237. Lorenzo Paulucci, Venetian Secretary in England,
to Giovanni Sagredo, the Ambassador in France. (fn. 1)
The yet uncertain result of the peace negotiations continues
to be the most important topic here, and there is no doubt that
the question is on the eve of being settled one way or the other.
I have little to report on the subject, save that to-day again the
Dutch ambassadors had a long and close conference with the
commissioners appointed them by the Protector without being
able to reach the expected settlement. On the contrary it is
understood that when a paper containing the articles was presented
to them, signed by the Protector alone, "Oliver P." they
objected, not considering it valid, and insisted on having it
signed in a clearer form by the Council of State. I learn on good
authority that this so provoked his Highness that he told them,
since they contested his title and doubted his authority they had
no business to appear here as ambassadors, and if they wished
to have the peace ratified they must wait another four months
for the meeting of parliament, for which period he would claim
100,000l. sterling a month for the upkeep of the fleet and 300,000l.
besides, because they kept him waiting 3 months for the reply
of the States instead of bringing it as promised, in a fortnight,
so that he had to bear the cost of the fleet in the interval. He
added that if they did not intend to admit the validity of the
papers signed by him they were at liberty to return home, the
English fleet being fit and ready to obtain satisfaction. He
gave them six days for a definitive reply.
I have heard this in confidence, and without vouching for it
I think it quite likely that the Protector, not finding his earnest
desire for peace reciprocated, may have thought fit to change
his tone, for his own honour and that of their arms. So the
adjustment is hoped for and despaired of at one and the same
time. Considering the increasing frequency of casual encounters
at sea the departure of the fleet will add to the chances of war.
Everyone here is waiting upon the issue of this affair, which
keeps all in suspense both in this country and elsewhere. Those
who do not believe in peace say that the fleet will not remain
inactive and may possibly avenge the injuries suffered in the
Mediterranean. But the formation of projects will prove easier
than their execution while this war with Holland lasts.
M. de Bordeaux has tried more than once to obtain audience
to present his credentials as ambassador. Under the plea of
the negotiations with the United Provinces the ceremony has
been deferred until next week, a proof that they are not yet
convinced of the sincerity of France, and propose to play the
same game as is being played on them. The simultaneous
appointment of two ministers instead of one does not please
them, rather the reverse, while the mutual seizures at sea are
more frequent than ever.
News has come from Ireland of the arrival there of the Protector's
son Henry, who was greeted with almost royal honours, being
met by the military and in the greatest possible state, though
the rest of the population eyed him askance. They persist in the
determination to make the Catholics leave that country and to
that end a number of prisoners taken there have been sent to
the Erchade islands, while levies of troops are readily granted
The Agent of the Prince of Condé has returned from Flanders.
As soon as he arrived he conferred with the Spanish ambassador.
It is reported that they have arranged together for a levy of
4,000 Irish to be shipped for Flanders immediately.
Sir [Oliver] Fleming came to me the other day with Colonel
Cuch, an Irishman, nephew of the Viceroy there, about a levy,
thinking the state wanted a large force. Hearing it was only
1,000 men he said he could not figure in so trifling a matter
but promised to send a friend. Two days later a person came
in his name to treat. I at once brought out the articles supplied
to me. He objected to some of the terms but would accept the
contract in the hope of something better. After pressing for
9l. he agreed to take 8l. a man for 1,000 Irish landed in Candia.
He asked what amount of cash down would be paid, and when
I said the republic would only pay at Candia or Venice, he asked
for securities. Being without any powers I could only speak
in general terms, promising punctual payment on arrival. He
replied that no one would serve on such conditions. The 8l.
would leave only a very small balance ; the captains of the
transports would make a fuss about taking 6l. for the passage
money and provisions, and the rest would go to clothe and muster
the men. He said the levies now being made for the Prince of
Condé cost 6l. a head, landed in Flanders, half the money being
paid here and the balance on arrival, with securities given on
both sides. He could not undertake a contract on the terms I
was authorised to offer. With these reasonable criticisms he
then took leave.
I have done everything with the Protector for the release of the
ship Guardian Angel belonging to Sig. Giovanni Borghetti, with its
cargo. Owing to the justice of my demand I received speedy
notice that the cargo had already been released. The case of
the ship is still undecided, as its papers and bills of lading make
the Admiralty Court suspect that an Amsterdam merchant may
have a share in it ; so I dare not proceed further without
Trusts the state will release him from his post.
London, the 3rd April, 1654.
Postcript : I have just heard that the insurgents in Scotland
have gained a great victory over the government forces, which
suffered considerable loss. (fn. 2) Particulars are expected at any
moment. Meanwhile as the Protector has ordained the observance
of to-morrow as a day of solemn fast and humiliation, the
inference is that this proclamation extraordinary proceeds from
some reverse, which may be the one in question.
238. Giovanni Sagredo, Venetian Ambassador in France,
to the Doge and Senate.
The French have done their utmost to prevent Holland from
making peace with England without including France, pointing
out the advantage of this course and how it would bind England.
But the Dutch consider this proposal a sham for the purpose of
upsetting the negotiations. So they replied that they could not
agree to this union of interests, but that once their treaty was
established with England they would try and induce Cromwell
and his Council to make peace with France also. To this Scianut
is instructed to reply that as the Dutch will not link their interests
with France the king does not propose to avail himself of their
mediation, as this crown is too powerful to need it and an adjustment
is as much in the interest of England as of France.
Encloses letters of England.
Paris, the 7th April, 1654.
239. Lorenzo Paulucci, Venetian Secretary in England, to
Giovanni Sagredo, the Ambassador in France. (fn. 3)
The reception of M. de Bordeaux as ambassador was delayed
until last Tuesday, when it took place with every mark of honour
and esteem. He went five miles down the river and was joined
there by the Master of the Ceremonies and 4 members of the
Council of State, who accompanied him to London. Landing at
the Tower he mounted the Protector's coach and followed by 60
others was taken to the dwelling prepared for him where he was
defrayed for 3 days. (fn. 4) Yesterday he had audience in the great
Hall at Whitehall, where the late kings received the ambassadors
of crowned heads only. The style observed was in every respect
royal, as with the Dutch ambassadors. M. de Bordeaux did not
then present his credentials, so he is supposed to have done so
before. I am told the address was "A mon tres cher cousin
Oliver Cromwel, Protecteur de Engleterre, Escosse et Irland"
though I cannot vouch for it. It is curious as being the first of
the sort and from its lofty origin.
This action of France at a moment when English affairs are
still unsettled both at home and abroad is explained in various
ways. Some think it a feint, others self interest. The majority
attribute it to the wish to put an end to the maritime reprisals so
that France may not have two powerful enemies to cope with at
the same time, and wishing to attack Spain vigorously she is
anxious if possible to be on good terms with England. It may
also be due to a wish to flatter the government here and thus
obtain advantage over the open enemies of the French crown.
But it is thought that a perfect understanding will prove very
difficult owing to the high claims of the English for an indemnity
for the immense losses sustained by them of late years from the
French privateers. In any case it will be difficult for England,
constituted as its present government is, to maintain a good
understanding with France although the actual state of affairs and
the advantages anticipated from the reestablishment of commercial
relations and the stopping of seizure at sea may induce
both sides to dissemble. Meanwhile the appointment of M. de
Bordeaux as ambassador has much gratified the government and
although they may think that French sympathy is with the
Dutch rather then the English, the step cannot fail to add to their
reputation, especially at the present stage of the negotiations
with the United Provinces, to promote or break them off, without
With respect to the difficulties raised by the Dutch ambassadors
about the Protector's signature I hear indirectly that he is willing
that any agreement shall be signed first by the States, then by
his own Privy Council and finally by himself, an expedient
admirably calculated to gain time and facilitate the preparations
of the two fleets, if that is the object. But as 80 English men of
war are on the point of putting to sea the result of these negotiations
cannot be long delayed.
Letters from Sweden give but a poor account of Whitelocke's
mission. He found the queen incensed at the treatment her ships
had received from England and at the scant attention paid to
the demands of her envoys for the release of many Swedish
merchantmen and cargoes. I have heard from a good source
that when the ambassador suggested an alliance she enquired
of him by whose authority Gen. Cromwell had been made Protector
of the three kingdoms, if it was by that of the estates it
was legitimate, otherwise she could not lend herself to important
negotiations with him, since it was neither fitting nor just that the
force of arms should prejudice the prerogatives and privileges of
the Estates, and so with good reason and to avoid giving a bad
example to her own army she could not but disapprove of what
had been done to the detriment of the rights of the entire nation.
On hearing these sentiments, so contrary to any satisfactory
arrangement, Whitelocke is said to have prepared to leave, a
proof that the Dutch will not experience the mischief proposed
for them through an alliance with that crown which thus seems
inclined to await the issue of the peace with Holland.
The defeat of the government forces in Scotland has been
confirmed. The loss of life was considerable and the insurgents
made a number of prisoners. The event has not failed to
encourage the opposition who are already strong. This imposes
greater vigilance on the government because these internal
troubles may go on increasing and become more and more serious,
coupled with what is happening abroad.
According to report the peace with Holland is now only delayed
by the clause concerning Denmark. The English merchants
claim heavy damages for the seizure of their ships by order of
that king, whereas the indemnity proposed by the Dutch is so
trifling that it is not accepted. So the ministers here have been
obliged to write to the States for positive orders to enable them
to effect a favourable termination of the whole business which
still demands some little patience.
The English continue to entertain angry feelings towards the
Grand Duke of Tuscany for what took place at Leghorn. If
peace is made they may possibly send a squadron there to avenge
their loss ; while even in the event of a continuation of hostilities
it is expected that they will not forget the Mediterranean, as they
did last year.
I have paid my respects to the Dutch ambassadors on behalf
of the Signory, all the foreign ministers having done so. The
compliment gratified them and they assured me that their masters
desired peace with England to enable them to espouse the common
cause of Christendom, which is that of the most serene republic
against the infidel.
I also exchanged compliments with M. de Bordeaux, who
acquainted all the foreign ministers with his appointment as
ambassador from France. He also announced the day of his
public entry into London, so I neglect no opportunity of doing
my duty as a servant of the State.
London, the 10th April, 1654.
240. To the Ambassador in France.
He is to write and praise Pauluzzi for the reply he gave to
Fleming about the Protector's good intentions to help the common
cause. The Senate is also pleased at the cautious reply he gave
about the Irish levy.
Hobson, an English merchant who has resided here for a long
time past, has presented letters of credence from Cromuel this
present week, which appoint him consul of the nation. This
will serve Pauluzzi for illumination and enable him, when an
opportunity occurs, to testify to the cordial welcome extended
to him by the state.
Ayes, 109. Noes, 0. Neutral, 0.
241. Giovanni Sagredo, Venetian Ambassador in France,
to the Doge and Senate.
Reinforcements have been sent to the fortresses nearest to the
sea, owing to the suspicion about the English fleet, which has
sailed from its ports at a strength of 130 vessels of high board.
Notwithstanding the good intentions of Cromwell it keeps them
apprehensive and suspicious until their real intentions are definitely
disclosed and until it is seen whither precisely they are
going. A report is circulating that on the conclusion of the
peace with the Dutch, which is still in the balance, it is to be sent
against Denmark. If this does not prove true the fleet will
keep the French in a constant state of suspense and apprehension.
Encloses usual letters from England.
Paris, the 14th April, 1654.
242. Lorenzo Paulucci, Venetian Secretary in England, to
Giovanni Sagredo, the Ambassador in France. (fn. 5)
All difficulties having been overcome and all disputes settled
the Dutch ambassadors and English commissioners at length
signed the articles of peace and an express is to leave for the
Hague forthwith, so that the treaty may be sent back countersigned
and ratified by the States. The ambassadors pledge
themselves to have it returned within a fortnight at latest, when
it will be signed by the Protector, who has decided to be the
last to put his hand to it, possibly in order to make the Dutch
better pleased with the treaty by this act of courtesy, or else for
the sake of playing a sure game and making himself master of the
document when legalized.
After this prosperous ending to so arduous and important a
negotiation his Highness left for Hampton Court with some of
his councillors, but only stayed there two days, as a relaxation
from the anxieties of affairs and possibly for the purpose of taking
possession of the place. At the time of the confiscation of the
royal property it was reserved, perhaps as a relic of departed
greatness, to serve for the abode of the present ruler. (fn. 6) His
influence is likely to increase with the announcement of the peace,
an event now considered so certain as to be already a source of
great satisfaction to the entire population and especially to the
merchants. Though it is very generally believed that the taxes
will not be reduced on this account, as they may think fit to keep
the fleet at full strength for certain other expeditions, now talked
of, though on such slight grounds that one must hesitate to
credit them and first await the perfect reconciliation of the two
nations. It is not altogether impossible that as a sequel to these
events abroad those at home may keep the government fully
occupied, and the Protector in particular, for his numerous
opponents in the army now assert more frequently than ever
that they fought for liberty and freedom, and so far from wishing
to make a new king, sought to destroy every vestige of monarchy.
So Cromwell's popularity is not universal and if he assumes
higher rank these opinions will gain ground. Meanwhile he
displays the greatest humility, employing universal flattery for
the attainment of that pitch of sovereignty which he has evidently
proposed to himself, all his measures being taken with extreme
cunning and address.
Since the late defeat in Scotland, as the insurgents there are
understood to be more united than ever, well supplied with arms
and in force, the government has marched some cavalry in that
direction and is busy with other reinforcements for quelling the
The Protector's son Henry has returned from Ireland.
According to his own account he left that kingdom in a state of
quiet and obedience. But the penal laws against the Catholics
continue to be enforced. All who are discovered suffer imprisonment
and every emblem or attribute of their religion is committed
to destruction and the flames.
Since the appointment of M. de Bordeaux as ambassador
commissioners have been appointed to discuss with him the
adjustment with France. But it will be a marvel if this apparent
good disposition produces any favourable result. Yet the
Catholic ambassador is greatly alarmed and has had repeated
audiences of the Protector to prevent these negotiations from
injuring the interests of his king.
Cromwell seems rather disinclined to call the new parliament
and the belief is that if the meeting takes place as provided it will
be for the purpose of his being invested by them with the
sovereign authority of these realms. This is what he covertly
aims at, as shown definitely by some of his overt actions.
Sig. Giovanni Moresini has recently arrived here after a tour
through Germany, Sweden, Denmark and Holland, having also
made some stay in Flanders. After some stay here he proposes
to continue his travels to enlarge his knowledge of foreign
countries and observe various forms of government, thereby
qualifying himself to serve the state better.
London, the 18th April, 1654.
243. Giovanni Ambrosio Sarotti, Venetian Resident at
Florence, to the Doge and Senate.
Owing to the affair of the Dutch ship White Elephant, which
carried off the entire rich cargo of an English vessel after engaging
it and forcing it to surrender in the very port of Leghorn, in which
divers soldiers of the garrison were slain, who hastened to the
rescue of the victim, (fn. 7) the Grand Duke has ordered the arrest of
Vanderstraten, the Dutch consul, as being interested in this same
ship. He has caused him to be confined in the citadel, to satisfy
in some measure the English, who make a tremendous outcry,
going so far as to complain that this in not the first time that his
Highness has suffered the vessels of their nation to be ill used under
the eyes and in range of the guns of his fortress.
Florence, the 18th April, 1654.
244. Giovanni Sagredo, Venetian Ambassador in France,
to the Doge and Senate.
Although the reception of M. de Bordeaux in England and
Cromwell's assurances entirely dissipate the apprehensions of
France, yet the appearance of the English fleet on the coast of
Lower Normandy has raised the whole of that province in arms.
The governors of fortresses have hastened to their posts ; some
cavalry have marched thither and all other measures have been
taken to guarantee the country against attack, in case Cromwell's
promises do not correspond with the facts.
Letters of England enclosed.
Paris, the 21st April, 1654.
245. Lorenzo Paulucci, Venetian Secretary in England, to
Giovanni Sagredo, the Ambassador in France. (fn. 8)
I have little to report this week save the universal anxiety for
the return of the express sent to the Hague with the treaty.
Although hopes are entertained of its arrival within the promised
fortnight, yet as the matter requires a meeting of the States
General, or at least of the majority of them, it will probably
take longer. So the Protector's policy and the destination of the
fleet still remain a mystery to be unravelled on the proclamation
of the peace. Until that time the French ministers also seem to
defer their negotiations, though these will always encounter
great obstacles because of the exorbitant claims of the English
and their distrust of France. This is increased by observing that
since his appointment as ambassador M. de Bordeaux has not
made any important change in his establishment but continues
to reside in the house he occupied when envoy. As the change
is only in name and his negotiations seem unreal the Protector
keeps giving audiences extraordinary to the Spanish ambassador
and favouring the Agent of the Prince of Condé, affording him
every facility for levies in Ireland, a good part of which have
already landed in Flanders. Should the negotiations of the
French ministers not meet with success Cromwell might possibly
make use of the Prince's party to intervene in France though
the negotiations and proposals which proceed with great secrecy
may make things take a different course and even change the
aspect of affairs and do away with ill will. There is no doubt
that once the Dutch peace is assured there will be a change
in the present order of affairs and more light about the intentions
of the government with regard to the fleet. This consists of
80 ships all ready for sea. Although one hears that it may pass
the Strait of Gibraltar the report itself may thwart this design.
Time will show.
The Danish agent, (fn. 9) who was at first expected with the Dutch
ambassadors, has now arrived, but keeps incognito and is supposed
to be waiting for the treaty to come back from the Hague, and
with the clause about Denmark settled he may then be confirmed
and acknowledged as the minister of his king.
Two envoys have arrived here with a letter of congratulation
for the Protector from the Prince of Oldenburg, and expressing
his wish for friendship and a good understanding with England. (fn. 10)
His Highness received them most graciously, and they have since
visited all the foreign ministers, including myself, when we
After the Tuscan Resident had given notice of the receipt of a
congratulatory letter for the Protector from the Grand Duke, he
was suddenly summoned to audience. His missive, directed
"Serenissimo Dom. Dom. Oliverio Cromvelo, Protectori Angliæ,
Scotiæ et Hiberniæ" was so much to Cromwell's taste that the
Resident obtained a more gracious reply than he expected considering
the reports about resentment meditated against the
By command of the Protector the Law Term which by custom
begins at this season, has been postponed. Most of the people
here object to this because some cannot prosecute their suits or
others get them settled in this term, as they expected and so it is
probable that the Protector means to alter and reform the civil
law. Yet in spite of the complaints made by the people against
the existing civil code the measure will not obtain for him the
popularity he seeks, as the apparent love borne him is merely
the effect of fear and coercion.
The firmer the reliance on peace with Holland becomes the
more determined is the government to put down the insurrection
in Scotland with a strong hand. It is of a very serious character
as many malcontents have left this city to give their aid. A
report is now circulating that General Monk will take the command
Encloses accounts for March.
London, the 27th April, 1654.
246. Giovanni Sagredo, Venetian Ambassador in France,
to the Doge and Senate.
The sight of the English fleet, numbering 120 sail, furnished
with 12,000 soldiers, with petards and other instruments of war,
sailing along the coasts of this kingdom arouses no little apprehension,
delays the preparations being made for Italy and makes
them turn a deaf ear to the demands of Savoy. Until they see
to what use it is proposed to put this overwhelming force, they
will move very deliberately about the reinforcements for Italy.
This much is certain that some regiments destined for Italy have
been countermanded to Calais and other places nearest the sea.
If after the announcement of the peace with Holland it does
not appear in what enterpries the naval forces of Cromwell are to
be employed, they will remain on the watch here, and it will
suffice to upset the enterprises of Italy and to delay the sending
of succour in that direction.
Encloses Paulucci's letter.
Paris, the 28th April, 1654.