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ham's entire Regt, ye La Tirone's entire Regt, 5 companyes of yo La Witherington's Regt, & one Loos Company, wch will make up ye 70 Companyes of ye Irish Establish with ye 33 now ther. Ye Kinge Assured me they should be hastened to yo" Exce.
I had almost for-gott to tell yo* Exce yt severall leading men of our howse desyred often I might give an accounte of ye state of Ireland, &c. But I desyred it might be rather refered to a Comtee, wher it might be more fittly concider'd & digested.
The Ratification of ye Peace was not com to his Majte this morninge at Aleaven of ye clock, but He hourely Expected it, & he told me when S: G. Silviers landed in Holland with yo newse of ye Peace ther was neaver such joy Exprest; Bon fires & beinge Drunke were but two of ye lest signes of it. I have Ground to beleeve, as soone as the Ratification of ye Peace coms, His Majty will set a day for ye endinge of this Sessions, yt we may make into bills what hitherto we have discoursed of & debated.
The Lds are this day also on ye affaires of Ireland.
My L Shaftsbury did me ye honour ye other day to give me a visit, & amonge other discourses he assured me he was convinced he had bin misinformed in many things touchinge Ireland, but yt now he was of my opinion.
CXX.-LORD CONWAY TO THE EARL OF ESSEX.
MAY IT PLEASE Yol Excel",
London, Febr. 24, 167. I need not use many words in acquainting Yor Excelce with the surprise wch all men have had at the Prorogation of the Parliam this morning to the 10th of Novemb" next. I shall only say, that all of great men have taken occasion to professe publickly they knew
nothing of it. I never saw such a consternation as was among the members of both Houses ; every man amased and reproching one another that they had sat so long upon Eggs and could hatch nothing. I have now obeyed Yo’ Excelcies coñands in my continuance heere during the Session of Parliam', and in giving Yof Excelce thə best account I could of their transactions, but I have many reasons to believe they were not serviceable to you, my abilityes to performe this being much lesse then my affections. The season of the yeare drawing on, I thinke to goe shortly into Warwickshre to drink Birchwater, and from thence Yo' Excelce may dispose of me where you please. For it is my ambition and desire to be serviceable to you ; but if I cannot be so happy as to attaine it, I shall then only look after my owne little affaires. 'Tis true that now there will be a new Game play'd at Court, and the designes and Interests of all men will be different from what they were, and of this I beleeve in a few days I shall be able to give Yof Excelse some information, for in all things to the utmost of my power I shall endeavour to give Yo Excelce assurance of my being, &c.
CXXI.-LORD CONWAY TO THE EARL OF Essex.
MAY IT PLEASE Yo® Excel",
London, Febr. 28, 1678. My last of the 24th gave yor Excelce an account of the Prorogation of the Parliamt. We were all surprised and in a hurry, so that I could not finue out the bottome of that affaire, and now, although I beleeve I know as much of it as most men, yet I dare not comit it to Paper, but when I have the honor to wait upon Yor Excelce I shall acquaint you with it.
The Ratification of the Peace arrived heere last night; it is already Proclaimed in Holland, and this morning his Matie Sumond a Councell in order to the Proclaming it heere.
Since the Prorogation, his Matie hath receaved at least ten Letters in a disguised hand and without any name, giving him information that there were attempts designed upon his Person, and advising him to be carefull of himselfe, and particularly on the 27 Febr., wch I thanke God is past without any danger to him. The whole businesse is thought to be a trick, and it is above me to know what to
say to it.
The Court seemes to have no other Interest but in contracting of expenses. They will discountenance Papists, make the late violent men Sheriffs, and call a new Parliamt. when King hath not immediate want. King says, He had rather be a poore King then no King. Presbyterians will be most prevalent in the next Parliam. It is also designed, before they meet, to have a Treaty of Marriage on foot between Prince of Orange and Duke of York's daughter.
CXXII.--THE EARL OF ESSEX TO THE EARL OF ARLINGTON.
Dublin Castle, March 17, 78. I doe acknowledge yr receipt of two of y? Lps of ye 24 & 3d of March. That of ye latter date, among other things, recomends to me one Mr. Morrice, for ye paymt of 300ld to him. Yr LP fully understands yt ye King's revenue is now out of his Majesties hands,
* On March 3, Ormond wrote that the prorogation was not known, nor who counselled it. On the 7th Aungier reported that Buckingham received 60001, for his place as gentleman of the bedchamber, 40001. for the mastership of the horse out of the Irish establishment, and 15001. a-year for life. On the 10th William Temple wrote that “The Duke is fixt and has great power." On March 20th Conway is appointed Lieut.-Gen. of Horse in Ireland. On the 21st Orrery warns Essex against believing the reports of a dissolution, and on the 25th Harbord reports Danby's intention of managing without a Parliament.
Since it was farmed by Ranelagh.
& there is nothing here but ye Concordation Moneys in ye Lieuts dispose, wch are so very narrow as I cannot wth them answer even ye necessary charges of ye Govermt The King's Houses ought to be repair’d, but I found them in such ruine, as even this Castle it selfe would require more to putt it into reasonable Ord' then ye clear Income of them (ye constant yearly paymts of these Concordations being deducted) would for some years amount to ; besides, I hope yr LP will be pleased to consider yt, if at any Time I exceed ye summe allotted upon this fund, I am by ye Rules of ye Establishment to repay it out of my owne purse, so as in Truth I doe not know what course to take for this Gentleman's satisfaction.
By ye last Packett I desired Mr. Harbord to acquaint y? LP y I began very much to apprehend a failure in my Lord Ranelagh & his Partners, ye symptomes whereof doe still encrease, for I find them very backward & shufling in all their Paymts, & indeed I can scarce walke through ye Gallery here but I meet wth some or other attending to complaine of them. The Army are not yet answer'd their last Quarter's pay; Si Thomas Chicheley's three thousand pås, one thousand of weh, by his Majestie's Lře of ye 14th of July last, ought to have bin pay'd out of ye Quarters Rent at Midsuñer, another thousand out of ye Quartr’s Rent at Michalm", & ye other thousand out of ye Quarter's Rent at Christmass, is by them disputed, alleaging that by their Contract they are not lyable to make paymt of any of this money till ye expiration of their Terme. There are also divers other paymts, wch I could instance, wherein they have not yielded such complyance as I conceive they ought; but that wch troubles me most is to see them come so heavily off in discharging ye Twelvemonths Arrear due to ye Army, ye paymt of wch ought to have begun at Christmass last was twelvemonth, & from that Time forward to have clear'd at Every Quarter one month of these Arrears. I have favoured them so far as to respit it till this last Christmass (at wch Time four months were payable), upon promise then or about that Time they would pay two months downe, & about Feb. or March two months more, but unless it be to eight Troops
Horse or thereabout, to whom they have given Assignmts to receive ye money in ye country, none of this is answered. The Army, for ought I can find, are obedient enough to my commands, but I fear there is a great share of discontent among them for want of their growing pay, & a despair of their Arrears; petition they dare not (nor indeed in a matter of this nature is it fitt they should), well remembring in what manner many of ye Officers were dealt wih for representing their case in my La Berkeley's Time, & therefore I esteem it a duty so much ye more incumbent upon me early to explain this their condition to his Majestie, who only can redress it.
Of all ye parts I have to serve his Masie in ye Employmt where I am, I know not any of more difficultie then this how to behave my selfe towards my L. Ranelagh & his Partn". For on ye one hand, if I too hastily represent their Undertaking as breaking, I shall, should they happen to continue, both raise great enemies to my selfe & also incurr much discreditt by being found in ye wrong. Agen, if I be too late in giving notice of their failure, It may be much to his Masies disservice, & my selfe may be exposed to censure, for want of circumspection in his Majes ties Affairs. Whereas, indeed, 'Tis impossible for any man to have a true prospect of what will become of their Undertaking. And y reason is this: They are accountable to none for their Receipts, & much of ye money being collected by Officers of their owne & putt out of ye course of ye Excheq", none can devine what summs they have in their hands. The best conjecture then that can be given of their abilities to performe must be collected by being watchfull how they keep touch in their Paymts, wherein observing at this time a more then ordinary faltering, I think I can doe no less then comunicate it to y LP, that so his Matie may know my apprehensions of ye maine. To wch this also may further be added, yt now above three years of ye five of their Undertaking are expired, & 'Tis probable yt most of ye solvent Arrears are already guther’d, wch Arrears were intended to answer ye Debts, & I doe not finde that any considerable part of these debts are yet clear'd. How is it possible then for any reasoning man to