Venice
October 1660

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Institute of Historical Research

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Allen B. Hinds (editor)

Year published

1931

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199-211

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'Venice: October 1660', Calendar of State Papers Relating to English Affairs in the Archives of Venice, Volume 32: 1659-1661 (1931), pp. 199-211. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=90061 Date accessed: 18 April 2014. Add to my bookshelf


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October 1660

Oct. 1.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
218. Francesco Giavarina, Venetian Resident in England, to the Doge and Senate.
Twenty two acts received the royal assent last week when parliament rose. Some are for naturalising individual foreigners; some to enable certain persons to alienate property held conditionally; some for restoring gentlemen to the honours etc. they enjoyed before the war and of which the rebels robbed them, and one restores to the House of Seymour the dukedom of Somerset, the claims of the marquis of Hertford having prevailed over those of Worcester. One is to prevent fraud in the customs and other duties; one to restore ministers to their parishes and churches; one to raise 140,000l. sterling for disbanding all the land forces and part of the naval, in addition to the recent poll tax; one for raising at once a further 70,000l. sterling for his Majesty's present needs; one to settle the manner of disbanding these forces, which will be done as the money comes in to the exchequer, drawing lots for the order of disbanding the regiments. They have begun already, six being dismissed and others will be in a few days. One is to enable disbanded soldiers to practise a trade or open a shop of any kind in any town they please without hindrance from the guilds even if they have not fulfilled the usual formalities prescribed by the rules of the guilds.
The last is to encourage and increase navigation; which concerns all trading marts to their hurt, but especially those of Holland and the North who have most trade with this island. It requires that all goods coming to England from Asia, Africa and America shall be brought by English ships only, and by no other nation upon pain of confiscation and other severe penalties. That all goods from the Levant or other parts of Europe must come either in the ships of this nation or those of the country of origin, all foreign ships being strictly forbidden to bring any commodities except those of their own country. Further all French ships bringing goods or passengers to England must pay so much per ton on what they bring, to correspond to a similar tax recently imposed by the Most Christian upon the merchantmen of this country entering French ports. It is stated that this imposition will only last so long as the French one, with three months added. The Italian marts will not feel this act greatly as few ships come thence to these ports all the goods being brought here by English ships. But the Dutch, Danes and other Northerners are the most affected, because they are accustomed to bring a great part of the foreign goods, especially from the Indies. By taking this benefit from foreigners and transferring it to England, they will add to their trade, their wealth will grow and they will become in consequence more proud and powerful.
Among all these acts there is none for incorporating Dunkirk and Mardich and the island of Jamaica with the crown of England, which was talked about. But it is certain that the question was discussed in parliament. Many declared that they must not tie the king's hands in the matter, but in the end incorporation was carried in the Commons. When the bill came before the Lords they also discussed it, but did not finish owing to disputes. But it was read twice and the third reading was left to November. There seems no doubt that it will then pass as many believe that the king himself wishes parliament to come to this decision and justify him in refusing restitution to the Spaniards.
However great may be the advantage to this country to keep Dunkirk there can be no doubt that the retention of Jamaica is correspondingly costly and useless. Its situation and climate do not suit this people, as experience shows, most of the troops sent there at different times and the families sent to colonise it having perished and almost every year the provisions sent there from here come to harm, either by storms at sea or otherwise and that island has been more of a misfortune to this country than anything else.
Besides all these acts and others in preparation the members unanimously resolved to establish a constant and ordinary revenue for his Majesty of 1,200,000l. sterling a year, beyond the customs revenue which parliament has already granted to the king for life. With this and the relief from heavy expenditure by the disbanding of the land and sea forces there is no doubt that this king will be one of the most opulent monarchs in Europe.
If this Navigation Act has the effect intended he will be in a position to give the law to foreign princes, this being the true way to enlarge dominions throughout the world, the most easy for conquests and the least costly for appropriating the property of others, because so long as the king is master of the sea his merchants will be welcome and respected everywhere and they will be able to turn this to advantage. Such ideas were used by the Speaker in the name of the Commons, when he presented the Act to the king for his signature, to which his Majesty replied briefly, thanking them for their care in establishing his revenue, in disbanding the army and looking after the advantage of the crown and nation in the manner indicated. He got the chancellor subsequently to add to what he had to say. The chancellor in a learned and elaborate discourse gave praise to the army, which their past actions, known to all, have not deserved. He said how gladly the king concurred in approving all that was in the 22 Acts, promising every care to see them carried into effect. He approved especially of the Navigation Act and the increase of trade, and in consideration of its importance his Majesty proposes shortly to set up a council of trade consisting of leading merchants from the East and West India Companies, the Levant or Turkey, the Spanish etc. with some persons of rank and experience and members of his privy council. He contemplates another council of distinguished persons for foreign colonisation, to render the colonies more pleasant and more populous and consequently more fruitful and profitable, which this nation holds in the Indies and elsewhere.
The ambassador extraordinary of Spain had his first audience of the king on Monday, being lodged and defrayed until then at the crown's cost. He went in great pomp, the new and costly liveries exceeding those of his entry. Following the example of the king and Court who went into mourning for the duke of Gloucester, he has done the same, and yesterday he went to a private audience with all his suite in black. All the other ministers are going into mourning and preparing to offer condolences, myself among them. The cost will be 85l. sterling, a serious matter for my dilapidated resources.
The Court was considering a public funeral for the prince, but at the end of it all he has been buried privately this evening. It is thought that the late king and Princess Elizabeth, who died in the isle of Wight during the troubles, will all be placed in one vault in a few weeks' time. This is left unsettled, but his Majesty's coronation has been fixed for February on the Thursday after Candelmas, and this function will involve further extraordinary expenses as everyone proposes to appear as conspicuous as possible on such a day. As bishops will be needed for this function the king is appointing to the vacant sees and confirming those who survive, bringing back the Church to the ancient episcopal style introduced in the time of Queen Elizabeth and continued under Kings James and Charles. Juxon has been nominated archbishop of Canterbury, formerly bishop of London, who was always at the side of the late king with his consolations up to the last moments of his life. Yesterday he took the usual oath and took possession of the archbishopric with much pomp and solemnity.
The ordinary ambassador of the Catholic has reached London, but keeps his incognito, preparing mourning etc. required for his public entry, the date of which is not yet announced. I paid my respects to the prince de Ligne immediately after his arrival, as is usual. I meant to call in person yesterday but his Excellency could not receive me as he was expecting audience of the king. He has just sent his secretary to thank me and to offer his excuses. It has been arranged for to-morrow, when I shall pay the usual compliments.
The duke of York went as reported to meet his sister, the princess of Orange. He intended to put to sea, but a fierce gale arose and instead of being taken towards his sister he was driven to the extremities of this kingdom. Finding it impossible to do as he intended, he landed and returned post to London on Wednesday morning, exceedingly distressed at finding his brother Gloucester dead. He had heard nothing, as they could not send him the news, not knowing where he was. The princess, who put to sea, was driven back and obliged to return to Holland, so it is not known when she will embark again and arrive in England.
I am not able to tell the Senate anything about the collection. With the present mourning at Court I have not been able to learn anything, as all are retired and I could not converse with any of the ministers. I will not lose sight of the matter.
London, the 1st October, 1660.
[Italian.]
Oct. 2.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni.
Corti.
Venetian
Archives.
219. To the Resident in England.
On the question of title. Note the king's friendly exposition. To make use of this with the ministers and others to intimate the hope of some generous assistance. Hope that the king will respond to the sending of the ambassadors extraordinary by despatching an ambassador in ordinary soon. News of the war; the latest from the Captain General of the 30th of August.
Ayes, 130. Noes, 1. Neutral, 0.
[Italian.]
Oct. 6.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Spagna.
Venetian
Archives.
220. Giacomo Quirini, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the Doge and Senate.
Three English frigates of war (fn. 1) appeared in sight of Algiers to demand the restoration of booty and the release of the slaves of their nation in conformity with the peace. To these the Basha made reply that he would restore nothing and that he would smother all their threats with the mouths of his cannon; so they were obliged to sheer off and return to Cadiz.
Madrid, the 6th October, 1660.
[Italian.]
Oct. 8.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
221. Francesco Giavarina, Venetian Resident in England, to the Doge and Senate.
The delegates for the poll tax show unceasing assiduity not only in the capital but throughout the realm in collecting money so that they may the more speedily disband the army and the fleet. Of the fleet they only mean to keep in commission 20 ships with the best equipment, to guard the Channel, convoy merchantmen and put down pirates. As the money reaches the exchequer it is at once paid out to the commissioners charged with dismissing the army. Some more regiments have been disbanded this week, in addition to the six reported, and the men are not greatly aggrieved since parliament has given them leave to practise any sort of trade they please, a concession together with other privileges offered with excessive liberality made in order to prevent mutiny or other disturbance which might arise from the disbanding.
While parliament here is to resume its sittings on the 6th November, old style, one is to open in Scotland at Edinburgh on the 24th October, and another at Dublin for which the date is not yet fixed, so things are returning to their pristine state. Meanwhile to gratify certain Irish lords who always took the king's side and contributed greatly to his restoration, his Majesty has advanced them in rank, making some, who were barons, earls and some, who were baronets, barons.
To-morrow being the day when the city of London chooses its new mayor for the coming year and fills up the vacant places of aldermen and common councillors, his Majesty has written to the present mayor asking him to see that some are restored to the rank of aldermen who were deprived by the late pretended authority, and that deserving persons are chosen to take the place of others deposed by the Act of Indemnity. There is no doubt that the Council will do all that the king wishes.
It seemed that the marriage of the Princess Henrietta to the duke of Anjou was well on the way to a conclusion, but since the arrival of the Spanish ambassador it has grown cold and now the king seems to wish her to come to London. There is talk of negotiations with the emperor, and they say further that Prince Roberto is coming to England as ambassador extraordinary for Caesar with commissions to offer congratulations and to ask for the princess. Nothing definite can be learned at present as it all passes with great secrecy but this is certain, if the French want to have her for their own house the Spaniards are equally anxious to see her in the House of Austria, for evident reasons.
It has been mentioned that France was trying to bring about a marriage between this king and one of the daughters of the late duke of Orleans. This has died away, but another has started that Cardinal Mazzarini is manoeuvring to give him one of his nieces, that her portrait has already been sent to England and that the affair is already well advanced. Nothing definite is known here and those who could not be unaware of the truth deny such transactions as baseless and indeed they would be very difficult and hard to digest for many reasons. We shall know more about it on the arrival of the count of Soesson, selected as ambassador extraordinary by the Most Christian, because he has a niece of his Eminence to wife (fn. 2) and will do everything in his power to have the king of England for a brother in law. Besides these offers Portugal and Denmark also produce wives for this king, the first of a sister and the other of a daughter. (fn. 3) They say that the Danish ambassador extraordinary has stayed on for this so long after discharging his chief business. Out of so many offers his Majesty should select one, but time alone will show which it will be.
The prince de Ligne having discharged his functions will very soon be returning to Flanders. He told me so on Saturday when I called to pass the usual compliments. Nothing is stated about the entry of the ordinary ambassador de Batteville, who remains incognito to furnish what he requires for his office.
The weather having improved and the wind being favourable the princess of Orange embarked again and reached these shores in a few hours. The news reached the Court by express on Sunday after dinner. The king and the duke of York at once set out to meet her, and they are now all safely back at Whitehall. The king's absence has prevented the foreign ministers from offering their condolences on his brother's death, which they will be able to do next week.
The state despatches of the 28th August and 4th September reached me together yesterday evening via France. I will duly carry out the instructions and report. I have already told the Senate what I found about the king informing the powers of his return. These formalities will be omitted as I have learned from the Danish ambassadors as well as from the secretariat.
London, the 8th October, 1660.
[Italian.]
Oct. 15.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
222. Francesco Giavarina, Venetian Resident in England, to the Doge and Senate.
While the first regiments disbanded readily obeyed the royal commands, some others which they wished to dismiss this week in the more remote counties objected and were mutinous, the privileges and blandishments offered to the soldiers not sufficing to restrain their insolence and their immoderate appetites, as they believe they will do better by staying on than disbanded, no matter what trade they take up. To compel obedience and prevent further confusion his Majesty issued orders to all the lords lieutenant to put their several militias on foot at once, and with this done promptly there is no doubt they will serve as a check on those who want to introduce dissension.
Parliament having condemned the regicides, all those in the hands of justice will receive sentence next week from the ordinary judges, to whom they were committed by parliament so that the fundamental laws might have play and there is no doubt they will receive the punishment their crime merits, as rebels and traitors. As they have been unable to lay hands on some of them and it is known that after leaving the country they have gone about under false names, contriving disturbances with their partisans, orders have recently been issued to take them, alive or dead, putting considerable sums on their heads and promising other advantages to those who serve the crown well by taking them.
The Presbyterians who have always been fatal to this country, as every one knows, cannot bear to see the episcopal dogmas of the time of Queen Elizabeth set up again, and the doctrine of Calvin lost. They mutter and grumble and if they had greater vigour they would undoubtedly raise their heads to kindle internal fires in this country again; but being much weakened, although powerful in numbers, and without consideration among the people, who remember the disasters they brought on the country, they are well aware that they are in no condition to kick against the existing authority, which is gradually becoming more and more formidable.
The report last week that Prince Roberto was coming here as ambassador extraordinary for Caesar proves false as he arrived privately in London on Sunday, simply to see and congratulate the king and the royal house. Being in the service of the emperor it seems that he only has permission to stay in England until next Christmas. Although he has come in a private capacity people say, and it is possible, that he brings some private compliment in Caesar's name and it is not unlikely that he may also negotiate the marriage between Princess Henrietta and the emperor, as that with the duke of Anjou seems colder than ever. I will keep an eye on what the prince does and report to the Senate.
The prince de Ligne has had the most cordial welcome with every mark of esteem at this Court. Besides being lodged and defrayed at the king's cost from the day of his entry to that of his first audience, his Majesty entertained him at hunting and other diversions, and the king with the duke of York and the Court grandees honoured him by attending a banquet at his own house, an unusual thing anywhere, but especially in England, for the king to take a meal in the house of an ambassador, but a mark of extreme confidence in the prince represented and of satisfaction with the ambassador. The prince had audience on Wednesday to take leave of the king, the duke and the princess of Orange, and has since been paying farewell visits to others at Court. He will leave to-morrow for Flanders, after which the ordinary ambassador Batteville will make his entry, which has been impossible before as he has had to provide mourning liveries instead of the rich ones he brought but this has not prevented him from seeing the king and ministers in private more than once.
The ambassador of Braganza importunes his Majesty and the ministers for the confirmation of the treaty made with the late Council of State, or at least for permission to raise levies of volunteers from the disbanded soldiers, so far without result and with little hope for the future, as they merely listen to his offers without paying any attention. He sees clearly that Batteville will always be thwarting his business and one begins to hear that he will leave for Portugal. This may easily be, so that he may not be compelled to do so at the instance of the Catholic, who has many partisans here just now, as happened in France. (fn. 4)
Having reported the few events of the week I will now deal with my commissions of the 28th August and 4th September and those of the 24th September which reached me a week ago via Flanders. I asked audience of the king for the office of condolence and had it Tuesday morning, when the king seemed gratified at the fresh marks of esteem and affection of your Serenity. I saw the duke of York as well and have now to do the same with the princess of Orange, audience being appointed for to-morrow after dinner when I will also congratulate her on her safe arrival.
After I had performed the office of condolence with his Majesty I intimated that I had something else to tell him, when he graciously caused the lords who usually surround him when the audience is not for affairs, to make way, and took me apart. I then thanked him for what he had done for the republic, enlarging on his zeal for Christendom and his sympathy with our troubles in the long war with the Ottoman power. I spoke of the urgent need for assistance and the help afforded by the imperial, Most Christian and Catholic crowns and the assurance of receiving some from his Majesty also, adding all I could to induce him to take so pious a step. His Majesty promised to prove his zeal by some assistance, but at present he was so occupied with the internal affairs of the realm that he could not attend to foreign matters, not even those of his allies and friends. He asked me to leave a memorial and he would see what he could do for the republic. I had this ready and promptly gave it to him, at the same time thanking him for his good will. I pray God that some good for our country may result from this.
I also told his Majesty of the Senate's desire to satisfy him in the matter of Galileo. The king replied that he will be very pleased to hear what your Excellencies do for the relief of this deserving man and repeated his instances for definite payment of the amounts due and that this just consolation to a decrepit and wretched old man may be deferred no longer.
I thanked the king also for excepting his subjects in the service of the republic from the proclamation, to which he replied graciously, saying that he considered his subjects serving the Senate as if they were serving himself. I went yesterday to the secretary of state to thank him for this declaration, asking his assistance over the succour of which I had spoken to the king. He promised his help and said the king had handed my memorial to him with orders to remind him of it. When parliament meets in 4 weeks' time he thinks he may be able to do something, so there is some hope that this country also will help the republic in the coming campaign. I will also see the chancellor, without whose advice the king does nothing. I have found him well disposed on other occasions and I feel sure he will help to get what is now wanted. With regard to the style given to the republic by his Majesty's brother I will obey the Senate's commands though the matter requires tact.
I have done what I could to obtain particulars about the collection, and find that while the king would readily have granted it at another time, it might meet with difficulties now because the people have so many extraordinary taxes to pay for the maintenance of the Court, and for the disbanding of the naval and military forces, so that this is not a propitious moment.
London, the 15th October, 1660.
[Italian.]
Oct. 20.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Spagna.
Venetian
Archives.
223. Giacomo Quirini, Venetian Ambassador in Spain, to the Doge and Senate.
I spoke to Don Luis about the rumour of a marriage between the king of England and a niece of Mazarini. He replied that all the letters from France spoke about it. A dowry of 4 million francs was a very large sum, but the Cardinal had an abundance of money and could well afford it. But the more France ties herself to England with knots of kinship and with the interests of a minister of such influence, the greater will be their jealousy on this side, and with good reason, as they cannot look with a friendly eye on confidential relations between those most important kingdoms.
Madrid, the 20th October, 1660.
[Italian.]
Oct. 22.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian Archives.
224. Francesco Giavarina, Venetian Resident in England, to the Doge and Senate.
The commissioners for disbanding the troops are acting with great energy and every day companies are paid off in different parts of the kingdom. Many lay down willingly the arms they have borne for so many years, and others who object are forced to submit, the militia assembled in each county, according to the ancient use, acting as a great check and inspiring respect.
The Court of Justice is proceeding with the sentences of the regicides. As by the law of the land no one can be condemned to death unless he confesses his crime or there is clear evidence, and 28 are accused, no little time is required to examine all and so the business will not be done very quickly. Of all this number only two are condemned by their own confession. (fn. 5) The others say they are not guilty and disputing with the judges try to gain time and prolong their lives as long as possible. Sentence was pronounced against one yesterday, to be drawn at the horse's tail to the usual place of execution, about a mile outside the city and there be hanged, drawn and quartered. (fn. 6) The others will have the same sentence. All are preparing petitions imploring pardon of the king, and the two now condemned have already presented theirs, but it is not expected to avail as their crime was too impious.
The prince de Ligne left on Saturday and should have reached Brussels by now. Everyone is now eagerly awaiting the entry of the Ambassador Batteville, who remains incognito, engaged on his preparations for his entry and first audience.
The Portuguese minister finding his representations vain took leave of his Majesty privately on Wednesday morning and is about to start for Lisbon. His nephew (fn. 7) and a part of his household remain behind, with a report that he is coming back, though no one believes it. The four ambassadors extraordinary, appointed so long ago, are expected from Holland in a few days, and the count of Soesson is also expected from Paris before long. They say he is making great preparations to surpass the prince de Ligne in everything. Envoys have arrived recently from Hamburg, Munster and many other places and princes of Germany, all to congratulate the king and Court and they are now attending to their audiences of the king and the necessary visits.
The queen mother is expected from France in a few days, Lord Jermin having already set out to fetch her. Nothing more is heard of the marriage with Anjou, but perhaps when Soesson comes the negotiations will be resumed and the French will make great efforts to bring it about.
Last Saturday being fixed for my audience of the princess of Orange, I went and performed the offices of congratulation and condolence. She responded graciously and expressed her obligations to your Excellencies. I performed similar duties with Prince Roberto, with a like response. I have not yet been able to speak to the chancellor upon the matter mentioned, as his health is not good and he cannot receive visits. When he is better I will go and recommend the interests of the republic to him. I have not yet found a suitable opportunity for speaking to the king's brother on the matter of the title.
The state despatches of the 18th September have reached me to-day via France. I note the instructions about Count Dillon's offer and will treat with him, reporting the result, as well as of other offers of disbanded officers. I note that Colonel La Coste's proposal is to be dropped. Tired of waiting for a decision, after some weeks without seeing me, I find that he has recently left London and taken a merchant ship in the Downs for Constantinople intending to go and serve the Turk. Considering the harm this might do your Serenity, especially as the ambassador of Denmark and others who know his service, have told me of his excellence at bombs and artificial fires, I considered how to prevent him going. I spoke to the secretary of the duke of York, who told the duke and his Highness, who is Lord High Admiral, immediately ordered the ship to put off and not to take him to Constantinople. So he is now ashore, without knowing who played him the trick. The mischief has thus been prevented for the moment, but if he remains of the same evil mind he will find other ways of getting there.
When I was at Court the other evening in the chamber of the princess, the king called me to him and spoke of the great pleasure he takes in the river here and discoursed about a delightful canal which he is now having dug in St. James's park near the palace, and his desire to have boats of every sort there. He had written to Holland and other places for foreign ones and was very curious to see the gondolas of Venice as well which, by general consent, he understood were so noble and dainty (nobili e vaghe). He asked me to write to request the republic to send him two by some English ship, saying it would be a most distinguished favour. I promised to report his wish to the Senate and felt sure your Excellencies would oblige him. He sent a gentleman of the chamber to me again to-day to beg me not to forget to write, showing his eagerness to have them, and I must needs obey his Majesty's order. As the gondolas could not be used here without the boatmen of Venice, the king asked me to request the Senate to send three or four, promising to pay and treat them well.
London, the 22nd October, 1660.
[Italian.]
Oct. 22.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Francia.
Venetian
Archives.
225. Gio. Battista Nani, and Alvise Grimani, Venetian Ambassadors in France, to the Doge and Senate.
M. de Vagliac has returned from England. He reports coolness on that side about the marriage of the princess to M. d'Orleans, so they are hastening the despatch of the ambassador, the count of Soesson. Not being experienced he has had much more careful instructions than is usual, and they have directed Ruvigni, who is a man of great ability, not to leave London and to wait for him, so that he may assist him with his prudent counsel. Here they do not feel so confident about it as heretofore, indeed the queen mother said to Monsieur, who seeks this marriage with the greatest passion: My son, a little more reserve is desirable, because it is not yet made. The queen of England and the princess would like it to take place and they use their influence with the king of England, and it may be that King Charles will in the end be induced to consent to it, rather for the satisfaction of his mother and sister than from any inclination and desire of his own.
Paris, the 22nd October, 1660.
[Italian.]
Oct. 23.
Senato,
Secreta.
Deliberazioni.
Corti.
Venetian
Archives.
226. To the Resident in England.
Approval of his office on the death of the duke of Gloucester. It seems probable that his Majesty will inform the powers of this event, as is usually done. Meanwhile he was right to wear mourning, following the example of the other ministers. In view of his expenses the Senate grants him 400 ducats.
That 400 ducats be paid to the agents of the secretary Giavarina, for this turn:
Ayes, 96. Noes, 8. Neutral, 9. It requires 4/5ths.
In the Collegio:
Ayes, 17. Noes, 0. Neutral, 1. It requires 4/5ths.
[Italian.]
Oct. 29.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Inghilterra.
Venetian
Archives.
227. Francesco Giavarina, Venetian Resident in England, to the Doge and Senate.
All this week the Court of Justice has been engaged in passing sentence against the regicides and having them carried out. Of the 28 found guilty ten have already suffered the extreme penalty; another will die to-morrow. Ten, although condemned, are reprieved until parliament meets again in two weeks' time. This is in accordance with a proclamation of the king that those who gave themselves up within a certain time should have a share in the Act of Indemnity. They did so and claim the benefit, so the judges have referred the decision to parliament. It is believed that they will be pardoned, the prime movers of the rebellion being dead and having ended their lives as their deeds merited. Every morning that an execution took place the king went away from London to prevent petitions being presented on behalf of the condemned. This has not been able to prevent some from getting to him, but the offence was too terrible to admit of pardon. Scot, who was secretary of state under the long parliament, and who died the day before yesterday, is said to have disclosed many enemies of his Majesty, and especially some who have always been near him, and who know his secrets. It is impossible to know who they are, but if report does not err it will soon come out, because they will gradually decline in his Majesty's favour.
A serious affair has occurred at Court recently which much upsets the king. The daughter of the Lord Chancellor is found to be pregnant and very near her time, her condition being concealed so far by the cleverness of her mother. The duke of York is the one responsible, having enjoyed great intimacy with the girl since he was in Flanders. She says, and her mother supports her, that she had a promise of marriage from the duke, and apparently there is something in writing. The duke denies it and the king is the more grieved because it is said that the chancellor means to uphold the rights of his daughter and bring the affair to parliament when it reassembles. In that case he risks ruining himself, but he may be better advised and allow the matter to be buried in silence. Nevertheless the affair has caused a great scandal among the sectaries here, especially the Presbyterians, who all pretend to be saints and impeccable.
At the Court here no progress can be made and nothing obtained without presents or without money, all the ministers being famished because of their past misfortunes. Thus Don Francesco di Melo, the Portuguese ambassador, has worked so hard and secretly given so much that at the moment of his departure he has obtained from the king and the privy council a proclamation (fn. 8) touching the affairs of his master and this crown, which apparently means a great deal but which actually does not amount to much. It states that on his happy return to England the king found his subjects in abundant possession of free trade with Portugal and of many privileges and immunities granted to this nation by virtue of certain treaties arranged with those who had usurped authority, and the Ambassador di Melo having applied to the king for the renewal and confirmation of the treaties certain of his Majesty's privy council have been appointed to treat with him and have made great progress. But as the ambassador cannot wait for the conclusion of the treaty, which cannot be completed hastily, and is obliged to return home, whereby certain subjects of this crown might begin to obstruct that alliance and trade, his Majesty thinks fit to declare to all his subjects that they may continue the commerce with Portugal without fear, in accordance with the past treaties, the king being assured that they will enjoy all the privileges and immunities granted in the said treaties, although he has not yet ratified them, the ambassador having promised that his master will observe them. Having obtained this satisfaction, which does not amount to much, Mello got another, which is a pure formality. He took leave at a private audience last week and made great efforts to have a public one in the great hall of Whitehall. This was readily granted, especially as he is ambassador extraordinary. So he went on Tuesday after dinner, in the king's coach, attended by an earl. Yesterday he embarked for Lisbon, leaving his nephew here and a report that he will come back or another ambassador will succeed him.
Immediately the minister of Braganza had left the palace the Baron de Batteville went to private audience of the king and remained with him alone for over three quarters of an hour, although he has not yet had his first state audience. He had previously presented his credentials in private, seeing the king secretly and treating without ostentation.
I have been discussing the question of title from his Majesty's brother with his Highness's secretary, who is prudent and discreet. He promised to speak to the duke about it and let me know the result. With regard to the title of “Royal Highness” the secretary told me that if your Serenity does not give it to the brother of the Most Christian York will not claim it either, and he supposed there will be no difficulty if he writes to your Serenity with the title used by the late Prince Henry.
I have not been able to do anything about Dillon's offer because he is away from the city at present. I have been speaking about levies with those who seemed ready to go and serve your Excellencies but no one will listen to the terms prescribed to me, notably on the point of donations, which they want in a lump sum at embarcation and they all refuse to suffer any loss for those who die on the passage. However I will continue to treat and report to the Senate.
The state despatches of the 2nd ult. have reached me and shall have my dutiful attention. On the subject of an ordinary embassy I will not lose an opportunity of speaking as instructed. In my next despatch I will send a full account of the poll tax. I cannot do it now for lack of full information.
London, the 29th October, 1660.
[Italian.]
Oct. 29.
Senato,
Secreta.
Dispacci,
Francia.
Venetian
Archives.
228. Alvise Grimani, Venetian Ambassador in France, to the Doge and Senate.
The despatch of the Dutch ambassadors is delayed in order to observe the proceedings of England. The sentiments on both sides seem to have cooled considerably, especially over a certain decree formerly issued by Cromwell, which is said to be confirmed by parliament and the king, that foreign vessels must not take to England any goods except those which originate in their own country. This strikes a mortal blow at the Dutch who have sent to England to obtain the withdrawal of this act, so prejudicial to them, and which injures them as much as it benefits and enriches the English.
Paris, the 29th October, 1660.
[Italian.]

Footnotes

1 The squadron under Robert Blake.
2 Olympe Mancini.
3 Anna Sophia, the eldest daughter of Frederick of Denmark was only 13 years of age at this date.
4 The Conde de Soure, Portugese ambassador in France, had been recalled on the conclusion of the peace of the Pyrenees. Prestage: Diplomatic Relations of Portugal, pp. 75–6.
5 Sir Hardres Waller and George Fleetwood alone pleaded guilty when the regicides were arraigned at Hicks Hall on October 9–19. Parliamentary Intelligencer Oct. 9–16.
6 Maj.-Gen. Thomas Harrison; the place of execution was Charing Cross.
7 Francesco de Sa e Menezes.
8 Of 6 October, o.s., declaring that there is no obstruction to the renewal of the treaties between England and Portugal made by those late in power. Steele: Tudor and Stuart Proclamations Vol. i, No. 3263.