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May it please your excellency,

THE armv are in great want os provisions, as also os match and gunpowder, and that if you please to order a sudden march it Is necedary the soldiers be supplied with biscuit, at lead: such os them as /hall be drawn iorth for any service. I desire your excellency wdl please to inform general Penn os the general complaint os olficers and ioldiers, of the seamen's resusal to carry them on board to setch tht ir goods. If he would pleale to appoint any certain day when ofsicers and ioidiers should come to receive their goods, and that boots may aitend ihat business, and lo make but one trouble ot it. We want our ho^s, mattocks, isx.

Your most humble servant,

May 29, 1655,

Richard Fortescus.

ACCORDING to your order, I sent sour hundred men, commanded, fcy major Bamford, with sixty horie, to setch up the provisions and ammunition which general Penn promised should be landed early this morning, whereby we might have been enabled to march, according to your order, towards the enemy, who itill remain refractory, as appears by the enclosed; but, contrary to expectation, one of my otficers returned from the seaside, and assures me there were no provisions landed when we came away. Sir, the soldiers have not had any provisions almost forty-eight hours, but one biscuit a man since we came hither; by reason whereof they grow very weak and are much enseebled. 1 have enquired concerning the ways and passages leading to the place where the enemy are encamped, which is from hence eight leagues, and I am allured there is but one way and none other near it; much of it is through savannahs, part through a mountain, water tome part at the end of two leagues, some half a league, according to the enclosed relation.

May, 1655.

VPOV receipt os your Tetter, I summoned the field officers, and with 4beir advict <Ucw oul two parlies, one of a thuuiand four hundred, to

1 UUiVll march by land, and another os six hundred, to be transported by sea, and have appointed ofsicers to command them; but, when I lent commissary Daniel to take an account of the provisions sent last night by the party, being thirty bags of cassava, he certiheth, under his hand, and will aver before you, that the whole weight is not two thousand pounds, as appeareth per the particular inclosed; which is judged too small a proportion not only for the army but the party commanded out. I have therefore sent Mr. Daniel, wilh the advice of the ofsicers, to insorm you of our condition; and that we conceive there was a great mistake in those that sent the provisions on shore, who alledged there was six thousand weight, and demanded, a receipt accordingly; but Mr. Bamford resused to give them a receipt for so much weight, because all the bags were broken, and much of the bread embezzled. 1 he truth is, the army are generally in a very weak condition for want of provisions. The party 1 sent down yesterday to the seaside could have brought treble the quantity that was sent. If we mit^ht know how much should be landed, we would send parties accordingly. I do, with the ofsicers advice, represent the army's condition to you. We want medicines for the chirurgeons.

May, 1655.

Here followeth the testimony of lieutenant-colonel Ward :— He affirms that, being on board the Matthias on Saturday the eighth of June, 1055, enquiring ol captain Kirby, commander of the said vejje\ the said captain Kirby said, that he received a check of genet al Penn for revealing what /lores he had in his ship, with this faying,—You can have no stores on board you, but you must be babling.

Phil. Ward.

Memorandum—There were in the ship's cabin, when this was spoken^ captain Pegg, lieutenant-colonel Bufhell, sick in bed, Mr. Garviner,

and commissary Pain.

So that all may see how the promises of general Desbrow were made good to us, who assured us, that what was on board should be for the landmcn as well as the seamen, and also what civilities we might expect from the seamen, to afford us relief out of their own stores, who concealed and withheld our own from us.


Their wants and sufferings were the cause, I suppose, whieh moved the 'ofsicers to desire my return for England, to represent them to his highness, but I was never permitted to speak; only \lr. Secretary ThurJoe writ to me, when in the tower, to send him the olsicers humble considerations, which were directed to his highness; which I did, but never heard more. And now, being on board, I shall take leave of Jamaica, and sail for England to discharge my trust to the state and army, in representing the condition of those parts, and what might most advance the service, and which way was moil probable the design may be carried on; which I did in the tower. I had a most comfortable and sweet passage homeward, and, when I came northward, gathered strength exceedingly, my weakness considered. We landed sasely at Plymouth, September the tenth, 1^55, having not selt one storm;—but that was to follow at land. So soon as 1 came to Portsmouth, I writ to hii> highness as followcth:

May it please your highnes$%

I Doubt not but general Penn hath informed vour highness of the weak. Coivl tion he left me in,out of which all that saw me judged it was impossible lor me ever to recover; even the physicians despaired, except change of air did, though it was doubted I could not live to be put on board; yet, death being certain if 1 stayed, it was resolved to adventure me; in rcgiird 1 could but die. Ihe extreme wants of vour forces in the Indies Were also recommended to me (by the ofsicers) to represent to your liighncss; but, as my great weakness disabled me to travel by land, 1 am at present incapacitated to discharge that trust, unless it fhall please the Lord to give more strength or bring me about by sea. And, in the interim, that your highness may be blested with prosperous success in all your pious designs, and be temporally and eternally happy, is, and shall be, the prayer of,

Kour highnesses most humble and saithsul servant,

Richard Vswables,

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To Ma. Secretary Thvrlo*.
Honoured Sir,

I Do persuade myself that you have had a report by general Penn*« fleet of my death, which was most probable, my returning being despaired of by all men, even the physicians; and change of air was the last: of remedies, all others sailing; though it was thought by most I should never see the sea. Yet being I could but die, it was resolved to adventure me, though I was a mere skeleton, and had at times been in a raving condition about three weeks, and continued so about a week, after I came on shipboard; and yet continue but skin and bones, and so weak that I Cannot ride or scarce sit, except very easy, and therefore not able to travel by land, but must come about up Thames. 1 hough my heart longs to insorm his highness of the state of h«s affairs in the West Indies, and indeed haste is extremely necetfary. If the Lord bring me sase to London, I shall tully insorm you of ail, which I dare not commit to paper, being constrained to make use of another's hand, for which your pardon is earnestly desired by

Your very humble servant,

Richard Yenables.

To The Lord Lambert.

JHy Lord,

MY death being reported by most, and the impossibility of my Tcco» *ery believed by all general Penn'e fleet, I persuade myself hath by them come to your ears, so that you would rather suppose the certain news of my death had now been brought you, than that I am in the land of the living and so near you; indeed all men, even the physicians, ticspaired of my lise, the air being so much my enemy; and therefore it was resolved that I Ihould goto sea, though most (and not the least judicious) -thought I should never come on board alive; yet being 1 could but die, it y\as resolved to adventure me, though I was but a mere skele ton, and .had at times been in a raving condition about three weeks, and continued fb a week after T cam'e on 'board, and I yet continue but skin and bones, and so weak that I cannot ride, or scarce sit, but very easy, and therefore not able to travel by land to London, but must effme about up 1 hames, though ray heart longs to inform his highness of the state of his afsairs in the West; but indeed haste is extremely necessary. If the Lord bring me alive to l.ondon, I shall sully insorm you of all, which I «J ire not commit to paper, being constrained to make use of another'* hand, for which your pardon is earnestly desired by,

My lord, your lordship's most humble servant, ,

Richard Venables.


The like was writ to colonel Sydenham and general Desbrow.

i But, though I pressed so earnestly to come to London by sea, yet was tlenied, though so weak that 1 had like to have died on-board before I came to land. However, being commmanded to come away, I got a coach and one to support me in it, and so came to London; and the same day went to secretary Thurloe, to acquaint him that I desired to wait upon his highness, who appointed me. to attend the next morning to that end, which I did; and was at last called in before his highncls. and the council, who demanded of me who sent for me: I answered, the army had desired me to come, to represent to his highness the state of his aiTairs there, and their extreme wants.—He then demanded of me if I had ever read of any general that had left his army, not being com. manded back: I'replied, I supposed history would clear it, though my memory, discomposed -by sickness, could not at present call it to mind; but at last named the earl of Essex. — He replied,' a sad example! and asked, me if I had any thing else to say in my desence: 1 replied, I did not expect to be called to an account for this thing, and so was not prepared to answer; and humblv craved respite for a sew days, thai I might peruse my papers, and consider the thing sully, and I would then give him a sull answer.—He denied me that most just liberty, which a heathen denied not to Paul, to have time and place to desend himself. I humbly begged it again, and was denied it; and this added, that I must then . speak, or what I had spoke would be looked upon as all I could say. I then replied, I had the army's vote, which I then produced, and desired it might he seadj but was denied, and was told colonel Buller was the

. . army's'

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