183. Zuanne Zon, Venetian Secretary in the Netherlands,
to the Doge and Senate.
With the ships all ready to take her Majesty to England news
arrived which decided her to postpone her start for a fortnight.
She hopes, meanwhile, that the second advantage recently
obtained by the royal forces over the parliament (fn. 1) will put the
king's cause in a better position and allow her to go straight to
London with her Court. With this idea she informed the States
the day before yesterday of her decision about her departure,
leaving them at liberty to send away to sea the ships told off to
serve her, so that they may join with the others against the
The people here, who have always objected to her Majesty's
proceedings, attribute all the damage inflicted by the enemy in
these waters to her irresolution. They pour violent curses on
the king's enterprises and look upon this delay in the queen's
departure as a presage of misfortune to this state. In spite of
this 200 soldiers were secretly sent to the royal camp last week,
and her Majesty's captains are now secretly collecting more.
They are trying to hire ships to transport them to Newcastle,
with military stores, but encounter fresh difficulties owing to
the constant opposition of the Hollanders, who observe the queen's
proceedings closely. They propose to send them over in the
same ships which escort her Majesty, or with some other opportunity,
if possible, so that they may arrive opportunely for the
The Hague, the 3rd December, 1642.
184. Francesco Contarini, Venetian Proveditore of Cephalonia,
to the Doge and Senate.
The fears of the people here about the sale of their currants
has constrained them to decide to send about two millions of the
fruit to Venice by the Marciliane, since there is no money of any
sort for them here. Since then 600 thousand have been laded by
one of the English merchants who live at Zante on the ship
William John of that nation. Recently a Fleming and a Jew
laded about 500 thousand each upon the galleon Turchia. The
first lot was bought at from 12 to 16 reals the thousand, and the
others at 15, 16 up to 17 reals the thousand.
Cephalonia, the 24th November, 1642, old style.
185. Giovanni Giustinian, Venetian Ambassador in
England, to the Doge and Senate.
The energy devoted by the parliamentarians here in preparing
a vigorous resistance to the measures which they feared the king
might take against this city and in repressing the movements in
his favour which were known to be most imminent (nel ripressione
li movimenti riconosciute per bene vicini a favore di lui) have
proved so successful that they have dissipated the hopes his
Majesty at first conceived of making himself master of London
without much bloodshed or exposing himself to the hazard of
very serious perils. Accordingly in view of these most weighty
considerations he has decided that it is the wisest course to put
off until a more opportune moment the execution of a plan of
such importance. Reflecting that in the narrow limits of Otland
and its district it will be impossible to feed his army for long,
while the place is inconvenient for the arrival of the troops which
he expects from the North and from the other provinces, he has
abandoned those quarters and on Saturday in the present week
he began his march on the way back to the neighbourhood of
Oxford, for the purpose of refreshing the troops after their late
fatigues in the fertility of that country, as well as to keep all
that district steadfast in its loyalty to him.
This unexpected retirement of the king is not approved by men of
ordinary judgment (uomini d' ordinario sentimenti) who consider
it little calculated to maintain the reputation of his army. But those
of most experience consider it very well timed, because he will no
longer remain under the eye of the enemy forces, in the neighbourhood
of a city so contumacious and populous from which it can most
speedily receive powerful succours, while forcing them, if they decide
to follow him, to leave behind them their quarters where they are
supplied with every comfort and betake themselves to a more open
country, where, in the event of other engagements the royalists will
have greater opportunities of using their cavalry to advantage, an
arm in which they are overwhelmingly superior to the other side.
Before setting out his Majesty sent the Sieur di More with
letters to parliament in which he states that the late engagement
at Brancfort, at a time when overtures for peace were on foot,
was due solely to the fact that the two armies were such a short
distance apart, and he had not been able to prevent the affair.
To relieve the citizens here from apprehension about his arms he
had decided to proceed to Oxford, and that he might perform
all the duties of a pitiful prince he would there await the commissioners
with the full powers required for getting on with the
negotiations for an accommodation ; or else he would await the
parliamentary army, to decide their differences by the proof of
another battle and relieve the people of the misfortune of these
vexations, under which these states undeservedly groan, to the
exceeding grief of his Majesty. (fn. 2)
When this prudent and generous letter of the king was read
in the Upper House it was decided, after mature deliberation,
to resume the thread of negotiations for an accommodation.
But when it was taken, together with the resolution, to the Lower
House, which numbers at present only 80 members out of 500,
it did not meet with such a ready reception, This was due to
the repeated offers of the Council of this city and also to the
efforts of those who, at the cost of public calamities, seek to keep
for themselves the usurped position of a fortune more than private.
The matter was disputed with great heat and for a long time.
At last it was resolved by a small majority to pursue the negotiations
and to send commissioners to his Majesty for the purpose.
After this resolution, so distasteful to the self interested, the
Lower House presented to the Upper four articles to be presented
by the commissioners to the king, with a declaration that if they
are not granted in full that House will never consent to any other
means for an adjustment, which shows quite clearly how little
they wish to arrange one.
The articles consist in petitioning his Majesty to return to
London and assist at the parliament ; to permit his loyal servants,
pretended delinquents, to be judged and punished, religion to
be reformed in accordance with the creed of Scotland, which
means the establishment in England also by public decree of the
dogmas of Calvin, which are repugnant in their essence to the
Protestant profession ; and finally, the order of bishops to remain
prohibited and removed from the Anglican Church.
The Upper House, on the other hand, which has a strong and
fundamental inclination towards peace, perceiving that these
demands cannot possibly bring it about or be accepted by the
king, is making the most strenuous efforts to urge moderation
upon the Lower, but without success up to the present. It
represents that it is desirable for the moment to confine themselves
to generalities with his Majesty, that is to say to petition
him to move to some place near London, wherever he may be
pleased to select it, with offers to give him all the necessary
guarantees ; to preserve religion, the liberty of the country and
the privileges of parliament, and to grant a suspension of arms
during the progress of these negotiations. These requests are
all reasonable, but even if they are accepted by the Lower House
they may yet be accompanied by equivocations sufficient to
render it difficult to adjust them in such a way as to secure the
reciprocal satisfaction of the parties. For this reason opinion is
in suspense and while awaiting the event there are few who feel
any confidence that these transactions, tossed about by such
different passions and interests, will bring about any good result
such as is so greedily desired by all right thinking and unprejudiced
While attention has been devoted to the negotiations for peace,
they have not given up making the most energetic efforts for
strengthening their forces. These are increasing with every
day, although they do not improve in quality. London has
undertaken to maintain 3000 dragoons and 1000 cavalry at its
own expense so long as the war lasts, on condition that these
forces shall be commanded by a leader selected by the Council
of the city and employed where he may consider it to be best in
the interests and for the convenience of the citizens. Such a
reservation is detrimental to the despotic authority of parliament,
and also strikes a shrewd blow at the office of the General
Essex, who for this reason and on other grounds is not perfectly
satisfied, and it becomes more and more apparent that he is
cherishing increasingly bitter feelings.
Since these proposals for an agreement manifest indications of
lack of confidence have appeared between the Upper and the Lower
Houses, and suspicion between these two sections of parliament does
not sleep. If this goes on and leads to greater divisions it may
provide his Majesty with a useful means of ultimately subduing
the obstinacy of the most rebellious by the arm of their own dissensions.
It is on this account that many parliamentarians have resigned
the military offices which they discharged, and in others there are
signs of an inclination to recover their place in the king's favour
and secure their private fortunes more solidly against accidents
in the future. From which one may foresee with the evidence
of the facts that time should ultimately serve as the most efficacious
medicine for the ills of this most noble house, when every
effort and the most severe remedies have so far proved without
The ambassador from Denmark, having set out from Newcastle,
should reach the Court to-day. Every one is waiting with impatient
curiosity to learn the most authentic news of his offices.
Meanwhile the parliamentarians here confirm that he brings
instructions to busy himself for an adjustment and if this does
not ensue he has determined orders to announce that if warlike
operations continue that crown cannot refrain from assisting
his Majesty in consideration of the justice of his cause as well
as in regard to the close blood relationship which he has with the
royal house here. If the vigorous offices of the ambassador
correspond with these reports they will afford a motive for inducing
even the most obstinate to show themselves less exacting in consenting
to a reasonable composition.
London, the 5th December, 1642.
[Italian ; the part in italics deciphered.]
|186. Giovanni Giustinian, Venetian Ambassador in
England, to the Doge and Senate.
The Dutch ambassador Joachimi has obtained permission from
his masters to proceed to his native land for some days to attend
to his private concerns, as he does every year. He is waiting
for a squadron of ships from Holland to convoy him across the
sea. I shall take advantage of one of these, if I am able, to
proceed to the Imperial Court.
Meanwhile although the disorders of these times have reduced
the king's purse to great penury he has not on that account
forgotten to give proofs to myself and the Secretary Agostini
of that liberality which usually accompanies the departure of
ambassadors. Whereas in the past the Venetian ambassador
received 1200 ozs. of plate while the others had 2000 ozs. his
Majesty sent orders for me to have the same as the ambassadors
of France and Spain ; and yesterday evening the Master of the
Jewels presented me with 2000 ozs. of gold plate of Germany. I
have secured that this order of the king and its fulfilment shall
be recorded in the books of the Office of Jewels, so as to create
a precedent. On my side I have given very large rewards to the
ministers who are of consequence, following the example of the
ambassadors of France and Spain. I beg that the Senate will
permit me to keep the present of the king in view of my heavy
His Majesty gave the Secretary a gold chain, according to
custom, and he also asks permission to keep it.
London, the 5th December, 1642.
187. In the Pregadi on the 6th December 1642.
It being considered desirable to continue the concession made
to the merchants who trade in the West, which the Five Savii
alla Mercantia have reported to be of great advantage to the
that the concession in the matter of the duties on wool coming
from the West be continued for another four years, from the time
to which the last concession extended, in order to increase the
trade of those parts with this mart.
Ayes, 114. Noes, 2. Neutral, 8.
188. Zuanne Zon, Venetian Secretary in the Netherlands,
to the Doge and Senate.
The marts here suffer serious injury from the Dunkirkers
through the ships waiting here for the embarcation of the queen,
and the people here violently blame this as the real cause of all
that their trade has suffered, owing to her postponing the day
of her departure, because of events in England, and using ships
for the benefit of her husband, contrary to the wishes of the
supporters of the other side, who dislike her stay here as much as
if she was the fiercest enemy of this state. Yet they have hired
ships in her Majesty's name, and in addition to the 200 who
crossed last week, they have embarked 500 more, who will leave
these shores to-morrow for the royal camp, with some other
military provisions for the king. When the parliament commissioner
presented a memorial to the government, trying to
stop this, they merely told him that if the soldiers had not deserted
and if the officers did not complain, they could not prevent it,
as it had been done before with other friendly princes, without
difficulty. He being thus discountenanced by the General
Assembly, the States of Holland have not shown so much eagerness
to support the cause of the parliament, since the Prince is
exercising all his authority in support of the Crown, without
Since present circumstances in England seem very favourable,
the States recently revived the proposal to send the already
selected embassy extraordinary to England immediately, to
compose the differences there, but the Hollanders oppose it
again, and the project has once more been relegated to oblivion.
The members of the India Company at Amsterdam have
presented the queen of England with a large quantity of porcelain
and other most rare Oriental dainties, to the value of 50,000
The Hague, the 10th December, 1642.
189. Giovanni Giustinian, Venetian Ambassador in
England, to the Doge and Senate.
Insuperable difficulties beset the negotiations for an agreement
which were introduced in respect of the late resolution passed
in parliament owing to the insistence of the Lower House in
refusing to consent to a treaty of accommodation except upon the
conditions reported, that his Majesty should return to his residence
here, that he shall agree to give up for trial those who have
loyally and successfully served him and that religion be reformed
on the model of the doctrine of Calvin, which amounts to saying
that the government of the church here no less than that of the
monarchy shall be completely democratic. With such demands
which the interested parties themselves consider meet for refusal
(giudicati da gli interessati medesimi degni di rifiuto) Mr. Chilegre
set out on Saturday of this week for the king. Being by this
time well aware of the audacity of his subjects, his Majesty,
after listening to the tenor of the proposals, sent Chilegre back
with a promise that after he had considered the matter ripely
he would let them know more precisely what his intentions were.
Thus two days ago another gentleman arrived with other letters
from his Majesty. Although the subject matter of these is not
yet published I gather that in substance they are to the effect
that parliament does not merit his royal attendance in view of the
disrespectful treatment which he has received. That he will
never approach London, except arms in hand, but as he has at
heart a perfect good will for peace, his ears will always be open to
listen to proposals and commissioners will be received with every
mark of courtesy.
I do not hear that any reply has yet been matured to these new
advances of his Majesty. It will follow very soon but men do
not believe that it will be couched in terms likely to facilitate the
speedy conclusion of a peace.
Many nobles of the first nobility, although in the past they have
been openly opponents of the royal interests, perceiving from
experience that this inflexibility derives from the ambition of
those who are contriving to establish themselves firmly in the
saddle and from the eagerness of others to bring the government
into conformity with that of Holland, to which they perceive the
inclinations of the people here tend, are strongly opposed to
such a plan, and apprehensive of the prejudice to which, in such
case the greatness of the nobility would be exposed, they are
trying to interrupt the course of designs so pernicious to the king
and to themselves and their country as well. Thus there are
increasing indications that in the end we shall see an open division
between the nobility and the people, from which the royal
authority may arise to power again, to the final ruin of the worst
of the rebels.
Meanwhile his Majesty has proceeded to Oxford, followed by
a portion of his troops. In that city and in the places about it
he has billeted his military forces. At the most suitable positions
in the circuit he is setting them to work at the construction of
four forts, for the purpose of preventing hostile attacks and to
secure the winter quarters of the army. To many captains he
has distributed patents for the enlistment of soldiers on foot and
for cavalry, with instructions that they shall be completed at
the opening of the coming season. This seems to point to the
fact that his Majesty is at present thinking more of increasing his
forces for the coming campaign and of the recuperation of his
soldiers in good and commodious quarters than of attempting
any other enterprises.
Before approaching Oxford he stayed for some days in the
town of Redin owing to a heating of the blood (ebollizione di
sangue) by which the prince was overtaken, so violent that he
had to take to his bed, and preventing him from continuing his
journey. (fn. 3) He is now in perfect health and remains at his
In this same town, which was so rebellious, the king has left
a numerous garrison of armed squadrons, and has caused earthworks
to be raised, thus rendering it safe from movements from
within as well as from anything that may be feared from the other
side. The city of Chichester also, the capital of Sussex and
bathed by the sea, has openly embraced the king's side, with
offers to send him assistance in men and money to the extent
of the capacity of the people there.
After his Majesty's departure from Otland the earl of Essex
set out from Branford and advanced with all his army to Kingston.
There he occupied the bridge and the quarters abandoned by the
royalists. They are sending the new troops in that direction.
Others are being despatched to Ferman, a small place 30 miles
from here which they have surprised, taking prisoner 80 of the
king's soldiers who guarded it. It is now stated that Essex is
contemplating an approach to the quarters of his Majesty and
attempting to gain some advantage over his troops ; but as the
report of his intentions has got about the royalists will have
time to avoid any injury and may possibly make the damage
recoil on the heads of those who contrive it with such lack of
The earl of Warwick has refused the command of the new troops
which they offered to him these last weeks and has returned to
the Downs to attend to the direction of the naval force. Lord
Fildinch also, who was falsely reported slain in the late battle, has
resigned his office and is trying by every means to reestablish
himself in his Majesty's favour. (fn. 4)
The Council of London has paid out to the parliamentary
treasurers 30,000l. sterling, collected in a few days from the private
purses of the people here, to be used for paying the army to which
a large amount is due. As this sum is not enough to meet
requirements parliament is asking for 200,000l. to follow, with
a statement that if this provision is wanting it will prove impossible
to maintain the army any longer. Accordingly they
have made application to the Companies here, that it to say the
guilds, to induce them to give their plate, left to them in common
by deceased freemen of the company, and amounting to a considerable
sum. But the directors opposed this vigorously and
so far the utmost efforts have not availed to obtain their consent,
although they have threatened to take the plate away without
their good will.
In the county of York baron Farfax, commander of the parliamentary
forces in those parts, is keeping the city of York
strictly blockaded. The earl of Cumberland, on the other hand,
who commands the royal troops in that country, united with the
earl of Newcastle, is advancing in that direction with numerous
squadrons, for the purpose of engaging the enemy, and delivering,
if it be possible, that important fortress from the peril of falling
into the hands of the parliament, and they are waiting for news
of the result here.
The ambassador of Denmark arrived at Court and saw his
Majesty on Saturday. After another private audience he went
back to the coast to take ship and return to his sovereign. He
brought offers to the king of the most powerful assistance imaginable
from that crown, but no well authenticated information
has arrived with particulars of this assistance, and it is awaited
with anxious impatience.
The parliamentarians here have heard with no little sorrow
the unexpected news of the death of Cardinal Richelieu. (fn. 5) They
fear that now the obstacle of the representations of that minister
are removed, who was ill disposed towards the interests of the
sovereigns here, the queen will be able more easily to obtain
assistance from the Most Christian, her brother, for her husband,
whereas they were confident of obtaining support from that
quarter for their cause.
The insurgents in Ireland continue their series of successes
with new enterprises, and are steadily gaining a firmer hold upon
the possession of the country occupied. They have 30,000
combatants under their banners, they keep 30 well armed ships
at sea and they have recently captured a rich vessel which was on
its way to the ports here laden with goods from the other side
Following upon the honours done to me by his Majesty, parliament
also has appointed the earl of Holland and lord Fildinch
to pay their respects. They called at this house two days ago
and expressed the regard of the parliament for your Excellencies
and a desire for the continuance of cordial relations. They
expressed regret at my departure. They also offered a ship to
take me to Holland. I made a suitable reply. Lord Holland
made excuses for not telling me anything about the affair of the
currants. He assured me that the present disturbances had
prevented him from doing it, but he promised that nothing should
be done to disturb the trade between the two states.
London, the 12th December, 1642.
190. To the Proveditore of Zante.
Our ambassador in England writes of the desire of the king
there that the trade with the most serene republic be not interrupted.
He is to keep on the alert about smuggling and take
care that it is prevented. He is to find out what orders the
English in the island have from their correspondents, and to
send full particulars.
Ayes, 125. Noes, 0. Neutral, 8.
|191. To the Proveditore of Cephalonia.
There is a manifest prejudice and irregularity in that while a
prohibition is in force preventing English merchants from lading
currants in the islands, these same merchants are able to dispose
of their cloth and kerseys and they do, even in this city. Accordingly
we charge you to cause the reception and sale of English
cloth and kerseys in the islands to be prohibited under pain of
the forfeiture of the cloth and double its value.
That an instruction be given to the Avogadori di Comun to
cause to be published the total prohibition of every sort of cloth
The Savii ai Ordini.
|192. To the Secretary Agostini in England.
Seeing the uncertainty whether the decree made by parliament
prohibiting the subjects of that kingdom from going to lade
currants in our islands of Zante and Cephalonia, will be withdrawn,
and to afford support to the good will of the king, who
inclines to cause the ancient use and commerce to be continued but
who may encounter difficulties in view of the revolutions of the
kingdom, we have accordingly decided that it shall be prohibited
to the English to dispose of their cloth in this city or in our
dominions. This will be enforced and practised until the decree
of the parliament is withdrawn. If you hear any talk on the
subject and if any one speaks to you about it, you will say, as
if of yourself, that the English nation has always been favoured
and received in the most friendly fashion and has enjoyed the
greatest advantages and when this innovation introduced by
parliament has ended you feel sure that this order will be withdrawn.
You will also intimate to the people there the advantage
of doing this in the interest of the subjects of both powers.
The Savii ai Ordini.
193. Zuanne Zon, Venetian Secretary at the Hague, to
the Doge and Senate.
The queen of England sent her gentleman by land to Paris
yesterday, to negotiate for her reception at Court. (fn. 6) She did
this without informing the French minister here. He complains
bitterly at the slight.
Under the pretence of revisiting their own homes a large number
of officers are passing to England to take service on the side of
the king. The Hollanders complain bitterly about this to the
Prince, because he allows them to go and gives passports to every
one of them without any difficulty. He defends himself on the
score of the time of year when he does not require the assistance
of the captains for his own affairs, as he does in the summer
time, and also on the ground of inveterate custom to allow the
English to return to their homes in the winter and to stay there
for some time.
The Hague, the 17th December, 1642.
194. To the Ambassador Zustignan, designate to his Imperial
Approval of his leave taking of the king and for obtaining
from him not only an oral statement but letters in favour of the
title of our ambassador to treatment on a par with the ambassadors
of France and Spain, and also for allowing the continued
importation of currants from the islands into that country. In
recognition of his services and of the fresh and heavy expenditure
he has to incur, 1000 ducats is granted to him as a gift, to be paid
to his agents by the Camerlenghi di Comun. †With regard to
the expenses incurred by him on the presents he left for the sake
of convenience and decorum for the Master of the Ceremonies
and the Secretary of State to put them under an obligation for
the punctual fulfilment of the king's wishes in the matters aforesaid,
he may put them in his accounts and they will be allowed
Ayes, 155. Noes, 1. Neutral, 7.
On the 15th December in the Collegio.
Ayes, 13. Noes, 7. Neutral, 4.
Second vote :
Ayes, 12. Noes, 9. Neutral, 3. Pending.
On the 19th December in the Collegio :
Ayes, 16. Noes, 2. Neutral, 2. 4/5 carried.
The question of 1000 ducats as a gift submitted separately.
Ayes, 126. Noes, 24. Neutral, 15.
Second vote :
Ayes, 105. Noes, 27. Neutral, 14. Pending.
On the 18th December in the Collegio, without the words between
Ayes, 16. Noes, 4. Neutral, 5.
Second vote :
Ayes, 14. Noes, 5. Neutral, 2. Pending.
In the margin :
The question of the donation standing over the letters were
sent without the part between the signs†, the rest being carried.
195. Gio. Giustinian, Venetian Ambassador in England,
to the Doge and Senate.
After performing all the necessary offices I am setting out
for the coast. I shall take the first opportunity of a safe passage,
though with the disturbed conditions and the severe weather it
seems incredibly inconvenient and increases discomfort as well
The ships expected by the Ambassador Joachimi have not yet
reached these shores from Holland, and I am doubtful about
accepting his offer because of the fear of an encounter with the
Dunkirkers, who are scouring this Channel with sixty well armed
ships, without resistance and have recently made booty of several
rich Dutch ships.
Baron Bruch, a leading member of the rebel party in parliament,
called at this house two days ago, and repeated the offer
of a ship of the parliament to cross to Holland. But I sounded
the king's sentiments and found that he would not be pleased
for me to accept this courtesy. So I have given up the idea and
elect rather to venture on a private ship, though it involves
At the moment of my departure his Majesty has sent a gentleman
on purpose to express his friendliness and his satisfaction
at the way I have discharged my duties. The secretary of state
has also given me the privilege usually granted to all the ambassadors
of your Excellencies, of bearing the lions on their arms. He
also gave me the enclosed letter, asking me to move the Senate
in favour of Mr. Talbot, of other English subjects and for the
continuance of good relations between his Majesty and your
Excellencies. I enclose my reply. I thought it useful to tell
them of my instructions to visit the queen in Holland, and present
the letters of your Excellencies of which I have sent a copy.
I have exchanged visits with the Dutch ambassador this week.
He accepts the title of Monsieur from me while he calls me
Excellency. This will serve as a precedent.
So much for this week, as I will leave the Secretary Agostini
to report the news. His zeal for the public service will leave your
Excellencies nothing to desire.
London, the 19th December, 1642.
196. Edward Nicolas to Giovanni Giustinian, Venetian
Has sent an order of his Majesty to the king at arms for an
augmentation of the ambassador's arms much greater than has
been used with his predecessors. Wishes him a pleasant journey.
The king's satisfaction with the way he has discharged his duties.
Feels sure Mr. Talbot will not need his good offices with the
republic, or this realm for the continuance of true and sincere
relations with Venice.
Oxford, the 30th November—10th December, 1642.
[Italian, from the French.]
|197. Gio. Giustinian, Venetian Ambassador to Edward
Nicolas, Secretary of State.
Thanks and compliments. Desire of the republic for the
maintenance unchanged of friendly relations and to treat all
the king's ministers and subjects as their own. To show esteem
for the royal house, has instructions to see the queen in Holland
and deliver her the letter of which a copy is enclosed.
London, the 13th December, 1642.
198. Gerolamo Agostini, Venetian Secretary in England,
to the Doge and Senate.
After performing the complimentary offices with the king and
Court and with some of the lords here, and receiving unusual
marks of esteem in return, the Ambassador is proceeding to the
coast, where he will await a favourable opportunity. It is to be
hoped that he will reach the Imperial Court without too great
inconvenience. Here I will endeavour to fulfil my task to the
best of my ability.
During the rest which the season imposes upon the armies
negotiations for an adjustment have been opened. Some of the
leading parliamentarians, chiefly among the lords, are repenting
tardily of using their authority for its own destruction in despoiling
the king. But the rebels of the Lower House, well knowing
that for such a conclusion nothing can be derived for their own
profit except an unconditional pardon, hold fast to their principles,
fortified by the people of this city which supports them, and so
nearly all hope of this boon has vanished.
The proposals for peace made by parliament to the king were
all summed up in the chief one, calling upon his Majesty to reside
here, with all the consequences involved, for which an unbridled
people, ambitious of rule might be expected to be prepared.
The answer brought by the gentleman from the Court, was
vigorous and a response to the demand, though the king did not
show any unwillingness for the end proposed, provided on this
side they were ready to meet him in a sincere spirit. Nevertheless
the more hot headed of the parliamentarians were incensed so
that they did not allow the printing of the letter, in the usual
way. Neither have they yet made any further reply to his
Majesty, using all their energy to prevent the well disposed from
exerting their influence, which though praiseworthy and necessary,
suits their interests the less on that account. But the discomforts
felt by the people may cause disturbances which may force
even the most obstinate to yield. The occasion may arise when
they insist by force on the collection of the taxes imposed by
parliament this week. From the courtesy of those who favour
their party they have so far obtained the money for maintaining
the war. They requested all to lend in accordance with their
ability and as they offered 8 per cent. yearly, many of the most
enthusiastic promptly obliged, supposing, as they were given to
believe, that this loan would suffice unaided to deliver the country
from its troubles, the Puritan religion from censure and perhaps
the kingdom from monarchy. But with these offers ceasing
and the requirements increasing it was necessary to provide a
remedy depending upon force rather than upon courtesy. Parliament
therefore decided that everyone must pay a fifth of his
income, and those who have no income, 5 per cent. of their
capital, declaring moreover that the fifth must be paid in money
and plate, and menacing those who object with severe penalties.
They are now busy about the method of exacting this. It will
not be easy, as it is generally unpopular, especially among the
merchants, many of whom protest they will absent themselves,
as it does not suit them to make known their capital and still
less to pay for others.
The Danish ambassador, besides the money and arms which
he brought the king, offered him in his master's name at a secret
audience, more vigorous assistance still. With the gift of a
jewel worth 1000l. sterling he has returned home, without intervening
in the peace, as was expected, and he does not even pass
The policy of that king, the death of Cardinal Richelieu, who
showed his partiality, and the suspicion that the influence of
the Prince of Orange will suffice to overcome the leaning of the
Provinces to their party, all help to cause apprehension to the
parliamentarians that the king, strengthened by foreign auxiliaries,
may be able in the next campaign to make the attempt against
this city which he did not venture to institute for lack of a party,
which will increase as discontent grows.
For this reason they have urged the earl of Essex, at present
quartered at Windsor, to advance to attack the king's quarters,
before he can take any advantage from the junction of the other
forces which he expects. But the unsuitable season, the new
fortifications erected by his Majesty, and more than all, the
desire of the commanders to fill their own purses, have so far
prevented anything being done.
Six lords of the Upper House, with the permission though
without the orders of parliament, have gone together to the said
general, under the pretence of visiting the army, but as there are
some friends of peace among them I am advised that they will
secretly attempt to persuade the general, otherwise strongly
opposed, to second their efforts. I shall know the truth when
Meanwhile the earl of Newcastle, crossing the Bishopric of
Durham with 6000 infantry and 1000 horse, has proceeded to
York, driving away the parliamentary forces which were blockading
the city. He will stay in the district to encourage the
royalist party, to secure the landing of foreign succour at Newcastle,
and to prevent an invasion of the Scots, who are urgently
called upon to assist the party here, in accordance with agreements
already made. But the two armies in Wales and Cornwall will
advance at the earliest moment to reinforce the royal army.
1000 horse have been sent to them from Oxford to enable them
to overcome any obstacles on the way and to open a passage
through the disaffected country they have to cross.
London, the 19th December, 1642.
199. Zuanne Zon, Venetian Secretary at the Hague, to
the Doge and Senate.
At the instance of the Hollanders their High Mightinesses
have authorised the old-standing declaration that all officers of
their army who enter the service of foreign princes immediately
forfeit their appointments, especially those who go to England.
They have written directing their ambassador there to inform
all officers in that country of this. They mean to act with the
utmost rigour in the matter, making no exceptions, even for
those of high rank.
The false ministers of the word of God here detest the Prince's
actions which show his favour to the royal cause. They speak
audaciously and exaggerate the assistance supplied to the king
of England as being a certain proof of his inclination to Catholicism,
thus seeking to discredit him with the people and to
undermine his authority. He tries to conciliate the populace
and adheres to the name of Calvinist. To this end and contrary
to custom he has issued a most rigorous edict against the Catholics
whereby he hopes to recover his former influence and thus be
enabled, in the course of time, to carry out his plans.
The Hague, the 24th December, 1642.
200. To the Ambassador in England.
Approval of his intention to set out without regard for the
season of the year. Permission to keep the present made him
by the king of England. Similar permission for the Secretary
Agostini to keep the chain given him by the king.
Ayes, 169. Noes, 0. Neutral, 4.
|201. That the plate amounting to 2000 ozs. of gold granted
to Giovanni Giustinian by the king of Great Britain on his taking
leave be allowed to him as a token of the satisfaction with his
merits and his admirable services, and in relief of his heavy
The same for the chain given by his Majesty to the Secretary
On the 26th December in the Collegio :
Ayes, 16. Noes, 1. Neutral, 0.
For the Secretary :
Ayes, 17. Noes, 0. Neutral, 0.
In the Secreta :
Ayes, 169. Noes, 3. Neutral, 0.
202. Gerolamo Agostini, Venetian Secretary in England,
to the Doge and Senate.
Great and remarkable commotions have taken place in this
city during the present week, which might have been expected
from the taxes recently ordered by parliament, as I indicated.
At the moment when they were about to begin the exaction of
these, some Protestant leaders, rousing from their lethargy and
stimulated by their own interests to throw aside their fear of
the opposing Puritan party, drew up a petition, to be presented
to parliament, signed by a considerable number of their party.
This petition merely expresses their desire to have a peace
honourable for the king, out of consideration for the present
disorders and the fear of worse to come. But while they were
collecting signatures the mayor heard of it, and although the
demands were reasonable, he knew that it would give rise to
hurtful divisions, and so he had it taken by force from those
concerned. But they, gathering in great numbers at his house,
obliged him to give it back, and no one could prevent them from
completing their work.
There were difficulties about presenting it because parliament
had ordered that no paper of the city of London could be admitted
without the approval of the Council there. It was therefore
necessary to apply to them. Both parties met there, numerous
and powerful, and a scandalous riot occurred in which some were
injured. But in the end the Puritan party prevailed because they
were armed. Accordingly the Council decided to propose itself
what seemed proper to itself, undertaking to give previous notice
to the promoters, a part of whom, however, they afterwards
imprisoned on various pretexts.
Not satisfied with this, but rather more incensed, the Protestant
party, joined with some of the less fanatical, without waiting
to hear further from the Council, presented themselves to the
number of 3000 to parliament on Wednesday morning to present
this petition. But this was not allowed, only ten or twelve
being permitted to appear, as they did yesterday. They were put
off to another time to see what the Council will say, which is likely
to correspond with the wishes of the parliamentary leaders.
Meanwhile in the Upper House, the peers, most of whom
sincerely desire an adjustment, perceiving all authority to be
passing to the party of the people, which will be all powerful,
have taken advantage of this stir and of the impression which
the six returned from the army claim to have made on the general,
the earl of Essex. They have held continuous debates upon the
formation of articles, which have been engrossed, 16 in number.
But as they have not been voted or communicated to the Lower
House, their contents cannot be known. I understand that they
are quite reasonable, but while they do not insist upon the punishment
of his Majesty's favourites, yet they are unanimously
determined that the present parliament shall continue in London
during the pleasure of the two Chambers. This rock wrecks his
Majesty's authority, and it is probable that he will try to evade it
by some pretext or other, especially now that he is favoured by the
civil discords in London, which affords hope that he will come
safely to port.
With regard to rendering his Majesty's disposition favourable,
they have conducted to the palace of St. James with a numerous
escort of coaches the two little princes, who were recently placed
in a private house in the city by order of parliament, under the
pretext of removing them from danger and alarm, to which they
were exposed in those outlying suburbs, when the royal forces
were near and a number of parliamentary forces in the district
for a guard. Amid all these hopes, fears and changes they do not
neglect to strengthen the army with all their might, and to urge
the earl of Essex to attack Redin, where the king has 2000 soldiers
posted on high ground. But the general does not seem at all
inclined, which excites some suspicion among the members of
the Lower House, which had already taken birth. But it is
possible that he holds back from fear that the king may hasten
thither with his whole army, and force him to a battle, with
danger of that bad success which has been experienced by these
forces on every occasion. Thus recently at Marlboro, a considerable
town 20 miles from Oxford, whither his Majesty sent
Mr. Wilmot with 4000 foot and 1000 horse, he half destroyed the
place by fire, routed the parliamentary troops and sacked the
houses of the disloyal people, carrying off several prisoners. (fn. 7)
Another encounter has occurred in Devonshire, and though the
victory is claimed by this side because of some prisoners, (fn. 8) yet
this has not prevented the royalists from appearing at Plymouth,
to the great alarm of the inhabitants, who offered a considerable
sum of money to escape the peril.
In York the earl of Newcastle united with the army of Cumberland,
forming a considerable force, has entered the chief city to
secure it against another siege, and also to purge it of some disaffected
to the royalist cause, who were there. Fresh confirmation
arrives that both will remain in those parts to prevent any
invasion that the Scots might attempt.
The Scots having obtained a passport from parliament for
sending here some extraordinary commissioners, ostensibly for
the union of the churches, asked a safe conduct of the king.
His Majesty refused this twice but finally gave way, so as not to
give them any cause for offence. It is believed that they will
meddle in the peace, but this mediation will certainly have no
credit at Court, nor will their threats make any impression.
With increasing lack of money and the means of obtaining
any, parliament is contemplating cutting off the expense of
maintaining an extraordinary fleet always at sea. At the same
time they do not neglect to prevent the arrival of foreign succours
for the king, which are feared from many quarters, but chiefly
from Denmark. However, by a special decree parliament has
given permission to any English merchant to arm ships to go
privateering, conceding to them, less the Admiralty's tenth,
full possession of all the arms and munitions of war which they
may take, directed to his Majesty, as well as the ships and goods
of corsairs of every nation. They have to find security for 2000l.
sterling to keep within these limits. The permission is welcome
in the lack of employment for ships, but abused, as it well may
be, it may lead to serious trouble. But those who rule will not
mind that as they are moved by private not public interests.
A gentleman sent by parliament to the States has left for
Holland. He is to thank them for their friendly disposition to
this party. He will offer the continuance of mutual relations
for the service of their common republics and religion and will
go even further if any opening is given him. But there is no
sign of this, and for the moment this mission is directed solely
to strengthen the offices of the other gentleman now there, and so
far as possible to render vain the machinations of the queen and
the Prince of Orange.
The Dutch Ambassador Joachimi, urged by his own affairs,
has profited by the opportunity of two ships which have arrived
from Zeeland, and has also crossed the sea. The Ambassador
Giustinian has not taken advantage of this from fear of the
Dunkirkers who are strong at sea, and he hopes to get a ship
less suspect and safer for his passage.
London, the 26th December, 1642.
[Italian ; the part in italics deciphered.]
203. Zuanne Zon, Venetian Secretary at the Hague, to
the Doge and Senate.
The people here are constant in their desire for peace and speak
of it at every opportunity. The Prince knows how much his
authority has suffered since the alliance of his son with the
princess Mary of England, because of what he has had to do in the
interests of that Crown. He foresees that it will suffer still
more from a peace or truce with Spain under present circumstances,
and so he maintains the necessity of continuing the war.
He hopes thus to recover his ancient authority and in course of
time to secure the position of his son.
On account of the news which has arrived of the favourable
disposition of the Londoners to peace, the queen proposes to
leave for England in a few days. Yet she is trying hard to
secure a safe passage to the royal camp to one Chin, of Scottish
extraction, an old soldier who served as general in the Swedish
army. He would command all his Majesty's forces during the
war with the parliament, being subordinate to the king alone.
The Hague, the last day of the year, 1642.