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Posts Tagged ‘intercepted letters’

Letters from London soldiers’ wives intercepted

In London on September 9 at 8:10 pm

9 Sep 1643 (Sat) || Many letters were this weeke intercepted from London, most of which are perswasory Epistles from the Trained band wives, labouring to recall their militant husbands, who (like true Londoners) are following their Leader the Earle of Essex; Take one for all, superscribed To her deare husband Master John Owen under Lieutenant Colonell West in the blew Regiment; the Contents to a syllable as followeth; Most tender and deare hearte my kind affection remembred unto you, I am like never to see thee more I feare, and if you aske the reason why, the reason is this, either I am afraid the Cavaliers will kill thee, or death will deprive thee of me, being full of griefe for you, which I feare will cost me my life. I doe much grieve that you be so hard hearted to me, why could not you come home with Master Marfey on Saturday? could not you venture as well as he? but you did it on purpose to shew your hatred to me; there is none of our Neighbours with you that hath a wife but Master Fletcher and Master Norwood and yourselfe, every body can come but you. I have sent one to Oxford to get a passe for you to come home, but when you come, you must use your wits; I am afraid if you doe not come home, I shall much dishonour God, more than you can honour him, therefore if I doe miscary, you shall answer for it: pitty me for Gods sake and come home. Will nothing prevaile with you? My Cozen Jane is now with me and prayes for your speedy returne, for Gods sake come home, so with my prayer for you I rest your loving wife. London Sept. 5. Susan Owen.

What a horrid odious Rebellion is this that forces good women to such piteous miscarriages! Here’s poore Mistresse Susan in danger to perish, through this unnaturall Rebellion. But the serious Reader may take notice, that divers of these intercepted London Letters come from factious Tradesmen to Officers in the Rebels Army, wherein these Londoners seeme to offer to the Souldiers more Apprentices, if the former be cut off (whereby their Masters may have more mony with new) so that if any man have a desire that his sonne or kinsmen should be knockt in the head for the good of his Master, let him send them now to London, and they will see them dispatched to the Army. || John Berkenhead/Peter Heylyn – Mercurius Aulicus (R)

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King’s Lynn fears plunder & stands for the King

In Norfolk, Suffolk on August 29 at 11:39 pm

29 Aug 1643 (Tue) || This day by Letters from London we were certified, that the Earle of Pembrookes goods, which were shipped for the Isle of Wight, were seized by the vertuous Lord Major Isaac Pennington (the new and most faithful Lieutenant of the Tower) but whether they be as yet restored to the Earle we are not informed. And in the same Letter it was signified, that the Earle of Manchester (that famous good man) doth rob all Country people in Suffolke of their Cart-horses, so as they cannot possibly get in their harvest, which is one of those new blessings he intends to bestow upon their Associate-Counties: which the Inhabitants of the Towne of Lin perceiving, like honest Subjects and true Englishmen, they kept his Lordship out of their Towne, telling him flatly, They kept the Towne for His Majesty, and by the helpe of God would so keepe it against whomsoever; which they are able to doe, it being so strongly fortified, that Kimbolton may as soone raise his good father from the dead, as force his enterance into Lin. || John Berkenhead/Peter Heylyn – Mercurius Aulicus (R)

Major-General James Chudleigh defects to the Royalists

In London on June 5 at 1:22 pm

5 Jun 1643 (Mon) || it as advertised, that Letters from the West were published in the House of Commons, signifying that young [James] Chudleigh whom they had made the Major Generall of their Westerne Forces, had not onely deserted the cause himselfe, and give great commendation in a Letter (which was intercepted) of the Cornish Gentry, and so the piety of their intentions, and the gallantry of their behaviour, but did sollicit his Father Sir George Chudleigh to returne unto His Majesties service, and to bring over with him Sir Nicholas Martyn and Sir John Bamfeild, who depended alltogether on his Counsels: and that a Passe was sent from Sir Ralph Hopton: and if they did not like the Propositions which he made unto them, to returne as safely. There were also Letters sent from the Earle of Stamford full of aspersion against the Father and the Sonne, charging the one with betraying the Army by carrying away the Horse to Bodmin, the other with betraying to the power of the Enemy the Ordinance and Ammunition, which he was commanded to blow up, but did not. And though these Letters wrought so much upon the temper of the House, as to occasion many bitter invectives and vehement testimonies of displeasure against the Chudleighs, whom before they had so highly magnified for the sole authors of all their party in that County, yet it was found (for some of them are quicke of scent) that the Earle of Stamford did but labour by aspersing them to take off from himselfe the miscarriage of the businesse and continue in the good opinion of the House. But of so little credit is he growne amongst them, that they fell presently on a resolution (to his great honour be it spoken) of withdrawing him from the service, and making Waller Generall of the West in his Lordships place. || John Berkenhead/Peter Heylyn – Mercurius Aulicus (R)

From the Westerne parts it is certified, that after the prefidious treachery of Serjeant-Major Chudleigh, and desertion of the footmen which cowardly left the field, the Earl of Stamford gathered his forces together, placing instead of the said Chudleigh Captain Tompson, and captain Gould in the room of his father: Also that Sir William Waller is marched into those parts after the Marquesse of Hartford (who is gone with his forces to the assistance of the Hoptonians) and to assist the Earl of Stamford against the Cornish delinquents. || Richard Collings – The Kingdomes Weekly Intelligencer

Intercepted letters to the Queen read to Houses of Parliament

In London on May 9 at 3:07 pm

9 May 1643 (Tue) || At a Conference of both the Houses of Parliament … Letters from the King to the Queene, which were intercepted, were read; the first of them imported, that the Rebells (meaning the Parliament as it is supposed) had sent him Propositions, whereunto he thought he should not condescend, yet that hee would Treat still, if they would offer any other Treaty, or much to purpose. The effect of the second Letter was, to acquaint her that hee would make some new Officers of State, as Secretary Nicolas to be Master of the Court of Wards and Liveries, and honest Ned Hide to be Secretary in his roome, in these times he could best confide in them, but they would not accept of those places without her consent. Then another intercepted Letter from the Countesse of Derby to the Queene was read, wherein she certifieth her, in what streights, the Earle her Husband was, and that unlesse she would please speedily to send 3. or 4000. men to aide him, all the County of Lancaster would be lost. Lastly, another intercepted Letter was read, which was sent to the Queene from the Scottish Lords, that were sent by the King immediatly home into Scotland after the Scottish Commissioners departed from Oxford, which imported, that the King had charged them to have Relation unto her, and to acquaint her with all their affaires, and that they would endeavour to raise a Partie in Scotland as soone as they came thither, and that they intended to have seene her, but fearing least they should not passe through the Lord Fairefaxe Army, they were now at Chester, from thence to goe by Sea into Scotland. From which Letters it is most evident, that the King referreth all affaires to the Queene, and is directed by her Counsell and advice, and that the Queene is solely guided by Romish Priests and Jesuites, no man can once doubt of, whence all true English hearts may plainely perceive, who are the prime conductors of our Church and State, even those Priests and Jesuits which seeke to ruinate both; which should serve to open the eyes and understandings of all manner of persons that are disaffected to the Parliament and their proceedings, and to teach them, that by their handing against the Parliament, they strive onely to support the Plots and Designes of the Romish and Jesuiticall Party, to their owne and their Posterities confusions, if they retract not betimes, and relinquish those oblique and destructive courses. || William Ingler – Certaine Informations (P)

It was advertised from London, that the Lord Fairefax had intercepted certain Letters written to the Queene, subscribed by the Earles of Morton, Roxborough, Annandale, Kinnowl, Lannarick, and Carnwath, to whom His Majestie had recommended the care of some important affaires in Scotland: wherein they signified that they were going to Scotland for His Majesties service, and had intended to passe thorow Lancashire to Yorke, and so into their owne native Countrey, but found the passage more unsafe then they did expect; besought the Queene that a considerable power might be sent into the Countrey, to increase the Earle of Darby’s Forces, and put an end unto the businesse in those parts; adding, that they intended to goe to Chester, and from thence to Scotland by Sea; and that when they had done their businesse, they would attend Her Majestie at their comming backe. Which Letter being read in the House of Commons made great heates amongst them, insomuch that all those Noblemen afore-said were voted for Incendiaries betiwxt the Nations, all their estates in England to be seized upon, a Committee to be named immediately to be sent into Scotland, to demand jutice against them… || John Berkenhead/Peter Heylyn – Mercurius Aulicus (R)

Parliament’s Kenilworth governor replaced for suspected treachery

In Warwickshire on April 5 at 6:10 pm

5 Apr 1643 (Wed) || From Coventry they write, that they have put Captaine Ingram out of his Command of Governour of the Castle of Kenelworth in Warwickshire, because by an intercepted Letter there from P. Rupert to the Earle of Northampton before his death, it was disclosed, that if the Earle did but shew himselfe and his forces before that Castle, the said Captaine would presently yeeld it up to him. || William Ingler – Certaine Informations (P)

Letters to and from the Queen intercepted; her ships also

In London on February 2 at 6:00 pm

2nd February 1642/3 (Thu) || There was a Packet of letters intercepted going to Holland to the Queene and brought to the Parliament, one of them was a letter from the King to the Queene of secret consequence and other Letters from Secretary Nicholas and others at Court speaking very scandalously of the Parliament and of their proceedings, and of the Progresse of the Armies; the Commons had some consultation about the said letters but at length it was agreed they should not be published untill such time as they should see the issue of the Propositions sent to his Majesty for a peace.

There was also a Trunck intercepted upon the Thames neare London and brought to the Parliament, wherein was found a Packet of letters comming from the Queene and some others in Holland, which for the present are not to be revealed, there was also a great Pye found in the Trunck, but it is thought there will be found to be but unsavoury meat in it when it is cutt up; the full scope and effect of all, very shortly will be discovered, but for the present it is concealed for some private reasons, God in his mercy turne all to good and send a happy uniting betwixt the King and Parliament.

Upon Wednesday last also there came letters to London from the Navy at Sea most certainly informing the businesse of the Queenes putting back to Holland after shee had put to Sea for Newcastle, that the Lord of Warwicks shipps having notice of her comming lay in narrow watch for her shipps and by good fortune mett them in their Passage and had a very hot fight with them and sunke the two shipps before spoken of, and tooke a great prize, but the severall particulers of the fight is not as yet fully informed. || A Continuation of Certain Speciall and Remarkable Passages (P)

Covert letter carriers captured in London

In London on January 28 at 7:30 pm

28 January 1642/3 || This day there was a Coster staid at Hide-Park corner, by the Court of Guard, with a Cloak bag full of Writings and Letters, which he pretended to concern Law-sutes, and were to be made use of at Oxford; and being brought back by a Guard to the Parliament to be further examined, when he came to Charing-crosse, he set spurres to his horse and would have made an escape, but having a guard of two horsemen and four footmen to attend him, they soon stopt his passage, and brought him to the house, and was taken into custody till his examination.

|| There was also a Boy of about fourteen or fifteen years of age, which comming out of the County of Lincoln with private Letters, and escaped through all the watches untill he came to a place called Kingsland, about two miles from London, where was stayed at the Court of Guard, by John Feast Corporall under Sergeant Major Shepheard, and being searched, there was a packet of Letters found about him, which were sowed within the linings of his doublet, upon the top of his shoulder, and being brought to the House and examined, he confessed that was directed to carry the said Letters to one Webs house at the signe of the Drum in St. Giles in the fields (being a rank Papist) where there lay a Taylor that is likewise a Papist, unto whom he was to deliver the said Letters, who was to deliver them to the persons unto which they were intended, the outmost Letter being without any superscription, whereupon the said Letters were referred to the close Committee for the defence of the Kingdome, to be perused, and to certifie the House concerning the same; and it was ordered that the party unto whom they should have been delivered, should be sent for to the House, and the Boy was committed to safe custody till further examination. || Samuel Pecke – A Perfect Diurnall (P)

There was lately apprehended the wife of one Ball  an Irish Papist which hererofore joyned with the [Irish] Rebels, but hath been some in England, and imployed as an agent to the Cavaliers, he being as is reported in the Countrey and his wife stayed here and used to convey Letters and other things to her husband from the Papists about London, and being found out, she was committed to safe custody till further examination of the businesse. || Certain Speciall and Remarkable Passages (P)

Intercepted letter to the King’s secretary causes uproar

In London on January 26 at 6:37 pm

26 January 1642/3 (Thu) || This day it was reported, that Sir Robert Pye the elder is fallen into the disfavour of the Houses of Parliament, but on examination it proved onely thus: A Letter of Sir Robert Pyes unto Master Secretary Nicholas had beene intercepted, in which was signified, that he had paid unto Sir Nicholas Crispe 3700l for secret service, and would direct Master Secretary Nicholas a way how to receive 700l for intelligence.¹ This did so startle some in the House of Commons, that Pye was for a time commanded to forbeare comming to the House of Commons, and such a noyse raised of a great Treason which had newly beene brought to light, (as some are very fortunate in discovering Treasons) that Sir Nich. Crispe durst not walke in the streets of London, for feare of the peoples fury. But when the businesse came to examination, it did appeare, that the 3700l was long since issued out for His Majesties service, at His last journey into Scotland; and 700l was no more nor other wise assigned to Master Secretary, then what is usually allowed the Secretaries of Estate to maintaine intelligence. And so this terrible Treason had no other punishment but scorne and laughter. || John Berkenhead/Peter Heylyn – Mercurius Aulicus (R)

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¹ Sir Edward Nicholas; a Royalist, then with the King at Oxford

Hastings & Gell skirmish in Derbyshire; Parliamentarian letters intercepted

In Derbyshire on January 10 at 11:40 pm

10 Jan 1642/3 (Tue) || Colonell Hastings having fortified on the edge of Leicester-shire, was set upon by Sir John Gell, and beaten from his workes, and made to flie. || Humphrey Blunden – Speciall Passages (P)

This day by letters bearing date the 5 of January news came that Colonell Hastings being returned to Ashby-de-la-Zouch, went upon Sunday morning with an hundred horse, to a place called Swarkeston¹ and tooke the bridge: that thereupon the Rebels of Derbyshire drew out six companies on Tuesday to encounter with him, but finding themselves unable to oppose his horse retreated presently: that being assisted by a part of Sir John Gels forces from Chesterfield, and Sheafield [Sheffield], they came againe on Wednesday January 3 with all their power, being 1200 men, and two peeces of Ordnance; but seeing the Colonel had stopped their passage, they went back that night, the Colonell returning also with his company to make good the bridge.

It was also certified by letters of the 7 of January, that on Twelft day, the Collonell having notice that Gell was comming towards him with his forces, went out to meet him, and about 12 of the clock that day came to Swarkston bridge, the Enemy being by that time come very neere it with two pieces and his Foot, the fight continued two houres and upwads betwixt Gels Foot and the Colonels Dragoneers upon the bridge: in which although the Ordnance spared neither shot, nor Powder, and that Gels men were thrice as many as the Colonels, the Colonel did not loose one man, nor was there any hurt but his Lieutenant onely, there falling many of the other side; but the certaine number of the slaine or wounded [was] not then discovered. And it was further signified in the said letters, that the Colonell had intercepted great proportions of powder, match and bandaleerers going towards Manchester; and that that Towne was in great want of Mony, Armes and Ammunition, as was confessed by such of the Inhabitants as he had met with in those rodes. And this is further verified by a letter intercepted in the way to Manchester, wherein the writer of it give his friend advertisement, that men were scarce enough at London (notwithstanding such reports as were spread abroad) when the Lord Generall (he meanes the Earle of Essex) was forced to make use of those designed for Manchester to fill up his companies: and that for mony, it was affirmed publiquely by the Treasurer for the warres, that he had not wherewithall to pay the Army in any reasonable proportion; finally that if mony could be had Sir John Seaton with other Officers and Commanders should be sent downe to them, who had been sent far from the Army for that purpose onely, but if no mony then neither Seaton nor the Officers. And take this also from that letter that it is confidently reported & beleeved in London that the Kings Army in this City of Oxford, is in as miserable a condition, both for horse and man as can be imagined: and that they run away faster from him, then they can be got or kept together, though the Kings Officers distraine men like horses: A tale, as manifestly false as any thing that hath been certified from thence, to the abused people in the Country, since these Arts came up. || John Berkenhead/Peter Heylyn – Mercurius Aulicus (R)

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¹ Swarkestone, in Derbyshire

More Letters from Devon

In Devon on January 8 at 11:06 pm

Sunday 8 Jan 1642/3 || [A Letter from Exeter January 7.] Yours received, as I hope you had mine by the Carrier, which acquainted you with the removall of the theevish Cornish Army (for they doe but plunder, not fight) towards Crediton, which poore Towne is now miserably pillaged by the beggarly Cavaliers. From thence they went to Ockington [Oakhampton], some twentie miles from Exeter (within three miles of my house, which the Rogues have plundered, cut in peeces my very Bedsteds, carried away what was moveable, and were like to have killed a young Minister, which they tooke to be my selfe.) Our Army consisting of 2400. horse and foote, follows them, and we heare of two of their Carriages taken by or men, and about a 100. of theirs killed. The Countie of Cornwall hath sent to us for an Association, to withstand this Army of Rogues, for they are very unwilling to re-admit them againe: we heare that Sir Ralph Hopton, which some few others, have left the body of their Army, and shifted themselves away. The Rogues boast abroad that they killed Captaine Gould (whom I saw in good health this morning) and that the Citie of Exeter gave them 30000.li to be gone, which is as false a lye as the father of lies can invent. We hope within these foure dayes we shall heare of good execution done upon them. The Lieutenant Generall Colonell Ruthen, follows them close. This weeke we had many great Delinquents apprehended, one Master Peters, a Justice of Peace, and a great Array man, who wrote a Letter to Sir Ralph Hopton (the Copy whereof I have sent you). Also Doctor Hutchison, Doctor Wilson, Canon Hellian, Master Pettern, Master Hayten, Newman the Post-Master, Isaac the Towne-Clerke, Master [Richard] Culme the last yeares High Sheriffe, and Justice Ashford, with many more, some whereof have againe ransomed themselves by 100.li 200.li 500.li and 800.li fine to the Parliament. Wee have Forces, Dragoones, Foote, and Great Horse come from Sommerset and Dorchester. The Earle of Stamford, our Lord Generall came in last thursday, and lodgeth at Master Mariors, Master Guyhes preached yesterday before him at Master Peters; The Cathedrall men looke like Ghosts, now their mouths are stopt that they can sing no longer. There was this weeke 400.li found in that Church, which Canon Hellian confessed, and more they hope to finde.

[A Letter to Sir Ralph Hopton.] Honoured Sir, I am informed that those that went out last night out of Exon, with those at Chudleigh, past this morning towards the North, leaving the ordinarie way to Exon much on the right hand, probably either to fall on Moulton, or to intercept you; the report goes that there are two thousand of them, I pray God to preserve you; we here over all the Countrey give our selves utterly lost: Topsham we heare hath alreadie suffered: If you give Crediton to the Souldiers, it will much hearten them, they have long complained for want of employment, and of the restraint laid upon them that way. We are full of distraction.
From my house in the afternoon.
Your servant, J. Peter.

|| Humphrey Blunden – Speciall Passages and Certain Informations (P)