Venice: February 1663

Pages 228-231

Calendar of State Papers Relating To English Affairs in the Archives of Venice, Volume 33, 1661-1664. Originally published by His Majesty's Stationery Office, London, 1932.

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February 1663

Feb. 1.
298. Pietro Ricardo Neostad to Alvise Sagredo, Ambassador in France. (fn. 1)
The Resident Giavarina left the embassy here this morning for Flanders; he left me the enclosed to forward to your Excellency. He also directed me to attend to whatever concerned the service of your Excellency in these parts, as I willingly offered to do, both to my old standing devotion to the ministers of the most serene republic and to win me a place in the good graces of your Excellency, wherein I hope to produce results if not commensurate with the magnitude of the duty at least so far as my slender powers will allow.
The aim of this government is to establish perfect quiet within the kingdom, make trade to nourish and to cultivate a feeling of affection towards the royal house among the people. To this end the king, some days ago caused a declaration to be published to the people (fn. 2) in order to remove any shadow of suspicion they may have entertained, as if he had been drawn to the Catholic party with a leaning to revenge and tyranny. He says that he has re-established the former rite of the Anglican church, in order to conform to the laws of the realm and to destroy innovations at the root. But for those, who from tenderness of conscience have some scruple or dislike for this, he promises at the next parliament to find a means for affording them comfort and satisfaction.
He recalls with horror that from the Catholic religion were born the beginnings of the past calamities, but seeing that during his exile he had been assisted with so much kindness by the Catholics, he promises to those of his subjects who wish to live peaceably in that faith to propose to parliament and get them to allow this to be done in security, though without permitting their priests to give occasion for scandal, by appearing in public in their vestments or by celebrating openly.
His clemency has amazed the world by completely blotting out the past. He does not wish to maintain the troops and guards except in so far as it may be necessary for the safety of his person and of the royal House, and when attempts at violence shall have ceased these will be disbanded and reduced without more ado, to the numbers required solely for decorum. He further promises to reduce the expenses of the naval forces, garrisons and royal household, so that his people from henceforth shall not be burdened with their maintenance, or only lightly.
One Calamy, a Presbyterian preacher, deprived of his parish as such, happening one day during the late festivities, to be present to hear the sermon, when the regular clergyman was late in putting in an appearance was pressingly invited by the people to take the place of the absentee, with the offer to uphold him in whatever might follow. Having complied with their request without railing against the government of state or church, yet, when the regular clergyman arrived and accused him, he was put in prison, but he was shortly afterwards released by the king's gracious order at the intercession of the commune. (fn. 3)
Three other leading Presbyterians of the same character were called upon, according to law, to take the oath of uniformity and accept the supremacy of bishops. (fn. 4) Two of them asked and obtained a respite of eight days in which to make their decision but the third pleaded that he was unable to do this, indeed he meant to resist, so he was banished from the city and country for life.
Thanks to the diligent application of the ducal Viceroy, communications with Ireland have been reopened after an interruption of many years, and the posts have begun to proceed from Dublin to Edinburgh and vice versa.
An express sent recently by the States of Holland arrived with the ratification of the last treaty of peace with the king, and receiving that of his Majesty in exchange, set off back again to the Provinces.
Ambassadors of Muscovy are treating here to obtain a sum of money and military officers, with scant success. It is said that one of them will leave in fifteen days for France on the way to Venice with a suite of 35 persons, ten being persons of rank and 25 servants. His name is Ivan Onassei Telebuschi. He is a jovial and affable person of a humourous disposition (di spiriti bizzirri).
Mons. di Cominges, having already had secret audience of his Majesty and a long conference with the chancellor, is engaged in forming his household and in getting together all he requires for his public entry, very soon, about which and whatever else may happen your Excellency shall be informed in my subsequent letters.
London, the 22nd January, (fn. 5) 1663.
Feb. 13.
299. Alvise Grimani and Alvise Sagredo, Venetian Ambassadors in France, to the Doge and Senate.
At the departure of Giavarina from London he left some one to write advices here every week. Although we have received no instructions on the matter we think it our duty to forward the enclosed. (fn. 6)
Paris, the 13th February, 1662. [M.V.]
Feb. 15.
300. Petro Ricardo Neostad to Alvise Sagredo, Ambassador in France. (fn. 7)
On the 1st inst. I wrote my first communication to your Excellency, enclosing a packet of the Resident Giavarina, who left here that same day for Flanders, and I hope he has reached your Excellency safely. With regard to my own guidance and support no command has yet reached me from your Excellency about continuing, yet I have thought it my duty to report what little has happened.
Two ambassadors of Muscovy had their audience the day before yesterday to take leave of the Court and to-day they are to leave this city for France and then go straight on to Italy without stopping anywhere, except for a few days at Florence. And whereas in my earlier letter I reported, according to information received, that only one was going, namely Ivan Offonassei Teleburchi, governor of Carmischi, his Excellency himself has since told me that his colleague will accompany him, Ivan Davidof by name. Between the two of them they will have the suite I advised, viz., a secretary of state, a priest, four gentlemen, two interpreters and about 25 servants. They will proceed from Paris through Milan to Florence to dispose of some business with the Grand Duke there, before going on to Venice where they will stay for some time.
They asked me to write to Venice so that when they pass the frontier of the state they may find the conveyances ready and not be held up for lack of them; accordingly I report this to your Excellency to be forwarded to the proper quarter.
The third of them, although the first in rank, will remain on here until they have renewed the old standing treaties of state and trade with this crown and this people, to their mutual advantage. He is also negotiating to take away some military officers of this nation and foreigners, into the pay of his emperor, to be employed for his requirements.
As he has not yet completed the numbers of his household the Sieur de Cominges is postponing his public entry to the Embassy. None the less he frequently goes to the palace and to audience of the king and often confers with the ministers of state. It is said that the principal object of his negotiations is to induce this crown to agree to the establishment of the free market at Dunkirk, offering to include the Dutch as well, who support the project. Frequent consultations are held in which his Majesty takes part, at the lord Chancellor's, who has recovered his health, but has not yet gone out of doors.
Sir Vareston, a Scot, excluded from the general pardon to Cromwell's party, has been sent prisoner to the Tower of London, having been taken at Rouen and handed over to the English ministers by order of the Most Christian. (fn. 8)
The parliament of Scotland has conceded, as the utmost limit, to a certain Presbyterian preacher, whose parish has not yet been provided with an episcopalian, that he may administer it until the 1/11 of the present month of February, when he will have to conform with the rest or resign it. It is further ordained, upon, pain of banishment, that similar ministers already deprived, shall not preach secretly or celebrate the sacrament of the Lord's supper or preach their doctrine to any one, except to their own household. All the inhabitants are enjoined that on feast days every man must go to his own parish to hear the sermon, upon pain of a fine.
Here they are engaged in arranging the affairs to be discussed in the forthcoming parliament, for which the king has announced the first meeting for the 18/28 inst. Of what follows your Excellency shall be duly informed, whose commands I now await.
London, the 5/15 February, 1663.
Feb. 23.
Busta 30.
301. Carolus D. G. Rex etc. D. Dom. Contareno Ven. Duci etc. Salutem:
Litteras ad ser. vest. ser. rep. Venet. mense Martio salutis anni 1662 in gratiam subditi nostri delecti Thom. Annandii a Chiliarcha secunda dedimus amice rogantis ut liceret emerito post xvii. annorum militiam fideliter et fortiter contra Christiani nominis hostes sub vexillis ser. rep. Ven. defunctam in patriam redire utque quae meruit stipendia integra numerat jubere placeret premium benigne concessisse per litteras Ser. Vest, ejusdem anni mense Mayo ad nos datas certiores facti sumus quod superest ut merita et adhuc debita numerentur jam secundo solicitamus hoc Ser. Vest, justum illi commodum, merere militis est principis remunerare favorem hanc de justitia eto munificentia Ser. Vest. ser. rep. Venetae expectantes, felicia omnia et prospera perpetuum incolumitatem optamus. Dat. e regio nostra Albaula die mensis Feb. 13 Ano. Dni 1662/3 et regni nostri decimo quarto.
(Signed:) Carolus R.
ex mandato regiae Maj. Lauderdale.


  • 1. Forwarded with the despatch of Grimani and Sagredo from Paris of 13 February.
  • 2. The king's declaration of 6–16 December, 1662. See Vaughan: Hist of England Vol. ii., page 600.
  • 3. Dr. Edward Calamy, sent to Newgate on 6 January, o.s., for preaching in his old church of St. Mary's, Aldermanbury; released on 13 January. Cal. S.P. Dom. 1663–4, page 10; Mercurius Publicus, Jan. 1–8.
  • 4. Apparently Calamy, Bates and Manton, or possibly Baxter instead of Calamy, who has been already mentioned. See Cal. S.P. Dom. 1663–4, page 65.
  • 5. From his next letter it appears that the date is old style.
  • 6. i.e. the preceding letter.
  • 7. Forwarded with Grimani's despatch of 6th March.
  • 8. Archibald Johnston, laird of Wariston, taken at Rouen by Alexander Murray on 4–14 January, Cal. S.P. Dom. 1663–4, page 3.