Venice
November 1657

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Institute of Historical Research

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Allen B. Hinds (editor)

Year published

1931

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123-135

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'Venice: November 1657', Calendar of State Papers Relating to English Affairs in the Archives of Venice, Volume 31: 1657-1659 (1931), pp. 123-135. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=90004 Date accessed: 27 November 2014.


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November 1657

Nov. 1.
Collegio,
Secreta.
Lettere
Principi.
Venetian
Archives.
98. Serenissime Dux atque Senatus.
Nuntiis rerum vestrarum contra Turcos felicissime gestarum tam crebri ad nos perferuntur, ut nobis non saepius ulla de re ad vos scribendum, quam de insigni aliqua victoria gratulandum sil; hanc recentissimam et. reip. vestrae quam maxime laetam atque opportunam cupimus et quod gloriosissimum est, Christianorum omnium sub Turca servientium quam maxime Liberatricem. Nominatim Thomam Galileum navis, cui nomen The Relief olim praefectum Ser. Vestrae ac Senatus, tametsi non nunc primum, nunc tamen eo libentius, quo laetiori tempore quinquennalem captivum commendamus. Ei cum a vobis imperatum esset et cum navi sua reip. Vestrae operam navaret, solus cum multis hostium triremibus congressus nonnullas depressit magnamque stragem edidit; tandem combusta navi captus, vir fortis, deque Veneta repub. tam bene meritus, quintum jam annum in misera servitute barbarorum degit. Unde se redimat facultatem nihil est; nam quicquid erat, id a Cels. Vestra et Senatu, vel navis vel bonorum vel stipendii nomine deberi sibi ostendit. Verum ut facultates non deessent, hostes tamen non alia lege dimissuros se eum profitentur quam si suorum aliquis qui illis in pretio æque sit, permutetur. Petimus itaque magnopere a vestra atque Senatus Cels. Seren. petit per nos senex miserrimus captivi pater, moeroris et lacrymarum plenus quae nos quidem permoverunt ut primum quoniam ex tot prosperis proeliis Turcarum tanta copia captorum vobis est, unum aliquem ex eo numero, quem illi accipiant, hostem vestro milite fortissimo, nostro cive, senis moestissimi filio unico commutare velitis: deinde, ut quod stipendii vel aliis nominibus ipsi a repub. debetur id quamprimum velitis patri aut procuratori ipsius annumerandum curare. Priore quidam rogatu nostro vel potius aequitate vestra affectum est, ut statim recognita patatisque rationibus constitutum esset quid debeatur. Verum illam supputationem urgentibus fortasse aliis negotiis, nulla solutio secuta est. Nunc miseri conditio dilationem salutis diutius non fert: eum si omnino salvum vultis, danda opera est, ut squalore illo carceris teterrimo quamprimum liberetur. Id sine mora sine hortatu etiam nostro humanissima voluntate vestra facturos vos esse confidimus quandoquidem justitia moderatione atque prudentia non minus quam belli gloria victorisque floretis atque ut diutissime floreatis, devicto hoste potentissimo, Deum Opt. Max. precamur.
Dat. e palatio nostro Westmonasterii 22no die Octobris an.
1657.
Vester bonus amicus,
Oliver, P.
Jo. Thurloe.
Nov. 2.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
99. Francesco Giavarina, Venetian Resident in England, to the Doge and Senate.
Some time back the Ambassador Locart came over here, returning to France after a few hours, as I reported at the time. It was impossible to find out the object of his visit, as everything here is kept so secret, but no doubt it was for very weighty business, and this is confirmed by his reappearance in this city. He arrived unexpectedly by the posts on Saturday last followed a few hours later by General Montagu, and they both went at once to the Council. After a long conference there it was noticed that Cromwell came out very heated and agitated (assai confuso e riscaldato), so it is conjectured that their reports were not satisfactory to his Highness and they brought news disagreeable for this state.
The real object of these sudden appearances cannot be absolutely ascertained, but I will report what is said about them which probably is approximately the truth. Some say that Locart has come to inform Cromwell of a remonstrance to the Most Christian made by the Sorbonne and the clergy of France against his Majesty assisting the establishment of heretic allies in Catholic countries, the necessary consequence of which must be the ruin of the Roman faith, and beseeching the king to reflect seriously upon so important a question and prevent such a disaster, and further pointing out that this is the sole object of the English, drawing his attention to the act recently passed by the English parliament against the professors of the true Catholic faith. Others assert that it is only to represent the procedure of the Dutch who are strongly opposed to the plans of this country in the Low Countries, and are covertly doing a thousand things contrary to the terms of the treaty between England and the States.
If these are the reasons which have brought Locart and Montagu to England they are highly important and will afford Cromwell good reason for consideration, as the petition of the clergy and the outcry of the people, who are understood to be much roused by the introduction of the English across the water, may open the eyes of the Most Christian to the injury that will result in time from this action and force him to alter the terms which have been ratified. To mollify the wrath of the French prelates and Catholics it is said that the Protector and Council have ordered the suspension of the act against the English Catholics, which was being put in operation. With regard to the Dutch, they say that opinion in the Council is divided, and they do not know which course to take, whether under present circumstances they shall take notice or not of the behaviour of the Dutch.
Meanwhile, some decision has been taken, but it is impenetrable. Locart has already returned to France. Montagu remains here, having left the Vice-Admiral in command of the fleet, and in case of need he can go at once where he is wanted. I will keep on the watch and report.
This week also ships have been sent to Flanders laden with supplies for the English army there and for constructing the works they intend to make at Mardich and Borburgo, enlarging those small confined places so that they will be large and commercial.
They continue to beat up for soldiers to recruit the companies beyond the sea, but with little success as that service is shunned by all, because they are aware of the hatred the Flemings have for the English on the score of religion, murdering all that they get into their hands.
The ambassador extraordinary of Portugal is pressing the Protector for levies for his master, but so long as he is short of money he will get nothing. He continues to treat with the commissioners appointed, but nothing seems to be settled. The Swedish ministers also are pressing for help here, especially now the elector of Brandenburg has withdrawn from the Swedish party and made terms with King Casimir. The levies granted proceed very slowly, lack of money causing the delay.
At the instance of the merchants the government has decided to write to the Sultan, the Grand Vizier, and other ministers at Constantinople, for the restitution of the ship taken by Tripoli pirates with compensation for the goods. The Protector has promised the parties that if this does not suffice he will allow them six good ships of war with letters of reprisal. It is not likely that the Turks will consent to restore anything for it is not their way, so they will have to force the Tripolitans to pay in other coin.
The President of the Levant Company and another merchant, interested in the ships Paramour and Northumberland, now in your Serenity's service, have been here to-day to ask for the pay due to the captains. They say the Paramour has served about two years. While they had a Genoese as surety it was paid promptly, but since the subsidy of terra ferma was assigned to it, they have only received two months'. It is the same with the Northumberland, which has only served since April. Prompt payment was promised, but though they fought well in the last engagement with the Turks, they cannot get a farthing, although their agents say that the subsidy has reached Venice. Before appealing to the Protector they had come to ask me to approach the Senate. I promised to write, assuring them that the republic would keep its promises though times were difficult.
London, the 2nd November, 1657.
[Italian.]
Nov. 3.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Francia.
Venetian
Archives.
100. Francesco Giustinian, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
The fortification of Mardic and Burburgh is being pushed on by the English and French respectively, and they are already devising to make that stretch of the Flanders coast contribute great sums. Meanwhile, Don John, the king of England, the prince, and many Spanish commanders, are staying in Dunkirk arousing various suspicions on our side about their designs and greatly incommoding the country by letting in the water in many places. This also causes sickness among the soldiers and particularly the English, of whom we hear that a good number have died.
The possession of Mardic, handed over to the English by the French, is a matter of serious dissatisfaction for the United Provinces, since they are fearful that now the English are across the sea, they will suffer even greater prejudice in their navigation and be compelled in the end to come to a rupture and an appeal to arms.
Scialone, the 3rd November, 1657.
[Italian.]
Nov. 9.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
101. Francesco Giavarina, Venetian Resident in England, to the Doge and Senate.
All the energies of this government are now devoted to Flanders, and the Council discusses nothing else, as Cromwell is too much concerned in keeping his conquest and pushing further. On Saturday last a courier reached the Protector from the army at Mardich, reporting that on the Thursday night preceding the Spaniards sallied out of Dunkirk, favoured by exceptional darkness and ceaseless rain. They numbered 4,000 foot and 1,000 horse, including the king of Scotland, his two brothers, York and Gloucester, the Marquis of Caracena, and General Marsin, besides 2,000 picked officers and many other persons of quality. Two hours before midnight they presented themselves before Mardich with bombs, stakes, fascines, etc., for an attack. The English received them with the energy expected, the guns and muskets doing marvellous work. The ships also did their part, lights being shown to prevent their guns from damaging the fort. The attack lasted the whole night without intermission and was very hot, but in the end the enemy was forced to retire as there was no sign of their succeeding, and by daylight they would be more exposed to the guns of the fleet. Accordingly the Spaniards retired to Dunkirk, leaving behind all their fascines and stakes, with many grenades and other arms. It was impossible to know their losses as they took almost all their dead away; the English only had seven wounded and none killed.
Such is the news published, and it differs in no respect from the news recently come from Flanders, except that the English do not admit that all the works begun by them there have been completely destroyed. The letters from Spanish sources do not deny that they were repulsed with considerable loss, specifying that 25 carts entered Dunkirk with the dead and wounded, besides others left on the field whom they could not carry away. They assert that the Spaniards are making preparations to deliver such assaults frequently to keep them busy at Mardich and stop the works, since it is very important for them to recover that place. There can be no question that they will do their utmost this winter, and when it begins to freeze success will be easier, for in the general opinion it will not be possible for the English to hold the post whatever they may do. In view of this and the difficulty of holding the place, the government is greatly perturbed, and the Council is considering how they may realise their aspirations. These last days there has been a great discussion on the subject. In the Council itself many suggested the demolition and abandonment of Mardich, while others maintained that they should do everything to hold it. The decision can only be known as the results appear.
Meanwhile, the English are thoroughly launched; the French have committed them deeply and perhaps gave them Mardich, knowing it was impossible to hold it. I will keep a close watch on what happens.
News arrived simultaneously of the arrival of the gentleman sent to Denmark and of Giepson in Sweden. Their first despatches merely relate their reception, but Medoes adds that the Danish king seems inclined to accept the mediation of England for peace with the Swede. Further particulars are awaited and everyone is eager to hear about their negotiations.
The Swedish ministers, having recently received remittances of money, at once distributed it to the officers engaged to collect troops for that monarch. It is reckoned that in a few days they will have 2,000 men ready to embark to go and join the Swedish army.
Nothing of importance comes from the fleet off the Spanish coasts. It is known that it is keeping its station without lack of anything, while it deprives the enemy of every commodity and every advantage on that side.
The duke of Buckingham, who came to London some months ago to make his peace with the Protector, and owing to difficulties retired to the country, contracted a marriage a few months later with the only daughter of General Ferfax, (fn. 1) the one who holds all the duke's former possessions. When the Protector heard of the marriage, considering that Buckingham could not do this because a royalist and contumacious, and only in England by his leave, he issued an order of the Council committing the duke to prison in the island of Jersei. An officer sent about this did not succeed in finding the duke at Farfax's house, but the latter at once took the posts to London to get the order recalled. After seeing the Protector about this he got it suspended with an assurance that the duke should not be molested on any account, but giving an assurance that he should appear at the opening of the next parliament to obtain an accommodation and his permanence in England, the father-in-law acting as surety for the behaviour and loyalty of the son-in-law.
London, the 9th November, 1657.
[Italian.]
Nov. 10.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni.
Corti.
Venetian
Archives.
102. To the Resident in England.
Regret the news of the robbery at his house. In consideration of his losses the Senate has decided to make him a grant of 500 ducats to help him to make good.
Ayes, 112. Noes, 8. Neutral, 6. It requires 4/5ths.
On the same day in the Collegio.
Ayes, 17. Noes, 2. Neutral, 1. It requires 4/5ths.
[Italian.]
Nov. 16.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
103. Francesco Giavarina, Venetian Resident in England, to the Doge and Senate.
The Council has laboured this week also on the question demolishing or keeping the fort of Mardich. After a long debate they decided to keep it, even those who seemed to differ having come to this opinion, another attack of the Spaniards having been repulsed with loss, though less serious than the first. In spite of these reverses, which undoubtedly weaken the army of the Catholic seriously, the Spanish commanders at Dunkirk still mean to make frequent sorties, feeling sure that they will effect something, although the season is so advanced. According to the last letters received thence in London they themselves admit that the garrison of the fort is strong enough to hold it, and the English never relax their work of fortification, making ramparts with sandbags, within and without, strengthened with casemates and other quarters to render the place formidable. They have repaired the damage done by the first sortie so that it is almost completely made good, a large number of workmen being constantly employed, both at Mardich and at Borburgo.
This week again troops and supplies of all kinds have been sent to those parts, and not a day passes without fresh succours going, showing their determination here to prosecute their designs with energy, so that if they could not be realised in the last campaign every effort will be made to ensure it in the next.
To show that the conquests they intend to make in the dominions of the Catholic king are for the benefit of the common cause of the Protestants, I am informed in confidence that the Protector has decided to get auxiliary troops from his friends to help him. He proposes to obtain these from powers which profess the same faith, especially the Swiss Evangelicals, whom he has asked for troops to help the English, who are working, so they claim, for the general benefit of the Protestant religion. Apparently they expect to get more from Zurich than elsewhere, owing to the friendly relations maintained there by the English resident Pel, and here, secretly, by the son of the Prime minister Ulrich, (fn. 2) who has been staying in London for some time, ostensibly as a student, but who never fails to deal with affairs of state which crop up; so they direct their first and strongest representation to that Canton.
The Dutch ambassador, who obtained leave to go home, was about to start this week and detained the ordinary convoy of Flushing for the purpose, but some business which has cropped up detains him in London for a few days. Although it is known he only has leave for two months, that he is to return as ambassador in ordinary by his own admission, and that he hopes to bring back the naval treaty so long in negotiation, many interpret his going as a fresh rupture with England. There is no sign of this, for under present circumstances it does not behove the Dutch to break with this state and draw on themselves the hostility of the French, which would be irreparable if they declared openly for the Spaniards and gave them active help for the recovery of the lost places on the Flanders coast.
Although we hear of the arrival of the Dutch fleet in Portugal and the landing at Lisbon of the commissioners sent and their favourable reception by the government, there is no news of their negotiations. The Dutch ambassador here says nothing and asserts that there is no news.
They are about to send some ships, now preparing in the Arsenals, to reinforce the English fleet off the Spanish coasts, so that with those already at Cadiz they may be strong enough to repulse and destroy the ships which it is intended to send out from the Catholic's ports to meet the plate fleet in the Indies, which is said to have left Havana, and bring it safe home if possible.
The Swedish ministers have been busy these last days in attending to the muster and embarcation of 2,000 infantry whom they have sent to their master, an instalment of a larger number granted them by the Protector in these realms. They are all fine troops and promise the best service to their employer unless they are wiped out by the harshness of the climate, to which the English constitution does not easily adapt itself.
Many Protestants expelled from Poland, have taken refuge in this city. They have appealed to the Protector, describing their wretched state. After considering the matter in the Council they have decided to make a collection throughout the kingdom, which will be begun in a few days. (fn. 3) The point is whether the people who have so many other calls upon them, will submit readily to this new burden. It is very difficult to make them pay the ordinary taxes. It is done through fear, as the officers go to their houses with a number of musketeers, making those who are unwilling pay by force. So it is doubtful if they will get much money for these Protestants, unless moved by compassion for the woes of their brethren.
Recent letters from Leghorn, received on Monday by merchants here, report the arrival there in a few days of a ship from Smyrna, with news of the recapture by the most serene republic of the island of Tenedos, re-occupied by the infidels. The news has been published in the usual Gazettes, issued every Thursday, with particulars which leave little doubt of its truth. God grant it be confirmed. It says that before the Venetians left they mined about the fortress; a large number of Turks entered, when the mine was fired, destroying the castle and all the Turks as well. At the report, the Venetian forces who were leaving hurried back, landed without resistance and recaptured Tenedos, destroying the barbarians who had escaped the fire. On the following day the Ottoman fleet had attacked the Venetian with great fury, but was put to flight by the bravery of the Christians and destroyed. 15 of their craft, vessels and galleys, escaped by flight, the rest of the Turkish fleet was completely defeated and dissipated, including four Tripolitan ships and the English vessel named Recovery, which fought against your Serenity at the last fight at the Dardanelles, and has now paid for this crime by its destruction. The letters add that the Sultan had sent orders to Smyrna to seize all the ships anchored in that port to be used in his service; but the merchants concerned roundly refused, protesting that they would rather abandon the trade than turn their arms against Christians.
My duty and zeal impel me to report this news, and God grant that it be true as all good Christians desire.
London, the 16th November, 1657.
[Italian.]
Nov. 17.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni.
Corti.
Venetian
Archives.
104. To the Resident in England.
He is to try and find one or more persons in that country who will undertake to raise levies of 2,000 or more infantry, to be transported to the Levant for the service of Venice. He is to arrange terms and report the particulars.
The Savii agli Ordini. Ayes, 72.
[Italian.]
Nov. 20.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Francia.
Venetian
Archives.
105. Francesco Giustinian, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
The letters of Flanders confirm the loss suffered by the Spaniards in the attack on Mardic, and that in spite of this they persist in their idea of making a fresh attempt, taking better measures in the attack and surprising the English by themselves without giving time to the French to come to their aid, since it is understood that if Turenne had not pushed in his forces the place would certainly have fallen into their hands, as the English did not know how to defend it, because they have always been trained to deeds of arms in the open field and not to sustain sieges or to fight behind fortifications.
Paris, the 20th November, 1657.
[Italian.]
Nov. 23.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
106. Francesco Giavarina, Venetian Resident in England, to the Doge and Senate.
While in past weeks the government has been engaged in affairs of state this last has been devoted to festivities and rejoicings over the nuptials of the Protector's youngest daughter, recently married to the nephew of the earl of Warwick, named Rich, with a dowry of 15,000l. sterling. The ceremonies began at Whitehall on Wednesday. It was very magnificent and sumptuous, attended by parents and friends only, no ministers or other foreigners being invited, and they will be concluded at the end of the week, to-morrow. Another of his Highness's four daughters remains unmarried, but she will be soon, as the contract is arranged with a gentleman of birth and rank, with the same dowry as her sister. (fn. 4)
To-day the Dutch ambassador, Niuport, who has resided here over four years, is starting for the Hague, taking a strong Flemish warship which has been waiting for him some time. Late yesterday evening after the termination of the festivities at Whitehall, of which Cromwell did not wish to miss any, he had his final audience to take leave of his Highness. It had been much delayed in order to see what turn the naval treaty would take, which has been so long in negotiation and is the only thing which has detained the ambassador so long and he has been hard at work on it these last days with the deputies appointed, without deciding anything. Owing to the extravagant claims of both parties they have been unable to arrive at any result. If they could, the ratification of the States might be expected, with the return here of Niuport as ambassador in ordinary, so everyone is anxious to see what will happen.
The difficulties in the way of this treaty make many predict a fresh rupture between the two states, either because they wish it or from signs they observe which do not strike everybody. There is no doubt about the exasperated feeling on both sides. The Dutch deeply resent being obliged to allow English commanders to search all their ships which they meet, with many other formalities which do not seem proper or decent to an independent power, as they indicate subjection. The English cannot bear to see the Spaniards assisted by the Dutch; and if they do not do it openly, they favour them by threatening the Portuguese with the powerful squadron sent to Lisbon. Thus we hear this week that the Dutch deputies not having been able to settle with Portugal about Brazil, have returned to Holland, and the ships have turned in the direction from which the Portuguese fleet is accustomed to come from the West Indies every year, to Lisbon, very opulent and numerous. At no great distance out they met a squadron detached from the main fleet by a storm or otherwise, which the Dutch attacked, capturing 11 Portuguese vessels, which yielded without much resistance, because of their great cargoes and the scantiness of their arms to resist. Although the report is not confirmed the Portuguese ambassador here expects it to be, either because he has the particulars and will not make them public, or because he thinks it probable. His secretary has lately expressed the apprehensions of his master and has talked of an open rupture between his king and the States. The latter would not object as they can enrich themselves considerably with the fleet indicated. But many think that the Portuguese will seek an adjustment with the Dutch by negotiation and money, to avoid exposing the precious capital which they are expecting.
The government here does not like the news at all, owing to its interest with Portugal because of its hostility to the Catholic. Accordingly, the fleet at Cadiz has orders to cruise about and watch the Dutch squadron, and meanwhile they are hastening the arming of the ships making ready to reinforce that fleet. Some are now ready and only waiting for a favourable wind to sail away to those parts. Others are hastening to complete their equipment and will follow the first in a few weeks.
Since the repulse of the two Spanish attacks we hear nothing more of Mardich except that they are proceeding with the works in construction there, and it will soon be made safe against any possible attack.
It is whispered here that M. de Bordeos, the Most Christian ambassador, is to go to France. Some say he will not return to England and that some one will be sent as ambassador in ordinary to take his place. Others assert that he has obtained permission to go to Paris on his private affairs and see his wife at a time of year when business is slack, to return to London at the opening of the season. Time will show, and I will keep on the watch and report.
News has come from Jamaica after a long time without any, reporting the prosperous state of affairs there, and a steady increase of the population who are engaged in cultivating the country with such industry that it seems likely that the island will soon be able to subsist on its own produce without any help from here. This good news pleases the government and has encouraged them to prepare to send a body of ships laden with supplies of every kind to strengthen the colony and support the people there.
London, the 23rd November, 1657.
[Italian.]
Nov. 24.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni.
Corti.
Venetian
Archives.
107. To the Resident in England.
Approval of his reply about the ships Paramor and Northumbria. To assure the merchants that their agents at Venice shall be satisfied, the merits of the nation being appreciated and the good service rendered, with more of what he may think likely to keep them in a good temper. He must try to prevent them from carrying their complaints to the ears of the Protector. He will have heard recently what the ambassador wrote from France about the doubts whether that crown was not about to take steps for negotiation for peace without the participation of Cromwell, by the alliance or union arranged with him. The French ambassador in his exposition in the Collegio, has now openly made a reference to this, thus accrediting the earlier report.
Ayes, 153. Noes, 1. Neutral, 0.
[Italian.]
Nov. 27.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Francia.
Venetian
Archives.
108. Francesco Giustinian, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
For the greater security of Mardic they are establishing winter quarters for several regiments at Burburgh, Cales, and other places near that post. But many believe that while ostensibly they mean to show themselves interested and forward to please the English, yet in essence they would willingly allow free course to any attempt to take the place from the English, because it was a measure of pure necessity to lend them a hand for its capture, to which they were driven against their will at the very end of the campaign, to be finally exchanged for Gravelines or Dunkirk, which were promised to Cromwell by the treaties which ensued.
Paris, the 27th November, 1657.
[Italian.]
Nov. 30.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
109. Francesco Giavarina, Venetian Resident in England, to the Doge and Senate.
This week also has passed without any important business at the palace, and for the same reason. Last week the festivities were in London, and this week at Hampton Court, whither the Protector proceeded with all his Court on Monday, and he only returned this morning. The wedding of the other daughter should follow soon, indeed, many assert that the first ceremonies were performed secretly yesterday at Hampton Court. (fn. 5) In any case, they will be celebrated here later, and they are preparing the same splendours as adorned those of the sister recently. While the Protector is much better pleased with the alliance he is about to make than with that recently contracted, there is more astonishment over the coming than at the late union. Rich, who married last week, has always belonged to the parliamentary party, following the example of his elders, so there is no reason for surprise at his showing by the alliance his attachment to the present rule.
Viscount Falcombridge, who is to marry the other, affords greater occasion for wonderment. Not only himself but all his house have always favoured the king and shown it throughout; indeed, I have been told on good authority that besides corresponding with his Majesty it is not two months since he sent a considerable sum of money across the sea, to express his duty and out of compassion for the misfortunes of his prince, a practice followed by several who still keep alive and whole their feeling for his party. For this reason the union has caused universal amazement. The viscount is an accomplished young man of many talents and undaunted courage. They say that after the marriage Cromwell will give him a seat in the Council of State and entrust him with the government of all the North, a position previously held by General Lambert, now in disgrace, to show his regard and his pleasure at the alliance. In view of his Highness's partiality for this new son-in-law some conclude that the latter's correspondence with the king was a sham, and they fear that like so many others he may have been corrupted by the Protector, who has permitted the familiarity with his Majesty to discover his designs, and that is why Cromwell is rewarding the viscount by giving him his daughter and reserving such great honours for him.
The Dutch ambassador extraordinary left London a week to-day, but owing to the contrary wind he was only able to go down with the tide, and is now at the mouth of the Thames awaiting a wind to take him to the Hague. Before he left the city a present of plate was brought to his house in the Protector's name, worth more than 1,000l. sterling. The ambassador refused it, and his refusal was at once interpreted in various ways, but when it subsequently transpired that Dutch ministers take an oath not to accept presents, the talk died away, for it was only inspired by personal sentiments.
The capture by the Dutch of some of the Portuguese fleet from Brazil is confirmed. (fn. 6) Some of the prizes have already arrived in the ports of Holland and Zeeland, laden with sugar and other valuable goods. The value of the fleet is estimated at five millions, and the Dutch hope to capture the whole or at least to destroy it. At Lisbon and other ports the Portuguese have seized everything belonging to the Dutch and have even arrested the merchants. The Dutch at Amsterdam and elsewhere have published war with that king, so the rupture is now open and both sides are committing acts of hostility. It will be interesting to see who will help Portugal, whose plight will be serious. Most may be expected from England, but they move so slowly, in spite of the urgent and pressing needs of Portugal, that nothing great can be expected, although the Protector is bound to help the Portuguese because of their hostility to Spain. The Ambassador di Melo has made no progress in all this time. He has to put up with the failing of this nation, which is to put off everything to eternity, without a decision.
It is stated here, but not established, that eight or ten English ships at Lisbon are there to convoy the fleet and bring it safely in. If this does not succeed, the English squadron in the Channel, part off Mardich and part in the Downs, is to watch for the Dutch returning home to search and prevent them from taking their booty home. If this is true and is acted upon it will undoubtedly bring about a rupture between these two nations whose relations are already strained. If a collision does not take place it is because both sides recognise that under existing circumstances a rupture would not be in the interest of either. For the rest, there are many just pretexts for breaking the peace, and time alone can show whether this will endure between the two states.
The old East India Company has recently been re-established in this city. (fn. 7) Immediately afterwards the President and other heads went to the Protector to denounce the Dutch for injuries inflicted on the Company many years ago before its dissolution, expressing their desire to claim compensation and asking for his Highness's support. They told him that they had had seized a large and rich Dutch ship which had been driven into an English port by a storm on its way to the Indies, as part satisfaction for the damages they claim. The Protector gave them a sober reply in general terms, without entering into details, and when the States made application to him for the release of the ship he at once ordered it to be given up, to the mortification of those who had it sequestered, who see that his Highness is not entirely disposed to second their wishes. (fn. 8)
The envoy of the Elector Palatine having completed his business at this Court, and having received a gold chain from his Highness, left London on Monday last. He travels by way of France to join his master at Heidelburg. He previously saw all the foreign ministers, and I responded suitably to his expressions of esteem and respect for your Serenity.
London, the 30th November, 1657.
[Italian.]

Footnotes

1 On 15 September. G.E.C.: Complete Peerage, Vol. ii., page 395.
2 Henry, son of Lieut. General Gaspar Ulrich. He was recommended by Pell to Morland in October, 1656, and seems to have accompanied the latter on his return to England. He appears to have been an idle and dissolute young man, who was later imprisoned for debt and fraud. Vaughan: History of the Protectorate, Vol. ii, pp. 32, 139, 144, 203, 219.
3 This does not seem to have taken definite shape until somewhat later. See Cal. S.P. Dom., 1657–8, page 229.
4 Frances Cromwell had been contracted privately to Robert Rich, unknown to her father and in spite of the opposition of the bridegroom's relatives; but the difficulties were subsequently surmounted and a minister found to marry the pair privately. Bordeaux to Brienne, 30 August, P.R.O. Paris Transcripts. Mary the second daughter was affianced to Lord Falconbridge. The marriage took place on Nov, 11 o.s. Mercurius Politicus, Nov. 5–12.
5 Bordeaux asserts this for a fact. Bordeaux de Brienne, 3 Dec, 1657. P.R.O. Paris Transcripts; but Thurloe writing to Henry Cromwell on Nov. 23 Nov. o.s. says it took place on Thursday, which would be 22 Nov. o.s. Thurloe: State Papers, Vol. vi., page 628. The Mercurius Politicus (Nov. 19–26) gives the date as Nov. 19 o.s., confirming Bordeaux.
6 The Dutch squadrons off Portugal captured 15 ships of the Brazil fleet on 4 November. Le Clerc: Hist. des Provinces Unis, Vol. ii., page 387. Aitzema gives the number of prizes as 21. Saken von Staet en Oorlogh, Vol. iv., page 62.
7 Cromwell signed the charter for the new Company on 19 October. W. R. Scott: Joint Stock Companies, Vol. i., page 258.
8 The Dutch ship was the Sprew or Starling of Middelburg, detained at Plymouth at the suit of the East India Company. Sainsbury; Court Minutes of the East India Co., 1655–9, pp. 183, 185.