A Collection of the State Papers of John Thurloe, Volume 4, Sept 1655 - May 1656. Originally published by Fletcher Gyles, London, 1742.
This free content was digitised by double rekeying. All rights reserved.
October (1 of 5)
H. Cromwell, major general of the forces in Ireland, to secretary Thurloe.
V. xxxi. p. 1.
May it please your highnesse,
It hath beene represented unto mee, that the bearer heerof mr. Lancelott Stepney, and others, that assisted him, have been very serviceable in transporting the number of ten thousand Irish soldiers from hence to Spaine; that he was the first, that gave encouragement to that so satisfactory a worke; one which hee and his friends disburst very great summs of money, and therein shewed their propensity to serve this country by freeing it of such burthensome people: and notwithstanding his attendance three yeers att Spaine, petitioning for satisfaction, was through over-wearied delaie obliged to returne, leaving his majesty the king of Spaine, oweing unto him, as by his acknowledgments appears, the sum of one hundred and thirty thousand peeces of eight, whereby some of them and their families are brought to great distress, and others very much sufferers in theire estates and credist. I therefore very humbly recommend this theire distressed and suffering condition, beseeching, that your highness power may bee interposed, in what may be consistant to reason, for their releife and ease herein. I remaine
Your high. obedient sonne,
Waterford, this 1st October 1655.
Monsieur Le Maire to secretary Thurloe.
In the possession of the right honourble Philip lord Hardwicke, lord high chancellor of Great-Britain.
I gave your honour in my last a notice and a relation of the imprisonning of two of the states clerks; which hurlie burlie beeing not yet past, occasioneth a secretnesse among the others, insomuch that I could not come this weeke to a full knowlege what was done in their meetings.
Only I understood of a letter, which the king of Denemarke sent to the lords the states generall about the coming of her navie towards the Sund; whereby he gave them to understand, that they were bound, according to the conditions of the made alliance, to give him two months before (whensoever they would send a fleet of men of warre to passe his channel) a full notice of their coming; which beeing not performed, as it was agreed, hee could not resolve to lett them passe, when they should come, beeing certaine, that by giving them licence to passe, he should open the eyes of the king of Swethland, which should doe him much harme in the winter time by occasion of the ice, admonishing further the states not to goe on in their resolution, beeing the time so unfit for it. Upon which, and the true information they tooke from seamen of the time's unfitnesse, they have resolved the said navie, although readie to depart, to keepe home untill the next fomer.
The ambassadour, which was to goe upon this and other occasions to the said king of Denemarke, is not gone, nor yet knowen when hee shall depart. But as soone as his instruction is made, I shall endeavour to send your honour a copie of it.
The office of a marshall of the campe is not yet bestowed upon any bodie. The common opinion is, the lord the states generall for avoyding of jealousie and as in time of peace unneedfull, shall mortisie it. And so, honourable ser, after a humble recommandation of my former petition, I rest, and will commend your honour to the Lord's blessed protection.
Your honour's most humble servant,
October 1, 1655.
The gouvernment of Hencogenbosch, which had in his live time the count of Brederode, is given this day to the lord Douza, lord of the village called Noortwych; and the regiment of souldiers of the said Brederode to his eldest sonne, and to his youngest a companie of horse.
The king of Sweden to the emperor of Germany.
V. xxxi. p. 17.
Serenissime & potentissime imperator, domine frater, consanguinee, & amice charissime,
Quæ pro consueta nobis erga majestatem vestram siducia de causis hujus belli partim per literas, partim per ministros nostros, majestati vestræ explicuimus, ea majestati vestræ jampridem cognita esse non dubitamus. Huic armorum nostrorum justitiæ ita suffragata est divini numinis bonitas, ut pluries suso sugatoque hoste, expulsoque demum rege Poloniæ, maximam illius regni partem ditionis nostræ secerimus, compluresque urbes & inter has Crackoviam, caput regni, ante paucos dies ceperimus, certa spe freti, Deum Opt. Max. consilia, actionesque nostras porrò prospero eventu beaturum. Cumque hujus rei lætitia non ad nos duntaxat, verum etiam amicos nostros pertinere debeat, pro singulari illo, quo majestatem vestram æstimamus, affectu, eandem majestatem vestram hujus rei participem facere voluimus, nullo modo dubitantes, quin majestas vestra, pro optima erga nos voluntate fuâ, illius gaudii sensu haud leviter tangatur. Atque ut per hosce successus nostros majestati vestræ viciniores facti sumus, ita nihil nobis erit prius antiquiusque, quam ut amicitiam majestatis vestræ omni meliori ratione tueri, & iis rebus studere, quæ vicinitatis leges inter amicos sibi vendicare videntur, prout etiam confidemus majestatem vestram paria semper relaturam, affectumque erga nos suum integrum illibatumque nobis conservaturam. Hæc & nonnulla alia commisimus residenti nostro apud majestatem vestram, ut majestati vestræ convenienter referret majorem, in modum majestatem vestram rogantes, ut majestas vestra eidem sidem adhibere velit, adeoque super iis, quæ propositurus est, animum suum ita declarare, ac amicitiæ mutuæ expectationisque nostræ est congruentissimum.
Quibus finientes majestatem vestram divinæ tutelæ ex animo commendamus, omniaque læta & prospera majestati vestræ comprecamur. Dabamus Casimiriæ ad Crakoviam die
Bonus srater, consanguineus, & amicus, &c.
12 Octob. 1655. [N. S.]
A letter of intelligence from Cologne.
V. xxxi. p. 19.
Middleton with much vigour goeth on in their present design; and from the gravest of them I have it, that they doubt not but to be more considerable this winter in Scotland than ever since his last attempts. They drive their design with their cabal in Scotland so close, as yet I can give you no more light.
I have spoken with the person, that translated the king of Sweden's letter to the king, and find it much as I formerly intimated; but cannot yet get a copy, neither can I with safety get any letter of Doleman's, but I doubt not on Charles Smart's return to do something in both.
Charles Smart the third instant met the queen of Sweden four leagues from Frankfort with the princess royal, duke of Glocester, &c. They waited on her back to the town, and parted with much ceremony and kindness. I am told that the queen and Pimentello had something to say unto him from the king of Spain, in reference to his present business, which was performed with much candour. He is look'd for here this week; you may depend to have from me a faithful journal of his journey by the next. Much rejoicing is here in hopes of your breach with Spain. The wiser fort say, it is probable by your securing of general Penn and Venables you will lay much on their shoulders, and thereby endeavour to content Spain; being their intelligence is here, that the fleet now preparing for Jamaica is not to make further attempts, but is only furnished with a proportion of victuals to bring off those left there; which is their fear and conjecture.
I had it from lord Culpeper in discourse, that the king had a weekly correspondency from one of the greatest persons in your council; but unless I had something to particularize, I dare not venture to name him.
They do much rejoice here to think, that so great a servant to the prince of Orange as the lord of Nortvel is, is like to have the government of the Busse, for by this means they will have two sure cards, the governor of Breda being also a servant of the prince.
12 October 1655. [N. S.]
Dr. John Owen, dean of Christ church, to the protector.
In the possession of the right honourable Philip lord Hardwicke, lord high chancellor of Great-Britain.
May it please your highnesse,
Your highnesse was pleased to favour me not long since in my request on the behalfe of mr. serjeant Crooke, and to mention your good intendments towards him. Least in the multitude of your weighty affaires, he might be forgotten, duringe the present opportunity of makinge him one of your judges, I am bold to remind your highnesse of your thoughts towards him, beinge fully assured, he will never really forfeit them. I dare not with any confidence assume unto myself a judgement of the fittness of any person for such an employment; yet I have most good ground to continue in my forme perswasion of his ability and integrity; so that I am most confident, your highnesse will never have cause to repent of your doinge him this favour, and that he will in his place performe that, which is the true servise unto you in an upright administration of justice. That you may have the presence of our good God in a livinge sense of his unchangeable love in Jesus Christ to your person, and a gratious assistance in all your affairs, is the dayly prayer of him, who is to
Your highnesse most humbly and most faithfully devoted,
Oxf. Octob. 2. 55.
Extract of letters written to mr. Hartlib.
Francfort, October 13, 1655. [N. S.]
The meeting of deputies seems to go on. The second session was on monday last the 8th of this month. Then they spoke of the way of their proceeding, and resolved to sit four days of the week, and to be free only the two post days. Some say, that the popish party seem very willing to restore what they hold of the protestants now, and to make good the treaty of Osnabrug and Munster; and it is attributed to the king of Sweden his prosparity in Poland, lest among other grievances he make this one, that the popish party makes the assembly of deputies void by delays. The news of the death of the lord protector was spread first at Francfort, on purpose, when Charles Stuart arrived thither, to work out the better some fine designs. I hear of another anagram made at Dantzic upon Olivier Cromvelus, which is, I Leo vir: eo Romvlvs. I suppose you have been fully informed of the thirty-six new reformed converts and professors at Switz. There are many more in that place, who dare not as yet discover themselves. Not long ago 15 persons (men and women) upon suspicion that way were committed to prison. The capuchin friers, among the catholic cantons, begin to rage furiously. The popish cantons are assembled at Lucerne, intending to send their embassadors to Rome. The Nicodemites at Venice wish that the consuls there of several nations would shew themselves a little more zealous than hitherto they have done. The pope was heard to say in the conclave of cardinals, that the jesuits were the only occasion and cause of all the miscarriages and disasters, which are befallen the kingdom of Poland: the king of Spain hath signified to his holiness, that for his part he was most willing and ready to agree and make peace with France.
From Casimir before Cracow, October 4, 1655. O. S.
At this siege, nothing remarkable has happened, but only that the besieged, this day, have made a beginning to capitulate; to that purpose they have desired of his majesty of Sweden to grant them Litteras salvi passûs for their deputies, which were immediately sent them. Whereupon they have resolved to come hither to morrow morning at eight o'clock, if it pleases God, to enter upon a treaty. This day the treaty with the deputies of the Quartians is concluded; so that there only now remains, that the same be confirmed by the pen, and signed by his Swedish majesty, which, it is believed, may be done to-morrow.
Copy of a letter which his majesty of Sweden has written with his own hand, to a certain great lord, his own minister, dated at the camp before Cracow, October 4/14, 1655.
To morrow, I hope, to have done with the city of Cracow, because they capitulate already. With the most part of the Quartians I shall likewise soon have concluded, and I expect first here Conjecz Polsky and Wiesnowisky, who have entirely separated themselves from the others, viz. from Podosky and Lands Coronsky. The great God grant me further prosperous success, and assist us henceforth, as he has thus far miraculously protected and blessed me. Frangipani, who was sent to Chimilinsky, is come back, with a particular satisfaction, and report, that Chimilinsky, who will intirely submit to me, expects now nothing else, but my commands, and will comply with every thing I shall desire of him. As soon as he got information of my march into Poland, he immediately left Caminieck Podolsky, and advanced to Russian Lembergh, where he, near Grodeck, put Podoltsky to the rout, and lays now incamped near Samoisky, where he expects my arrival.
From warsaw we are informed, by a credible hand, that the city of Cracow, according to a letter of his majesty's own hand, which is arrived there, together with the castle, surrender'd on the 5th instant, and that all the high and subaltern officers, as also all the common soldiers that were in garrison there, are enter'd into the service of his majesty: by the next we expect the particulars therof.
Resolutions of the lords the states general of the united provinces of the low countries.
Jovis, the 14th of Octobr 1655. [N. S.]
The letter of the lord protector of the commonwealth of England, Scotland, and Ireland, written in favour of the merchants adventurers in England to the lords the states general in Westminster on the 24th of August, and received on the 13th of September following, being again read, and put to deliberation, it is thought good and resolved to return an answer to the commissioners of the same merchants adventurers here, and to declare, that it is freely permitted unto them, and shall at all times be, to come into these countries, and there to reside and remain as long as they please; and that they may also, without any hindrance, trade and traffick in all manner and sorts of wares and merchandises, according and in conformity to the XIIth article of the treaty of peace, union, and confederation betwixt the high renowned lord protector on the one side, and the states on the other, concluded the 1st of April, in the year 1654 last past.
And farther to add thereunto, that the true meaning of the lords the states hath been all along, and still is, that by virtue of the said peace and union all such ordinances, acts, and penal laws obstructing and hindering or limiting the free navigation and trade of the one with the other, or against the free importation of manufactures and all sorts of merchandises in eithers countries, as had been made, published, and executed by either state, not only during the sad war betwixt both states, but also since that by the departure of the lords embassadors of the parliament of England the minds of both nations began to estrange and alienate themselves one against another, are void and do cease, without any special declaratory act or proclamation. And that consequently, and supposing it in such a manner under the words laws and ordinances, in the said XIIth article of the treaty, whereby the said peace is established, according to the good intentions of the lords the states general, their proclamation of the 3d of January 1653, published and prohibiting all English manufactures, is not only excluded, and no ways comprehended, but also all their other acts and proclamations since the time, and to the intent and purposes aforesaid, to the great increase of the mutual friendship, trade and navigation of both nations one with another. And it is ordered, that notice hereof be given to the respective commissioners of the admiralties, to the end they may observe the same punctually, and cause all their subordinate officers to suffer, without any trouble or molestation, all said English manufactures to be imported in these countries, that so the good affection, and close correspondency, which of all ancient times hath been betwixt both nations, and confirmed by the said late treaty of peace, may be more and more fomented and consolidated.
Was signed N. Verbold.
and contersigned N. Ruysch.
Mr. Longland, agent at Leghorn, to secretary Thurloe.
Here ar com very fresh letters from Marcelles, which tel us of an engagement betwixt the French fleet and the Spanish, with advantage of the latter; but what los they hav had, the French wil not speak. 'Tis said, after the Spanyards had raised the siege of Pallamos, 18 of theyr ship departed towards Cales, from whence we hear nothing this week. 4 French ships of war ar making redy in Tollon to go out a theeving; and 'tis reported they wil tak Inglish. I should gladly hear we wer upon som certainty with that nation. The feares that here is in Itally of the Swed do dayly increas, in so much that in som places they begin to go in procession to curse them. You wil se by the inclosed what opinion they hav in Rom; the poore pope I think wil dy for grief, for he has not bin wel never since the Swed enter'd Polland. I am
Leghorn, Octob. 15, 1655. [N. S.]
Right honorable, your most faithful servant. Charles Longland.
The king of France to the states general.
Tres-chers, grands amis, alliez & confœderez,
Le sieur Chanut conseillier in nos conseils, & notre ambassadeur aupres de vous, s'estant acquis dans les divers employs, que tious luy avons confies, & dont s'est acquitté suivant notre attente, une experience toute particuliere aux affaires les plus importantes aveq une suffisance telle, que nous croyons nous in pouvoir prevaloir a l'avantage des nostres dans les rencontres, qui s'en pourront offrir, nous avons pris resolution de le rappeller apres de nous pour nous servir de luy, & l'employer, selon que le bien de notre service le pourra requerir; en sorte pourtant que chacun puisse de la juger, qu'elle peut estre non seulement la satisfaction, qui nous reste de la conduitte, qu'il a observée en toutes les commendements, dont nous l'avons chargé, nommement en l'ambassade, qu'il a exercée aupres de vous, mais aussi la disposition, que nous avons a luy en donner des tesmoignages par des recognoissances aussy avantageuses, que ses services le scavoient meriter. C'est ce que nous avons voulu vous faire scavior par cette lettre, & qu'en prenant congé de vous, nous luy avons sur toutes choses ordonné de vous asseurer particulierement, que nous perseverons tousjours dans les mesmes sentimens, que nous avons eus par le passé a vostre egard, & qu'en toutes les occasions, ou nous aurons lieu de vous faire ressentir de nouvelles preuves de notre amitie, nous ne nous espargnerons pas, ainsy que le dit sieur Chanut vous le tesmoignera plus au long. Nous remettant done au qu'il vous en dira de notre part, nous ne nous estendrons pas d'avantage sur ce subject, & finirons cette lettre par la prirée, que nous faisons a Dieu, qu'il vous ayt tres-chers, tres-grands amis, alliez, & confœderez en sa sainte & digne garde. Escrit a Fontaine-bleau le xv jour d'Octob. 1655. [N. S.]
Vostre tres bon amy & confœderé,
contre-signé De l'Omenie.
Mr. Tho. Skynner, to secretary Thurloe.
I made bold by a few lynes 1st Junij last, to give your honour a short accompt of the merchants adventurers affayres here. Now the folly of my clerke, John Sherland, and the reflexion I find to be upon my selfe from his miscarriage, hath putt a neccessity upon me to presume to give you the trouble of these lynes in myne owne behalf; and I beseech your honour to vouchsafe them the reading. What he hath writt to me, and I to him, since his restraynt, I doubt not Ald. Averie hath transmitted to your hands; for to that purpose I sent the same open to him, and more hath not past betweene us, neither know I in the least kind any thing more of him or his crime. And for him, as I leave him to stand or fall, according as he shal be found innocent or guilty, so I pray God he may deale clearely and ingenuously with your honour; and let him not spare me, if he know any thing against me. He hath bin with me litle more then a yeare and halfe, upon the death of an old servant of myne, that had lived with me fifteene yeares, and was sometime knowne to your honour. He is the son of a merchant adventurer borne and bred in Holland; and I entertayned him upon recommendations of some of our owne company for his language and pen, wherein I thought he might be serviceable to me, and before never knew or heard of him. In my said letters to him since his confinement, I have given him my best advice to a submission and cleare discovery of all, and endeavoured to lead his memory to all things I discovered of him here after his imprisonment; for before I never heard of the persons Armorer and Procter, concerning whom he said he was examined, neither can discover any thing more since, then only that the said Procter, who goes by the name of Peirce here, is now in these lands, and going for Collen. For my selfe I have litle to say, and will make no protestations, where my conscience justifies me. All that I have to beseech of your honour is, that noe impression may be made upon yow against me, before I be heard; and that if any thing be or have bin represented unto yow of charge or suspicion of me, and that yow shall thinke it fitt I appeare to the same, that yow will please to give our company order to recall me; and I will with the first passage come over, and render my selfe willingly. Besides my relation to the merchants adventurers, whose servant I have bin these 24 years past and more, I have a peculiar obligation to his highnes service with the commissioners of the customs and excyse, of which sir William Roberts and capt. Stone are two; and I was the first man, that put pen to paper to order and sett on foote the receipt of the excyse. These imployments may perhaps have begott me some emulators, such as would make some advantage of my servant's condition to involve me also. It is in your honour's power and generosity to preserve me from such men; and let me not be stript, before I am heard; and then, if I be found guilty of the least contrivance, abetment, correspondence, or conversation, which may be offensive to his highnes or the commonwealth, let me be made an example to all men. I must committ myselfe to God's pleasure; yet I desire also the good opinion of all men, and especially your honour's charity and protection towards one, then whom noe man can be more innocent in these matters. And so I take my leave, and remayne,
Haghe, Oct. 5/15, 1655.
your honour's most humble servant,
De Lionne, the French embassador at Rome, to Bordeaux, the French embassador in England.
Rome, October 16, 1655. [N. S.]
V. xxxi. p. 63.
The occupation of this court is only in the great preparations, which they make here to receive with pomp the queen of Sweden, who is said to be come already as far as Augsbourg. The pope doth make an expence of more than threescore thousand escus for a coach, a litter, a sedan, and furniture. He hath named four nuntios to receive her upon the borders of the church-territories, who are mess. Bentivoglio, Terreggiani, Cesarini, and Carracevoli; and he hath cast his eyes upon the cardinalls Medici and Hesse to meet her two miles from Rome, and to conduct her hither.
Here also comedies, music, and other divertisements are appointed for her. All this is upon presupposition, that she will make public confession of the catholic faith at Inspruck; that is to say, before she enters into Italy; as his holiness hath declared to desire it of her.
An intercepted letter of Thomas Hongerford to mr. Henry Rich merchant.
Paris, October 18, 1655. [N. S.]
V. xxxi. p. 87.
It's some weeks since I writ to you, and more weeks since I heard from you; though I believe you did write to me with my other friends, as I understand by the person I ordered my letters to be sent unto, who told me he received several for me, and sent them according to my direction; but I miss'd that happiness, being gone to another place before those letters came. The third of this instant I wrote to you, and all my other correspondents, from Saint John de Lewes, one letter in general, to let you know I was well, and had done as much about the accounts I went about, as you could expect should be done in so small a time, and at such a juncture of affairs. In brief, I have secured a good part of our estates in good hands, which I think is no small service unto you, when so many of my fellow-merchants have lost all. And surely had it not been for three or four factors to great merchants that hindered, I had done my business better or quicker.
In my last, I told you, I had cast up the accompts, and desired you should know how they stood, that in case you were ready to go to trial with that knave factor, (who hath put me to all this trouble, and you with others to so great a loss) you might not want your evidence. I am confident, my testimony, if you do any thing, will be worth the staying for, in that I shall speak so plainly and positively about all the points he hath baffled you hitherto in, that judgment cannot be given on our side.
I hope none of the witnesses on our side, that are worth taking notice of, are by our adversary corrupted; but I do not much trouble myself, for if the record in the tower, as mr. Kemp told me in one of his, do speak plainly in the case, I do not fear the case. Truly, good friend, I would give more than is fitting to speak of, to have but two hours discourse with you; you cannot tell how much it would conduce to our profit.
I commit you to divine protection, not doubting but to have a time to meet to laugh together.
An intercepted letter of Thomas Hongerford to mr. John Mathews merchant.
Paris, October 18, 1655. [N. S.]
My dear m.
I wrote to you the third instant from St. John de Lewes; I hope before this come to hand, that is, by which you will understand of my health. I am now going for Zealand.
I pray, with all convenient speed, send me word how trade goeth, for it's a long while since I heard from you. I trust in God I shall now have a weekly correspondency with you, which will much satisfy me. I know it hath gone hard with my dearest, but your good company, as well as counsel to repose on the will of him, who doth what is best for his poor creatures, though they, like witless children, see it not, did comfort her. Had not poor Joseph been sold by the malice of his brethren into Egypt, to prevent his sheaf growing greater than theirs, they had perished by famine in their own country: but you know providence ordered their malice to preserve, not only their lives, but all their posterity. It's possible the similitude may hold good; for my factor's endeavours to destroy and ruin me in my estate, (by which rationally he thought to preserve himself, in that the lawyers of England, who are to plead my cause, are like the pretenders to be servants to the church of Rome, on whom the English proverb is justly cast, no penny, no pater noster,) may augment it, and make me not only able to make my own part good with them, but to help others to recover theirs. Judge then if it be not good relying on providence; providence is a good word, but I fear it's by some abused; but I hope God will teach me a better lesson.
I expect my friend's judgment upon what I writ, and upon each of their judgments, I pray give me yours; for as on it I most depend, so according to it shall steer my course. I know mr. Rich is faithful to me; the rest I leave to longer experience: therefore I desire that person's judgment with yours. It's my desire, that my B. G. may come to me, for I have something to send, which is not fit for every eye to see.
An interceped letter of Thomas Hongerford to mr. Isaac Kemp merchant.
Paris, October 18. 1655. [N. S.]
I am by the good hand of providence come nearer unto you, and hope by the time this come to your hands to be at the places I went from. You cannot expect a particular account of things at present, in that being upon the road, have not time to transcribe it; but if I had, till I hear from you, do not think it fitting nor convenient to do it. What you have done in the suit depending, since you writ to me last, I know not; but it's my desire you would not let it fall; for surely it's impossible, that judges can be so wicked to give away so just a cause. It's my thoughts, there wants nothing to have the verdict go on our side, but some good angels to open the eyes of the blind, who for lack of those good spirits visiting them, cannot see their way at noon day. But you know the blind shall hear a voice behind them, saying, this is the way, walk therein. I pray send one unto me, to whom I may give the accompts; and by him let me have the prices of all vendible commodities with you at present. I shall not need to caution you to be wary, whom you trust with your estates. I know you are wise. Fail not, I pray you, to send to me with all the convenient speed you can.
An intercepted letter of Thomas Hongerford to mr. Thomas Somes merchant.
Paris, October 18. 1655. [N. S.]
This only serves to tell you I am in health, blessed be God, and through mercy thus far on my way to you. I hope by that this comes to your hands to be in Zealand. My last to you was from Saint John de Lewes; my time did not permit me to write in particular, but to all in one, by which you will understand I have secured some of our estate. In brief, as I then, so now desire you will send one to me. I should be glad if you would undertake the journey; it's not a long one: one night with a good wind will carry you to Flushing, where your friend will tell you how glad he shall be to see you. I shall not give the accounts, or copy of them, to any person, but those I very much conside in, they so much concern myself. I am now ready to receive your commands, and if you keep your former resolution to venture for Barbadoes or the other Charibbe islands, and be sure of the convoy in the narrow sea, I will go what share you will have me, or rationally is fit for me to go; or if not, I will do you or my other friends this courtesy, to lend you what you want to undertake it; but I will not part with a penny to any other person. I know you are honest, or I am much deceived. I know the embargo in Spain will break many merchants; so shall have care, whom I trust or go partner with. I pray send me the prices currant of all the commodities with all speed. I shall be in a wood till I hear from you, knowing not what to do. The account is worth the sending for, therefore pray neglect no time; if the opportunity be slipt, it cannot be recalled. I pray do me the favour in particular to let me know, what prices all vendible commodities be at, what returns you have had, what profit and what loss. I know you have written to me several letters, but I have not seen any; yet I am certain, that none have miscarried; for all they came safe to whom I ordered them to be sent, but before they came, I was gone from that place.
An instrument made at the council of Jamaica, Oct. 8. 1655. for the better carrying on of affairs there.
V.xxxi. p. 83.
Whereas Oliver lord protector of England, Scotland, and Ireland, and the dominions thereunto belonging, having in all his actions ever had a special regard to the welfare, honour, and prosperity of the people committed to his charge, but principally to the propagation of the gospel, and the advancement of God's glory, did to those ends send a considerable army and fleet into these parts, with all warlike furniture and provisions requisite for so high an interprize, being incited thereto by a just and princely desire to vindicate the injuries done in particular to the English nation, and to restrain and suppress the tyrannies and usurpation of the king of Spain in these countries, by a pretended donation of the pope. And his highness for the better carrying on, and managment of so great a work, having constituted commissioners Edward Winslowe, Daniel Searles, and Gregory Butler, Esqs; who, together with general William Penn, and general Robert Venables, generals of the sea and land forces, were authorized and impowered to consult, conclude, and act as commissioners in all important affairs concerning the public in this present expedition; and for the facilitating the business did likewise since commissionate major-general Robert Sedgwicke, who lately arrived here with the same power and authority from his highness. Now whereas both the said generals and the commissioners residing formerly here are either dead, or upon motives and reasons best known to themselves, are returned into England with part of the fleet, whereupon the affairs of his highness and the commonwealth are left in great distraction and disorder, notwithstanding all the care and diligence had and used therein by major-general Richard Fortescue, now commander in chief of the land forces, and colonel William Goodson, admiral of the fleet. We therefore taking it into our serious considerations, how to prevent and redress the same for the future, that his highness's designs may not, as far as in us lieth, be frustrated, but the preservation of the fleet and army duly regarded, and the interest of the commonwealth wholly intended, though we conceive we are not in a capacity to act in that condition; yet being fully satisfied of his highness's good intentions, that neither the death, absence, or other disability of those in authority, or the defect of a formal commission, being at so great a distance, should obstruct the public proceedings, as appears by his highness's instructions to that purpose: we therefore, in pursuance of his highness's intentions, assuming to ourselves the same power, which we conceive was always intended to be kept in being by his highness, so long as his forces should remain in these parts, are unanimously resolved and agreed, to join together for the carrying on the public work, and till farther orders shall come from his highness to all purposes, and in all cases whatsoever, to act and proceed according to the instructions given by his highness to the above-mentioned generals and commissioners for the management of the affairs in America. In testimony whereof, we have jointly made this instrument, as the council for the management of the affairs of his highness and the commonwealth in the West-Indies, and have hereunto signed and sealed at Jamaica the 8th of October 1655.
Col. Howard to secretary Thurloe.
V.xxxi. p. 79.
I have receaved yours, and shall undoubtedly observe his highnes commands, soe soone as I understand his pleasure, which I hope yow will intimate unto me, as well for the disposeing of my self to such service and imployment as his highness shall require, as also for disposall of the prisoners in these border counties. I have not writt to his highnes at present aboute this particuler or any thing else, but shall relye upon your care and favour in getting mee an answer, to the end I may proceede accordingly. I shall further intrete you, that in case any application bee made to his highnes by any particular personn, for obteineing the command of a guard in the county of Northumberland against theeves, that I may have noetice of the same, and of such personn, as shall most likely get that imployment, if any such bee, to the end I may deliver my judgment in that busines, in regard I knowe more of that particular then any whatsoever. Besydes my desire is to prevent such miscarriges, as hitherto have beene committed by them I employed for garding the country. Now the reason I press this, is because, it is a service maintained freely by the chardg of the country, and therefore none ought to putt themselves upon us but by our generall consent, unless they bring an order from above; which I desire and hope you will prevent, till reasonn be heard from the justices on the countrie's part. I suppose the time drawes neare for appointing sherriffs; and in regard fitt menn are soe thinn in these parts, I thought it my duety to put you in minde of two, to the end his highnes may not have them to seeke, when the time comes, which are mr. Robert Fenwick for Northumberland, and mr. Thomas Lamplough for Cumberland. I am, sir,
Naward, October 8, 55.
Your very humble servant,
Mr. J. Aldworth, consul at Marseilles, to secretary Thurloe.
Vol. xxxi. p. 127.
Since the sealing of my letter, a barke of this place is arrived from Mallaga in Spayne, who brings advise, that the fleete, that went out of Cadiz, assone as they saw general Blake make towards them with his ships, they imediatly fled into Cadiz. Hee is att present in the road of said place, keeping the fleet in, and takes all ships and barkes, that would ether goe up or come forth. Assoone as hee had advice of the seazure of our nation, hee took a Spanish sergatt of 30 gunns goeing into Cadiz; from thence they have sent an express to Barcelona to command the Naples fleete to joyne them, which general Blake having notice off keepes with most of his fleete between Cadiz bay and the Streights mouth, to attend theire comming. Hee hath alwayes severall ships, that keepes 'twixt the southward cape and Cadiz bay, so that nothing cann pass without meeting some of his ships. The Naples fleete consisting, as I have formerly advised yow, of 22 ships, as they passed by Allecant, tooke 2 small English ships, and abused the poore men in a high nature, and att last putt them in prison at Allecant. Our English merchants theare are imprisoned also. I had severall packetts on this barke from our nation, butt meeting with the Spanish gallyes, they was throune into the sea. This barke brings not any newes of the French fleete. Bee pleased to excuse my brevity: the post is on departure; so humbly take leave, and remayne
Marseillia, 8ber 19, 1655. [N. S]
Your honnor's servant,
The Spanish embassador to secretary Thurloe.
Vol. xxxi. p. 117.
Haviendo recinido orden del rey misor. para pasar luego a los estados de Flandes, desearia para poderlo exequtar hacer reverencia al señor protector. y assi sup. a V. S. le dè quenta dello y procure que su Alteza se sirva de señalarme audencia de despedida. y sino fuere de incomodidad de S. A. estimarè se me conceda para mañana y gde Dios a V. S. muchos años como deseo de cassa a 19/9 de Oct. 1655.
Muy gran serv. de V. S.
Don Alonso De Cardenas.
Lord Broghill to secretary Thurloe.
The great favor of your letter of the 2d instant I received the 7th; and in it, a relation of that unmerited esteeme, both his highnes and your selfe are pleased to place upon my worthless endeavors. And tho' in it selfe it is as far above my merrit as my expectation, yet I can truly assure you, neither that nor any other worldly thinge can bringe an accession to thos desyres I have alreddy, and I trust still shall have, for his service.
I can now write you a peece of newse, which till now thes many yeers could not truly have bin written unto you from Edinbrough; which is, that the last Lord's day all the ministers heere have declyned publickly prayinge for Charles Steuard, and yesterday morninge two of the chiefest of them, to wit mr. David Dixson, and mr. Robert Duglas, pryvatly shewed me their and their brethern's letters to the rest of the ministers of this nation, to incite them therunto, with the reasons, that moved them to leave it of. They are a sorte of people, which if to be wrought upon, it must be by degrees, and by pryvate conferences; for in all publike disputes men as much contend for creddit as for truth.
His highnesse's orders to the generall for reduceinge as much of thir army (either by lesseninge of the pay, or lesseninge its number) as will afford 500 l. monthly towards the better carryinge on of the fortifications and other contingent charges, was this day considered by the councill. The lesseninge of the pay we adjudged unadvisable; not only because what they now receive, is but just able to mayntayne them, but also, if thos, which are upon hardest duty in the worst country, should have less then those which are upon easyer duty in the best country, it might give some occasion of disorder, which we thought it was better to prevent, then to be put to remedy it. We therefore thought it best, rather to lessen numbers; and because we had two companies in col. Fennik's regiment more then in other regiments, and that we had one unregimented company in Dunbarton, we thought it better uterly to disband thos, then to take a proportionate number out of all regiments, which would not be only longe a doeinge, because of the remotness of som garrisons, specially in Orkney and Zetland, but also that the companyes were all alreddy as thin as might well be; and that in this country we may sooner get officers then souldiers. Besides to take 4 or five out of a company from the furthest places would much indanger in their march hither over the hills soe small a number. We therfore resolved, and the generall thought it best, to disband thos three companyes forthwith, for any delay would have continued them in pay one month longer, the muster day beinge at hand. And because that reduction would not arise to the five hundred pound by the month, we have reduced 24 corporalls of horse, out of the 4 regiments of horse heere, and thereby made them like the troopes in England, which have but 2 corporals a peece. We have also taken away 4 corporalls out of the 4 troopes of dragoons, 4 trumpeters out of the 4 colonels of horse their troops; likewise the drum majors out of the 12 foot regiments, and one shillinge a day from the governor of Dunbarton, which made him equall with other governors his quallity, all which within 10 or 12 l. does amount monthly unto 500 l. accordinge to his highnesse's commands.
In expectation of hearinge from you, we prepare what we may in order to the Jamaica business; but till we know your instructions, we can make no considerable progress therein. I thinke it were not amiss, if you were reddy for that worke, to endeavor to engage thes three companyes for that service. But if you are not reddy, possibly the charge would surpass the advantage. We shall have a care of the business writt in cipher, that they acte in view and noe longer; but accordinge unto their owne letter it will not be thes many months.
If general Blake be com home, and that Spaine trade with you, have, I pray, an eye to the Irish in Connaught; for I know not any one thinge the Spaniard can soe cheaply and effectually prejudice you in, as in sendinge ships with armes, amunition, and som of thos Irish officers under his pay, into Connaught, wher soe many discontented persons are rendevoude, neere a sea coaste, and unfitt for horse service, and the people reddy to take fire.
A ship, which came out of Holland last Lord's day, reports the Sweedes are defeated by the Pole, and the kinge of Swedland taken or kild; but we hope 'tis false. I beg your pardon for this longe trouble; and that you will beeeeve me, as I am,
Edinburgh, 8ber 9, 55.
your most affectionate, most
faithfull and obliged servant,
H. Cromwell, major general of the forces in Ireland, to the protector.
Vol. xxxi. p. 101.
May it please your highness,
I mediately after my brother Fleetwoode left this nation, my selfe with some others of the councill and army went abroade to visitt the severall quarters of the late disbanded, in order to the setleinge them uppon their landes, which, through the blessinge of God, wee have finished, though we mett with not a few difficultyes (as all workes of the like nature are commonly accompanyed with). I may say it, and I hope without the least selfeboastinge, the goodness of God hathe wonderfully appeared with us in this undertakeing, for though their have not bin wanteinge endeavours to promote and encourage discontents, and those not a few, yet have through mercy bin prevented; and wee hope wee left all quiett, and in a peaceable posture. At our returneinge home by Wexforde, wee were informed of some persons, whoe had been liberall in seditious revileinge expressiones against the gouvernment and your highness; and we had just grounde to beleive, that they would have shewed themselves further, if they had hade power. They putt it to the question, whether the present gouvernment were accordinge to the worde of God and their former engagements and declarationes, which as we weer informed was carried in the negative. These officers moste of them weer of late lieutenant general Ludlowe's regiment, and I doubte too much of his spiritt and principle. Wee shall be carefull in useinge our utmoste to finde out the truthe of the business. Wee have brought lieut. coll. Scott, whoe was the ringlader, prisoner with us, and wee hope to let them see, that gouvernment is not to be played witheall by applyinge punishments suiteable to such distempers, when other meanes will not prevaile. Wee have done all the justice they could aske, and therefore we may have the more satisfaction in beareinge our witness against such disorders. I hope the Lord will enable me to be faithfull to the trust reposed in me, and accordinge to my talent to discharge it, and that without giveing any just occasion of offence to any of the people of God; which I may say through his grace have endeavoured to avoide, and I hope it is uppon my harte soe to continue. Your highness cannot but be sensible, that by reason of my youthe and inabillitie, that my tryalls and temptations are too greate for me, as well as my employment. The Lord keep my harte low under the sence of it, that my dependance may be wholly uppon hime for strength and wisedome, and that I may be allwayes founde faithfull to his interest and the interest of those, whome he hath owned, and by which your highness familly enjoy the present mercyes.
Other thinges of publique concernment will bee presented to your highness by my
brother Fleetwoode. I shall not further trouble your highness, but remaine
Dublin, October 9, 1655.
Your highness most obedient sonne,
H. Cromwell to secretary Thurloe.
Vol. xxxi. p. 105.
Beinge in a corner of the nation, I was prevented in writeinge the last week. Wee have through the goodness of God setled our disbanded men in a good posture uppon their severall lotts, though not without some difficulty and some appearance of disturbance, which is nowe over.
Wee earnestly desire to heare frome you concerning the recruite of souldiers you writte to us aboute to be sent the West Indies. I have writte my oppinion to you severall times aboute it, and therefore at this time shall only minde you of returneing your answeer. Wee have hitherto kept such of the disbanded, as would not plante, frome disperseinge or otherwaies disposeinge of them, to our great charge and trouble, that we might be readie to answer your designe. Pray, sir, speed away your resolution. As for the girles, you may bee confident to have what you desire in as shorte a time, as you can expect. Wee shall wante noethinge but your authoritie for the doeinge of it. Wee suppose you will make provision of clothes and all other accommodation for them. I thanke you for your care of mee in gettinge my pay settled in the establishment, as allsoe ane additionall supply for my present charge, without which I coulde not subsist in the condition I am in. Let me desire you to minde us as to the councill heer. Wee muste be all present, or else we can doe noethinge which is a verry harde taske. Thankes be to the Lord, all is well heer. I am,
Dublin, October 9, 1655.
Your truly affectionate freind,
and humble servant,
H. Cromwell to secretary Thurloe.
Vol. xxxi. p. 129.
Since the closeinge my packquett, I received yours, and have not time to answer perticularly to what you writte. I see you have made some progress aboute the girles; but truly wee cannot give you our opinions what allowance will be competent for makeing provision for their transportation, but shall endeavour by the next.
I see their is noe resolution taken about the souldiers, nor like to bee suddenly; you will not have the like opportunitie, if the present advantage of our disbanded men be slipt. Wee keep them from disperseinge, though with some difficulty and charge. Wee cannot keep them much longer without further directiones, and a supply of money for them. Pray, sir, speed his highness's commands concerninge it. You may see I am in haste. I remaine
October 10. 55. Dublin.
Your faithfull freind,
Secretary Thurloe, to H. Cromwell, major-general of the forces in Ireland.
In the possessession of the right honorable the earl of Shelburn.
I did hope to have given your lordship an account by this post of the buissines of causinge younge wenches and youths in Ireland to be sent into the West-Indies; but I could not make thinges readye. The comittee of the counsell have voted 1000 girles, and as many youthes be taken up for that purpose; and that there be a summe of money for each head allowed for the clothinge of them, and other necessaryes to the water-side. What that summe shal be, is left to the counsell, to whom this will be reported to-morrow morneinge. Some speake of 13 s. 4 d. others of 20 s. I should be glad to heare what you thinke of it in Ireland.
That of the souldyers will require longer consideration, as drawinge with it a greater charge; although I thinke it is of the greater necessitie. His highness is somwhat uncerteyne in his health, which makes the dispatches of this nature the flower.
I should be glad fitt persons could be found out heere to be of the counsell in Ireland. It is the difficultest matter wee have to doe, as your lordshipe well knowes. Now that my lord deputie is come, it may be some persons may be thought of; but he doth not come to the counsell as yet.
Wee are like to have an open warre with Spayne, it beinge confirmed by the letters of
this weeke from St. Sebastian, that our merchants estates are seised, and their persons imprisoned. Wee have heard nothinge from generall Blake these five weekes, nor of the
Spanish fleet, which was set forth to guard their plate ships, who, for ought we yet heare,
will yet winter in the West-Indies, which seemes to be true by general Pen's owne relation,
who certainly lest them behind hym, and after he understood where they were, and probablye in his power. Wee have concluded a peace with France, and the articles will be
signed this weeke. I have not else to trouble your lordship with, but rest
Your lordship's most humble,
and faithfull servant,
Resolution of the states general.
Jovis, October 21, 1655. [N. S.]
Vol. xxxi. p. 139.
Received a letter from the college of admiralty at Amsterdam, writ there the 19th of this month, containing an answer to their high and mighty lordship's letter of the of the same month, and the advice given upon the order by the college of the admiralty in Zealand to Cornelis Everts, designed with a squadron of four ships to ply in the mouth of the channel and the narrow sea of France, concerning the law, which is to be used upon the Turky pirates, which they chance to take in the said sea; whereupon being debated, it is resolved that all the states ships meeting with any such pirates in the channel, or that dare to come on this side of the cape Finis-terre, if they chance to take them as aforesaid, they shall use the right of drowning of them without favour, in conformity to their high and mighty lordships resolution of the 21st of October 1651; only a good distinction is to be made between the Turky pirates of Algiers or other places, and those of Sallee, with whom this state hath made a treaty of peace.
A letter of intelligence.
Vol. xxxi. p. 141.
My lords, the states general see their commerce of the Baltic sea in danger, and do find themselves press'd to declare a war against Sweden, which is for them a very hard necessity, for these provinces for their trade will observe the precept of St. Paul, cum omnibus bontinibus pacem habentes. The Switzers, who thought themselves far enough free from all troubles, do now find themselves ready to take up arms (the catholics against the protestants) about a difference, which is risen between the canton of Schwitz and that of Zurich, by reason that some particular inhabitants of Schwitz having made themselves Huguenots, and having left the city, they were cited to appear by the magistrates, and upon their refusing to appear, their goods have been seized upon. Those of Zurich to whom they are resorted unto, do threaten to take away the goods of those catholics, that are in their canton, if they misuse the new reformed protestants of Schwitz.
In these provinces, those that have sided with Holland, though good friends of my lord Nieuport, have had this week two signal mortifications; the one, that the city of Amsterdam hath made a splendid reception to the princess dowager of Orange coming from Berlin, and that as well the magistrates as the people did all declare much respect and love for the house of Orange; the other, that the two prisoners for discovering the secrets of the state have received sentence only to be banish'd out of Holland, the one for ever, and the other for ten years. Those lords of Holland are angry with their judges, and accuse them of ignorance, but the business is past. The king of Poland is in the field raising forces to relieve Cracow, which is besieged by the king of Sweden.
I have received orders from our court to return home; so that I expect only orders from the archduke to be gone. In my next I will bid you farewel.
Lord Broghill to the protector.
V. xxxiv. p. 57.
May it please your highnes,
I am commanded by your councell here humbly to acquaint you, that they find by a proclamation published by the commander in cheife here, bearing date the fourth day of May 1654, that for the incouraging of all peaceable and well-effected people, both English and Scots, hee did therein declare, that what damage should be done to the persons or goods of such for their good affections to the publique, the same should be repaired out of the estates of such, as have done the damage, or out of the estates of the friends and harbourers of such wrong doers, or out of the parish, presbytery, or shire, where such wrong was done, in case they did not apprehend the said offenders, or give the English forces such timely notice thereof, that the said offenders might be apprehended by them.
Your highnes councell is likewise informed by the commander in chiefe of your forces here, that in pursuance of this declaration some few Scots gentlemen have (in the late rebellion here) suffered very much in the manifesting of their good affections to the publique; and therefore crave the benefit of the said proclamation. But in regard that for effecting a higher good, articles of warre were given to most of all those, who were in armes, and secured from being questioned for what they had done as souldiers, whilst they were souldiers; and thereby their estates not rendred lyable to that satisfaction, which the said proclamation promised to such sufferers; as alsoe that to looke soe farre backe into the shires and parishes, where the mischiefes have bin done, will rather be of prejudice then advantage; those that have endured as abovesaid are deprived of the promised way of reparation, which will not onely be a violation of engagements to them, but alsoe be a deterring in the future to all those, that may have honesty and zeale for the publique, to evidence it in a way soe ruinous unto themselves. Your highnes councell therefore have esteemed it their duety, both as they conceive it just in itselfe, and may be advantegious to your service here in the consequences thereof, to propose (if noe better way can be sett downe) that the two thousand five hundred pounds, which Mac Cloud is to pay according to his articles with the general, being yet undisposed of, be (by your highnes appointment) imployed towards the equall satisfaction of such, as the generall shall certifie are in all respects comprehended within the said proclamation. And in regard the said summe (five hundred pounds whereof is by the generall's promise assured to a person for a service performed of much higher worth) will be much short of compensating in any reasonable measure the forementioned losses, your said councell have comanded me humbly to informe you, that there are some very few persons, who are not under articles, whose estates therefore may justly be made lyable to the making up, in some good porportion, those defects; and therefore humbly desire, that your highnes would be pleased to take the same into consideration, and give your order therein, as it shall seem to you just and reasonable; whereby though the satisfaction promised is not given in the same way and in the full measure promised, yet when satisfaction is given in some some fort in another way equivalent, and in a proportion as large as the publique good of the countrey can admitt, it will not onely cause those imediately concerned therein to acquiesce and rest satisfied therewith, but alsoe let all the nation see, how tender a regard there is to publique promises, and how great a care there is to recompense all that are loosers for their good affections and obedience, which probably will produce the desired effect, and make all persons of honesty serve you in the future without feare, and others upon the accompt of the interests, which they will see is much more like to suffer by their rebellion then by living obediently under your government. All which your highnes councell have thought fitt the rather to lay befor you, because by your highnes order to the generall hee has bin impowered and authorized to cause inquiry to be made (by examination upon oath) of the losses of all such, who have suffered according to the before mentioned declaration, which (being done) does give all those concerned therein a just ground to expect reparation, especially the said order being granted since the articles of warre were given, which exempted those that had done the mischiefe from making good the promised satisfaction out of their estates.
Edinburgh, October 11. 1655.
Your highnes most humble and
most faithfull servant,
Mr. Longland, agent at Leghorn, to secretary Thurloe.
Vol. xxxi. p. 166.
I hav this week received letters from Allicant of the 12th of the present October, that the Spanish and French fleet off Cattalonia hav had a brush without any great damage to ether; yet som say the Spanyard had the worst, in respect that they retyred into Cartagena, and the French keep the sea. This is the Naples fleet, which is advysed to be desyned to join with the Cales fleet that attends general Blak; but I hope generall Blak wil hav fouht and beaten them, befor this coms up. The Jewes both in this place and Venis hav letters from Lisbon, that generall Blak was retyred in thether to avoyd the Spanish fleet, and would not stur out till som succour cam to him from Ingland; upon which newes al men forbear lading on our ships, espetially such as ar bownd out of the Streits; for the Spanyard intends to keep a fleet ther to tak al our ships, that com in or out. I should be glad to hear of another good army going for the West-Indyes befor the French and Spanyard agree; which the pope extreamly labours to bring about, and then the Spanyard wil be able to send many men thether, and fortefy themselves. You wil se by the inclosed what passes at Rom. I am,
Octob. 22. 1655. [N. S.]
Your most faithful servant,
Inclos'd in the preceding letter.
Rome, October 16. 1655. [N. S.]
The pop has bôht of prince Pamsillio a most gallant coach made by Innocent the tenth for his litle nephew, which his hollines intends shal serv for a field-coach for the queen of Sweden, besyds another sumptuous coach for the citty, with a litter and sedan; all which is provyded and purposly made to honor that greate princes at Rom in al things possible. His hollines has lykwys desynd four chois and princepal ladyes continually to wait upon and serv her majesty, to say, the princes Rottano and Bottero, the dutches of Cerri and Mattei.
The pope has lykwys dispacht this week monsig. Luca Ostend, an Inglishmen, great master of the apostolik library in the Vattican, to be present at Inspruck at the function or ceremonyes used, when the queen maks herself a catholik. Also yesterday rid post thether, by the pope's order, the Lantgrav of Hessen for an assistant to the queen.
Letters from London advyse the protector was dead in three dayes sicknes by som indisposition in his stomak; but rather, as others say, he has bin poysoned.
The great succes of the Swed in Polland being displesing to the Hollander, thos states resolv to send 30 ships of war to maintain the fre comerce of Danzig, the rather becaus the protector has prepared 16 stout ships, to serv the Swed, with whom he is in legue, and sends him large supplyes of moneys too, that when Polland is reduc't, they may fal upon the empyre, together with the other collegated protestants, calling this the war of religion, wherin they wil do theyr to utmost set up a protestant of king Romans.
In the consistory last monday the pop discourst very largly of the troubles in Polland; which kingdom is now al in the Swed's power. Wherefor 'twas now hyh tym to assist the emperor, that the enemy mak no progres into Germany, which is very fear'd.
The emperor has sent the earl of Stasumberg with commission to represent unto al the princes of Germany the true state of things, and the danger that hangs over them; as also to understand the mynd and opinion of each, that they may unytedly prepare for theyr comon defence.
A letter of intelligence.
Cleve, Octob. 22. 1655. [N. S.]
Vol.xxxi. p. 164.
They write from Konisberg, that Octob. 8. his electoral highness was in person at Preushmark, but his army lay inquartered about Riesenburg, consisting of 20 thousand men effective, all of levied soldiers, with a most gallant artillery. The trained bands of Prussia have taken a new oath, and having been mustred, are counted 30 thousand men in number. Thus you see what a brave army is brought together in those parts; for they are resolved, if Poland should be lost, to oppose the Swedish proceedings, and not to submit to their yoke. The waywod of Pomerollen, with two other waywods more, are come in likewise to the elector of Brandenburg, promising to pay a considerable part of his army. The Prussian and the electoral states are assembled at Marienburgh, and have not ended their consultations how to put the whole country into a posture of defence against the Swedes. It's said that the king of Sweden hath summoned all the Polish senators and waywods to a parliament to be kept at Warsaw, stiling himself king of Poland, and causing monies to be coined with his picture upon it. It seems those of great Poland cannot abide the new Swedish government; for they have gathered together a body of three thousand men consisting of gentlemen, clergy, and countrymen, which kill promiscuously all sorts of people, whom they meet withall in a German habit; besides they have surprized several petty towns, putting all the Swedish garrisons to the sword. Last friday the old princess of Orange passed through this town, having reconciled some differences, and settled a good correspondencie between the states of these countries. Secretary Kittelman, who was sent from the elector of Brandenburgh to the great duke of Muscovy, is returned with good satisfaction, having brought along with him letters of protection, written at large upon a stately parchment, in reference to the dukedom of Pruslia. The Muscovites, above 100000 in number, are retreated towards Smolensko, leaving behind them some thousands of men that spoil and burn the whole countrie, that in case any should come to follow or pursue them, they may find no provision or other subsistence. Vilna, (that great and goodly metropolis) Grodno, and many other towns of Littaw, are horridly defaced, ruinated, or quite laid into ashes. A number of dead corps lying every where unburied, none is able to travell or abide the stench thereof. The whole land is in a manner dispeopled, and nothing but a hideous howling of dogs and other beasts are heard therein. The great duke of Muscovy hath promised to send shortly ambassadors to his electoral highness, having bestowed a rich present upon the foresaid secretary. In a word, all Lithuania, an excellent country, and abounding with all necessaries, is utterly wasted and undone. The Livonian Swedish army is not so strong as was at first reported. They are three miles distant from the Memel, but have exercised as yet no hostilities against the elector's lands or territories. There are great boastings of the Tartarian and Hungarian assistance against the king of Sweden. But the emperor hath no great stomach, for ought we can perceive, to intermedle with those Swedish-Polonian affairs; also the elector of Bavaria hath utterly dissuaded the same.