State Papers, 1656
January (6 of 9)

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History of Parliament Trust

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Thomas Birch (editor)

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1742

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'State Papers, 1656: January (6 of 9)', A collection of the State Papers of John Thurloe, volume 4: Sept 1655 - May 1656 (1742), pp. 440-453. URL: http://british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=55434 Date accessed: 17 September 2014.


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January (6 of 9)

A letter of intelligence.

Calais, Jan. 31, 1656. [N. S.]

Vol. xxxiv. p. 617.

What you write concerning the two gentlemen I will assure you is much mistaken, for they are still where they were; but there are two others sent away whom you know; their names are Griffiths, the one had relation some times to a friend of yours, who was heretofore an officer in the low countries, and the other to the duke of Gloucester. The princess of Orange is come to Paris to see her mother: what should occasion her coming in so unseasonable weather, at this time of the year, I know not, unless it be in hope the French king will fall in love with her.

Here is an edict, that no gentlewoman at Paris shall wear a black scarf, it being said, that some astrologer hath told the cardinal, that he shall be stabb'd by some young man so disguised as a woman.

We have news here likewise, that the king of Spain hath an agent in England, and that he offers any conditions to the protector he can reasonably desire to buy his friendship, and that there is hopes there will be a good agreement between them.

Mr. Daniel Gookin to secretary Thurloe.

Vol. xxxiv. p. 609.

Sir,
In obedience to your commands, these are to give you an account, that it pleased the Lord two dayes since to land me safe in New England, after ten weekes of an exersising passage from the isle of Wight; and here finding a shipp readie to sett faile for the Barbadoes, and some persons therein to passe for England; which opertunity I thought expedient to take, seeing their is no probability of another for a good space. It is little that I cann at present acquaint your honour with concerning the affaire of his highness committed to mee; but only in general some principall men in the country doe well resent the designe of his highnesse, and I doubt not such will promote the same; only some unworthy persons, that came from thence, have (as I understand) brought an evell report upon the island in respect of the unhelthfulnes thereof: how farr it may be prejudiciall I cannot yet resolve, but hope not much. I trust (through God's assistance) not to bee wanting in my duty, and to give you full information as things ripen, which I desire the Lord to accomplish to his owne glory and his highnesse satisfaction. So with my humble services and harty praiers, that the Lord would bless and prosper all your waighty affaires; desiring excuse for this abrupt and scribled letter, beeing surprised through shortnes of time, humbly takeing leave, I remaine

Boston, in New England, Jan. 21, 1655.

Your humble servant,
Daniel Gookin.

Mr. J. Aldworth, consul at Marseiles, to secretary Thurloe.

Vol. xxxiv. p. 807.

Right honorable,
My last unto you was of the 25th past, giving you notice, that heare was arrived advice from Malta by two ships of this place, that our English consul with the nation att Smirna had left the place, being embarked on severall English ships, that was then there, and before departed shott many cannon shott against the towne. Here's no confirmation of the said advice as yet; but the truth thereof will soon be knowne, in regard dayly is heare expected ships directly from Smirna. The admiral Vandosme five dayes past ordered the fitting up of severall ships of warr at Thollon with all expedition possible. The quantitie of ships, that is to be armed, is not yet knowne, neither the designe. Nothing more at present offereth worth your notice, so I must humbly take leave and remayne

In Marseillia, Feb. 1, 1656. [N.S.]

Your honnors servant,
Jo. Aldworth.

The admiralty at Amsterdam, to the states general.

Vol. xxxiv. p. 815.

High and mighty lords.
We have received your high and mighty lordships letter and inclosed resolution of the 26th of the last month, by the which your high and mighty lordships desire and request our advice upon the alteration proposed by the colleges of the admiralty residing in Zealand, in permitting the exportation of ammunition of war mentioned more at large in the said resolution; whereupon being debated by us, we could not omit to write back to your high and mighty lordships, that according as we are informed in the altering and drawing up of the list of the convoy in the year 1651, as the same is practised at present, many speculations happened about it among the then present commissioners from all the colleges of the admiralties, whether by reason of the peace, which we had at that time through God's mercy with all adjacent kingdoms and nations, the distinction in the exportation of wares and merchandizes, together with the name of counterband, as coming to cease with the cause, ought not to be removed; but there being considered the war between France and Spain, as also the divisions in England, Scotland, and Ireland, therefore the exportation of ammunition ought to be regulated, that so by too great a licence, it might not give offence to the one or the other party. Besides that, it was also judged fit, that the government here should so manage it, that this state might not suffer any want thereof in case of necessity; and therefore it was ordered, with good reason, that the export thereof should be with their consent, which we do believe from that time hitherto to be given by all the other colleges of the admiralties, and by us with sufficient circumspection to all those that did desire it. Wherefore it is our advice, that the same order may be still observed. All which we do leave to your high and mighty lordships wisdom as your shall think fit.

Amsterdam, Feb. 1, 1656. [N. S.]

Resident De Vries to the states general.

Vol. xxxiv. p. 819.

High and mighty lords,
My lords, upon the letter of your high and mighty lordships embassadors to this crown of the 29th of January from Itschoe, I am come hither to inform myself after the manner of the notification to be made of their arrival, and also after the form of the reception to be expected by their excellencies of this crown; and I returned an answer, that I would expect to hear of their arrival at Roschild by an express, with whom I will presently address myself to the court, whereupon some of the king's coaches will be sent thither; but before they get thither, I intend, God willing, to transport myself thither, to give their excellencies notice of the ceremonies of actions which they are to expect in their reception, for which great preparations are made by this crown.

As yet no extraordinary Swedish minister hath appeared here, and I perceive a great alteration in the humours of many since the conclusion of the treaty between the duke of Brandenburgh and the king of Sweden.

Copenhagen, Feb. 1, 1656. [N. S.]

De Vries.

Mr. Bradshaw, resident at Hamburgh, to secretary Thurloe.

Vol. xxii. p. 535.

Honourable sir,
My last weeke's letter inclosed one from mr. Rolt. The post from those parts I expect this night: if it come in tyme, and bringe letters from him, you shall fynd them in theise. The three ambassadors from the states general past here this weeke towards the kinge of Denmarke. They seeme to be troubled at the hasty agreement betwixt the kinge of Sweden and the elector of Brandenburgh. The towne of Dantzick are resolved to stand it out, havinge burned downe their suburbs. They expect sufficient assistance from their confederates ere necessity overtake them. They have required the English merchants to beare armes, and take an oath of fidelity to the citty, which they have generally refused, alledginge the Sweades would then seize their estates in Elbinge and other parts; but they feare they shall be constrayned to doe it, or be put out of the citty, if they receive not countenance from his highness. They write to me, that they represented their condition to mr. Rolt, with desire he would acquaint his highness therewith, and have now desired the like from me, which you will please to signifie to his highness, and to lett me know what answer I shall return them. It seems their ancient privileges with that citty are now but little regarded.

Mr. Townley being vexed that mr. Baron comes not over to execute the place of deputie, moved his faction yesterday in an assembly to cause a sub-deputy to officiate till he come, conceiving none so fitt for that imployment as himselfe; beinge willinge to play at small game ere he sitt out, and thinkinge thereby in a short tyme to wynde himself into the place of annuall deputie, mr. Baron being indeed onely chosen to that end. I hope it will not be long ere I receive his highness's pleasure in that business. Haveinge not other at present, save what the weekly paper presents you with, I cease your further trouble, and professe my self

Hamb. Jan. 22, 1655.

Your honour's most humble servant,
Rich. Bradshaw.

The frost is broake up heere, and the river open agayne, soe as a fregatt may now come hither without danger. 'Tis beleived by all the river will not freese againe this winter.

Mr. Wm. Swyft to secretary Thurloe.

Vol. xxii. p. 521.

Right honourable,
This day I received a letter from one of mr. Rolt's company, which assured mee, that hee hath had your orders for his returne, and that hee will bee at Hamborough about the midst of February. I therefore humbly desire you would bee pleased to signify which way hee shall take for England from this place, and command a ship to meete him, either here or att Rotterdame, about the designed time of his comming hither. Late stormes of wind and much raine have already something opened the Elve, and 'tis beleeved now, itt will bee sodainely navigable; but that depending altogether upon the weather, I cannot assure itt. By that time, or within a weeke after the post can returne with your directions, I am confident mr. Rolt will bee here, soe that I hope your honour will bee pleased to excuse mee, if I am importunate to knowe your pleasure herein by the next, since I esteeme itt parte of my service towards mr. Rolt to give you this trouble from

Hamborough, Jan. 22, 1655.

Your honour's most obedient and faithfull servant, Wm. Swyft.

Col. Rob. Lilburne to secretary Thurloe.

Vol. xxxiv. p. 613.

Sir,
As yet wee make litle progresse more then a publication concerning that additionall instruction about discovery of money. I am sorry the instructions did not reach those moneys, which were collected by any authority since the beginning of these warrs, for there are some, who pretend to bee able to make large discoveryes of greate summes, that were raysed in the time of the lord of Newcastle his beeing here. But I perceive there is an expectance in the discoverers of some considerable share in the discoveries, or of what they bring to light. I thought meet to hint these thinges to you, and to give you this inclosed, if it may bee usefull. I should bee glad to heare the pattents for the courts of Durham were finished. It is well you put a stop upon the examiner. I hope you will alsoe be pleased to further our addresse about a colledge. I doubt not but it will turne to the greate renowne of his highnes, and very much affect the inhabitants of that poore county and citty to him and the government. Wee have almost gone through the decimations here, but you clip our stocke too much with your suspensions. Wee are now goeing upon the triall of the prisoners, and have mett to have had some to manage the evidence against them. If you have any examinations fit to communicate, they may bee of advantage to the publique, and shall bee as much improved as can be by,

Yorke, Jan. 22, 1655.

Sir, your very humble servant,
R. Lilburne.

I should be glad you would please to dispatch order for paying these new troopes, who muster to morrow.

Secretary Thurloe to H. Cromwell, major general of the forces in Ireland.

In the possession of Joseph Jekyll, esq;

My lord,
Your lordship's of the 10th came to my hands upon the 17th instant, and am glad to understand thereby, that the condition of your affaires in Ireland are in soe quiet a condition. Blessed be God wee are heere soe too, save that some angrye men doe still rayle, and I beleeve will continue soe to doe, whatever state of thinges the Lord shall set up here. I acquainted your lordship with what intelligence I had by my last concerninge Ireland, whereto I have nothinge to add.

For the newes concerninge Sweden and other forreine affaires, I am bold to referre your lordship to the print, which conteynes as much as I can informe.

From Swisserland wee have for certeyne, that these cantons are in open warre, the popish against the protestant, and purely upon matters of religion; the popish canton of Switz haveing not only put to death some of their inhabitants, and confiscated others merely for turneinge protestants; but that canton, with the rest of that religion, have designed the extermination of the protestants in that part of the world; and hold it for a principle in their publique debates, that it is a capitall cryme to forsake the popish, and become of the protestant religion. To divert them from these excesses, a general assemblye was called at Baden of all the 13 cantons; but that proved ineffectuall, soe that it is now come to armes. The cantons of Berne and Zuricke are in the field with about 40000 men, have taken 3 or 4 walled townes, and beseidged others of great consequence. Their great want is money, which they have sent to his highnes to be supplyed with. Your lordship knowes how rich wee are; yet his highnes will streyne hard at such a tyme as this is. What forces the popish cantons have wee are not yet certeyne of. They expect great supplies from the pope, emperour, Spayne, Savoy, &c. by correspondencyes with whom they have layd these thinges, which makes his highnes the more lay it to heart. There is a comittee of many gentlemen and ministers made by his highness, with whom he will advise in these affaires. There have beene some meetinges in it. What resolutions are taken your lordship shall knowe. Our fleet is not yet ready. Gen. Mountagu hastens all he can to be gone with it. The Spanyard is prepareinge about 60 sayle at Cadiz, and hopes to be out tyme enough to bringe in his plate-fleet.

The comittee of Irish affaires have prepar'd many new instructions for the deputy and councell of Irelande, which are too long even to abbreviate in a letter. The next may bringe to your lordship what is materiall therein.

Jan. 22, 55.

Your lordship's humble, faithfull, and obedient servant,
J. Thurloe.

I heard, that there was a good sume of money gathered for the poore Piemontoies, but could never heare what the certayne summe is, nor where or in whose hands the money lyes. I beseech your lordship to afford me one word about it.

Wee heare nothinge from the West Indyes, soe that wee are at a stand as to that buissinesse.

An intercepted letter, probably from sir G. Ratcliffe.

Paris, Feb. 2, 1656. [N. S.]

Vol. xxxiv. p. 627.

This place is in some disorder at present; a great difference there is betwixt the cardinal (in the king's name) and the parliament, about the late edict for the raising the value of money, which is pressed by the king, and opposed by the parliament. The body of merchants are for the parliament, but the king is yet too strong for them: five judges (they call them counsellors) are already banished about it, and what the end will be God knows. Great and high words fly abroad, but words are but breath.

To-morrow the princess royal is expected at Paris at the palace royal; the queen of England her mother goes two leagues to meet her; the king of France and his mother go one league out towards her. Some went the last week; some to day, amongst the last, old Rocheford (the fool) is one who goes to morrow; he hath borrowed horses to ride.

I know nothing yet of Francis his resolutions, nor am like to do of a good while, though it be most probable that he will go to Peter; but Peter's residence is uncertain, only we hope he may come nearer this place than now he is; for so they still write us from thence.

An intercepted letter.

From Rotterdam, February 2, 1656. [N. S.]

In the possession of the right honourable Philip lord Hardwicke, lord high chancellor of Great-Britain.

Much honoured sir,
The reason why I wrote no sooner was, because I was so long at sea, and could not come to my right porte. I mett with a fisherman at sea, so hee tooke mee into one of the sea-ports neare to Brym; and the fresh waters being frozen, I was forced to goe, being a great charge to come by waggon. Sir, I have mett with Midleton, and hee told mee, that all the hopes hee hath of the king is, that the king of Spaine and chancellor Hyde doe keepe correspondence. Midleton assures mee, that the king should have been at Brussels long since; so hee is going along to him, to see why he stayes so long, and hee is very glad of my coming. Hee lookes upon mee, as I might be a great helpe in that business, by reason of my interest I have both with the king of Spaine and our king. Hee gladly would have mee along with him to Brussells, but I told him, I could not goe soe soone, because I was sicke. Sir, the highlanders keepe constant correspondence with Midleton, and write to him, that coll. Borthwick hath all the fault of Glencarne's misfortune. Sir, it does not a little trouble mee likewise. I doe not intend to goe from this place till I heare from you once. The last letter the king and Midleton received was from Mac Naughton. There is severall Scotch and Dutch shippes going for Scotland taken by the Dunkirk and Oastend men of warr. Here is great preparation for warres against this next summer by every king and state here abroad. It seemes every one lookes for their owne safety. Lett mee intreate you to write with all hast, that I may goe on my farther journey; for I long to be there to doe my friends all the service that lies in my power. You may direct your letters to the post-master of Rotterdam for mr. Cumming. I have paid the post this letter both here and at London; so finde yee the way to doe the like, for it wil be the best address of all. I will not faile to write to you more particularly so soone as I finde our address of letters goe right. Sir, you shall have another from mee shortly by shipping; and I will write more particularly to you, for this is my first letter. Remember my service to my good friends. I rest

Your loving friend and servant till death.

Major general Goffe to secretary Thurloe.

Winchester, January 23, 1655.

Vol. xxxiv. p. 639.

Sir,
I Blesse God I came well to this towne last night, and have this day had a sitting of the commissioners: our cheefe bussines was about the marquesse of Winchester; and it's evident, that the lord Fleetwood and others did purchase his whole estate of the parliament: and by the deed of trust it is for very greate sumes of money borrowed to pay the purchase, and to pay 1200 l. per annum to the lord St. Johns, and the residue, after the debts are paide, to be employed for the bennefitt of the lady marquesse, and her children, and not for the use of the marquesse; he is expressely excluded; and till the debts are paid, the trustees are only enjoyned after the interest-money is paid, and the the 1200 l. per annum to the lord St. Johns, out of the overplus to allow soe much for the support of the lady marquesse and her family, as they should from time to time thinke fitt. And indeed the wrightings are drawne of purpose to exclude the marquesse, for that they knew, he being exempted from pardon, whatever was his would be forfeited: soe that wee are att a stand, but have dismissed the agent mr. Wicherly for the present, and have promised him not to proceed to sequestration, till we give him further notice. Sir, I beseech you, if by discoursing with my lord Strickland, or any other, you cann find grounds for our proceeding to tax the estate, that you will communicate the same unto mee, else I feare wee shall be able to doe nothing in it, though wee had taxed him at 300 l. per annum.

Sir, I am very much and often importuned by the lady Byron, and others on her behalfe, that her husband sir Robert Byron, who is now a prisoner at Southampton, may be released upon giving very good security to me as other cavaleers doe; which I cannot doe, (he being imprisoned by your speciall directions) unless you will give mee leave, and if you have not any particular thing against him, I could wish you would; he is very poore; and you will be sufficiently troubled by the lady the next weeke, who intends to goe to London on purpose to solicit you; and I beleeve, you have him forth-coming by his security, as well as by the imprisonment he now suffereth. If you please by the next post to give a word of answer to this, it may stopp the ladie's journey: as alsoe if you please in a word in generall, as to the other prisoners, against whom there are particular charges.

Just as I came out of towne, one mr. Richardson gave mee a booke of his owne wrighting, on the behalfe of his highnes against mr. Powell, and others; which I have since read, and am soe well pleased with it, that I could wish it could but follow the pamphlets, that have beene of late very much spread among the churches, and others in this countrey. Indeed methinkes the poore honest man hath spoken many things to good purpose, and such an instrument may be the fittest to answer these kind of men. I write this, that the man may be encouradged to disperse his bookes. I suppose you have seene them. But I have donn. I am, sir,

Your most affectionate freind and servant,
W. Goffe.

From col. Barkstead, lieutenant of the Tower.

Vol. xxxiv. p. 643.

In obedience to your lordshipps orders of the 9th instant I have (upon consideration of the annexed petition of mr. Edward Russell) informed myselfe with as much diligence as I could of the petitioner's affection, or disaffection to the publique interest of this commonwealth, and doe find, that in June 1643 he went to Oxford, being then about eighteen yeares ould, where he stayed about seaven months, and returned in January following.

That since that time being now full twelve yeares, he hath lived peaceably with submission to the government in all the changes thereof, and hath farther manifested his affection to the publique interest of this commonwealth, by linkeing himselfe in marriage above seaven yeares since with the lady Brooke, the relict of sir William Brooke, who died in the parliament's service at the first Nuberie fight; and that she both before her intermarriage with him, as also since, as likewise her nearest relations, have and still doe stand well affected to the interest of this commonwealth.

That the said mr. Russel hath ever since his said marriage lived under the teachings of an allowed and an approved minister, and not only hath his children baptized by him, but also constantly joynes in all ordinances, with the well-affected, and keepes conversation with them, and hath a good esteem from them.

That he was also privie, and consenting to the marriage of his daughter-in-law to coll. Thomlinson, who is now in his highnes service in Ireland; all which did not only appeare unto me, by such credible and well-affected testimony, as the said mr. Russell did produce; but also I receaved private satisfaction in the most materiall points thereof from such well-affected persons, as I can confidently give credit unto; and therefore humbly conceave him fit to be represented unto your lordshipp as a person fitly qualified to participate of your particular favor. All which is humbly certified by

Tower, London, Jan. 23, 1655.

Your lordshipps most humble servant,
Jo. Barsktead.

Dr. H. Jones to lord deputy Fleetwood.

Vol. xxxiv. p. 653.

Right honorable,
The enclosed is what I observe at present, of the discontented Irish and others heere; which taken alltogether, (and not in parts) and being from severall places and hands, and so concurring, may seeme the more considerable; neither dare I presume on my judgment to say what is inconsiderable in it, former neglects on that kinde haveing beene fatall to us.

I have given an accompt heereof to the lord Henry, by whom, and by the council, I am desired to be watchfull as formerly, notwithstanding my being taken off from that worke in the late disbanding.

Your lordship's commands on me, at parting, gives me this boldnes of troubling your lordship in this kinde; together with my desire to searve your lordship and the publique in what shall be in the power of, my lord,

Dublin, Jan. 23, 1655.

Your lordship's moste humble servant,
Hen. Jones.

Inclos'd in the preceding.

Vol. xxxiv. p. 655.

Sir,
There is no talk in this countrey but of warres and rumours of warres, but where or with whom, unless with the Spaniard, that they cannot tell. Much news alsoe they have about great navies seen at sea, and very many great shotts heere heard in this time of frost, makes it seem the more credible. Young Tirone is alsoe in many mens mouths as commander of all the Irish forces beyond sea, and one who is able to doe great matters, if he can make his peace, which they report is done alreadie. The thing I chiefly mark in the whole business, is the behaviour of the Irish. I find plainly if there were occasion, the old soldiers and many of the gent. would be glade to engage, but the meere husbandman being now in very good condition, would hardly be drawn into action. What their priests might persuade them to, I know not. I am confident their gentrie will never be able to remove them from this resolution to enjoy their present ease and quiet as long as by the state it shall be permitted unto them. There passed of late through this county of Armagh a priest from Spain named Owen O Quin, and his intent was for Scotland, and from thence to return through England back again into Spain; he made no stay in this countrey, and as the report goeth, carried himself stranger-like and disrespectively to all he mett with, not vouchsafing to communicate either news or any part of his business unto them, holding on his journey by the Newry, and near the sea-side, and not engaging himself further into the countrey. Mine own private conjecture is, that he goeth upon some errand unto Tirlagh O Neyle, who is still in the isles of Scotland, as I formerly wrote unto you. Another priest from the same place, to witt, from Spaine, is expected shortly; and when he comes, my friends, whom you know, assure me, I shall know (or rather you by my hand) as much as they can learn. They are truly your servants, and most sensible of the favours you have procured them from the state, from whom, and dr. Dally, assure your self to receive what intelligence this countrey can afford, especially if there be any true reason of fear; but whether there be or not, I am utterly ignorant, having heard nothing of late from you. In the mean time I cannot chuse but give you notice, that there is here one Manus O Devine, who hath been a notable trooper and a lieutenant of foot in the Irish army, (but that he was a lieutenant will not easily be proved) this man hath taken 6 or 7 great town-lands from severall landlords, but lying together, whereby he hath many patrons to excuse his transplantation, those lands he hath thoroughly planted all with strangers unknown in these parts, and the Irish expect them to be drawn together of purpose, in case of any alteration, for they behave themselves proudly, and not like other churles, and under colour of plowing are able to make up among them a reasonable good troop of horse. This may seem but a contemptible business to some, but it ought not so to seem to those, who look on the beginning of evil with an eye of watchfullness and prevention. I dare say, if there were any more stirrs, this Devine, in the part he is in, might do more mischief then half of all the O'Neyles left in this county of Armagh. I am informed by an Irish gentleman of good quality, that of late there hath been one or more great meetings of the Irish somewhere not farr from Connaught, and that they were called by the vicar generall, or some who pretend to have authority from their primate newly chosen at Rome. Many such meetings they had before the rebellion at visitations, and the first sermons of friers; and indeed they would be looked into by these in authority as most unwarrantable and dangerous assemblies; which being all I have to say at this time, &c.

January 2, 1655.

For dr. Henry Jones.

A letter to dr. H. Jones.

Vol. xxxiv. p. 673.

Honored sir,
Haveing understood before I left Dublen, that bishope Duier was in the queenes-county, I thought fitt to make that my way into Conoght, and meeteing here with a priest, by name Tieg Henecy, who spoke within 5 dayes to the said bishope in a widdow of the Coghlan's house in the queenes county, and tould him, that there were severall Irish officers in Flanders drawen out of the field with their soldiers by the king of Spaine's directions, to be sent as a forlorne hope into this nation, and that their number is 5000, and commanded by coll. Mortagh, mr. Tieg O Brien, and their designe is to land in Monster. He likewise tould me, that the said bishope tould him, that there is another small partie to land in Scottland, and that both parties will aboute one tyme land; and suddenly, if nott crosed by winde, the the said bishope is going to Conoght, butt his occassions this priest knowes nott, as he tells me. I am now goeing into the queenes county to see, if I could meete with the bishope, or att least to know whither he is gon. I left att your sister's a letter for you to be presented unto the councell, and it would further me very much to have whatt therin I prayed. Truly this intelligence in my oppinion may be possible, for I am confident that coll. Brien would come into this nation upon any score to doe mischiefe. This being all that I could learne from the said priest, butt that he recommended me to another priest, by name Duling, who is much acquainted with the said bishope. Praying your honour to present my humble service to the major generall, I remayne
Kildare, Novem. 23, 1655.

Your honour's most faithfull and humble servant.

The superscription,
To the honourable dr. Henry Jones, scout-master generall of the army.

A brief account of what is observed concerning the Irish, &c.

Dublin, January 23, 1655.

Vol. xxxiv. p. 663.

1. That there is at present a more than ordinary confluence of priests in all parts; who fill the minds of the discontented Irish with expectations of a change.

2. That there has been lately a general and private fast among the Irish, most of them not knowing wherefore; the like having been observed before the beginning of the late rebellion.

3. That there are lately private meetings of the Irish gentry in the country more than formerly.

4. That bishop O'Dwyer, and a frier named Bonaventure in Laghlyn, are appointed as chief for receiving intelligence from abroad, and for dispersing the same in Ireland according to directions, and to make returns of what they find necessary. That the said bishop O'Dwyer hath been in a few weeks in many places of Lemster and Munster, and lately in Connaught, and now is in the county of Clare.

5. That there are two priests, who pass by turns from London to Dublin, and thence send their papers to the said Dwyer and Bonaventure, from whom having received their dispatches, they return into England. That these two priests were four times within these twelve months in Dublin; that one of them landed there about the end of November last.

6. That the said Bonaventure is now gone to the county of Tiperary with a letter brought by one of these priests; which letter is in cyphers, and to be decyphered by John Walsh of the said county esq;.

7. That some of the transplanted are sending back their cattle out of Connaught into the other provinces, intending privately to follow. That about 300 cows were lately sent over the bridge of Althorne into Westmeath, the transplanted owners of them pretending their having sold them to some in Lemster.

8. That many of the disbanded are selling their lands, and buy serviceable horses.

9. That there is something to be doubted of the Scots in Ulster, the particulars whereof are in further enquiry.

10. That a Scotchman (one of the company in the ship that plyeth between Galway, Juisbaffin, and the isles of Arna, whereof John Price is master) lately told an Irishman in Connaught of the power of his countrymen in Ulster, that they were able to raise 40000, but that they wanted arms and ammunition; adding, that he was then repairing to Dublin with a petition to the council, wherein if he succeeded not, he would, with four other Scotchmen in the said ship, carry away the vessel for the service of the Scotch king.

11. That in July last the Scotch king had debates, where to land forces in Ireland; that most in that council were against landing in Connaught, by reason, 1. That the eyes of the English are most in Connaught in respect of the Irish thieves. 2. That the greatest part of the English army would make against them in that province. 3. That by landing there the provisions of their friends the Irish would be consumed, who for preserving their interests might rather join against them. That Inchiquin advised rather the landing in Munster, where first he said he was confident he could gain 5 or 600 English horse in 15 days, besides the Irish who would join. 4. That the English army must be necessarily dispersed, so as that it would less trouble them in Munster than elsewhere, in regard that a considerable part of it must attend the discontented, and numerous Irish in Connaught, and that a great body was also necessary to attend the motions of the Scots in Ulster; that the remain would not be considerable in Lemster and Munster, whereby the army landing in Munster would have little opposition, would be masters of the field, would suddenly gather strength and provision; and that on the drawing thither of the English forces out of Connaught and Ulster, the Irish in Connaught, and Scots in Ulster, would find their advantage.

A letter of intelligence from the Hague.

Jan. 29, 1656. [N. S.]

Vol. xxxiv. p. 631.

Ceux de Hollande, au moins les gecommitteerde raden se sont fort formalises pour l'accord, que l'electeur a fait avec la Sweede, en Prussie; tant par ce que cest accord sera contraire au traité du 27 Juillet, & specialement contre le XVI article, que par ce que les ministres de Brandeborch ont escrocqué les 3 mois de subside; ne leur estant deu pas un: au moins rien devant le mois de Mars, & pourtant ils ont requis les ministres de Brandeborch a venir dans ledit college des gecommitteerde raden: ou estants on leur a representé ce que dessus, & demandé restitution de ce qu'ils avoient receu; estant receu soubs condition, quæ non fuit impleta. Le sieur Weyman a esté surprins: & a dit qu'il falloit avoir patience jusque a ce que les vrays articles de l'accord seroient venus. Et quand les autres ne se sont pas contentés de cela, il a requis de le luy donner par escrit.

On a parlé dereches des affaires de Salé: & de ce que le seigneur de cette place la pretend.

Le sieur de Hubert est en sin venu de Zelande, & s'est presenté pour l'ambassade vers Prussie.

En quelle façon on a escrit a ceux d'Overyssel se voit par la jointe copie.

On travaille sur la correction du desordre de clercs, pour menager la greffe secrement.

Ce 30 Jan. 1656.

Il y a eu assemblée sur la lecture des lettres de Stetyn, Coningsbergh, & Dantsick, toutes encore confirmants la conclusion du traité, sans en savoir autre particularité. Estant toutefois bien certain que l'electeur relevera la Prussie du roy de Sweede: & donne la moitié du peage a Memel & Pillauw au dit roy. Ermelant sera a l'electeur, a la reserve de Brunsberch, autres disent, Frawenberch. Dans 20 ans le roy de Sweede pourra redimer ledit Ermelant pour 150,000 rixdalers, mais je croy que ce sera 1½ million de rixdalers que l'electeur aura pour les fraiz de son armeé. L'assemblée des estats generaux a cheve de croire, que l'electeur a contrarié a l'alliance avec cest estat: au moins au XVI article. Et ceux de Hollande persistent a vouloir ravoir toute leur quote du subside, comme recu des electoraux de mauvaise foy.

Les ambassadeurs de cest estat venu a Hamborch, & entendants l'accord sait en Prussie, ont escrit, qu'il leur faudra un autre instruction; aussy le resident de empereur leur a parle de la bonne resolution de l'empereur son maistre.

1 Fev.

Ceux de Brandeborch n'ont pas encore communiqué le traité fait en Prussie, quoy que le sachant bien en gros, asseurants que la garnison au Pillauw & Memel sera entierement a l'electeur, mais le peage sera pour la moitié aux Swedois: mais ils ne disent pas clair, si l'arbitrage ou moderation du peage sera tout a fait aux Swedois, ou bien conjointement aux Swedois & a Brandeborch. La reste ne touché pas cest estat. Les ministres ont asseuré qu'aujourd'huy ils auroient un expres: & alors donneroient notification a cest estat: & que l'accord n'est pas si prejudiciable comme l'on crie. C'est ce qu'ils ont notifie, mais seulement en particulier, en attendant le traité au net. Avec cela aussy messieurs de Hollande se laissent aucunement contenter touchant la repetition du subside payé a Brandeborch, au moins jusques a l'assemblée de Hollande.

Aussy l'on n'a pas encore rien resolu touchant le changement des instructions: Item le discours du resident de l'empereur. Car les instructions estant formées avec connoissance des provinces, l'on n'oseroit pas si facilement les changer sans icelle.

Le resident de Sweede a ce matin esté voir expressement le sieur president, & par ordre du roy de Sweede notifié aux estats generaux la naissance du prince, excusant la tardivité, fur ce que le roy estoit si loin de Stockholm & que la nouvelle avoit esté aussy tost icy qu'en Poloigne. Mais lettre du roy au estats generaux n'y a pas esté. Ce qui autrement devoit avoir esté. Mais l'eloignement du roy a servy d'excuse.

De l'instruction ou changement d'icelle aussy n'a pas esté parlé. Mais il y a esté fait nouvelle instance de la part du roy de Dennemarck, ou de son deputé le sieur Rosenwinge, pour avoir le restant du subside promis de cest estat au roy de Dennemarck par le traité de l'an 1653, sur quoy on a admonesté & somme les autres provinces, ou les defectueuses a payer ce qu'elles restant: cela n'est pas signe de grande inclination de Dennemarck a s'engager avec cest estat.

Les estats de Hollande conviendront que le 12 Fev.

Ce 3 Fev.

Les sieurs de Slingelandt & de Maasdamme, tous deux ambassadeurs destinés vers Sweede, firent hier rapport, comment, selon la resolution des estats generaux de Mardy le

1 Fev. ils avoient esté remercier le resident de Sweede de la notification, qu'il avoit Fait ledit 1 de Fev. par ordre du roy (quoy qu'il n'y a eu nulle lette du roy aux estats generaux, & qu'aussy le resident n'avoit pas fait la notification que seul president) de la naissance d'un prince de Sweede. Ce compliment fait opiner, que de costé & d'autre on jettera de l'eau au vin. Toutefois jusque encore il n'y eu nulle besoigne ny conference pour changer les instructions, a cause qu'on veut avoir devant toutes choses les vrayes conditions du traité que l'electeur a fait avec la Sweede: pour les envoyer aux vroet schappen des villes de Hollande, a fin que sur cela les deputes viennent a l'assemblée instruits sur ce cas; & ce qu'il y aura a faire tant pour l'ambassade & l'instruction, que pour l'equipage de la Flotte.

J'ay de bonne part, que hier soit venu un expres a la princesse douariere de l'electeur: mais encore sans les articles. Qu'on promet d'envoyer apres que le roy & l'electeur s'auront veu; qui sera a Slippenpiel, ou l'electeur ira voir le roy, & le priera de venir a Bartsteyn, ou l'electeur le veut traiter.

Le summair du traité, comme j'ay de fort bonne part, est comme dit ce qui suit:

Tractatus Suecici cum electore ita sunt finiti, ut serenissimus princeps Suecicus sit factus e Polonico; conventum est enim, ut ducalis Prussiæ feudum a regno (N. B.) Sweciæ recognoscat; homagium præstet per legatum unius anni spacio elapso; hostibus regis Sweciæ nullam opem ferat; præsidia sua e locis Prussiæ regalis avocet; Episcopatum Warmiensem loco præmii habeat, pro inita compositione; in portu Pillaviensi & Memelensi dimidium telonii retinent. Quantitatem vero telonii definiant mutuo consensu, postquam & cæteros portus Prussiæ subjecerint.

Les estats d'Overyssel, au moins des 4 membres, ont desja rescrit, qu'ils envyeront leur deputes au point nommé icy. Ce qui fait opiner, que ces 4 membres seront sort aise d'escouter les accordans.

Mr. Daniel Gookin to secretary Thurloe.

Vol. xxxiv. p. 689.

Sir,
Your commands obleidging me to give inteligence by all oppertunities, it was expedient not to omit this per the Barbadoes, no other beeing like to offer it selfe for a good space; it is but very little heitherto that I have to acquaint your honer with, seeing it is only four dayes since my arrivall in New England, after ten weeks of a trying passage from the isle of Wight, it cannot yet bee collected upon any grounds of certenty, what will be the issue of my imploy. I hope the best, and trust through God's assistance not to bee wanting in my utmost endevours. I have communicated the matter to the governor and some other principall men, who seeme to resent things very well, and promise their best councell and incouradgement, being possesed of his highneses aymes at God's honer therin, together with his spetiall respects to this people. As for other coloneys, that are remote, and where I expect most may be done, I cannot adress myselfe to them, untill the sharpnes of the winter be past, which for the present renders the waies unpasable, but in the interim shall prosecute the worke in this coloney.

Ther are two things received by the people, that seeme obstacles to the worke; one is the unhelthfulnes of the island occasioned by an evell report raised by some unworthy persons, that have come from thence into the parts; the other is strong fears of continuell invasion and disquiett by the Spanyards. I hope that both may be taken of or eased, when truth is discovered. I can conclude nothinge, but committ the success to the Lord, who worketh all things according to the councell of his owne will. With my humble services and unworthy prayers for the Lord's presence and grace continually to abide with his highness and his helpers, to strengthen and incouradge their harts and hands in the Lord worke, with my perticular respects to your honnor, I remaine, sir,

Boston, January 24, 1655.

Your affectionate and humble servant,
Daniel Gookin.

Major general Worsley to secretary Thurloe.

Vol. xxxiv. p. 693.

Right honorable,
Yours bearinge date 17th January I received two dayes since, and shall take care to observe your directions concerning the same, and espetially that concerninge mr. Liecester. I am perswaded, they were all of them guilty in that designe; but I am afraid wee shall not yet have much against them here, for wee have examined some alreddy about that bussiness. I could desire the examinations against them all (to wit) Liecester, Booth, Warburton, and Werden were sent down together. Wee are at present dealing with War burton upon an other score; hee hath a great estate, and was never sequestred, though we believe we can prove he was in actuall armes for the king. Booth hath buried his wife the other day. I apprehended one sir William Naile, a dangerous fellow as any this county hath, and have him still prisoner: if you have any thing against him, though but a little, it would make up work with him, though I shall doe what I can in that businese. Wee are pretty well over that article concerning the exterordinary tax, and that wee may not come short with them, wee have have taken course to find out their estates and the full vallew of it; wee are now putting in execution the rest of the particulars. I have sent you here inclosed copies of the orders wee have sent into all parts of the countreys, and we have put it into the hands of the most judicious, religious, and best men in every counstablerig, and truly I find a resolution in your commissioners in every county to doe it effectually. I cannot but admire at the content good people receive, and how this worke makes bad men to study peace, and an inoffensive walkeinge. I hope through the blessing of God it will have a blessed issue. I find it a difficult bussinese how to observe my instructions as to alehouses, and not weaken that revenew, though truely it's too visible that they are the very bane of the countys. Yesterday and day before I mett the commissioners and justices for the hundred of Blackborne about these things specifyed in the orders, and wee find, that these alehouses are the very wombe, that brings forth all manner of wickednese; wee have ordered at least 200 alehouses to be thrown down in that hundred, and are catching up loose and vile persons. I am takeinge security from all papists, malignants and disaffected persons. I have accordinge to a proclamation of his highnese and counsell taken good security for all atturneys that are papists, and have been in armes against the parliament or present government, that they shall act no more as attorneys in this commonwealth, for truely I think they are the worst persons wee have to deale with: some hath given security alredy. Wee should have bene glad wee might have desended to 40 l. per ann. if the counsell had thought it fitt. I shall not tyre you no more, but that I am

Parkhead, the 24th of Jan. 1655.

Your honor's faithfull servant, whilst
Cha. Worsley.

Wee meet for this county of Lancaster at Preston on wednesday next, and upon the ordinance for scandalous ministers. If his highnese would have letten mee have had a company of the regiment into the castle of Liverpoole for a while, it would be of great service to us.

Mr. Ashurst was clerk of the crowne, but coll. West did officiate for him. It would doe well it were granted to an honest man.

The oaths of several merchants, who have sustained losses by the king of Spain.

Vol. xxxiv. p. 695.

John Niclaes of London merchant maketh oath, that he hath really lost and been damnified by the king of Spain the sum of 1580 l. sterling principal and interest, by money and bullion seized upon for his use, which the said king promised to repay to this deponent, but hath not as yet paid any part thereof. And this deponent hath also lost, by Pedro Del Conicke the sum of 688 l. 18 s. od. sterling, the said Pedro being one of the said king's subjects and protected by him in his army. And this deponent hath lost, being seized upon by the inquisition of Spain, the sum of 107 l. 15 s. and in the hands of John Roderigo Putwoy; and this deponent hath also lost in the design of mr. Samuel Wilson 77 l. and in the Mary Ketch driver, the St. Francis, the Fortune and other vessels bound out and home from Spain, the said vessels being seized and taken by the Spaniards, the sum of 572 l. all which losses and damages do in the whole amount unto 3031 l. 15 s. sterling.

John Niclaes.

Sworn the 24th of January, 1655.
Nat. Hobart.

John Bligh of London maketh oath, that he hath really lost in the Peter of Dover the sum of 60 l. and in the Mary Magdalen 100 l. and in the Rose 100 l. and in the Abraham of Dover 60 l. the said ships being seized and taken by the Spaniards with ships belonging to the king of Spain. All which losses do in the whole amount to 320 l. sterling.

John Bligh.

Sworn the 24th of January, 1655. Nat. Hobart.

Richard Webb of London merchant maketh oath, that he hath really lost in the Francis, and another vessel with her bound from France for England, the sum of 280 l. the said vessels being taken by an Ostend man of war; and he hath also really lost in a small vessel of Dover taken by a Dunkirk man of war 273 l. and he hath also lost in a shallop of Diepe bound for Cam, taken by a Spanish pickeroon, the sum of 207 1. which losses do in the whole amount unto 760 l.

Richard Webb.

Sworn the 24th of January, 1655.

Nat. Hobart.

I Do assign and set over to Richard Webb all my right title and any interest of the within mentioned losses, that I have sustained by the Spaniards, for valuable considerations me moving thereunto. Witness my hand this 24th of January, 16 55/56.

Witness Tho. Webb.

John Niclaes.

I Do assign and set over to Richard Webb all my title and interest of the within mentioned losses sustained by the Spaniards for valuable considerations me moving thereunto. Witness my hand this 24th of January, 16 55/56.

Witness Tho. Webb.

John Bligh.

The commissioners for Cornwall to the protector.

Vol. xxxiv. p. 699.

May it please your highnes.
Wee cannot but look upon it as a very great manifestation of your tender care of the publick peace, in the midst of soe many high concernments and transactions of state, when your councels and actions are not only to be at home, but abroad too, that you should soe far vouchsafe to honour and shew your tender respect and care of us, as to send down major generall Disbrowe one of your councell from your highnes great affairs above, to countenance and settle the peace of the county against the machinations and designes of the publick enemy, whom wee see are restless in their plotts and contrivements, which have not only broken out in their former actions, but in very late ones also, and whom wee believe will very difficultly be kept quiet and peaceable, without disabling them of means and power by some such course as this is, that is now taken. Wee have received the instructions and orders of your highnes and your honourable councell, which wee shall faithfully and dilligently put in a way of speedy execution, and wee doubt not but (by the blessing of the Lord) the fruites thereof will be answerable to your highnes expectation. Wee shall presume from tyme to tyme to give your highnes advertisements of our proceedings therein, and shall continually pray our gracious and good God still to own and preserve you from all your enemies, ever remaining,

Your highnes
Bedmyn the 24th of January, 1655.

most humble and
faithfull servants,

Edward Nosworthy,
John Seyntaubyn,
Ja. Launce,
John Fox,
P. Ceely,
Jo. Chattey,
Anth. Nicoll,
Tho. Orde,
Andrew Trevitt,
Ja. Daniell,
Trist Arscott,
W. Braddon.

Admiral Goodsonn to secretary Thurloe.

Vol. xxxiv. p. 707.

Right honourable,
Your honour's of the 30th of October by the Marstonmore, who arrived here the 15th instant, by which I am informed of his highness's resolution of carrying on this work against the Spaniard here, his highness's care of provision being made according; (the lord strengthen his heart and hands in the same:) and his highness's confidence of our not omitting opportunities. It hath been the trouble of my spirit we have not been able to make use of time and opportunities as I would, but inforced to lie in port to see the withering away of a poor miserable people. As for the king of Spain's fleet designed for the Indies, I should be glad we could by any means give them an encounter, and should trust God for a blessing in it; although I might say our men are not two-thirds the men they were, when they came out of England, not so much to quantity as to quality. Although God hath debated in measure with us in the fleet, yet his visitations hath been such, by which our men have been much weakened; and many of the best and stoutest of our men snatch'd away by death. The ships indeed ill manned generally at their first coming out; and as for the squadron of ships, which came here conduct of major Sedgwicke, I understand to be little better manned, than the ships, which come from Newcastle with coals, which they use to say, though they are but few, yet all workers. But these, though more in number, yet when the officers not accustomed to work, and the boys which cannot work are set apart, they will be but few men found in them; in so much that one of them being sent to sea was forced to bear up, saying he had not men enough to work his ship, to whom we were inforced to lend men to that purpose, or else he must have laid in harbour; and how these may be called men of war, know not. I could wish it were a declared law, how many servants every individual fleet should carry to sea, and of what age such servants should be when first entred. In that officers plead customs of carrying many servants, and of those most of them children, not any ways useful. I desire excuse of being large upon this account, in that it doth so much concern me, that when you think you have a very considerable fleet abroad, you have rather a shadow than a substance; and my judgment is we shall never beat the Spaniard with such weapons. As for the plate-fleet, we have not encountred, neither know where they are; all the advice that I had from those which we have taken is, that they departed Carthagena for the Havanna about the 18th or 19th of March, so they must of necessity, I conceive, either have lain in the Havanna, or been upon their way homeward. We have not durst to go far to leeward as the Havanna with the squadron of ships with me, because of the great dependence the army hath had upon us, and the great time that must have been expended, if we had only gone thither and come back. But I am confident, that many of our Flemish ships, if they should have gone so far leewardly, would not have beat it up again. The ships that you intend for war in the country, they must be good sailors, and fast ships upon a wind. I humbly conceive, that the Flemish ships, if you keep a standing body before Cales, they will be more useful than here. It was here thought fit by commissioner Sedgewick and council of war, that a squadron of nine or ten sail of the best sailing ships should go on the other side, to lie before or to the windward of Carthagena, to intercept any ship that should be coming from Spain or other where thither; and that myself should not go in regard of the weak condition of the army, and how my stay might conduce to their incouragement, and the dispatch of business here, and the attending his highness's further pleasure, which was then daily expected. Upon the 22d of November capt. Blake, whom general Penn appointed to me as vice-admiral, set sail with nine ships to the forementioned station: but small time after their coming there met with very soul weather, in so much that the vice-admiral near Rem. D. Grand spent his foremast; the sea running high could not save any thing, but was forced to cut away his yards and topmast with all to them belonging, so making with a spare topmast a jure-mast returned hither the 14th of December, where we have new fitted. The Dover also at the same time having spent her foremast and bowsprit, made shift with them hither. The Hound being an old ship was so beaten in the storm, that upon a survey by four commanders and four carpenters, she was adjudged disabled for the sea, so was laid by after the vice-admiral's return. Captain Buberry commanding the party that remained, gave an account of his being at St. Martha, where he went ashore, and saith there gathered together about a 100 people, but fled into the woods, and had again begun to build some houses, but they destroyed them. To leeward of Carthagena they took two small boats, that do usually carry plantaines and garden fruit to Carthagena; the men of which said, that about a month before there went out of Carthagena two great ships or galleons, with three or four small merchantmen for Porto Bello, and conceived they were to return again for Carthagena. Upon the receipt of the news I sent away captain Buberry in the Portland, with the Laurel arms of Holland, Paul and Martin, to lie betwixt Carthagena and Porto Bello, if possible to intercept them. Those ships sailed twelve days since. On the 11th of December sent captain Powell in the Selby, and a brigantine to round this island, to take knowledge of the coast, harbours, bays, rivers, creeks, &c. and for the intercepting of any that might be trading from Cuba with the people of this island, which are scattered much on that side; and to destroy all houses, plantations, boats, perriagoes, or what he could light on of the enemies; upon which work he saith he discovered the enemy in two or three places, but at no place so many, as they durst encounter sixty or seventy men which they landed. In this design he saith they burnt about fifty houses, a bark, five perriagoes, and two canoes. The Falmouth and another brigantine is at present to set sail upon that work. The Dover, Selby, Grantham, and Welcome are upon the careen, hope will be in six days ready. We have been at work about building a fort for the securing the harbour; when it is built, it will be but mean, and as yet but half built: however, we are resolved to set to it heart and hand to finish it if possible: there is in it of the battering guns brought out of England, and of those taken at St. Martha, mounted twenty guns. Sir, it's possible you will ask me, why we did not prosecute the and design of St. Jago di Cuba, as by my last? My reason. By that time we had done the work there intimated, that the soldiers had not men enough to secure their own quarters, as will appear by the account you will now have of them. I believe to be now living, officers and soldiers, besides women and children, twenty-six hundred. Of this conceive you will have a true list by commissioner Sedgwicke or the army. I have this to say in the midst of my sorrow, that I am glad to hear, that the Lord hath made his highness and you sensible of his mighty out-goings against us, for certainly such dispensations are God's strong works. The Lord in mercy give us to make a right application. I desire to begin at home. What will become of the remnant, God only-wise knoweth. They did once set themselves to plant some food, but of that little, what was not burnt up with the sun, was the most part spoiled for want of weeding: and they at this time will not be persuaded to do any thing towards their bellies or security, except fetch it from the magazine; so that if the magazine fail, they must inevitably perish. The cattle that were any thing tame, few at all left; some regiments not having any of flesh but horses, dogs, cats, and such like, a long time. They have had advertisements from my self what it would amount to the killing of their dogs, which indeed, had they horses and dogs, there were food enough to serve all the people of the island of hogs and other cattle, but they must be fetched out of the mountains. Horses that were in such abundance at our arrival here, by their exceeding number, that they counted them the vermin of the country, but so scarce now, that amongst all the regiments I believe they cannot mount a 100 men.

The island on the north side is described to be very good, and great store of hogs and some cattle. The ships from New England are all arrived. The Falcon flyboat arrived the 19th of November, the Golden Falcon the 21st idem, the Adam and Eve the 8th of January. But as yet none of their provisions meddled with. Your honour will see by the enclosed copies some transactions between the army, commissioner Seidgwicke, and my self. We having seen their backwardness in doing any thing, that might conduce to their livelihood or security, we writ our letter at the time as dated. Upon the receival of ours they immediately, as appears by the date, writ theirs, though sent it not to us till some days after. I have given to the commissioners of the admiralty an account of the state of our ships here, the quantity of provision of all sorts, and its quality; the account of our men well, and sick at present, born upon the ships, and how many dead since my last, also the quantity of all naval provisions remaining with us. According to your honour's desire have made up the tickets of all those, who desire the same, and sent to the commissioners of the navy, by the examinations of all that we have taken, concerning the militia of Carthagena. They say there is in the city of Carthagena five hundred soldiers in pay, and that the country hath of late raised two companies, which have resided in Carthagena ever since they had the news of our fleet's being in the Indies. Also there is of townesmen Spaniards seven companies, of Mulattoes and of Negroes two; and in the great castles without the town four hundred soldiers more, which are under pay. What to present to his highness by way of advice know not; the people remaining are very unfit of doing service here or elsewhere. If his highness hath thoughts to besiege Carthagena, it will require a considerable army, and whether it be possible for an army to lie near the town, do somewhat question. About the year 34 I lived some time in Carthagena, and know there was no water either in the town, or about the town, but rain-water, which is reserved in cisterns in all parts of the town, or that they did fetch it a mile and a half from the town at a small spring. Whether if there might be water, if wells sunk without the town, know not, neither can I learn by any of the Spaniards. I confess if Carthagena were taken, the main were taken on that side. As to the Havana, it would be better on that account for a siege, in that there is a rivulet of water that runs part through the town, and part without the town; but as before will require great strength, in that the army must be divided, if they besiege the castles on both sides at once, in that the harbour runneth a great way into the land. How to dispose of this squadron, so as that we might be a preservation to this poor people, and encounter the Spaniard, know not. If the Spaniard be bound to the Havana, he may run along the coast of the main, and touch at Carthagena, and run to leeward through the sands, or may run away twenty leagues to the South of this island, or within the shoals far along the coast, or may come to leeward upon the north side of Hispaniola, and so between and this island. The Lord in mercy give us hearts to be waiting for counsel and directions from himself. Thus humbly begging excuse of your honour for my tediousness, and remain

Torrington, Jan. 24, 1655. in the port of Jamaica.

Your honour's most humble and faithful servant.