well of this state as that of the duke, and to oppose directly so salutary a work as the said is; and secondly, what countermine have been used particularly by the said neighbours to disturb the peace of this state, that so their high and mighty lordships may apply in time some necessary remedies to prevent the same, whereof the said lords their high and mighty lordships commissioners are desired to make report, which having been heard and received upon the said memorandum and answer, there may be further resolved as they shall see cause.
I Van Gent,
agreeth with the said register,
Lord Broghill to secretary Thurloe.
Vol. xxxiv. p. 97.
This inclosed to his highnes, which I beg you to peruse, is too longe to be transcribed and sent you this post, especially beinge still more unable for business then I used to be. Doubtless if 4 men mentioned in my letter were out of this cuntry for ever, it would much contribute to the quiet and settlement of it. I am every day more and more convinced heere is rogery a brueinge, and possibly Ireland and this place may understand each other better then we could beleeve.
I shall, God willinge, by the next send you a coppy of my cypher with my intelligencer now goinge over, of whom I have good hopes. Whatever concernes England or his highneses person, I shall order him to intimate to you what he knowes every post. His name is Leith. Since the commitment of Glencarne very hot reports have bin raised, that the lord Lorne had declared for C. S. and was in armes: that Mull island, castell, and garrison had bin surprised by his forces: that the earle of Cathnes had bin murthred by a trooper of ours; reports doutless raised to trye som mens tempers, and to incite the people to more rebellions. If we be not to chairy, I hope we may prevent their intended villanyes. I esteeme it not amiss to acquaint you, that when his highneses regiment came into this cuntry, ther came as trooper in it, one, who this time 12 month had bin an officer of the army heer, and was engaged deepely in Overton's plot, for which he was cassher'd. The generall tolde me of it, and he is clapt up a prysoner.
Last weeke a trooper tolde one of his companions, that the protector under a pretence of liberty had cheated and enslaved the nations. He is also secured, and appoynted to be brought before a court martiall: possibly ther may be noe more in it; but often times when cassher'd officers thrust themselves into the army as private soldiers, and troopers taulke at this rate, 'tis a fore-runner of some villany. It shall make us the more carfull and vigilent. I have received your warrant for intelligence-mony, which I shall lay out as frugally and advantageously as I can.
If the readinge of this dispatch tyre you as much as the writinge of it does me, the lest I can doe now wil be to trouble you noe farther, then with the faithfull assurance of my beinge constantly,
Edenb. January 1, 55.
Sir, your most humble,
most obliged, and most affect. servant,
Col. Bamfylde to secretary Thurloe.
Vol. xlv. p. 302.
The towe enclosed came lately to my hands, the one to day, the other four dayes since. Although there be only something in one of them, that can be any wayes sit for your knowledge, yet I have sent you both, as being resolved to putt all into your hands, which comes to mine from any abroade. By one of theise you may reasonably beleive Ballcarres to be at Paris, and Wentworth at Collen; but of the first I can give you better assurance, that he is at Paris then the enclosed affords mee; and I should be glad you woulde please to consider and resolve, what you woulde have mee doe concerning him, whoe I knowe to be much discontented with his present usage and condition, and to my certayne knowledge woulde be of more advantage to your affayre in Scotland, then any single person of that nation, if he will submitt to the present government and engage himselfe to be faithfull; and if he then fayles, if my life were of sufficient valew to be putt in security for any thing of consideration, it shoulde pay for his forfeiture whenever he broake his worde. By that and some few other expedients you may reduce Scotland withoute more bloode, and keep them in quietness with less than halfe your present expence. 'Tis not vanity for mee to tell you, that I may be able to say as much upon this subjecte as any Englishman of noe larger capacityes then myselfe, having had as much to doe with them, and been as much trusted by them, as any man not of theyr nation. If your thoughts of France have any agreement with theyr apprehensions there, I am strongly assured I shall settle that correspondence I have mentioned, or endeavoure to doe any thing els, that you beleive mee proper for. And I hope, that the aversions, which some have manifested to the present government, whoe you may believe my frends, will not lessen either your confedence or favoure, if you finde noe other incapacityes in mee; for I shall ever governe my selfe by my reason, and obligations, more then by the example of those, whoe I woulde have prevayl'd with to steere another course.
I shoulde be glad to knowe if you had two letters, which I sent you since twesday, and very willing to wayte on you, when you are at leasure. If you have noe occasion for the enclosed, you may be pleased to send them mee, when you doe mee the honour to write to mee. I hope you begin the new year with better health then you ended the olde one; and I shall conclude this with my harty wishes of it, being with great truth,
Sir, your moste humble and moste faithfull servant,
Jan. 1, [1655/6.]
Secretary Thurloe to H. Cromwell, major general of the army in Ireland.
January 1, 1655.
In the possession of the right honourable the earl of Shelburn.
I Received your lordship's of the 26th of December, and another before, by the hands of mr. Brewster, who came imediately to me upon his comeinge to towne, before he had beene in any other place, and had accesse to his highnesse without any delay. His highnesse had discourse with hym at large, and I verily thinke, he hath done right both to persons and thinges in Ireland, and carryed hymselfe in his relation as an honest man. But this I can say, that before his comeinge, there were noe impressions upon his highnesse to your prejudice or disadvantage in the least measure; but on the contrary, he was greatly comforted, not only to heare of the evennesse of your spirit and temper from those, who profest a love to your lordship, but to observe that those, who seemed angrye at their owne shadowe, did not nor could object any thinge in perticuler, which might be matter of a just complaint, or in the least manner argue your love and respect lesse to them, then to other good men. And although his highnesse did write unto col. Hewson, I doe not conceive, that the other officers can justlye impose that sence upon it, as if noe other person but he were worthy of his highnesse confidence. There was a perticuler occasion, as matters then stood, in reference to some dissatisfaction, which seemed to be in hym and some few others, that moved hym thereto; and I doe not remember, there is any expression in the letter, that any body that meanes well can make any evill use of. I knowe his highnesse writt it in much playnnesse and sinceritye of heart unto hym, and out of love; and if col. Hewson or any else will improve this to the disadvantage of your lordship, whom his highnesse hath entrusted there in Ireland, and cannot be supposed but to love with the love of a father; I will only say, he or they doe very ill requite hym, and doe wrest his words to a meaninge, which hath noe place in his owne heart, who writt them: and therefore I hope your lordship, nor any sober man, will be troubled at these thinges. You have your witnesse with God, and I assure your lordship, wherein I desire I may be beleeved, because I speake what I knowe, you are not judged heere, nor lookt upon either in your spirit or actions accordinge to the false glosses, that some may represent them in, nor will there be any hard measure dealt you from any, whom your lordship desires to approve your selfe to. Hard sayeinges, yea reproaches, and worse, is the portion of the best men in these uncerteyne and giddy tymes, and you must not thinke to goe shott free; only let me entreate your lordship not to be jealous in the least degree, that you are misunderstood of your friends heere, or that impressions are soe easily received to your prejudice. I knowe they are not against any persons in publique trust, much lesse ought it to be soe against your lordship, and least of all at this tyme, when all evill is sayd of the government heer, and I trust undeservedlye. Amongst many other thinges, which are dayly sent abroad, for inflaminge the people, your lordship will receive herewith a paper newlye exhibited to the world by Vavasor Powell, (who is lately rebaptized) and severall other of his partye; wherupon I will make noe observations, though many others doe, that it is evident they will call up againe the old parliament, which they them selves were the great occasion of destroyinge; appeale to the generality of the people for justice and righteousnes, comend parlaments chosen by the people (the thinge they most of all hate) or doe any other thinge, rather then misse of their end of bringinge thinges to trouble and confusion; but their hypocrisie in this is soe discovered to all men, that I thinke they loose hereby, and much lessen their owne number. They are here now spreadinge of them very industriously; some of them wer mett with, and I beleeve they will endeavour to doe the same thinge in Ireland; whereof I desire your lordship to take the best care that may be, that if it be possible the divulginge of them may be prevented. It is certeyne, the cavalier-partie are at worke alsoe, and are buissie not only heere, but in Scotland; and I beleeve they correspond with Ireland alsoe. Some of the most dangerous men are secured in Scotland, as Glencarne &c. and wee have soe hampered that partye heere, that it will be hard for them to begin any designe they have. I cannot heare, that there is yet any closure betweene the kinge of Spayne and C. St. nor that they have any present designe for Ireland: layeinge the foundation thereof I beleeve they are, and the cavaleir partie must first begin. The goeinge over of the Scotts for Ulster is prohibited by proclamation in Scotland. A further sume of money is ordered for Ireland. The Swede proceeds still with good successe, and the popish partie are much allarm'd, and great indeavours are for a catholique league. I beg pardon for this long letter, and leave to subscribe,
Your lordship's humble and faithful servant,
Mr. Longland, agent at Leghorn, to secretary Thurloe.
Vol. xxxiv. p. 115.
Two dayes since cam into this road three Spanish ships of war arm'd out of Majork; two of them carry abov 30 gons and 250 men each; so it is not possible for any ship of ours to com into this port or get out. I know your honour's affection to the wel being of our nation is such, that you wil imploy that power and favour you hav with his hygnes, to help to remov this so eminent a danger to our marchants and shipping. Half a dozen frigats myht quel thes Spanyards, and keep thes seas clear; besides they myght mak peace with Tunis and Tripolly. Al which I humbly present to your prudent consideration. The Muscovia ambassadors wer entertained by the great duk with much honour in theyr passing throh his contry for Venis, as you wil perceiv by the inclosed paper, which is what the present affourds from
Lego. Jan. 12, 56. [N. S.]
your most faithfull servant,
Monsieur Augier to secretary Thurloe.
De Paris le 12/2 Januier, 1655/6.
Vol. xxxiv. p. 117.
Je me donne l'honneur de rendre compte a son altesse par la lettre cy jointe, de ce qui s'ést passé en la conference, que j'ay eüe avec monsieur le cardinal sur les ordres de sadite altesse. Son eminence me sit entendre dez dimanche au matin, qu'elle souhaitoit me voir le Lundy; mais ayant eu quelque atteinte de goute, & s'estant purgée ce jour la, elle me fit faire des excuses & priere d'en remettre la partie jusques a hier, qu'elle receut avec des satisfactions tres grandes ce que j'avois a luy dire. J'ay trouvé son visage & sa santé diminuez, quoy que tousjours ferme d'esprit & de resolution.
Le dernier courier revenu de Rome (par lequel ce roy a donné communication de son traité de paix avec l'Angletrre a son ambassadeur monsieur de Lyonne, & par luy au Pape, avec les raisons tres pregnantes, qui avoient obligée la France a haster cet accord & entr'autres pour prevenir l'Espagne, qui employoit toute sorte de ressorts pour l'obtenir elle meme au prejudice de cette couronne) a rapporté que le Pape fut en telle consternation de la lecture & conclusion de la dite paix, qu'il ne fit aucune response au dit ambassadeur, si non par un grand souspir, disant seulement, qu'il estoit obligé de convoquer une congregation pour adviser au bien de l'Eglise. La petite Royne facoit ce qu'elle peut pour eviter d'aller a Bourges, & croit pouvoir obtenir de demeurer au chasteau de Madrid dans le bois de Boulogne, qui avoisine les religieuses de Challiot à une lieüe & demye d'icy, refusant de s'enfermer en leur monastere, parce qu'il est sur la riviere trop humide & trop froide pour la santé, qui en a desja souffert, dit elle, beaucoup de rhumes & autres incommodites. Son fils le pretendu duc d'York est sur son depart pour Bruxelles. On est aprez a luy faire un pont d'or par le moyen de quelque finance. Je vous peu assurer, monseigneur, qu'on est bien lassez icy de la despense, qu'ils causent, & que sans la consideration de la royne mere, qui a de grandes tendresses pour cette petite mere, il y a long temps qu'on les auroit congediez.
J'apprens, que diverse prestraille pretend à la faveur de la paix passer en Angleterre, pour tascher d'y faire quelque mauvais coup contre my lord protecteur; & que mesmes trois prestres sont partis d'icy la semaine derniere pour y passer a ce dessein, l'un Anglois, l'autre Irlandois, l'autre Francois. Il importe d'avoir l'oeuil au guet. Je tascheray d'en tirer de lumieres plus particulieres, estant tousjours, Monseigneur,
Votre tres humble & tres obeissant serviteur,
Monsieur Augier to the protector.
Vol. xxxiv. p. 133.
Maye it please your highnesse,
After my most humble respects, I make bold to informe your highnesse, that I had the honour to discharge myselfe yesterdaye morning unto cardinal Mazarin of the commands your highnesse was pleased to impose me att my departure.
Hee received with very great respect your highnesse's present assurances of amitye and trust, and how confidently he might ground himselfe thereon for the future, telling me your highnesse had bin pleased to honour him with a letter about that subject by monsieur the embassador de Bordeaux, for which he remained exceedingly engaged unto your highnesse. And that although your highnesse and hee doe goe by different ways, you would neverthelesse meete and understand one another very well for the good of the public interest, notwithstanding the crosses, which were dayeley raised unto him; telling me, that my lord Jermin (which I had seene in his eminency's bie-rome, and who did cast an angry eye upon me) was hard by to speake unto him about the duke of Yorke's departure for Bruxells, intending to goe and meete his brother. I told him, that I had heard that pretended duke went for Italie. His eminency answered me thereupon, that he had rather have had him to have taken that waye then that of Flanders, fearing much for the Spaniards practices on that side, who knowing, that the said duke hath won much credit and reputation here amongst the soldiers, and the inclination the Irish have for him, as well as the other strangers he hath commanded, might make use of him for to cause them to forsake the French army, and plotted some new enterprise against your highnesse. I declared to him, that thanks be to God your highnesse has so well provided unto your owne securitie, as also that of the commonwealth under your highnesse's protection, and to maintaine to suite of your reputation, and that the Spaniards seemed to be so humble by the little crosses they give unto our trading by sea, that I saw not the least thing your highnesse ought to feare for them. That however your highnesse would doubtlesse be exceedingly engaged unto his eminency for this good will, and unto those hee should continue unto your highnesse in such like occasions. When I told him, that your highnesse would ere long send him a person, having told me, that your highnesse would not yett send an embassador, I answered him, that your highnesse would doe nothing therein but with your usuall wisdome. In consequence of the great satisfaction he seemed to have for your highnesse's good will, he received and read the letter your highnesse was pleased to write unto him by me; promising me to take a particular care of the contents therein; and that in case any difference should happen, I had to addresse myselfe unto he himselfe. Hee found good for the counte of Brienne to present me unto the king for to passe him the compliment your highnesse has ordered me. I intend to that purpose to see the said counte this afternoone; whereof, God willing, your highnesse will know the suits by the next, according unto the dutyes and the strickt obligations, which cause me to be
Paris this 12/2 January, 1655/6.
Of your highnesse
the most humble, most obedient,
and most faithfull servant,
H. Cromwell, major general of the army in Ireland, to secretary Thurloe.
Vol. xxxiii. p. 622.
Yours of the 25th of December came this morning to my handes, whereby I perceive that coll. Cooper and coll. Sankey are uppon their way towarde us. I doe believe the first of them will fully answeer expectation as to his commande in the northe, much to the satisfaction of all those heer. I wishe I coulde give you the same assurance of the success of the latter gent. his designe. It would rejoyce me exceedingly, if by any meanes those of his principles coulde be brought into good temper. I have indeavoured what lyeth in me, and that out of conscience, duty, and prudence, to winne them to moderation; but I see their is but little hopes of prevaileinge. You may by the inclosed paper, which was fryday laste, with much more of the same nature publisht in the pullpitt by quarter master general Vernon, perceive, how peaceable their spiritts are heer. Some of the sober sort of his owne friends weer verry much disatisfied at hime; but this hath bin my usage, since my comeinge hither, without any provocation from me offered to them, unless that I have not bin subject to their will to doe what they would have imposed uppon me and others. I bless the Lord, I doe gett strength enough to bare their reproaches beyond what I ever expected, both in respect of my youthe and naturall temper. Whatever their carriage is towarde me, I truste through grace I shall not be withdrawne from doeing my duty, bothe to God and the publique; in which I hope I shall soe behave my selfe, that when it shall please the Lord otherwaies to dispose of me, they that watch for my haltinge, shall have noethinge justly to reproach me with, or charge uppon me.
Affaires heer are in a good condition; only we want helpe to bare the burthen of the worke, and I feare your business suffers for wante of some discerninge men. I beleive you cannot imploy more faithfull persons then you have allredie uppon the place. A wise, industrous person would be of much use heer bothe in respect of your revenew and other affaires heer. You need not feare any thinge more than noise from your peevish freinds heer; and I hope from none else. We keep a strict eye uppon the cavalier and Irish party. Give me leave to minde you once more of justice Donnelan, one of the judges formerly uppon the bench, whose pattent was drawne before my comeing over, but stopt by what meanes I knowe not. He is a person, of whome we have made use of in all those warres, and hath bin constantly faithfull to the parliament's interest; he was judge in the high courte heer for hangeing his own countrymen. It would somewhat reflect uppon us, haveing made use of him in that business, to lay him aside. He is of and excellent temper, and godly. I will not turne over, and therefore reserve the remainder till the next, and rest
Jan. 2, 1655.
Your truly affectionate freind
and humble servant,
Vol. xxxiv. p. 121.
Whereas upon wednesday the nineteenth day of December last an election was made by the free burgesses of the towne of Colchester of severall officers to serve in the sayd towne for this present yeare: our will and pleasure is, that upon - - - - the - - - day of this present moneth of January you proceed to the swearing of Thomas Lawrence, and soe many of the other officers elected att the time above mentioned, as shall then be presented unto you. And the said Lawrence the new elected mayor is alsoe hereby injoyned, after he shall be in his sayd office, to sweare such other persons as were elected as aforementioned, who shall not before that time be sworne into their severall offices. Given att Whitehall the day of January, 1655.
To Thomas Reynolds mayor of Colchester.
At the council at Whitehall,
Wednesday Jan. 2, 1655.
Vol. xxxiv. p. 111.
Ordered by his highness the lord protector and the council, that it be and hereby is recommended to the committee for trade, to consider, by what means the statute of the 43d year of queen Elizabeth cap. 2d may be executed for the advancement of trade and relief of the poor.
W. Jessop, clerk of the council.
Mr. Levet's essay for raising money, delivered Jan. 2, 1655.
Cap. I. Tithes of lands out of parish.
Vol. xxix. p. 17.
All lands of the lay fee are tithable, and no layman can prescribe in non decimando; and therefore tithes of lands out of parish (as forest, fenns, and grounds gained by the sea) by the law of England were due to the king as supreme ordinary, (but by the canon law to the bishop of the diocess.) And though those lands be aliened from the crown, they shall pay tithes to the crown notwithstanding, unless they were aliened una cum decimis.
Cap. II. The yearly tenths of abolished ecclesiastical preferments.
Vol. xxix. p. 23.
By the stat. of 26 H. VIII. cap. 3. the annual tenths of all ecclesiastical and ministerial possessions were as perpetually annexed to the crown as tithes to the church, and so inseparably united to the support of the royal dignity, that when those monasteries were dissolved, and their possessions devolved to the king, and by him aliened to the subject, those tenths revived again to the crown. As in the case where a parson leases his glebe, or aliens the inheritance of it, the lessee and alienee shall pay him tithes, and by a special clause in the statute of 27 Henry VIII. 27. all grants by the king of such lands are to be void, unless the tenth be reserved to the crown.
Cap. III. The improvement of the yearly tenths of ecclesiastical promotions.
Vol. xxix. p. 19.
The first-fruits of ecclesiastical benefices throughout England for a long time usurpt and exacted by the see of Rome, were taken from that see by the statute of 25 Henry VIII. cap. 20.
And by the statute of 26 Henry VIII. 3. as well those first-fruits, as also an annual tenth of the true yearly values of all such benefices, were conferred upon the crown, the king being then newly declared head of the church; whereupon commissions were presently issued for finding the full and true yearly values of those benefices, and were accordingly executed. Yet neither that king, nor any of his successors, nor to this day, ever raised out of those first-fruits and tenths above 20000 l. per annum, one year with another, though bishopricks and cathedrals were cast into the reckoning.
But if his highness shall be pleased to order new inquisitions to be taken of the present true yearly values of all ecclesiastical benefices yet extant (as is just, and legal, and convenient to be done) and to discharge them of first-fruits and subsidies for ever for the future; it is conceived, that the whole clergy of England will most cheerfully yield to the state their yearly tenths to the full values, and esteem it a pious and a gracious act in his highness to establish the ancient and proper patrimony of the church, which lately they held in some danger to be abrogated.
And this will encrease the publick revenue above 50000 l. per annum for ever, as may be demonstrated.
Cap. IV. The surplusage of London tithes.
Vol. xxix. p. 21.
All freeholders and farmers in the country pay tithes, as well of their stocks as of their lands; and why the inhabitants of London and other cities and great towns in England should not pay full tithes of their bare houses (wherein they generally gain much more by their easy trades than the country man by his toilsome tillage) no sound reason in law, conscience, or policy was ever yet given; and therefore it was a memorable date. of the late parliament, 7 Dec. 1654, that ordered a bill to be brought in for raising maintenance for the ministers in all cities and great towns of this nation. And if London houses shall be ordered to yield the tenth penny of their true yearly value for tithes, according to the intent of the statute of 37 Henry VIII. 12. their ministers may thereout have ample pensions, and all church and parish officers liberal salaries, and the surplusage will be a brave revenue to the commonwealth, whereout the state may rebuild, or contribute to the rebuilding, all houses in London, that at any time hereafter shall happen, by casualty, to be burnt or pulled down, as a great number have been of late.
Van Ommeren to the states general.
Vol. xxxiv. p. 169.
High and mighty lords,
My lords, since my last of the 12th instant we have no news here from the Vallies. I expect now out of Switzerland the answer to the letters, which I have written upon the subject of the Vallies to the lords of Zurich, not questioning but I shall be able by my next, to give your high mightinesses a certain information on that head. The canton of Zurich, in the mean while, has subdued all the places situated between Constance and Coblentz upon the Rhine, and afterward of the whole country of Turgow, where the inhabitants as well of the town of Frauwenfeld as of the whole aforesaid district have taken the oath of allegiance and fidelity, without the least repugnancy. The gross of their troops under their general Eerdmuller are now closely besieging the town of Rappersweil, wherein the canton of Schwitz have thrown their best troops; which shew also, that they will defend themselves, endeavouring by sallies and otherwise to prolong the siege, not without loss of the one and the other side. They have ruined the bridge, which lay over the neck of the lake, and made the same useless to the besieged; having cut off the communication from abroad, and the water for the mills: the besiegers are now busy to set the miners to work, and prepare every thing for a storm. Those of Bern, Scafhaussen, Basil and Appenzell, are said to be likewise in the field; however the Zurichers have not yet heard any thing certain of their march, and it is reported, that they had agreed among themselves, that those of Bern should forthwith invest and attack the town of Lucern, being the chief of the small cantons, and make at the same time an onset in other places, and thus to attack the papists from all sides. Those of Schwitz are said to have planted the great standard, to attempt something for the relief of the town of Rappersweil, but the besiegers are prepared to receive them, keeping a good look out and order on all avenues.
The succours of the city of Geneva were embarked last week to avoid touching on the territories of France, and afterwards they march'd by land to their rendezvous. The abbot of St. Gall, as likewise the town of Baden, are said to have desired the neutrality, and the lord ambassador of France has made intercession for the latter by letters; but it is feared, that the one and the other, for weighty reasons, will be refused.
A notable embassy of the lesser and the great council of the city of Solure arrived on the 12th instant at Bern, declaring their great grief, that the affairs between the associated allies were come to that pass, and broken out into an open rupture; and that they were charged to desire the lords of Bern, that they would be pleased to use all possible means, and their utmost endeavours, to appease and avert the storm of such a destructive civil war. The day following the lesser and great council was to meet upon the said proposal, to deliberate, whether this deputation might not afford an opportunity for further conferences, to obtain thereby, with good reputation, the aim of their just pretensions.
I am informed by letters of the council of state, that they had sent remittances to the city of Geneva by mr. Carpentein 1200 pistoles: at the same time I was also told, that the provinces of Friesland and Overyssel had likewise agreed with the said Carpentein for the remittance of their collection; so that the poor Waldenses being comforted at this time with such notable sums, they think it adviseable here, to delay the further distributions of the collection, and to lay by the rest upon security, in order to make use thereof, or of the interest, for the maintenance of churches, schools, and other necessaries that are required, according to the project heretofore sent to your high mightinesses. Hitherto the city of Geneva has nothing positively resolved touching the 3000 pistoles of their noble and great mightinesses; they are still busy to try severall merchants, and to lay out this sum with the highest bidder, so that by this means probably good and advantageous conditions may be obtained and stipulated.
Being informed last sunday in the evening by two merchants of this city, that (according to the description given in the news papers) for some days has been here a farmer, John Hendricksen vander Meulen, who went off lately from Amsterdam with a large sum of money, I immediately sent to the magistrates, desiring, that the said person might be apprehended and secured, which was done accordingly forthwith. Upon examination, he is found to be the said farmer: however of his son, who is likewise concerned in this thest, nothing can be heard as yet, the boy who is with him being believed to be his brother's son. They have begun to make an inventory of his effects, and found in gold species the sum of about 3 to 34000 guilders. The letters of your high mightinesses in favour of the heirs of mr. Deothaty are duly come to hands, I will not be wanting to effectuate the contents thereof. In the mean while, I have thought it necessary to communicate to your high mightinesses the letters of the lords of Turin, which have been highly and most earnestly recommended to me.
Geneva, 3/13 Jan. 1656.
high and mighty lords &c.
The commissioners for Bristol to the protector.
Vol. xxxiv. p. 137.
May it please your highnes,
The providences of the Lord having of late yeares beene exceeding eminent, and remarkable in the preservation of his people within these nations, we should come short of our dutie, if we did not ascribe it to the kindnes of God, that through your highnes care, and wisdome, safety and publique liberty is yet abiding with us; for confirming and establishing whereof having received (with our humble acknowledgement to your highnesse) by the hands of major general Disbrowe your highnes orders and instructions, we have made some considerable progresse in the execution of that service therein required, and are resolved (through divine assistance) to give further testimony of our faithfullnes and sincerity by future actings and endevours, in order to the peace and welfare of this comonwealth, according to such directions and comands as are or shal be received from your highnes.
Bristoll, January 3, 1655.
Your highnes most humble servants,
Instructions by the major general of Bristol.
Vol. xxxiv. p. 393.
To the end that all the armes of the inhabitants within the county of the city of Bristoll may be borne and be in the keeping of the well-affected and able fighting persons, and thereby the several companies of the militia within the same be made serviceable for securing the peace of the comonwealth, and in particular that city; by vertue of the power given unto us, you are hereby authorized as followeth:
1st, That you make diligent search and inquiry, in whose keepinge and custody any arms be, of what sort soever, as well by perusing the list of the severall companies, as otherwise.
2dly, That where you find any arms to be in the keeping of any widow or aged inhabitants not in a capacity to serve in them, you are to require them to be forth-coming, that in a case of necessity you may have them in a readiness.
3dly, That where you find any arms in the custody of any disaffected person of inhabitants, you are to secure them, and to putt them into the keeping of such wellaffected able fighting persons, as you the said commissioners, or any three of you, shall judge meete.
4thly, You are to keepe a list of all such arms, and from whom you take them, and return an accompt thereof unto me accordingly.
Col. Barkstead, lieutenant of the tower, to secretary Thurloe.
Vol. xxxiv. p. 145.
When mr. Chapman was apprehended, there was taken out of his pockett a paper signed J. R. in which hee was directed in page the 4th for distinction of justice to put distribution of justice. Sir, in mr. Rye's books, in page the 4th, you will find distinction of justice, which cleares it, that mr. Chapman had not only knowledge of the booke, but was trusted with the printing of it, and is the owner or at least a sharer in the private presse, that hath and doth soe much mischeife. Sir, haveing beene informed, that since his enlargement, hee reported, that he was without cause deteyned; and that there being nothing against him, you durst not keepe him longer, the last night as I read the booke, I observed the passages as above, I thought it my duty to give you this trouble, which is all at present from,
Tower, Lond. Jan. 3, 1655.
Sir, your affectionate freind and servant,
Inclos'd in the preceding.
(a) Printed in 8 pages in 4to.
(a) A word for God, or a testimony on truth's behalf, from several churches, and diverse hundreds of Christians in Wales (and some few adjacent) against wickednesse in high places, with a letter to the lord general Cromwell. Both first presented to his own hands, and now published for further information.
Job xxxvi. 1. Suffer me a little, and I will shew thee that I have yet to speak on God's behalf.
Esa. xliv. 8, 9. Fear ye not, neither be afraid: have not I told thee from that time, and have declared it ? ye are then my witnesses. Is there a God besides me ? yea there is no God; I know not any.
They that make a graven image are all of them vanity, and their delectable things shall not profit, and they are their own witnesses; they see not, nor know, that they may be ashamed.
To Oliver Cromwell, captain general of all the forces in England, Scotland, and Ireland.
Vol. xxxiv. p. 147.
For as much as you have caused great searching of heart, and divisions among many of God's people by a sudden, strange, and unexpected alteration of government, and other actions, to the great astonishment of those, who knew your former publick resolutions and declarations; considering also, how (contrary to foregoing acts and engagements) you have taken upon you a power, by which you are utterly disinabled (if there were in you a heart) to prosecute the good things covenanted and contended for, with so many great hazards, and the effusion of so much blood; and by reason whereof you are become justly suspected in your ends in time past, and actions for future, to very many of those, of whose affections and faithful services you have enjoyed no small share, in all the difficult passages, and enterprizes of the late war. These things considered by us, (as we know they are by many churches and saints) and there being a deep sense upon our spirits of the odium under which the name of Christ, his cause, people, and ways do lie (as it were) buried; and also of the exceeding contempt, which the wonderful and excellent operations of God are brought into, even those eminent wonders, which the nations have been spectators and witnesses of, and wherein your hands have been partly engaged; we cannot, after much serious consideration and seeking of the Lord, many of us, both together and apart, but present to your hands the ensuing testimony, which (however you may look thereon) is no more than necessity exacts from us, for the clearing of our own souls from guilt, and discharging of our duty to God and men. Therefore we earnestly wish you to peruse and weigh it, as in the sight of God, with a calm and Christian-like spirit; and harden not your neck against the truth, as you will answer it to their great judge, before whose impartial tribunal you (as well as we) shall be very shortly cited to give an account of the things done in the body, whether good or evil. Where the true motives and ends of all your actions will be evident, where no apology will be accepted of your slighting and blaspheming of the spirit of God, nor for the hard measure you give his people, by reproaches, imprisonment, and other oppressions; and where pride, luxury, lasciviousness, changing of principles, and forsaking of good ways, justice and holiness will not have the smallest rag of pretence to hide them from the eyes of the judge, which things (whatsoever you say for your self) are (even at present) to be read in your forehead, and have produced most sad effects every where. Especially first, the filling of the saints hearts and faces with inexpressible grief and shame. And secondly, the stopping (at least) of the strong current of their prayers, which was once for you, if not the turning thereof directly against you. To these we might add (thirdly) the hardening of wicked men yea the refreshing and justifying of them in their evil doings, and speaking against the gospel, name, and spirit of our Lord Jesus Christ. And lastly, God's signal withdrawing from you his designs. Oh, then ! that you would lie down in the dust, and acknowledge your iniquity, and return unto the Lord by unfeigned repentance, doing your first works; and that you would make hast to do so, lest God's fury break forth like fire upon you, and there be no quenching of it. This would rejoice us much, as being real well wishers to your soul's everlasting happiness, though we must declare with equal pity and detestation against your designs and way.
A word for God.
Jer. viii. 7. Jer. xx. 9.; Isa. lxii. 6.; Hest. iv. 14.; Gen. xlix. 15.; Jude 16.; Rom. xvi. 8.; 2 Sam.xv. 7.; Gal. ii. 13.; 1 Chro. iv. 23.; Rom. xiv. 12.; Rev. xii. 7.; Numb. xiv.6, 7, 8, 9.; Rev. vii. 3. 2 Pet. i. 12.; Aug. 1, 1650, pag. 7, 12.
The wise God, that teacheth the fowls of heaven to know their appointed times, who directed us (after a long time of silence and earnest seeking the Lord) to express and declare what we find in our consciences touching the transactions of this season; and though some may think (as we ourselves have been tempted to think) that this is a time, that men are made offenders, yea traytors for words : yet considering how the Lord's remembrancers should not keep silence, and fearing that if we should altogether hold our peace at such a time as this (as Mordecai said to Hester) deliverance would come another way, and we could expect no share in the enlargement of God's people, or safety in the way of trouble : withal finding how self would prompt us (like Issachar) to see that rest is good and outward prosperity pleasant, and how the same temptations (which we find and fear many of our dear brethren to be under) have set upon some of us, as to have mens persons in admiration because of advantage, and by good words, fair speeches, and promises, to be deceived and drawn away in simplicity; especially by the example of some eminent men, (like Peter) in so much that many Barnabasses are carried away with their dissimulation, and as well ministers as military men willing to serve the king for his work and wages. However, seeing every man must give an account unto God for himself, we have examined what particular duty was incumbent upon us, and how in faithfullness towards God and meekness towards men, we should perform the same: moreover, considering how the saints did formerly bear their testimony, (not loving their lives, unto the death) and by the blood of the lamb, and their testimony did overcome; and how God did heretofore stir up some of his people, (both in England and Scotland) to bear witness (to the truth and ways of God) against the ways and wickednesses of men,) as a forlorn hope; though they were in comparison but a few, like Joshuah and Caleb, two of twelve; or like the two witnesses, a small yet sufficient number. Observing also, that there are present truths, and every work being beautiful in its season (as in the beginning of the late wars) was the witnessing against the book of common-prayer, cross in baptism, and other ceremonies, (being superstitious things, imposed by the bishops) and against ship-money, monopolies, &c. (civil things) imposed formerly by the king. All which were afterwards declared, protested, and covenanted against; which protestation and covenant are fresh in the memories, and pressing upon the consciences of some of us, even unto this day: besides the engagement, and the several acts of parliament made against monarchy or kingly government, all which now seem to be forgotten or neglected: and those that speak or write in defence of such things, as the parliament, army, and the godly people in the three nations approved, asserted, and purchased at a dear rate, are now accounted fanatick fools, disturbers of civil states, are intermedlers in things that concern them not; under which notion many suffer imprisonment, and other trials, as evil doers from those men, who now build what they did once destroy, and justify what they did once condemn. Witness their own writings, particularly the declaration of the officers and soldiers of the English army, (whereof the lord Cromwell was general) the words whereof are as followeth :
" We are persuaded in our consciences, that the late king and his monarchy was one of the ten horns of the beast spoken of, Rev. xvii. ver. 13, 14, 15. and that we were called forth by the Lord to be instrumental to bring about that, which was our continual prayers unto God, viz. the destruction of antichrist and the deliverance of his church and people; and upon this single account we engaged, not knowing the deep policies of worldly statesmen, and we have ever since hazarded our lives in the high places of the field (where we have seen many wonders of the Lord) against all the opposers of the work of Jesus Christ, whom we have all along seen going with us, and making our way plain before us; and having these things singly in our eye, namely the destruction of antichrist, the advancement of the kingdom of Christ, the deliverance of his church, and the establishment thereof, in the use of his ordinances, in purity according to his word, and the just, civil liberties of Englishmen."
Saunders, Okey, and Allured.
These, with many other expressions, both in the declaration, and several other papers of the army, and letters of the general, cited both in the declaration of the members of several churches, and petitions of the three colonels, besides several other papers, which might be instanced in; which we leave to all unbiassed men to consider, and compare with actions done by the same men since that time. But in pursuance of our duty to God, our fellow members and countreymen, as we are Christians, having a right to the things of Christ, and as we are men, having a right to our native privileges, we do declare our real apprehensions and consciences, which (to the great grief of some of us) we have so long concealed, waiting if God might by his providence alter our minds.
Psal. cvi. 13.; Psal. lxxviii. 8, 9, 10.; Psal. cvi. 28, 29.; Neh. ix. 3, 7.
First, that the sins and present condition of this nation hold parallel in many things with the old Israelites, after the mighty wonders of God shewed unto them in their great deliverance out of Egypt. For instance, they and we have soon forgotten God our Saviour, and the great works which he did; we have not set our hearts aright, and our spirits have not been stedfast with God, but have gone back, and dealt treacherously, and turned aside like a deceitful bow; and not trusting to his salvation have provoked the Lord to anger with our inventions; so that men have dominion over our bodies, and over our cattle at their pleasure, and we are in great distress, for this is a day of trouble, and of blasphemy, for the children are come to the birth, and there is not strength to bring forth.
distinction put for distribution of justice.
Secondly, that blessed cause, and those noble principles propounded and prosecuted by the old parliament, and the good people of this nation (in the maintaining of which God did miraculously appear) are now altogether laid aside and lost, and another cause and interest (quite contrary as we conceive) espoused and maintained; for then the advance ment of Christ's kingdom, the extirpation of popery and popish innovations, the privileges of parliament, the liberty of the subjects, and an equal distinction of justice were declared and sought for; and tyranny, oppression, injustice, arbitrariness, destroying the privileges of parliaments we declared and engaged against: but how far some men have now receded from, and acted contrarily to the dishonour of God, scandal of religion, great grief of many faithful men, and the strengthening of the wicked in their principles, and justifying their practices, we leave to the consideration of those that are sober and wise.
Thirdly, moreover the unadvised and unwarrantable changing of the government and swearing thereunto; doth (as we judge) put a necessity upon the chief undertaker thereof, to overthrow the very foundation of a commonwealth; and to maintain the things comprised in the said instrument, (whether right or wrong) and to turn the very edge and dint of his sword against the faces and bowels of such as should or shall declare their consciences contrary thereunto.
Fourthly, as a consequence and fruit of this forbidden tree, many of the choice servants of God and faithful of the nation (some noblemen, gentlemen, ministers of the gospel, soldiers, &c.) are imprisoned without knowing their accusers, or having so much liberty as was granted by the heathens to the apostles, or the benefit of a fair and publick trial, according to the fundamental laws of this nation.
Fifthly, under pretence of necessity still to continue the heavy burthens of taxes, customs, excise, &c. upon the nation, without (yea contrary to) the consent of the people represented in parliament, and contrary to their own instrument.
Acts xxvii. 30.
Sixthly, notwithstanding all the fair pretences and promises of reformation; yet what abominable and horrible impieties, injustice, and oppression are there couched and covered under this new form, from the head to the tail, (as the prophet saith) treading in the very footsteps of their predecessors; witness the receiving of the honours, profits, customs, benefits, tenths, and first-fruits coming in formerly to the crown; the exalting of sons, servants, friends, and favourites (though some of them known for wicked men) to the highest places and greatest preferment, which the good rulers of old, as Gideon, Nehemiah and others did not so; because of the fear of the Lord, and the bondage that was heavy upon the people : witness also the unreasonableness of the army to have so many officers, which might easily be reduced to a lesser number, and both officers and soldiers for many years to receive their pay, (even in a time of peace) when the poor peasants or tenants (who pay but ten shilling rent per ann.) do pay out of their penury, to maintain them in their pomp and luxury.
Seventhly, we cannot without grief mention the sad effects of the secret design of Hispaniola, to be the loss of so many mens lives, the expence of so much blood and treasure, and the endangering of this commonwealth by invasion; as also thereby rendring us a scorn and snuff to the nations round about.
2 Tim. iii. 5.
Lastly, we do declare and publish to all from our hearts and souls, that those of us that had any hand in joining with the parliament and army heretofore, had no other design against the late king and his party, save as they were enemies to our Lord Christ, his kingdom and people, hinderers of his work, and oppressors of the nation, and that it never came into our hearts to think or intend the pulling down of one person to set up another, or one unrighteous power to promote another: but we aimed as primarily at the glory of God, so likewise at the general good of the nation, and particular benefit and just liberty of every man; and it grieves us, that any just cause is given them to stumble at professors, or complain that they are deprived of their freedom, and several ways more oppressed, than in the days of the wicked kings. We do also believe in our heart, that (though the worst things are not without God's permission and providence) yet that this government is not of God's approbation, or taken up by his counsel, or according to his word; and therefore we do utterly disclaim having any hand or heart in it, and for the contrivers and undertakers thereof, we suspect and judge them to be great transgressors therein; and so much the more, because they are professors of religion, and declarers, engagers, and fighters against the very things they now practise: and it is most evident to us, that they thereby build again, what before they did destroy; and in so doing they render themselves and the cause, religion, name, and people of God abominable to the heathens, papists, and prosane enemies, which is a grief to our souls to consider. We do also detest the practices of those men in imprisoning the saints of God, for their consciences and testimony, and just men, who stand for moral and just principles, and the freedom of the nation and people, and their breaking off parliaments to effect their own design. We also from our souls witness against their new modelling of ministers, (as antichristian) and keeping up parishes and tithes, (as popish innovations) and we disclaim all adherence to, owning of, or joining with these men in their ways. And do withdraw, and desire all the Lord's people to withdraw from these men, as those that are guilty of the sins of the later days, and that have left following the Lord, and that God's people should avoid their sin, lest they partake with them in their plagues. Thus concluding our testimony, we subscribe our names hereunto.
Lewelin ap John,
Thomas ap John,
Reece ap David,
Thomas ap Thomas,
Ellice ap Roger,
David ap Edward,
Rev. ii. 21.
This paper had sooner come into my hands, if the subscribers hereof (who were willing to do nothing rashly) had not waited for further counsel and direction from God herein than they had at their first intention of the publishing hereof; and withal it was deferred for a time, hoping that God might some other way convince the person chiefly concerned in it; and seeing God gave him time to repent, and yet he repented not, we have published this our testimony. To which you might have had many more subscribers (who were willing to own this paper) if conveniency and providence had made way for it to come into their view. There hath been great endeavours to stifle it in the birth; to that end, some of the subscribers were threatned with imprisonment, and orders were issued out to imprison some, (whereof one was secured) namely, mr. Vavasor Powell, who was taken by a company of soldiers, from a day of the fasting and prayer at Aberbechan in Montgomeryshire, where many saints were gathered together, which caused much sadness, yea and much heart-breakings to them all; and he remained for some time a prisoner upon that account.
The information of Ezekiel Cooke of Gringley in the county of Nottingham, yeoman, and of Roger Hall the younger of Beckingham in the said county, yeoman, upon their oaths taken at Nottingham the 3d day of Jan. 1655, before major general Whalley, James Chadwicke, Samuel Bolles, William Wightman, and Edw. Cludd, esqs; and others, commissioners for securing the peace and safety of the commonwealth in the county aforesaid.
Vol. xxxiv. p. 157.
These informants say, that George Walsham of Gringley in the county of Nottingham, gent. being in company with these informants and others, in the house of Peter Pinder in Gringley aforesaid in August last, did confess and declare, that diverse gentlemen of London, his consederates, desired him the said George to become bound with them for one hundred pounds, to be layed out in buying of arms, for the bringing in of the king of Scots, and his friends, and to fight against the present government and governor; and that he the said George would willingly have done the same. And moreover, that if he had had so much money by him, he would not have given them the trouble to have borrowed it elsewhere. The said Roger then present saying to him, how great a danger he had incurred by these speeches, he the said Gorge replied, let me but alone till Michaelmas, and I will then be gone beyond the seas. And that these informants referred the business to mr. Crosse of Gringley to acquaint major general Berry, or any other person he thought fit therewith; and if there had been a constable in town at the time, they would have caused the said Walsham to have been apprehended.
A true copy, examined by me,
Jo. Boawre, clerk to the said commissioners.