439. To the Ambassador in France. (fn. 1)
We enclose advices received from Constantinople this week.
You will see that the English ambassador has promised the
Turks ships of his nation against us. If this should occur it would
be totally contrary to the premises and arrangements made
between us and the English Levant Company.
As this affair is of the utmost importance to us we desire you
to inform Salvetti, the grand duke's minister in London, and urge
him to approach the Levant Company and try to prevent an
action so injurious to the interests of the most serene republic,
God and all Christendom. You will know how to impress upon
Salvetti the uprightness and justice of our intent. You may add
in particular that our republic has maintained uninterrupted
its good relations with the English nation, a thing which the
changes of time have not permitted with any other, and so the
nation may rest the more assured of our sincere good will at all
times. Salvetti is most friendly towards us, so we look for good
results from his offices.
Enclose particulars of the quarrels that have taken place
between the English and French ambassadors at Constantinople
for his information. He is to watch how these incidents are taken
at Court there.
Ayes, 133. Noes, 1. Neutral, 1.
440. Pietro Basadonna, Venetian Ambassador in Spain,
to the Doge and Senate.
Every effort is being made to have a considerable fleet in these
seas, both that it may act against Catalonia and also encourage
the French malcontents. It will also be sent as far as the Terceras,
to meet the Indiamen, lest they be attacked by Prince Rupert, who
is said to have given manifest signs of hostility at Malaga and
Cartagena, as reported, But well informed people believe that this
display of fear of Prince Rupert, whose feats have not been so very
dreadful after all, is merely intended to palliate the alliance now on
the carpet between Spain and the London parliament. This his
gone so far that I know on good authority the ministers here contemplate
dismissing the ambassadors of the King on the plea that they
are spies in the service of Cardinal Mazarini and they reproach
them with the fact that Lord Cottington, the head of the mission, is
related to a person much in the Cardinal's intimacy. When the
courier sent to England returns it will be easier to ascertain the truth.
Some say he will bring a treaty already signed. The question of
religion made the king doubtful for a long while, but the doctrines of
the divines were easily made to correspond with the maxims of state,
and they have convinced his Majesty that any sort of assistance is
lawful against his own rebels, while he need not hestitate to abandon
the cause of his innocent nephew, the king of England, seeing that he
is of a different creed. At the same time, if they adopt this policy,
it will not be popular, as there is a universal horror for the regicide
parliament and the mere germs of a good understanding between
that body and this crown are openly condemned, for the Castilians
in particular pride themselves on their loyalty, which amounts
to a perfect veneration for the monarch. But I believe that the
immediate advantages offered will cause these most essential and
delicate points to be overlooked, and will also prevent Spain from
thinking of hostilities against the Porte.
Madrid, the 11th December, 1650.
[Italian ; the part in italics deciphered.]
441. Niccolo Sagredo, Venetian Ambassador in Germany,
to the Doge and Senate.
Letters from Constantinople report that the English ambassador
has distributed considerable presents at the Porte in order to obtain
the expulsion of the envoy accredited by the king. To this end
he has offered ships against the Venetians, and doing his worst
against them as well as against the French, he promised positively
to send 200,000 sequins to the coast of Barbary to be employed
for chartering and building vessels. Although the royal envoy
had credentials from the king of France as well as from his own
master, he had to yield before the power of the republicans there,
who further seized four royalist merchants and after beating them,
sent them in irons to Smyrna. (fn. 2) Other acts of hostility have passed
between the two factions, and as the royalists are protected by
the French ambassador, the quarrels between his countrymen and
the republicans are endless.
Vienna, the 17th December, 1650.
442. Pietro Basadonna, Venetian Ambassador in Spain,
to the Doge and Senate.
The storm which threatened the affairs of the king of England
and his ambassadors has at length burst, in words and deeds of an
even more serious character than had been anticipated. An intimation
has been made to the ambassadors, desiring them to quit the
Court, and they will depart in a few days. I do not know upon
what pretexts this decision was palliated as neither party makes them
known. Prince Rupert is to be denied entry into Spanish ports as
a common pirate and to be treated as an enemy, The king's brother,
the Duke of York, now resident in Flanders, will similarly be expelled
from that country, if he has not already taken his departure, for he
is supposed even now to be on his way towards France. The five
Englishmen in prison for the murder of the minister of parliament
are to be considered guilty of high treason, and will be condemned to
death, though with a reservation touching the right of sanctuary
which is to be decided by the tribunal of the nuncio. The guns and
other tackle salved at Cartagena from the two vessels captured by
Prince Rupert, are to be considered the property of parliament.
All these very important changes took place in one day, and not only
prove the alliance between this crown and the parliament but also
point to open hostility against King Charles II and his interests,
the straight and fair path being deserted for that of profit and advantage.
The articles arranged or to be arranged with the parliament are
reported variously. Some believe that the English merely bind
themselves to continue the war against Portugal and not to make
terms with France, while others say that in the spring 25 of their
ships are to come and join the Spanish fleet in aid of all such undertakings
as may be agreed upon. Others again maintain that Spain
has condescended to the recognition without any hope whatever of
profit, but from sheer dread of the insolence of the parliament. Two
very striking examples of this have been afforded recently. In the
first place they refused to receive the king's letter of excuse about
the murder of their minister, and protested to the Ambassador
Cardenas that they would take their revenge on him unless they
received the satisfaction they claimed within a certain period. In
the second the commander of the parliament fleet, when off the port of
Cadiz, was invited by the Duke of Medina Celi to enter and avail
himself of every convenience. The unusually arrogant answer sent
was that he would accept the offer but that he did not mean to lower
his flag or salute the fortress. In spite of this the duke made
preparations for his reception and treated him with extraordinary
marks of esteem and courtesy. (fn. 3) A very short while will suffice to show
the real state of affairs as well as what is anticipated from this union,
and possibly it will be seen that fear had as great a share as interest
in inducing Spain to take this step.
Madrid, the 21st December, 1650.
[Italian ; deciphered.]
443. Michiel Morosini, Venetian Ambassador in France,
to the Doge and Senate.
The king of England fearing that the nobility or the sectaries
meant to play him some trick, contemplated escaping from their
hands by retiring to the Orkney Islands, but this being discovered,
he is at present under guard, although not formally so, the blame
for the decision being laid on Buckingham and others of his
following, who have been beheaded. The Scots at present have an
army of over 25,000 combatants to give battle to the English.
Although Cromuell's force is greatly inferior in numbers, they
speak in London with such confidence of victory that prudent
men fear there must be some agreement with the Scottish nobility
to destroy the king utterly. Here the queen, his mother, is in
great anxiety and the rest of the Court is very apprehensive about
Paris, the 27th December, 1650.
444. To the Ambassador in France.
There are persistent reports that the English parliamentary
resident at the Porte is supplying ships and assistance to the
Turks. We suppose you have written to Salvetti about seeing
that the agreement with the Company is respected. It is desirable
also to pass some office with the parliamentarians themselves.
There should be, at that Court, some agent or correspondent of
the parliament available. We think you could easily find out
about this. Through such a person, or through others whom
you know to be suitable, you will contrive to convey to parliament
itself our most friendly sentiments and also our most legitimate
desire to see a stop put to operations which cannot be other than
injurious to Christendom, displeasing to Almighty God and
contrary to Christian piety and charity. You will try to make
this clear to the individual and so facilitate through his means
the benefit which we ask with so much reason.
Ayes, 120. Noes, 0. Neutral, 0.