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Then he told me that he desired to have a good understanding & friendship wth you, that he had that morning had an opportunity to doe Essex severall good offices wth Kg: yt he found him not to want them, Kg: having a great esteeme of you f' his services, yt however he would on all occasions endeavour to preserve him so, & desired me to assure you of it; that after the holydayes he would againe fal to the consideration of those things wch Essex had writ to him about; he seemes very franck in his words & behaviour, & unlesse Ran : be false to you I believe Trea : will be true to you. He governes all, only I finde yt King dothe give away great sums weekly, wch I wonder at, though they be given to Trea : his friends in all places ; Kg: commends him how able a man he is; he & his friends talk much of Parl, meeting, & his sonne in lawe, Cooke, stands for linne * upon the remove of Mr. Attorney ; but when I see him so great wth Trea : & Laud : I confesse I can not thinke he desinges any such thing. I desire yr Excellency wilbe pleased to give him thanks for his kindnesse & favour to me ; & also owne that I gave Essex an account of his civility to you, & of his intentions ever to serve you. Upon the whole this is the judgment I make of Essex, his condition as to his keping the post he is in. It is most certain there are attempts made upon Kg: to laye aside all thoughts of Parl. If he can bring him to it, then Essex must be removed ; but till then I believe him safe enough, & therefore I long to see Essex cleare out of debt, & some money before hand.
[Henry Thynne writes, on January 2, 1674, that there are some who want to place Arlington in Essex's place, in order to keep him out of business' in England. On January 9, William Harhord records that the Duke of York has sent for Bedford, Hollis, Halifax, Carlisle, Falconbridge, Salisbury, and Newport, and expressed his willingness to promote a law for the establishment of their rights, liberties, and religion ; that Lauderdale pretends to favour the meeting of Parliament, and accuses Arlington of hindering it ; but that neither the Duke, Lauderdale, or Danby really wishes for it. ]
CXCV.--WILLIAM HARBORD TO THE EARL OF Essex.
MAY IT PLEASE YR EXCELLENCY,
16 Jan. 1674. London,
There is nothing so visible as that Trear: is extreamely fond of Ranelagh, on all occasions makes use of his Advice in all Things relating to Ireland; so that that Kingdome in a great manner depends on Ranelagh. I finde yt Ranelagh hath proposed very great Advantages to be had there by his means, as the encreasing the Army at least 4000 men upon expération of this Farme, wch I see takes much wth King & Duke, & the bringing in a manner all the wealth & strength of that Kingdome under the jurisdiction of the Courte & particularly under Duke, Trear: Lodd: & Ran:, wło weekly sends private orders from Lodderdale to Forbes ; & I am certaine that Ranelagh doth frighten Trear: wth Essex his endeavors underhand to raise his fame in order to ye succeeding of him. Yesterday 51 & Ran: were shut up together at Ranelaghs at least three hours, some thinke that Strafford is intended to succeed Essex by Lodderdale's means, who without the knowledge of Duke brought him into ye Councell, at wch Duke was very angry, & I heare yt Strafford
doth not disowne his hopes of succeeding Essex. Berkeley had 1000 pounds of Inchiquin to gett him made Governor of Tangier; so that Portsmouth hath answered his pretensions already; here was also a report of Arlington's being intended Lieutenant; He laughs at it, & I believe will as readily loose his head as change his place. Duke, Trear: & that party made their braggs that they would resigne Arlington at his Returne; But King is very kinde to him, & tis wonderfull to see him shutt upp in ye morning wth Arlington severall hours, & the same day as many wth Duke, Trear: & Lodderdale ; I pray God direct him. Mordant having appeared violent ye last Session against ye papists is at last by his brother's meanes reconciled to Duke & promised Hanley's place, who is dangerously ill, & Mordant is gone to Shaftesbury to convert him ;a & I finde yt King is very desirous of y parliam' meeting, & would gladly persuade his brother to it, & Trear:, if he can satisfie himselfe that parliam' will let him alone, then he will consent to it; all his feare is least parliam' should revive y bill to remove all such from King as will not take such an oath wch they are sure he will not take, of ye other side. Trear: thinks himselfe either innocent or provided wth Friends, & forsees a storme from Spaine, who have declared a war beyond ye Line by open Acts of Hostilitie; & also those of Algier, Tripoly, & Tunis have offered faire for a Rupture ; & if either of this happen He & ye rest can not but foresee a necessity of King his falling into parliam' hands; the Dutch refuse to pay us some parte of our mony & seeme to slight us so that tis not imaginable what a confusion wee are in, here are great endeavours used to persuade King to dissolve this parliam' & call another ; but I believe He will not doe it at least till he hath tried them once
a This led to the belief that Shaftesbury was to succeed Essex.—(H. Thyone to Essex, Jan. 16.)
By Louis XIV.
I can not perceave in the least but that King continues his good opinion of Essex, & I am confident that if Ran: be true wee shall have parliam'; but He is a most dangerous man, extreame poore, so as to want a Coach in feare' of being arrested dayly; ViceAdmirall Tromp is come over wth my Lord Ossory, and extreamly courted by all the great men here. Gelderland hath made Choyce of the Prince of Orange for there Duke, & its thought that ye other provinces will doe the same.
CXCVI.-WILLIAM HARBORD TO THE EARL OF Essex.
MAY IT PLEASE YR EXCELLENCY,
19 January, 74.
I am so fully convinced of the falsehood of Ranelayh, and how great a rogue he is, that my hart is at rest upon that matter, and that by his falsehood he doth endeavor to engage Trear : against Essex; & having imployed a great friend of Trear : to him upon this occasion, I finde that Ranelagh hath endeavord all he can, & doth dayly doe soe, but I hope to prevent it; and this day I watched by his means, and just as King rose from dinner I gott him alone & there discoursed wth him the matter of Parliam' & how usefull it might prove to him in Essex his Time. He told me that he had not spoke to Trear : of Parliam' tho' I am sure He hath, but that He would. To be short, I told Essex in my last how matters stood and what He must trust to, & I thinke I am not deceived in my measures. I doe thinke that upon the renewing of the Farme, W. Harbord will prevaile to gett Essex a reward for his services, and S’ Henry Capell is of that minde, & therefore I would gladly be here; but for all Duke, Trear: Lodderdale,
Ranelagh, and all that party, I finde that Arlington keeps his post, and this conference I had this day wth Ranelagh makes me hope that, without some great alteration in our Affaires at home, Essex is safe; but King is in a manner wholly governed by Duke, though Will: Harbord dare assure Essex that, nothwithstanding all Trear : his cunning King will be in great wants.
Sr H. Capell will be in Towne to-morrow and then 1V. Harbord will be in a few days spared. I finde Ranelagh depends more on Lodderdale than Trear : and that Duke supports them both ; if France sinke, Arlington will be too hard for them all. P. of Orange hath given King, by him, great assurances. I wish they be honest. Duke, Trear : Lodderdale are very buisy to persuade King to dissolve this Parliam' & to call another, but King is fearfull, and if Foreine Affaires keepe faire Essex is safe.
I doe not much feare Ranelagh as false as He is, for I finde that King doth love to heare that Essex depends wholly upon King against the whole world. ST H. Capell is here. W. Harbord must come over, for Ranelagh, I believe, tells King that I doe stay here to follow my private affaires & doe not minde his nor you service & thereby endeavours to weaken my credit wth King, and as soon as I have introduced Sr H. Capell in these matters I will come over post and stay a monthe win! Essex, and then come againe if Essex thinke it best; to whose pleasure I humbly submitt all.