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England, those of Cromwell's Army would be forward enough to give y' Maties affaires disquiett here, as yo Scotch would likewise undoubtedly follow y patterne of those of their owne nation, in case any disorder should happen in that Kingdome. Some late Lies from England doe informe me, that y' Matie has a proposall before you for y resignation of my Lord Ranelagh's undertaking, as also that of y" Farme, & so yo revenue to be brought into y' owne management. I cannot so far neglect my duty as not to tell y Matie that, in my apprehension, I scarce know at this conjuncture a Councell more hazardous to yo welfare & quiett of this Kingdome then this seems to be, for should yo Matie resume ye revenue into y' owne hands, all changes of this nature must, as I conceive for some space, cause a stop to all Paym", and it will be many months before it can be setled from y' course wherein now it is into another; therefore I humbly offer it to y Maties consideration, whether this season, when affairs are so cloudy in y Maties other two dominions, can be proper to endanger yo putting things in disorder here too. If yo Matie shall thinke fitt for some litle time to respitty" resolution of altering y” methods y' revenue is now in, I hope yo weather may prove fairer in England and Scotland, & then it will not be so much materiall what is done in relation to us, but truly at y” present, as I am very confident of preserving ye Publicke Peace & quiett here in y' posture we now are in, so I am very apprehensive of what will follow in case y Maties revenue should be at this moment discomposed. The particulars I have troubled yo Matie wth are of so high a concernment to y Maties service, as I chose rather to represent them to yo selfe then to goe through y' hands of any of y' Ministers. As to my carriage in yo two first of them mentioned in this Lie, viz., concerning a Publicke Adress & y establishing of a Militia" here, I shall attend yo signification of y' pleasure by one of y' Secretarys, & as y Matie shall thinke fitt to approve or disallow of my Proceedings, J shall for y” future conforme my selfe to y' Maties commands w” that duty wo" becomes, &c.
* See later letters on this matter.
XCVII.-Lord CoNWAY. To THE EARL OF Essex.
MAY IT PLEASE YOR EXCELCB London, December 6, 1673. + + + + +
The Parliam' will certainly meet the 7th of January. Trear. hath infinitly eclipsed Arling, with King. Keeper, Trear., and Speaker doe play a cunning game, for they are intimat with Duke, and labor to be popular in Parliam'. If next Sessions be favourable to them they will be great. + + + + +
XCVIII.--THE DUKE OF ORMOND TO THE EARL of EssEx.
My Lord, Clarendon House, 9 Dec. '73. The changes of persons & things in that Kingdome have bin so great since I came hence, that any information from mee can bee of very litle use to y' Ex"; ; but when any thing comes in my way or into my thoughts that I can conceive may contribute to the service of the King in your management, I shall with all freedome imparte it to you. It is without doubt needefull that y' Ex", & whoever Governes for the King there, should have good intelligence of the temper and designes of the severall partys there, of whom there are non so numerous, so agreeing in principles of Religion, or so unsatisfied with their condition as the Irish Papists, and therefore y' Ex”y does most prudently to continue such differences as arises amongst them in poynt of secular intrest, for to that all their contentions referre. When I had the honour to Governe in that Kingdom, I found meanes to devide them upon the subscription of a certaine Remonstrance" declaring their fidelity to the King in temperalls in such termes & to that degree that was not agreeable to the pretences of the Pope. This Remonstrance with the countenance given to the subscribers & discountenance to the refusers got ground very fast; but after I was recal'd this cours was neglected if not inverted, & the subscribers were exposed to the persecution of the refusers even in Ireland; if this test had bin continued, it would have made a more usefull & reasonable distinction then that betwixt Regulars & Seculars, for, as many Regulars are well affected to the Government, so divers seculars are as dangerous to it; but it was not easy to make this understood in an English House of Commons, nor was there time for it. As the case stands y' Ex" is certainly in the right to give those you have found usefull such a protection as you mention. I am beter acquainted with the clauses in my Lord of Ranellagh's, &c. contract then I am of late with his Lop or any of them, but that whole affaire is transacted so totally betwixt the King & them that there is rarely so much as any mention made of anything that relates to it where I am. I should think that if there were no such clauses in the contract, yet the naturall Authority of a Cheef Governour would intitle you to such an inspection into their proceedings, & subject all that have to doe with the Revenue to such & so often accompts as you shall please to call for, of wo" certainly a charge is as necessary a parte as a discharge. I would, therefore, if it were my case, call for such an accoumpt as might as well informe mee what has bin received as what has bin pay’d, from whence only it may bee collected what probabillity there is that the contractors will performe their undertaking; and if my Lo of Ranellagh shall get positive cofiands to supercede so faire a way of accoumpting, y' Ex" will bee discharged, & it will bee argument of suspition that all is not lyke to goe well with those that desire to obstruct it. This my Lo" is on this subject the sence of, &c.
a See an account of this “Remonstrance’ in Ingram's Two Chapters of Irish History, pp. 16 and following. This statement of Ormond gives a somewhat different complexion to the affair.
XCIX.—LORD CONWAY. To THE EARL OF ESSEX.
MAY IT PLEASE YO" ExCEL", London, December 13, 1673. + + + + +
L” Keeper cofianded Conway to tell Essex that he could not doe any thing more acceptable to King then to write to So Hen. Capell to comply with Court prty in y House of Comons in things moderate and reasonable," and Keeper will informe King of it, with all advantage to Essex. This is the only way for any man at present to ingratiate himselfe with King, who hath ordered Trear. Keeper, S. Coventry, Speaker, and others,to use all their skill to make his interest good in H. of Comons. Upon this account it is that Speaker is ordered to keep the chair, wo" he thought to have quitt. They all disposed of this course, and are ignorant whether King will comply with Parliam' or not, in relation either to France or Duke, but tis certaine they cutt Arlington with his owne weapons by complying in both with King humour, and may probably by this meanes bring King off from both.
Keeper is a reall friend to Esser, and I am confident that Trear. will be so at least while Conway is here. He hates Mr Harbord above all mankind, and I cannot tell the reason. I believe Speaker
is a great cause, but not all.
King hath shewed Ranelagh a Letter of Essex wherein he says that Ranelagh is breaking, and selling his farme. Esser may hurt himselfe, but not Ramelagh, with King, who stands faire to succeed Arling'; and is in with Trear. Keeper, Speaker, Duke, etc. It reflects upon Essea that, at the same time, He wrote obligingly to Ranelagh. * + # + + +
• On Dec. 30, Essex wrote refusing to influence Henry Capel's conduct or votes.
King is firme to the Interest of France; if Parliam' be so calme and prudent as to give him mony they may buy him off from France and Duke, otherwise they will not sitt long, both will create alterations ; Trear. and Duke push hard at Arling. Trear. designes the place to Orrery, but I am confident it will never be. Ranelagh will shortly be of the Privy Councell.
+ + + + +
CI—SIR. W. TEMPLE TO THE EARL OF Essex.
My Lord, - London, Decemb' 25th, 1673. I receaved not long since by my Brother's letter something like an excuse for yr Ex” not writing to mee so often as you intended, w" I shall onely returne with assuring you that the least thought of that kind is more then needs. I should bee very sorry to faile of a letter from y' Lop whenever you thought I could bee of any use to you, or to receave one whenever it costs you the time should have been spente upon those that can. Upon my coming to Towne I finde such a scene as makes every bodys head turne round that did not foresee it, all that flatter'd themselves with the imaginations of a generall peace are but too much disabused. And those who reckon’d about a weeke agoe upon our being content with our owne separate from France, are for the present at an ende of their accounts, though all the personal attempts that can bee have been made, and so much light given into the generall posture of our CAMD. SOC. X VOL. I.