Venice
July 1655

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Institute of Historical Research

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Allen B. Hinds (editor)

Year published

1930

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73-88

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'Venice: July 1655', Calendar of State Papers Relating to English Affairs in the Archives of Venice, Volume 30: 1655-1656 (1930), pp. 73-88. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=89809 Date accessed: 21 September 2014.


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Contents

July 1655

July 2.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Zurigo.
Venetian
Archives.
97. Antonio di Negri, Venetian Resident at Zurich, to the Doge and Senate.
The four ambassadors appointed by the Evangelical Cantons for Turin (fn. 1) met at Murat, to continue by the shortest route to the Vaud. Captain Wis travelled ahead of them to inform the duke that they would arrive soon. From what they say the deputy of Cromwell has also arrived there. With so much interposition, including that of the Most Christian, energetically backed by the Dutch ambassadors, my lords here believe that the differences with those Protestants will soon be adjusted.
Zurich, the 2nd July, 1655.
[Italian.]
July 3.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Capitano
delle Navi.
Venetian
Archives.
98. Lazzaro Mocenigo, Captain of the Ships, to the Doge and Senate.
Upon inquiry I find that the ship Principe di Toscana, commanded by the English captain, offered a most vigorous resistance in fighting with our ships. The Fleming is the property Archives, of Doaner of Smyrna, brother of a Turkish renegade, so both may be considered lawful prizes of war.
From the ship at Idiles, the 3rd July, 1655.
[Italian.]
July 3.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Spagna.
Venetian
Archives.
99. Giacomo Quirini, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the Doge and Senate.
General Blach has at last sailed out of sight of Cadiz, without passing any courtesies. The barques which followed in the direction he took report that he is staying at present at Cape St. Vincent. The Turkish corsairs have united with him and these gave chase to a Genoese ship which to escape, ran herself aground. It is reported that the Almirante di Cartagena from the Indies has been taken by this fleet with over 400,000 reals on board. Upon this news frigates were sent to meet the galleons with orders that they must on no account enter the port of Cadiz, but keep in the open and at all hazards direct their course towards Galicia and Biscay. The king has further sent orders to General Monte Alegro to fight to the last extremity and when they are reduced to the last gasp to throw all the gold and silver into the sea.
Meanwhile at Cadiz they continue to stand to arms; all the citizens mount guard; they have cut the ponte di suazzo on the land side, and the English consul has not returned to his house.
The merchants of Seville and Cadiz have offered to provide at their own cost 25 ships of war and 4,000 infantry. The duke of Medina Celi would like to command this force, but there are objections to this because the misfortunes of his grandfather in the English Channel in the time of Philip II are remembered and for other reasons.
The Council of State holds frequent deliberations. Don Luis cannot yet be convinced that the English mean to show such inconceivable and perfidious malice. Accordingly they are not inclined to be in any hurry about arming, but with their two ambassadors in London they will try to tackle the business from the flanks and to stop a direct frontal attack which it seems impossible can be made very soon. They are trying to calm down excited feelings and to prevent the violence of that greedy nation from dragging the crown with the impetus of Fate into the whirlpool of the most disastrous ruin. All the same they have made up their minds to arm, though on the understanding that if it does not serve against the English it will be useful for the end of the campaign against France.
Meanwhile they do not forget to get together material and prepare correspondences for raising up a great machine in Scotland to the detriment of Cromwell, and have decided to reinforce the party of the insurgents and malcontents even by employing and assisting openly the exiled and unfortunate King Charles.
Madrid, the 3rd July, 1655.
[Italian.]
July 4.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Francia.
Venetian
Archives.
100. Lorenzo Paulucci, Venetian Secretary in England, to Giovanni Sagredo, the Ambassador in France. (fn. 2)
Although in the greatest difficulties I must not neglect my duties in recording events here, which all turn upon the absolute will of the Protector. By his order the important question of justice will be discharged henceforth by the sentence of certain judicial persons, authorised by himself in place of others who have resigned. The law term has opened with this expedient, for which, by a secret sealed patent the Protector has consigned to the new judges the authority to pass sentence with the briefest formalities, for the welfare and relief of the people. This is announced publicly as his Highness's will so that everyone may obey without cavil. Apparently they are so doing as the people are encouraged by the hope that they will have more prompt and expeditious justice in the future. So everyone seems satisfied and ready to carry out his orders blindly, and from these the laws will derive what power they possess.
In the fear that some of the influential men in the provinces may be contriving something against his peace, or perhaps to prevent opposition to his decrees, or from the deference paid to the nobility which they enjoy with their other prerogatives, the Protector has recently had a number of leading men arrested in different parts of England, without any other cause, and brought to the Tower and other safe places in this city. Although they protest their innocence and against this violence, they are obliged to submit, and to get out they will probably have to recognise their absolute dependence on the Protector's will and take the oath of fealty to him and the present government. This shows that the Protector neglects no precautions or measures to consolidate his authority, which is universally detested indeed, but respected and obeyed because of the relentless severity of its procedure and the fear of punishment.
The only news of the fleet in America is that it is in good order near Hispaniola and San Domingo, it is supposed with the intention to land and occupy some position, always to the great prejudice of the interests of the Catholic, though an open declaration of war is not expected. They recently equipped a squadron of 15 ships, including some merchantmen, to go and join the others there with provisions and reinforcements. General Blach's fleet is said to be in the neighbourhood of the Strait waiting to hear how the Turks have taken the treatment of the Tunis pirates, so that they may advance or retire according to what Constantinople decides.
After the day of fasting and prayer for the Savoy Protestants the collection for them has gone steadily on. Commissioners go from house to house, not even sparing those of ambassadors and other foreign ministers. Tt becomes increasingly evident that a large sum will he raised and if it is used for vengeance against Savoy the duke may have cause to repent deeply his ill advised action, unless the money is used for some other secret projects of the Protector, as some suspect here. Time will show. Meanwhile I understand someone has arrived here from the surviving Protestants. (fn. 3)
People are waiting silent and curious about the peace with France. Since the despatch to the king little or no progress has been made, and may not be until his return. Yet both sides remain intent on the reprisals at sea which continue against all ships that are met.
The ambassador extraordinary of Spain left this city last Monday, attended by the coaches of the Protector and many others. They gave him a frigate to take him back to Flanders. I paid him my respects, like the other ministers, at his going, and he sent a gentleman to respond.
Your Excellency's letters of the 19th and 23rd ult. which come without the supplies I long for, bring instructions about the ambassador leaving for Constantinople. I learn in confidence from a member of the Levant Company that owing to some difficulty the person appointed has not yet been confirmed by the Protector. He will be, but they are waiting to see how the Porte takes the action of Blach's fleet, and are holding back. So there will be ample opportunity for obeying my instructions and any further orders before the ambassador starts. I will keep on the watch for his instructions and do my duty punctually, as I take a pride in doing without any hope of reward but the state's appreciation. After being so long abandoned I hope the state will not for ever allow me to languish and to dole out every morsel of food, as I am obliged to do at present.
London, the 4th July, 1655.
[Italian.]
July 6.
Senato,
SecrEta.
Dispacci,
Francia.
Venetian
Archives.
101. Giovanni Sagredo, Venetian Ambassador in France, to Senate, the Doge and Senate.
Notwithstanding the part taken by Cromwell in the affair of the heretics and the threats from more than one quarter, the duke of Savoy, though not averse from some agreement, insists that it shall be advantageous to himself. The heretics have presented a petition imploring his clemency, which they may possibly obtain through the support of the English, Dutch and Swiss and the Cardinal's mediation, especially as the Dutch are following the same course as England in the matter of subscriptions and in other ways, and as the heretics are defeated in every encounter and are losing heart they will certainly submit unless their hopes are revived by additional aid.
Encloses letter of England.
Paris, the 6th July, 1655.
[Italian.]
July 6.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Francia.
Venetian
Archives.
102. Giovanni Sagredo, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
When I was expecting repose, so necessary to my domestic affairs, I find myself saddled with a new mission, involving fresh expenditure and anxiety. The Court of England, by sheer force, has made itself the most dreaded and the most conspicuous in the world. Six ambassadors from crowned heads are now resident there and others are expected. Pomp has reached such a pitch that the Genoese ambassadors Fieschi and Spinola had each a train of 80 persons. During the last four years I have embarassed my accounts owing to the difficulty of drawing my salary. I have done my duty zealously but I have outstretched my means beyond credibility. In my perplexity I must ask one of two boons, either that the Senate pay me the arrears for past services, or that they dispense me from this fresh burden and allow me to return home.
Paris, the 6th July, 1655.
[Italian.]
July 6.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Francia.
Venetian
Archives.
103. Giovanni Sagredo, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
The state letters of the 12th June reach me as I close this packet, directing me to hasten my departure. I have always considered it my duty to obey and I do not now consider the interests of my family or my shattered health, but I beg the state to consider that the London embassy is a conspicuous one, filled by distinguished ministers. I am the first ambassador accredited to England by your Excellencies since the change of government, and the manner of my appearance will be remarked. I should risk the public dignity and my personal honour if I did not display due pomp, and that is impossible unless I receive my arrears. When they reach me I will not lose a moment, taking with me six Venetian nobles now at this Court besides others from the mainland. I pray the Almighty to bless my zeal and to make true a report current this morning all over Paris that the Turks have made a strong demonstration against the English ambassador resident at Constantinople.
Paris, the 6th July, 1655.
[Italian.]
July 7.
venetian
Transcripts.
Public
Record Office.
104. Giovanni Sagredo, Venetian Ambassador in France, to Lorenzo Paulucci, his Secretary in England. (fn. 4)
I have orders to inform you of my election as ambassador extraordinary to his Highness, so that you may immediately go to audience and make the announcement, assuring him of the state's esteem and her desire to keep up an excellent understanding and perfect correspondence with him. I have also to assure you of the state's perfect satisfaction with your service, from the burden of which you will be relieved on my arrival in London, when you can return home, full of merit after your exertions, such are the precise terms of the state's letter.
Paris, the 7th July, 1655.
[Italian.]
July 10.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Spagna.
Venetian
Archives.
105. Giacomo Quirini, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the Doge and Senate.
The duke of Medina Celi had sent a patache to watch the movements of General Blach but it was stopped and reconnoitred by three English frigates and compelled to turn back at once. Thus Blach has sailed from Cape St. Vincent and the direction of his course is at present unknown as the small barques which are following him at a distance have not yet come in. We learn on good authority that the ships of the squadron are in great need of repair and that sickness has broken out among the crews, so that a good number of them die every day of dysentry.
Don Luis remains constant to his opinion and contends that Cromwell, being rendered suspicious at the scant credit that is given to his assurances of loyal friendship, may consider such moves and changes as a sufficient pretext for concluding peace with France and declaring war against Spain. Meanwhile I have learned that orders have been sent to Medina Celi that until they have more information and more definite indications of the proceedings of Blach he is to gain time and be lavishly amiable. Urgent instructions have also been sent to the ambassadors in London to do everything in their power to reaffirm the sincere disposition of the king and his inclination for a good peace with England, and represent that Spanish trade, harassed by the corsairs of the Turks and by other French ones at La Rochelle, desired to make safe the galleons of the fleet, in which the traders of London are greatly interested, as well as all the rest of Christendom.
Don Luis informed me without reserve that the Dutch at Cadiz had offered their ships to the king to join with him for any important emergency. He told me further that they would not leave the king of England unutilised. They would put arms in his hands and acting in concert they would hazard the experiment and try fortune again.
All these measures and dispositions are designed so that they shall not betray themselves; but their, present consternation points in another direction. There are many who hold the opinion that even if the English should take the fleet, it would be necessary to pass over the injury for other circumstances (bisognarebbe ad altre occorrenze rimettere l'offese). The unquestionable truth is that in the present condition of this crown they are incapable of supporting the burden of so unequal and unjust a war.
Letters of the 1st of May have arrived from Cuba and the port of Havana which report that the arrival of the English fleet has been published throughout America, and that in the dominions of the Catholic they are behaving with the requisite caution. The galleons of the fleet will not expose themselves incautiously to the voyage, more especially as they have recovered the greater part of the gold and silver shipwrecked in the sea del Zur. They add that the English are intending to take possession of some important position, and reinforcements and fresh ships are constantly reaching General Pen.
Madrid, the 10 July, 1655.
[Italian.]
July 11.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Francia.
Venetian
Archives.
106. Lorenzo Paulucci, Venetian Secretary in England, to Giovanni Sagredo, the Ambassador in France. (fn. 5)
Your Excellency has been chosen for this embassy and your qualities made the choice a welcome one. I should wish to be here at your arrival, but after such long years of service I beg for leave to return home before. If I am to stay I beg that my advances and travelling expenses may be allowed. This was allowed to the Secretary Zonca in 1638. If my creditors are not paid I shall not be allowed to go, that being the law.
It becomes apparent that the Protector has some important plan in his mind to give him a more absolute power over all the laws of the kingdom and to revise them by his will. The arrest of persons of quality, both here and in the provinces, amounting to over 3,000, is supposed to be largely for this cause and in order to remove those most apt and strong to offer opposition. Almost all of those arrested belonged to the party of the late king, and although most of them had made composition with the late parliament and the new government, Cromwell is afraid that in spite of this they still cherish a disposition towards the blood royal. So he has decided to make sure of them by this violent means, so that those who refuse to take the oath of allegiance to his present government may remain in perpetual confinement or may be so broken in spirit and power that they will never be in any position to threaten his repose. Those who take the oath and then break it can be dealt with with the utmost severity and reduced to utter misery without hope of redemption. So it is clear that by the arrest of so many persons of rank the Protector means to complete the ruin of those nobles who are left, knowing full well that though they may behave modestly and use dissimulation they will never feel for him the loyalty and devotion which he demands and which he is pursuing by every means.
This week will arrive in London all the judges, commissioners and lieutenants appointed by the Protector in the provinces, and summoned by him to help in devising his secret measure about the legislative power, or to change his title. As they represent the voice of the counties the Protector would consider everything done in conjunction with them as done primarily with the consent of the body of this city, accepted and confirmed by the army and by all the counties. To win their affections the more his Highness is entertaining and feasting them all lavishly in a body either to-day or to-morrow, and it is not likely to be long before we hear of some declaration of consequence.
Several private letters report the landing of General Pen's force in Hispaniola and the capture without difficulty of the important port of San Domingo. The English ships have cast anchor there and propose to establish themselves definitely, favoured on one side by Virginia, belonging to England, and on the other by the islands of Barbados, at no great distance. The news gratifies the Protector greatly and he hopes, with the confirmation to hear of further successes. I may remark that the destination taken by this fleet bears out what I wrote about it two years ago. God grant that more considerable events do not follow with fresh conquests this spring. It is only too probable that if they win more in the Indies or capture the plate fleets, the strength and daring of this new and powerful state, the bitter enemy of the Catholic faith, may one day be directed to greater enterprises and to the subjection of its chief, if they can. Perhaps I say too much, but it is my duty to hide nothing, and I have thought it proper to report this notion, which I have heard mentioned.
Begs for consideration in his extremity. Trusts he has not been thought to have included too much in his accounts. Expected to be allowed 500 francs a month, although his monthly accounts did not reach this sum, and trusts that the Senate will allow him this.
London, the 11th July, 1655.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
July 13.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Francia.
Venetian
Archives.
107. Giovanni Sagredo, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
Your Serenity charges me to direct Paulucci to inform the English government of my appointment. Had I any choice I would have deferred compliance with this command until the grant of my modest demands. I have been four years at this Court and the expense incurred renders a fresh burden impossible. Unless I can have remittances adequate to the weight to be put on my shoulders it is impossible for me to cross to England. On this miserable service I have squandered the entire capital of my family. For 10 months I have sighed for part of the funds transmitted to Paulucci. In 7 months I only received 217 ducats on account of arrears. To pay my debts here and assume this fresh embassy without the requisite funds is so monstrous a suggestion that I would rather risk my life in battle than venture my reputation by bearing such a burden. I therefore beseech the state to release me from this charge, and if the decree is inexorable and the funds are not furnished, I shall bear with equanimity the penalties inflicted upon me.
Encloses Paulucci's letter.
Paris, the 13th July, 1655.
[Italian.]
July 17.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Spagna.
Venetian
Archives.
108. Giacomo Quirini, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the Doge and Senate.
General Blach is staying at the present time off the coasts of Portugal between Capes St. Vincent and Santa Marcia. He is having four vessels at a time careened in the little port of Lago.
Rendered uneasy by the proximity of such forces and such naval preparations the Portuguese also have decided to increase their fleet by 20 armed ships, as they do not wish Cromwell's protestations of warm friendship to lull the vigilance of the government, as it is only safe to trust what results and the progress of time and events show to be true. It is not true that a patache from the Indies was plundered by the Turks or by English corsairs, but owing to fear of these it went of its own accord to make a gift of 400,000 reals to that most lucky Braganza.
The traders of Cadiz and Seville have not taken the king's reserve in good part, since neither in appearance nor in substance would he concur in the expense of the armament but would only grant them a flagship and four unarmed vessels of the crown. The one who controls the machine in Andalusia does not allow them to see and does not disclose to them the importance of the transaction or the force of the mystery since on no account will the government have these preparations taken for granted until such time as the Catholic ambassadors in London speak, or Cromwell responds with greater clarity (chi guida la macchina in Andalusia non lascia vedere loro et non gli scuopre l'importanza del maneggio et la forza del misterio mentre per niun caso si vuol dar per inteso il governo di questi apparecchi a tanto che gli ambasciatori Cattolichi non parlano in Londra, o che Cromuel risponda con maggior chiarezza), and that their forces are engaged in positive acts of hostility. Amid all this consternation and perplexity as to what is to be done the Court still amuses itself with various discussions and those who are not called upon to provide a remedy for the present devote their wits to foretelling mischief in the future.
In the mean time the count of Pegnoranda has presented a paper to the king in which he defends the sincerity of Cromwell with solid arguments and represents the disingenuousness of such resolutions. Don Luis also cannot digest the idea that England is attempting a breach, with such indignity, and has gone so far as to say that Cromwell is his great friend. But many have told him that it is sometimes necessary to believe things which are contrary to reason; that Cromwell's word alone is not a tie strong enough to bind him; that he who has power will not keep his promise and that while good faith is uncertain it behoves princes to have no other tribunal among themselves than the arbitrament and superior strength of arms. In short, most Excellent Signors, this is a most notable crisis which at present all Spain is watching, and in a month or two all the rest of Europe will be watching it, with other interests.
Madrid, the 17th July, 1655.
[Italian.]
109. Particulars of the English fleet under General Robert Blach, lying between Cape Santa Maria and Cantil.
The flagship of 800 tons (equivalent to 1,600 butts), with 70 bronze guns and 430 men, soldiers and sailors.
The Admiral, of 800 tons, with 58 bronze guns and 380 men.
The Vice-Admiral (Govicano) of 800 tons, with 56 bronze guns and 380 men.
Five and more frigates of 500 tons, with 48 guns (one third bronze and two-thirds of cast iron) and 200 men each.
Nine and more frigates of 400 tons with 30 guns in the same proportions and 180 men each.
Five small frigates of 50 to 80 tons to reconnoitre, enter ports and provide stores.
Those required to make up the number of 37 ships are all in the proportion given above. It may be noted that the fleet has about 1,000 men sick of various diseases.
[Italian.]
July 18.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Francia.
Venetian
Archives.
110. Lorenzo Paulucci, Venetian Secretary in England, to Giovanni Sagredo, the Ambassador in France. (fn. 6)
As instructed by your Excellency's letter of the 7th I at once informed the Secretary of State of your appointment as ambassador, and also Sir [Oliver] Fleming. They both assured me that on the Protector's return from Hampton Court, where he goes every week as a relaxation from his constant labours, I should be advised of the time for seeing him. But his Highness did not come back until late on Tuesday, and the secretary, who may be called the soul of the Protector's body, falling suddenly and grievously ill, all business must suffer some delay, and the forms of this government do not admit of hurrying, every sort of business demanding the utmost attention and patience. However I shall be ready to go to audience at any moment.
The same letters contain the grant of my petition and allow me to breathe after all I have suffered. I can only express my deep gratitude to the munificence of his Serenity.
The news here consists of the arrests which still continue both in this city and without, chiefly of those who have compounded with the new government after bearing arms for the royalists. A great many of these are in the power of his Highness, and as he remains of this mind numbers of those of this class, rather than submit to his severity, have preferred to seek refuge in a vagabond life, changing their abode every other night. So one may say that the greatest and richest in England have become the most afflicted and persecuted. They lose even the few hours of repose necessary for life. So your Excellency can see to what a state the malcontents are reduced. Although they become even more disaffected they dare not speak or lament their miserable condition. Others who never rendered any disservice to the late parliament or at the change of government, for fear of losing a great deal, and who lived to themselves, must contribute in proportion to their wealth, and these, with those of lower station and the mechanics, must all unite for the maintenance in this state of 40 to 50,000 soldiers, required to render permanent the autocratic rule of the Protector Cromwell.
The capture of Hispaniola is confirmed as a beginning for further conquests. Fifteen large ships of war sailed for those parts last week with provisions of every kind and troops. In spite of this they seem to continue their friendly relations here with his Catholic Majesty, and the English will never lose an opportunity of scoring an advantage, their object, it is thought, being to stop and capture the fleets of Spain, if possible.
It is believed that General Blach has approached Cadiz with the body of his fleet in order to throw himself upon the last fleet, which had not reached the Strait of Gibraltar, although report says it was in order to careen some ships which were damaged at sea. In any case the Spanish governor gave them a most courteous welcome and offered them all that they might require.
The adjustment with France now seems obnoxious to both sides, as with this delay reprisals at sea continue. We hear nothing except that M. de Bordeaux has received orders to sign quickly, and if the Protector is unwilling to come to this, he is to take leave finally, so a definite result ought to be known soon.
The younger son of the Protector, appointed viceroy or commander in chief in Ireland, set out some days ago. (fn. 7) He took a numerous suite and bore very secret and definite orders from his father to insist upon absolute obedience to his orders there, and to root out with the greatest determination the scanty remains of the Roman Catholic faith there, and to introduce Protestantism everywhere.
The Resident of Portugal, after accompanying the ambassador extraordinary home and submitting the articles for a peace with this country to his sovereign, is now back here. I have only just learned that he has brought the treaty with alterations in several articles from those which the ambassador signed here before leaving. The Protector and the whole government object strongly to this procedure as something done fraudulently without consulting them here, so the resident is in disfavour and ill pleased, as they make no secret of their sentiments and dislike. He has reported the situation to his king. They are waiting to hear his decision, and if it is not entirely to their satisfaction it may occasion strained relations with Portugal, and they may appeal to arms here. But the English believe that the Portuguese will be constrained by the necessity of a good understanding with this state to give them every satisfaction.
London, the 18th July, 1655.
Postscript:—I have just heard that Sir [Oliver] Fleming is covertly trying to secure the appointment of ambassador to his Serenity and if his Highness intends to send anyone Fleming might easily go when your Excellency arrives, with some advantage, as I gather that the English would take this step more from ambition than from friendship and zeal for religion.
[Italian.]
July 20.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Napoli.
Venetian.
Archives.
111. Andrea Rosso, Venetian Resident at Naples, to the Doge and Senate.
A felucca from Spain reports the arrival of General Blach at Cadiz for refreshments, which were courteously granted. It is thought that with the Spaniards affecting friendly relations with Cromwell this squadron may, in case of need, unite with that of his Catholic Majesty. A report is current that Cromwell has sent a Jesuit and Englishman to Rome, without his intention being known. (fn. 8)
Naples, the 20th July, 1655.
[Italian.]
July 24.
Senato.
Secreta.
Dispacci.
Spagna.
Venetian.
Archives.
112. Giacomo Quirini, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the Doge and Senate.
There is no longer room for doubt by continuing his stay off the coasts of Portugal that General Blach is waiting for the galleons of the fleet seeing that he protested he could not accept from Spain the offer of careening his ships in Cadiz whereas he is now receiving it with greater inconvenience in the kingdom of Algarves, and he has repaired in this way the Admiral and four ships at a time.
It would seem then that the suspicions of the Portuguese are disappearing and are being converted into fresh confidential relations with the English. It is stated that they are not only ready to grant what may be needed for the English force but that money also has passed into Cromwell's hands. Yet in spite of all this Braganza shows himself mistrustful as he sent two ships with advices to the Terzere islands to meet the fleet from Brazil, which ordinarily returns in the month of September, commanding them to make the voyage at a higher latitude and on no account to enter Lisbon, but to go to Oporto.
But few merchantmen enter the port of Cadiz, all recognising Blach as master of the Ocean and director of its navigation. An English ship came into San Lucar, flying the Dutch flag, an action which indicates a rupture more than misgiving. With this opportunity they intercepted a letter from Blach written to a fellow countryman at Cadiz. He tells him not to be discouraged over anything that the king of Spain may do in the matter of reprisals upon his goods, and that the English merchants need not be afraid of losing what they have in the galleons of the fleet, as it is the Protector's firm intention that all shall rest satisfied and receive compensation.
The duke of Medina Celi having captured a brigantine of the Turks, they found on board a certain Arignola, a Spanish renegade. Under the influence of the torture and later of a firing party he confessed that the pirate ships of the Turks to the number of thirty were acting in unison with the English. Blach had struck with them an impious and sacriligeous bargain, to wit that all the merchandise and men found on the galleons of the fleet should be consigned to the Turks, and that the remainder, the gold, silver, jewels, vessels, guns and munitions should go to the English. There is also confirmation from another quarter that if the Spanish fleet puts to sea the Turks are to attack it immediately.
In addition to all the above particulars the despatches of the Ambassador Cardenas come from London beseeching the king to take him away from his post as it is not consonant with the dignity of the crown that they should be reinforcing the fleet for America under his very nose and everyone is slandering the name of Spain freely. The Jesuits show the letters of their correspondents to the same effect, Cromwell being quite ready to take money where he can get it, all the rest being specious show, fraud and deceit. Such reports, multiplied and repeated have compelled the king to infuse energy into the arming of Cadiz and Seville.
Don Luis said to me in conversation and quite frankly that Cromwell was sorry that he had sent the fleet of General Pen so far away, and he assured me that he had certain grounds for knowing this to be true. It may well be so, since Cromwell might have awaited the fleet nearer home by taking possession of the Canary islands or in waiting off the coasts of Spain at a more suitable time.
Madrid, the 24th July, 1655.
[Italian.]
July 25.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Francia.
Venetian
Archives.
113. Lorenzo Paulucci, Venetian Secretary in England, to Giovanni Sagredo, the Ambassador in France. (fn. 9)
His Highness returned from Hampton Court on Tuesday and appointed the Wednesday following for my audience, after dinner. Every mark of honour was shown me, as I was received and conducted by Sir [Oliver] Fleming and eight officials of the palace. In his Highness's cabinet I found him assisted by his secretary of state, who is convalescent, with several councillors and many gentlemen of his suite. I spoke of the desire of the republic of Venice for good relations with England, in whose successes his Highness had the principal share. To foster these friendly relations the republic had appointed as ambassador Sig. Giovanni Sagredo, one of its leading senators, who had filled many offices at home and abroad and was at present ambassador in France, which he would leave at an early date to bear witness to the Senate's regard for his Highness. They looked for some assistance in their long war against the Turks, which would at once serve Christendom and win eternal glory for England. I handed to his Highness a copy of my speech in English. He heard me attentively and replied in English, and then Fleming addressed me by his order in Italian. He spoke of his Highness's desire to help, and the arrival of an ambassador from him would not increase this but would merely carry it into action. He highly appreciated the appointment of an ambassador, who would receive every mark of esteem when he arrived. I replied by bowing and telling his Highness that I would inform your Excellency of the reply.
Fearing that the grievances which accumulate daily might build up sone pernicious design against the internal quiet and his own supreme authority, the Protector, with the advice of his Council, has drawn up and published a severe proclamation that all who served with or assisted the forces of the late king Charles and are in London must leave it within ten days and not approach within 20 miles of it. Those who have no land, house or abode in the country must go to those of relations and others who have no resource at all must give in their name and condition to the justice of the peace of each parish. Those who disobey this order will be declared and punished as disturbers of the peace. Every local justice is to keep a register of these names and forward them to his Highness. (fn. 10)
This measure will certainly put a stop to any plot to attack the Protector's sway, and it serves to secure his position. It causes a great outcry, especially among those who served the late king, who had compounded with the government and believed that, though reduced in circumstances, they would at least be tolerated. Now suddenly, by this severe order, they find themselves compelled to seek food and shelter in some other part of the country, and God knows whether even this will satisfy the Protector and give them peace and quiet. It is believed here that the Protector will become increasingly mistrustful of them and that he will not rest content with anything less than their total extirpation, at which, beyond a doubt he is eagerly aiming.
Although no despatches have arrived from the commander of the fleet in the West Indies, private letters shown to the authorities report the landing of the English in Hispaniola and the capture of the port and fort of San Domingo, which is said, however, to have made a gallant defence and to have cost the English many casualties. More authentic news is awaited which may possibly dissipate a rumour here that after this success the English fleet was surprised by a number of ships of the country and suffered a reverse. But at such a distance no credit can be given to this report, and official information is awaited with eagerness and impatience by the Protector and the whole government.
The collection of money for the Protestants has proved very successful. It is reckoned that they have taken little less than 100,000l. sterling. If it is all devoted to that cause it may bring it greater importance and notice, but the majority think that after a moderate and respectable sum has been sent, by order of his Highness, the rest will be devoted to naval affairs, which always engage their chief attention here and always will.
London, the 25th July, 1655.
[Italian.]
July 27.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Napoli.
Venetian
Archives.
114. Andrea Rosso, Venetian Resident at Naples, to the Doge and Senate.
The ministers here are much concerned that Blach, after obtaining numerous refreshments and other friendly treatment at Cadiz, has gone away unexpectedly with his squadron, taking with him all the English there, including the consul, without his real plans being known.
Naples, the 27th July, 1655.
[Italian.]
July 30.
Senato,
Mar.
Venetian
Archives.
115. To the Proveditore General of the Islands in the Levant.
While we have been waiting for the report from you about Obson he has informed us that a decision has been postponed under a pretext advanced by the interested parties in those Islands that his agents lack the necessary powers. Now he has caused the papers themselves (le medesime cancorche) to be brought from England involving a lapse of time and an expenditure which should not have been necessary, and in England the Levant Company has presented a memorial to Pauluzzi, our minister in London. We therefore repeat our instructions as it is of importance to find out what is the actual amount that has been collected from the duty of 2 reals the thousand from the time that the tax was imposed, into whose hands it went, how it was disposed of, what was the amount of the debt at that time, what interest the state had therein and any other particulars you consider relevant. In the mean time you will cause the exaction of the duty to be suspended, and you will not permit it to run notwithstanding any opposition, petition or claim that may be made by the interested parties there. The intention of this is that the nation shall no longer suffer inconvenience from the tax. You will send a full report of all that you do in the matter.
Ayes, 154. Noes, 0. Neutral, 4.
[Italian.]
July 31.
Senato,
Deliberazioni.
Corti.
Venetian
Archives.
116. To Giovanni Sagredo, Ambassador designate to England.
The value set on his experience is shown by the choice of him as ambassador extraordinary to England. To relieve his mind the money due to him has been paid to his agents together with the sums due to Pauluzzi. The remainder will be paid in instalments and so he may set out for London with an easy mind.
Ayes, 132. Noes, 0. Neutral, 0.
[Italian.]
July 31.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Spagna.
Venetian
Archives.
117. Giacomo Quirini, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the Doge and Senate.
Blach has sent to London six ships of his squadron. Some contend that it is to lade food and munitions, others that it is to take information, and both conjectures may be right. But few ships come into Cadiz, commerce is suffering thereby, the sea is practically closed and the merchants of the nation are leaving Valencia. Blach caused three Hamburg ships to be searched to see if they had goods from France, he then urged the captains to join with him because they would then share in the riches of the fleet.
With the Dutch they are trying to forget their old mistakes and to provide an adequate remedy in the present emergency. The Catholic ambassador at the Hague has orders to propose to their High Mightinesses a union of hearts and of forces against the great power of the English fleet.
Madrid, the 31st July, 1655.
[Italian.]

Footnotes

1 Solomon Hirzel for Zurich, Charles von Bonstetten for Berne, Benedict. Socin for Basel and John Jacob Stockar for Schaffhausen. Morland: Hist. of the Evangelical Churches of the Valleys of Piedmont, page 621. Gabriel Weis of Berne was also appointed for the conference at Pinerolo. Claretta: Storia del Regno di Carlo Emanuele II, Vol. i., page 152.
2 Forwarded with Sagredo's despatch of the 6th July.
3 Probably Jean Baptists Stoupe, “sous le nom duquel l'on fait publier toutes les plaintes et demandes des Vaudois a M. le Protecteur.” Bordeaux to Mazarin, 17 June. P.R.O. Paris Transcripts.
4 Taken from the Sagredo MSS.
5 Forwarded with Sagredo's despatch of the 13th July.
6 Forwarded with Sagredo's despatch of the 27th,
7 He crossed in the Satisfaction and landed at Dublin on the 9–19 July. Cal. S.P. Dom, 1655, page 506.
8 Apparently Dr. Thomas Bayly is meant. Longland records his arrival at Florence in July. Thurloe: State Papers iii., page 635. In Dec. Metham wrote complaining of his indiscretions which had betrayed the whole secret, Id. iv., page 243. See also Clarendon State Papers iii., page 275,
9 Forwarded with Sagredo's despatch of the 27th July.
10 Proclamation of 6 July o.s. commanding all who have been of the party of the late king or his sons to depart London and Westminster before 12 July. Cal. S.P. Dom. 1655, pages 232–3.


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