Venice
December 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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135-148

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'Venice: December 1657', Calendar of State Papers Relating to English Affairs in the Archives of Venice, Volume 31: 1657-1659 (1931), pp. 135-148. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=90005 Date accessed: 01 October 2014.


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December 1657

Dec. 4.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Francia.
Venetian
Archives.
110. Francesco Giustinian, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
The fortifications of Mardic are completed. Colonel Locart has returned to Paris leaving everything in that quarter admirably arranged. There he is in frequent conference with the ministers and the Cardinal over the measures for the coming campaign, for which the negotiations are kept most secret.
Paris, the 4th December, 1657.
[Italian.]
Dec. 7.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
111. Francesco Giavarina, Venetian Resident in England, to the Doge and Senate.
Some weeks ago I asked audience of his Highness, but did not obtain it because of the indisposition of the secretary of state and the recent festivities at Court. On Saturday I repeated my request, and Monday evening was given me; so I went and had the good fortune to execute all my commissions. After informing Cromwell of the successes of the most serene republic, which has faced alone the Ottoman power for so many years, not only against a strong Barbary squadron but against a formidable fleet coming out of Constantinople in a bitter fight at the Dardanelles, I told him of the English ship which served there in the Turkish fleet against Venice, i.e. against a friendly power, following the terms of my instructions of the 1st September last. I went on to press him for definite orders to prevent ships of this nation taking service with the infidels, who only aim at the destruction of Christendom. Moved by patriotic zeal I went on to speak of the injury to the most serene republic, whose cause was that of all Christendom, through the assistance rendered to the Turks by English merchants, which consists not only of ships but of all manner of warlike supplies, such as iron, lead, bullets, powder, muskets, other arms, and all sorts of material required for war, which are taken from this country for the use of the Ottoman. I trusted that his Highness would not suffer this anomaly or allow the enemy of the Christian faith to be assisted by the English. I concluded with a digression to impress Cromwell. I told him the Turks were now very depressed and straitened with little hope of recovery for making great conquests or of realising the aspirations at which they have been aiming so long. There could be no better opportunity for reducing and destroying them utterly. England with a greater abundance of ships than any other power would marvellously assist this pious work. His Highness could send a squadron of his ships to join the Venetian fleet without feeling it. Such magnanimous action would win him immortal glory, general applause and eternal blessedness. The most serene republic passionately desired this, having no doubt that such succour in her present exhaustion after the long struggle, would bring unspeakable advantages and crown its victories with the immortal glory of this most valiant nation.
Cromwell heard me with great attention, but was more interested in the translation into English by the Master of the Ceremonies, Flemingh. After absorbing it all and repeating each head, he answered me with remarkable eloquence and freedom.
He had heard from the secretary of state with peculiar satisfaction of your Serenity's victories over the common enemy. He asked me to express this to your Excellencies and to wish you complete success. He expressed great surprise at an English ship fighting against the Venetian fleet. He was sure the republic knew that this was without his permission as he desired success for the Senate, and he had no doubt that the Turks had taken the ship into their service by force. He would issue strong orders to prevent such a thing happening again in the future.
On the second point he assured me that the ambassador at Constantinople, and every other minister concerned, had orders to forbid ships of this nation to serve the Turks and to oblige the most serene republic on all the requests I had made. He felt sure that his instructions would be obeyed, but for greater satisfaction he would take the first opportunity to repeat them. He declared himself responsible (the very word used) for the punctual observation of his orders, when they met with delay or disobedience.
On the third point the law against merchants taking such materials to the barbarians was old and still in force. It was unreasonable that Christians should supply the Turks with the means for destroying Christians. If merchants, allured by gain, committed this abominable crime they deserved punishment, and he would issue orders to prevent the abuse. In any case this must have been done clandestinely without the consent of the state, and the most serene republic might be sure that he would not suffer it to go on. There was more reason to complain of his neighbours, indicating the Dutch, who not only provided the Turks with such material for fighting Christians, but took it to the Indies as well, furnishing it to the Moors there and teaching them how to use it against the English. Certainly the Dutch had more trade in such tools than the merchants of this nation, who in any case, he repeated, did it secretly, robbing the customs and risking their reputation and even their lives.
Coming to the last point, he said that he desired nothing better than to show his predilection for the most serene republic which is winning so much glory by defending the common cause of all Christendom and the value he put upon the friendship of the Senate, and he regretted the more that he was unable to satisfy his desires in the matter. Your Excellencies would understand the loss this nation would suffer, which has such treasures scattered about the chief places of the Turkish empire, if he sent ships directly against the Ottoman. It would be followed immediately by the confiscation and spoiling of all this precious capital, the imprisonment of the English dwelling in those parts, and the total ruin of the numerous families which are supported by that trade. A picked squadron of warships, well provided, is now in the Mediterranean, or will soon arrive there, which has orders to cruise about there and in the waters about Sicily. This should serve to abate the pride of the corsairs, and the most serene republic should derive benefit from this, which, he said, it had already received from the English, calling to mind the ships of Tunis burned in Porto Farina by General Blake, which were thus prevented from going to the Levant to help the Sultan. He concluded by intimating that your Serenity might similar relief by the prevention of the usual reinforcements from Tripoli, to which English ships might well be sent to burn the vessels inside, because of those pirates taking the English ship off Rhodes. Beyond question, if they do not obtain favourable answers from Constantinople to their demands for the restitution of the ship and compensation for the goods, active hostilities will be begun against the Tripolitans, as the merchants here desire, who would be glad to see the destruction not only of Tripoli but of Algiers, Tunis, and other places on the Barbary coast, if this would not irritate the Grand Turk and break the peace with the Porte, which they wish to be continued and enlarged.
I made a courteous reply to the Protector, but I regret that I have not been able to induce him to send ships to help your Excellencies. The motive which Cromwell indicated to me has hitherto prevented any heroic resolution and will always stand in the way of such a boon to our august republic, whose glory is the greater for acting alone in defence of all Christendom.
London, the 7th December, 1657.
[Italian.]
Dec. 7.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
112. Francesco Giavarina, Venetian Resident in England, to the Doge and Senate.
Having reported my audience with the Protector, I must relate my dealings with the Dutch ambassador before his departure. On his visit to take leave and in wishing him a good passage, I spoke of the regard of the most serene republic for the States, and I also touched upon two of the subjects mentioned to the Protector, the request to prohibit their ships from entering the Turkish service, and the conveyance of munitions of war to the Ottoman dominions. After responding to the courtesy, he assured me that Dutch ships do not enter the service of the Turks, as your Excellencies could ascertain. Dutch traders only send a few ships to the Ottoman ports, the bulk of their trade with that country being at Smyrna to get camel skins for the manufacture of camlet. On reaching the Hague he would remind his masters of the matter and facilitate a suitable and reasonable decision.
On the other point, he said that as the Dutch have no great trade with the Turks they cannot furnish them with the materials indicated. However, he would make enquiry when in Holland and do all he could for your Serenity. The English devote themselves to that trade more than any other nation. The Protector made a like charge against the Dutch, and with the two nations accusing each other there seems little hope of getting more than words in a matter of such consequence, and these are no more than air.
The nuptials of his Highness's other daughter were celebrated secretly at Hampton Court last week. So far no rejoicings have been seen in this city, and it is thought that this will be the end. It seems that when the Protector expressed to Viscount Falcombrige his intention to spend more money on this wedding than on the other, the latter pointed out that it would be throwing money away on superfluities and he would prefer to have the money paid to himself, and he would devote it to things which were more important and more necessary. It appears that this reply pleased the Protector, who seems infatuated with Falcombridge, considering him a solid man for this reply, and not given to vanities, and so he gave him the money to spend, and there will be no further ceremonies.
With the approach of the time for parliament to reassemble and by virtue of the act that the Protector must set up an Upper Chamber before the meeting, his Highness and the Council have devoted many hours a day this week in dealing with this question and selecting persons to compose the other House. They have not yet decided anything, the councillors being divided in opinion, some wishing it to consist entirely of persons of quality, as in the times of the kings, and others contending that men of all sorts should be choosen, as for parliament.
Detained at the mouth of the river in no little danger of shipwreck, the Dutch ambassador extraordinary was only able to sail yesterday for the Hague. It is hoped that he will cross safely and they are waiting to hear of his arrival and also about his return here as ambassador in ordinary.
The resident of Brandenburg was recently arrested in the public street for debts amounting to a large sum in sterling. (fn. 1) He suffered from many injurious words as well as blows for the resistance he offered. He appealed to the Council of State because of the affront to the elector and although it was because of his private affairs, he was immediately released. They have sent to prison the officers and others who arrested him, as well as the creditors who ordered it, the former for venturing to lay hands on a public minister and the latter for taking such improper measures without informing the secretary of state or bringing before him any claims they might have against Brandenburg. It is hoped that some exemplary punishment will correct their insolence, which will serve to enforce respect here for the ministers of foreign powers, who are not held in any respect whatsoever.
After waiting more than six months for his first audience, the gentleman who came here for the city of Hamburg obtained it on Monday evening after me, and so after all that time he was able to open his negotiations.
London, the 7th December, 1657.
[Italian.]
Dec. 12.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Germania.
Venetian
Archives.
113. Gio. Battista Nani, Venetian Ambassador in Germany, to the Doge and Senate.
Masini, secretary to the king of Poland, arrived on Saturday. His chief business is to induce the king of Hungary to operate in Pomerania with the Poles against the Swedes. The ambassadors of Spain agree actively in supporting this office because it would suit them to have a general and open rupture which would force this Court to throw aside every consideration and to take its chances with the Catholic crown, in the hope that if the Swedes are really hard pressed, France and England will be obliged to hasten to their assistance, thus weakening the offensive against Italy and Flanders, or else, if they turn their forces against this house for a diversion, the king of Hungary will have to draw closer and closer to them and join their forces. Up to the present one may say that the Council has not considered anything except this difficult business and the votes and opinions there are so equally divided and so puzzled that all is suspense, and it is impossible to form an opinion of what the result will be. Meanwhile, the English ministers are treating earnestly for peace which, it is thought, would have been concluded by now if the advantage at sea, already mentioned, had not given the king a little courage, and if he was not encouraged with great hopes by the Poles and by this Court also, though these are now on the point of weakening and of bringing him to action.
Prague, the 12th December, 1657.
[Italian.]
Dec. 14.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
114. Francesco Giavarina, Venetian Resident in England, to the Doge and Senate.
The Protector and his Council are at present engaged in settling the orders to be sent to the provinces for the nomination of those who are to compose the other house of parliament, which meets next January, when the house which represents the commons and people will also reassemble. As yet the councillors do not seem agreed, but in the general opinion they will only choose persons of quality and merit, creatures of his Highness and all disposed to please him. The two new sons-in-law will have a vote there. The older ones, Flitud and Cleipul, already have employment to suit them, the first, besides being a member of parliament, has a seat in the secret council, and has now been raised to the post of lieutenant general of the army, which Lambert used to hold; the second, who seems to prefer other matters to affairs of state, enjoys the rank of master of the horse to his Highness. Other members of the upper chamber will be appointed from those who have always been strong partisans of the parliament, and if they do not possess the qualifications which render them worthy of such an honour, the Protector will endow them with these out of the absolute authority that he wields. In this way he will bind them closer to himself so that they will be obliged to support his wishes in everything.
It is whispered that one of the first things to be discussed at the opening of parliament will be the coronation of his Highness. At present things are in a much better position for its effectuation and for the Protector to consent openly, so we shall soon see what is to happen in this respect.
I imagine that the squadron of English ships for the Mediterranean, of which the Protector spoke to me at my last audience, may serve to assist the French in some secret design upon the coast of our province. There is no doubt that new treaties and agreements are being discussed between the Most Christian crown and this government. The Ambassador Locart is in close negotiation with the Cardinal at Paris, while here the Ambassador Bordeos has frequent conferences with Cromwell and the secretary of state. Time alone will show the object of these transactions.
A skilled and experienced person has recently been chosen to go as resident in ordinary for this government with the States. (fn. 2) They are now preparing his commissions, and before many days he should be on his way to the Hague. Letters from those parts being delayed by bad weather it is not yet known whether the Ambassador Niuport has reached the Hague, and for the same reason there is no news about his return to London. But in view of the choice of a minister here for the States, they have no doubt either that the Dutch will send Niuport back quickly or appoint someone else to act in the same capacity.
A ship of this nation was recently taken by some Spanish ships, which had in company two others belonging to subjects of the Grand Duke of Florence, which flew the flag of the Catholic, either because they were really hired by the Spaniards or because they wished to disguise their real character. The prize was taken into one of the Grand Duke's ports. The Protector has now written him a strong letter demanding the restitution of this ship. This letter was not handed to the Grand Duke's resident here, but sent direct to the English consul at Leghorn so that he may perform a vigorous office for the release of the vessel. (fn. 3)
All those who are aware of the part taken by the government here in the affairs of Portugal are amazed at the extreme slowness with which the negotiations of the Ambassador Melo proceed. Nothing seems to be arranged, and he does not seem to be acting with the energy that is requisite for despatch.
To fill up the regiments reduced by the troops sent to Flanders to capture and hold Mardich, whose fortifications now seem to promise the English safe possession, they are enlisting soldiers. Twenty new recruits are being added to each company, and associated with skilled and seasoned veterans they may be expected to render excellent service.
London, the 14th December, 1657.
[Italian.]
Dec. 15.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni.
Corti.
Venetian
Archives.
115. To the Resident in England.
Acknowledge receipt of his letters. Six English frigates are expected in the waters of Leghorn, sent by the Protector to secure navigation against Spanish privateers and to demand peace of the Barbary people, which, if they can obtain, as is expected, the English will have a preference for the security of their trade. His Highness presses us to obtain the release of Captain Thomas Galileo and payment for the salary due to him. On the arrival of our reply to his letter you will go to the Protector and inform him of the resolution of the Senate to do their utmost for the Captain, to obtain his exchange, and that steps are being taken to grant him his pay. You will represent this as the result of our good disposition towards him. You will say the same to Galileo's father.
Ayes, 133. Noes, 1. Neutral, 2.
[Italian.]
Dec. 18.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Francia.
Venetian
Archives.
116. Francesco Giustinian, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
The Court is greatly stirred by the news that the Spaniards mean to attack Mardic in even greater force. On receiving the news the English ambassador at once went to the Cardinal and insisted strongly on the immediate despatch of substantial succour of troops, officers and commanders. His Eminence, to prove that France is always ready to put the interests of England first, made up his mind to order some regiments of Normandy to march, but to send many of the principal commanders of the army as well, and also despatched his nephew Mancini and the Marshal Turenne, who has been in Paris for some days, by the post in that direction. Yesterday, Turenne and Mancini set out, and to-day others are on the march. Nothing is yet known of the issue of the attempt indicated, which arouses extraordinary curiosity in everyone, at seeing, contrary to custom, the preparation and practise of war in the middle of winter. But in spite of appearances, which could not be more to the advantage of the English, those of best judgment consider that very gladly, and at the proper season they will allow the Spaniards to recapture the place, knowing full well how much in the future it may prejudice the crown to have the English established in this country. They also see the inconveniences which arise daily, as the English often come to blows with the French in the squares, and it is feared that more serious consequences may ensue.
Paris, the 18th December, 1657.
[Italian.]
Dec. 21.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
117. Francesco Giavarina, Venetian Resident in England, to the Doge and Senate.
Although nothing is ever despatched speedily at this Court, which is the most dilatory in the world, yet everyone is amazed that they have not yet decided who are to constitute the Upper House of parliament, though the matter has been discussed some weeks in the Council. Time is now getting very short, as the 20th January has been fixed for resuming the sessions, so it is supposed that the nominations will not be delayed much longer. When the Council has done this, writs will be sent to those selected to summon them to this city by the day appointed.
The instructions for Dounin, the person chosen as resident to the States, are not ready either. They are being pushed forward, as the Protector wishes him to start as soon as possible, the more because they hear that the Ambassador Niuport has arrived at the Hague, and it will not be long before he is back in London with his new instructions, as he went home to discharge himself of the old ones and give an oral account of his negotiations.
In conformity with the treaty concluded last year between England and Sweden, commissioners have been appointed by both parties to settle the differences which might arise between the merchants of the two countries. Those for Sweden have reached this city and are now meeting the English ones to discuss the question. Accordingly, all merchants and other subjects of this republic who have suffered loss or injury at sea from Swedish subjects during the war between this nation and the United Provinces, have been notified to present their claims to the commissioners, so that they may be discussed and settled.
The fortifications of Mardich being completed so that the English consider them strong enough to repel any Spanish attack, and the enemy's army not being thought strong enough to venture on an attack in such severe weather, General Rinaldi, his lieutenant Veit, and other officers of the English army, asked his Highness's permission to return home during the winter. The permission was granted, and being eager to cross the sea soon they embarked on a small skiff; but a storm drove them on to certain sands, where the vessel was wrecked and all drowned. (fn. 4) It is deeply felt, as the death of Rinaldi and so many brave officers is a serious loss to the state. The palace does not issue the news as certain, saying that it is only a conjecture from the time of sailing and the delay in arriving; but there seems no doubt of its truth, and some say they have seen chests and other articles belonging to Rinaldi and his colleagues tossing about in the sea.
The winds are so violent this winter that they seriously injure this mart. A number of ships from different places bringing precious goods to England have perished with considerable loss to the interested parties.
The ship Friendship, bringing a cargo of currants from the island of Cephalonia, had a favourable passage as far as the coasts of Barbary, but there, four warships of Tunis, returning from the Ottoman fleet, attacked and captured it without a blow, owing to the inequality of force. The Captain himself, now a slave at Tunis, has sent the news to those concerned. The blow will serve to incite them still more against those barbarians. It is said that some vessels of the English squadron off Spain have gone into the Mediterranean against these and particularly against the Tripolitans to tame their pride and make reprisals for the piracies committed against this nation.
With the return of parliament at hand and nothing done so far in execution of the act against the Catholics, the Protector, to show that something is being done, has issued a commission to arrest all priests that are found. Eight have been sent to prison this week, removed from the houses of leading Catholic gentlemen, where they lived, and from other domiciles. One of mine, who has always passed as a secular, was accidentally found in the house of the countess of Rivers, where he had gone to administer the sacraments to the lady, who was dying. He was arrested merely on suspicion of being a priest, although not found in any ecclesiastical exercise. (fn. 5) I applied at once to the secretary of state, but so far they have put me off with fair words and under different pretexts, chiefly that priests who serve foreign ministers must not go to other houses for any function, and the priests themselves must be foreign, English, Irish and Scotish priests being considered traitors by the law of the land. I shall proceed with great caution, especially as the man was taken outside the house, which has not been affronted in any way.
Your Serenity's missives of the 10th November have reached me this week by way of France, assuring me of the state's compassion for my misfortune and of the donation of 500 ducats in recognition of my labours, for which I tender my heartfelt thanks.
London, the 21st December, 1657.
[Italian.]
Dec. 22.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni.
Corti.
Venetian
Archives.
118. To the Resident in England.
Enclose a copy of the reply to the Protector about Thomas Galileo. He is to present the same in the name of the Senate, with a suitable office.
Ayes, 162. Noes, 0. Neutral, 3.
[Italian.]
Dec. 22.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni
. Corti
Venetian
Archives.
119. To the Protector of England.
Acknowledge his letters containing congratulations on the victory over the Turks. With respect to Thomas Galileo, the General da Mar has received orders to make every effort for his release as soon as possible, by exchange. The money that is due will be promptly paid when the agents of Galileo produce the necessary papers at Venice. Compliments.
Ayes, 162. Noes, 0. Neutral, 3.
[Italian.]
Dec. 28.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
120. Francesco Giavarina, Venetian Resident in England, to the Doge and Senate.
Three missives of your Serenity, of the 17th, 22nd and 24th November, have reached me by the ordinary of France, who arrived in London yesterday. The first refers to the audience I was expecting of the Protector, which I reported on the 7th; the second directs me to try to find someone to undertake a levy of 2000 or more infantry to serve the most serene republic; the third prescribes the reply to be given to the merchants who ask payment of the money due for ships serving in the Venetian fleet. I will try to soothe them, for they are very irate over the delay of the payments. At the beginning of this very week they both came to see me again to repeat their requests. They read me a paper presented by the Consul Obson to the magistracy of the Esecutori of the deliberations of the Senate of the 13th November, for the settlement of these debts, and protested that if they do not receive prompt payment they will not only make complaint to the Protector but withdraw their ships from the service and use them elsewhere. With scant civility they intimated that if that was not sufficient to obtain what was promised them they would be able to find another, a threat deriving from their passion and wishes rather than their powers. I told them that the reply from your Excellencies could not be long in coming and was sure to be quite satisfactory to them. I felt sure that if they considered the great profusion of money which the republic is called upon to pour out in defending alone a cause which concerns all Christendom, and the very difficult conditions prevailing they would have patience. I said a great deal more to keep them in a friendly state of mind. I hope that they will be satisfied with the assurances I shall give them from the Senate that their agents shall be paid at Venice.
With regard to your Serenity's direction to obtain confirmation of the news sent by the Ambassador Giustinian from France, supported by the statement of M. di Plessie Bisancon, that that crown will not take any step to peace negotiations without the participation of Cromwell, I have to say that, happening to meet the Ambassador Bordeos the day before yesterday, the conversation turned after a while on the boon which is so desirable for all Christendom, when he referred to the same thing, showing that France was under an obligation to take no steps by the terms of the alliance between the two powers. Their obligations are indeed so great that the Most Christian cannot make any advances without the consent of this state. In addition to the articles already arranged, it is said they are now negotiating to add another even more stringent, and I am told that there is to be one providing that France shall never treat for peace except in accord with the consent of the Protector of England. The declarations of the French ministers prove the truth of this and observation of the way the two powers move together in their plans and deliberations can leave no doubt of its accuracy. Consequently the benefit so much desired seems to recede more and more, as the breach will last as long as that between Spain and England, and will consequently be permanent with no hope of a speedy settlement.
The French and English are labouring jointly to hold Mardich and to inflict all the damage they can upon the Spaniards. The armament of French craft at Toulon and the hint given me by Cromwell of the despatch of English ships to the Mediterranean very likely indicate some secret and ill-timed enterprise in our province. It is impossible to find out where the blow will fall, as never a word is said to enable one to guess what part is threatened. There is no doubt that the French would like to be in possession of some port in Italy. The English also would be pleased to see their close allies in such possession. They would unquestionably forward such a plan owing to the community of interest of the two powers, and would then claim to leave a garrison there, as they did at Mardich, to balance the forces of the Most Christian and smoothe the way to the conquests to which they aspire in consequence of the vast designs of this most powerful government which grows more formidable with every day that passes. The merchants here announce as an undoubted fact that a squadron of ten of the best ships has been detached from the fleet stationed off the Spanish coasts, to go to the Mediterranean, and that it will by now have entered the Strait of Gibraltar. This is intended to put down the piracies committed by the Barbary corsairs, and will be the ships of which Cromwell spoke to me. In any case they will encourage and facilitate any designs the French may have in our province.
The ambassador extraordinary of Portugal is importuning the Protector to mediate upon the differences between his master and the States of Holland. It would therefore seem that Dounin, who is soon to sail for the Hague as resident of his Highness, will be furnished with commissions to facilitate an accommodation, in which the Most Christian ambassador resident in Holland will co-operate. Ferreira also, who acted as resident for Portugal here before the ambassador arrived, is said to have orders to proceed to Holland for the same purpose. He will be taking leave here in a few days and we shall then see in what direction he goes. Meanwhile, as certain Dutch merchants hold letters of reprisals from the Spaniards against the Portuguese, and cause them to serve against the English as well, the traders on this mart are asking his Highness for permission to take similar letters from the king of Portugal against the Dutch to compensate for the losses they have suffered.
All the troops which sailed from these ports for the Baltic to reinforce the Swedish army have recently returned to England. They met with execrable weather, and the food giving out they had to turn back. The companies are seriously diminished by the hardships at sea, and the surviving soldiers have arrived here so exhausted that they can hardly stand. The season was indeed unfavourable for the expedition, and the blow is serious for him who paid out the money and for the officers in charge.
An ambassador from Florida, a kingdom on the Gulf of Mexico, arrived recently in England on an English merchantman which sailed from the Indies with capital belonging to traders of this mart. When near harbour here the ship was overtaken by a furious storm, was shipwrecked and lost all its cargo. The ambassador escaped and reached London with one or two of his suite; the others perished, and his credentials and commissions were also lost. He has saved some other papers, but no one can understand them, and as his interpreter is drowned he will not be able to explain himself to conduct his affairs. He is brother to the king of Florida, and comes to show Cromwell the ease of some enterprise there against the Spaniards, promising in any case the assistance and support of his lord, who is a mortal enemy of the Spanish monarchy. He came to England stark naked, after the manner of his own country, but the severity of this climate, so different from his own, has compelled him to dress and cover himself thoroughly.
The French Ambassador Bordeos, has made strong representations this week to the secretary of state for the release of the priests recently arrested by order of his Highness. To shut the mouth of his Excellency and of anyone else who might speak in their favour the secretary told him that the priests were accused of holding correspondence with King Charles across the water, and that all these fellows desired was to stir the people to revolt against the present government. They could not be set at liberty, and the Protector hoped that no one would take it upon himself to protect men who are so hostile to the state. They were being examined and would be dealt with as seemed fitting. Meanwhile, four of them were transferred yesterday to a place 20 miles from here, (fn. 6) and the other four are under guard, awaiting the orders of the Court. Owing to the difficulties in the way I have not repeated my request for my own, especially as he is not really my chaplain, but was staying in the house for his own safety only.
London, the 28th December, 1657.
[Italian.]
Dec. 28.
Inquisitori
di Stato
Busta 702.
Venetian
Archives.
121. London, the 28th December, 1657.
The government of the Hague has hurriedly sent to recall their fleet of 48 ships of war which was cruising in the waters of Portugal, and the English ships stationed off Cadiz have proceeded with all speed to the Downs of England. In the general opinion those two nations will come to a rupture over the interests of Portugal unless they are prevented by the dreadful weather, which is more in evidence this year than usual, so much water having fallen that the country is all but impracticable.
The Protector who wishes to continue the union with France, has written to the English officers stationed at Mardich, to keep on good terms with the leaders of that nation, it being reported that some disagreement has occurred between them, which might give rise to conditions such as would afford the Spaniards a chance of recovering the place, upon which it is evident all their thoughts at present turn.
The priests recently taken have been examined and sent back to custody in the royal palace of St. James. They have the assistance of the French ambassador who exerts himself in favour of the Catholics, and for this purpose he has gone to audience of the Protector.
[Italian.]
Dec. 29.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni.
Corti.
Venetian
Archives
122. To the Resident in England.
Approval of his office with the Protector. He is to cultivate his good will at every opportunity and try to see that the promised orders are sent, especially those to the ambassador at Constantinople, to prevent English ships serving the Turks, It would be very satisfactory to the Senate if the offending captain received exemplary punishment. Though his Highness cannot send a squadron on purpose to help the Venetian fleet the resident is to express their gratification and confidence about the one that has orders to proceed to the Mediterranean to do all the hurt it can to the Tripoli ships.
The Turks, encouraged by their recovery of Tenedos, are constantly strengthening their armaments. It is reported on good authority that the Sultan was about to go to Adrianople to incite them to activity and that the First Vizier was proceeding to Belgrade with designs against Dalmatia, with other menaces against Friuli as well. From this it is evident that trouble is imminent for the republic in the coming campaign. He will impart this news at a suitable time to the government, adding that if the kingdom of Candia is lost, which God forfend, the Mediterranean will be a haunt of pirates, so that the injury will be common to all princes, rendering trade most difficult and dangerous and the passage of the ships of that nation in particular.
Ayes, 158. Noes, 3. Neutral, 3.
[Italian.]

Footnotes

1 He was arrested in St. James' Park on 24 November o.s., at the suit of Ursula Johnson. Cal. S.P. Dom., 1657–8, page 180.
2 George Downing. Cal. S.P. Dom., 1657–8, page 222.
3 Salvetti was sent for by the Council and shown the letter, of which a copy was sent with his despatch on the following day. The ship in question was the Eastland Merchant, Capt Richard Pain, which was captured off Alexandria and carried into the Grand Duke's port of Argoo. Brit. Mus. Add. MSS., 27962P., ff. 274, 275.
4 They were crossing in a pink which was wrecked on the Goodwin Sands on 5–15 December. Cal. S,P. Dom., 1657–8, page 213.
5 The priests were taken to St. James's, whence four were sent to Windsor Castle. Cal. S.P. Dom., 1657–8, page 232. The Mercurius Politicus (Dec. 17–24) records this arrest including that of M. de la Croy, “who went under the notion of the Venetian Resident's interpreter.”
6 Windsor Castle.