Venice: January 1653

Pages 1-15

Calendar of State Papers Relating To English Affairs in the Archives of Venice, Volume 29, 1653-1654. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1929.

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January 1653

1653. Jan. 1.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Spagna. Venetian Archives.
1. Giacomo Quirini, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the Doge and Senate.
News has come that the English have captured four Dutch ships laded at Cadiz with divers merchandise and with coined money belonging to individuals to the amount of 700,000 ducats. It is understood that they also carried 400 bales of wool of the king under the names of Domenico Centurioni and Andrea Pichinotti, which were going to Flanders for the needs of the army there. It is calculated that they might be worth 30,000 to 40,000 reals. This was the wool of the crop of 51 and 52 which was bought by the Contractors (Assentisti) with the copper money.
Madrid, the 1st January, 1653.
Jan. 2.
Senato, Secreta. Deliberazioni. Corti. Venetian Archives.
2. To the Resident at Florence.
Commend his efforts to convince the English gentleman Longland that it is not the right thing to take away the English ships from the republic. He is to inform the Grand Duke also of the importance of this question and request him to pass some office with the English direct to divert them from any such intention. When the squadron of ships directed to Prince Rubert arrives in those waters, the Senate will expect to have news of it.
Ayes, 67. Noes, 3. Neutral, 54.
3. To the Ambassador in France.
To inform Pauluzzi of the efforts made by Longland to induce ships to leave the service of the republic and also to stop ships from going to Zante for currants, to the end that he may press for the issuing of the orders which they expressed their intention to grant him, to permit the employment of English vessels for the defence of our cause, which is so important and privileged.
Ayes, 67. Noes, 3. Neutral, 54.
Jan. 3.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Francia. Venetian Archives.
4. Lorenzo Paulucci, Venetian Secretary in England, to Giovanni Sagredo, the Ambassador in France. (fn. 1)
Under favour of the calm weather, so unusual here at this season, the Dutch continue in force in the Downs. Being aware of the great naval preparations here they mean, if nothing untoward occurs, to wait for the fleet to come out and to fight a general action. With similar intentions they labour incessantly here to fit out Blach to enable him to put to sea with a strong force and in good spirits. The necessary hands, officers and soldiers are now almost ready to embark, and the ships themselves are seaworthy ; so it is announced that at the English Christmas, which falls a fortnight later than ours, the fleet will be ready to leave the Thames with quite 100 sail. All hangs upon the result, everyone realises that it must either prove decisive in favour of this parliament, or still further confirm the Dutch in their present mastery of the Sea.
To remedy any mischance due to neglect of duty on the part of the captains and officials, who give cause for apprehension, the Council of State has ordered that several naval commanders shall be put upon their trial at once. (fn. 2) They were sent up to London with the commissioners, on a charge of not having fought their ships properly in the last battle. If found guilty they will be punished, as an example to their comrades, who will thus be impressed with the necessity of serving faithfully and well.
In the course of their investigation the commissioners discovered that all the provisions supplied to the fleet were of bad quality. This abuse is now remedied, parliament having charged these same commissioners, together with a junta, to superintend all arrangements for the proper provisioning of the navy, and with full powers to make regulations, and to appoint, change and dismiss all whom they find to be inefficient. For the fuller exercise of the authority thus conferred upon them they are to remain in office for the whole of the present year.
Owing to the obvious need of great sums for the support of this war, they contemplate the imposition of fresh taxes, especially if the sale of the property of the king and the numerous delinquents does not speedily yield the supply anticipated. At the last sitting of parliament, when the matter was discussed, General Cromwell, moved by zeal for the public service, made a voluntary offer, as a gift to the State, of 6,000l. sterling of the amount received by him by parliamentary grant. By this shrewd and popular step he aimed at making other wealthy parliamentarians do the like, though so far it does not appear that the invitation has been accepted so readily as he expected.
The negotiations of the Portuguese ambassador promise a fair result, which is facilitated by the admission of the English claims for compensation for the losses inflicted by Prince Rupert when he was in Portuguese ports for which Portugal has agreed to pay a considerable sum, as they realise their need for friends and assistance and are therefore inclined to comply with the demands of parliament, in the hope of succour. Here also they anticipate great advantage from the alliance.
As parliament refused M. de Bordeaux's first credentials, he produced a second set, to the entire satisfaction of this commonwealth, which has consequently acknowledged him as the public minister of France. Parliament has appointed a committee of its members to give him audience, which took place last Tuesday, in the form observed with Residents and Agents but not as ambassador. The committee will repeat his statement in the full parliament, as usual. So far as I can gather, after referring to the regard they always cherished for the crown of England he has so far only discussed the claims to compensation on both sides, offering on behalf of France to investigate the origin of the trouble and that then pars reficienda reficiatur. I will keep on the watch to see if his negotiations go further.
The malcontents in Scotland and Ireland are taking advantage of the preoccupation of the government with the war with Holland, to revive disturbances in those countries, which are supposed to be encouraged by the Dutch. Although parliament thinks of applying the remedy, the engrossing business of the fleet causes delay of the measures required for compelling the Scots and Irish to acknowledge the present government.
Acknowledges letters of the 28th ult. Promises to exert himself to obtain compensation for the ambassador's property.
London, the 3rd January, 1653.
Jan. 4.
Senato, Mar. Venetian Archives.
5. In the Pregadi, on the 4th of January.
That a gold chain of 150 ducats be given to Thomas Middleton as a mark of honour, because he has served for three years continuously in the fleet with his ship, the Elizabeth Maria against the Turk, and during all that time no action has taken place at which he has not been present, affording the most generous proofs of his courage. He has also handed over to the Capitan General da Mar the person of Nadalin Burlan, and he is now about to rejoin the fleet.
Ayes, 71. Noes, 5. Neutral, 7.
On the 20th December, 1652, in the Collegio :
Ayes, 20. Noes, 0. Neutral, 1.
Jan. 5.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Firenze. Venetian Archives.
6. Giovanni Ambrosio Sarotti, Venetian Resident at Florence, to the Doge and Senate.
I have made representations to the English minister Langland (not Grandier) who receives and executes all the orders of the English parliament, to persuade him not to recall the ships serving in the Levant. But he informed me that he is bound by the strictest instructions from London which charge him to enjoin all the English ships present in the Mediterranean (which may amount to some 25 between Venice, Naples, Longone and Genoa) to put aside every other employment and arm for war, endeavouring to unite together as quickly as possible to offer resistance to the Dutch. He told me further that the master of a ship which is at present in the port of Malamocco, sent his supercargo expressly to him these last days to get permission to make a voyage to Cephalonia, for which he is hired, for the purpose of lading currants, but he was not able to give his consent. He showed himself so settled in his determination to obey punctually the orders of his masters that no argument would serve to draw from him so much as a word of good intention.
This troubles me the more because apart from the ships, it will injure the currant trade, which brings considerable sums of money to Zante and Cephalonia because Langland said that he had expressly forbidden any English vessel to trade within a certain limited time to any part, no matter where. Something may perhaps be done through the offices of Pauluzzi and the Grand Duke.
When Vangalen returned to Leghorn recently, his Highness showed him great honour. He met this with indifference, keeping the coaches waiting for three days, because he wished to remedy the disorders which had occurred in his absence and to send out certain of his ships to various parts to prevent the junction of the English and to protect navigation and the merchant ships, which they are still expecting from Amsterdam from the injury which the three powerful and swift frigates I wrote about (fn. 3) might inflict upon them. I had arranged to speak to Vangalen about preventing the withdrawal of the Dutch ships, but he took ship again at once.
The English General Bobler, who is generally stationed at Longone, has had himself transported to Leghorn also and from there he sent to Pisa for a safeguard, because he feared he might receive some affront because of the outrage done to the port by the surprise of the frigate, (fn. 4) but there he was welcomed and made much of by the Grand Duke with the most desirable assurances that he would receive the best possible treatment.
With regard to getting ships, the owners declare that they will not hire to your Serenity without the guarantee of some trader. Thus the English traders in particular produce letters from London, full not only of complaints because their ships have never been satisfied with their advances, but further expressing the hope that a time will come when they will know how to enforce payment.
It is stated that General Vangalen has received letters from his masters from the Hague with instructions as to how he is to behave towards the Palatine Princes Rupert and Maurice. They are expected to arrive in these waters any day with 15 powerful ships, the majority of them captured from the English, and flying the flag of the king of England. A hint has been given me from Leghorn that these princes with all their ships might enter the service of your Serenity.
Florence, the 5th January, 1652. [M.V.]
Jan. 10.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Francia. Venetian Archives.
7. Lorenzo Paulucci, Venetian Secretary in England, to Giovanni Sagredo, the Ambassador in France. (fn. 5)
A furious storm which arose at sea suddenly on the night of the 29th ult. but subsided in a few hours, made a change in the attitude of the Dutch fleet and prevented the blockade. But the main body is again at the mouth of the Thames, reinforced by other squadrons, which keep cruising and asserting the supremacy of the Dutch flag by seizing all the ships they find bound for the ports of England. Some slight loss was incurred by the enemy during this brief storm, and if it had lasted they certainly would have had to think of their own safety, and so give an opportunity for the junction of the other English ships of war, now scattered about in various ports, with the main fleet, at present in the Thames.
Under favour of the weather, then, the Dutch remain before this kingdom, receiving constant reinforcements and always ready for action. The English also are indefatigable in their exertions to render their fleet as strong as possible and equipped at all points to go out and engage the enemy. The navy commissioners have again left to hasten the embarcation of the men now assembled in great numbers at Gravesend and to see what is wanted to enable the fleet to put to sea on the 12th January, old style. But this plan is of course subject to the changes that usually befall all great undertakings. The quality of the English fleet will certainly be superior to that of the enemy. But the numbers of the Dutch ships, to which in course of time will be added those of the Danes and the squadron of Prince Rupert, who is expected, will go far to counterpoise and even surpass this advantage, on which they lay so much stress here. The fact may add to the regret already felt by the majority in England at the present rupture, which occurred without any other thought than the gratification of self conceit, which made them consider themselves stronger than all the rest, from their successes in the civil war. The ministry and those who first urged the war are being watched already and some are blamed. So unless victory gives things a brighter aspect than they now wear, greater mischief may be anticipated. It is evident to every one that all depends upon the fleet putting to sea, an event which engrosses all the energy and attention of parliament and the Council of State too.
Much vexation has been caused here by the seizure at the Sound by the Dutch on guard there of 10 Lubeck ships laden with hemp, rope, pitch and other materials for ship building, for it was hoped that belonging to a free city and laded for Flanders they might have come without molestation and made good the shortage here. But the Dutch detained them and announced in their papers that they would do the like to all other ships they find bound with such merchandise or any other, for England.
Meanwhile it looks as if the chief points of a satisfactory arrangement are settled with Portugal, by that kingdom paying a considerable sum yearly to England for damages. They make it easier here by granting time. Only one essential point remains for settlement, the grant of a Protestant church for the English merchants at Lisbon. This proves difficult, but as the Dutch have enjoyed the privilege it is hoped that the difficulty will be overcome in this case.
Although the Catholic ambassador objected to having the affair of the silver referred to the Admiralty Court, (fn. 6) he is obliged to submit and await the sentence of that tribunal, as parliament has issued an order to this effect in reply to his remonstrances. The result is awaited with interest, opinion being divided about the issue.
To facilitate the naval preparations they have increased the monthly pay of the sailors, captains, officials and artificers, and parliament has issued express orders both here and in the chief towns of England for the necessary care of the sick and wounded, present and future, with provision for the heirs of those who die.
A special courier reached the Tuscan resident lately with orders to remonstrate strongly about the audacious conduct of the English commander in the Mediterranean, who went so far as to infringe the jus dominii of the Grand Duke, who demands satisfaction. (fn. 7) This has been promised, and the fulfilment will probably be greatly facilitated by the amount of English property in those parts.
I have your Excellency's letters of the 4th with the note from the Esecutori about the English ships. I will do my best and if the reply to the ducal letter is given to-morrow, I shall speak more boldly. I am hopeful as I have been asked for the titles and address of his Serenity. But I must have patience, as this Dutch affair and others have so bewildered them that they do not know where their wits are and find it easier to put forward a quantity of things than to despatch a few with the necessary caution with satisfaction to those who are entitled to it.
London, the 10th January, 1653.
[Italian ; the part in italics deciphered.]
Jan. 11.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Firenze. Venetian Archives.
8. Giovanni Ambrosio Sarotti, Venetian Resident at Florence, to the Doge and Senate.
The Court proceeded from Pisa to Leghorn on Tuesday. Before they left I requested the good offices of the Grand Duke about the ships serving your Serenity. The Bali Gondi promised to do his best though he had not much hope, owing to the sinister character of Longland and because of the harshness of General Bobler, not to speak of the slight value that can be attached to their promises in any case. He said that his fears that his offices would have little or no success were the greater because the relief squadron appointed by parliament had not yet moved from London, and in the mean time Vangalen is constantly receiving fresh reinforcements, and with the belief he holds that the English squadron might descend upon him suddenly it is unlikely that he would take any step which might check this.
I spoke to Prince Mattias as well. He told me that he had recently had long conversations with both generals at Pisa. He spoke very highly of Vangalen, but he could not say anything bad enough of the evil and extravagant behaviour of Bobler or of the English minister Longland. With regard to the value to be placed upon his promises his Highness expressed the same opinion as Gondi. The prince spoke to me of the objects and ideas of these captains, which amount to interrupting the ancient flow of the Levant trade which the Dutch are persuaded they can take away from the English by combating them in these waters, where the two nations have at stake only ships, not dominions, and provided Bobler is reinforced, a man of the greatest courage, he will not avoid battle, however great the hazard.
If the reported victory of Tromp over Blach is confirmed it will render more difficult the coming of the expected squadron to these waters, and will render inadmissible any sort of approach to General Bobler in the interest of your Serenity, but I am assured that Vangalen will not recall the Dutch ships serving in the Levant.
Florence, the 11th January, 1652. [M.V.]
Postscript : News has just reached me from Leghorn that General Bobler has sent a captain to Venice to secure the despatch of the English ships at Malamocco (fn. 8) and to proceed immediately to Naples, where, it appears the English have appointed the rendezvous for their ships. He is said to have written also to your Serenity not to detain the ships. He complains that they are prevented from supplying them with biscuit and other necessaries.
Jan. 14.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Francia. Venetian Archives.
9. Giovanni Sagredo, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
I have transmitted your Serenity's instructions to Pauluzzi. With regard to this subject I may say that from several conversations with the minister of an Italian prince here who has secret correspondence with the English parliament, (fn. 9) that body is equally desirous of good relations with your Serenity, and they will respond to the public commissions with an equal courtesy.
They are talking here of another engagement fought at the mouth of the Thames, in which the Dutch had the advantage. I do not forward particulars as I am waiting for further confirmation, because such reports are sometimes started with design and interest by the partisans of one side or the other.
Paris, the 14th January, 1653.
Jan. 15.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Germania. Venetian Archives.
10. Girolamo Giustinian, Venetian Ambassador in Germany, to the Doge and Senate.
The king of Denmark is fitting out and repairing vessels of war with great energy. He protests that he means to stand side by side with Holland. That country has sent an ambassador to the Hanse Towns to ask for help against England. (fn. 10) The Dutch are also requesting these same Towns to move so that the ambassador of England at Ratisbon shall not be received and treated in the diet as an ambassador.
Prague, the 15th January, 1653.
Jan. 17.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Francia. Venetian Archives.
11. Lorenzo Paulucci, Venetian Secretary in England, to Giovanni Sagredo, the Ambassador in France. (fn. 11)
Among the many replies to foreign powers presented yesterday by the Council of State to parliament and there ratified, were those for his Serenity, which is mentioned in the printed journal for this day. I shall forward it as soon as possible.
The day after the departure of the naval commissioners 90,000l. sterling were sent after them for the payment of the officers and men only, so as to give satisfaction to all, and as an encouragement to put to sea, though, as usual with all great undertakings, the precise moment keeps being postponed.
Meanwhile the Dutch, as experienced sailors, expecting a violent storm, after nearly three months of uninterrupted calm, or warned by the preparations here, or possibly as a challenge to the English to come out, have quietly raised the blockade of the Thames and are beyond the Downs ; though according to report they are at no great distance and have only made the French coast opposite, all ready to return in a few hours and to take advantage of any opportunity to give battle. This will not be shunned by either side, as it may serve to end the quarrel between these two powerful nations. I hope that a few days will satisfy the curiosity that is felt and the general expectation.
While the good understanding between the Dutch and the Danes increases all hope of an adjustment between England and Denmark vanishes. The king is reported to have fitted out as many ships as possible and ordered a levy of 10,000 soldiers, of whom the greater part are already mustered, and all hope of the surrender of the English ships seized is at an end.
The government here, to curry favour with the navy, has decided to reduce the pay of the army. Henceforward each trooper will only receive 2 shillings a day instead of 2s. 6d. ; the infantry being also reduced from 12d. to 9d. Both grumble and there is fear of a mutiny, unless the address and authority of Cromwell and the other commanders with him are sufficient to stifle any attempt prejudicial to the unpopular and protracted rule of this parliament, as is anticipated.
To intimidate and alarm Denmark parliament has recently appointed an ambassador to Sweden, in the person of Viscount Lisle, (fn. 12) a man of high birth and equal ability, in the hope that the good will shown by the queen to England and her strained relations with Denmark may prove a source of considerable advantage. He is expected to leave soon and is charged to bring about a good understanding with that crown. National sympathies and similarity of religion will facilitate this.
Great confusion now reigns in London owing to the multiplicity of sects. The other day parliament was apprised of a meeting of Presbyterians, including persons of rank, to be held at some place. Three companies of soldiers were sent to arrest both ministers and congregation. They did so, though not without a considerable tumult, and the people had to submit to force and to witness the arrest of certain persons, including the two preachers of those Presbyterian doctrines which in great measure led to the civil strife in this country. It is expected that they will be severely punished by fines and possibly with death. In consequence of this parliament immediately issued a proclamation ordering the instant departure from England under the most severe penalties, in the first place of all Jesuits, and secondly all other kinds of popish priests and religious, who are said to be here in disguise, performing Catholic rites in private houses. They are given to the end of March, after which all Jesuits, priests, etc. found here will be punished as disturbers of the public quiet. (fn. 13)
M. de Bordeaux remains here as minister of France, having only to-day received the reply to his letters, with other papers. He seems anxious to leave soon, though it is thought here that he will find it difficult to do so, as his own negotiations and the dilatoriness of this government require both attention and patience. His first proposals are thought to be only a blind to some other secret commission devised by the cunning of Cardinal Mazarini, in order, if possible, to find some way to allay the present disturbances in France. He is being closely observed ; if it be so, time will show.
The victories won by Spain in the last campaign are to be celebrated here this evening by the Spanish ambassador, who means to make a great display of fireworks and other rejoicings, at considerable cost. The whole town will attend though he is embittered by the determination here to detain the 200,000l. seized on the Hamburg ships.
Your despatches of the 11th reached me to-day. I will speak to Fleming and others as directed. No doubt the parliamentarians will answer in a way calculated to improve the relations between England and Venice.
London, the 17th January, 1653.
12. Lorenzo Paulucci, Venetian Secretary in England, to Giovanni Sagredo, the Ambassador in France. (fn. 14)
When I went to ask the help of Sir Oliver Fleming for the recovery of the property stolen from your Excellency, our conversation was noticed by one of the chief councillors of state, who asked who I was. When told he charged Fleming to tell me that the whole Council took a lively interest in the war between the most serene republic and the Turks and were sorry to hear any bad news about that arduous struggle. They understood that the English ambassador at Constantinople, whom they mean to supersede as soon as possible, had of his own accord compelled some captains of English ships to take service in the Turkish fleet. They wished for certain information on the subject, because it was directly contrary to the orders of the Levant Company and parliament would take the earliest opportunity of punishing such an offence as it deserved. They wished me to write to Venice so that the ambassador extraordinary now with the Grand Turk might find out the truth, on which they could act and incidentally show their regard for Venice. I thanked Fleming suitably and said I would report at once to your Excellency, asking him to assure the government that the republic heartily reciprocated the friendly feeling of England.
London, the 17th January, 1653.
Jan. 18.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Firenze. Venetian Archives.
13. Giovanni Ambrosio Sarotti, Venetian Resident at Florence, to the Doge and Senate.
A fresh incident has greatly incensed his Highness. He went on board a galley to have a look at both fleets and was saluted by their guns. The Dutch general was having himself rowed across in company with Mons. Hipolito Fiamingo Scalco, the duke's great favourite, but when they came opposite the English flagship, a piece full of musket shot was fired from it, though it did no harm. The Dutch general made complaint about it to the duke. To appease his Highness the English offer to hand over the gunner to be punished for what they call an inadyertence. It is not known what his Highness will do.
Florence, the 18th January, 1652. [M.V.]
Jan. 22.
Cinque Savii alla Mercanzia. Risposte. Venetian Archives.
14. English merchants and sea captains complain of molestation from one Walter Woolph, who claims to be consul and exacts consulage (fn. 15) from them, a thing that cannot be admitted unless he is recognised by your Serenity. The question has been referred to us and we find by a patent which this Woolph showed to us that on the 20th May, 1652, the office of consul was renounced in his favour by Joseph Kent, an English merchant, which was confirmed by a patent of Thomas Killigrew, then Resident of the king of Great Britain. It does not appear that the Senate's approval was obtained, as is usual with all the consulates. We learn that Woolph formerly devoted himself to maritime affairs, but now he has no occupation except that of consul. In former times the consuls were chosen by the Trinity Company, and that body continues to exercise its functions. Since then the Resident for the king fulfilled the offices of both consul and ambassador, and latterly he appointed one of his household to act as consul, but he was not confirmed. Enclose a copy of Woolph's patents.
At the office on the 22nd January, 1652. [M.V.]
Tomaso Priuli Savii.
Antonio Lippomanno
Valerio Michiel
Pol Antonio Morosini
Francesco Sagredo
Jan. 24.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Francia. Venetian Archives.
15. Lorenzo Paulucci, Venetian Secretary in England, to Giovanni Sagredo, the Ambassador in France. (fn. 16)
My efforts have at length obtained the reply from parliament, which I enclose. The marks of esteem for the republic render it quite satisfactory contrary to the expectation of some. The letter was brought to my house by order of parliament by Sir [Oliver] Fleming, who also brought a complimentary message for the republic. He attributed the delay to punctilio and the press of public business. I replied suitably upon the assurance of mutual good will, and thanked him personally for his share in the business. He said he was proud to be so employed adding that he was charged to tell me that any forms adopted by Venice towards England for the establishment of a good understanding would be approved and reciprocated, and I was now at liberty for any business I might have to transact to address myself to the secretary of the Council of State. I thanked him and said that if England could not help at the moment it might at least be hoped that she would not withdraw the ships serving Venice. He replied that the government would bear that in mind, but English affairs in the Mediterranean needed all the help they could get. I retorted that the great power of England must have ample and readier means to effect this than by adding to the pride of the Turks. He took leave without adding anything more on the subject.
The Dutch left the mouth of the Thames for the purpose of dividing their numerous forces into several squadrons. Having effected this they are now blockading if not all at least the principal ports of England, allowing no craft to enter or leave them. They thus remain masters at sea, subjecting this city to great inconvenience and compelling the government to send the fleet out to offer battle. Two large English frigates, carrying 40 guns each, attempted to go out of Portsmouth lately, but were driven back by the enemy and suffered so much damage that they will have to go into dock before they can put to sea again. (fn. 17)
An affair in Kent due to quarrels between the soldiers and sailors has recently caused great anxiety here and will certainly delay the sailing of the fleet. To avenge themselves on the soldiers the marines set fire to a place there containing military stores, many of which were consumed as well as a quantity of gunpowder and but for the assistance of the troops of the garrison the loss would have been much greater. The sailors were repulsed by the soldiers and lost some men. A few of the ringleaders also were punished by General. Blach ; but with this state of feeling between the two services the government is puzzled how to punish the one or curb the other, from fear that chastisement may do even more harm to the commonwealth, in its present need of both army and navy. So although the affair has not quite subsided every effort is being made to quiet matters in the best possible way.
The military, offended for the reasons given previously and resenting the growing power of the Presbyterians in parliament, to the detriment of the more numerous Independents, show signs of opposition and a determination to have the present parliament changed or reformed. They hold largely attended meetings at a short distance from London, and on hearing of this, parliament assembled at once. Yesterday a formal Council of State was held to discuss the best means of appeasing them. I understand it was proposed to offer them a deliberative voice, which is tantamount to a speedy change of government, as they mean to purge parliament of the remaining Presbyterians, who are inclined to oppose the army, which will to a great extent give the law to this country. Cromwell covertly but shrewdly supports the military party, arousing the suspicions and mistrust of parliament, which is said to contemplate curtailing his authority. He, on the other hand, is equally resolved by address and dexterity, with the support of the military to maintain his present position. So if the foreign politics of England are in great confusion her domestic affairs are extremely fluid and a change is generally expected unless her ablest statesmen exert themselves to delay rather than to avert it, as will be seen ere long.
In Scotland and Ireland it is understood that the opponents of parliament, favoured by existing circumstances, gain ground daily and have taken several important places in both countries, the government here being too much occupied to apply the necessary remedies.
Acknowledges letters of the 18th inst.
London, the 24th January, 1653.
Enclosure. 16. Parliamentum Reipub. Angliæ Ser. Principi Venetiarum, etc. Salutem : Serenissime Princeps : Parlamentum Reip. Angliae litteras Ser. Vest, lmo Junii, 1652, datas per Laur. Paulucium accepit, ex quibus cum et vestrum at Senatus propensum in hanc rempub. animum perspiciat, occasionem hanc suum vicissim erga ser. Rempub. Venetam singulare studium et benevolentiam declarandi libenter arripuit, quam et re ipsa, idque ex animo demonstrare quoties usus venerit haud quaquam gravabitur, cui, et omnes vel conservandae, vel etiam augendae amicitiae ususque mutui rationes in medium allatae erunt ibidem acceptissimae. Vestraeque adeo Ser. Reiquepub. Ser. fausta omnia ac prospera exoptat atque precatur.
Datis Vuestmonasterio viii die Januarii Anno Dom. MDCLII. Subscripsit et Parlamenti sigillum imprimendum curavit.
Prolocutor Parlamenti Reip. Angliae. (fn. 18)
Jan. 25.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Firenze. Venetian Archives.
17. Giovanni Ambrosio Sarotti, Venetian Resident at Florence, to the Doge and Senate.
General Vangalen having discovered that some English effects might be found upon two rich ships which are daily expected at Leghorn from Muscovy, sent out two squadrons of his ships to look out for them and to confiscate the goods.
Upon different days his Highness has entertained all the leading officers of both nations at a banquet, indeed the Grand Duke studies every means to keep on good terms with each of them.
Florence, the 25th January, 1652. [M.V.]
Jan. 28.
Senato, Secreta. Deliberazioni. Corti. Venetian Archives.
18. To the Ambassador in France.
Enclose copy of a paper presented to Captain Jonas Paole, who had commissions from Charles Longlad, and who asked for permission to engage for service those ships of his nation which happened to be in this port and which were not engaged to serve the republic. He is to write and tell Pauluzzi of this so that, with this information, if anyone speaks on the subject, he may enlarge upon the affection and esteem of the republic for the parliament there.
Ayes, 133. Noes, 0. Neutral, 3.
Jan. 28.
Senato, Secreta. Deliberazioni. Rettori. Venetian Archives.
19. On the 28th January.
Upon the paper presented in our Collegio by Captain Jonas Paole, who came to this city by commission of Charles Longlad, established at Leghorn for the parliament of England, for the purpose of engaging the vessels of his nation which happen to be in this port and are not under contract to serve the republic, this Council has received a full and exact report from those appointed for the purpose, upon the number of vessels which are in the fleet, as well those hired for war service as those which it is proposed to arm, with various other particulars.
That the two commissioners aforesaid be directed to summon before them the said Captain Jonas Paole and after beginning with an expression of the affection and esteem of the republic for that parliament and our appreciation of the straightforwardness and consideration which led him to request his Serenity only for those which are free from obligation to serve the republic, to grant him permission that the ships which answer to this description shall be at his disposition and the captains shall be at liberty to embrace the service of their prince, as is fitting. They should aim, however, at securing that ships which are under repair, which are adapted for our requirements and whose captains are disposed to sign fresh contracts, shall be excluded from the above arrangement. We leave this important matter to the discretion of the commissioners, who will take the utmost care to see that the decision recently taken by this Council about hiring four ships is carried into effect.
If any of the ships are let go and sail away for the service of the parliament of England, they should, on their passage, touch at Zante, and the commissioners should direct their energies to secure this, using all their skill so that we may receive some benefit from the transport of biscuit to that place, which should be easy to manage.
Ayes, 133. Noes, 0. Neutral, 3.
Jan. 28.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Francia. Venetian Archives.
20. Giovanni Sagredo, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
The report of the engagement of General Preston for the service of his Catholic Majesty is confirmed from Flanders. He will have a provision of 500 crowns a month with which to collect a force of 20,000 Irish for the next campaign. In addition to receiving the permission of the English parliament he has had orders and been given money for the realisation of this enterprise.
Paris, the 28th January, 1653.
Jan. 28.
Senato, Secreta. Dispacci, Napoli. Venetian Archives.
21. Polo Vendramin, Venetian Resident at Naples, to the Doge and Senate.
Some weeks ago I wrote that English ships had brought into this port a great Dutch vessel (fn. 19) in which the Lomellini of Genoa have a considerable interest. I have now to add that while the case of this prize is under consideration the English have let it be understood that they do not mean to abide by the decision of the Court here and they claim that the parliament of London is the sole judge. For this cause the captains of their ships were committed to prison on Saturday by order of his Excellency, and on the following Sunday all the ships of that nation moved away from the quayside, taking with them the Dutch ship in question. It would seem as if this move might render the case of the imprisoned captains somewhat hazardous, but it seems probable that the skill of the good consul whom they have here, will in the end find some way out of this dilemma.
Naples, the 28th January, 1653.


  • 1. Forwarded with Sagredo's despatch of the 14th January.
  • 2. Saltonstall, Chapman or Chaplin, Young and Taylor. Cal. S.P. Dom. 1652-3, pp. 23, 32, 78, 98.
  • 3. Presumably he means the Elizabeth and Constant Warwick which got away to Naples, together with the recaptured Phœnix. See the preceding Vol. of this Calendar, pp. 321, 327.
  • 4. The Phœnix.
  • 5. Forwarded by Sagredo on the 21st January.
  • 6. The case of the San Salvador. See the preceding Vol. of this Calendar, pp. 309, 312.
  • 7. Trotto brought the letters (which were of the 7 and 8 Dec.) arriving on the 27th Dec. Salvetti saw the Council of State on the 2nd Jan. and the letters were read in Parliament on the 7-17th January. Salvetti's despatch of the 3rd Jan. Brit Mus. Add. MSS. 27962 N. Journals of the House of Commons, Vol. vii., page 244.
  • 8. Capt. Jonas Poole, Commander of the Leopard. Cal. S.P. Dom. 1652-3, page 53.
  • 9. Possibly M. de Villieré resident of Parma, who fell into disgrace and proceeded to England in the Autumn of 1654. Thurloe : State Papers II., p. 629.
  • 10. According to Aitzema Beverningh was selected to go to the Hanse Towns, but did not start. It was not until February that de With, Waveren and Jan Ailva were sent to Lubeck. Saken van Staet en Oorlogh III, pp. 782, 785.
  • 11. Forwarded with Sagredo's despatch of the 28th January.
  • 12. His appointment was resolved on the 31st Dec. o.s. Journals of the House of Commons, Vol. vii., page 240.
  • 13. Proclamation of the 5th January o.s. By an amendment the date for their departure was fixed for the 1st March o.s. Journals of the House of Commons, Vol. vii., page 244.
  • 14. Forwarded with Sagredo's despatch of the 28th January.
  • 15. He was not recognised by the Levant Company, for whom John Hobson acted in that capacity, but without the title. In a letter of 10th Sept., 1652, the Company wrote to Hobson, "As for the name of consul, which you conceive might enable you the better to perform the service, we are not willing to renew a title which hath been so long discontinued." S.P. For. Archives, Vol. 112, f. 702.
  • 16. Forwarded with Sagredo's despatch of the 4th February.
  • 17. A letter from Portsmouth of the 4-14 January reports the sailing of the Ruby and two other frigates, but nothing further. Gardiner and Atkinson : First Dutch War, Vol. III., p. 340. The Ruby was a new frigate of 40 guns. Oppenheim : Administration of the Royal Navy, p. 332.
  • 18. Printed by Berchet : Cromwell e la Republica di Venezia pp. 44-5 and Barozzi e Berchet : Relazioni, Inghilterra, page 351.
  • 19. Probably the Red Cross of Horne of 26 guns, mentioned by Badiley in a letter of the 6th January. Cal. S.P. Dom. 1652-3, page 84.