385. To the Ambassador Contarini.
The Ambassador Morosini in France reports that privateers
are arming in Toulon with the flag of the king of England. You
are aware of the mischief that has been done by the privateers
of Portolongone and have made the necessary representations on
the subject. With this fresh incentive you will have to revert
to the subject so that clear and resolute instructions may be
issued to the effect that the ships and goods of our subjects
may be respected. This is due to the relations which exist
between the republic and that crown and to what we have the
right to expect from the declarations which have been so often
repeated with the utmost emphasis.
Ayes, 99. Noes, 2. Neutral, 32.
386. Michiel Morosini, Venetian Ambassador in France,
to the Doge and Senate.
Encloses sheet of events of London.
Paris, the 9th February, 1649. [M.V.]
387. Advices from Chester, the 26th January, 1650.
The Marquis of Ormond has set out for Limerick after having
burned some villages to prevent the parliamentarians, whose
army is still in winter quarters, from having the benefit of them.
Lord Brughil has taken Dungarvan, where besides 6 pieces of
artillery he found a quantity for other munitions of war. The
Irish Catholics, on their side, have captured Aniscorti castle with
its governor, Capt. Todde.
The treaty between the Scots and the king of England makes
steady progress, but his Majesty will not conclude anything
without the consent of the queen, his mother, to whom he has
sent with all speed the proposals made to him.
388. To the Ambassador Contarini.
Commendation of his efforts to obtain a copy of the orders
issued by the Levant Company about the agreement. Meanwhile
the Senate is sending to the republic's representatives a copy of
the letter of the Company's secretary to Salvetti and of Contarini's
letter of the 23rd October.
Ayes, 134. Noes, 0. Neutral, 4.
389. The Resident of the King of Great Britain came into the
Collegio and presented a letter, which was read. He then said :
The king, my master, has sent me to express his affectionate
regard and his desire to render his friendship perpetual with the
rest that is contained in this paper. He handed this in and it was
After the reading the doge said that they had listened with
sentiments befitting their regard for his Majesty. They appreciated
the confidence and wished his Majesty all consolation, and
the Resident would always be welcome as his Majesty's minister.
The Resident thanked the doge and after making the usual
Charles D. G. King of Great Britain, etc. to Francesco Molino,
Doge of Venice and to the Most Serene Republic.
Refers to his immense grief caused by the murder of his sainted
father of blessed memory, of which he has thought fit to send
particulars and has no doubt of their sympathy. The villainy
has already shown its roots and these will spread unless a remedy
is promptly supplied. Asks credence for Thomas Chalegreo,
sent as his Resident for the maintenance of the friendship that
has endured so long.
Dated at the chateau of St. Germains, the 26th August, 1649,
and the first of his reign.
I am ordered by the King of Great Britain, my master, to
hand in these letters, in which he expresses his desire to perpetuate
the most ancient friendship between his progenitors and this
republic. I should not have tarried so long if my journey had
not been delayed by some special charges from his Majesty to
communicate to the Courts of Savoy and Florence, which I have
discharged as soon as possible in order to come the more quickly
to my principal business.
King Charles II, my master, has sent me on purpose to give
you an account of the horrid treason and parricide committed
against his father by the barbarous violence of an unbridled army
and rebel populace, who have trampled under foot the crown, the
mitre, religion and all the laws. All these villanies have been
committed under the stimulus of envy and avarice, as they know
that under a well regulated monarchy they are unworthy and
incapable of the rank and station to which their blind ambition
aspired. Knowing that under a pacific government they had no
hope of advancement their desperation ultimately changed into
bestial rage and they had recourse to civil war to realise their
aims. First then they took the Scots their enemies into their
pay. But this was done secretly and by some of the principals
only, paying the price of a shameful war. And here began
the decadence of our English nation which with this first public
victim was sacrificed to the rebellion and the popular name,
though it was repugnant to the better and more prudent part of
the English nation. Finally by popular and tumultuous assemblies
assisted by armed forces the rebels struck the last
blows. It was as if Judas had returned to life. All these things
being arranged the Scots were again called in, although the king
had not a few faithful subjects there, and now the English are
trying to associate with those whom they formerly regarded in
secret as enemies. The terms were dishonourable because the
Scots refused to help the English rebels unless they submitted
to their yoke. This glorious servitude has been bought by the
English, who have made themselves slaves to the Scots at the price
of 1,200,000 crowns down. This golden gate being opened, the
Scots immediately entered England and penetrated into the most
secret places of the church and the republic, with their Presbytery,
a new monster, which was never known by Catholic antiquity,
which consists of barely 100 deacons and about as many priests,
all the rest being pure laymen. This monster, although quite
incompatible with the meridian of England, with the monarchy,
or any just aristocracy, has been set up in place of the episcopal
hierarchy, which has been preserved in England for so many
centuries without interruption. They have thus confirmed the
saying of the late King James, "No bishop, no king." Thus
they soon proceed from attacking the bishops to strike at the king.
At once the life of the innocent and heroic prince is exposed to the
highest bidder, and like a lamb he is sold for 1,200,000 crowns.
The English butcher first bought him in the North, but soon after
he was sold again in London, which has always been the hydra
of the whole rebellion, this excellent king being reduced to tiny
pieces, for as these villainous rebels themselves relate, his Majesty's
servants satisfied them by buying at a very high price some drops
of his precious blood and some portions of his hair and beard.
They did this not only to show their loyalty but to rescue these
sacred relies from the hands of the vulgar, already intoxicated
by that generous sacred blood. Then, I shudder to relate, that
royal trunk, glorious through martyrdom, was exposed on several
occasions in the royal palace at a fixed price of a lira of your money.
It remains doubtful if the fury of the rebels will stop here, as they
refused the ceremonies of a legitimate burial to the body, though a
bishop was ready to perform the office, as is customary. But God
will not leave unavenged the blood of this innocent prince, thrice, in
a manner, bought and sold. The cruelties of these traitors to this
prince when he was alive surpass all belief. These villains have
not yet been able to supply a horrified world with any plausible
reason why they involved their king in such miseries or ruined
their country with a war in which there were 40 pitched battles
and at least 300,000 persons slain in the three kingdoms. What
wonder then if my master, the king of Great Britain, is now
preparing to avenge his father and to deliver his people from a
heavy servitude. Everything constrains him to take such a
course. But the weapon must be supplied by foreign princes.
If they refuse to render him prompt assistance, it is to be feared
that this example, certainly unexampled, will prove fatal to all
idle spectators of this public violence. What people will fear
to rebel when they see how easy it is to reduce the best of kings
and see the sudden fall of an empire so firmly founded all without
the punishment of the malefactors in the face of all the Princes of
Christendom? France and Spain, realising the effect of this
failure are already beginning to lend an ear. They see their
interests are affected by domestic dangers and know from
experience how contagious the mischief is. The danger to the
Christian religion is shown by the sects which have sprung up in
the new empire, to the number of fifty all of which may be
professed to-day in England with the utmost liberty. So also by
the burning of the sacred liturgy by the hangman and at the
same time the publication of the Alcoran, translated from the
Turkish, so that the people may be imbued with Turkish manners,
which have much in common with the action of the rebels.
The church of St. Paul, comparable with St. Peters at Rome,
remains desolate and is said to have been sold to the Jews as a
synagogue. The choir will be profaned by the voices of the infidel
as soon as they receive possession from the troops of soldiers,
horse and foot, who have been lodged there. All this is being
done in the once celebrated city of London under the specious
titles of purity of the gospel and liberty of the people. This
party of the Independents has destroyed even the appearance
of religion and all law.
Such is the catastrophe which has overtaken England.
The people there have purchased a most vile servitude at
the price of 160 million crowns extorted in various taxes
and tributes, and of the life of a prince who was ruined by
his own innocence and virtues. If he had turned the arts of
the rebels against themselves or had even permitted the experiment
to be made, he might have been to-day powerful and secure.
But he preferred to maintain his integrity and to die a martyr
rather than to sacrifice in the smallest degree to a sacrilege,
which is always fatal. With a spirit truly royal he steadfastly
disdained to submit to the populace in any way by deed or act.
He lived an object of glory and envy and died so, but with so
much virtue that he lost only his life, through the atrocious
villainy of his own countrymen. It will be a disgrace to all the
peoples of his age if these regicides remain unpunished. If this
becomes a precedent it will be the ruin of all public magistrates.
The soldier will see that the general can have no power over his
army except by the consent of his men, and soldiers are already
attacking their generals and showing them that they cannot
command, much less punish, unless their men are willing to obey.
We have learned this mad doctrine by hard experience in the
presence of all the princes and republics who think themselves
safe. It has cost an inestimable price. These detestable rebels
are the dregs of the English people. Not satisfied with cutting
off that anointed head, inviolable by all laws, they have deprived
the royal house of the succession, abolishing the name of king,
and banishing the most distressed queen, already in exile and in
need of everything, condemning as traitors both her sons and all
loyal subjects. Many are in prison ready to be sacrificed to this
Cerberus. Whenever was a monarch called upon by the vilest
of his subjects to defend himself before a tribunal of his own
vassals? Or accused of high treason against his subjects, although
this charge was unanimously rejected by the leading men of the
realm, rebels as they were? Or afterwards condemned and
executed before his own palace in the metropolis of his kingdom,
as if in contempt of all monarchs and princes and a reproach to
all Christendom? Regard for personal convenience or fear of
these parricides are motives unworthy of princes. But the
Divine vengeance will never fail this most just cause. If soldiers
are lacking to fight the parricides there will be a noble army of
martyrs and although one prince has fallen to the fury of the
rebels, there are many others of the same royal race, all great and
powerful. Who can believe that Providence will allow this
abominable treason to extirpate all the royal branches and uproot
the foundations of a monarchy that has endured nearly 2,000
years and remained firm in spite of the numerous and considerable
changes throughout the world?
I have no doubt whatever that this most serene republic, which
has always despised treason, will refuse to receive into its most
grave and just confederation those parricides, or commend that
sink of base conspirators and detestable traitors, who are already
so near the precipice that their first fall will end for ever their
ignominious rule. Their favour should be regarded like the
plague and all other contagious evils. If all Christian princes
do not make opportune provision for this there is no doubt that
the poisonous breath of their rebellion will corrupt all peoples,
far and near, wherever malcontents are found. But with God's
help and the magnanimous assistance of Christian princes we
hope that serene skies will return to England and that you will
see our triumphal fires lighted with those very sticks with which
we are now beaten, and that the hateful carcases of these parricides
will have become food for the flames, as they deserve.
In that case we and all good souls shall rejoice together and
celebrate the ever memorable deliverance of our country, indeed
of all Christendom. Against this plague they are unanimous.
I come in the name of my king to express his assurance of the
continuation of your friendship. He feels sure also that he will
experience the generosity that the republic has always shown to
other princes who have applied to it in their difficulties, and
without which it will be difficult for him to perfect that healthful
royal medicament which he is preparing at present in the courts
of all the confederate Christian princes, in order with their
assistance, and above all with that of God, to secure his person
against that contagious poison of treason. Let no dignity,
however powerful, proud and puffed up venture to despise this
misery which has obliged me to give this sorry account, for my
master is an example of the instability of fortune, greater than
can be expressed. A few years ago the monarch of Great Britain
could lay down the law to all the world, being a prince entirely
without enemies and united by marriage and by blood to almost
all the Christian princes of Europe. What the king of England
is now has been abundantly shown by the above narration. As
my king has a mind superior to his fortune and is prepared to bear
any further trials it may please God to inflict upon him, it is
fitting that he should not so much ask as ratify and confirm the
perpetuity of that most ancient Christian confederation and
friendship which has always existed between his predecessors
and this republic. I can also promise that in the future my master
will show by acts of true friendship that this republic has wisely
sown its benefits, in the confident hope that the harvest will
prove equal to the sowing, being sown in the heroic bosom of an
heroic and ever grateful prince.
Long live the king, and the most serene prince and the most
390. To the King of Great Britain.
Your Majesty's resident, Thomas Chiligre, in delivering his
letters of credence, has assured us of your regard for our republic,
of which we are convinced. He subsequently added a very full
account of the distressing incidents and grievous losses which
naturally keep you in a state of trouble and affliction. We thank
your Majesty and beg to assure you of our reciprocal affection
and regard, such as our republic has ever professed for your
predecessors and especially for the late king, your father, of
glorious memory, whose misfortunes have always roused in us
sentiments becoming a catastrophe of such consequence. May
God grant your Majesty consolation and all possible prosperity.
Ayes, 84. Noes, 0. Neutral, 0.
391. That the Resident of England be summoned to the
Collegio and that the following be read to him :
We have heard the piteous statements made through you with
sentiments becoming our regard for the kings of Great Britain,
and his Majesty in particular. We reciprocate his courteous
sentiments with cordial affection and extreme compassion for
his misfortunes, which we have felt from the first. May God
grant him consolation as he deserves and reward him by the
utmost prosperity. We desire you to represent this on behalf of
the republic to his Majesty, to whom we shall always endeavour
to give proofs of our excellent good will.
Ayes, 84. Noes, 0. Neutral, 0.
392. To the Ambassador Contarini.
The secretary sent by the king of England as his resident has
arrived here. He has given us an account of the death of the
late King Charles and of all the events which accompanied it,
both before and after, pointing out the propriety of Christian
princes assisting the present king in the recovery of his dominions.
The Senate made a courteous reply in general terms without committing
itself. This is to serve the ambassador for information.
Ayes, 103. Noes, 0. Neutral, 1.
393. The decision of this Council of the 17th inst. having
been read to the Resident of England, he said :
I humbly thank your Serenity for what you have been pleased
to impart to me. I will make a faithful report to his Majesty.
He then made the usual reverence and went out, proceeding to
the other room to take a copy of this deliberation.
394. Alvise Contarini, Venetian Ambassador extraordinary,
to Pietro Basadonna his colleague in Spain.
The Court has returned from Normandy and the Cardinal paid
me a visit. He asked me if I had heard from Flanders. I said
that the negotiations had been referred to the two favourites.
There was no move from Spain for a conference in the Pyrenees.
They expressed great astonishment at this asserting that the
French ambassadors had written about it so positively to the
Regent here and she had sent begging their Majesties to agree
to it, in such sort that they had complied. With regard to the
congress in the Pyrenees, if they desire it on that side, nothing
remains to be done but to settle the place and the time and to
nominate the persons. However, as this is a proposal which
originated with the English, your Excellency may, if you think
fit, support it rather than pose as the author, to show that you
do not wish to take the wind out of their sails (per non mostrar
di voler loro levare l'acqua).
Viletta near Paris, the 27th February, 1650.