Oliver Cromwell.

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did not return to Ireland ; got into Major-Generalings, into
matters of State, on this side the Channel ; and so ended his
Deputyship ; dropping without violence, like fruit fully ripe ;
the management of Ireland having gradually all shifted into
Henry Cromwell's hand in the interim.


HERE, fluttering loose on the dim confines of Limbo and
the Night-realm, is a small Note of Oliver's, issuing one knows

* Thurloe, iii. 572. Whitlocke, p. 618 (?th Jan. 1653-6).


not whence, but recognisable as his, which we must snatch and
save. A private and thrice-private Note, for Secretary Thurloe;
curiously disclosing to us, as one or two other traits elsewhere
do, that, with all his natural courtesies, noble simplicities and
affabilities, this Lord Protector knew on occasion the word-of-
command too, and what the meaning of a Lord Protector, King,
or Chief Magistrate in the Commonwealth of England was.

'Margery Beacham,' Wife of William Beacham, Mariner,
lives, the somnolent Editors do not apprise us where, proba-
bly in London or some of the Out Ports ; certainly in consider-
able indigence at present. Her poor Husband, in the course
of 'many services to the Commonwealth by sea and land,' has
quite lost the use of his right arm ; has a poor ' Pension of
Forty shillings allowed him from Chatham;' has Margery, and
one poor Boy Randolph, ' tractable to learn,' but who can get
no schooling out of such an income. Wherefore, as seems but
reasonable, Margery petitions his Highness that the said Ran-
dolph might be admitted ' a Scholar of Sutton's Hospital, com-
monly called the Charterhouse,' in London. 14

His Highness, who knows the services of William Beacham,
and even 'a secret service' of his not mentioned in the Petition
or Certificates, straightway decides that the Boy Beacham is
clearly a case for Sutton's Bounty, and that the Commissioners
of the same shall give it him. But now it seems the Chief

Commissioner, whose name in this Note stands Blank

Blank, is not so prompt in the thing ; will consider it, will &c.
Consider it ? His Highness dockets the Petition, ' We refer
' this to the Commissioners for Sutton's Hospital : 28th July
' 1655 ;' and instructs Thurloe to inform Blank Blank that he
had much better not consider it, but do it ! Which there is no
doubt Blank Blank now saw at once to be the real method of
the business.

' To Mr. Secretary Thurloe?

' Whitehall," a8th July 1655.

You receive from me, this 28th instant, a
Petition from Margery Beacham, desiring the admission of
her Son into the Charterhouse ; whose Husband 15 was em-

' Her Petition printed, without date, in Scatcherd, &c. ubi infra.
14 ' who' in the hasty original, as if Margery's self or Son were meant.


ployed one day in an important secret service, which he did
effectually, to our great benefit and the Commonwealth's.

I have wrote under it a common Reference to the Com-
missioners ; but I mean a great deal more : That it shall
be done, without their debate or consideration of the matter.

And so do you privately hint to . I have

not the particular shining bauble for crowds to gaze at or
kneel to, but To be short, I know how to deny Petitions ;
and whatever I think proper, for outward form, to " refer"
to any Officer or Office, I expect that such my compliance
with custom shall be looked upon as an indication of my
will and pleasure to have the thing done. Thy true friend,



WE fear there is little chance of the Plate Fleet this year ;
bad rumours come from the West Indies too, of our grand
Armament and Expedition thither. The Puritan Sea-king
meanwhile keeps the waters ; watches the coasts of Spain ;
which, however, are growing formidable at present.

The ' Person bound for Lisbon* is Mr. Meadows, one of
Secretary Thurloe's Under-secretaries ; concerning whom and
whose business there will be farther speech by and by. Of the
' Commissioners of the Admiralty* we name only Colonel
Montague of Hinchinbrook, who is getting very deep in these
matters, and may himself be Admiral one day.

* Scatcherd's History of M or ley (Leeds, 1830), p. 332. Printed there, and in An*
ttual Register (for 1758, p. 268), and elsewhere ; without commentary, or indication
Whence or How, with several impertinent interpolations which are excluded here.
In the Annual Register vague reference is made to a Book called Collection of Let-
ters &*c. 'compiled by Leonard Howard, D.D.,' who seems to be the first publisher
of this Note ; author, I suppose, of the impertinent interpolations, which vary in dif-
ferent copies, but being exactly indicated in all, are easily thrown out again as here.
In Howard's Book (a disorganic Quarto, London, 1753 ; one volume published, a
second promised but nowhere discoverable), which is credibly described to me as
' one of the most confused farragos ever printed,' search for this Note has been made,
twice, to no purpose ; and with little hope of elucidation there, had the Note been
found. By internal evidence a genuine Note ; and legible as we have it.


To the General of the Fleet, ' General Blake, at Sea.'

SlR, ' Whitehall,' soth July 1653.

We have received yours of the 4th, as also
that of the 6th instant, both at once ; the latter signifying
the great preparations which are making against you.

Some intelligence of that nature is also come to us from
another hand. Which hath occasioned us to send away
this Despatch unto you, immediately upon the receipt of
yours, to let you know That we do not judge it safe for
you, whilst things are in this condition, to send away any
part of the Fleet, as you were directed by our Instructions
of the i3th of June; 16 and therefore, notwithstanding those
Orders, you are to keep the whole Fleet with you, until
you have executed the Secret Instructions, 17 or find the
opportunity is over for the doing thereof.

We think it likewise requisite that you keep with you
the two Frigates which conveyed the victuals to you ; as
also the Nantwich, which was sent to you with a Person
bound for Lisbon with our instructions to that King. And
for the defects of the Fleet, the Commissioners of the Ad-
miralty will take care thereof ; and be you confident that
nothing shall be omitted which can be done here for your
supply and encouragement.

I beseech the Lord to be present with you. I rest, your
very loving friend, OLIVER P.*

Copied ' in Secretary Thurloe's hand ;' who has added the
following Note : ' With this Letter was sent the intelligence of
' the twenty ships coming across the Straits, and of the thirty-
' one ships and eight fire-ships [word losf\ in Cadiz;'
dangerous ships and fire-ships, which belong all now to the
vanished generations : and have sailed, one knows not whence,
one knows not whither !

W Antea, Letter CXCVIII.

" In Blake's Letter, antea ; they concern the ' Silver Fleet" most likely.

* Thurloe, iii. 688.




PRECISELY in those same summer days there has come a
brilliant Swedish gentleman, as Extraordinary Ambassador to
this Country from the King of Swedeland. A hot, high-tem-
pered, clear-shining man ; something fierce, metallic in the
lustre of him. Whose negotiations, festivities, impatiences, and
sudden heats of temper, occupy our friend Bulstrode almost
exclusively for a twelvemonth. We will say only, He has come
hither to negotiate a still stricter league of amity between the
two Countries ; in which welcome enterprise the Lord Protec-
tor seems rather to complicate him by endeavouring to include
the Dutch in it, the Prussians and Danes in it, to make it, in
fact, a general League, or basis for a League, of Protestants
against the Power of Rome, and Antichristian Babylon at large ;
which in these days, under certain Austrian Kaisers, Spanish
Kings, Italian Popes, whose names it may be interesting not to
remember, is waxing very formidable. It was an object the
Protector never ceased nuleavouring after ; thoug'.i in this,
as in other instances, with only partial, never with entire suc-

Observe however, as all Old London observes, on the night
of Saturday July 28th, 1655, the far-shining Procession by
torchlight. Procession ' from Tower-wharf to the late Sir
Abraham Williams's in Westminster ;' this brilliant Swedish
Gentleman with numerous gilt coaches and innumerable out-
riders and onlookers, making his advent then and thus ; Whit-
locke, Montague, Strickland (for we love to be particular) offi-
cially escorting him. Observe next how he was nobly enter-
tained three days in that Williams House, at the Protector's
charges ; and on the third day had his audience of the Pro-
tector ; in a style of dignity worth noting by Bulstrode. Sir
Oliver Fleming ; ' galleries full of ladies,' ' Lifeguards in their
gray frock-coats with velvet welts ;' lanes of gentlemen, seas of
general public : conceive it all ; truly dignified, decorous ;
scene ' the Banqueting House of Whitehall, hung with arras :'
and how at the upper end of the room the Lord Protector was
seen standing ' on a footpace and carpet, with a chair of state
behind him ;' and how the Ambassador saluted thrice as he
advanced, thrice lifting his noble hat and feathers, as the Pro*

i6ss. COMPLIMENT. 131

tector thrice lifted his ; and then Bulstrode shall give the

' After a little pause, the Ambassador put off his hat, and
' began to speak, and then put it on again : and whensoever,
' in his speech, he named the King his master, or Sweden, or
1 the Protector, or England, he moved his hat : especially if
' he mentioned anything of God, or the good of Christendom,
' he put off his hat very low ; and the Protector still answered
' him in the like postures of civility. The Ambassador spake
' in the Swedish language ; and after he had done, being but
' short, his Secretary Berkman did interpret it in Latin to this

' effect' Conceivable, without repetition, to ingenious

readers. A stately, far-shining speech, done into Latin ; ' being
' but short.'

And now 'after his Interpreter had done, the Protector
' stood still a pretty while; and, putting off his hat to the Am-
' bassador, with a carriage full of gravity and state, he ans-
' wered him in English to this effect :'

My Lord Ambassador, I have great reason to acknow-
ledge, with thankfulness, the respects and good affection
of the King your master towards this Commonwealth, and
towards myself in particular. Whereof I shall always re-
tain a very grateful memory; and shall be ready upon all
occasions to manifest the high sense and value I have of
his Majesty's friendship and alliance.

My Lord, you are welcome into England ; and during
your abode here, you shall find all due regard and respect
to be given to your person, and to the business about which
you come. I am very willing to enter into a " nearer and
" more strict alliance and friendship with the King of Swede-
" land," as that which, in my judgment, will tend much to
the honour and commodity of both Nations, and to the ge-
neral advantage of the Protestant Interest. I shall nominate
some Persons to meet and treat with your Lordship upon
such particulars as you shall communicate to them.

After which, Letters were presented, etceteras were trans-


acted, and then, with a carriage full of gravity and state,
they all withdrew to their ulterior employments, and the scene
vanishes. 18


IT is too sad a truth, the Expedition to the West Indies
has failed ! Sea-General Penn, Land-General Venables have
themselves come home, one after the other, with the disgrace-
ful news ; and are lodged in the Tower, a fortnight ago, for
quitting their post without orders. Of all which we shall have
some word to say anon. But take first these glimpses into
other matters, foreign and domestic, on sea and land, as the
Oblivions have chanced to leave them visible for us. ' Cascais
Bay' is at the mouth of the Tagus : General Blake seems still
king of the waters in those parts.

To General Slake, at Sea.'

SlR, Whitehall, i3th September 1655.

We have received yours from Cascais Bay, of
the 3oth of August ; and were very sensible of the wants of
the Fleet as they were represented by your last before ; and
had given directions for three -months provisions, which
were all prepared, and sent from Portsmouth, some time
since, under the convoy of the Bristol Frigate. But the
Commissioners of the Admiralty have had Letters yesterday
that they were forced back, by contrary winds, into Ply-
mouth, and are there now attending for the first slack of
wind, to go to sea again. And the Commissioners of the
Admiralty are instructed 19 to quicken them by an express ;
although it is become very doubtful whether those provi-
sions can ' now' come in time for supplying of your wants.

And for what concerns the fighting of the Fleet of Spain,
whereof your said Letter makes mention, we judge it of

16 Whitlocke, pp. 609-10.

19 ' commands of the Admiralty are required' in orig.


great consequence, and much for the service of the Com-
monwealth, that this Fleet were fought ; as well in order to
the executing your former Instructions, as for the preserva-
tion of our ships and interest in the West Indies : and our
meaning was, by our former Order, and still is, That the
Fleet which shall come for the guarding of the Plate Fleet,
as we conceive this doth, should be attempted. But in
respect we have not certain knowledge of the strength of
the Spanish Fleet, nor of the condition of your Fleet, which
may alter every day, we think it reasonable, at this dist-
ance, not to oblige you by any positive order to engage ;
but must, as we do hereby, leave it to you, who are upon
the place, and know the state of things, to handle the rein
as you shall find your opportunity and the ability of the
Fleet to be : as we also do for your coming home, either
for want of provisions or in respect of the season of the
year, at such time as you shall judge it to be for the safety
of the Fleet And we trust the Lord will guide and be with
you in the management of this thing. Your very loving
friend, OLIVER P.

' P.S.' In case your return should be so soon as that
you should not make use of the Provisions now sent you,
or but little thereof, we desire you to cause them to be pre-
served ; they may be applied to other uses.*

' To tJie Commissioners of Maryland!

SiRS, Whitehall, a6th September 1655.

It seems to us by yours of the 2Qth of June,
and by the relation we received by Colonel Bennet, that

* Thurloe, i. 724, in cipher; and seemingly of Thurloe's composition.


some mistake or scruple hath arisen concerning the sense
of our Letters of the 1 2th of January last, 20 as if, by our
Letters, we had intimated that we would have a stop put to
the proceedings of those Commissioners who were author-
ised to settle the Civil Government of Maryland. Which
was not at all intended by us ; nor so much as proposed to
us by those who made addresses to us to obtain our said
Letter : but our intention (as our said Letter doth plainly
import) was only, To prevent and forbid any force or vio-
lence to be offered by either of the Plantations of Virginia
or Maryland, from one to the other, upon the differences
concerning their bounds : the said differences being then
under the consideration of Ourself and Council here. Which,
for your more full satisfaction, we have thought fit to signify
to you ; and rest, your loving friend, ' OLIVER P.'*

A very obscure American Transaction ; sufficiently lucid
for our Cisatlantic purposes ; nay shedding a kind of light or
twilight into extensive dim regions of Oblivion on the other side
of the Ocean. Bancroft, and the other American authorities,
who have or have not noticed this Letter, will with great
copiousness explain the business to the curious.

The Major-Generals are now all on foot, openly since the
middle of August last ; 21 and an Official Declaration published
on the subject. Ten military Major-Generals, Ten or finally
Twelve, with militia -forces, horse and foot, at their beck ;
coercing Royalist Revolt, and other Anarchy ; ' decimating' it,
that is, levying Ten per-cent upon the Income of it ; summon-
ing it, cross-questioning it, peremptorily signifying to it that
it will not be allowed here, that it had better cease in this
Country. They have to deal with Quakers also, with Ana-
baptists, Scandalous Ministers, and other forms of Anarchy.
The powers of these men are great : much need that they be
just men and wise, men fearing God and hating covetousness ;

* Antea.p. 74. * Thurloe. iv. 55.

" Order- Book of the Council of State ; cited in Godwin (iv. 338).


all turns on that ! They will be supportable, nay welcome
and beneficial, if so. Insupportable enough, if not so : as
indeed what official person, or man under any form, except the
form of a slave well-collared and driven by whips, is or ought
to be supportable ' if not so' ? We subjoin a list of their
names, as historically worthy, known or unknown to the reader,
here. 22

Soon after this Letter, 'in the month of October 1655,'
there was seen a strange sight at Bristol in the West. A
Procession of Eight Persons ; one, a man on horseback, rid-
ing single ; the others, men and women, partly riding double,
partly on foot, in the muddiest highway, in the wettest weather;
singing, all but the single-rider, at whose bridle splash and
walk two women : " Hosannah ! Holy, holy ! Lord God of
Sabaoth !" and other things, ' in a buzzing tone,' which the
impartial hearer could not make out. The single-rider is a
raw-boned male figure, ' with lank hair reaching below his
cheeks ;' hat drawn close over his brows ; ' nose rising slightly
in the middle ;' of abstruse 'down look,' and large dangerous
jaws strictly closed ; he sings not ; sits there covered, and is
sung-to by the others bare. Amid pouring deluges, and mud
knee-deep : ' so that the rain ran in at their necks, and they
vented it at their hose and breeches :' a spectacle to the West
of England and Posterity ! Singing as above ; answering no
question except in song. From Bedminster to Ratcliff Gate,
along the streets, to the High Cross of Bristol : at the High
Cross they are laid hold of by the Authorities ; turn out to be
James Nayler and Company. James Nayler, ' from Andersloe*
or Ardsley ' in Yorkshire,' heretofore a Trooper under Lam-

** General Desborow has the Counties : Gloucester, Wilts, Dorset, Somerset,
Devon, Cornwall.

Colonel Kelsey: Kent and Surrey.

Colonel Goffe: Sussex, Hants, Berks.

M ajar-General Skippon : London.

Colonel Barkstead (Governor of the Tower): Middlesex and Westminster.

Lord Deputy Fleetwood (who never returns to Ireland) : Oxford, Bucks, Herts ;
Cambridge, Essex, Norfolk, Suffolk, for these last four he can appoint a
substitute (Colonel Haynes).

General Whalley: Lincoln, Notts, Derby, Warwick, Leicester.

Major Butler: Northampton, Bedford, Rutland, Huntingdon.

Colonel Berry (Richard Baxter's friend, once a Clerk in the Ironworks): Here-
ford, Salop, North Wales.

General (Sea-General) Dawkitis: Monmouth and South Wales.

Colonel \Vorseley: Cheshire, Lancashire, Staffordshire.

The Lora Lantbert: York, Durham, Cumberland, Westmoreland, Northum-
berland, can appoint substitutes (Colonel Robert Ltlburn, Colonti Charlet


bert ; now a Quaker and something more. Infatuated Nayler
and Company; given up to Enthusiasm, to Animal-Magnetism,
to Chaos and Bedlam in one shape or other ! Who will need
to be coerced by the Major-Generals, I think; to be forwarded
to London, and there sifted and cross-questioned. 23 Is not the
Spiritualism of England developing itself in strange forms ?
The Hydra, royalist and sansculottic, has many heads.

.George Fox, some time before this, had made his way to
the Protector himself ; to represent to him the undeserved suf-
ferings of Friends, and what a faithful people they were,
though sansculottic, or wearing suits sometimes merely of per-
ennial leather. George's huge Journal, to our regret, has no
dates ; but his Interview with the Protector, once in these late
months, is authentic, still visible to the mind. George, being
seized in Leicestershire, 'carried-up to the Mews,' and other-
wise tribulated by subaltern authorities, contrived to make the
Protector hear some direct voice of him, appoint some hour
to see him. ' It was on a morning :' George went ; was ad-
mitted to the Protector's bedchamber, 'where one Harvey, whd
had been a little among Friends,' but had not proved entirely
obedient, the Harvey who will write us a very valuable little
Pamphlet one day, 24 was dressing him. "Peace be in this
house !" George Fox ' was moved to say.' Peace, O George.
' I exhorted him,' writes George, ' to keep in the fear of God,'
whereby he might ' receive Wisdom from God,' which would
be a useful guidance for any Sovereign Person. In fact, I had
' much discourse' with him ; explaining what I and Friends had
been led to think ' concerning Christ and His Apostles' of old
time, and His Priests and Ministers of new ; concerning Life
and concerning Death ; concerning this unfathomable Uni-
verse in general, and the Light in it that is from Above, and
the Darkness in it that is from Below : to all which the Pro-
tector 'carried himself with much moderation.' Yes, George ;
this Protector has a sympathy with the Perennial ; and feels it
across the Temporary : no hulls, leathern or other, can entirely
hide it from the sense of him. ' As I spake, he several times
1 said, "That is very good," and, "That is true."' Other
persons coming in, persons of quality so-called, I drew back ;
lingered ; and then was for retiring : ' he caught me by the

M Examination of them (in Harleian Miscellany, vi. 424-39).
%* Passages in his Highness's Last Sickness.

i6ss. JAMAICA. 137

' hand,' and with moist-beaming eyes, ' said : " Come again to
1 my house ! If thou and I were but an hour of the day to-
' gether, we should be nearer one to the other. I wish no
' more harm to thee than I do to my own soul." ' " Hearken
to God's voice!" said George in conclusion: "Whosoever
hearkens to it, his heart is not hardened ;" his heart remains
true, open to the Wisdoms, to the Noblenesses ; with him it
shall be well ! ' Captain Drury' wished me to stay among the
Lifeguard gentlemen, and dine with them ; but I declined, not
being free thereunto. 25



WE said already the grand Sea- Armament, which sailed
from Portsmouth at Christmas 1654, had proved unsuccessful.
It went westward ; opened its Sealed Instructions at a certain
latitude ; found that they were instructions to attack Hispaniola,
to attack the Spanish Power in the West Indies : it did attack
Hispaniola, and lamentably failed ; attacked the Spanish Power
in the West Indies, and has hitherto realised almost nothing,
a mere waste Island of Jamaica, to all appearance little worth
the keeping at such cost. It is hitherto the unsuccessfulest
enterprise Oliver Cromwell ever had concern with. Desborovv
fitted it out at Portsmouth, while the Lord Protector was busy
with his First refractory Pedant Parliament ; there are faults
imputed to Desborow : but the grand fault the Lord Protector
imputes to himself, That he chose, or sanctioned the choice of,
Generals improper to command it. Sea-General Penn, Land-
General Venables, they were unfortunate, they were incompe-
tent ; fell into disagreements, into distempers of the bowels ;
had critical Civil Commissioners with them, too, who did not
mend the matter. Venables lay ' six weeks in bed," very ill of
sad West-India maladies ; for the rest, a covetous lazy dog,
who cared nothing for the business, but wanted to be home at
his Irish Government again. Penn is Father of Penn the Penn-
sylvanian Quaker ; a man somewhat quick of temper, ' like to

14 Fox?s Journal (Leeds, 1836), L 265.


break his heart' when affairs went wrong ; unfit to right them
again. As we said, the two Generals came voluntarily home
in the end of last August, leaving the wreck of their forces in
j amaica ; and were straightway lodged in the Tower for quitting
their post.

A great Armament of Thirty, nay of Sixty Ships ; of Four-

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