A Journal of the Swedish Embassy in the Years 1653 and 1654, Vol II.
by Bulstrode Whitelocke
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[SN: Municipal Government of Hamburg.]

Their public government, by which their peace is preserved, disorders restrained, and men kept from being wolves to one another, makes them the more to flourish, and consists of four Consuls or Burgomasters and twenty other Senators, of whom twelve were called Overholts, and the other twelve Ricks-herrs. Upon the death or removal of any Senator, the choice of a new one is with the rest of the Senators. The choice of the Overholts is by the people, and they are as tribunes of the people; they have power to control the Senate through the supreme magistracy, but they do it with all respect and tenderness, and no new law is made nor tax imposed without their consent. But the execution of the present laws, and the government of the people, and the last appeal in the city, is left unto the Senate; as also negotiations with foreigners, the entertainments and ceremonies with strangers, and generally the care of the safety of their State.

In cases of extraordinary concernment, as of war and peace, levying of money, making of new laws, and matters of extraordinary weight and consideration, of which the Senate are not willing to take the burden wholly upon themselves, or to undergo the envy or hazard of the consequences thereof; in such cases the Senate causeth the Overholt to be assembled, and, as the weight of the business may be, sometimes they cause to be summoned an assembly of the whole body of the burgesses of the city, before whom the business in the general is propounded, and they are desired by the Senate to make choice of some deputies, to be joined to the Senate and to assist them in the matters proposed. Then the whole body of the freemen do commonly make choice of eight, sometimes more and sometimes fewer, as they please, out of their own number, and these deputies have full power given to them by this assembly to despatch and determine, together with the Senate and the Overholt, their matters thus proposed to the general consideration of that public assembly; and what this Council thus constituted do resolve in these matters, the same is put in execution accordingly, obligeth, and is freely submitted unto by all the citizens, who look upon themselves by this their election of deputies to have their own consents involved in what their deputies determine.

In the evening Mr. Stetkin, with whom Whitelocke had been acquainted in England, when he was there, a servant of the late King for his private music, wherein he was excellent, came to Whitelocke, and with Maylard, one of Whitelocke's servants, made very good music for his diversion.

This day the wind came about reasonable good for Whitelocke's voyage, who thereupon ordered the captains away to their frigates and his people to prepare all things in readiness for his departure tomorrow; his baggage was carried down and put on board the frigates. He gave his most hearty and solemn thanks to the Resident, and to all the gentleman of the English Company of Merchants here, who had very nobly and affectionately entertained Whitelocke at their own charge all the time of his being in this city. He ordered his gratuities to be distributed among their servants and to all who had done any service or offices for him, both of the English house and of the townsmen, and ordered all things to be in readiness to proceed in his voyage.

June 17, 1654.

[SN: Whitelocke takes leave of the Senate.]

The baggage and inferior servants of Whitelocke being gone down before unto the frigates, and the wind being indifferent good, Whitelocke resolved this day to set forwards in his voyage, and to endeavour, if he could, before night to reach the frigates, which did attend his coming in the Elbe about Glueckstadt. The Resident had provided boats for Whitelocke and his company to go down unto the frigates, and had given notice to some of the Senators of Whitelocke's intention to remove this day; whereupon Monsieur Mueller, the chief Burgomaster of the town, came to Whitelocke's lodging in the morning to visit him and to inquire of his health, as one that bare a particular respect to him, and was now come to take his leave of him. He was a wise and sober man, and of good conversation, and testified much respect to the Protector and Commonwealth of England, and much honour to Whitelocke in particular. Whilst he was with Whitelocke, the two Senators who came first to Whitelocke to bid him welcome hither, came now also to him from the Senate, to bid him farewell. The elder of them spake to Whitelocke to this effect:—

"My Lord Ambassador,

"The Senate hath commanded us in their name to salute your Excellence, and to give you thanks for taking in good part the small testimonies of their respect towards you, which they are ashamed were no better, and entreat your pardon for it.

"They understand that your Excellence is upon your departure from this town, which gives them great cause of sadness, as they had of joy at your arrival here; but since it is your good pleasure, and your great affairs oblige you to depart, all that we can do is to pray to God for your safe arrival in your own country, and we doubt not but that the same God who hath hitherto preserved you in a long and perilous voyage, will continue his goodness to you in the remainder of your journey.

"We have a humble request to make to your Excellence, that you will give us leave to recommend our town to your patronage, and that you would be pleased to peruse these papers, which concern some of our citizens; and that your Excellence will be a means to my Lord Protector and to the Court of Admiralty, that justice and favour may be shown to them."

As this gentleman spake of the testimonies of respect from this city to Whitelocke, he looked back to the table, upon which stood a piece of plate covered with sarsenet. A little after the Senator had done speaking, Whitelocke answered him to this purpose:—


"I have cause to acknowledge that God hath been very good and gracious to me, and to all my company, throughout our whole voyage unto this place; for which we desire to bless His name, and hope that He will be pleased to continue His goodness to us in the rest of our journey. I desire you to return my hearty thanks to my Lords the Senators, who have honoured me with their very great respects during the whole time of my being with them, and have bestowed noble testimonies thereof upon me. I shall not fail to inform the Protector, my master, hereof, to whom, and to the Commonwealth of England, this respect is given in my person.

"I have received much contentment in my being here, not only by the sight of so fair and flourishing a city as this is, so well fortified, and manned, and traded, and governed, but in your civilities, and the honour I have had to be acquainted with your worthy magistrates. And I have had a singular satisfaction to understand from my countrymen living amongst you that their privileges are by you entirely continued to them, which I recommend to you as a thing most acceptable to my Lord Protector, who takes care of the whole Commonwealth, and will expect that I give him an account of what concerns the English merchants and their commerce in this place. The wind being now good, I am obliged, according to the commands of the Protector, my master, forthwith to return for England, and do resolve this day to proceed in my voyage towards my ships. I hope my God will conduct me in safety to the place where I would be, and where I shall have the opportunity to testify my gratitude to the Lords and people of this city, and to take care of those affairs wherein they may be concerned, which I esteem as an honour to me."

[SN: Presents of the Senate.]

After Whitelocke had done speaking, the Senators, with the accustomed ceremonies, took their leaves of him. The piece of plate which they now presented to him was a vessel of silver, like a little cabinet, wrought with bosses of beautiful figures, curious and rich, of the value, as some prized it, of about L150 sterling. Whitelocke was somewhat surprised with this present of plate, and doubtful whether he should accept it or not; but considering that it was only a testimony of their respects to the Protector; and as to Whitelocke, he was not capable of doing them service or prejudice, but as their affairs should deserve; and if he should refuse this present, it would be ill taken by the Lords. Upon these considerations, and the advice of the Resident and other friends, Whitelocke took it, and returned his hearty thanks for it.

Another Senator, one Monsieur Samuel, hearing that Whitelocke had a little son at home, sent him a little horse for a present, the least that one hath seen, yet very handsome, and managed to the great saddle, which Whitelocke brought home with him; so full of civility and courtesy were the magistrates of this place.

After much difficulty to get away, and the earnest request of the Resident and English merchants to the contrary, entreating him to stay longer, yet Whitelocke kept his resolution to leave the town; and boats being in readiness, he went down to the water-side, accompanied with a great number of his countrymen and his own people, and took his boats to go down the Elbe to his ships. The Resident and some others went in his boat with him. Vice-Admiral Clerke would not yet leave him, saying that Wrangel had commanded him to see Whitelocke on board the English frigates, either for a compliment or desiring to see the frigates, which were so much discoursed on in these parts, and thereby to be enabled to give an account to Wrangel of the dimensions and make of them, which he longed to know.

[SN: Whitelocke embarks in boats on the Elbe,]

The boat in which Whitelocke went was large, but not convenient, open, and went only with sails. The streets, as he passed to the water-side, and the windows, and on the bridges, were full of people to see him as he went, and gave him courteous salutations at his farewell. In his own boat he had six trumpets, which sounded all along as he passed through the city and the haven, which was then very full of ships, and they also very civil to make way for Whitelocke's boats. Upon the bridges and bulwarks which he went by were guards of soldiers in arms; and the bulwarks on that side saluted him with all their cannon, about twenty-one pieces, though they used not to give strangers above two or three guns. Thus Whitelocke parted from this city of Hamburg, recommending himself and his company to the blessing and protection of the Almighty.

A little below the city they came by a small village called by them All to nah (Altona), that is, "All too nigh," being the King of Denmark's territory, within half a league, which they thought too near their city. When they came a little lower, with a sudden strong blast of wind the boat in which Whitelocke was, was in great danger of being overset; after which it grew to be a calm; whereupon Whitelocke sent to the English cloth-ships, which lay a little below, to lend him some of their ship-boats and mariners with oars, to make better way than his boat with sails could do. This they did readily; and as Whitelocke passed by them, they all saluted him with their cannon.

[SN: but lands at Stadt.]

Having changed their boats and discharged the great ones, they went more cheerfully down the river till they came within half a league of the town of Stadt; when being almost dark, and the mariners not accustomed to the river out of the channel, the boat in which Whitelocke was, struck upon the sand, and was fast there. Presently the English mariners, seven or eight of them, leaped out of the boat into the river, "up to their chins, and by strength removed the boat from off the sands again; and they came to their oars again, within an English mile of Stadt, when it was very late, and the boats were two German miles from the frigates, and the tide turning. Whitelocke thought it impossible to reach his ships this night, and not prudent to proceed with unexperienced men upon this dangerous river by night; and understanding by General Potley, and one of the trumpets who had been formerly here, of a house upon the river that goes to Stadt, within a quarter of a mile of the place where they now were, Whitelocke ordered the mariners to make to that house, who, with much difficulty, found out the mouth of the river; but for want of water, being low tide, they had much trouble to get the boat up to the cruise, or in there. The master of the house had been a soldier and a cook; he prepared a supper for them of salt eels, salt salmon, and a little poultry, which was made better by the meat and wine that the Resident brought with him; yet all little enough when the rest of Whitelocke's company, in three other boats, came to the same house, though they could not know of Whitelocke being there; but he was very ill himself, and this was a bad quarter for him, who had been so lately very sick at Hamburg; yet he contented himself without going to bed. His sons and company had some fresh straw, and God in his wonted mercy still preserved him and his company. The host sent word to his General, Koningsmark, that the English Ambassador was at his house this night.

June 18, 1654.

[SN: Embarks in the President.]

Whitelocke resolved to remove from the cruise early this morning, and the rather because he was informed that Koningsmark intended to come hither this morning to visit him, which Whitelocke did not desire, in regard of the late accident at Bremen, where Koningsmark was governor, and that his conferring with him, upon his immediate return from Sweden, might give some jealousy to those of Bremen, or to the Hanse Towns, or some of the German Princes thereabouts. Whitelocke therefore held it best to take no notice of Koningsmark's intention to come and visit him, but to avoid that meeting by going early from hence this morning; which he had the more reason to do because of his bad entertainment here, and for that the tide served betimes this morning to get out of this river. He therefore caused his people to make ready about two o'clock this morning, and took boat within an hour after, the weather being very fair and the country pleasant. On the right-hand was Holstein, on the left-hand was the Duchy of Lueneburg, and below that the Bishopric of Bremen; in which this river comes from Stadt near unto Bremen, more considerable heretofore when it was the staple for the English cloth, but left by our merchants many years since, partly because they held themselves not well treated by the inhabitants of Stadt, and partly by the inconvenientness of this river to bring up their cloth to that town.

Two miles from this cruise Whitelocke came to the frigates, where they lay at anchor. He himself went on board the 'President,' who, at his entry, saluted him with above forty guns, the 'Elizabeth' but with twenty-one, and her Captain, Minnes, came on board to Whitelocke to excuse it, because, not knowing Whitelocke's time of coming hither, he had no more guns ready to bid him welcome.

[SN: Glueckstadt.]

Right against the frigates lay the fort and town of Glueckstadt, that is Luckystadt, or Lucky Town. Whitelocke being desirous to take a view of it and of the fortifications, and his baggage not being yet come to the frigates, he with the Resident and several others went over in one of the ship's boats to see it. The town is situate in a marsh, having no hill near to command it. The fortifications about it are old, yet in good repair. It belongs to the King of Denmark, as Duke of Holstein, and he keeps a garrison there at the mouth of a river running into the Elbe, like that of Stadt. The late King of Denmark built there a blockhouse in the great river upon piles, to the end he might command the ships passing that way, but the Elbe being there above a league in breadth, the ships may well pass notwithstanding that fort.

At Whitelocke's landing in the town, which is about a bow-shot from the mouth of the river, he sent to acquaint the Governor therewith, and that he desired only to see the town and then to return to his ships. The Governor sent a civil answer, that he was sorry he could not accompany Whitelocke, to show him the town, by reason of his being sick, but that he had sent one of his officers to show him the fortifications, and desired him to command anything in the town; for which civility Whitelocke returned thanks.

The town is not great nor well-built, but of brick, and some of the houses very fair; chiefly one which they call the King's house, which might fit an English knight to dwell in. The town seems decaying, and the fortifications also in some places. The late King designed to have made this a great town of trade, and by that means to have diminished, if not ruined, his neighbours the Hamburgers; to whom this King having done some injuries, and endeavouring to build a bridge over the Elbe near to Hamburg, to hinder the ships coming up thither, and their trade, the citizens pulled it down again, and came with about twenty vessels to Glueckstadt upon a design against that town; but the King's ships of war being there, the Admiral of Hamburg cut his anchors and returned home in haste. The King's men got up the anchors, and at this time Whitelocke saw them hung up in their church as great trophies of a small victory thus easily gained. At Whitelocke's return, Glueckstadt saluted him with three pieces of cannon.

When he was come back to his ships he found all his people and baggage come up to him, whereupon he resolved to weigh anchor the first opportunity of wind serving, and gave orders accordingly to his captains. The Resident Bradshaw, Vice-Admiral Clerke, the treasurer and secretary of the English Company at Hamburg, who accompanied Whitelocke to his ships, now the tide serving, took their leaves of him, with much respect and wishes of a happy voyage to him; and so they parted.

The wind came to north-east, flat contrary to Whitelocke's course, and rose high, with violent storms and much rain, so that it was not possible for Whitelocke to weigh anchor and proceed in his voyage; but he had cause to thank God that he was in a safe and good harbour.

June 19, 1654.

The wind continued very tempestuous and contrary to Whitelocke's course, so that he could not budge, but lay still at anchor. The mariners, in their usual way of sporting, endeavoured to make him some pastime, to divert the tediousness of his stay and of the bad weather. He learned that at Glueckstadt the Hamburgers pay a toll to the King of Denmark, who submit thereunto as other ships do, rather than enter into a contest or war with that King.

[SN: Whitelocke writes to the Queen of Sweden.]

Whitelocke thought it becoming him in civility and gratitude to give an account by letters to the Queen of Sweden of his proceeding thus far in his voyage, for which purpose he had written his letters at Hamburg, and now having too much leisure, he made them up and sent them to Vice-Admiral Clerke to be presented to the Queen. The letters were to this effect:—

"A sa Serenissime Majeste Christine, Reine de Suede.


"Les grandes faveurs que j'ai recues de votre Majeste m'obligent a lui rendre compte de ce qui me touche, celui en qui vous avez beaucoup d'interet. Et puisque par votre faveur, sous Dieu, j'ai deja surmonte les difficultes de la plus grande moitie du voyage que j'ai a faire par mer, j'ai pris la hardiesse d'entretenir votre Majeste de mon succes jusqu'en ce lieu. Le premier de Juin, le beau navire 'Amaranta' nous fit flotter sur la Baltique, et nonobstant les calmes, le vent contraire, et un terrible orage qui nous exercerent, par l'adresse de l'Amiral Clerc, du Capitaine Sinclair (de l'honnetete, respect, et soin desquels envers moi et ma suite, je suis redevable, comme de mille autres faveurs, a votre Majeste), comme par l'obeissance du navire a ses experts conducteurs, nous mimes pied a terre a Tremon, le port de Lubec, Mercredi le 7 Juin. Samedi nous arrivames a Hambourg, ou je suis a present, dans la maison des Anglais. Ce matin j'ai pense ne voir point le soir, ayant ete travaille d'un mal soudain, et tempete horrible qui m'a cuide renverser dans ce port. Mais il a plu a Dieu me remettre en bonne mesure, ainsi j'espere que je ne serai empeche d'achever mon voyage. Je prie Dieu qu'il preserve votre Majeste, et qu'il me rende si heureux, qu'etant rendu en mon pays, j'aie l'opportunite selon mon petit pouvoir de temoigner en effet que je suis

"De votre Majeste "Le tres-humble et obeissant serviteur, "B. WHITELOCKE. "Juin 14, 1654."

June 20, 1654.

[SN: Whitelocke detained by contrary winds.]

The wind continued in the same quarter as before, very high and contrary to Whitelocke's course, both the last night and this morning, which gave him and his company much trouble; but they must submit to the time and good pleasure of God.

About five o'clock this morning (an unusual hour for visits) Mr. Schestedt came on board Whitelocke's ship from Glueckstadt, whither he came the day before by land. They had much discourse together, wherein this gentleman is copious, most of it to the same effect as at his former visits at Hamburg. He told Whitelocke of the Lord Wentworth's being at Hamburg and his carriage there, and that he spake with respect towards the Protector and towards Whitelocke, but was full of wishes of ruin to the Protector's party. Whitelocke inquired of him touching the levies of soldiers by the Princes in the Lower Saxony now in action, with whom Mr. Schestedt was very conversant. He said that the present levies were no other than such as those Princes made the last year, and usually make every year for their own defence in case there should be any occasion, and that he knew of no design extraordinary. Whitelocke asked him several questions about this matter, that he might be able to give information thereof to the Protector; but either there was nothing, or this gentleman would discover nothing in it. He was entertained in Whitelocke's cabin at breakfast, where he fed and drank wine heartily, and at his going away Whitelocke gave him twenty-one guns, and ordered the 'Elizabeth' to give him nineteen, and sent him to shore in one of his ship-boats. The wind being very high, and not changing all this day, to the trouble of Whitelocke and hindrance of his voyage.

In the evening, a messenger from Monsieur Schestedt brought to Whitelocke these letters:—


"Votre Excellence aura recu, par un de ses serviteurs, un petit billet de moi partant de Glueckstadt, sur ce qu'avions parle, suppliant tres-humblement votre Excellence d'en avoir soin sans aucun bruit. Et si la commodite de votre Excellence le permettra, je vous supplie de vouloir ecrire un mot de lettre au Resident d'ici pour mieux jouir de sa bonne conversation sur ce qui concerne la correspondance avec votre Excellence; et selon que votre Excellence m'avisera je me gouvernerai exactement, me fiant entierement a la generosite de votre Excellence, et m'obligeant en homme d'honneur de vivre et mourir,

"Monseigneur, de votre Excellence "Tres-humble et tres-obeissant serviteur, "HANNIBAL SCHESTEDT. "20 Juin, 1654.

"Votre Excellence aura mille remercimens de l'honneur recu par ces canonades, et excusera pour ma disgrace de n'avoir ete repondu."

To these letters Whitelocke sent this answer:—


"Je n'ai rien par voie de retour que mes humbles remercimens pour le grand honneur que vous m'avez fait, par vos tres-agreables visites, tant a Hambourg qu'en ce lieu, comme aussi en m'envoyant ce noble gentilhomme qui m'a apporte les lettres de votre Excellence. Je ne manquerai pas, quand il plaira a Dieu me ramener en Angleterre, de contribuer tout ce qui sera en mon pouvoir pour votre service, et j'espere que l'issue en sera a votre contentement, et que dans peu de temps je saurai vous rendre bon compte de ce dont vous me faites mention en vos lettres. Ce petit temoignage du respect que je porte a votre Excellence, que je rendis a votre depart de mon vaisseau, et qu'il vous plait honorer de votre estime, ne merite pas que vous en teniez aucun compte; je serai joyeux de vous temoigner par meilleurs effets que je suis

"De votre Excellence "Le tres-humble et tres-obeissant serviteur, "B. WHITELOCKE. "A bord le President, Rade de Glueckstadt, 20 Juin, 1654."

Many other letters passed between them, not necessary for a recital.

June 21, 1654.

[SN: Still detained by the wind.]

The wind continued in the same quarter as before, very high, and contrary to Whitelocke's course. The English cloth-ships came down to him, desiring to be in his squadron homewards. Whitelocke knew no reason why his ships might not as well have fallen down lower in the river as these; about which he consulted with the officers and pilot of his ship, who agreed that this morning, the wind being come a little more moderate, the ships might have fallen down with the tide, but that the time was now neglected; which the officers excused because of the fog, which was so thick that they durst not adventure to go down the river. He resolved, upon this, to take the next opportunity, and went aboard the 'Elizabeth' to see his company there, who were well accommodated.

Here a petition was presented to Whitelocke from two mariners in hold for speaking desperate words,—that they would blow up the ship and all her company, and would cut the throat of the Protector, and of ten thousand of his party. One of them confessed, in his petition, that he was drunk when he spake these words, and had no intention of the least harm to the ship, or to the Protector, or any of the State; both of them acknowledged their fault, and humbly asked pardon. After Whitelocke had examined them severally, and could get from them no confession of any plot against the Protector or State, but earnest asseverations of their innocences; yet having news of a plot in England against the Protector and Government, he held it not fit for him absolutely to release them; but, because he thought it only a business and words of drunkenness, he ordered them to be had out of the hold, but their Captain to see that they should be forthcoming at their arrival in England, that the Council, being acquainted herewith, might direct their pleasure concerning them.

About noon the wind began again to blow with great tempestuousness, and flat contrary to Whitelocke's course. In the evening a gentleman came aboard Whitelocke's ship, with letters from Monsieur Schestedt from Glueckstadt to the same effect, and with compliments as formerly, to which Whitelocke returned a civil answer by the same messenger; and by him he also sent letters of compliment and thanks to the Resident Bradshaw, which likewise he prayed the Resident, in his name, to present to the English Company of Merchants at Hamburg, for their very great civilities and noble respects to Whitelocke while he was with them.

June 22, 1654.

[SN: A visit from Count Ranzau.]

The wind continued contrary and extraordinary violent all the last night and this morning; and Whitelocke had cause to acknowledge the favour of God to him, that during these rough storms he was in a good harbour and had not put out into the open sea.

Early in the morning a gentleman came from Glueckstadt on board to Whitelocke, and told him that Grave Ranzau, the Governor of the Province of Holstein, had sent him to salute Whitelocke on his part, and to know when he might conveniently come to Whitelocke; who answered that he should be always ready to entertain his Excellence, but in regard the time was now so dangerous, he desired the Governor would not expose himself to the hazard for his sake.

About an hour after came another, in the habit of a military officer, from the Grave to Whitelocke, to excuse the Grave's not coming by reason of the very ill weather, and that no boat was to be gotten fit to bring the Grave from shore to Whitelocke's ship; but he said, that if Whitelocke pleased to send his ship-boats and mariners for the Governor, the wind being somewhat fallen, he would come and kiss his hand. Whitelocke answered in French to the gentleman, who spake Dutch, and was interpreted in French, that he was glad his Excellence was not in danger of the violent storms in coming on board to him this morning, but he should esteem it great honour to see the Governor in his ship, and that not only the boats and mariners, but all in the ship was at the service of his Excellence. The gentleman desired that one of the ship-boats and the ship-mariners might carry him back to land, and so bring the Governor from thence to Whitelocke, who commanded the same to be done. And about an hour after came the Grave Ranzau, a proper, comely person, habited as a soldier, about forty years of age; with him was another lord, governor of another province, and three or four gentlemen, and other followers.

Whitelocke received them at the ship's side, and at his entry gave him nine guns. The Grave seemed doubtful to whom to make his application, Whitelocke being in a plain sea-gown of English grey baize; but (as the Governor said afterwards) he knew him to be the Ambassador by seeing him with his hat on, and so many brave fellows about him bareheaded. After salutations, the Governor spake to Whitelocke to this effect:—


"Le Roi de Danemarck, mon maitre, m'a commande de venir trouver votre Excellence, et de la saluer de sa part, et la faire la bienvenue en ses havres, et lui faire savoir que s'il y a quelque chose dans ce pays-la dont le gouvernement m'est confie par sa Majeste, qu'il est a son commandement. Sa Majeste aussi a un extreme desir de voir votre Excellence, et de vous entretenir en sa cour, desirant d'embrasser toutes les occasions par lesquelles il pourrait temoigner le respect qu'il porte a son Altesse Monseigneur le Protecteur."

Whitelocke answered in French to this purpose:—


"Je rends graces a sa Majeste le Roi de Danemarck, du respect qu'il lui a plu temoigner a sa Serenissime Altesse mon maitre, et de l'honneur qu'il lui a plu faire a moi son serviteur, de quoi je ne manquerai pas d'informer son Altesse. Je suis aussi beaucoup oblige a votre Excellence pour l'honneur de votre visite, qu'il vous plait me donner en ce lieu, et principalement en un temps si facheux. J'eusse aussi grande envie de baiser les mains de sa Majeste et de voir sa cour, n'eut ete que son Altesse a envoye des navires expres pour m'emporter d'ici en Angleterre, et que j'ai oui dire que le Roi a remue sa cour de Copenhague ailleurs, a cause de la peste. Je suis tres-joyeux d'entendre de la sante de sa Majeste, auquel je souhaite toute sorte de bonheur."

[SN: Visit from the Dutch Agent.]

After many compliments, Whitelocke gave, him precedence into his cabin; and after some discourse there, a servant of the Agent of Holland was brought in to Whitelocke, who said his master desired Whitelocke to appoint a time when the Agent might come on board him to salute Whitelocke and to kiss his hand. He answered that, at any hour when his master pleased to do Whitelocke that honour, he should be welcome, and that some noble persons being now with him, who, he hoped, would do him the favour to take part of a sea-dinner with him, that if it would please the Agent to do him the same favour, and to keep these honourable persons company, it would be the greater obligation unto Whitelocke. The Grave, hearing this, began to excuse himself, that he could not stay dinner with Whitelocke, but, upon entreaty, he was prevailed with to stay.

About noon the Dutch Agent came in one of Whitelocke's boats on board his ship, whom he received at the ship's side, and saluted with seven guns at his entry. The Agent spake to Whitelocke to this purpose:—"That, passing by Glueckstadt towards Hamburg, he was informed of Whitelocke's being in this place, and thereupon held it his duty, and agreeable to the will of his Lords, not to proceed in his journey without first giving a visit to Whitelocke to testify the respect of his superiors to the Protector and Commonwealth of England, as also to Whitelocke in particular." Whitelocke returned thanks to the Agent for the respect which he testified to the Protector, and for the honour done to Whitelocke, and that it would be acceptable so the Protector to hear of this respect from my Lords the States to him, whereof he should not fail to inform his Highness when he should have the opportunity to be near him.

[SN: Entertainment of Count Ranzau.]

The Grave went first into Whitelocke's cabin, after him the Agent, and then Whitelocke, who gave these guests a plentiful dinner on ship-board. The Grave desired that Whitelocke's sons might be called in to dine with them, which was done, and Whitelocke asked the Grave if he would have any of his company to dine with him. He desired one of the gentlemen, who was admitted accordingly.

They were served with the States' plate, which Whitelocke had caused to be taken forth on this occasion; and the strangers would often take up the plates and dishes to look on them, wondering to see so many great and massy pieces of silver plate as there were. They drank no healths, the Grave telling Whitelocke he had heard it was against his judgement, and therefore he did forbear to begin any healths, for which civility Whitelocke thanked him; and they had no want of good wine and meat, and such as scarce had been seen before on ship-board. They discoursed of the affairs in Sweden, and of the happy peace between England and Denmark, and the like. Monsieur De la Marche gave thanks in French, because they all understood it.

After dinner Whitelocke took out his tobacco-box, which the Grave looked upon, being gold, and his arms, the three falcons, engraven on it; whereupon he asked Whitelocke if he loved hawks, who said he was a falconer by inheritance, as his coat of arms testified. The Grave said that he would send him some hawks the next winter out of his master's dominions of Iceland, where the best in the world were bred, which he nobly performed afterwards.

The Grave earnestly invited Whitelocke to go on shore with him to his house, which was within two leagues of Glueckstadt, where he should meet Monsieur Schestedt and his lady, and the next day he would bring Whitelocke to the King, who much desired to see him; and the Grave offered to bring Whitelocke back again in his coach to Glueckstadt. Whitelocke desired to be excused by reason of his voyage, and an order of his country that those who had the command of any of the State's ships were not to lie out of them until they brought them home again; otherwise Whitelocke said he had a great desire to kiss his Majesty's hand and to wait upon his Excellence and the noble company at his house; and he desired that his humble thanks and excuse might be made to the King. The Grave replied that Whitelocke, being an Extraordinary Ambassador, was not within the order concerning commanders of the State's ships, but he might be absent and leave the charge of the ships to the inferior officers. Whitelocke said that as Ambassador he had the honour to command those ships, and so was within the order, and was commanded by his Highness to return forthwith to England; that if, in his absence, the wind and weather should come fair, or any harm should come to any of the ships, he should be answerable for neglecting of his trust. Whitelocke also was unwilling, though he must not express the same, to put himself under the trouble and temptations which he might meet with in such a journey, and to neglect the least opportunity of proceeding in his voyage homewards.

The Grave, seeing Whitelocke not to be persuaded, hasted away; and after compliments and ceremonies passed with great civility, he and the Agent and their company went into one of Whitelocke's ship-boats, with a crew of his men and his Lieutenant to attend them. At their going off, by Whitelocke's order only one gun was fired, and a good while after the 'President' fired all her guns round, the 'Elizabeth,' according to custom, did the like; so that there was a continual firing of great guns during the whole time of their passage from the ship unto the shore—almost a hundred guns, and the fort answered them with all the guns they had.

At the Lieutenant's return he told Whitelocke that the Grave, when he heard but one gun fired for a good while together, began to be highly offended, saying that his master, the King, was slighted and himself dishonoured, to be sent away with one gun only fired, and he wondered the Ambassador carried it in such a manner; but afterwards, when the rest of the guns went off, the Grave said he would tell the King how highly the English Ambassador had honoured his Majesty and his servant by the most magnificent entertainment that ever was made on ship-board, and by the number of guns at his going away, and that this was the greatest honour he ever received, with much to the like purpose; and he gave to the Lieutenant for his pains two pieces of plate of silver gilt, and ten rix-dollars to the boat's company, and twenty rix-dollars more to the ship's company.

June 23, 1654.

This was the seventh day that Whitelocke had lain on the Elbe, which was tedious to him; and now, fresh provisions failing, he sent Captain Crispe to Glueckstadt to buy more, whose diligence and discretion carried him through his employments to the contentment of his master. He brought good provisions at cheap rates.

[SN: Whitelocke agrees to convoy four English cloth ships.]

The four captains of the English cloth-ships came on board Whitelocke to visit him; they were sober, experienced sea commanders; their ships lay at anchor close to Whitelocke. After dinner they told Whitelocke that if their ships had been three leagues lower down the river, they could not have anchored in this bad weather without extreme danger, the sea being there much higher, and the tide so strong that their cables would not have held their ships; and that if they had been at sea in this weather, they had been in imminent peril of shipwreck, and could not have returned into the river, nor have put into the Weser nor any other harbour. Whitelocke said that they and he were the more bound to God, who had so ordered their affairs as to keep them, during all the storms wherein they had been, in a safe and good harbour; he wished them, in this and all their voyages, to place their confidence in God, who would be the same God to them as now, and in all their affairs of this life.

The captains desired Whitelocke's leave to carry their streamers and colours, and to be received by him as part of his fleet in their voyage for England, and they would acknowledge him for their Admiral. Whitelocke told them he should be glad of their company in his voyage, and would willingly admit them as part of his small fleet, but he would expect their observance of his orders; and if there should be occasion, that they must join with him in fight against any enemies of the Commonwealth whom they should meet with, which they promised to do; and Whitelocke mentioned it to the captains, because he had received intelligence of a ship laden with arms coming out of the Weser for Scotland, with a strong convoy, with whom Whitelocke resolved to try his strength, if he could meet him.

In the afternoon two merchants of the cloth-ships came to visit Whitelocke, and showed great respect to him; and they and the captains returned together to their ships, the wind being allayed, and come about to the south, which gave Whitelocke hopes to proceed in his voyage.

June 24, 1654.

[SN: The convoy sails to Rose Beacon.]

The wind being come to west-south-west, a little fallen, about three o'clock in the morning they began to weigh anchor. By Whitelocke's command, all the ships were to observe this order in their sailing. Every morning each ship was to come up and fall by Whitelocke, and salute him, that he might inquire how they all did; then they were to fall astern again, Whitelocke to be in the van, and the 'Elizabeth' in the rear, and the other ships in the middle between them; all to carry their colours; Whitelocke to carry his in the maintop, and all to take their orders from his ship.

Thus they did this morning; the cloth-ships came all by Whitelocke, and saluted him the first with nine guns. Whitelocke answered her with as many. Then she gave three guns more, to thank him for his salutation. Each of the other ships gave seven guns at their passing by; then the fort of Glueckstadt discharged all their ordnance to give Whitelocke the farewell, who then fired twenty-one guns, and the 'Elizabeth' nineteen; then the cloth-ships fired three guns apiece, as thanks for their salutation; and so, with their sails spread, they committed themselves to the protection of the Almighty. Though these things may be looked upon by some as trivial and expensive, yet those who go to sea will find them useful and of consequence, both to keep up and cheer the spirits of the seamen, who will not be pleased without them, and to give an honour to one's country among strangers who are taken with them; and it is become a kind of sea language and ceremony, and teacheth them also the better to speak it in battle.

Some emulation happened between the captain of the 'President' and Minnes, because Whitelocke went not with him, but in the other's ship, which Whitelocke would have avoided, but that he apprehended the 'President' sent purposely for him.

Between seven and eight o'clock in the morning Whitelocke passed by a village called Brown Bottle, belonging to the King of Denmark, upon the river in Holstein, four leagues from Glueckstadt; and four leagues from thence he passed by a village on the other side of the Elbe, which they told him was called Oldenburg, and belonged to the Duke of Saxony. Two leagues below that, he came to anchor over against a village called Rose Beacon, a fair beacon standing by the water-side. It belongs to Hamburg; and by a late accident of a soldier's discharging his musket, it set a house on fire, and burnt half the town. Some of Whitelocke's people went on shore, and reported it to be a poor place, and no provisions to be had there.

The road here is well defended by a compass of land on the south and west, but to the north and east it lies open. The sea there is wide, but full of high sands. The river is so shallow in some places that there was scarce three fathom water where he passed between Brown Bottle and Oldenburg, where his ship struck upon the sand, and made foul water, to the imminent danger of him and all his people, had not the Lord in mercy kept them. They were forced presently to tack back, and seek for deeper water. The pilot confessed this to happen because they lay too far to gain the wind, which brought them upon the shallow. Whitelocke came to Rose Beacon before noon, which is not very safe if the wind be high, as now it was; yet much safer than to be out in the open sea, whither the pilot durst not venture, the wind rising and being contrary to them.

June 25, 1654.

The Lord's Day.—Mr. Ingelo, Whitelocke's chaplain, preached in his ship in the morning. Mr. De la Marche, his other chaplain, was sick of a dysentery, which he fell into by drinking too much milk on shore. Mr. Knowles, a confident young man, the ship's minister, preached in the afternoon.

[SN: The cloth ships return to Glueckstadt.]

The wind blew very strong and contrary all the last night and this morning, which made it troublesome riding in this place; insomuch that the four cloth-ships, doubting the continuance of this tempestuous weather, and fearing the danger that their cables would not hold, which failing would endanger all, and not being well furnished with provisions, they weighed anchor this morning flood, and sailed back again to Glueckstadt road; whereof they sent notice to Whitelocke, desiring his excuse for what their safety forced them to do. But Whitelocke thought it not requisite to follow their example, men of war having better cables than merchantmen; and being better able to endure the stress of weather, and he being better furnished with provisions, he resolved to try it out in this place.

[SN: A present from Count Ranzau.]

In the afternoon the wind was somewhat appeased and blew west-south-west. A messenger came on board Whitelocke, and informed him that Grave Ranzau had sent a noble present—a boat full of fresh provisions—to Whitelocke; but by reason of the violent storms, and Whitelocke being gone from Glueckstadt, the boat could not come at him, but was forced to return back, and so Whitelocke lost his present. The letters mentioning this were delivered to Whitelocke by this messenger, and were these:—

"A son Excellence Monsieur Whitelocke, Ambassadeur Extraordinaire d'Angleterre vers sa Majeste la Reine de Suede.


"Nous croyons etre obliges de faire connaitre a votre Excellence que Monseigneur le Comte de Ranzau, notre maitre, nous avait donne commission de venir tres-humblement baiser les mains de votre Excellence, et lui faire presenter quelques cerfs, sangliers, lievres, perdrix, et quantite de carpes; la supplier de s'en rafraichir un peu, pendant que l'opiniatrete d'un vent contraire lui empecherait une meilleure commodite, et d'assurer votre Excellence, de la part de Monseigneur le Comte, qu'il souhaite avec passion de pouvoir temoigner a votre Excellence combien il desire les occasions pour lui rendre tres-humbles services, et contracter avec elle une amitie plus etroite; et comme son Excellence s'en allait trouver le Roi, son maitre, qu'il ne laisserait point de dire a sa Majeste les civilites que votre Excellence lui avait faites, et que sa Majeste epouserait sans doute ses interets, pour l'assister de s'acquitter de son devoir avec plus de vigueur, lorsque la fortune lui en fournirait quelque ample matiere.

"Mais, Monseigneur, nous avons ete si malheureux d'arriver a Glueckstadt cinq ou six heures apres que votre Excellence avait fait voile et etait descendu vers la mer; toutefois avons-nous pris vitement un vaisseau pour suivre, et n'etions gueres loin du havre ou l'on disait que votre Excellence etait contrainte d'attendre un vent encore plus favorable, quand notre vaisseau, n'etant point charge, fut tellement battu par une grande tempete, que nous etions obliges de nous en retourner sans pouvoir executer les ordres de Monseigneur le Comte, notre maitre, dont nous avons un deplaisir incroyable. Votre Excellence a une bonte et generosite tres-parfaite; c'est pourquoi nous la supplions tres-humblement, d'imputer plutot a notre malheur qu'a la volonte de Monseigneur le Comte, le mauvais succes de cette notre entreprise; aussi bien la lettre ici enfermee de son Excellence Monseigneur le Comte donnera plus de croyance a nos paroles.

"Nous demandons tres-humblement pardon a votre Excellence de la longueur de celle-ci, et esperons quelque rencontre plus heureuse pour lui temoigner de meilleure grace que nous sommes passionement,

"Monseigneur, de votre Excellence "Tres-humbles et tres-obeissans serviteurs, "FRANCOIS LOUIS VAN DE WIELE. "BALTH. BORNE."

The enclosed letter from the Count, which they mentioned, was this:—

"Illustri et nobilissimo Domino Bulstrodo Whitelocke, Constabulario Castri de Windsor, et Domino Custodi Magni Sigilli Reipublicae Angliae, adque Serenissimam Reginam Sueciae Legato Extraordinario; amico meo plurimum honorando.

"Illustris et nobilissime Domine Legate, amice plurimum honorande,

"Quod Excellentia vestra me hesterno die tam magnifice et laute exceperit, id ut pro singulari agnosco beneficio; ita ingentes Excellentiae vestrae ago gratias, et nihil magis in votis habeo quam ut occasio mihi offeratur, qua benevolentiam hanc aliquando debite resarcire possim.

"Cum itaque videam ventum adhuc esse contrarium, adeo ut Excellentia vestra anchoram solvere versusque patriam vela vertere needum possit; partium mearum duxi aliquo modo gratum meum ostendere animum et praesentem ad Excellentiam vestram ablegare, simulque aliquid carnis, farinae, et piscium, prout festinatio temporis admittere potuit, offerre, Excellentiam vestram obnixe rogans ut oblatum aequi bonique consulere dignetur. Et quamvis ex animo Excellentiae vestrae ventum secundum, et ad iter omnia prospera exoptem, nihilo tamen minus, si forte fortuna in hisce locis vicinis diutius adhuc subsistere cogatur, ministris meis injungam, ut Excellentiae vestrae in absentia mea (quoniam in procinctu sum me crastino mane ad regiam Majestatem dominum meum clementissimum conferre) ulterius inservire, et quicquid occasio obtulerit subministrare debeant. De caetero nos Divinae commendo protectioni, et Excellentiae vestrae filios dilectissimos meo nomine salutare obnixe rogo.

"Dabam in arce mea Breitenburos, 23 Junii, anno 1654.

"Excellentiae vestrae "Observantissimus totusque addictus, "CHRISTIANUS, Comes in Ranzau."

Whitelocke did the rather insert these letters, to testify the abilities of the gentlemen servants to this Grave, as also the grateful affection of their master towards him, a stranger to them, upon one meal's entertainment and acquaintance.

About six o'clock at night Mr. Smith, son to Alderman Smith, of London, and two other young merchants of the English company at Hamburg, came on board to Whitelocke, and brought letters to him from the Resident Bradshaw, with those the Resident received by this week's post from London; wherein was little news, and no letters came to Whitelocke, because (as he supposed) his friends believed him to be upon the sea. Whitelocke wrote letters of thanks to the Resident, and enclosed in them letters of compliment to the Ricks-Chancellor, and to his son Grave Eric of Sweden, and to Sir George Fleetwood and others, his friends, and entreated the Resident to send them into Sweden.

June 26, 1654.

[SN: Whitelocke weighs anchor.]

The wind not being so high the last night nor this morning as formerly, but the weather promising fair, and Whitelocke longing to advance in his voyage, he weighed anchor about break of day, the 'Elizabeth' did the like, and they were under sail about four o'clock this morning. As they came out from Rose Beacon, they told above thirty fisher-boats at sea, testifying the industriousness of this people.

About two leagues from Rose Beacon they passed in sight of another beacon, and of a village which they call Newworke, in which is a small castle like unto that at Rose Beacon. Here the sea began to expatiate, and about three leagues from hence was the lowest buoy of the river. And now Whitelocke was got forth into the open German Ocean, a sea wide and large, oft-times highly rough and boisterous and full of danger, especially in these parts of it, and as Whitelocke shortly found it to be. Suddenly the wind grew high and the sea swelled, and they were fain to take in their topsails; the ship rolled and tossed sufficiently to make the younger seamen sick, and all fearful.

From this place they might see an island on the starboard side of them, called Heligoland, standing a great way into the sea, twelve leagues from Rose Beacon; the island is about six miles in compass. The inhabitants have a language, habit, and laws, different from their neighbours, and are said to have many witches among them; their shores are found very dangerous, and many ships wrecked upon them.

About noon the wind came more to the west, and sometimes it was calm; nevertheless the sea wrought high, the waves raised by the former storms not abating a long while after the storm ceased. When they were gone about two leagues beyond Heligoland, the wind and tide turning against them, they were driven back again near two leagues short of the island; but about four o'clock in the afternoon, the wind being come to south-south-east and a fresh gale, they went on well in their course, running about eight leagues in a watch. Before it was night they had left Heligoland out of sight, and got about eight leagues beyond it; and the 'Elizabeth' kept up with Whitelocke.

From hence he came in sight of divers small islands upon the Dutch coast, which lie in rank from the mouth of the Elbe unto the Texel. In the evening they spied a sail to the leeward of them, but so far off that Whitelocke held it not fit, being almost dark, to go so far as he must do out of his way to inquire after her, and she seemed, at that distance, to stand for the course of England.

June 27, 1654.

[SN: At sea.]

The last night, the wind, having chopped about, had much hindered Whitelocke's course, and made him uncertain where they were, yet he went on labouring in the main; but the seamen guessed, by the ship's making way and holding it (though sometimes forward and sometimes backward), that this morning by eight o'clock they had gained thirty leagues from Heligoland, from which to Orfordness they reckon eighty leagues, and the "Fly" to be midway. The ship, which they saw last night, coming near them this morning, they found to be of Amsterdam, coming from the Sound homewards: she struck her sails to Whitelocke, and so passed on her course.

About noon Whitelocke came over-against the Fly, and saw the tower there, about five or six leagues from him. The wind lessened, and the sea did not go so high as before; he went on his course about four or five leagues in a watch. About seven or eight Holland ships made their course by them, as was supposed, towards the Sound, which now they did without fear or danger, the peace between the two Commonwealths being confirmed.

Whitelocke's fresh provisions beginning to fail, and his biscuit lessened by affording part of it to the 'Elizabeth,' which wanted, he was enforced to order that there should be but one meal a day, to make his provisions hold out.

The most part of the afternoon they were taken with a calm, till about seven o'clock in the evening, when the wind came fresh again to the east and towards the north, and then would again change; and sometimes they kept their course, and sometimes they were driven back again. The wind was high and variable, and they toiled to and again, uncertain where they were. Divers took the opportunity to recreate themselves by fishing, and the mackerel and other fish they took gave a little supply to their want of victual. About nine o'clock in the evening they lost the 'Elizabeth,' leaving her behind about three leagues; she used to keep a distance from Whitelocke's ship, and under the wind of her, since they began their voyage; and, as a stranger, would not keep company with Whitelocke, being discontented because he went not in that frigate.

June 28, 1654.

[SN: Whitelocke's great deliverance.]

This Wednesday was the day of Whitelocke's greatest deliverance. After midnight, till three o'clock in the afternoon, was a great calm, and though the 'President' were taken with it, yet the 'Elizabeth' had a good wind; and notwithstanding that the day before she was left behind a great distance, yet this morning she came up near to him, and got before him; so great is the difference sometimes, and at so small a distance, at sea, that here one ship shall have no wind at all, and another ship a few yards from her shall have her sails filled. Notwithstanding the calm, yet the wind being by flashes large, they went the last night and the day before twenty leagues up and down, sometimes in their course and sometimes out of it. In the morning, sounding with the plummet, the pilot judged that they were about sixteen leagues from the Texel, and twenty-four from Orfordness, but he did not certainly know whereabouts they were. Between three and four o'clock in the afternoon the wind came to north-north-west, which gave them hopes of finishing their voyage the sooner, and it blew a fresh gale.

About five o'clock in the evening rose a very great fog and thick mist, so that it was exceeding dark, and they could not see their way a ship's length before them. Whitelocke came upon the decks, and seeing the weather so bad and night coming on, and that all their sails were spread, and they ran extraordinary fast, he did not like it, but called together the captain, the master, the pilot, and others, to consult what was best to be done. He asked them why they spread all their sails, and desired to make so much way in so ill weather, and so near to night. They said they had so much sail because the wind favoured them, and that notwithstanding the bad weather they might safely run as they did, having sea-room enough. Whitelocke asked them if they knew whereabouts they were. They confessed they did not, because they had been so much tossed up and down by contrary winds, and the sun had not shined, whereby they might take the elevation. Whitelocke replied, that, having been driven forward and backward as they had been, it was impossible to know where they were; that the ship had run, and did now run, extraordinary fast, and if she should run so all night, perhaps they might be in danger of the English coast or of the Holland coast; and that by Norfolk there were great banks of sand, by which he had passed at sea formerly, and which could not be unknown to them; that in case the ship should fall upon those sands, or any other dangers of that coast, before morning, they should be all lost; and therefore he thought fit to take down some of their sails and slacken their course till, by daylight, they might come to know more certainly in what part they were.

The officers of the ship continued earnest to hold on their course, saying they would warrant it that there was running enough for all night, and that to take down any sail, now the wind was so good for them, would be a great wrong to them in their course. But Whitelocke was little satisfied with their reasons, and less with their warranties, which among them are not of binding force. His own reason showed him, that, not knowing where they were, and in such weather as this to run on as they did, they knew not whither, with all their sails spread, might be dangerous; but to take down some of their sails and to slacken their course could be no danger, and but little prejudice in the hindrance of their course this night, which he thought better to be borne than to endanger all.

[SN: He orders sail to be taken in.]

But chiefly it was the goodness of God to put it strongly upon Whitelocke's heart to overrule the seamen in this particular, though in their own art, and though his own desires were sufficiently earnest to hasten to his dear relations and country; yet the present haste he feared might hinder the seeing of them at all. Upon a strange earnestness in his own mind and judgement, he gave a positive command to the captain to cause all the sails to be taken down except the mainsail only, and that to be half-furled. Upon the captain's dispute, Whitelocke with quickness told him that if he did not presently see it done he would cause another to do it, whereupon the captain obeyed; and it was a great mercy that the same was done, which God directed as a means to save their lives.

[SN: The ship strikes.]

After the sails were taken down, Whitelocke also ordered them to sound and try what water and bottom they had. About ten o'clock in the evening sounding, they found eighteen fathom water; the next sounding they had but fifteen fathom, and so lessened every sounding till they came to eight fathom, which startled them, and made them endeavour to tack about. But it was too late, for within less than a quarter of an hour after they had eighteen fathom water, the ship struck upon a bank of sand, and there stuck fast. Whitelocke was sitting with some of the gentlemen in the steerage-room when this happened, and felt a strange motion of the frigate, as if she had leaped, and not unlike the curveting of a great horse; and the violence of the striking threw several of the gentlemen from off their seats into the midst of the room. The condition they were in was quickly understood, and both seamen and landsmen discovered it by the wonderful terror and amazement which had seized on them, and more upon the seamen than others who knew less of the danger.

It pleased his good God to keep up the spirits and faith of Whitelocke in this great extremity; and when nothing would be done but what he in person ordered, in this frightful confusion God gave him extraordinary fixedness and assistance, a temper and constancy of spirit beyond what was usual with him. He ordered the master-gunner presently to fire some pieces of ordnance, after the custom at sea, to signify their being in distress. But the gunner was so amazed with the danger, that he forgot to unbrace the guns, and shot away the main-sheet; and had not the ship been strong and staunch, the guns being fired when they were close braced, they had broke the sides of her. Whitelocke caused the guns to be unbraced and divers of them fired, to give notice to the 'Elizabeth,' or any other ship that might be within hearing, to come in to their assistance; but they heard no guns again to answer theirs, though they longed for it, hoping that the 'Elizabeth,' or any other ship coming in to them, by their boats might save the lives of some of them. Whitelocke also caused lights to be set up in the top-gallant, used at sea by those in distress to invite help; but the lights were not answered again by any other ship or vessel; particularly they wondered that nothing was heard or seen from the 'Elizabeth.'

Whitelocke then ordered the sails of the ship to be reversed, that the wind, being high, might so help them off; but no help was by it, nor by all the people's coming together to the stern, then to the head, then to the sides of the ship, all in a heap together; nothing would help them. Then Whitelocke ordered the mariners to hoist out one of the boats, in which some of the company would have persuaded Whitelocke to put himself and to leave the rest, and seek to preserve his own life by trusting to the seas in this boat; and they that advised this, offered willingly to go with him.

But Whitelocke knew that if he should go into the boat, besides the dishonour of leaving his people in this distress, so many would strive to enter into the boat with him (a life knows no ceremony) that probably the boat would be sunk by the crowding; and there was little hope of escaping in such a boat, though he should get well off from the ship and the boat not be overladen. He therefore ordered the captain to take a few of the seamen into the boat with him, and to go round the ship and sound what water was on each side of her, and what hopes they could find, and by what means to get her off, himself resolving to abide the same fortune with his followers.

The captain found it very shallow to windward, and very deep to leeward, but no hopes of help; and at his return the master advised to lighten the ship by casting overboard the goods in her. Whitelocke held it best to begin with the ordnance, and gave order for it. Mr. Earle was contriving how to save his master's jewels, which were of some value; his master took more care to save his papers, to him more precious jewels; but there was no hope of saving any goods or lives. Whitelocke put in his pocket a tablet of gold of his wife's picture, that this, being found about his dead body when it should be taken up, might show him to have been a gentleman, and satisfy for his burial. One was designing to get upon a plank, others upon the masts, others upon other fancies, any way to preserve life; but no way was left whereby they could have the least shadow or hopes of a deliverance.

The captain went up to the quarter-deck, saying, there he lived and there he would die. All the officers, sadly enough, concluded that there was not the least show of any hopes of preservation, but that they were all dead men, and that upon the return of the tide the ship would questionless be dashed in pieces. Some lay crying in one corner, others lamenting in another; some, who vaunted most in time of safety, were now most dejected. The tears and sighs and wailings in all parts of the ship would have melted a stony heart into pity; every swelling wave seemed great in expectation of its booty; the raging waves foamed as if their prey were too long detained from them; every billow threatened present death, who every moment stared in their faces for almost two hours together.

[SN: Exhorts his sons.]

In this condition Whitelocke encouraged his two sons to undergo the pleasure of God with all submission. He was sorry for them, being young men, who might have lived many years to do God and their country service, that they now should be snatched away so untimely; but he told them, that if father and sons must now die together, he doubted not but they should go together to that happiness which admits no change; that he did not so much lament his own condition, being an old man, in the course of nature much nearer the grave than they: but he besought God to bless them and yet to appear for their deliverance, if it were His will, or else to give him and them, and all the company, hearts willing to submit to His good pleasure.

[SN: Discourse with the boatswain.]

Walking on the decks to see his orders executed for throwing the ordnance overboard, the boatswain met him and spake to him in his language:—

Boatswain. My Lord, what do you mean to do?

Whitelocke. Wherein dost thou ask my meaning?

Bo. You have commanded the ordnance to be cast overboard.

Wh. It is for our preservation.

Bo. If it be done, we are all destroyed.

Wh. What reason have you to be of this opinion? Must we not lighten the ship? and can we do it better than to begin with the ordnance?

Bo. It may do well to lighten the ship, but not by throwing overboard the ordnance; for you can but drop them close to the ship's side, and where the water is shallow they will lie up against the side of the ship and fret it, and with the working of the sea make her to spring leaks presently.

Wh. I think thou speakest good reason, and I will try a little longer before it be done.

Bo. My Lord, do not doubt but God will show Himself, and bring you off by His own hand from this danger.

Wh. Hast thou any ground to judge so, or dost thou see any probability of it?

Bo. I confess there is no probability for it; but God hath put it into my heart to tell your Excellence that He will appear our Deliverer when all other hopes and helps fail us, and He will save us by His own power; and let us trust in Him.

Upon this discourse with the honest boatswain, who walked up and down as quite unconcerned, Whitelocke forbade the throwing of the ordnance overboard; and as he was sitting on the deck, Mr. Ingelo, one of his chaplains, came to him, and said that he was glad to see him in so good a temper.

Whitelocke. I bless God, who keeps up my spirit.

Ingelo. My Lord, such composedness, and not being daunted in this distress, is a testimony of God's presence with you.

Wh. I have cause to thank God, whose presence hath been with me in all my dangers, and most in this greatest, which I hope and pray that He would fit us all to submit unto.

Ing. I hope He will; and I am glad to see your sons and others to have so much courage left in so high a danger.

Wh. God hath not suffered me, nor them, nor yourself, to be dejected in this great trial; and it gives me comfort at this time to observe it, nor doth it leave me without some hopes that God hath yet a mercy in store for us.

Ing. There is little hopes of continuance in this life, it is good to prepare ourselves for a better life; and therefore, if you please that the company may be called together into your cabin, it will be good to join in prayer, and recommending our souls to Him that gave them; I believe they are not to remain long in these bodies of clay.

Wh. I hope every one doth this apart, and it is very fit likewise to join together in doing it; therefore I pray send and call the people into my cabin to prayer.

Whilst Mr. Ingelo was gone to call the people together, a mariner came from the head of the ship, running hastily towards Whitelocke, and crying out to him, which caused Whitelocke to suspect that the ship had sprung a leak or was sinking. The mariner called out:—

[SN: The ship moves,]

Mariner. My Lord! my Lord! my Lord!

Whitelocke. What's the matter, mariner?

Mar. She wags! she wags!

Wh. Which way doth she wag?

Mar. To leeward.

Wh. I pray God that be true; and it is the best news that ever I heard in my life.

Mar. My Lord, upon my life the ship did wag; I saw her move.

Wh. Mr. Ingelo, I pray stay awhile before you call the people; it may be God will give us occasion to change the style of our prayers. Fellow-seaman, show me where thou sawest her move.

Mar. My Lord, here, at the head of the frigate, I saw her move, and she moves now,—now she moves! you may see it.

Wh. My old eyes cannot discern it.

Mar. I see it plain, and so do others.

[SN: and rights.]

Whilst they were thus speaking and looking, within less than half a quarter of an hour, the ship herself came off from the sand, and miraculously floated on the water. The ship being thus by the wonderful immediate hand of God, again floating on the sea, the mariners would have been hoisting of their sails, but Whitelocke forbade it, and said he would sail no more that night. But as soon as the ship had floated a good way from the bank of sand, he caused them to let fall their anchors, that they might stay till morning, to see where they were, and spend the rest of the night in giving thanks to God for his most eminent, most miraculous deliverance.

Being driven by the wind about a mile from the sand, there they cast anchor, and fell into discourse of the providences and goodness of God to them in this unhoped-for preservation. One observed, that if Whitelocke had not positively overruled the seamen, and made them, contrary to their own opinions, to take down their sails, but that the ship had run with all her sails spread, and with that force had struck into the sand, it had been impossible for her ever to have come off again, but they must all have perished. Another observed, that the ship did strike so upon the bank of sand, that the wind was on that side of her where the bank was highest, and so the strength of the wind lay to drive the ship from the bank towards the deep water.

Another supposed, that the ship did strike on the shelving part of the bank of sand, and the wind blowing from the higher part of the bank, the weight of the ship thus pressed by the wind, and working towards the lower part of the shelving of the bank, the sand crumbled away from the ship, and thereby and with the wind she was set on-float again. Another observed, that if the ship had struck higher on the bank or deeper, when her sails had been spread, with the force of her way, they could not in the least probability have been saved.

Another observed, that through the goodness of God the wind rose higher, and came more to that side of the ship where the bank of sand was highest, after the ship was struck, which was a great means of her coming off; and that, as soon as she was floated, the wind was laid and came about again to another quarter. Another observed, that it being at that time ebbing water was a great means of their preservation; because the ship being so far struck into the sand, and so great a ship, a flowing water could not have raised her; but upon the coming in of the tide she would questionless have been broke in pieces.

The mariners said, that if God had not loved the landmen more than the seamen they should never have come off from this danger. Every one made his observations. Whitelocke concluded them to this purpose:

[SN: Whitelocke orders a thanksgiving to God.]


"I desire that we may all join together in applying these observations and mercies to the praise of God, and to the good of our own souls. Let me exhort you never to forget this deliverance and this signal mercy. While the love of God is warm upon our hearts, let us resolve to retain a thankful memory of it to our lives' end, and, for the time to come, to employ those lives, which God hath now given to us and renewed to us, to the honour and praise of Him, who hath thus most wonderfully and most mercifully revived us, and as it were new created us. Let us become new creatures; forsake your former lusts in your ignorance, and follow that God fully, who hath so eminently appeared for us, to save us out of our distress; and as God hath given us new lives, so let us live in newness of life and holiness of conversation."

Whitelocke caused his people to come into his cabin, where Mr. Ingelo prayed with them, and returned praises to the Lord for this deliverance: an occasion sufficient to elevate his spirit, and, meeting with his affections and abilities, tended the more to the setting forth His glory, whose name they had so much cause more than others to advance and honour.

Many of the seamen came in to prayers, and Whitelocke talked with divers of them upon the mercy they had received, who seemed to be much moved with the goodness of God to them; and Whitelocke sought to make them and all the company sensible of God's gracious dealings, and to bring it home to the hearts of them. He also held it a duty to leave to his own family this large relation, and remembrance of the Lord's signal mercy to him and his; whereby they might be induced the more to serve the God of their fathers, to trust in Him who never fails those that seek Him, and to love that God entirely who hath manifested so much love to them, and that in their greatest extremities; and hereby to endeavour that a grateful acknowledgment of the goodness and unspeakable love of God might be transmitted to his children's children; that as God never forgets to be gracious, so his servants may never forget to be thankful, but to express the thankfulness of their hearts by the actions of their lives.

Whitelocke spent this night in discourses upon this happy subject, and went not to bed at all, but expected the return of day; and, the more to express cheerfulness to the seamen, he promised that as soon as light did appear, if they would up to the shrouds and top, he that could first descry land should have his reward, and a bottle of good sack advantage.

June 29, 1654.

[SN: They make the coast of Norfolk.]

As soon as day appeared, the mariners claimed many rewards and bottles of sack, sundry of them pretending to have first discovered land; and Whitelocke endeavoured to give them all content in this day of rejoicing, God having been pleased to turn their sorrow into joy, by preserving them in their great danger, and presently after by showing them their longed-for native country; making them, when they were in their highest expectation of joy to arrive in their beloved country, then to disappoint their hopes by casting them into the extremest danger—thus making them sensible of the uncertainty of this world's condition, and checking perhaps their too much earthly confidence, to let them see His power to control it, and to change their immoderate expectation of joy into a bitter doubt of present death. Yet again, when He had made them sensible thereof, to make his equal power appear for their deliverance when vain was the help of man, and to bring them to depend more on him, then was He pleased to rescue them by his own hand out of the jaws of death, and to restore them with a great addition to their former hopes of rejoicing, by showing them their native coast,—the first thing made known to them after their deliverance from perishing.

The day being clear, they found themselves upon the coast of Norfolk, and, as they guessed, about eight leagues from Yarmouth, where they supposed their guns might be heard the last night. The wind being good, Whitelocke ordered to weigh anchor, and they sailed along the coast, sometimes within half a league of it, until they passed Orfordness and came to Oseley Bay, where they again anchored, the weather being so thick with a great fog and much rain that they could not discern the marks and buoys to avoid the sands, and to conduct them to the mouth of the river. A short time after, the weather began to clear again, which invited them to weigh anchor and put the ship under sail; but they made little way, that they might not hinder their sounding, which Whitelocke directed, the better to avoid the danger of the sands, whereof this coast is full.

Near the road of Harwich the 'Elizabeth' appeared under sail on-head of the 'President,' who overtaking her, Captain Minnes came on board to Whitelocke, who told him the condition they had been in the last night, and expostulated with him to this purpose.

Whitelocke. Being in this distress, we fired divers guns, hoping that you, Captain Minnes, could not but hear us and come in to our relief, knowing this to be the order of the sea in such cases.

Minnes. My Lord, I had not the least imagination of your being in distress; but I confess I heard your cannon, and believed them to be fired by reason of the fog, which is the custom of the sea in such weather, to advertise one another where they are.

Wh. Upon such an occasion as the fog, seamen use to give notice to one another by two or three guns, but I caused many more to be fired.

Minnes. I heard but four or five in all, and I answered your guns by firing some of mine.

Wh. We heard not one of your guns.

Minnes. That might be by reason we were to windward of you three leagues.

Wh. Why then did you not answer the lights which I caused to be set up?

Minnes. My Lord, those in my ship can witness that I set up lights again, and caused squibs and fireworks to be cast up into the air, that you might thereby discern whereabouts we were.

Wh. It was strange that we could neither see yours nor you our lights.

Minnes. The greatness of the fog might occasion it.

Wh. The lights would appear through the fog as well as in the night.

Minnes. My Lord, I did all this.

Wh. It was contrary to my orders for you to keep so far off from me, and to be on-stern of me three leagues; but this hath been your practice since we first came out to sea together; and if you had been under the command of some others, as you were under mine, they would have expected more obedience than you have given to my orders, or have taken another course with you, which I can do likewise.

Minnes. My Lord, I endeavoured to get the wind of you, that I might thereby be able to keep in your company, which otherwise I could not have done, you being so much fleeter than the 'Elizabeth;' but in the evenings I constantly came up to your Excellence.

Wh. Why did you not so the last night?

Minnes. The fog rose about five o'clock, and was so thick that we could not see two ships' length before us. In that fog I lost you, and, fearing there might be danger in the night to fall upon the coast, I went off to sea, supposing you had done so likewise, as, under favour, your captain ought to have done; and for my obedience to your Excellency's commands, it hath been and shall be as full and as willing as to any person living.

Wh. When you found by my guns that you were so far from me to the windward, you might fear that I was fallen into that danger which you had avoided by keeping yourself under the wind more at large at sea.

Minnes. If I had in the least imagined your Excellence to have been in danger, we had been worse than Turks if we had not endeavoured to come in to your succour; and though it was impossible, as we lay, for our ship to come up to your Excellence, yet I should have adventured with my boats to have sought you out. But that you were in any danger was never in our thoughts; and three hours after your guns fired, sounding, I found by the lead the red sand, which made me think both your Excellence and we might be in the more danger, and I lay the further off from them, but knew not where your Excellence was, nor how to come to you.

After much more discourse upon this subject, Captain Parkes pressing it against Minnes, who answered well for himself, and showed that he was the better seaman in this action and in most others, and in regard of the cause of rejoicing which God had given them, and that they now were near the end of their voyage, Whitelocke held it not so good to continue the expostulation as to part friends with Captain Minnes and with all his fellow-seamen, and so they proceeded together lovingly and friendly in their voyage.

The wind not blowing at all, but being a high calm, they could advance no further than the tide would carry them, the which failed them when they came to a place called Shoe, about four leagues from the mouth of Thames. Having, through the goodness of God, passed by and avoided many banks of sands and dangerous places, the wind failing them and the tide quite spent, they were forced about seven o'clock in the evening to come to an anchor, Captain Minnes hard by the 'President,' where, to make some pastime and diversion, he caused many squibs and fireworks to be cast up into the air from the 'Elizabeth,' in which Minnes was very ingenious, and gave recreation thereby to Whitelocke and to his company.

June 30, 1654.

[SN: Reach the Nore and Gravesend.]

Friday, the last of this month, was the fifth and last day of Whitelocke's voyage by sea from the mouth of the Elbe to the mouth of the Thames. About twelve o'clock the last night the wind began to blow very strong in the south-west, and by daybreak they had weighed anchor; and though the wind was extreme high and a great tempest, yet such was their desire of getting into the harbour, that, taking the benefit of the tide and by often tacking about, they yet advanced three leagues in their course; and when the tide failed, they were forced to cast anchor at the buoy in the Nore, the same place where Whitelocke first anchored when he came from England. The pilots and mariners had much ado to manage their sails in this tempestuous weather; and it was a great favour of God that they were not out at sea in these storms, but returned in safety to the place where the kindness of God had before appeared to them.

In the afternoon the wind began to fall, and they weighed anchor, putting themselves under sail and pursuing their course, till for want of day and of tide they were fain to cast anchor a little above Gravesend, and it being very late, Whitelocke thought it would be too troublesome to go on shore; but to keep his people together, and that they might all be the readier to take the morning tide, he lay this night also on ship-board, but sent Earle and some others that night to shore, to learn the news, and to provide boats against the morning for transportation of Whitelocke and his company the next day to London.

Thus, after a long, most difficult, and most dangerous journey, negotiation, and voyage from south to north in winter, and from north to south in summer, after the wonderful preservations and deliverances which the Lord had been pleased to vouchsafe to them, He was also pleased, in His free and constant goodness to His servants, to bring them all in safety and with comfort again to their native country and dearest relations, and blessed with the success of their employment, and with the wonderful appearances of God for them.

May it be the blessed portion of them all, never to forget the loving-kindness of the Lord, but by these cords of love to be drawn nearer to Him, and to run after Him all the days of their lives! To the end that those of his family may see what cause they have to trust in God and to praise his name for his goodness, Whitelocke hath thought fit, hereby in writing, and as a monument of God's mercy, to transmit the memory of these passages to his posterity.


[371] [Another instance of the fear of assassination or of death by poison, which at that time haunted the Envoys of the Commonwealth abroad.]


July 1, 1654.

[SN: Whitelocke lands, and proceeds to his house at Chelsea.]

About three o'clock this morning good store of boats came from Gravesend to Whitelocke's ships, to transport him, his company, and goods to London. By the help of the mariners, without much delay the baggage was put on board the boats; and Whitelocke's people, after a perilous and tedious voyage, were not backward to leave their ships and to set forward to London. Earle was sent before to Greenwich, to acquaint Whitelocke's wife with his coming, lest sudden joy and apprehensions might surprise her to her prejudice.

Whitelocke having distributed his rewards to the officers and seamen of both the frigates, much to the same proportion as when he went forth, and giving them all his hearty thanks, he went into a boat of six oars, his two sons and some of the gentlemen with him, the rest in other boats. When they were gone about a musket-shot from the ships, both the frigates and the fort fired their cannon for a parting salutation. The weather was cold, wet, and windy, as if it had been still winter, but it was cheerfully endured, being the conclusion of a bad voyage. Near Greenwich Earle met them, and informed Whitelocke that his family was at Chelsea, whither he had sent advertisement of his coming.

Many of the company being much tired, sick, and wanting sleep, by their desire and for their refreshment he staid a little time at the 'Bear' on the bridge-foot, and from thence to Whitehall, where not finding the Protector, who was gone to Hampton Court, yet many of his friends meeting him there, he was embraced by them with much show of joy, and heartily bid welcome home, blessing God for his safe return and good success in his business.

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