Venice
October 1658

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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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247-257

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'Venice: October 1658', Calendar of State Papers Relating to English Affairs in the Archives of Venice, Volume 31: 1657-1659 (1931), pp. 247-257. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=90015 Date accessed: 02 August 2014.


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October 1658

Oct. 1.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Francia.
Venetian
Archives.
221. Francesco Giustinian, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
Account of an interview with Mazarin. He referred to the pope's ill of him over the peace and the consigning of Mardyke and Dunkirk to the English. The pope had issued a paper about this which he had on the table. I told him that the pope was most anxious for the peace. As for the English, as head of the Church he could not do less than complain about it. The cardinal replied, touching the English, that they rendered every sort of respect in Dunkirk and Mardyke to the Catholics and to religious foundations, and they bared their heads when the sacrament passed in the streets, showing the utmost reverence, so that there was no occasion for scandal, but rather for admiration. So it would seem that out of the necessity of taking this step with the English, he would suggest that he deserves praise and not blame for the strenuous efforts made for the conservation of the Catholic faith.
Paris, the 1st October, 1658.
[Italian.]
Oct. 1.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Francia.
Venetian
Archives.
222. Francesco Giustinian, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
We hear that Cromwell in his testament strongly recommended his son to preserve the union established with the French and to keep up friendly relations with Cardinal Mazarini. The government is greatly rejoiced at this, hoping that the Protector's death will bring about no change in the relations between France and England.
Paris, the 1st October, 1658.
[Italian.]
Oct. 2.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni.
Corti.
Venetian
Archives.
223. To the Protector Richard Cromwell, in England.
Fresh letters of credence for the Resident Francesco Giavarina. Ayes, 70. Noes, 5. Neutral, 9.
[Italian.]
Oct. 2.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni.
Corti.
Venetian
Archives.
224. To the Resident in England.
Acknowledgment of receipt of his letters and approval of his action. As the new Protector will not admit any foreign minister without letters of credence, the Senate is sending new ones. But before presenting them he is to ascertain what is being done by the others and regulate his conduct in conformity.
If he presents them he will enlarge upon suitable offices of regret for the death of the father, and the pleasure of the state at the success of the son. The Senate has decided to grant 300 ducats towards the cost of garments for the resident and his household.
Ayes, 70. Noes, 5. Neutral, 9. It requires 4/5ths.
In the Collegio upon the grant of 300 ducats for mourning.
Ayes, 17. Noes, 0. Neutral, 1.
[Italian.]
Oct. 4.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Francia.
Venetian
Archives.
225. Francesco Giavarina, Venetian Resident in England, to the Doge and Senate.
Three weeks ago the new Protector was proclaimed in the city of London, and this was also done subsequently in all the provinces of the realm, in Scotland and in Ireland. From every quarter news arrives daily of the performance of the function, and the people vie with each other in expressing their condolences to the Protector on the death of his father and congratulations on his succession, promising obedience, loyalty, and every other kind of service. The city of London has recently made similar protestations, the mayor, aldermen and common councilmen going on purpose to Whitehall. Lieutenant-General Flitud offered his Highness the tribute of the whole army, their devotion and determination to defend the present peace and tranquillity against all who try to disturb it. The Protector made a suitable reply to all, trying to win their love at the beginning of his rule, knowing that his maintenance depends on them.
Although everyone expected that the change of government would give rise to confusion and fresh dissensions, nothing has happened yet, and, thanks to the good arrangements made everywhere, there is no sign that anything will be overthrown, but that all will continue quiet and peaceful as at present.
Somerset House has been prepared for the lying in state of the late Protector, where he will remain until the day of the funeral, which is not yet fixed. The body was brought from Whitehall privately the other night, accompanied only by his Highness's servants. There it lies in extraordinary pomp. It was decided to follow the forms observed at the burial of King James; but this will be much greater, for that did not cost more than 30,000l. sterling, whereas this will run to some 100,000, the cloth alone coming to nearly 40,000l., 30,000 yards having been provided, besides many other things required, which cost a lot.
After the funeral they intend to rearrange the household of his Highness. The widowed Protectress will go to live at Somerset House, together with her daughter, widow of Mr. Rich, recently deceased. The earl of Facombrige, who has always lived at the palace, will be given another house, probably the one which belonged to the Prince of Wales. The Protector will live alone at Whitehall with his own household, which is large, as he has a wife and children; with the ministers of state and others who depend on the Court and who hold public offices.
Of all the foreign ministers resident here the Dutch ambassador alone has received fresh letters of credence, and he is to have audience of the Protector to-day, to present them and offer condolences and congratulations.
The Swedish commissioner Barckman, who went to join his master in May, returned to London recently. There is a report in London that he left his Majesty under the castle of Cronemburgh, which was being hard pressed. On Monday evening an express arrived from the Swedish camp with positive news of the surrender of that fortress. (fn. 1) The king himself confirms this in a letter to his Highness of the 18th ult. He also states that, leaving a suitable garrison there, he is taking the rest of his forces to join the army before Copenhagen to reduce that place also, as he hoped to do soon, and it is thought here that this may have happened already, as the succour which the Dane expected from Holland seems to have been delayed by contrary winds encountered in the neighbourhood of Denmark.
On the same day that the government received this good news letters arrived from General Locart from Dunkirk announcing the capture of Ipre by the French (fn. 2) and of their laying siege to Armantieres. This is closely hemmed in, and being in no condition to hold out for long, with no hope of succour, it will have to yield to superior force and surrender to the victorious armies. Locart adds that all is quiet at Dunkirk; the proclamation of the new protector was made amid the plaudits of the populace, who lighted bonfires and displayed the greatest satisfaction. The garrison there is constantly in action and from time to time raids the quarters of the enemy. In one raid of a village not far from St. Omer they carried off a quantity of booty, comprising 1000 head of horned animals of every kind, much to the detriment of those people and greatly to the delight of the Dunkirkers. The government rejoices over all this news, of Sweden, France and Dunkirk, as is only natural with the close alliance of this republic with those powers, and they desire nothing better than further successes and victories.
This nation had already made arrangements with the governments of Tunis and Algiers in Barbary. Definite news has now come of another with those of Tripoli, who seemed the most reluctant and claimed more satisfaction. English vessels will now have nothing more to fear from the pirates who infest the Mediterranean.
Yesterday the president of the Levant Company (fn. 3) came to see me. He is one of those who have a share in the English ships Northumbria and Paramour which serve in the Venetian fleet. In the name of them all he informed me that as they could not get a penny at Venice and saw no way of obtaining satisfaction for the large sum due to them on those ships, exceeding 50,000 ducats, they had decided not to let them serve any longer. They knew that the ships were to return to Venice during these months, and they are sending orders to their agents to withdraw them from the service if they are not fully paid what is due.
Acting on my instructions I represented to them the present difficulties, urged them to be patient and assured them that they should be satisfied little by little, as had been promised. The state might tarry but it never failed to satisfy those who served it, and it seemed to me impossible that some payment had not been made. They replied that after a long time their agents had not been able to get more than 7000 ducats in several instalments, which was the pay for two months only. The soldiers and sailors were dying through this defection, but at Venice they cared nothing about that. The subsidy of Terra Ferma, destined for the payment of these ships, had been used the moment it arrived at Venice, in satisfying the Flemings, and no notice was taken of the English.
I tried to soothe the president, but all in vain, as he said, somewhat sharply, that he had heard the same sort of thing several times, but nothing ever happened, and fair words would not pay the ships. He added that he would ask the Protector for letters of reprisal against your Serenity if the whole debt was not paid, and he knew they would be granted without difficulty. He betrayed his imprudence and insolence with other like wrathful expressions. I bore his impertinences with patience and tried to calm him, assuring him of the affection of the republic for his countrymen, that the ships would be paid and that I would lay the matter before your Excellencies.
I think it right to inform your Serenity that I have found out that many who are creditors of the state for ships which have served in the fleet and who have never been fully paid, propose to club together and apply to the Protector for letters of reprisal against the goods of your Serenity's subjects. They feel confident of obtaining them through the representations they make, expressed in an odious manner by their barbarous ignorance, trying to discredit the name of the most serene republic with the government by falsehood and intrigue and so attain what they aim at. I will keep a close watch on all this and will do my utmost to render their hopes vain. But I would not venture to foretell a favourable issue, because this is, as is well known, an irregular government, without any order, and as it depends on the people it will do nothing that may offend them, and in questions of this character it readily grants what they want. This makes them arrogant, despising everyone else, and they do not even hesitate to make threats, as this president with me. They now count upon the peace they have made with the infidels of Barbary, which will always encourage them, lending a hand to their wicked and abominable intentions, which make it difficult to decide which are the worse, the Turks themselves, or these men who in the guise of Turks show their irreconcileable hostility to the most serene republic.
London, the 4th October, 1658.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Oct. 4.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Firenze.
Venetian
Archives.
226. Giuseppe Armeno, Venetian Consul at Leghorn, to the Doge and Senate.
The English ship Donzella arrived here this week from the Indies, having left Jamaica on the 17th January with 1000 bales of pepper 150 bales of muslin and a quantity of saltpetre. Another English ship, the Josue, coming from Constantinople with a rich cargo, fell in with a papal corral, and after a fierce fight the corral was taken, having lost its masts, and was carried off to Trapani.
Leghorn, the 4th October, 1658.
[Italian.]
Oct. 5.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Germania.
Venetian
Archives.
227. Giovanni Battista Nani and Alvise Molin, Venetian Ambassadors in Germany, to the Doge and Senate.
Account of the distresses of the government. By the death of Cromwell, which here they believe to be certain, they hope to have remedy for past ills, or at least that it will divert coming ones from abroad, of which they were apprehensive. The king of England, who had made up his mind to proceed to Spain, on hearing of this serious emergency, forthwith crossed from Holland where he was staying, to treat with the Spanish ministers in order to secure support from them in case any opportunity should arise.
Vienna, the 5th October, 1658.
[Italian.]
Oct. 11.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
228. Francesco Giavarina, Venetian Resident in England, to the Doge and Senate.
The Protector receives daily fresh exhibitions from the people of these realms; he exults over it exceedingly, seeing all bend submissively before him and all apprehension of disorder recedes, so that he may promise himself a quiet and peaceful government in spite of the efforts of enemies to rekindle a fire to destroy the present state and bring about change in all things. In addition to Flitud's office on behalf of the troops the Protector has received a long paper signed by a number of officers of the English army, as well as those of the armies of Scotland and Ireland now in London, of the same tenor, promising the same loyalty as they showed to his father and protesting that they will never abandon him. So he is assured on this side also, can put aside all fear and feel confident of consolidating his position and holding it without disturbance, in complete tranquillity.
The Dutch ambassador had audience a week ago to-day, but since then no other minister has either had or asked for one. The Dutchman expressed the grief of the States at the father's death, their pleasure at his accession, and their determination to maintain the friendly relations they had with his predecessor. He presented his new credentials from Holland. His Highness thanked him and assured him of his friendship and regard, and his desire to consolidate and increase friendly relations with his masters. After expressing his personal sentiments, the ambassador returned to his house accompanied by the Councillor Strickland and the master of the ceremonies Flemingh, with the palace coaches which had brought him to audience.
The duke of York having intercepted some letters of this government to the English resident Douning at the Hague, enclosing some letters of the Protector for the States, after reading them, had them torn and dishonoured. When the incident became known here they at once sent duplicates to the States, intimating that the affront was entirely theirs, and not for this government, as it came from enemies who tried to do them every hurt. It was, therefore, their business to resent and avenge the insult, acting as they thought most convenient. Douning expressed these views to the States, and they decided to banish from their territory all the dependents of the king of Scotland, forbidding them to enter again, and notifying the Princess of Orange, sister of King Charles, that she must not offer asylum to any of the Stuart family or any of its followers, so that they might not be forced to take more severe measures. From this it is clear how anxious the Dutch are to be on good terms with England and not to give this government the slightest cause for suspicion or offence.
Troops are constantly being sent to Dunkirk to augment the garrison and render them powerful across the sea and under no apprehension from the threats and attacks of enemies. The increase of the English in Flanders might easily arouse jealousy in the French, for they are fortifying the positions they hold to render them impregnable, so that they may never be expelled, because of their ambition to realise the vast designs, to which I have frequently referred.
As instructed I have informed old Galileo of the contents of the letter of the 7th September, which reached me on Monday by way of France. He rejoiced at the near prospect of his son's release and submitted to the state's good pleasure in the matter of the money due to him. He asked, however, for the prompt payment of the 3000 ducats voted to him more than three years ago and never paid. For the rest, in view of the serious difficulties of the republic, he will wait patiently for a more seasonable time for satisfaction. I promised him to make this request of your Serenity, but I regret exceedingly to weary the Senate with questions of this nature.
I have nothing further to report in the matter of the bankrupt Arson. It is impossible at the moment to get a judgment in the superior court as the judges are not sitting during the vacation, which does not end for some weeks, and of the merchants concerned, one has fled and the other denies that he has anything in his hands belonging to Arson. However, I will not relax my efforts in the matter.
London, the 11th October, 1658.
[Italian.]
Oct. 18.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
229. Francesco Giavarina, Venetian Resident in England, to the Doge and Senate.
While the government is longing for news of the affairs of the king of Sweden in Denmark, there being nothing certain since the king himself sent word of the capture of Cronemburg, contrary winds have prevented letters of expresses from that quarter reaching these shores. Their regret is tempered by hearing that the Dutch fleet intended to assist the king of Denmark has not yet left port. This long delay is supposed to be due either to their giving up the plan or else because the fleet could not arrive in time to render the Dane any service, because the ministers and partisans of Sweden calculate that Copenhagen will by now have fallen. Authentic news is awaited with extreme anxiety, but it cannot come so long as this wind and weather persist.
Nothing comes from Flanders either, except that in the last engagement of the allied forces under Ipre, during which the place fell, the English bore themselves with remarkable valour, thus adding to their glory and merit. Here they talk of the siege of Armantiers and some other place, but the season is late and the cold already so biting that they will soon have to cease warlike operations, instead of going on with the present campaign, and the time has come for resting and refreshing the army. The French can do this very well, as the numerous places which they have taken this year allow them to winter in good quarters, well supplied with all they require.
In the absence of news of its allies the government is glad to hear of its own affairs in Jamaica. News arrived thence these last days rejoicing the people with fresh successes of which these English are constantly hearing. The Spaniards increased their forces and sailed for the island. They succeeded in landing 30 companies of infantry, and meeting with no resistance, they began to entrench themselves, building some small forts and preparing to defend themselves from the English and try to win some advantage there. The English, hearing of the unexpected landing of the Spaniards, marched against them. Finding them well entrenched, they began to attack. After a prolonged struggle, as they met with a bold and determined resistance, they captured the forts, killing many and taking many prisoners. The rest fled, some to the mountains and woods, others to the sea, trying to get away by swimming. The governor of the island himself sent the news to the Protector, and it was presented by a captain who came post from Jamaica. As proof of the victory, he brought a quantity of Spanish ensigns, including a very large standard, which he presented to the Protector. (fn. 4)
Recognising the necessity of summoning parliament, both to obtain money and for other domestic interests, the government is taking measures so that it may be done speedily. Accordingly it is believed that it will meet within two months at most. As yet, however, they have not issued the writs for the nomination of the members, and perhaps this will not be done until after the funeral of the late Protector. This will not take place before November, as they cannot have everything ready earlier for the magnificent and pompous function which they intend to have.
The resident of Hamburg also has received fresh credentials from his masters, but he has not yet had audience, and he will not get it soon, although he solicits it, owing to the indisposition of the secretary of state, who has been seriously ill for some weeks, and because one has to put up with delays and dilatoriness under the new Protector as under the old.
London, the 18th October, 1658.
[Italian.]
Oct. 18.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Firenze.
Venetian
Archives.
230. Giuseppe Armeno, Venetian Consul at Leghorn, to the Doge and Senate.
The English ship Angelo, Captain William Rand, was arrested some months ago by your Serenity's fleet. On the 19th August, when at la Argenteria, in company with six galeasses, 21 galleons and five ships, the cable happening to break, it became separated for a short distance, and the captain seized the opportunity to get away. His English sailors, by intelligence with some of the soldiers, deprived them of their arms and took prisoner Alessandro Zane, the commander on board, colonel Niccolo Lombard, and an infantry captain … (fn. 5) men landed and sent to the Lazaretto for quarantine.
Leghorn, the 18th October, 1658.
[Italian.]
Oct. 25.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
231. Francesco Giavarina, Venetian Resident in England, to Doge and Senate.
In spite of the expressions of the army through Lieutenant-General Flitud and the address presented by a number of officers, promising complete submission to his Highness and a determination to defend him against all comers, for some days past ill feeling and disputes seem to have arisen between the Protector and some of the troops, out of which evil consequences might easily arise, capable of upsetting the present state of affairs and of bringing about changes prejudicial to the government. On some colonelcy falling vacant the Protector, who claims also to have succeeded his father as generalissimo of all the forces, without which his other office is worth little or nothing, granted it to Montagu, who commands the Channel squadron. (fn. 6) The officers of the army took exception to this, especially some who have claims to the post, saying that it was not proper to give land appointments to naval men. Some of them went to the Protector and expressed their views in a manner not altogether seemly, intimating their intention to have Flitud as their generalissimo, and that his Highness ought not to make any sort of military appointment without a council of war. Recognising that these people were all Anabaptists, that is to say opponents rather than supporters of the present government, and suspecting that they had been put forward by others of the same way of thinking, in whom the army abounds, the Protector tried to answer soberly. But he could not refrain from making his answer very sharp. He said he marvelled that they had come before him with such pretensions after all their protests and the address signed by so many of the leading officers. As Protector of the republic he had succeeded his father as generalissimo of the army also, and he would defend his place against whoever tried to oppose him, with all his strength.
With this reply, the officers departed; but the Protector, still suspecting that they had been set on by others, had them watched to see where they would go after leaving him. Learning that they had gone straight to the house of Flitud, who is an Anabaptist, his Highness went after them without losing any time. Entering unexpectedly, he found the officers in a room with his brother-in-law and other leaders, relating the answer from the Protector. Thus surprised they received a severe verbal castigation from him, to the same effect as above and expressive of his indignation.
The leaders subsequently met again and were divided, some being for the Protector and others for Flitud, and in two different places they debated whether they should yield or uphold their pretensions. As the majority of them were for the Protector it seems most probable that they will prevail and that everything will be decided in his favour. But it is a very nasty business in which there are some ugly features, especially as on Flitud's side there is the disgraced Lambert, who is secretly stirring up those who seem discontented. Nothing, therefore, can be predicted as yet. Meantime, the Protector and his supporters behave with great reserve and tact, well knowing the need of prudence and caution to avoid causing greater discontent and driving them to take more serious measures, which would prove more difficult to check.
Since this is a matter of great importance, involving tremendous consequences, everyone is waiting with extreme anxiety to see the result, with these serious differences among the leaders of the army, for if they do not agree it is easy to foresee fresh disturbances in this kingdom. I will keep a close look-out and report to the Senate.
Under such circumstances the meeting of parliament is recognised as more necessary than ever, and apparently the Protector is most eager for it so that he may be confirmed by it and installed in the authority left him by his father, enabling him to act with greater freedom, free from fear or apprehension. As he wishes the members of this body to be well affected to him personally and to the government, he is making adroit insinuations to the strongest and most important of the counties to nominate persons dependent on him, of whose loyalty he can feel sure without a shade of doubt. But in so large a body it is impossible that all the members should be perfectly sound, and some maintain that the opening of parliament itself will lead to changes and that the precautions taken by the Protector will avail him little.
With the dissatisfaction existing among the officers of the army, they have these last days held a review of all the cavalry and infantry and also given some pay on account for the large amounts due to keep those who are well affected to his Highness in a good humour, and to conciliate all the private soldiers, endeavouring thus to put things straight and bring them into the right way so that the Protector may live without fear or misgivings, and that the present clear sky may not be overcast.
To show his affection for his brother Henry and to keep him on his own side, the Protector, with the advice of the Privy Council, has added to his title of Deputy of Ireland that of Lieutenant, as a mark of honour and dignity due to his many merits and to the prudence he has shown in the course of many years in settling and governing that country. The commissions and patents for this have been sent to him under the great seal of England.
To-day the Dutch ambassador is to have another audience of his Highness, after which it is said he will proceed to the Hague to attend to some private interests by permission of his masters, to inform the States orally about the present government of England and then to return again to London with fresh commissions and instructions, and with his wife, whom he left behind.
London, the 25th October, 1658.
[Italian.]
Oct. 26.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni.
Corti.
Venetian
Archives.
232. To the Resident in England.
Acknowledge receipt of his letters of the 26th September and 4th October. Approval of his reply to Fleming. To continue to show regard for the government. To report what other princes do, and to follow the same course. The agreement with Tripoli shows the care devoted by the English to secure safety and freedom from molestation in the Mediterranean. Approval of his reply to the insolent speech of the president of the Levant Company about the ships Nortombria and Paramore. The money will be paid in instalments, as has been done with the Flemings, who have many more ships in the republic's service. The government would probably put aside their demand for reprisals. In any case he is to do his utmost to prevent such a thing.
There is a vague rumour that Cussein Bassa is contemplating a vigorous armament for the coming year, and of getting together a good number of English ships for the service of the Turks. If necessary he is to make representations pointing out how improper and discordant such action would be, and the confidence felt by the republic of receiving every assistance from the nation against the common enemy, as promised frequently by the late Protector.
Ayes, 87. Noes, 0. Neutral, 0.
[Italian.]
Oct. 26.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni.
Corti.
Venetian
Archives.
233. To the Consul Armano at Leghorn.
Acknowledge receipt of his letters about the English ship Angelo, escaped from the fleet. He is to send the men landed from it to the fleet by the first ship, or else to Zante, to report to the Captain General, after supplying them with the food they need. He is to take information from the commandant or others from that ship, and of how it behaved in the fleet, with all other particulars.
Ayes, 87. Noes, 0. Neutral, 0.
[Italian.]
Oct. 29.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Francia.
Venetian
Archives.
234. Francesco Giustinian, Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
Before the Court left the Ambassador Locart arrived here from his government at Dunkirk, and presented his credentials from the new Protector to their Majesties. He has informed all the foreign ministers about this.
Paris, the 29th October, 1658.
[Italian.]

Footnotes

1 Kronborg in Zealand was taken on 7–17 September.
2 On 16–26 September.
3 Alderman Andrew Riccard, who had recently been re-elected as governor of the Company.
4 The news and trophies were brought by Capt. Samuel Barry. Cal. S.P. Dom., 1658–9, page 178. Doyley's account of the defeat of the Spaniards under the Chev. Sasi Arnoldo is dated 12 July and printed in Thurloe, State Papers, Vol. vii, pages 260–2. It was read in the Council on 5 Oct. o.s. Cal. S.P. Dom., 1658–9, page 151.
5 Faded and illegible.
6 The appointment of Montagu as Colonel of horse is entered in the Council proceedings for 16 Sept. o.s. Cal. S.P. Dom., 1658–9, page 140.