Venice
September 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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190-199

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'Venice: September 1660', Calendar of State Papers Relating to English Affairs in the Archives of Venice, Volume 32: 1659-1661 (1931), pp. 190-199. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=90060 Date accessed: 17 April 2014. Add to my bookshelf


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September 1660

Sept. 1.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Spagna.
Venetian
Archives.
207. Giacomo Quirini, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the Doge and Senate.
Montesacchio is summoned to the Court and deprived of his command of the armed ships, all on account of the blunders committed in the Levant and because of the recent fight with English ships in the Genoese, in which, the Resident of England having interested himself, they have obliged Montesacchio to disgorge 4000 reals.
Madrid, the 1st September, 1660.
[Italian.]
Sept. 3.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
208. Francesco Giavarina, Venetian Resident in England, to the Doge and Senate.
Among the alterations made by the Upper House in the Bill of Indemnity is the addition to the exceptions in condemning to death eight persons in addition to the seven voted by the Commons, and to add others to the 20 condemned to lose their goods. This does not please the Lower House, which does not want any change, giving good reasons, but the Lords will not give way. So the dispute goes on and it is difficult to see how they will end an affair of so much importance to all the people. They recently held a conference between the two houses, when after much discussion the commons desiring to finish quickly as his Majesty wishes, proposed to pass the bill as it is at once and to reserve the additions for further consideration stating in the act that more will be enacted in these particulars, but so far the Lords will not agree and all is uncertain to the great dissatisfaction of individuals and general inconvenience since because of this obstruction it is impossible to provide the money so urgently needed.
Having been deprived by parliament in Queen Elizabeth's time of the duchy of Somerset, which had been in the Seymour family since Henry VIII the marquis of Hertford is now trying to get it restored by the present parliament. The marquis of Worcester of the Somerset family opposes, claiming the dukedom by virtue of a patent from the late King Charles under the great seal of England. The question remains undecided and is debated in parliament every day without it appearing which of the two will get the verdict. When parliament has finished with the amnesty question it is thought that its sittings will be suspended until November, and that the members will go to their homes for a little breathing space, which is certainly their due after the toilsome agitations which call for their daily presence in parliament.
After Lord Robert had been chosen governor of Ireland a change has been made and the duke of Albemarle is made lieutenant there, from which the king hopes for advantage to the crown. It is not yet certain whether he will go there in person or send a deputy, as has been the almost invariable custom.
The duke of Richmond and Lennox has died of the small pox at Paris, (fn. 1) where he was with his mother, who took refuge there during the troubles. He was a youth of 13 to 14 years but of great promise, and the king and Court are much grieved. The earl of Litchfield, of the Stuart family, succeeds to the title, and now takes precedence after the princes of the blood of all the grandees of the realm, to the mortification of the other dukes, especially Buckingham, who is more ambitious and proud than the rest.
Lords Jermin and Craff are shortly expected from France, the first having finished his business with the queen of England and the other his duties in congratulating the Most Christian on the marriage and the peace. M. de Ruvigny is crossing to England with them, as envoy from King Louis to congratulate the king on his happy restoration. It is not yet known who will follow him as ambassador extraordinary; the duke of Epernon is mentioned, but this is not certain. Meanwhile the Prince de Ligne ambassador extraordinary of the Catholic is expected next week. Warships have already been despatched to the coasts of Flanders to fetch him, at his request, and it is known that he will embark to-day or to-morrow to make the short passage dividing the two countries. He comes with a large suite of over 100 persons. He brings four coaches and six, a large number of pages and lackeys and will be accompanied by a number of distinguished persons of Flanders, who are bringing their coaches and six, and liveries at their own cost, to render the embassy as splendid as possible. The baron de Batteville, ambassador in ordinary, is also expected momentarily, a ship of war having gone to San Sebastian to fetch him.
The extraordinary of Denmark made his public entry yesterday with the unusual formalities. He is being lodged and defrayed by the king until his first audience which will be to-morrow after dinner. His Majesty will return to the city on purpose, having been in the country since Tuesday buck hunting. The ambassador will then go to his own residence which he has hired for his stay, which is expected to be for some months. He has a suite of over 60 persons. The day before yesterday he informed all the foreign ministers of his arrival and of the day and hour of his entry. So yesterday I sent my coach to attend him in the city and I will perform the other courtesies later in person. A quarrel occurred between the coaches of Denmark and Portugal because the latter, against all reason, claimed to go immediately after that of the king, in which the ambassador sat but the Dane would not give way and Portugal went home without accompanying the ambassador.
I enclose the declaration obtained from the king that English subjects fighting in your Serenity's army are not included in the proclamation recalling all those serving foreign princes. This can be used as desired to stop those who might want to leave the service by virtue of the proclamation.
With regard to the king informing the powers of his return I do not find that this was done with anyone. I learn from the secretariat that even the letter to the Catholic was not so much to notify his restoration, but rather thanks for favours received in Flanders. The reason for omitting the usual formalities seems to be that already given, as during his 12 years of exile his Majesty was recognised by most of the foreign powers although not in effective possession of his states.
Being recently with the Secretary of State Nicolas, who is a member of the privy council, I touched on the question of an alliance between the English and Turks to see if he knew anything about it. Finding him entirely in the dark and that he condemned and absolutely denied such practises I told him that I heard from Germany, as I have in letters from Sig. Molin of the 3rd August, that the English ambassador at the Porte had offered this alliance to the Porte. He seemed astounded and assured me that the king certainly knew nothing about it; he had not and never would give such orders and if the minister there has made such proposals of his own caprice he may pay for it with his head; he is now removed absolutely from that post and the earl of Winchelsea will go in his stead. I lauded his Majesty's pious intentions and took my leave of the secretary without saying more.
London, the 3rd September, 1660.
[Italian.]
Enclosure.209. Notification (fn. 2) that the proclamation of the 15th June recalling all subjects in the service of foreign powers, is not intended to extend to ships or subjects in the service of Venice.
Dated at Whitehall the 21st August, in the 12th year of the reign.
Edw. Nicholas.
[English.]
Sept. 4.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni.
Corti.
Venetian
Archives.
210. To the Resident in England.
Acknowledge receipt of his letters, and note the contents. Commend his reply to the king's remarks about Candia. As his Majesty has shown so much good will it is necessary to encourage it and when an opportunity arises to stimulate it as much as possible, endeavouring, by the example of what France, Spain and the emperor have done, to find out if some help may be got from him against the Turks for the benefit not only of the republic but of all Christendom.
The usual assurances about Galileo and the debts.
Ayes, 113. Noes, 12. Neutral, 16.
[Italian.]
Sept. 8.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Spagna.
Venetian
Archives.
211. Giacomo Quirini, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the Doge and Senate.
Don Luigi told me in confidence that the peace with Spain is to be published in London on the 10th September and in Madrid on the same day. Nothing is said about Dunkirk or Jamaica but they could not doubt the good faith of the king or the good intentions which he displays towards the crown of Spain. The reception of the Portuguese ambassador in London meant nothing, it was merely taking leave and to satisfy parliament. He intimated that for the restitution of the places it would behove them to offer a considerable sum of money, because a business begun with negotiation is carried on better by means of gold. He told me further that King Charles would grant a levy of 6000 Irish against Portugal, as he was studying the means of cutting the roots and eliminating the remains of the Cromwellist factionaries. The large garrison of Dunkirk was to secure themselves against the troops of the old parliament stationed there. He had no misgivings on that account knowing that the king of England was steadfast and determined about swearing the peace and friendship with the Catholic king. He told me that the rebel Thomas Scot had been delivered to the Resident Vecht at Brussels. Close observers note that peace is said to be made without previous agreement about the two places lost, and that the Spaniards accept the loss.
Here Sir [Henry] Benet continues his complaints against Cardenas and Caracena as well, saying that both are always united in the disservice of King Charles, and even going so far as to intimate that to satisfy his Majesty some snub might well be given them. But the real reason is that the earl of Ormond and the Lord Chancellor of England, because of ill treatment during their exile in Flanders, incite this minister to make a fuss. At the same time the Resident defends the king for receiving the Portuguese ambassador on the ground that Don Luis gave public audience to the Ambassador Locart at Fuentarrabia under the very nose of King Charles although he was earnestly besought not to admit him.
Madrid, the 8th September, 1660.
[Italian.]
Sept. 10.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
212. Francesco Giavarina, Venetian Resident in England, to the Doge and Senate.
At last after many conferences and long debates between the two houses the act of indemnity and oblivion has passed this week. It received the royal assent on Wednesday with four others. His Majesty went on purpose from Whitehall to Westminster and yesterday it was published to the general relief of the people who awaited it with indescribable impatience. It offers a general pardon to all persons of every condition for all crimes or treasons against the late or present king, the royal house or any one, except some who took part in the condemnation of King Charles I, who are left to the common law to condemn to death, and others for whom the penalties have not yet been prescribed, but which will soon appear with the act. The second confirms all the acts of civil justice since the year 1642, under parliament, protectors or any other pretended authority, as if these had been lawful. The third restricts the interest received for money at usury, which had become excessive, no one being allowed to claim more than 6 per cent. The fourth appoints a perpetual anniversary for celebrating the 29th May with thanksgivings as the day of the birth and restoration of his Majesty. The fifth contains a poll tax and the manner of levying at once immense sums of money from people of every condition, stating the amount payable by each, from the greatest to the least and devoting the sums collected to the payment and disbanding of the naval and military forces of the kingdom, with the provision that they shall not be employed in any other. So now the dismissal of the greater part of the troops and the disarming of many ships of war is certain, there is an excellent opportunity for getting soldiers, as I have already indicated. Meanwhile the duke of Albemarle, generalissimo of the forces has directed the regiments not to enlist any more officers or men or to fill up any place that falls vacant, so the disbanding seems certain.
The king is anxious to restore the government of Scotland and Ireland to their ancient state. Since making Albemarle viceroy he has recently disposed of the chief appointments in Scotland, giving them to men of that nation of high rank and of corresponding influence and merit. Mindful of the services rendered by the earl of Southampton to the late king and to himself in his exile, the king has recently made him Lord Treasurer of England, a post of dignity and consideration and correspondingly lucrative and laborious.
Lord Inchequin who was captured by the Barbary pirates has left his son as a hostage in Algiers and come to England (fn. 3) to treat for his ransom as well as that of his son and the others made slaves with them by those infidels.
The Portuguese ambassador does not relax his efforts. Besides the audiences reported he has had several conferences with the secretary of state and others of the privy council. He is trying to obtain confirmation of the agreements made with the Council of State before his Majesty's coming. To achieve this he makes very liberal offers, which extend to a marriage between the Infanta of Portugal and this king, with a most extensive dowry in Brazil, the East Indies and some port in Portugal itself. Although these offers are far from contemptible here they merely listen and commit themselves to nothing whatsoever, although the ambassador is very urgent, realising that all his hopes will end in smoke on the arrival of the Spanish ambassadors, who would be here now if the wind had been favourable for their passage. Upon this and Dunkirk also more will be learned when these ministers arrive. Meantime there can be no doubt that this crown cherishes the most friendly disposition to that of Spain and will show it most amply upon every occasion.
Last Saturday after dinner Sig. Federico d'Alefeldt, ambassador extraordinary of Denmark had public audience of the king and of the dukes of York and Gloucester, with the usual formalities, and on Tuesday he had private audience of his Majesty. Following up my previous offices I called upon his Excellency yesterday, when we exchanged compliments. In the past weeks I have also seen and passed the necessary offices with General Monch, the Marquis of Ormond and other leading persons of the Court.
One of the secretaries of the palace has just brought me the enclosed for your Excellencies from his Majesty in reply to my credentials. I pointed out that the title did not correspond with the copy sent me by the Senate on the 26th June. He promised to report this and returning an hour later he showed me the Order Book itself giving all the titles for foreign princes. I saw that it corresponded with the usual practice but pointed out an instance of the 5th January 1644. He replied that that was during the war, when the king was at Oxford and, without the formulae, he might not have remembered the usual form. After this it seemed only right to accept the letter, which I transmit.
London, the 10th September, 1660.
[Italian.]
Sept. 11.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni.
Corti.
Venetian
Archives.
213. To the Resident in England.
With reference to a possible alliance of England with the Turk we note your efforts to find out particulars. You will continue your application but with the reserve that the importance of this business requires. If that Alardi should arrive, who claims certain sums of money from the chambers of Zante and Cephalonia, the advice and information sent by you will be useful to us.
Ayes, 93. Noes, 2. Neutral, 5.
[Italian.]
Sept. 17.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
214. Francesco Giavarina, Venetian Resident in England, to the Doge and Senate.
When his Majesty went to parliament to give his assent to the 5 acts reported he made a long speech, showing how he was pinched for money; since his return he had supported himself with the money sent to him abroad by parliament; he had given nothing to his brothers because he had not the means; the customs revenues assigned to his person were absorbed by the fleet. He asked for mature consideration of all these points and urged the most speedy disbanding of the naval and military forces. Following upon this parliament has been at work this week in fixing his Majesty's yearly revenue, in voting assignments for the dukes of York and Gloucester and in pushing on the exaction of the poll tax, for the more speedy disbanding of the forces which indeed constitute a great burden and inconvenience to this nation. And as, when the king was in parliament last week, the Houses expressed their wish to suspend their sessions for some time and asked his Majesty's permission, he sent them word some days later by the chancellor that he found their request reasonable and gave them leave to go to their homes for a little breathing space from the 18th September to the 16th November next; so this session of parliament will end to-morrow and they will finish off in a few hours the things which call for most despatch.
It is very doubtful if the present House of Commons will meet again. Many believe that his Majesty will cut it short by a proclamation for many reasons and chiefly because it cannot be called legal, although the king confirmed it by a positive act on his arrival in England, since it was not convoked by order of the king but of the preceding parliament, which had not the right. Time will show. It is not unlikely that they will decide on a dissolution as many members are austere Presbyterians and are not so entirely devoted to the king's interests, and they may decide to call a new one, which would certainly be more inclined to please the Court, for as the members will be chosen without restriction or qualification they will get persons who have always taken the royal side and who have suffered for their loyalty. In this way they may easily deal with many things which the present body has put aside, although in justice and equity they should not be the last to have attention.
On Sunday after dinner Lords Jermin and Craff arrived from France and with them M. de Ruvigny and the Court of Vagliac, sent by the Most Christian and the duke of Anjou respectively to congratulate his Majesty. Jermin and Craff at once gave the king an account of their affairs, the first with the queen of England at Paris, and the other with the Court of France. Ruvigny and Vagliac had their first audiences of the king, presenting their credentials and performing the office for which they were sent. Besides this they have commissions to ask his Majesty for his sister Princess Henrietta, now in France, as wife for the duke of Anjou. It appears that this marriage had been forwarded at Paris by the queen aforesaid, not without the consent of the king here, so it seems likely to be arranged soon nor will it meet with any difficulties here.
The French seem to contemplate another marriage to tighten the bonds with this crown, which is to unite the king of England to one of the daughters of Orleans by his second wife, (fn. 4) but this may not prove so acceptable as the other.
These French ministers have visited the duke of York as well as the king, but not the duke of Gloucester because since Sunday he has been ill in bed. He is not expected to recover soon, as small pox declared itself two days ago. It does not seem to be of the worst kind, and as all the signs are good, they hope that his Highness is in no danger. None the less the king and all the Court are much distressed at the illness and feel some apprehension.
Nothing has been said so far of the return of the queen mother from France to England and it is believed that this marriage may postpone it for some time. Very shortly they are expecting his Majesty's sister, the princess of Orange, who comes to spend the winter in England.
The Spanish ambassadors still tarry because of the bad weather. They are awaited with impatience, chiefly on account of the peace, and there is a corresponding feeling for their ill fortune which prevents their coming.
London, the 17th September, 1660.
[Italian.]
Sept. 22.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Spagna.
Venetian
Archives.
215. Giacomo Quirini, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the Doge and Senate.
The peace with England has been solemnly announced with the usual celebrations. Nothing is said in it about Jamaica or Dunkirk, and letters from Holland indicate difficulties. The Ambassador Gamara writes that the king's interest is seriously prejudiced in England from there being no one there to treat for Spain, and he warns them with complete frankness that the ministers of King Charles want money and they are not in the least offended at their venal intentions being made generally known. That the ambassador of Portugal keeps insisting upon the advantages of trade, pointing out how greatly the realms of the Indies profit that crown, while the mercantile companies are not inclined to lose so important a trade even if they can exchange it for that with Spain.
A ship from Porto Rico which has arrived at Cadiz reports that the English have set up a warehouse at Jamaica for all the merchandise which may come there by foreign ships, without entering Spanish ports any more or Cartagena in the Indies. That thereafter the seamen with small boats may go to the shores of the Terra Firma and sell goods to the people there at reasonable prices.
Madrid, the 22nd September, 1660.
[Italian.]
Sept. 24.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni.
Corti.
Venetian
Archives.
216. To the Resident in England.
He is to thank the king and ministers for exempting from the proclamation recalling English subjects those who are in the Venetian service. With regard to the duke of York's title, it is not the practice of the republic to use that of “royal highness” for the dukes of Orleans and Anjou or even for the emperor's brother. The kings of England have always used the title “Most serene” in addressing the republic. He is to make this clear, though with all tact and suavity, but to add that if in the future they insist on using the same style their letters will not be received.
Ayes, 118. Noes, 0. Neutral, 2.
[Italian.]
Sept. 24.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
217. Francesco Giavarina, Venetian Resident in England, to the Doge and Senate.
Everyone expected that both Houses would suspend their sittings last Saturday, but some important business could not be finished in so short a time and they had to continue until yesterday, when his Majesty went expressly to put the finishing touches to some acts matured since the last time he went there. And so the Houses have separated without any certainty that the Commons will come back, for the reasons given.
Last Monday a royal proclamation passed the privy council and was subsequently announced by trumpet at the usual places, containing the peace between this crown and the Catholic, stating that hostilities are considered to have ceased from the day that the king reached England from Flanders, and so both sides must restore all that has been taken since that date, and that henceforth peace and amity shall reign between the two nations, in conformity with the treaty arranged between the late king of England and the Court of Spain. So this reconciliation has come about to the great content of the merchants, but to the corresponding disgust of the Presbyterian party, as the inveterate and irreconcileable enemy of the Catholic crown and of all the House of Austria.
Nothing is said in this proclamation about the restitution of Dunkirk, indeed it is stated that parliament declared at the same time by special decree that Dunkirk and Mardich are considered as incorporated in this kingdom and that the king cannot give up either without the consent of parliament. The publication of the acts will show if this is so, but it goes to show how unwilling England is to deprive herself of those towns, although the war waged by the usurper Oliver against the Catholic is declared unjust and impious. But interests of state do not consider arguments and make them shut their eyes to this point, while obliging them to keep the places which serve as a bridle upon France, Flanders, the Dutch and all the Northern powers.
The ambassador of Portugal heard this peace announced with great mortification and is unspeakably distressed at the arrival of the Spanish ambassadors. The prince de Ligne made his public entry yesterday, with a great suite, superb liveries and much pomp, amid extraordinary plaudits from the people who acclaimed him with shouts of joy. He was conducted to the city in the royal coach by the earl of Peterboro and with all the usual formalities. The Baron de Batteville has landed in England but has not yet reached London and he may not come before Ligne has had his first audience, the date of which is still uncertain. These ministers have arrived opportunely to upset the negotiations of Portugal, who hoped by his offers at least to obtain confirmation of at any rate a part of the agreement made with the Council of State; and now he will feel less confident, because of the peace announced.
The king and all the Court are plunged in sorrow by the death last night of the duke of Gloucester of the small pox. Although it did not seem of the worst kind it has suddenly snatched away his life, because the day before yesterday he seemed very well and the physicians gave almost certain hope of his recovery. The whole city laments the loss of this prince, who abounded in rare and distinguished qualities and who offered great expectations. The Court is in confusion and grief unspeakable, the king is distressed and weeps bitterly, for he loved his brother tenderly, for he was amiable and most gracious. I enquired regularly after his health and shall now perform the necessary offices, when the king receives the ministers. At present he has withdrawn himself and no one soever is allowed to approach him.
On hearing of the departure from Holland of the Princess Mary, widow of the prince of Orange and his Majesty's sister, the duke of York set out to meet her the day before yesterday. She is expected shortly in this city but she will come at a time of great sorrow.
Your Excellencies' missives of the 21st August reach me to-day via France. With regard to the collection I note that I am directed to proceed with the necessary reserve and to endeavour as if on my own behalf to find out what grounds there are for expecting results.
London, the 24th September, 1660.
[Italian.]

Footnotes

1 Esmé Stuart, the 3rd duke, on 10 August. He was only 11 years of age. He was succeeded by his cousin Charles Stuart, son of George Stuart, seigneur d'Aubigny.
2 An Italian translation is printed by Barozzie Berchet: Relazioni, Inghilterra, page 414.
3 He came back in the Tredagh, Capt. Thomas Teddeman, arriving off Plymouth on 7–17 August. Cal. S.P. Dom. 1660–1, page 183.
4 Margaret of Lorraine, by whom Gaston had three daughters, Margaret Louise, Isabella and Frances Magdalen, the eldest born in 1645.