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votes; none opposing, all consenting and applauding, by the right of our free election, notwithstanding the absence of those which have been called and not appeared ; We being led by no private respect, but having only before our eyes the glory of God, the increase of the ancient catholic church, the safety of the commonwealth, and the dignity of the Polish nation and name, have thought fit to elect, create, and name, JOHN in Zolkiew and Zloczew Sobietski, supreme marshal general of the kingdom, general of the armies, governor of Neva, Bara, Strya, Loporovient, and Kalussien, most eminently adorned with so high endowments, merits, and splendour, to be King of Poland, grand duke of Lithuania, Russia, Prussia, Mazovia, Samogitia, Kyovia, Volhinia, Padlachia, Podolia, Livonia, Smolensko, Severia, and Czerniechovia, as we have elected, created, declared, and named him: I the aforesaid bishop of Cracovia (the archiepiscopal see being vacant) exercising the office and authority of primate, and by consent of all the states, thrice demanded, opposed by none, by all and every one approved, conclude the election; promising faithfully, that we will always perform to the same most serene and potent elect prince, lord JOHN the Third, our king, the same faith, subjection, obedience, and loyalty, according to our rights and liberties, as we have performed to his blessed ancestor, as also that we will crown the same most serene elect in the next assembly at Cracovia, to that end ordained, as our true king and lord, with the regal diadem, with which the kings of Poland were wont to be crowned ; and after the manner which the Roman Catholic church beforetime hath observed in anointing and inaugurating kings, we will anoint and inaugurate him: yet so as he shall hold fast and observe first of all the rights, immunities both ecclesiastical and secular, granted and given unto us by his ancestor of blessed memory; as also these laws, which we ourselves in the time of this present and former interreign, according to the right of our liberty, and better preservation of the commonwealth, have established. And if, moreover, the most serene elect will bind himself by an oath, to perform the conditions concluded with those persons sent by his majesty before the exhibition of this present decree of election, and will provide in best manner for the performance of them by his authentic letters; which decree of election we, by divine aid desirous to put in execution, do send by common consent, to deliver it into the hand of the most serene elect, the most illustrious and reverend lord bishop of Cracovia, together with some senators and chief officers, and the illustrious and magnificent Benedictus Sapieha, treasurer of the court of the great dukedom of Lithuania, marshal of the equestrian order ; committing to them the same decree of intimating an oath, upon the aforesaid premises, and receiving his subscription; and at length to give and deliver the same decree into the hands of the said elect, and to act and perform all other things which this affair requires; in assurance whereof the seals of the lords, senators, and those of the equestrian order deputed to sign, are here affixed.
Given by the hands of the most illustrious and reverend father in Christ, the lord Andrew Olszonski, bishop of Culma and Pomisania, high chancellor of the kingdom, in the general ordinary assembly of the kingdom, and great dukedom of Lithuania, for the election of the new king. Warsaw, the twenty-second day of May, in the year of our Lord sixteen hundred and seventy-four. In the presence of Franciscus Praskmouski, provost of Guesna, abbot
of Sieciethovia, chief secretary of the kingdom; Joannes Malachowski, abbot of Mogila, referenda of the kingdom, &c.; with
other great officers of the kingdom and clergy, to the number of fourscore and two. And the rest, many great officers, captains, secretaries, courtiers, and inhabitants of the kingdom, and great dukedorn of Lithuania, gathered together at Warsaw to the present assembly
of the election of the kingdom and great dukedom of Lithuania. Assistants at the solemn oath taken of his sacred majesty on the fifth day
of the month of June, in the palace at Warsaw, after the letters patents delivered upon the covenants, and agreements, or capitulations, the most reverend and excellent lord Francisco Bonvisi, archbishop of Thessalonica, apostolic nuncio; count Christopherus a Scaffgotsch, Cæcareus Tussanus de Forbin, de Jason, bishop of Marseilles in France, Joannes free-baron Hoverbec, from the marquis of Brandenburg, embassadors, and other envoys and ministers of state.
LETTERS OF STATE
TO MOST OF
THE SOVEREIGN PRINCES AND REPUBLICS OF EUROPE,
DURING THE ADMINISTRATION OF THE COMMONWEALTH AND THE PROTECTORS
OLIVER AND RICHARD CROMWELL.
LETTERS WRITTEN IN THE NAME OF THE PARLIAMENT.
The Senate and People of England, to the most noble Senate of the city of
For how long a series of past years, and for what important reasons, the friendship entered into by our ancestors with your most noble city has continued to this day, we both willingly acknowledge, together with yourselves; nor is it a thing displeasing to us, frequently also to call to our remembrance. But as to what we understand by your letters dated the twenty-fifth of June, that some of our people deal not with that fidelity and probity, as they were wont to do in their trading and commerce among ye; we presently referred it to the consideration of certain persons well skilled in those matters, to the end they might make a more strict inquiry into the frauds of the clothiers, and other artificers of the woollen manufacture. And we farther promise, to take such effectual care, as to make you sensible of our unalterable intentions, to preserve sincerity and justice among ouselves, as also never to neglect any good offices of our kindness, that may redound to the welfare of your commonwealth. On the other hand, there is something likewise which we not only required, but which equity itself, and all the laws of God and man, demand of yourselves; that you will not only conserve inviolable to the merchants of our nation their privi. leges, but by your authority and power defend and protect their lives and
estates, as it becomes your city to do. Which as we most earnestly desired in our former letters; so upon the repeated complaints of our merchants, that are daily made before us, we now more earnestly solicit and request it; they complaining, that their safety, and all that they have in the world, is again in great jeopardy among ye. For although they acknowledge themselves to have reaped some benefit for a short time of our former letters sent you, and to have had some respite from the injuries of a sort of profligate people; yet since the coming of the same Coc--m to your city, (of whom we complained before,) who pretends to be honoured with a sort of embassy from the son of the lately deceased king, they have been assaulted with all manner of ill language, threats, and naked swords of ruffians and homicides, and have wanted your accustomed protection and defence; insomuch, that when two or three of the merchants, together with the president of the society, were hurried away by surprise aboard a certain privateer, and that the rest implored your aid, yet they could not obtain any assistance from you, till the merchants themselves were forced to embody their own strength, and rescue from the hands of pirates the persons seized on in that river, of which your city is the mistress, not without extreme hazard of their lives. Nay, when they had fortunately brought them home again, and as it were by force of arms recovered them from an ignominous captivity, and carried the pirates themselves into custody; we are informed, that Čoc--m was so audacious, as to demand the release of the pirates, and that the merchants might be delivered prisoners into his hands. We therefore again, and again, beseech and adjure you, if it be your intention, that contracts and leagues, and the very ancient commerce between both nations should be preserved, (the thing which you desire,) that our people may be able to assure themselves of some certain and firm support and reliance upon your word, your prudence, and authority; that you would lend them a favourable audience concerning these matters, and that you would inflict deserved punishment as well upon Coc--m, and the rest of his accomplices in that wicked act, as upon those who lately assaulted the preacher, hitherto unpunished, or command them to depart your territories; nor that you would believe, that expelled and exiled Tarquins are to be preferred before the friendship, and the wealth, and power of our republic. For if you do not carefully provide to the contrary, but that the enemies of our republic shall presume to think lawful the committing of any violences against us in your city, how unsafe, how ignominious the residence of our people there will be, do you consider with yourselves! These things we recommend to your prudence and equity, yourselves to the protection of Heaven.
Westminster, Aug. 10, 1649.
To the Senate of HAMBOROUGH. Your conspicuous favour in the doubtful condition of our affairs is now the reason, that after victory and prosperous success, we can no longer question your good-will and friendly inclination towards us. As for our parts, the war being almost now determined, and our enemies every where vanquished, we have deemed nothing more just, or more conducing to the firm establishment of the republic, than that they who by our means (the Almighty being always our captain and conductor) have either recovered their liberty, or obtained their lives and fortunes, after the pernicious ravages of a civil war, of our free gift and grace, should testify and pay in exchange to their magistrates allegiance and duty in a solemn manner, if need
required : more especially when so many turbulent and exasperated persons, more than once received into protection, will make no end, either at home or abroad, of acting perfidiously, and raising new disturbances. To that purpose we took care, to enjoin a certain form of an oath, by which all who held any office in the commonwealth, or being fortified with the protection of the law, enjoyed both safety, ease, and all other conveniences of life, should bind themselves to obedience in words prescribed. This we also thought proper to be sent to all colonies abroad, or wherever else our people resided for the convenience of trade; to the end that the fidelity of those, over whom we are set, might be proved and known to us, as it is but reasonable and necessary. Which makes us wonder so much the more at what our merchants write from your city, that they are not permitted to execute our commands by some or other of your order and degree. Certainly what the most potent United Provinces of the Low Countries, most jealous of their power and their interests, never thought any way belonging to their inspection, namely, whether the English foreigners swore fidelity and allegiance to their magistrates at home, either in these or those words, how that should come to be so suspected and troublesome to your city, we must plainly acknowledge, that we do not understand. But this proceeding from the private inclinations or fears of some, whom certain vagabond Scots, expelled their country, are said to have enforced by menaces, on purpose to deter our merchants from swearing fidelity to us, we impute not to your city. Most earnestly therefore we entreat and conjure ye (for it is not now the interest of trade, but the honour of the republic itself that lies at stake) not to suffer any one among ye, who can have no reason to concern himself in this affair, to interpose his authority, whatever it be, with that supremacy which we challenge over our own subjects, not by the judgment and opinion of foreigners, but by the laws of our country; for who would not take it amiss, if we should forbid your Hamburghers, residing here, to swear fidelity to you, that are their magistrates at home? Farewel.
Jan. 4, 1649.
To the most Serene and Potent Prince, Philip the Fourth, King of SPAIN:
the Parliament of the Commonwealth of England, Greeting. We send to your majesty Anthony Ascham, a person of integrity, learned, and descended of an ancient family, to treat of matters very advantageous, as we hope, as well to the Spanish, as to the English nation. Wherefore in friendly manner we desire, that you would be pleased to grant, and order him a safe and honourable passage to your royal city, and the same in his return from thence, readily prepared to repay the kindness when occasion offers. Or if your majesty be otherwise inclined, that it may be signified to him with the soonest, what your pleasure is in this particular, and that he may be at liberty to depart without molestation.
Feb. 4, 1649.
To the most Serene and Potent Prince, PHILIP the Fourth, King of SPAIN.
the Parliament of the Commonwealth of ENGLAND, Greeting. What is the condition of our affairs, and by what heinous injuries provoked and broken, at length we began to think of recovering our liberty by force of arms; what constituted form of government we now make use of, can neither be concealed from your majesty, nor any other person, who
has but cast an impartial eye upon our writings published on these occasions. Neither ought we to think it a difficult thing, among fit and proper judges of things, to render our fidelity, our equity, and patience, manifest to all men, and justly meriting their approbation; as also to defend our authority, honour, and grandeur, against the infamous tongues of exiles and fugitives. Now then, as to what is more the concern of foreign nations, after having subdued and vanquished the enemies of our country, through the miraculous assistance of Heaven, we openly and cordially profess ourselves readily prepared to have peace and friendship, more desirable than all enlargement of empire, with our neighbour nations. For these reasons we have sent into Spain, to your majesty, Anthony Ascham, of approved dexterity and probity, to treat with your majesty concerning friendship, and the accustomed commerce between both nations; or else, if it be your pleasure, to open a way for the ratifying of new articles and alliances. Our request therefore is, that you will grant him free liberty of access to your majesty, and give such order, that care may be taken of his safety and honour, while he resides a public minister with your majesty ; to the end he may freely propose what he has in charge from us, for the benefit, as we hope, of both nations; and certify to us with the soonest, what are your majesty's sentiments concerning these matters.
Westminster, Feb. 4, 1649.
To the most Serene Prince, John the Fourth, King of PORTUGAL: the
Parliament of the Commonwealth of ENGLAND, Greeting. AFTER we had suffered many, and those the utmost, mischiefs of a faithless peace, and intestine war, our being reduced to those exigencies, that if we had any regard to the safety of the republic, there was a necessity of altering for the chiefest part the form of government; is a thing which we make no question, is well known to your majesty, by what we have both publicly written and declared in justification of our proceedings. To which, as it is but reason, if credit might be rather given than to the most malicious calumnies of loose and wicked men; perhaps we should find those persons more amicably inclined, who now abroad have the worst sentiments of our actions. For as to what we justify ourselves to have justly and strenuously performed after the example of our ancestors, in pursuance of our rights, and for recovery of the native liberty of Englishmen, certainly it is not the work of human force, or wit to eradicate the perverse and obstinate opinions of people wickedly inclined, concerning what we have done. But after all, in reference to what is common to us with all foreign nations, and more for the general interest on both sides, we are willing to let the world know, that there is nothing which we more ardently desire, than that the friendship and commerce, which our people have been accustomed to maintain with all our neighbours, should be enlarged and settled in the most ample and solemn manner.
And whereas our people have always driven a very great trade, and gainful to both nations, in your kingdom ; we shall take care, as much as in us lies, that they may not meet with any impediment to interrupt their dealings. However, we foresee that all our industry will be in vain, if, as it is reported, the pirates and revolters of our nation shall be suffered to have refuge in your ports, and after they have taken and plundered the laden vessels of the English, shall be permitted to sell their goods by public outeries at Lisbon. To the end therefore that a more speedy remedy may be applied to this growing mischief, and that we may be more clearly satisfied concerning the peace which we