Venice
April 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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134-140

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'Venice: April 1660', Calendar of State Papers Relating to English Affairs in the Archives of Venice, Volume 32: 1659-1661 (1931), pp. 134-140. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=90055 Date accessed: 26 November 2014.


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April 1660

April 1.
Senate,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni.
Corti.
Venetian
Archives.
129. To the Resident in England.
A squadron of English ships is cruising in the waters of Zante. In the port there they have plundered a Spanish ship and the Proveditore of the Three Islands reports that they have taken a ship of Messina, although the captain is French and the ship flew the flag of St. Mark. The squadron is to remain in those waters and it is necessary for the republic to protect itself against their indiscretions, as they will not obey the orders of the Health Office, and they land men, although they have had pratique in the Morea. (fn. 1) He is to represent to the government the impropriety of such behaviour and to ask for strong orders to prevent further trouble as the republic wishes to encourage the best relations with that nation.
Permission to include in his accounts his expenses for the celebration of peace between the crowns.
Ayes, 115. Noes, 1. Neutral, 3.
[Italian.]
April 2.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
130. Francesco Giavarina, Venetian Resident in England, to the Doge and Senate.
Parliament did not dissolve on Thursday but did so on Friday night in last week, thus terminating an existence begun on the 3rd November, 1640 and continued until now, with many interruptions, into which I need not enter. Before the dissolution, which was by a public act carried unanimously leaving no hope to the disaffected members of returning under any pretext whatsoever, they settled the question of the writs for the new parliament. After much debate they resolved to issue them in the name of the keepers of the liberties of England under the great seal of the realm, a vague title representing nothing in existence and consequently unlikely to satisfy the people. They are already being issued and one hears of great preparations and much commotion in the counties for the new elections. As no restrictions have been imposed beyond those reported, which are of no great consequence, it may be hoped that all will go well and in accordance with the unanimous desires of the people.
In the act of dissolution there is a clause stating definitely that although parliament has laboured alone at this time of pressing need without a house of peers, it does not make the smallest claim to prejudice that body or to take away the right it has always enjoyed to form part of the parliament of England. Consequently it can no longer be doubted that when the new parliament opens the lords also will sit and it may therefore be taken for granted that the king will be called, for without him the parliament cannot be called full and lawful.
The dissolved parliament has ordered a general fast and humiliation to be observed in all three kingdoms on the 16th April to implore the Divine blessing on the coming parliament so that it may establish peace and good government on just and durable foundations, and the people will punctually obey this at the appointed time.
In the interval of parliament all authority and power has been left to the council of state, which sits every day and attends to all emergencies. It has issued three proclamations this week, one ordering all Catholics and malignants or royalists to leave London during this interval; the second to the same effect against all disaffected officers recently reformed; and the third forbidding soldiers to meet or sign any declaration or remonstrance; all to prevent disorder during this interval. (fn. 2)
The city fearing that the sectaries may seize this opportunity to make some desperate attempt against the council and Monch, sent the day before yesterday to both inviting them to come and reside there until the opening of parliament for greater safety. They answered with thanks but said there was no sign of any danger of disturbance or revolution. But some members of the late parliament who seemed most disposed to disturb the peace have been sent to the Towner while others have been left at liberty on promising to leave peaceably and to retire to their country houses.
Ireland has not declared for King Charles, as reported here, but a general convention in the form of parliament is being held at Dublin to decide what is considered to be necessary for the needs of the country, and apparently they claim to set up a parliament there distinct from the English one in continuation of their ancient customs and national privileges.
The Portuguese ambassador here is labouring to obtain permission to raise levies of horse and foot and to hire ships in this kingdom for the service of his master in his present struggle with the Spaniards. He is very urgent and not without hope especially as he offers money and asks for no pledges, merely for connivance to help himself with Portuguese funds without the smallest charge to this state.
London, the 2nd April, 1660.
[Italian.]
April 9.
Senate,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
131. Francesco Giavarina, Venetian Resident in England, to the Doge and Senate.
Until the new parliament meets nothing of consequence can happen as the council of state supplies no material of any sort since they only deal with internal affairs of not much importance and with proclamations and other orders for watching carefully over the preservation of the peace during the present interval.
Having information of some plot meditated in the city of London by Anabaptists and other sectaries to disturb the peace enjoyed now and upset the greater tranquillity which is anticipated soon, a thorough search was made in suspected houses. A quantity of weapons was found including many firearms loaded and all ready for instant use. They were taken away and so by keeping a close watch on the ill affected they stamp out all the trains laid to fire new mines for the greater affliction of the people who have suffered so much in what they have had to put up with in the course of many years.
The writs for electing members have been issued to the counties and boroughs and many elections have already taken place. It is observed that those chosen are all persons of integrity and judgment, so hope is high that God will grant this wretched nation the boon it has missed for nearly ten whole years, for which it has suffered so much and is now repentant acknowledging its fault for the follies committed and offering fervent vows to Heaven.
There seems to be no longer any doubt of the coming of the king during next summer and I would almost venture to tell the Senate it was certain. The indications could not be better or plainer. All long for it passionately except the few indicated. All would like it to happen at the opening of the new parliament. Even those who are against it see that the blow is inevitable, so if it does not come the fault must be with destiny and everyone would feel defrauded, for the sentiments of the people could not be more favourable or intense.
If it happens it will be on many conditions, of which one cannot yet discover one but that may be taken as honourable for his Majesty and tending to the liberty and the maintenance of the liberties of the people, so the king will have no difficulty in conceding them and in affording his subjects unspeakable joy by his royal presence.
Throughout the country they are attending with great care to the establishment of the militia voted by parliament. Many counties have already done it, and the city of London also, and the latter is expecting some auxiliary regiments for the greater security of the city. With all these forces in good hands there is nothing to fear from the machinations of adversaries who only want to start a new civil war, to upset everything in the hope of securing advantages for their own party and interest out of the ruin.
General Montagu has gone on board the squadron which is to cruise in the Channel this summer and guard the coasts of England, but he has to remain at anchor in the Thames as the violent contrary winds prevent him from getting out.
The Portuguese ambassador here keeps urging the council of state as I reported last week, and being hopeful he is very insistent not only because of the urgent need of his master, but because he is well aware that if he does not obtain the permission soon, with the king's coming all his hopes will vanish and he will not be able to get anything. Once he has got what he wants I gather that he will go himself to Portugal to inform Braganza of his negotiations, leaving the secretary (fn. 3) to attend to affairs here in connection with the concessions made to him.
London, the 9th April, 1060.
[Italian.]
April 10.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Costantinopoli.
Venetian
Archives.
132. Giovanni Battista Ballarino, Venetian Secretary at the Porte, to the Doge and Senate.
The English ambassador has written to Piron that if the presence of Draperis is necessary to advance the negotiations for an alliance with the Ottomans he would send him at once to Adrianople under some pretext, but that he would not go in person, as it would create too much stir. But it is understood that the Turks wish to observe what the French do in the present campaign. I hear that the English ambassador has received an intimation by letter of the Chiecaia of the Grand Vizier, that unless fresh emergencies arise the union of the Ottoman and English forces will not be agreed upon except at the end of the campaign.
The Vizier would have gone some steps further without hesitation if he had not been held bach by personal considerations, because by nature he is as inimical to France as he is friendly to England, eager to have the support of ships of that nation against your Serenity, impatient in his desire to see this ambassador humiliated with all his Court; otherwise he would doubtless have rushed with the usual fury to all manner of extremes, since it is well known from what has so often happened before, that in the gratification of his caprices he cares nothing about breaking the law of nations, using force with ambassadors, making war in more than one place, setting the province of Hungary upside down, all the while conducting a bitter war against your Serenity.

Pera of Constantinople, the 10th April, 1660.
[Italian; deciphered.]
April 16.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
133. Francesco Giavarina, Venetian Resident in England, to the Doge and Senate.
The counties are proceeding briskly with the election of members for parliament. As the persons selected are not disaffected to the Stuart cause while fulfilling the qualifications required by the late house, confidence in his Majesty's return becomes greater and there can no longer be any doubt about it. The change in the people here is indeed miraculous and portentous. The king's name is now as much loved, revered and acclaimed as in past years it was detested and abused, and nothing is desired with greater fervour by all the people, particularly those of the lower classes, as well of this metropolis as of the rest of the country, who have been the most bitter enemies of his Majesty, so that it will be a marvel to see the moment of his coming without the shedding of a single drop of blood. The desire for the king is universal, some upon rigorous conditions, some on moderate ones and some freely, without any arrangement, referring everything to the clemency of his Majesty. As all the people of the country agree in this opinion they take care to nominate members who have like views; in many places they are setting aside the chief men of the counties from fear that they will want conditions, notwithstanding that they declare openly for the king.
Many of his Majesty's enemies are now trying to curry favour with him by excuses and justifications. All are becoming men of sobriety and integrity. Two aldermen of London (fn. 4) who were judges and signed the king's death warrant now defend their impious action by unsubstantial pretexts. Although their names appear in all the sheets which make mention of this horrid spectacle they are not ashamed to put into the Gazettes which come out every Monday and Thursday, that they are not entered in the parliament Journal and deny that they had a hand in that innocent blood, thus endeavouring to establish their blamelessness. All these things tend to show that there is no reason for doubting the king's return.
The militia is being completed in the provinces with great energy and alertness. All the colonels and higher officers are peers of the realm, so it could not be in better hands, and this also is an additional security for Charles. London is making progress in getting auxiliaries and this is very nearly completed.
The inscription occupying the place of the late king's statue, having been removed they are thinking of having another statue made to put there. They are engaged upon one of General Monch at the cost of the merchants which is to stand in the middle of the Exchange, where the traders meet every day to do their business, as a sign of their gratitude for what he has done, as he may truly be called the prime mover of the tranquillity this distressed nation is to enjoy again.
The contrary wind continues to hold up Montagu and his squadron. As soon as it turns favourable he will sail out of the Thames and guard these coasts which are much annoyed by corsairs of Ostend and other ports of Flanders. To free the coasts of Ireland from these piracies the council of state has charged the commissioners of the Admiralty to send a competent number of ships of war to those waters to secure trade.
Lord Inchiquin, an Irishman, when proceeding from France to Portugal to take service in the army of Braganza against the Spaniards, has been captured with his son and other followers by pirates of Algiers, when entering the port of Lisbon, and all made slaves. When the news arrived here the council of state instantly wrote to the Pasha there making strong demands for their release by virtue of the peace concluded between those barbarians and this state. While they are hopeful of obtaining this they are anxiously waiting to see what reply they will get from those infidels who know no reason or humanity.
London, the 16th April, 1660.
[Italian.]
April 22.
Senato,
Secreta,
Dispacci,
Ceffalonia.
Venetian
Archives.
134. Francesco Valier, Venetian Proveditore of Cephalonia, to the Doge and Senate.
There are at present nineteen English ships in this port of Argostoli, ten of which have a cargo of currants. To prevent smuggling and fraud which are attempted at every moment by those individuals, I have gone to Argostoli from the beginning and shall stay there until their departure, having provided a number of caiques, so that they may cut about everywhere. In the mean time I have not forgotten to treat these English captains and supercargoes well, inviting them frequently to dine with me, so that they may have reason to continue the trade in this island.
Zeffalonia, the 22nd April, 1660, new style.
[Italian.]
April 23.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
135. Francesco Giavarina, Venetian Resident in England, to the Doge and Senate.
With the time for the new parliament approaching everyone is anxiously awaiting the day to see the fruits of its deliberations and whether they will correspond to the universal expectation. It is observed that the majority of those nominated for this great assembly are of pacific temperament entirely devoted to the tranquillity of the nation, and this cannot be without the king's return, so the confidence grows that a few weeks after this body meets these realms will experience the relief they so greatly desire.
Those who were the most influential and turbulent in the long parliament are making great efforts to be chosen for the next, but without success, to their extreme mortification, as it is the fixed aim of the communes not to elect any of those who possess goods of the crown, the church or the sequestrated royalists, from fear that their private interest would prevail over the public, as no doubt it would, thus postponing the benefit which is expected from the choice of disinterested persons. The same rule is observed by the commissioners of the militia in each province in the appointment of officers. So humanly speaking there is no fear from either parliament or the militia about the king's return. From present appearances it is the unanimous wish of the people, unless they change, subject as they are to sudden changes, as has happened so often, due to this inconstant climate; but there seems no fear of this now since everything is in such good train and proceeding so favourably.
With great energy and severity General Monch is purging the army of England, Scotland and Ireland of all the sectaries or fanatics enrolled in them. As suspicion still exists of some officers, companies and regiments and it is impossible to look into their hearts, to reassure those who have misgivings, Colonel Charles Howard with over 40 of the most distinguished officers of the army presented to the general on Monday a memorial in the name of the regiments, signed by countless officers, expressing the hope for a durable settlement soon in these realms after so many changes and promising blind obedience to orders and the punctual execution of all commands given by his excellency, the council of state or parliament, when it meets, declaring that they will dissolve any conventicles among them and not meddle in any affairs of state, submitting to the prudent decisions of parliament which they know can alone secure for everyone the enjoyment of his religious and civil rights.
Some 120 also of the leading officers of the London militia have this week addressed themselves to Monch. In the name of these and of all the soldiers forming the six regiments of citizens, Colonel and Alderman Robinson made a short but prudent speech in which after giving the chief glory to God he thanked his Excellency as the principal instrument in the liberation of this country and for the glorious establishment of peace which is desired, and assuring him of the great personal affection of the city for him and their determination not to desert him in the service of the country or in obedience to the council of state and the coming parliament. Monch received them very courteously, thanked them for the civility, expressed satisfaction at their care for the public interests and encouraged them to persevere in their just and pious resolutions and join him in thanking God for this deliverance, to Whose goodness they must look for what was still wanting to complete the felicity of these nations.
The last parliament committed Colonel Lambert to the Tower, as reported. On the night of Tuesday—Wednesday he broke prison and escaped. When the council of state learned this they at once issued a proclamation summoning Lambert upon pain of death to present himself within 24 hours, forbidding anyone under severe penalties to receive, hide or assist him and offering 100l. to whoever will give him up to justice, charging all officials, civil and military to give their assistance to any one to find him to secure him and bring him before the council of state. Many houses were searched where it was thought he might have taken refuge, orders being sent to all parts of the kingdom to watch for him and take him if possible and they are now changing the garrison of the Tower itself. A rumour circulated later that Lambert had been taken, but proved false. They hope to get him into their hands through the measures that have been taken and meanwhile they will confine the officers who were cashiered with Lambert. It is believed that his escape is connected with some great conspiracy with the Anabaptists, Quakers and other sectaries, but by keeping their eyes open they feel confident of preventing any disorder and of quenching any conflagration meditated by the evil intentioned.
London, the 23rd April, 1660.
[Italian.]
April 28.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Spagna.
Venetian
Archives.
136. Giacomo Quirini, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the Doge and Senate.
A letter from the king having reached Sir [Henry] Benet, his gentleman here at Madrid, he at once took the post and went to Burgos. The contents were purely complimentary, thanking the king for the generalship of the sea, granted to the duke of York, his brother. The appointment was held by the duke of Modena, with a salary of 2000 ducats a month. It is for show but not for employment and the sole object is to provide him with maintenance but not to make use of him for the moment.
Madrid, the 28th April, 1660.
[Italian.]
April 30.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
137. Francesco Giavarina, Venetian Resident in England, to the Doge and Senate.
I have nothing to add without repeating things mentioned before, but to-day being Good Friday according to the style here, I can employ the time in the religious offices at the chapel here, which is richly decorated for the occasion, and thronged with Catholics who pray for the Senate as much as for themselves, so I hope the brevity of these lines will be pardoned.
Parliament meets on Wednesday next and news is constantly arriving of the election of fresh members, always making the king's return more certain. I will not fail to keep the Senate fully informed.
Every effort has been made to recapture Colonel Lambert who escaped from the Tower, but so far without effect. He stirs up the party of the Anabaptists and other sectaries, who are very numerous in this country, all opponents of the present government and mortal enemies of the monarchy. But being dispersed in the provinces they cannot unite in a body owing to the precautions taken. If they could it would be a great matter and cause no little mischief. Some of their leaders, supporters of Lambert, have been taken and imprisoned and in the end they hope to get hold of him also, and many others, who aspire to make trouble and who tried to pervert the soldiers in the army from their obedience, have been punished here and in other parts of the kingdom more or less, according to their deserts.
The Portugese ambassador having obtained permission for the levy and all the rest that he asked of this government had audience of the council of state the day before yesterday and signed the treaty with his engagements in the matter. To-morrow he is to go and take leave of them and he will then set out for Lisbon. It will be interesting to see how far these things are carried out and if Braganza will be able to find the large sums of gold required to pay for the large numbers of horse and foot and hire of ships and the munitions of war for which he asks.
London, the 30th April, 1660.
[Italian.]

Footnotes

1 The Reformation and Free Trade, belonging to the Levant Co. See S.P. For. Archives (Levant Co. Letter Book), Vol, 112, ff. 338, 339.
2 Capt. Jonas Poole complains of being detained 40 days (quarantine) for pratique, because he had been to the Morea. Cal. S.P. Dom. 131659–60, page 375.
3 Issued on 17–27 March, the last ordering a general submission to the existing government, the Council charging all persons to forbear meeting until the next parliament assembles. Steele: Royal Proclamations Vol. i, Nos. 3166, 3168, 3170.
4 John Mullis. Cal. S.P. Dom. 1659–60, page 399.
5 Disclaimers by John Fowke and Thomas Atkin were published as advertisements in the Mercurius Politicus of March 29–April 5.


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