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Richard Derby, Jun. to General Ward



Ipswich, May 2, 1775, Five o' clock, P˙ M.

SIR: I am now on my way from Newburyport to Salem, from whence I proposed sending the following advice per express, but meeting with an opportunity by one of your officers, I embrace it, and inform you that about two o' clock this afternoon Captain John Lee arrived at Newbury from Bilboa, in twenty-nine days, and informed me that on the 14th of last month, in longitude, forty-five degrees from London, he spoke a vessel from Plymouth, in England, who informed him that three days before he parted with a fleet of sixty sail of transports, bound for Boston, under the command of Admiral Lord Howe,, having on board twelve thousand Hessian Troops. He saw and read the London papers down to the 12th of March, from which, and by the Captain of the vessel, he learnt that twenty-seven Commissioners were on board the fleet, and that they were directed, if possible, to adjust matters; if not, they were ordered to risk every thing to penetrate into the Country; if not able to effect this, then to burn and destroy all in their power. Burgoyne was near sailing, with four thousand Hanoverians, for Quebeck, and a number of regiments are gone to the Southern Colonies. The Ministry had quieted the Prussian Monarch, by paying him all his demands. France and Spain had objected against any Prussians coming this way.

This is the purport of what I had from the Captain, who is a man of veracity. I advised the gentlemen at Newbury to collect what further they could, and inform you. Please to inform the Court of this matter. I am, &c˙,


P˙ S. Captain Lee could not obtain leave to bring any English paper, but only to read them.