Venice: April 1644

Pages 85-95

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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April 1644

April 1.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Inghilterra. Venetian Archives.
95. Gerolamo Agostini, Venetian Secretary in England, to the Doge and Senate.
The Scots still announce that a part of their forces has crossed the Teim, but this does not revive the hopes of the English in the successes that were expected, indeed they have changed into suspicion and fear that they will only receive weak assistance from that quarter, while some even suspect that General Lesle is behaving perfidiously. The Marquis of Newcastle is in the field in strength and is determined not to lose the advantage he has through the separation of those armies caused by the river. 2,000 Irish have landed at Carlisle to reinforce him, while he also cherishes hopes that a powerful party will rise up for the king in Scotland, and that the Irish will cause a diversion in the north of that kingdom.
Unable to gain the ear of any of the Lower House to their offices, the Dutch ambassadors have decided to write to its president. This was in French and contained an assurance of the king's disposition to peace, and their earnest desire to offer a sincere mediation such as might be considered proper for the service of the realm. They asked him to obtain a definite answer from parliament. The president communicated the letter, after which he was directed to call on the ambassadors and tell them that as he did not understand French he was unable to read the letter. He had tried to get a translation made, but could find no one capable of rendering its terms in English, so he gave it back to them so that others might not pry into their opinions. He did this to the annoyance of the ambassadors, who knew it was an excuse to avoid a refusal. They said that as the language was general, they used it everywhere as their own, and the English ministers themselves treated with the States in French. They could therefore see that the substance did not meet with approval, but yet they did not believe that they would be allowed to go without an answer. When the president made his report, parliament voted to extend the proposals for peace and send them to the king, for the sole object of excluding the Dutch. But the Upper House did not agree that the Council of State should meddle in this, preferring that commissioners should be appointed expressly for this purpose. So the question is still pending. Meanwhile they announce falsely that the apparent desire of the royalists for peace is all a sham, as the assembly at Oxford recently voted the members here traitors, with those engaged in their service. This is merely with the object of bringing the deliberation to nought. The parliamentarians here have more confidence in the people than in the government of the United Provinces. The ministers of the churches of Zeeland, to whom they wrote, have replied in the most friendly manner, wishing this alliance all prosperity. Unlike this, the ministers of the French churches would not even open the letters.
Colonel Grinfil, who went over to the king, was hanged in effigy here last week. The feeling against him is extraordinarily strong, because being a member of the Council of War, he has disclosed important designs which they hoped to carry out at the beginning of this campaign. He made known the understandings and plots which were being contrived against Basing, Reading and in Oxford itself and against the king's own person, all of which has been put straight by the imprisonment of certain individuals.
Waller has already taken the field and is ordered to attempt the relief of Gloucester in conjunction with Balfur, the first attempt having failed with loss of the convoy. But there are quarrels between the leaders, as Balfur belongs to the army of Essex, with whom Waller cannot agree. So the former will be left with little or no army this year, and he already complains that all their efforts are devoted to seeing that the other is well provided.
The king is very strong in the West, to which Obton blocks the way with 10,000 infantry, with which he may possibly enter Kent next summer, where they are making great preparations for resistance. If the two cities in the north, Newcastle and Niuvarch hold out, where the defenders have cut up 300 of the besiegers this week, his Majesty's affairs will prosper. He has received from France and Flanders materials for arming 30,000 men.
Stimulated by the consumption for immediate needs, the commissioners of accounts have begun their revision, and at the outset they have found a leakage (intacco) of a million sterling. Severity will not be shown against everyone, but it will serve to bring down some who having looked after their own interests, have forfeited their good name (ma servira pero ad abbattere alcuni che aggiustati i proprii interessi sono decaduti dall' esistimatione).
A ship proceeding from Scotland to France was driven by the weather into the port of Mardich in Flanders. On it they found despatches from the gentleman who represents France in that kingdom. (fn. 1) On opening these they found that he applauds the divisions which are arising in Scotland, arguing that as a consequence it may be hoped that these troubles will last a long time, with advantage to France. These letters were communicated by the Spaniards to his Majesty's agent at Brussels, not only to win his confidence, but to arouse mistrust of the French, who disclose aims very different from those for which in appearance they sent their embassy.
London, the 1st April, 1644.
[Italian ; the part in italics deciphered.]
April 1.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Munster. Venetian Archives.
96. Advices from the Hague, the 1st April, 1644, forwarded by Alvise Contarini, Venetian Ambassador to the Congress at Munster.
The Princess Palatine, no longer receiving any assistance from the king of England, her brother, has asked for 60,000 francs as a loan from these Provinces, who are consulting together as to what they shall do in the matter.
The ambassadors in England hold out very good hopes of peace between the king and parliament ; nevertheless their advices do not tally with the news received from various private persons.
[Italian, from the French.]
April 2.
Senato. Secreta. Deliberazioni. Corti. Venetian Archives.
97. To the Secretary Agostini in England.
Acknowledge receipt of his letter and commend his efforts in the matter of the currants. He will continue in the same manner to support what is being done and to see that it is carried on without hindrance generally, always maintaining that the fruit is different in excellence from what they are able to obtain from the Morea, which the English have always detested because it is of a different species, as has been proved by demonstration. He is to report the progress of that affair and the despatch of ships, sending word also to the Proveditori of those islands, so that they may correspond in their kind treatment of the English with the friendly disposition at Venice.
Ayes, 126. Noes, 2. Neutral, 2.
April 8.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Inghilterra. Venetian Archives.
98. Gerolamo Agostini, Venetian Secretary in England, to the Doge and Senate.
From all parts come reports of successes for the king and of the improvement of his prospects. Owing to the revelations of Colonel Grinfil the intrigues of which they hoped to carry on the offensive have been converted into a very feeble defensive. The Scots who crossed the Tyne find themselves shut in near Sunderland in a country naturally sterile and devastated by the inhabitants to their injury, so that they lament having before their eyes the inevitable punishment of their temerity, either by the sword or by famine. The very sea is taking part against the succour which they implore, since a storm has scattered eight ships which were bringing provisions from Scotland, three of them entering the river of Newcastle. The instances of their commissioners are weakened by the scant confidence which is now felt in their arms, and put aside owing to fresh urgent demands, of which your Serenity shall hear. In spite of this, as an expression of the desire to gratify them, all that is left, parliament has urged the merchants of this mart to take provisions thither, holding out hopes that they will bring back coal, which is so much desired here, with considerable profit, though that may easily be dashed by the fear of losing all.
Prince Rupert has raised the siege of Niuvarch by a signal victory. At his appearance the besiegers, numbering 7,000, withdrew to the island formed by the River Trent. Being attacked there by the Prince himself and a sortie of the besieged, they were so terrified that they laid down their arms and asked for quarter. The prince agreed and caused to be handed over all their 17 guns, armour, standards and munitions, taking prisoner some of the leaders. (fn. 2) He took many of the soldiers into his service, sending the others home after they had sworn fealty to the king. So that force is completely destroyed, with more prejudice to parliament than anything it has yet suffered. The news arrived on Sunday and was confirmed by three couriers on Monday. At the first intimation, although on a day so much renerated here, they did not hesitate to convoke the council towards evening. That body, putting aside its ill will towards General Essex, sent commissioners to mollify him and to ask him to give them in writing his requirements for the prompt equipment of his army. This was done and on Monday everything was arranged. In the mean time they sent a courier to Waller, who is at Southampton facing his enemy Obton, to do everything possible to avoid a battle. The king on his side is the more eager for one and sent immediately a reinforcement of 5,000 men to Obton. who has since compelled the other to skirmish, with some disadvantage. With every effort it is impossible that Essex can take the field within six weeks. In that time it will be necessary for Balfur, now with Waller with his cavalry, to abandon him, and so one army will be strengthened at the expense of the other. It will also increase the quarrels and disunion between the commanders, as Waller hoped to become more independent of the other and had almost achieved this.
All these disadvantages have not sufficed to give the parliamentarians the least inclination towards peace. The Dutch have frequently asked for a reply, but have not been able to obtain one so far, as the dispute still rages between the Upper and the Lower House as to whether the Council of State or the new commissioners should have the conduct of this affair, which is a matter of no small consequence. Meanwhile they are drawing up a declaration to the whole kingdom to make it appear that it is the king and not parliament who is averse from peace. The money of the state being distributed in private pockets, they are unable to meet all the calls made upon them even with the enormous taxes imposed, so they have a new and extraordinary device to oblige every house to contribute to parliament the cost of one meal per week for the whole family, which will be estimated according to the condition of the persons. This tax will be more detestable to the English than all the others, since it touches them in the part where they are most sensitive.
The king also has ordained by proclamation that during this war any foreign money may be tendered in the kingdom at its value outside. If this has effect in the districts controlled by his Majesty, they will be obliged to allow the same here, to avoid losing their native money which, being perfect, will increase in value and will all go out. That would destroy trade and exhaust the customs, to the detriment of (fn. 3) his Majesty, but he is compelled to have recourse to it, amid the ruin of his kingdom (che e necessitata pero ricercarlo nell' esterminio del suo Regno).
A Frenchman on his way from Ireland to France with a safe conduct of the king has been arrested near this city and brought to parliament. They found letters on him from the Catholic Council of that country to Cardinal Mazarin in which they ask him to remind the queen of the promise made to them of 5,000 men, as though they do not now need them to help their own party, they could be used to help the king. Many recognise that if the offer is genuine it was obtained from Mazarin in France under the pretext of preventing the Irish from applying to the Austrians, and to win him credit personally at Rome, and that if, owing to the numerous preoccupations of France he did not fulfil his promise to the Irish, he is much less likely to do anything for the king, especially now when he is more prosperous than when Harcourl left him, and when in the matter of the peace he has shown more intimacy with the Dutch.
I enclose a copy of the seditions letter, in Latin, sent by the synod here to the ministers of all the foreign Protestant churches. (fn. 4)
London, the 8th April, 1644.
[Italian ; the part in italics deciphered.]
April 15.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Inghilterra. Venetian Archives.
99. Gerolamo Agostini, Venetian Secretary in England, to the Doge and Senate.
The king's victory at Niuvarch has been set off by his usual misfortunes. His Majesty recognising that a glorious end to his troubles depended on the successful issue of the battle between Obton and Waller at a time when other forces are not ready, was eager that it should be fought soon by forcing the enemy, who had orders to avoid one, since the royal forces were stronger. Accordingly Obton advanced and engaged his adversary in several skirmishes. The battle became general on Monday, (fn. 5) in which the number of slain was not great, and the prisoners did not exceed 500 in all, but for some unknown cause the royal infantry fell into such confusion that in an instant it all dispersed, so that the general had difficulty in saving his baggage and guns. He has gone to Reading, where he is now collecting his forces. Upon the first news, though unauthentic, they announced a victory here and caused the ministers of all the parishes to return thanks to God and at the same time to urge the people to devote their goods and even their lives to win once and for all the end of this great calamity. This impression, though false, has done what was required of it. as it has encouraged their spirits which were depressed by the recent and much more considerable disaster. It has extracted great sums of money and may even induce the citizens to take the field, as they intend, to go with Essex, who is now getting ready. Meanwhile they have sent some auxiliaries from this city to reinforce Waller.
Prince Rupert, having traversed Lincolnshire and demolished the fortifications in undefencible places, has gone to Shrewsbury to arm the Welsh levies with the captured weapons, and he is expected to return to Oxford to secure that part from any attempt by Essex, who threatens it more since the late disaster.
With the Dutch ambassadors pressing for a reply about the peace, the two Houses have been engaged in a fresh contest and quarrel. As the Lords persisted that commissioners ought to be appointed to conduct this affair and not the Council of State, the Lower House took a vote on the matter. This proved equal with 64 each side, but though the president by his casting vote decided for the Council of State, the Lords have not accepted the decision, but persist in their opinion, seeing they have so many of the Commons on their side. If this seed of division is cultivated in a soil by no means sterile, it may produce fruit beneficial to the king.
Meanwhile the president has paid a special visit to the ambassadors to assure them that they will not be allowed to go without an answer. All the same they have not hesitated to publish a declaration to all the kingdom, in which by past incidents and false conclusions they set themselves to prove that the king does not want peace, while parliament is much disposed to it. The Assembly at Oxford has also issued a declaration setting forth the reasons which obliged it to meet there, inviting the others to join with offers of pardon.
Parliament has given permission to various merchants to arm ships to go privateering against those of the king and of Bristol. These have become so venturesome that they have pursued and captured their prey right into the ports of the States. The ambassadors have complained about this to the Admiral Warwick, after their Vice Admiral had vindicated them by arresting the offender. Warwick disapproves such audacity and thinks that as he will soon put to sea, he will unite such ships to the fleet, as they may prove more useful than the large royal ships.
There have been various reports this week of engagements between the Marquis of Newcastle and the Scots ; but they are rumours without foundation circulated to chase away their late dejection. Undoubtedly Newcastle would like to reduce them by hunger without risking his forces but as he cannot prevent them from receiving succour from the sea, he must seize his opportunities and take another course. Meanwhile the Marquis of Ontlet is using the opportunity to make them anxious about some move in that kingdom in his Majesty's favour.
The queen has been in danger of a miscarriage through a fall. She keeps her bed, and though no great harm has been done, so I hear, they report her dead here, as they would like.
London, the 15th April, 1644.
[Italian ; the part in italics deciphered.]
April 22.
Senato. Secreta. Dispacci, Inghilterra. Venetian Archives.
100. Gerolamo Agostini, Venetian Secretary in England, to the Doge and Senate.
After traversing Lincolnshire and disarming 17 places there, Prince Rupert has returned to Oxford with his army. Prince Maurice has done the same with 4,000 men, leaving the siege of Plymouth to the people of the country. With these forces united with those collected by Obton since his defeat by Waller and reducing the less threatened garrisons, the king has taken the field. He has gone to Malsbero where he displayed the royal standard to call upon the assistance of all devoted subjects, and volunteers join him daily to increase his army, which now consists of 15,000 foot and 8,000 horse. His Majesty proposes to make a supreme effort to defeat Waller, and he can then proceed with a part of his forces into Kent, where by prevailing he hopes to reduce London to submission by fear and hardship and relieve both himself and the kingdom from so much misery. On hearing of this parliament, besides reinforcing Waller with some companies of auxiliaries from this city and with other men from the Isle of Wight, is doing its utmost for Essex to take the field, for whose army Elsberi is appointed as rendezvous.
In order that this force may be equipped with the utmost promptitude many of the leading members of parliament went last Tuesday to the Common Council of the city, where they used their eloquence according to the various offices which they occupy, to urge a prompt and liberal supply of men and money, as if their hopes were realised there would be a great saving of both money and blood.
While the Council is deliberating some decision which will be favourable and serve to encourage the people, the reports of last week have been renewed about a reverse inflicted by the Scots upon Newcastle's forces. But unbiassed persons cannot credit this, and it is unlikely from the most feeble condition of those forces, which cannot be succoured from Scotland itself, which is demanding assistance from General Lesle to quench internal fires, the Marquis having captured Osblich and Aberdis, and advancing to St. Andrews.
The Dutch ambassadors perceiving that even after further discussion since my last, the two Houses have been unable to agree as to who shall give them their answer, have asked for a safe conduct from General Essex to go to Oxford and take leave of the king. He begged them to wait and informed parliament about it. Many disputes ensued in which the party opposed to peace prevailed in the end. These decided to inform the ambassadors through deputies, as they have done, that if they will make known their credentials and commissions from the States to treat with parliament, they shall receive a suitable reply. The ambassadors perceive that the good party has been defeated by this deceit, which is intended to put them off, and consequently that party will be prevented from taking the affair, as they intended, out of the hands of the Council of State, which is opposed to this boon, so that little or no hope remains about their negotiations. They express resentment that after such a long delay they have been given a demand instead of an answer, and they announce that they wish to go without any reply.
The Irish commissioners arrived at Oxford offer the assistance of 10,000 infantry in a corps if the king will grant them peace with toleration for the Catholic faith and independence from the parliaments of England, which they might easily obtain by connivance if not by agreement. That assistance is greatly dreaded here, and as they cannot prevent it by a diversion in that country, they have ordered Admiral Warwick to send a squadron immediately to the Irish sea to prevent them crossing.
For two or three nights running this week there have been very considerable fires in the heart of this city. Although these have been accidental, it is announced that they have been caused by the royalists, to render that party more hateful, while some have been put in prison merely for words.
The queen has recovered from her fall without a miscarriage, and is well. She has sent here for her bed and other commodities, which parliament made no small difficulty about allowing to go.
As the king is distracted by his campaigning I will perform by letter the office committed to me by your Serenity about the signing of the articles of peace between the allied princes, etc. I enclose a letter which the Secretary Nicolas has asked me to forward to the Secretary Talbot.
London, the 22nd April, 1644.
[Italian ; the part in italics deciphered.]
April 23.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Costantinopoli. Venetian Archives.
101. Giovanni Soranzo, Venetian Bailo at Constantinople, to the Doge and Senate.
The affair of the half (meta) has always been in suspense until these last days, since after all the difficulties had been overcome another was unexpectedly raised by the Cadi of Galata, who would never allow the command to be registered, and even wished to remove from the book a Buiurdi which the English obtained for this same interest. The English ambassador sent his secretary to ask me to unite with him in this affair. I replied that I would be pleased to serve him, but I did not consider myself interested, as the merchants had obtained this command, and if they should interest themselves the pretensions of the Cadi would be much augmented. It only cost two reals to register the command, but they now claimed 2,000, and he availed himself of the favour he enjoys with the king ; but it is certain that in the end his Majesty would not approve of such injustice. I said I thought that the merchants should be left to do the best they could for themselves, and that we should not concern ourselves in matters which might irritate the Cadi for some other business of more importance.
After receiving my reply the ambassador sent his secretary to thank me and to say that he agreed. He only begged me to direct the merchants of the nation to make common cause with his own. I perceived that his eagerness for this union was for no other purpose than to cover himself with the authority of our command, as being in force and valid, whereas, on the contrary, their Buiurdi, now that the Vizier who granted it is dead, was lapsed and of no value. However, I remarked to the secretary by way of a joke that I would so contrive things that the command of our merchants should serve as a good escort for the satisfaction of his Excellency, and I have been as good as my word, though they have not been able to come to terms at a lower cost than 900 reals between the two nations.
The Vigne of Pera, the 23rd April, 1644.
[Italian ; deciphered.]
102. Giovanni Soranzo, Venetian Bailo at Constantinople, to the Doge and Senate.
A serious dispute has arisen between the ambassadors of France and England, because when some English ships tried to move next to four French ones, by the Custom House, the French resisted and in the fight that ensued two Englishmen were slightly wounded. The English ambassador demanded that the French minister should cause the culprits to be punished. The latter promised to do so, but gave a paper to his merchants to make reply. These with the habitual vanity of their nation, published some announcements making game of the English. After waiting days for a reply, thinking himself slighted and having no reason to trust the Frenchman, the English ambassador appealed to the Vizier, who had the captains of the French ships arrested. Witnesses were examined before the Cadi of Galata and two of the French were convieted. Thereupon the French ambassador had audience of the Vizier and succeeded in having an English captain arrested, though he was immediately released on bail by order of the Vizier. The dispute has cost each side over 10,000 reals, and excited great scandal and derision even among the Turks. Everyone said that the ambassadors should have submitted the dispute to me, but I would not move because neither of the parties made the smallest approach to me. The Resident of Holland subsequently intervened, being very intimate with the Englishman, but as the affair was arranged after the Turkish fashion there has been no final settlement whatever.
The Vigne di Pera, the 23rd April, 1644.
April 24.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Ceffalonia. Venetian Archives.
103. Francesco Contarini, Venentian Proveditore of Cephalonia, to the Doge and Senate.
Since the arrival of Don Vincenzo Cymera announcing the reduction of the duty of the new impost from 10 ducats to 8, four ships have come here of which one was English. This ship laded 1,582,000 of currants, leaving 200,000 on land as it could not take a larger quantity, and most of this surplus remained unsold. The price, if anything, is rather lower, since the agents here had agreed together to keep their instructions secret and this gave them the power to purchase with advantage owing to the impatient rush of the people to sell.
I have found out that fresh commissions have now reached the Flemings and English for the present year, and it is probable that they will again make secret arrangements with the help of an inhabitant in their confidence, who will not mind, provided he secures his own personal profit, how much harm he does to the community. I do not see how it will be possible to relieve the condition of the people here either soon or easily, even if all the currants are disposed of, unless the price is raised, and that is difficult owing to the astuteness of the agents.
The difficulty consists more particularly in the superabundance of the fruit, and will continue even if the English prohibition is removed, as the merchants here hope will happen in the current year. In addition to this the understanding between the people and the agents does a great deal of the mischief. The rigorous enforcement of the decrees [limiting plantation] would meet the case best.
It was a wise decision to remove the sentence of banishment against Hyde. It is to be hoped that he will try to show his usefulness, more especially in laying the practice of smuggling among the people.
Cephalonia, the 24th April, 1644.
April 29.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Inghilterra. Venetian Archives.
104. Gerolamo Agostini, Venetian Secretary in England, to the Doge and Senate.
The vigorous preparations which are being made here to strengthen the armies to cope with the royalists serve to delay any action and Waller has retired to Farnham to avoid any until such time as Essex is ready and they can assume the offensive with advantage. The offices of the parliamentarians in the Common Council produced the desired results as that body has decided to supply the most energetic assistance for the present occasion, in which they vainly rest their hopes of bringing these calamities to an end, as the people desire. While the Council has decided to send out many of the trained bands they are busy recruiting everywhere, and also pressing all sorts of persons with barbarous violence. Special treasurers have also been sent to the camps to give the pay, with obligation to render account to the city.
The rendezvous is definitely fixed for to-day at Elsberi, to which many of the parliamentary forces are directed that were scattered about the country, and after Easter, which is next week according to the style here, (fn. 6) Essex himself is to be there.
The king having quartered his army all in readiness about Malsbero has returned to Oxford to make arrangements for the safety of that place, against which the principal plans are aimed. Meanwhile Prince Rupert has returned to Lincolnshire, where his Majesty has decided to have the chief town fortified, so that the country may not be exposed any more to incursions of the enemy.
Mortified by the message from parliament reported, the Dutch ambassadors are doing nothing and keeping silent. The Lords, who would like to commit the Commons to a treaty, have agreed that the Council of State may extend the proposals ; but they want to oblige them to present them to the House in three days. The Council excused itself on the plea that it must attend to matters of greater urgency, but they promised to have them ready a week to-day, as they want them to go at the head of the army and to be presented at the point of the sword.
The reports of the defeat of Newcastle by the Scots prove false, as was expected. No formal battle has taken place between the armies, as Newcastle attains his object by wasting them with skirmishes and by hardship. As they cannot hope for succour from Scotland, which is occupied by internal disturbances, parliament has ordered Fairfax to get together as large a force of cavalry as he can and march to their assistance. Obeying promptly he has captured Selby, a small place at the entry into Yorkshire, important as being on the River Humber, and for some companies of soldiers quartered there, which were mostly captured with their arms. (fn. 7)
The negotiations with the Irish commissioners about a peace are approaching a conclusion. The king has no objection to satisfying them even on the point of religion, to receive the benefit of the help they promise of 10,000 men. He is only considering the most cautious way of doing it, extending the royal protection to the Protestants and the English in that country, whose goods in that kingdom are to be restored to them.
General Piccolomini on his way from Spain to command the forces in Flanders has landed at Falmouth and proceeded to Oxford with a little money of his own. The ship which brought him, carrying 200 cases of reals, has been driven into Portsmouth by the parliamentary ships, when pursuing its voyage to Dunkirk. The merchants who trade to Spain, seeing the danger to their capital if these effects are disposed of, have presented a petition to the Council of State to prevent it. So far the Council has done nothing beyond sending some one to take a careful inventory of the cargo. But meanwhile they are looking for means to declare the ship lawful booty, and they announce that the Catholic has sent Piccolomini here, under the pretence of proceeding to Flanders, with money to assist the king. They thank God who in His especial care for this cause has favoured it by such a necessary provision in present circumstances. In this way they try to justify their design to take possession of it though it will be difficult to realise their purpose (che con difficolta si lasciera di metter ad effetto). The Spanish ambassador, who is indisposed is holding his hand, waiting for some intimation from Piccolomini, who may not be able to send any, as with the utmost severity they punish with death those who come from Oxford. Piccolomini hoped in this way to escape the Dutch who were lying in wait for him at the mouth of the port of Dunkirk. But he may yet have to face the most difficult of his enterprises, in delivering himself with honour and without harm from this people, which at present knows no other law or culture than its own greedy and rabid desires, without any respect for their own king much less for foreigners.
The queen, suffering from a kind of paralysis in one arm, has sent for Mayerne, her chief physician. But he, fearing to expose his fortune to the exigencies of parliament, though it was acquired in her Majesty's service, has excused himself and sent his advice in writing. Her Majesty is going to Bristol to enjoy the safety and quiet there away from arms, during her confinement, which is very near.
London, the 29th April, 1644.
[Italian ; the part in italics deciphered.]


  • 1. P. de Boisivon ; his letters of credence was dated at Paris the 23rd Sept. Journals of the House of Lords, Vol. VI., page 322 ; Journals of the House of Commons, Vol. III., page 365. In the latter he is entered as Bosinon.
  • 2. On the 22 March, O.S.
  • 3. The text reads avvantaggio, but the sense clearly requires its opposite avantaggio.
  • 4. The copy is wanting. Possibly the letter printed by Rushworth (Hist. Collections, Part III., Vol. II., pages 755-8) addressed to the churches in the Netherlands, though that is dated 4 June at Edinburgh. A letter to the Protestant churches is referred to in the Journals of the House of Commons on the 11th March, but the text is not given, Vol III., page 417.
  • 5. At Cheriton near Alresford in Hants.
  • 6. On the 21st April or 1st May, new style.
  • 7. On the 11-21 April.