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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The protector Richard to general Montagu.
Vol. lxiv. p. 147.
I See by your letters to Mr. secretary, in what state things are between the two kings of Sweden and Denmark, and how far you have proceeded upon your instructions; and we judge, that your carriage therein hath been as with fidelity, so with prudence and circumspection. And truly as things stand both here at home and abroad, I think it not adviseable to engage the fleet, until there be further light had into that affair, and the issue of the intended treaty be seen, and that you have given an accompt thereof hither, and received further direction. And therefore in case the Dutch fleet do arrive in those parts, you shall carry yourself friendly towards them, and use your endeavours, that by consent they may not give their assistance to the Dane, until the issue of the treaty be known, but not engage with them, unless it be in your own defence. And to prevent inconveniencies of this kind, we are endeavouring a treaty with them to the purpose of the inclosed papers; which if it be concluded, there will be further time given to understand the final resolutions of both kings, and give this state a better measure, how to proceed towards both or either of them. I rest
Your very affectionate friend.
Whitehall, 1. May, 1659.
Mr. John Barwick to Sir Edward Hyde.
London, May 2. 1659.
In the possession of Joseph Radcliffe, of the Inner Temple, esq;
This bearer makes my writing of litle use to any other purpose, then only to shew, that I am 10th to omitt any opportunity to serve you. As it hath been his work to come well furnished with the knowledge of our present condition, so would it be my wisdome to be silent in those things, because at this time they are at best to me very mysterious as to matter of fact. I sent it (the same night the parliament was dissolved) to that friend, who was wont to present my letters to your lordship, with directions to acquaint your lordship with it. Whether it passed or no, I know not (for there was a search of letters that night); but I thought that the liker way then an immediat address to your lordship, especially considering that (I fear) my hand is not yet forgotten by some in the letter-office, which makes me still cautious in the writing that way. Since that time there hath not passed any thing of moment; for they are still at a stand in expectation, how Hen. Cromwell, Montagu, and Monk will take it. For the first of these, they are in some fear of him, (especially since Locker delared against what they had done) because of his interest in that army. The younger Ingoldsby is got over to him, with hopes to play that game there, which he could not here. They have some hopes of Monk's army, or at leste a party in it, but very litle of himself, especially now that money faills them. They despair (allmost) of Montague's person; but not of some considerable persons abord that fleet; and to play their pranks the better, they have sent Lawson with letters and instructions (and perhaps a commission also) to see how he can work upon the seamen.
It is not probable Montague and Desbrough should ever peece together; but that is not now so considerable as it was at first, for both Desbrough and Fleetwood are now as low in the esteem of the officers, as before they were high, being looked upon as selfseekers, in that they are for a protector (now they have got a protector of wax, whom they can mould as they please, and lay aside, when they can agree upon a successor); whereas the common volge of the army is for a commonwealth, and the long parliament revived. They sit now in severall juncto's. The field-officers at Wallingford-house, the captains at St. James's (where Vane and Hesilfige have some influence); and they talk of a third party of under-officers or agitators; but I canot learn, by which of the parties they are set up, or whether they stand upon a bottom peculiar to themselves. They do not hitherto clash one with anothe, nor much agree, though they give it out, what they doe is upon joynt interest. In probability, the great officers will yeild to the captains to preserve their places, especially being divided among themselves, since Gough and Ingoldsby, &c. were voted out of their commands, and Okey and others of their party put in. If the newes of Locker's dissent (or other things of that nature by the post) put not a remora in their way, they intended this day to adjourn the terme, and in pursuance of their designe to proceed on to the recalling of the long parliament, and then have all process at law as before, in the name of the custodes libertatis, &c. But how this will be done, I know not, unless the judges will doe any thing, or the protector consent to any thing; for they say he much repents of what is past. And to be sure he is looked upon by them (since Locker's dissent) as a person more considerable then before, as appears by their stronger and stricter guards about him.
Though all the former great and suddain resolutions were wondered at by wise men, yet this most of all: for the rest were from one thing to another; this from somthing to nothing. Heretofore the intruder entered allways upon a full treasury; now the publick debts are above two millions sterling, besides their own divisions and the generall discontents, both in the city, and now carryed all over England by the dissolved parliament-men. The protector's servants at Whitehall remove their goods into the city, for fear of plunder; and both they and the generality of the city begin to wish his majesty were in England. The forces now on foot in England are thought not to be above 8000, whereof half are in or about this city; and if they could be drawn of by any diversion, there is a party in the city, which thinck themselves able to shake off that burthen for the future, I pray God to direct his majesty what to doe, and when. If they were once ingaged in blood, party against party, the work would be easy. Till then any appearance would but unite them, as it is here generally conceived; and longer then such an opportunity perhaps may be as hazzardous on the other hand, left the one party swallow up the other on a suddain. Our friends are most of them driven away by a proclamation, which makes both my intelligence, and especially my results upon it, the less considerable. But however it renders me the fitter object for your lordship's pardon; which I beg for him, who is,
Your lordship's most humble servant.
The judges fitt at Westminster, for all the report of adjournment. There is a flying report, as if the protector had given them the slipp, and were gone. I am in such hast, as I cannot enquire into it, nor believe it upon this slight ground. If it be soe, the messenger will know it.
There hath been such stopping, or at least searching of letters of late, as hath made the business, of which I formerly writt, to proceed on thus slowly. Mr. Gregson sent over two bills for the first moiety, and the second bills after them, both by the post; and no return is yet made, that the bills are received and accepted: till then, he tells me, he dares not return any more to the same persons, and can hardly find any other, where he can be so confident. But however, I have sent another bill for 100 l. by this hand, inclosed, to the person, to whom it is consigned. The second bill will come by the next post; and so will bills for the remainder, if Mr. Gregson hear from—that the first are accepted. I lately received a letter from him from Flushen, by which, and by his absence, I see the reason why he hath not written about the receipt of them. I am very much troubled at these delayes; but it is not my fault, nor indeed (as I conceive) neither of theires, but only the absence of the person, to whom they are consigned. I leave the other unfortunat business wholly to Mr. Gregson, to mannage it as he sees best. He is loth to come to a composition, because some other creditors still stand off; and yet he tells me he thinks he must compound. I find money might be very usefull here, to dispatch a messenger, as occasion serves: but I know not yet how to compass any; or if I did, yet it would be too much presumption in me to dispose of any without order. In this or any other thing, there is none more devoted to his majestie's service, nor shall be more observant of your lordship's commands, then he, who in all humility presents his duty to his majesty, and is,
Your lordship's most humble servant.
May 2. 1659.
General Monck to secretary Thurloc.
Vol. lxiv. p. 149.
I Received yours of the 26th of Aprill, and have not received any from you a longe time before. I am very glad, that since soe great an alteration you continue in peace. It is a great mercy, wee are all heere quiett and peaceable; but I heare Charles Stuart has some men in Holland agitating with the Dutch. Whether they will doe any thinge for him or noe, I know nott as yett. I heare likewise, that the Dutch fleete are drawne out before the Texell, and ready to sett sayle. Which way they will bend, I know not as yett. Soe, desiring the Allmighty, that those that are in power may enter uppon somethinge to keepe us in peace and quietnesse; which is the prayer of him, who is
Your Lordshipp's very humble servant,
Dalkeith, 3. May, 1659.
The Spanish agent in Holland, to the states general.
Vol. lxiv. p. 151.
Le soubsigné conseil d'Espagne son secretaire, & de son ambassade aupres des messieurs les estats generaux des Provinces Unies du Païs Bas, ayant receu à cest instant lettre de M. Pimentel, datée à Paris le septiéme de ce mois, par laquelle il lui donne avis de la conclusion d'une cessation d'armes entre sa majesté & le roy très-chrestien, à fin de pouvoir parachever avecque plus de commodité & de quietude le traité de la paix entre ces deux grands monarques, il n'a pas voulu perdre moment de temps d'en donner part à leurs seigneurs, estant assuré, que cette nouvelle leur sera très-agréable, pour le zele qu'elles ont tousjours tesmoigné au repos de la Chrestienté, & à la paix de ces deux roys, leurs amis & allies. Faict à la Haye, le 14. de May, 1659. [N. S.]
Lectum 14. May, 1659. [N. S.]
Col. Alsopp to general Fleetwood.
Dunkirk, 6. May, 1659.
Vol. lxiv. p. 156.
May it please your Excellency,
I Am hereby humbly bold to give your excellency an account of the state of things in this place. I have writ three letters to the secretary of state, but have not received an answer to any of them, notwithstanding that I acquainted the secretary of state with the necessity, which we are in, in this place, both as to that of moneys, and many other things, without which it will be almost impossible to hold this garison, if the enemy should lay siege to us. First, We have scarce a dozen guns mounted about the town, upon good carriages; and at fort Oliver not one. 2dly, We have no planking for platforms; nor can we buy any, for want of money. 3dly, Our store of ammunition, as powder, match, and small shot, is much exhausted. 4thly, If the enemy should come before the town, we have not one bushel of corn, nor a bit of any provision to maintain ourselves in case of a siege. There are many other wants, that I wrote to my lord Thurloe of; but these things here named we must not be without. Since his excellency the lord embassador's departure from hence, I have been put to many streights to get money for the soldiers weekly subsistence; but I am truly now put to my last shift. I borrowed 7000 l. of the magistrates of the town for the last week's subsistence. Truly I do not know what course to take for money for the next week; and without money it is impossible to live here. Things are at a dear rate, and the soldiers cannot be trusted; for many of them lie in barracks, and such places, where they have no landlords; and besides, we are at another great charge in rectifying and repairing the works in fort Oliver and this town. My lord embassador ordered, before he went from hence, four half moons to be made at fort Oliver, with a false bray and a countercharge: the charge of which amounteth to a great sum of money. We have also all hands at work at this town, erecting new works, repairing old, and planting palisadoes round the town. In fine, since the frequent report of the peace between France and Spain, we have not omitted to do all that might be done for the strengthening of this garison. The work at the sand-hills goeth also on very fast, and we have now got to a good distance from the works of the town. We have every day three companies of soldiers, and sometimes four, besides an hundred boors, or country-men, sent from their several cassetries, to work at this place. I acquainted the secretary of state in an answer, which I sent by captain Guy, that here are four vessels brought up by such as act under Swedish commissions, and the one under a Portugal commission. I desire to know his pleasure, whether the captains might sell their prizes here, or not; for they are very urgent to have liberty to sell, or to go forth of our port to their several masters of Sweden and Portugal; which indeed in reason cannot be denied. But I have persuaded them to stay, because I know, it will be of advantage to this place, if they may have liberty to sell here. The duties would amount to a pretty considerable sum, that would help us in this streight. I beseech your excellency to honour me with your answer in relation to these things. It would in my opinion very highly reflect upon the honour and reputation of our nation, if we should lose this town unhandsomely, that hath been so famous in our thoughts, before we had it. A little help will prevent that danger. The officers and soldiers are all very hearty and courageous, notwithstanding the want of money, the noise of the peace, and other discouragements laid upon them. When my lord embassador went from hence, he promised to be absent but three weeks, and for that time left both money for the soldiers and the workmen; but it being to-morrow six weeks since he went from hence, your excellency may believe, that we have been very hard put to it. In his excellency's last to me he acquainted me with a cessation of arms between France and Spain, for two months, beginning on the eighth of May, new style, and ordered me to observe the same, with further order from his highness, or the council, or himself. The governor of Newport sent a drum to know, whether I had orders about these nation. I sent another back with my answer, which was, in case he observed the cessation, all acts of hostility on my part should cease. I also sent a trumpet to St. Omar and Synch fort, to know what those governors would do in reference to the said cessation. But neither drum nor trumpet being yet returned, I cannot give you an account of their answer; but by my next I shall give your excellency an account, how the cessation is observed, and with what face things look in this time of cessation. My lord, I am exceedingly sorry to hear of those differences, which are amongst you, and make a very great noise here. The Lord give you all heart and eyes to think of, and look at the honour of God, who hath so long owned us, and the weal of our country. The Lord compose your differences, and unite you together, or otherwise it is to be feared you will give an advantage to that common enemy, who is indeed an enemy not only to you as you are men, but as you are good men, and profess godliness and sobriety. So craving your excellency's pardon for my tediousness herein, I humbly take leave, and rest,
Your excellency's ever obedient servant,
The officers here desire to have their humble duty presented to your excellency.
General Monck, &c. to general Fleetwood, to be communicated to the generall councill of officers, at Wallingford house.
In the possession of the editor.
Right honourable and worthy freinds,
Having through the rich mercies of our most gracious God lived to see a revive of that glorious cause in your hearts, which hath bin sealed with soe much precious bloud, attested with soe many glorious and signall providences of God, and purchased with soe vast a treasure of these nations; wee cannott butt (with the greatest demonstrations of joy and gladnesse) owne your late proceedings in pursuance of these blessed ends wee have for soe many yeares beene contending for; and that God hath att last, after soe many yeares declining and desertion from his and his people's cause and interest, turned backe your eyes uppon your former vowes and engagements made in the day of your espousalls, and begotten in you a livelie sense, both of your past saylinges and present duty, wee cannott butt looke uppon as the greatest and happiest prognostick of our future peace and establishment, that ever our eyes yett beheld; and accordingly doe with humbled hearts both reverence and embrace this dispensation of divine providence, as that whereby a passage is made for our enjoying these good thinges soe longe since hoped for: that God hath hitherto indulged us, whilst every one was following after his idoll, and advancing his particular interest above that of a God and his people, deserves to bee for ever had in remembrance, as that whereby wee are kept alive unto this day. Certainly had hee nott bin a longe-suffering God, and exceeding slowe to wrath, hee had longe ere now given us the dregs of his indignation to drinke, and made us a reproach and hissing to the adversaries of his truth, making us to reele and stagger, and dash one against another, till wee had accomplisht that on ourselves, which the bloudiest of our adversaries could nott have beheld without horrour and amazement. But now since wee hope the sense of these thinges lies as heavy on your spiritts as on our owne, wee shall cease to bee your remembrancers of what hath bin left undone, or done amisse, and putt you in minde of what in this great day of the Lord's appearing you ought to doe. And in this wee shall be very brief, intending to bee more particular, as occasion may offer.
In the first place, therefore, we earnestlie intreate you, that in the worke you have undertaken, as you would lay aside the interest of any private person, soe that your eye may nott bee fastened upon the interest of any particular partie whatsoever, as itt is distinct or subdivided from the whole interest of God and of those that professe his name in sinceritie and truth; butt that you would earnestlie studie and endeavour to advance such, in whose hearts the power of godlinesse shall be made manifest, through holy, strict, and religious conversation, although they may be of different mindes in the more externall and lesse necessary parts of religion.
2. That seeing his late highnesse hath bin pleased to manifest soe much self-deniall and love to his country, in appearing for the interest thereof against his owne, in this great day of change, that you will use your indeavours, with all affectionate care and industry, that himself and family (together with her highnesse dowager) may have soe honourable a provision settled upon them, and such other dignities, as are suitable to the former great services of that familie to these nations.
3. That as you are of the free-borne people of England, and nott mercenaries, you will in your places, and according to the duty of your callinges, maintaine the just liberties of the whole people, their good lawes, and righte; and remove all oppression and every heavy and intollerable yoake from off their neckes.
4. That you would assert the freedome and priviledges of their representatives duly assembled, and consisting of persons rightly qualified; as being the basis and foundation of the government of this commonwealth.
And lastly, that as the best expedient for the curing our distempers, wee heartily rejoice, that you have anticipated our desires in inviting the members of the longe parliament to re-assemble, and carry on the worke of the nation under a commonwealth government. And we desire, that you would owne them, and stand by them, as those, by whome God hath formerlie done glorious thinges for his people's libertie; and that some effectuall course be taken for begetting a good understanding and mutuall correspondency betwixt the parliament and army; that soe there may bee noe more dashing in pieces, nor dissolvings of them, butt such as are regular, and according to the established forme of government. And wee doe assure you, that as in what you have already done in order to these thinges, you have our hearty and affectionate concurrence; soe our constant purpose and resolution is heerafter to stand by you and all the people of God in the maintenance of them against all opposers whatsoever. And that this good cause may prosper in your and our hearts and hands, is and shall bee the dayly prayer of
Your most affectionate friends,
and humble servants,
Dalkeith, 12. May, 1659.
Lockhart to the committee of safety.
Vol. lxiv. p. 161.
May it please your Lordships,
So soone as I received the honour of your lordships commands, with the parliament's declaration of their intentions touching the settlement of the nations, I assembled the officers, and communicated the said declaration to them; as also the speciall care your lordships had of them and this place, by ordering money for its subsistance, and by expressing desiers to know the wants of either, to the end they might be supplyed.
All of us are sensible of your lordships goodnesse towards us; and I hope (when the Lord shall see fit to call for our wittnessing fidelitie to your lordships, and affection for the interests of the commonwealth) wee shall be enabled to give a better account of our zeale for both by our actions, then we can doe by our expressions. In the morning before your lordships came, at a full meeting of the officers, faithfulnesse to the present government, and obedience to all their commands, was unanimously resolved upon. The lyke was done by the three regiments at Amiens (who have orders to quarter at Bourbourgh, during the said suspension of arms between France and Spayne). I was rather desyrous to have them there neare us, then that they should march with the French army under M. de Lislbon. I have ordered an account to be given me of the strength of this garrison, and its dependants; of the condition of our magazines; of what is due to the work-masters: all which I shall transmit by the next, and according to your lordships orders shall addresse my letters to the counsell of state. There have been several pryzes brought in here during my absence, upon commissions from the Swed and Portugall. Tho' the pryzes be much embezled, yett I shall reserve what remaineth, till I receive the councell's commands concerning my duty in such cases. I shall lykewise discharge all privatt men of war from bringing pryzes into this port, or under the Splinter, without licence for their so doing from the counsell of state.
I humbly beg your lordships mediation for my leave to come over. I shall putt things heare in that condition, as my absence for a short tyme shall be of no disadvantage. Coll. Allsopp will be more carefull and more diligent then I can be; and I should own as a greatt happinesse the opportunity of laying before the counsell of state the little I know touching their affairs with France, and the present transactings between France and Spain. If my humble desyer in this be not approoved of, I shall accquiesce into their lordships pleasure, and obey your lordships commands with a submission and respect, which shall cvince the faithfulnesse of my being,
May it please your Lordships,
Your most humble and obedient servant,
Dunkirke, May 17. 1659.
Col. Alsopp to general Fleetwood.
Vol. lxiv. p. 163.
Since my last to your excellency, here hath not fallen any thing worth your knowledge, only that the last night his excellency my lord embassador came hither from Paris, and was received with much joy and satisfaction to all, as well the magistrates of this town, the inhabitants, as the officers and soldiers; and as soon as he was come to his lodgings, he appointed a meeting of the officers to be at ten of the clock this morning, which was accordingly performed. And his excellency did then and there acquaint the officers with the transactions of things in England; and did also exhort and command the officers to a strict performance of their duty, notwithstanding the cessation made betwixt the two crowns of France and Spain, giving them good reasons to incite them thereunto; and did also acquaint them, that notwithstanding the change of government, which is now in England, that we were not to look upon particulars with the same eye, that we are bound in duty to look upon things of public concernment. And although the government were altered, the nation is still the same, and the concernment of the public also the same; for which we are immediately to act; and having through the providence of God procured this town to the use of our country, that we are to lay forth ourselves to the utmost of our power to keep and maintain it for the use aforesaid. We have also had a meeting this afternoon, occasioned by a letter to his excellency from the committee of parliament for safety. His lordship was pleased to acquaint us with the consequence of that letter; and truly I am bold to acquaint your excellency, that there appeared very much satisfaction in all the officers then assembled; so that I find not the least part of any dissatisfaction amongst any here. For indeed my lord embassador manageth all things with such prudence, as for my part I have scarce found the like in any; and I am bold to say, that he is a person as fit to be trusted in things of public concernment, as well to that of his fidelity, as that of his known abilities, as any person that I have yet had the honour to be acquainted with. My lord, the time of the cessation cometh on very fast, which was but at first spoken of for two months; and we being here so much unprovided of those things, which I writ to you for in my last, as ammunition, powder, match, small-shot, carriages for guns, with other materials for the gunners and fire-master, as also the want of provisions for the belly, or money to buy it with for a store; and that the enemy (without doubt) hath good intelligence of the nature of things here, may, for ought I know, be an inducement for them to lay siege to this town, as soon as any other place, it being a place of so great concernment to them; so that I again humbly make it my desire to your excellency, that these necessaries may be dispatched over, and I question not, by the assistance of God, but that his excellency the lord embassador, with those under his command here, will be able to give you a good account of this garison, tho' there should come a considerable army before it. So with my prayers to almighty God, for his hand of providence to lead you along in all your undertakings, I humbly take leave, and rest,
Your excellency's ever obedient servant,
The officers with us desire to have their humble duty and service presented to your excellency.
Mr. S. Morland to secretary Thurloe.
Vol. lxiv. p. 165.
I Lately acquainted your honour with my present condition, which I am wholly ashamed to repeate, for it is really sad and deplorable. I humblie beseech you, if I have found anie favour in your eyes, to assist mee with some speedie relief as to moneyes. According to that allowance of 500 l. per annum, that your honour promised me, accounting from that time to this, with all I have received from you, and by my employment of clerk of the signet, there is neare an hundred pounds in arreares; besides 14 or 15 pound it hath cost mee since your honour last payd mee, for letters and pacquets from Piemont, and from M. Pell. &c. and about five or six pound I layd out for yourselfe in locks, a hatt, and other small things, which I never should have mentioned, had not necessity compelled mee, being left to the wide world, without a penny of present income, and being not perfectly out of debt neither. I most humbly and earnestly beg your honour to take into your present consideration my condition, and to assist mee with an hundred pounds, that so I may supporte myselfe, while I am solliciting for some employment under this new government; although I much feare, and am informed by some knowing persons, that the greatest obstacle in my way is, that I have been so diligent and faithfull a servant of yours. I leave my present condition with you, which by how much the more sad and helplesse it is, by so much the more it may bee an argument to you, that I have served you faithfully, and have not fought myselfe, but the publick interest. Truly, Sir, I must suddainly bee brought under great distractions and afflictions, except God touch your heart to give a speedy and effectual answer to this humble request of
Your most obedient,
and most faithfull servant,
Wednesday noon, 17. May, 1659.
May 11. 1659. Received from the hand of Mr. Morland the summe of 301.
I say received 30 l. by me, Francis Corker.
Mr. Corker desires to know your honour's pleasure about his continuing his correspondence with you; and if your honour should lay down your employment, whether you would bee willing, that hee should make his application to him that succeeds. For newes, hee says hee has none at present, but that all is husht as to anie present rising.
Credentials of the Dutch embassador.
In the possession of the right honourable Philip ld. Hardwicke, lord high chancellor of GreatBritian.
Les estats generaux des Provinces Unies du Païs Bas, comme ainsi soit que nous ayans trouvé bon, voire grandement necessaire en la conjuncture presente des affaires de l'Europe, de continuer en sa charge d'ambassadeur ordinaire le sieur Guillaume Nieupoort, conseiller recepveur general de Nort Hollande, pensionaire de la ville de Schiedam, deputé extraordinaire en nostre assemblée de la part de la province d'Hollande & West-Frise:
Ayants faict choix de lui comme d'une personne, que nous tenons pour ses rares qualitez & longe experience en estime & confiance, estant bien instruict de nos bonnes & sinceres intentions, qui n'ont autre but, que d'entretenir, augmenter, confirmer, & corroborer d'avantage la bonne amitie, correspondance, & alliance entre les deux estats & nations, fondées sur des interests communs de religion, d'estat, & de commerce; ayants telle confiance en sa suffisance, prudence, fidelité, & diligence, que nous nous remettons á lui de les exposer de vive voix au parlement de la republique d'Angleterre, & particulierement le zele & repos des deux nations. A raison de quoi nous prions trés-instamment & de toute nostre affection par ces presentes ledit parlement de la republique d'Angleterre, qu'il lui plaise de donner favorable audience audit nostre ambassadeur ordinaire, & lui deferer entiere creance, comme á nous mesmes, en tout ce qu'il dira & proposera de nostre part, en la conjuncture presente des affaires des deux republiques. Faict en la Haye en Hollande, le 29. May, 1659. [N. S.]
Par ordonnance des hauts & puissants seigneurs estats generaux,
A memorial of the Swedish commissioners to the council of state, delivered May 23. 1659.
Vol. lxiv. p. 211.
May it please your Lordships,
Understanding that divers captains, who are in his majesty of Sweden's actual service, as likewise some native Swedes, who are sent from his majesty's fleet, are stopped in several ports of England, whereof one captain Swart hath been detained above a month, without the least intimation of the reasons thereof given unto us, his majesty's ministers residing here; we are forced to give your lordships this present trouble, and humbly to crave your redress, in regard it is the constant practice amongst all princes and free states in amity, to have a free access into each others havens; and in the late wars betwixt this commonwealth and Holland, the subjects of England used the same freedom in the haven of Gottenburgh, whither when any prizes were brought, they were suffered either to sell them there, or to take them out of the port, notwithstanding the opposition made by the Holland ministers there, and long since practised by the Hollanders against the subjects of this commonwealth, bringing in English vessels into their havens with Spanish commissions, and selling them there as good prizes. We humbly desire, your lordships will take these premises into your serious consideration, and suffer the said captains, now so long detained with those prizes they have lawfully taken, to be set at liberty; and if not permitted to sell them here, yet at least to depart unmolested out of your havens, and transport them to his majesty's dominious. Which favour his majesty, upon the like occasion, will be ready to acknowledge; and we shall take it as an obligation upon
Most humble servants,
The lord George Fleetwood representeth as followeth:
Vol. lxiv. p. 213.
I. That captain Cornelius Peterson Swart, commander of a private man of war, which now lies at Rye, having taken two prizes, and brought them up to Dover, upon some complaint made to the late council agaisnt him, he was sent for up by Mr. secretary; and there being, upon examination, no just cause found to detain him, he was dismissed, it appearing he is a native Swede, and that he came with him from Gottenburgh with a commission from the king of Sweden.
That he made application to Dr. Walker for advice, how to proceed against the said two prizes; who told him, that in regard of the late change, there was nothing at present to be done.
II. That captain Cornelius Claeson, by virtue of a commission from the king of Sweden, having the command of a man of war, and being a native of Gottenburgh, took a prize, and brought her into the isle of Wight. He coming to London, the merchants or owners of the said prize desired to speak with him, to make some agreement touching the said ship and goods; and under colour thereof, brought their action of 3000 l. against him, and cast him into prison, where he now remains.
III. That captain Hamilton, having likewise a commission from his majesty of Sweden, to command a private man of war, having lately taken a Dutch ship (off Yarmouth) bound from Bremen to Holland, the master and merchant on board agreed with him, to pay him 200 l. for discharge of the said vessel and goods, upon the arrival of the said ship at Yarmouth; which the said captain Hamilton being willing to consent unto, put into the said port, and going on shore, the master and merchant arrested him in an action of 4000 l. upon which he was carried to prison, where he now remains.
IV. That captain Arrington, being, by like commission from the king of Sweden, commander of the Christopher of Gottenburgh, lately took a small vessel in her ballast, belonging to a Hollander of Scheevelmy; and putting into the isle of Wight, major Bull, deputy governor of that place, caused the said captain Arrington's sails to be taken from his ship, with his guns and ammunition, and will not permit him to depart from thence without special order of the council of state.
At the council of state at Whitehall:
Monday, 23d of May, 1659.
Vol. lxiv. p. 201.
That the memorial, this day delivered by the Swedish commissioners, signifying the detention of several captains in the king of Sweden's service, and some native Swedes, particularly one captain Swart, with their prizes, in several ports of England, be referred to colonel Clerke, colonel Salmon, and colonel Kelsey, to inquire and inform themselves concerning the deduction of the said Swart, or any other of his majesty's of Sweden's captains, natives or prizes, now in any of the English ports, and to certify to the council, for what cause the said persons and prizes are detained, and their opinions to the council, what is fit to be done therein.
Ri. Deane, (fn. 1), cl. of the council.
H. Cromwell, lord lieutenant of Ireland, to the protector Richard.
In the possession of Will. Cromwellesq;
May it please your Highness,
I Have received no letters from your highness for some time before the last parliament was dissolved; myself, and the officers of the army, having been in a waiting frame to see what God or our superiors would command us; and in the same condition we remain still, desiring your highness to lett us hear from you upon these matters. I have sent to my brother Fleetwood, upon the desires of the people here, a particular of such things, as they would gladly have granted, whereof this bearer, colonel Lawrence, can give your highness an account. I perceive, by him, he is known to your highness. I know not whether Sir William Bury, and Dr. Jones, who are sent upon the same message, have had that honour. They are my very good friends, and will be able to acquaint your highness with the several steps of our proceedings. I wish we have been mindful enough, and prepared for such dispensations, as the Lord may have for us. I am glad, at least, that our dear father went off in that glory, which was due to his actings. I pray God bear up your highness's spiritt, and that we may be encouraged to do our duties. I remain
Your Highness's obedient servant,
23d of May, 1659.
H. Cromwell, lord lieutenant of Ireland, to general Fleetwood.
In the possession of Will. Cromwell esq;
I Received a letter, bearing date the tenth instant, subscribed by yourself, my lord Lambert, and others. In answer thereunto, I promised my endeavours for the peace of this nation, and withall an accompt of what the officers (to whom I communicated that letter, and the enclosed declaration) should resolve upon.
At first they had it in their thought to have made some address in writing themselves into England; but thinking, that their so doing might look too like a capitulation, they desired me to acquaint you, that they resolved to continue in a peaceable disposition, and to let you know, what things are conceived will strengthen therein, and be of general satisfaction to the whole nation; to which end I have sent over Sir William Bury, colonel Lawrence, and Dr. Jones, to conferr with you upon the particulars of a paper, wherein your care and dispatch will be of publick advantage. I remain
24. May, 1659.
Dr. Tho. Clarges to Sir Tho. Herbert.
London, this 24th of May, 1659.
In the possession of the right hon. the an earl of Shelburn.
The posts have been so very uncertaine lately from Ireland, that I have heard but once from you these three weeks. There is a very good face upon our affaires heere, and all degrees of people seeme pleased (or at least acquiesce) in the present government. This day the Holland ambassador had audience in parliament; and, in the name of his masters, he desired the renewing the amity betwixt us and them. I heare his late highness returned an answere to the house this day to some message from them. The message related to the present condition of his revennue, his present debts, and how contracted; and how he approved this present government. To all which, I am informed, his answers were agreeable to the expectation and desire of the house, which was satisfactory. I hope all things are quiett in your parts; and that they may so continue both there, and in all the parts of these nations, is and shall be the prayer of
Your affectionate humble servant,
For my worthy friend Sir Tho. Herbert, at the council-chamber in Dublin.
Tuesday, 24. May, 1659.
Vol. lxiv. p. 175.
Ordered by the parliament, that it be referred to the council of state, to hear what the lord embassador from the lords the states general of the United Provinces of the Netherlands hath further to say, and to present it to this house; and that Sir Oliver Fleming, the master of the ceremonies, acquaint the embassador with this order.
Tho. St. Nicolas, clerk of the parliament.
To the right honourable the council of state of the commonwealth of England, &c.
Vol. lxiv. p. 187.
The subscribed embassador from the lords the states general of the United Netherlandish Provinces doth assure their honours in the name, and on the behalf, of the said lords his superiors, that they have no other intention or design, that to increase, confirm and corroborate the friendship, union, and alliance between the commonwealth of England and the United Provinces, grounded on the common interest of religion, state, and commerce: and that, concerning the wars and troubles in the Sound and Eastern countries, they have no other aim or design, than to preserve the freedom and liberty of the navigation and commerce, upon equal terms and conditions, as well for the commonwealth and the people of England, as of the state and people of the United Provinces, which is more fully expressed in the treaty concluded at Elbing in September, 1656. and the elucidations since agreed at Thoren by the Swedish commissioners, in the presence of the king of Sweden himself. And the lords the states general, having, at the invitation and desire of England and France, shewn their readiness and willingness to mediate, and to co-operate jointly with England and France, in the re-establishing of peace and friendship between the high and contending parties, and agreed to the articles of the late treaty of the Hague, concluded and signed by the lord embassador of France and the resident of England, with the commissioners of the said United Provinces; and having also sent ordrs and instructions to the commanders in chief of their forces in the Sound and Baltic sea, as also four members. . . . . . to the negotiation of the peace between the two Northern kings and kingdoms, the said embassador beseecheth, that it may please their honours, that he may know and be able to communicate to the said lords his superiors, what the sense and meaning is of the present government of this commonwealth concerning the ratification of the said treaty, and the further negotiations and transactions of the present affairs and occurrences in the Sound and Eastern countries.
This 25th day of May, 1659. stylo Angliæ.
Read 27. May, 1659.
At the council of state at Whitehall:
Wednesday, May 25. 1659.
That Sir Henry Vane, the lord Lambert, colonel Morley, the lord Warriston, and Sir Robert Honywood, or any three of them, be and are hereby authorized and appointed a committee of the council, to treat with his excellency the lord embassador from the lords the states general of the United Provinces of the Netherlands, upon propositions, wherein they are instructed by the council; and to meet with him for that purpose.
R. Deane, clerk of the council.
At the council of state at Whitehall:
Thursday, May 26. 1659.
That the account of the state of the affairs between the commonwealth and other states, contained in four sheets of paper, herewith sent, be humbly offered to the parliament.
That upon mature consideration of the present state of affairs between this commonwealth and other states, the council found it very necessary to agree upon certain propositions to be treated upon with his excellency the lord embassador from the lords the states general of the United Provinces of the Netherlands, in order to the parliament's further pleasure to be declared therein:
That is to say, 1. That there have been orders already sent by this state to general Montagu, to pursue the late treaty, agreed at the Hague the 11/21. of May instant; and this state is ready to give here their ratification thereof. 2. It is further propounded, that a longer time be agreed upon, of desisting from giving assistance, by either commonwealth, to the kings of Sweden or Denmark; to the end that, during that time, a treaty betwixt England and the United Provinces of the Netherlands be entered into, for the more effectual obtaining a peace between both the said kings; wherein the interest of both commonwealths, with respect unto each of their secure and free commerce into the Baltic seas, may be fully and equally provided for, and a firm foundation laid of a lasting peace and nearest union between themselves: That this treaty made be speedily endeavoured here, or by plenipotentiaries sent from both states, upon such place as shall be agreed upon between them.
That it be humbly offered, as the opinion of this council, that (in case the propositions be refused or delayed by the said lord embassador) further instructions may be sent to general Montagu, how to behave himself, in case the Dutch and Danes come to an agreement with the Swede, or shall endeavour to relieve Copenhagen, or transport any of the duke of Brandenburgh's forces into any of the islands.
Sir Henry Vane is desired humbly to offer this report to the parliament.
Friday, 27. May, 1659.
Sir Henry Vane reports from the council of state a paper, delivered to the council of state from the lord embassador of the states general of the United Provinces of the Netherlands, which was read:
And also the treaty between the commonwealth, the states general of the United Provinces, and France, which were also read:
And also some propositions to be treated upon with the lord embassador of the lords the states general, which were also read:
And also the opinion of the council of state touching instructions to be sent to general Montagu.
That these papers be presently returned back to the council of state.
That this house doth approve of the proceedings of the council of state with the lord embassador of the states general of the United Provinces of the Netherlands.
That it be referred to the council of state to proceed in the managing the treaty between this state and the states general of the United Provinces of the Netherlands, as they think fit, upon the grounds and proposals presented to this house, and report their proceedings therein to this house, for their approbation.
That power be given to the council of state to send commissioners or instructions unto general Montagu, or any others, as they shall see cause, for the preservation of the interest of the commonwealth in the business of the Sound.
Tho. St. Nicholas, clerk of the parliament.
To the right honourable the council of state by authority of the parliament of the commonwealth of England.
The subscribed embassador from the lords the states general of the United Provinces, having perused the three propositions, communicated unto him by the right honourable committee of the council authorized thereunto, beseecheth, that it may please the council, that he may in another conference offer his considerations, according to the orders and instructions from his superiors on the matters mentioned in the said propositions.
In Chanon-row, Westminster, this 27. May, 1659.
Considerations on the three propositions exhibited to the subscribed embassador from the lords the states general of the United Provinces.
1. It is humbly offered, whether it be not convenient, to endeavour speedily to settle a peace betwixt the kings of Sweden and Denmark by a special treaty, wherein the interest of the commonwealths, with respect unto each of their free and secure commerce into the Baltic seas, may be fully and equally provided for; and whereby a firm foundation may be laid of a lasting peace and nearest union between themselves: and to that end and purpose, instructions and orders may be sent over to the respective public ministers in the Sound, or with the said kings of Sweden and Denmark, the said embassador being willing to send to the public ministers of the said United Provinces his letters, that they may know, what hath been here agreed, and will procure a ratification of the lords his superiors, in a competent time.
II. The said embassador is also ready and willing to enter into conference concerning the renewing and more firmly corroborating the treaties of amity and alliance betwixt the commonwealths of England and the United Provinces, on the grounds of the common interests of religion, state, and commerce.
III. And having prepared the particulars in referrence thereunto, plenipotentiaries from both states may meet to perfectionate the said firm and nearest union, in such a place and manner, as shall be found most convenient thereunto.
In Chanon-row, Westminster, this 28. day of May, 1659. stylo Angliæ.
May 30. 1659.
That Sir Henry Vane, Sir Robert Honywood, lieutenant-general Ludlow, and Mr. Challoner, or any three of them, do this night acquaint the lord embassador of the United Provinces, that the council have this day further debated his excellency's papers, and the matter under consideration between them, whether it should be further transacted here, or by plenipotentiaries to be sent from hence on the place; and finding it to be of weighty consideration, have determined to offer it to the parliament for their resolution therein; and having nothing further to tender to his excellency on the propositions between them, till the pleasure of the parliament be known, they have therefore by them their committee returned his excellency's papers this day sent to the council.
Tuesday, May 31. 1659.
That there be commissioners plenipotentiaries for obtaining a good peace between the two Northern kings, and to adjust and secure the interest of this commonwealth and its allies in the Sound; and by the assistance and power of the fleet of this commonwealth, separately, or jointly with the fleet or fleets of its allies, to endeavour the same.
That the persons to be named and impowered as aforesaid be five or any three of them, unless the council, in case of sickness, or other emergencies, shall see cause to constitute the commissioners to be four.
That instructions be given by the council to the said plenipotentiaries, or any other, in pursuance of the said resolutions.
That it be referred to the council of state, to present the names of the said five commissioners plenipotentiaries, and to prepare commissions to be signed by the speaker, and report the said names and commissions to the house.
Tho. St. Nicholas, clerk of the parliament.