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omit no opportunity to testify how greatly we value your friendship.

Sealed with the parliament-seal, and subscribed, Speaker, &c. Westminster, Dec. 14, 1652.

The Council of State of the Republic of England, to the most Serene Prince, FREDERICK, Heir of NORWAY, Duke of SLESWICK, HOLSATIA, STORMARAI, DITMARSH, Count in OLDENBURGH and DELMENHORST, Greeting.

THOUGH it has pleased the most wise God and most merciful Moderator of all things, besides the burden which he laid upon us in common with our ancestors, to wage most just wars in defence of our liberty against tyrannical usurpation, signally also to succour us with those auspices and that divine assistance beyond what he afforded to our predecessors, that we have been able not only to extinguish a civil war, but to extirpate the causes of it for the future, as also to repel the unexpected violences of foreign enemies; nevertheless, with grateful minds, as much as in us lies, acknowledging the same favour and benignity of the Supreme Deity towards us, we are not so puffed up with the success of our affairs, but that, rather instructed in the singular justice and providence of God, and having had long experience of ourselves, we abominate the thoughts of war, if possible to be avoided, and most eagerly embrace peace with all men. Therefore, as hitherto we never were the first that violated or desired the violation of that friendship, or those ancient privileges of leagues, that have been ratified between us and any princes or people whatever; so your highness, in consideration of your ancient amity with the English, left us by our ancestors, may, with a most certain assurance, promise both yourself and your people all things equitable, and all things friendly from us. Lastly, as we highly value, which is no more than what is just and reasonable, the testimonies of your affection and good offices offered us, so we shall make it our business that you may not at any ume be sensible of the want of ours, either to yourself or yours. And so we most heartily recommend your highness to the omnipotent protection of the Almighty God.

Sealed with the council-seal, and subscribed, President. Whitehall, July- 1653.

To the Count of OLDENBURGH.

Most Illustrious Lord,

THE parliament of the commonwealth of England have received an extraordinary congratulation from your excellency, most kindly and courteously delivered to us by word of mouth by Herman Mylius, your counsellor and doctor of laws; who wished all things lucky and prosperous, in your name, to the parliament and English interest, and desired that the friendship of this republic might remain inviolable within your territories. He also desired letters of safe-conduct, to the end your subjects may the more securely trade and sail from place to place; together with our orders to our public ministers abroad, to be aiding and assisting to your excellency and your interests with their good offices and counsels. To which requests of his we willingly consented, and granted both our friendship, the letters desired, and our orders to our public ministers under the seal of the parliament. And though it be some months ago since your public minister first came to us, however that delay neither arose from any unwillingness on our part to assent to the request made in your excellency's name, or that your deputy was at any time wanting in his sedulity, (whose solicitations were daily and earnest with all the diligence and importunity that became him, to the end he might be dispatched,) but only it happened so, that at that time the greatest and most weighty affairs of the republic were under debate and serious negotiation. Of which we thought meet to certify your illustrious lordship, lest anybody, through a false construction of this delay, should think those favours unwillingly or hardly obtained, which were most gladly granted by the parliament of the commonwealth of England. In whose name these are commanded to be signed.

HENRY SCOBEL, Clerk of the parliament.

To the most Illustrious and Noble Senators, SCULTETS, LANDAM, and Senators of the Evangelic Cantons of SWITZERLAND, ZURICK, BERN, GLARIS, BALE, SCHAFFHUSEN, APPENZEL, also the Confederates of the same Religion in the country of the GRISONS, of GENEVA, ST. GALL, MALHAUSEN, and BIENNE our dearest friends.

YOUR letters, most illustrious lords and dearest confede

rates, dated December twenty-four, full of civility, goodwill, and singular affection towards us and our republic, and what ought always to be greater and more sacred to us, breathing fraternal and truly Christian charity, we have received. And in the first place, we return thanks to Almighty God, who has raised and established both you and so many noble cities, not so much intrenched and fortified with those enclosures of mountains, as with your innate fortitude, piety, most prudent and just administration of government, and the faith of mutual confederacies, to be a firm and inaccessible shelter for all the truly orthodox. Now then that you, who over all Europe were the first of mortals, who after deluges of barbarous tyrants from the north, heaven prospering your valour, recovered your liberty, and being obtained, for so many years have preserved it untainted, with no less prudence and moderation; that you should have such noble sentiments of our liberty recovered; that you, such sincere worshippers of the gospel, should be so constantly persuaded of our love and affection for the orthodox faith, is that which is most acceptable and welcome to us. But as to your exhorting us to peace, with a pious and affectionate intent, as we are fully assured, certainly such an admonition ought to be of great weight with us, as well in respect of the thing itself which you persuade, and which of all things is chiefly to be desired, as also for the great authority, which is to be allowed your lordships above others in this particular, who in the midst of loud tumultuous wars on every side enjoy the sweets of peace both at home and abroad, and have approved yourselves the best example to all others of embracing and improving peace; and lastly, for that you persuade us to the very thing which we ourselves of our own accords, and that more than once, consulting as well our own as the interest of the whole evangelical communion, have begged by ambassadors, and other public ministers, namely, friendship and a most strict league with the United Provinces. But how they treated our ambassadors sent to them to negotiate, not a bare peace, but a brotherly amity and most strict league; what provocations. to war they afterwards gave us; how they fell upon us in our own roads, in the midst of their ambassadors' negotiations for peace and allegiance, little dreaming any such violence; you will abundantly understand by our declaration set forth upon

this subject, and sent you together with these our letters. But as for our parts, we are wholly intent upon this, by God's assistance, though prosperous hitherto, so to carry ourselves, that we may neither attribute anything to our own strength or forces, but all things to God alone, nor be insolently puffed up with our success; and we still retain the same ready inclinations to embrace all occasions of making a just and honest peace. In the mean time yourselves, illustrious and most excellent lords, in whom this noble and pious sedulity, out of mere evangelical affection, exerts itself to reconcile and pacify contending brethren, as ye are worthy of all applause among men, so doubtless will ye obtain the celestial reward of peace-makers with God; to whose supreme benignity and favour we heartily recommend in our prayers both you and yours, no less ready to make returns of all good offices both of friends and brethren, if in anything we may be serviceable to your lordships.

Sealed with the parliament-seal, and subscribed, Speaker,

&c.

Westminster, Oct. 1653.

To the SPANISH Ambassador.

Most Illustrious Lord,

UPON grievous complaints brought before us by Philip Noel, John Godal, and the society of merchants of Foy in England, that a certain ship of theirs, called the Ann of Foy, an English ship by them fitted out, and laden with their own goods, in her return home to the port of Foy about Michaelmas last, was unjustly and without any cause set upon and taken by a certain privateer of Ostend, Erasmus Bruer, commander, and the seamen unworthily and barbarously used: the council of state wrote to the marquis of Leda concerning it, (a copy of which letter we also send enclosed to your excellency,) and expected from him, that without delay orders would have been given for the doing of justice in this matter. Nevertheless, after all this, the foresaid Noel, together with the said company, make further heavy complaint, that although our letters were delivered to the marquis, and that those merchants from that time forward betook themselves to Bruges to the court there held for maritime causes,

and there asserted and proved their right, and the verity of their cause, yet that justice was denied them; and that they were so hardly dealt with, that though the cause had been ripe for trial above three months, nevertheless they could obtain no sentence from that court, but that their ship and goods are still detained, notwithstanding the great expenses they have been at in prosecuting their claim. Now your excellency well knows it to be contrary to the law of nations, of traffic, and that friendship which is at present settled between the English and Flemings, that any Ostender should take any English vessel, if bound for England with English goods; and that whatever was inhumanly and barbarously done to the English seamen by that commander, deserves a rigorous punishment. The council therefore recommends the whole matter to your excellency, and makes it their request, that you write into Flanders concerning it, and take such speedy care, that this business may no longer be delayed, but that justice may be done in such a manner that the foresaid ship, together with the damages, costs, and interest, which the English have sustained and been out of purse, by reason of that illegal seizure, may be restored and made good to them by the authority of the court, or in some other way; and that care be taken, that hereafter no such violence be committed, but that the amity between our people and the Flemings may be preserved without any infringement.

Signed in the name, and by the command of the council of state, appointed by authority of parliament.

To the Marquis of LEDA.

GREAT complaints are brought before us by Philip Noel, John Godal, and the company of Foy merchants, concerning a ship of theirs, called the Ann of Foy, which being an English vessel by them fitted out, and laden with their own goods, in her return home to her own port about Michaelmas last, was taken unawares by a freebooter of Ostend, Erasmus Bruer, commander. It is also further related, that the Ostenders, when the ship was in their power, used the seamen too inhumanly, by setting lighted match to their fingers, and plunging the master of the ship in the sea till they almost drowned him, on purpose to extort a false confession from

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