some of my -family coneeruemeuts, to stepp into Kent on Sunday the 12th and returned againe to Chatham to the Hill-House on Monday the 13th where I found Sir William Coventry who aequainted mee that Sir William Penn was sayled away for Sould Bay; and the substance of his orders, which had noe condicion of transmitting them unto mee, if I came to the fleete, but were absolute to him. Neither did Sir William Coventry that night say any thing unto mee of the King or Dukes pleasure, to have mee hasten and command the fleete. But haveing gotten my shipp ready, and by his Majesties and the Dukes discourse knowing theire minds to bee that if I could either in my owne or any other shipp bee ready, that I should goe with the first part of thee fleete, I resolved to sayle in the morning, and though by my place I knew that I was to command Sir William Penn when I was present, yet to take away all umbrage of dispute, I desired Sir William Coventry to write to Sir William Penn the King and Dukes pleasure, the which hee did, and therein (the first time that I understood soe much from him) expresseth, that the King and Duke left order that if I could hasten away, I should, and execute the instructions given to Sir William Penn, the purpose whereof hee gave mee, though not a perfect coppy.
Thus furnished, on Tuesday the 14tn in the morning I gott aboard the Prince and an hoUre afternoone gott under saile, bound for Sould Bay, supposeing there to have found the fleete. But though I had a faire wind and on Wednesday the 15th was by sunsett within 3 leagues of Sould Bay, yet then wee could but just discover the fleete from the topmast head, under sayle, steering for the Texell; after whome I, Sir George Ascough, Sir Joseph Jordaine and about foure saile more sayled all night, and came up with them next day by noone, the Texell beareing East about ten leagues, the winde W. N. W. When wee were joyned the shipps then in company were of the Kings shipps 54, merchant shipps 15, very badly furnished with victualls, liquor, yet worse wanting 2500 men of what these shipps had iu the last engagement; some shipps, boats and men left ashore for hast of getting out, most of which defects would have beene in some considerable measure kured, if the fleete had stayed but one entire day or twoe in Sould Bay, supplys of provision being but at Harwich, and the instructions though they did direct losse of noe timé, yett it was tempred with takeing along such shipps as were in condicion of sayling (and sending for such from Harwich, Housely Bay and the Rowling Grounds), which God knows very many shipps then in the fleete were not, and a short stay in Sould Bay wóuld allsoe have had the good effect of makeing an entire fleete (Sir Thomas Allen comeing in thither the very next day, as I take it) and the shipps refitted at Harwich might easily have beene gotten thither also, which indigent