71. Giovanni Sagredo, Venetian Ambassador in France,
to the Doge and Senate.
The Dutch ambassador has been to see me. He told me he
had orders to express regret for the attack made by a Dutch ship
on an English one in a Venetian port. He also had instructions
to inform me of the result of the last fight, which was as I reported,
although the English, out of consideration for the disaffected
populace, try to circuate accounts which are very remote from
the truth. Fifty well armed ships are already ploughing the
waves, and within a month a hundred will be fully equipped, to
abate the pride of that fierce and inhuman race, imbrued with
the blood of their own king and consequently deserving of general
detestation, having already earned the condemnation of the
Almighty. He hoped that your Serenity would hear with pleasure
both of the late success and of the preparations for the future.
He asked me subsequently if Pauluzzi was still staying in
The same ambassador has had audience of the king and queen
and of the Cardinal, the last of which lasted an hour and a half.
He saw their Majesties to inform them of the victory. As regards
the Cardinal I understand that his Eminence is negotiating a
league between France, Holland and Portugal. But he has a
difficulty with the Dutch, since they derive great advantage
from the peace with the Spaniards from commercial traffic,
and it is not easy to persuade them to sacrifice this gain, especially
in view of the internal troubles of France.
The king of England would like to take advantage of this
rupture between the Dutch and English to benefit his own
interests and to quicken them with new life after they have
been practically buried ; but the lack of money and the utter
poverty of his condition throw cold water on all his resolutions.
The queen, his mother, however, stated this week that he was
making preparations to leave France in order to try and revive
his all but moribund hopes.
Meanwhile the Princes Palatine, Rupert and Maurice, cousins
of the king of England, dispose of twelve good ships of war and
are trying to raise the number to 26 to go and join the Dutch
fleet. The Dutch have given them permission to fly the flag of
the king of England, but they are not inclined to make any
alliance or treaty with his Majesty, because he has no forces and
the Dutch do not wish, by a union with him, which would bring
them no additional strength for the war, to put difficulties in
the way of peace.
Paris, the 1st April, 1653.
72. Lorenzo Paulucci, Venetian Secretary in England,
to Giovanni Sagredo, the Ambassador in France. (fn. 1)
While every effort is being made to strengthen the fleet nothing
is left untried to soothe the heat which has been generated
between this country and Holland. This important matter
has been recently discussed in parliament, but as the debates
added to existing difficulties a decision was put off, until yesterday
they appointed to-day for a decision. I will announce any
result in a postscript. The most remarkable feature in the
proceedings was an anonymous letter received by the Council
of State, but written apparently in Holland, in favour of an
adjustment and complimentary to the naval prowess of England.
This makes it generally believed that the letter was concocted
here in order to mask some design, kept secret by the majority
of members, connected with the despatch of letters or envoys
to Holland and to screen to the utmost the national honour.
It is also thought that the letter may have been forwarded by
the very individual who was sent over to Holland clandestinely
at the beginning of the war, charged to send information and,
under the veil of religion, to negotiate an adjustment. They
now regret not having sought this more earnestly because the
Dutch are now supposed to be less inclined that way than of
yore. This is shown by their being again at sea since the last
battle, re-inforced with a strong squadron, in sight of Dover
castle, while other ships are said to have gone to make a junction
with the Danish fleet, so that together they may re-double the
attack and give battle at the earliest opportunity. They are
convinced that the lack here both of hands and of naval stores
will make it more and more difficult for the English to repair
their losses. At any rate the junction of the Dutch and Danish
forces cannot fail to impede an adjustment, seeing that the
United Provinces must henceforth take the sense of their friends
and allies about making peace. It is suspected here, indeed, that
the Dutch ambassador in Paris is trying to bring in France as well
and that the negotiations of M. de Bordeaux are a blind and do
not aim at any permanent understanding with France. He is
expecting the return of his messenger with the replies, and when
they come we shall know something positive about the policy
of both sides and the desired establishment of commercial intercourse.
Some 30 frigates in good trim have lately left the Thames to
join the main body of the fleet, for the defence of Scotland as well
as England, as it is suspected that the Dutch and Danes mean
with their united forces to make raids and to plunder both here
and there. So the garrisons of the most exposed and most important
places keep extra watch for fear of plundering raids or the
landing of a considerable force.
Owing to the great need for sailors for the fleet, after they have
taken as many as could be obtained in their own houses, it has
been decided to send press gangs for more to the coast districts of
Scotland and it is understood that considerable numbers have been
already assembled at Newcastle for speedy embarcation, as
several ships are left idle on this river and elsewhere from lack
In consequence of no sentence being passed about the Spanish
plate, a good part of which has been converted into coin here, the
Catholic Ambassador has presented fresh letters from his King
demanding justice for Spanish subjects. He says if there is
further delay his King will consider righting them himself. This
implies seizing all British property in the Spanish dominions, so
possibly it may hasten the settlement of the business.
The Agent of the Count du Dognon who has been here negotiating
for some time without having formally concluded any
treaty, (fn. 2) is now preparing to leave, on the receipt of the news of
his master's adjustment with the French crown. The news is
not altogether agreeable to the rulers here, while it rather hurts
than helps the cause of the Prince of Condé here where they have
never paid any serious attention to it, having been taught by
experience that no great undertaking can be firmly based on
nothing but the projects and decisions of Frenchmen.
Since the arrival of your Excellency's letters of the 18th and
21st I have this day received those of the 28th announcing the
reception of the parliament letter and instructing me how to
act. I would observe, however that in waiving punctilio with
me the parliamentarians here expected further demonstrations
from the Senate. But I will do my best and follow my orders. I
ask your Excellency to lay before the state the necessity under
which I find myself of making a respectable appearance here, for
the honour of the republic. My stay of a month or two has
extended to a year and I have only had allowance for board and
lodging without anything for the cost of dress and ceremonies. I
trusted that the state would grant me the usual outfit, as I am
now considered a public functionary, and consequently compelled
to make a greater figure. I would not be importunate had not
my private resources been drained by a double turn of service in
France and also by family misfortunes.
London, the 5th April, 1653.
73. Giovanni Ambrosio Sarotti, Venetian Resident at
Florence, to the Doge and Senate.
From the Dutch vessels now in the port of Leghorn I have
received confirmation that there being at present some thirty
ships assembled they are thinking of forming three squadrons out
of them. One will be sent to the Strait, a second to the mouth of
the Gulf of your Serenity and the third will stay in this neighbourhood,
to preserve the superiority in the Mediterranean, and
prevent the English from transporting their cloth to the Levant
or taking thence the silk and goat's hair, without which the people
of London are put to extreme inconvenience and there will be the
constant possibility of an outbreak. In the Lazaretto of Leghorn
property of this character to the value of some 1½ millions is
practically sequestrated. It is of such importance for parliament
to have these goods for the consolation of their guilds and to give
them employment, that they have ordered the consul to send
them overland, although the cost is 30 per cent. higher. This
has not been done from fear that they may be detained in Flanders
by the ministers of Spain because of the silver plate of that crown
which England has seized and has not yet restored.
The squadrons mentioned above will not leave before they are
quite clear about the great battle which has taken place between
the forces of Tromp and Blach. There are discrepancies in the
reports which have arrived up to the present as to which side
really won the victory.
Florence, the 5th April, 1653.
74. Giovanni Sagredo, Venetian Ambassador in France, to
the Doge and Senate.
I have seen the King of England and paid my respects in a
convenable manner. The office pleased him and he remarked
that the alliance between the republic and his royal ancestors
assured him of the continuance of cordial feelings. Present
circumstances call for him to set out for Holland, but the lack of
means and especially of money, prevent this step from being
Paris, the 8th April, 1653.
75. Giovanni Sagredo, Venetian Ambassador in France, to
the Doge and Senate.
The duke of Gloucester, youngest brother of the King of
England, was received at the Hague by his sister, the young
princess of Orange, with the most lively demonstrations of affection.
Now that Pau, the leading minister of the States, is dead,
it is hoped that the province which objected more strongly than
any of the others to an alliance with his Majesty, may be induced to
agree more readily to help him to recover his kingdom.
Encloses usual letter from England.
Paris, the 8th April, 1653.
76. Lorenzo Paulucci, Venetian Secretary in England, to
Giovanni Sagredo, the Ambassador in France. (fn. 3)
After sending off my last I was sent for to the palace where
Sir [Oliver] Fleming gave me the reply about your property
which I forwarded on Monday. He added that the Dutch had
written a letter, signed only by the province of Holland, though
that is the chief, which had been laid before the Council of State,
who would report to parliament, to decide. I fancy parliament
has already discussed the matter, and whether the letter is
genuine or not the incident shows their desire here to encourage
hopes for an adjustment. The last time the house sat it was
debated whether they should send envoys or letters to Holland. I
gather that they propose to send two missives, one addressed to
the Province of Holland alone, in reply to its letter, which was
probably devised by some one eager for peace, and the other to
the Lords States. A decision is expected daily, though nothing
has yet been actually done. But the mere fact of the debate
proves the wish of the chief ministers for peace. Although the
opponents have the strong arguments of honour and dignity,
they will have to yield to the majority in parliament, which is
undoubtedly in favour of a cessation of hostilities on the most
favourable terms obtainable rather than on an obstinate continuation
of the war, begun with too great violence to last and
which the enemy renders daily more insupportable, exhibiting
greater power and determination than was anticipated before the
rupture, owing to the eloquence of those who advocated it.
Meanwhile the war continues with an earnest desire for peace
here. If this is shared by the Dutch it will lead to an early
reconciliation. But the best informed suspect that in the present
state of affairs they will rather give ear to the very advantageous
offers made them by the King of England. If the news is
confirmed of a great victory won by them in the Mediterranean,
they will undoubtedly show themselves more averse from peace
than before, or at least demand higher terms. The English,
however, are intent on putting to sea in great force, being driven
thereto by the presence of the enemy with several squadrons in
various quarters, in order to bring to an end the uninterrupted
command of the sea which they have undeniably exercised since
the last battle, when the parliament fleet was compelled to put
into port to refit, and it will not go out until reinforced and in
good repair ; but even thus the Dutch will always seek an engagement.
A numerous fleet of colliers from Scotland with the usual supply
for London, where the price of that commodity has trebled, is
now blockaded in Newcastle by a strong fleet of Dutch and Danish
ships. Twenty English men of war destined to convoy them,
delayed their voyage on hearing of the strength of the enemy. So
the colliers have to trust to the batteries of Newcastle, which
may be considered as virtually blockaded.
As an additional inducement to Sweden to form a close friendship
with them here the queen's minister has received almost
complete satisfaction over the release of the Swedish vessels
seized. Instructions are being drawn up for the English ambassador
appointed to Stockholm, who will leave with a numerous
retinue and a guard appointed him by parliament for his safety
and the dignity of the state.
Some levies of horse and foot have been conceded lately as
re-inforcements for Scotland and Ireland. To supply the need
of funds there and for the fleet parliament is devising some fresh
tax, which the people will bear the more willingly as from the
very outset the present war has been carried on at small cost
M. de Bordeaux has received an answer from France about the
renewal of commercial relations between the two countries, I
fancy they intend to appoint commissioners to discuss the claims
on both sides, and the minister has full powers from his King ;
but it will always be a difficult matter, as the rulers here, as a
preliminary, insist on an indemnity of a million sterling for
prizes made by the French corsairs.
London, the 12th April, 1653.
77. Lorenzo Paulucci, Venetian Secretary in England, to
Giovanni Sagredo, the Ambassador in France.
When I saw Sir [Oliver] Fleming as mentioned I delivered the
message appreciative of his goodwill to the Signory and their
regard for him. He was much gratified and expressed his devotion
to the republic. He was anxious for peace with Holland in order
that they might be able to show their goodwill to Venice by deeds.
I then spoke about the English ships pressed into the Turkish
service, as in your letter of the 21st. In reply he said that during
the civil wars the Commonwealth was by no means satisfied with
the action of the English ambassador at the Porte, and he would
have been replaced already had it not been for the press of business
caused by the Dutch war. But his successor would leave
shortly with the most positive orders never to concede anything
to the Turks that could prove to the detriment of the most serene
republic. If any cause for complaint should arise in the mean
time the Signory had only to mention it and it would be put right,
since they valued the friendship of Venice more than that of the
Turks, who were not necessary to this country, which lost nearly
as much as it gained by their trade. He asked me to inform his
Serenity that if troops are wanted the Viceroy of Ireland has
sent to him to offer any amount. The Spaniards had obtained
considerable levies and wanted more, but that required caution,
especially as the Spaniards and Irish are too intimate. But the
government would gladly concede these troops to the republic
for so Christian a service. I thanked him and promised to report
During my stay here of nearly a year it never occurred to me
to pay complimentary visits to any of the foreign ministers, but
having heard that the Spanish ambassador had been enquiring
about me I determined to call upon him, when he expressed the
most friendly sentiments to the republic. Two days later I did
the same with M. de Bordeaux. On both occasions my language
was that of pure compliment.
London, the 12th April, 1653.
78. Giovanni Ambrosio Sarotti, Venetian Resident at
Florence, to the Doge and Senate.
Captain Tromp is leaving for the Levant with six of the most
powerful of the Dutch ships. The other ships are not moving as
yet. Some difficulty has arisen with the sailors, amounting to
obstruction. Accustomed to navigation for trade they are not at
all pleased to hear that they must go back to the fighting. It
seems to them that after the two sanguinary battles that have
just taken place the two republics ought to rest satisfied and look
about them for the means of making peace.
The Dutch are doubtful about accepting the offers of the King
of England as they dread a long war. At bottom the Dutch are
eager to terminate it as soon as ever they can. Among the
merchants in the Levant a report is current that parliament is
equally desirous of the same thing and is waiting for the mediation
of some prince, with a hint that your Serenity would be the most
The day before yesterday all the captains of the Dutch fleet met
together upon a courier sent to the parliament minister Longland
by the masters of the English ships waiting at Malamocco. These
show a disposition to enter the service of your Serenity, but they
are afraid that when they are in that fleet they may be attacked
by the Dutch who are more numerous, and they are asking for
some guarantee of their good will. But in reply to this demand
the Dutch answered that as their General Vangalen is dead they
cannot undertake to give any promise and that it will be necessary
for your Serenity to obtain this at the Hague.
Florence, the 12th April, 1653.
79. Giacomo Quirini, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the
Doge and Senate.
When 500 Irish were proceeding to Bourg from San Sebastian,
the masters of the barques, who were French, carried them to
Bayonne, to the service of the Most Christian king.
Madrid, the 16th April, 1653.
80. Giovanni Ambrosio Sarotti, Venetian Resident at
Florence, to the Doge and Senate.
Reports an offer of service received from John Stephen Offelan,
an Irish colonel, in raising a levy of 3000 Irish. Permission has
already been obtained from the English parliament. The colonel
came to Florence in the company of the nuncio Rospigliosi.
Florence, the 19th April, 1653.
81. Gironimo Giavarina, Venetian Secretary with the Swiss,
to the Doge and Senate.
The Evangelical Cantons are deeply concerned over the
differences and hostilities which are taking place between the
republics of Holland and England. Perceiving that the letters
they wrote some while ago to both parties urging peace and union
have done little good they have decided to make a fresh effort to
secure this result and at the same time to win for themselves, if
possible, the honour of mediation. Accordingly they have sent
to England in their common name, an individual of Sciafusa, of
considerable experience, with instructions to present himself to
parliament to persuade peace and to learn their will, (fn. 4) and then,
in conformity therewith, he is to proceed to Holland ; in short
he is to do his utmost to secure so great a boon.
Zurich, the 19th April, 1653.
82. Lorenzo Paulucci, Venetian Secretary in England, to
Giovanni Sagredo, the Ambassador in France. (fn. 5)
I am still awaiting the pleasure of the Council of State in the
matter of your Excellency. The reply to the letter from the
Province of Holland having been signed by parliament, has gone
to its address together with another for the United Provinces,
announcing that they are ready to stay the flow of blood by a
firm friendship and peace and a mutual understanding between
the two countries. It is generally believed that these letters
have been sent, though some consider it all a hoax to encourage
a belief in what is desired rather than what is really the case,
in order to keep the people, who want peace, in a good humour,
and to make the new taxes more palatable by proving that the
government has done its utmost for an adjustment. This being
rejected by the Dutch for the sake of disturbing the quiet of
England, the continuation of the war and funds to maintain it
become a matter of necessity. A third party think that there
may be some special understanding between the single province
of Holland and parliament, encouraged by the latter with a view
to sow dissension between the states. This is only gueeswork,
but if the letters have really been forwarded it will soon be known
whether the war is to end soon or to be continued more fiercely
than ever, as anticipated by deep politicians, who ponder well the
interests of these two nations.
Nothing has been heard of the fleet of late except that a squadron,
detached from the main body has sailed to secure the
coasts of England and Scotland and to convoy a large fleet of
merchantmen laden with supplies of various kinds for this city.
It is said that this squadron will be followed very shortly by as
strong a force as can be mustered, forming together the main
fleet, which is announced as determined to engage any enemy
soever. So the object of both fleets will be to give battle and
it is expected that news of a sharp engagement will arrive before
The lack of hands makes the government here press all the
sailors out of the few ships that arrive here as although they have
taken other ships to supply the need, it is men who are used to
the sea that they want. But the consequence of this step is that
for the future ships from Scotland, Ireland and elsewhere, will
be even less inclined to enter the Thames.
Another Swedish minister has arrived in London this day. (fn. 6)
He is expected to reside here until superseded by the ambassador
who has been appointed. The queen's demands having been
conceded by parliament, sundry Swedish ships are now at liberty ;
so it is supposed that the first envoy will take leave. Possibly
for the sake of hastening the departure of the ambassador from
Stockholm, the one appointed by parliament is quite ready to
set out on his mission with great pomp and a numerous retinue.
There is also a rumour of the arrival here of an envoy from the
Swiss Protestant Cantons. If so it will be for the purpose of
acknowledging this Commonwealth and setting up a good understanding.
I shall be able to send more information next week.
I have received your Excellency's letter of the 11th inst., and
enclose my account of expenses for March.
London, the 19th April, 1653.
83. Giovanni Sagredo, Venetian Ambassador in France, to
the Doge and Senate.
Some overtures for negotiations between the Dutch and the
English have caused alarm to the French who would like to see
England kept busy still from the fear that once they are free from
this war they may come to the assistance of the Spaniards and try
to gain advantage against the French, as being the more suspect
to them because they have afforded an asylum to the king.
Accordingly they have sent instructions to their minister to
remove this suspicion and apprehension, mitigating their ill will
and if he cannot bring about confidential relations, which is a
matter of great difficulty, at least to obtain neutrality and to
The king of England, whose languishing hopes would receive
their death blow by a peace with Holland, has had various
proposals made at the Hague to prevent the negotiations and to
draw towards and unite with them in a lasting bond. He has
requested that in conjunction with the king of Denmark they will
give him 50 ships and 12,000 infantry, promising to make a
successful landing in England, because of his adherents there.
He has also offered to the Dutch the Orkney islands, where the
herring fisheries are, and other advantages and privileges at sea.
Paris, the 22nd April, 1653.
84. Giacomo Quirini, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to
the Doge and Senate.
The hiring of fifteen parliamentary ships and a levy of 6000
Irish is very near being concluded with Signor Don Luigi. The
chief difficulty consists in the delay of time, without reckoning
employment for the war of Holland, an obstacle by no means easy
to overcome by any sort of prince, no matter who, in need of the
services of the naval forces of these two high spirited nations.
Madrid, the 23rd April, 1653.
85. Giovanni Ambrosio Sarotti, Venetian Resident at
Florence, to the Doge and Senate.
The Dutch squadron under Tromp sailed away, but three
ships returned soon after, having only gone to recall the sailors.
The majority of these still have the same objection to going out
to fight again. The Vice Admiral Gian Villano still remains at
Leghorn and is likely to stay as the sailors are constantly deserting.
He is also expecting orders from the Hague and some definite
information as well upon a report that the squadron of nine
English ships under Bobler, which were sailing towards the west,
have tacked about in the direction of Sicily, to set about forming
another naval force there with various other ships of that nation,
which have orders from Longland, minister of the parliament at
Leghorn, to gather together from several quarters.
Florence, the 26th April, 1653.
86. Lorenzo Paulucci, Venetian Secretary in England, to
Giovanni Sagredo, the Ambassador in France. (fn. 7)
I am still awaiting my audience of the Council of State. The
delay convinces me that they expected further demonstrations.
Meanwhile I assure influential persons of the excellent disposition
Since the letter was sent to Holland a reply has been expected
any day in conformity with their desire for peace. But the delay
has destroyed their hopes, and it is expected that the decision of
the States will render the continuation of the war a matter of
necessity, since it is evident to all that the advantageous alliance
with Denmark will now make the Dutch averse from peace rather
than anxious for it. With this impression the government is
bent on showing the boldest possible face to the enemy. By
force, and also if possible by secret negotiations with some of the
Provinces, it will seek, in one way or another, to avoid more
The latest news from sea is that a powerful Dutch squadron is
on the look out for a very large fleet of English colliers from Scotland,
which are awaited here with great impatience owing to the
immense consumption of coal in this city by persons of every class.
The ships left all together, numbering over 150, but hearing on
the way of the approach of the enemy they were compelled to
put into an insecure Scottish port, with the fear of being attacked
even there. (fn. 8) As the wind is now fair, the report already
circulated that the Dutch have taken them all may be credited
if they do not soon reach some of the ports near here. So great
anxiety prevails, and the lack of this essential commodity may
greatly exasperate the people here, who already murmur at the
increased price of everything, especially of this fuel, the cost of
which has risen three fold.
In order, if possible to provide for all emergencies parliament
holds protracted sittings at which contradictory opinions are very
frequently expressed, chiefy about the dissolution. Recently a
great war of words was waged about it between General Cromwell
and a leading member, who retorted that there was no more
fitting moment to change the Lord General. This led to a warm
altercation between the two, which was stopped by the majority ;
so much bad blood exists between Cromwell and the parliamentary
Major Harrison, who both covertly and openly seeks to deprive the
former of his command of the army. He is unlikely to succeed
in this considering the influence and address of Cromwell. In
proof of this he offered lately to surrender his commission into
the hands of any one who liked to take it whom parliament
approved, and as no one dared to attempt so great an undertaking
he may be considered more firmly established than ever, although
much exasperated at bottom. Since this incident I hear he has
ceased to attend the House as usual, and that he is continually
devising plans of personal aggrandisement out of doors with his
own adherents. His designs may also be for the good of the state,
as if these heart burnings continue it can hardly fail to suffer from
them greatly, making the enemy more averse from an agreement
than ever, or at least their terms will be greatly raised. Such
considerations will induce the most prudent and influential
members of the ministry to try and avert the imminent peril by
reconciling these political opponents and by acting unanimously
for the quiet of the state, for the honour of the fighting forces and
for the greatness of the Commonwealth, the more speedily because
it is known that the enemy is in great force at sea and that the
majority here are supposed to be obstinately bent on the continuation
of the war.
In the course of this week 1200 soldiers were drafted from the
veteran regiments quartered in this city and the neighbourhood,
and marched in all haste to the principal seaports as a reinforcement
for the fleet, if required. Some were sent towards Scotland
where the rebels in the Highlands are said to be increasing in
numbers, having an understanding with the enemy who are
supposed to have supplied them with arms and ammunition.
This coupled with the war makes the political horizon dark and
shows the need of assistance. 40,000l. have recently been sent
to Ireland where the rebels are holding out also to encourage the
troops, and the commanders there have been ordered to act with
all possible energy and decision. Money has also been sent to
Scotland. Every effort is made to avoid laying the smallest
possible burden on the people, the majority of whom are dissatisfied
with the present form of government, though fear and the
obedience enforced by the army prevent them from speaking or
To fill up the vacancies in the veteran regiments and provide
fresh levies they continue to beat the drum, but as few volunteers
present themselves, they have recourse to force, to enlist all able
bodied men who may be found in London and the suburbs,
without ties or employment.
The new Swedish Resident, having presented his credentials
to the Speaker, had his first audience yesterday of a committee
of the House, which was merely complimentary. It is probable
we shall learn something about his negotiations later on. The
Swiss envoy, whose arrival I announced, is still here, but we do
not know whether he has yet presented his credentials.
London, the 27th April, 1653.
[Italian ; the part in italics deciphered.]
87. Giovanni Sagredo, Venetian Ambassador in France, to
the Doge and Senate.
I note what your Serenity says about the hints given to Pauluzzi
with respect to the intervention of some disinterested power.
I have written to Pauluzzi as instructed. In a like manner I
have broached the subject with the Dutch ambassador, but on
the first occasion I only touched on the question orally and very
lightly, because they have not shown the same desire for it as the
English, and I thought it advisable to proceed with due caution
and reserve, in order to feel my footing and to discover their
sentiments. I asked him if there was any truth in the suggestion
of peace which, according to report, had been broached in a letter
sent from Holland to England. He replied that the proposal
had been put forward by the Province of Holland alone, but
the English had replied at large to all the States General ; but it all
amounted to nothing but words as not the smallest step had been
taken towards actual negotiations. I asked him if any prince had
offered his interposition for an adjustment of so much importance.
He said the queen of Sweden had offered her mediation to the
States a while ago, and they had replied that since the English
had started this war she should address herself for the remedy
to the authors of the malady. Since this answer all talk and all
effort in such a direction on the part of Sweden had practically
fallen through. He told me that he thought that the mediation
of the most serene republic would be particularly appreciated.
But this ambassador is as keenly in favour of war as his masters
are inclined for peace, hit as they are much more severely by the
cessation of trade, which is the foundation of their wealth, than
by the continuation of the struggle and the actual fighting.
Paris, the 29th April, 1653.
88. Giovanni Sagredo, Venetian Ambassador in France, to
the Doge and Senate.
Upon the appearance of the English fleet before the port of
Calais, and the intelligence of the massing of the Spaniards in that
direction, they suspected an attack was intended. Accordingly
orders were issued and succour was despatched to reinforce that
important fortress. So great was the alarm that 15 soldiers from
each company of the king's guard were pledged to be introduced
with all speed into the place. But after the English fleet had
cruised about in sight of the place for a few days, they made it
clear that their object was to cut off a squadron of Dutch ships
which were expected from Portugal, and as for the massing of
the Spaniards, since their numbers did not exceed 4000 men it was
clear that such a force was not adequate for the enterprise, and
so the other succours which they had begun to prepare, were
Encloses the usual letters from England.
Paris, the 29th April, 1653.
89. Giacomo Quirini, Venetian Ambasador in Spain, to the
Doge and Senate.
A certain Paules, sent to England by those here interested in
the three Hamburg ships, has brought back word that parliament
desires precise information of the process in order to discover to
whom the goods really belong, although everyone recognises that
this is a pretext for the sole object of gaining time.
The duke of Medina Celi, general of Andalusia, has sent to the
English parliamentary ships which took away the 80 bales of
cloth off Cadiz these last weeks, requesting them to give it back
as being the property of his king's subjects. The answer he got
from them was that they had orders from their masters to take
but not to give back, and if he wanted anything more he should
proceed to London where justice would be done.
Madrid, the 30th April, 1653.