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State Papers, 1659: February (2 of 2)

Pages 615-624

A Collection of the State Papers of John Thurloe, Volume 7, March 1658 - May 1660. Originally published by Fletcher Gyles, London, 1742.

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February (2 of 2)

Mr. John Barwick to Sir Edward Hyde.

In the possession of Joseph Radeliffe, of the Inner Temple, esq;

The proceedings at Westminster are so full of distraction, that it is probable they will end in confusion. For the one party thinks the protectorists cannot stand, and the other, that the commonwealth cannot rise; and those, that are indifferent men, hope both may be true; and then the conclusion will be easy to foresee and foretell.

Since their first convention, the 2 howses have never owned one the other. Those they call lords meet and adjourn, and consult about making a catechisme, and make speeches against playes and the common-prayer-book. But all mens eyes are upon the commons; for it is clearly foreseen, the petition and advice will not support the other house for want of expression rather than intention: for the words of it are, that the protector (without mentioning his successors) may call such a number to sit in the other house, and thereupon the commons look upon it as a personall privilege of the last protector. To prevent this mischief, the protector's party brought in a bill Jan. 31. for a recognition of the protector, wherein were some comprehensive phrases for the other house, the militia and negative voyces; but now that it comes to scaning, it finds no small opposition. From their first meeting the commons have consisted of 2 extreme parties, (one for the protector, the other for a comonwealth) and a moderat party between both; which beeing more or less moderat, as occasion serves, are able to cast the scales on which side they please; and this makes the foresight of things very obscure, though most men think it will end in a titular protector without either militia or negative voyce, if he be so tame as to submit to it. The republicans are the lesser party, but are all speakers, zealous, diligent, and have the better cause, admitting those common principles, (which are not yet exploded) by which they destroyed monarchy in the long parliament. And yet the other can outvote them, whenthey please; for the old paralogisme holds (as well as their other principles) to deny the conclusion, though they take the premisses for granted.

The great contest hath been, and still is, concerning the recognition, &c. After 7 dayes debate (all other business set apart) they came to a vote on monday night at 10 a clock, that this protector shall be chief magistrate, with such powers and limitations as they shall agree upon, yet so as this vote shall signify nothing, till they come to that agreement. Upon the second of those 7 dayes (8th instant) a petition was brought up by severall well-willers to a commonwealth in and about London; but such interventions being præcluded by a vote of the house, 4 members were sent out to complement them, and promise their petition should be read, and taken into consideration, when their present debat was over, which the petitioners looked upon as a reprive after execution. And yesterday the petition was received and read, but no thanks returned to the petitioners, as they expected. But we hear there is a petition or remoastrance to the same effect now a subscribing by severall of the army, which likely will find a better and quicker admittance. Both these petitions (or either of them) may still find them work enough; for there are 2 or 3 difficult questions to be decided before the previous vote (as they call it) can take effect, concerning the militia, negative voyce, and the other house, wherein the moderate party are not so zealous as they were to have the government continue in the same frame they found it. And if some of the most considerable persons of the other house could but get the house established, they would put hard to lodge the militia and negative voyce in that house, which perhaps in time they would have consist wholly (as it doth for the most part) of the chief officers of the army.

Since the previous vote on monday night, that bill hath slept, and the protectorists are willing it should do so for some time, that the house may slide on into other business, that may require a bill to be passed, on purpose that by signing of it the protector may take possession of his chief magistracy according to the previous vote. But the difficulty is, the commons will not own the other house, and the protector cannot well sign any thing without passing both houses, though otherwise the temper of some leading men in the other house begins allready to shew itself to be such, as he could wish he were fairly ridd of them; for the republicans reckon of 12 colonells, (now in command) that will be for them, and 6 of them at least are of that house. If this petition of the army goes on, the houses will not signify much after a while. The protector allready relyes upon the great officers of the army, and the republicans on the under officers more than upon the votes of either party. But it is thought the protector will be mistaken in some of those he relyes upon, if the other party appears any whit considerable. Monk hath given him a caution allready to carry fair with the parliament; for he finds some reason to suspect his army will divide upon these matters. And I am told by one of the house, he verily believes they will shatter all to pieces, when the poynt of the militia comes to be debated; for though the last vote was carryed 3 to one, yet he thinks the protector will never gett more as to the militia, then to be such a generall as must be accountable to the parliament. Others think Fairfax will have that office, some commissioners being joyned with him, because they will hardly trust so much power in any one man's hand. He sides with the republicans, and carryes a name above Lambert for the present. It is still a great question, whether or noe there will be any assizes this vacation. It is said there are 150 lawyers, that sit in the house; and the protector cannot want them during the circuit, and dare not disoblige them by having none. He hath been on and off 2 or 3 times about it, and at last he has putt it upon the commissioners of the great seall and judges to consider, so that it is likely he would be disswaded from it by their advice.

I cannot learn what caballs and junctos are working under hand; but I am told the protectorists had their night-meetings at Fleetwood's house till 3 or 4 days ago, which being not so now, it makes some suspect he is fallen off to the republicans; others more probably think he is the leader of that third party, who are for a mere titular protector. The commons are now about examining the accounts of the treasury for this last year. The publick debt (it is thought) will amount to a million and a half at least. Some contests there have also been about calling persons to account upon faillures in government; and there hath been somewhat tryed on both sides by way of cirmintion and recrimination before and since the dissolution of the long parliament; but hitherto it has not broke out into good earnest, excepting the mayn question of the government in one person or many. Only this day Young of Shropshire, a protectorist, and Nevill of Berkshire, a prime republican, have been accused of atheisme, and have time allowed them to answer their severall charge. If all atheists be expelled the house, there will be work enough for new elections. In all their lat contests about monarchy I have not heard of any (even of the long parliament) excepting Mr. Scot, that have spoken any way reproachfully of his late majesty; only Sir Hen. Vane sayd, (and truly enough) that if the power of government was not in the people, the guilt of the king's blood would ly upon them for ever. Some glanses also have been made upon his present majestie's cause, and most of them in the better sense; but none as yet has had the courage to speak to any purpose.

There was never greater complaints in the city for want both of trading and money, and that they are reall, appears by the falling of house-rent in the city 10 per cent. The Spanish merchants especially goe down the wind: not one in ten but finds himself a loser upon his audit this last year. What is got by commodities of Spanish growth in England, is pocketted by the Dutch, insomuch as some suggest to have a law made to lower (or otherwise destroy) all commodities of Spanish growth, that shall be brought into England. No marvell then the city should be so desirous (for so they are allways) to have peace with Spain, and warr with the Dutch. The former, I hear, has been endeavoured underhand; and Whitlock is made one of the keepers of the great seall to give him a title with a greater noyse for an ambassador (as is thought) in order to such a treaty. And yet in this tottering condition they foresee none will treat with them, however otherwise inclinable: but whether the Spaniard be inclinable or no, I know not. It should rather seem, not, by some endeavours there are now on foot to setle an intelligencer for Spain here in England, wherein they desire the assistance of some of the English nation; and this I am well assured of, if it signify any thing.

Great preparations are making for sea. It is sayd, they will have 40 sayll at sea by the midle of the next moneth; and 30 more as fast as they can after. It seemes they are in good forwardness; for there is a press out for 1500 seamen, and a good many are pressed allready. The Sound in likelyhood will be the chief cause of this expedition; and yet I believe they have one eye upon their own security at home, in case there should be any intestine division.

Feb. 16. 1658. late at night.

General Monck to secretary Thurloe.

Vol. lxiii. p. 148.

My Lord,
I Received your lordship's of the 12th instant, and am sorry to heare you make such slowe progresse in your businesse. As for the forces heere, the army was never quieter, nor in better condition, since I comanded heere; and I doubt nott butt by the helpe of God to keepe them soe; for I have given them command nott to meddle with petitioning businesse, nor state businesse; and I am confident they will observe itt, as I have found them ready to doe itt. Our onely want heere is of monie, with which I hope the parliament will take care to supply us. As for judge advocate Whalley to be chosen for Peblis and Selkirke, there is a Scotch gentleman chosen; butt the country will not give him soe much monie as he expects; and so he is not like to goe; but if hee should not goe uppe, and that they should chuse another, which they cannot doe without another writ, I doe not doubt to gett him chosen; which is all at present from

Your Lordship's very humble servant,
Geo. Monck.

Dalkeith, 17th Feb. 165 8/9;.

I doubt nott butt your lordship will bee advised withall concerning our contingent monies, what is fitt to bee allowed us at present. There is 850 l. monthly paid out for the workes; and for Invernesse 200 l. to St. Johnston's, and 200 l. for Ayre, and 350 l. monthly for Leith cittadell; for the workes would stand still, if he should nott helpe them, being all that, which they were to have out of the excise, is gone; so that I cannot conceive there can be less allowed than 1100 l. monthly, as there was before for repaire of garrisons, bedding, carriage of provisions, and other contingent charges.

The 20,000 l. safely arrived here in the Amity frigot on fryday last, for which I thank your lordship.

Mr. R. Rookwood to secretary Thurloe.

Vol. lxiii. p. 149.

May it please your Honor,
In obedience to your lordship's commands, haveing frequently attended your audience, an urgent occasion, as I conceive, gives me boldnes to addresse these sew propositions in writing, with an earnest desire, if your wisdome judge mee capable, to serve your honor, even with my life.

First, my lord, there are some ill-affected people endeavouring to contrive danger, if it be possible, to your noble person, and speake unworthy things of your honour; which (if it be your pleasure to call upon mee) I shall discover as far as I can.

2dly, I shall procure, if it please your honor, weekely, the newes letter, sent by a principal Jesuit from Antwerp to Rome, Paris, and Spaine; and give intelligence concerning many of the priests and Jesuits practises.

3dly, I deliver enclosed the caracter, by which Charles Stuart directed mee to write weekely to him, and the meanes to retrive letters and money.

4thly, If the war with Spaine goe on, I shall demonstrate considerable service I may doe your honor; if it may please your lordship till then to give me any meane employment, who have allready suffred much by endeavouring to prove myselfe,

My noble Lord,
Your honor's most dutifull, faithfull,
obedient servant,
Robin Rookwood.

This 17th Feb. 1658.

Dr. Thomas Clarges to H. Cromwell, lord lieutenant of Ireland.

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

May it please your Excelency,
I AM so much bussied in my attendance at the house, that I desire your excelency's pardon, if I am not so perticular in forreigne intelligence as I was before. Yesterday the commons house of parliament came to a resolution of that debate, which had ingag'd them ever since the 7th instant, and they pass'd two votes: the first was, that it be part of this bill, (viz. of recognition) to recognize and declare his highnes Richard lord protector to be lord protector and cheif magistrate of the commonwealth of England, Scotland, and Ireland, and the dominions and territories thereunto belonging. The second was, that before this bill be comitted, the house doe declare such additional clauses to be part of the bill, as may bound the protector and cheif magistrate, and fully secure the rights and priviledges of the parliament, and the liberties and rights of the people; and that this nor any other previous vote is or shall be of force, or binding, to the people, untill the whole bill be pass'd.

This day a petition was presented by Mr. Berners, Mr. Kiffin, and some others, in the name of themselves, and forty thousand others citizens of London, which I am told is the same, that was endeavour'd the last session of the last parliament, and caused his highness to dissolve them.

Upon the reading the petition, the house answer'd, that some of the perticulars were allready under consideration, and such of the rest should be considered, as the house should think fitt. In the meane time the house doe expect, that the petitioners, according to their own expressions, doe acquiesce in the resolutions of the house. It was moved to have thanks given to the petitioners for their good affections; but upon devision of the house, it was carried in the negative by 100 voices. I hope things will at last succeed well through much difficulty; for the major part are men very peaceably inclined. The inferior officers of the army have had many consultations about petitioning the parliament; but I heare they agree neither in the manner nor matter of their desires. Those in Scotland are well fixed. I am,

May it please your Excelency,
Your excelencie's most humble, and
most obleig'd servant,
Tho. Clarges.

Earl of Thomond to H. Cromwell, lord lieutenant of Ireland.

Holyhead, fryday 9 in the Morning, 18th Feb. 1658.

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

My Lord,
To let your lordship see how mindfull I am of your commands, even at Holyhead I am encouradged to persecute you with my scrible; yet my zeale to obey you will not only, I trust, prevaile for my offence now, but for the ills in that nature I shall have the hardness to present you withall from London. Mr. Mabbott tells me heere nothing but of a vintner, which, not elected, sat as a member, but not for Scotland or Ireland; soe that my lord president Coote, nor others at Dublin, need not suspect being welcomed into the house. The speech of confident Haselrigge against the recognition was found fit only for lawghter in the house; soe that the packet coming from my careful glover, I shall only add, that my head, being ill, was made better by writting, and my heart much cordialised to apprehend, that my lines may be received with that welcome, as my exact obedience presentes them with my lowest reverence to yourselfe and worthy lady: my lord, now and ever to my power,

Your obedient servant,
Thomond.

My respectes to Mrs. Russell. I can remember Dr. Harison with my letter, though he graced me not with his to Chipman, for feare of offending my lord Claypole att court. Commande Dr. Petit to remember the letter.

The Portuguese embassador to secretary Thurloe.

Vol. lxiii. p. 151.

Portuder desta Carlos Bies que seruin a S. Mag. de Portugal multos annos fri por elle ocupado contra os hilandezes, tendo recibido sua corms sai para este fim, mas sendo entrar no isla de Wight fri ali arrestado per odim do Almirantasgo, ea sua presa eo sin nanio se perolin per Razno do dito arresto perque fogrino os somins com mido da prizao Puo a V. S. mande lego sui ordim ao Almirantasgo para que si nistitua a dita priza ao capitao para que possa continuar a sua viagem a Portugal para donde vai, E' E'mcaro qm a cons. di estado aja passado ordim para adita priza se entregar aos Holandezes sobri can cao pero a V. S. que on aimpida on arluame porq esti neg he dontra Calidade este cavalloro sendo vassalo de S. Mag. e vindo de Lix. Ds g. a V. S. m. annos. Londres, e Fevr. 28/18. de 1659.

Francisco Mello.

S. Joao Thurloe.

Friday, the 18th of Feb. 1658.

Vol. lxiii. p. 154.

The question being propounded,
That this house shall proceed to determine the power of the negative voice in the chief magistrate in the passing of laws, before the constitution of the parliament, as to two houses, be first resolved on:

The house was divided:

The yeas went forth,
Mr. Brewster, Tellers for the yea, with the yea, 86.
Coll. White,
Sir John Coppleston, Tellers for the no, with the no, 217.
Mr. Francis St. John,

So the question passed with the negative.

Resolved,
That the house do take into consideration the constitution of the parliaments, as to two houses, the first business to-morrow morning; and that nothing else do then intervene.

Jo. Smyth, clerk of the parliaments,
to attend the commons.

To the right honourable the representatives of the people of England, assembled in parliament: The humble petition of Elizabeth Portmans

the afflicted wife of John Portmans, late principal secretary to the generals at sea, now close prisoner in the Tower of London,

Vol. lv. p. 71.

Humbly sheweth,
That your petitioner's husband hath been always of true and sincere affections to the public cause of God in this nation, and personally engaged in that cause to the utmost of his power. That notwithstanding the premises, he was about a year since violently, and by armed force, taken from his house, by virtue of a warrant from the lieutenant of the Tower, and committed to the Tower of London; and hath been there ever since strictly confined, without any notice of the reason of his commitment, and without bringing him to a legal trial, though the same hath been earnestly endeavoured and desired by the application of several of his freinds to those who were in power.

Your petitioner therefore doth most humbly pray; that your honours will be pleased to take the premises into your tender consideration; and to take such effectual order herein, as to your wisdoms, upon examining the true merits of the cause, shall seem meet; that so your petitioner and her suffering family be not unjustly pressed down, and overwhelmed by this affliction.

And your petitioner shall ever pray.

Monday, the 21st day of February, 1658.

Vol. lxiii. p. 161.

According to the order of this house made on thursday last, Mr. secretary Thurloe made a narrative, and gave the house an account of the state of the war, and of the affairs of the kings of Sweden and Denmark, in relation to the Baltic sea, and to the command of the Sound; and how far, and in what manner, as well his late highness the lord protector deceased, as also his now highness the lord protector, had severally interested themselves in their respective differences by way of mediation. He further gave the housean account of the shipping and forces of the states general of the United Provinces now in the Sound, and what further preparations (as is informed) they are now making. And that his now highness and his council had directed such shipping and forces to be prepared here, as he apprehends may be for the security of this commonwealth in these times of so great action.

Wednesday, the 23d of February, 1658.

The house, according to the order on monday last, took into consideration the matters then in debate upon the narrative then made to the house by Mr. secretary Thurloe.

Resolved,
That a very considerable navy be forthwith provided and put to sea, for the safety of this commonwealth, and the preservation of the trade and commerce thereof.

Thursday, the 24th of February, 1658.

Resolved,
That it be referred to his highness the lord protector, to put the vote of this house concerning the preparing and putting to sea a considerable navy for the safety of this commonwealth, and the preservation of the trade and the commerce thereof, in execution, saving the interest of this house in the militia, and in making of peace and war.

Resolved,
That Mr. secretary Thurloe be desired to carry this vote to his highness.

Jo. Smyth, clerk of the parliaments,
to attend the commons.

Colonel Barkstead, lieutenant of the Tower, to secretary Thurloe.

Vol. lxiii. p. 157.

Right Honourable,
The last night I receiv'd an order from the grand committee of parliament for grievances, &c. to bring to-morrow the body of Mr. John Portmans to that committee, together with the causes of his commitment and detainer; and according to that order I have this day received a coppie of Mr. Portman's petition, and am to give an answer to the committee concerning the particular complaynt relating to myselfe; in which I am confident I cannot be charged with any thing, but keeping close to my warrant. The coppy of which petition, as alsoe of the warrant for his commitment, &c. I have herein enclosed. I shall have the prisoner there as required, and humbly conceive it convenient Mr. attorney may have notice to be then at the committee. I shall not give you further trouble, but that I am,

Right Honourable,
Your honour's most affectionate freiend,
and hearty servant,
Jo. Barkstead.

Tower, 22d Feb. 1658.

H. Cromwell, lord lieutenant of Ireland, to secretary Thurloc.

Vol. lxiii. p. 159.

Sir,
I Have of late been a little too negligent in my weekly letters. The truth is, here is little to write, besides my frequent illnes, which renders holding down my head troublesom. I hope the frequency of such as have gone from hence have well enough supplyed those omissions. This bearer you know well enough. I have the same respect and confidence in him as formerly; wherefore I desire you will conferr with him about such things as may concern mee, and heare him fully. I am afraid I have not been rightly understood; upon which account, and indeed to settle my own private concernments, not expecting that I and mine should allwayes gnaw upon the publique, I could have wisht, that I might have waited upon his highness; though truly I am of your opinion, that as to some more publique considerations, perhaps 'tis better I am here for the present. I cannot dissemble so much as to say, self-concernment does not somtimes predominat with mee. Pray use this bearer kindly for my sake, who shall doe the like for any freind of yours; and am

Your very affectionat freind and servant,
H. Cromwell.

Feb. 22d, 1658.

Mr. S. Bathurst to secretary Thurloe.

Vol. lxiii. p. 163.

My Lord,
When I came to Hollyhead, there was not any vessel, they being all (by reason of East winds) on this coast for about 10 dayes. At their returne the winde was soe much West, that they could not depart in six dayes. On the 21st instant, by God's blessing, I arrived here, and brought with me the 2 mailes of the 8th and 15th instant, and imediately waited on his excellency my lord lieutenant, and delivered your lordship's letter to him. I also carried my lord chief justice Basell the commission you comanded me. Many of the members of parliament are now preparing for England, and purpose, God willing, to goe to-morrow morning.

I shall not adventure to trouble your lordship with the perticuler circumstances about the letter-office, unlesse you are pleased to signifie your pleasure therin, having given Mr. Noell and Mr. Clerke a full account therof; but shall in all my undertakings most earnestly endeavour to approve myselfe,

Your Lordship's
Most obliged, most gratefull, and
most obedient servant,
Sam. Bathurst.

Dublin, the 23. Feb. 1658/9.

Resolution of the states of Holland concerning the garison at Copenhagen.

5. March [1659.]

Vol. lxiii. p. 175.

The Heer Hugens and other deputies of the affairs of Denmark have reported, that their that in case of good assurance mentioned in their former resolution the sum of 20000 rixdollars a month for 3 months might be lent to the king of Denmark for maintaining the garison at Copenhagen, &c. as more at large appears in the resolution of the states of Holland of the 13th Feb. last; and that letters may be written to their excellencies deputies, that if peace be made between the two kings, they will endeavour with the ministers of France and England, that the guarantee of the three states may interpose, not only in general, but in particular: also that they feared, that the recruits of the militia of this state now in Denmark might weaken his majesty's forces, or hinder his raising of more, because the officers of the said militia will make use properly of Danish soldiers, leaving it however to the consideration of their high mightinesses, if it were not expedient to think of means to prevent the same. Whereupon, after deliberation, their high mightinesses thanked them for their pains; and it was resolved on the first point to require the provinces to declare themselves speedily; on the second point, that letters should be written accordingly to their excellencies deputies; and for the third, that the council of state shall be consulted.

A List of the prisoners in his highneses Tower of London, under the custody of John lord Barkstead, lieutenant of the same, with the time and causes of their commitment.

Vol. lvii. p. 413.

Tower of London, 24. February, 1658.

Comitted Prisoners. Cause of comitment, and for what tyme. Close, or not. Since.
Years. Months. Weeks.
Septemb. 1. 1641. Dr. Wren, late bishop of Ely noe cause exprest, but to be kept till the pleasure of the lords house be signified. Not close. 16 6 0
January 19. 1655. Thomas Peirce for high treason, until further order from us. close. 3 1 1
April 19. 1657. Thomas Venner no cause exprest; but to be kept till further order from us. not close. 1 10 3
William Medley
Richard Marten
August 15. 1657. Charles Gifford for high treason, untill he be thence delivered by due course of law. close. 1 6 2
May 29. 1658. William Houghton upon suspicion of high treason; until delivered by due course of law. not close. 0 9 0
May 24. 1658. Robert Carr for high treason, and misprision of treason, until further order from us; or that he be delivered by due course of law. close. 0 9 0
Adam Acton
Thomas Granger
Oliver Allein Condemned and reprieved.
Henry Fryer
May 15. 1658. Sir William Leighton for high treason; no time mentioned. close. 0 9 0
May 25. 1658. Francis Withrington for suspicion of high treason, until thence delivered by course of law. Condemned and reprieved. close. 0 9 0
June 5. 1658. Henry Mallory condemned and repreived. close.
Novemb. 6. 1658. Francis Lovelace for high treason, till thence delivered by due course of law. close. 0 3 3
Arthur Arscott
Decemb. 9. 1658. Thomas Henshaw for high treason; to be kept till further order. in safe custody. 0 2 3

Colonel Barkstead to secretary Thurloe.

Vol. lxiii. p. 165.

Right Honourable,
I believe you have had an accompt (ere this) what was the sense of the grand committee yesterday, upon the bringing of Portmans thither. Notwithstanding my produceing my lord protector's letter under his highnes owne hand, and a full warrant, (as I apprehended) some seeme to dislike my shewing that letter; but such was my affection and faithfulnes to his highnes commands, I did not imagine the doing that would have reflected upon his honour, which I esteemed my great encouragement. I heartily wish this occasion had been prevented, either by Portman's discharge before, or such warrant given for his detayner, as might have justifyed me more. Sir, I am confident I shall be brought againe upon the stage by severall prisoners in my custody. These committed by the warrants inclosed, I suppose, will be forwardest; and therefore humbly desire your honour will take it into consideration, that as I have kept close in obedience, soe I may not be left lyable to the malice of particular men. I shall not doubt of your tendernes herein, who am,

Right Honourable,
Your honour's most affectionate friend,
and hearty servant,
J. Barkstead.

Tower, 24. Feb. 1658.

Sir, I suppose the report touching Portmans will be made to-morrow morning to the house.

General Monck to secretary Thurloe.

Vol. lxiii. p. 167.

My Lord,
I have received your letter, dated the 17th instant. I am glad to heare, that the affaires of parliament succeede soe well, though but slowlie. I am sorry some officers of the army should trouble themselves with thinges they have nothing to doe withall; but you neede not doubt for the officers heere. I hope wee shall give you noe trouble noe way, but be satisfied with what his highnesse and the parliament shall settle. For newes here wee have none. All thinges are quiet and well, which is all at present from

Your Lordship's very humble servant,
Geo. Monck.

Dalkeith, 24th Feb. 1658/9.

An information.

London, Feb. 25th, 1658/9.

Vol. lxiii. p. 169.

A Relation of some discourse, which passed on or about the 17th day of this instant Feb. at a public-house near the said exchequer, where speaking concerning the brewers in the city, and how ill they were dealt with by the farmers of the excise of beer and ale, one Mr. Barret a seller of tobacco at the sign of the George in Bread-street said, that some particular brewers within the city, pretending to farm the excise of beer and ale of the present farmers, who should notwithstanding continue commissioners, and have a certain yearly allowance for it, had some conference about it with one Dashwood and Young, officers to the present farmers; and amongst other things it was objected by the brewers, who pretended to be new farmers, that they feared, that those other brewers, who were obstinate or negligent in paying their duty, would in case of distress made by their officers, have relief at common law; to which was answered, by either Dashwood or Young, or both, that as for that, secretary Thurloe had undertaken to hinder all process at law against the farmers officers of excise of beer and ale, for which he was to have of the present farmers 1000 l. per annum. And further the said Barret did say, that one having a distress made upon his goods, going to sheriff Robinson of this city for a warrant of replevy, he refused it, and told him, that he had an order from secretary Thurloe not to grant any. And the said Barret being asked, if he had this relation from a good hand, made answer, he had it from one of the said brewers; and said moreover, that since some of the brewers had been with secretary Thurloe, and acquainted him with their intentions of setting forth their grievances by way of petition to the parliament; and that he had now undertaken to present their petition in the house, and promised them to stand their friend upon all occasions. This was spoken in the presence of John Edwards, and Hugh Upton, and another gentleman.

Mr. S. Morland to secretary Thurloe.

Vol. lxiii. p. 117.

May it please your Honour,
I Acquainted your honour some months since with my declining condition, by the nothingnesse of my signett sees, (which hardly maintayn my clerk) and the fayling of that addition, which you had assigned mee; whereupon your honour was pleased to assure mee, that you would make some speedie provision for mee, and did give mee immediately an earnest thereof, far which I return you my most humble thanks, and without which I had then fallen into some inconvenience. Truly, Sir, I am now constrayned to renew my request, foreseing a storme, without some speedy releife. Mr. Noell, who was formerly so kind to lend me 150 l. was lately pleased to presse mee to speedy payment by the mouth of Mr. Robinson his factor; and finding I had not readie monie, obliged mee to bind myselfe in a bond of 600 l. to reimburse the said sum in 6 months, as you may see by the annexed copy of the said bond. There bee some others do the like. These and other considerations oblige me to put off my house, and much of my furniture of halfe the money it cost mee; and in the meane time, I am constrayned to take a private country house (besides a lodging in the city) for my wife to divert her melancholly, which is very far grown upon her, to see my affaires go thus backward. I must confesse I hid it from her, till I was faine to take of hers to supply my occasions; whereas, if I had but enjoyed what your honour was pleased to assign mee, I need not have been put to any of the aforesaid inconveniencies, but lived cheerfully and plentifully, and laid up something yearely. And now I cannot sleep for thinking, what shall become of those, that I may (I know not how soon) leave behind mee. The truth is, I have no freind but my innocency and fidelity to pleade with your honour for mee. I have very many enemies, that will be very joyfull to see mee miscarry; which I must do, and that speedily, if your honour do not remember, and make some provision either at home or abroad for

Your Honour's most obedient and
most faithfull servant,
S. Morland.

26. Feb. 1658.