Venice: September 1645

Pages 208-213

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.

This free content was digitised by double rekeying and sponsored by the Arts and Humanities Research Council. All rights reserved.


September 1645

Sept. 5.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Francia. Venetian Archives.
269. Gio. Battista Nani, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
Monseigneur Rannuccini has left here for La Rochelle, where he is to embark on board two vessels chartered by him in Flanders. They have covertly supplied him with funds here, preferring to disburse money rather than to risk compromising the French flag or giving umbrage to the English parliament, which is expected to be on the look out for the nuncio.
Paris, the 5th September, 1645.
270. Gio. Battista Nani, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
The queen of England has suffered for some days from a painful indisposition, but she is now in better health. From that country come the attached advices.
Paris, the 5th September, 1645.
Enclosure. 271. Advices from London, the 24th August, 1645.
The proposals of peace sent to the king by the Houses do not differ from those proposed some months ago and rejected. They are in the form, not of a treaty, but of an order of parliament, sent to the king by an ordinary messenger to be confirmed without any modification or alteration.
General Fairfax left three regiments at Bath to stop incursions from Bristol, and proceeded with the rest to besiege Sherborne. His works are already so advanced that he is not far from the walls. The country people around, tired of the war, have taken arms in desperation and are causing considerable annoyance to Farfax's camp and to another parliamentary army in those parts in that district under General Cromuel, which has suffered losses. He has defeated a part of them and having sent the news to London, his command has been prolonged for four months, although this is against the law, as he is a member of parliament.
In London new levies of men and money are being made to form a corps d'armée to undertake the siege of Oxford again, Colonel Bron being appointed commander.
The Scots are still besieging Hereford, an attack having been repelled with loss. The king proposes to go to York, where the people are very loyal to him, to gather reinforcements and draw off the Scots from that siege, as well as to welcome some Irish troops. His troops in Wales have suffered another blow from Colonel Langarne, 450 being captured and 4 small guns and other arms lost. (fn. 1)
Colonel Goring has been deposed by the king from his command, and Lord Opton put in his place, who also has charge of the prince. He is given the title of General in the Western Counties, but Prince Rupert does not seem pleased at the change.
The minister sent by parliament to Brussels has not yet obtained the satisfaction he claims. (fn. 2) The Imperialists oppose his demands to avenge the insults suffered by their Resident in London. Accordingly parliament has promised the Spanish ambassador to give that minister compensation by an exemplary demonstration, for the offence.
Seven Barbary ships have put men on shore in Cornwall at night, directed, it is supposed, by some renegade of the country, and have sacked some places there, carrying off goods and prisoners, including about 200 women, some of them ladies of rank and fortune.
Sept. 8.
Senato. Secreta. Dispacci, Munster. Venetian Archives.
272. Alvise Contarini, Venetian Ambassador at the Congress of Munster, to the Doge and Senate.
This morning I have seen a news sheet sent by the Palatine from London in which he speaks of a raid by the Turks in Cornwall. I fancy they call them Turks when they are really corsairs of Algiers. That they should be making slaves in parts so far distant certainly points to there being a reinforcement of the galleys for the coming year.
Munster, the 8th September, 1645.
Sept. 12.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Francia. Venetian Archives.
273. Gio. Battista Nani, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
Encloses advices from England.
Paris, the 12th September, 1645.
Enclosure. 274. Advices from London, the 31st August, 1645.
The manner in which parliament intimated the peace overtures to the king has not satisfied the Scots, who say that the conditions ought to be such that he can accept them without loss of dignity, and that they should be sent by a special messenger to preserve appearances and show the respect due from subjects to their sovereign. The Houses met again to discuss this, and pending their decision no formal reply has yet been sent to these representations.
There is no cessation of the fighting. Parliament continues its successes and is constantly extending the borders of the country it controls and increasing its forces. Sherborne has surrendered at discretion to General Fairfax, (fn. 3) an important capture, where he has taken 16 guns and made 500 prisoners, including some persons of consequence on the king's side who had taken refuge there as being perfectly safe. Divers other places of less consideration have also surrendered to parliament in different counties.
The Scots are still besieging Hereford and hope to force its surrender very soon.
Meanwhile the king, having little confidence in the fidelity of Wales, where the people shows itself inclined to parliament, and where he is almost surrounded by hostile forces, has managed to get away and gone to the North. The parliamentarians have been surprised by this move, as they thought they had his Majesty in their toils. The Scottish Lieutenant General Lesley is following him with 4,500 men, in the apprehension that the king may make his way into Scotland, where the people is not so disaffected against him. If his Majesty could succeed in uniting his forces with those of Montrose, who has a strong army there and is constantly gaining fresh successes, he would give his forces a considerable lift (rileverebbe assai le sue forze).
Montreuil, the French Resident for Scotland, had audience in London of a body of members appointed for the purpose of avoiding any possible punctilio with Parliament. He expressed the friendly intentions of France and their desire to see peace in these realms, with the sole object of facilitating his despatch to those parts. He was well received and both sides were satisfied with the reception and welcome.
Sept. 19.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Francia. Venetian Archives.
275. Gio. Battista Nani, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
Encloses advices from England.
Paris, the 19th September, 1645.
Enclosure. 276. Advices from London, the 7th September, 1645.
The king's forces in Scotland are avenging the blows and losses which his Majesty has suffered in England, General Montrose having won a signal victory over the parliamentary army. Having met with some success he marched straight to Glasgow, where the Scottish parliament was assembled because of the plague at Edinburgh. Montrose had not more than 4,000 men with him and the parliamentarians, expecting an easy triumph, hastily gathered 9,000 and some of them went with the troops to encourage them to fight and witness the expected victory. Skirmishing began three miles from the city. Montrose having disposed his forces with prudence, only engaged a part in the first actions keeping the rest in reserve and concealed to seize his opportunity at the right time. The parliamentarians at once attacked in a mass, expecting to crush the few royalist troops. These fled designedly, drawing the enemy after them, who lost their order in the pursuit and were drawn into a very narrow pass. There the wings of Montrose's army, composed for the most part of Catholic nobles, fell upon the confused troops of parliament with so much vigour that in less than two hours they had defeated the whole army. 3,000 lay dead on the field, 1,000 wounded 2,000 prisoners, the general in flight, two persons of rank slain, several members of parliament captured. The losses of the royalists are so slight that not one remained in the hands of the enemy, the dead numbering about fifty. In consequence of this victory three towns surrendered at once, and the whole country is terrified. (fn. 4) The event has stimulated the inclination of the people of Scotland towards the king and their desire for peace. The parliamentarians in London are hard hit by this news and have announced for the first day of their fast public prayers for the re-establishment of their cause.
In England things are prospering for their side. After the capture of Sherborne they are besieging Bristol, one of the most important places in the whole kingdom. Prince Rupert is there, as he could not get away in time as he tried to do. Colonels Opton and Goring are preparing relief.
The king is still pressing to the North, receiving reinforcements on the way. He has beaten some troops that tried to bar his way. To follow him the Scots have taken all their cavalry from the siege of Hereford, and the infantry left alone there have suffered serious loss from the besieged.
In London there are so many prisoners captured in several engagements with the king's forces, that not knowing what to do with them and so that they may not escape and swell his Majesty's forces again, they have permitted the Spanish ambassador to raise a levy among them for service in Flanders, and so far he has got 7 to 800 soldiers.
Sept. 23.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Firenze. Venetian Archives.
277. Giovanni Ambrogio Sarotti, Venetian Resident at Florence, to the Doge and Senate.
No ship has arrived from the West except one of Provence, which proceeded on the following day to Cyprus. They left a report that the crown of France has declared in favour of the king of England, and that in the future the vessels of his Most Christian Majesty will attack those of the parliamentarians in whatsoever place they chance to find them.
Five English ships are under weigh, one for Constantinople, one for Smyrna, two for Alexandria and one for Zante. The despatch of these has caused a rise in the price of the pieces of 8 ducats, as all of them want to be gone in the course of next week.
Florence, the 23rd September, 1645.
Sept. 26.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Francia. Venetian Archives.
278. Gio. Battista Nani, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
Encloses advices from England.
Paris, the 26th September, 1645.
Enclosure. 279. Advices from London, of the 14th September, 1645.
When his Majesty was believed to be far off in the North he doubled, and to avoid imminent capture he forded a river, with peril to his life, and went unexpectedly to Oxford, and thence to Cambridge, gathering such troops as the scanty time would allow. Parliament and the associated counties at London are much surprised, but having collected troops from each of these in great haste they are preparing their own defence to prevent his Majesty from establishing himself there in winter quarters with all his forces.
In Yorkshire the parliamentary troops have mutinied with serious damage to the country ; but they are trying to quiet them with money and by satisfying their claims. General Fairfax by an express courier, has asked for money and drafts from the Lower House. They immediately ordered a provision of 50,000l. sterling, which was sent to him with all speed. He is still besieging Bristol and has captured an important fort near the town which commands the river, (fn. 5) so that succour from the sea is cut off. Prince Rupert, by bold sorties harasses the besiegers greatly and meanwhile Goring and Opton are preparing relief to save the place and disengage the prince. If the king could advance and catch the enemy between them Fairfax may be obliged to raise the siege.
The Scots are meeting with a more stubborn resistance at Hereford than they expected. They are losing many men and their cavalry has had to return home to deal with the incursions of Montrose. That commander, left master of the field by his victory, proceeded to Edinburgh and there being no defence, took it easily. But owing to the ravages of the plague he would not let his men enter and merely put a large garrison in the castle which is enough to dominate the city. The Scots being hard pressed are recalling some of their troops from Ireland. This will relieve the king's party there considerably, which has recently suffered some serious blows. To reinforce the armies in those parts parliament has compelled 600 soldiers who are prisoners of war to proceed to that army, an employment detested by all.
Sept. 30.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Firenze. Venetian Archives.
280. Giovanni Ambrogio Sarotti, Venetian Resident at Florence, to the Doge and Senate.
Of the English ships destined for the Levant not one has sailed. They were waiting with the intention of leaving yesterday and sailing altogether. They all belong to parliamentarians and are not without fears of the French war vessels which are abroad, owing to the declaration of the Most Christian crown in favour of the king of England.
Florence, the last day of September, 1645.


  • 1. The victory of Col. Rowland Laugharne at Colby Moor, co. Pembroke, on 1-11 August.
  • 2. Dr. Walter Walker.
  • 3. On the 15-25 August.
  • 4. The victory of Kilsyth on the 15-25 August. The three towns are perhaps Glasgow, Irvine and Ayr. Wishart ; Mems. of the Marquis of Montrose, page 126n.
  • 5. At Portishead on the 28th August, O.S.