174. DOWNING AAN ARLINGTON, 24 Juli 1665 »).
At the last conference concerning the buisinesse of the prisoners the deputies of the Estates Generall having putt into my hands a letter from the admiralty of Amsterdam, a copy whereof I then sent to secretary Morice, wherein they would insinuate that His Majesty's subjects that are prisoners there are so well used, having since examined the matters therein conteined, I did on Wednesday desire another conference which accordingly I had with them yesterday intheafternoone wherein I did represent unto them:
That whereas it is said in the said letter that the said prisoners have liberty enough of lodging, that on the contrary I finde that they are kept within so narrow roomes, and so many of them therein, that they do daily fall sick; that there are 27 or 28 of them in a roome that is but 16 foote and a halfe long and 6 foote and a halfe broad, and yet these have more roome then any others of them.
Whereas it is said that they have liberty of takeing the aire, that all the liberty they have is onely to go into a court of 50 foote square, and where the houses are extreame high round about, and they are about 200 of them in number, so that when they are in it they are rather as in a church then otherwise, and have very litle benefit thereby.
Whereas it is said therein that they are will treated viz. as in relation to their victualls, and whereas M'. van Gogh hath declared at London that. 7 stivers per diem is allow'd to each comon man for their dyet, that so it is that neither at Amsterdam nor in any other part of this country they have any money deliver'd to them, but onely victualls what their jailors are pleased to give them, and that all they have in a day is not worth 2 stivers and 1lt at the utmost value, having at Amsterdam nothing but a little miserable butter milke mingled with water, and grutt, which is a sad kinde of meale of broken corne, and lamentable small beere, whereas H. M. allowes their prisoners 5d sterl. per diem and it is punctually paid to them, and they have the laying out of it to the best advantage, and by this meanes every one buyes what he likes best, and in case any friend or other charitable minded person send them any victualls they can save their money till another day, and 5d per diem in England considering the difference of the prizes of victualls here and there is more than 7 stivers per diem here, for a pound of good beefe can be bought there for 22d, whereas with the excise (which the prisoners as
1) R. O., Holland 177. — Uit den Haag.