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affairs as has served to trouble and perhaps dasle, though not to guide those who receave it. The Parlement will certainly meet, and a tryall bee made upon them for money with all complyance they can desire in any point besides that of going on with the Warr and the French Alliance, but I doe not yet discerne any appearance of their beeing satisfyed without those two forbidden points. Nor doe I finde how elegantly soever the Ministers defende the necessity or prudence of those late counsels, that they themselves beleeve any body persuaded by what they say, or the humor of the Parlement or Nation is like to bee at all either sweeten’d or changed in what concerns them. Last Munday the French Ministers heer thought their game plaid ill, but on Tuesday they recover'd, and the answer to the Spanish Am" Memoriall came out in the style wo" is by all interpreted to signifye no peace but in conjunction with France. Upon this the talke is of y" French furnishing their 600 M. Pistoles towards the charge of the Warr, with forty ships for the next fleete, and of the Duke's commanding it. But the ill humor of the Seamen is such that the best friends of this design promise themselves little success, especially if H. of Comons make any sharpe Vote upon that occasion as is feared, and for prevention whereof the first strength of Court will bee imployed to keepe Speaker in Chair, contrary to what was resolved about a fortnight since. I will assure Yo Lo? So Harry Capel is a Gentleman much more known in the nation then you left him, and much more considered at Courte as well as in the country since the last session, though in different kindes. I thinke y' Lo need not trouble y'self much about it, but leave him to his good senses and his good starrs, Hee is yett very young in the busy world, and must have many such heats and colds as thees before hee is at his journey's ende. The shorte of our present story seems to bee that the Courte will upon no tearms fall out with the French Alliance, and the Nation will upon no tearms fall in with it; and what the issue of this must bee in the success of our next expedition to sea, or in the consequences of any misfortune there arriving upon our losse of trade by a breach with Spain, I leave to Yo L^p to imagine, that wo" makes this obstimacy in the Court is not onely the violence of Duke, but the dread of having all that has passed between them & France published if they anger France, and how this will bee remedyed, God of Heaven knows. Buckingham gains ground every day of Arlington with King and Duke. Hee and Treasurer and Speaker are, I thinke, at this time the persons of greatest power as long as 'twill last, for ’tis very transitory upon this scene. My La Conway is absolutely in with them and the Court and Ranelagh, so is Orrery " with all those persons, but pretends to hold of from designs of Court, unless King shall agree with Parlint, in wo" case hee may bee a reserve to the rest of his friends that might bee broken. For the foreign affairs there is very little this weeke of new. 'Tis thought the Duke of Lutsemburg has escaped from the Imperialists and the Counte Mountarey, who design'd to have cutt of his retreate to Mastricht, wo" will, I suppose, ende the action of this campania unles the Dutch attempt some Towns upon a hard frost if it arrives this winter. I never heard worse descriptions then are made of France by all that come over as to their great wante of men as well as money, and the decay of all trade. I give the more credit to it from a letter I saw to-day, whereby I finde that the Courte there has absolutely taken off the 30 per cent. wo" was laid severall years since upon all foreign Manufactures and enacted with the greatest rigor, but they have given liberty for the Spaniards and Dutch subjects to come and fetch off what wines they please out of that Kingdome, paying one crowne upon every Tunn beyond all the former dutys, but this condition is put in onely for a good pretext, whereas the true reason is the extream ill effects they feele already by the wante of trade, and this letter adds they are so greate, that if their wines lye upon their hands another yeare, some insurrection of the people will not bee avoyded. On the other side, they tell mee the Count Montarey is agreed with the Dutch for the absolute prevention of this trade into Flanders and Holland, not onely to confiscate what shall come from France (w" they finde will not extinguish it), but to breake up all Wessels of Wine and let them runn out in the streets, and burne the other forbidden commoditys. To ende this trouble, give mee leave to tell y' LP that in the midst of thees traverses won are many upon the scene, and may bee many more, I conceave y' interest is to stande wholly upon y' owne leggs, and the merits of a prudent, diligent, and disinteressed management of the affairs in y' circle, to live well with those you were well with when you left this place, to live fairly with any new Ministers the King has or shall thinke fitt to bring into play, but to change no correspondences or applications you have been used to unles by the King's command, aud perhaps to let the King in particular know y' resolution in that pointe, and in this train, if the Nation has any good stars, I know not why Yo LP may not come to bee as necessary to the greatest Ministers heer as any of them to you, at least this is the opinion of a very faithful, humble servant.
a On Jan. 31, W. Harbord writes to warn Essex “how ill a man Orrery is, and how false to Essex.” On Feb. 3, he warns Essex similarly against Ranelagh as being “as dangerous a man as lives," and “so slippery.” Conway, on the other hand, is “studious in Essex's service.”
CII.--THE EARL OF Essex To THE EARL of DANBy.
MY LORD, Dublin Castle, Dec. 30, 1673.
4" & another of y" 12" of Dec. In ye latter of well y Lóp hath
bin pleased to give some directions concerning ye examination of losses sustaired by yo Farmers of his Maties revenue, upon yo occasion of this present War, all wo" shall be punctually pursued. My Intelligence from England tells me, that yo King is not yet resolved as to yo disposall of y" Master of ye Ordnance Place here; I have taken a litle pains to examine whether it were ever under yo charge of yo Master of y" Ordnance in England, woo I had bin told it once was, but cannot finde that in any former Times this Kingdome was without a distinct Officer in that Employm'. And to say y Truth, I am for my owne part somewhat unwilling any thing belonging to yo greatness of this Goverm' should be lessen’d in my Time. I know it may be sayd, that in case this Office be supply'd woo a Deputy, & made subordinate to yo M' of ye Ordnance in England, such a Presid' may reach as a patterne, & perhaps wo more reason, to many other Officers here, as Chancello, Chief Justice, etc., whose judicatures, noe doubt, are subordinate to those of yo Courts in England, & Appeals from these to them. Now, yo M' of y" Ordnance Place was ever (as I am informed) independent of that in England, & being a Military Officer absolutely under yo Lieu" command, tho' y' Person all ways of y" King's nomination; but sure I am, Tis very probable that inconveniences may hereafter follow upon such a change ; for should yo Lieu' here, and yo M' of y" Ordnance in England (who commonly is a great Man, & all ways present at Court, & at hand to support his owne Interest), be upon any ill Terms one with another, yo Stores would infallibly be ill provided, & such a Deputy be employ’d, as would cross & thwart yo Lieu', so as in cases of War it may happen to be very fatall to yo Kings Affairs; whereas when that Office is executed by a person here upon y” place, & so immediately under y” Lieut" command, without dependance on any other. He may be kept more strictly to his duty, & not be able to support himselfe in opposition to any of y" Lieu" Orders. Much of this exception I confess for yo present is not in ye case, in regard of y" worthyness of y" person, who enjoys that Place in England, & y” particular good correspondence won I have for a long time had woo him, there being not a Gentleman I know, whom I better esteeme, yet methinks in all consults of this nature, wherein yo Setlement of a Kingdome is concern'd, great regard ought to be had to yo future, for surely Governments would not be long lived if the Establishm" of them be fram'd only for ye present convenience.
Having given a hint of these arguments to y Lóp for y” continuance of that Office, I am sure I have placed them in a hand who will much improve them, & adde reasons of more strength then I can pretend to offer; I shall only say this further, that observing how much his Matie has bin wrong'd in that Office, & taking y' best measures I can, from whence those Abuses arose, that for yo time to come they may be prevented, I humbly propose that whosoever his Matie shall think fitt to appoint for yo execution of that Employment, He may be absolutely prohibited from selling any places under him, or to make any profitts to himselfe by sale of any Amunition, or Cast Arms, etc. And truly I think this latter more especially necessary, for since his owne substitutes are Judges, what Arms, Amunition, etc. are unserviceable; it may easily be guess'd what acco y King is like to have of his Stores whilst ye partys concerned in yo profitts may carve & take what they please to their owne advantage.
CIII-LoRD CoNWAY. To THE EARL of Essex.
MAY IT PLEASE Yo" Excel.”, December 30, 1673. # # # # #
We have little news stirring, all being preparatives for the sitting of the Parliam'. Capt" Titus told the King that no body doubted now of the sitting of the Parliam', because the Duke of Buckingham