Venice
March 1660

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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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120-133

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'Venice: March 1660', Calendar of State Papers Relating to English Affairs in the Archives of Venice, Volume 32: 1659-1661 (1931), pp. 120-133. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=90054 Date accessed: 26 July 2014.


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March 1660

March 2.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Zante.
Venetian
Archives.
121. Cristofolo Battaglia, Venetian Proveditore of Zante, to the Doge and Senate.
English ships of war (fn. 1) continue to approach these shores and make stay here under the pretext of escorting their merchantmen. Some days ago in this port they robbed a petachio of Messina. Yesterday evening another Messinese ship arrived and was captured by one of the frigates, although it flew the flag of St. Mark. Many shots were fired at them by the guns of the fortress, in respect of the flag, and of the port, but they did no good. I have had the consul of England (fn. 2) summoned and complained of these insults, but lie replied that their ships of war had orders from parliament to seize every vessel subject to the Spaniards in whatsoever place they might find them, without any consideration.
Zante, the 2nd March, 1660, old style.
[Italian.]
March 5.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
122. Francesco Giavarina, Venetian Resident in England, to the Doge and Senate.
Parliament has decided to fill up the vacant places, not only of the dead but of those suspended in 1648 and 1649, and those expelled last January. They therefore directed the President to sign the writs, which were to be issued a week ago, with various limitations, contary to the intentions and demands of the people, but under various legitimate pretexts he refused. After this, on Friday night a long conference was held in London at the quarters of General Monch between some of the actual members and others of the excluded ones, in the general's presence, but it is impossible to find out what was discussed and decided. On the days following the ordinary members and the excluded ones both met, though separately, the former at Westminster, the others at a private house. The former attended to their public affairs, the others considered the manner of their readmission and some passed to and from the general's house several times. Following this, on Monday Monch marched some regiments of horse and foot from London to Westminster and had them quartered there. Early on Tuesday he unexpectedly moved to Whitehall himself with all the rest of the army. Arrived there he sent for all the members of parliament, actual and excluded, and delivered a long and erudite speech. He told them it was the unanimous desire of the people that they should all meet together. He therefore urged them to proceed together to Westminster and devote themselves in common to the settlement of affairs. He promised the excluded ones that the guards should admit them and assured them that he and all his soldiers were resolved to shed their blood for them and following parliaments. After despatching a circular letter to all the forces of the three kingdoms, inviting them to unite with him, he changed his quarters from Whitehall to the palace of St. James, formerly the residence of the Princes of Wales, where he now is and is expected to stay. That evening this reunion was acclaimed by ringing all the bells and a number of bonfires, with blessings on the general.
In this way all the excluded members present in London re-entered parliament, including many of the most active who sat before and were excluded for not concurring in the death of the late king and for having treated with him when he was a prisoner in the Isle of Weit, who absented themselves voluntarily and have not been near the assembly until now. These took in hand the conduct of affairs and first of all annulled various orders passed in parliament in 1648 and 1649 when they were shut out. They then abolished those of last week for the new elections, appointed General Monch captain-general and commander-in-chief under parliament of all the land forces of England, Scotland and Ireland, continued Lauson as Vice-Admiral, revoked the appointment of 5 commissioners to govern the army, ordered the release of Sir [George] Booth and all the prisoners in the Tower of London and other prisons for having wished for a free parliament; stopped the sequestration of the goods of Booth and the others concerned in the Cheshire affair; set up again the common council of London revoking the contrary vote of the previous days; voted the restoration at the public cost of the gates, portcullis and chains destroyed in London; ordered the abolition of the council of state and the choice of a new one (which was done yesterday evening, of 31 persons, including Monch, Ferfax etc., persons of rank and merit and only one or two of the late ones); invited all their colleagues now absent from London to resume their seats, asked London for a loan, with an assignment for repayment; forbad dealing during this parliament with any private affairs; revoked the militia assembled last summer; suspended the secretary of state appointed by parliament (fn. 3) ; permitted the city to restore its militia, and ordained that next Tuesday shall be devoted to prayer and thanks to God for the return of the excluded members, with many other decrees all tending to destroy what was done by those few who had unlawfully usurped the authority of the whole parliament.
Besides all these things they resolved to call a new parliament for the 25th April next, English style, and the council of state will have power to issue the writs. It is believed that there will be no restrictions on the elections but that they will be lawfully carried out in accordance with the ancient constitutions of the realm. If this is done an established government will undoubtedly come with the new parliament and the return of the king is not beyond hope. It is universally desired except by those few who had a hand in his father's blood, and it is absolutely necessary if this nation wishes to live at peace; otherwise it can only expect constant trouble and disaster.
This body having settled something about money and other matters, proposes to disband of its own accord leaving the council of state to attend to affairs until the new parliament assembles, referring the decision of the most important affairs to that time, when I hope to be able to tell the Senate something definite about England's crisis. It is impossible that the future congress should not come to some considerable decision, such as the people desire. It would not be unacceptable to all Christian princes and could not fail to bring advantages to the most serene republic, which could not otherwise be looked for.
The reasons for Locart's coming were those given. He remains here and it is not known when he will go or what will be decided about Dunkirk.
Your Excellencies' despatches of the 10th, 17th and 24th January have just reached me from Paris, delayed by a long turn in France. I also have those of the 7th February by Flanders. The last bring the credentials for parliament, but I cannot present them, for as it is winding up I do not consider it seemly to ask for audience in the present crisis, more especially as when the new one meets there will be other emergencies, which I will report to the Senate, which may have occasion to send credentials for another person and not for parliament at all.
Your Serenity will not be troubled any more about the earl of Arundel. The small clique of members were thinking of troubling this distinguished family again and issued an order last week for a fresh letter to the Senate and to send some one on purpose with a ship of war to fetch the earl to England, compelling his guardians here to pay 1000l. sterling for the cost of the voyage and other incidentals of the mission. But now the scene has changed the machinations against that house fall to the ground. The promoters and those who wished to ruin it have lost their power with the return of the excluded members, many of whom are friends of the family, so there is nothing more to fear.
London, the 5th March, 1660.
[Italian.]
March 6.
Senato,
Secreta,
Dispacci,
Costantinopoli.
Venetian
Archives.
123. Giovanni Battista Ballarino, Venetian Secretary at the Porte, to the Doge and Senate.
On the 1st February I reported the monopoly of steel (fn. 4) and tin by the merchant Fascol in the name of the English ambassador. The matter was transacted through Antonio Piron, second dragoman of his Excellency, who goes to Adrianople for the purpose, under the pretext of answering about a fugitive slave; but I know that the Grand Vizier does not want the matter pursued and I observe that great packets come from thence for the English ambassador, who avoids dealing with me, and speaks with great contempt of the French ambassador and the support and protection of the Turks, claiming for himself a position above the ordinary. It seems to me that the closest observation is necessary to find out the true reasons which have brought England to his present state, to be so highly esteemed among the Turks that they care nothing, were all the world united against them. The high spirit (generosità) of this gentleman had certainly won him a great place among them here, and even in the past his name has stood high, but he was not previously favoured or protected in any unusual way. From conversation with his secretary I gathered that a most important despatch reached the ambassador from England a month ago which obliged him to send his orders immediately to the dragoman at Adrianople. I could not get him to speak of the contents. I suspect some secret practices, as I can well imagine the objection of England to the peace of the French with the Catholic crown.
The French ambassador, whose interests are deeply concerned, I approached by communication with his dragoman, in general terms calculated to stir his curiosity and desire to find out something. By bribing the Reischitab with liberal presents he has found that the English ambassador, with a recent order from his Court, is negotiating an offensive and defensive alliance with the Turks, to be published after the announcement of the peace between the crowns, promising the adhesion of the Portuguese and perhaps of the Dutch, who are offended with France. I urged him to try and find out more and to get corroboration as I could not see what advantage England could derive from the Turks if she were attacked by the French and Spaniards.
I find in effect that the proposal was made to the Grand Vizier by Piron; that the dragoman grande Draperis did not go to Adrianople on this service in order to avoid rousing suspicion; that the English ambassador in such case would require a formal condition for the exclusion from all the marts of this empire of French goods and every condition of trade, taking for himself the entire business in every place, and consequently securing incredible advantages; that the Barbary corsairs shall unite with large squadrons of the English to attack Provence, scouring the sea and acting in accordance with the needs of the Porte.
The Vizier listens willingly, but in a matter of such importance as declaring France an enemy and invading her dominions to make a diversion for the benefit of the English, the frontiers being so distant and there being so many other most serious considerations, he so far gives no definite answer, but confines himself to generalities. I have not been able to find out any more.

Pera of Constantinople, the 6th March, 1660.
[Italian; deciphered.]
March 9.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Costantinopoli.
Venetian
Archives.
124. Giovanni Battista Ballarino, Venetian Secretary at the Porte, to the Doge and Senate.
Quarrels between the fathers of the churches of Sta. Maria and San Francesco.
The Dragoman Draperis went to the church of Sta. Maria and ordered the preacher to leave the pulpit. As Draperis had authority over the monastery, he was obliged to obey. When the archbishop heard of it he applied to the French ambassador, who intervened, threatening to have the fathers of Sta. Maria put in irons and sent to Rome. Draperis appealed to the English ambassador. That minister, full of secret malice against France, and equally eager, if possible, to get that church for the use of the Protestants, sent his secretary, a number of English and an English preacher with Draperis to notify the archbishop publicly that he must withdraw from that monastery and leave the field free for the preaching in Sta. Maria, otherwise he was determined to cause his own Evangelical preacher to mount the pulpit, and to uphold the cause by means of blood and gold. The prelate withdrew in astonishment, but appealed to France for help. His Excellency, confronted with this public and too open declaration and contumely has drawn back and keeps silence, recognising that the time is not favourable for him. So the English have won.
Pera of Constantinople, the 9th March, 1660.
[Italian; deciphered.]
March 12.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
125. Francesco Giavarina, Venetian Resident in England, to the Doge and Senate.
All the days of last week, except Tuesday, which was spent in church in thanksgiving to the Almighty for the reunion of the members, have been devoted to discussing the establishment of a new militia for the whole kingdom in place of the one recently disbanded, on the legal dissolution of the present assembly, and the form and in whose name they ought to issue the writs for those who are to take part in the next parliament.
On the first point touching the militia they passed a special resolution that two or three hours every morning shall be devoted to its discussion until it is matured, the members undertaking, each for the place he represents, to recommend the persons best fitted for putting the orders into execution. The assembly has decided to establish a fresh militia because it is much afraid that the Anabaptists, Quakers and other very numerous and powerful sectaries, from dislike of the present parliament, entirely composed of Presbyterians and fomented by Lambert, Desbero and many other leaders of their faith, may be contemplating an insurrection. Indeed hearing of some beginnings of commotion in the North General Monch sent off some troops of horse to put it down and suppress any attempts these sectaries might try to make, who are cruel and bloody.
There are still great numbers of them in this city, and it seems that on Sunday or Tuesday last they had planned to rise, break into the houses and kill all whom they came across. But this was foreseen and prevented by placing strong guards everywhere and by searching the houses in which sectaries might be living. In several they found arms and other warlike instruments with a quantity of knives especially designed for such wicked deeds. Some persons have been arrested and sent to the Tower.
On the second point of their dissolution they resolved yesterday evening that it shall take place on the 15th inst., old style, at latest. The debate was prolonged and they do not know yet how to carry the decision into effect from their fear that once their body has disbanded, the few members who sat before and who had shut out the majority of their colleagues, may resume their seats and annul all that has been done in these few days by the assembly. The fear increases daily seeing that the assembly cannot draw away so many of them as will suffice to render valid the decisions and concur in the dissolution (stante che d'essi non puo l'assemblea tirarne tanti quanti bastano per render ralide le deliberationi a concorrere al discioglimento.)
On the third point, while they easily decided on the convocation of a new parliament, many difficulties have been encountered over the form and the name in which the writs should be issued. Grave discussions have taken place on the subject and after many altercations and disputes nothing has yet been decided. Many members would like the writs issued without restrictions or limitations and the elections to be the same. Others desire to impose restrictions both on the electors and on those to be elected. Others again are of opinion that these should be for the latter but not for the former. With these differences a decision is held up and the delay cannot fail to be prejudicial.
The question in whose name the writs should be issued is equally troublesome and causes great perturbation and travail. With the death of King Charles the parliament undoubtedly fell also and all the assemblies since then and the long one restored, which is the present, are abuses contrary to the laws and constitution of the country according to which no one but the king has power to summon parliament. Everyone is perfectly aware of this fact and so the members do not know where to begin to make the writs lawful and in conformity with the ancient statutes of the realm. They are afraid that if they are sent in the name of the congress the people will not obey them and so the confusion will be worse than ever, for all the counties of England, and this week all those of Ireland as well have declared for a free parliament without qualifications, oaths or other commitments, and it is well known, although not specified, that they all point to the king, since everyone admits that parliament cannot be called free unless it consists of king, lords and commons.
In their perplexity it has been suggested in parliament, to legitimate the coming elections, to summon the peers of the realm and get them to issue the writs in the king's name, inviting his Majesty to return to England, but with conditions and restrictions. But to this are opposed all those who enjoy goods of the crown and bishops, which are secularised, and all who had a part in the king's death, the first from the certainty of restitution and the others from fear of punishment. Others suggested restoring Richard as Protector, but great difficulties have risen. Some wished to raise Monch to the title of Cromwell, but this also met with strong opposition especially as it is seen that his popularity has greatly diminished. All believed that he would restore the king they long for, as he seemed to indicate at first; now they find by experience it is quite otherwise as he is more active than anyone in encouraging parliament to make limitations for the future elections and that no one who bore arms for the king shall be able to elect or be elected, with many other things entirely contrary to the wishes of the people.
But while I have always thought that the sole aim of all his actions was his own advancement, yet from the present appearance of things I should now venture to predict the return of Charles as practically certain. With the militia set up in the country, which will certainly come, against Monch's wishes, and if it falls, as is confidently expected, into the hands of persons of integrity and not as it was before, and with the present assembly lawfully dissolved and the minority, who have lost all vigour unable to return, Monch with all his army will not be able to stand against the full flood of the country, which will be all for the king and against him; and if the conditions they impose are moderate the future parliament will undoubtedly please the people who are weary of the heavy yoke under which they have bowed for so many years and only long for the moment to shake it off and find relief with the return of their legitimate and natural lord.
I will keep the Senate fully informed and I may add that the arming which we hear the Most Christian is busily engaged on at Toulon and the reports of a marriage between the King of Scotland and a niece of Mazarini (fn. 5) cause great alarm here which is increased by the considerable succours which it seems the Catholic is also preparing for Charles.
To remove the impression made on the people by this good news malignant persons have latterly spread a thousand inventions against the king's person of the most insulting description. One of these is that owing to his Majesty's ill behaviour the king of Spain has been obliged to put a guard over his house at Brussels and detain him there as a prisoner. But as these are known to be tricks, without foundation, they do not produce the results intended, especially as the letters arrived from Flanders show that it is absolutely false, by the provision of 100,000 crowns which his Majesty is daily expecting from Madrid.
Money being short and with the need of large amounts to supply the requirements of the naval and military forces, they have applied to London for a loan, assigning for the repayment the first returns of the tax recently imposed of 100,000l. a month. The city offered 60,000l. but while parliament was about to vote the assignment doubts arose in their minds about the security for repayment and they withdrew the offer, so London will not hand out any more money. This is very mortifying to parliament and yesterday they appointed a committee to go to London and press for an advance of the amount of the tax for the city alone, which they might consider a better security; but it is not known what the common council will decide.
The continuation of the duties, ordinary and extraordinary has been voted in parliament, but little comes in as trade with Spain is interrupted and the rest is not of much consequence, while during the present crisis the merchants are leaving their goods at the customs houses, without passing them through and paying the duties, waiting to see what will happen.
London, the 12th March, 1660.
[Italian.]
March 19
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
126. Francesco Giavarina, Venetian Resident in England, to the Doge and Senate.
Parliament has spent most of this week upon setting up the new militia and over the writs for the next congress. The first is completed and the act is in the press and will be issued soon. As regard the writs everything remains in uncertainty as they cannot find a way round the obstacles that intervene. It is therefore generally expected that instead of writs they will issue a proclamation giving the reasons for the dissolution of the present body and the meeting of a new one on the 25th April leaving the sheriffs to call the communes together and these will be at liberty to choose their representatives in accordance with the ancient laws and statutes of the realm. They must make up their minds soon, as Thursday next is the date for their dissolution in accordance with their own vote, but with new affairs cropping up at every moment, many are of an opinion that the dissolution will be postponed.
To avoid being swallowed up in affairs parliament passed a special vote the day before yesterday suspending private matters of every sort so that in the short time remaining they may attend solely to the questions of the militia, religion and the writs. The first was settled yesterday and only the other two remain. They will be dealt with soon especially as great progress has been made with the question of religion by the preparation of an act declaring that the public confession of the Anglican church consists in the Presbyterian form or Calvinist (fn. 6) and ordaining a proclamation for the effective and speedy execution of all the laws and statutes against Roman Catholics, priests and other religious, with a reward of 20l. sterling to any one who finds priests. This cruel decision is expected at any moment and it will be carried out with only too great punctuality and severity.
Parliament having ordained that the solemn league and covenant stipulated in January 1645 for the defence of religion, the honour and felicity of the king and the peace and security of the three kingdoms, should be republished and posted up in all churches and in the houses of parliament, this has all been done in the present week. An article of this league solemnly promises to preserve and defend the person and posterity of the long, and upon this Colonel Steffen (fn. 7) took the floor on Tuesday and delivered a long speech showing the obligation and necessity of recalling Charles II the successor of Charles I to enjoy the crown which is his right and to protect him by virtue of this covenant. The proposal was greeted by many with shouts and signs of gladness, but as no one seconded it further discussion ceased for the time being.
The officers of the army becoming aware of the questions being discussed in parliament met together the day before yesterday and resolved to present a protest against the re-admission of the king. They meant to put this into action yesterday morning, but General Monch, having got wind of their intention, put a stop to it. He sent for the officers and told them that he had brought them with him from Scotland on the understanding that they should obey parliament and submit to military discipline. He perceived that they pretended to do more by meddling in affairs which did not belong to them. He was the servant of parliament and as such he submitted to what it decided for the benefit and quiet of the nation. He advised them all to do the same and not to commit themselves to remonstrances. In order that they might be informed of the reasons which had led parliament to take the decisions it had he would see that body afforded them a conference with some of its members.
Thus ten members and as many officers have been appointed to confer together, the last demanding an act to justify all that has passed since the king's death and a declaration of perpetual hostility against the house of Stuart. They now stand united and no one can tell what will be decided. But while the question is of extreme consequence no one believes that parliament will give way to the officers any more than to the pretensions of the few members who used to sit and were utterly opposed to monarchy, by whom the officers were fomented and encouraged.
From Monch's speeches to the officers it may be surmised that he is not averse to the king's return. This does not arise from his natural instinct but because he thinks it impossible to get over the generality of the kingdom which is all for the king. He will now have to bare his heart without dissimulation as he will be forced to side either with parliament or with the officers. The issue will soon be seen and I will keep the Senate informed.
If parliament decides to recall the king it can only be on conditions that his Majesty cannot accept, especially in matters of religion, as it is entirely Calvinistic. It may be that parliament will show moderation in this, considering that his Majesty is bound to come back in one way or another and desiring to prevent his reinstatement by foreigners. This seems very likely as definite news comes from Flanders that both the Most Christian and the Catholic will give Charles powerful assistance in money and men. His Majesty received assurances from the former with the return to Brussels of Lord Jermin, whom he sent to the French Court as an ambassador, while the Marquis of Caracena, governor of Flanders, handed the king of Scotland a packet as a pledge and earnest of his master's promises. Caracena handed to the duke of York another packet from the Catholic offering him the Grand Admiralship of all the Spanish fleets in Europe and the Indies and the supreme command on land of 10,000 soldiers, with many other marks of affection and regard for so worthy and valorous a prince.
This news arrived by the last ordinary of Flanders and with it came some very remarkable information which I read in the letter of a trustworthy person of authority. The Dutch States have always been against King Charles, but now, seeing that his restoration is inevitable, they sent two commissioners to him at Brussels. They had private audience of the king on the 3rd March in which, after many compliments, they begged him not to take it ill that they had been in constant correspondence with his rebels, as the States were obliged to take that course in their own interests and to preserve trade. They hoped his Majesty would think well of them and keep up the ancient friendship and confidence, assuring him on their side of the utmost respect and regard.
All these reports rouse very bitter feelings here and to destroy the good impressions conceived by the people here the king's enemies continue to spread inventions against him, like those reported last week. To make a stronger impression they announce as an undoubted fact that the duke of York has changed his religion and become a Catholic, but it is all without foundation and pure intrigue.
Parliament has appointed Monch and Montagu generals at sea and has ordered the latter to go on board the fleet and put to sea as soon as possible with a squadron, to cruise in the Channel and look after those parts where his presence may be required. But with the wind quite contrary Montagu cannot get out of the Thames, although urged to sail.
The council of state having received a quantity of evidence against Lambert, against Sir [Arthur] Haselrig and other members of parliament, of the few who sat before the recall of the excluded ones, of designs against this parliament in conjunction with the Anabaptists, Quakers and other sectaries, and patents having been found signed by Lambert for raising troops, he was arrested on Monday and sent to the Tower. As parliament has directed the council of state to make careful enquiry into the accusations against the others, it is thought that many of them may go to keep Lambert company, since it is impossible for them not to be guilty as they cherish unspeakable malice against all indifferently and were the prime movers in the death of the late king.
Parliament having asked the city for a loan of the amount of the tax payable by the city, the citizens have handed over 27,000l. sterling, with the security that repayment will be made as the money from the tax comes in. The amount is insignificant in view of what is required, but as London will not supply more they have to be satisfied with the little they can get.
News of the death of the king of Sweden reached here by sea on Saturday last, confirmed on Monday evening by an express courier to the Swedish ministers here stating that his Majesty died of fever on the 23rd February at Gottemburg. Three hours before the end he advised peace with Denmark if it can be obtained on honourable terms, but if not, to pursue the war vigorously. His three year old son succeeds to the crown, the queen mother being appointed regent during the minority, (fn. 8) with other particulars about the affairs of that kingdom.
Some weeks ago M. de Bordeos the French ambassador informed parliament of the peace between the two crowns. On Sunday he published it with a Te Deum in his chapel and by bonfires and great rejoicings in the evening. Following the example of the other foreign ministers I also celebrated it on Wednesday evening. The cost does not exceed 35l. sterling and I hope the public generosity will not allow my depleted estate to bear this and will permit me to put it in my accounts.
London, the 19th March, 1660.
[Italian.]
March 26,
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
127. Francesco Giavarina, Venetian Resident in England, to the Doge and Senate.
The conference between the members of parliament and the officers ended as soon as it began. On the parliament's side it was merely for information and so it led to nothing except a rigorous order from General Monch issued the day after directing all officers with commands in the country to proceed at once to their quarters, in virtue of the proclamation issued some weeks ago, and so everything has gone off without the slightest upset.
Parliament subsequently continued its labours on the question of religion and the new parliament. The first has been definitely settled by a proclamation against the Roman Catholics and others in favour of Calvinism. Great progress has been made with both, but no decision has been reached yet as they encounter more and more serious obstacles. Yesterday was the date fixed for the dissolution and everyone expected the conclusion of the matter, but parliament is still sitting to-day and with a vote passed yesterday postponing the dissolution for a week, it is expected that everything will be finished up at any moment, especially as the sittings are not prolonged by a decree. So before long everyone will have the satisfaction of seeing what progress has been made in the despatch of the writs in accordance with the ancient forms of the realm.
The pledge required of the members and others to be faithful to the republic of England as now constituted, without king or house of peers, has been repealed this week and ordered to be cancelled in the parliament's journals. A committee has been set up to consider what has been done in parliament about the house of peers and to report to them. By virtue of this it seems that the lords also may be convoked, but not now as they claim to do it at the meeting of the coming parliament. If they met now they would have to dissolve with the Commons and would not be able to resume their sessions without fresh writs from the king, so they consider it best not to summon a body which could only endure for a moment.
These resolutions seem very advantageous for the king's interests, and so is the republication of the league and covenant; but other decisions have been taken which at first sight seem to point in a contrary direction. It is pretended that the commissioners to raise the new militia and all the officers serving therein shall first make a declaration that the war waged by parliament in their defence against the things done in the name of the late king was just and legitimate. They also require that all who had any share whatsoever in the Irish rebellion, all Roman Catholics and all who took any share in the war against parliament after January 1641 shall be incapable of election to the new parliament. The first decision is due to the fear that with the militia now in the hands of persons of integrity, it may call upon those who made the war to render account, and the declaration is intended to shut their mouths; but it will not serve, as what occurred was the exact opposite and the king was forced to take arms against those which parliament had first raised against him.
The restrictions about members is not much to go upon as such persons are not deprived of their votes and so it matters little if they cannot be elected. The hopes of the king's coming constantly increase among the people who long for it. All speak of it openly and with great joy. Parliament continues to quarrel and dispute over the question. In Ireland it is whispered though without grounds so far, that he has already been declared and proclaimed. The members of parliament themselves say definitely that it is absolutely necessary for his Majesty to return. His enemies say the same, adding that in their own interest they are bound to put it off as long as possible, as they know that when he comes there is no salvation for them, their consciences being too charged. Monch still keeps his intentions hidden but from what he has done these last days does not seem adverse. Time will show.
In the city of London in an open public place are statues of all the kings of England in a row, from Edward the Confessor, erected by the city itself on the day of their coronation. (fn. 9) That of King Charles was removed and broken in pieces by order of parliament the day his head was cut off and in its place the following inscription was set up by order of parliament: Exit Tyrannus Regum ultimus Restitutae Angliae Libertatis anno prime die xxx Januarii MDCXXXXIIX. It has continued thus to this day, but yesterday, two hours before night some daring fellow brought a ladder with a brush and colours, and after washing and cleaning the statue of Queen Elizabeth did the same to that of King James and then washed ever the place of King Charles with several colours, obliterating the inscription completely. That done he came down and began to shout “Long live Charles II,” the cry being taken up by the acclamations of a number of people who had watched him at work, and the deletion was celebrated by many bonfires, no one interfering. Everyone admires the daring and determination of this fellow as he did it all without a mask or other disguise, from which it is concluded that he acted by order and with substantial backing. (fn. 10)
The squadron of ships under General Montagu charged with the defence of the Channel remains motionless and still at anchor. There are many reasons for this, notably the lack of money and of sailors. To make this good an act was passed yesterday to press them, but as the people here do not love violence it may lead to some disturbance in the present crisis.
The ministers of Sweden had audience of the council of state on Tuesday evening, informing them of the king's death and presenting new letters of credence signed by the queen regent in the name of the new little king.
London, the 26th March, 1660.
[Italian.]
March 31.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Spagna.
Venetian
Archives.
128. Giacomo Quirini, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the Doge and Senate.
The Majorcan corsairs, continuing their depredations, have captured two large English ships (fn. 11) which were proceeding from Zante to Lisbon, laden with currants.
Madrid, the last of March, 1660.
[Italian.]

Footnotes

1 The squadron sent out under Capt. Jonas Poole, in the Leopard. He had also the Elizabeth, Jersey and Preston in company. He reached Zante for the first time on 13–23 Feb. Cal S.P. Dom. 1659–60, pp. 243, 374. The Preston, Capt. Robert Robinson, brought in the Messinese ship. See Poole's report on 7 March. Ibid page 386.
2 William Womble. See letter of Giles Jones of 3 Nov. 1662. S.P. For. Venice.
3 Thomas Scott, appointed on 10–20 January. Journals of the House of Commons Vol. vii, page 806.
4 azali. See Du Cange: Glossarium Mediae el Infimae Latinitatis sub voce azzale.
5 Hortense, fourth daughter of Lorenzo Mancini.
6 Act declaring the Protestant Confession of Faith of the Church of England, passed on 5–15 March. Journals of the House of Commons Vol. vii, page 862.
7 Probably Nathaniel Stephens of Chavenage, member for Gloucestershire. Transactions Bristol and Gloucester Archaeological Society, Vol. xxii, page 132.
8 Charles X died as stated; his son Charles XI was born in Nov. 1655, and was therefore over 4 years old. The widowed queen was Hedwig Eleanora of Holstein Gottorp.
9 The royal statues were in the quadrangle of the Royal Exchange built by Gresham, placed in niches, immediately above the cloister or colonnade. They were all destroyed in the Great Fire. Wheatley and Cunningham: London, Past and Present, Vol. iii, page 183.
10 Mr. Mills says it was done by order, at noon. Cal. S.P. Dom. 1659–60, page 393; but see Pepys: Diary, Vol. i, pp. 92–3.
11 The Reformation and Free Trade, belonging to the Levant Co. See S.P. For. Archives (Levant Co. Letter Book), Vol, 112, ff. 338, 339.