Front Page Titles (by Subject) George Downing to Secretary Thurloe 1 G. D. - The Clarke Papers. Selections from the Papers of William Clarke, vol. 3
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George Downing to Secretary Thurloe 1 G. D. - Sir William Clarke, The Clarke Papers. Selections from the Papers of William Clarke, vol. 3 
The Clarke Papers. Selections from the Papers of William Clarke, Secretary to the Council of the Army, 1647-1649, and to General Monck and the Commanders of the Army in Scotland, 1651-1660, ed. C.H. Firth (London: Longmans, Green, and Co., 1899). 4 vols.
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George Downing to Secretary Thurloe1 G. D.
Hague, Jan. 28Feb. 7. 1659.
f. 20b.By a lettre lately from Admirall Opdam wee understand that the King of Denmarke was sending some shippes to the Island of Borneholme, which they had lately surprised from the Swede, for provisions of butter and other such necessaries as that place could afford, for the supply of Copenhagen, where they had had some few dayes before a great alarme by the Swedes drawing together upon a Sunday while they were all at Church, so that ministers and people run all out of the churches to the walls. The States of Holland have resolved that 48 sayle of great men of warre be forthwith equipped, over and above the 35 sayle which are already in the Sound under the command of Admirall Opdam, and this not to hinder what further resolution they may thinke meet to take in order to a further equippage in further pursuance of the advice of the respective Admiralties, and they worke Sabbath daies and workeing dayes all alike at Amsterdam for the hastning of this equippage. I hope God will give you such spirit as to consider how much you are interested in these concernements abroad, and not to spend your time about vaine questions and janglings which profit not, to the neglect of your reall concernements and the necessities of the people, who languish for many good and wholesome lawes, and to the makeing yourselves ridiculous and a scorne to all people abroad. I must tell you that I know not any thing so much talked of at this time as the Parliament at London, and it’s judged twenty to one odds that the issue of it will be nothing but janglings about questions in the ayre, and that by that meanes you will not be in a readynesse with the time of the yeare for affaires abroad, and it’s not to say what moneyes were sufficient for England in former times, for then England’s revenue though small, yet held proportion with the revenues of neighbouring Princes and States about them, and that must be the rule now, or England is undone. If this countrey keepe up their taxes to the height, yea encrease them, and England do not the like, must it not necessarily follow that all men must apply to this countrey, and England be wholly neglected and forgotten? But the playne truth is, if you will be able to pay taxes you must lower your customes very greatly, and raise it by way of excise; for my owne part I am clearely of opinion that you ought to take away the halfe of the customes, yea in some thinges, as particularly all woollen manufactures, to bring downe the cloath from 6s 8d custome to 8d or 4d, as it is in this country, and in other thinges you ought to take away all the custome, as upon Spanish woolls and other wools imported, and England shal never, and can never flourish, until this be done. And for wines they ought not to pay above 10s per tun custome, whereby you may be in a condition to make England as well as this country a magazine for wines. All other projects for advancing of trade without this are to little purpose. Beside some law ought to be made impowering his Highnesse and Councell to give orders for the compelling of ships, as they shall see cause, to stay for and be subject to their convoyes, as it is in this country. That foolish fancy of getting first to the market makes so many never come thither. Many other thinges I would hint, but they would be too large for a letter. The other night a rabble of people of about two or three hundred, upon pretence of a difference (which yet indeed was none) between the Envoy extraordinary of Poland, and some of his footmen, came about his house in a violent outragious manner, revileing him, breaking the windowes with stones, and endeavouring forceably to enter at the windowes and doores, so that he was in danger of his life; and the next day officers came with an order from one of the Courts here upon a pretended false ground to seize all his goods; of which actions here are constructions made which I shall not hint, but this is certaine that many here doe not well relish his being to goe for England.
Yesterday morneing I signed an accord with the Deputies of the States Generall, whereby this State is obliged to make full satisfaction for 3 English ships taken in the roade of Bantam in the East Indyes by the Dutch East Indy-Company; they are to pay for the ships and goods as they would have bin worth at London, in case they had not bin hindered in their voyage, together with interest, and the money is all to be payd at London.
[1 ]The letter is unaddressed, but from the advice about Parliament contained in it is probably a copy of a letter written to Thurloe.