267. Girolamo Giustinian, Venetian Ambassador in France,
to the Doge and Senate.
The queen of England is making an appeal for some assistance
from this quarter, and they give her greater hopes than in the
Paris, the 2nd June, 1643.
268. Gerolamo Agostini, Venetian Secretary in England,
to the Doge and Senate.
General Essex left for the army with all his officers last Saturday
evening without being able to obtain more than the 47,000l.
sterling reported. All this has not yet been sent to him, but
they are forwarding it by instalments with the utmost diligence.
They are trying to devise a way of raising easily the taxes imposed,
to establish a fund which will suffice for the regular payment
of this army. Although these taxes are very heavy and
unpleasant for the whole people, who are not accustomed to it,
yet they will have to bear them and more, since they themselves,
by their own work have contributed towards it, being shut up
in this city which no one can leave or enter save by four ways,
all well guarded.
When the general left parliament charged him strongly to
march and give battle, but he did not seem much inclined to this,
expressing the fear that he would find the soldiers unwilling, as
they have not been paid all that is due to them. Since his
absence from the army the king has had the good fortune to
receive the succour from York. This has given his Majesty too
many cavalry, and as he cannot keep them all with him, owing
to the scarcity of fodder, he has sent a part to reinforce Obton.
This arrived very opportunely, when that commander was at
his weakest, and gave him fresh courage. Accordingly he gave
battle again to the parliamentary forces which followed him into
Devonshire, gaining a considerable victory, (fn. 1) the parliamentarians
losing more than 3000 infantry. Their commander the
earl of Stanford, escaped with some companies of horse to the
capital of Devonshire, abandoning his guns and 5000l. in money,
which the royalists captured.
Some leading gentlemen of the counties of Wilts, Somerset
and Dorset ill-treated by the parliamentary troops, have united
and gone to offer the king, in virtue of their connections, a levy
of 10,000 men of those three counties, if he will give them a
leader with a corps d' armee, which will assure them unity.
His Majesty accepted the offer, thanking them, and sent the
marquis of Erfort with 2000 horse ; but parliament, hearing of
this, sent to stop it, directing that arms should be collected and
well guarded, so the outcome seems doubtful.
Divisions still persist in the royal Council, to the serious peril and
prejudice of his Majesty. On this side they flatter themselves that
the councillors who urge peace do so, not from a desire to have it at
any price, but in order to maintain these divisions. The party
has been strong enough to persuade his Majesty to a fresh humiliation.
Two days ago he sent a very courteous message to parliament.
He said that God, favouring the justice of his cause had
put him in a position in which he had nothing to fear. This
appeared from the succour which had reached him and from the
victory in Devonshire. But knowing full well that all victories
must result in losses, he offered once again his willingess for
peace, and pressed for a reply to the earlier message. When
the letter was read in parliament, there being nothing in its
wording to attack, they referred the matter to commissioners,
declaring that there was no time to attend to a reply, but it was
necessary to devote it all to the means of raising the taxes, a
much more pressing and necessary business. The messenger
has been put in prison for having passed without a trumpet,
in order to put a stop to too frequent missions of this kind, which
the leaders of the party do not like, as they sometimes find a difficulty
in persuading those who are less fanatical.
The resolution to counterfeit the great seal has not yet gone to
the Upper House for approval. They are treating of a much
more important matter, indeed of the first consequence. After
a great many secret consultations by the leaders of this party, which
I reported with the suspicion that they were plotting against the
queen, it was proposed in the Lower House last Tuesday to accuse
her of high treason, for having induced the king to make war against
the state, and having procured assistance. This was carried, and
the accusation was at once taken to the House of Lords. The
Commons asked the Upper House to unite with them in drawing
up the articles of accusation and the process, in which they are
determined to obtain a rigorous sentence. Stupefied at such an
audacious proposal the Lords held their peace, and without any one
venturing to open his mouth they rose immediately, and the deputies
of the Commons departed. When the resolution was voted some of
the members threw aside all respect and even objected to giving her
Majesty the title of queen of England. But as it is necessary by
law to give the condition as well as the name of the accused, they
could not find any other title which would not bring in the House of
Bourbon. Where this complication of things and this audacious
presumption of subjects will end no one would presume to prophesy,
and the most enlightened are clouded by such extravagant excesses
and the only thing clear is the extreme feeling against the royal
house and a line of conduct that indicates that the end of these affairs
will not be reached without a change of the government or the total
destruction of the kingdom.
The number of English subjects, in addition to foreigners, who
are now crossing the sea daily to escape these perils and calamities
is so great that London and many other places have lost their
most comfortable (piu commodi) inhabitants. Accordingly parliament
has resolved to announce to all that unless they return
within a fixed time all their goods will be confiscated, with other
penalties as well, at pleasure.
A letter written by Sir [Balthasar] Gerbier, master of the
ceremonies, to the secretary of state with advices and comments
on these matters has been intercepted. He was summoned to
answer for this, but after hiding himself for some time he secretly
crossed to France, with the king's permission, in the character
of a gentleman with an honorary mission.
A courier has arrived thence bringing news to the Resident here
of the death of the King Louis XIII and the succession of his
son, fourteenth of the name. He promises that a gentleman
will come over very soon, to inform his Majesty.
London, the 5th June, 1643.
[Italian ; the part in italics deciphered.]
|269. Gerolamo Agostini, Venetian Secretary in England,
to the Doge and Senate.
The disaster suffered by Don Francesco de Melo against the
French at the very beginning of the present campaign has dissipated
the sluggishness of the Dutch and the Prince of Orange
in particular hopes to profit by the occasion. His Highness
had embarked troops for Flanders and it looked as if he was
going to move from the Hague towards Breda on the 26th ult.
The French Ambassador Tullerie, who arrived there on the
24th, in a long conference with the Prince, did his utmost to
induce him to make this move. He had orders to announce in
the General Assembly the death of the king and the succession
of his son. After that he was to proceed to the army. Meanwhile
the States had sent 4000 infantry and 3000 horse to surprise
Gheldres ; but the enterprise failed as the garrison was warned
by the inopportune firing of a musket. So the Dutch had to
retire in disorder, but without loss.
Melo is doing his best to collect the remains of his unfortunate
army. Cantelmo is in the district of Vais to reinforce the most
ticklish posts, and intends to unite his forces between Malines
and Ist. Guasco has gone to Bruges to resist any attempts of
the Dutch in that direction.
After long disputes the Dutch have agreed to elect deputies
for the congress at Munster, allowing the Province of Holland to
nominate 3, whereas the others only have one each.
Stricland, deputy of the parliament here, is sighing for letters
to adjust his disputes and to restore him to the esteem he enjoyed
at the first. These have been sent to him by sea, so it is probable
that they have reached him by now.
An ambassador of Congo has touched at the coast here, on his
way to Holland about matters of trade.
London, the 5th June, 1643.
270. Sentence of Pietro Foscarini da Leze and Francesco
Corner, Esecutori against Oliva called Zuechina living at S.
Giovanni Bragora for having lodged Thomas Peri, an Englishman,
sailor, and other Englishmen, without the bulletin, and against
the said Thomas, to a fine of 5 ducats each.
271. The Secretary of England came into the Collegio and
spoke in the terms of a paper he handed in.
In the absence of the doge the senior councillor Zaccaria
Sagredo replied : The republic deeply regrets to hear of the
disturbances in England and the troubles of his Majesty, to whom
we wish every consolation and peace. We thank him for the
communication and respond most cordially.
I have not spoken to your Serenity of the civil troubles of
England thinking such news might prove distasteful to an allied
and friendly prince while the insolence of the people was only too
widely known. But now it is finally disclosed that the conspirators
are utterly averse from any good and just accommodation
and are trying by false slanders to take away the king's honour
and deprive him of the obedience of his subjects, stirring up the
unsuspecting people and embarking them on an impious and
barbarous war against their legitimate sovereign, I consider it
necessary to vindicate the honour of my king. I protest before
God and your Serenity that his Majesty has no other design
than to maintain inviolate the prerogatives which God has given
him and to preserve in their purity the fundamental laws of his
realm. He therefore feels sure that Heaven will favour his arms
until he has reduced the rebels to obedience. Meanwhile nothing
distresses his Majesty so much, after the troubles of his own
realms, as to hear of the disturbances of Italy, and especially
that the republic is involved at a time when he is in no position
to offer help, his arms being unfortunately occupied elsewhere.
But the republic may always count on the good will which she
has experienced from his predecessors in similar circumstances.
I have particular instructions to assure your Serenity that his
Majesty has nothing more at heart than to preserve the ancient
relations he has always enjoyed with this republic. The interruption
of the currant trade should not affect this nor any other
irregular act of parliament done without his consent and consequently
invalid. The republic need not be surprised if those
who have thrown off obedience to their natural prince show such
scant consideration for his allies. I shall always be ready to
employ my weak powers for the restoration of this trade as to
promote all other interests of the republic, knowing full well that
I can do nothing that will please my king more, and I shall
endeavour by loyal and devoted service to insinuate myself more
and more into the good graces of your Serenity.
272. To the Secretary in England.
Enclose copies of the office of the English secretary and of the
reply given him. This is to serve for information and he is to
assure his Majesty of the affectionate esteem of our republic and
of our desire for the tranquillity of his dominions. Acknowledge
receipt of his letters.
Ayes, 112. Noes, 0. Neutral, 3.
|273. That the Secretary of England be summoned to the
Collegio and that the following be read to him :
We learn with the deepest regret of the troubles of the king of
Great Britain, whose quiet and greatness we desire so much,
and we pray God that he will repair these disorders. We are
equally desirous of being of some service to his Majesty, who has
preserved his perfect friendliness to us, to which we respond with
affectionate regard and all sincerity, and we shall be glad if this
is reported by you in a full and lively manner.
Ayes, 152. Noes, 0. Neutral, 3.
274. Gerolamo Agostini, Venetian Secretary in England,
to the Doge and Senate.
Although it is several days since General Essex reached the
army, we do not hear that he has it ready to march, but rather
that being mostly quartered in Reading for security and comfort
considerable mortality is being suffered from malignant fevers,
with other most violent symptoms, which are the forerunners
of the plague, the sole but irrevocable calamity which is lacking
to fill the measure of this kingdom, once so happy and fortunate.
The general has sent some of the regiments away from there, to
remove them from this peril, and to entrench themselves against
the neighbouring royalists, while he renews his demands for
money here, pointing out that unless these are fully satisfied it
is impossible to induce his sickly and undisciplined troops to
The king is also entrenched with his army in the country
round Oxford awaiting the opportunity for an engagement.
The queen is to leave York next Monday with 3000 foot and
1000 horse, to join the troops at Niuvarch, and thence proceed
to reinforce her husband, leaving the care of Yorkshire to Newcastle,
who at present is besieging Fairfax at Liz. If he is unable
to take it soon he intends to burn it or destroy it in some other
way. But it may be doubted if an incident which I will report
will not delay her Majesty's march or divert it.
Colonel Gorin had taken up a position with some troops of
horse at Wechfild in the heart of Yorkshire, in order to enlist
infantry. After Fairfax was defeated and shut up in Liz he
considered himself safe from any attack. But Fairfax's son
having unexpectedly gathered a small force of the people of the
country, surprised him, destroying most of his force, capturing
1500 of them and the commander himself. (fn. 2) His life is in danger
as he betrayed the king and then the parliament in the defence
of Portsmouth. To reinforce Fairfax junior Cramuel, a parliamentary
leader, is now advancing with 6000 foot and 1000
horse, while Popon has received orders from parliament to proceed
to Cornwall to succour the earl of Stanford, defeated by Obton,
The marquis of Erfort, who was to help carry out the offer of
certain gentlemen to raise 10,000 soldiers in the counties of
Wilts, Dorset and Somerset, is at Salisbury and making good
progress. He is on the alert to turn back if Essex should attack
the king, as he can easily do by making a small detour from that
place. But his men are causing great destruction there, the
district being generally notorious for its disaffection to the
On Monday Colonel Fildinch, who surrendered Reading,
suffered the extreme penalty at Oxford. If the soldiers themselves
had not tumultuously demanded vengeance against him, the king
would not have ventured to have the sentence carried out because of
the support he had in the royal Council. The indignation displayed
by parliament at his death indicates the certainty of an understanding
On Saturday the question of counterfeiting the great seal of
the realm was put to the vote in the Upper House. There were
23 lords present, but ten left to avoid giving an opinion. Of the
remaining 13 only three definitely agreed, the others wished
the king to be informed first ; so it was not carried. This has
caused more annoyance than anger in the Commons, who have no
doubt about carrying their point, either by the removal of the reculcitrant
lords or by acting without their consent, as has been done
with other decrees. To keep both these ways open they enlarge
upon the abuse of the king's seal, by which, they say his Majesty
has given under the same date permission to some lords to plunder
the hostile country, contributing a portion of the gains to his Majesty.
They are pursuing the accusations against the queen with great
energy. The commissioners appointed to draw up the articles of
accusation put down 35 on paper, but finding some unfounded
they are reducing the number, so that I hear there will not be more
than 17 or 19.
On Wednesday the last day of the month, set apart each month
for a general fast and prayers, at the time when the people were in
church, a report circulated of the discovery of a great conspiracy in
the city, causing a confusion without example. Parliament met
at once and speedily ordered all the posts to be reinforced and the
arrest of two members of the Lower House. (fn. 3) Their activities and
suspicions are still at work without anything being brought to light,
which shows that it is an invention of the seditious for the furtherance
of some designs which has not as yet transpired.
The five Scottish lords sent by the king have reached Edinburgh
without mishap. They have had commissioners appointed
for them by the government there and presented a
declaration of his Majesty, pointing out the deplorable condition
of Ireland, and asking them to send help to the Protestants
against the rebels. Finding that the object was to weaken them of
troops and other forces, the Scots declared that it did not behove
them to do this, but the parliament of England. If they received
advice and facilities from that body they would not fail to take the
matter into consideration.
The assembly of parliament in that country has been arranged
for the 22nd June, old style, without his Majesty's permission.
They call it an Assembly, out of modesty, and announce that it
is not to last more than forty days. Meanwhile they are preparing
money and men, ostensibly for its safety.
More moderate letters were sent to the Deputy Stricland in
Holland for the settlement of his quarrel with the States. But
these are not so ready to bend, both from the offices of the king's
resident Bosuel and because the Prince of Orange is away,
whose satisfaction and consent they consider necessary. The
offices of the Ambassador Tullerie have resulted in orders for the
levy of fifty companies to increase the Dutch army. They are
also providing a great quantity of barques for transporting the
cavalry. Nevertheless with the lateness of the season, and the
shortness of money with the States it is unlikely that they will
undertake a siege of any importance, in spite of the increased
advantage to them from Melo calling to Cantelmo to help him
against the French.
The Sieur de Gressi is here, sent by the Most Christian to
inform the king here of the death of his father and his own
succession. He has orders, so they say, to remonstrate with
parliament through confidents of that crown, about the expulsion
of the Capuchins. But they care nothing about that here,
having already given offence by the seizure of their goods.
London, the 12th June, 1643.
[Italian ; the part in italics deciphered.]
275. The Senate's decision of the preceding day having been
read to the Secretary of England, he said :
His Majesty will value this declaration of your Serenity very
highly, and it will go to confirm his regard and sincere friendship.
The doge said, we desire extremely that God will give peace and
quiet to his Majesty's realms, so that he may enjoy his crown in
tranquillity, as we desire him all prosperity and felicity. After
hearing this the Secretary went to write down what had been
read to him.
276. The Secretary of England came into the Collegio and
said that a letter had been sent to him from the Queen of Bohemia,
which he presented. He added that if there was any defect in
the forms it must be excused from the use of the French idiom.
|Elizabeth, Queen of Bohemia, to the Doge of Venice.
Two of her younger sons (fn. 4) were making a little tour in Italy
with a few attendants, to see the country. She regrets to learn
that they were at Venice incognito, without paying their respects
to the doge. She wrote telling them to perform this duty, but
as they only made a very short stay at the towns they visited,
her letters did not reach them before their return to Paris.
Apologises for this lapse and hopes the doge will excuse it. Compliments.
From the Hague, the 18—28 April. 1643.
277. Gerolamo Agostini, Venetian Secretary in England,
to the Doge and Senate.
There is no sign yet of any effective march by Essex ; sickness
troubles the army more than ever, while he is constantly asking
for money to pay it. In addition to this the earl of Warwick
is pressing for great sums to pay the naval forces. So they have
been obliged to apply again to the Council of the city of London
for advances. But instead of the satisfactory reply they expected,
they received a very unpleasant one, not only openly refusing,
but asking how so much money is consumed without advantage.
This week parliament has not given any incitement to Essex
to move, but rather to halt and to send here several companies
of horse, as he has done, to increase the advantages the rebels expect
from the imaginary conspiracy they talk of, of which I send details,
as well as of other exceptional acts of violence. This conspiracy
rests upon nothing but the report of an ordinary individual sent to
some members of parliament while they were at church on the fast
day. From this arose the extraordinary sitting of parliament,
the strengthening of all the guards, the arrest of two members of
the Commons, and the appointment of commissioners to make an
enquiry. All these things by exciting confusion and alarm among
the people have tended to irritate them more against the king and to
encroach upon his authority. The commissioners have met for
some days in the Guildhall and examined many persons. Finally,
on Tuesday, the Houses of Parliament being surrounded by numerous
squadrons of infantry and cavalry, they brought the process to be
read in the Lower House. In this they show that the king, under
the great seal of the realm, had given commission and authority to
be used by two members of the Commons named Valer, to form a
Council of War in London of 20 persons. All his confederates
are mentioned, in the Upper and Lower House, from whom they
may be selected. This body might decide the moment for distributing
patents for levies, raising money secretly or publicly, and at an
appointed time his Majesty would approach London with his army
to foment the massacre of the most zealous defenders of the public
liberty. Although masked the business did not lose its appearance
of being a concoction, all the same the royalists having their names
published while surrounded by so many guards did not feel safe, and
complained protesting their innocence and ignorance of such a design.
But fearing that the sitting, which lasted from sunrise to sunset on
that day, would not break up without their experiencing the utmost
wrath of that body, everyone began to speak personally in his own
defence. This was not in rain, as they received a pardon on condition
of taking oath that they had no share in the business. Having
thus reduced to submission those who might oppose a decision prejudicial
to the king, they had gained the first step which carries them
a long way to the last and most seditions which they are nearing
step by step. Accordingly, besides voting a thanksgiving to God
for the discovery of the conspiracy, they voted for the formation
of a covenant in which persons of every sort will be obliged to
take a solemn oath to devote their goods and lives to all that the
republic thinks necessary for its service. Those who refuse,
whatever their religion or sympathies, will be driven from the
city and their goods forfeited, movable and immovable. Thus
either by force or voluntarily they mean to make themselves masters
of the goods and lives of all.
The counterfeiting of the seal and the charges against the queen have
not been presented, so that they may be carried through more certainly
by means of this advantage. In the opinion of most sensible men
this has been the sole motive for the invention of this conspiracy.
There is no longer any bridle for violence and the rebels will win
glory and reward for the most detestable actions.
A leading member of the obscure family of Martin has undertaken
to raise a regiment of cavalry. Having no money of his own, he
has distributed very suitable permits to the soldiers to help themselves
to this and to horses also wherever they find them. So various
troops are going about robbing stables and houses as well. Not
satisfied with this his greed has carried him so far that he has dared,
with 300 of these soldiers to go and break the gates at Westminster
where the crown, sceptre and the royal robe for the king's coronation
are preserved. Some lords of the Upper House, hearing of this,
hastened thither before the things were taken away, and tried to stop
it, in which with some difficulty they succeeded. But when the affair
was brought before the Commons by this same Martin, they did not
blame his action by their votes, indeed they caused possession to be
taken of everything and an inventory made directing new keys to
be handed over to the Chamber itself and taking the old ones away
from the ancient custodians. (fn. 5) In Westminster church these same
troops broke the organs and choir stalls, as not being in keeping
with Puritanism. They also smashed an epitaph because it gave
the title of Majesty to the queen. In short it looks as if this is an
irreparable scourge, since all reasonableness being lost everyone
conspires for the destruction of the kingdom and its greatness.
News has come that viscount Obton has set out with his men
to join the earl of Erfort, and then to unite their forces with
the king's possibly with some intention to advance while Essex
still hangs back, but further confirmation is awaited, as of the
queen's departure. Meanwhile the earl of Wster has gained
some advantage over Waller's army, which advanced to prevent
such a junction.
The Sieur de Gressi, sent to his Majesty by the Most Christian,
has not been able to obtain his passport amid these great agitations.
The matter has been before parliament, and it was suggested
in the Lower House that with their present suspicions of
France, his credentials should be opened to see if he has authority
to treat of other business than compliments, excusing the action
by the necessity that parliament should be informed that he
possesses the character of a public minister. However, the
proposal was not seconded. But the minister increases instead
of diminishing suspicion, as he says roundly that France will
not suffer the king and queen here to perish, whatever the cost.
The offices of the king's resident Bosuel with the States have
delayed a reply to the deputy of this parliament upon the letters
sent, as reported. The Prince of Orange overtaken at Bures by
gout and the yellow jaundice (gialura), has halted his army for
some days. This and the great shortage of money makes the
Ambassador Tullerie suspect that they have no inclination for
great enterprises. He has been to urge his Highness to take
advantage of the present opportunity.
The differences between the king of Denmark and the town of
Hamburg have been adjusted. The latter is to pay the king
250,000 reichs thalers.
London, the 19th June, 1643.
[Italian ; the part in italics deciphered.]
278. To the Secretary in England.
His last letters are of the 29th ult. showing the growing
authority of the Lower House as against the Upper, all to the
prejudice of the king.
The Secretary of England has been in the Collegio to present
a letter from the Princess Palatine excusing the departure of
her sons from our city without appearing in public. The doge
in reply expressed his friendly feeling and regard for the Palatine
House, and had a special office read to the Secretary, which will
also serve as an additional proof of our regard for his Majesty
Ayes, 142. Noes, 1. Neutral, 3.
279. That the Secretary of England be summoned to the
Collegio and that the following be read to him :
Gratification at the letter he read because it shows the friendship
of the Palatine House for the republic, which is warmly
reciprocated and has been shown on many occasions. Would
have been glad to receive and honour the princes, but had no
knowledge about them. Will reserve for another occasion the
proofs to them and their House of the republic's cordial regard.
That a copy of the office be supplied.
Ayes, 142. Noes, 1. Neutral, 3.
280. The decision of this Council of the 20th inst. having
been read to the Secretary of England, he said :
I have not neglected to inform his Majesty in my last despatch
of the cordial demonstrations that have been made to me. I
will do the same at the first opportunity renewing the office in
the manner in which it has been read to me and dictated by your
Serenity, to whom I return most devoted thanks for your favours
and for the friendlinesses which you profess to the Palatine House.
281. Gerolamo Agostini, Venetian Secretary in England,
to the Doge and Senate.
Parliament informed the city of London of the conspiracy
discovered in the presence of the people. The deputy adorned
his account with numerous inventions, even casting doubt upon
the king's sincerity in the past negotiations for peace, remarking
that his request for their continuation was only intended to give
employment to several people in this business, and to afford
greater facilities for planning this horrible betrayal. That every
subject should thank God for such a miraculous discovery. (fn. 6)
A public thanksgiving was ordered, with universal public prayers,
and this took place yesterday.
In order to turn the occasion to further advantage, and also
to get some money out of it, this same deputy, under the pretext
of delivering themselves from like attempts, pointed out the
necessity of making a supreme effort to bring about eventual
tranquillity with the removal of the disturbers of the peace, and
to do this he asked the Council of the city for 40,000l. sterling.
No reply has yet been given, as difficulties in the way of advancing
money are constantly increasing. It seems that they are
considering the sale of some houses confiscated from citizens
suspected of favouring the royal party ; but purchasers have not
yet appeared and payment will be tardy in any case.
Waller, the M.P. now in prison as the principal in the conspiracy,
is threatened with the extreme penalty, as it behoves
them, to sacrifice a victim to prove a fact in which few believe. To
avoid the ordinary course of justice and the publicity of a trial
the Lower House sent deputies to General Essex to issue a commission
to try him by Court Martial. He has not done this, pointing out
that it is necessary for the Council to meet, and the deputies have
come back. Meanwhile, under the pretence that Waller, moved
by remorse, had declared them to be accomplices, the earl of Portland,
sometime ambassador to the princes of Italy, and viscount
Conovel have been put in the Tower. It is said that others will
soon suffer the same fate.
In accordance with a vote of the Lower House the oath for
the Covenant or Association obligatory upon everyone has been
printed. From the enclosed copy it will be seen how it directly
excludes the king, enjoining the maintenance of the republic
against him. Not many will be able to evade it in the present
state of affairs.
They have also decided to convoke a synod to regulate religion.
It is to be composed of ten Lords and twenty Commons, with a
larger but prescribed number of ministers, who are all nominated.
They will proceed in the way shown by the enclosed abstract.
The object is to satisfy the majority of the people who are confused
and unsettled amid the chaos of religions introduced into the country.
It may be expected to introduce the most rigid Puritanism, as they
wish to conform to the church of Scotland. But the wisest think
that when this synod meets it will temporise, since it does not suit
the present politicians, before the temporal government is settled, to
offend the followers of other sects, who yet serve their cause, since the
Catholic faith is the only one detested.
General Essex has moved at last with all his army, and going
straight to the point, has advanced to within four miles of Oxford.
The king, to get forage for his horses, has extended his forces as
far as Abingdon, five miles away, thus approaching the armies
of the marquis of Erfort and viscount Obton. These have
united and are 10,000 foot and 3000 horse strong. With this
force they have taken Taunton, the chief town in Somerset,
where they found 2000 suits of armour and 5000l. sterling.
They then went to Bridgewater, a small place on the sea, and so
moved on Bristol. Parliament had put to death there some of
the leading men, suspected of having intelligence with his Majesty.
The people showed some indignation at this, and the opportunity
was considered favourable for taking that important place, if
they are not diverted by the necessity of reinforcing the royal
army, which is weak in infantry, in case of a battle. But Essex
seems by no means inclined for this especially as Colonel Ori, (fn. 7)
a man of influence, with several officers has gone over from his
army to the king, and others also are offended through the
appointment of plebeians to the principal offices, who are not
There are reports that the queen has left York and is at Pontefract
15 miles away, but as no letters have arrived from there
this week, this cannot be affirmed as yet.
The sieur di Cressi obtained his passport, but for greater
security he sent it to the general for confirmation before starting,
and also asked for a trumpet, which was granted. While waiting
here he has visited, under the pretence of thanking them, some
of the members of both Houses, and has told them frankly that
if they desire an accommodation with the king, France will take
it up with a special embassy, and with all the ceremony that they
may ask, but if it does not ensue, she will be obliged for well
known reasons to support the queen at all costs, and she will
not allow the king to perish. Not liking this tone they have
given him no answer on the subject, but they have afforded him
evidence of how little they care for his threats. The night
before his departure some soldiers of the parliament entered the
house of the ordinary French agent and searched it thoroughly,
breaking open a case of Cressi that was there, leaving guards
over the agent himself. On the following morning, when he was
about to mount his coach, two of his servants were arrested, one
of them being Colonel Douglas, who had come with him to go on
to Scotland to enlist recruits for France. Nevertheless his
officers obtained the release of the agent, an apology for the
incident by three deputies sent to his house, and his men back,
but on the understanding that they should not go with him to
the king. On the same day, owing to similar suspicions, soldiers
went to the house of the resident of Portugal. But he offered
a strong resistance, and would not allow them to enter, and on
applying to parliament he also received the same apology.
In spite of the very vigorous protests of the Resident Bosuel,
the States are inclining to give a reply to the parliament's deputy
Stricland, who has many protectors in that government. The
Prince of Orange feeling safe, has ordered the march, but makes
little progress, both because of the advanced season, and from
offence at the jealousy of the, States.
Your Serenity's letters of the 25th May inform me about the
league. The resident of Florence has called and shown me a
copy of the same letters sent him by the Grand Duke with orders
to inform his Majesty and myself. He asked me to tell him
what I should do. I thanked him for the confidence and told
him I had express orders to perform the office. After discussing
the matter we agreed, in view of the inconvenience to the king,
the suspicions of parliament, and the difficulties of the journey
to ourselves, to ask the secretary of state, by two identical
letters, to perform the office with his Majesty.
London, the 26th June, 1643.
[Italian ; the part in italics deciphered.]
282. Oath to be taken by the subjects of the whole realm
for the Covenant. (fn. 8)
[Italian, from the English ; 2 pages.]
283. Abstract of the Order of the two Houses of Parliament
upon the Liturgy of the Anglican Church, (fn. 9)
[Italian, from, the English ; 2 pages.]
284. To the Secretary in England.
Acknowledge receipt of his letters of the 5th inst. showing the
increasing antagonism of the Lower House to the king. Have
received information that the Dutch army is taking the field.
Will look to his diligence for news of those parts and also of
Don Francesco. He is to send the names of the persons selected
by the United Provinces for the congress of Munster. Enclose
the usual sheet of advices. Learn from France that the government
seems more inclined than heretofore to give help to the
queen of England.
Ayes, 152. Noes, 1. Neutral, 7.