Venice
May 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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140-150

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'Venice: May 1660', Calendar of State Papers Relating to English Affairs in the Archives of Venice, Volume 32: 1659-1661 (1931), pp. 140-150. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=90056 Date accessed: 19 April 2014. Add to my bookshelf


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May 1660

May 7.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
138. Francesco Giavarina, Venetian Resident in England, to the Doge and Senate.
The day before yesterday parliament opened at Westminster, but several members were absent as they have not had time since their election to reach London, especially from the more remote parts. The first sittings have produced nothing, being spent merely in choosing the President, Sir Harbottle Grimston, a learned man, versed in affairs of state, upright, a Presbyterian but very moderate, and of the other officers required.
The upper house opened on the same day, consisting solely of those peers who belonged to the parliament party, excluding, in accordance with the decision of the late assembly, all those, and they are the majority, who took the royal side; but before long they also hope to sit. For President they chose the earl of Manchester, a former opponent of the king but now much tamed and moderate. They filled up other posts and both houses are working in harmony in their deliberations. They have already unanimously voted for a fast on Monday next to ask the Divine blessing on the important affairs with which they have to deal and are setting up committees to attend to ordinary affairs.
The numbers of those who in the last parliament were so stiff against the king is insignificant, and although there are many Presbyterians, they are not among the most austere, so hopes are high for the return of his Majesty. He is at present at Breda in Holland with his sister, the princess of Orange, and feels confident of being summoned to England before he returns to Brussels his old residence, under the protection of the Spaniards. He does not seem to have much reason to sing their praises, as after leading him to expect 100,000 crowns for so many months, they leave him in difficulty and want.
It cannot be said in what manner his Majesty's return will take place, since we cannot tell what parliament will decide. It is confidently expected before many weeks and it seems likely that it will be by negotiation upon conditions, as the Presbyterians wish to secure themselves and their interests against the storms which might overtake them if it happened otherwise. I will keep the Senate informed and suggest fresh letters of credence as the two I hold will not do for many reasons, or instructions as to the course to follow.
The council of state ordered a muster general of all the militia of London and this took place on Tuesday in a large meadow near the city, (fn. 1) when 12 whole regiments of infantry and some of cavalry appeared, all fine men, but undisciplined. Many persons of rank were noted, mingled in the ranks as volunteers, carrying the pike and wearing the king's colours as did the majority of the soldiers. An immense crowd watched the spectacle in which the citizens vied with one another to make it as splendid and significant as possible.
Since his escape from the Tower Colonel Lambert has tried every way to get together some sectaries. He succeeded in collecting a small force in the northern parts of the kingdom, but on Sunday he met with Colonel Ingoldsby who captured him with some of his colleagues. These have been brought to London, examined and shut up closely in the Tower. All his force has been taken and dispersed and can do no more mischief. Many leading Anabaptists, Quakers and other sectaries suspected of complicity in Lambert's designs have been placed under strict guard and with their removal, the numerous party opposed to the present government lose their hope of upsetting the peace which is believed to be near and which everyone looks for with the return of the king and the re-establishment of the government upon its ancient foundations.
To reduce the expenses of the state they are disbanding some of the more uncertain of the regiments. The soldiers receive the pay due to them and are disarmed and dismissed, being thus rendered incapable of doing any mischief.
On Monday the Portuguese ambassador had his audience to take leave and he is now about to return to his master. He leaves the secretary as resident to attend to the affairs of the embassy and hopes to return to England before long with money enough to meet the concessions which he has obtained; but with the king's coming it will all end in smoke, for it is not probable that his Majesty will permit anything against the Spaniards, to whom he is under obligations.
London, the 7th May, 1660.
[Italian.]
May 14.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
139. Francesco Giavarina, Venetian Resident in England, to the Doge and Senate.
My last informed the Senate of the opening of parliament the present assures it of the infallible return of Charles II king of England to enjoy his own, of which he has been deprived for 12 years.
Both chambers observed Monday as a fast; on Tuesday the 1st May by this style there was a large attendance at the usual places of meeting, many lords, Catholics and others, going there who absented themselves from the first sittings, while many more members attended in the commons. The first thing was to admit Sir John Grinville, one of the gentlemen of the king's chamber who had arrived from Holland with four letters from his Majesty, for the Lords, the Commons, the mayor and common council of London, and Gen. Monch, enclosing a declaration of the king granting a general pardon to all his subjects who recognise him as their sovereign within 40 days, with much more showing his Majesty's paternal affection, of which I enclose a copy for those of your Excellencies who care to see it.
The gentleman presented the letters to the two houses, containing substantially the same expressions as the declaration. These were read with the ancient formalities and every sign of respect. This done a committee was appointed to make reply, expressing the delight of parliament at his Majesty's gracious offer and humble thanks, while professing their loyalty and submission. This reply is now in preparation and will soon be sent to Breda with a solemn deputation of members of both houses who are being appointed. It was then resolved by full votes in both houses that the government should consist of king, lords and commons and that Charles II is the true heir to the crown. They next set up a committee to have the royal letters registered in the parliament journals and to examine carefully all their books to see what acts have been passed which are inconsistent with government by king, lords and commons, reporting and giving their opinion to parliament. They voted 50,000l. sterling to send to his Majesty and that being carried they applied to the city of London for a loan of 100,000l. on any assignments they might prefer. This was granted without difficulty and half will serve to meet this vote and half for the pay due to the army.
Grinville also presented the royal letter to Monch who at once communicated it to the officers and whole army, issuing a declaration of the army recognising the king and promising him obedience. Parliament subsequently gave Monch leave to reply to his Majesty, from whom he has promises of great rewards, which indeed he deserves as he has been the instrument of this great boon. There is talk of his being made earl of Essex or given some other great title.
The king's letter to the mayor and common council of London was delivered by Viscount Mordant and Grinville, and that body, like parliament, decided upon recognition and obedience. Directly after the letter was read they had all the arms of the republic taken down and directed the substitution of his Majesty's in the usual places of the city. They voted 10,000l. sterling to be despatched at once and 300l. to Grinville who brought the letter, who received 50l. from parliament for the same reason.
The city and the whole kingdom rejoice over such news and these last nights bonfires have been lighted at every corner of London and Westminster, to the ringing of the bells and the firing of all the guns of the Tower and of the ships in the Thames. Cries of “Long live King Charles” are heard at every moment and his health is drunk publicly in the streets. A number of people are getting ready to cross to him in Holland, and there is no doubt they will vie with one another to take offers of cash to his Majesty to relieve his most pressing needs.
In a few weeks we shall undoubtedly see the king in England. From what they say the whole fleet, now in the Channel, will be sent to fetch him, with a stately deputation. The exact time cannot yet be known, but they insist that his entry will be on the 29th May, old style, his Majesty's birthday, when he will be exactly 30 years of age. Not a little is required to get everything ready for the king's reception which they say will certainly be the most stately and splendid that has ever been, such is the passion of the people to pour out their treasure and their blood for their sovereign. There will follow his Majesty's coronation, which will not be less noble and costly than his entry. Ambassadors extraordinary will come from all parts to congratulate and acclaim such great felicity.
The foreign ministers here are all sending the good news to their masters by expresses, and expect letters of credence for his Majesty. I ask that some may be sent to me, pending a further decision, as it must be a good thing to be among the first in such testimonies of joy. I am writing to Malo at Antwerp to have this despatch sent on as soon as it reaches him, so that this important news may reach you soon, especially as my despatches are held up several days there every week.
When the king comes many regiments of the army will undoubtedly be disbanded and as they will be glad to get certain folk out of the country it will not be difficult for any one to obtain a grant of levies. The troops are all good and brave, and I may add that the king professes great esteem for the republic, so I am assured by many persons of rank, notably by the earl of Winchelsea and house of Arundel, among the noblest in the realm, who announce themselves as much Venetian as English, and now they are returning to power and authority they could not speak more highly of your Serenity and your ministers.
The Portuguese ambassador has not yet gone, and apparently he thinks of waiting to see what will happen about his concessions with the king's return at hand.
The ship Frigate of Zante, captain Robert Wilchinson, hired by some of this mart, is now on its way to Venice. After unlading his cargo at Venice he is to go on to the Levant Islands and take another of currants for this city for those traders. The partners have been to get me to ask the Senate not to have this ship detained but that it may be allowed to proceed on its voyage as otherwise they will suffer serious loss. I promised to oblige and assured them of the desire of your Serenity to do anything for a nation so much beloved.
Now that the king is coming not only his subjects but strangers and especially the foreign ministers will have to consider heavy expenses for the functions that will come. I also shall have to incur many extraordinary expenses to appear at these functions with becoming state. I therefore cast myself on the public generosity and feel sure the Senate will treat me with the liberality customary on such occasions, in consideration of my losses through the robbery, as I am deeply in debt for salaries and other things.
London, the 14th May, 1660.
[Italian.]
Enclosure.Declaration of the king of England, sent from Breda (fn. 2) to the two houses of parliament now assembled at Westminster, to the mayor and common council of London and to General Monch, by the Viscount Mordant and Sir John Grinville.
Dated at our court at Breda the 4/14 April, 1660 in the 12th year of our reign.
[Italian, from the English.]
May 15.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Germania.
Venetian
Archives.
140. Alvise Molin, Venetian Ambassador in Germany, to the Doge and Senate.
They write from the Hague that the English, rendered jealous by hearing that as the price of a loan and of expenses incurred in the service of the king of Denmark, the States of Holland claimed as a pledge the city of Dronten in Norway, which is a most advantageous position for impeding the trade of Muscovy and Greenland, the English minister resident at the Hague has presented a paper warning the States not to take that pledge or any other which might cause the English uneasiness, because they will not permit it.
From Copenhagen it is reported that the French and English mediators favour Sweden, but nevertheless news of peace is expected soon.
Pode, the 15th May, 1660.
[Italian.]
May 16.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Costantinopoli.
Venetian
Archives.
141. Giovanni Battista Ballarino, Venetian Secretary at the Porte, to the Doge and Senate.
It is impossible to obtain any authentic information about the negotiations for an alliance between the Turks and England or about the grant of ships against your Serenity. The French ambassador, with whom I am in constant communication, informs me that he wants to have these transactions published everywhere in this city and at Adrianople, so that, if they arrive at a conclusion, the English ambassador may not have occasion to mock at him, and boast of having carried through so great an affair with so much address that it had not come to the knowledge of France. He asked me to do the same, but I made my excuses.
Pera of Constantinople, the 16th May, 1660.
[Italian; deciphered.]
May 21.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
142. Francesco Giavarina, Venetian Resident in England, to the Doge and Senate.
Since the decision of both houses of parliament with the concurrence of the city of London and of all the land forces to recall the king, letters have arrived from General Montagu from the fleet reporting that a declaration has been sent him by the king with some lines to himself and Monch, commanding the naval forces, which are of the same tenor as those shown here last week. He called a council and had the royal letters opened and read when all the sea captains submitted and declared they would blindly obey his Majesty's government.
Rejoicing to see the fleet so well disposed parliament has attended to nothing all the week but the arrangements for the more speedy return of the king. After directing the removal of the arms and all other devices of the republic from the ships, persons have been sent to do this and orders have been sent to Montagu to proceed with the greatest possible speed to Holland to fetch his Majesty and to obey all his directions concerning his passage across the sea.
On Tuesday the heralds by decree of parliament proclaimed the king at the usual places in London and Westminster to the sound of drums and fife and all the usual formalities, announcing that he attained this dignity immediately after the death of his father, of glorious memory, although the customary ceremonies were not then performed, being prevented by the violence of the army, with much more showing the greatest submission and respect. Yesterday was spent in giving thanks to God and by official order prayers were offered in all the churches of London for his Majesty and all the royal family, and the same will be done in a fortnight hence throughout the kingdom.
The stately proclamation of Tuesday was acclaimed by all the people with the greatest signs of joy and exultation. All the peers of the realm attended, the mayor and aldermen of London, the army and the London militia. The people came in immense crowds to the function, all the shops were closed and no one opened his mouth except to breathe blessings on his Majesty. The like cordiality was shown yesterday and the two days ended with bonfires lighted at all the gates by the very lowest of the people accompanied by the ringing of all the bells and the roar of the guns of the Tower and the ships.
The foreign ministers also celebrated those evenings, except France, who, to the general astonishment, showed so much reserve that one may say he did nothing, although in the past on every occasion he used to make the most splendid displays without sparing, after the French humour which always runs to excess (che e di sempre straffare). The Portuguese ambassador made great festivities with huge fires, fountains of wine and other ceremonies. Denmark, Sweden and others all tried to express their gladness at this happy event. I also did my part to show the esteem of the Senate. There will be similar functions on the day of entry and for the coronation with other heavy expenses in which I hope the state will deal generously with me.
Everything is now being done in the king's name, the seal has already been changed and orders issued for his Majesty to be proclaimed in all the other towns of the three kingdoms and it is observed that this is being done with extraordinary rejoicing, these remarkable external shows indicating their real feelings. Among the sectaries, i.e. the Anabaptists, Quakers and others of such accursed and abominable opinions, many are disconsolate and some are abusive so that arrests take place daily. The change has truly been great and marvellous as it has taken place without bloodshed, which seemed impossible. Monch has certainly been a great man and behaved with great prudence and finesse in originating and carrying to its end so noble a work and so ticklish. He has the blessings of all and men say he will have a splendid reward, which he undoubtedly deserves for his loyalty and integrity, and which he assuredly will not miss.
The time of his Majesty's arrival is not yet known but it is confidently expected in a few days especially as parliament desires his return with the utmost speed and so gave the orders mentioned to the fleet. Men are leaving here every moment for the court. Monch sent his brother-in-law last Saturday with the answer to his Majesty's letter. (fn. 3) The house of peers has nominated six to take theirs, 3 earls, a viscount and two barons; the commons 12 members and the city of London 20. They are all ready to start and some began the journey yesterday evening. It is not yet certain whether they will cross the sea or wait for the king at Dover, where he will land. Courier upon courier has been despatched to his Majesty with all that has passed, and yesterday Sir John Grinville started on his return to Breda taking with him 60,000l. sterling in gold, 50,000l. sent to his Majesty by parliament and 10,000l. from the city of London.
I have nothing more to report to the Senate and nothing is talked of at the palace but the above affairs which are certainly sufficiently important and curious. I will keep the Senate informed so that your Excellencies may take such steps as your prudence will suggest.
Your Serenity's despatches of the 10th April reached me yesterday evening via France with orders to inform the government of the insolencies committed by 6 warships of this nation in the waters of Zante, which refused to obey the orders of the Sanita by landing, although they had pratique in the Morea. I went at once to the President of the council of state telling him of the facts and asking that orders might be sent to prevent further trouble, leaving a memorial for the benefit of the council. He listened courteously and seemed impressed, promising to inform the council and obtain the necessary orders. I will watch to see what happens and not relax my efforts to get the reasonable demands of your Serenity attended to. I hope that at the king's arrival things will proceed with better order and that all difficulties of this character will cease.
London, the 21st May, 1660.
[Italian.]
May 24.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Francia.
Venetian
Archives.
144. Gio. Battista Nani, Venetian Ambassador extraordinary in France, to the Doge and Senate.
Great changes have taken place in England. A courier arrived from London with all speed reports the recall of the king. Abbot Montagu has received the same news and after paying his respects to their Majesties here he has gone to San Sebastian to inform the Catholic and Don Luis. The king will not come again to France to establish what was agreed, but it is believed that at this very moment he may be crossing the sea and taking his place again in the kingdom. This Court will not fail to flatter him with every sort of office and now they are talking of a marriage with Mademoiselle d'Orleans always supposing that parliament does not definitely refuse to have a Frenchwoman and Catholic princess in the country. It is certain that Mademoiselle has been aspiring for a long time to matrimony and a crown and has always cultivated the confidence of the queen of England and of the king himself, indeed she has laid them both under considerable obligations by ample and secret assistance in money, in their present shortage of the same.
But it is Dunkirk which most concerns the affairs in negotiation at these congresses, because Colonel Locart, having discovered the deception, is treating to give it to the Spaniards. It comes out that this business was arranged at the frontier at the time of the past conference, when peace was established between the crowns, as Locart wished to get his own personal profit therefrom. Thus in the articles which were arranged with such secrecy and unknown to all except the two first ministers, it is provided that France shall give Locart adequate compensation in appointments and goods. The king of England is very content that the handing over of Dunkirk to the Spaniards should take place by other hands than his, since it relieves him of the dilemma of giving offence to the English or else of showing ingratitude to the Spaniards, and with this the peace between England and Spain will be greatly facilitated and as a consequence the Portuguese will lose the most substantial support on which they could count.
Andaye, the 24th May, 1660.
[Italian.]
May 28.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
145. Francesco Giavarina, Venetian Resident in England, to the Doge and Senate.
To give his Majesty more evident testimony of submission and respect parliament is working with great watchfulness at the measures required for his durable establishment and attends to nothing but what concerns the affairs of the crown. After issuing orders to put the royal palaces of Whitehall, Somerset and St. James in a decent condition to receive the king and all the royal family, they have commanded the making of the crown and sceptre and the robes lined with ermine etc. for the king's coronation. In this way by degrees they are restoring everything to its former state for the benefit of the royal house, amid the rejoicings of the people and to the increasing glory of the kingdom which by the tyrannical government of Cromwell and his followers had been reduced to a shocking state of exhaustion and wretchedness.
This week was read in parliament the trial and unjust sentence against the late king carried out by the unspeakable inhumanity of the court of justice set up for the purpose by parliament. They voted the imprisonment and confiscation of the goods of all who sat in that court and who agreed to the sentence, 72 in number, some of whom are dead. In obedience to this some have already been arrested and they are looking for others. But they will not be able to get them all into their hands as many have escaped foreseeing the storm. Seven of the most guilty of these are to lose their lives as an example and a reward for their barbarity. Of the rest one half will be exiled and the others allowed to live in the country but their goods forfeit and rendered incapable of any dignity or office.
Against Oliver Cromwell, John Brascio and Colonels Ireton and Pride, as most guilty of the king's death, parliament is preparing a charge of rebellion and treason, as from the 1st January, 1648. They are all four dead so their effigies will be tried.
They will not spare the lives of some of the surviving ministers of that court. The day before yesterday Thurloe was accused in parliament of high treason. He has no equal in rascality and crime. Oliver raised him from nothing to be secretary of state solely because of his knavish disposition and his thorough opposition to the king. During the time of the two protectors, when with absolute authority he exercised that honourable office, he never gave satisfaction either to the people or to foreigners, and his only profession was to deceive and betray the innocent. His arrest has accordingly been ordered, but so far they have not been able to find him. If he falls into their hands the great wealth indirectly acquired during his secretaryship will not avail to save his life. His offences have been too glaring and call for vengeance from Heaven, especially for the death of so many innocents in the time of Cromwell. Very many others are in like danger and every day some one is sent to prison for slandering the king in some impious and unchristian fashion.
The joy which greeted the proclamation of the king is matched by the scorn and contempt with which they are everywhere destroying all the last traces of the republic. It is quite impossible to express the change that has taken place in this country in a moment and it may be called miraculous for having happened without bloodshed and from the king being restored without conditions, which at first seemed inevitable.
His Majesty has been declared at Dunkirk also amid the rejoicings of the garrison and all the people. After this a truce was arranged with the Spaniards, which still holds and is not to be broken without ten days notice being previously given of the intention. An arrangement has also been made between the Spaniards and this country for the mutual release of prisoners, signed by Caracena, governor of Flanders, and Monch. All the Spanish prisoners here have been released and orders issued to take them across the sea, whence the English in the Catholic's hands are arriving.
After the late king's death, besides the immoveable property of the crown, which was all distributed among the rebels, the moveables also were sold and destroyed, many being bought by Don Alonso de Cardenas, the Spanish ambassador here, and sent to Madrid. Parliament has now ordered an enquiry to be made to find out where these things are and to take them from the holders. They are making great efforts in this and not entirely without result many articles of remarkable richness being found, notably in the hands of Oliver's wife. These have all been taken away from her and others who are found with them are treated in the same way.
The States sent four commissioners to the king with letters of credence for his Majesty, the dukes of York and Gloucester and the princess of Orange, inviting him to leave Breda for the Hague. After some hesitation the king agreed and went on Monday being received and entertained by the Dutch with great splendour, and congratulated by the ambassadors of France and Spain and all the other foreign ministers there.
The fleet which left to fetch his Majesty is already off the Dutch coast, and as soon as the wind is favourable the king will embark, so he is expected to arrive any day. Monch's brother-in-law took the king the replies reported and has been made a knight and baronet. (fn. 4) Similar honours will be conferred on those sent by parliament and the city who should have reached his Majesty last Tuesday.
My paper upon the insolencies of the English squadron in the waters of Zante was read in the council of state and referred to the commissioners of the Admiralty to consider the matter, make enquiry and report to the council for their decision. Considering that this way will be long and tedious, as to obtain information they will have to write to the Mediterranean and wait for an answer, and that your Excellencies require immediate and definite orders for the prevention of such behaviour, I renewed my application to the President who promised to speak about it in the council and give me satisfaction. He has done so and now sends me word that the council can do nothing beyond its instruction to the Admiralty for the present. It is clear that they will do nothing when the king's arrival is so near. That depends solely on the wind, which remains persistently contrary, but when his Majesty comes I shall hope to get a more favourable answer from the council which will be set up and which will be composed of more experienced and more suitable men.
London, the 28th May, 1660.
[Italian.]
May 29.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Germania.
Venetian
Archives.
146. Alvise Molin, Venetian Ambassador in Germany, to the Doge and Senate.
Letters from Copenhagen report dissensions of some moment between the French and English on one side and the Dutch on the other. The former, in agreement with the two kings, contend that the costs of the war should not be claimed or any compensation. The Dutch do not agree to this because they want to get a footing in Norway. The French and English also declare that Reuter has broken the truce at sea by stopping ten Swedish ships. Matters went so far that mediators were required between the mediators. Yet the negotiations are proceeding.
Pode, the 29th May, 1660.
[Italian.]

Footnotes

1 Easter Tuesday, in Hyde Park. Maitland: Hist. of London Vol. i, page 285.
2 The king's declaration printed in Journals of the House of Commons Vol. viii, pp. 4–6.
3 Dr. Thomas Clargis. According to the Public Intelligencer (Ap. 30–May 7) he left on Friday 4th May, o.s.
4 Thomas Clargeis was knighted on 8–18 May.


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