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had given any Order for ye Execution ; they told me they had, & that that day was appointed by their Warrt for it, but yet they had left a latitude to ye Sheriff to respitt ye execution three or four days if any of ye prisners should desire a longer Time to prepare themselves to dy. It being about Ten of ye clock when I came to ye knowledge of this, 'twas too late for me to use any means that day to reprieve this prisner, so as I sent immediately for ye Copies of ye King's Letters, wch I knew had bin writt hither both in former times, & in my owne upon this subject. On perusall of them I found it clearly his Majesties intention that there should be no prosecution of persons for crimes committed in ye late war, & therefore very early on Sunday morning, without any petition from ye Prisner, or application of any body from him, I dispatched a messenger wth an Order for his Reprieve, but whether it will come Time enough or no I cannot tell, ye messenger being not yet returned. I am sure I have not neglected any Thing on my part for me to doe therein, & indeed were there nothing of ye . King's Comand in ye case, I am clearly of opinion that proceedings of this sort ought absolutely to be forbidden, for if after soe many years
such diversities of changes as have happend in this country there should be now a ripping up of Crimes, & punishm' executed upon ye Offendrs according to law, no man can see where it will stop, & ye insecuritie of multitudes of people, who would be awakened by such like examples, could not but endanger ye quiett of ye Kingdome.
I conceive 'twas necessary to give you a knowledge of this particular, lest some clamer might be raised in England concerning it, & that you might know both my part herein & my sense thereupon. I shall answer ye substance of y' last Letter in my next, & remaine, &c.
CLXX.-WILLIAM HARBORD TO THE EARL OF Essex.
MAY IT PLEASE Y EXCELLENCY,
London, 1 Sept. 1674. On Satturday last Sir Henry Capell & my self waited on my Lady to windesor, where she wth great prudence paid her Devoirs to his Maty, Queen, Duke, & Duchesse, & resting there all Sunday begann the jurney to Alisbeury yesterday morning; I protest she did so extreamly want somebody to take care of her Equipage & to provide necessary accommodations for her, that had I not been engaged in unavoydable buissenesses I would have seen her Ladys on Ship Board; I beseech God to send her a good jurney by Land & a safe passage for Sea. Yr Excellency may remember the complaint I made to you of ye hard usage I had receaved from La Northa, she having given my Lady some account of those my pretensions, I thought it best to acquaint her also wth what severity she hail used me; I was surprised to finde at my comming over what a kinde message La North sent me by S’ H. Ca., expressing a great desire to speake wth me; whereupon in obedience to Essex his Commands I went over to her wth S" FI. C., & then after a long Funnige b & abundance of Laughing at Essex his Lady for altering of her Resolutions, & twenty other inventions, she found out to make faults wth Freedom before me surprised me.
She began a story how much she valued & Loved Essex, and that she had lately given a testimony of it; for that whereas she had Contracted wth Pourtsmouth for many jewells for four thowsand pownds, Trear. refused to make any payment for the same unlesse the money could be raised in Ireland; that King had consented to it upon those Termes; that ye order was ready, but that La North out of her abundant care of Essex had refused to conclude upon that way of payment till she could heare from Essex ; that, so it could not be done, Essex might not draw the Hatred or Displeasure of Ports. But to be short, her great Trust I finde is in Orrery; for Mr. Harb. his part I dare assure Essex, that though probably he might make
his Court & phaps advantage out of this Conjuncture, yet he will Ever prefer the interest of Essex before all Earthly considerations, & upon serious thoughts M' Harb. doth advise Essex not to have
hand in; for I finde that he doth use all the tricks he can to make Essex uneasy, Let Ran, or Con. saye what they will; And if Essex should advise or Consent to ye Disputing of so great a summ, when phaps the army may want it, It might move Essex ; & considering to whom It is to goe or the benefitt the noise of It in Parl. might doe the same. Tis below Essex to stand by such wayes If there were no hazzard; these are my thoughts & humble advice, & much more I could saye, and in God's name Let Ran, have the good and the ill of it, for I am confident tis a moustrap laid by Orrery & that gang, and therefore tis better to saye that the affaires of that kingdome are so much in want of help rather than otherwayse that It cannot be doone wth safety to his Matys affaires committed to y Care. Yisterday ye Duke and Duchesse left windesor, ye latter being bigg wth Child, went by water to Ham & then they both dined, & this day ye King & queen did the same ; tomorrow I intend to be at ye Kings Rysing to see how matters goe ; Its believed of all Hands that ye Parliament will meete, & therefore Let Essex take his measures accordingly. The Ld. Trear. is yet at ye Bathe & Si John Duncombe, La Arlington fallen ill of ye Goute at Goring House. The Seals being signed the white staffe is to be changed ; Fa Patrick hath changed his Resolution of Comming for Ireland, but S" H. C. my self know perfectly well that that project was contrived by Con and that Essex may judge of his good will. Its uncertain who will be Governor of Tangier, Inchqueen, Holmes, Cholmondly, Windesor are the Competitors, but the king hath not as yet declared himself. The Confederates both in Germany & flanders presse hard upon the frinche, & will its thought attempt some Considerable places to invite them to a 2d fight. The last hath put all the best families in France into Mourning, about 800
* It did not meet until April, 1675. Charles kept his intention of delaying its meeting absolutely secret, even from Danby.
of ye best officers & noblesse having lost their lives,a & Its thought near 6000 of ye soldiery. The prince of Conde is much blamed for pressing so farr and so long whereby ye Germans had time to come in ; & as soon as they did nothing stood before them; & indeed they gave no quarter, & particularly to ye Suisses, wch was thought a designe to fright that people from fighting against ye Emperor & to unite ye Germans in this quarrell; the prince of orange hath gotten great Reputation in all the Courts of Europe, & particularly at home; this is all at present from, &c.
CLXXI.—THE EARL OF ESSEX TO MR. WILLIAM HARBORD.
Dublin Castle, Sept 2: 1674.
You mention a proposall of a bleu ribbon & something of proffit wherein my Lord of Arlington is willing to be instrumentall. For my own part I have neither coveteous nor ambitious aimes, yet, however, any favour that his Majesty shall thinke fitt to confere on me cannot but be extream wellcome. As for the first of these, my estats being (as you know) but in a moderate condition, I fear, unless joyned wth ye other, 'tis somewhat too great for me; but as to the other, it may be a considerable convenience to me; but whether either or both or neither be don for me, I shall not be the less dilligent in his Maj. service. I have never envyed those who attain to great dignitys, or who acquire vast fortunes, being perfectly contented with my owne. However, a moderate & prudent care of a man's private concerns & family is not only allowable, but commendable, & indeed a duty. Upon this account, as I shall not be wanting for any acknowledgments for favours of this kind, so neither shall I be forgetfull of my respects towards those who propose to promote things of this nature for my advantage.
. This refers to the murderous battle of Seneff, August 11, 1674. It went on for three days, with a total loss of 25,000 men. CAMD. SOC.
CLXXII.-WILLIAM HARBORD TO THE EARL OF Essex.
MAY IT PLEASE YR EXCELLENCY,
London, 5 Sept., 1674.
The other day, talking wth King, I asked him about the sitting of Parl: and whether he thought W. H. could be useful to him; he said yea, and that he would have me stay, and would consider me for it. I told Arl: of it, and he advised me to write to Essex that he would desire Arl: to recommend me to Kg. for some recompence for the last jurney by Kg. his commands and attendance, & also for this if I did stay; out of wch, if any thing Considerable be gotten, Cooke, Elliot, 8. Chiffinns may be sharers, wch is humbly submitted to Essex his pleasure.
I would have Essex cautious, for Lauderdale is so insolent in his behaviour and words that wise men feare the Parliament will not meete ; he hath this seems his olde allowance of forty pounds a day as if commissioner, at wch men are in amaze; he is raising a thouthand foote 8. 300 horse in Scotland.
CLXXIII.-WILLIAM HARBORD TO THE EARL OF Essex. MAY IT PLEASE YR EXCELLENCY,
London, 15 Sept., 1674.
As to our matters here, most men have their heads full of fears, & ye wisest most, that the thoughts of army and popery are still a foote; Duke, Tre: Laud: gorerne all. Tre: layes about him & provides for his family, so yt if Ever he come to be out wth ye king
A See Burnet, Own Times, i. 369.