71. Gio. Battista Nani, Venetian Ambassador in France,
to the Doge and Senate.
Encloses advices of London.
Paris, the 7th January, 1647. [M.V.]
72. Advices from London, the 26th December, 1647.
General Fairfax, in the name of the whole army, has published
a declaration in which he defends its action, refusing to obey the
order of parliament for disbanding the superfluous soldiers unless
they are paid what is due to them. He asks for money for their
present pay and for the assignments of past months, and protests
that if they are not satisfied the army will return to London and
quarter itself in the houses of those who object to paying.
The king has written a very sharp letter to the Houses accusing
them of being averse from peace since they refuse the conditions
he offers and do not allow personal negotiation, which he has
suggested as the sole means of attaining peace. The Upper House
has appointed Lords Denbigh and Montagu to take to his Majesty
the four articles reported. The Lower House has decided to send
its own deputies with them, but has not yet appointed them.
The commissioners of Scotland asked that these articles might be
communicated to them before being sent, but this was refused,
and they were told that Scotland could propose the conditions
which she thought appropriate for herself.
There has been some suspicion in London of a serious conspiracy,
that the royalists meant to stir up a number of people at night
and cut in pieces the leading men of parliament. Some arrests
have been made, but they have not yet discovered anything
definite. They have accordingly issued an edict that those who
have borne arms against parliament must depart for three months
and remove from the city and from the country at a radius of 20
miles round it.
73. Gio. Battista Nani, Venetian Ambassador in France, to
the Doge and Senate.
In the instructions of the 2nd November your Serenity charges
me to try and arrange for English levies. After the exchange
of several letters with those parts, a Colonel Walter Warsopp has
come to me from London, with whom the Secretary Suriano treated
when he was over there two years ago, when parliament refused
leave. He now asserts that he has it. As regards terms he asks
4l. sterling a head to take the men to the place of embarcation.
The other terms differ little from those arranged with others, and
I could probably get him to consent to some reduction. But four
points have prevented me from proceeding without authority.
First, the permit he showed me to take out 2,000 men is from Gen.
Fairfax and some private magistrates, not from the Houses, without
which there is no security, nor is there with it with their
present sudden changes. In this connection I have been told
that when some one asked parliament for leave to make a levy for
your Excellencies, for services he had rendered, it was refused,
those interested in the Levant trade opposing as usual. I hear
that parliament has sent a minister that way, (fn. 1) possibly considering
the ambassador at the Porte a royalist, but I am not sure of
The second point is that the permit is only for supernumaries,
who are to be disbanded, but Fairfax has declared that these will
not be dismissed unless they are paid.
The third is that he will only undertake the mere levy, so that
ships must be furnished at the cost of your Serenity, and if by any
chance the men could not be collected, a very heavy expense
would be incurred without remedy.
The fourth is that he gives no cautions except at London, where
your Serenity has no minister, and there being scant justice and
no correspondence I do not see what security there is. I therefore
refer the matter to your Serenity, and Warsopp has returned to
London to wait for his answer. To save him a fruitless journey
I urged him to wait for M. della Valetta here to see if he could
arrange with him, but he did not seem inclined for a subordinate
The news of that kingdom is in the enclosed sheet.
Paris, the 14th January, 1647. [M.V.]
74. Advices from London, the 2nd January, 1648.
The Scottish commissioners have published a long manifesto
against the English parliament in which they declare that the
peace terms to be proposed to the king do not meet with their
approval, because they undermine the royal authority, which the
two kingdoms swore to maintain intact and inviolable in their
covenant. They therefore demand somewhat peremptorily that
the king shall be allowed to come to London to treat in person
and that the army be disbanded, for as the state no longer has any
enemy, it is only a burden. This first indication of a rift between
the two nations causes considerable anxiety to the London
parliament, and so they have decided to consider this manifesto
seriously. They have not on this account neglected to send the
four articles reported to the king. They were taken by two
members of the Upper and four of the Lower House with orders
to wait ten days for his Majesty's answer, leaving at the end
of that time whether they had the answer or no. The Scottish
commissioners have taken the same road to urge the king not to
sign these articles and to offer the services of themselves and
The Houses are still making a thorough enquiry into the
conspiracy which they suspect, but of which no trace has been
found. This makes it probable that it was a mere pretext for
doubling the guards and for expelling several suspected persons
For the billeting of troops who live at discretion in the country
parliament has issued an edict which while justifying the retention
of an army, prescribes various regulations to prevent the people
from being taxed to excess.
75. Giovanni Soranzo, Venetian Bailo at Constantinople,
to the Doge and Senate.
I have performed the offices about the ships with the French
ambassador as instructed. I have been unable to do so with the
English, owing to the interruption of communications, for the reasons
The five English ships which brought the ambassador have arrived
and are staying here, and three days ago another arrived from Leghorn.
They have discharged cargoes of notable value both in quantity and
quality. Great disturbances took place owing to the usual violence
of taking the goods by force. Accordingly the ambassador decided
to get the ships away from the quays and anchor them in the middle of
the channel, with a protest that if anyone should go on board by force,
they would fire their guns. In the mean time he has been negotiating
for the renewal of his capitulations with some additions for the relief
of the merchants in the matter of the duties and other things. It is
said that he has obtained his intent at an outlay of 40,000 reals, but
things have now arrived at such a pass that a promise of the morning
is broken by the evening and they care for nothing but vain glory
and plunder. The English merchants talk of hiring out these ships,
on the supposition that this will not be forbidden, and perhaps some
will be for Venice.
It is said that two other ships will soon be arriving at Smyrna.
According to the information I have there were 17 ships in that port
on the 31st ult., and they write me that the merchants there as well as
those of Leghorn maintain that there is no danger of the Turks making
use of them.
The Vigne of Pera, the 21st January, 1647. [M.V.]
[Italian ; deciphered.]
76. Gio. Battista Nani, Venetian Ambassador in France, to
the Doge and Senate.
I will carry out the commands in the ducali of the 21st December
about the English levy, which I received this week. It is true
that if Valetta fulfils his agreement I do not know how I shall
meet all demands, but I am much afraid that none of these levies
will be realised, because the English one encounters the opposition
which I have frequently reported and it is the greater because I
believe the individual has left the kingdom, and it is now several
weeks since I heard anything of M. della Valetta.
I enclose the London advices.
Paris, the 21st January, 1647. [M.V.]
77. Advices from London, the 9th January, 1648.
The parliament commissioners have reached the Isle of Wight
and made their proposal that after his Majesty has signed the
four articles he shall be allowed to treat with the parliament in
person. Shortly afterwards the Scottish commissioners arrived
and presented his Majesty with a protest against these articles,
declaring them contrary to the good of their religion and the union
of the two countries. The king has asked for time to consider
and give his answer.
A letter has been brought to the Lower House in the name of
the officers and men of the whole army full of complaints about the
edict of last week about billeting. Gen. Fairfax has also written
urging them to pay the army and settle all differences with them,
so that it may be in perfect accord with the interests of parliament.
The same demands for pay are being made by the fleet, and orders
are being issued for the collection in the counties of the money
assigned to it. Meanwhile those who have furnished considerable
sums have appeared and ask for assignments to be made to them
and security for repayment given.
78. Gio. Battista Nani, Venetian Ambassador in France,
to the Doge and Senate.
When the Cardinal and I came out of the Council chamber the
queen of England was waiting in the next room for the regent to
come out, to back our arguments in favour of peace with her tears,
as she had received the news of her husband's imprisonment.
Further particulars will be found in the enclosed sheet.
Paris, the 28th January, 1647. [M.V.]
79. Advices from London, the 16th January, 1648.
Upon the remonstrance of the Scottish commissioners the king
has refused his consent to the four articles submitted to him, and
he has insisted on the necessity of a personal conference to arrive
at peace. Upon this parliament has decided that they will
treat no more with his Majesty and receive no more letters or
proposals from him. They have written to the governor of the
Isle of Wight to make sure of his person and to keep him confined.
He has obeyed without scruple, confining the king in Carisbrooke
castle, giving the king only two rooms with two persons to
serve him, even the chaplains being taken away. General Fairfax
has sent troops to the island so that his Majesty may not be
carried off by force by any of his partisans, and possibly so that he
also may be able to profit by having the royal person in his
possession. Parliament has commended his foresight and directed
the Vice Admiral (fn. 2) to keep the island invested by sea. The
Scottish commissioners, moved by these resolutions, gave gone
to inform their parliament, which is to meet next March. With
the rift between the two countries becoming apparent the London
parliament is taking measures on the frontier to prevent the entry
of the Scottish army. It is rumoured that in Scotland the
royalist is uniting with the parliamentary party to deliver the
king from prison, and that the Irish may also join them. Accordingly
the two Houses, who have noticed the power of gold to
dissipate the clouds which threaten them from Scotland, are
collecting from 150 to 200,000l. sterling to present to the Scots
and quiet them down.
80. To the Bailo at Constantinople.
It is highly desirable to have friendly relations with the English
ambassador. You will intimate to him and to the Resident of
Holland the propriety of not giving ships to the Turks which,
in going against us, would be committing an offence against all
Christendom. You will not cease to keep an eye on these same
ministers on any matters they are treating about or steps they are
contemplating to our prejudice and the detriment of religion, dissuading
them with all your might from carrying such things into
Ayes, 105. Noes, 10. Neutral, 47.