State Papers, 1656: May (6 of 6)

A Collection of the State Papers of John Thurloe, Volume 5, May 1656 - January 1657. Originally published by Fletcher Gyles, London, 1742.

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'State Papers, 1656: May (6 of 6)', A Collection of the State Papers of John Thurloe, Volume 5, May 1656 - January 1657, (London, 1742), pp. 72-83. British History Online [accessed 12 June 2024].

. "State Papers, 1656: May (6 of 6)", in A Collection of the State Papers of John Thurloe, Volume 5, May 1656 - January 1657, (London, 1742) 72-83. British History Online, accessed June 12, 2024,

. "State Papers, 1656: May (6 of 6)", A Collection of the State Papers of John Thurloe, Volume 5, May 1656 - January 1657, (London, 1742). 72-83. British History Online. Web. 12 June 2024,

In this section

May (6 of 6)

A letter of intelligence from the Hague.

[9 June 1656. N. S.]

Vol. xxxviii. p. 717.

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In answer of yours of the 23d of May I will say, that you may be assured, that the Opdam nor men of war have no other order then only to follow that of Denmark and in this one may clearly see, that it is the old sable of the rats, whereof not any one would hang the bell about the cat. And the States and General Denmark see well enough, that they ought to offend and molest the Swede but no body will be the first, that will undertake it. the States General desire, that the Dane do give the order to Opdam But the Dane cannot do it without imbroiling himself. And however Opdam may well follow the order of the Dane as to the lodging, but not yet to the union for I am assured from a very good hand, that not one of the States General durst yet order a union formed chiefly by reason the States General would presently fear, as well the French as the protector as much doth the Dane nec placidam membris dat cura quietem. And in the mean time their care and disquietness of mind encreaseth, which they have imagined of a long while since, and the the trouble, which the Swede would give to commerce. That of Dantzick is very ill satisfied, by reason they have been so long delayed. To speak distinctly of it, the States General are not in any thing obliged to Dantzick for there is no alliance. But they are to blame in this, that they are so quick in compliments, and so overflowing in words. You may very well remember, that a year ago, as well the States General as the States of Holland did complain and make a noise. Where is Dantzick ? Where stays he of Dantzick ? Why doth not some body come from Dantzick ? It seemed, that all the the army men of war money was ready and prepared for Dantzick. Yea Dantzick was suspected, as if Dantzick did correspond with Sweden. And because that I would sometimes excuse Dantzick they rendered me suspect to Dantzick and I in effect had well once represented to Dantzick the example of Bremen; and I found himself obliged to speak the truth as a centinel is to advertise. Now that of Dantzick doth confess, that I had great reason, finding it to be true. I do seriously love and very much esteem the States General and the states of Holland and chiefly the republicans but I do blame this in them, that they are so rich in words, and do make such great ostentations without reality. These compliments are oftentimes good and useful; but honest minded people, as Hans towns and Dantzick, do not understand these subtilties.

And as to Bremen there was an alliance and more; with Dantzick there is no alliance. Yet however so many fine, yea almost positive words, that Dantzick did almost take it to be as good as an alliance But the states of Holland from time to time have made so many excuses and evasions, one while upon this, and another while upon something else, which hath continued so long, that at last now he of Dantzick doth desire to know, what they will do in the business of money that otherwise he will be gone, and doth threaten that Dantzick will make peace with the Swede as not being able to bear that burthen alone. Now they are in a boat in a sudden storm, ferte flammas, date tela impellite remes. the Swede doth get advantage upon Dantzick (which is the nucleus et cardo totius rei.) The Swede doth decline to treat with the States General the states of Holland do fear, that the Swede will ruin the commerce of the states of Holland. Itaque Hanibal ad portas. And the worst is, that almost by every post the letters of the states of Holland are wanting, and not of the States General hath any power to do any real thing for Dantzick nor of money nor of ships of war.

The states of Holland are not to be blamed for having care for the traffick but they are to be blamed for making only a shew cæteris fere quiescentibus, as they did likewise in the year 1652 against the protector they alone made their brags with their men of war and with their threatning notifications; and in the mean time all other (Spain France Sweden Denmark &c.) were quiet against the protector.

And if they would behave themselves likewise at present, as all the rest do, what would they have to fear more then the rest ? The good Hans towns (who ought to fear most of any) and in the mean time they make least noise; and at last of all the Swede must live and suffer others to live.

That Holland should labour for alliance with France I do not hear any thing. True it is, that the embassador hath old orders for that; but that is as good as laid asleep. I am,
This 9th June 1656.

Your most humble servant.

P. S. The lord Beverning said to have advice, that the fleet did return re in fecta, so far are they from having taken Gibraltar.

By this letter from France is clearly to be seen, that between France and the States General nothing is done. Never was there more coldness between France the and States General then at present. There is here neither ambassador nor resident only some lean correspondence, and the appearance of ambassadors doth vanish.

The ambassador the of States General in England doth not write any thing to the states, but what is printed in the pamphlets. That, which he writes of consequence and confidence, is to the ract pensionary and Beverning.

And this time he writ, that the fleet of Cromwell do return re infecta; item, that those of the protector do take very ill the familiarity and alliance the states which of Holland affect with the elector of Brandenburg But that is nothing; they speak much louder at present, namely that the states of Holland will make an alliance the emperor and Spain and Poland to bridle the Swede. I do very well perceive, that the states of Holland yea that the crastiest of the well affected in and Hol. republicans have a strong and firm opinion, that the unalterable design of the Swede is to destroy the commerce of the states of in Hol. the east sea consequently destroy all the states of Hol. for commerce is the soul and life of the states of Holland Now it is clearly to be understood former times, ut inter Hectora Priamidem animosum atque inter Achillem ira suit capitalis, ut ultima divideret mors, that so they will conclude the consequence of a bellum internerinum between the States General and the Swede. But the same opinion (quæ jam tamen repullulascit) had men of Cromwell that Cromwell would neither have peace nor agreement with the States General, but their ruin, and in the mean time the contrary is seen.

This same argument I told yesterday to the friend of you in Utrecht but he maintained his opinion, and likewise suspected the protector What shall one do? God hath governed from all eternity, and will also govern well enough in this present storm. As to the league between the episcopal electors and the princes of the Roman religion, of that is made here yet no overture, and in effect is yet only defensive, and such as each will contribute accordingly to the matricule of the emperor. And to render it the more acceptable, they do assure, that as well the dukes of Brunswick and Lunenburgh, as also the Landgrave of Hesse, will enter into it. Consequently it will have nothing of common with the religion. They are also debating and consulting about the commerce of the Rhine to abate the great tolls of the Rhine, and to cause the merchandizes to come that way, which otherwise came from Prussia; but that will be more solatium quam auxilium. I thought to make a voyage to that place, where is the Son of Spain; but I have been hindered; and yet since you doth desire it so, I hope to make it at least to procure to myself the correspondence as well as I am able; but to establish it, one may speak being present, for by letters one cannot so well treat about it. But the voyage will not last above seven days. I perceive that the wisest themselves do augure a good and serious war between the States General and the Swede chiefly if Cromwell would abandon the the Swede.

Serenissimo et celsissimo domino Olivario domino protectori reipublicæ Angliæ, Scotiæ, et Hiberniæ, consules civitatis Roterodamensis s.

Vol. xxxviii. p. 737.

Serenissine et celsissime protector, imperator invictissime,
Quamquam spe de mercatorum, quos merchandts-adventuriers vocant, restituendâ in hoc emporium societate, in quam nos excitaverat singularis celsitudinis vestræ in nos amor et propensa voluntas, propemodum excidimus, non patiter tamen heroica vestræ celsitudinis indoles mutationis inconstantiæque expers, ut quod minus voti causæque celsitudini vestræ in literis ad celsitudinem vestram initio hujus anni datis commendatæ, simus potiti, celsitudini vestræ imputemus. Non levis mentibus nostris insedit suspicio, quorundam malevolentia effectum, uti infructuosa nostra fuerit diligentia et labor, quem restituendis in hoc emporio devinciendisque nobis mercatoribus impendimus, quamvis in delendâ ex eorum animis beneficiorum memoriâ omnium operam frustra consumpserint; altius scilicet radicato amore studiis benevolentiæ insito, iisdemque nutrito alitoque. Solatur nos, imperator invictissime, cum mercatorum nostri singulare studium, tum vestræ celsitatis haud vulgaris bonitas, nobisque spem faciunt, haud mediocrem fore, ut repressis improborum calumniis absolvant nobiscum mercatores, quod aggressi sunt, negotium, neque abrumpant prius quam intelligant non agere nos eâ fide, quam in nobis a longo tempore sunt experti. Rogamus itaque et obtestamur celsitudinem per solitam benignitatem, ut quoniam societatis memoratæ cum Dordracenis pacta nondum robur suum à celsitudine vestra nacta sunt, velit mercatoribus author esse, uti fidem suam, quam verbis et literis ex æquo et bono nobis obstrinxere, liberent, revertanturque universi in eam civitatem, à qua eorum plerique ingratiis evel luntur. Quod superest, deum optimum maximum supplices veneramur, ut celsitudiuem vestram diu sospitet, in bonum reipublicæ Anglicanæ. Dab. Roterodami nono die mensis Junii, anno falutis domini millesimo sexcentesimo quinquagesimo sexto, stylo novo.

Celsitudinis vestræ observantissimi consules et rectores civitatis Roterodamensis. Ex mandato corundem
W. Vander Aa.

Courtin the French ambassador in Holland, to Bordeaux the French ambassador in England.

Hague, 9 June 1656. [N. S.]

Vol. xxxviii. p. 729.

My lord,
I have received your lordships letter of the second instant, for which I give your lordship most humble thanks; when any thing shall pass about the prince of Orange, I will not fail to give your lordship advise thereof. At present he is not thought on. Their minds now meditate upon the affairs of Sweden and Poland; and they are such, as do very much concern them. They will preserve the liberty of commerce upon the Baltic sea; but the more they endeavour to do, the more obstacles they meet with in it. They have sent away de Ruyter with twenty-three men of war to the Sound; and since his departure Mr. Rosewing hath desired the states to recall him home, or to alter the design of sending him to the Sound, because that the king his master cannot let him pass with his fleet into the Baltic sea, being sollicited by the king of Sweden not to let them pass, unless he will declare himself his enemy.

The king of Sweden hath now blocked up Dantzick. He is already master of one small fort, and in this rencounter he doth not doubt (he told the ambassadors of this state) but that this state would religiously observe the treaty made with Sweden in the year 1645; and chiefly the fifth article, that the one ally shall not assist the enemy of the other.

Lockhart ambassador in France to secretary Thurloe.

In the possession of the right hon. Philip I. Hardwicke, I. high chancellor of Great Britain.

Right honorable,
My last audience from the cardinall was upon the second of this instant. By my letters of the third, I gave you ane account of what passed. I had received yours of the 15th and his highnesse instructions, before I waited upon him. Since I have had no opportunitie of seeing him.

The cowrt is now at La Ferre. I stay at Chauni some two leagues distant, where manie of the officers belonging to the cowrt stay also by reason of the straitnesse of that place, where the cowrt is. Mareschall Turin came to La Ferre yesternight. It's believed the armie's march will be resolved upon this day.

The news of the Sweds successe seems to please the cowrt. The ecclesiasticks are much enraged at them; discontents are verie high hear, and verie generall. If it please God to give the armie successe, they will evanish; but if they showld meet with anie rubb, I apprehend great disorders wowld follow upon it.

In my remoove from Compiegn I was necessitated to passe betwixt Noyon and this place in the night. All the villages I went through pay contribution to Cambray, and are often infested by parties from thence. The small garisone of this place consisteth of Italians and Irish. My next remoove (probablie) will be to Guife, where there is ane Irish regiment, and three or four more march with the armie. They look upon me as the cawse of their pretended duk's being laid asyd, and are much enraged upon that account. The cardinall doth beleeve most of them will runn to the enemie, and is even willing to be ridd of them.

Sir, you may judge by this, that their is some need of having those I broght from England near me; tho' I confesse the vastations of these parts are so great, and all provisions are at so excessive a rate, that I am manie tyms resolved to run all hazards rather then to entertain them at so great expense.

Whyle I was at Compiegn, I obtained letters from the cardinall and count Brienn, in favors of severall of our merchants, who suffer great injuries from the governors of the remote provinces. Their is copies of the articles of the treatie sent to them, and strict orders given to observe them, but the governors take a little libertie, when the court is at so great a distance; and they say the king's orders are but slowlie obeyed. I heard nothing of the Bill your last mentioned. I am,
Chauni, June 9th 1656. [N. S.]

Right honourable,
Yowr most faithfull and obedient servant
Will. Lockhart.

Sir, if the bussinesse of the signett be not dispatched, I shall humblie beg your helpe in it, that my brother may return to Scotland.

Lockhart ambassador in France to secretary Thurloe.

Vol. xxxviii. p. 735.

Right honourable,
Yow were pleased to procure an order for four hundred and fifty pounds to be payed to me by way of advance, before I came from England. Mr. Frost had not the money ready then. I took it from a merchant, one Mr. Williamson, and gave him a power to receave it from Mr. Frost. In his last to Mr. of the 22d of May old style he tells me, he hath not yett received it from Mr. Frost. I must pay interest for it till he do receive it. If the counsell shall be pleased to allow me aine money after this, I desire it may be paid in to Mr. Williamson.

Sir, I beseech yow pardon the manie troubles given you by,
Chauni, June the 9th 1656. [N. S.]

Right honorable,
Your most humble and obedient servant
Will. Lockhart.

Ambassador Boreel to the States General.

Vol. xxxviii. p. 753.

May it please your high mightinesses,
My lords, we have news from Compiegne of the 3d instant that the lord prince of Tarante having followed the court, for the promoting of some affairs of his, was arrested on the 2d instant, at four o'clock in the evening, in the apartment and in the presence of the lord cardinal Mazarin, and taken prisoner by the order of the king, from whence he was carried prisoner to the castel of Amiens. The reason why this has been done, is very diversly spoke off, nay (as some will affirm) by the mouth of the lord cardinal himself. By letters from Guise of the 28th of May, it is confirmed, that the great convoy sent by the mareshall de Turenne to the city of Condé, is safely arrived there, the Spaniards having neither made nor attempted to make any opposition against the same: they are preparing some more convoys for the same and other places in Hennegow, to stock them wel with provisions of all sorts. The Spanish subaltern officers are said to have set out already from Brussels for Tournay, where there rendevous is. Their army all being met, will be very strong as it is reported, being about 20000 men, besides the troops and assistance of the emperor, of about 5000 men, which will serve in a separate body. The high officers, they say, will not depart from Brussels before the 10th of this month. The walls of the small towns of Lense and Chevres are breaking down by order of the court of Brussels and laid open. There are still other Spanish troops assembling at Orches, and a great many recruits are levied in the bishopricks of Liege and Cologne in the service of the Spaniards. The French have caused a vast number of ovens to be made for their armies, at Quesnoy and Condé, whereby, it is thought, that the siege of the town of Valenciennes will be undertaken. The count of Brienne before his departure to the court, which was on Wednesday, told me the news, that the mareshall de Turenne had routed four regiments of Spanish troops about 400 men strong, which were marching to Avennes, to secure that place against the French; which news is confirmed since by letters from the court as well as from St. Quintin of the 4th instant. It is said that they have made one hundred and twenty prisoners; the rest are killed or fled into the woods thereabout. The general council of war was held the 3d instant at La Ferre, and the mareshalls of Turenne and La Ferre were set out from thence on the 4th for the camp at Marle. There was held before also a conference at Compiegne between the lord cardinal, the duke of Vendosme, and collonell Lockart, the envoy of the lord protector, which conference lasted pretty long, and is kept very secret, from whence others make a supposition, that the designs of the war will be layd against some place or other near the sea. The king, queen, and the brother of the king are expected on the 6th at La Ferre; there are also a great many troops marching the way towards Amiens, and from thence to Calais. At Boulogne a very large magazine of provision is preparing, and a vast quantity of corn is carrying thither. Wherewith, &c.

Paris, June the 9th, 1656. [N. S.]

High and mighty lords, &c.
signed W. Boreel.

A letter of Mr. P. Meadowe, the English envoy at Lisbon.

Vol. xxxviii. p. 777.

Your comeing to an anchor at Cascais; and my demanding audience of his majesty of Portugal, in order to take my leave and come aboard, hath much altered the state of affaires heer. To-morrow morning all things are alike to be agreed, and so a peace setled betweene both the nations. Assoone as ever it is done, I shall acquaint you therewith, that you may forthwith set sayle to the generalls of the fleet, and deliver them my letters, which I shall send downe to you for that purpose. I shall desire the generalls to come either to or neere Cascais, and I intend to come aboard them, haveing severall businesses to communicate. Pray send up your boat to me to-morrow morning, and then you shall heare more from me, who am
Lisbon, May 30th, 1656.

Your assured freind,
Ph. Meadowe.

I could hartily desire there were another frigott at Cascais, that whilest one is out at sea to find the generalls, the other might lye in the road attending my orders.

Propositions made by the gentlemen of Nevis to the commissioners for management of the affairs of his highness and the commonwealth in America at Jamaica, the 30th of May 1656.

Vol. xxxviii. p. 779.

I. That three ships be sent to Nevis to transport the governor, and such of his colony, as are willing to come hither; and that the Pearl frigat be forthwith dispatch'd away to give notice thereof.

II. That fit persons be appointed to treat with all governors concerning the small debts of such, as are willing to transport themselves hither; and that the power of his highness be interposed therein.

III. That the place may be appointed, where the governor with his colony are to settle; and that the gentlemen may view that place.

IV. That those, who ran away, if they will return to the army, may be pardoned.

V. That if all the people, who are willing to come, cannot be ready in the time limited by the proclamation, that a farther time may be allowed them with the like privileges.

VI. Whether masters for their slaves shall have the same proportion of land allowed by the proclamation as for other servants?

In answer to the first proposition, the Pearl frigat is to be dispatched away with letters to governor Stokes, to advertise him, that three ships are preparing to attend the service of transportation of himself and the colony at Nevis, viz. the Marmaduke, Adam and Eve, and Mary flyboat; and that the said ships shall be ready to set sail with the gentlemen of Nevis, when they desire the same, or are ready to depart.

The second is to be farther debated of as to the manner of proceeding.

The third is left to the choice of the gentlemen, and the approbation of the governor.

The fourth is consented to in gratification of the governor.

The fifth it is conceived is not in the commissioners power to do any thing in, because they are not to alter what is established or declared by his highness; but by addresses to him it is not doubted, but they will receive satisfaction therein.

The sixth is wholly consented unto.

Col. Tho. Cooper to H. Cromwell major general of the army in Ireland.

In the possession of the right hon, the earl of Shelburn.

My lord,
I See it will bee of absolute necessity, that one or more of the field officers be dispatched downe to this regiment, for by what I hear uppon the rode the men are full of disorders, and I fear will not bee comanded by the officers, that are with them. In Mr. Standish advise I see hee hath offer'd, that the forces uppon their muster have a weeke's pay for present subsistance. That will be but a litle supply, except they of the army, that are drawne out, may have alsoe a monthe's pay, as they that came from Dublin have had; and I fear the laste cannot be prevented, for the twoe monthes pay did but barely discharge quarters, and the men have not any thinge to live uppon. I must therefore desire, that the receaver heer may ishue out monney upon accompt, that the men may subsiste, and the countery not bee spyled, till your lordshipp's pleasure bee further knowne, which I desire may bee with as much speed as may bee, which is all at present from, my lord,
Lisenegarvy, this 30th of May 1656.

Your lordshipp's veary faithfull servant
Tho. Cooper

A letter of intelligence.

Stettin, the 10th of June 1656. [N. S.]

Vol. xxxviii. p. 775.

Letters of the fifteenth of the last month from Thorn and Marienburgh do advise, that general Douglass had routed a party of the Masuren on this side of Warsaw, and that the Swedish army had caused the Poles to raise their siege before Warsaw. If this be true, that they have shown themselves such cowards, we must not expect hereafter any good from those people; yea, it is ridiculous, that they should spend so many days before that place, without effecting any thing than only their own shame, and encreased their enemy's reputation. It is an easy matter to dance, when fortune plays.

The next post will give us more certainty hereof.

The king of Sweden is now again before Dantzick, to view all the fortifications, and make some new attempt upon some of them. It is no wonder, that those of Dantzick should despair of the coming of their king; and unless they can foresee some other assistance from elsewhere, they may chance to make some new alteration.

To the Venetian agent.

Antwerp, 10 June 1656. [N. S.]

Vol. xxxviii. p. 765.

The news, which we had of the taking of Gibraltar by the English fleet, doth prove false; the letters making no mention of it, which came lately from Cadiz.

You will have heard of the Dunkirkers taking twenty English ships, which came from Holland; some of them very richly laden, which will strengthen the hands of the Dunkirkers, and will make them to set out more ships against the English. But if the fleet of Blake doth return without any conquest, it is probable they will make some attempt against this countrey.

King Charles is returned, and our forces begin to march into the field.

An intercepted letter of du Gard in a letter to White.

Brussells, 10th June 1656. [N. S.]

Vol. xxxviii. p. 769.

I Have received your letter of the 14th April, which the footman of monsieur de Barriere brought me, and two others of your friends; which are the only ones, which I have received of a long time. I am glad to hear of your health, and all other particulars, which you give me. I believe, that some curious person hath intercepted the letters; but although they are not come to hand, I give you many thanks for the trouble you take to write to me, as if I had received them.

The enclosed paper is a new direction to write to me by the way 18, 15, 4, 20, 87, q, t, 20, y, 1.

12, m, 17, 24, 15, 8, 15, 17, f, 20, 18, 15, 9, 7, 6, 13, 20.

To Petkum.

Hague, the 10 June 1656. [N. S.]

Vol. xxxviii. p. 773.

There is now no more question to say, whether the king of Sweden be dead or not; but whether he will subdue the town of Dantzick to his subjection or not. He hath now blockt it up both by sea and land; and if we will believe it here, we must resolve to break with Sweden. This is a point of great consideration, in regard that in that case the protector may interest himself in it; and it may be France likewise. Those of Dantzick have lost their fort called Danziger Lagro. They had a garrison in it of four hundred men. They sustained two assaults, and were forced afterwards to surrender themselves upon discretion. The admiral Opdam is still with the fleet at Helvoetsluys. Monsieur de Creosique writes me word from Ratisbon, that the Cossacks have begun the war again against king Casimir. He met upon the borders of Franconia six regiments, which the emperor hath sent to assist the Spaniard with, under pretence that they are to serve only against the protector.

The pensionary de Witt is gone to make a journey into Brabant. There are some, that believe it be not without some mystery.

The admiralty of Amsterdam to the States General.

Vol. xxxviii. p. 767.

High and mighty lords,
We cannot omit informing your high and mighty lordships, that the twenty-four men of war equiped by us, and designed for the Sound, have lain sail ready ever since the 1st of May, and prevented by contrary winds from setting sail, did yesterday weigh anchor to perform their designed voyage, with an addition of five ships more under the command of vice-admiral de Ruyter, and of seven ships more belonging to the admiralties of the northern quarters under command of vice-admiral Pieter Floris, being all well manned, and well provided with all things necessary to perform that, which may be for the service of the state.

Amsterdam, 10 June 1656. [N. S.]

Mr. Philip Meadowe, the English envoy at Lisbon, to the generals at sea.

Vol. xxxviii. p. 783.

My lords,
My last to your lordships was by one captain Wills, bearing date the 26th of this month, by whome I gave you an accompt, that the Cullen merchant laden with provisions for the fleet was taken by an Ostender. I received one from your lordships of the 24th instant by the captain of the Saphire; but of the Phœnix I can heare no tideings. New instructions were lately sent me from England, in conformitie to which I have demanded of his majestie the ratification of the treaty, as it was agreed by his plenipotentiary in England, saving that I had power to admitt of one alteration in the fourteenth article. All things are now done according to his highness demand. This morning I was with the king at the Alcantara, where the instruments of ratification were exchanged on both sides; so that a peace is now fully agreed and ratified. By my foresaid last instructions I am comanded by his highnesse, that in case I receive satisfaction upon the treaty, I forthwith send notice thereof to the generalls of the fleet, which I have hereby done accordingly. I acquainted his majesty, how that my purpose was to goe aboard your lordships, in order to communicate severall businesses with you, this I did to prevent offence. I shall onely desire your lordships to come in as near Cascais as conveniently you can, and immediately upon notice thereof I shall come on board, which I desire may be with all possible speed. You will be treated heer with all civilityes. The Condé de Meira threatens to visit his old acquaintance, as he calls him, generall Blake. Onely come not with above two or three frigatts at first, that there may be no occasion of jealousy. I am the bolder to request your coming in heer, because, should I be put to seeke you at sea, I fear it may be too prejudiciall for me, in respect of my late wounds. I shall leave what remains till our ensueing discourse, which I hope may be within this day or two, and so take leave to remaine
Lisbon, May 31th 56.

Your lordships ready in all service
Ph. Meadowe.

A paper concerning the advancement of trade.

Vol. xxxviii. p. 703.

The English colony in Virginia being members of the commonwealth of England, and acknowledging the government established, may as justly claim the benefit of protection and all other privileges and advantages claimable by subjects, as any other body of subjects in England or elsewhere can expect from the government thereof. For not being separated from the rest by way of punishment, but to enlarge the territories and dominion of England, whereby not only the power but wealth of the nation is much encreased, their transplantation cannot in reason or justice take off from any privilege they enjoyed before, or should enjoy, being yet within the bounds of England.

The protection and security we enjoy at home under the nearer influence of the government, 1. In general, against enemies both foreign and domestick, by a potent militia. 2. In particular, in our persons and estates, by an impartial administration of justice, and execution of the laws; the peace and plenty we enjoy do sufficiently manifest; the flourishing of commerce and trade does abundantly evidence the encouragement proposed to industry. But that the Virginians are not equal sharers in their mother's blessings, a view of their present condition will easily demonstrate.

Their insecurity from the treacherous cruelty of their barbarous neighbours we may gather by looking back upon former massacres, they being now in no better posture of defence than then.

That the natives are not much to be feared as an open enemy, is easily granted; but being a people, that have no the of religion or morality upon them, nothing but an awe of some visible power can restrain them from the execution of their malice and revenge, when they think they have an opportunity.

The remembrance of their last punishment, when they lost their great king, has hitherto kept them in awe; but time will sooner wear out the sense of their smart, then their thirst for revenge: they have not forgotten the advantage they have (and still have) by the distance of our plantations from one another; nor are they ignorant of our want of force in readiness either to correct or suppress them. Besides to these advantages if any encouragement should be given them by any foreign or more powerful prince, we should quickly see them appear in their own colours. What encouragement the poor planter has had to sweeten his labour, since the Dutch were excluded trade, appears by the general complaint of them all, that they are the merchants slaves, who will allow them scarce a halfpenny per pound for their tobacco. Beside that since the Dutch trade was prohibited till this year, there has been a great deal of their tobacco left behind for want of fraught and spoiled, to the (almost) undoing of divers of them. This will in time utterly undo the poorer sort (three parts of four of the whole) and reduce them to a necessity of becoming slaves to the rest, who being merchants as well as planters, will be better able to subject, or else provoke them to conspire with the natives to cut their neighbours throats; which, besides the abominableness of it, would certainly ruin the plantation. This is an inconveniency, which has attended that act for navigation, which doubtless had honourable and advantageous ends in it. But unless it be a little dispensed withal, it will undoubtedly ruin part of that trade it was intended to advance. 'Tis true, the people of themselves, some of them at least, have (this year) endeavoured their own relief by secret trade with the Dutch (conveying their tobacco with the Dutch plantation) whereby part of those ships, that arrived there, though some miscarried ('ere they arrived at the port) are like to return without their lading, which has redounded not only to the merchants and seamens loss, but the state is thereby much desrauded of their customs. Either these inconveniences or the ruin of the poor planters must follow, if the act be rigorously observed.

To remedy all these inconveniencies, I shall humbly propose, that some part of the emolument, which is raised out of those poor people's labours, as a customary subsidy towards the support of the supreme authority, and for the better government and defence of the nation, may be disposed of to their security and encouragement; which may be done with little charge, if his highness would be pleased to permit the Dutch to fetch a certain quantity, as three, four, five, or six hundred tun of tobacco yearly, paying the custom for it there, and out of this fifteen hundred pounds per ann. to be disposed of to the maintenance of a certain number of soldiers, to keep a fort in some convenient place, and the overplus to be returned for England, or disposed of as his highness and council shall think fit.

This fifteen hundred pounds would arise out of such tobacco's, as are yearly either left behind, or secretly conveyed to the Dutch plantation; and so the income to his highness's exchequer not at all lessened, and yet many grievances redressed: the plantation put into a better condition to defend itself both against enemies foreign and domestic, the planters satisfied and endeared by an act of clemency and paternal care in his highness, in mitigating the rigour of the act, which must of necessity have been their ruin. Besides the ends before proposed, to which this expedient will be satisfactory, many other advantages will arise from it, as the making further discovery of the country, which the English, in the condition they are now in, cannot well do, the attendance on their tobacco giving them their whole year's employment.

That there may be mines, is more than probable; some of the natives upon the discovery of the southern part shewed pieces of copper; and it is very certain, that in the Spanish plantations in the same latitude there are mines of a better sort.

Besides here is no question, but beyond the western hills there may soon be found the heads of rivers, which of necessity must empty themselves into the South Sea; the advantages whereof are so obvious it were vain to mention them.

If the Dutch were allowed to fetch more tobacco than would raise the forementioned sum, (and so come with more ships than one) they might be obliged to bring negroes to supply the colony with servants; that this nation may not be too much exhausted, nor that colony come to ruin for want of servants. The overplus of customs may be faithfully conveyed for England; or if his highness would be graciously pleased to allow part of it towards the propagation of the Gospel, to maintain fit instruments for that employment, which without encouragement will go but slowly forward, the promotion of so glorious a work would add much to his great name, confirm some, and convince others, that the Lord of Hosts had raised him up to do his work. If something also were allowed to the encouragement of seamen to inhabit there, it would in time infinitely advance navigation and the increase of shipping, there being no place more proper than upon and near that coast, and nature (as if prompting to such a trade) has already provided falt in the bowels of the earth, where it only requires fetching, and that at no great distance. These benefits (much more might be reckoned) being so advantageous to the nation in general, and so almost necessary to that plantation in particular, will certainly abundantly outweigh all inconveniencies that can attend it; and in a little time (being by this means encouraged to industry) put the colony in a capacity to return a thankful acknowledgment of so great a favour, and by the fruits of their labours to defray the charge of bringing them to such a perfection.

A brief narration of the English rights to the northern parts of America.

Vol. xxxviii. p. 707.

As a part of the westward part of the fourth part of the world, called America or the West Indies was first discovered by Columbus, at the charges of Ferdinand and Isabel sovereign of Spain; and as by virtue of that discovery their successors claim a general right and title to all the lands within that tract, and a particular, either to such land, which they shall purchase from the native proprietors of such, which are void of inhabitants, or such which they shall conquer and subdue with the sword; and as the two first particular rights are undeniable, so they may plant and erect what colonies they please therein of their own native subjects or others. Although the third is something disputable, yet notwithstanding the general right of Spain to the above place was never yet denied or controverted by any prince or state in Europe, and no attempt made against them by any (to interrupt them in those places they had taken and kept possession of there) but only at such times, as Spain was in hostility with one or more of the nations of Europe, for as it hath been the most just custom and practice of many states, that when the commonwealth did superabound in people, rather to seek out new discoveries (than to make war with their neighbours) for the transporting and transplanting of colonies, where they might enjoy lands according to the two first particular rights, and at the public charge of the commonwealth, or the particular of some certain persons, and the discovery being made, and colonies planted, it must very easily follow they were and are to remain and to be accompted as members of their mother commonwealth: so all the lands discovered for the ends aforesaid, whether in a smaller or greater latitude, and at the charges aforesaid, and with an inclusion of the two first particular rights, are to be accompted the intentional and national right and property of the first discoverers, and that according to the law of nature, and in that the law of nations; and whatsoever prince or state (in league and amity with that prince, state, or commonwealth) that shall intrude within the said limit, and anticipate the first discoverers, is highly guilty of the breach of civil correspondency and of the law or custom of nations civilized. And that the Dutch have both intruded and anticipated the first discoverers the English nation in these northern parts of America, is made easily to appear, and that since they cast off the yoke of Spain; for whilst they were and did acknowledge themselves subjects of Spain, they must necessarily and did acknowledge the English rights to these northern parts of America. For as the then sovereign Ferdinand and Isabel did acknowledge the same to be in our Henry VIIth of England and his successors: so the duke of Burgundy, under whom and to whom the Netherlands were subject, coming to be king of Spain, acknowledged the same, and that upon the aforesaid grounds; for as Ferdinand and Isabel employed Columbus at their own charge, and set forth a fleet of ships under his command for new discoveries; so our Henry the VIIth much about the same time employed Sebastian Cabot, sending a fleet of ships under his command upon the like design. And as Columbus discovered the western or southern parts, so Cabot (at the charge of the said king) discovered these northern parts. And ever since which the national right of the English Nation (to these parts) hath been lawfully maintained from age to age successively almost for the space of two hundred years, and that either at the public charge of the prince, or some private generous undertakers; and that by and with all fair and friendly correspondency with the natives, further discoveries, possession, and population in conveniency of time as may appear by ancient records. For king Edward the VIth employed John Cabot, the son of the said Sebastian Cabot, for this northern discovery; and upon his return, for the reward of his pains, conferred the honour of knighthood upon him, and made him pilot major. And in the reign of queen Elizabeth of famous memory that generous knight, Sir Humphry Gilbert, and after him in the same queen's reign that renowned and well knowing knight Sir Walter Ralegh, who settled the first colony in these parts of America, and that before any other of the nations of Europe, the two last kings were so careful for the maintaining the English right, that they confirmed general patents (to several of their subjects, as well of the nobility as other undertakers, for several latitudes of land, for their settling of colonies therein, and further populating these parts, and for the better effecting whereof and reducing these our wild brethren to acknowledge of Christ, and advancing the plantation called Virginia) from the maiden queen; divers of the nobility of England with several of the gentry, merchants, and others, were incorporated into a body, called the Virginia Company, and that before the name of a West India company was known in Holland, and the which has cost England more then a million of money. And as the English nation hath the best general right of all the nations in Europe to these northern parts of America, and that grounded upon the law of nature and nations; so they can shew the best evidence in their great improvements thereof almost to the world's wonder, especially in these parts called New England, lying betwixt forty and forty-eight degrees of northerly latitude.

And as by virtue of the said general right they have a particular, so they may purchase what lands they please in any part thereof, either by many or few, more, or one, always provided they give and yield an obedient acknowledgment and subordinate subjection to the general laws of their nation and mother commonwealth; and in case any shall wilfully and knowingly do otherwise, by putting themselves and lands so purchased as subjects and subject to another state, they are in a degree as guilty, as he or they, that shall in England acknowledge subjection to a foreign state.

Thus as the general and particular rights of the English to these northern parts of America are as plainly and perspicuously laid down; so upon a due examination it will be found, that the Dutch have no right at all either in the general or particular, but have intruded into and anticipated the English in their rights, and that at first by a violent usurpation and force upon the native Indians; but whether it was by particular men, or the public approbation of their state, is questionable; but of the two I rather conceive it was by partilars, my reasons being;

That in case the first ground of the grant of charter from their states to their West India company, and under whose patronage the Dutch plantation of Manhataas is now settled, be well and truly examined, it will be found, that it was only for them to subdue and conquer what they could in America, and that as from an enemy the king of Spain; for, as I am credibly informed, the present Dutch governor, in many of his public writings, terms the Dutch plantation there a conquest, or the West India company's conquest, and the which if so, it would be demanded from whom conquered.

My second reason is, that the Dutch plantations, now by them called the Netherlands, have not been commonly so called and known, until of very late years, but was better known and commonly called by them the New Virginia, as a place dependent upon or a relative to the Old Virginia. And as there is in that an acknowledgment of English right, so I conceive it to be true, which is commonly reported, that by the permission of king James they had granted from him to their states only a certain island, called therefore by them States Island, as a watery place for their West India fleets; although as they have incroached upon, so they have given it a new Dutch name, . . . . . wiping out the old English names in those parts in America in their old sea-charts, and have new Dutchified them.

Thus according to my duty to my country and countrymen, and according to that portion of my weak understanding, I have briefly remonstrated the English rights to these parts of America; although more knowing men are better able to vindicate the same. Yet nevertheless I hope it will be friendly received, it being with a real intention only of informing my countrymen, that are ignorant thereof in these parts, of their just rights thereunto, and of their great error in subjecting themselves and lands to a foreign state. And do therefore lovingly advise them, especially the English towns upon the westward parts of Long Island, or any other of the English nation, that do intend to settle down in towns and colonies, to be very cautious of making themselves guilty either of ignorant or wilful betraying the rights of their nations, by their subjecting themselves and lands to a foreign state.