MRP: 3rd January 1665/66, Letter from William Ryder to Sir GO, Bethnall Green

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3rd January 1665/66, Letter from William Ryder to Sir GO, Bethnall Green

BL, Add. MS. 40, 700, vol. v, ff. 6-7

Editorial history

01/10/10, CSG: Completed transcription
15/12/11, CSG: Created page & posted transcription to wiki

Abstract & context

Suggested links

To do

(1) Complete transcription

(2) Check whether Joseph Blackman is one of Capt. Jeremy Blackman’s sons. Known sons are (a) Lucy Blackman (b) Jeremy Blackman (c) Maurice Blackman (d) William Blackman


This transcription requires further additions to text at end of letter, and then needs to be checked

[BL, Add. MS. 40, 700, vol. v, ff. 6-7]


Right Worp:ll S:r Geo: Oxenden


I writ you at large by last yors shiping, w:ch hope in their due time came safe to your hands, to w:ch plese to be referred. Since which is come your wellcom lynes of the 25:th November 1664 with three Sxxx all of the 6:th of March and one of the 31:th XX 1665 by way of Aleppo, to all w:ch shall breefly replye as this optunity will pmitt, intending if God pmitt to enlarge by the Surratt ships which is now in the ?Dorke ?Sheading, being a vessell of above 300 tons burthen that has a good report as to sayling a new shipe that the comp:a have bought, and that was never abroad, but only last somer in his Ma:tie Service, her commander is not yet Elected, but supose it may be Cap:t Stanton[1] who comanded her in his Ma:tie Service

I ?praise that what was sent out on the London, my Letters ?Inamell and the bagg from S:r George Smith[2] together with the caske of Wine came safe to yors ?Which Shipes London & Royall Charles together with the American arrived in safty at the Isle of Weight about 3 weekes past and are now thankes be to God all well in our River of Thames but none of their Comanders as yet com up, soo my thoughts are to send downe unto Cap:t Bowen[3] for the small things comited to his charge by your good sellfe on me & ffrinds. - I am sorry to heare that the wine was soo ?sottishly lost by Joseph Blackman[4] in w:ch noo remedy but patience

Your are pleased to say that this breach with the Dutch will much hinder the comp:a, and that their affares are not so well managed at ffort S:t George and Bantam as they ought to bee, w:ch is very true, but as we are hindred, yet thankes be to God that by your prudent managm:t our Surratt Shipes are com well, and the licke good suckcesse God has given to our Coast Bay & Bantam shipes , who were all in safety with us a while untill it pleased our good God to remove his heavy hand of pestilence ffrom us, w:ch has lyon upon this City & Suburbs now 7. Or eight months together & his hand is not yet removed ffrom us

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There having beene 100 thousand people buried here this last yere, though but 97 thousand & odd in the Generall Bill, there dying in Septemb:r Last above Eight thousand p:sons a weeke, w:ch now blessed be God ffor his goodnes towards us hath brought it downe to 254 psons this last weeke not withstanding our sins, w:ch are the cause of these Judgm:ts doo stillcontinue, soo y:t in this Epidemicall yeare of 66 we may expect a greater Judgm:t unlesse it please God of his mercy and compassion to spare us; In the heat of this distemper the City was very much emptye with people; most people y:t were able retyred with their ffamelys into the cuntry; My selfe ??% ffamely having spent 5. Or 6 months time about 20 Myle ffrom this place in Essex; are now thankes be to God all returned in health to this our owne home, Soo y:t you cannot expect any acting as to merchandizing affares trading having beene at a stand ffor this 12 month past, w:ch the warr w:th our Naybers has allso ?ffurthered yet our good ffrind S:r George Smith has not stirred ffrom this good towne all y:e contagions but kept [“gav” is crossed ou in original in ink] S:r Jn:o Robinson[5] comp:a.[6]

And now to give you a short Acc:a allso of the warr betweene us & the Dutch I having by last yers shiping hinted to you the begining of this breach, Intend now to give you a breefe relation what past since in that affare; In the month of Aprill & May his Royall Highness the Duke of Yorke[7] Comanding his Ma:ties Royall navy, and hearing that the Dutch had 120 sayle neere redy he lay on the coast of Holland with about 90 sayle of good men of warr ffor 5. or 6 weeks time, expecting their coming out to ffight them, but they came not Soo about the end of May his Royall Highness cam over with his ffleet into Sole bay[8] to refxxx victuall & releeve sicke men, w:ch gave the Dutch an optunety to Issue out of their severall ports comanded by Opdam ?Everson[9] (could be Ewerson) & ?Trompe,[10] w:ch great body they cam over upon our coast, and on the 2:d of June came in Sight of our ffleet, upon w:ch his Royall Highnes comanded all to waye anker & sayle, w:ch the Dutch discerning stood of into the Sea and ours ffollowwed them, Soe y:t it was next day after noone before our shipes could gett up with them and having gott the xxxx bere in amongst them & prince Rupert[11] w:th his Esquadron beginning the ffight, was stoutly recd by Opden (‘Verte’ is written just below the bottom line of the page, at the botom RH side)



[Opdam is repeated in LH margin above first line]

their Admirall who lost both his shipe & life & Sevearll others accompanied him , in w:ch ??conssert ?our losse was only the Shipe Charity,[12] w:ch hath bin taken ffrom ?them in the fformer Duch warr and being now in y:e body of their ffleet was so much torne and most p:t pf his men slayed. The cap:t with his small remaining crew were pmited by the Enemy a boate to carry them to their owne ffleet - The good Earle of Marlbrough[13] Comanding one of his Ma:tie Shipes, was unhapely slayne by a great shott in this engagm:t and severall other psons of qualety lost their lives, but it pleaseth the Almighty to pserve his Roy:a Highnes, whiles others y:t were discoursing with him upon y:e quarter Decke was slayne this fflight continued till the Darknesse of the night tooke them of the Duch Still bearing away towards their owne coast both in y:e fflight & night ffollowing, ours kept [written above crossed out word, perhaps gxxxx] sight of them, and in y:e morning soo soone as day appeared ffell to worke on them againe, and having before noone Soonke, burnt & taken severall of their ships, towards night the Enemy ffleed disorderly, som towards one port & some to another, and if ours had ffollowed & psecuted this victory as the Duke ordred when he went to take a litle rest, w:th out doubt most of them had beene destroyed: in this Engagm:t we tooke 9 of theire men of warr, sonke & burnt about 14 more tooke som of 3000 prisners besides a great many more slayne, ours loosing only the pmentied shipe Charity & about 600 men slayne in the whole fleet Soo our ffleet returned victorious thxx soone recruted & victualed went againe to sea under the comand of the Earle of Sandwich with the Duch shipes that were taken & ffitted in his comp:a went over and showed himselfe on the Coast of Holland and soo returned and lay on the Doggerbanck X who having notice that 12 sayle of the Duch East India Shipps with 25 sayle of other Merch:t shipes & som 8. or 9 men of warr y:t convoyed them had taken sanctuary at berghen[14] in Norway: The Earle[15] sent 15 sayle of our ffrigatts under the Comand of S:r Thomas Tiddeman[16] the Royall Kathrine; w:ch Esquadron being small and the Action ill managed in giving time to the Enemy to ffortefy on Shore: and the ?Dounes (?Downes)

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?Catle stoutly defending them, that Enterprise prove not soo suckcesfull as hoped ffor, our ffrigatts being sorrely torne with Great & Small sho[no t] but thankes be to God came alll well of only the lesse of about 200 men, and the Enemy reported to loose treble that Number and hath not the wind altered when they were at their worke they had not com away empty handed as they did, upon w:ch the Earle with his whole ffleete returned into Sole Bay to victuall & repaire our ffleet, having beene sorly shattert with stormy wether. In the Intrum the Duch having ffitted & reparied their ffleet and being harkned on by the coming in of their Admirall de Ruytor with 14 sayle of men of warr & severall prizes ffrom Guny & y:e West Indies (att the fformer of w:ch he hath taken all most all ffrom our Royall Comp:a[17] to the value of above 100 thousand pound Sterlings) they having notice of our ffleets retyrem:t put to seas in the month of Septemb:r and went directly to Berghen to conduct hom their East India and their other Merchant Shipes, whiles his Ma:tie Imediatly comanded y:e Earle to sea againe, w:th such Shipes & victualls as hee had redy, to meete y:e Duch at least in their returne, but it plesed God that when the ffleets were in a day or 2 Sayle of each other came thicke Stormye wether to separate both theirs & ours, So y:t som of our Esquadron meeting som Esquadrons of their Men of warr & Merchant men, they tooke of the ?meniall men of warr som of w:ch betweene 80 & 70 peece of Ordnance and 2 of their East India Shipes the ?Phanop[18] & Slothoue[19] who were vice & Reare Admirall in their East India ffleet and allso about [space in the original, as if a number were to be inserted] of their Merchant Shipes, the Cargos of their 2 east India shipes are ??dd into our east India comp:a warehouse, soo much hath his Ma:tie befrinded our East India comp:a xx not to spoyle their sayle, And in contra our Comp:a have advanced 100 thousand pounds to his Ma:tie w:ch newes cannot but be wellcom to you to heare that there is soo good coraspondance betweene his ma:tie finding that the Merchant Shipes w:ch were hyred did him letle service thay sayling ?havy could seldom com up with the Enemy (who ffought in



[In is repeated in LH margin]

A xuming posture) dismissed y:e Merchant Shipes and is fitting up the Duchmen of warr that were taken resolving to ffight them with his owne Shipes. - The Duke of Albermarle[20] being apoynted Generall at Sea and seconded by prince Rupert who goes with him in the same shipe to w:ch God Almighty give good suckcesse; In the Indrum the Duch allso make verry great preparation and the ffrench the licke who are entred into a fferme league with y:e Duch and hath sent them allredy 6000 men against the Bishop of Munster[21] who is on y.e path of y:e united provinces and on a strict League of Amity with our King, soo y:t now the ffrench having declared them selves against us stopes all our shipping & efforts in his cuntry, and making redy w:t fforces he can both by sea & land; The Deane & Swede doe yet sticke to us rather than to the other confederats,[22] and it is thought that thus ensouring somer will be ffull of Actings both by sea & land, this have I given you (as I thought) a short naratie of affares here; w:ch is swelled soo great that I feare may tyre yo:r patience. What passeth ffurther I wish & praye that the Dutch doe us noo mischeefe in your p:ts though I much ffeare Bombay[23] will not be long out of their possession w:ch cannot long bee kept with 130 men. I wish yo:r advice hath beene harkned to, that we might not have taken possession of that place till this Storme hath beene over of w:ch we can see nothing tending towards an end as yet And now to returne againe to our busnes ffrom whence we have so long degressed You will take notice that the comp:a have sent M:r George ?fforcraft[24] to be their Agent off ffort S:t George, and ordred the dismission of S:r Edward Winter[25] theire being much laid to his charge w:ch I hope & wish he may well cleare him sellfe of it.

M:r Quarles Browne[26] of Bantam showes himselfe very diligent in y:e comp:a Affaires w:ch I wish may soo continue but we can expect letle busnes there to be done being soo neere our Enemys power, who as you say have all wayes a great Number of Shiping lye at ??Balance, who having by their power possesed themselves of severall considerable places on the Coast of India

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[‘India’ is repeated in LH margin]

Have allredy made them selves M:tes of the peper Cassia Lignum and saltpeter, soo that as you say there will be scarce 500 tons of goods gleaned up upon that coast ffor our poore Comp:a use, w:ch we must be contented w:th as w:t we can gett in a Snaking waye untill it please God to enable us to beatt them Sourrly here, when happely they may be brought to som reson:abl termes and y:t wee may be restored allsoe to y:e trade of Guny[27], or Som considerable q:t thereof w:ch we have soo unhapely lost the last yere, Soo y:t my transplanting into y:t Comp:a is even all most ?plucked up by the ??ruters, but I hope yet to see the time y:t both our East India comp:a and our now poore despised Royall comp:a[28] may lxxx agayne and fflourish more than ever; and till then lett us not thincke of the Island ?Shuniattrar or any other trade that the Dutch ppetuate to them selves –

The Acc:a of Shippe Eagle[29] stores I have, but should be sorry you should loose any thing by taking of them of; The returne w:ch you said by Cap:t Bowen care shall be had of, noting that ffor the gunns[30] (or som p:t of y:m) you will endeavour to confound Bennedas[31] for Tho: ffaulkners debt, being sory y:t my acquainting M:r Gray[32] w:th it should be any waye prejudiciall to it, but I hope you have endded the busnes w:ch I praye you earnestly to doo as I writ you under y.e 29:th March last a copy of ww:ch you have here with.


I thanke you ffor y:e care & paynes you have taken concerning Cap:t Torrills[33] deceased the Acc:a I have, and it shall be my care y:t you have a ffree discharge ffrom Torrills Widdow[34] before the goods are due


Admiral de Ruyter

Michiel Adriaenszoon de Ruyter (24 March 1607 – 29 April 1676) was a prominent and skilled Dutch admiral in C17th. He was born in Flushing (Vlissingen), son of a beer porter. He is likely to have become a sailor at the age of eleven. English sources state that he was active in trade in Dublin between 1623 and 1631 as an agent for the Vlissingen firm of the Lampsin brothers. He spoke Zealandic dialect and supposedly fluent Irish. He acquired merchant wealth inthe 1640s and early 1650s through trade with Morocco and the West Indies[35]

Sole Bay

Solebay (mod. Sole Bay) is near Southwold, Suffolk. Sole Bay was the location of the first naval battle of the third Anglo-Dutch naval war (1672-16XX).[36] In the C17th Southwold was the main anchorage for the English naval fleet, with Easton Ness to the north and Dunwich to the south forming Sole Bay. This is also recorded on maps as Soul Bay and Sawolde Bay. Since then erosion has eliminated the bay.[37]

Possible primary sources


PROB 11/323, Carr 1 – 58 Sentence of Quarles Browne, Merchant of City of London, 13 November 1667
  1. Captain Thomas Stanton
  2. Sir George Smith, London merchant
  3. Captain Robert Bowen
  4. Joseph Blackman was XXXX. See Missing faces
  5. Sir John Robinson, London merchant
  6. Samuel Pepys dined a number of times with Sir George Smith and Sir John Robinson in the second half of 1665, and noted in his diary that they had both stayed in London, whereas many merchants and their families had moved out to the country during the plague
  7. This is the footnote text
  8. Sole Bay, off the Suffolk coast
  9. Probably Admiral Jan Evertsen
  10. Admiral Maarten Harpertszoon Tromp
  11. This is the footnote text
  12. This is the footnote text
  13. Marlborough had been in Surat with Sir George Oxenden in 1662/1663, and had corresponded several times. See 5th November 1662, Letter from Marlborough to Sir GO, Swally; 2nd January 1662/63, Letter from Marlborough to Sir GO, Swally Hole; 14th January 1662/62, Letter from Marlborough to Sir GO, Angedeiva
  14. The port of Bergen, Norway, was XXXX
  15. The Earl of Sandwich
  16. Sir Thomas Tiddeman (b. XXXX, d. XXXX) was an admiral of the English navy. In July 1665 the English fleet had been put under the command of the earl of Sandwich, vice-admiral Sir George Ascough, and rear-admiral Sir Thomas Tiddeman. (William Toone, The chronological historian, 2nd edn. (London, 1828), p. 277)
  17. This is the footnote text
  18. This is the footnote text
  19. This is the footnote text
  20. The Duke of Albermarle was XXXX
  21. The Bishop of Munster was XXXX
  22. The Danish and Swedish Crowns XXXX
  23. The garison at Bombay was XXXX
  24. George ?Forecroft was XXX
  25. Sir Edward Winter was XXXX
  26. Quarles Browne (b. 1622, d. 1667), merchant. Born in Rutland, he was chief factor in Cambodia for the English East India Company in the early 1650s. In January 1658 he was appointed agent in Bantam in January 1658, at the same time that Christopher Oxenden, Sir George Oxenden's brother, was made accountant in Surat. Quarles Browne was admitted to the freedom of the English East India Company on May 31st, 1661, "for service." Quarles Browne was married to a niece of the deceased London merchant Nathaniel Temms (d. 165X). Temms had been an important backer of the Smirna Venture Joint Stock, of which Sir George Oxenden was a Surat based factor in the late 1650s. Sir Martin Noell sought to take over the administration of Nathaniel Temms' estate, seeking to recover substantial debts owing to him. However, Quarles Browne contested this administration, claiming that Temms had promised to pay him £500 portion money on Browne's marriage to Temms' niece. Noell had brought a Bill of Complaint in Chancery against Quarles Browne in February 1663/64. (See 'A Court of Committees for the New General Stock, January 12-13, 1658 (Court Book, vol. xxiv, p. 51), in Ethel Bruce Sainsbury, A calendar of the court minutes, etc., of the East India company, 1655-1659 (Oxford, 1916), pp. 211-213); 'A Court of Committees, May 31, 1661' (Court Book, vol. xxiv, p. 374) in Ethel Bruce Sainsbury (ed.), A calendar of court minutes of the East India Company, 1660-1663 (Oxford, 1922), pp. 114-115) and C10/473/135 f. 1)
  27. Sir William Ryder had an especial interest in trade with Guinea. EXPAND THIS FOOTNOTE
  28. The Royal Africa Company XXXX
  29. The owners of the Eagle included XXXX
  30. Guns were a frequent private export to the East Indies. Nathaniel Temms had been actively involved in this trade. See XXXX
  31. Bennedas was XXXX
  32. Mathew Gray
  33. Captain Torrill was. See Missing faces]] Estate in refferance to my kinsman W:m ?Carond[[FootNote(Sir William Ryder's kinsman has not yet been identified. See ["Missing faces"]
  34. Captain Torrill's widow was XXXX. See Missing faces
  35., viewed 01/10/10
  36. This is the footnote text
  37. This is the footnote text