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Yo Ma" of y' 6th of this moneth giues me good hope that this packet will meete yo' Ma"ony" way, & therefore I have addressed it (as yo' Ma" comanded) to yo D. of Richmonde. God of his mercy p"serve & protect yo' Ma", and send you a safe and happy returne, w" is y” prayer of all yo' Ma” best affected servaunts, as well as of Yor Maie" Most humble & most obedient servaunt, EDW. NICHOLAs. As I was closing this let my Lo: of Bristoll sent me word that his sonne Mr. Jo: Digby goes not for Scotland, and therefore I have sent that let' w” this to yo Ma". WESTMINSTER, 12° No” 1641. EDEN: 17:
The Queen to Sir Edward Nicholas
Maistre Nicholas, I have receaued your lettre. I am sory you ar not well for I would haue benglad to speake to you but it is of no haste therefore donat hastend your selfe for feare of being sick; Isend you a lettre for Milord Keeper that the King ded send to me to deliuer it if Ithough it fit. , the subject of it is to make a Derclaration against the ordres of Parliamant which ar made withouct the King. If you beleue a fit time giue it him if not you may keepet till I see you.
the King will bee here sertaineleye the 20 of this monthe therefore you may aduertice the Maior of London. Your lettre that you did writt to Carnaruen is comme bak to mee and I burnt it. he was not at is hows it should be vere messessairie that you should inquaire where (he) is and writt to him and send to milord Cotinton for is proxies for I heer he as to (two) and is owne. and send to milord Southampton and Dunsemoure' to send
* Francis Leigh, Lord Dunsmore; afterwards Earl of Chichester.
their proxies till the comme them selues; the are in Warwicshier. hauing no more to say I reste this 12 Novembre Your assured fremd HENRIETTE MARIE R.
May it please yo' most excellent Ma",
This is yo first day since my falling sick, that I have bene able to sit vp to write: & albeit I shall doe it w” some difficulty, yet my duty will not suffer me to forbeare any longer to give yo' Ma" an accompt, that by Mr. Barkley I receaved on Sunday night last yo' Ma" comaunds in 3 Apostiles dated y' 9" of this moneth : All woo I have alreddy p'form’d, excepting that concerning giving notice to my Lord Mayor of y" day of yo' Ma” entring into London, whereof (I beleeve) I shall this afternoone have certeynty from the Queene.
Herew” yo' Ma” will receave a proclamac'on for y’ attendance of y" Parliam' men, wo" my Lo: Keeper & Mr. Attorney conceaved would have bene better to have beneforborne to be published till yo"Ma"returne, wo" is now so neere in expectac'on. The House of Com’ons hastens by all meanes y” finishing of y" Declarae'on or Remonstrance, & for yo more speedy expediting of it, they have atty" Comittee passed by many p’ticlars to avoide yo delay of long debate.
The order of y' House of Com’ons for yo number of Scots to be sent into Irland, was altered from 1000. to 5000. vpon Saturday last in y” afternoone, & thoughe (wee heare) that y” imploym" of soe many Scots wilbe very acceptable to that nac'on, yet it is here apprehended by wise men, that y” same will exasperate y' Irishe, & make them buckle more resolutely to a warre of rebellion, then otherwise they would doe. Since y” plot in delivering to
Mr. Pym' a le" w” a plaster and a threatening in t, there was on Munday last in y” evening, another as desperate and dangerous a conspiracy against him, & diverse members of both Houses, discovered by a poore zealous taylor, who, being in y” fields mending y” notes he had taken of a sermon, there happened to come (as he relates it) 2. souldier-like men, soe neere him, as he overheard them telling each other, how many of their acquaintance were to be forthw" imployed to murther diverse members both of y" Upper and Lower House, & this taylor" had y” oportunity to take from those 2. mens mouthes yo names both of y" murtherers, & of y" p’sons to be murthered: the reward to him that kil’d a member of y' Lower House was to be 40s. & to him that murthered one of y” Upper House 101. This discovery makes a great noyse in & about y' Parliam' House, & (however many wise men give no creddit at all to it, yet) it hath produced severall orders for securing of y" Parliam', & Parliament-men, the oppies of some of wo"I have here inclosed sent yo' Ma". The order of y' 16" p’sent,” won requires that
* Plots against the life of Pym were rife at this time. Among the parliamentary chiefs he was the most prominent mark for such attempts, and many appear to have been undertaken. “He seemed to all men,” says Clarendon, “to have the greatest influence upon the House of Commons of any man; and, in truth, I think he was the most popular man, and the most able to do hurt, that hath lived in any time.” The first of the plots referred to by Nicholas was a strange one. The plague still lingered in various places in and near London; and it would seem that as the popular leader entered the House of Commons one day, the porter of the House delivered to him a letter (received from “a gentleman on horseback, in a grey coat, who gave him twelvepence for the speedy delivery of it”), from which, on his opening it, there dropped a covering which had come from a plague wound; the letter itself containing “many menaces and much railing against him.”
* His name was Beale : but the House could procure no further intelligence of a satisfactory kind upon the subject; and whether the alleged conspiracy may not have been a piece of folly or of roguery on the part of the informer, is by no means clear.
* Not recorded in the Parliamentary History.
y' rigour of yo law be put in excuc'on against all Papists, that shalbe founde in London or Westminster after this night, is not (I heare) thought by some of y" Com’ons to be severe enoughe, soe as it is conceaved there wilbe some more sharpnes added to that orderthis day: ally"Papists Lo"arealreddy removin Out of this Towne wpon this order. foriday last (wo was y” first day of my falling into extremity) the Venetian Amb'dor complained att y” Councell Boorde,that his l’rs had bene opened by y” Com’ittees of Parliam', & he was soe much incensed at it, as he there made his protest, & declared, that he would treate no further, & thereupon woodrew himselfe (as I heare) to Greenew”, till such tyme as he shall advertise that Republique w” that affront as he termed it. The agent of y" D. of Florence is as highly distasted w” some violence that hath been vsed in serching his house by some officers or warr" of Parliam': these distasts given to those Ministers will (it is thought) light very heavy on yo' Ma"su" trading [to] those partes, and will proove a very great poiudice & interrupc'on to y” trade of this yo' Ma” kingdome. I heare from a very good hand, that there are diverse principallgen'of Hertfordsh; who aredesirous to tender their duty to yo Ma" att Ware, & to wayte on you into that towne if yo' Ma" shall make any stop there,& they will bring w” them diverse of their neighbours & friends, who are desirous to shew how welcome yo' Ma” returne is into that country, whereof I thought good to give yo' Ma" this tymely notice, for that I humbly conceaue it would not be amisse for yo Ma" in these tymes to accept grac'ously y” affecc’ons of yo' su" in that kinde, whereby you will have opportunity to shew yourself grac'ous to yo' people as yo' Ma" passeth, & to speake a few good words to them, wo will gaine y” affons (especially of y” vulgar) more then anything that hath bene donné for them this Parliam'. This day y' examinac'ons against O’Neale were readiny" Com’ons House, wherein were menc'oned some l’rs & papers signed C. R., the effect of one of wo" (sent to Capt: Leg") was (as I heare), that he should speake with S. Ja: Ashley according to instruccions w” he had from yo' Ma", & let none see that let but only S Ja: Ashley, who, together wo So Jo. Conyers* (as I am tould, but I beseech yo' Ma" to take noe notice thereof from me) have bene very large & partic'lar in their examinac'ons, w" (I heare) reflect vpon yo' Ma" person: it is thought that y' Parliam' will condempne O'Neale, but they are not yet resolved where or how to trye him : they doubte yo testimony against him will not be soe full, as in a legal way to condempne him at the King's Bench barre, & they resolve not (as yet) whether it wilbe fit to doe it by a Bill, according to their legislative power. I have (as yo' Ma" com’anded) given war' to my Lo: Keeper to renew y” Com’ission of Lieutenn'cy for London, & to put in yo new Lo: Mayor, who is a very well aff" servaunt of yo' Ma". There is a Com’ittee of both Houses appointed to p“pare instrucc’ons for y” Lo: Lieutenant of Irland, wherew" they are now in hand. The 13 Boo" did demurre to y' busines ag' them, but y' Com’ons have in their House overruled yo demurrer & voted that those B" shall answere in cheif. I dispatched yo Bills for yo new B" wo all expedic'on, & that busines is now in as good forwardnes as may be. I hope by that tyme yo' Ma" shall returne hither, to be able to goe abroade, in y” meane tyme, I will to y" best of my strength & abillity p'forme y' duty of Yo' sacred Ma" Most humble & obedient servaunt, EDw. NICHOLAs.
WESTMINSTER, 18; Noori, 1641.
" Captain Leg, otherwise Colonel; but better known as “honest Will Leg;” and ancestor of the Earls of Dartmouth.
* This Conyers was afterwards, in 1643, nominated by the Parliament to the Lieutenancy of the Tower, on the King being compelled to dismiss Sir John Byron from that office.