Front Page Titles (by Subject) APPENDIX A: Colonel Sexby's advice on Foreign Policy 1 - The Clarke Papers. Selections from the Papers of William Clarke, vol. 3
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APPENDIX A: Colonel Sexby’s advice on Foreign Policy 1 - 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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Colonel Sexby’s advice on Foreign Policy1
May it please your Highnesse,
f. 126.Looking upon the intrest of all the faythfull in the nation, and my self with them, as being inbarked in that shipp that God hath made your Highnesse pilate off, I made bold, for preventing any warre that may arise to endanger or incommode her, to offer these following lines, (with submition) to your Highnesses perusall and consideration,
That it is England’s and your Highnesse’s intrest to prevent the makeing a generall peace is soe obvious to the weakest witt and dimest sight, that I shall not insist upon it to acquaint you what prejudice and danger would insue from it, your Highnesse being fully satisfied therein.
Nor in the second place shall further inlarge in giveing reasons how much it were for your intrest and good of England to have some towne of concernement in France, which would not onely be a checke unto them, but an inlet to you at any time; from the Spaniard and Condy yow cannot expect any, they haveing none in their hands at present there that will be of any service to your Highnesse, being not upon the coast, therefore concerneing that shall say noe more. The maine thing I hint at and desire your Highnesse to waygh is, the preventing a generall peace, which if accomplishd will cause high words to be spoken abroad, which will very much heighten discontented spirits at home; incouragment for them to have there’s noe need, as your Hignes dayly see.
The thing on which the conclusion of this peace hangs (if you conclud with the Dutch) is your Highnesses answer to the Spanish Ambassador, whose propositions to have yow joyne with them against France, (though many) will be reduced into these three heads.
1. To undertake the gaineing some place in France by your selves, which will divert the King of France’s forces from them that they may with more ease doe there worke in other parts.
f. 126b.2. If not alone, then jointly with them, and to divide what yow take, being at halfe the charge.
3. If not alone, nor conjoyned, then to lend them soe many shipps men and horse as to secure Rochell, St. Martins, and the Isle of Casow in the River of Garon, for there mony.
To all three I begg permission to give your Highnesse my pore simple judgement.
1. To the first of undertaking any thing upon your owne score by which yow declare a warre, will be very hazardious, England not being setled, and if it were, to undertake it as aforesaid yow must have your army consist of 20,000 foot, and 10,000 horse, and one hundred sayle of shipps at least; in bank yow must have two millions; upon entry yow must looke that all the power of France will appeare against yow, as being the formeddle enemy, and soe suffer Spaine to doe what he will in other parts, knowing if they beate yow they will quickly run away, and if once yow receive a foyle, there or in any part which is considerable that yow owne, it would be a very great dishonor to your Highnesse and discouragement to the whole nation.
2. To the second ’tis my thoughts it were better to doe it alone, if yow had wherewithall, then joynly yow owneing the warre, in that all the burden of gaineing field or garrison would ly upon your men, and that halfe what was gained should be theres would but trouble an . . . spirit, and create contest, and ingender a warre betwine them and yow in the end.
Now seeing a generall peace is very dangerous, and that it will be certainely effected if the Embassador be not answered in one of these three propositions, 2 of which being not safe for your Highness to undertake if [you] had wherewithall, please to consider the third.
1. The riske yow run therein is onely the lives of men, which if, [they] miscarry cannot be an evell laid to your score, because the end was good and designe probable.
2. It can be no riske, danger, or breach betwine yow and France in lending or permiting them to hire shipps, men, and horse for their mony, managing of it as I shall hereafter propose, but on the contrary, because of higher submition and greater condysention then yow have or can expect, as well as advantages for the present, and in a way of accomplishing what may be much greater for the future, if [you] gaine or accomplish what is designed, of which their is much probability, and litle doubt, except God hath designed the contrary, as will appeare by the following reasons.
1. It would take away the greatest part of the King of France’s revenue, by which he would be rendered more uncapable to disserve you and serve himselfe.
2. It would bring in two hundred thousands pounds per yeare in customes and excise, besides all charges borne, from which two places now yow have not twenty, soe fearme it upon that price, if setled there I would undertake it.
3. It would keepe a strickt hand and tie upon the Dutch, yea an emptier purse, and make the English more full, by ordering greater custums for the one to pay then thother, which might be done very justly, your Highnesse well knowing in the Sound we pay three times the customes they doe, as well as in other parts. Now there is not any place in Europe they drive a greater trade to then those two places.
4. The secureing those two places will give a true discrimination of the protestons hearts, who have proffesed as largely with there tongues to mee, as well as under there hands, (as any people ever did), what they would doe if ever a power appeared, that they might confide in, from England.
5. It will not onely divert your enemies designes in forraigne parts against yow, but bring in the Irish, the major part of the enemies infantry, to serve you.
6. It will red yow of all discontented spirits at home, it being greater wisdome to have them vent their passion on your enemies then on your selfe, or to keepe them in prison to haighten them or to spend them in the ruine of there bodyes.
7. This undertakeing as it may be managed will reduce yow most part, if not all the Brest [?] men of warre, as well as make uncapable the King of France’s fleet, which will be noe small advantage to the marchants, and soe consequently to all England,f. 128. in the florishing of trade the people’s minds are at quite haveing there purses and bellys full.
8. Permiting this will render yow master of all the mines in India, the King of Spaine and his slaves your servants, the one in workeing to git the Tresurry, the other in fetching, coyneing, and bringing it to yow, to enable the party to carry on this designe, which is the exalting your Highnesse’s intrest, and the accomplishing that designe your soule desire[s] to see effected.
9. It will make all the King of Spaine’s fleet to be at your command, in that most of the marriners and souldiers therein are strangers, who affect the English nation above all others, upon which score yow may either draw them away to yow, or make them to declare they will not serve him any longer, exceept he give them him to command over them they shall desire.
10. It will bring the victuelling of all the Spanish fleet, &c. cloathing his army, into England, which will bee noe small advantage.
Haveing given my reasons for concurrence to the third proposition, I shall humble offer your Highnesse this way for the carrying on this bussinesse—
1. That it be undertaken by your selfe for privasie, which if not will be knowne, to order the number of shipps, foot, and horse, to such a place under such captaines as yow shall thinke fit, for the better transportation to the place designed.
2. That all the shipps yow here imploy be such as yow have taken from the Dutch, which will be the lesse cause of suspition, and can picke the least thereout against you after the bussinesse is effected, in case you see it not convenient to medle upon your owne account.
3. That the foot and horse be taken out of your Highnesse’s army, soe many out of every regiment, and if that you doe not find it convenient to take all out therof, the person or persons that rayse any have commission from your Highnesse to rayse them as for Scotland, or Ireland, or to stay in England, to prevent any suspition.
f. 129.4. The shipps of warre, as well as those for the horse, foot, and provision, to be ordered to the aforesaid place, there to receive further orders.
5. The person your Highnesse intended should command them not to be knowne to any with them till after set sayle, and then he to declare his orders are not to breake upp his commission till [he] come at such a place. Now my Lord, the commission for the executeing the designe should be from the Prince of Condy, or Spaniard, soe that after they were at sea they should be declared to be shipps, men, and horses raysed upon the Spaniards’ and Prince’s score, the same permission said to bee given to the King of France or any other, if he or they desire it, and would give security the men levied by them should not serve the intrest of Charles Steward against England, which he will not, nor can never doe.
Also please take notice the Spaniard will presse your Highnesse to assist them in taking Callis, concerneing which doe not medle for the present, for if your Highnesse had it, it would bee 2 hundred thousand pownds a yeare charge to England, and noe advantage except ready to enter with an army of 30000 men, but if the other place be once gained and in safe hands your Highnesse will then know what to doe, and then yow shall not need fight for a towne on this side, I can assure yow if your Highnesse will exceept of it.
f. 130.In the next and last place please to note the Spaniard, if [he can] not ingage yow in the first two propositions, will demande how much mony your Highnesse will take for the rayseing, armeing, cloathing, and transporting soe many men and horse as will accomplish the worke, with fiftenth shipps of warre, consisting of betwine 20 and 30 gunes apeece, and 5 fire shipps, likewise for 6 months provision and pay for them.
But it would be necessary for your Highnesse to aske of them at least 300,000li, and they to pay them from the first day of there landing.
To shew your willingnesse to the effecting of which, your Highnesse may tell them, if there occasions be soe as they cannot disburse such a sume at present, that your Highnesse will give them for one hundred of the three, five monthes liberty for payment, he ingageing in his Master’s behalfe to see yow satisfied at the end thereof.
Also I desire your Highnesse to take notice that I would bring into your owne Tressury out of the foregoeing sume the odd sixty five thousand five hundred pownds (if your Highnesse will be pleased to follow my pore councell) without doeing wrong to any person.
[Endorsed:] Col. Sexby.
[1 ]Rawlinson MS. A lx. 126. On Sexby’s mission to France see Gardiner, Commonwealth and Protectorate, ii. 92, 356, 422, and the Journal of Joachim Hane, 1886, Preface, pp. xiv-xvii.