February (2 of 3)
Queries for his highness to answer to his own conscience.
By a wellwisher to the anabaptists prosperity, and all the rest of the separatists of England.
From a manuscript in the hand-writing of Henry Oldenburg, esq; in the possession of the reverend mr. William Clarke, canonresidentiary of Chichester.
There is some intelligence abroad, which I desire to communicate in a private way,
left I become a prey to the malice or envy of the ramping lion. The matter is this:
it seems your highness being discoursing with a Scotish lord, who is called the lord
Tweedale, you were pleased to say, that there was something amiss in the church and state,
which you would reform as soon as may be: of those that were amiss in state, some were
done, and the rest were a doing: and as for those things that were amiss in the church, you
hoped to rectify by degrees, as opportunity presented itself; but before you could do this
work, the anabaptists must be taken out of the army, and this you could not do with
sharp corrosive medicines, but it must be done by degrees. From which there are two
things observable: 1. The work. 2. The way you intend to do this work.
The work is churchwork. You intend to follow the steps of them that are gone before;
which could not be content to meddle with state-affairs, and to make laws for the body
or persons of men, but for the conscience too; and to make laws and statutes, and impose
them on the people as rules of divine worship. And this is the work you intend to be
at, under pretence of correcting error, and so to destroy truth. But who could have thought
this, when you made your last speech to the parliament? when your tongue was so sweetly
tip'd for the liberty of conscience, reproving the parliament for having a singer in their
brother's conscience ? Who could have imagined, that then heard you, you would have
been at the same trade, unless he had supposed, a fountain could send forth sweet water
The way you intend to take to bring about this design is twofold: 1. To purge the
army of the anabaptists. 2. To do it by degrees. But, O Oliver, is this thy design? And
is this the way to be rid of the anabaptists? And is this the reason, because they hinder the
reforming the things amiss in the church? I confess, they have been enemies to the presbyterian church; and so were you, when you were at Dunbar in Scotland, or at least you
seemed to be so by your words and actions; for you spake as pure independency as any of
us all then, and made this an argument why we should fight stoutly, because we had the
prayers of the independent and baptised churches.
So highly did you seem to love the anabaptists then, that you did not only invite them
into the army, but entertain them in your family; but it seems, the case is altered. But do
not deceive yourself, nor let the priests deceive you; for the anabaptists are men that will
not be shuffled out of their birthrights, as freeborn people of England. And have they
not filled your towns, your cities, your provinces, your castles, your navies, your tents,
your armies, except that which went to the West-Indies, which prospers so well? Your
court, your very council is not free; only we have left your temples for yourself to worship
in. So that I believe it will be a hard thing to root them out, although you tell the Scotish
lord, you will do it by degrees, as he reports.
May it please your highness, to consider what hath been said, and answer these ensuing
queries to your own conscience.
1. Whether you had come to that heigth you are now in, if the anabaptists had
been as much your enemies as they were your friends ?
2. Whether the anabaptists were ever unfaithful either to the commonwealth in general,
or to your highness in particular? And if not, then what is the reason of your intended
3. Whether the anabaptists are not to be commended for their integrity, which had rather
keep faith and a good conscience, although it may lose them their employment, than to
keep their employment with the loss of both?
4. Whether the anabaptists did not come more justly into their employment in the army,
than you came into the seat of government?
5. Whether, if the anabaptists had the power in their hands, and were as able to cast
you out, as you were them, and they did intend it to you, as you do to them, whether your
highness would not say they were all knaves ?
6. Whether an hundred of the old anabaptists, such as marched under your command in
48, 49, 50, &c. be not as good as 200 of your new courtiers, if you were in such a condition as you were at Dunbar?
7. Whether your highness's court is not a greater charge to this nation than the anabaptists in the army ? and if so, whether this be the case you promised the people ?
8. Whether the monies laid out in the making of new rivers and ponds at Hampton
Court might not have been better bestowed in paying the publick faith, or the anabaptists
arrears before their dismission ?
9. Whether it is not convenient for the anabaptists to provide for their own safety, seeing
from you they can expect none ?
10. Whether it will be any more treason to fight for our liberties and civil properties
in these days, if they be denied us, than it was to fight for them in the days of the
11. Whether the instrument of government be as the laws of the Medes and Persians,
that alter not ? If so, how is it, that mr. John Biddle is now a prisoner ?
12. Whether your highness may not as well violate the whole instrument of government, as the 37th or 38th articles ? If so, what security have the people for their liberty ?
13. Whether our liberty doth not wholly depend upon your will and the will of a future protector, seeing the instrument of government is so little useful ? If so, whether
our condition be not as bad as ever ?
14. Whether it will not be more abominable to the anabaptists or independents, or mr.
Biddle, or any other prosessing faith in God by Jesus Christ, and are not disturbers of the
civil peace, nor turn their liberty into licentiousness, to suffer for their conscience under
your government, that promised liberty to such, than it was to have suffered under the
king that promised them none ?
15. Whether you will not appear a dreadful apostate and fearful dissembler, if you suffer
persecution to fall upon the anabaptists or independents, or them of mr. Biddle's judgment, seeing you promised equal liberty to all ?
16. Whether the old parliament was not turned out for leaving undone what they ought
to have done ? And if so, whether these things be done since ?
17. Whether the little parliament was not turned out for doing that, which the other
left undone, or taking away of tithes and other grievances ? And if so,
18. Whether then you did not intend your own ends more than the nations good, in
breaking the first parliament, and calling the second, and dissolving them all ?
19. Whether the instrument of government was not preparing 8 or 9 days before the
breaking up of the little parliament ? and if so, whether you did not intend their dissolving ?
20. Whether you did not tell a shameful untruth to the last parliament, saying, that
you did not know of their dissolving, that is to say, the little parliament, till they came
to deliver up their power to you ?
21. Whether you did not put a slur upon the lord Lambert, when he should have
gone lord lieutenant of Ireland, in telling the parliament, it savoured too much of monarchy;
and so sent Fleetwood with a lower title ?
22. Whether you do not intend to put another slur upon the lord Lambert, in sending
for the lord deputy to come into England, to make him generalissimo of the armies in
England, Scotland, and Ireland ?
23. Whether it is not convenient for the lord Lambert to have an eye to your proceedings, left by degrees you eat him out of all, as you intend to do the anabaptists ?
24. Whether the excess or pride of your family do not call for a speedy judgment
from heaven, seeing pride never goeth without a fall ?
25. Whether the six coach horses did not give you a fair warning of some worse thing
to follow, if you repent not, seeing God often forewarns, before he strikes home ?
My humble request is, that you will seriously consider of these few lines; and take heed
of casting away old friends for new acquaintance, as Rehoboam did, 1 Reg. xii. 8. who
forsook the counsel of his good old friends, and consulted with his young courtiers;
which caused the ten tribes to revolt from him.
And as it is a deadly sign of a speedy ruin, when a prince or a state casts off the interest of
the people of God, as you may see in 2 Chron. xxiv. 17. how Joash forsook the people
and house of God, and then his host fell before a few Assyrians, as you may see x. 24. and
at last his own servants conspired against him, and slew him.
And therefore, O Cromwell, leave off this wicked design, to cast off the interest of the
people of God, and let my counsel be acceptable to thee. Break off thy sins by righteousness, and thine iniquity by shewing mercy to the poor, and it may be a lengthening of thy
tranquillity; for it is not strength united with policy, but righteousness accompanied with
strength, that must keep alive your interest with God and the people: and when both
these die, that is to say, righteousness and sincerity, then adieu to thy greatness here, and
thy eternal happiness hereafter.
An intercepted letter.
Vol. xxxv. p. 133.
It is affliction to the misery to bee deprived of youre company; for which I may
justly blame my rashnes; but men in my condision are too often to hasty, for which
I crave both youers and all my friends pardon; but out of that evell, I prayse my God, good
hath accrued; for that now haith given mee an opportunity to dooe that, which before
I could not. This bearer, my singular good frind, can tell you what hapioned yesternight
to mee, which I forbere to right, desiring you to give him credense, for I asure you, you
may doe it without anie danger.
I have agreed with him for your relese; and if the monie can be procured, that formerly was named, I shall bee set free without ports. Good sur, consider my sad condision,
for I have noe friend to speke to but youreselfe, and none that I can rely upone in the
world for this but youreselfe. I am confident, you will doe your utermost; but be
plesed to informe mee by your hand and none other. Youre answere, if hee cannot have
answer now, set the time and plase. By what he shall tell you, you will perceive they
intend to macke short work with mee, and try mee at a court marshall for inteligense.
Wee must not expect justis, for I am informed by verie good frinds, they are resolut
The leter they found, and the character thay say I wrote, for that buusnes, the armes
found, and to or 3 casleles, which was bought. The minors you ned not to feare, and
things in that you say or right non to mee; so that I can by your menes; but all thinges
must bee in redines. I pray you send mee five pound by hime, for I want. It must bee
considered, whether that I shall gooe, when out here, for the present, untill the hubub bee
over. They swere they will have all out mee for the litell I informed them, that I knoe
it all, for thay swere to hange mee. Life is sweete: noe one will die, if possibell to prevent it. Yet I hope that God will inabell mee to quit myselfe licke an honest man. Good
sur, anser these rude lines to
Feb. 13, 1654.
To sir Jo. Barkstead.
Youre servant for ever.
Mr. Bradshaw, resident at Hamburg, to the protector.
Vol. xxxv. p. 138.
May it please your highnesse,
Were I not enforced to it by the unreasonablenesse of a disaffected party in the
English company here, I should judge myselfe utterly inexcusable for thus frequently interruptinge your highnes weighty affaires. Since I humbly accompted to your highnes
by my addresse of the 9th of the last moneth, inclosed to mr. secretary Thurloe, in what
manner your gratious letter to this company was entertained by that party, I am informed
they have presented a petition or paper to your highnes, desireinge to come to their justification, pretendinge their persons and actions have been misrepresented by me and the
well affected here; and to that end their leadinge man, and indeed the great disturber of
the companie's peace, and the cheefe affronter of your highnes servant, one Francis Townley (beinge as it should seeme thereto advised by his abettinge freinds to prevent his being
sent for by your highnes to answer his contempts) is gone hence for England, to endeavour
with those of his faction their vindication. I am sorrie they constraine me to be thus trouble
some; but I hope your highnes goodness will pardon it, and please to looke upon the inclosed
narratives of said Townley's deportment with those his cheefe associates and sticklers for him,
and that partie, every particular whereof shall be fully proved, with many other passages
of like nature, which are here omitted.
I most humbly beg that your highnes will please to order me a copy of their petition or
paper exhibited, which some of that party here say containes a charge against me and the
well affected, together with a special commission to examine witnesses, that I may make it
appeare, that I have not wronged them in any my informations or complaints, nor that I
presumed soe often to trouble your highness but by their insolent enforcement.
Prayinge the Almightie still to blast the designes of your highnes's enemies, which by what
I this day remit mr. secretary Thurloe, are advanceinge and ripeninge to some notable action, I humbly crave leave to subscribe myselfe
Hamburg, Feb. 13,
most humble and faithfull servant,
Mr. Bradshaw, resident at Hamburg, to secretary Thurloe.
Vol. xxxv. p. 137.
The inclosed will accompt to you the service the gentleman doth you where he is
I shall expect your orders concerneinge the person he hath gained. In the meane
tyme to beget a relish, I shall, as is desired, take care by the very next opportunity to remit him 10 or 12 l. and by my letter encourage him to the service. By this night's post
I hint soe much to monsieur Von Berg, and signify your order now received concerneinge
him. If you shall thinke fitt to order said Von Berg to the service, in which he conceives
he may be most usefull (and truly I doubt hee cannot longe be hid there) and engage the
other to continue there, till things be more fully discovered, imparting to me what can be
gained, I conceive it may in that way advantage most. This weeke there hath past many
strangers here. At one tyme there sate up in the wagons with the Denmarke post 14 all
mussled in capps, that not one of them could be knowne. Though 194 may probably
have influenc't the designe lately discovered, and by giveinge it fourth to have a considerable
party there for him hee may thincke to engage strangers to him; yet methincks the way
they seeme to take for effectinge their designe carryes noe great probabillity in it. I shall
doe the best I can to discover more of it, and as I finde, give notice from post to post.
From other hands I am allsoe informed, that for certaine 194 is very active, and hath great
hopes, notwithstandinge his highness knowes of the plot, to carry it on, but forewarned
is forearmed, as I trust you are to receive them. I shall pray God to detect and frustrate
your enemies, and use the utmost of my endeavours towards it, ever remayneinge, sir,
Hamburg, Feb. 13, 1654.
Your most humble servant,
From hence to Cullen is 4 dayes postage, and goes theither twice a weeke. I am sorie
mr. Benson should deale soe with his freinds, but I hope you will take it into consideration,
how in honnour I stand engaged to mr. Acton by my recommendation of him, as he was
recommended to me by mr. Scot of the councell.
Capt. George Bishop to Secretary Thurloe.
V. xxiii. p. 97.
I am very apprehensive of the immediate danger the interest of the commonwealth and
of the honest people in this citty are in at this present, through some designe of the
enemy very nere breakeing forth, and which to withstand wee are in noe capacity; nor is
the garrison in a condition to repulse a round salve from a valiant enemy. Through some
men's false representations, and the jealousies which usually accompany such times as these,
those whoe formerly were heer, throughout all our warrs, the happy instruments of this citty's
safety and the parts farr aboute, are utterly disenabled either to search out, withstand, or
destroy any attempts against either; and the ill-affected heightned beyond expression, and
ready to act any mischeife, the Lord shall permitt them, without any controule or opposition. And hereupon I am much trobled to consider, what a sad advantage may suddenly
bee made of such a place as this, even to furnish an army with armes, ammunition, men,
mony, and other provisions of warr, besides the reputation of a city of this consequence,
full of trade, shipps, people, and riches. I am very wary in the least to hiperbolize in
things of this nature; and I am as cautious, how I conceale any thing, that may concerne
the publique safety, however it may be understood. The countenances of men have the
same aspect as formerly wee have experienced in such minutes as these; and wee see many
strangers, seemingly of quallity, comeing into the towne, and walking our streets. The
last night upon the occasion of the funerall of the lady Newton came in about 300 horse,
amongst whom were many cavileers, whoe endeavoured to put out the lights, that were
holden out by people, as they came in; and this day severall straingers of all forts wee
have seen wearing green ribbons in their hatts; alsoe some men with scarves about their
necks, and shoes on their armes came into the city; and my selfe observed severall this
evening, whom I judged to be horsemen. The truth is, they may doe here what they
please, unlesse some supplies come timely to us; but wee expect the storme every minute. I
have endeavored to find out, if any working bee heere, though I must tell you, the discountenance wee have received makes every thing difficult, if not impossible. The interest
and power of your old friend is quite lost and overthrowne. In time you will find, whether
they are friendes or no that have given occasion. If I can find out any thing, you shall understand it. Heretofore, when wee had the countenance and reputation of the state, wee were
blessed both with discovery and prevention; but now what the Lord will enable us to doe,
wee know not; or whether in a few howers wee shall continue our beings. I suppose you have
already intimations of Massy's being lately in these parts, and his goeing towards Gloucester,
and of one conceived to bee the duke of York on thursday at Marsfield. Therefore I shall
mention nothing therin further, nor of any other occurrences at this time; desireing your
excuse for these intimations, which in much hast out of love I have trobled you withall.
Bristoll, Feb. 14, 1654.
Your assured friend and servant,
Mr. Longland, agent at Leghorn, to Secretary Thurloe.
Vol. xxiii. p. 278.
This week is com for Genoa, this place, and Civita Vechia (the pope's port) at
left 30 sail of Duch ships, with whom Ruyter's com for convoy, and tis certainly
reported by that nation, that theyr states hav sent abroad to cal hom al theyr ships of war,
as if they had som great bisnes in hand. Thes Itallians talk much, as if the Duch wer
to join with the Spanyard. I hav had advys from Genoa, that the duke of Infantado a
Spanyard has latly bin ther in his way to Millan, and much courted that state to a close
frendship with Spayn, which althoh they hav bin most terribly abus'd, yet much of them
hav such greate estates in that king's dominions, that they must per force assist him, and a
couple of great Genowes ships, the one cald the Maribot, the other the St. George, ar
now (under pretence of lading merchants goods for Lisbon) taking in armes and munition for Spayn, wherof, if any occasion presents, I shal giv general Blak notis, who may
hapilly meet them going for Cales. 'Tis lykwys reported for certain, that the state of
Genoa does now lend vast sums of mony to the Spanyard, without which he wer not able
this spring to make any appearance. I hav seen a letter writ from Rom by a good hand,
that the pope should say, the church would shortly be necessitated to sel her chalices, to
maintayn her purple, except Cristian princes would join their forces together against the
Lutherans. The Spanish Naples fleet coms not back againe for Naples, as was reported,
but is gon to Cales, wher they continue to arm and unyt al their sea forces together. I am
lykwys credibly informed, that the Duch marchants ships in thes seas ar resolved to entertain the Spanish servis in a sieming forct way, who putting in 200 or 300 soldiors upon
them may mak them good men of war. In such a case a dozen good Inglish marchant
ships may be taken up in thes parts lykwys to strengthen general Blak's fleet; for here will
be many good ships, which wil be glad of the imploy. The pope is raising 6000 foot to
strengthen his borders against the Modanes, whos duk is now upon his return, being
made the king of France's generall for Itally. I latly drew upon you 6901. being what I
had disburst by your order for his hyhnes horses bouht at Naples, which I humbly desyre
you to order its payment to mr. Geo. Smith, as I hope you hav don the former 501. paid
mr. Bayly, which comply'd with wil mak me capable of serving you, and perpetually
Leg. 25, Feb. 1655.
your most humble
and faithful servant,
The Spanish embassadors to the protector.
Vol. xxxv. p. 140.
Most serene sir,
It is now allmost four weeks since wee made the propositions to your hyghnes contained
in the paper wee left with you in the pryvate audience your highnes was pleased to grant
us; and they beeing of condition, that to bee put in execution it depends uppon the brevity of tyme, wee have solicited your answear to them dyvers tymes, and desyring still to
have it, wee have thought fitt to have recourse to your hyghnes yourself, and request you to
be pleased, that it may be given us without farther delay; since, besydes what wee alledge, I the
marques of Lede, cannot delay my returne to Flanders any longer tyme, then what is necessary
to know your highnes intention; the command and charges I beare there, and the necessity of
my presence to discharge myne obligation, and accomplish the king my master's orders,
obligeing mee to hasten my departure hence. God Almighty keep the most serene person of
The Secretary of the Spanish embassadors to secretary Thurloe.
Vol. xxxv. p. 141.
Having acquainted my lord ambassador with your honour's paper, he hath commanded me to give you thankes for your favour in offering to come at ten of the
clock upon saturday morning at his house, where his excellency will be ready to receive
your honour. I remaine, sir,
February 15, 1655.
most humble servant,
Estevan Gamarra to Alon. de Cardenas, the Spanish embassador in England.
Hague, February 26, 1655. [N. S.]
Vol. xxiii. p.127.
I have received your letter of the 19th. This state hath appointed commissioners to
treat with me upon the points, which I propounded in my last audience. We have
not yet begun through the absence of the pensionary of Holland, who is one of my commissioners. The states of Holland are called together against the 8th of the next month.
In the mean time I wish you happiness; and shall continue to give you an account of my
proceedings from time to time.
The information of John Bendish in the said county, gent. taken upon oath, Feb. 16, Norf.
1654, before John Pell and Edmund Cremer, esqrs; justices of the peace for the
Vol. xxiii. p. 105.
Who faith, that about a fortnight before Christmas last past, he this informant being
in company with one William Cobbe of Castle-rising, gent. at the house, of one
John Osborne of King's Linn poulterer, upon conference with one Ediny Barlyclorne, by
whom (as he hath informed this informant) the said William Cobbe hath had 2 bastards,
he this informant (after the said Ediny her complaint, how he had wronged her in that
kind, and some other ways) did hear the said William Cobbe say, is that such a great matter to have a bastard, for my lord protector's eldest son hath had a bastard, and he must hold
up his hand at the bar for it ? And this informant farther faith, that upon the 20th day
of January last past he this informant going to speak with the said mr. Cobbe in Castlerising aforesaid, where he was at the house of 3 popish maids, living in the farm of the
said William Cobbe in Castle-rising aforesaid, he the said William Cobbe did then and
there say, that this is the 20th day of January, and before the 20th day of March next he
the said William Cobbe did look to see my lord protector hanged. And at another time a
little before Christmas last past, he the said informant coming with the said William Cobbe
from the town of Lynn aforesaid, did hear the said William Cobbe (he having then a but
toned cap on his head) say, that he hoped to wear the said buttoned cap longer then my
lord protector should live; for he was a brewer, and made choice of no gentlemen, but
brewers, and such as were journeymen justices like himself; and did use other reproachful
speeches about the turning out of the last parliament.
This is a true copy examined,
The information of Bevis Makeham of Castle-rising, cordwainer, and now one of
the constables of the said town, taken upon oath Feb. 16, 1654, before John Pell
and Edm. Cremer, esqrs; justices of the peace for the said county.
Who faith, that about the third day of January last past, when as the said justices
had a meeting concerning the tythes substracted by one William Cobbe of Castlerising, gent. from the now incumbent William Calvert, and rector of the said town of
Castle-rising; he this informant being in company with the said William Cobbe, did then
and there hear the said William Cobbe (after some abuses of this informant concerning
his office) declare, that it was he the said William Cobbe, that did say, that there were
journeymen justices in the other room, and wished him to go in, and tell the said justices
(then and there sitting) so much; and that he would maintain it and prove it.
This is a true copy examined,
The information of William Lacy of North-Wotton in the said county of Norfolk, taken the day and year abovementioned, before the said justices.
Who faith, that about the 23d day of December last past, one William Cobbe of
Castle-rising, gent. coming into the house of this informant, and amongst his railing
discourses against the said Edm. Cremer, one of the justices abovementioned, he the said
William Cobbe did then and there say, that one mr. Calvert (now rector and incumbent
in the parish of Castle-rising aforesaid) must get some more journeymen justices, than the
said mr. Pell and the said mr. Cremer, for they would soon be tired.
This is a true copy examined,
The examination of William Cobbe of Castle-rising in the said county, gent. taken
February 18, 1654, before John Pell and Edm. Cremer, justices of the peace
for the said county.
Who faith, as concerning the information given by John Bendish of Rogdon, gent.
against the said William Cobbe, he the said William Cobbe doth utterly deny all
and every the particulars charged against him to be true.
And he also further faith, that the informations of Bevis Makeham of Castle-rising;
as also the information of William Lacy of North-Wotton abovementioned, as to his the
said William Cobbe his intentions, to be utterly false.
This is a true copy examined,
A letter of information to secretary Thurloe.
Vol. xxiii. p. 131.
Yesterday 1000 declarations were directed to be brought for my friend to the house of
one Stevens a Taylor in Black-friers, a man of whome I have made much use, in order
to discover what I thought might be for the service of his highnes and the commonwealth; and he hath bin and may be still very usefull to that end. He is now gone into
Leicestershire and Warwickshire, to observe what is doing by the . . . of . . . and the rest
thereabouts, whereof I shall have a true account, and your selfe from me. I pray be
pleased to give such order, that Stevens may not be apprehended att his returne, nor the
goods kept from him, if any where in his house, because it would much hinder my
endeavours and hopes of doing you service. I would undertake, that if you would speake
with him att any time, that he shall waite uppon you.
February 16, 1654.
Extract of an intercepted letter.
Vol. xxiii. p. 135.
It is reported the king of Spayne is at Cadiz fitting his Armado in hast, and getting
souldiers downe, as if he would follow gen. Pen; but doe beleeve cannot gett any considerable strength; and besydes G. Blake is come downe agayne, I beleeve to wayte on their
Plimouth, Feb. 16. 1654.
From Tym. Alsop to Moses Gudyeare's leter.
Copy of a letter from Argier to mr. Richard Casson.
Vol. xxiii. p. 139.
My last was of the 15th of January 1655. by mr. William Cooke, and the divan sent
also to my lord protector of England, Scotland, and Ireland. I sent to you concerning all particulars. Five days since I was before the divan and the king about
Englishmen, that were taken by the Turks in strangers vessels, and after examination known
to be Englishmen, and born in London, they gave them free to us, and desired of me
news from England. So I told them, England was a great way off, and it was a thing
impossible for to get an answer not yet this month, of which they were satisfied, and desired me to write home to England to the states for to have an answer. So having no friend
in London, I desire you, that you would do me that favour, as to direct this my letter to
the right owner, and presently after the receipt of this you would go to mr. Thomas
Bromfield; for I directed my letter to him to have it closed up, and set the superscription
on it after it was sealed, for I am unacquainted with any of the commissioners of the navy,
and I shall remain an obliged servant to you in any service you shall command me. For
your unkle's goods it is all as it was, not one farthing lost, but remains in my hands, and in
the house. Three days since I was before the king, and he used me very courteously,
and told me, he did hope to see a consul settled in Argier, as hath been formerly;
and for the preservation of the peace they are all agreed upon it, and will not be the occasion of breaking it; but faith they have a firm league with the English, and do hope to
enjoy it to the world's end. So said all the divan. I desire your answer as soon as possibly
you can concerning your uncle's goods. So having nothing else at present, rest
Argier, Feb. 17, 1655.
Your servant at command,
The original of this I received the 9th of May 1655.
Mr. J. Berkenhead to secretary Thurloe.
[Barbadoes, February 17, 1654.]
V. xxxvii. p. 43.
May it please your honor,
I Shall forbeare to trouble you with the time of our shippinge, or what happened in our
voyage, onely this great truth, which we cannot omitt, that neer men had a better
passage hitherto (blessed bee his holy name, who hath thereby given us as it were an earnest
of what he intends us in our future successes) and not only soe, but hath-hitherto soe preserved us in our health, that our voyage lost us not 20 men, that we can heare of; nor
are we subject to diseases as we yet find; but every day as we stay, we find ourselves fitter
for the country; and for my owne part, I must ingeniously acknowledge, that for the
climat wee are in, would as willingly live in it as that of my nativity, excepting that natural love, that every one hath to that, which brought him forth. We tooke shipping that
day we hold to be our Saviour's birth-day, and on the 28th of January our rear admirall's
squadron came into the Barbados harbour, which went a weeke at least away before us
from Portsmouth; and on the 29th we being the generall's squadron came in likewise; but
being somewhat late before we came in, we staid till the morrow before we landed; which
we no sooner did but our generall with the rest of the commanders sell hot to worke, spareing nor paines nor service, but forthwith tooke care for the quartering of our souldiers, and
raysing our men in the island, where they are very well entertained, though some of the
planters being of malignant spiritts (as indeed most of them are) signifie their follyes in
venting their calumnious words against not onely the designe, but the powers by which we
come, and the parties employed in it; for which like words one Evans a islander and leveller was called to a court martial, from whence he made his appeale to the civill magistrate; and after the busines being debated by our commanders, they appointed certain persons
of the island to sitt upon him by a commission of oyer and terminer, and have onely adjudged him (since the treason could not handsomly be made out) to stand on the pillory
the next market day for an houre, and six months imprisonment after. We had at our
landing two disorderly persons, who beinge drunk quarrelled one with the other, and almost destroyed themselves; for which offences and several others our court martiall have
provided soe regularly and carefully, that thos of most suspected principles for such kind
of actions are now become very orthodox and subject to discipline, so that I hope a short
time will render us fitter for our employments then was by some supposed. On Tuesday
February 6, our generall and commissioners went abord generall Pen, where they continued
till night, and theire made instructions for captain Butler, one of our five commissioners,
lieutenant colonell Holdup and captain Blagge of the Marston Moore frigat commissioners,
who were to goe to the Leeward islands at St. Christopher's and to raise men there; and
that night being sitted with instructions set sayle, but what they have done as yet we heare
not. On friday February 9, we kept a solemn day of humiliation, and next day fell to
our busines, every one in his own sphere. We found the islanders to come in something
chearefully, they being free men, but not of meane estates; but the rich planters, except
some few, endeavour all they can to dishearten the men from goeinge. Yet for lacke of our
shipps, which hath some of our men in (as the great Charity, &c.) armes, ammunition, and
other necessaries, we are something disheartened, the islanders either concealing what they
have, or being not able to afford a quarter armes for our men: and we came so badly
armed from England, that we often (and I am sure I speak within compasse) are not armed
with such as Englishmen use to fight with; and in the meane time we lye still, eatinge up
the island, and our shipps eatinge up their provisions; soe that had we not had some good
fortune by taking some Dutch prizes, who contrary to the articles of peace betwixt the
two nations made here, we might have been at a losse. Nevertheless our officers and souldiers are highly bent upon action, and wish to be gonne with such armes they have, our
generall's care being soe much, that he hath provided great numbers of half pikes, though
at a larger length then ordinary, for they are ten foote long; many of them (which may
cause your wonder) are made of cabadge-stalks; I mean of the trees in Barbados, which
bear cabages, and this for lack of better wood. They are not all handsome, nor will they
long be serviceable, but such as our necessities will admit to furnish ourselves with. Indeed
our general hath scarce time for his natural rest, being all day with the commissioners;
and when risen, much of the night after he spends with the army-officers, soe that we can
at present but looke upon him with pitty, though blessed be God his strength continues
firme, his resolution high, and his spiritts active and chearful, giving great satisfaction
both to officers and souldiers. Nor is there any faction at all amongst us, every one hitherto
shewing himselfe a faithful souldier and a true Englishman; but we have lately found the
devill's endeavours to have his chapel amongst us, which we shall teare up by the roots;
for I have made a discovery of certain papists in our armie, to the number of one hundred
and fifty, which came out of England, and most of the regiments which came out of the
Tower, which were raised in hast, and put into colonell Butler's. Besides there are certain
Irish papists, which were listed in this island since our coming, which we are now purging
ourselves of. We have likewise in our fleet many (as I am credibly informed) anabaptists that doe in their speeches justisie admiral Lawson's late actings, that he was questioned for, and especially one captain Newbury of the Portland frigat, who denyes the
Trinity, and are so violent in prosecuting their way of worship and their owne opinions,
that they come on shore, and make proselites, and get soe many of theire owne sort into
into the army, as they can; as particularly one captain Martiall, whos company is most
of the late proselites raised in this island, and himself likewise. There are certaine companies also, who have many of them in; and whether this be designe or no, you may by
this enclosed judge theire practice of theire church in England, this being a letter found
amongst captain Newbury's papers, and directed to him. The fleet can spare us a handsom
proportion of armes (such as they are) but not near sufficient, since our regiments neare, if
not fully compleated, which you will see more at large by the musters, and I doe thinke never musters were more truly made then now. We have likewise a very gallant Regiment
of sea men, consisting of 1080 men, all gallantly armed, and for the time indifferently
well exercised. The colonell is vice-admiral Goodson, the lieutenant colonell captain Benjamin Blake of the Gloucester frigatt, the major captain Blagg of the Marston-Moore,
and thes with the rest of the officers and souldiers are very unanimous for our land service,
captain Kirby of the Beare petitioning he might be one to goe on shore; all which I hope
will prove very effectual, since theire officers useth so much care and pains with them.
As for our regiments, they are exercised regimentally two days in the week, onely colonell
Morris his regiment, which cannot have the like conveniency of meeting, for that it consists of planters, and therefore as yet live at theire owne dwellings. Colonell Morris himself is not very chearful in the designe, and the reason I know not, unlesse he be over
entreated by his wife, who hath (as their . . . .) been very importunate with him to leave
the voyage; but since I heare for certaine, that he demands a great sume of monies to
pay his debts with, which our generall in justice cannot grant. He is some hundreds sterling indebted to the state, which would be forgiven him; but that he hoalds not satisfactory;
for whereas the island is indebted to his highnes, he would have so much out of that, as
may amount to his demanded sum, alledging that the island will demand nothing for quartering our soldiers; which carries so much (in my judgment) of injustice in it, that I
dare say our commissioners will never grant it, for it's conceived when accounts are cast up
of what this island owes his highnes, and what we have indamaged them, at a certain rate
by quarter, there will be little or no difference. Indeed the gentleman is very well approved of, and questionless very fit for this designe, and very faithful to our interest; but
how farr his wife may prevaile with him, by ingaging him to ask such things as cannot be
granted, I shall not say, though she be observed to be very powerful and younge. I must
confess our general is very ready to answer his request in what justice will admit of, but
to pay twelve hundred pounds sterling is much. In colonell Butler's regiment there hath
been divers quarrels amongst the officers, though taken up by the collonel. Their affections are various, and a disaffection generally, which makes me to think of the number of
papists in his regiment, that that may worke this disaffection. Indeed the gentleman himself is stout, loves applause and flattery; and if there be any persons, that would seeme to
disrelish our general proceedings, something he hath to say on their behalfs, and all the
reason I could ever find, he judgeth himself the elder collonel. Now would envy or malice
imploy their chiefest agents, I am confident they must destroy themselves in speaking against
our generall, he is so justly and temperatly discreet and active, so conscionably just and
careful to relieve the oppressed, that truly we are thereby (if possible it could be) in a
greater tye of duty to his highnes for making such a rich provision for us in him; for he
lays his shoulders so much to the work in hand, that we are sometimes afraid, left he overturn himself; for his rest is hardly 4 hours most nights. And for our major generall, he
hath, God knows, payd already very deare for his voyage, having both on ship board and
on shoar most pitiful fits of the stone; but we hope it is over, though his pain was great,
yet would he in spite thereof be acting. And for collonel Fortescue, his careful temper is
such, that none knows him in our armie, fleet, or island, but honour him. His regiment at present is upwards of a thousand. And truely collonel Carter, I can say no lesse of
him, and cannot but eye providence in giving us such godly examples as our greatest officers are. Our ministers are likewise very able, nor doe they spare any paines in their callinge. We have had lately a tryal, which hath given us a further tast of our general's religion and justice; to wit, a man brought from other parts a certain number of Indian
Christian protestants, and haveing found them faithful in his life, at his death he left them
all freemen. But the intollerable basenes of this island is such in that point, that they rather strive to keepe their slaves in ignorance, thereby thinking to make them hopelesse of
freedom; nor make they any conscience at all of killinge their slaves, doggs and they being in one ranke with them. But let me not digresse; for on the behalfe of these Indians there was an honest man, that appeared and prosecuted on their behalfes, finding after
our coming a free course of justice (the lack of which was complained of before, and I
doubt too truely) and upon a full heareing of the busines, the Indian Christians were set free,
after they had all been destroyed by oppression except five. It would greeve your heart
to talke with the nigor slaves in the island, and especially with thos that are most ingenious,
with whom I have had some discourse; and asking them, whether they know God, they
sayd noe. I asked them, whither they went when they died; they said to the ground, and
noe whither else. So that observe they are absolute atheists, worshipping nothing, being taken
off their owne naturall superstitious worshipps. I asked them, why they would not be Christians ? They sayd, they could get no body to teach them. I asked them, whether they
were willing to learne ? They said, with all their hearts, which I must confess strucke me
to the heart. Here's in the island one collonel Moodiford and mr. Nowell, secretary to
the island's affairs, who are hugely distasted by this island; for that they two, as the islanders
say, did invite our forces over hither, which our islanders are generally against. I have
here inclosed a list of the prises taken before and since our coming. I must now returne
my real acknowledgment of thos high and unmerited favours I have received from your
honour as well formerly as at present; for according to your honour's desire and assurance of
me of the scoutmaister's place, it is now performed, and I have my commission; for which
in yours to him, which I suppose wil be by the next, I humbly beg your thanks to him.
I further beg your favour in commanding some of your servants to send what foraigne but
especially Spanish intelligence you thinke fit; and what instructions further than what
you have already given me, they shall be fully observed by him, who desires no longer to
live than he is,
May it please your honour,
your honour's in all humility
and faithfulnes devoted,
The examination of Ellen Aske.
Vol. xxiii. p. 141.
That mr. Rogers told her, that one Rachel or Abigal—that lives about the
Tower, is very intimate with a gentleman, that waits constantly on his highness,
and usually at his elbow, when he is in his chair at dinner, that publishes all he hears or
knows to be done in his highness's family to the said Rachel or Abigal.
That mr. Aske, now in the Elizabeth of London at Gravesend, who is conceived to be
sent away to-morrow, hath a list of the names of all those, that subscribed for the raising
of horse against his highness and this present government.
The said mr. Aske only named major general Harrison, Rogers, Feake, and one that
was a commander in some great place, that should have been the commander in chief, but
he could not remember his name, nor the names of many others.
That one mr. Suetman, a silkman, living betwixt Cheapside, going down to Queen-hith,
reviles his highness much in language, and calls him apostate; and that God did forbid to
pray for him.
One Rebecca Sturgeon or Spurgeon, at the sign of the Angel at London-bridge, told
this examinate, that she must be one of them, that must pluck down Cromwell; and she
would tell him so to his face.
Many other particulars she told me of horses, that were bought for that purpose, and to
be lodged in the town, to be put in execution by way of surprize; but I could not find
any thing more to fix you any person either by name or place; but insisted much upon the
list, which mr. Aske hath.
This examination was taken
Feb. 17, 1654, by me
A Letter of Ellen Askee.
Vol. xxiii. p. 151.
Mr. R. Nelson,
May it please your workshipe to acquaint his highnes, that in consence bond I
hould my selfe to be faithfull to the commonwealth of England; and though I
once was, as I confes, in my carnall condition, I was for the king's party, and did for many
yeres together know of the greate designes of wicked men, and am able to discover many
of my lord's deedly and destructive enemyes, and those that latly upon a fast day in London did gather together in a place that I can discover, because then there present, and
did there most strangly rayle against his highnes, and said the plage of God confound him,
calling him round-heded doge, I would I had his flesh between my teeth, and much more
as bade; if my lord be pleased but to employ me in freedome to give in the names of those,
that did soe say, and one of them said, now hee is gone to pray, lett us goe charge and
Furder, I have harde of a secrett plot of many, who resolve to have a runing army
against my lord his hignes for blood, and have, as I understand, horses bought redy for
that purpose, and my frinde, and I hope faithfull man to my lord, Isaac Welles doath
know the man. Tho' I consave he be now not there, yet if my lord will grante me libertie, I shall be faithfull upon my life to discover his name to my lord, if he shall be
pleased but to grante me libertie to speake with himselfe; but I am afraid to speak to any
in the world but him or your worship; upon which if my lord will employ Isaac Welles to
goe to the partie, which I consave can descover very much of this greate plott, which
doath I feare drawe nere to be executed by a people called a 5 monirchy peopll, and that
there is a gentillwoman, who did tell me, that that worke would not be accomplished,
untill she went, for she should be one of them, that should pull him downe, or helpe
downe with him, was the word saide. Whereas I am afraide to speake with any but my
lord or your worshipp; the reson of it is, because there are in my lord's house or thereunto belonging them, that doe declare to mr. Rodgeres and soe to mr. Pheake and oatheres,
what allmost soever is spoken in my lord's one house. I being not longe since a herer of
John Rodgeres did understand much, and had allmost bine destroyed or swalowed up with
delusions, that my lord was not a man that stoode for truth and peace.
Soe with my humble sarvice presente to you,
desireing you to doe in this what God shall
instruct you to doe, I reast your sarvant,
Capt. George Bishope to secretary Thurloe.
Vol. xxiii. p. 145.
Such was the dangerous condition of this place, in reference to the publique, that I
could not but give you some account thereof the last post, though in much haste and
rudeness. In the same posture wee continue, thoogh att present quiett, yett every houre expecting a very great storme to fall, unless the Lord hath pleased to dash their designes, of
which, nor how thinges are, have wee any account; not a letter from any coming this post
to the officers of the garrison, or to my selfe, or other friends.
You might perhaps thinke mee too affectionate in what I represented of danger here;
but knew you this citty, and the parts aboute it, and how easily in a very few daies an army
of 20000 horse and foote might bee raised and furnished with all thinges, and in what a
preparedness, without any thing to make any considerable resistance, the hearts of men are
to serve such a designe, you would as much hasten to secure it as any citty in England,
except London, and bee more forward therunto then any here to desire you.
The towne hath still many strangers in it, whom wee have cause much to suspect. The
green ribbons with an eye of white appeare still in manie of their hatts; but the more considerable sort appeare little but at night, since the mayor and aldermen on thursday in the
afternoon sent the constables (whoe are many of them malignants) to see what strangers were
in publique houses, an intimation sufficient to make them abscond. The last night an honest
person overheard two gallants say to each other, what should wee care for a few souldiers,
since thou knowest wee have 500 ready ? They now shist quarters, and the meaner sort appeare with swords, they wearing none at first; and when at night any lights come by, some,
whoe seem to bee of quallity, they pull their hatts over their eies, and soe have been observed.
Though the port hath had his highness order to stopp suspicious persons, yet within two
or three dayes some Irish rebells, whoe have been at Spayn, and returned, were permitted to
depart for Ireland. It is now more strickt, and noe doubt manie dangerous persons haveinge
recourse hither, upon discovery made of their designes, might (upon this stopp) bee secured, were there here a force sufficient, the garrison being soe weake, that it dares not attempt it, least the multitude flie out, and all be endangered. Whilst contrivances are, and
matter for designes you will see it much conduceing to safetie, that soe considerable a place
as this as to all thinges bee in a constant condition of security; and those, whoe otherwise
represent it, you'l find them at long run (perhaps when it is too late) noe friends to the
publique. Pardon my plainess, and this trouble, which I could not omitt out of my affections
to the comonwealth. I am,
Bristoll, Feb. 17, 1654.
your assured friend and servant,
Mr. Nelson to secretary Thurloe.
Vol. xxiii. p. 153.
I Intended to have waited on you my selfe by 6 in the morninge, but findinge, that my
servant Isaac Welles did speake with you soe happilie this lord's day, I have sent by
him the inclosed examination of mrs. Aske, with the letter sent to me. Sir, I desire to let you know, that he is faithfull, and if he may be serviceable to his highnesse
or yourselfe in this or any thinge else, sir, I beseech you comand him or me to the
uttermost power of.
Martin's Lane, Feb. 18, 1654.
Your most humble servant,
Mr. John Pell and mr. Edmund Cremer to secretary Thurloe.
Vol. xxiii. p. 161.
We having received late informations upon oath, that William Cobb of Castle-rising
in the county of Norfolk, gent. hath uttered divers scandalous speeches, tending
to the subversion of the government now established in this commonwealth, and this coming to our knowledge in this juncture of time, when eminent dangers have been discovered
that threaten generall ruin, if not prevented; we thought it our duties to secure the party
delinquent in the castle of Norwich, and render an account by the first post to his highness
and his councell of our doings therein. In pursuance whereof we have taken upon us the
boldness to present you with a true copy of the said informations, humbly beseeching
you, that his highness and councell may have intelligence thereof and of our proceedings
therein; and that you would vouchsafe to communicate unto us their censure of our actions,
with directions, what further service, they will be pleased to command us therein.
What we have done is out of the duty we owe to the safety of the commonwealth,
which we hope will be resented and approved of.
The delinquent is evidently disaffected to the peace of this commonwealth, and the officers
imployed for the preservation of the same.
This is all at present, but the tender of our humble duties to his highness and his
honorable council, with our praiers to God for the continuance of the peace and welfare
of this commonwealth, which the utmost of our powers shall be endeavoured to be performed by
Feb. 18, 1654.
Your honour's most humble servants,
Sir Robert Stone to secretary Thurloe.
Vol. xxiii. p. 165.
I heare thay ar in towne, but Moris my owld servant will not see me, nor dede hee the
laste time he was in towne, which made me suspect him, heringe Norwoode was claped
up, and the Litiltons. Where they lie, hee would not say to the partie that towld mee. I
beleeve will indeavour to speake with those in prison. If I ware att libertie, I mak no doubght
but to here of them; howeever I shall doe my beste by reson hee is so active. Moris
said, being asked, whie his master changed his name, beecause his other was odious; which
is all att present from
Feb. 18, [1654.]
Your very humble servant,
Mr. G. Forsington to the protector.
Vol. xxiii. p. 173.
May it please your highnes,
This day early in the morneinge I came into Salisbury, where I mett apartie of horse,
which come from Winsor by your highnes commaund, and after some discourse
which I and a quartermaster which comaunded them had, our meetinge here fell
out to be one and the same busines; uppon which we went unto the postmaster's house,
and haveing mett with him, we directed our discourse concerninge coll. Sacksbey, in which
we tooke him aparte, and told him the sadd consequence, which would follow, if he knew
where he were, and would deny him; but could not gett any acknowledgment from him,
that he knew where he was, or had hard from him a long tyme; soe that he is gone backe to
Winsor with that partie of horse, according to your highnes order. I am informed by some
of the inhabitants of this cittie, that it would be convenient for some horse to be quartered
hereabouts, for there hath byn some, which have not byn ashamed to shew themselves in
young Tarquin's cullours, and alsoe here hath byn several declarations scattered upp and
downe theise parts (as I am informed by creditable and honest persons.) The tendencie
thereof is to exausperate the spiritts of the people against your highnesse and your preceedings. But I humbly conceave and judge this thing rather to be relicts of major
Wildman's familie. I have made it my endeavours since my comeing forth to try the
spirits of the people as to theise present tymes, and I must confesse really, I have not
mett any that I have found dissatisfied either with your person or with your proceedings;
for all the seare that is uppon the spirits of the generallitie of the people, is, that if God
deale otherwise then well with you, whether or noe they may ever enjoye the like; for
theire great feare was, that your highnes would lay heavy burthens on them as by way of
tax; but now that they see there is noe such thing intended, but to levy that 60000 l.
a moneth, they goe on very chearfully to the rayseing of that in theise parts, and I find
the people very well contented to pay it, and doe pray it may never be raysed higher. I
intend my jorney, God willing, from hence to Marleboroughe, where I intend to have some
discourse with major Butler, and alsoe to inquire out for one mr. Cox, whoe liveth in that
towne; the which I am informed by a very creditable person of good repute in this cittie,
that he hard from Cox his owne mouth, that he should speake with coll. Sacksbey in Somersetsheire, and that coll. Sacksbey should tell this Cox, that there was to have byn a riseinge
in Somersetsheire; and that he hard there should be a partie of horse sent downe from your
highnes, for the suppressing of them, and should have byn in Salisbury saterday last to quarter there. I thinke it may be convenient, that your highnes send downe an order by the
next post to me, that in case I should meete with him in my jorney, I might have sufficient
power for the apprehendinge of him. This beinge uppon my thoughts at present, I comend you to the protection of the allmightie, and remayne
Sarum, Feb. 19, 1654.
Your assured servant to be commaunded,
Confession of Thomas Frere.
In Aprill, 1654.
Vol. xxiii. p. 189.
In the John and Susan, captain John Lymbery, 6 pair snaphance
In the Union, captain John Phenny, 10 pair snaphance pistalls, and 10
In the Samuel, Thomas Gates, 12 matchlock muskitts, 12 snaphance
pistalls, and 24 swords.
In the Paramore, captain Joseph Ward, 8 snaphance muskitts, 4 carbynes, 12 snaphance pistalls, 1 fowling piece, 24 swords.
In the Goodhope, captain East, 12 swords, to mr. Richard Proud, for
In the Peter and Anne, William Chamlitt, 12 pair snaphance pistalls, to
Thomas Haslewood, for Richard Stobert in the Barbadoes.
In dito shipp, 12 pair snaphance pistalls, to Edward Davis for Stobert.
In the Francis and Joyce, captain Joseph Maynard, 30 swords, 10 pair
snaphance pistalls, to captain John Frere.
In dito shipp, 16 pair snaphance pistalls, to Roger Poole for Richard
And severall other pares, and two pares of pistalls sould to several men, with fowling
peeces and muskitts, whose names we know not.
This I doe owne as the truth.
Per Thomas Frere.
Whitehall, Feb. 20, 1654.
A letter to Bordeaux, the French embassador in England.
Paris, March 3, 1655. [N. S.]
Vol. xxiii. p. 247.
The hopes of seeing you here are soon changed; and the news, which you send me
in yours of the 22d of the last month, doth cause me to believe, that your business
will not be done so soon as you expected, since your island doth dispose itself to become
suddenly the theatre of the new and dreadful revolutions. As for the commotions of
France, they never happen but once in an age; and if you will recall your memory upon
our histories, you will find this to be a truth; but England is not so stable and constant;
and one might say of it, with more justice than what Tacitus speaketh of the Frenchmen, quietis impatiens, novorum avida; and I do not admire at the presages of those novelties and commotions in that island, and at this conjuncture, the government of that
state being put upon them by their force and violence; and it is impossible it can subsist
without some notable change and revolution.
My brother writes me from Rome, that there is a great likelihood, that the consistory
will hold a great while, since they cannot agree about the choice of a pope.
The consistory doth consist of 66 cardinals. The cardinal Barbarini hath had 36 votes
the rest have had some, but none of them so many.
Yesterday died the duke of Rohan Chabot, a very good roman catholick, notwithstanding the persuasions of his wife.
Mr. Thomas Wilson to secretary Thurloe.
Vol. xxiii. p. 207.
Your's I received this evening, as also that dated upon saturday last, and am very
much troubled (and have beene ever since the receipt of your's upon the Lord's day)
at Wright's being released, especially considering that perticular bloudy designe you mention.
Sir, I consesse I wrote not immediately to your selfe or the councell, of haveing this
Wright in custodie heere, but I presume the governor did let you understand so much,
I giveing an account unto him constantly of every person that came over, and whome I
secured, and this Wright among the rest, about a weeke agoe, and that which gave me
the jealousye to secure him, which was a desire to returne backe from whence he came, and
speedily to returne hither (as he pretended) on his merchandizinge affaires from Rotterdame;
whereupon I told him, he gave me a just ground for suspition, and that I would secure him,
untill I returned his name and carriage, whereat I perceived a trouble of spirit upon him,
therefore was the more carefull of him; but upon the commissioners receipt of that commission
from his highnes, that Wright amongst the rest, (I being not then present with the commissioners, nor they knowing any thing against him, that gave them ground of suspition, and
the said mr. Day whom in your last you mention) ingageing for him, and signifieinge to the
commissioners his knowledge of him (as the commissioners told me, after I had shewed them
your's dated saturday last, of which they were very sorry and sensible) was released. I wish
with all my heart I had beene there, but there was a crosse providence therein. I trust the
Lord will graciously disappoint his horrid intentions. I must consesse, of all the men that
ever I secured, both formerly and now, at first I was not more unsatisfied in a man, then in
him; but I hope it will be a faire warning for the future to us all, that have to doe therein.
Sir, I shall let the gentlemen understand, what his highnes pleasure is in relation to
the revokeing of his last order to them, and I shall improve my utmost care and diligence
to observe the contents of the former order, and to let you receive a constant account of
all persons, which are to be staid and secured, as that order directs and injoynes. Sir, be
pleased to excuse this lardge returne: I conceived it both my duty and necessary: those
persons yet in custodie heere (of which I have given you an account by the governor)
shall be safelie kept, untill I know your pleasure concerning them. Not haveing else further
to give you trouble, I remayne,
Honoured sir, your's faithfully to serve you,
This night there came from Callis, in the French packett-boate, three passengers, one
Peter Middlethorp, a Dutch merchant in Hamborough, who is going to London about
his occasions there, as he pretends. Hee is well knowne to mr. Youngrix, a merchant in
Dover, and hath ingaged under his hand for his safe abideing in towne heere, untill I
receive an order or answeare from you about him.
As also one Nicholas Vust, a Dutch merchant in Hamborough, knowne to the said
mr. Youngrix, who hath also ingaged for him as aforesaid.
There is also one Gabriel Delatta, a French merchant in Callis, gone to London about
his merchandizeing, very well knowne to one mr. Nephew in towne, who will ingage for
his safe abideing heere untill your answer.
Sir, you were pleased in one of your letters to me to vouchsafe that extension in the
execution of the former warrant from his highnes, if any merchant in towne know them,
for theire passinge; but however this is safer (if you shall so judge it) to take theire engagement for their safe custodie, untill I give you notice. If you shall approve thereof, it shall
be duely observed by,
Sir, your most humble servant,
The description of the said Wright is inclosed in a letter he wrote to sir Robert Stone, to
indeavour his enlargement. If you judge it fitt to consult sir Robert Stone and mr. Delavall
(merchant heere) what knowledge they have of him (Delavall is often at the exchandge now
in London) it may give you a further light of him.
The said Nicholas Wright is a pretty full and somewhat ruddy fac't man, of a middle
stature, about 35 or 36 yeares of age, havinge a deepe browne hair, short beard, his haire on
his head and face much of a colour. He pretended his busynes to Newcastle to settle his
family there; that he came from Rotterdam, being a merchant there; that mr. Delavall,
merchant in Dover, well knowes him.
Capt. Unton Croke to the protector.
Vol. xxiii. p. 203.
May it please your highnesse,
By the last post I acquainted your highnesse of the peace and quiett, that was in these
parts, and what I had done in relation thereunto, by securing such gentlemen as (if any
trouble should have arisen) might have beene instrumental in acting much mischeife; and I
humbly desired you highnesse's commaunds, whether I shall continue their restraynt, or
enlarge them. I alsoe acquainted your highnesse, that I had not beene carelesse in making
the most curious search after Sexby, having had parties out after him both in Devonshire
and Dorsetshire. Some of them are not yet retorned, which makes mee hope they have
tract him, and that by the next your highnesse may receive a further account from
Exon, Feb. 21, 1654.
(may it please your highnesse)
your most humble and obedient servant,
Capt. Geo. Bishop to secretary Thurloe.
Vol. xxiii. p. 213.
I Received yours, and had the last post given you a farther intimation of Massey and the
other person I mentioned, but the scouts imployed to look after them were not returned
till this evening. This is certayne, that about a fortnight since Massey came to one
Thomas Dimmock's house, an inn-keeper of Henton 6 miles from this place, and sitting
downe amongst some company ther drinking, hee asked what newes; wher Waller was,
and wher Massey was. The inn-keeper being formerly under his command, and one Edward Lockston, a butcher of the same place, whispering with each other, knew that it
was Massey himselfe, hee haveing lately shaved his beard. Sayd the inn-keeper therupon,
you are the man, your name is Massey. Hee endeavoured to put it of; but paying the
reckoning called for a chamber, and then sent for Lockston, and confessed himself to bee
the man, and told him, he had been privately 10 dayes in Bristoll, and had heard
great matters of treason urged against him, but to London hee was bound, to answer
all, haveing, as hee said, the lord protector's letter; only hee would goe by the way
of Gloucester to see some friends first; and desired him to convey him in the way
thither, which hee did. This Lockston himselfe gave account of to an honest man, from
whence I received it. For the other, the barber that trim'd him, is still of opinion, that it
is the duke of York: his man being somewhat in drink sayd, that his master had lest his
mother in France, and did little think wher hee was now; which when his master had
heard, hee should say, he called for the meate, being but halse ready, and a reckoning, and
departed. Since that wee have intelligence of two places wher hee hath been.
Wee have every day confirmations of what wee signified concerning the designe here to
bee executed. This day 24 new musquets and 10 pikes were informed to bee in one house on
the bridge, the cheife place whence the late tumults and infurrections in the citty have
arisen, which the man of the house being examined, hath confest. Wee hear of some
persons of quallity, that the last night made a remove out of the suburbs of this citty.
Certaynly very many of quallity were here, waiteing for the execution of the designe;
and I am assured, that had the designe took, tuesday night last the riseing had been here,
for besides what I have already intimated to you, and might further add now, but cannot,
because the post is departing, those 400 horse (wherof many were officers of the King's)
came in that night upon pretence of the buriall of the Lady Newton (whose son is a notorious cavileer) and just as they came by the castle gate, a reake of hay in the graft was
set on fire, which made such a smother, that the gate of the castle could not bee seen.
Yesterday major Boteler with his owne and captain Robinson's troop marcht into this
towne, and some other men have visited him, and alsoe discoursed. I shewed him your
letter, and brought the man to him about Massey. I intend to waite upon him to Henton's
to examine the busines further. Wee shall be as vigilant as wee can, and you'l find it seasonable to put this place in a condition of security. As any thing occurs, that is sit for
your notice, you shall have an account. Major Boteler desir'd me to present his service to
you. I must needs desire your excuse for this in much hast, from, sir,
Bristoll, Feb. 21,
Your assured frend and servant,