387. Gio. Battista Nani, Venetian Ambassador in France,
to the Doge and Senate.
With affairs in England apparently more balanced and a slight
reaction in favour of the king, their Majesties here have thought
the moment opportune for a special embassy to negotiate a peace.
The Resident Bellievre is marked for this function, but if he will
not accept, they think of employing di Meson. In this way they
hope not only to win the gratitude of that kingdom and procure
friendship and advantages from peace there, but also to convince
the English that this crown has preserved a perfect neutrality
up to the present in the mediation it has undertaken, between
the two parties and will continue to do so.
I enclose the usual sheet of the most important news of that
Paris, the 5th June, 1646.
388. Advices from London, the 24th May, 1646.
The Scots have taken the king to Newcastle, appointing that
place for his residence, with all the provision and commodities
which his service requires, which means a splendid imprisonment
at the discretion and mercy of that people, which is less hostile
to his name. All the English have been sent away from him and
the most faithful companion of his flight has thought it advisable
to go elsewhere to hide himself better and escape the incessant
demands of the London parliament to get him into their clutches.
The Scots treat the king with every respect and are determined
to have peace according to the agreement made between the two
kingdoms, which means on much more moderate conditions than
what good fortune has induced the English to claim. The
commissioners of Scotland have sent another letter to the Houses
in London in which, while clearly expressing their intentions, they
protest that the king's arrival in their camp was not due to any
previous arrangement, but was unexpected and secret. They
say they sent the news to their parliament so that it may devise
the best means for peace, to be communicated between the two
kingdoms and decided upon in agreement.
Meanwhile in London the Lower House fumes, and unable to
rest has sent a long paper to the Scots with many arguments why
the disposal of the king's person belongs to them. The Upper
House expresses more moderate opinions, and in this interval of
respite for the king some speak more loudly against the populace.
Of 26 lords present 15 declared that they could not suffer the
imprisonment of their king.
Newark has surrendered. (fn. 1) They wanted it to be to the Scots,
but these, to avoid making the English more suspicious in present
circumstances, decided that it should surrender to the English
commissioners. The armies of the two nations have since
separated, the English remaining near Newark, and the Scots
marching to Newcastle to keep near the king. Parliament in
London, putting a bad interpretation on this, has decided to send
General Massy thither with 4,000 horse, to keep the others in
check. General Fairfax, who has attacked Oxford and demanded
its surrender, is also urged to rid himself of that business as soon
as possible in order to move with the mass of his forces towards
Scotland, to prevent any designs they may be contriving against
389. Gio. Battista Nani, Venetian Ambassador in France,
to the Doge and Senate.
A certain Digbi has come from Ireland to implore the name and
support of this crown for the treaty of peace which is in negotiation
for the king of England so that they may contrive by offices and
by assistance to impart vigour to the royal party in that kingdom.
An agent who is in Paris on behalf of the Catholics of that country. (fn. 2)
is watching his proceedings closely, so that no prejudice to the
religion may result therefrom.
The Resident Bellievre has accepted the embassy to England
and is busy with his preparations, so that he may start as soon as
possible. Suspicion of the English is increasing here and that
they are covertly causing some troops to pass over to the service
of Spain, just as in London they have a suspicion that France is
supplying assistance to the king. The state of affairs there is
in the enclosed sheet.
Paris, the 12th June, 1646.
390. Advices from London, of the 31st May, 1646.
On the 23rd the king entered Newcastle, accompanied by two
troops of horse and a guard of musketeers, though attended with
all magnificence and decorum. A report circulated that he had
gone to a castle a few leagues away and was going to Edinburgh,
causing great jealousy to the English, but this is not confirmed.
Parliament in London was on the point of deciding that the whole
army should go in that direction to check the Scots but afterwards
they thought it best not to proceed to extremes yet. They have
resolved, however, it being no longer necessary to keep so many
armies, to dismiss the Scots in English pay, and to get them out of
the places they occupy they offer 50,000l. sterling as soon as the
Scots have evacuated the garrisons of Newcastle and Carlisle and
a like amount when they have entirely left the kingdom. It is
not believed that the Scots will be satisfied with these proposals,
as they reckon that 1,400,000l. sterling is due to them for past
pay ; but the Houses argue that as they have ruined the country
and levied countless contributions, they are rather debtors, when
it comes to settling up.
The Council of London, disgusted with parliament and
supporting the Scots, is drawing up a long memorial, which will
be printed, against the present government of the two Houses,
and in particular the squandering of money. Meanwhile care is
taken to prevent a riot in London, and they have held a review
of 16,000 men well disciplined and equipped.
Oxford, finding a long resistance impossible, has thought to
obtain better terms by an early surrender. After many journeys
a conference was been arranged at a neighbouring place, between
commissioners from both sides, and the result is awaited.
391. Gio. Battista Nani, Venetian Ambassador in France,
to the Doge and Senate.
Encloses advices of London.
Paris, the 19th June, 1646.
392. Advices from London, of the 7th June, 1646.
The king is at Newcastle guarded as usual. He has written
to the two Houses in London that it was his firm intention to go
to that city to treat with parliament for a suitable peace, but
after so many repulses and the forbidding of any one to receive
him, as a treason, he had been obliged to go elsewhere. Yet his
desire for peace is unchanged and he would be glad if they would
suggest the means as soon as possible. He offers that the two
kingdoms shall decide about the form of religion. For the
militia to be directed by the two parliaments for 7 years according
to the conference of Oxbrig, and then some form subject to his
consent. For Ireland he declares he will accept the measures
proposed to him. If these proposals do not suit them, let them
put forward others in agreement with the Scots, because he will
accept anything that may conduce to the peace and quiet of the
kingdom. He agrees that his troops shall be disbanded, and
that honourable terms being granted to Oxford, the fortifications
shall be demolished and the garrisons removed from all other
places held by the royalists.
The Upper House approves of such overtures, but the Lower
fumes, because the king will only treat with both kingdoms
jointly, and because the royal name will have to continue, because
the Scots, the nobility of England and the Council of London
all wish it.
This last has presented a long paper, sharply worded, demanding
the maintenance of a single form of religion and the prohibition
of all other assemblies and sects which confound the realm. That
a project for peace be sent to the king as soon as possible, in
concert with the Scots. That account be given of how the
money has been spent and that the city be relieved from taxation
(taglie). (fn. 3) This remonstrance was favourably received by the
Upper House, but the Lower, made the person who was to present
it, wait at the doors 5 or 6 hours for audience.
The negotiations for the surrender of Oxford are broken off, so
the commissioners on both sides have returned and General
Fairfax has received orders to press the place hard.
Parliament invites the Prince of Wales to go to some place near
London but he is not inclined to do so until he sees what turn the
peace negotiations with his father will take.
News comes that Montrose while besieging some place has been
defeated and put to flight by parliamentary Scots who went to
393. Gio. Battista Nani, Venetian Ambassador in France,
to the Doge and Senate.
Montreuil, late French resident in Scotland, since the king
reached that army, has returned to Paris. With him has come
the gentleman who accompanied and guided the king's flight, (fn. 4)
to escape the persecution of the English.
The queen has sent Lord Germen to bring the Prince of Wales
to Paris, being determined to have this pledge near her, because
with the tendency to peace, desired by parliament and with the
king obliged to accept any terms proposed, she is naturally
afraid of being shut out. She hopes, however, that by keeping
the son and heir in her hands, she will either be able to obtain
better terms for herself, or that she may one day be able to
improve the treaty.
The sheet of London enclosed.
Paris, the 26th June, 1646.
394. Advices from London, the 14th June, 1646.
Parliament has given a general and inconclusive reply to the
remonstrance of the Council of London. It commends the zeal
and devotion of the city for the public welfare, promises a corresponding
partiality towards the interests of the city and that it
will take an early opportunity or discussing the articles of their
paper and deciding what is considered advisable.
The king has sent express commands to Sir [Thomas] Glenham,
who commands at Oxford, to surrender the place to the parliamentary
forces. But he, seeing that the king, as a prisoner,
cannot have free will in this, refuses to obey unless General
Fairfax will grant honourable terms. Accordingly the siege is
pressed. Yet they continue to discuss proposals for the surrender.
There are three difficulties. First, whether some in Oxford whom
parliament has excluded from pardon for ever, shall be included
in the terms. The second, that the two Palatine princes be
allowed to remain two months in the country after the surrender.
Third, that the governor and garrison may come out with their
arms and all the honours of war and be escorted 15 miles from the
The king has ordered Montrose and the others who follow the
royal party in Scotland, to lay down their arms, and is waiting
for the conditions agreed upon by the two kingdoms, to sign all
that they present to him and submit to their dictation. He is
still at Newcastle, guarded with the same care, to such an extent,
that under the guise of service and honour a distinguished Scot
sleeps every night in his very chamber.
395. Giovanni Soranzo, Venetian Bailo at Constantinople,
to the Doge and Senate.
Every day exceedingly rich ships arrive at Smyrna, laden with
golden merchandise (Robbe d'oro) and with cloth of Venice, sent by
way of Leghorn. I hear that the greater part is for Jews and Englishmen ;
but I know that our nation receives them precisely under the
names of the Jews and English. They pay the dues to the ambassador
of England and refuse them to your Serenity. In my present
condition I can do nothing, and if force is not used they will continue
as they are doing.
The Vigne di Pera, the 27th June, 1646.
[Italian ; deciphered.]
396. To the Ambassador in Spain.
Account of Turkish naval preparations. They are contemplating
the employment of the English and Flemish ships now
Ayes, 149. Noes, 1. Neutral, 10.