M. D. Jayne
Diplomatic and General History
In February 1656 Philip Meadows was sent to Lisbon as Special Envoy of the Commonwealth of England, his principal business being to ratify the Treaty which had just been concluded between the two States.
There was some delay in his departure owing to the conscientious scruples of Captain Whetstone of the «Phenix», who declined to sail until a Minister of Religion, whose views coincided with his own, had been appointed to his ship. By the 10th of March this difficulty had been overcome, and on the 11th Meadows was able to inform Mr. Secretary Thurloe that Captain Whetstone had loosed his topsail to give notice to his men to come aboard. They were now only waiting for the heavy baggage which had come by waggon from London.
Besides the Envoy the «Phenix» carried the new Consul, Thomas Maynard. Of his origin and early life nothing much is known. Maynard was and is an Essex name and there was more than one bearer of it in the Commonwealth service. When Thomas first emerges it is as the holder of a post in Plymouth Dockyard, apparently in connection with the good maintenance of the Government's ships, but which was of sufficient importance to warrant his corresponding direct with the Secretary of State.
From the following letter it is plain that he was one of Thurloe's regular informants and the request with which it closes is in the brief and businesslike style of one who has a reasonable assurance it will be granted.
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