Venice
July 1657

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Institute of Historical Research

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Allen B. Hinds (editor)

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1931

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77-91

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'Venice: July 1657', Calendar of State Papers Relating to English Affairs in the Archives of Venice, Volume 31: 1657-1659 (1931), pp. 77-91. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=90000 Date accessed: 02 August 2014.


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Contents

July 1657

July 6.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
59. Francesco Giavarina, Venetian Resident in England, to the Doge and Senate.
Having guessed the intention of parliament to sit a few days longer in order to finish the business which needs to be wound up before the dissolution, the Protector wrote them a letter a week ago, granting them permission to assemble for another week. (fn. 1) He speaks highly of the parliament and asks them to give the finishing touches in those few days to all that they intend to complete. Accordingly the assembly immediately resolved that none of its members should leave the city during the whole of this week or abandon the public service under a penalty of 50l. sterling for each transgressor; they also decided that their sessions should be devoted to perfecting the bills already resolved upon and bring them to a condition to receive the Protector's assent. This has been done and to-morrow, when Cromwell goes to parliament to take the oath to govern in accordance with the laws, he will be asked to give his assent to all the things prepared. The assembly will then separate, resting until October next, when it will resume its labours, which are so severe that they require the utmost assiduity and untiring and unremitting application.
Among the acts to be presented to the Protector is that against the Catholics, which will destroy them utterly if it receives his assent. Before it passed parliament it was opposed by General Lambert; but with only two supporters he could do nothing effective to prevent its passing. He also was of opinion that some measure should be taken against the Catholics, but with moderation and not with such severity. In spite of the fair reply given by Cromwell to the French ambassador on this subject, to the general astonishment the creatures and prime favourites of his Highness have been observed pushing the bill and showing themselves more eager than ever against them. The principal Catholic gentlemen, after a careful consideration of the question, for which they have frequently met together, have accordingly decided to go to the Protector, though with scant hope of doing much good, to represent their misfortunes and beg him not to allow that severe act to pass, promising in consideration, to add to the 80,000l. sterling which the exchequer receives yearly from the Catholics, 20,000l. more, squeezed out of their reduced fortunes. They did this recently but only got vague generalities without the slightest substance, and if the promises to the French ambassador are not kept it is even less likely that they will be to persons so detested and unwelcome. The result will be known almost directly and I will report it next week.
There is still no news of the fleet, causing a great and general anxiety to know what condition it may be in. This week again they sent off some supplies to Blake, and so they keep him well furnished, so that he may lack for nothing and may therefore find it easier to carry out any enterprise he chooses to undertake.
Some ships put in here from Portugal and when this was known in the city the arrival of the ambassador they have so long been expecting was forthwith announced. This report has since proved false, as the captain of the ship reports that he is still at Lisbon, delaying his departure owing to the illness of his mother, who is dying, but he was to take his departure in a few days by a ship which is waiting on purpose to carry him to England.
A minister of the Elector Palatine has arrived in London this week, who remains incognito and secret. He has no character but brings authority to assume whatever he considers best suited to the present circumstances. Meanwhile he associates with the ministers of Sweden and Brandenburg to whom he imparts his business so that they may proceed jointly in the conduct of the same.
The ambassador of Denmark here has now spoken of the rupture of the peace declared by his master against Sweden by the capture in the Baltic of some ships laden with goods belonging to Swedish merchants. The minister adds that the Dane will not direct the considerable forces he has gathered against Sweden until he hears that the German troops have entered Poland, which must infallibly have taken place by now. To induce Denmark to reconsider his action and persuade him to support their own side the ministers of Sweden and Brandenburg represent the present affair with Poland as a war of religion; but the Dane replies that if this was so, as they represent, they would not invade the country of Bremen, the only district in the Roman Empire which universally professes the reformed religion, nor would they procure an alliance with France and Portugal which, as Catholic powers, are naturally alien from those who profess different creeds, with other sound arguments intended to show that theirs is merely a pretext under which they cloak their pretensions while in the meantime they try to injure and exterminate everybody indifferently.
The Dutch are keeping a great squadron at sea composed of over 40 most powerful ships. Their object is not known, but appearances indicate that fomented by the Spaniards and stimulated by their own claims to Brazil, they mean to direct them against the Portuguese, a favourable opportunity being afforded by the loss of Olivenza (fn. 2) and the blow received under Badajos, whereby they are greatly weakened and unable to resist the Spaniards by land or the Dutch by sea. It is not likely that they have any designs against this state, as it is not in their interest to be the first to break the peace and good correspondence, and they will never do it unless they are incited and spurred. Here also one may feel sure that they do not intend to come to a breach, as if they had cherished such a thought they would never have allowed the excellent opportunity offered by the differences between Holland and France to escape, and they would have prevented the adjustment, as they easily might if they had wished, the Protector being on such good terms with Mazarini.
The Turk from Algiers, of whom I have written, has left with a satisfactory reply, because the government has found out the facts of the case. These were that an English merchant had taken a Spaniard at Algiers, who was a slave in the hands of the Turks, and carried him to Leghorn where he allowed him to escape. He has now given a promise to make restitution either by recovering the slave or with money as this state does not wish to give the Turks the slightest cause of offence, because of the interests of trade and commerce. The Turkey Company entertained and feasted him splendidly and from the Protector he received a present of 200 pieces of eight and a piece of scarlet.
In obedience to the instructions of the 2nd June last I have informed the Protector and all the foreign ministers here of the great victory won against the Barbary ships. All of them expressed extreme satisfaction lauding the most serene republic which alone confronts this powerful and formidable enemy.
London, the 6th July, 1657.
[Italian.]
July 6.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
60. Francesco Giavarina, Venetian Resident in England, to the Doge and Senate.
When this letter arrived I shall have completed 18 months service at this Court, after serving Sig. Sagredo. I have been absent for 7 years, with constant labour and heavy expense. I hope I may deserve the approval which the state has accorded to my services; but at the same time I am obliged to bow to necessity. I have experienced Paris, which is reputed a glutton for gold, and I find London is not unlike it. It is at present one of the most conspicuous Courts in Europe from the nature of the government, the strength of the nation, the importance of its affairs and the collection of foreign ministers, no other place having so many, with the consequent obligation to keep a large household. The meeting of parliament and the anticipated elevation of the Protector also involved unusual expense, following the other ministers, because of the possibility of a coronation. There is also a heavy charge quite beyond my means for maintaining a chapel, which is the more frequented as it is the only one left in this city where the Roman rite is celebrated; having ceased at the Portuguese embassy and being given up at the French since the return of the Ambassador Bordeos. So all the Catholics meet at your Serenity's and sometimes those ministers themselves come, as they did for the Te Deum in honour of the late victory; so I cannot avoid keeping more priests, having more lights and celebrating the feasts. The fortunes of my house are exhausted by maintaining me for so long as well as two brothers, and cannot support so heavy a burden. All I receive from the state is a salary of about 8 ducats at the caisse of the Ten and a provision of some 7 ducats at the Camerlenghi di Commun, both of which are difficult to get. The salary as resident is certainly equal to the others, but exceedingly slow to be paid and very small for the country where, besides other things, information about serious affairs is bought for its weight in gold, owing to the small number of those who conduct them and the great secrecy with which they are guarded. I therefore beg your Excellencies to give me the means of subsistence with some extraordinary subvention, as has often been done, or to permit me to enter in the accounts the expenses of the chapel, which come to about 4l. sterling a month. I do not think I ought to give up so religious a task, but I cannot continue without help.
London, the 6th July, 1657.
[Italian.]
July 7.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Firenze.
Venetian.
Archives.
61. Thadio Vico, Venetian Secretary at Florence, to the Doge and Senate.
The fall of Olivenza is confirmed; also that 24 English ships remain off the Spanish coast and that Blake is dead. It is further added that a good quantity of plate and of bullion has reached Cadiz brought generally by small craft from the Canaries.
Florence, the 7th July, 1657.
[Italian.]
July 11.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Spagna.
Venetian
Archives.
62. Domenico Zane, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the Doge and Senate.
Two weeks ago the English fleet left its station off Cadiz and fell in with a Dutch ship (fn. 3) which was bringing goods and 400 Spanish sailors from the Canaries to Spain, as well as 400,000 pieces of eight. This ship was captured after a short fight near the island of Cadiz, to which some of its crew escaped by swimming. The fight was seen from the shore. The news stirred the government greatly and an express was sent to the duke of Medina Celi to hasten the armament of the fleet which was begun at Cadiz two years ago, and 300,000 crowns were sent to him. At the same time they also concluded the agreement with the ministers of Holland here for forty more Dutch ships; so they expect to have seventy large ships ready very soon. With these they make no doubt but that they will open the way by force, not only for the voyage of the Indies, whither the ordinary galleons have not gone this year either, but to engage and clear these waters of the English, who have been infesting them for so long a time with so much injury and scorn to this nation. At the same time they have not neglected at Cadiz to devote all their attention to measures for preventing any other attempt which the English might make upon the ships which are at present ready. In that place they have grave misgivings that the English aspire to reduce these ships to ashes, being so near as they are, having the example of what befel recently at the Canaries. Accordingly a quantity of soldiers have been placed upon these same ships. They have also loaded them with guns while the most exact vigilance is observed at the fortress, and in addition they have closed the port with chains at its narrowest part to render any attempt of the enemy vain if he should come that way. The people here after their usual habit, comment upon the tardiness of these provisions, calling to mind all the past disasters, which could have been prevented by resolute action at the beginning.
Madrid, the 11th July, 1657.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
July 13.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
63. Francesco Giavarina, Venetian Resident in England, to the Doge and Senate.
To please the Protector Parliament fixed Saturday last for its breaking up, and instead of October it is not to reassemble until January next. This extended prorogation is for the greater convenience of the members and so that they may have more time to attend to their private affairs, the interval originally arranged being considered too short for the perfect settlement of their domestic affairs, which have suffered by their presence here for several months and require their attention to avoid a confusion which might not be easy to remedy. As parliament wished that the investiture of his Highness as Protector should precede their separation it was decided that this should take place publicly the same Saturday in the great hall at Westminster. (fn. 4) For this Cromwell came by water from Whitehall to the Houses of parliament and when he entered 22 acts were presented to him and read, to receive his assent, among them being the one against the Catholics containing articles likely to extirpate completely the Catholic faith in these kingdoms. After signing these his Highness passed into the hall and took the place prepared for him, considerably raised from the ground, under a rich canopy and on a sumptuous chair. The Speaker then in the name of parliament presented and indued him with the royal ornaments, holding a sword in one hand and in the other a sceptre of solid gold. He lacked nothing but the crown to appear a veritable king, and no doubt, if he lives, it will be placed on his head, and so he will have what he could not get this time, considerably to his disappointment. He then took the oath to govern according to the laws of the country and not otherwise and to preserve and maintain the Protestant religion; and he received the oath of fealty from parliament.
On the conclusion of the ceremony the Protector returned to Whitehall with great pomp and a great following; but it was not followed by any firing except the discharge of a few guns, or accompanied by the shouts of joy which are customary on such an occasion; only when his Highness came out of the doors at Westminster some soldiers gave some shouts of joy, which were paid for. For the rest it all went off rather sadly, as if it had been a funeral and mournful function. This is clear evidence of the dissatisfaction of the people, for although they turned out in countless numbers to see the ceremony they would not open their mouths to utter what did not come from their hearts and which they could not express with complete sincerity.
The ceremony at Westminster was followed by the solemn proclamation in the usual places in London and its suburbs by the ordinary heralds, exactly as they used to do under the kings. All the members of parliament took part in the ceremony, the mayor and aldermen of London, the judges and other persons of rank, all dressed in the costumes reserved for great occasions. All the foreign ministers were also invited in the name of parliament, but only France, Holland, Portugal and Brandenburg went. Denmark, Sweden and I remained at home, the two first because of questions of precedence between themselves and with Portugal, and I because of Brandenburg, who is very pretentious and who has openly stated that on every occasion he will dispute the position which rightly belongs to your Serenity. So I thought it wiser not to appear at the ceremony, which took place with much confusion and without the semblance of order, much to the dissatisfaction of the ministers who were there.
The places assigned to the ministers were very inadequate, and people of all sorts crowded in upon them and mingled with them without respect or civility. Portugal more ambitious and punctilious than the others, like a Spaniard, was dissatisfied with the place and being squeezed spoke sharply to the Master of the Ceremonies, protesting that he would go away. Not receiving a reply to please him he actually would have gone had not the crowd prevented him from getting out.
The function was certainly precipitated. Two hours before it was to take place they issued orders to invite the foreign ministers and they were only warned a few minutes beforehand. Just as I was going to dine Sir [Oliver] Flemingh sent two officials to tell me to proceed to Westminster immediately to take part in the ceremony, which was to take place at once, the Protector being already on the road. I thought about Brandenburg and sent some one to see if he had gone to Westminster, who brought word that Brandenburg was already in his place, for he could easily get ahead of me owing to the nearness of his residence to Westminster; so I decided to return home. If I had been invited at least a day in advance, as is usual at all the Courts, I should have gone and taken care to suffer no prejudice. If I had gone when Brandenburg was already there I should have done so with the intention of giving and receiving an affront, as he would not give way and I should have had to take the place by force. He would have resisted and had the sympathy of the other ministers, except Holland, who has the same claims as the electors; I could not look for assistance from any other. All these considerations influenced me to act as I did, and I hope the Senate will not disapprove.
As an interesting point in this connection Brandenburg claims precedence over Sweden, who is only an unrecognised commissioner, while the former is resident or agent, interchangeable terms in this country; Sweden claims to go before all the residents, even Denmark. In spite of this he has gone behind Brandenburg on two occasions, a public preaching and at the table of the French ambassador. When summoned to the function last Saturday Sweden went to ask Flemingh, the Master of the Ceremonies, what they would do about the residents, but Fleming told him it was nothing to do with him as his title was inferior to the residents; so Sweden preferred to stay at home. I report this in order that the Senate may send me instructions how to conduct myself in this matter.
Although several days have passed since the ceremony none of the foreign ministers has been to congratulate his Highness. All are watching M. de Bordeos, who may be waiting for instructions from France. I will follow the example of the others and report what takes place.
Nearly all the acts lately signed by the Protector are to raise money. In addition to the unbearable taxes which they impose on the people they raise very considerably all the duties, with notable detriment to trade. The merchants and traders greatly resent these heavy impositions and they might easily lead to some disorder, which is soon started in this climate especially in the present crisis.
The envoy of the elector Palatine remains incognito and retired, while he watches the posture of affairs here to see what success he may hope in his negotiations and commissions. The contents of these is known only to the ministers of Sweden and Brandenburg, it being impossible for the others to find out.
The Tuscan Resident Salvetti who has lived in England with that character for more than 50 years, has passed away. His eldest son hopes to succeed him as the Grand Duke has expressed that intention, though he may easily decide otherwise now, knowing the scanty abilities of this person, a youth not yet twenty, who knows no Italian, being born and bred in this country and more inured to the customs of England than those of his fatherland. (fn. 5)
London, the 13th July, 1657.
[Italian.]
July 20.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
64. Francesco Giavarina, Venetian Resident in England, to the Doge and Senate.
With parliament dissolved there is nothing to record of its deliberations. Some of these are being put in execution and as almost all of them serve to aggravate considerably the burden on the people there is reason to predict some lack of success and that more than one will prove defective in action, as the people, whose possessions are too exhausted, might reject them as too burdensome and not yield the blind obedience which is claimed. If they pay a portion, it is probable that the government will be unwilling to apply force to obtain the rest, since they know that the demands surpass the limits of possibility and where some demands are not met this is due to sheer inability, which no law can punish.
In spite of the dissolution some of the members remain, who meet in small bodies, forming committees or magistracies, and sit every week to deal with the affairs that are entrusted to them. The one charged with farming out the customs and excise meets more often than the others, trying to find the easiest way to carry out the public decisions. But so far they find no one who wishes to farm these duties and they are making advances to find out what is wanted and arrange terms. They will not find this easy, as the duties, already excessive, have now been considerably augmented upon everything. They will therefore base their demands on the expectation of a big revenue; but they are unlikely to find any one to agree since the imports of goods into this city are likely to be much diminished in the future, because the duties will swallow up all the profits of the merchants and this will destroy trade and will seriously damage this mart, which is already beginning to feel it.
To supply the pressing need for money they are urging, almost with violence the collection of the tax voted by one of the last acts of parliament on all who have built a new house in or about London since 1620. Moreover they enter the houses of merchants and those who keep wine and make them pay the present duties without any consideration even if the goods came in before the act was passed, and which should therefore be exempt. Thus the merchants and all those who are bound to make such payments, which are demanded, cash down immediately, complain bitterly, but that does not avail to exempt them from payment.
Letters from General Blake report that he is in much better health and almost completely recovered. He says nothing particular except the good condition of the fleet, nothing having happened since the last affair at the island of Teneriffe. Blake has permission to return when he pleases, the question being left to his discretion. If he should come home the Vice Admiral would take his place, (fn. 6) a man of tried worth in whom they have every confidence that following in Blake's footsteps he would not miss any opportunity of crowning the nation with glory and immortalising his own name.
A new fleet consisting of 30 powerful vessels put to sea yesterday under the command of General Montagu, a brave and capable soldier. It has sailed away, but no one knows what wind it will take or what its plans may be. Some think it is for the coast of Flanders; but the slow movements of the French in the present campaign make it unlikely. Others say it is to reinforce the fleet in Spanish waters, but this again seems improbable, as it is too large while the fleet already there is sufficient for all purposes, unless they think that the ships which have been ploughing the waves so long are in need of repair and propose to replace them by these new ones. Others again who claim to know most about the decisions of this government and to penetrate the most secret affairs, maintain that the fleet will steer for Portugal to aid the king there. Besides the Spanish forces which he has to meet on land, he will soon have to engage others at sea, which will do him great injury, it being generally stated that the squadron which the Dutch have at sea is equipped against Portugal, for the enforcement of their claims upon Brazil, present circumstances being unfavourable for the Portuguese and accordingly favourable for the Dutch. In such case they might propose to encounter these by English ships; but the policy would not be a very good one for this country, as to assist a weak and tottering Portugal would involve them in heavy responsibilities, since the Dutch would resent Portugal being assisted by the English, and if the latter persisted there would be every probability of a rupture between the two countries. The truth about this fleet will soon appear and I will keep my eyes open to report.
Nothing more is said here about the coming of the Portuguese ambassador, and indeed there are more reasons than one for thinking that it is not only postponed but given up altogether. The pretext of his mother's illness, used to excuse his delay, is quite inadequate since private interests must give way to the call of the state, especially just now when Portugal is in need of assistance and support.
The colonel whom the Protector permitted to raise the 2000 Scots to serve Portugal, owing to the delay of the arrival of the money for the levy from Lisbon as well as the articles, has decided to go there to hurry things up. (fn. 7) This causes slow progress and the assembling of the soldiers cannot take place with the celerity that the need of Portugal requires. The French ambassador has been allowed another levy of Irish, and the Swedish ministers also announce that very soon they will be beating up levies, as sufficient money has arrived from Sweden for collecting a certain number of troops.
On Wednesday morning the resident of Denmark had private audience of his Highness and presented a letter from his master setting forth the reasons for his rupture with Sweden and justifying his action. The resident asked and obtained a secret audience with only the secretary of state present. When he appeared in the Protector's room all those with his Highness had to go out, even to the Master of the Ceremonies, so that they might not hear what he had to say to Cromwell, there being many they would not trust to know, as being partisans of Sweden. Now that Denmark has openly declared against Sweden, invading the archbishopric of Bremen with 6000 men, while keeping the main body to observe what Sweden will do and whether they propose to invade Denmark itself, it will be interesting to see what they will do here for Sweden for whom, so far, they have shown such devotion in respect of religion and other interests. If they continue the succours to the Swede it will infringe the treaty with Denmark which contains an article that neither of the parties shall assist the enemies of the other, and if they do it will be understood as a rupture. Those most devoted to Sweden want to make out that the fleet which sailed lately is going to the Baltic to help the Swedes; but the article mentioned would prevent this; and even if they were disposed to do it Denmark would certainly dispute the entry with a number of formidable ships, which she has ready. It is therefore improbable that they will involve themselves in fresh commitments and that they will avoid as much as possible occasions for ill feeling and dispute.
London, the 20th July, 1657.
[Italian.]
July 22.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Capitano
delle Navi.
Venetian
Archives.
65. Marco Bembo, Captain of the Ships, to the Doge and Senate.
Account of an action in the Straits on the 17th inst. The Turks never showed so much courage before in the war. Among those put to flight there was an English ship which he understands had given security at Venice not to take service with the Turk. Besides breaking this obligation he also saw it fighting vigorously, and with it two other Christian ships, the one Flemish, the other French. No ship was lost on the Venetian side. Behaviour of various ships in the fight. The fiercest and most vigorous assault that he saw was sustained by the ship Paramor, which was grappled by three powerful Sultane, which delivered ferocious attacks, besides the musketry fire and the guns, a considerable number of Turks getting on to the decks. Offering a brave defence, both outside and from the deck houses within, it at length extricated itself from its great peril. This ship had the assistance of the noble Anzolo Bembo, who distinguished himself greatly, in spite of his youth and of this being his first action. The English captain of this ship Paramor, which was much knocked about by cannon shot without number, gave proofs of his valour in a splendid manner.
The flagship, in the channel of Tenedos, the 22nd July, 1657.
[Italian.]
July 25.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Spagna.
Venetian
Archives.
66. Domenico Zane, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the Doge and Senate.
Pure impotence renders vain the best intentions of the king. In his extreme penury he has no means to defend himself against the English. After their sojourn at their usual station off Cadiz, their fleet, numbering 68 vessels, suddenly sailed away ten days ago. It is greatly feared that they have gone to land at Teneriffe and to conquer it, the place where all the treasure of the fleet is. This they might do very easily, as it is very weak. The arming of the ships at Cadiz proceeds with their usual deliberation. The Prince of Monte Sarcio, a Neapolitan, has offered twelve ships; two others are ready.
Madrid, the 25th July, 1657.
[Italian.]
July 27.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
67. Francesco Giavarina, Venetian Resident in England, to the Doge and Senate.
The Protector is just now devoting all his attention to establishing the Privy Council and increasing the number of councillors to 21 as decreed by the last parliament. He is purging it of the ill humours he supposes to exist there and makes those whom he confirms and the new ones whom he admits take an oath, also as provided by parliament. Previously it consisted of 16 members; it will now have 21 of whom not less than 7 are required to give validity to its deliberations. Some refuse the oath and are left out; others are excluded because there is some suspicion of their loyalty and inclinations. The new ones nominated to take their places are more friendly to the present rule. The secretary of state has been raised, and now has his vote in the secret council. Up to the present 11 have been received and have taken the oath of fealty to the Protector to devise nothing against the state, to keep every decision secret, to discharge their office in accordance with their ability for the good governance, peace and welfare of the nation. Now that there are enough and more to form a quorum, they are holding their meetings in which they discuss and mature the questions which require to be dealt with.
General Lambert, proceeding upon his usual principle of opposing this government, refused to take the above oath for his confirmation as a member of the Council and he is now shut out. His example led others to make a similar refusal with the same result. His Highness sent for Lambert in the presence of Flitud and Desbero (fn. 8) and spoke as follows: that the division and opposition of some votes gave great advantage to the enemies of this state who were only waiting for opportunities and openings to renew the war and rekindle the flames that were burnt out, and so he ought to obey. Lambert replied that no one had been more ready than he to expose his life and property for the good of the nations. He did not understand that sort of speech. He thought it covered some mystery which he would not venture to interpret, unless his Highness wished to dismiss him and take his commission. If that was what he wanted he had only to send one of the meanest of his fellows and it should be promptly delivered up. To these words Cromwell made no reply, but changed the subject and soon after Lambert took leave.
After reflecting on these particulars and considering the disturbance which might arise as a consequence of Lambert's ill humour, Cromwell resolved to cut down this tree and dig up its roots before it should take up more ground by taking away Lambert's commissions and patents. Accordingly, on the next day his Highness sent him a letter by the secretary of the Council asking for his commission, (fn. 9) but assuring him that until he should be provided with other employment suited to his merits, which his Highness would not let from his memory, he should continue to enjoy the pay of lieutenant general. Without loss of time Lambert immediately handed to the secretary and sent to Cromwell all the commissions he had received while serving the parliament, and so he has not only been expelled from the Council but deprived of the distinguished post he held in the army and of every other employment and so, in a moment, the man who was the sole obstacle to Cromwell's wishes and who roused others, who without his support would never have ventured to do anything, has been brought down. Following Lambert's example three colonels of the army have also laid down their commissions. His Highness does not object and is not angered as in this particular he allows Lambert's friends full liberty of action.
Now this man is removed the chief obstacle to the royal title has been taken away without fuss and now it seems more likely than ever that Cromwell will be elevated at the next parliament, especially as at that time an Upper House will also be in existence. As this will undoubtedly be composed exclusively of creatures of his Highness it is equally certain that it will raise him to any grade he desires and will fall in entirely with whatever he wishes.
The fleet under General Montagu sailed as reported, but owing to unfavourable winds it was obliged to cast anchor in the Downs to wait for a change. The wind is now favourable and news has reached the palace to-day that yesterday it again spread its sails and resumed its voyage. Its destination still remains hidden. Various opinions are expressed but they all lack foundation. The circumstance that it has not taken enough troops on board for any considerable enterprise makes it more likely that it is to join Blake's fleet than intended for other designs, especially as they announce this week that orders have been issued to recall many of the ships which have been a long time off the Spanish coasts and being sea worn require overhauling and repair. The small number of troops on board disposes of the idea that it is going to the Canaries to land on one of the islands; for the same reason any thought of aiding Portugal with these forces may be dismissed. It might be that a number of ships would throw themselves into one of the Portuguese ports, to preserve it from the hands of the Spaniards, in case Portugal fell and keep it for their own use, as if the Spaniards reduced the whole country the English would be deprived of a safe shelter for their ships in the winter. In the present position of affairs in Portugal it would be easier to make sure of a good capacious port which would remain in English hands if things went badly with Portugal, and if fortune should change they could give back the port to Portugal. Things proceed with such secrecy here that troops might possibly be sent on the ships to Cadiz without it being known and that while secretly reinforcing the ships they were preparing for some other enterprises. Time alone can show for it is impossible to do anything but make conjectures from appearances owing to the caution and reserve with which such affairs and all others are conducted here.
Yesterday the severe act against the Catholics was printed and published and it is now being put in force. All suspected of being such will be cited before the magistrate and made to abjure the supreme authority of the pope; must believe that the Roman Church is not the true one, must deny transubstantiation, Purgatory, the worship of the consecrated host, of crucifixes and other images; must believe that salvation cannot be merited by works and declare that the pope neither of himself nor by any authority of the Church or apostolic see or otherwise has any power to depose the chief magistrate of this nation, to dispose of anything pertaining to this country, to give power to any foreign prince to invade and harass this government, to release the people of these nations from their obedience to the said magistrate, or give leave to carry arms, make tumults or do violence to the person of the supreme magistrate, the state and government of these nations or the people. They must also swear that they abhor and abjure the excommunication of the pope and that they absolutely believe that no power derived from the pope, the Roman Church or other person dependent on the Holy See can absolve them from this oath, renouncing any pardon or absolution which his Holiness may grant for the absolution. Such is the oath to be taken by the Catholics of 16 and over. If they refuse they will be considered as convicted of being Papists and their names will be sent to the exchequer and they will be at once sequestrated, which means that two thirds of their goods will be forfeit to the state. When a Catholic dies his heirs, if sixteen years of age, will have all the goods of the deceased if, after the father's death, they appear before the magistrate and take this oath of abjuration. When they are under 16 the revenues will be reserved by the guardians until they reach that age when, if they take the oath, they will receive the whole of the revenues, otherwise they will only have a third and the state the rest. If a Protestant marries a woman known to be a Catholic, he will be sequestrated until he appears before a magistrate and takes this oath. If Protestants who hold the goods of Catholics do not make it known within three months after being summoned to do so, they will lose a third of their own revenues. No subject of this state may be present at the mass celebrated in the chapels of foreign ministers except the servants of their house who came to England with their masters, under a penalty of 100l. sterling and six months' imprisonment. There are other articles in the act, but I only give those of most importance.
A large Dunkirk corsair, carrying a large number of guns recently fell in with a more powerful English ship. After a long fight the corsair was captured and brought to England and they are now repairing its injuries to render it useful for war. (fn. 10)
News comes that Bradscio, the English resident at Hamburg, who was sent to Muscovy to carry out the Protector's orders touching the mediation of his Highness between the king of Sweden and the Grand Duke of Muscovy, to reconcile their differences, has arrived safely at Riga and has been well received wherever he has gone.
The gentleman of Courland who arrived here last October (fn. 11) with the hope of terminating his business, which was on marine affairs only, in a few days, being unable to achieve his object, has decided to return home to his master. He is held up by the delay in granting a passport and when he gets it he will start at once. Meanwhile he goes about publishing the slowness with which they do business here, which is well known to all the world and is most disagreeable and inconvenient to everyone.
London, the 27th July, 1657.
[Italian.]
July 28.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni.
Corti.
Venetian
Archives.
68. To the Resident in England.
Acknowledge his letters. Commendation of his office with the Protector about the victory. In view of his expenses the Senate has decided to vote him 400 ducats for the same.
That 400 ducats be paid to the agents of the Resident Giavarina, as a gift, for his relief, in consideration of the great expenses he has had to incur.
Ayes, 109. Noes, 3. Neutral, 8. It requires 4/5ths.
On the same day in the Collegio:
Ayes, 23. Noes, 1. Neutral, 1. It requires 4/5ths.
[Italian.]

Footnotes

1 Received on Saturday 20/30 June. Burton: Diary Vol. ii page 259.
2 On 30 May.
3 The Flying Fame of Amsterdam. Hepworth Dixon: Robert Blake page 293. Probably the “very rich ship” referred to by Weale as taken by the Yarmouth on 13 May o.s. Journal Sloane MSS. 1431, f. 60d.
4 The ceremony took place on the 26 June o.s., a Friday.
5 Salvetti's son Giovanni, who signs himself Giovanni Salvetti Antelminelli, at once applied for the post and in September received his appointment as Resident with letters of credence dated 11 August to present to the Protector. Brit. Mus., Add MSS. 27962P., f. 240d. The elder Salvetti was buried on 3 July o.s. in the chancel of the church of St. Bartholomew, Smithfield. Webb: Records of St. Bartholomew's Priory, Vol. ii., page 282. In a later dispatch Giovanni Salvetti reports that two other foreign ministers had been buried in the same place, the French ambassador Jean d'Angennes, marquis of Pougny, who died in January, 1637, and the Venetian Resident Agostini who died in February, 1645.
6 Capt. John Stoakes, who remained in command of the ships left in Spanish waters when Blake sailed for home. Bordeaux also refers to Stoakes as Vice Admiral, Bordeaux to Brienne, 23 August. P. R. O., Paris Transcripts. Stoakes had been promoted from Rear Admiral to Vice Admiral of the fleet on 9 February o.s. Mercurius Politicus, March 19–26.
7 Colonel Drummond. Bordeaux to Brienne, 23 July. P.R.O. Paris Transcripts.
8 On 11–21 July.
9 On 23 July, new style.
10 The only prize of 1657 in Mr. Oppenheim's list of the Commonwealth navy is the Greyhound of 200 tons and 20 guns. Administration of the Royal Navy, page 336. It was possibly the St. Nicolas referred to in a letter from Dunkirk of 16 July. Cal. S.P. Dom., 1657–8, page 23.
11 Rudolph van Struch. See Cal. S.P. Dom., 1656–7, page 300.


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