Venice
August 1659

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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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47-61

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'Venice: August 1659', Calendar of State Papers Relating to English Affairs in the Archives of Venice, Volume 32: 1659-1661 (1931), pp. 47-61. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=90047 Date accessed: 29 November 2014.


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August 1659

Aug. 1.
Senato,
Secreta,
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives
49. Francesco Giavarina, Venetian Resident in England, to the Doge and Senate.
Affairs here remain in the condition reported and there is nothing to indicate the likelihood of a firm settlement. The army officers continue to meet but so far without an approach to a decision, on account of the difficulties and opposition reported. Parliament having decided on the new militia and issued its orders for London and Westminster is now preparing those for the provinces and some go cut each day. In this city they have already begun to get the men together, and when this has been done everywhere it will undoubtedly be a tremendous achievement, but when it comes to the push it is unlikely that the whole body will unite together, as the people claim that they are not obliged to leave one county for another to fight, but only to remain to defend their own. Already the city of London, which is now obliged to furnish six troops of horse and as many regiments of infantry, to be employed where they may be required, has presented a petition to parliament (fn. 1) representing the impossibility of fulfilling this obligation, protesting that they will not get more than two of 75 horse each, and recalling the privileges of the city whereby the militia may not be compelled to leave it for the defence of any place soever, but remains to guard the city itself. Parliament is not very pleased at such representations feeling sure that following the example of London all the provinces will bring forward their own privileges and by entering their claims will prolong and possibly obstruct the execution of what they want to see done on the instant.
All this force will not be the slightest charge upon the state, but a very serious one for the people, as they have to find the horses and men fully equipped for war ready to take the field at beat of drum or sound of trumpet. Everyone judged by the commissioners deputed for the purpose to possess the value of 300l. sterling is taxed to find, arm and maintain a man and a horse; whoever has 400l. has to find, arm and keep a foot soldier, while he who has no more than 100l. is obliged to pay so much cash to provide powder, balls, matches etc. with considerable fines for those who refuse, and other punishments at the discretion of the commissioners.
This mustering leads to a considerable outcry as many have obligations which they are unable to fulfil, and so they rail at the injustice, freely expressing improper sentiments without the slightest fear. It seems probable that should occasion arise for the employment of this militia the majority of them would turn their arms against parliament, especially as it is noted that a large number of those obliged to find men are persons not entirely well affected, who have on other occasions been under grave suspicion. From these measures and a huge quantity of tents for the field which they are having made with all speed, one sees clearly the great fear that inspires them. It would indeed seem that they have good cause, as one hears that some attempt will absolutely be made, and is expected at any moment, since it is certain that all the king's partisans dispersed about the country have made great provision of arms and horses, which they are keeping hidden until the hour of action arrives. Apparently they are only waiting for the arrival of troops from the King prevented by a contrary wind, and when they appear we shall see a general rising. They say that this time the arrangements are so well made that there is no fear of the result. It is impossible to say how much reliance can be placed on this.
Meanwhile there is no doubt that parliament is very apprehensive. In the certainty that something is being plotted against it they are examining many persons suspected of complicity in such a conspiracy, but nothing secret can be discovered and so they are trying to prevent the explosion by taking sound precautions and they continue to keep guard with horse and foot who patrol the city day and night in whole troops.

Parliament has taken up the question of the debts of the late Protector Richard and liquidated them to the amount of 29,640l. sterling deciding that they shall be paid by the state discharging him personally of any action, process or demand by creditors. It has also appointed a committee to enquire into the true yearly value of his goods, in order to arrange some honourable subsistence for him, and so he will be able to live in the utmost quiet without the slightest disturbance.
Your Serenity's missives with the letter for parliament have just reached me via France and I will not fail to obey instructions.
London, the 1st August, 1659.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Aug. 2.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Germania.
Venetian
Archives.
50. Alvise Molin, Venetian Ambassador in Germany, to the Doge and Senate.
Account of the peace negotiations between Poland and Sweden. The sole object of these negotiations is merely to make an accommodation with one side in order to break more safety with the other. This seems to be the aim of all the negotiations not only with the Poles but with the Danes as well, since the French, English and Dutch insist on one thing only, the separation of that king and Brandenburg from the emperor, and that is the sole rock on which those negotiations will make shipwreck.
Here however they still feel grave apprehension. Their suspicions are increased because they see the king of Denmark in a tight position from which he cannot escape, because opposite Copenhagen there is a fleet of about 100 vessels, Swedish, English and Dutch, which, though apparently divided are essentially at one in religion, sympathy and intention, because they move in step no less in their determination not to quarrel with each other than in their desire to arrange for the establishment of these two kings and for the free navigation of the Baltic. They do everything for this end, nothing for the common good, and with never a glance towards including the emperor in those negotiations, but rather disclosing a contrary intention. This appears in the reply of Obdam to the elector of Brandenburg, who tried to persuade him to assist the forces of the league for the passage into Fionia. Obdam told him that they could not do it because of the cessation of arms now existing with the English, and his masters would have to think very carefully about involving themselves in the interests of this war, because now the two crowns have established peace with each other, it behoves them to stand closely united with the English and other Protestant princes so that they may not find themselves subject to the dictation of those two formidable Catholic powers united, and have their liberty of conscience restrained.
Vienna, the 2nd August, 1659.
[Italian.]
Aug. 2.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Genova.
Venetian
Archives.
51. Paris Tasca, Venetian Consul at Genoa, to the Doge and Senate.
The arrest made by the English frigates of a ship of their nation hired at Marseilles for Alexandria and of two other vessels which were proceeding from Smyrna to the port of Marseilles with silk and goods to the value of 100,000 pezzi affords absolute confirmation that the extraordinary despatch from London to the minister here brought orders to the commander of the squadron to stop the goods of the Marseillais on the pretext of the 40,000 pezzi, besides the interest, due to the English merchants for what they paid many years ago at Constantinople to the French ambassador for a settlement of Turkish vanity, for which the consulship of Marseilles was specially bound. (fn. 2)
Genoa, the 2nd August, 1659.
[Italian.]
Aug. 8.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian Archives.
52. Francesco Giavarina, Venetian Resident in England, to the Doge and Senate.
Parliament has passed a resolution that until the questions dealing with the establishment of the new militia, the collection of money and the security and consolidation of the government are dealt with nothing shall be proposed or discussed in the assembly. They toiled over the first point until the evening of the day before yesterday and now all the acts in that connection are quite complete for each of the counties of the realm. Yesterday they took in hand the question of cash. In getting together any quantity of this they will knock up against serious obstacles. The people are so exhausted by the ordinary taxes that they cannot support heavier burdens. They will not pay the extraordinary tax recently imposed or meet the six months of the ordinary, which is claimed in advance, in consideration of the imminent perils. The third point for the establishment of the government will also require much consideration. It is a delicate subject requiring long digestion and involves more difficulties than one.
The army officers continue their meetings and though they have not yet come to any decision, malcontents are constantly cropping up among them whose complaints cause grave suspicion and misgiving among the members of parliament. This feeling is steadily increased by observing that the people are altogether disgusted and thoroughly tired of the present form of government, so that the rulers are much afraid that if any attempt were made by enemies, few would take the part of parliament and the majority would go on the other side. Such also is the general opinion and it is borne out by the manner in which the people are treated. It is impossible for anything to be more harsh and severe, and no one who had not actually seen it would believe it could be. There is therefore every reason for believing that they will make every effort to shake off so heavy a yoke, and the present time is the most favourable for doing this, so one feels sure that they will not let it pass.
There is not the smallest doubt of there being some formidable engine directed against this government, but when it will discharge its blow and with what success remains inscrutable. Parliament knows all this but cannot arrive at any real knowledge of what it is proposed to do. It is said that many of its own members have a hand in the plot and some are away from London on this account. So parliament immediately passed a resolution that all those who have sat since the
17 th May shall return to this city at once upon pain of a fine, and be in their places at 8 o'clock each morning. This will show them who do not obey and those they have most reason to suspect.
The Presbyterians are the authors of the plot. Their numbers are immense and increased by the independents and royalists, by no means few, who are united with them in favour of the Stuart cause. Some of the parliamentarians have observed that this time their enemies have laid their plans so well and proceeded with them so secretly and contagiously that it will now be impossible to stop them or provide any remedy. Many are accordingly of opinion that if the attempt is made the enemies will overcome every difficulty and remain conquerors. Time will show.
Meanwhile it is extraordinary that since the talk of the king's coming the wind has always been contrary for his troops to cross the sea. They are undoubtedly gathered at some port of Flanders only waiting for it to blow from the right quarter to carry them speedily to England. It is also remarkable that one does not see them here taking all the measures that are necessary. They publish the peril as imminent, and it has been resolved that parliament shall spend Wednesday next in prayer and fasting and all three kingdoms will do the same three weeks hence. Guards of horse and foot are set day and night, but they imprison no one although they suspect many and they do not observe the precautions which were practiced formerly at a time of much greater peril. They examine various persons but then let them go at once without pursuing the enquiry further. In short one cannot tell what to predict in the present crisis, but what is going to happen cannot be long delayed.
All those who are ill affected to the government have left London and gone to the places prearranged, as the insurrection is to be general from what they say. At the same time they will circulate broadsheets containing a general pardon from King Charles, excepting six persons, the first being Porasio
(fn. 3) who presided over the court that condemned the late king and others who defamed his Majesty in that cruel affair. Yesterday there was talk of a rising having begun and that the royalists had surprised Bristol, but so far it is not confirmed. In some forests conflicts have taken place between soldiers and peasants, in which the soldiers had the worse, some being slain. They are making enquiries and trying to remedy the disorder, with much apprehension that these bad beginnings may lead to further evil consequences.
A letter has been intercepted from one John Mordant, son of the late earl of Peterborough, a supporter of King Charles, who a year and a half ago was in great peril of being sentenced to death for Stuart interests. He wrote telling his Majesty not to hasten his coming as things are not yet ripe and cannot be for a month, with other particulars about the present preparations against the government. It was read this morning in the full assembly which at once resolved and published that if this Mordant had not surrendered to parliament by the
27th inst. he should be held guilty of treason and if taken executed forthwith, with the confiscation of all his goods. It is said that Mordant made it easy for this letter to get into the hands of parliament and he wrote thus in order to make the government believe that what is to come will not happen yet and induce them to relax their measures to resist conspiracy to obtain full information of the inhabitants of London and other places whether they are well or ill affected to the government.
An act has been published directing all who have houses to supply at once in writing the name and quality of those living in them, with full particulars of the arms they have and also if they have powder, shot or other munitions of war
, (fn. 4) a further indication of their apprehensions. To find out who are leaving and entering the kingdom the council of state is to-day charged to issue orders to see that no one leaves England without a licence and that no one enters who may be suspect. This means the search of those who enter and no little difficulty for those who wish to leave. It is also said that an embargo may be laid to prevent ships sailing for some time, and this will make the passage of letters more difficult and more uncertain.
No news has yet come of the commissioners who left for the Sound whether they have arrived, but it is expected at any moment with a universal desire to know what success they have had about the adjustment between the two northern kings.
They are also waiting anxiously to hear the issue of the conference on the French frontier between Cardinal Mazarini and Don Luis d'Haros, on which all the affairs of Europe hang. There is no doubt about peace between the two crowns but it is a bitter pill to them here, the more so because although there is a great disposition on this side for an adjustment with the Catholic there seems no further propensity that way on the other side. It may be that Locart, who followed the French Court to the Pyrenees, is to make further overtures and keep alive the negotiations for this accommodation. As this cannot be found out here it must be left to time to disclose.
London, the 8th August, 1659.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered].
Aug. 9.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Germania.
Venetian
Archives.
53. Alvise Molin, Venetian Ambassador in Germany, to the Doge and Senate.
Account of the efforts of the English and Dutch to induce Denmark to make peace. He remains firm in refusing a separate peace; but while the troops of the two nations flatter the king by allowing provisions and munitions to enter Copenhagen, and themselves supply refreshments, yet they remain firm with their armaments in front of that city, and in their negotiations they show their desire for peace in any event or else that they will place themselves against the party who does not accept it.
Vienna, the 9th August, 1659.
[Italian.]
Aug. 15.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
54. Francesco Giavarina, Venetian Resident in England, to the Doge and Senate.
The fresh troubles which threaten this country have this week begun to realise themselves. The supporters of King Charles have risen in more than one of the provinces and gathering at the appointed rendezvous are trying to increase their numbers so that by uniting in one body it may be easier for them to resist the opposition offered by parliament. That body having knowledge of these risings and learned something more of the plans of the enemy by intercepting other letters, has redoubled its efforts and is trying to extinguish the fire before it gets a firmer hold. This it may easily do in places which are nearer and weaker, but in those at a distance and strong it will meet with great difficulties and the issue will remain doubtful. The royalists are supported by the Presbyterians, who are very numerous and wealthy, so it seems likely that a fresh civil war will be started and it is to be feared that these last will prevail, and parliament itself seems very apprehensive of this.
To deal with these risings and issue the necessary orders the council of state is in constant session, eating and sleeping in the same apartments of the palace where they hold their meetings. The guards of this city are augmented and some regiments of horse and foot have been sent to the scene of the risings to put them down before they grow worse. To preserve the affection of the citizens of London and Westminster, of whom they are not a little afraid, they keep issuing fabricated news, to make them believe what they wish to be, not what actually is, saying that it is all but put down and that soon there will be nothing to fear. But actually it is known that the royalists, consisting of 10,000 armed men, have captured the city of Chester, a strong place on the sea, which is in correspondence with the counties of York and Lancaster where the royalists are strong and powerful. It is not yet known whether the castle has fallen into their hands, but it is feared that it cannot long hold out.
It is very important for the royalists to have a seaport in their hands to facilitate the landing of their supporters from Flanders. They were not able to do anything at Bristol but enjoyed better fortune at Chester. Although that is not so convenient for the passage it is on the same coast and is of almost more consequence because of its relations with Wales and its proximity to Ireland where royalists abound.
In one of the counties near, the royalists were surprised at their gatherings by the parliamentarians. (fn. 5) By the examination of a lady of the house of Howard, daughter of the earl of Berkshire, she is found to be leader of a part of the conspiracy and sent to the Tower, (fn. 6) much is feared from her testimony. Several have been arrested including some shop boys of this city. Of these over 10,000 have gone out, of every sort of trade including a number of butchers, on purpose to support the cause of King Charles, and dispersed about the country. One Blake, (fn. 7) a Catholic, who came to England from Flanders with royal commissions, has also been taken and sent to the Tower, while at Gloucester Major General Massey has been stopped by a troop of horse. It was he who contrived and matured the rising, and he succeeded in escaping by night into a wood. Yesterday they were saying that he had been taken again, but this is not yet confirmed.
They are very apprehensive that if they send to the disturbed parts many of the horse and foot now in London, the city, finding itself stripped of soldiers, may also raise its head, and the new militia, which is not well affected to the government, may assemble and try to shake off the yoke. If this should happen, there is not the smallest doubt of a happy issue in the interests of Charles. He is indeed unfortunate in that the wind continues unfavourable for the passage of his troops from Flanders. For the reason given they are sending out as few troops as possible, but since it is necessary to despatch some reinforcements to the places in revolt, they have seized all the private riding horses here. Some thousands of dragoons were sent out but learning that these have mostly been defeated they are sending to-day 2000 horse and 23,000 foot with some guns. But having a long march and many rivers to cross they may easily be encountered by the royalists and scattered like the others. With London denuded of these troops some disturbance might easily arise here, especially as it is said to be not altogether hostile to the king's party, for it seems that they sent his Majesty a considerable sum of money. The citizens and guilds are indeed mostly royalists, but the mayor and aldermen are almost all creatures of the government and mortally hate his Majesty and all who follow him.
In seizing the horses they respected no one and even those of the foreign ministers were detained for some while. Mine were not taken out of the stable but were guarded for some hours by soldiers left by the officer who came to examine them. By an order obtained from the council of state they were released and I hope this will exempt me from further search.
Home affairs are of such importance that they leave no time to attend to any foreign business. They attend only to the conspiracy discovered and the risings that have broken out and this prevents one from giving an account of any affair abroad. In view of the present turmoil I have thought it best to postpone asking audience to present the recent letters of your Serenity to the parliament, especially as I am sure it would be put off during these troubles. In any case there is no need to be in any hurry about this recognition, and it is enough for the present for it to be known that I have the letters. Many other ministers are omitting to perform this office, notably the French, indeed no one has done so except those whose interests are closely bound up with this state.
Your Serenity's missives of the 12th July reached me this week via France charging me to attend to the resolutions about peace between Sweden and Denmark, the treaties with Spain and what is decided about the person of the late Protector, which I have already done in previous despatches. I have nothing to add as no news has come from the Sound about the arrival of the plenipotentiaries sent there. The negotiations with Spain seem to have greatly cooled off; the late Protector having retired to private life, there is no further need to speak of him. Parliament has as yet done nothing about the assignments they thought of giving him. The Senate's intimation of the permission granted by the Captain of the ships Contarini of a free passage through the Dardanelles to the merchantmen of this nation will be useful to guide me and I am sure it will be appreciated as showing regard and partiality for this state.
London, the 15th August, 1659.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Aug. 15.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Germania.
Venetian
Archives.
55. Alvise Molin, Venetian Ambassador in Germany, to the Doge and Senate.
An express courier from Montecucoli (fn. 8) arrived this week for his Majesty with important advices, about which strict secrecy and silence have been observed by the Court. I learn, however, that they announce peace between Sweden and Denmark to be nearly concluded, if not actually so, as many affirm, the united force of the English and Dutch having compelled Denmark to yield and to abandon his allies.
Here they are extremely doubtful about the fidelity of Brandenburg. Already, according to the advices from Hamburg, the French, English and Dutch commissioners had established a truce with Denmark, Sweden, and it is said Math Brandenburg also, the emperor alone being excluded, and they were trying to do the same with the Poles.
Letters from Antwerp state that two English ambassadors have arrived in Holland to arrange a defensive alliance with those Provinces, and a similar one is projected with Sweden, Denmark and Brandenburg because of the jealousy these heretic princes conceive of the union of the Catholic and Most Christian crowns.
Pressburg, the 15th August, 1659.
[Italian.]
Aug. 22.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
56. Francesco Giavarina, Venetian Resident in England, to the Doge and Senate.
Since the royalists and Presbyterians captured Chester their numbers have been daily augmented by fresh troops descending from Lancashire and other neighbouring parts, so that they have been able easily to take possession of Chirke and Harding, places of no small consequence. With the arrival of Major General Massey, who was captured but not retaken when he escaped, and who is expected with a numerous army gathered from other places, they hope to undertake greater enterprises and win more considerable victories.
There is talk of disturbances in other counties, notably in Yorkshire, and that York has closed its gates against the parliamentary forces who claimed to enter to secure that most important place. If this is confirmed it will have results of the greatest consequence but nothing can be known definitely since all letters are at present detained by the council of state, and since these revolutions I have been without all the correspondence I had in the country in some of the most notable places, which enabled me to make sure of things. The news issued from the palace is edited and untruthful, so it is better to wait until things have cleared a little. Meanwhile the fire is certainly kindled and it will not be so easy to put it out as the rulers imagine.
The leaders of the revolt of Chester are four, two royalists, who have borne arms against the parliament, and two members of parliament itself, who once fought against the king. (fn. 9) They declare the present parliament illegal and by broadsheets posted not only in the city but practically through the kingdom they declare that they want a lawful one in accordance with the institutions of the country, which cannot happen without a monarchy. They invite the people to unite with them in taking arms for the liberty of the nation against the present usurped domination. On Tuesday parliament issued a proclamation declaring these four rebels and traitors with all their adherents and all who subsequently follow them.
Besides the horse and foot which started to-day for Chester under the command of General Lambert, they are sending after a regiment of dragoons and carts with arms, tents and other warlike equipment, as well as guns in addition to those which went with the army. General Desbero has also gone in another direction (fn. 10) with some troops to prevent more risings, of which they are very apprehensive. What service these troops will render cannot be known, but it is fairly safe to predict that it will not be much, as besides showing a great reluctance to march, it is known that the infantry stopped several times on the road protesting that they would not advance unless they were paid what was due, as they did not receive a penny before they started. They were induced to proceed with fair words and promises after the mutiny had lasted some hours, the men absolutely refusing to go on as they did not wish to fight those whose opinions did not differ from their own, as they themselves claim a free and lawful parliament. When the cavalry, commanded by Anabaptists dependent on this parliament, tried to force the infantry to advance, a conflict ensued in which several infantrymen were wounded, who have been brought to London in a serious condition. (fn. 11) The others resumed their march, but grumbling and very dissatisfied, especially as the march is long and toilsome and they are harassed by terrible winds, very unusual for the season, and by rain which has fallen almost incessantly since they started.
The news is very bitter to them here and they greatly fear that when these troops arrive near to the enemy a large part of them will go over to the other side, especially as it is asserted that Sir [George] Booth, lieutenant general of the rebels, in Chester, has offered four months' pay down to every parliamentary soldier who joins him, and whatever is due to him. This inducement may attract many and if this army, thus weakened, tired by the long march and its hardships should meet the enemy at some narrow pass or river, as is practically certain, they are fearful of the issue.
Nearly all the army having been sent out of London they are making the newly enrolled militia do duty as guards, but as they are all inexperienced little can be expected of them. For this cause three regiments of infantry have been brought from Dunkirk, reaching London on Wednesday evening in a very bad state, almost entirely destitute of clothes and arms. They took up their quarters in some palaces of the city, greatly to the inconvenience and detriment of the owners.
They have written to Monch in Scotland to send at once towards Chester three of his regiments to join with Lambert in scattering the rebels. But he says he cannot send any, indeed he needs to have some sent to him to defend that country, which, being full of Presbyterians, is very subject to revolutions. He is of that persuasion himself and his reply, unexpected by parliament, makes it uneasy lest he has been won over by the rebels and may be disposed to see the present government destroyed. They are also very suspicious of Montagu, general of the fleet, as he is of the same confession and it seems he protests that he will not obey parliament except when it is lawful and convoked in accordance with the constitution. This means, although it is not specified, with a king, house of lords and lower house, otherwise it cannot bear the title, which it always enjoyed up to the fall of the late king and has claimed to have for the future.
The ministers or preachers of the country render the rebels great assistance, as in a very large number of parishes they have read in the pulpit, when most people were present, the declaration issued by the Presbyterians, blowing up the fire kindled and preaching nothing but war, urging that if the present parliament is not cast down the Gospel is lost; that to die for this cause is true martyrdom and so forth, which uttered by such folk cannot fail to make a great impression on the people.
Here in London, seeing most of the soldiers away, they proposed on Tuesday to assemble the common council to declare for a free parliament. But the government heard of this through the mayor, who is an Anabaptist opposed to the Presbyterians and entirely devoted to parliament, and it was prevented by the immediate despatch of a regiment on foot to occupy and guard the hall where that council usually meets. The Council of State then sent for the mayor and aldermen and the President by order of parliament represented to them the present state of affairs, referring to the risings begun and those apprehended, especially in London, that Charles Stuart had been declared king at Warington, and pointing out the imminent perils, assured them of the confidence which parliament had in their efforts to prevent every sort of disorder and to preserve the nation in peace and repose as much as possible. So they exercise the greatest vigilance, but in the general opinion this will not suffice to prevent the issue which has been planned and arranged for a long time.
This is the substance of all that has passed so far and no one would venture to foretell the issue, though it seems most likely that it will depend on the result of the encounter between the Presbyterian and parliamentary army, if they meet, and it can hardly be delayed for long. If the former prevail there is no doubt that an even greater fire than is now seen will break out in other provinces and everyone will raise his head; but if the latter have the advantage the strength of the rebels may easily wane and with the consequent increase of the other side, their plans would insensibly fall through and their efforts be crushed.
Meanwhile it cannot be denied that the wind which is still unfavourable for the passage from Flanders is a misfortune and that his Majesty is truly unlucky. I know for certain that on the 10th inst. when the wind seemed disposed to be favourable some of his bravest officers put to sea to venture the passage. But after some hours a furious storm arose so that they were all in extreme peril of their lives and after tossing about for two days and a half they were obliged to put up with the mortification of finding themselves back at the place from which they had started nearly all of them half dead from their incredible fatigues. There they remain waiting for better fortune. The king himself has left the town where he was staying and gone to the coast, (fn. 12) to be nearer this country and to be in a position to come over more speedily when he is required.
In the ducal missives of the 19th July which reached me yesterday via France I find instructions on the affair of the ship Angelo, which I will duly carry out. I have heard nothing more on the subject and so far no member of the government has breathed a syllable to me about it.
I enclose translations of the declaration of the Presbyterians, of a letter of the lieutenant general of the rebels and of the proclamation of parliament, which your Excellencies may like to read.
London, the 22nd August, 1659.
[Italian; the part in italics deciphered.]
Enclosure.57. The Declaration of the Lords, Gentlemen, Citizens, Freeholders and Yeomen of this once happy kingdom of England.
An appeal to arms for the vindication of the freedom of parliaments against all violence, and of the laws, liberty and property of the people who at present groan under illegal, arbitrary and insupportable taxes.
[English; printed.]
Enclosure.58. A letter from Sir George Booth to a friend of his showing the reasons of his present engagement in defence of his country's liberties.
Denunciation of the parliament and demand that the nation shall freely choose its representatives.
Chester, the 2nd August, 1659.
[English.]
Enclosure.59. Proclamation of Parliament declaring traitors Randolph Egerton, Robert Werden, Sir George Booth, Sir Thomas Middleton and their adherents, with all who assist, abet or conceal their design.
Tuesday, August 9, 1659.
Thomas St. Nicholas, clerk of the parliament.
[English; printed.]
Aug. 28.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Francia.
Venetian
Archives.
60. Francesco Giustinian, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
Account of the peace negotiations. England is treating separately and it is thought she may conclude peace with Spain, as it is desirable for the English to pay more attention to their home affairs and for the Spaniards to prevent the Portuguese receiving help from that nation and subsequently to deliver their blow against them with greater freedom.
Bordeaux, the 28th August, 1659.
[Italian.]
Aug. 29.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
61. Francesco Giavarina, Venetian Resident in England, to the Doge and Senate.
Until the meeting of the parliamentary army under General Lambert and the Presbyterian led by Sir George Booth in the county of Chester no definite judgment can be formed of the affairs of England. The rebels continue their conquests in that and other neighbouring counties, but these being of little consequence can bring them no great profit. Other counties are in arms but before going on they apparently want to see the issue of a fight between Lambert and Booth. It is impossible to say when this will happen, for the parliamentary army has been hampered by floods due to the incessant rain, the men in some places being up to the middle while they find all the bridges broken by the enemy. These consist mainly of cavalry who are raiding in all directions, and everywhere they burn the books of the customs and other taxes, promising that there shall be no more taxes. They comfort the people with this and urge them to join and follow them. This has delayed the march extremely, and though the army started from here a fortnight ago we do not yet hear that it has reached its destination. The delay is also due to two mutinies, between the cavalry and infantry, some hundreds of soldiers losing their lives, besides the wounded reported last week. As the infantry continues to clamour for a free parliament there is great apprehension about its loyalty when it comes near the enemy.
Some disturbance broke out afresh in the home counties, where everything seemed tranquillised, but as the rebels were not strong enough and were afraid of some surprise, they drew back, waiting for a better opportunity. (fn. 13) They are very fearful about London, especially as broadsheets are issued every day urging the people to revolt and giving many reasons why they should, but by keeping careful watch they try to prevent all manner of disorder. As the Anabaptists and other sects opposed to the Presbyterians would like to see them utterly destroyed, and the present government exalted they have offered to collect three regiments of their party to defend and protect the parliamentary party. The offer being accepted they are beginning to get the men. This will soon be completed and it cannot fail to be a great support to the parliamentarians. From all these things the only thing one can foresee is a new civil war in this country, which will be the more dreadful from being conducted in the winter at the worst time of the year.
On holding a muster lately of the three regiments recently come from Dunkirk they did not find more than 800 effectives, all the rest, out of 3000 being either dead or deserters. They have been immediately provided with clothes and arms. Being led towards one of the revolted places they encountered a party of the enemy, well mounted and well armed a short distance from the city, and in the ensuing skirmish they had the worst of it some being slain and others brought to London wounded, in a serious condition. (fn. 14)
Nothing is heard of Monch in Scotland. As the 3 regiments did not appear they repeated the order to him to send them at once to England, but as no news has come of this mission either their misgivings and suspicions are increased. The government delays as much as possible using any kind of severity against him, knowing how much harm he can do to the state if he declares openly against parliament.
They have nothing definite about Montagu either, all the particulars about him being very vague and dubious. Letters have come from the fleet but it is impossible to find out what they say about him as everything is kept absolutely secret at the palace. This leads men to imagine that they do not bring acceptable news, for if they did they would forthwith be published. Thus they have announced the arrival at the Sound of the English plenipotentiaries, who were received and welcomed by the royal ministers, in the absence of the king of Sweden, who had gone to Nascou and was expected back at the Sound at any moment. They were then to begin the negotiations for an adjustment between that king and the Dane. The next letters may possibly contain something about these, as the present ones say nothing beyond their arrival with the above particulars. There is every reason why the mediators should make haste to conclude their business, as the year is getting on and the time of greatest cold in those parts is approaching, so that the English and Dutch fleets will not be able to remain there much longer. There is also the cost of their upkeep which is quite unbearable; the Dutch fleet costing the States nearly 100,000 florins a week, while the English one consumes immense sums of gold, which does not serve their present distresses and is constantly adding to their debts.
Pinozzi the delegate of Poland has conferred at times with some of the council of state. Before he came to England he had orders from his master to go on to the elector of Brandenburg as soon as he had done here. Although he has not yet received letters for the parliament and has never been accepted as minister, being only admitted to treat on pledging his word for the letters, he has decided to leave for his new post before the weather turns bad and the sea passage becomes more dangerous, as it begins to be very rough next month. Before starting he came to call upon me and expressed the regard of his king for the most serene republic, to which I made a suitable response.
The French Ambassador Bordeos has received fresh letters of credence, but owing to the troubled state of affairs just now he postpones his audience, especially as it would not readily be granted to him in the present crisis, which is the only thing they are attending to.
London, the 29th August, 1659.
[Italian.]

Footnotes

1 Presumably the petition presented in the name of the city on 16–26 July. Journals of the House of Commons, Vol. vii., page 721.
2 The case of the debts of Philippe de Harlay, comte de Cesy, sometime French ambassador at the Porte. See Vol. xxix. of this Calendar, page 242n. Mazarin seems to have complained. At this time Stoakes was under orders to return home. Cal, S.P. Dom, 1659–60, page 135,
3 i.e. John Bradshaw.
4 Bill for Householders to give an account of lodgers, arms, and ammunition. In the House on 22 July o.s. Journals of the House of Commons, Vol. vii., page 728.
5 Probably Colonel Blague and about forty gentry, secured at Tonbridge. Clarke Papers, Vol. IV., page 131.
6 Lady Mary Howard, arrested on 29 July, o.s. Cal. S.P. Dom. 1059–60, page 48. Sent to the Tower on Wednesday 3–13 August. Brit. Mus. Add MSS. 27962P, f. 504.
7 Blague.
8 Raymond count of Montecuculi, the imperialist general.
9 The leaders were Col. Randolph Egerton, Robert Werden, Sir George Booth and Sir Thomas Middleton. Cal. S.P. Dom. 1659–60, page 94. Booth and Middleton had distinguished themselves on the parliamentary side in the Civil War.
10 He was appointed to command the forces towards the West on 4 August, and was at Gloucester later in the month. Cal. S.P. Dom. 1659–60, pp. 72, 115.
11 This is apparently the mutiny referred to by Nicholas in a letter of 20–30 August. Cal. S.P. Dom. 1659–60, page 132.
12 Charles left for Calais on Sunday 17 August. Clarendon: State Papers Vol. iii., page 542.
13 Probably refers to Lord Lichfield's attempt in Surrey. Clarke PapersVol. iv., page 44.
14 The Mercurius Politicus of Aug. 4–14 reports the advance of three English regiments from Flanders to Dartford in Kent, but makes no reference to this engagement.