Oliver Cromwell's Letters and Speeches: With Elucidations - Vol. 2

By Oliver Cromwell; Thomas Carlyle | Go to book overview

is one of 500l. value, gratefully voted him by the Parliament; among whom, as over England generally, there is great rejoicing on account of him. Where Blake received this Letter and Jewel we know not; but guess it may have been in the Bay of Cadiz. Along with it, 'Instructions' went out to him to leave a Squadron of Fourteen Ships there, and come home with the rest of the Fleet. He died, as we said above, within sight of Plymouth, on the 7th of August following.

'To General Blake, at Sea.'

Whitehall, 10th June, 1657.

SIR,

I have received yours of--'April last;'* and thereby the account of the good success it hath pleased God to give you at the Canaries, in your attempt upon the King of Spain's Ships in the Bay of Santa Cruz.

The mercy therein, to us and this Commonwealth, is very signal; both in the loss the Enemy hath received, and also in the preservation of our 'own' ships and men;†-- which indeed was very wonderful; and according to the goodness and loving-kindness of the Lord, wherewith His People hath been followed in all these late revolutions; and doth call on our part, That we should fear before Him, and still hope in His mercy.

We cannot but take notice also how eminently it hath pleased God to make use of you in this service; assisting you with wisdom in the conduct, and courage in the execution 'thereof;' and have sent you a small Jewel, as a testimony of our own and the Parliament's good acceptance of your carriage in this Action. We are also informed that the Officers of the Fleet, and the Seamen, carried themselves with much honesty and courage; and we are considering of a way to show our acceptance thereof. In the meantime, we desire you to return our hearty thanks and acknowledgments to them.

Thus, beseeching the Lord to continue His presence with you, I remain,

Your very affectionate friend,

' OLIVER P.'‡

____________________
*
Blank in MSS.

'50 slain outright, 150 wounded: of ours' (Burton, ii., 142).

Thurloe, vi., 342. 'Instructions to General Blake,' of the same date, ibid.

-349-

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