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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April (6 of 7)
A letter of intelligence.
Paris, May 2, 1656. [N. S.]
Vol. xxxvii. p. 593.
I Heare from a very good hand, and from a very religious and zealous man, who had it at the princesse of Orange's court, of those that are the chiefest about her, that the king of Spain having received the pretended king of Scots, (whom they say, the king of France hath forsaken) he hath ordered 50000 livres monthly for his dyet, and hath further appointed a convenient maintenance to every nobleman of his retinue, besides the confiscation of the goods and merchandizes, which shall be taken from the English, which is likewise wholly granted unto him. He is further to have the government of Ostend, Dunkirk, Gravelines, and Mardick, as they say, which (think they) will rouze up the spirits of all his adherents in England, who in all likelihood will not lose time in promoting his interest, when they shall see him to be so potent upon their own borders. However this be, it is confidently thought, that the chiefest end of the princess of Orange her coming hither hath been for endeavouring to work a breach of the peace between England and Holland, in which design if she doth not succeed, it is said, that she will retire into Zealand, which province being wholly devoted to her, she doth not doubt, but that she shall prevail so far, as to get her son declared prince of Zealand. I leave these advices and the consequence of them to your consideration. The retardment of the coming of the envoy from England hither, of whom upon a sudden we heard not a word, hath made many believe, that there was something in it more than they knew, and that the peace was not so firmly settled between England and France, which doth trouble many; but we hope better.
Alexander the Vth, pope, to the illustrious and venerable assembly of the French clergy in Paris, health and apostolical blessing.
Venerable brethren, this holy see doth hope great and excellent good of your piety and singular vertue; and I do not believe your designs to be other, but such as we have hitherto known, namely very useful and very earnest for the increase of God's glory in the church, by the example you give in the administration of your charges among your several flocks. Therefore I do not doubt, but that you are all gathered together chiefly with that sincere intention to examine and seriously to take heed to whatsoever may concern religion and the dignity of the church, wherein every one of you in particular is very diligent and equally careful. But as your zeal and affection for the preserving of the house of God, the heavenly Jerusalem, makes you extremely praise worthy; so I likewise pray unto God, that you might take much to heart one thing alone, that may deliver Chri stendom from so many miseries and calamities, wherewith it is now overwhelmed and oppressed; namely, that you would carefully and incessantly be instant with the most Christian king, (who among his heroick perfections is of himself much inclined to the peace and the good of his subjects) and pray him to grant them this their so long desire, which they have sought for by their vows and continual prayers, and to lay the obligation of that unparallelled benefit, not only upon France, but upon the whole Christendom. I hope you will do your best for the obtaining of it, and that therein you will use as much diligence, as we do most ardently wish and desire, and thereby you will infinitely encrease your love and affection to the holy see, who will eternally remember the same. Do ye therefore work therein; do ye now work for the church and for the welfare and preservation of the whole world. And I do impart unto you the apostolical blessing. Given at Rome in St. Peter's palace under the seal of the fisher, the 20th day of March 1656, in the first year of our prelacy.
A letter of intelligence.
De Paris le 2/22 May/Avr. 1656.
Vol. xxxvii. p. 605.
L'Ordinaire de Rome n'estant point encore arrivé, on n'en peut dire aucune nouvelle, mais le bruit court sans aucune apparence, que le duc de Modene est fort follicité de se liguer avec les autres princes d'Italie, sans qu'on dise a quelle fin.
Ces jours passes le roy estant avec le prince Luyenne, S. M. fist quelques propositions du mariage de mademoiselle Mancini avec le prince; & aux eloges, que S. M. fist de ses belles qualitez & de la protection, qu'elle luy promettoit, ce prince a rendu un remerciement tres respectueux, & dit, qu'estant fils de famille, il ne pouvoit former aucune inclination fans en donner advis a sa mere, & a leurs altesses de Savoye, adjoustant, qu'il s'estimeroit heureux de posseder les bonnes graces de mademoiselle Mancini, & qu'il n'oubliroit rien pour les cultiver.
Quatres compagnies des gardes Suisses sont partis pour aller du coste de Piemond; ou on dit, que sera cette année le fort de la guerre, mesme on a changé les ordres, qui avoyent esté donnes pour le Pays-Bas, & on prepare quantité de munitioné de guerre pour la compagne a l'arsenal.
On tient l'affaire du parlement comme accommodée, & on dit que les exiles reviendront, a la reserve de monsieur Thalon, & que monsieur de Monteauglan sera mis en liberté: on croit aussy que la declaration des monnoyes sera veriffié au parlement. On parle du mariage de mademoiselle Anne Mancini avec le duc de Parme, mais on dit que le duc de Florence y forme quelque empeschement.
Le roy est a Vincenne depuis samedy, S. M. doit bien tost aller à Amiens affin de donner les ordres necessaires pour entretenir un petit corps d'armée en Flandre, capable de faire diversion & conserver nos conquestes durant la campagne. On mande de Suisse que les querelles d'Allemans, que les protestans font tous les jours aux catholiques a la persuasion des estrangers, pourront bien donner lieu a quelques nouvelles brouilleries.
Monsieur le duc d'Orleans & madame estant arrives a Bourbon ont escrit des lettres de compliment a mademoiselle sur leur reconciliation, & on croit que cette princesse ira bien tost voir leur A. R. aux eaues encore bien que leur entreveüe fust remise a leur retour a Blois, a cause qu'elles y seront plus long temps qu'a l'ordinaire, le mauvais temps en ayant fort retardé la saison.
La sepmaine passée 4 vaisseaux des Indes arriverent a St. Malo chargez de lingotz, pour plus de 3 millions pour les marchands Francois interessez dans la flotte d'argent arrivée en Espagne.
La fievre tierce ayant donné quelque soulagement a monsieur Thalon il a pris la route de Sedan, d'ou le sieur Faber qui en est governeur est venu en ceste ville avec toute sa famille, & a esté bien receu a la cour.
Le reyne d'Angleterre a eu advis du roy son fils, que les Espagnolz luy ont promis un appœnage de 3 ou m/400 1. outre la confiscation des vaisseaux Anglois.
Monsieur le cardinal à retiré sa parole, & ne songe plus a donner une de ses niepces à monsieur le grand maistre, parce qu'il a voulu choisir & preferer mademoiselle Ortonse (qui a este promis au duc de Bouillon) a mademoiselle Marie, dont monsieur le mareschal de la Meilleraye est fort touché.
Le roy à promis aux princes Lorrains, d'avoir soin de leur maison, & de recoignoistre les services des troupes Loraines. Le comte de Ligneville & les autres officiers ont donné asseurance a S. M. par escrit de leur fidelité.
Vendredy les gens du roy furent au Louvre; monsieur le procureur general porta seul la parolle, & doit demain faire son raport à l'assemblée de la response, qui luy à esté faite: elle est fort secrete.
On fait choix des hauts officiers qui doivent servir en Italie, le comte de Broglio commandera en chef, sous le duc de Modenne, monsieur de Valavoir & les autres qui seront nommes soubs le comte, le marquis de St. André soubs le duc de Mercoeur, le baron de Canilac & messieurs de Pienne & de Refuge, qui ont eu soin autre fois, avec ce marquis font difficulté de luy obeir & de le recognoistre pour chef, & quand les armées seront en Lombardie, le duc de Modenne sera generalissime, & en Piemont le duc de Mercoeur.
Messieurs de clergé ont ordre de ne point voir mr. le nonce, & de faire telle responce au pape, que l'assemblée jugera a propos.
Mr. Morland to secretary Thurloe.
Geneva, April 22, 1656.
Vol. xxxvii. p. 301.
I Have received this afternoone yours of the 10th April, together with the inclosed answer of mr. Chamberlaine, touching the account, which I lately sent, and the accord, which I lately made, for the which I returne your honour most humble thanks, and in answer whereunto:
First, I cast myselfe in all humilitie at the feete of his highnesse, and the right honorable the members of the councell, professing and pleading the innocency and uprightnesse of my intentions in the execution of all their commands ever since I have been employed in their service.
In the 2d place, I humbly rely upon their goodnesse for a favourable interpretation of my poor endeavours; as also that they would bee pleased to consider, that my education has not been such, as to render mee capable to dive in a weeke's or month's time into all the secret misteries of merchants affaires.
Thirdly, I humblie beg your honour's patience till the next post, (there being so few houres between my receiving your honour's letter, and writing an answer, besides mr. Chamberlain's papers are somthing long) against which time I shall prepare such a reply, as I trust shall give satisfaction, at least as touching the integrity of my proceedings.
In the meane time my onely comfort is, that as I have testimonie of a good conscience towards God in all these things, so have I to doe with righteous and upright men for my judges, who will heare first what I can plead for my justification, before they passe their sentence against mee. And also when they shall find, that I have failed, will distinguish betweene sins of infirmitie and wilfulnesse.
I am much incouraged, that your honour likes the method of my history (fn. 1). The work
I find will swell into a great folio, and by consequence take up much time: however, I
should not doubt to finish it within a month, and to the full satisfaction of the curious
reader, did not feares and discouragments of this nature almost daily indispose my mind,
and breake my spirit. I beseech your honour to be pleased to consider, whither it bee not
enough to breake any young beginner's heart, when hee has laboured with all his might,
and spent many wearysome houres in an employment of this nature, to be in continuall
feare to become obnoxious to wrath of men, and to loose in reputation meerely because
his actions, which his conscience and the rules of equitie dictate unto him, crosse their
privat gain or interest. But it has been the portion of those, amongst whome I am not
worthy to be named. And the good providence of the righteous has a hand in all these
things; and I most willingly submit unto his good pleasure, and remaine in all sincerity,
Right honourable, your most humble and most faithfull servant,
I shall likewise, God willing, the next weeke give your honour an account concerning the 2000 l. sterl. to be sent to the Valleys. I tooke order for it some time agoe, butt here being some difficulties about what species would be most commodious for the poor people, there has been some hindrance, for as much as I could not proceed without an answer from Grenoble. For the other 5000 l. I beseech your honour to beleive, that there is noe need to feare it in the least maner endangered. The next weeke I shall give you a more cleare and full account of all things.
I am unknown to his highnesse and most of the councell, and have no freind in this world, that I dare open my mind to in this thing, but your honour. I cannot but feare from this your honour's letter to Apr. that in probability I shall bee revoked with disgrace for this thing, (according to the contents of mr. Stoupe's letter, which I lately sent you,) and if so, God almighty fitt mee for another world, for I shall never enjoy myself in this. I humblie beg your honour to have some respect to the tendernesse of my melancholy temper, and not to suffer mee to perish so miserably. Your honour little knowes, how these things work upon mee, and gnaw upon my spirit. I can safely say, that I have hardly taken a good night's rest this 4 months, being continually tormented and terrefied, when others sleepe, with jealousies and feares, that I should not give satisfaction, though I can and doe still plead the uprightinesse and sincerity of my mind and heart in all my transactions, so farre as to justifye mee before men; neither am I guiltie to myselfe of any designe or premeditated guile or fraude. I confesse, your honour mentions the reason of my recalling to bee, because yourselfe has need of mee. Were I sure to be acquitted of this thing, and not to become an offence to good men, and a scorne to wicked, I should long for nothing more then to come home immediately, and lay out myselfe wholly in your honour's service.
A letter of intelligence.
Vol. xxxvii. p. 590.
Wee have so little newes in these parts, that I have nothing worthy the communicating. Wee have no certayntie out of Poland, nor has there any engagement as yet happenned. Certaynly the Poles ayme onely at tyreing of the Swedes, beeing they content themselves in observing of them at a distance. Dantzicke is the marke levelled at, but impossible without a total ruine of the Sarmatick party to be reduced to reason, and rather then submitt to the Gothish king, itt may bee they will implore and obteyne the Hollanders protection. The men of Dantzick last week 12 or 1300 strong, 6 guns, spades, mattocks, and other the like militarie necessaries, went in procession to stopp up the breach in the Wysselbanck, which they without losse of any thing but their paynes effected. They were but returned, and Te Deum scarcily finished, when an unhappy messenger brought them an alarme, and word, that the Swedes, those Penolopean desciples, had unravilled what with so much solemnity was spun the day before. In a word, the river runs through that vast hiatus, as at first, which if it had not bin low this yeare to a miracle, might have very much incommodated the Dantzick pepper bags. These quarters are full of the new change the parlament is about to introduce in England, but you are silent, which will oblige me to be so to, because I dare not presume a harmless correspondence worth your notice. Pray commend mee to my friends, and let mee at least know, whether you will send mee the cloth and necessaries, I writ for, or no. If I were sure Jacke was in towne, he should heare from me, but neither hee nor Frank are kind. Bee not you soe, but love alwayes, deare sir,
May 2, [1656. N. S.]
Your most affectionat and faythfull servant.
Lord Broghill to secretary Thurloe.
Vol. xxxvii. p. 582.
In my last of the 15th instant, in answer to your commands of the 8th instant, I promised to endeavour to get som active priest or papist to be your intelligencer at Madrid, which accordingly I have industriously prossecuted, and shall now trouble you with my proceedinges and success therein. Ther is one sir James Mac Donnell, head of that clan and name in Scotland, who is a sober rationall man, and one who has alreddy done us good service. His forefathers were all zealous papists, but he a protestant, of a greate and unintangled estate, and therfore verry unlikely to desyne new troubles, beinge like to loose more therby then to gaine. I have thought, he might be in all respects the fittest man to be instrumental to procure such an intelligencer. I sent for him therfore, and haveinge spent som time with him in that business, he at length told me, he was confident he could serve me therin; for he would freely confess to me, ther were two field officers of his name, though not of his religion, which had left their wives and children for their safety in an island of his, in the remotest parts of all Scotland, and were now come from Spayne to remoove them, lest the begun quarrel might render any residence of theirs in any port of this commonwealth unsafe; and that he knew thes men would serve him with their lives and fortunes in any designe; but withall sayd, that he knew noething in the world could hire them to be intelligencers to me, but they should be his intelligencers; and whatever they sent him, he would forthwith dispatch it away to me; that he would pre vayle with them not to remoove their families out of his iland into Flanders, both as better hostages of their faithfull dealinge, and better spurs to their dilligence in the employment.
Tho' indeed I have a good confidence in sir James, both upon what the generall has assured me of him, and what I have my selfe observed, and possibly would upon either of thos accounts trust him upon my owne particular concernements; yet in what relates to the publike I ought to have, and still shall have, more caution, then in what touches my selfe. And therfore both as the nature of the thinge it self did require, and that we might not be at any man's mercy, to impart what he thought fitt, and conceale what he would of that intelligence, which his highnes payse for; I told him, that I did very much approove, that the person he should imploy for intelligence should only know, that it was for himself alone they were to send it, as that which perhaps would make them more free and more diligent; but since the life of intelligence consisted in the early and timely knowledge of intelligences, that if all adverticements come first from Madrid to the utmost north part of Scotland, and from thence to me to Edinbrough, and so to you to London, it would probably loose its name, before it arrived at that place, wher any true improvement might be made of it. That therfore to avoyde their knowinge their intelligence was for you, and that you might also timely receive it, I proposed, that some papist in London (who you might trust) might be the man, to whom all the packets might be adrest, makeinge the intelligencers beleeve, that papist was sir James's correspondent, and would hasten hither to him all the said forreene letters; which then you might open and peruse, and then transmitt them downe to me, to be sent to sir James, that he might now and then send his answer, the better to palliate the business; as also that at the same time he might send to such intelligencers such instructions, as from time to time you would have them observe in matters, after which they should more expressly and particularly inquire. This sir James has willingly assented unto; but I told him, in regard thos he designed to send were only officers in the Spannish army, and that possibly the duty of their imployments would, especially all the summer, consine them to the feild, they might not be soe proper and fitt to give intelligence of the designes and councills at the Spannish court, as som ingenious preist or Jesuit, who by the priveledge of his callinge might still reside ther, and be intimately conversant with som of the great ones; espetially if any true agreement be made between C. S. and that kinge. He told me, he thought he could fit me also in that, for just as he came from home, a Jesuit of his name was come out of Italy thither, who he thought, upon the account of his beinge his owne intelligencer, he could employ to Madrid, espetially our late proclamation makeinge it death to any priest to be found in this kingdom after the day limitted, (which is expired) and that if he can therby engage him, he will be the fittest man immaginable, as well for things relating to Ireland, as for any thing designed against England or Scotland in Spaine. This I very gladly layd hold of, and assured him his highnes by your information should know, and would resent his forwardness in his service. I have dispatched sir James away to his owne home to prepare thinges, and he has left a man on purpose to follow with your answer to me in thes particulars. First, the name and dwelling-house of any reall or supposed papist in London or Westminster, to whom all letters, which com from Madrid, must be directed, and ther taken and perused by you. Secondly, what instructions you will have me give sir James for him to give his intelligencers. 3dly, whether you will have any of the feild officers employed, or the Jesuit only. 4thly, what way you will have them take as most short, whither to go directly from hence to Holland or Flanders, and ther take the first shippinge to Spayne: and, 5thly, what convayance of letters from thence to London wil be the most safe and most expeditious. To all which particulars I beg your positive commands by the next post after the receipt of this.
I have engaged a papist heere, that is one of my intelligencers, to gaine me a Jesuit, who is now about Aberdeene, and is a man of much fitness for such a worke, if he can be woon; and of that, I shall not be able to give you an answer this 3 weekes.
Ther is a captain imployed betweene C. S. and som verry emminent men heer, and that verry lately, and now is returninge again with letter or messages from hence, which the last weeke I gave mr. Dan. Drummon soe to beseidge and court, that he has woone him for me; and he has already confest what is of good importance, which I have taken my selfe in writinge; but I have sent him for more; and as soone as he returnes, you shall have a full account of all, and noe time nor dilligence shal be lost therin; for if this knowledge be as well discovered and broken as Glencarne's was and is, I trust we shall have noe troubles in Scotland for som yeers.
One great man of this country now with you, I hope to proove, had a great hand in
the last rebellion heer, how smooth soever he has carried, and does carry it. I shall speak
more cleerly shortly, or I am much mistaken. I feare this longe letter will tire you. I
am sure it has tyred me; but I think in things of this nature and to your selfe I cannot
be too particular. If I err in this opinion, you may conclude 'tis not designedly, because 'tis not done with ease; and therfore I hope you will the sooner pardon it in
Your most affectionat and most faithfull humble servant,
Edenb. April 22, 56.
Major general Haynes to secretary Thurloe.
Vol. xxxvii. p. 611.
Haveing lately received an intemation from mr. Stonham and mr. Woodall of Woodbridge of their desire to speak with my selfe before their meeting, which is on the morrow, occasioned by a message I sent them by mr. Weeks of Ipswich, I purpose, God willing, to goe to them, to heare what they have to say; and have prevayled with mr. Bridge, mr. Atkin, major Woolmer, and some other persons eminent in the churches in these parts, to meet me at Harliston the place of their meeting this night: when mett, there shall not wantt any endeavour of myne possible to prevent, if it may be, their insnaring themselves, which they cannot avoyde by such an exercitation as they call it, which now I have a coppie of, and purpose to remitt to your honnor or his highness the next oppertunyty, when I have compared it with their originall. Truly the churches heere are verie free from such practises, save that at North Walsham, and some few, I thinke seven or eight, members of several churches, that are breaking from their several relations uppon the account of anababtisme, some of them have alreadie taken up that ordinance, and all the rest engaged in that principle, as well as the 5th monarchie. I hope it may be a token for good, that God hath soe farr disposed them to councell; yet dare I not promyse my selfe much from them, their impulses of spiritt being their sole reason, and the dictates of their spiritt, the guide of their actions; who also through a misguided zeale call that generation-worke, which in verie truth is but the sinne of the generation. If it shall please God by any meanes to undeceive them, for which end mainly this meeting is pursued, I am perswaded it will tend much to the honner of God, and further establishment of the churchs heere, which shal be the dayly prayer of, sir,
Windham, April 231 1656.
Your honnor's most humble servant,
Soe soone as the meetinge is over, I shall give his highness the account thereof.
The Dutch embassadors in Denmark to the states general.
Copenhagen, May 4/14, 1656.
Vol. xxxvii. p. 621.
High and mighty lords,
Your high and mighty lordships commands of the 27th of the last month, with the inclosed instruction for the lord lieutenant admiral Opdam, are come safe to hand, and we shall govern our selves according to the same in all dutiful obedience. We were this week, at the civil offer of his majesty, to view the fleet; and we do find in the same 13 or 14 great ships, which if need be, can be ready in a few days, by reason that there are above 1500 mariners at hand in this city and in service, and can send for a far greater number from other places of this kingdom in a short time; and they can easily provide them with provisions, by reason of the plenty here without any loss of time.
Of the Swedish equipage is great silence. We shall endeavour to give your high and mighty lordships some further information of the same by the next. Here is nothing done in publick affairs. We have been to salute the lord rycks chancellor Urne, whom we find to be very much affected to the state of your high and mighty lordships.
Col. Lockhart to secretary Thurloe.
Vol. xxxvii. p. 615.
I Received yours by mr. Lamb, and shall have a care of him. This morning I ame going aboard the frigott. I thank God for it, we have the wind fair, and the weather seems to promise us a speedie and safe passage. By the first opportuniti from France, I shall give you the troble to hear from me, and shall say no more now, but that I ame exceedinglie oblidged to be, right honorable,
Ry, April 24, [1656.]
Your most faithfull and affectionat humble servant,
Sir, my brother is going for Scotland, (if yow juige it fitt) I humblie beg the signett may be delyvered to him. He will also carrie the other seals, if it be thought convenient.
Mr. Theod. Haak to secretary Thurloe.
Vol. xxxvii. p. 337.
May it please your honour,
I Received the enclosed paper with your honour's letter but yesternight. The sorts and conditions of people therein specified ought perhaps to be more exactly Englished, especially some of them, which being peculiar to Austria, I am not so well acquainted with them. I hope your honour received my letter last week, with the papers from the senat of Hamburg, and the advice from Courland, that the Swedes would fain deal for those ships formerly offered, but that the duke stayes still for a resolution from hence. I am
April 24, 1656.
Your honour's most humble and obedient servant, Theodore Haak.
Inclos'd in the preceding. The general rate of the bodie tax (or pole money) in Austria below the river of Ens.
Vol. xxxvii. p. 341.
To Nieuport, the Dutch embassador in England.
Amsterdam, May 5, 1656. [N. S.]
Vol. xxxvii. p. 637.
The vice-admiral de Ruyter is arrived in Zealand, being come from Cadiz with 7 men of war and 30 merchant men richly laden, for which, God be praised: here is extraordinary joy shewn for their arrival.
We have here also advice, that there hath happened at Constantinople and Aleppo great revolts and massacres.—I am sorry I cannot advise your lordship the catastrophe of what we expect to morrow; that is, the retreat of the Swedes out of Poland, who, according to the opinion of many, have left their king dead behind them; but others say he is still alive. The certainty of all we expect to morrow.
Hague, May 5, 1656. [N. S]
Vol. xxxvii. p. 641.
Those of Dantzick will still have the king of Sweden to be dead; but there are others, that contradict it, and those of Vienna make no mention of it, whereof they ought not to be ignorant. The resident of Sweden here saith, that he had a letter from the king of the 29th and 30th of March, dated at Jaroslaw, and that he was arrived with his army within ten miles of Warsaw. During this diversity of advices I will take heed to precipitate my belief. The states here are not well satisfied with the detention of their embassadors at Lauwenburgh by the commander of the place, having order not to let any one to pass. You may very well conjecture, that they would make that to pass here for a breach of the laws of nations. There hath come no news from them of late, nor from those parts. They hope here, now de Ruyter is arrived with good store of silver, that they shall be able to furnish their fleet with men for the Baltick sea.
The embassadors of this state at Copenhagen have signified in an audience before the king and his council the intentions of the lords states here, not to enter into any alliance without foregoing communication, and conjunctly with his majesty, to whom they also signified the order, which the states had given to sound the final resolution of the lord protector concerning the affairs of the Baltick sea.
The town of Aix is burnt down by a fire.
A letter of intelligence from the Hague.
This 29th of April, 1656. [N. S.]
Vol. xxxvii. p. 517.
Upon the contents of the letter of the king of Poland writ to the states general a conference is to be held with the commissioners of Dantzick, and afterwards a project of answer will be made in very civil terms.
There was this morning a conference with the ministers of Brandenburgh, who did repeat almost the same things, which they formerly represented, that the elector was forced to do as he did; that the great cities would not enter into a league with him; that the king of Poland was out of his kingdom, &c. that however he had a care not to do any thing to the prejudice of this state, and offereth his interposition between this state and Sweden.
The letters of Warsaw of the 1/11 of April do in the end confess, that the marquiss of Tourlach, with the body which he commands, is routed and defeated. Also the king himself was retreated, and had past the Weixell with loss; although the Swedes say, that he hath taken some standards from the Polanders.
Those of Brandenburgh say, that the letter of the king of Poland of the 2d of March to the states general was invented and pen'd here or at Dantzick upon a blank subscrib'd; but if that be (which is not likely) the contriver of it did very ill to represent the Muscovite as an enemy, for he is held to be reconciled with Poland, and that he will break against the Swedes in Livonia.
The embassadors of this state are stopt at Lauwenburgh some 10 miles from Dantzick. It is supposed, that it is by reason they have besieged and block'd up that place, and that they dare not let any body pass without leave of the king. Otherwise it would be a barbarous act to stop embassadors.
The conference, which was to be held to day between the ministers of Brandenburgh and the commissioners of this state, is defer'd. The lord of Merode made report, that the commissioner of Dantzick did declare to him yesterday some kind of sorrow and trouble, that the embassadors of this state were stopt at Lauwenburgh; whereupon is resolved, that the lord of Merode is to go and recompliment the said commissioner; and give him thanks.
A memorandum was read of the lord embassador of Spain, containing a complaint, that the mayor of Sas had arrested unjustly an alderman of Ghent for an old debt, contracted during that time, that the states of Flanders had war against the king of Spain. Upon which the lord Ripperda said, that in Westphalia there were also several having the like action and pretence against this state; and if for that those of Overyssel were liable to arrests, the same would be a cause, that those of Overyssel durst not go into Westphalia. There hath been a great complaint of certain owners of a ship, which the governor of the Havanna hath taken, whereof the relation is very long, and it will be recommended to the lord of Renswoude.
There hath not yet been any further conference with those of the elector of Brandenburgh.
I do also begin to believe, that the king of Sweden is dead.
The consul of this nation in Alicant hath writ and made complaint, how that the inquisition had invaded his house, making search after his books, which he saith to have been of a very small consideration, except those books of accounts and merchandizes; that they had obliged him to give security not to transport his books. But this is not judged a business of any great consideration.
The merchant having made complaint of his ship taken at the Havanna hath been with the Spanish embassador, where they have given him some hope of restitution, without putting himself to the trouble of going to Spain.
The embassador of Spain hath signified, that he is ready to enter into a conference for an accommodation of the difference about the country of Outremeuse. The lord Huygens is desired to speak to the lord embassador about it.
The commissioners of the elector of Cologne have represented, that they are charged to treat with this state here about an alliance for the defence of the Rhine and countries reciprocally, the one for the other.
The conference with those of the elector of Brandenburgh is to be to morrow.
The ministers of the elector of Brandenburgh have had again a conference with the commissioners of this state. All their endeavour is to prove, that the elector hath not done any thing against the alliance, for that doth not hinder the elector from making his agreement with the Swedes. And as for the raising of the toll, they say that hitherto they cannot complain of it; and that concerning that is not any thing finally determined between the elector and the Swedes. Item, that the nature of an alliance is reciprocal, and that this state here would not have any body to prescribe any laws to them, nor be hindered in the raising of their licenses &c. But this is neither satisfaction nor resolution of the objection.
Those of the elector say, that they desire to cause satisfaction to be given to this state by a good treaty, and that the elector will be a mediator. But this state hath now strong hope, that the fortune of the war will soon redress the business; and that they shall not need either the mediation of the elector, or the treaty with Sweden; but that the Swedes will be glad to be contented with Sweden and their old possessions, which they had before this war.
One Vyane, fiscall of the fleet of vice admiral de Ruyter, being come from the Texell, was this morning in the assembly of the states general, and made report especially of what past in the Channel between the said Ruyter with five ships (two others being straggled from them) and 7 English ships, and how this Vyane himself had been aboard of the English commander, finding the table in the great cabinet spread with hangers, swords, and pistols; and how that the English commander did desire to visit the ships which Ruyter conducted; afterwards to carry them to the Downs. Item, that Ruyter himself would come aboard of him; but Ruyter had denied, and excused as well the one as the other; saying, that in his passage towards the West, Blake had not desired nor proposed any such thing to him, and that he had neither such custom nor order. That the 2d time when the said fiscall came aboard, he found upon the table no arms, but tobacco pipes, and a good glass of wine.
That upon de Ruyter's declaring, that there was not any thing in the fleet, that belonged to the king of Spain, they parted, and de Ruyter made for Holland. De Ruyter hath also brought some information of the ship taken by don Pedro de Zapata, governor of the Havanna, reporting how ill he had used the mariners.
Thereupon is resolved to write an express letter to the king of Spain, not only for the restitution of the ship and reparation of the damage, but also to cause the said don Pedro to be punished.
A letter of intelligence from the Hague.
Vol. xxxvii. p. 629.
They do take very ill here the detention of the embassadors at Lauwenburgh near to Dantzick. I know not the reasons of the Swedes, but I do remember, that the embassador of Spain, although he had a pass, and was come very near to the Hague (in the year 1647) yet at the sole instance of the embassador Servien was diverted and hindered, and sent back to Munster. In the year 1638 the embassador Andreas Rey, sent from the king Uladislaus of Poland to the king of England, was never admitted to audience, in regard that king had married the princess of Austria instead of the princess palatine Elizabeth; whereof however he had only discoursed without any engagement, and although he had engaged himself, the states of Poland would have hindered him from marrying one of any other Religion than the Roman Catholick. In the year 1627 the embassadors of this state sent into Prussia were unworthily used by the king of Poland, and left uncovered, for having spoken to the king of Sweden before him of Poland. And the king of Sweden hindered the embassadors of this state from going to Dantzick, before they had spoken to the king of Sweden. And never would they suffer any embassador to go from hence into Brabant, during the war, without a pass of the state. The queen of Sweden offered her mediation between this state and Portugal in the year 1649. Item, between this state and England in the year 1653, but offered it, not obtruded it: This state did excuse and decline it; that is always the custom, to sound always, if the mediation is acceptable. But at this time this state never sounded that, but at the first time sent thither, and caused an embassy to pass across the countries and forts of the Swedes, to enter into a city, which the Swedes do hold not only for hostile, but as it were besieged; and in the mean time Sweden knoweth, that they equip 48 ships against Sweden.
I should not wonder, if the Swedes do decline the mediation, which is offered and obtruded with arms in their hands. It is true, that the embassadors are instructed not only for the mediation, but also for the proper affairs of this state; but in such a case they ought more to accommodate themselves to make themselves agreeable to him, of whom they hope and demand favour. Now if they come with threatnings, or to tell the Swedes, Si vos non vultis, hæc classis faciet, they ought to have taken another way. They ought to have embarqued themselves in their 48 ships, and to have gone therewith directly to Dantzick.
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Here is a very great joy and rejoycing at de Ruyter's arrival, partly in Zealand, partly in Holland, with the silver from Spain, presupposing, that it will very much vex protector. And henceforward will do all what they can to cross protector not only in that, but in all that doth concern commerce. And as well states general and states of Holland do take it very unworthily, that protector will not conclude the alliance of commerce to the fancy of Holland, and do believe, that protector is obliged to promise that, which states general having promised (in the alliance of commerce made with K. of Spain,) did never observe, and although they conclude the alliance of commerce with protect. states of Holland themselves will not observe it, if interest and necessity doth command.
Those of Brandenburgh at present do also complain, that the states general have obliged them to promise a thing, which the states general themselves would not agree to tye themselves unto, namely, not to raise the licenses or tolls, for states general ought to promise to Brandenburg the same thing.
So that to those of Brandenburg it will be very difficult to justify literally the treaty made
with Sweden, unless by the rule of salus populi, which states general alledged also against France in
making peace with Spain. Those of Brandenburg do wholly endeavour an accommodation between Sweden and states general. I am
May 5, 1656. [N. S.]
Your most humble servant.
P. S. The vice-admiral de Ruyter is arrived, having conducted a good part of the silver fleet, which will be very much to the ease of the Spaniards, and their campaign; and this doth demonstrate a very great joy in the faces of all people here; a very remarkable thing, to see the world so changeable, for heretofore protector and France did help the states general to subsist against Spain; now the states general help Spain to subsist against the protector and France: but the world hath been always subject to that, and it still remains like itself.
Courtin to Bordeaux, the French embassador in England.
Hague, May 5, 1656. [N. S.]
Vol. xxxvii. p. 645.
I Believe they will now believe in England, that the galleons are arrived in Spain, since de Ruyter, who arrived yesterday, brought us a certain confirmation thereof. He came with 7 men of war and 30 merchant men, wherein was laden a great deal of silver, both for the account of merchants here, and in Flanders. It is said, that the mariners of de Ruyter's ships are to be put aboard of those ships, which the state will send to the Baltick sea. They only want mariners, which want indeed is very great, for the merchant men bound for the Baltick sea are gone without them. The reports here about the Swedes are still very uncertain; some say, he [the Pole] had gotten advantages of late over the Swedes, others that he hath been worsted.
The Swedes have stop'd the embassadors of this state at Lawenburgh 10 miles from Dantzick, which they have besieged.
A letter of intelligence to secretary Thurloe.
Vol. xxxvii. p. 347.
These followinge are the havens, that the states men of warr lye the winter in; alsoe the nomber of them in particular, wheare they laie:
Out of which nomber is fitted for the zee 48, which now lie in Zeland, Gowree, and the Ulye, which shall set saile, as 'tis saide, for the Baltick zee to assist Danssicke, assoone as the menn can be raised, who are very hard to be gotten, although all meanes theareunto is losed by faier promises. The states hath commanded out of the infanterie soldiers, as followeth, 9 out of every company in the Hage, 10 of every company in Amsterdam, 8 of a collonels company, 6 of a privat company, in all amounting to the nomber of 1300 for the maning of the foresaid fleet. Sir, my opinion is, that the fleete or most parte of them shall convoye to Cadiz or Caels in Spaine aleven merchant ships, which now ride in the Tassell, bound thether; alsoe to convoie from thence hether comonder de Rutter, who now lieth theare with 8 men of war, takeinge the silver in, that belongeth to the marchants of Amsterdam, Brabant, and Flanders laetly theare arived out of the West Indes, and questionles alsoe monys for provition for the kinge of Spaine's army in Flanders. The 8 men of warr, that de Rutter hath by him, are none of the nomber of the fore mentioned ships.—Sir, the first rate of those have 72, 4 and 6 portholes; the second 60, the third 52: none of these carrie above fortie or fivestie guns, unles the admiral's, which hath mounted in her 72, most eyron. I have understooed by severall zee captins and merchants, that the states have given order to the admirall, not to suffer any of his fleete to be vissited by the Engelish; the reason, because they carrie prohibited goods, as cordidge, pich, tarr, aminition, and armes to Spaine, which are the cheefest marchandise they fetch out of the Eeste and Balticke zee, and beinge hindered theareof, they weare undonn; but rather then to be undonn, they would hassard a warr with his highness; for with purpose they had a fleete of new ships much better then ever they had, which indeede is verie trueth. These wordes I have harde spoken by marchants in Amsterdam, Roterdam, and Flushin, sum of them being in the government of this land. Most scertaine it is, that the majestrates of Amsterdam have since January last sould to the Flemins 300,000 pounds of pouder, besides armes, coerdidge, pich, and tarr. This I was informed of by him, that delivered the powder himselfe pro rato of 4 pounds 14 shillins the hundred.
The kinge of Scots is heare much loocked upon, but littell respeckted. In fine I beleive
the Spaniard will be glad to doe as the kinge of Denmarke hath donn. Theare is a speech
of fortifieinge the towenes and garrisons with men; but as yet I see noe preparation thearunto. The duke Leopoldus is yit heear. Don John and duke Caresena are expected
with 8000 soldiers. Very shortly I shall give you a more strict perticular of these parts;
in the meane tyme I remaine
Sleues, the 25 April, 1656, old stile.
Your honor's most trustie and faithfull to command,
The commissioners in Lancashire to the protector.
Vol. xxxvii. p. 669.
May it please your highness,
In the carrying on the great work of the country's peace and safety committed to us by the orders and instructions of your highness and council, we have used our utmost care and diligence to effect the same, according to that trust reposed in us. And although we have not (until this present) met with any thing of doubt, as to the method of our proceedings therein, yet having to deal at this present with some persons of quality within this county, who are accused to be guilty of such crimes, as are conceived to be of a high nature, and might tend to the overthrow of the peace and present government of this nation, and such (if proved and made out against them) as will fall within the compass of the first and second heads of your highness's instructions, and the persons so criminated or some of the most eminent of them have required from us, and much insisted upon it as a due unto them, to examine witnesses on their parts upon oath, as well as those we have examined against them upon the commonwealth's part; and we not being altogether clear and satisfied in our judgments in this particular, do humbly crave a rule from your highness and council herein, and whether we may examine such witnesses, as the persons accused shall produce on their behalf in cases of that nature upon oath or no. What you shall herein direct, shall be carefully observed by
Preston, April 25, 1656.
Your highness's most humble servants,
We further humbly crave your highness's direction, whether we may allow the persons accused council to plead for them, which is also much insisted on by them.
Amsterdam, May 5, 1655. [N. S.]
I Pray speake with my lord Strickland, is you may, and tell him, you had these following lines written in characters from me. Hee knows me, and hath knowen much, when hee was here, the state of matters by me.
"If that act of secluding the prince of Orange would bee given over, our prince-men would better joyne for the advancement of our religion, and the protestant interest in generall. Beleeve it, the contra-prince men, who keepe no correspondence with you, hate you, and Sweden, and will rather joine with [symbol]. The other would sooner bee brought to joine cordially. Otherwise I see noe remedy; for I say againe, there is a great odium betweene the prince and contra-prince men, and there is no hope of the contra-prince men, that they will ever joyne either with you or Sweden. If things continue, I feare all will be lost. I wish I were one houre with you. Truly wee want a head, but my lord protector should nevertheless be secured enough." Thus far the characters.
Sir, I am not able to expresse my sorrow and anxiety of heart, in regard of our news from Poland, which continued row so many weekes, and is generally beleeved to bee true; namely, that the K. of Sweden is dead, and his army wholy and totally ruinated, in so much that that businesse is now at an end. If it be true, as is generally beleeved, wee have to expect a great revolution every where; I meane a most cruell persecution of our religion. The Lord be mercifull to you in England; for I suppose, if it be true what is said here, France and Spaine will be reconciled, and you put to extremities. The pope, that now is, is a most cruel and crafty fox. It is here said, that if any at London talke of the Swedish overthrow, he is overthrowne and ruined.
The silver of the silver fleete, which belongs to this towne, and amounts to a great summe, is brought hether by the vice-admirall Ruyter. What joy there is, you may easily beleeve. I am glad to heare, that mr. Peters shewes his head againe. It was reported here, that hee was found with a whore a bed, and that he grew madd, and said nothing but O blood, blood, that troubles me. There is a most wicked pamphlet (but stricktly called in by our lords, yet I read it, but very secretly) wherein by a familiar discourse and conference the lord protector is said to bee the antichrist, or a forrunner of the same as John Baptist was to Christ. The K. of Sweden and the cardinall Mazarin are made his servants; and the Q. of Sweden, Christina Alexandrina Maria, is put upon the theatre of this iron and last age of the world, as a witnesse against the covenant-breaking K. of Sweden, and all the wicked and impious of this age. It seemes there is a panical terror amongst the Papists in regard of England and Sweden; but I am almost of dr. Usher's mind, that there will bee yet the killing of the witnesses; especially if the newes about the K. of Sweden bee true, which I hope yet (though I dare not say so much) to bee false. Now God rules; and he will performe his owne worke by his owne instruments. The adjoyned Latin discourse of monsieur Medniansky (one of the pr. of Transylvania his privy counsell, and the fac totum about his highnes) written to the K. of Sweden, is a very notable peece. But such pearles must not be cast before dogs. I know none here, to whom such things may be communicated.
From mr. Petit.
Paris, the 6 May/26 April 1656.
Vol. xxxvii. p. 685.
I Had the honour to inform you by my last, of the misunderstanding between this king and the pope, which has since been followed by his majesty's resenting the same so far, as that he would once re-establish the Jansenists to displease him, having declared, that he would no more acknowledge him for arbitrator of the peace, and could not remit his interests unto him, being that he is grown a partisan of Spain, instead that the vows and voices, which France has made for his exaltation, should have parted his affection. His nuncio has done what he could to get a copy of a speech, which was made thereupon by the chancellor unto the assembly of the clergy; but it hath been refused unto him, under pretence, that he the said chancellor had given back the scrole.
In the interim some artful persons have taken occasion to publish in the market places, that the king's ministers would perpetuate the wars, instead of hearkning to peace, to remedy the troubles of this kingdom and of this citty in particular; and others have at the same time alarmed the neighbouring towns of this city, saying that several troops were coming to hinder the income of daily provisions, thereby to raise the price thereof; which having had its effect during two market days, that bread has been raised of a 5th, good order has thereunto been given, and some of these seditious persons apprehended. The king has given orders through the state, that the troops may march to their rendezvous. Those of Dauphiné and Provence are to return to Piedmont, and those of Guyenne, which were intended for Catalonia, are to return hither to increase the army of Flanders, which hath its rendezvous at Chauny, where the mareschal of Turin is to render himself in 10 or 12 days to command. That of Italy shall be divided in two bodies, and commanded, one part by the duke of Modena, under him count Broglio; the other by the duke of Mercoeur, and under him by marquis St. André Montbrun, in quality of lieutenant captain general. The duke of Vendosme could not hinder his son from taking this employment, which, saith he, is a disparagement unto his nobility, in that he maketh him equal with the duke of Modena. The count of Ligneville hath given oath of his fidelity unto the king to command the Lorrain troops, which have left the Spanish, and imbraced the French party. Their majesties have been at Vincennes these 3 or 4 days, and at their return have given audience unto the 36 deputies of this parliament, who made their verbal remonstrances, insisting much upon the repeal of their exiled brethren; whereupon was answered them by the chancellor in the king's name, that they ought to render themselves worthy of his majesty's favours before they obtained them; that indeed his majesty had been ill satisfied with their disobedience; but that so soon as they should reenter into their duty, which was to do justice unto his subjects, as he did expressly command them, that then he would use them favourably; and as for the business of coining, that he would not have it spoken of till the end of this campaign, delivering unto the said deputies this answer in writing, and giving them order to read it on monday in their assembly. Cardinal Mazarin has withdrawn the parole he had given for the marriage of his niece with the mareschal de la Meilleraye's son, by reason he would have the youngest, who is handsomer, and who is to be married unto the duke of Bouillon.
This city is still filled with the rumour of the king of Swedeland's defeat by the Polanders, which is not yet credited; and none do doubt of the arrival of part of the plate fleet in Spain, by reason some silver bars are arrived at St. Malo. It is also written from Spain, that if the English merchant had not departed from thence that day, which they did, that they should all have been taken and condemned to the galleys for three years.
The pretended duke of York intends to be gone within 3 or 4 days hence according unto the treaty.
The count of Brienne has at cardinal Mazarin's recommendation dispatched the necessary letter of his majesty for the receiving and acknowledging mr. Aldworth for consul of the English nation at Marseilles.
Dutch commissioners at Dantzick to the states general.
Vol. xxxvii. p. 677.
High And Mighty Lords,
My lords, the merchants of the Netherlandish nation residing here have complimented us by some deputies, and after they had explained to us by word of mouth some grievances, wherewith they thought themselves charged without reason, they delivered the same to us in writing, digested into articles, as that your high mightinesses will be pleased to observe, by the inclosed copy, desiring us to endeavour, by our good offices, in the name of your high mightinesses, that matters might be thus regulated, that they being delivered from the said grievances and hardships, may for the future live here like a free nation, and be held and respected as such. We have promised them, that we would use our most earnest and efficacious endeavours, which we shall judge will be of a good effect, wherever the same shall be needfull to support the justice of their request, as far as we shall find the same to be grounded upon reason and equity; and to the end that we might fundamentally inform your high mightinesses thereof, and be ourselves perfectly instructed of this affair, we thought fit to discourse upon each of the articles; and as to the first we understand, that the sharp edicts and impracticablenesses thereof are mentioned in the ordinances issued by the government of this city on the 27th of April 1643 and May 23, which have been lately communicated to your high mightinesses by the commissary Pels, to which with your high mightinesses permission we refer, adding only, that the same however never have been put in practice, because of the difficulties and oppositions, which have continually been stated and made against them by foreign nations.
As to the 2d article, concerning the laws of exportation, the decimation in case any one family removes from thence, and in casu delata bæreditatis alicui extraneo; we inquired, whether the same was precisely and still at present put in execution, without giving place to any exceptions, and whether the same right is also claimed, in case a stranger inherits from another stranger; whether they have any instances thereof; whether this law doth also extend itself further, than over goods, which are found under the district and jurisdiction of this city; whether any nation is exempted therefrom; and if so, who they are and for what reasons. We know the customs, which are practised in this respect in other places, and what your high mightinesses in relation to the so called droit d'aubeine in France, have stipulated by treaties with the king; as also what concerns the jus caducitatis, and what your high mightinesses have alledged in the year 1640 against the practice, which was formerly observed in Sweden in relation thereunto, and what has been mutually agreed at last with that crown, in the treaty of Stockholm art. 11, as likewise what of late is covenanted on that account with his electoral highness of Brandenburg. Of all which we have demanded of the said merchants a distinct answer for your high mightinesses and our perfect information.
What concerns the third article which properly related to the poll tax and the one hundredth penny, which in the present necessities has been ordered by the worshipful magistrate; we ask'd, whether the Netherlandish merchants were treated harder or rated more than the native inhabitants, or those that have acquired the privilege of citizens (like those of the Hans towns) or any other foreign nation; if so, who they be and for what reasons they are and remain excused from paying the said tax; and especially, how those of the English nation residing here are treated in that respect; and whether they enjoy any privileges by the concession or connivance of the government. And whereas the said deputies, in relation to all these queries and other things started on the said account declared, to have ready a distinct and well grounded deduction, drawn up for the proof of their assertions, strengthen'd with the necessary demonstrations for the verisying thereof, desiring us, that we would not refuse to peruse and consider the same; we assured them of your high mightinesses well meaning earnestness and zeal, and what already in relation thereunto was resolved by your high mightinesses, and what orders were given accordingly to mr. Pels. That your high mightinesses commissaries were now treating about it in the conferences with the sub-syndick the present minister of this city at the Hague; and that we would not be wanting to contribute our most zealous offices, which might any ways tend, and be found requisite, for the execution of the serious and earnest intention of your high mightinesses, and for that purpose we would most willingly expect the said deduction. Whereupon they took their leave of us very well pleased and entirely satisfied.
The deputies of the lords generals Lubomirsky and Charnetky, having finished their affairs here, are gone back again to the camp, which increases daily, and makes great excursions through great Poland, to the very frontiers of Silesia, taking a great many towns, plundering and ransacking some of them, and among them Lesno, Storohnest and Fraustadt, the same being mostly inhabited by those of the protestant religion.
We intend to set out next monday from here to Elbing, and will not fail carefully and exactly to inform ourselves there as much as possible of the true state of affairs, and to send to your high mightinesses with the great humility a circumstantial and exact account thereof; to the end, that according to the circumstances of times and juncture of affairs we may receive from your high mightinesses such further orders and instructions, as their high mightinesses in their high wisdom shall think fit, according whereunto we are to regulate the management of the negotiations we are charged with.
high and mighty lords &c.
J. Van Slingerlandt,
Fr. Van Dorp,
P. de Huybert,
Dantzick, May 6, 1656. [N. S.]
Commissary Pels to the states general.
Vol. xxxvii. p. 683.
High and mighty lords,
My lords, at last we have received true and certain news, that the king of Sweden is personally and living arrived at Thorn, and will be apparently very soon at Elbing, whither their excellencies your high mightinesses ambassadors have this day sent their baggage by water, intending to set out within two days for the said place themselves. However we hear nothing certain here of the situation of the Swedish and Polish armies. The most likely is, that the Swedes are great sufferers, by reason of the almost entire revolt of the Polish nobility. The troops of Lubomirsky and Charnitzky are on the frontiers of great Poland, and have exercised great cruelties in the small towns of Lissa, Thaucke, Frauwstadt and others, against the poor inhabitants. His electoral highness is said to have sett out from Coningsberg to Pillauw, to receive there the queen of Sweden, who is arrived on the coast with six men of war. The Russian embassador, is obliged to wait for an audience till the return of his electoral highness. It is thought, that the grand duke is ready to make war against Sweden; nevertheless according to the last letters from Riga, several ships and goods were come down from Russia by the river Duna, and there are more still expected.
Dantzick, May 6, 1656. [N. S.]
high and mighty lords &c. sign'd