1. Giacomo Quirini, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the
Doge and Senate.
News has come that the English have captured four Dutch
ships laded at Cadiz with divers merchandise and with coined
money belonging to individuals to the amount of 700,000 ducats.
It is understood that they also carried 400 bales of wool of the
king under the names of Domenico Centurioni and Andrea
Pichinotti, which were going to Flanders for the needs of the
army there. It is calculated that they might be worth 30,000
to 40,000 reals. This was the wool of the crop of 51 and 52
which was bought by the Contractors (Assentisti) with the
Madrid, the 1st January, 1653.
2. To the Resident at Florence.
Commend his efforts to convince the English gentleman
Longland that it is not the right thing to take away the English
ships from the republic. He is to inform the Grand Duke also
of the importance of this question and request him to pass
some office with the English direct to divert them from any
such intention. When the squadron of ships directed to Prince
Rubert arrives in those waters, the Senate will expect to have
news of it.
Ayes, 67. Noes, 3. Neutral, 54.
3. To the Ambassador in France.
To inform Pauluzzi of the efforts made by Longland to induce
ships to leave the service of the republic and also to stop ships
from going to Zante for currants, to the end that he may press
for the issuing of the orders which they expressed their intention
to grant him, to permit the employment of English vessels for
the defence of our cause, which is so important and privileged.
Ayes, 67. Noes, 3. Neutral, 54.
4. Lorenzo Paulucci, Venetian Secretary in England,
to Giovanni Sagredo, the Ambassador in France. (fn. 1)
Under favour of the calm weather, so unusual here at this
season, the Dutch continue in force in the Downs. Being aware
of the great naval preparations here they mean, if nothing untoward
occurs, to wait for the fleet to come out and to fight a
general action. With similar intentions they labour incessantly
here to fit out Blach to enable him to put to sea with a strong
force and in good spirits. The necessary hands, officers and
soldiers are now almost ready to embark, and the ships themselves
are seaworthy ; so it is announced that at the English
Christmas, which falls a fortnight later than ours, the fleet will
be ready to leave the Thames with quite 100 sail. All hangs
upon the result, everyone realises that it must either prove
decisive in favour of this parliament, or still further confirm the
Dutch in their present mastery of the Sea.
To remedy any mischance due to neglect of duty on the part
of the captains and officials, who give cause for apprehension,
the Council of State has ordered that several naval commanders
shall be put upon their trial at once. (fn. 2) They were sent up to
London with the commissioners, on a charge of not having
fought their ships properly in the last battle. If found guilty
they will be punished, as an example to their comrades, who will
thus be impressed with the necessity of serving faithfully and
In the course of their investigation the commissioners discovered
that all the provisions supplied to the fleet were of bad
quality. This abuse is now remedied, parliament having charged
these same commissioners, together with a junta, to superintend
all arrangements for the proper provisioning of the navy,
and with full powers to make regulations, and to appoint, change
and dismiss all whom they find to be inefficient. For the fuller
exercise of the authority thus conferred upon them they are to
remain in office for the whole of the present year.
Owing to the obvious need of great sums for the support of
this war, they contemplate the imposition of fresh taxes, especially
if the sale of the property of the king and the numerous delinquents
does not speedily yield the supply anticipated. At the
last sitting of parliament, when the matter was discussed,
General Cromwell, moved by zeal for the public service, made a
voluntary offer, as a gift to the State, of 6,000l. sterling of the
amount received by him by parliamentary grant. By this
shrewd and popular step he aimed at making other wealthy
parliamentarians do the like, though so far it does not appear
that the invitation has been accepted so readily as he expected.
The negotiations of the Portuguese ambassador promise a
fair result, which is facilitated by the admission of the English
claims for compensation for the losses inflicted by Prince Rupert
when he was in Portuguese ports for which Portugal has agreed
to pay a considerable sum, as they realise their need for friends
and assistance and are therefore inclined to comply with the
demands of parliament, in the hope of succour. Here also they
anticipate great advantage from the alliance.
As parliament refused M. de Bordeaux's first credentials, he
produced a second set, to the entire satisfaction of this commonwealth,
which has consequently acknowledged him as the public
minister of France. Parliament has appointed a committee of
its members to give him audience, which took place last Tuesday,
in the form observed with Residents and Agents but not as
ambassador. The committee will repeat his statement in the
full parliament, as usual. So far as I can gather, after referring
to the regard they always cherished for the crown of England he
has so far only discussed the claims to compensation on both
sides, offering on behalf of France to investigate the origin of the
trouble and that then pars reficienda reficiatur. I will keep on
the watch to see if his negotiations go further.
The malcontents in Scotland and Ireland are taking advantage
of the preoccupation of the government with the war with
Holland, to revive disturbances in those countries, which are
supposed to be encouraged by the Dutch. Although parliament
thinks of applying the remedy, the engrossing business of
the fleet causes delay of the measures required for compelling
the Scots and Irish to acknowledge the present government.
Acknowledges letters of the 28th ult. Promises to exert
himself to obtain compensation for the ambassador's property.
London, the 3rd January, 1653.
5. In the Pregadi, on the 4th of January.
That a gold chain of 150 ducats be given to Thomas Middleton
as a mark of honour, because he has served for three years continuously
in the fleet with his ship, the Elizabeth Maria against
the Turk, and during all that time no action has taken place at
which he has not been present, affording the most generous
proofs of his courage. He has also handed over to the Capitan
General da Mar the person of Nadalin Burlan, and he is now
about to rejoin the fleet.
Ayes, 71. Noes, 5. Neutral, 7.
On the 20th December, 1652, in the Collegio :
Ayes, 20. Noes, 0. Neutral, 1.
6. Giovanni Ambrosio Sarotti, Venetian Resident at
Florence, to the Doge and Senate.
I have made representations to the English minister Langland
(not Grandier) who receives and executes all the orders of the
English parliament, to persuade him not to recall the ships
serving in the Levant. But he informed me that he is bound
by the strictest instructions from London which charge him to
enjoin all the English ships present in the Mediterranean (which
may amount to some 25 between Venice, Naples, Longone and
Genoa) to put aside every other employment and arm for war,
endeavouring to unite together as quickly as possible to offer
resistance to the Dutch. He told me further that the master of
a ship which is at present in the port of Malamocco, sent his
supercargo expressly to him these last days to get permission to
make a voyage to Cephalonia, for which he is hired, for the purpose
of lading currants, but he was not able to give his consent.
He showed himself so settled in his determination to obey punctually
the orders of his masters that no argument would serve
to draw from him so much as a word of good intention.
This troubles me the more because apart from the ships, it
will injure the currant trade, which brings considerable sums
of money to Zante and Cephalonia because Langland said that
he had expressly forbidden any English vessel to trade within
a certain limited time to any part, no matter where. Something
may perhaps be done through the offices of Pauluzzi and the
When Vangalen returned to Leghorn recently, his Highness
showed him great honour. He met this with indifference,
keeping the coaches waiting for three days, because he wished
to remedy the disorders which had occurred in his absence and
to send out certain of his ships to various parts to prevent the
junction of the English and to protect navigation and the
merchant ships, which they are still expecting from Amsterdam
from the injury which the three powerful and swift frigates I
wrote about (fn. 3) might inflict upon them. I had arranged to speak
to Vangalen about preventing the withdrawal of the Dutch
ships, but he took ship again at once.
The English General Bobler, who is generally stationed at
Longone, has had himself transported to Leghorn also and from
there he sent to Pisa for a safeguard, because he feared he
might receive some affront because of the outrage done to the
port by the surprise of the frigate, (fn. 4) but there he was welcomed
and made much of by the Grand Duke with the most desirable
assurances that he would receive the best possible treatment.
With regard to getting ships, the owners declare that they will
not hire to your Serenity without the guarantee of some trader.
Thus the English traders in particular produce letters from London,
full not only of complaints because their ships have never
been satisfied with their advances, but further expressing the
hope that a time will come when they will know how to enforce
It is stated that General Vangalen has received letters from his
masters from the Hague with instructions as to how he is to
behave towards the Palatine Princes Rupert and Maurice.
They are expected to arrive in these waters any day with 15
powerful ships, the majority of them captured from the English,
and flying the flag of the king of England. A hint has been
given me from Leghorn that these princes with all their ships
might enter the service of your Serenity.
Florence, the 5th January, 1652. [M.V.]
7. Lorenzo Paulucci, Venetian Secretary in England, to
Giovanni Sagredo, the Ambassador in France. (fn. 5)
A furious storm which arose at sea suddenly on the night of
the 29th ult. but subsided in a few hours, made a change in the
attitude of the Dutch fleet and prevented the blockade. But
the main body is again at the mouth of the Thames, reinforced
by other squadrons, which keep cruising and asserting the
supremacy of the Dutch flag by seizing all the ships they find
bound for the ports of England. Some slight loss was incurred
by the enemy during this brief storm, and if it had lasted they
certainly would have had to think of their own safety, and so
give an opportunity for the junction of the other English ships
of war, now scattered about in various ports, with the main
fleet, at present in the Thames.
Under favour of the weather, then, the Dutch remain before
this kingdom, receiving constant reinforcements and always
ready for action. The English also are indefatigable in their
exertions to render their fleet as strong as possible and equipped
at all points to go out and engage the enemy. The navy commissioners
have again left to hasten the embarcation of the men
now assembled in great numbers at Gravesend and to see what is
wanted to enable the fleet to put to sea on the 12th January,
old style. But this plan is of course subject to the changes
that usually befall all great undertakings. The quality of the
English fleet will certainly be superior to that of the enemy.
But the numbers of the Dutch ships, to which in course of time
will be added those of the Danes and the squadron of Prince
Rupert, who is expected, will go far to counterpoise and even
surpass this advantage, on which they lay so much stress here.
The fact may add to the regret already felt by the majority in
England at the present rupture, which occurred without any
other thought than the gratification of self conceit, which made
them consider themselves stronger than all the rest, from their
successes in the civil war. The ministry and those who first
urged the war are being watched already and some are blamed.
So unless victory gives things a brighter aspect than they now
wear, greater mischief may be anticipated. It is evident to every
one that all depends upon the fleet putting to sea, an event which
engrosses all the energy and attention of parliament and the
Council of State too.
Much vexation has been caused here by the seizure at the Sound
by the Dutch on guard there of 10 Lubeck ships laden with hemp,
rope, pitch and other materials for ship building, for it was hoped
that belonging to a free city and laded for Flanders they might
have come without molestation and made good the shortage
here. But the Dutch detained them and announced in their
papers that they would do the like to all other ships they find
bound with such merchandise or any other, for England.
Meanwhile it looks as if the chief points of a satisfactory arrangement
are settled with Portugal, by that kingdom paying a considerable
sum yearly to England for damages. They make it
easier here by granting time. Only one essential point remains
for settlement, the grant of a Protestant church for the English
merchants at Lisbon. This proves difficult, but as the Dutch have
enjoyed the privilege it is hoped that the difficulty will be overcome
in this case.
Although the Catholic ambassador objected to having the
affair of the silver referred to the Admiralty Court, (fn. 6) he is obliged
to submit and await the sentence of that tribunal, as parliament
has issued an order to this effect in reply to his remonstrances.
The result is awaited with interest, opinion being divided about
To facilitate the naval preparations they have increased the
monthly pay of the sailors, captains, officials and artificers, and
parliament has issued express orders both here and in the chief
towns of England for the necessary care of the sick and wounded,
present and future, with provision for the heirs of those who die.
A special courier reached the Tuscan resident lately with orders
to remonstrate strongly about the audacious conduct of the
English commander in the Mediterranean, who went so far as
to infringe the jus dominii of the Grand Duke, who demands
satisfaction. (fn. 7) This has been promised, and the fulfilment will
probably be greatly facilitated by the amount of English property
in those parts.
I have your Excellency's letters of the 4th with the note from
the Esecutori about the English ships. I will do my best and if
the reply to the ducal letter is given to-morrow, I shall speak
more boldly. I am hopeful as I have been asked for the titles
and address of his Serenity. But I must have patience, as this
Dutch affair and others have so bewildered them that they do not
know where their wits are and find it easier to put forward a quantity
of things than to despatch a few with the necessary caution with
satisfaction to those who are entitled to it.
London, the 10th January, 1653.
[Italian ; the part in italics deciphered.]
8. Giovanni Ambrosio Sarotti, Venetian Resident at
Florence, to the Doge and Senate.
The Court proceeded from Pisa to Leghorn on Tuesday.
Before they left I requested the good offices of the Grand Duke
about the ships serving your Serenity. The Bali Gondi promised
to do his best though he had not much hope, owing to the
sinister character of Longland and because of the harshness of
General Bobler, not to speak of the slight value that can be
attached to their promises in any case. He said that his fears
that his offices would have little or no success were the greater
because the relief squadron appointed by parliament had not
yet moved from London, and in the mean time Vangalen is
constantly receiving fresh reinforcements, and with the belief
he holds that the English squadron might descend upon him
suddenly it is unlikely that he would take any step which might
I spoke to Prince Mattias as well. He told me that he had
recently had long conversations with both generals at Pisa. He
spoke very highly of Vangalen, but he could not say anything
bad enough of the evil and extravagant behaviour of Bobler
or of the English minister Longland. With regard to the value
to be placed upon his promises his Highness expressed the same
opinion as Gondi. The prince spoke to me of the objects and
ideas of these captains, which amount to interrupting the ancient
flow of the Levant trade which the Dutch are persuaded they can
take away from the English by combating them in these waters,
where the two nations have at stake only ships, not dominions,
and provided Bobler is reinforced, a man of the greatest courage,
he will not avoid battle, however great the hazard.
If the reported victory of Tromp over Blach is confirmed it
will render more difficult the coming of the expected squadron
to these waters, and will render inadmissible any sort of approach
to General Bobler in the interest of your Serenity, but I am assured
that Vangalen will not recall the Dutch ships serving in the
Florence, the 11th January, 1652. [M.V.]
Postscript : News has just reached me from Leghorn that General
Bobler has sent a captain to Venice to secure the despatch
of the English ships at Malamocco (fn. 8) and to proceed immediately
to Naples, where, it appears the English have appointed the
rendezvous for their ships. He is said to have written also to
your Serenity not to detain the ships. He complains that they
are prevented from supplying them with biscuit and other
9. Giovanni Sagredo, Venetian Ambassador in France, to
the Doge and Senate.
I have transmitted your Serenity's instructions to Pauluzzi.
With regard to this subject I may say that from several conversations
with the minister of an Italian prince here who has
secret correspondence with the English parliament, (fn. 9) that body
is equally desirous of good relations with your Serenity, and they
will respond to the public commissions with an equal courtesy.
They are talking here of another engagement fought at the
mouth of the Thames, in which the Dutch had the advantage.
I do not forward particulars as I am waiting for further confirmation,
because such reports are sometimes started with design
and interest by the partisans of one side or the other.
Paris, the 14th January, 1653.
10. Girolamo Giustinian, Venetian Ambassador in Germany,
to the Doge and Senate.
The king of Denmark is fitting out and repairing vessels of
war with great energy. He protests that he means to stand
side by side with Holland. That country has sent an ambassador
to the Hanse Towns to ask for help against England. (fn. 10) The
Dutch are also requesting these same Towns to move so that
the ambassador of England at Ratisbon shall not be received
and treated in the diet as an ambassador.
Prague, the 15th January, 1653.
11. Lorenzo Paulucci, Venetian Secretary in England,
to Giovanni Sagredo, the Ambassador in France. (fn. 11)
Among the many replies to foreign powers presented yesterday
by the Council of State to parliament and there ratified,
were those for his Serenity, which is mentioned in the printed
journal for this day. I shall forward it as soon as possible.
The day after the departure of the naval commissioners
90,000l. sterling were sent after them for the payment of the
officers and men only, so as to give satisfaction to all, and as
an encouragement to put to sea, though, as usual with all great
undertakings, the precise moment keeps being postponed.
Meanwhile the Dutch, as experienced sailors, expecting a
violent storm, after nearly three months of uninterrupted calm,
or warned by the preparations here, or possibly as a challenge
to the English to come out, have quietly raised the blockade
of the Thames and are beyond the Downs ; though according
to report they are at no great distance and have only made
the French coast opposite, all ready to return in a few hours
and to take advantage of any opportunity to give battle. This
will not be shunned by either side, as it may serve to end the
quarrel between these two powerful nations. I hope that a
few days will satisfy the curiosity that is felt and the general
While the good understanding between the Dutch and the
Danes increases all hope of an adjustment between England and
Denmark vanishes. The king is reported to have fitted out as
many ships as possible and ordered a levy of 10,000 soldiers,
of whom the greater part are already mustered, and all hope
of the surrender of the English ships seized is at an end.
The government here, to curry favour with the navy, has
decided to reduce the pay of the army. Henceforward each
trooper will only receive 2 shillings a day instead of 2s. 6d. ;
the infantry being also reduced from 12d. to 9d. Both grumble
and there is fear of a mutiny, unless the address and authority
of Cromwell and the other commanders with him are sufficient
to stifle any attempt prejudicial to the unpopular and protracted
rule of this parliament, as is anticipated.
To intimidate and alarm Denmark parliament has recently
appointed an ambassador to Sweden, in the person of Viscount
Lisle, (fn. 12) a man of high birth and equal ability, in the hope that
the good will shown by the queen to England and her strained
relations with Denmark may prove a source of considerable
advantage. He is expected to leave soon and is charged to
bring about a good understanding with that crown. National
sympathies and similarity of religion will facilitate this.
Great confusion now reigns in London owing to the multiplicity
of sects. The other day parliament was apprised of a
meeting of Presbyterians, including persons of rank, to be held
at some place. Three companies of soldiers were sent to arrest
both ministers and congregation. They did so, though not
without a considerable tumult, and the people had to submit
to force and to witness the arrest of certain persons, including
the two preachers of those Presbyterian doctrines which in
great measure led to the civil strife in this country. It is expected
that they will be severely punished by fines and possibly
with death. In consequence of this parliament immediately
issued a proclamation ordering the instant departure from
England under the most severe penalties, in the first place of
all Jesuits, and secondly all other kinds of popish priests and
religious, who are said to be here in disguise, performing Catholic
rites in private houses. They are given to the end of March,
after which all Jesuits, priests, etc. found here will be punished
as disturbers of the public quiet. (fn. 13)
M. de Bordeaux remains here as minister of France, having
only to-day received the reply to his letters, with other papers.
He seems anxious to leave soon, though it is thought here that
he will find it difficult to do so, as his own negotiations and the
dilatoriness of this government require both attention and
patience. His first proposals are thought to be only a blind to
some other secret commission devised by the cunning of Cardinal
Mazarini, in order, if possible, to find some way to allay the
present disturbances in France. He is being closely observed ;
if it be so, time will show.
The victories won by Spain in the last campaign are to be
celebrated here this evening by the Spanish ambassador, who
means to make a great display of fireworks and other rejoicings,
at considerable cost. The whole town will attend though he
is embittered by the determination here to detain the 200,000l.
seized on the Hamburg ships.
Your despatches of the 11th reached me to-day. I will speak
to Fleming and others as directed. No doubt the parliamentarians
will answer in a way calculated to improve the relations
between England and Venice.
London, the 17th January, 1653.
|12. Lorenzo Paulucci, Venetian Secretary in England, to
Giovanni Sagredo, the Ambassador in France. (fn. 14)
When I went to ask the help of Sir Oliver Fleming for the
recovery of the property stolen from your Excellency, our conversation
was noticed by one of the chief councillors of state,
who asked who I was. When told he charged Fleming to tell
me that the whole Council took a lively interest in the war between
the most serene republic and the Turks and were sorry
to hear any bad news about that arduous struggle. They understood
that the English ambassador at Constantinople, whom
they mean to supersede as soon as possible, had of his own accord
compelled some captains of English ships to take service in the
Turkish fleet. They wished for certain information on the
subject, because it was directly contrary to the orders of the
Levant Company and parliament would take the earliest opportunity
of punishing such an offence as it deserved. They wished
me to write to Venice so that the ambassador extraordinary now
with the Grand Turk might find out the truth, on which they
could act and incidentally show their regard for Venice. I
thanked Fleming suitably and said I would report at once to
your Excellency, asking him to assure the government that the
republic heartily reciprocated the friendly feeling of England.
London, the 17th January, 1653.
13. Giovanni Ambrosio Sarotti, Venetian Resident at
Florence, to the Doge and Senate.
A fresh incident has greatly incensed his Highness. He went
on board a galley to have a look at both fleets and was saluted by
their guns. The Dutch general was having himself rowed
across in company with Mons. Hipolito Fiamingo Scalco, the
duke's great favourite, but when they came opposite the English
flagship, a piece full of musket shot was fired from it, though
it did no harm. The Dutch general made complaint about it to
the duke. To appease his Highness the English offer to hand
over the gunner to be punished for what they call an inadyertence.
It is not known what his Highness will do.
Florence, the 18th January, 1652. [M.V.]
14. English merchants and sea captains complain of molestation
from one Walter Woolph, who claims to be consul and exacts
consulage (fn. 15) from them, a thing that cannot be admitted unless
he is recognised by your Serenity. The question has been referred
to us and we find by a patent which this Woolph showed
to us that on the 20th May, 1652, the office of consul was renounced
in his favour by Joseph Kent, an English merchant,
which was confirmed by a patent of Thomas Killigrew, then
Resident of the king of Great Britain. It does not appear
that the Senate's approval was obtained, as is usual with all
the consulates. We learn that Woolph formerly devoted himself
to maritime affairs, but now he has no occupation except that
of consul. In former times the consuls were chosen by the
Trinity Company, and that body continues to exercise its functions.
Since then the Resident for the king fulfilled the offices
of both consul and ambassador, and latterly he appointed one
of his household to act as consul, but he was not confirmed.
Enclose a copy of Woolph's patents.
At the office on the 22nd January, 1652. [M.V.]
|Pol Antonio Morosini
15. Lorenzo Paulucci, Venetian Secretary in England, to
Giovanni Sagredo, the Ambassador in France. (fn. 16)
My efforts have at length obtained the reply from parliament,
which I enclose. The marks of esteem for the republic render
it quite satisfactory contrary to the expectation of some. The
letter was brought to my house by order of parliament by Sir
[Oliver] Fleming, who also brought a complimentary message
for the republic. He attributed the delay to punctilio and the
press of public business. I replied suitably upon the assurance
of mutual good will, and thanked him personally for his share
in the business. He said he was proud to be so employed adding
that he was charged to tell me that any forms adopted by Venice
towards England for the establishment of a good understanding
would be approved and reciprocated, and I was now at liberty
for any business I might have to transact to address myself to
the secretary of the Council of State. I thanked him and said
that if England could not help at the moment it might at least
be hoped that she would not withdraw the ships serving Venice.
He replied that the government would bear that in mind, but
English affairs in the Mediterranean needed all the help they
could get. I retorted that the great power of England must have
ample and readier means to effect this than by adding to the
pride of the Turks. He took leave without adding anything
more on the subject.
The Dutch left the mouth of the Thames for the purpose of
dividing their numerous forces into several squadrons. Having
effected this they are now blockading if not all at least the
principal ports of England, allowing no craft to enter or leave
them. They thus remain masters at sea, subjecting this city to
great inconvenience and compelling the government to send the
fleet out to offer battle. Two large English frigates, carrying
40 guns each, attempted to go out of Portsmouth lately, but were
driven back by the enemy and suffered so much damage that they
will have to go into dock before they can put to sea again. (fn. 17)
An affair in Kent due to quarrels between the soldiers and
sailors has recently caused great anxiety here and will certainly
delay the sailing of the fleet. To avenge themselves on the
soldiers the marines set fire to a place there containing military
stores, many of which were consumed as well as a quantity of
gunpowder and but for the assistance of the troops of the garrison
the loss would have been much greater. The sailors were
repulsed by the soldiers and lost some men. A few of the ringleaders
also were punished by General. Blach ; but with this
state of feeling between the two services the government is
puzzled how to punish the one or curb the other, from fear that
chastisement may do even more harm to the commonwealth, in
its present need of both army and navy. So although the
affair has not quite subsided every effort is being made to quiet
matters in the best possible way.
The military, offended for the reasons given previously and
resenting the growing power of the Presbyterians in parliament,
to the detriment of the more numerous Independents, show signs
of opposition and a determination to have the present parliament
changed or reformed. They hold largely attended meetings at
a short distance from London, and on hearing of this, parliament
assembled at once. Yesterday a formal Council of State was
held to discuss the best means of appeasing them. I understand
it was proposed to offer them a deliberative voice, which is
tantamount to a speedy change of government, as they mean to
purge parliament of the remaining Presbyterians, who are inclined
to oppose the army, which will to a great extent give the
law to this country. Cromwell covertly but shrewdly supports
the military party, arousing the suspicions and mistrust of
parliament, which is said to contemplate curtailing his authority.
He, on the other hand, is equally resolved by address and dexterity,
with the support of the military to maintain his present
position. So if the foreign politics of England are in great
confusion her domestic affairs are extremely fluid and a change
is generally expected unless her ablest statesmen exert themselves
to delay rather than to avert it, as will be seen ere long.
In Scotland and Ireland it is understood that the opponents
of parliament, favoured by existing circumstances, gain ground
daily and have taken several important places in both countries,
the government here being too much occupied to apply the
Acknowledges letters of the 18th inst.
London, the 24th January, 1653.
16. Parliamentum Reipub. Angliæ Ser. Principi Venetiarum,
etc. Salutem : Serenissime Princeps : Parlamentum
Reip. Angliae litteras Ser. Vest, lmo Junii, 1652,
datas per Laur. Paulucium accepit, ex quibus cum et vestrum
at Senatus propensum in hanc rempub. animum perspiciat,
occasionem hanc suum vicissim erga ser. Rempub. Venetam
singulare studium et benevolentiam declarandi libenter arripuit,
quam et re ipsa, idque ex animo demonstrare quoties usus
venerit haud quaquam gravabitur, cui, et omnes vel conservandae,
vel etiam augendae amicitiae ususque mutui rationes in medium
allatae erunt ibidem acceptissimae. Vestraeque adeo Ser.
Reiquepub. Ser. fausta omnia ac prospera exoptat atque precatur.
Datis Vuestmonasterio viii die Januarii Anno Dom. MDCLII.
Subscripsit et Parlamenti sigillum imprimendum curavit.
Prolocutor Parlamenti Reip. Angliae. (fn. 18)
17. Giovanni Ambrosio Sarotti, Venetian Resident at
Florence, to the Doge and Senate.
General Vangalen having discovered that some English effects
might be found upon two rich ships which are daily expected
at Leghorn from Muscovy, sent out two squadrons of his ships
to look out for them and to confiscate the goods.
Upon different days his Highness has entertained all the leading
officers of both nations at a banquet, indeed the Grand Duke
studies every means to keep on good terms with each of them.
Florence, the 25th January, 1652. [M.V.]
18. To the Ambassador in France.
Enclose copy of a paper presented to Captain Jonas Paole, who
had commissions from Charles Longlad, and who asked for permission
to engage for service those ships of his nation which happened
to be in this port and which were not engaged to serve the republic.
He is to write and tell Pauluzzi of this so that, with
this information, if anyone speaks on the subject, he may enlarge
upon the affection and esteem of the republic for the
Ayes, 133. Noes, 0. Neutral, 3.
19. On the 28th January.
Upon the paper presented in our Collegio by Captain Jonas
Paole, who came to this city by commission of Charles Longlad,
established at Leghorn for the parliament of England, for the
purpose of engaging the vessels of his nation which happen to
be in this port and are not under contract to serve the republic,
this Council has received a full and exact report from those
appointed for the purpose, upon the number of vessels which
are in the fleet, as well those hired for war service as those which
it is proposed to arm, with various other particulars.
That the two commissioners aforesaid be directed to summon
before them the said Captain Jonas Paole and after beginning
with an expression of the affection and esteem of the republic
for that parliament and our appreciation of the straightforwardness
and consideration which led him to request his Serenity only
for those which are free from obligation to serve the republic, to
grant him permission that the ships which answer to this description
shall be at his disposition and the captains shall be at liberty
to embrace the service of their prince, as is fitting. They should
aim, however, at securing that ships which are under repair, which
are adapted for our requirements and whose captains are disposed
to sign fresh contracts, shall be excluded from the above
arrangement. We leave this important matter to the discretion
of the commissioners, who will take the utmost care to see that
the decision recently taken by this Council about hiring four
ships is carried into effect.
If any of the ships are let go and sail away for the service of
the parliament of England, they should, on their passage, touch
at Zante, and the commissioners should direct their energies to
secure this, using all their skill so that we may receive some
benefit from the transport of biscuit to that place, which should
be easy to manage.
Ayes, 133. Noes, 0. Neutral, 3.
20. Giovanni Sagredo, Venetian Ambassador in France,
to the Doge and Senate.
The report of the engagement of General Preston for the
service of his Catholic Majesty is confirmed from Flanders. He
will have a provision of 500 crowns a month with which to
collect a force of 20,000 Irish for the next campaign. In
addition to receiving the permission of the English parliament
he has had orders and been given money for the realisation
of this enterprise.
Paris, the 28th January, 1653.
21. Polo Vendramin, Venetian Resident at Naples, to the
Doge and Senate.
Some weeks ago I wrote that English ships had brought into
this port a great Dutch vessel (fn. 19) in which the Lomellini of Genoa
have a considerable interest. I have now to add that while the
case of this prize is under consideration the English have let it
be understood that they do not mean to abide by the decision
of the Court here and they claim that the parliament of London
is the sole judge. For this cause the captains of their ships
were committed to prison on Saturday by order of his Excellency,
and on the following Sunday all the ships of that nation
moved away from the quayside, taking with them the Dutch
ship in question. It would seem as if this move might render
the case of the imprisoned captains somewhat hazardous, but
it seems probable that the skill of the good consul whom they
have here, will in the end find some way out of this dilemma.
Naples, the 28th January, 1653.