Venice: May 1645

Pages 184-193

Calendar of State Papers Relating To English Affairs in the Archives of Venice, Volume 27, 1643-1647. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1926.

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May 1645

May 2.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Francia. Venetian Archives.
216. Giovanni Battista Nani, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
The Princess Anne de Nevers has suddenly married the Palatine Prince Edward. (fn. 1) She was previously engaged to the Duke of Guise and then to the son of the Duke d'Elboeuf, but this young and vigorous prince intervened and the wedding was celebrated ere announced. At the house of a certain Abbot d'Aubigny the contract was signed, the marriage consummated and this scion of a House which has done so much harm to the faith, became a Catholic, all on the same day. The attendants and confidents of the princess were all left in the dark, so her mother will have less reason to complain of the step being taken without her consent, since its completion depended on secrecy. The Queen of England was the most secret mediatrix, glad of the opportunity of marrying and providing for her nephew in this country. The queen regent also lent her assent, granting him a pension to make up for the expected loss of the pension furnished him by England and Holland. The Court does not approve of the marriage, considering that the princess has chosen an inferior, the youngest of many brothers and an exile, entirely dependent on her property.
The queen of England is as usual still ill with fever, but receives frequent visits from their Majesties and the Cardinal Mazarini.
Paris, the 2nd May, 1645.
May 4.
Collegio Secreta. Esposizioni Principi. Venetian Archives.
217. The Resident of England came into the Collegio and spoke as follows :
I am so anxious to depart to report my negotiations to his Majesty that I must ask your Serenity to be good enough to reply to my last requests when your other occupations permit.
The doge replied that the reply was ready and would be read to him. After it was read he said, When I left his Majesty had not heard of the trouble with the Turk and I was instructed on the foundation of the gracious declarations of your Serenity to speak and ask, as I have done. Owing to this new crisis his Majesty would be satisfied with a pledge from your Serenity that would do you no hurt. However, if you think it would, his Majesty must be satisfied with your good will and regard.
The doge replied that the regard was certain and could not be greater. They were also obliged to more through what his Majesty's predecessors had done for the republic, but their troubles and expenses prevented them from doing more. If this is represented to his Majesty they are sure he will be satisfied. They wished him every content and prosperity.
The Resident returned thanks and said he would be leaving immediately leaving a secretary until his Majesty would have an opportunity to do more. He gave a letter of the king, which was read, in favour of the merchant Recaut, for whom he also left a memorial, asking for despatch, and making his bow he went out.
The letter and memorial were removed and placed with the packet for the decision of the 15th September, 1645.
Venetian Transcripts Public Record Office. 218. Carolus D.G. Mag. Brit. etc. Rex, Ser. Principi Francisco Eritio Venetarum Duci etc. (fn. 2)
Serenissimo Princeps etc. Quantis in angustiis versemur, ex quorundam rebellium conjuratione Ser. Vram. latere non potest. Qui non in nos solum odia sua scelerata exercent, sed et infidos quosque et ab obedientia nobis debita non recedentes subditos haud dubitant convertere. Quo fit ut societas mercatorum Indiae Orientalis etsi a nobis fundata, multisque privilegiis aucta et ornata fuerit a dilecto nobis Petro de Richaut equite optime alioquin ab ea merito, maximam pecuniarum vim detinere audeat, nulla alia comperta causa nisi quod sui in nos officii memor, nefariorum consiliorum, quibus cum prefatis rebellibus conjungebatur illa societas particeps sese noluerat. Quocirca nos illius rei, ut par est, consulentes, cum illius societatis merces bonaque permulta in ser. rep. vestrae dominum delata esse intelligeremus aequum esse judicavimus ser. V. rogare, ut per vos liceat procuratoribus ejusdem de Richaut bona ea prehendere et occupare, vel tortio alicui servanda committere, donec illi de debita pecunia in integrum satisfactum fuerit. Facit equitas causae perspectusque in ser. V. justitiae cultus, ne dubitemus quin virum nobis multis nominibus charum plurima indigna jamdiu perferendum, vestra patrocinio vestraque authoritate conservatum satisque fortunis restitutum velitis. Nobis certerem longe gratissimam facietis amicitiaeque arctissimae quae nobis cum ser. V. ser. que rep. intercedit maxime consentaneam. Cui gratiae ubi se occasio obtulerit vicem referre non dubitamus. Deus ser. V. prosperrimam salutem indulgeat, nee non bonis omnibus cumulet at que adaugeat.
Ser. V. consanguineus et amicus benevolentissimus.
Charles R.
Datae Oxoniae 8vo Calend. Feb. 1644/5.
Memorial. (fn. 3)
219. Sir Peter Rycaut of London has preferred to suffer every sort of calamity and the loss of all his property by the violence of parliament, rather than desert his Majesty. In consequence he is now living in poverty at Rouen, though his loyalty deserves the strongest recommendation.
The East India Company owes him 40,509 bank ducats, and refuses payment of this enormous sum on the plea of an illegal confiscation made by parliament of his effects, so that for the space of many years he has been unable to obtain anything. By Divine providence effects belonging to this Company have reached this city, the asylum of perfect justice, addressed to the merchants Walter and Isaac Vandervort. An attachment was laid on the goods but the merchants plead the confiscation made by parliament, contrary to all right and justice. Rycaut will thus have to engage in a long and costly suit unless he is protected by your Serenity, as his Majesty asks. I beseech you to have this matter despatched by the Collegio so that it may be settled forthwith. If the preoccupations of the state prevent this it is humbly suggested that the Senate appoint a committee of its members to decide the case without delay, thus affording an example of the incorruptible justice of the state.
May 6.
Senato, Secreta. Deliberazioni. Corti. Venetian Archives.
220. To the King of Great Britain.
Acknowledge receipt through Talbot of his letter in favour of Rychaut. Always pleased to give him satisfaction and Rycaut will experience their desire to show their good will, and whenever the parties concerned plead their cause they will be heard and despatched with all speed. Compliments.
Ayes, 99. Noes, 1. Neutral, 9.
May 6.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Rome. Venetian Archives.
221. Alvise Contarini, Venetian Ambassador at Rome, to the Doge and Senate.
An Englishman, Sir Kenelm Digbi, has arrived at Rome, sent by the queen of England. He comes in the capacity of gentleman to treat of the affairs of that sovereign at this Court.
Rome, the 6th May, 1645.
May 8.
Collegio, Secreta. Esposizioni, Principi. Venetian Archives.
222. In fulfilment of your Excellencies' commands, I Vicenzo Schietti, Ragionato of the Collegio went to the residence of the Resident of England to return his Majesty's letter and give him the chain voted. Those of the house admitted me and said that the Resident set out yesterday morning at 16 hours, and showed me a sheet which they asked me to read. I glanced through it and saw that it said that if any one came in the name of the state to bring anything, they should not receive it, since he had not been received as his quality required. Pretending that I had read nothing I said it was not my business to read such things and I had only been sent to give him this ducal missive and a chain and to wish him a pleasant journey in the name of the state. They made no answer, and I returned bringing back the letter and the chain.
May 9.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Francia. Venetian Archives.
223. Giovanni Battista Nani, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
The first extasies over the marriage of the Princess Anne to the Palatine have been followed by a speedy repentance. The Queen of England undoubtedly helped the business though the regent received it coldly. The lovers believed she would eventually consent, whereas when she got scent of it she sent the Count de Brienne to ask the Princess if the report was true. The Princess denied it, but the fact being ascertained, the regent sent M. de Brienne again to order the Prince to quit the country at once and to forbid the Princess to leave her house. The Prince has gone, travelling by easy stages to allow time for a recall to reach him. He has leave to stay 4 or 6 days at Rouen, sailing thence to Holland with one of the king's gentlemen, who is to consign him to his mother and the Prince of Orange. To induce the curate to marry him he announced his intention of changing his religion, but owing to the ensuing confusion he has not yet embraced Catholicism publicly. It is probable that his relations in Holland will do their utmost to confirm him in their old creed. This would favour the argument of the nullity of the marriage, if the regent opposes it, in earnest, though the arrival of Monsieur is awaited for a more positive decision. Meanwhile the Duke d'Enghien is petitioning in favour of the couple.
The Queen of England has got rid of her fever, and thinks of trying a change of air in order to hasten her recovery.
Paris, the 9th May, 1645.
224. Gio. Battista Nani, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
The coadjutor Padavino has returned from London, having punctually carried out his instructions. He caused all the papers and the cipher to be burned, as well as the other things in the hands of Giovanni Battista Capella, together with the registers of the letters of the Secretary Agostini to the Senate. He received assurances that the cipher had been sealed up before Agostini died. To all appearance it was untouched, but there is no certainty of this as the chaplain remained in London and the seal remained in the hands of this cleric and of Capella, who were in a position to use it and to write whenever they wished.
I am forwarding letters which the Directors of the East India Company consigned to Padavino, on behalf of Sir Peter Richault, together with a copy of the act of sequestration, which I also enclose. They further intimated that if the sequestration be not raised all Englishmen will be prevented from sending their capital into the territory of your Excellencies, since the liability to seizure affects not only their property there, but all their future consignments. Padavino very properly told them that in respect of the law as between private individuals, some agent should be empowered to act in Venice for the parties concerned, according to the ordinary procedure.
Paris, the 9th May, 1645.
Enclosure. 225. Serenissime Princeps :
Postquam nobis Praeses et Societas mercatorum Londinensium in Indiis Orientalibus negociantium, questi sunt Petrum Ricautium equitem detentionem ccc. piperis sarcinarum, pro compensatione nummorum et bonorum quae non ita pridem in communi dictae societatis peculia habuit, sub vestrae Serenitatis jurisdictione procurasse : nos justitiae nostrae asserendae causa V. Ser. officiose interpellandam et edocendam duximus, quod praefatus Ricautius Angliae subditus et nuper ex eadem mercatorum societate unus nostro contra perduelles promulgato decreto, fuit declaratus perduellionis reus, atque sententia de sequestrandis perduellium Anglorum bonis lata damnatus : et unde omnia et singula ejus bona, mobilia et immobilia, terra marique existentia, confiscationi subjecta, atque ad publicam Regni utilitatem adhibenda ; adeo ut etiam ea quae in dictae Societatis potestate fuerunt secundum leges, et nostro jussu de eadem societate prehensa et rei nostrae publicae, applicata jure fuerunt. Haec cum ita se habeant enixe rogamus, ut sublata piperis illius detenti causa effectum etidem et malam hane malae Ricautis causae litem, et alias, si quas movere velet lites cessare dictorumque bonorum relaxationem sine mora fieri V. Ser. jubeat et faciat ; atque si quid est de quo Ricautius legitime conqueri ausit et possit Eundem quamprimum patrio juri sese steterit, justitiamque hie postulaverit aeque justeque habitum iri, persuasum habeat. Haec pro veteri utrinque intercedente amicitia quam usque duraturam speramus, cupimusque a solita V. Ser. et inclytae reip. aequitati et in Britannicas gentes benevolentia instanter petimus et expectamus ; iisdemque omne nostrorum grati vicissim animi officiorum, omnisque prosperitatis genus ex animo vovemus.
Dat. ex palatio Parlamentarii Westmonasteriensi xxiv. Aprilis MDXLV.
Vestrae Serenitatis Officiosissimi et studiosissimi Proceres et Ordines Parliamenti Angliae.
Grey de Wark, Prolocutor Procerus p.t.
Gulielmus Lenthall Prolocutor dom. Commun. in Parliamento Angliae. (fn. 4)
226. Protest of the East India Company.
Dns. Petrus Richault, miles Angliae subditus et unus e societate mercatorum Londinensium comertium exercentem ad partes Indiae Orientalis, cui dicta societas aliquot pecuniarum summas debebat, et qui ratione comertii sui in dicta societate habuit nonnullas bonorum portiones sibi debitas, pronunciatus est authoritate Parliamenti Angliae delinquens esse, et infra ordinationem Parl. pro sequestratione bonorum delinquentium comprehendi, et omnia ejus bona tam super mare quam super terram existentia, necnon omnia debita et catulla ejus, subjiciuntur seizurae in usum reip. applicanda. Exinde omnia debita, portiones et alia quaecumque ad dictum Dom. P. Richault spectantia, quae in manibus dictae societatis existebant, seizita sunt authoritate Parl. et a manibus dictae societatis abrepta et in usum reip. applicata.
Dom. P. Ricault jam in regno Galliae commorans constituit sibi procuratores vel agentes apud Ligorne qui ad ejus sectam seu promotionem arrestarent omnia et quaecumque bona ad dictum societatem spectantia in quorumcunque manibus existentia, unde nonnulla bona ad dictam societatem spectantia fuerunt illic arrestata. Dux Florentiae certior factus praemissorum et secum reputans in hac lite hoc potissimum discutiendum fore utrum Dom. P. Richault juste pronunciatus est delinquens per Pari. Angliae, et bona ejus et debita juste sequestrata seizata qui sane articulis statum regni Angliae (si quis unquam alius in summo gradu concernit) noluit ut de dicto articulo ullibi infra sua territoria discussio haberetur et jussit bona arrestata relaxari quod ita justum est.
Dom. P. Richault simili modo prosecutus est bona ad dictum societatem spectantia arrestata sunt ad dicti dom. P. Richault sectam seu promotionem coeterum simili informatione Genoae data quae an tea dabatur Florentiae, bona similiter ac Florentiae relaxata sunt ab arresto.
Dom. P. Richault constituit procuratorem suum Dom. di Re Venetiis, ut arrestare faciat sub eodem pretextu ad ejus sectam seu promotionem omnia bona ad dictam societatem spectantium et in manibus diversarum personarum illic habitantium existentium sic arrestatae sunt. Humiliter praecunt Gubernator et alii mercatores dicti societatis ab Illus. Venetiarum statu ut habita sufficienti informatione de veritate praemissorum, viz, de processu parliament i contra dictum Dom. P. Richault de seizura et abreptione bonorum et pecuniarum ejusdem domini e manibus et possessione dictae societatis et etiam de processu Florentiae et Genoae, prout hic antea dictum est, decernere velit, et mandare ut societas praedicta possit obtinere relaxationem bonorum suorum sicut praemittitur Venetiis arrestatorum prout Florentiae et Genoae obtinuerunt.
Gulielmus Cokayne, Gubernator.
Gulielmus Methevoldus, Deputatus.
May 12.
Senato. Secreta. Dispccai, Munster. Venetian Archives.
227. Alvise Contarini, Venetian Ambassador at the Congress of Munster, to the Doge and Senate.
In England it would appear as if the wind was blowing favourably for the king. Parliament is beginning to suffer from internal disorders. The renewal of the patents of the earls of Essex and Manchester for the command of the land forces and those of the earl of Warwick for the naval ones and subsequently granted to Farfax, an individual of much lower rank (di molto minore consideratione), and the need of large sums of money to pay the army, have given rise to dissensions between the Upper and the Lower House of no slight consequence. Moreover the violence which is used to persons of every description to force them to serve in the army of the parliament is having a great effect in cooling off the favour of the common people, on which alone the parliament subsists (raffredda in gran maniera anche le inclinationi della plebe per le quali il Parlamento unicamente sussiste.)
After the departure of the Dutch ambassadors the French Resident Sabran pressed for a new congress of deputies, but without success, the season being too far advanced for military operations and because the party of the king greatly preponderated over that of the parliamentarians, not only in England but in Scotland and Ireland as well. Accordingly as the result of the warlike operations depends upon fortune, no one can consider himself sure of prevailing unless disarming takes place previously.
Munster, the 12th May, 1645.
May 12.
Esecutori contra. Bestemmie Reg. Sentenze. Venetian Archives.
228. Sentence of Giacomo Soranzo, Battista Erizzo and Zuane Barbarigo, Esecutori against Oliva called Chiozzotta, dwelling at S. Giovanni Bragora, for lodging Englishmen and other foreigners without the usual bulletin, for letting rooms to public harlots and other scandals, to a fine of 4 ducats and costs together with an admonition.
May 13.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Costantinopoli. Venetian Archives.
229. Giovanni Soranzo, Venetian Bailo at Constantinople, to the Doge and Senate.
Owing to the dispute about Lorenzi the English ambassador has behaved in an extraordinary way. When I sent, as usual, to wish him a happy Easter he refused to receive my secretary. Fortune has so willed it that this year we both celebrated that feast on the same day. (fn. 5) If, as usual, they had celebrated it ten days after us, he would have been the first to send to me, and if he had not sent I should have thus discovered his ill will. However I do not allow public affairs to be affected by private quarrels. One can only feel compassion for him, both for his failure to realise the position which he holds, and for the dependent position which he must necessarily occupy in regard to the merchants of his nation, who maintain him here to act as the protector of trade rather than as a royal minister. In the future I shall be forced to avoid having any relations with him.
The Vigne of Pera, the 13th May, 1645.
May 26.
Senato, Secreta. Deliberazioni. Corti. Venetian Archives.
230. To the Ambassador in France.
Talbot, who had been secretary to the English ambassador, remaining some time after his departure, arrived here again last April with letters from his Majesty. Before making his appearance he enquired how he should be received. Finding that in the letters he was styled "Ablegatus" we decided to let him know that he would be received like the residents of foreign powers. He made no reply and seemed satisfied, for he came into the Collegio and was allowed to put on his hat, although he had been here before as a mere secretary of embassy, and his actual credentials gave him no fresh title requiring any additional honour, though we stretched a point in our desire to show esteem for his king.
He made a request for money, which we were constrained to deny, while expressing our regret. We also gave him a becoming answer to the letter. Soon after this he came again into the Collegio and said he had received letters from the king who wrote to say he realised it was impossible for the republic to oblige him, as he had heard of the Turkish affairs. Subsequently he presented a letter on behalf of a merchant, and took leave. We sent to make him a present of a gold chain and to give him a letter for the king. But on the 9th inst. when the official went to execute our order, he was told that Talbot had left the morning before. They handed him a written paper to read to the effect that if anyone brought him anything it was to be refused, as he had not been received according to his quality. The official pretended to have read nothing, saying that it was not his business, and he brought back the letter and the chain. The former was sent to the Ambassador Contarini at Munster with instructions to forward it as he might see fit. From Talbot's behaviour we are convinced that he will make an unfavourable report. We have accordingly acquainted you with the circumstances, in order that, as the queen of England is at Paris, you may represent to her that the affection of the republic towards the crown of Great Britain is greater than ever and we know that it cannot be affected by the misstatements of a minister already known to be prejudiced. You will try to convince her that we could not make any greater demonstration in favour of Talbot without confounding the usual styles and proper rules. You will assure her of our regard and our desire for his Majesty's success.
Ayes, 95. Noes, 0. Neutral, 1.
May 30.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Francia. Venetian Archives.
231. Gio. Battista Nani, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
In response to some request on behalf of this crown, addressed to the parliament of England, it has been decided to arrest the Scevrosa in the isle of Wight and to interrogate her with respect to the objects of her journey towards the king's party. A commissioner has been sent from London for the purpose. If some suspicion is occasioned by what she says, she will be taken to London and kept under guard there ; otherwise they will let her pursue her journey in the direction of Flanders.
Monsignor Raniccini has arrived here, (fn. 6) the nuncio selected by the pope for Ireland to satisfy the instances of the clergy who petitioned his Holiness for a director and minister. He will treat with their Majesties here upon those interests. He announces that his instructions consist in a single and very brief point, namely to exhort the people there to obey God and the king. It seems that the queen of England does not welcome a mission of this sort, because the residence of such a minister with that people, who are already very strong and also well armed, amounts in a way to declaring them sovereign, and renders the Protestants more jealous and the king's party more open to suspicion. However, many accidents may yet prevent him going there. His journey being made a matter of common knowledge parliament will make no scruple about taking steps to bring it to naught, either by force or by art.
All the property and ships pertaining to the English which were detained in the ports here have been released upon nothing but the hope that parliament will do the same. They pretend by this action to put that body under an obligation, so that it may allow the interests of Flanders to slide and pay no attention thereto, as circumstances could not be more favourable to France for pushing her successes in that province.
Paris, the 30th May, 1645.


  • 1. Daughter of Charles, duke of Mantua ; on the 24th April.
  • 2. Not found in either register or filza of this date or later.
  • 3. Not found in either register or filza.
  • 4. Printed Journals of the House of Lords, Vol. VII., page 330, dated the 22nd April. Neither this nor the following number is on the filza. The text is taken from Mr. Rawdon Brown's transcripts at the Public Record Office.
  • 5. April 6-16 by the two styles.
  • 6. On Monday the 22nd May. Aiazzi : Nunziatura di Rinuccini, page 7.