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I desire you to let him know That Englishmen have had so good experience of \Vinter expeditions, they are confident, if the Spaniard shall keep the field, As he cannot impede this work, so neither will he be able to attack anything towards France with a possibility of retreat.* And what do all delays signify but ‘ even this :’ The giving lhe Spaniard opportunity so much the more to reinforce himself; and the keeping our men another Summer to serve the French, without any color of a reciprocal, or any advantage to ourselves !—
And therefore if this will not be listened unto, I desire that things may be considered of To give us satisfaction for the great expense we have been at with our Naval Forces and otherwise; which out of an honorable and honest aim on our part hath been incurred, thereby to answer the Engagements we had made. And ‘ in fine ’ That consideration may be had how our Men may be put into a position to be returned to us ;— whom we hope we shall employ to a better purpose than to have them continue where they are.
I desire we may know what France saith, and will do, upon this point. We shall be ready still, as the Lord shall assist us, to perform what can be reasonably expected on our part. And you may also let the Cardinal know farther, That our intentions, as they have been, will be to do all the good offices we can to promote the Interest common to usi
Apprehending it is, of moment that this Business shouldcome to you with speed and surety, we have sent it by an Express.
Your very loving friend,
‘ T0 Sir William Lockhart, our Ambassador in France.’
Whitehall, Slst August, 1657.
We desire, having written to you as we have, that the design be
Dunkirk, rather than Gravelines; and much more that it be ;-but one of them rather than fail.
Would let them ; a thing worth Mazarin’s consideration too, though it comes in irregularly here !
' You may cut off his retreat, if he venture that way.
1 ‘ thereof’ in orig. t Thurloe, vi., 490.
We shall not be wanting, To send over, at the French charge, Two of our old regiments, and Two-thousand foot more, if need be,—if Dunkirk be the design.* Believing that if the Army be well entrenched, and if La Ferté’s Foot be added to it, we shall be able to give liberty to the greatest part of the French Cavalry to have an eye to the Spaniard, _Ieaving but convenient numbers to stand by the Foot.
And because this action will probably divert the Spaniard from assisting Charles Stuart in any attempt upon us, you may be assured that, if reality may with any reason he expected from the French, we shall do all reason on our part. But if indeed the French be so false to us as that they would not have us have any footing on that side the Water,then I desire, as in our other Letter to you, That all things may be done in order to the giving us satisfaction ‘ for our expense incurred,’ and to the drawing-ofl‘ of our Men.
And truly, Sir, I desire you to take boldness and freedom to yourself ' in your dealing with the French on these accounts.
-’ . Your loving friend, Oman PH;
This Letter naturally had its effect: indeed there goes a witty sneer in France, “ The Cardinal is more afraid of Oliver than of the Devil ;”—he ought indeed to fear the Devil much more, but Oliver is the palpabler Entity of the two ! Mardike was besieged straightway; girt by sea and land, and the great guns opened on the 21st day of September next ; Mardike was taken before September ended ; and due delivery to our General was had of Mardike. The place was in a weak state; but by sea and land all hands were now busy fortifying and securing it. An attempt to retake Mardike, by scalado or surprisal from the Dunkirk side, was made, next month, by Don John with a great Spanish Force, among which his Ex-Royal Highness the Duke of York, with Four English-Irish emigrant Regiments he has now got raised for him on Spanish pay, was duly conspicuous ; but it did not succeed; it amounted only to a night of unspeakable tumult; to much expenditure of shot on all sides, and of life on his Royal Highness’s and Don John’s side,—-M0ntague pouring death-fire on them from his ships too, and ‘four great flaming
‘ Gravelines is to belong to them ; Dunkirk to us: Dunkirk will be much preferable. t Thurloe, vi., 489
links at the corners of Mardike Tower’ warning Montague not to aim thitherward ;—and ‘the dead were carried-off in carts before sunrise.’*
Let us add here, that Dunkirk, after gallant service shown by the Six-thousand, and brilliant fighting and victory on the sandhills, Was also got, next summer ;‘I' Lockhart himself now commanding there, poor Reynolds having perished at sea. Dunkirk too remained an English Garrison, much prized by England ; till, in very altered times, his now Restored Majesty saw good to sell it, and the loyallest men had to make their comparisons—On the whole we may say, this Expedition to the Netherlands was a successful one; the Six-thousand, ‘immortal Six-thousand’ as some call them,i gained what they were sent for, and much glory over and above.
— This is the last Letter left to us of Oliver Cromwell’s; this of the 31st August, 1657:—Oliver’s great heroic Dayswork, and the small unheroic pious one of Oliver’s Editor, is drawing to a close! But in the same hours while Oliver writes this Letter,— let us still spare a corner for recording it,—John Lilburn, F reeborn John, or alas ! only the empty Case of John, is getting buried; still in a noisy manner ! Noisy John, set free from many prisons, had been living about Eltham lately, in a state of Quakerism, or Quasi-Quakerism. Here is the clipping from the old Newspaper :
‘ August 318i, 1657. Mr. John Lilburn, commonly known by the name of Lieutenant-Colonel Lilburn, dying on Saturday at Eltham, was this morning removed thence to London; and his corpse conveyed to the House called the Mouth,’ old, still extant Bull-imd-Mouth Inn, ‘at Aldersgate,—-which is the usual meetingplace of the people called Quakers, to whom, it seems, he had lately joined in opinion. At this place, in the afternoon, there assembled a medley of people; among whom the Quakers were mosteminent for number: and within the house a controversy
was, Whether the ceremony of a hearse-cloth’ (pail) ‘should be cast over his coflin’! But the major part, being Quakers, would not assent; so the coffin was, about five o’clock in the evening, brought forth into the street. At its coming out, there stood a man on purpose to cast a velvet hearse-cloth over the coffin ; and he endeavored to do it: but the crowd of Quakers would not permit him; and having gotten the body upon their shoulders, they carried it away without farther ceremony; and the whole company conducted it into Moorfields, and thence to the new Churchyard adjoining to Bedlam, where it lieth interred.’*
One noisy element, then, is out of this world :—auother is fast going. F rantic-Anabaptist Sexby, over here once more on Insurrectionary business, scheming out a new Invasion of the Charles-Stuart Spaniards and English-Irish Regiments, and just lifting anchor for Flanders again, was seized ‘in the Ship Hope, in a mean habit, disguised like a countryman, and his face much altered by an overgrown beard ;’—before the Ship Hope could get under way, about a month ago.1' Bushy-bearded Sexby, after due examination by his Highness, has been lodged in the Tower; where his mind falls into a very unsettled state. In October next he volunteers a confession ; goes mad ; and in the January following dies,i and to his own relief and ours disappears,—-poor Sexby.
Sexby, like the Stormy Peterel, indicates that new RoyalistAnabaptist Tumult is a-brewing. ‘ They are as the waves of the
Sea, they cannot rest; they must stir up mire and dirt,’—it is the 7
lot appointed them! In fact, the grand Spanish Charles-Stuart Invasion is again on the anvil; and they will try it, this year, even without the Preface of Assassination. New troubles are hoped from this new Session of Parliament, which begins in January. The ‘ Excluded Members’ are to be readmitted then ; there is to be a ‘Sccond House :’ who knows what possibilities of trouble! .A new Parliament is always the signal for new Royalist attempts; even 'as the Moon to the waves of the sea: but we hope his Highness will be prepared for them !—
' Newspapers (in Cromwelliana, p. 168).
1’ 24 July (Newspapers. in Cromwelliana, p. 167). 1 Ibid., pp. 168-70
Wednesday, 11th November, 1657. ‘ This day,’ say the old Newspapers, ‘the most Illustrious Lady, the Lady Frances Cromwell, youngest Daughter of his Highness the Lord Protector, was married to the most noble gentleman Mr. Robert Rich, Son of the Lord Rich, Grandchild of the Earl of Warwick and of the Countess-Dowager of Devonshire; in the presence of their Highnesses and of his Grandfather, and Father, and the said Countess, with many other persons of high honor and quality.’ At Whitehall, this blessed Wednesday; all difficulties now overcome ;—which we are glad to hear of, ‘though our friends truly were very few!’ —-And on the Thursday of next week follows, at Hampton Court, the Lady Mary’s own wedding.* \Vedding ‘to the most noble lord, the Lord Fauconberg,’ lately returned from his Travels in foreign parts: a Bellasis of the Yorkshire kindred so named,— which was once very high in Royalism, but is now making other connexions. ’For the rest, a brilliant, ingenuous and hopeful young man, ‘in my opinion a person of extraordinary parts ;"|' of whom his Highness has made due investigation, and finds that it may answer.
And now for the new Session of Parliament which assembles in January next: the Second Session of Parliament, and indeed the last of this and of them all!
' Newspapers (in Cromwelliana, p. 169).
'I'Loekhart’s report of him to Thurloe, after an interview at Paris, as ordered on Fauconberg’s return homeward, 21 March, 1657 (Thurloe, vi., 134; 125).