204. Gerolamo Agostini, Venetian Secretary in England,
to the Doge and Senate.
The Protestants, with increasing assistance from their party,
persist in their demands for peace, and so far the imprisonment
of several leaders has not checked this. On several occasions
in last week and this they have appeared in considerable numbers
at the gates of parliament with their petitions to present.
Although they have been put off under one pretext or another
so far their impatience has not led them to go beyond threats
and protests that they will show themselves stronger in the future.
Meanwhile the mayor and Council of the city have had time
to present their petition, in which they certainly ask for peace,
but only if a safe one can be had. They further ask parliament
under no circumstances to grant the demands of the others, as
being malignant and seditious people.
Encouraged by this support a few lords of the Upper House
who are more in sympathy with the Lower than the others, have
so altered the articles for the peace that the well intentioned ones
scarcely venture to have them shown to the king, indeed some of
them have protested. But a part of them was sent yesterday
to the Lower House for consideration, the others still remaining
under discussion and the benefit that many sincerely desire
seems unlikely to ensue.
With the difficulties in collecting the new taxes they are now
thinking of other means for finding money, with the intention
of letting the burden fall on those who expressed a desire for a
peace to the king's advantage. But such partiality and violence
may give rise to a troublesome revolt in the city and possibly in
the whole kingdom. Two openly hostile parties being now formed
it will be difficult to arrange an adjustment between them without
one or the other remaining predominant. For this reason they have
suggested that before the new party becomes stronger they shall
compel everybody to declare himself, allowing no neutrals. To
uphold the credit of the parliamentary armies, encourage their
followers and depress their opponents they had bonfires lighted
and the bells rung in all the parishes of this city upon the news
from Winchester two days ago of the capture of 500 Royalist
horse under baron Grandison, who subsequently escaped, as if
it was one of the greatest victories. (fn. 1)
The king on his part has not neglected to foment this new
dissension as much as possible. Seizing the excellent opportunity
of the tax he has published a long declaration pointing out the
mischief of such an innovation, which shows the tyranny of the
present government. It is easy to believe that interest will do more
to attract the people here than has loyalty to their natural prince. In
consequence of this he has also issued a proclamation that none
of his people shall pay any tax or even the usual duties on foreign
merchandise. Although this will not take effect yet it will
cause trouble to the parliamentarians, because he threatens the
executory commissioners with heavy punishment. As these have
much property they now intimate that they no longer wish to
have the direction of the customs, and if, from necessity these
fall into the hands of needy persons, they will be collected with
scanty advantage to the public.
Newcastle has issued a declaration in the county of York in
which, to increase his following he states the reasons which induced
him to enter there with his forces, pointing out the advantage
to the people. He apologises at the same time for introducing
some Catholics among his troops. He has done this in order to
discredit a false letter from Holland, recently published here,
stating that the queen had obtained a contribution from the
Catholics inhabiting the United Provinces, for increasing and
maintaining those armies, showing that it is in this way and not
from a few miserable landings that all the succour from the
Netherlands reaches the town of Newcastle.
To encourage this notion and discredit the explanations
parliament has issued a paper stating that Catholics who take
service in the king's armies, in any part of the realm, may be
slain with impunity, and the commons are obliged to assist those
who engage in this work.
Cumberland also has published some orders for the governance
of the city of York, for the quiet and safety of good subjects of
the king, if possible. Two days ago two ships reached the port
of Newcastle from Amsterdam, bringing Colonel Gorin and
several army officers, as well as a certain amount of money.
We hear that he left suddenly because he feared the arrival of
some order from the States to stop him.
Owing to the arrival of these supplies and to the fear of yet
greater reinforcements from there or Denmark, besides granting
permission to merchants to go privateering, which cannot be
carried into effect very soon, they have given orders to the earl
of Warwick to take a squadron of ships towards the North. He
expresses his readiness to obey, but the season as well as the lack
of money will hinder it being done.
The earl of Stanford with men of the country had approached
Bristol, an important place on the sea, intending to take possession
in the name of parliament. But the king forestalled him
by sending a regiment which he hopes will keep the place dutiful
to him. On the other hand Chichester, which declared for his
Majesty and which offered to raise levies, is now besieged by the
parliamentarians, and its loss is feared.
London, the 2nd January, 1643.
[Italian ; the part in italics deciphered.]
205. Zuanne Zon, Venetian Secretary in the Netherlands,
to the Doge and Senate.
The English parliament commissioner presented to the General
Assembly a declaration from his principals of the 31st ult. with
a remonstrance from parliament because they allowed soldiers,
military provisions and officers to pass recently from this country
to the royal camp to serve his Majesty, although they decided
not to do so by a special decree. The parliament adds urgent
requests not to permit this in the future and begs the States to
admit the commissioner whenever he asks, so that he may
represent the actual state of affairs and prevent abuses with all
his might. After this the commissioner asked and obtained
public audience of the Prince, two days ago, and preferred the
same requests from his principals. When the queen heard this
she complained bitterly, protesting that she would go away at
once, now she saw admitted to the Prince a leading minister of
the declared rebels against the Crown. The Prince's excuses
could not appease her, nor the copy of the commissioner's office,
sent to her express. So he had to send his own nephew, being
prevented himself by the gout, promising that henceforward
he will not receive the commissioner. Thus when the latter
returned recently to the Prince for his answer, he was openly
refused audience. They said they did this merely to please the
The Hague, the 7th January, 1643.
206. To the Secretary in England.
The Ambassador Giustinian having now left the secretary is
to follow the instructions left with him and the ambassador's
example. He is to keep his eyes open and be particularly on the
alert to see that no innovation or prejudice is introduced into
the affair of the currants, which was put straight so successfully
by the ambassador.
Before the ambassador left the Secretary of State recommended
to him, with letters on behalf of the king, the interests of his
subjects, friendly relations and favour towards Talbot, the
English minister at Venice. The ambassador answered wisely
assuring him of our willingness to gratify them upon every
occasion. You will be able to give him ample testimony of this,
showing that you have orders upon the aforesaid information
of the ambassador and that the fullest tokens of good will will
always be evident in the case of Talbot, as minister of his Majesty.
Ayes, 112. Noes, 0. Neutral, 4.
207. Gerolamo Agostini, Venetian Secretary in England,
to the Doge and Senate.
All sorts of persons unite in supporting the demand for peace,
but although the petitions presented to parliament have been
refused a hearing the Protestants have not yet committed any
act of violence. To leave no moderate means of persuasion
untried, the women are preparing to appear, in the hope that
their sex may meet a more courteous hearing and a more pitiful
heart, for repairing the ruin of this now wretched kingdom.
But those who build their fortunes and safety on these same
ruins care nothing, and believe that the fire, which they calculate
will keep extending, will serve to keep them warm at the expense
of others. But in order to keep their own party steadfast and
to throw the blame for the disorders on the king, they have
secretly arranged for the mayor to send two aldermen to Oxford,
to assure his Majesty of the devotion of the city, beg him to come
and promise him safety and every respect. (fn. 2) As these offers were
not accepted by his Majesty when in the greatest dejection it is
unlikely that he will attend to them in the greater vigour in
which he now finds himself.
They propose to make use of this attack to burden the people,
and they would like to push forward the tax of the twentieth.
But the difficulties over the manner of collecting it are countless
and have been much ventilated recently in parliament.
As the pay of the fleet is two months in arrear, and this admits
of no delay, they have directed the mayor of the city to have
ready to-day 100,000l. sterling, to be taken from the city's own
exchequer, from the caisse of the apprentices. This will cause
murmurs and increasing unpopularity as the money is usually
spent for the benefit of the citizens.
Some of the articles of peace already sent to the Lower House
have been discussed there. It would appear that their intention
is not what the lords stated outside parliament, namely a sincere
desire for this boon. It is believed, and appearances bear this
out, that the only object of those who managed this affair was
to obtain a strong provision of money for reinforcing the army,
and when the spring comes to make a supreme effort against the
king to force him to do their will. Whether this plan will succeed
no one would venture to foretell, in the existing confusion and
the changing incidents of every moment.
The king, possibly conscious of these designs, is also preparing
for a vigorous resistance. He is expecting the marquis of Erford
with reinforcements and has sent for the earl of Newcastle.
That nobleman, leaving affairs in good order in Yorkshire and
the earl of Cumberland with 6000 infantry to guard it, has passed
into Lincolnshire to reduce the rebels there to obedience to their
prince. He will try to obtain great help there for his army,
which consists of 10,000 good combatants. A courier reached
parliament on Wednesday with this news which has led to
discussions about preventing the junction, but it will not be
easy to achieve this.
Sir [Edward] Binton, lieutenant of the earl of Pembroke, (fn. 3) .
has arrived here from the county of Wilts. He has offered
parliament to levy 1000 horse and 1000 dragoons in that county,
and undertakes with these and 1000 more, who are ready, to keep
the people there quiet. He asks no money for this levy or for
the maintenance of all those troops, but only permission to make
use of the revenues of Catholics, ecclesiastics and royalists who
hold property there. Although he has not yet received permission,
parliament does not seem reluctant. But if this is permitted
it will be done in other counties and will mean the utter destruction
of the realm since the property of anyone will remain a
prey to the greed of any mere commander under one of these
2000 men of the parliament, comprising trained bands and
paid troops, started from Northamptonshire and with the assistance
of the inhabitants have captured Banbury, only 14 miles
from Oxford, and which had a royal garrison. But when his
Majesty sent prince Rupert thither with 2000 dragoons, the
usurpers had not the courage to wait for him, and so the place
is again held by the royal forces.
After besieging Chichester for some days the parliamentarians
attempted to storm the place, but they achieved nothing but
the burning of buildings in the suburbs to the value of 50,000
crowns. It is thought that having lost hope of taking the place
they may give up the attempt.
Three ships with wine and other goods from Malaga have
arrived at the port of Falmouth, which have been seized by Sir
[Ralph] Otton, who commands there for the king. On the news
reaching the Court orders were sent to him to have the goods
unladed and restored to the owners, unless they were rebels,
when they would be confiscated. His Majesty claims the right
to use the ships for the transport of munitions.
Some months ago there arrived from the island of San Domingo
an English ship with a cargo worth more than 100,000l. sterling,
between pieces of eight and cochineal, all belonging to some
Spanish merchants who were on board. (fn. 4) The Spanish ambassador
being advised, or what is more likely on the mere
supposition, that this capital had been rescued from the ships
of the fleet that were wrecked, had it seized, which was promptly
conceded to him, and parliament lost no time in availing itself
of the ready money. A dispute about the cochineal was going
on between the ambassador and the merchants, when parliament,
being in the straits for money reported, decided to sell this also,
to restore the money afterwards to the rightful claimant. The
ambassador went personally to see the parliamentary commissioners
and objected strongly, protesting that English capital
in Spain would be sequestrated. Seeing that his representations
produced no effect he demanded passports, to send his secretary
to the king. It was refused, and so he has decided to go himself
and take all risks. He hopes that if the king forbids the purchase
by proclamation, he will be obeyed, but the present state of
affairs gives no assurance of this.
London, the 9th January, 1643.
208. Girolamo Giustinian, Venetian Ambassador in France,
to the Doge and Senate.
The despatch of an ambassador to England was mooted these
last days, to negotiate, with the interposition of his Majesty, the
composition of the disturbances there, but they are waiting,
before taking definite action, until there seems to be better hope
Paris, the 13th January, 1643.
209. Zuanne Zon, Venetian Secretary in the Netherlands,
to the Doge and Senate.
Joachimi, recently Dutch Ambassador in England, arrived
thence recently. He saw the Prince and then appeared in the
General Assembly. Asked repeatedly about the state of affairs
there he said he did not know ; he had been kept a long way from
London, deprived of ordinary correspondence, so that he might
not meddle in those differences. Asked further whether matters
had reached the stage when the embassy extraordinary might
be wanted to arrange a settlement, he said he was not wise enough
to advise it, and that he left it to the Assembly. His answer did
not please them and some reproached him for carelessness and
too great partiality to those who side with the queen, without
considering the consequences.
The queen of England always keeps her departure on foot,
although there is little sign of her carrying it into effect. She
says she is waiting news of the king, and will then go without
further delay. The States desire this exceedingly, not so much
to be rid of her importunity, as from the danger of doing something
to offend parliament. They have recalled their Vice
Admiral and have sent him to assure her Majesty that the ships
shall be ready to take her across to Newcastle at her slightest
The Hague, the 14th January, 1643.
210. To the Secretary at the Hague.
You spoke well to the Princess Palatine and you may well
repeat the office in the name of the state, expressing at the same
time our great esteem for her sons and her house, and that when
they are in Venice and desire to be admitted in the Collegio,
they will be received with every token of regard and honour,
as is their due.
Ayes, 120. Noes, 0. Neutral, 2.
|211. To the Secretary in England.
Acknowledge receipt of his letters of the 26th December and
enclose the usual sheet of advices for information.
Ayes, 120, Noes, 0. Neutral, 2.
212. Gerolamo Agostini, Venetian Secretary in England,
to the Doge and Senate.
Among many of the inhabitants of London zeal for their
pretended liberty is giving way before the growing discomforts
which they experience, from the cessation of their gains, from
the obligation to be constantly paying taxes and from the danger
to their houses and lives, exposed to the greed of soldiers as
well as to public and private calumny. Thus in addition to
the numerous petitions to parliament for a speedy settlement
this week the very apprentices have appeared, to the number of
2000, who in the past were among the most seditious in the
country. Although they were not admitted to audience like
the rest, yet they caused greater alarm, parliament strengthening
the guards with two companies of horse and having spent the
whole of the late sittings in discussing the articles of peace. But
little or nothing has been decided as yet, for the most seditious,
seeing therein their irretrievable ruin, have succeeded in referring
the discussion of the more arduous points to commissioners to avoid
the full house, where many are betraying a leaning towards this boon,
and they hope by false announcements of the aims of the king and
other inventions to destroy the whole thing in the course of time.
This happened with the project of an armistice, which was the
first, and with many others also. Meanwhile they point to the
necessity of waiting for the aldermen who went to Oxford to
learn the king's intentions and if possible to throw the blame upon
To revive the zeal of the Puritans for their faith, they have
drawn up and read once in parliament a paper in the form of a
law, entirely removing the order of bishops from the Anglican
Church, and depriving even the living of their revenues, to employ
them all for these emergencies. This will be, in any case, a long
and difficult thing to carry through, and it will be of little use
for present needs.
They are devoting their attention to altering the oath of
fealty, in order to convict all the Catholics and lay hands on
their goods. To the end that our theologians shall not have a
chance of accepting it, as some of them did that established by
the late king James, they want to draw up one directly opposite
to the profession of faith according to the Council of Trent.
But as all these expedients are uncertain and lengthy and by
no means adequate to the instant need of money, they have
considered other means, but finding a paucity of these, as is
usual in this difficult matter, they are trying to put into operation
the levying of the twentieth. To this end they have sent orders
to various leading merchants, suspected as royalists, to provide
considerable sums without previous estimation of their capital,
but merely upon common report. They seem indisposed to pay,
and so far force has not been employed against them, which is
perhaps wise in the present state of affairs.
Despite these difficulties they are constantly beating the drum,
and are making every effort to strengthen the army with the
designs that I reported, feeling confident that greater penury
and disorder must prevail in the royal forces than in their own.
Already in the neighbourhood of Oxford complaints have been
heard about the insupportable burdens laid by the soldiers on
the peasants, although his Majesty has taken some steps to
remedy this. But there has been greater commotion among
the people of Durham and Newcastle since the earl's departure,
owing to a contribution laid upon coal, which they furnish to
the whole kingdom and to this city in particular, where the
ships are stayed which went for that commodity, in order to
increase the trouble by incommoding those people, who gain
their livelihood by nothing else.
Six commissioners have arrived here from Scotland on their
way to France. The pretext is the re-establishment of the
privileges of the regiments of their nation, who form the guard
of the Most Christian, neglected in the time of the late Cardinal
Richelieu, but all are not satisfied that this is the true and only
motive for so suspicious a mission. I will keep my eye on it.
They report that numerous other commissioners to come here
were all ready and would start very soon. The news is not
unwelcome because of the hope of obtaining assistance from
that quarter for the realisation of their plans. But the old debts
unpaid, and the present poverty may not incline that people to
lend a ready ear to their persuasion, grown greedy as they are of
Persisting obstinately in their attacks the parliamentarians
have at length captured the city of Chichester, (fn. 5) where they found
a certain quantity of plate deposited there by the Catholics and
others of the neighbourhood. With pompous ostentation the
whole has been brought here and the capture celebrated by the
ringing of bells.
On the other hand the marquis of Erford with 3000 infantry
has reached Oxford and the earl of Newcastle also is successfully
pursuing his way thither. It is estimated that very soon an
army of about 25,000 combatants will be gathered at that city,
almost double the strength of the parliament's in quality and
The earl of Leicester, who was long ago appointed and sent
by parliament to the Viceroyalty of Ireland, seeing those affairs
abandoned, has been staying, under the pretext of indisposition,
at Westchiester a port very suitable for crossing from this
kingdom to that. He now writes from there that his Majesty
calls him and he cannot choose but obey. This news has greatly
incensed parliament and they have sent a message to the king
that if he does not permit the earl to go, they will choose some
one else, as they have no confidence in the earl of Desmon,
whom he has selected. (fn. 6) No reply having come the decision
remains unknown. What is certain is that all the soldiers are
deserting from that kingdom, for lack of pay and the means of
subsistence, the rebels being masters of the country and of the
greater part of the lands.
The merchants here, not to leave their ships idle in the cessation
of trade, go about seeking all sorts of employment. They have
asked permission of parliament to send to plant colonies in
Madagascar. This has been granted. They will have no difficulty
in finding men, since it is now impossible for the poor to
live in this kingdom.
London, the 16th January, 1643.
[Italian ; the part in italics deciphered.]
213. Zuanne Zon, Venetian Secretary in the Netherlands,
to the Doge and Senate.
The queen keeps alive her proposed departure for England.
She has already sent her coaches to be embarked, and says that
nothing but the wind can stop her after next Tuesday. She has
received letters from the king by express which greatly stimulate
her going, but the conflicting news from that quarter makes
full credence difficult.
On Saturday the 18th inst. the Ambassador Giustinian arrived
safely in these waters, after a stormy passage. He landed at
Brill and stayed there until I had arranged for his entry. This
took place yesterday at Rotterdam. His public entry here
followed, with the usual demonstrations.
The Hague, the 21st January, 1643.
214. Gerolamo Agostini, Venetian Secretary in England,
to the Doge and Senate.
The aldermen have returned who went to ask the king to return
to London. In Oxford, from their entry to the royal quarters,
they were followed by shouts of the people casting contempt on
their embassy. His Majesty received them with temperate
indignation and allowed them guards to protect them against
possible outrage. They only reported that a gentleman would
follow with the answer, as he did. The king declares that he
has not changed his feelings towards the city but only against
some desperate individuals, who employing people of the suburbs
(servitesi di gente suburbane), have tried to take his life and destroy
his posterity. He excuses himself for not coming while the laws
are in confusion, the government subjected to the arbitrary power
of a few individuals and arms taken up without his consent.
He is ready to concur with the advice of his parliament for public
affairs even at a distance. Except the mayor and three other
leading men, he offers pardon to all the citizens who have disobeyed
his orders. But he forbids them in future to take up arms,
contribute plate, money or even pay the customs. He protests,
in addition to the penalties provided by the laws, that he will
advise his ministers with foreign princes so that transgressors
shall not be recognised or enjoy privileges like his own subjects.
His Majesty directs that this reply shall be publicly read ;
but the mayor and others who are excepted in the pardon have
not agreed to this without the consent of parliament, which has
not yet conceded it on the pretext that two of its members are
numbered among the four. Yet it has been printed and is
known to everybody, though all do not like it. The gentleman
who brought it (fn. 7) told me in the depeest confidence that the king will
not yield a jot of his authority and privileges. That he hopes in
March next to have 40,000 soldiers about him, whom he proposes
to divide into two armies, and closing the river above and below, to
scour the country with his cavalry, reducing London to extremity
for food and thus force the people to revolt against the present government.
Meanwhile to the same end a book come from Oxford has been
circulated entitled "Complaints of the Citizens of London,"
which exposes the deceits and arbitrariness of the parliament.
Although they have had it publicly burned yet it has been
generally read and approved by the unprejudiced. (fn. 8) By the
contents of the king's paper and the reluctance shown by the
Lower House hopes of peace have been diminished and practically
destroyed in everybody. Yet the desire persists and even grows.
Besides the inhabitants of London reported it has spread to the
surrounding country, the county of Essex having sent six deputies
here and six to the king to petition him. They do not on this
account relax their efforts to raise money, and the task of collecting
the twentieth is now entrusted to the four declared contumacious
by the king, but results are not expected. They are
trying other ways to induce those to offer who have not yet
done so and to beg for fresh and more liberal payments from
those who have. But even so they do not expect to get enough
to relieve their present state. Abandoning themselves to despair
they have accepted the offer of Sir [Edward] Obinton (fn. 9) for levying
and maintaining 3000 horse in the county of Wilts out of the
goods of the Catholics, bishops and royalists there, and lord
Bruch is actually setting out for Warwick to-day with the like
permission, which undoubtedly promises the total ruin of the
kingdom very quickly.
The commissioners of customs, after his Majesty's prohibition
of their collection repeated in his last paper, having a great deal
to lose, have thrown up their charge, which is now exercised by
three persons appointed by parliament, of little fortune and less
skill, so in this direction disorder will increase and the profits
will be dissipated.
The royal forces have attempted two enterprises these last
days, but with little success. In the first, Sir [Ralph] Otton
with the force he commands, approached the city of Exeter,
an important trading town, but meeting with a vigorous resistance
from the inhabitants he has withdrawn to Cornwall again. The
other was at Sister in Gloucestershire, where the marquis of
Erford with Prince Rupert after besieging the place for three
days were obliged to abandon it, with some loss.
Notwithstanding all this the approach of the earl of Newcastle
to the royal army causes great apprehension. To prevent the
junction they are sending strong reinforcements to Lincolnshire,
but he is strong enough and does not fear any encounter.
The deputy of parliament to the States writes that he has had
audience of the Prince of Orange, who received him graciously
and received the paper which he had already presented to the
States, in justification of their proceedings here. This success
is not only gratifying in itself but affords them hope that it may
excite suspicion between the Prince and the Queen. It is constantly
stated that she will be arriving at Newcastle at an early
date, as her hopes of being received in France are not improved
by the death of Cardinal Richelieu.
After having been arrested three times on the road by the
parliamentary troops, and his coaches, gentlemen and himself
as well thoroughly searched, the Spanish ambassador has returned
from Oxford. He obtained from the king everything that he
asked, as his Majesty issued a strong proclamation forbidding
any of his subjects to purchase cochineal, and permitting even
the seizure in Spain of the goods of those who disobey. But it
is all in vain as on his arrival the ambassador found that the
merchants having agreed with parliament to give them 20,000l.
sterling besides the money found on the ship, had carried off the
goods, from which they hope to recoup their losses, as the value
has greatly appreciated in a short time.
London, the 23rd January, 1643.
[Italian ; the part in italics deciphered.]
|215. Gerolamo Agostini, Venetian Secretary in England,
to the Doge and Senate.
Knowing the importance of the trade in currants between the
islands of Zante and Cephalonia and this kingdom, I do not lose
sight of the matter, and while awaiting the orders of the Senate
I will report what is happening. Since the decree of parliament
prohibiting the importation of the fruit here, which has been
duly enforced although not accepted or approved by the king,
no ships have arrived with even the smallest quantity until just
recently, when the ship Northumberland has come into the Downs.
She left Venice with a part cargo of rice and filled up with silk
at Leghorn and Messina. Touching at Zante she took away
160 thousand of currants to the account of Andrew Ricardo,
an Englishman. He has tried to obtain permission to discharge
them, but has not yet succeeded.
Another ship named the William George is expected, laded at
Cephalonia with 700 thousand to the account of John Langam,
one of the two sheriffs of the city, and of Sir Thomas Somons,
member of parliament. These very influential persons are
trying to obtain permission in advance, which they hope to get,
although they have not succeeded so far. The Consul Ider in
the Morea is also trying to introduce some from there, although
they also are prohibited. He wrote some months ago to the
Levant Company here urging them to obtain permission for the
importation of these, using as his chief argument the disposal
of their cloth, and threatening that without the exportation of
the goods of the country the Turk will not allow the importation
of cloth. I am assured that out of consideration for this letter,
on the 5th December last year, the Levant Company presented
a petition to the commissioners of parliament upon trade. (fn. 10)
But the permission has certainly not been granted and in the
mean time the Company has resolved that in February next,
when they meet for the distribution of appointments, they will
choose a new consul in the Morea in the place of this Ider. There
are four candidates of whom the one most in favour is John
Obson, (fn. 11)
London, the 23rd January, 1643.
216. Sentence of Carlo Contarini and Francesco Corner,
Esecutori contro la Biastemma, and Andrea Dolfin, Head of the
Council of Ten, against Walter Lupo, an Englishman, arrested for
staying in his house without a bulletin and for staying a long
time in this city without a licence, of 2 ducats to be paid to those
who gave information, and that he be brought before the Magistracy
and severely admonished that he must not live any more
in foreign houses without the bulletin and to bind him to come
in future to receive the licence.
217. Zuanne Zon, Venetian Secretary in the Netherlands,
to the Doge and Senate.
Montagu has returned, who was sent to France by the queen
of England. He reports a good disposition towards her but not
what she expected from that quarter. Her Majesty proposes
to leave for Newcastle to-morrow, and everything goes to show
that this is definite. Eight warships are waiting at Schevelino
to receive her and everything else has been arranged to render
her departure comfortable and splendid. Their High Mightinesses,
who have borne her long stay here with extreme impatience,
look upon her departure as a promise of greater prosperity.
The queen will take with her a small number of officers,
some quantity of musket powder, and arms for 6000 soldiers.
It is announced that the king, her brother, has provided this
number. The government have made her a present of 60,000
florins and it is thought that at this final opportunity the Prince
will make a supreme effort to prove the zeal he professes for the
Two days after his reception the Ambassador Giustinian had
public audience in the General Assembly. The Prince and all
the Court evince their esteem for your Excellencies.
The Hague, the 28th January, 1643.
218. Gerolamo Agostini, Venetian Secretary in England,
to the Doge and Senate.
To satisfy the people parliament has at last consented to the
public reading of the king's reply to the request of the Aldermen,
but on condition that twelve commissioners of parliament shall
be present. Accordingly after reinforcing the guards at the city
gates, stationing a body of troops at the entrance to the great
hall and assembling all the chiefs of the guilds, they had it read
to the same gentleman who brought it. After this one of the
commissioners in a long and seditious harangue refuted the points
contained in it and went on to state that the four declared criminal
were guilty of nothing but having served their country well and
therefore everyone was bound to protect them with their goods
and life itself. The speech was approved by a majority of votes and
applauded at its conclusion. Two persons, however, displayed
a desire to oppose it and were immediately committed to prison.
The Lords in the Upper House perceiving clearly from this
experience that the people has already assumed the absolute
despotic command, and fearing that whereas they now make
their orders valid though lacking the chief part, viz, the king's
assent, they may proceed to take little account of that of the
Upper House, have reinforced that House by summoning their
friends and relations to resist such a design, if possible. But
everyone fears that the delay will cause them grave prejudice.
The Lower House made use of this reply of the king to create
a false impression among the generality that his Majesty is
concealing pernicious designs and not seeking peace or the benefit
of his subjects. Accordingly they no longer thought of peace
proposals but only for the most vigorous prosecution of the war.
When the Upper House pressed strongly for some resolution
upon the articles sent for their consideration the Commons sent
them back so altered that they had lost their original shape.
One relating to the concerns of foreign princes is added, to
bind the king to a correspondence with the foreign Protestants,
and especially the Dutch, so as to be powerful for defence against
the enemies of the religion and to reinstate the Palatine.
But while these matters are being discussed in the Upper
House reports come from the city that neither the Mayor nor
Council will approve of sending any proposal. To encourage this
view among the members of parliament they express the intention
of collecting the twentieth. But fearing some opposition they
have increased the garrison in the Tower and ask for 2000 paid
troops to reinforce the guards of the city itself. This has caused
no little jealousy among the citizens who declare that they are
capable of defending themselves.
In order to keep concealed from the other side the revolutions
which are feared for this cause and to cut off also the
commodities which the Court receives daily from this city, they
have forbidden not only the carts and ordinary messenger from
going to Oxford but all manner of persons and letters, without
a passport voted in the two Houses of parliament and approved
by the General Essex. This very morning they have arrested
the two agents of the secretary of state for infringing this, having
intercepted his letters in cipher.
With the same object of distressing the royal army as well
they have forbidden the carriage of coal, grain and salt from
Newcastle, in the hope that the people of that town, with the
loss of this trade, which is very great, will not pay contributions
to the king, and may even decide to expel his garrison. But
here they experience the discomfort in advance since this very
coal has mounted to intolerable prices and gives a foretaste of
the scarcity which seems to be inevitable next spring in this
city and in the whole kingdom as well.
In many counties dissensions are breaking out between the
parliamentary leaders, possibly due to greed on both sides. It
has happened in Wilts between Obinton and Ongrefort ; in York
between Fairfax and Otton. The former writes here that General
Chin has arrived at Newcastle, who was expecting forces from
Holland, to join the earl of Newcastle. Fairfax proposed to
go against him, but being short of arms he had not been able
to get them from Uls from Otton, for whom he receives orders,
to have them sent to him. For this reason the earl of Newcastle
is tarrying with his army in Lincolnshire, intending to
avail himself of such reinforcements, so that he may join the
king later in greater strength. We hear that assistance in men
and plate is constantly reaching the king from many parts of
the kingdom. He has set up one mint at Shrewsbury and proposes
to establish another at Oxford for coining this silver.
Parliament has received advices from Portsmouth that five
ships with arms and munitions are ready to cross to the king's
assistance. This news with other reports without foundation
and less credible, that in France some regiments of that nation
are being levied for the same purpose, have induced them to
send strong orders to the earl of Warwick, the Vice Admiral,
to put to sea as soon as possible to prevent the passage of any
ships, as they also fear some from Denmark.
General the earl of Essex sent two regiments to attack Reading,
with the intention to force his way through to Oxford ; but the
royal garrison came out and forced him to retire with considerable
loss and the capture of one of his colonels.
Although the Capuchins were allowed to stay here for a few
months at the instance of the French ambassador, there is no
longer any talk of sending them back, though the time has
expired, as the Most Christian has written a letter to the earl of
Holland in which he informs him very firmly that it is his wish
that they shall continue to exercise their functions as heretofore.
London, the 30th January, 1643.