Sidebilder
PDF
ePub

sign of it in your port of Leghorn, where your friendship towards us ought to be most clearly and truly understood : rather, that we should find the minds of your subjects daily more averse and hostile in their demeanour toward us.

For how unkindly our feet was lately treated at Leghorn, how little accommodated with necessary supplies, in what a hostile manner twice constrained to depart the harbour, we are sufficiently given to understand, as well from undoubted witnesses upon the place, as from our admiral himself, to whose relation we cannot but give credit, when we have thought him worthy to command our fleet. Upon his first arrival in January, after he had caused our letters to be delivered to your highness, and all offices of civility bad passed between our people and yours; when he desired the accommodation of Porto Ferraro; answer was made, it could not be granted, lest the king of Spain, that is to say our enemy, should be offended. And yet what is there which a prince in friendship more frequently allows to his confederate, than free entrance into his ports and harbours? Or what is there that we can expect from a friendship of this nature, more ready to do us unkindness than befriend us, or aid us with the smallest assistance, for fear of provoking the displeasure of our enemies? At first indeed, prattic was allowed, though only to two or three of our seamen out of every ship, who had the favour to go ashore. But soon after, it being noised in the town, that our ships had taken a Dutch vessel laden with corn for Spain, that little prattic we had was prohibited; Longland the English consul was not permitted to go aboard the fleet; the liberty of taking in fresh water, which is ever free to all that are not open enemies, was not suffered, but under armed guards, at a severe rate; and our merchants, which reside in the town to the vast emolument of your people, were forbid to visit their countrymen, or assist them in the least. Upon his last arrival, toward the latter end of March, nobody was suffered to come ashore. The fifth day after, when our admiral had taken a small Neapolitan vessel, which fell into our hands by chance, above two hundred great shot were made at our fleet from the town, though without any damage to us. Which was an argument, that what provoked your governors without a cause, as if the rights of your harbour had been violated, was done out at sea, at a great distance from your town, or the jurisdiction of your castle. Presently our long boats, sent to take in fresh water, were assailed in the port, and one taken and detained; which being redemanded, answer was made, that neither the skiff nor the seamen should be restored, unless the Neapolitan vessel were dismissed; though certain it is, that she was taken in the open sea, where it was lawful to seize her. So that ours, after many inconveniences suffered, were forced at length to set sail, and leave behind them the provision, for which they had paid ready money. These things if they were not done by your highness's consent and command, as we hope they were not, we desire you would make it appear by the punishment of the governor, who so easily presumed to violate his master's alliances; but if they were done with your highness's approbation and order, we would have your highness understand, that as we always had a singular value for your friendship, so we have learnt to distinguish between injuries and acts of kindness.

Your good friend, so far as we may, From our court at

OLIVER, Protector of the CommonWhitehall, May -, 1658.

wealth of England, &c.

Oliver, Protector of the Commonwealth of ENGLAND, &c., To the most

Serene and Potent Prince, LEWIS, King of FRANCE. Most Serene and Potent Prince, our most August Confederate and Friend -By so speedily repaying our profound respect to your majesty, with an accumulation of honour, by such an illustrious embassy to our court; you have not only made known to us, but to all the people of England, your singular benignity and generosity of mind, but also how much you favour our reputation and dignity: for which we return our most cordial thanks to your majesty, as justly you have merited from us. As for the victory which God has given, most fortunate, to our united forces against our enemies, we rejoice with your majesty for it; and that our people in that battle were not wanting to your assistance, nor the military glory of their ancestors, nor their own pristine fortitude, is most grateful to us. As for Dunkirk, which, as your majesty wrote, you were in hopes was near surrender : it is a great addition to our joy, to hear from your majesty such speedy tidings, that it is absolutely now in your victorious hands; and we hope moreover, that the loss of one city will not suffice to repay the twofold treachery of the Spaniard, but that your majesty will in a short time write us the welcome news of the surrender also of the other town. As to your promise, that you will take care of our interest, we mistrust it not in the least, upon the word of a most excellent king, and our most assured friend, confirmed withal by your embassador, the most accomplished duke of Crequi. Lastly, we beseech Almighty God to prosper your majesty and the affairs of France, both in peace and war. Westminster, June 1658.

.

OLIVER, Protector of the Commonwealth of ENGLAND, &c., To the most

Eminent Lord, Cardinal MAZARINE. Most Eminent Lord-While we are returning thanks to the most serene king, who to honour and congratulate us, as also to intermix his joy with ours for the late glorious victory, has sent a splendid embassy to our court; we should be ungrateful, should we not also by our letters pay our due acknowledgments to your eminency; who, to testify your goodwill towards us, and how much you make it your study to do us all the honour which lies within your power, have sent your nephew to us, a most excellent and most accomplished young gentleman; and if you had any nearer relation, or any person whom you valued more, would have sent him more espiecially to us, as you declare in your letters ; adding withal the reason, which, coming from so great a personage, we deem no small advantage to our praise and ornament; that is to say, to the end that they, who are most nearly related to your eminency in blood, might learn to imitate your eminency, in showing respect and honour to our person. And we would have it not to be their meanest strife to follow your example of civility, candour, and friendship to us; since there are not more conspicuous examples of extraordinary prudence and virtue to be imitated than in your eminency; from whence they may learn with equal renown to govern kingdoms, and manage the most important affairs of the world. Which that your eminency may long and happily administer, to the prosperity of the whole realm of France, to the common good of the whole Christian republic, and your own glory, we shall never be wanting in our prayers to implore.

Your excellency's most affectionate. From our court at Whitehall, June -, 1658.

OLIVER, Protector of the Commonwealth of ENGLAND, &c., To the most

Serene and Potent Prince, CHARLES GUstavus, King of the SWEDES,
Goths, and VANDALS, &c.

Most Serene and Potent Prince, our dearest Confederate and FriendAs often as we behold the busy counsels, and various artifices of the common enemies of religion, so often do we revolve in our minds how necessary it would be, and how much for the safety of the Christian world, that the protestant princes, and most especially your majesty, should be united with our republic in a most strict and solemn confederacy. Which how ardently and zealously it has been sought by ourselves, how acceptable it would have been to us, if ours, and the affairs of Swedeland, had been in that posture and condition, if the said league could have been sacredly concluded to the good liking of both, and that the one could have been a seasonable succour to the other, we declared to your embassadors, when first they entered into treaty with us upon this subject. Nor were they wanting in their duty; but the same prudence which they were wont to show in other things, the same wisdom and sedulity they made known in this affair. But such was the perfidiousness of our wicked and restless countrymen at home, who, being often received into our protection, ceased not however to machinate new disturbances, and to resume their formerly often frustrated and dissipated conspiracies with our enemies the Spaniards, that being altogether taken up with the preservation of ourselves from surrounding dangers, we could not bend our whole care, and our entire forces, as we wished we could have done, to defend the common cause of religion. Nevertheless what lay in our power we have already zealously performed: and whatever for the future may conduce to your majesty's interests, we shall not only show ourselves willing, but industrious to carry on, in union with your majesty, upon all occasions. In the mean time we most gladly congratulate your majesty's victories, most prudently and courageously achieved, and in our daily prayers implore Almighty God long to continue to your majesty a steady course of conquest and felicity, to the glory of his name.

From our court at Whitehall, June 1658.

OLIVER, Protector of the Commonwealth of ENGLAND, &c., To the most

Serene and Potent Prince, the King of PORTUGAL. Most Serene King, our Friend and Confederate—John Buffield, of London, merchant, bath set forth in a petition to us, that in the year 1649, he delivered certain goods to Anthony, John, and Manuel Ferdinando Castaneo, merchants in Tamira, to the end that after they had sold them, they might give him a just account, according to the custom of merchants; after which, in his voyage for England, he fell into the hands of pirates; and being plundered by them, received no small damage. Upon this news, Anthony and Manuel, believing he had been killed, presently looked upon the goods as their own, and still detain them in their hands, refusing to come to any account; covering this fraud of theirs with a sequestration of English goods, that soon after ensued. So that he was forced the last year, in the middle of winter, to return to Portugal and demand his goods, but all in vain. For that the said John and Anthony could by no fair means be persuaded, either to deliver the said goods or come to any account; and which is more to be admired, justified their private detention of the goods by the public attainder. Finding therefore that being a stranger, he should get nothing by contending with the inhabitants of Tamira in their own

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

country, he betook himself for justice to your majesty : humbly demanded the judgment of the conservator, appointed to determine the causes of the English; but was sent back to the cognizance of that court, from which he had appealed. Which though in itself not unjust, yet seeing it is evident, that the merchants of Tamira make an ill use of your public edict to justify their own private cozenage, we make it our earnest request to your majesty, that according to your wonted clemency you would rather refer to the conservator, being the proper judge in these cases, the cause of this poor man afflicted by many casualties, and reduced to utmost poverty; to the end he may recover the remainder of his fortunes from the faithless partnership of those people. Which when you rightly understand the business, we make no question, but will be no less pleasing to your majesty to see done, than to ourselves.

From our court at Westminster, Aug. 1658.

To the most Serene Prince, LEOPOLD, Archduke of Austria, Governor of

the Low Countries under Philip King of Spain. Most Serene Lord— Charles Harbord, knight, has set forth in his petition to us, that having sent certain goods and household-stuff out of Holland to Bruges under your jurisdiction, he is in great danger of having them arrested out of his hands by force and violence. For that those goods were sent him out of England in the year 1643, by the earl of Suffolk, for whom he stood bound in a great sum of money, to the end he might have wherewithal to satisfy himself, should he be compelled to pay the debt. Which goods are now in the possession of Richard Greenville, knight, who broke open the doors of the place where they were in custody, and made a violent seizure of the same, under pretence of we know not what due to him from Theophilus earl of Suffolk, by virtue of a certain decree of our court of chancery, to which those goods, as being the earl's, were justly liable; whereas by our laws, neither the earl now

living, whose goods they are, is bound by that decree, neither ought the goods to be seized or detained ; which the sentence of that court, now sent to your serenity, together with these letters, positively declares and proves. Which letters the said Charles Harbord has desired of us, to the end we would make it our request to your highness, that the said goods may be forth with discharged from the violent seizure, and no less unjust action of the said Richard Greenville, in regard it is apparently against the custom and law of nations, that any person should be allowed the liberties to sue in a foreign jurisdiction upon a plaint, wherein he can have no relief in the country where the cause of action first arose. Therefore the reason of justice itself

, and your far celebrated equanimity encouraged us to recommend this cause to your highness; assuring your highness, that whenever any dispute shall happen in our courts concerning the rights and properties of your people, you shall ever find us ready and quick in our returns of favour.

Your highness's most affectionate,

OLIVER, Protector of the Commor Westminster.

wealth of England, &c.

Vol. II.

58

20

LETTERS

WRITTEN

IN THE NAME OF RICHARD, PROTECTOR.

Richakd, Protector of the Commonwealth of ENGLAND, &c., To the most

Serene and Potent Prince, LEWIS, King of FRANCE. Most Serene and Potent King, our Friend and Confederate-So soon as our most serene father, Oliver, Protector of the Commonwealth of England, by the will of God so ordaining, departed this life upon the third of September, we being lawfully declared his successor in the supreme magistracy, though in the extremity of tears and sadness, could do no less than with the first opportunity by these our letters make known a matter of this concernment to your majesty ; by whom, as you have been a most cordial friend to our father and this republic, we are confident the mournful and unexpected tidings will be as sorrowfully received. Our business now is, to request your majesty, that you would have such an opinion of us, as of one who has determined nothing more religiously and constantly, than to observe the friendship and confederacy contracted between your majesty and our renowned father: and with the same zeal and goodwill to confirm and establish the leagues by him concluded, and to carry on the same counsels and interests with your majesty. To which intent it is our pleasure that our embassador, residing at your court, be empowered by the same commission as formerly; that you will give the same credit to what he transacts in our name, as if it had been done by ourselves. In the mean time we wish your majesty all prosperity.

From our court at Whitehall, Sept. 5, 1658.

To the most Eminent Lord Cardinal MAZARINE.

THOUGH nothing could fall out more bitter and grievous to us, than to write the mournful news of our most serene and most renowned father's death; nevertheless, in regard we cannot be ignorant of the high esteem which he had for your eminency, and the great value which you had for him; nor have any reason to doubt but that your eminency, upon whose care the prosperity of France depends, will no less bewail the loss of your constant friend, and most united confederate; we thought it of great moment, by these our letters, to make known this accident so deeply to be lamented, as well to your eminency as to the king; and to assure your eminency, which is but reason, that we shall most religiously observe all those things which our father of most serene memory was bound by the league to see confirmed and ratified : and shall make it our business, that in the midst of your mourning for a friend so faithful and flourishing in all virtuous applause, there may be nothing wanting to preserve the faith of our

458

« ForrigeFortsett »